Sunday, March 13, 2016

Rose City Yarn Crawl

Last weekend was the Rose City Yarn Crawl in Portland, OR which is always a fun, fibery time with raffles, food, and of course, much yarn. The yarn crawl fun actually starts in late January when the first clues are released for the mystery crochet and knit alongs. To be honest, I’m not usually a fan of mystery CAL/KALs. You just never know what you’re going to get. (Duh! It's a mystery!) But I’ve never seen a pattern from the RCYC that I didn’t like so once again I participated in the mystery crochet along. This year’s pattern was the Rimsky-Korsakoffee-Cake Shawl by Kat Streiby. It's named for the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House in the Buckman neighborhood of southeast Portland, and it is a real stunner.  It’s a triangle lace shawl with 3 “cake” layers and “frosting” in between. Each cake layer is a different lace pattern which kept the project interesting. It was so much fun to watch as people posted photos of their shawls in progress then to see them wearing their finished shawls on the yarn crawl. Here's my version. Don't ask me what kind of cake it is. Green. It's green cake. Pistachio or creme de menthe. Something green!

This year 3 friends and I did the crawl together. We went to shops on the east side of Portland. They were all new to me except one so it was fun to explore. I started out with good intentions of taking lots of photos. At our first stop, Wool N Wares in West Linn, I did pretty well. A flock of partying flamingos greeted us in the parking lot.

Follow that guy with the party hat! He must know where to go!

Here's my friend Karen in the required shot of a companion in front of the shop.


From there, it was kind of downhill as far as photography went. Here are Karen, my other friend Sarah, and I at Twisted, a great shop on Broadway. Karen is wearing last year's mystery CAL project as a scarf, and Sarah has on the mystery KAL cowl for this year.

That was the last time I remembered to get any photos. Oops. I'll do better next year.

Each shop features a pattern or two designed for the yarn crawl that participants get free if they make a purchase in the shop. The shops also discount the yarn needed for the patterns. The crochet pattern featured at Close Knit on Alberta was the Mahonia Shawl by Ann Bressler. Mahonia, or Oregon grape, is the Oregon state flower. It has yellow flowers and blue berries superficially resembling grapes. I purchased 2 skeins of Bumblebirch Heartwood in the Atlantic colorway to make it.

Yarn crawling tends to make a person hungry so after visiting Close Knit, we went across the street to the Salt and Straw ice cream shop. Salt and Straw isn’t an ordinary ice cream shop. It has many unique flavors like pear and blue cheese, cinnamon snickerdoodle, Stumptown coffee & Burnside bourbon, and Abequina olive oil. Yes, olive oil. To put it mildly I was quite skeptical of that last one. But since we could sample anything we wanted, I decided to give it a shot. It was delicious. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn't tasted it. The flavor was vanilla caramel with just a hint of olive oil on the finish. Delightful!

After our ice cream adventure, we had 2 more yarn shops on our agenda. The first was Yarnia which is a custom yarn shop. You can choose from among all the fibers they have available, and they'll wind your choices together on a cone for you. It was very busy and a bit overwhelming. I want to go back when the staff is less busy and has time to help me create a good combination of fibers. Our last stop was at Yarntastic in Sellwood where I found the small size of darning needles I'd been needing for weaving in ends of light weight yarns. By that time, we were all ready to call it a day. That was the extent of my adventures, but my intrepid companions all went out again for at least one more day. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.


  1. I like the Mahonia shawl, very light and airy looking. Looks like it was a blast!

    1. It was a absolute blast! I don't know how my friends had the energy to do it another day. Maybe next year I need to start "training" in January and work up to it!


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