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'Yarn Crawl' creeps into Inner Southeast Portland

Those with a passion for knitting and crocheting – similar crafts, using two entirely different techniques – were in “yarn heaven” from February 28th through March 3rd, when the “Rose City Yarn Crawl” was underway.

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - 'Yarnia' owner Lindsey Ross prepares a skein of custom-blended yarn for a customer, during the Rose City Yarn Crawl.Begun as the “Portland Yarn Crawl” four years ago by a New York-based promoter, locals took over the event this year, renaming it the “Rose City Yarn Crawl”. Hobbyists, and even some professionals, traveled to the greater Portland area to tour some or all of the eighteen participating yarn stores.

The only one of the stores located in Inner Southeast Portland, “Yarnia”, drew many visitors because of their unique offering.

“What makes Yarnia different,” explained the shop’s owner, Lindsey Ross, “Is that we’re Portland's only do-it-yourself yarn store.

“Here, the customer can control all the variables in their yarn – by picking their own fiber combinations and color combinations, blending up to six strands together. So, there is almost an infinite permutation of colors they can create,” Ross told THE BEE. “And, we can give them the exact amount they want – it’s sold by the pound.”

After knitting and crocheting for about 18 years, Ross said she’d decided to start her own “creative yarn” business, with its own niche. “I had this machine custom-built to my specifications.”

About the Yarn Crawl, she said, “It’s been quite a weekend. People from – it seems – all over the country, have some to visit Portland because of this. The event gets people out to visit many of the shops by offering contests and prizes throughout the long weekend.”

You don’t have to wait until next year’s event to visit. “Yarnia” is open all year, Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am until 6 pm, and on Sunday from noon until five, at 4183 S.E. Division Street. The telephone number is 503/488-0022, and the Internet website is: www.yarniapdx.com.