Over my Memorial Day weekend, I took a trip with some
friends to Portland Oregon. While I was there, I really
wanted to do a spotlight on a local yarn shop. I chose
a shop called Knit-Purl, to visit. There's more than
meets the eye, behind the front doors of this yarn
shop for sure.
Knit-Purl is quite an in depth operation. What you
see when you walk in the door, is a shop average in
size, but busting with creativity. They carry exquisite
yarns from around the world with Habu Textiles being
a store favorite. Darcy Cameron is the owner of the
store, but she is by no means the sole operator.
Darcy has 10 empoyees helping her, from her web people that
help with her web presence, to the staff that does nothing
but ship merchandise around the country, to more personel
that helps out on the floor in the store. Darcy is known
by the people around her at Knit-Purl, as their "Fearless
Leader", and/or "Commander in Chief". You
can see, by being in the store that it has a great energy
- it's light, modern, clean and serene all at the same time.
It's full of creativity and inspiration from their window
displays, to the models in the store of knitted items finished,
to touch and see.
Darcy worked hard trying to develop her niche in the knitting
industry. The store has been in operation for a little
over three years and is located right in the heart of Portland.
When Darcy's son went off to college, she felt like starting
something new in her life and Knit-Purl was born. Knit-Purl
is not just a yarn shop, Knit-Purl is also the home of
ShibuiKnits. Darcy Cameron is the owner of ShibuiKnits
and it's a beautiful line of yarn. The line is vast, including
a lace yarn called Silk Cloud, their sock yarn called Sock,
the Baby Alpaca DK, Merino Kid, also a dk weight, the Merino
Alpaca, the Highland Wool Alpaca and the Silk Puff, a novelty
yarn. Darcy has been knitting for 30 years but loves the
stranded fair isle knitting and you see plenty of that
in the store, but you see everything. Darcy loves the high
end exotic yarns, what she calls the "best in category" for
the store. She also says of her small shop, that it's an
edited shop. She has a huge storage area below the store,
next to her office that allows her to change the store
at her discretion to keep it fresh and new all the time.
She likes to keep her displays inside the store different
as well as her window displays.
In my interview
with Darcy, I asked her what was going on in the store.
She said there was a good focus on socks going on and
that they were gearing up for a visit with Catherine
Lowe to the store. She was planning a reception for
Catherine in the Vault Room of the historic Governor
Hotel complete with wine and hors d'oeuvres. Catherine
was going to give a lecture on "Translating Couture
Re-thinking Tradition". Dessert was to follow
the lecture at the store. They were to have workshops
with Catherine Lowe all that weekend. As for summer
trends, organic cotton yarns and lace knitting.
Portland, also known as the City of Roses, is Oregons
most populous city. The climate in Portland is ideal
for growing roses with many rose gardens in the city
- that is how Portland got this sur name.
The city is very metropolitan
in many ways from it's diversity in culture to the transportation.
The city has a great bus system, not to mention their Max,
or light rail system and the fun Portland street car, known
to the locals as the trolley. Portland is also home to
the NBA's basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers.
Whether you are traveling to Portland on business or pleasure,
there is lots to do when you get there. They have their
Waterfront Blues Festival in May, the Rose Festival in
early June, the Oregon Zoo at Washington Park, and all
the great restaurants and shopping.
Knit-Purl is a must on your itinerary of things to do
and see. It's easy for tourists on the trolley line, and
open seven days a week. You'll also want to visit their
website to check out their Sock Club; join their newsletter
and join the 9,700 strong database, so you can stay up-to-date
on happenings in the store and on the web. Darcy and the
staff at Knit-Purl are always excited and delighted to
meet you - please stop in when you are in town!