Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Yarn Crawl!

Gizmo thinks she's going to make off with a skein of sock yarn from today's yarn crawl. Oh, I don't think so, kitty!

Yes, we're back from the yarn crawl! What a day it was! Six yarn shops, plus lunch, a button shop, and a couple of folks made a side trip to a high-end Goodwill boutique. Much enjoyment was had by all, without excessive damage to the budget.

We all met at the Blue Pepper in Salem, filled up mugs with coffee and tea, and were off by 9:00 on our way to Portland.

First stop: Dublin Bay Knitting Company, in the historic and picturesque Pearl District. Here are three from our group (and two babies from our group along for the ride) taking a look around at the offerings:

Of all the shops on our tour, Dublin Bay was the best prepared, refreshments that included fine pastries and French bottled Limonade. It was a cozy nook for non-knitters while the rest of us drifted around and petted the silk and cashmere while estimating how much it would be with the generous group discount they were offering.

Oooh, the silk and camel blend was so hard to resist, but it would have put me over budget on the first stop.

About the time we were ready to check out, another group on their own yarn crawl arrived -- and wow, were these serious knitters! Check it out -- they came by chartered bus!

Armed with serious looks and equally serious credit cards, they swarmed the shop.

Our group beat a hasty retreat and hoped to keep waay ahead of them. I managed to score two skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn and one of Cat Bordhi's sock knitting books, New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

On to Knit Purl in the heart of downtown Portland. It's a high-end yarn shop with plenty to oooh and aaahh over. And again, it's a shop where any of us could have gone waaay over budget with just about anything we saw there. They, too, offered a nice group discount. Here Nancy and Janita have a look at the stitch markers:

while Katie posed with the sock yarn she bought and the rest of the group takes a rest:

I scored two skeins of Alchemy Synchronicity silk and wool blend, which was already on the sale rack, so with the group discount it came out to a very nice price. I'll be making a scarf-sized version of the Clapotis out of this:

On our way back to the car, I had to stop and check out the giant Persian rug on the side of a building near where we parked because it looked so real. It was a giant photo printed on panels and glued to the wall but it sure looked convincing.

While some of the group lingered at Knit Purl, several of us dashed up a few blocks to the Button Emporium & Ribbonry and looked at the offerings. While two ladies also checked out the nearby Goodwill boutique for some high-end goodies, the rest of us went to lunch, and managed not only to stumble across a Big Town Hero, but it also managed to be the one where my son, who is working his way through college at Portland State, happened to be working. And dagnabit, I forgot to whip the camera out and get his picture amongst our yarny loot, which I'm sure he's glad of.

Back in the cars and back on the road again. Now we dashed across the river and off to Close Knit, a cozy little shop on Alberta street.

Stephania (an indie yarn dyer herself) checks out the offerings -- and there were plenty of them, tucked into all sorts of cool vintage furniture:

Kate made off with some yummy stuff:

While her good little miss, Lina, took it all in:

I dove into a cubby full of Malabrigo sock yarn and came out with this lovely blend of blues and blacks:

At this point, half the group went off to a bakery, while our car headed off for a little tour of the cool historic east Portland neighborhoods until we found Twisted. How about that entire wall of sock yarn, huh?

There was a cozy knitting nook by the big front windows, and dern it, I missed getting a picture of the young man on the right who was knitting a sock rapidly and expertly, without a pattern, and from yarn he spun himself. He knew the pattern well enough he could knit it from memory.

In that great wall of sock yarn, I found this skein of hand-dyed yarn from indie dyers Black Trillium:

Off we scooted to the Yarn Garden, hoping we'd catch up with our group, but we got there after they'd already left. Still, why not have a look around? There were three rooms as lovely as this, all loaded with yarn:

Nancy found a rack of knitted display sweaters and fell in love with this neon number which was marked just $25. What a great summer sweater!

I dug through their sock yarn and finally found a skein of self-patterning sock yarn with colors that I liked. The Berroco isn't as soft as the other yarns I'd found that day, but I'll give it a try. It may soften after washing.

By this time I was drooping, but our car had just one more shop on the list: Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks. Wow! Fleece, fiber, yarn, studio, dyeworks, and coffee shop, all in one!

Okay, okay, one more skein of sock yarn. I picked up this skein of denim blues from indie dyer Hazel Knits:

By then it was 5:30 and we'd all had enough. We'd managed to squeeze a lot of shopping and lot of knitting into one long day. Time to head home and pet the loot before putting it away in the stash.


Katie said...

Actually, you beat us to Yarn Garden!

A lovely time was had by all; I'll be posting this link on my blog, with pics of my lewt!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for coming to CloseKnit on Alberta Street!!!!

We are so happy you enjoyed your yarncrawl. Looks like you all had a great time!

The Pike Family said...

Argh! I wish we would have hit Twisted! I love that place. CloseKnit was def. my favorite place of them all. Good selection AND good customer service, it was perfect!

Thank you for actually getting decent pictures of me! haha.


Anonymous said...

Wow- I'm happily exhausted just reading about it! Great pictures and looks like you got some great stash enhancement.

Megan said...

Looks like a good time!

You've inspired me to organize a yarn crawl for my knitting group.

You picked out some beautiful yarn too, I love the Lorna's Laces and the Alchemy!


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