OK, crafty pals, last week we talked about Rose City Yarn Crawl tips for non-crafters. Now it's our turn. Here's a ton of tips to have yourself a fine Rose City Yarn Crawling experience, based on my experience, previous coverage, reader suggestions and tips from some of our top-notch Crawl stores. Feel free to chime in on the comments with your own top tips. The Rose City Yarn Crawl is Thursday, March 2, through Sunday, March 5. Here's how to make the most of it:
Before you Crawl
- First and foremost: Check out the Rose City Yarn Crawl website and make a plan. Spend some time on the events section and figure out what shop events are musts for you, which ones are maybes and which ones are not essential. That'll help you plan your route. JJ Foster, Crawl spokeswoman, recommends starting at a distant shop and working your way back home.
- Speaking of plans, take note: Happy Knits is now shut. The store no longer appears on the Crawl passport, but it does show up on some preprinted promotional items. Don't be fooled and waste time heading over there. Also: Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design, at 3701 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. in Portland, had a flood late last week. None of their stock was damaged, and they're still taking part in the Crawl. Here's what they had to say: "[W]e will need to replace the carpeting and so are unable to use Suite F for our retail business until it is all fixed. We will be participating in the Crawl as promised. All of our inventory has been moved to our classroom space upstairs in Suite A. Our trunk shows and Crawl sign-in will be set up in Suite E (upstairs and to the back of our building). Art by Eve will be in the adjacent building, Brooklyn Inn and Suites, at 3717 S.E. Milwaukie Ave. The entrance off of Rhone Street will have the least amount of stairs. Maps will be provided. Our apologies for the extra steps- but hope you enjoy the Treasure Hunt!"
- Scope out the Crawl stores on Facebook. Many of them have been touting special deals, kits and other products for the Crawl. You don't want to miss out!
- Map your route. Planning to take TriMet? This is the time to research routes and factor in rush hour crowds.
- Survey your stash. It can be helpful to check out your current yarn stash to get a feel for what you've got, what you need and what you want. This'll keep you from bringing home a skein of purple sock yarn identical to the two you bought at the previous year's Crawl and have yet to use. (In my defense, it's not like I can ever have too much purple sock yarn, OK? It's gorgeous!)
- Make your budget, and make a list of what you want/need to get. If you're planning to buy yarn for a specific pattern, note the weight/yardage requirements now. Find out if the teenage nephew you knit for has had another growth spurt. Confirm that the teenage niece has not gone goth before you buy pink yarn for her holiday mittens. For many of us, this is our big shopping binge for the year -- it's worth the time to make sure we get it right.
- Pack your bag. Make sure you've got your money (cash, credit card(s), debit card(s) or some combo of all three); your Supportland card and your Crawl passport. If you're TriMeting, make sure you've got your transit pass/ticket money. Also worth bringing: a water bottle, snacks, an extra bag to stash purchases, and something to take notes on/with. (Several people told me that they like to take notes of what store sells which yarn, for future reference. A couple even snap photos of things they plan to buy at a later date and note the store and the intended project.)
- Plan your outfit. This is a great time to wear something you've made -- your fellow Crawlers are guaranteed to notice and appreciate that lace shawl, that beaded cowl, those spiffy socks. Flaunt it! And for crying out loud, wear comfy shoes.
- Pace yourself. Store owners say it over and over again: Take your time and enjoy the experience. It's a Crawl, not a sprint. Yes, you can do the whole shebang in one day -- and people certainly do -- but you'll probably have more fun if you space it out.
- Get your passport stamped at every shop you visit. You might not plan to visit every single one. But you just might! And in that case, wouldn't it be a shame if you didn't bother to get your passport stamped and entered for the grand prize?
- Speaking of prizes, they have a ton of them this year. Make sure to sign in at every single store you visit so that you qualify to win. While you have to visit every store to qualify for the grand prizes, anyone visiting any stores at all can qualify for the others.
- Take breaks, stay hydrated, and don't forget to snack. A hangry Crawler isn't a happy Crawler.
- Be patient, aka Don't Get Hangry, Part II. Crawl shops bring in extra staff to handle the crowds, but they're still dealing with a lot of people, generally in a pretty small space. Be kind, be patient -- we're all crafters, we're all in this together, and we all want to have fun! Yay for yarn!
- Share your local intel. Crafters are a friendly bunch, and we tend to be especially so during the Crawl. Make a point of reaching out to confused out-of-towners struggling to figure out our parking meters/TriMet ticket machines, etc. Share the specialized info you have from being a local, and in particular, a local yarnie. If you overhear someone in Twisted say it's her first time shopping there, make sure you tell her that she can get -- and should get -- the world's best xurros down the street at 180. If you notice the knitter in front of you at For Yarn's Sake is carrying a knitting bag decorated with puppies, ask her if she knows that Moonstruck Chocolate, just around the corner, sells truffles shaped like dogs. (And cats. And lambs. And more!)
- Share the experience. Bring a buddy. Chat up your fellow yarnies. Take selfies. Document your Crawl on social media. You're taking part in something special -- share it with someone!
- Thank our hardworking merchants who spent a solid year busting their tails -- on top of running their businesses -- to make this event possible.
After the Crawl
- Tell your friends! Spread the word about our amazing Rose City Yarn Crawl.
- Reread your notes and make plans to go back to some/all of the shops at a later date.
- Relax and enjoy knitting/crocheting/playing with the pretties you bought in the 2017 Crawl.
- Eagerly await the annoucement of the 2018 Crawl.
Happy 2017 Crawling, yarnies! See you on the Crawl this week! It's going to be great!
-- Mary Mooney
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