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Portland Fiber Arts

A typical MLA scene is waiting for a session to start and glancing in any direction to see my fellow attendees with a knitting, embroidery, or crocheting project on their laps. I'm sure many of you enjoy fiber arts activities that don't travel as well, it's hard to bring a rug loom in a plenary.

If you're thinking about checking out the fiber arts scene when you come to Portland, I've gathered some tips for you about some great stores to visit and a couple of events that might be of interest.


I'm sharing a few of my highlights that are within 40 minutes via transit from the convention center.

There's a neat cluster of stores just south of the convention center. Disco Fibers is a secondhand yarn and fiber shop in Memory Den, a vintage mall less than a mile from the convention center. On to Ritual Dyes, a colorful yarn shop carrying their indie yarns and their own hand-dyed yarns. A 10-minute bus ride from there is Josephine Dry Goods, with some gorgeous designer fabrics and an amazing button selection.

Alternatively, a 25-minute transit ride north is another run of independent stores: Modern Domestic (fabric), Close Knit (yarn), and Bolt (fabric). There are 1.5 miles between the three, but it's the heart of the Alberta Arts district with cafes, books and clothing shops, and a branch of Collage, my favorite art supplies store.

There are a couple stores further out of the city center that merit a visit.

The northern edge of the city is St Johns, a bustling neighborhood high street with Weird Sisters (yarn and books) at one end and a spectacular bridge and Cathedral Park at the other. A few stores down from Weird Sisters is Affogato, a coffee shop with handmade marionberry pop tarts.

Starlight Knitting Society is a bit of a trek south, but they offer an excellent selection in gorgeous space. When I was asking around in preparation for this post EVERYONE I asked recommended this shop. It did not disappoint. An airy space, a great selection, and helpful staff...what more do you need?

There are so many independent art supply stores in and around Portland, after living in the city for five years, I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

Exhibits and Events

Portland Lace Society: May 18, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., pacific time - Lace Day for lacemakers, vendors, and consignment.

Portland Art Museum: Daily, Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks.

Finally, if you are in need of studio space while you're in town consider Sincere Studio. They are a non-profit sewing studio, that offers classes, sewing nights, and bookable studio time.

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