Wednesday, July 1, 2009

...and what I did while in Portland...

My recent trip to Portland included much running around the city, which – to me – is like a collection of distinct towns connected together by a great train/ bus/ subway/ trolley system. The architecture is beautiful – I kept thinking that I should take pictures of the buildings, but unfortunately was so often distracted by the “Oh! That’s Pretty!” in the windows. I remember an apartment building that had winged Sphinxes on it’s four corners…

I did do some yarn-related shopping, visiting Knit/Purl on 1101 Alder Street and The Yarn Garden on S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. (The #14 Hawthorne bus stops at 14th avenue on both sides of Hawthorne). Both places were great fun and had big comfy chairs for my non-knitting friends to sit while I browsed, but neither had local yarns from indie dyers. I kept expecting Portland stores to carry Blue Moon Fiber Arts, but was disappointed in that respect.


We went to the Yarn Garden first, and it was there that Jule found copies of HandKnit Heroes for me!! I was super excited! I read both zines on plane on the way home, but was a bit stymied by the microscopic lettering and the poor airplane cabin lighting. I’ll have to re-read them at the kitchen table with a magnifying glass. I think I managed to get most of the words right. Both patterns (each magazine includes one knitted item) are great – a hooded scarf with pockets (very 1920’s!) and a mesh beach or market bag.

Yarn Garden had a whole shelf of Japanese knitting books. I wanted about 10 of them, but they were all very expensive – mostly between $25 and $35. I contented myself with one – the 300 knitting motifs. I haven’t had a chance yet to look through the whole book, but I’m really, really hoping that these knitting pattern (lace mostly) are different from the US stitch dictionaries that I have. The girl at the counter told a funny story about all the customers who buy these Japanese knitting books and then return them because...well, they're written in Japanese!


On another day, we went to Knit/Purl. Knit/Purl is one of those shops that goes on and on and on with multiple rooms. One of the last rooms had a huge table full of knitting and crochet books on clearance! And at the counter was a display of used needles. I was in heaven pouring through this collection, and found some of my favorite vintage circulars: Bates Circulon, an early 50’s plastic that is warm and pliable. I even found one that has metal tips in bright blue and the rest of the needle and the cable between the tips is Circulon! There were also several used Addi Turbos that I got for a much reduced price. I don’t know why someone would sell their Addis, but … lucky me! (I left many, many of these behind BTW – in case you want to get some). They were not damaged in any way and I checked the joins which were nice and smooth. I gathered mostly smaller and shorter sizes for sock and baby knitting.


I also picked up a nice skein of green single ply silk (I love this yarn!) but I don’t remember which store had this. Both has extensive collections of posh yarns – walls and bins of silks! Knit/Purl had a bin of MadelineTosh and I wished I could justify getting more of this, but I couldn’t. I got just the one skein of silk to make these wristers:


Now – if I could only finish my Lily of the Valley Shawl so I could start them!!


spider (ravelry) said...

you missed twisted yarnstore; they carry blue moon fiber arts!

Unraveling Sophia said...

Oh yikes! How did I miss that!??? I'll make sure I find that one when I return in August.