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.





11 Responses to “Rose City Yarn Crawl 2020”

  1. jumpofffindwings March 8, 2020 at 7:15 am #

    I never knew such a thing existed. I have learned a lot about yarn and knitting lately from Ann Hood’s lovely novel The Knitting Circle. You’d appreciate it.”What struck me about this year was how much joy I got from talking with the people who created the items I bought.” I love that you brought the element of face-to-face commerce into this, the thing that online just can’t match.

  2. TammyB March 8, 2020 at 7:17 am #

    This sounds like an amazing event! I wish there was one for the bookstores! Glad you had some great conversations.

  3. arjeha March 8, 2020 at 7:48 am #

    It is always nice to meat and talk with the people who make things we admire. I know Kathy loves talking to quilters who have their quilts on display at the shows we go to .

  4. livinglife816287820 March 8, 2020 at 9:43 am #

    Oh yes, yarn and dying and everything to do with it, your photos are so inviting and warm. Glad you had a great day!

  5. Fran McCrackin March 8, 2020 at 10:49 am #

    You have gotten me thinking about we who pursue “solitary pursuits “, and how there is still a need to make connections live sometimes :). Thanks for sharing your fun annual tradition.

  6. Betsy Hubbard March 8, 2020 at 11:25 am #

    I love events like these. So colorful and vibrant with people, conversation, and creativity.

  7. terierrol March 8, 2020 at 11:59 am #

    Your post makes me wish I had time to start knitting. I do knit, but very little, maybe when i retire. Soon. Happy knitting.

  8. Lisa Corbett March 8, 2020 at 2:53 pm #

    The semester at the university ended on December 4 and I was looking forward to the winter break from my job-school and feeling like I had so much time to fill! So I bought a bunch of yarn thinking I’d teach myself to knit! HAHA. Needless to say I did not have time for this. But it appeals to me so much. The hand dyed yarn is especially beautiful. I can see why it was hard to stick to your moratorium!

    • Adrienne March 8, 2020 at 3:09 pm #

      Are you in North Bay? There is a great yarn shop there called Stix & Stones. My sister took a class there last year. She drove up from Huntsville for it. You should see if they have a beginning knitting class and sign yourself up in the summer.

  9. Brian Rozinsky March 8, 2020 at 5:15 pm #

    All things in moderation, especially when it comes to moratoriums. (Moritoria?) Sounds like a fabulous day — thanks for sharing your annual adventure.

  10. mgminer March 8, 2020 at 5:20 pm #

    I currently have 3 knitting projects going and love that I discovered a new name for what I often do: I procrastiknit!! Haha. All the colors, textures, fibers, patterns…endless enjoyment.

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