Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Portland Yarn Crawl, Part 2

After finally tearing ourselves away from the Yarn Garden, we stopped at P.F. Chang's and gathered our strength over a delicious lunch. Despite being just a half-block across the street from Powell's City of Books, we maintained our yarny focus and headed a few blocks south to Knit-Purl.

Knit-Purl is a decidedly hip, sophisticated, and urbane yarn shop. In fact, it may be best thought of as a yarn boutique. While all of the other shops we visited carried a mix of luxury yarns and everyday fibers, Knit-Purl emphasizes the higher end of the yarn spectrum. They had an entire wall of absolutely gorgeous sock yarns in a variety of colors I wouldn't have believed possible. The hand-dyed Socks that Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts was especially tempting, but I couldn't in good conscience justify purchasing any more sock yarn (for now - but I'll be back, no doubt).

Overall, the prices here were a bit higher than we'd seen elsewhere, and the atmosphere was less relaxed and inviting than the other shops. In the end, we came away from Knit-Purl without buying anything, but with a profound sense of awe at the many beautiful yarns on display.

Our final stop of the day was Lint, situated a little off the beaten track in the Pearl District. By the time we got there, it was late in the day, we were pretty tired. We thought we'd give it a quick once over and head home.

As it turned out, Lint was probably my favorite shop! It was extremely cozy and inviting, with just enough yarn to keep us occupied, but not so much as to be overwhelming. They even had yarn I'd never seen anywhere else, including our four previous stops of the day. Their pattern selection was pretty extensive and there was a comfy little corner with sofa and chairs to sit and relax while looking at them.

Harriet was delighted by their display of knitted cupcakes. Lint offers a wide range of classes, including the Cupcakes Workshop with Leigh Radford, whose book One Skein was just published.

I got a lovely v-neck, short sleeved shirt pattern here, as well as a single skein of Star by Classic Elite Yarns. This yarn is 99% cotton and 1% lycra, so it has the most wonderful stretch and shape retention. If it knits up half as well as I think it will, I'll be making myself a t-shirt with it.

The Knitting Bee
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my LYS, The Knitting Bee, even though it wasn't part of our yarn crawl. After seeing so many other shops, I have an even greater appreciation for this store. They have a big selection of yarns in a well-ordered, bright, and very welcoming environment. They have plenty of patterns and books to look at, a sofa and chairs to sit in, a large table for classes in the back, and even toys for little ones to play with while mommy shops.


Harriet said...

Our Knit Crawl day was wonderful! You had a great idea and Dennis really helped with the planning.

We'll have to do it again some time VERY soon. It's nice that we are both proficient knitters now and don't have to feel at all intimidated. And of course, there are still many shops we haven't seen yet!

I also love it, and I know you do too, when I am out of town some place and I get to see the knitting shops in another town. I'll have to check out the "knitting scene" back East when I go this summer! Although I have read that Portland is one of the best places for knitters.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Oh yes, definitely. There are many more shops to visit! Did you get your sweater 'problem' fixed? I finished Kate's first sock and have started the second one. I'm totally loving the yarn and there's going to be plenty left to make Emma a pair. There might even be enough for a pair of shorties for me.