Last weekend was Yarn Fest '11 AKA a trip to Portland with my husband and his parents. Did you know that there are more than 15 yarn shops in Portland? This doesn't even count the ones in the cities around Portland. So, once I found out that there are so many yarn stores in Portland I began doing my research. I visited their websites and made a list of shops that I wouldn't mind visiting if we had the time. The one thing that I wanted to get from one of these shops was a pair of sock blockers. These really don't have too much of a purpose (for me, anyway) except that I would like to start making more socks and I think that the pictures of socks just look better when the socks are on the blockers. Of course I ended up with much more than just sock blockers.
These are my 2 new pairs of sock blockers (large and small). Also shown here is a magnetic notebook from KnitPicks which is awesome for keeping track of where you are while reading knitting charts. But there is more.
The yarn! On the left is yarn that Mary and I just couldn't pass up. (She got some, too.) In the store it was knit up into a spiral scarf. I don't know how else to describe what this scarf looked like. I will just have to show you someday when I finish it (but don't hold your breath I have lots of projects going on...). Up at the very top is some hand-dyed blue faced Leicester (a kind of sheep) roving. While I have quite a supply of spinning roving, I just couldn't pass this up. It is so pretty! Below that, there is some pink yarn. This yarn is in the collection because it is superwash merino that was 40% off. I just couldn't not buy it. Below the pink is some green lace weight yarn and below that is some purple lace weight. I have decided that I love knitting lace! Yet I have never actually knit with lace weight yarn, so this yarn was a must. :)
While all of this is great, the best part is still to come. When visiting Portland, a visit to Powell's Books is a must. This is the best bookstore ever. It is HUGE. We had been exploring for quite a while when Jason and I decided to venture up to the top floor. Halfway up the stairs there is a sign announcing author events. I skim through the list and notice a familiar name. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I say to Jason "I know who she is, that's cool that she will be here. Wait, is today the 28th?" Yep, it was. She was there the day we were. If you don't know who she is, she is a knitting writer and blogger, and she is hilarious. She is also known as the Yarn Harlot. I read her blog (www.yarnharlot.ca) on and off and she is a fantastic knitter and writer.
My husband and in-laws were kind enough to stick around for 2 hours until she showed up and read from her new book All Wound Up. Mary even sat with me and listened while the boys went to more interesting places. This lady cracked me up! And Mary even seemed to enjoy it. If you check out the Yarn Harlot blog post from Portland you may even be able to spot us. There are 4 audience pictures at the beginning of the post. Look at the bottom right corner. Mary is between the man with white hair and the lady with the light blue sweater. I am to the left of her (right next to the big white beam).
Overall, it was a great weekend. We had a fun time visiting with Jason's parents. The Yarn Fest part was really just a bonus. Anyway, I think Mary ended up with more yarn than I did!