Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Portlandia and Yarnia

For mid winter break, we thought we'd look for our adventures in Portland this week. I had three goals: Food, Coffee and Yarn! I can say that every goal was met beyond my expectations!
What a great place to get away for the feel of a different city, with fantastic restaurants and all within either trolley or walking distance from our hotel. Shown here, a fabulous meal at Pazzo. Filet mignon prepared "just so"...over braised kale and roasted sea salted fingerling potatoes. Need I say more? My husband had the duck. I was too busy eating mine to ask him about
how he liked his!

 House made bread...carbo-licious!
 Tiramisu, of course for dessert...the best we'd ever eaten.
 So, as you can see, the food part of the story was going well. Now for the yarn and coffee hunt.Within a short trolley ride we found ourselves in the Pearl District. And while I waited for a yarn shop to open (they were late!)...pretty views like this were near by.
 Coming back to the yarn shop, after getting coffee, I found they had opened. I had been here once before: Dublin Bay Knitting Company.
They have a lovely selection, though sometimes not the particular brand or type you might find readily elsewhere. I was looking for a chunky wool but ended up finding a chunky worsted cotton from Blue Sky Alpaca instead.
 My little purchase in the color "Jasper", awaiting the trolley. 5 skeins should be enough to do the pattern, Sidecar Jacket.

Besides yarn, the main reason I am walking around out here in the Pearl District is to find the Sisters Coffee, always a favorite of ours when we head down to Bend, OR.  This is one of their newer stores.

 And I was not disappointed...aaah!
 Lots of shops to browse in through the Pearl District. In the Keen store I found this cute chalk art sign and met the artist/clerk. A very fun discovery!
Another fabulous dinner out at the famous "Paley's". A trolley ride into the Pearl landed us practically at the door step. Set inside a large house in huge living room setting, is a gem of a restaurant.

My exquisite 4 oz. rib eye on a bed of farrow, with peppers and beef jus. Delectable!

For dessert, vanilla creme brulee and complimentary coconut macaroons. Our tummies happily rode the chilly trolley ride home.

Our last day, so I must make the most of getting up early and off to fetch my second latte of the trip at Stumptown Coffee, another favorite we also discovered in Bend that has since opened also in Seattle. So I have met the food and coffee goals, indeed.
Though I have a destination point to reach: Voo Doo Doughnuts. I have heard about this place, apparently open 24/7 and it had a line around the block the day prior to my visit. Today, however being a regular work day for most people, I had the place to myself.
It is the quirkiest place you will find, with more sugar on each doughnut than you ever thought imaginable. I came for the bacon and maple bars, their most popular one. I ended up settling for something smaller and just getting a picture of all the madness in the case that you can pick from.

Satisfied with my choice, and now REALLY needing to get in my walk for my "Walk Challenge" that I started this week, in an even bigger way...I headed over to Powell's Books back by our hotel. That might give me, oh 1/2 a mile or so and burn a few calories.
 It looks like even the dogs around here are in need of a little scarf and leggings.

Well will you look at this? This whole entire wall filled with books about knitting! And a little birdie said they may soon also carry yarn here as well.

I settle for a knitting magazine and head out into the rain. It's time to check out of the hotel and we have one last important destination before we leave Portland.....We are headed to the land of Yarnia! Here is is on the other side of town on SE Division street. I had seen it online and knew immediately I was headed there on this trip. Here, you choose from an array of fibers to custom make your own yarn. A sort of do it yourself yarn place! Genius! I set to work to pick out my fibers. Which should I choose? I had a project in mind and they were very helpful in assisting me to assure I had enough fibers to make the appropriate weight for my garment.

I have chosen my fibers: wool, cotton, rayon, linen and together, they will make my sport weight needed to do "Leaving" sweater. Here she is calculating my yarn weight and pricing.

Next she sets the yarn up and readies it for the machine. It's all so exciting!

And away the machine whirs! My yarn is winding up here rather swiftly and in no time flat, I have 1240 or so yards!

It is a lovely light weight and pretty blend of seafoam and mushroom tones. I hope for a great outcome using it for my sweater!

Here is a video clip of the actual "making" of the yarn on the cool machine! Enjoy!