I found out this afternoon that another Portland yarn store that has been one of the main yarn stores for years will be closing its brick and mortar store in a couple months. That will make the fourth yarn store (that I know of) to close its physical store in about 5 years. While the reasons given, typically are personal in nature (family illness, time to move on etc), I can’t help but wonder if the rising rent / lease prices in the shop front spaces and the growing move of consumers to online retailers is also part of what is driving this shift in Portland’s (and thus Oregon’s) LYS scene.
I also kind of feel like the crafting (knitters and crocheters) community here isn’t what it once was. Then again Portland isn’t what it was 10 – 15 years ago. The demographics of the area has been changing a lot since many of these yarn stores opened.
We do have a handful of local / indie dyers here in the area (only one that I can name off the top of my head), and the closest fiber festivals are 15 – 18 hours away, in SoCal.
I know I order a lot of my yarn online, and while I have definitely ordered a fair amount of yarn from KnitPicks, and will likely order from there again, most, of not all the sock yarn I have ordered in the last year has been from small, indie dyers from back east.
I would definitely love to see things change out here, since this part of the country is home. At the same time I definitely want to attend a few fiber festivals, meet my favorite dyers, and see some more of the country.