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.

 

 

Oregon Museums Making Collections Accessible

Contributed by SAA Host Committee Member, Katrina O’Brien, World of Speed Collection Manager & Archivist

Oregon has a wide array of museums covering everything from Japanese and Jewish history to environment science, gaming and motorsports, local and national art and heritage, and corporate history. While this is only a small snapshot of Oregon’s museums, each of these museums are utilizing artifact and archival collections as part of their museum experience, special programs, and online resources.

 OREGON NIKKEI LEGACY CENTER

http://www.oregonnikkei.org

mus1Preserving the stories of the Nikkei—Japanese emigrants and their descendants—of the Pacific Northwest, the Center offers both traveling and onsite exhibits, as well as a research library. It also offers onsite and walking tour apps that provide multiple avenues to experience the Center’s archival collection. As part of its Oregon Nikkei Endowment’s Visual History Collection, over 50 recorded video interviews are accessible online through the Densho Digital Archive.

 

 

 

OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY

http://ohs.org

Mus2OHS looks to “explore the people, places, and events that have shaped the history of Oregon and America.” Besides its digital history websites, The Oregon Encyclopedia, Oregon History Project, and Oregon History Wayfinder, its new OHS Digital Collections website opens a wider window into the OHS Research Library’s collections. At the same time, the OHS Museum provides equally thought-provoking, interactive museum exhibits that make history visible and accessible.

 

 

 

WORLD FORESTRY CENTER DISCOVERY MUSEUM

http://www.worldforestry.org

mus3The WFC Discovery Museum offers an interactive experience for visitors to be “both educated and entertained as they learn about the importance of forests and trees in our lives, as well as environmental sustainability.” Visitors find exhibits that pique curiosity and encourage active learning about the forests of the Pacific Northwest and the interconnectedness of global forests, along with the Leadership Hall that celebrates contributors in forestry.

 

THE INTERACTIVE MUSEUM OF GAMING AND PUZZLERY

http://www.imogap.org

mus4Housing one of the largest publicly accessible game and puzzle collections in the world, IMOGAP seeks to “document and celebrate all aspects of gaming culture” with more than 4,000 games to play. While most of the collection are tabletop games, the collection also includes construction, knowledge, electronic, skill games, and more. The museum offers visitors hands-on tables for gaming along with historical and interpretive displays, and shelves featuring select picks from the collection.

 

WORLD OF SPEED

http://www.worldofspeed.org

mus5Besides supporting the World of Speed motorsports museum’s exhibits and education programs, the Archive offers “points of access while preserving the rich history of motorsports” with the museum’s complete collection catalog, collection highlights, and digital video collection available online. Besides being open to the public, the Archive Room hosts Open Archive Days each month, offering visitors gloved interaction with select items in the archive collection not currently on display.

 

WELLS FARGO MUSEUM, PORTLAND

https://www.wellsfargohistory.com/

mus6Wells Fargo has eleven museums throughout the country, including Portland. Besides artifacts specific to the Pacific Northwest, the museum utilizes the Wells Fargo Corporate Archive to produce local museum exhibits with materials that “range from historical images and objects to modern day marketing samples and digital records.” A select group of its archives are also available online including a photography and advertisement collection documenting the company’s origins, development, operations, and impact.

 

 

PORTLAND ART MUSEUM

http://portlandartmuseum.org

mus7Founded in 1892, PAM is the oldest art museum in the Pacific Northwest with a collection of 42,000 objects reflecting the history of art from ancient times to today, including North America native peoples’ arts, modern and contemporary art, and Asian and American art. PAM’s Crumpacker Family Library, the region’s most comprehensive visual art resource, holds a collection of over 35,000 volumes originated in 1895 and includes current and historical periodicals, and art archives.

 

 

OREGON JEWISH MUSEUM & CENTER FOR HOLOCAUST EDUCATION

http://www.ojmche.org/

OJMCHE’s artifact and archive collections “document the experiences of Oregon Jews from our earliest history through today.” It acquired the holdings of the Jewish Historical Society of Oregon in 1995, including 150 oral history interviews. In 2014, the Oregon Jewish Museum merged with the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center, taking on the care of the center’s records, artifacts, and oral history interviews of Holocaust survivors and liberators.