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Rose City Yarn Crawl 2020

8 Mar

Despite my self-imposed yarn moratorium, I happily spent a day out and about for the Rose City Yarn Crawl (RCYC). It’s a four day event to explore the local yarn shops in and around Portland, Oregon – but I was only devoting one day to it this year.

I knew from the start I wouldn’t get to all ten shops, but I had a plan in which I could visit six. I mapped out a route that included stops for groceries, dog food and library books and set off.

As always, the shops were full of beautiful yarn and projects.

I was (mostly) faithful to the yarn moratorium. I bought two complimentary skeins from a dyer I really like and one from the yarn shop closest to my house. It will be closing its brick and mortar store soon and becoming an exclusively online shop so I got their last RCYC colorway. Instead of yarn, I bought two knitting books, some candles, and a tote bag.

What struck me about this year was how much joy I got from talking with the people who created the items I bought. I had ordered something from the tote bag maker a few weeks ago. As I was telling her my story of the day I ordered – how I had the kids reading silently as my sister and I messaged each other waiting for the orders to open – she asked me, “Is your last name Gillespie?”. Small makers pay attention to their clients.

I had a great conversation with the dyer I love. She is a former English teacher and has yarns based on Harry Potter, Anne of Green Gables, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Clearly, we have similar tastes in literature.

I was exhausted by the time I got home, but I was also happy. The shops had been full of people – coronavirus wasn’t keeping the knitters away. And I was glad for those moments of connection. Knitting, like writing, can be a solitary pursuit, so it is joyous when we can connect with others.





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