Oftentimes, it’s the journey that sticks with you more than the actual destination. For my latest design, I knew two things….First being, I was in LOVE with this yarn and this color. And secondly, I was going to return to that place. What is that place, you ask? The feeling. The smell. The hours of time spent squeezed into the family sedan. The bright, lush green rushing past the car window. And the sound. The sound of my dad’s Fleetwood Mac album thumping over the stereo.

That place is the Columbia River Gorge.


Both of my parents grew up in the Gorge, so every summer was spent on the river, visiting aunts and uncles, grandparents. And just the drive up the gorge sends waves of nostalgic over me. All those memories flood my brain and I’m there again. In an instant.


So this design didn’t just come out of inspiration, or even memories. It came from my deep love and respect for this part of my life. And I have to say, not many designs speak to me the way this one did. It actually sang quietly, just like my dads Fleetwood Mac album. It harmonized sweetly into my ear, as the design progressed.

And I love where the journey lead me.


This pattern design went through quite the transition as I wrote  it. I started with cables on a stockinette background, then I changed the size of the cables, then I decided to go with different twists on each cable. As the design grew, so did my imagination. As so often is the case. It was just like life. I found myself taking different routes than the ones I previously thought I would choose. Like a hiking trail on the Gorge, go up or go down. Turn right or turn left. So I charted my own path and this design is where it lead me.


As you may already know, I am all about telling you a story with each of my pattern designs. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this one and that you also enjoy this new design!


This was my first experience using the very talented Jared Flood’s Brooklyn Tweed. I am a Lover of natural fibers so I had high expectations for his Shelter line. It did not disappoint.


The fiber is so light and soft in your hands as you work with it. You would swear that it would break apart like glass against your needles but part of its beauty is it’s strength. As the design progressed, I found myself having to frog my work numerous times. Shelter withstood every storm. I was extremely impressed with it’s durability. And after blocking, the fiber just bloomed. I just LOVE this yarn! So obviously that leads me to…

A Giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post of your most cherished memory. And how do you take that memory and gain inspiration or strength from it?

In addition to commenting, you can also follow and share on your social media for extra entries. Please do share the love!

I’ll be choosing a winner by random using the Rafflecopter widget on Monday, September 28th. The winner will receive a hank of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in their preferred color! I will contact the winner by email with the color selections to choose from and to retrieve mailing information. So it’s a good idea to add me to your mailing list/address book so you don’t miss the email notification: kalurah[at]whiletheyplay[dot]com
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: If the winner does not reply within 10 days of notification, they will forfeit their prize and another winner will be chosen by random and notified by email and on the blog.




Purchase Columbia Gorge:

Now, share those little bits of nostalgia and happy knitting!


Join the discussion 82 Comments

  • Amy says:

    The Columbia River Gorge. It truly is one of those places that feeds my soul and I will always ache for when I’ve been away too long. At a certain spot on that drive along the river just before I reach Hood River, my heart always sighs contentedly and says “I’m home.” 🙂

  • I have so many important and meaningful memories, but probably one of the most touching was when I was stuck in the hospital with my husband three hours away from our seven other children, trying to keep our little baby girl inside for another month, and the people who were taking care of them gave up the mother of the couple’s Mother’s Day so they could drive their two kids with our seven across the state so I could have mother’s day with my whole family. The nurses in the antenatal unit and my husband conspired with them to surprise me, and they set up an entire other room with tables and such so we could have dinner with our children and my husband tricked me into the room and I had NO idea that my kids were there. They caught my reaction on video, too. It was so sweet, and the kids had made gifts, and we had a great time.

    • I forgot to say what I drew from this. Aside from the immediate comfort, in a hard time away from my family, it has given me such a closeness with the family who took care of my kids, as well as an appreciation for the way our family pulls together in tough times. Even when we came home, our oldest two did all the cooking as my husband had to go straight back to work after a month with me, and the next two youngest did the laundry and clean up, so we could take care of our preemie daughter.

  • Sue McCord says:

    Looking back on childhood memories, summers at my Grandmother’s cottage, family gatherings. My Grandmother teaching me to knit as a child on her knee, which is now my passion, what a gift. All the memories of my children growing up and special times shared. Now with grandchildren making lovely new memories they will cherish, I think that is a full circle. What a wonderful life!

  • Liz Klueger says:

    I don’t know which memory is the most cherished, since I am so bad at remembering things, but one of my favorite memories is when I went letterboxing with my boyfriend for the first time. (In letterboxing, you follow clues to find a hidden box with a stamp inside. You then stamp the box’s stamp in your logbook and you stamp your personal stamp in the box’s logbook. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt/ art exchange.) I had been letterboxing for a about a year, and I wanted to share this cool hobby with him. We decided to go at night since that seemed extra fun and it was in a park, so it wasn’t remote. (Don’t worry, this was in a relatively safe college town.) The clues led to a mass of plants, and I couldn’t see the letterbox, so I kind of waded into the plants. Because that’s what you do when you letterbox: you have to investigate! While I’m traipsing around, shin-deep in plants, my boyfriend just looks down and pulls out the box! Whaaaat?! I was so surprised! How did he see it when I didn’t!
    From this memory I learned that I should be humble even when I am experienced, and that having a fresh or different perspective is helpful. I also learned that letterboxing at night is hard.

  • Emily says:

    When I was younger, we’d go down to Gatlinburg, TN every year to get Easter dresses. It was a long drive, but there was nothing like the feel of getting “lost” in the mountains. Even as a young child, the stillness of the woods was magical. I ended up going to university two hours away from the same mountains I fell in love with as a child and waking up every morning to see the foothills bathed in fog was a wonderful reminder of what had drawn me to that area of the country in the first place.

  • Jo Derouin says:

    I just came back from visiting my son and his family. As usual we always talk about my parents,his grandparents and great grandparents. We also try to cook on of my Moms great recipes. She was a great cook. Brings back so so many great memories

  • Cary Evans says:

    When my kids were at home we would go to the beach and have sandcastle contests. It didn’t matter how your sandcastle looked because it was the story you told about the people who lived in the castle that was important. Even when they were teens they loved to do this. Many happy times on the shore.

  • Nichola Todd says:

    As a young teen I used to travel to my grandfathers weekend farm in Minnesota during the summer. I loved that place there was no indoor plumbing and there was a hand pump in the yard. But the best part was going fishing with my dad. We would leave at 4am and drive out to a secluded lake where there was a rowboat waiting in the weeds for us. It would be filled with baby frogs and we would catch them and put them on the bank. Then we would shove off and spend hours catching fish which we would later clean behind the cottage. These are some of my happiest memories. I still love to fish and there is nothing better than fish straight from cold northern lakes.

  • JennG says:

    I got married at Cave Point in Door County, Wisconsin. It was a crisp October day, with blue skies and brightly colored trees. The sense of hope for the future, the water lapping at the bluffs, and the love of my life all make this one of my most meaningful memories. It inspires me to believe that hope in the future is alive, that good days will come again.

  • donnadb says:

    My most treasured memories are spending Saturdays with my father, working on his bit of land, listening to football on the radio, riding in the back of the pickup, getting a frozen coke on the way home. 🙂

  • Sharon Keane says:

    I love your hat and the story that inspired you. My mother used to knit socks for my dad. I can see her knitting in her chair and my dad going back to check on the progress. She made one sock from one pattern and then another from a different pattern before she went back to complete the pair. She said it kept her from getting bored. She is now 84 and no longer knits. I asked for her old yarn carrier, so I can keep those memories. There was a sock she had started on the needle and I put it in a shadow box to help keep the memories. My dad loved those socks ( and the wilder the better!)

  • Stephanie W says:

    My trip to London. Meeting relatives, touring the city, visiting historic sites and enjoying local cuisine. There’s nothing better when traveling and opens one’s eyes to new cultures and the good in the differences we encounter.

  • luckyewe says:

    Being at the beach with my whole family. We spent a week camping at Myrtle Beach just about every summer of my life until my dad died in 2007. Still when I go to the beach I can recall what a great family I have and all of the fun things we did as a family.

  • valerie guilcher says:

    I was 10 y o, in holidays, on the beach with my father. He told me we could see a “rayon vert” : a green flash. We did.
    Since this day, I try to remember color is a matter of light, and we have to work to open our eyes. And all this is connected with love, like we have beetween father and daughter.

  • Kate says:

    Stick, my son, who is now 14, once when he was a toddler; learned several of his colors from the tattoo on my upper arm.

    *poke* “Wat dis, momma?”
    “That’s blue”
    “Boo.” *poke* “Wat dis?”
    “That’s green.”
    “Geen. What dis?” *poke*

    Learning never stops and inspiration can be found anywhere–just ask a toddler. Now if I can get that through his teenaged head.

  • savannagal says:

    One of my most cherished memories is watching my little sister in a dance routine when she was about 10 years old. I was so proud of her, to the point of crying. I was taking video and you can hear me sniveling in the background. She was just so darn cute. We’re all much older now. I need to find that video!

  • Alexis says:

    My most cherished memories are playing by the sea with my mother, grandmother, and aunts all around me. I loved being at the beach and playing while having family so close by every weekend.

  • Karen Warren says:

    Beautiful Hat! Among many cherished memories I have been reminded of the daily summer trips to our local beach on Long Island Sound with my Mom and three sisters. We often went late in the day, and played every known imaginary game in the water and the sand (Diver Dan, mermaids, Jacques Cousteau…). High tide and low tide each led to different experiences! My Dad had a long train commute every day from New York City and would often head to join us in the evening and the late summer sun. I currently live nearby a beach from which I can look across the water and see the childhood beach. So the memories are relived even now, more than 50 years later.

  • Alyce says:

    Some of my most cherished memories are the times I get to spend with a long-time friend. We met over 40 years ago when our children were babies. We spent a few years together in the same town, but then my family and I moved away. We have spent more time apart than together, but the friendship is always strong and when we are together now, it is as though we were never separated. Her only son died earlier this year from brain cancer and I knew I had to be there to support her. The entire weekend she would pull me into a hug and whisper “Thank you so much for being here.” Such a bittersweet memory, but our friendship grew even closer during that time.

  • Kymm says:

    I don’t have a single memory that I cherish above all, but a whole raft of them. They’re made up of nights spent with good friends, playing board games, watching movies, gathering around a firepit, sharing an impromptu potluck, knitting afternoons at the yarn shop, talking and laughing and just being together with easygoing, likeminded folk. Simple things, you might think, but they mean everything to me.

  • Lindsey says:

    Living by the sea, I would have to say it’s the memory of the summer before I turned eight. Lazy, hazy days at the beach with my mom who would plunk her chair at the water’s edge (she was very pregnant with my sister at the time). Digging in the sand and playing in the water. Stopping for ice cream on the way home…

    It’s different now that I’m the mom, seems less lazy and more keeping an eye out to make sure my two boys are okay.

    But at the end of a good beach day, when you are laying in bed, it’s the same – I can feel the ocean gently rocking me to sleep.

  • Marguerite says:

    I love the intertwined cables, and you did pick a good color for it. I’ve been wanting to knit with Brooklyn Tweed, and I hope this will be my chance!
    My most cherished memory is leaving the ashes of our first child at Enchanted Rock in the Hill Country of Texas. It sounds sad, and it was, but the place we left him was so beautiful, and protected, even on that enormous rock outcropping, that it felt like a hidden oasis. And the day we left him the sky was so, so blue, and the light was so clear. The colors of the rock were especially vivid, especially against that sky. It was one of those days you sense your tiny place in the universe, and it was okay.
    It’s always been one of my favorite places in the world, but the memory of that day makes it my MOST favorite place.

  • Kristen says:

    I love this hat. I love my memories of all the vacations we took when I was young. Every year we took one, either to Nh , Florida, Lake George, ect. I miss that time with my parents

  • Marina says:

    My most cherished memory is when I lived with my grandma and her sisters used to come to her play cards once or maybe twice a month. unfortunately, none of them alive, but my memory is still with me. thank you for the beautiful pattern!

  • Helen King says:

    I have many great memories but I cherish the time I got to spend with my parents before they passed away and all the life lessons that they taught me.

  • ckachel says:

    One of my favorite memories was a trip through Yellowstone with my husband and both my sons. We went at the end of Sept. few tourists and great hiking weather made this a great experience for a 3+ 8 yr old.

  • Laura says:

    I have so many beautiful memories, but I think the best ones are the ones with my other half. From the first moment I met him we were head over heels in love and now, many years later, nothing has changed really. He is my true home and I cherish all the moments, big and small and occasionally a little crazy, we share together.

  • Alicia H. says:

    Thanks for the pattern! I’ve never knit a hat or cables, but I’m excited to try with one of your beautiful designs. My most cherished memory is my wedding day or should I say, my second wedding day. I’d been divorced from my first husband (who will be in my trashy novel one day) for more than 10 years & had sworn I’d never marry again. I became the Queen of Blind Dates, had lots of fun & tried to tell myself it didn’t matter that I was growing old alone. And then on an umpteenth blind date, I met G. We stayed up half the night, playing pool in our friends’ basement, talking & sharing our lives. I remember that I never laughed so hard before on a first date & how comfortable I was with this man I had just met. We had a whirlwind courtship that ended with our wedding a year later. I remember walking, no practically running, down the aisle, feeling so happy & peaceful. And that’s lasted more than 17 years later, through my breast cancer, long separations while he worked overseas & now his illnesses where I hold his hand & tell him everything will be OK. There is nothing better in this world than love.

  • Miriam Giles says:

    Thank you so much for your pattern! I’m excited to knit it up.
    My most cherished memory, is my wedding day. This week we’re celebrating our 26th anniversary. I draw strength from this memory because I know how deeply we are committed to each other. I look at the love we had for each other on that day and marvel at how much more our love is now. We’ve had many struggles, several children, and lots of wonderful times together. I look forward to continuing to get older together.

  • Miriam Giles says:

    Thank you so much for your pattern. I’m excited to knit it up.
    My most cherished memory is the day I married my husband. This week we celebrate our 26th anniversary. I draw strength from that memory because I know we are committed to each other. I am amazed how much the love we had then has grown into something bigger and deeper.

    • Kalurah says:

      It’s truly amazing just how much love we can build up together with our mates, isn’t it? And after that many years together I’m sure you’ve become (or stayed) Best friends! Thanks for sharing, Miriam. 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    Growing up, we used to go to a small coastal island (Oak Island) off the coast of NC and stay at my grandparent’s fishing cottage. As we got older, we started going else where (read as bored teenagers – this was in the dark ages before computers). The cottage is still in the family and, at the age 47, I’m there as often as I can be. The place hasn’t changed and there is a peacefulness there that I didn’t appreciate as a child. Any time I hear the ocean, everything inside me settles.

    • Kalurah says:

      WE are truly Sea-Sisters! 😉
      I feel that same calm and peace in my heart and soul when I hear those ocean waves. How incredible that you still have access to that place and you can really appreciate it now in your wisdom! 🙂
      xoxo Kalurah

  • Jean says:

    I grew up on a street with many of my cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents and in a town with most of my cousins. We went to school together. I have a smaller family, but we live in the in law of our children’s house. We are here for our grandchildren.

    • Kalurah says:

      It’s awesome to be close to family and have all those memories and to be able to create NEW ones! Thanks for sharing. xoxo

  • Phoenix says:

    Every thanksgiving frowning up we all went to my grandparents lake house. We would be there Wednesday thru Sunday. All the cousins would play and explore the area. We’d all cook in the kitche,eat too much and then talk walks and naps. On Friday we would visit little towns to do some Christmas shopping.

    • Kalurah says:

      Cousins!!! I don’t even know the actual count of cousins I have but they may as well be our sibling, right!? Cousins are the greatest! Thanks for sharing that memory. It made me remember all the fun times I had with mine. xoxo

  • Steffi @ ilovemycello says:

    My most wonderful moments were those wonderful hot summer days in the Alpes! We went hiking- but every lake was “ours” . OMG- do you know how good it feels to jump into this clear and cold water after a long trip? 😀

  • Melanie says:

    Summers at my great grandparents farm in Deep River, NC. This 450-acre farm was a child’s paradise. Long summer days spent barefoot, doing chores made fun by our cousins. Fishing when we wanted in either of two very large farm lakes, eating watermelon, cantaloupe and fresh vegetables right from the garden. Every meal a southern cooked delight. Warm nights sleeping on the screened in porch. Sunday mornings at the Deep River Quaker church. I drove there several years ago. The farm is gone, replaced by houses and the newer parts of the city of High Point, but those memories are mine forever.

  • GaeasLovechild says:

    When I was very young (before I could talk in sentences), I have a wonderful memory of spending time alone with my great-Grandmother. She spoke no English & I didn’t understand her native tongue. I also very much doubt she could comprehend my “baby-English”. Regardless, we sat outside in the sun on the garden bench & had a conversation, of sorts. I recall it truly felt like we both understood each other.
    I have no other memories of being that age but this stayed with me in such detail & felt extremely special. Over time it taught me that love can transcend words, language and age, & that we don’t always need to speak the same language to deeply connect and understand each other.

    To be able to capture your memories in a special pattern is a real gift; another ‘language’ that transcends words.
    I love reading the stories behind your creations. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

    • Kalurah says:

      That is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing that story. You’re so right too, it’s the love. If the love is there we don’t need much else. Thanks for your sweet words about my patterns and the stories behind them. xoxo

  • Julie says:

    Anything with my father. Lately it’s been a flashback to a night in a wooded bar drinking a beer. He made a long drive to visit me for an important event and it meant a lot that he showed up. And let me show him my life.

    • Kalurah says:

      Father-Daughter memories pretty much make up my creative story. I know for a certainty that I would not be doing what I love right now if it weren’t for his influence. Thanks for sharing that memory, Julie! xoxo

  • Kristen says:

    I love this hat. I love that you have a picture of a big guy wearing it. My brother has a large head. And I knit him a hat every year for his birthday and Christmas. Since I’m talking about my brother now…I love the times we went camping as a family when we were little. Sure we fought when we were home, but get us fishing or white water rafting and we were BFFs.

  • elflyn says:

    My most cherished memory is of my father’s hands. The way they felt as he held my hand or the way they moved as he worked. He was an artist and everything came to life through his hands.

    • Kalurah says:

      Your memory really speaks to me! I have many fond memories of sitting in the same room as my father and watching him create things. Be it with oil on canvas or blade to wood. HE was always creating something and I was always there…watching and learning and loving! Thanks for sharing your beautiful memory of your father. xoxo ~k

  • Miriam Olsen says:

    My favorite memories are of our family visiting Canada each summer when I was a child to visit my moms family. I loved seeing the cows on my grandparents dairy farm and watching my Uncle John make Gouda cheese. I also loved interacting with the newborn calves, kittens and dogs they had there. Fresh milk direct from cows is the very best! I also remember watching my mother and grandmother knitting in the evenings.
    This keeps me grounded. It also reminds me that needle crafts of all kinds are an inherited craft. It has also taught me a love of animals of all kinds.

    • Kalurah says:

      We can look back and trace so many of our talents and our knowledge to memories from our past. It’s such a privilege to be able to go back and feel those same feelings, smell those same smells. It brings it all back again. Thanks for sharing your memory! xoxo

  • Melissa Jade Greco says:

    As a child, my mom would always tell me that my best is the best. It inspires me not to be afraid or doubt the choices I make

    • Kalurah says:

      Your mom sounds like one smart cookie! We need those Super Heroes in our life. They introduce us to this scary world and we need all their wisdom to lean on when that strength seems hard to find. xoxo

  • Kellie S says:

    My most cherished memory is the moment when I am reunited with my husband after a long deployment. You will never hold a person as tightly as when they are about to leave or when they return. All the sleepless nights, the waiting by the phone in case he calls, the care packages and love letters all culminate into the first embrace when he returns. And you feel like you can breath again. That’s a feeling you hold tight to when the next deployment happens. It’s a feeling like no other.

    • Kalurah says:

      I cannot begin to imagine that feeling! What a sacrifice you make by sharing him with his country. It’s those memories of those moments that I’m sure you must cling to while he is away. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story! xoxo ~K

  • My most cherished memories are of playing with my son, or of watching him play with his daddy. The kiddo is infused with the boundless energy and inquisitiveness that comes with his young age, and it is infectious. He reminds me to slow down and enjoy life, and to encourage my own curiosity.

    • Kalurah says:

      I love that! Our children definitely are not only a mirror of us but a reminder of what we used to be and what we can be. Always striving to keep a balance…be an old soul and young at heart at the same time! xoxo

  • Nancy says:

    Your photos remind me of our Hocking hills area of southern Ohio old man’s cave and hiking when I was young and again when our children were young.

  • Some of my most cherished memories are the several summers my kids and I spent at a lavender farm, and the people we met there, the chickens, the lovely scent…the farm is closed now, and I wish I could bring some of those memories to my youngest, who will now never have the chance to visit. However, the time we spent there and the calm and sunshine are still with us. We can share those feelings with her by sharing with her traditions we made in that time.

    • Kalurah says:

      And no one can take away those memories! We we can keep them forever. I love that you were able to share them with your children. What a legacy to pass on that they will always revisit in their heart and mind.

  • Kerry Prill says:

    My most cherished memory is of my Grandma teaching me how to knit when I was 6. Now that she’s gone, I keep her memory alive daily, when I pick up my current knitting project. I know she would approve!

    • Kalurah says:

      Your memory touched me deeply. I think it’s wonderful to have that skill passed down to you from a loved one. It makes it mean that much more when you use it. Thanks for sharing! xoxo

  • This hat is gorgeous!!!! Upon seeing the yarn, I was instantly reminded of my grandparents house and the sweater (exact color) of my grandfather’s I’ve been wearing lately. Love your story to go along with your pattern!!!!

    • Kalurah says:

      I love that you have one of your grandfathers sweaters. What an awesome piece of nostalgia for you to cherish forever!

  • Michele says:

    Such a great pattern! Thanks so much for sharing!
    My favorite memory is climbing trees in Louisiana at my grandparent’s house. I smile every time I think of it.

    • Kalurah says:

      That reminds me of when I would visit my grandparents and swing on the long branches of their Willow tree. Good times! Thanks for sharing, Michele.

  • Shelly says:

    As is the case with all your work, I love this pattern. I can see my teenage son in this hat, which inspires me for holiday gifting. It’s such a versatile piece.

  • Peggy Sevre says:

    I love the pattern. I would love to take it to the Gorge to knit, but I will have to make due with the deck at work. (on the lake in Lake Oswego) I love to go out there in the winter when no one wants to eat out there. I always have a work project going on, and it makes for a great break. Thanks!

  • Nadine says:

    I remember as a child being told I couldn’t do certain things because of a birth defect. In particular when I won sewing lessons in a raffle at school. I was told to give up my prize to someone who could use it. My father raised me to believe I can do anything, just have to figure out how. I dust off these memories when things are difficult and it always helps to put things in perspective.
    PS. I sewed my wedding dress a few years ago and no one could tell.

    • Kalurah says:

      That is fantastic!!! I always say…you think I can’t do it? Okay, I’ll prove you wrong. You have the right attitude and because of it you’ve overcome, remained strong and I’m sure you’ve also inspired many around you. Thanks for sharing! xoxo ~K

  • My most cherished memory is camping in east Texas with my parents & younger sister. We had a small camper that attached to the station wagon (I always sat in the way back and dangled my legs over the seat back to annoy my sister), These weekends were usually a surprise–we would come home from school on Friday afternoon to find my dad hooking up the camper and my mom asking up groceries and supplies. I take that element of surprise, sense of adventure, and general cozy family feeling and incorporate it in short getaways I plan for my own family. We live in Oregon now (and have for more than 20 years), and find that there are always new places to discover and adventures to enjoy.

    • Kalurah says:

      I love your story! That’s the type of feelings and experiences I think are best to share and pass down to our own children. Beautiful! I live in Washington but I think Oregon will always hold my heart tightly because of those special memories growing up.

  • JoannaB says:

    As a child I went to the same summer camp every year for 10 years! We lived far enough away from the main highway that we always drove the back roads through the countryside. I loved this ride, even more than I enjoyed going to camp! Cows, corn, horses, green pastures, farms… these all became a part of me!

Please, let me know what you think...