SEA-PDX Yarn Train

The annual Seattle to Portland Yarn Train arrived in town on Saturday, bringing Seattle knitters down south for a yarn crawl. I couldn’t meet the train because I was rehearsing with the Day Old Pastries, so I met up with Kathy at Knit/Purl.

Knit Purl

I met Kathy last summer at the Sock Summit Ravelry party, and we’ve been bloggy friends ever since. She was with her friend Chandria, and Denise, whom they met on the train. I offered to take the three of them across town to Twisted, my usual stomping grounds. But first, I needed to check in at the PDXKnitbloggers’ home base at the Starbucks kitty corner from Knit/Purl.


I found Cindy, Duffy, Judy, Susan…and a table covered with yarn.

AbstractFibers BFL

Susan was just back from TNNA, and she had a samples of her entire new Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn. Judy was trying to choose two coordinating colors for a design project. It was difficult, because they were all gorgeous!


We did make it over to Twisted. As we pulled up, my phone picked up a text message. It was a tweet from Twisted: “Love Stinks! Spend your Valentine’s day hexing your crappy ex with our Voodoo Doll kits! (Then go on a date with someone way hotter)” That made me laugh out loud. We went in asking for the voodoo dolls, and here they are, modeling in front of the wall of sock yarn.


Kathy bought some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to make a Pippi hat. It will be her first color work. Fun!


I also ran into Debbi and her friend Susan, and Sharon (but I forgot to take her picture, sorry).


All that yarn shopping is exhausting! We had a very late lunch at Costello’s, down the street, and then headed to Yarnia. I’d never been to Yarnia before, so this was an adventure for me, too.


Yarnia is like Build-a-Bear for knitters. You choose thin fibers/colors you want to put together, and they are wound off together onto a cone to make the yarn of your dreams. Denise was in heaven! She got exactly what she wanted for a shawl project. With sparkle in it, of course. Here’s the winding machine in action. (There’s a cone of shiny stuff on the floor, feeding into the yarn on the cone, but I didn’t realize it when I was filming.)

There wasn’t time to visit any more yarn stores, so I chauffeured the happy knitters back to the train station. And I realized then that I didn’t buy any yarn at all! I’m just not much of a stasher. It was a fun day.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the States. Are you participating in any MLK Day activities? I’ll be at a workday for the Backpack Program; they provide weekend lunches for needy children at a local elementary school. (For some children, a federally-sponsored school lunch is their main meal of the day, and there is no school lunch on the weekend.) The Day Old Pastries will lead some singing at the event. If you’re local and looking for something to do, it’s from 1 to 3 p.m. at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 1425 NE Dekum, Portland, 97211.

23 responses to “SEA-PDX Yarn Train

  1. That day looked like SO much fun. Yarn Train — who knew????

    I think I may have to make one of those voodoo dolls. I don’t have anyone to voodoo, but they are too cute not to have (just in case).

  2. drool. I would love to make it to portland sometime and hit up the many lystores.

  3. too fun! i am working until 1:00 and then heading to the coast with some girlfriends. staying out there until wednesday…heaven…

    i have three projects packed (two are works in progress, one isn’t even cast-on). think i have enough?!?! 🙂

  4. Michele, thank you so much for carting us around the entire day and treating us like VIP’s— it was so great to get to hang with you and be in all the places that inspire PDXKnitterati. Twisted now rivals Tricoter as my favorite yarn store ever. And I’m super excited to make Pippi! …. you know I’m totally going to be emailing you with bonehead questions.

    Have a great MLK Day! The Backpack Program sounds like a wonderful event. Talk to you soon 😉

  5. Love the voodoo dolls – what a brilliant and constructive way to use up leftover sock yarn!

  6. I’ll second Kathy’s sentiment (hi Kathy!) – it was super to be escorted by a local. Even though I now need to check out Tricoter, I was impressed with Twisted. It was super busy, yet there were still people on the floor available to answer questions. I love my Dream in Color Starry, as well as my custom blend from Yarnia (can anyone say sparkles?). I picked out my project for the Starry, so I’m all set now for several months – I’m a slow crafter!

    I’m taking an unusual MLK Day off (at least from doing a community service project). If I lived in Portland, the Backpack Program sounds like something right up my alley – have a good time celebrating the holiday. Cheers!

  7. You and Kathy know each other in person? I’m so jealous.

  8. Oh what fun! I’m really bummed that I’m not in Portland!

  9. I never made it to Twisted or Yarnia on my visit to Portland – nice to have something to look forward to when I come back which I promise myself I will do one day 🙂

  10. as with most things you blog about, that looks so fun!

  11. Looks like great fun! OOOOH and all that yarn on the table, (just a little jealousy here).

  12. I linked your blog in my posting about the crawl because I had no crawl pictures. It was great to see you!

  13. The yarn crawl sounds like fun. And I love, love the voodoo dolls! Hilarious!

  14. How fun!! I got to hang out with Kathy at the Port Ludlow Knitting retreat in November…her and Sam are fabulous!!

    And you know Twisted is my favorite Portland yarn store!!! I can’t wait to see Debbi and Susan at Stitches next month!!

    Hope you had a nice day off!

  15. That sounds like an amazing yarn crawl!

  16. Ok, so I’m just going to have to make it to Twisted next time I’m in Portland! Lovely to see pics of you and Kathy. So sorry I missed you both this time. I was with a group of 6 and we laughed all day long. Just did the downtown stores, but they were wonderful. I stood right where you are in the picture at KnitPurl. In fact I bought most of that turquoise Malabrigo that’s on the shelf behind Kathy!

  17. How fun! Looks like you had a yarnalicious day!

  18. Yarnalicious Haven!! I get sensor overloaded just looking at all the goodies from TNNA & Twisted. Your Pippi looks perfect at the store. I read about the train excursion on Ravelry group a while back and want to organize one for our Knit-Up group. Maybe in the summer…

    I love Yarnia. It’s whether I first got inspired in spinning/blending my own.

  19. Looks like a fun time! Yarn photos are my favorite 🙂

  20. Yarn train! Dude… I’m jealous. I want to move to the West Coast. All the yarny fun seems to be happening over there!

  21. What a wonderful day! I loved getting to participate vicariously. We have friends in Portland we’ll be visiting this summer. If you feel like spending a knitting day together I’d love to meet up.

  22. Please tell me, are the fingerless mitts that Kathy is wearing are those the Artic Blast Mitts or something else? I absolutely adore them

  23. Wow. If only I’d known about this trip. I’m newly returned to the Pacific NW and getting settled in to my house in Ballard. Hope to meet up with you knitters soon.