Sunday, January 20, 2008

Portland Yarn Crawl Recap

Yesterday, I spent an awesome knitting and yarn filled day on the Amtrack train from Seattle to Portland and then in the Pearl District of Portland.

Charisa was the wonderful organizer for the trip. I am very impressed about the amount time, energy, and effort that she put into the trip. She is amazing!

She went from organizing a small trip for about 6 people in her local knitting group in Monroe to a trip for over 35 knitters from all over the Seattle area. We even had a couple of people get on in Tukwila and Tacoma. We filled up an entire train car!

On the way down, we knitted and chatted and met the other people in the group. Charisa put together a great brochure with the agenda, map of the Pearl District with yarn stores, a book store, and Whole Foods on it. It also had all our cell phone numbers in case we needed to call someone in the group if we got separated.

One of the best parts of the brochure was the "Meet the PDX Yarn Crawlers" bingo along with the name tags she made for us.

The name tags had information about us from a questionnaire Charisa sent out (I was a slacker and didn't fill mine out, so Charisa had to go find the info on my Ravelry profile). The bingo cards had squares with one of the things on our name tags. So we had to go around and find the people who were on our squares. It was a lot of fun!

I worked on a Headband by Drops Designs on the way there and back. I didn't finish it like I thought because I kept having to unravel mistakes on the way down. I almost finished on the way back, but I was so popped and my contacts were dried out, that I had to stop.

Iliauxh was my unofficial tour guide for the trip. She took charge and led a group of us knitters to our first yarn store. I tagged along with her the rest of the time too. I took my GPS with me because I loaded all the Portland Yarn stores in it.

View Larger Map

But it was so overcast and we went indoors so often, I never got or kept good satellite reception. No problem, Ilaiuxh rocks with a map and a mission, especially a yarn store mission!

The first store we stopped at was Dublin Bay Knitting Company. This store is so nice and roomy with lots of Handmaiden and Fleece Artist yarn. There is even a sitting area with comfy couches to sit and knit in. The owner's mother was there to help out and even made cookies and scones for us along with spiced tea! We got a 20% discount because we were on the yarn tour too!

We then went to Knit Knot Studio, who also gave us a 20% discount. This store is very small but is filled with tons of unique and unusual yarns.

I've always wanted to try out Recycled Silk yarn but I've never seen it for less then $35. Well, I got this lovely skein for $12.

It is 100% Recycled silk made in Nepal by the Himalaya Yarn Inc. Company. I got color SD-00, which is very lovely. I'm thinking of making a small purse/bag out of it.

I've also wanted to buy some hand-spun yarn but once again, the price tag has kept me from being able to really afford it. However, Knit Knot had some really nice hand-spun too. Here is the skein I got:

It is 60% silk and 40% merino. It was spun and hand dyed by Jain Konrad of The Un-Ewes-Ual in Beaverton, OR. It is super lovely and I can't wait to figure out what I'm going to do with it. It has to be something really special!

The last skeins of yarn that I bought are by Harrisville Designs. It is Heathered Bulky in Peacock. I bought 2 skeins. I think I'm going to do a felted project with this yarn.

The final store on our yarn crawl destination was Knit Purl. We were all impressed with the wall of Koigu sock yarn they had:

I bought some Eucalan to wash my hand knits with. It doesn't require rinsing which is a big plus!

After the yarns stores and stopping at Whole Foods, we went to Powell's Books. This is an incredible city block sized store with 4 floors! They sell new and used books. Of course, the aisle with the knitting books was packed. So I didn't stay in there as long as I would have liked but I did end up with 2 used books that I'm happy with.

The first one is 2000 patterns of Design and Figure Knitting. It is published by Miyashita Shoji Co., Ltd in Tokyo Japan but is in English. It looks like it was published in the 60s. It is geared to Machine Knitting but because the Japanese use standard knitting chart symbols I can use if for hand knitting without much change.

Here are some of the pages from the book.

See why I think this book was published in the 60s or 70s?!? And here is a chart of the knitting symbols:

I'll be doing a review of the book on my Japanese Knitting Pattern blog soon along with more pictures from the book.

I also got Knitting Know-How: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Belle Meyers. I think it will be helpful for the TKGA Masters Hand Knitting program I'm enrolled in.

So as you can see, I had an incredible time on the Portland Yarn Crawl. I meet some great knitters, got in plenty of knitting time to and from Portland, went to some awesome yarn stores where I bought some great yarn, and even picked up some wonderful used knitting books.

I definitely want to go next year. We are talking about making it a 2 day trip with more yarn store trips and more time to spend at Powell's Books. I may drag Amy down before then though. She could spend all day at Powell's and I could spend time there and in the yarn stores.


Carrie said...

Sounds like you had a great time--I'm sorry I missed it!

emicat said...

Looks like you had a great time!

I love visiting Portland. I can stay in Powells forever! :)

Suna said...

Hey! I just gave you a "You Make My Day" award on my blog. Read about it here, and post the lovely graphic on YOUR blog!

Thanks for being one of my favorite bloggers. And for sharing your fun. I feel like I went on a yarn crawl!

Charisa said...

This was a really fun accounting of the day Rhonda. Thanks! I'm very interested in the Japanese knitting and will follow up on that. Another knitter on the train was creating a habu garment using japanese method. I loved the way every row is worked out and noted on the schematic.

I can't wait to see what you do with the silk/merino yarn!

-- Charisa