Monday, June 14, 2010

I have traveled around the country pretty extensively, but I do have some favorite places. One of those places is Portland, Oregon and I've been visiting there a lot lately. I spent some time in Northwest Portland a couple of weeks ago, and really wanted to stay longer. I stayed in a charming Guesthouse that spanned 3 old houses, side by side, connected by their back gardens and porches.


I was given two rooms at the top front of the end house, and had a wonderful picture window under the eaves, that was shaded by tall, leafy trees. The wide bed was incredibly comfortable, and I slept deeply - something that often doesn't happen when I'm away from home. Right across the street was a great coffee & tea shop where I spent many happy times, and we all gathered one afternoon to draw comics and talk and make plans. I had Rooibos tea, and they prepared it in a French Press.


One day, we went to the Portland river market, in search of local honey. But rather than a Farmer's Market, like we have here, this market - that stretched all along the river - was an artist's market, like a perpetual craft fair. There was no honey. But, there were some really beautiful handmade things, and I did buy some dried sweet potatoes for the dogs.

Another rainy day, we took the bus to a big paper warehouse, to get paper and supplies for books and comics (I also got some plastic sleeves for mailing my knitting zine). It seemed like a long way away, and after we left the bus, we walked through winding streets lined by warehouses and very few people. We passed by a warehouse for an auction house, and it was open, so we wandered in. It turned out that everything waiting for auction was for sale, and it was great fun sorting through boxes and bins. In some cardboard boxes under a table, we found a whole set of Jadite china. I bought Jule some soup bowls and a big mixing bowl with a handle and a pouring lip, because her Jadite mixing bowl had fallen off the counter the day before and shattered, as Jadite does.

Another day, we walked down to a local Yarn shop, Knit/ Purl, to check on my knitting zine. It turned out that it had never made it to the manager's hands - perhaps put on her desk and then buried under days of mail... So we left another and chatted with her a bit and - of course - perused the yarn.

They were having a sale on Catherine Lowe's Couture Yarns, so I picked up some skeins of the luscious extra fine merino - 400 yards each for less than the cost of a good loaf of bread.


I believe that this is the same Catherine Lowe who used to write The Ravel'd Sleeve - an antique knitting newsletter with patterns. I've never been able to get my hands on a copy, though I want to, badly...

This yarn store also has a very nice big collection of Habu Textiles. I found some unusual examples that had to come home with me:

Navy blue wrapped cotton (for a summer baby hat):


and 700 yards of some incredible silk and fiddlehead fern fiber. This is going to a lace wrap, perhaps an Ishbel:


I was also captured by the wall of Handmaiden Yarns - they do make beautiful hand dyed yarn - and splurged on Flaxen, a blend of 65% silk and 35% Linen in the colour "Smoke". Two skeins should be enough for a shrug.


My last purchase was a bright little sample of beaded silk in Blaze, a fire-red. The sample if from Planet Earth fibers, and this will probably become an edging on something fun.


I love souvenir yarn!

This trip was so fun and we all got addicted to Dominion (a role-playing game) and I made some good food for the whole group, as well as eating great food made by friends (gluten-free peanut butter cookies - Yum!!). I can't wait to go back.


Mette said...

Thanks for sharing all this beauty :::

Unraveling Sophia said...

my pleasure!