During the last two weeks, I took a 10-day tour of the Pacific Northwest, teaching in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. I had a wonderful time in each city and thought I'd give you all a recap of each city over the next three days. First up, Seattle!
In Seattle I spent two evenings teaching my Departure Shift dress at Drygoods Design, in Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle. I had only been to Seattle once, and only for lunch as I passed through during a road trip. This trip was fun because I was staying with Keli, the owner of Drygoods, so she could show me around and give me some of the highlights of the city. Overall I loved Seattle. It is wonderfully urban, which I really miss, living in the sprawl of Los Angeles, and the city is full of charming neighborhoods. I'm not planning a move or anything, but Seattle was clearly a city I could live in.
Drygoods Design is a really lovely shop, and without playing favorites, it's the closest thing I've seen to what I would want my shop to look like if I were to ever do such a thing (which I'm not planning to do, BTW). The shop is full of a perfect blend of garment fabrics, quilt weights, notions, home goods, cards, and tools with both industrial and vintage touches.
There is a large blank wall overlooking the classroom area which Keli smartly turned into a gallery space for fiber-related artists. I've taught in a lot of spaces and each shop handles this blank space differently. This is by far one of the best uses, as it's decorative, rotating for changing interest, and sometimes the work can be sold which benefits both the shop and the artist.
The students were all very lovely and did a great job, especially considering we only had 6 hours total to get everything done. They came prepared with everything cut out so we could focus on the construction. All but the hems (and one sleeve on one dress) were finished! Very well done indeed.
Now that I'm knitting, Keli was excited to take me to a knitting shop outside of Seattle called Tolt. I had never heard of it, being a newbe in the knitting scene, but man, Tolt is incredible and worth your time! It is about an hour out of the city into the mountains, and it was pretty much amazing. I now know that many knitters know of this shop, and that it was just new to me because I am not active in the knitting world. But I am now in the know and if I'm up in the area again, I will be back to cruise their beautiful shelves.
Tolt is in a very small town, with quite possibly the most amazing combo shop next door: a hardware/liquor store. Yes. You read that correctly! Incredible. But back to the knitting... The ladies at Tolt were very kind and knowledgeable and helped me pick out a book and a pattern that would be inspiring and not too hard for me to try some garment knitting. I also picked up a few accessories that I needed like a stitch counter, large needle for weaving in my ends, and markers.
The three days in Seattle were really lovely and I can completely see why this area is appealing to people. It was earthy and real, while still cosmopolitan and elegant. I look forward to returning again in the future! Thanks to everyone in Seattle for such a great time!