Portland Yarn Crawl

This past weekend was the Portland Yarn Crawl. It’s exactly what it sounds like–a bunch of crazed knitters hopping from yarn shop to yarn shop and getting drunk on yarny-goodness. There were 20 (yes TWENTY!) yarn shops in the greater Portland area that participated this year. The point was to try to get to all the shops in one weekend. Each shop had a basket full of awesome goodness that they raffled off (no, I didn’t win) and most of the shops had special sales and door prizes going on as well.

I had to work at Yarnia (it was packed!) on Saturday and Sunday so I had to get all my crawling done on Friday. I hit TWELVE shops in one day. It was amazing! There was so much yarn (and I bought bunches of it) and so many knitters. If you don’t want to see what I got, stop reading. This post is all about the new stash I acquired.

Stop 1: The Naked Sheep. I got this bag. I can’t believe how cute it is. I love the color, I love the sheep, it’s wonderful. The shop was small, and the selection was small, and this bag is blatant advertising for the shop (which was only a mediocre shop) it’s so cute that I just don’t care if I lead people there unintentionally, at least they can get a super cute bag.


And this Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama (it’s so soft!) I’m thinking a slouchy beret type hat. Or a cowl. I don’t know. I think Alpaca is super soft on the skein but next to my skin sometimes it drives me nuts. Since llamas seem pretty close to alpaca a cowl might be risky. We shall see, I may throw caution to the wind.


Stop 2: Close Knit. I got this yarn. It is called BFF B Sock. The color is called Anzu (which means apricot.) It is hand-dyed by a woman in Vancouver, WA (just across the river from Portland) and it’s so springy and happy and it was a gray drizzly day and I could not let go of this yarn once I picked it up. The dyer was there and I chatted with her and she was wonderful and you should check out her etsy shop.


I also got this Malabrigo, colorway Cypress. It’s malabrigo, do I need to justify this purchase any further? Ryan has already claimed it as “beanie yarn” (the man loves beanies). It’s greener than it looks in the picture–basically a black-green (such colors can’t normally exist but in Malabrigo they can.)


Close Knit is one of those yarn shops that’s stuffed with yarn. There’s so much yarn that there’s not much room for people (especially on a day where all knitters in the greater Portland area are out hunting yarn) It’s all the way across town from me, but if I lived closer I would probably stop by to pet the yarn frequently, it’s basically jumping out begging to be petted.

Stop 3: Gossamer. This isn’t what I would call a “yarn shop” in the strictest sense. It’s more of a “craft shop.” It’s got a little bit of everything. I do mean a little bit. Very small selection. They do have fiber though and there are not that many shops that carry spinning fiber (which is weird since it feels like there are a ton of spinners in Portland.) I was one of the first 20 customers so I got this skein of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece as a door prize. It’s a good thing I like pink. I think I’m going to make one of the Rebecca Danger Monsters with it.


I bought this fiber. It’s 3 little 1.5 oz batts of corriedale wool in a natural-undyed brown. I’m going to try to spin it for socks. We shall see if I can make a nice Navajo-plied 3-ply.


Stop 4: Twisted. The sock yarn wall is pretty impressive (it is an entire wall covered in luscious hand-dyed sock yarn.) Maybe this store has just been so built up by all the ravelry hype about it, but I was sort of disappointed. I was expecting some sort of knitting Mecca based on the way I’ve heard this store described by adoring patrons, but really I didn’t think it was any more special than some of the other perfectly wonderful shops I hit. That didn’t stop me from picking something off the sock yarn wall though. This is Dream in Color Smooshy in colorway Strange Harvest. I’m always so drawn to this scummy yellow-green-brown color. I think it’s pretty and ugly at the same time.


Stop 5: Happy Knits. Easily my favorite stop on the crawl. This really is a happy place. It’s a very good thing I don’t live closer–they only carry the pricey stuff. Here I got Stephen West’s new pattern book. West Knits Book Two. I also spent about 15 minutes gushing with the man behind the counter about how awesome Stephen West is and how amazing his patterns are. Oh, and I bought this.


A cardigan’s worth of Cascade Eco + in colorway Butternut Squash. Can you see what kind of a color mood I was in on Friday?

Stop 6: Yarn Garden. I’ve decided I don’t really like Yarn Garden. This is the second time that I’ve been there, and each time the shop has felt very unwelcoming. That didn’t stop me from buying something though. This is… I’m not quite sure, the label is in German. It seems to say Järbo Garn Gästrike 1-ply. I can tell that it is 100% wool and that it is 600 meters of laceweight.

That is half of my adventure. I will post about the second half later in the week. If you found this post incredibly dull, don’t bother reading that one either.

One Reply to “Portland Yarn Crawl”

  1. Oh man, you were a shopping maniac! (in the best sense.) (also, can I have your email address? For some reason I can never reply to your comments on my blog.)

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