Sunday, June 12, 2016

Visiting Portland Maine: Food and Yarn

As I mentioned before, the idea for this trip started with gelato, but rapidly expanded. I was out of the house for over 10 hours, or "five times forever" as Carlos calculates time, and sorry, buddy, it was worth it! Unfortunately, Mary Ellen and another knit friend were unable to join us, so we'll just have to make the trip again; dang, such a shame.

Stop one, the Holy Donut. My fears that they would run out before we got there were fortunately unfounded.
As you might imagine, it was impossible to just buy one. I decided to get three, eat part of each, and bring the rest home (I finished them Friday night and Saturday morning). This worked out well.

They were sampling the sweet potato ginger, and it was good, but didn't make my three. I got maple bacon, coconut, and cinnamon sugar.

Yes, maple bacon.
And it was fabulous. Moist, dense without being heavy, flavorful... The idea that these donuts are made with potatoes is astounding.

The coconut was also fantastic, as was the lemon (my friend gave me a piece of hers). The cinnamon sugar was "only" very good.

Mind you, these are expensive donuts ($8 for the three). If I lived closer to this store, I would be in trouble economically as well as health-wise. But for an occasional trip, I highly recommend stopping by.

Next stop: KnitWit.
My verdict: on the smaller side, but absolutely packed, with many wonderful yarns. The owner was helpful and enthusiastic without being pushy. Two thumbs up!

Also, much lovely knit-related decor. See the giant mittens?
And I didn't even notice the lamp shades at first, but they're perfect!
Click on the photos to enlarge.
I very much liked how they indicated which yarns are local:

I don't have photos yet of what I got, but here are some of the ones I wanted to remember.

Delightful, both.

A few doors down was an unplanned stop, because look:
A very nice used bookstore that we had a short, pleasant browse through. I was tempted by this one, though I managed to refrain.
Our next stop, PortFiber, was more aimed at spinners and weavers than knitters. Lots of fiber (duh, ccr), not much yarn.
I've never tried needle felting, but look how cute the seahorse is!
We enjoyed touching the different types of fibers, and there was one skein of yarn that jumped into my hands and wouldn't let me leave without it.

The next shop we went to was Tess' Yarns, but I have to specify that we "went to" it, not that we saw it.
Though we went during posted store hours, the lights were off when we got there. There was a sign on the door that said to call to check if they were open, since they might be working out back, so I called and a very cheerful woman answered (just "hello," no store name or more businesslike answer), so I said we were wondering if the yarn store was open today, and she said, "Nope!" in a very cheerful way, for someone who was turning down business. Oh, I can't give you money? Well, okay then. Interesting. (Particularly since, in that part of town, you have to pay for parking, so if you were planning just the one stop, as we were, well, tough luck.) Another couple of women had come along just after us, so that's four customers within five minutes...

Moving on, we decided to lunch at Nosh, home of the bacon-dusted french fries. Yes, that's what I said. And yes, they were amazing. The burger was good, too.

And the wall art? Well ... interesting is the word, I guess.
We passed a store that claimed to have socks "for everyone," which had me noting (nit-picking) that "socks for everyone except sock knitters" probably wouldn't fit on the sign. Still, I've never knit any like these. Spock socks with ears!
On the way from the car to the restaurant, I had noticed this piece of art in the grounds of a museum, and decided that if a figure bent over like it was about to be sick is art, I will never understand art.
On the way back, though, I saw something I liked better.
Swirly and kind of neat.
After lunch, we headed north, and on the way I noticed this bumper sticker.
"All we are saying, is give bees a chance..."

In Bath, about half an hour north of Portland, my eye was caught by this sign.
Naturally, the "Chocolate Church" part. And from the website, the full name is the Chocolate Church Arts Center*, which is not at all what I was imagining. Kind of disappointing, actually.
*The website does not address the name, as far as I can tell.

Not disappointing? Our destination, Halcyon Yarn.
This is the view when you step in the door.
And then you go a little way left, and see this:
Full of aisles like this:
And this:
And with small things, like these adorable needle-felt kits. The octopus!

And the yarn bowl (I don't need a yarn bowl, but still) decorated with sheep in hand-knits.
Just casually, on the floor, these amazing expressive sheep faces.
Friendly staff, and lots and lots of yarn. We had a good time going around and around, and neither of us walked out empty-handed. It's been a busy weekend, I don't have the yarn photographed yet, but I will, soon!

On the way south again, we went back into Portland for the ultimate stop (in more than one way).
They are very open to giving tastes of as many flavors as you want; on my fourth flavor, I found my choice (espresso chip), and sat down to enjoy it, as well as the sign. Don't you love the idea of deploying a Gelato Mobile Unit? Not to mention the idea of bringing nine friends to try The Fiasco.
Once I had eaten it, I bought a few pints to take to a party on Saturday, as well as one for myself. Which means I have a little bit of Ripe Mango Sorbetto and Wild Maine Blueberry Crisp Gelato in my freezer today, as well as an unopened Dark Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt Gelato. Mmm.


Blogger goosefairy said...

It sounds like you had a lovely time. So glad you could get out and do this :)

8:40 AM, June 13, 2016  

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