Portland!

On the plane I read Rant, a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Portland’s favorite son. I’m staying at the famous, the literary, the possibly haunted Heathman Hotel. I just got back from a trolley ride to Powell’s Books, the largest independent bookstore in the U.S., with floors upon floors of books on all possible topics.

To be honest, I’ve been feeling a little burnt-out lately. I’ve been blogging at a breakneck, post-a-day pace, trying to come up with a new creation every day, and I feel like the stuff I’ve been making has gotten a little stale, a little sloppy. Being in a place where I can’t sew for five days is going to be great; I can feel it already. I’m storing up good ideas for later.

The outskirts of Portland feel kind of like the setting for a Hiyao Miyazaki movie. These futuristic trains pass by landscapes made of broken concrete barriers and hillsides covered in wildflowers and old industrial buildings. From the window of the train I saw this building, which looked like three singlewide trailers put up on 50-foot-tall stilts:

That thing above the guardrail but under the tower. Can you see it? Can you?!

But the best part of the trip was Powell’s. After waking up at three in the morning, spending eight hours in planes and airports and somehow arriving five hours after we’d left (damn you, time zones!) I was exhausted and disoriented. But then I went to Powell’s. And saw this:

This picture represents a very small chunk of their Epic Shelves of Crafting Glory–namely, the section specifically devoted to textile design. Not to be confused with the much larger sections representing Sewing and Fashion. I couldn’t capture them in their full glory because the aisles are too close together for me to back up enough. Here’s a similarly tiny chunk of their section on knitting:

Excuse me while I dig myself in, never to emerge. Everything about Powell’s is inspiring, from their patrons (who all wear funky outfits, some of which are hipster and some of which defy explanation) to their bathroom graffiti to their wise decision to buy every book in the universe instead of trying to offer an edited collection. If I don’t come home a better knitter/writer/patternmaker, it won’t be for lack of information.

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