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There’s so much going on right now.  I’ll be at Crafty Wonderland in Portland Mother’s day Weekend – that’s next weekend folks.  So get your train, plane or fill up your gas tank and come on down!  Here’s their banner for more info:

I’ve also just restocked our supply of mermaid tshirts.  So now we should have your size.  But they go fast so don’t wait too long!  And new, just in time for Crafty Wonderland – bike shirts!  These are alternative apparel shirts.  They’re super soft and really comfy.  They do run small.

Here’s the woman’s shirt

and here’s the men’s version

And that’s all for now.  I’m off to get some last minute printing done.

Yesterday was the yarn train.  While it was beyond raining in Portland, it was still fun.  I went down to Portland with a group of friends and had to split from them as soon as we go there.  I was on a mission and I was also planning on meeting some friends.  So I set out, the first stop for me was Knit-Purl.  All I wanted was some of the Brooklyn Tweed Yarn by Jared Flood.  And one of his patterns.  And I scored!  I picked up 5 skeins of Shelter in the colorway Button Jar and the Guernsey Wrap pattern.  FYI – If you ever want to get me some yarn, I can always use some Shelter…

Here’s the glamour shot:

Then it was off to Twisted.  This might be my new favorite Portland yarn shop.  I spent the most money here and for good reason.

I seem to have only bought sock yarn here.  I had planned to buy 3 skeins but then one little skein just called to me.  I went there to get A Verb for Keeping Warm yarn (which I got.  It’s Annapurna and the colorway is Transitional Fury). PS – Aunt Nancy, they have a retail location in Oakland… if you’re ever in Oakland 🙂

Then I also wanted to pick up some Black Trillium sock yarn for me and a friend back east.  I absolutely fell in love with the colors.  I bought two skeins of the BFL sock (that’s blue faced leicester wool, for those non fiber folks).  The top color is Merlot (that’s one is for my friend) and Claret (that one is all mine).  It’s so soft and I can’t wait to use it to make the Monkey socks.

And just when I was ready to leave, there it was. The skein of wool yarn that will soon become my warehouse work socks.  The yarn is called Tracie in the Cocoa Heather colorway and it’s from a company called Imperial Stock Ranch Wool.  It is so lovely and wonderful.

Then it was off to Happy Knits for my last yarn purchase of the day.  It may sound a little ocd, but after the first year of going to Portland on the yarn train, I learned that I needed to plan out what yarn I wanted to buy and how much I needed.  And then plan out the route to the stores.  Otherwise you spend a lot of extra money on yarn that you have no idea what you are going to do with it and a lot of time in transit between the stores.  That’s not to say you can’t buy other stuff, I just find it helps keep me on budget and on track with my knitting projects.

I made it over to Happy Knits to buy my 3 skeins of Cascade Eco so I could make my Aidez. When i got there they only had 2 skeins of the color I wanted but the staff was so friendly and helpful that they ended up finding one more skein in the color I wanted!  Thanks Happy Knit!

Then it was off to Powell’s City of Books.  I walked away relatively unscathed.  I only bought 3 books.  One knitting book and 2 Georgette Heyer novels – all bought used, of course!

And then it was off to meet up with a friend.  We grabbed some coffee, did a quick swing thru Dublin Bay Knitting, but by the time I got there, it was pretty well picked over.  I suppose that was good for me.  I didn’t have any more room in my bags or need any more yarn!   Then it was off to pizza at Hot Lips in the Pearl District.  I love there pizza.  Unfortunately someone else got to the last pieces of hazelnut, broccoli and squash pizza before I did.  I suppose it didn’t really matter, I really love their pizza.  And after that my friend and I walked to the train station, where she took the bus home and I took the train back.  All in all it was a good, but really soggy day.  Thanks Portland!  Thanks Snohomish Knitters Guild for putting this all together.  And extra special thank yous to the yarn shops!  See you in August for Sock Summit!

Whoops!  I forgot about showing the bags that we got and all the goodies in it!  So here it is:

Saturday morning I made my way down to the train station.  Our train was scheduled to leave at 7:30.  I got down there at 6:45 and the place was filled with knitters.

We checked in and were handed a swag bag!

And in the bag, we got three coupons for discounts at some Seattle area yarn shops, 3 little sock stitch markers, a yarn lollipop that knits up into a mini sock, a tape measure, a little zipper pouch to carry it all in and a tea sample.

It was a quiet ride down.  I think everyone was planning their shopping or napping.  We arrived in Portland and were met by some local Ravelry folks.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find my friend Oliveknits.  Perhaps the next time I go down to Portland I’ll be able to meet up with her for a cup of coffee (or a pint of beer) and some yarn shopping and knitting.

Once we got all the info we needed (the “make sure you’re back by a certain time” and “make sure you have fun” speeches) we were off and running.  I first went to Dublin Bay Knitting Co.  Which might be my new favorite Portland yarn shop.  I had planned ahead of time as to what i wanted to get.  And they had everything I wanted (and then some)!  They also had coffee, tea, water, cookies, and chowder for us.  I walked out with 2 skeins of Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock yarn in the Roisin Colorway, 1 skein of SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock yarn in Orchid and 1 skein of Yarn Love Marianne Dashwood sock yarn in Blueberry Festival (and yes, I am that big of a Jane Austen fan).  The Three Irish Girls yarn, I was thinking of using for the Ene’s Scarf.

Then it was off to pick up the Voodoo Doughnuts.  I walked over to their NE Davis st location.  Which was about a 2 mile walk.  It was well worth it.  Before I got their I decided that I needed to eat.  Actually my stomach was demanding food.  So I stopped at Old Wive’s Tale for brunch.  I got a oatmeal, cornmeal buttermilk pancake with apple, cinnamon, honey compote on top and a side of bacon.  It was heaven.  So unbelievably good.  And cheap.  I high recommend it.

I get over to Voodoo and stand in line for what feels like an eternity.  It was about 30 minutes.  For some reason everyone in front of me just had several questions about every doughnut they make or they just couldn’t decide.  If you stood in line for 30 minutes I would think you would know what you wanted to order, but I’m crazy that way.  Sidenote – everyone I have talked to at Voodoo Doughnuts, from the gal who emailed me back, the guy at their downtown location who very correctly suggested that I place my order at their other location because the wait would be much shorter (30 minutes compared to at least an hour – one of the ladies in our group waited for over an hour at the downtown location) and he also gave me all the bus routes and a cab company phone number, to the gal who took my order and finally the gal working the counter when I bought the doughnuts, were incredibly nice and helpful.  I can’t say enough good things about this place.  It’s sooooo worth the trip and the wait.

from the top left of the photo – the first container has 2 memphis mafia fritters and a triple chocolate penetration.  The next container has a portland cream, a voodoo doughnut and a dirty snowball.  The bottom two containersm the infamous maple bacon bars.  I came prepared and brought ziploc containers and an envirosax to carry them in.  Which was perfect.  Now I wish I had ordered more…

After loading up on doughnuts, I headed over to Happy Knits.  The new yarn shop on the block.  It was a great little shop.  A really great selection of yarn and just a beautiful store.  I didn’t really see anything that I couldn’t live with out there.  I did run into one of the gals from out Tuesday night group and we ventured back over  the Hawthorne Street bridge to head over to Knit-Purl and Powell’s City of Books.

I parted ways with my friend, as she had already gone to Knit-Purl.  I wasn’t really planning on buying anything at Knit-Purl.  There was a pattern that I had my eye on and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it.  The funky thing about this sweater pattern is that it can be worn right side up or upside down.  Sounds strange, I know, but I am totally fascinated with this pattern.  And for a pattern it’s pretty darn expensive – $20.  So I asked one of the sales ladies, if she had seen it knit up and what she thought.  Her enthusiasm was all I needed.  So  I decided to give it  a try.  And then, I made a fatal mistake.  I turned around and was staring face to face with the Habu Textiles yarns.  Last year the only yarn I bought was the Habu Textiles Lamb Wool and Linen jacket kit that I now wear all the time.  So I ended up with two cones of their Tsumugi silk yarn as well as that $20 pattern.  On the plus side, the pattern came with buttons.  Which, if you’ve had to buy buttons cost about $20.  Now I’m thinking I may use the Habu yarn for Ene’s scarf….

While I was in Knit-Purl I met up with another gal from our Tuesday night knitting group and we walked over to Powell’s together.  I had planned for Powell’s too.  I had a list of books that I wanted and if I could get them cheap, I would.

So I got a couple of books and a few other little things.

Yeah, two out of three books are Jane Austen related.  The Home is Where the Wine is book, is the new book by Crazy Aunt Purl.  I read her first book, Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair, and loved it.  So I had to read her new one.  That was on the only book I paid full price for.  I also got these cute little hooks that were on sale.  I’ve been looking for hooks to put by the wall of my closet in my bedroom to hang purses and bag on.  These were perfect!  And of course a little something for kitties.  As soon as that thing hit the ground, Kink was off and running.  You would think that that damn toy made some offensive comments about her family, the way she was beating the hell out of it.

After leaving Powell’s I headed over to Knit Knot Studios.   Which is a sweet little yarn shop.  Again, they had beautiful yarn and some handmade local jewelry.  But again, there was nothing that really called to me.  By this point it was around 4 and I was getting tired.  I walked towards the train station and decided to make one last pass thru Dublin Bay Knitting Co.  Which, might have been a bad idea, but I did it anyway.  Yup… I bought more yarn.  This time I bought 4 skeins of Fleece Artist Ottawa yarn.  2 skeins are the Nova Scotia colorway, one is in the Paris colorway and the other is in the Burgundy colorway.  I was hoping that they had one more of Paris, but they didn’t.  But the burgundy colorway will work well with it.  Perhaps I’ll use these skeins to do the Ene’s scarf pattern… too many choices!

After that, I was done.  I was hungry and ready to get on the train and head back home.  I stopped for a couple of slices of pizza at Hot Lips Pizza in the Pearl District.  It was amazing pizza.  I got a slice of cheese and a slice of pear and ham.  That’s right, I said pear and ham.  It was to die for.  It was NY style, the kind you fold down the center and eat.  Between the yarn, food and just overall non-car transportation friendly town, Portland Rocks!

After eating, it was time to head back to the station.

All in all, it was a great trip.  I had a blast and I can’t wait until next year!

I’m getting very excited about the Yarn Train on Saturday. I’m going to be meeting up with some good friends and having lunch, and if the Gods are with us, we’ll be heading over to Voo Doo Doughnuts for a bacon maple bar. And I may have to pick myself up a tshirt. Because I’ve always wanted to wear a shirt that says “The Magic is in the Hole” on the front.  I think it would go well with the “Ride the SLUT” t-shirt. (For those of you who don’t live in Seattle the SLUT is what we locals call the South Lake Union Trolley.  The mayor is not a fan of the name.  Well, I’m not a fan of the mayor, so I’m still calling it the SLUT.)

Mom. I’ve also noticed that on the Voo Doo doughnuts website, they do weddings.  Since the Ponderosa Ranch is gone (RIP Hos, Little Joe, Ben, Adam and Hop Sing) guess where the wedding is gonna happen…  I’ll working on finding the right guy first.  But I think we’ve got the service and the reception worked out.

After I put down the deposit for the wedding at Voo Doo Doughnuts, I’m hoping to hit Knit Purl.  I have been itching to see what the Lamb and Line Jacket looks like and how difficult it is to knit.  It looks looks relatively easy.  And I may bite the bullet and get it.  I think I’ve pretty much got all the yarn I need for the projects I’d like to work on this year.  So this would be another complete project to work on.  I suppose I’ll have to take a look and see what it looks like up close and personal.  I may end up hating the thing.

I also can’t wait to go to Powell’s books.  Hopefully I can find a book or two to possibly read on the train back.  Or perhaps another knitting book…  Preferably used.  I hate to say it, but I just can’t see spending $20 or more for a book that I’ll read once or that I like only one pattern in.

We didn’t get too crazy. We kept it low key which is what I needed. It was the first weekend I didn’t have a ton of things planned. So here’s how the weekend went…

I got to the train station early and hung out for a bit. I looked up and saw something that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. It was a woman in her late 40s to mid 50s with bleach blonde hair and dark roots about an inch long with a tan that rivals George Hamilton or any of the Gotti boys. If she were to have taken a seat on one of the big dark stained wood benches all I would have seen was hair, eyes and clothes. She was freakish. I tried to take a picture of her, but I couldn’t do it on the sly.

The train ride was uneventful. I got off the train, and my friends were there waiting for me and we headed over to Matador. We had some snacks, a couple of drinks and then we headed home. They have a great place. In a cool neighborhood. We got up the next morning and my friend introduced me to the best breakfast ever – it was a coffee stand where they served basically a waffle sandwich! It was amazing! We then headed down to pick up our race packets and off to the Saturday Market. The market was a lot of fun. The whole weekend was a lot of fun. After that we went to Knit-Purl. Dear god… that is an amazing store. The women there we all super nice and helpful and the yarns… so beautiful. But I made a deal with myself. I wouldn’t buy any yarn that I didn’t have a pattern for. So I didn’t get anything. After that we headed home and just hung out for a bit.

We headed over to one of many McMenamin’s to have a little grub. It was perfect. We just hung out and talked. Which is always fun. Then since the next day was race day, we headed home for a good night’s sleep.

We all got up the next morning and headed down to the convention center where the start of the race was. I think we had a pretty good race. My friend who’s not a fan of running was thinking we would finish in an hour – for a 5k. I kept telling her we’re going to be doing a 10 minute mile and we’ll be done in a half hour. We came close. We did an 11 minute mile. I’m going to try and talk her into doing another race… and possibly a half marathon next year!

After the race, we had to treat ourselves to a doughnut at Voo Doo Doughnuts. I got the maple bar with 2 strips of bacon on it. That was the best doughnut ever. It was so good that we had to go back home and nap for a couple of hours. After working off the doughnut with a nap we headed back downtown to Powell’s Books. I only got thru two rooms of this place. I bought a couple of books, both used. I got Domiknitrix and Grub and they were about $9 a piece. Seriously that’s awesome!

All in all it was a great weekend. I’m so happy I went to Portland. And I’m so happy that my friend’s are so happy. Oh… and on the train ride back – the tan lady was on the train with me. I almost dropped my soda on the floor!

One last thing – Our Spring Fling Coffee and Yarn Swap Topic of the week #2!

Since some of us is beginning to see glimpse of Spring, while others are still getting snow have you change what projects are working on? Have you put away the hats, scarfs and mittens, and brought out the cute tank top sweater projects and lacy wraps? Have you change yarn to something more lighter and cooler, not so heavy and bulky?

All the bulky stuff (other than a felted bag or other felting project) is tucked nice and neatly in the “I’ll start this when it starts to get cold again” pile.  Currently I’m working on Green Gables by Zephyr Style in Cascade Sierra.  A nice charcoal color.  After that I’ll be working on the Interlaken blanket as a super belated wedding present, in a Berrocco Comfort yarn.  And it’s in bright colors too so it will hopefully help speed us into warmer days!

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