oops – I wrote this last week but forgot to post it till now.
My first day in Portland, I went to Knit Purl, which is absolutely beautiful, with a very clean, simple, aesthetic. Lots of gorgeous, higher-end yarns, with helpful and friendly but not obtrusive salespeople.
I especially enjoyed getting to see some brands in person for the first time, like Brooklyn Tweed, Sincere Sheep, the Fibre Company, Hand Maiden, and especially Shibui – there were two walls devoted to all their yarns (they own the store), and all their products were amazingly beautiful. I have never handled any of them before and could have spent (probably did spend) a ridiculous amount of time just standing by those walls stroking skeins.
In fact, I came this close to buying enough Shibui Pebble, Cima, and Baby Alpaca to make a Trace sweater. But while the results are admittedly spectacular, Shibui’s recent practice of designing sweaters that use two or three of their different lines held together frustrates me a little, because it just adds to the amount of yarn required and gets costly fast. I also chickened out on knitting a baby alpaca sweater (even though the Baby Alpaca yarn was one of the softest things I’ve ever touched, like angels came down to earth and fed the alpacas on celestial clouds and nectar or something), because I worried it would end up too hot. But oh my goodness the yarns were lovely.
Also, if you’ve seen people talking about how incredibly soft the new(ish?) yarns by Woolfolk are? Oh. My. God. They’re all correct. It is truly one of the softest wools I’ve ever felt. I didn’t buy any because the palette, while lovely and classic, is a little muddy for my tastes. But I may change my mind in the future. I’m thinking if I ever decide to tackle a black sweater (and that day is coming, I’m sure), that might be the yarn to use.
I sort of blew my mental budget on the first day, although I stuck to my guidelines and bought enough lovely local yarn from Bumblebirch to make a light cardigan. It’s fingering weight in Dandelion (acid yellow-green/citron) – which continues my trend of buying yarn that’s either green or purple. But I really like the colorway and my husband approved of it as a “me” color.
(I am boringly not posting a picture because they wrapped the skeins so beautifully in tissue paper, and sealed them with a sticker, that I can’t bear to break them open until I’m going to use it. But they gave me a lovely tote bag. See?)
That was it for the first full day. Frankly, it made me sad that Knit Purl isn’t my local yarn store, though it’s probably safer for my attempts at stash control that it’s not. More about the rest later.