Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I was so sad to hear that Mabel's is closing down. This is the second recent yarn shop closure in Portland and I really hope it's not a trend that's going to continue. I feel a little guilty, of course, as I have resorted to the occasional online yarn purchase but I've always tried to spread my yarn dollars around equitably and Mabel's has certainly received a good chunk of those dollars over the years. Not enough of them, I guess. Given my recent windfall, I am not likely to buy yarn again for years, but it's always nice to have a place to gather with fiber loving friends and Mabel's was that place.
I have hosted something like a dozen knit nights with friends at Mabel's since their opening in 2004 and the gatherings have ranged from quiet and intimate to raucous and filled with laughter. I even held my 39th birthday party there, complete with a homemade cake. I've spent countless hours there with my children. MonkeyBoy proudly wears his Mabel's T-shirt at every opportunity and he was once interviewed there by a reporter who was thrilled to discover a knitting boy. He took the news of the impending closure quite hard, actually. And while I am not one for foofy coffee, their maple latte was delicious. Mabel's owner Cait was patient with knitting questions and generous in her donations both to the refugee knitting circle and the synagogue auction. I know Portland is blessed with an abundance of yarn shops, but Mabel's was special because along with yarn and needles, there was a place to gather and that place will be sorely missed.