Saturday, February 28, 2009

Planning yarn fun in Seattle

I am very fortunate to be traveling to Seattle for a conference soon. I've never been there before (heck, my entire West Coast experience consists of half a week in San Francisco over a decide ago), so I decided to go one day early to be a tourist. As it turns out, I also have another half day to be a tourist, as we couldn't get a flight out on the afternoon that the conference ends. So I will have a full day Wednesday and a Sunday afternoon to explore the city.

Naturally, my thoughts turned to yarn and anything fiber-related. First, I read the recent Knotions article A Knitter's Tour of Seattle. I also listened a second time to the Stash & Burn podcast about Seattle yarn from July 2008.

I was intrigued by the yarn shop on Bainbridge Island, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, thinking that the 30-minute ferry boat ride to an island in the Sound would be as much fun as the LYS itself. S&B's Nicole mentions that Churchmouse is one of the few retail shops to carry Socks That Rock yarn (which I've knit with and wasn't hugely impressed, so that's not a big draw for me). The main town on Bainbridge, Winslow, is known for eclectic shops and an arts community. Could be a fun place to hang out.

The Fiber Gallery sounds really neat (lots of organic and earth-friendly yarns from unusual fibers), but my Seattle sources tell me that it's located in a largely residential area. Might not be the best place to focus my tourist-y activities.

More downtown-adjacent (and therefore conference attendee-friendly) is So Much Yarn. It looks as if they might be moving, though - I should definitely phone before going there.

I was intrigued by the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard, which is sponsoring the second Nordic Knitting Conference the same weekend as the library conference. I won't be able to go to the knitting classes, but the museum is hosting a Knitting Along the Viking Trail exhibit that looks yummy. They will also have knitted pieces from their permanent collections on display, so it sounds as if there will be a lot to look at. My Seattle sources say I'll need to think about transporation, as this neighborhood isn't walkable from downton. Still, they are open Sunday afternoons 12-4 - this could be my venue!

Nicole and Jenny also talked about Hilltop Yarn, which sounds like a great shop - but it's definitely a bus trip from downtown. Still, can you resist if there is a link to a trip planner right on the LYS site? My Seattle friend told me there is also a phone number you can call to get help figuring out which bus to take.

Of course, there are also non-fiber tourist draws like the Pike Place Market, the Space Needle (luckily I have a reception there one night), the Seattle Public Library (which was designed by Koolhaas and inspired the Koolhaas hat - I knit it a couple of months ago), the Experience Music Project\Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (this is the site of the all-conference reception), and the Seattle Art Museum.

If anyone has Seattle recommendations for a newbie, please share!

1 comment:

Steven said...

Sounds like you're hitting the hotspots. I'm probably not the person to ask, since I was eleven the last time I lived near there!

The last time Jeff and I were there we took an interesting underground tour. Not a top priority, but great if you have the time. Definitely do the ferry ride - they're awesome when the weather is nice.