welcome to america's knitting
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!


©2009 America's Knitting