Handmade Portland: Knit Shops

Contributed by: Anne Prahl, Curator of Collections, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

 If you think of all things hip and innovative, challenging and quirky when you think of Portland, the knitting scene in our fair city does not disappoint. If you are connected, you have already checked out the Portland Metro Area Ravelers forum on Ravelry.com. Or you might have checked to see if there is a Meetup.com gathering during the SAA conference. There are regular meetings of crafters, including knitters, all over the city. You only need to plug in.

Perhaps you are hoping to browse some local yarn shops (I know my best souvenirs are the ones I made myself from materials purchased wherever I have traveled). There are dozens of shops in the metro area. I have compiled the few that are easiest to get to either on foot or by public transportation. Each has its own, unique atmosphere. Some feature a group of regulars whom you will find cozily drinking tea and knitting together. But I’ve never been turned away from one of those klatches. Just pull up a chair and whip out your knitting bag and you are one of the in-crowd.

 

Pearl District and Downtown

Pearl Fiber Arts

428 NW 11th Aveknitting 1
Portland, OR 97209

(503) 227-7746

Just a few blocks from Powell’s Books (which you are certainly not going to want to miss). Really nice selection including some exotic fibers (yak!) and helpful staff.

 

Dublin Bay Knitting Company

1227 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209knitting 2

(503) 223-3229

Small and sparsely stocked, it is still a calm and friendly place to drop in. Great yarns from the British Isles as well as organics and Fair Trade and more standard fare as well.

 

Knit Purl

knitting 31101 SW Alder St
Portland, OR 97205

(503) 227-2999

Not my go-to shop. They tend toward the exotic, locally sourced, and hip. And the staff is kind of hipster, too. But if that’s your scene, definitely check them out.

 

Northeast Portland

Close Knit

2140 NE Alberta St
Portland, OR 97211

knitting 4

(503) 288-4568

You were going to go up to the Alberta Arts district anyway, right? Lots of galleries and DIY shops, bakeries, tacos, and a Salt ‘n Straw ice cream shop. And while you are there, drop in on Close Knit where there is always someone shopping, someone knitting, and someone to offer great advice.

Twisted

knitting 52310 NE Broadway
Portland, OR 97232

(503) 922-1150

My personal favorite shop. Can’t say enough about the awesome staff (who remember names!) and are always earnest and thoughtful, even with the most insipid questions. They also sell tea and welcome knitters to their comfy couches and work tables. Especially fabulous selection of sock yarns.

Southeast Portland

Happy Knits

1620 SE Hawthorne Blvdknitting 6
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 238-2106

Super-friendly and customer-oriented. Smaller selection but they make up for it in great classes and … did I mention the nice people?

 

 

 

North Portland

The Naked Sheep

knitting 7

2142 N Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97217

(503) 283-2004

A little off the beaten path (unless your path takes you to North Portland.) I haven’t found the owner particularly welcoming, but if you read the Yelp reviews, there are plenty of happy people who disagree.

 

 

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