Chai Hot Chocolate

Spiced Hot Chocolate

Autumn has officially hit Portland, and I'm ready for the cooler weather! On a rainy afternoon like this I love to sip a cup of hot chocolate while I knit on my latest project and work on the computer. Not just any hot chocolate, mind you, but a spicy chai hot chocolate. Here's the recipe:

Chai Hot Chocolate
makes 1 8oz mug
1 cup milk (soymilk, almondmilk, whole milk, it's your choice)
1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar or honey
1/4 tsp Chai Spice Blend (recipe follows)

1. Gently warm the milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the sweetener, cocoa powder, and chai spice blend and whisk until all lumps of chocolate disappear.
3. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy! (and maybe throw a marshmallow on top if you have some.)

Chai Spice Blend 
using powdered spices (adjust to your own taste)

2 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground cardamom
3 tsp ground ginger

1. Mix all spices well and store in an airtight container. Done!

orange toddler socks
Here's a peek at my latest project. I've come to the conclusion that my toddler has Yeti feet. These socks nearly fit me! Stay warm, friends.


Knitty First Fall 2011

Knitty's First Fall 2011 collection has been live for a couple of weeks now and my, oh, my! what beautiful patterns! Who doesn't love cozy knits in fall?

I am in love with this sweet little lace cowl by Ashley Knowlton. I'm not such a fan of wearing pink myself, though, so I was thinking it would look lovely in a more subtle, warm color like Goldberry:
What do you think?


Sock Summit Report


Well I guess I was too busy enjoying myself to take many pictures, but here's a little peek at the second annual Sock Summit here in Portland. In my defense, I did have my hands full of wiggly baby the whole time, so wielding the camera was not really on my mind.


Here's a corner of the marketplace. I wonder why the baby was more interested in my keys than yarn? Must work on that. Most days Baby M and I visited the marketplace, crawled around, fondled yarn, and connected with friends. On Friday I attended Tina Newton's lecture. What a delight! My friend watched the baby so I could sit and knit and listen without distraction. The most memorable moment came when Baby M decided to start walking on his own!


On Sunday we were able to catch the Fleece-to-Foot contest. They sheared the sheep, carded the wool, spun it, then knit it into socks...in a matter of hours. Well done, ladies!


Keep spinning! More coffee!





The Fastest Knitter Competition, moments before comparing 106 stitches to 103 in 3 minutes. I definitely can't knit that fast!


Ok, men, can we please go get some yarn now?


Sock Summit 2011


This weekend is Sock Summit!

Knitters from near and far will converge on Portland to see yarn dyers, spinners and sellers at their booths. There will be boxes and boxes of beautiful yarn as well as classes and lectures from favorite designers at the Oregon Convention Center. Yarn shops all over town will be bustling with excitement!

Bumblebirch yarn is a featured local dyer at Urban Fiber Arts this week - we hope to see you there!


DIY Recycled Yarn

I love recycling and creative reuse of materials. This tutorial from Craft Passion on how to make yarn out of old t-shirts is simply sweet!

How to make T-shirt Yarn


Featured Yarn

Bumblebirch is ready for summer! Some of the current yarn offerings feature cool blue, purple and sandy pink.  A variety of yarn weights are available including Grove (Superwash Merino/Bamboo blend), Blossom (Merino/Suri Alpaca blend) and Heartwood (Merino/Nylon blend). But that's not all - check out the Etsy shop for other fine Bumblebirch colorways and stitch markers!

Bumblebirch Grove - Lilac
Bumblebirch Grove in Lilac colorway.

Bumblebirch Blossom - Dune
Bumblebirch Blossom in Dune colorway.

Bumblebirch Heartwood - Coastline
Bumblebirch Heartwood in Coastline colorway.



Button Flair

From head to toe, these small fashion fasteners are sure to make a project stand out. You can put a button and a smile on just about anything!

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From HeathersHobbies and Arzumusa

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From Tombjorn and Laurathreadz


Work In Progress: Horcrux Socks


I've had socks on my mind lately as Sock Summit 2011 is fast approaching, but of course knitted socks are great any time. This pair is Horcrux Socks (Ravelry link), knit using Artisan Sock Yarn in the Purple Hazel colorway from HazelKnits, which is based in Seattle.


I actually purchased this lovely colorway at the first Sock Summit in 2009. It took a while to find just the right pattern for the deep purples and greens. As you can see, I've just got the toe of one sock left to graft.


Urban Fiber Arts in Portland

Urban Fiber Arts knitting area

Located in the Pearl District of downtown Portland, Urban Fiber Arts is one of the newest knitting shops in town and a must-see for visitors and locals alike. The cozy fireside knitting area with a simple gray and red color palette is quite lovely. Beyond are the rows and rows of fantastic yarn! The storefront is nestled into the stylish Gregory Lofts on NW 11th Avenue, only steps from a Portland Streetcar stop, which I think adds to the charm and welcoming atmosphere.

To set this downtown knitting shop apart from others, friendly owner Cindy Abernethy stocks Urban Fiber Arts with the work of independent Northwest fiber artists and maintains a fine selection of spinning fibers.

Speaking of local dyers, I'm excited to mention that a shipment of Bumblebirch Cocoon was recently delivered!

Urban Fiber Arts storefront


Coffee In A Cup

Some say love makes the world go 'round, but it might just be the coffee. This week's inspiration is highly caffeinated and very cute.

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From LaceyBugCreations and sewZinski

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From QuietStreet and annerstreet


Work In Progress: Baby Tunic


I've been knitting this cute little tunic for a friend's baby with Heartwood (75% superwash merino/25% nylon) in the Hydrangea colorway. The pattern is Little Sister's Dress, and is super quick and simple! Tora Frøseth is a Norwegian designer with a collection of unique designs just popping with texture. This little dress just needs a wee button and will be done!



Baby Bumblebirch

baby bumblebirch

Bumblebirch Designs has taken on a new employee, though he's a little short on experience. Quite mischievous, he can't understand why such great yarn need be out of reach. Why not bring some of that fine fiber down here and we'll see how long it is? Or see how it tastes? Maybe the kitty wants to play with it too?

He loves the outdoors, just like Mommy, and thinks the swings at the park are great. We hike up the hill to Washington Park (I walk, he rides comfortably in the ERGO baby carrier) and there in the first clearing, between the mossy willows and some rather tall sequoias, I enjoy a few moments of quiet bliss as my little swinger smiles.

baby bumblebirch swing


Sunny Days

What's better than a sunny day? Nothing that I know of, unless that sunny day finds you knitting in its warm rays. Along with the sunny day comes singing birds, fragrant flowers, and smiling faces. I hope it's sunny where you are!

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From thePaintedSky

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From cottonpurr

20110606 Finds_laurageorge
From laurageorge


Work In Progress: Vanilla


Baby Bumblebirch is now nine months old and is growing and growing! We use cloth prefold diapers and Nikky diaper covers - but sometimes it's fun to dress him in something different. This pattern is Vanilla by Kelly Brooker which I'm knitting with Cascade 220 Wool.



Memorial Day Greetings

On our weekend to honor those who serve and protect the United States of America, I want to say, thank you, brave soldiers! Let's see some red, white, blue:

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From minusOne

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From Hydra Heart

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From reiter8

Happy Memorial Day!


Bumblebirch is at Urban Fiber Arts!

Heartwood in Berry Juice

Bumblebirch yarn can now be found at Urban Fiber Arts in the Pearl District!

There are many fine knitting shops in Portland, but this one in particular sells Bumblebirch yarn. Specializing in local independent Northwest dyers and spinners, Urban Fiber Arts is located on the southbound Portland Streetcar line and just around the corner from a Number 17 Bus stop. It has an excellent selection of patterns and unique yarns, host classes and the local spinnerati (spinning group), and the owner Cindy is an all-around fun lady. Be sure to check it out!

Bumblebirch supports public transportation! You can't (shouldn't) knit while you're driving on the freeway, but you can purl on the bus...So hop on the streetcar or MAX or bus and check out Urban Fiber Arts in the Pearl.


Bumblebirch is Back

spring robin

The sun is shining brightly.
The birds are singing boldly.
The trees shake their verdant leaves,
As the curious squirrels stop and see.
It's a beautiful day we believe,
For the yarn is dyeing color again.

My Baby Sabbatical is over and I've returned to the studio. This year I'm joined by my wonderful husband, Paul, who helps behind the scenes and makes sure I keep my head together.

Are you ready for some fantastic new yarn? New yarn will be available soon on Etsy.