The other Portland (port o’ call)

Our Vogue Knitting Cruise also made a stop in Portland, Maine.

One of the many lighthouses…

Unlike Newport, Rhode Island, and Bar Harbor, which involved a tender (small boat to get from cruise ship to port), Portland has a deep water harbor that accommodates cruise ships. We could just walk on and walk off! With proper documentation, of course.


We had a trolley tour of Portland, which ended at Port Fiber yarn shop. Port Fiber is owned by Casey Ryder, with whom I’d meet up again the following week at Knit Maine.

Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy

Designers Mary Jane Mucklestone and Bristol Ivy came to show samples and talk about knitting in Maine. Seeing and touching samples in real life is always so compelling!

Selfies were taken, of course.

Mary Jane

You know I’m not much of a yarn stasher. But I love a yarn with a story, and couldn’t resist this.

Casey imports and distributes yarn for Cashmere People Yarns. These yarns are ethically sourced, handspun and hand-dyed by women in Tajikstan and Afghanistan.

Each skein has a picture and bio of the spinner, which I find charming. My skein is a two ply fingering weight cashgora, which isn’t a blend of cashmere and angora fiber. It’s actually from cashgora animals, which are a cross between Russian fiber goats and cashmere-type goats in Tajikstan. My skein is in the Atlantic colorway, which I thought was appropriate for this cruise souvenir. I’m planning to knit a Zephyr shawlette, which starts at the skinny end and I can knit til I run out of yarn. Or if I get wild, I’ll design a new thing that’s similar. (If you want your LYS to carry this luscious yarn, have them contact Casey Ryder at Port Fiber.)

Kathy and me

I also took the opportunity to meet a longtime friend from my piano forum. I’ve met up with other piano and knitting friends after knowing them online. It’s fun to meet in real life; you just pick up the chat where you left off. (The first time I ever did this, DH was worried that I was meeting up with an axe murderer. Hasn’t happened yet!)

Lobster roll at Gritty’s

We went to Gritty’s so I could fulfill the lobster roll on my bucket list. It was delicious! But spendy. I think I enjoyed my unphotographed lobster Cobb salad at Stewman’s in Bar Harbor even more. Less guilt…it’s a salad, right? (And split with a friend…with fries…)

Pilot boat guiding us out of Portland
Knit Fit kit

Don’t forget I’m giving away my Knit Fit kit; see this blog post for details on how to enter to win! We got these in Bar Harbor, which I previously posted about in order to get this party underway. My next post: O Canada! Two more ports…

8 responses to “The other Portland (port o’ call)

  1. Especially tickled by the yarn that comes with little bios, Michele: goodonyer for buying some !!

    • I know; it was the bios that got me!

      Once upon a time several years ago, I was consulting for a group in Peru that had spindle-spun alpaca. I thought it would be cool to market the yarn in just this way, with bios from the spinners. They went another direction, and I don’t know how it worked out, or if it ever did.

      Michele Lee Bernstein Sent from my iPad


  2. Trip looks fantastic. I love Mary Jane’s patterns and have knitted a couple of her things. Would love to see them in person sometime. Thanks for letting us share vicariously.

  3. I’m enjoying your cruise story – thank you for sharing! It sounds like so much fun 🙂

  4. I was just creeping Port Fiber’s instagram to see if I recognized it as one of the shops I visited when I was in Portland. I think it might have been, but I don’t quite remember. If it’s the place I think it might be, though, I know exactly what I bought there: a braid of green roving that is still languishing in my fibre basket…

    • It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere! If that helps you identify it. And they do have a lot of fiber for spinning, so that’s probably it. The thing I most remember? I thought the floor was moving. Nope. Sea legs!

      I didn’t get to the other shop, which is more in the middle of town. I saw it on the trolley tour, but had other things to do that day. (Lobster roll, hang out with Kathy…)