This past weekend, DH and I took a quick jaunt to Portland, OR. We saw a lot of sights and ate some really good food. In all the excitement, we made two stops of specific interest to knitters – Pearl Fiber Arts and Powell’s City of Books!
Pearl Fiber Arts is a smallish shop in the Pearl section of town, close to Pioneer Square and other downtown sites. The owner specializes in local Oregon yarn and dyers, though she does have some other general yarns as well.
It is a pleasant, tidy shop with a pretty good selection. They do have a web presence (link above), but don’t really do web orders. Because much of the stock is hand dyes from local studios, having a webstore is too unwieldy. The owner says she does sometimes take requests by phone, and will help you out if she can. Some of the local yarn in stock included yarn from the Imperial ranch, as well as lots from local dyers – Fierce Fibers, Duchess of Dyepots, and much more besides. Lots of souvenir skeins available! I had a hard time settling, and wound up with two skeins and a set of custom stitch markers that were made specially for the store.
Powell’s City of Books, if you aren’t yet familiar with it, is an enormous new and used bookstore at the heart of a growing empire of bookstores. Enormous doesn’t really do it justice. They give out maps. It is three stories of what looks like a former industrial building, crammed to the bursting with books. There are also gifts and souvenirs of all kinds to be found, both for Portland and for Powell’s itself. It is always in the top 10 of things to see and do in Portland, and possibly in the entire state of Oregon. DH and I are bookish people, therefore we went to Powell’s. Twice. There is a pretty good section of knitting books, but I didn’t find much for me. (There were a lot of good books, but I already had copies of most things there that I wanted.) I would say though, that any knitter that finds themselves in Portland should definitely stop in, particularly if they are of the bookish persuasion. Powell’s does have some satellite stores both within Portland and I think in one or two nearby towns. One of them specializes in Home and Garden books, and they did say there are knitting and craft books there, so that may be where the majority of that stock is. We didn’t get to stop in there this trip – maybe next time! I did find one knitting book, as well as some fiction, and also a lovely illustrated book about the sinking of the Essex, which is the story that inspired Moby Dick.
All in all, it was a nice little whirlwind getaway, with just enough knitting and books worked in to keep me occupied 🙂