What do you get when you put 55 knitters on a bus and visit six different yarn shops (each giving said knitters 15-20% discounts on anytning in their stores) in one day? Well, around here, you get the Tigard Knitting Guild's Yarn Shop Hop, which I was delighted to participate in yesterday.
The morning started in the parking lot of a local elementary school, where we got our "goody bags" and boarded the bus. This was the first treat of the day because the bag and its contents were worth more than it cost to go on the shop hop. That's a Lantern Moon Origami Bag in the back there. That, my friends, was the goody bag! In and of itself, that's a great thing (if you've seen Lantern Moon's products, you understand how great it is to get that as a gift -- thanks Lantern Moon!). But that was just the beginning.
Inside the bag were all kinds of goodies from discount coupons to catalogs to samples of Eucalan and Kookabura wool wash. And then there was a kit from Interlacements for a Beaded Scarf. This is something I had almost purchased before, but held off. Now I have one! Thanks, Interlacements! Lantern Moonkicked in one more thing by giving each of us a darling sheep tape. The Guild had added a nice zippered accessory bag and inside we found a stitch holder, yarn bobbins, stitch markers and a set of point protectors donated by Wrights Company. One of the shops we visited, Knit/Purl, added the cutest little mini bamboo crochet hook you ever saw. It's 2.75" long and has it's own little pouch. I think it'll come in handy for helping with picking up dropped stitched (not that I ever do that sort of thing). ;) Oh, and everyone got a skein of Peaches & Creme cotton, too, courtesy of Flo at Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Company.
After all that goodness, we got on the bus and off we went. First stop: All About Yarn in Tigard. The shop is tucked away in a spot that you sort of have to know about to find, but once found, it's worth it. There's a great selection of yarns and kits and a whole wall of needles to choose from. I snagged a couple sets of Brittany DPNs I needed along with a skein of Jojoland Cashmere in white and a nice scarf pattern to use it with. It was hard to not get more, but this was, after all, just the first of six stops.
Back on the bus and off to The Knitting Bee we went. This is the LYS I frequent, so I felt right at home. There are so many wonderful things to choose from, but I already had a plan. I picked up a copy of Favorite Socks from Interweave Press along with some Reggia Bamboo, Sockotta, and Trekking XXL. Then I saw the Euroflax and purchased a skein along with a pattern for a scarf. The Euroflax is something I'd been wanting to try and the discount was enough to get me to take the plunge. The more you wash this yarn, the softer it gets. Intriguing.
Stop number two complete! Onward to downtown Portland and Knit/Purl. I already knew what I wanted here. This is one of the local shops that carried Handmaiden yarns, including Sea Silk (from the Lace Wings shawl fame). I want to use some of that to do something from Victorian Lace Today, so I purchased two skeins in the berry colorway. Knit/Purl also has their own line of sock yarn from Shibui Knits. The colors are amazing. I bought enough of the Roppongi colorway for a pair of socks that are sure to be showstoppers. I also picked up a couple more pairs of Addi Lace Turbo needles, which I have quickly come to love beyond all reason. :) Oh, and a big shout out to the folks at Knit/Purl. They were restocking yarns as quickly as we grabbed them off the shelves so that everyone could get the colors they wanted. And they let us eat our box lunches in their classroom, which was very nice. BTW, the box lunches were delicious!
Half way there! Shop number four was the Dublin Bay Knitting Company, located in the heart of a ton of new high-rise condo construction. The shop is very friendly and inviting. They carry Handmaiden yarns as well and I almost bought some more, but restrained myself. Instead, I picked up a copy of Barbara Walker's Mosaic Knitting, a book I've been wanting to add to my stitch pattern library for quite some time.
A very short bus ride from there, we stopped at Lint. Again, lots of wonderful things to tempt us, including some handspun that was fresh off the spinning wheel and offered at a per-ounce price that was hard to resist. But I was trying to stay focused, so I did resist. I purchased another Addi Turbo (not lace this time) that I need for an upcoming project and found a copy of Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circulars. I've not done socks on circs yet, but I want to learn and Cat is definitely a whiz at that technique. As I was waiting in line, I saw they had some of the silk tafetta bags from Lantern Moon for a really good price (just $9), so I snagged one of those, too. They're a very elegant way to carry a sock project with you.
Wow, we'd made it through five shops! Back onto the bus and a ride from Northwest Portland to Lake Oswego to visit Molehill Farm, a charming shop in what used to be someone's house. It was a bit cramped with all of us in there, but we managed. Of course, it helped that they had some wine and snacks out for us! LOL If you ever get a chance to visit them, be sure to check out the bathtub. No, not because you may need a bath, but because that's where they have bags and bags and bags of yarns that are all 40% off their normal price. With some judicious digging, you may find some great stuff in there. I looked, but it was cramped and a bit hot and there was a long line of knitters waiting to get in there, so since I didn't have anything specific in mind to look for, I stepped aside. I did manage to get a few things there, though. One more set of Addi turbos, a couple of skeins of Lorna's Laces in Pinstripe, and a skein of TOFUtsies in color 724, a yarn I've not tried yet. (Apologies to anyone who visits Molehill Farm today looking for TOFUtsies. I think we cleaned them out!)
Six shops done! Oh, but I forgot to mention there were still more sponsors who donated to this event. In fact, they donated so much that there was a prize for each and every knitter on the bus. As we rode between shops, prizes were given out. They ranged from books to kits that included enough yarn and a pattern for an afghan. Amazing stuff! I won a great little kit for making a funky purse with a mix of five different yarns that were all gorgeous. I made a trade though, because as nice as it was, there was something else that was more practical for me -- a set of five skeins of Peaches & Creme yarn and two pattern books for knitting dishcloths. A lovely lady who had come all the way from Bend for the event, traded with me. Thanks!!! I wanted the dishcloth yarn and patterns because when I go on the cruise next month, it's the perfect take-along project and also perfect for teaching my friend to knit. :)
Whew! It was quite a day. The bus pulled out of the parking lot at 9:00 a.m. and returned at 4:30 p.m. I think a good time was had by all and I know there are lots of wonderful knitted things that will be produced with all that we bought. Thanks so much to the organizers at Tigard Knitting Guild. They did a fantastic job! And thanks also to all the folks in all the shops we visited. It must have been a bit overwhelming, but all were gracious and happy to help us while extending shop-wide discounts as well.
Now, I better get some work done so I can pay the credit card bill when it comes! Hard to concentrate with all this new fibery goodness in the house, though. I just want to knit!