On my way to the NWRSA conference, I decided to make a brief detour to Woodland Woolworks. I’ve been getting their catalogs for about a year now and several times have been tempted to place an order but end up talking myself out of buying more stuff until I work through my current backlog.
Although it was a worth while detour (especially since my husband was not in tow), it’s definitely off the beaten track. Once off I5 my trip seemed to slow considerably as I wound my way through the 99W suburban mess. The trip got considerably more pleasant once past Sherwood. At this point, the landscape started looking more like the rolling hills of Tuscany. After passing several vineyards, it dawned on me that I must be in the heart of Oregon wine country.
After winding through this scenic country side, I was totally underwhelmed to find Woodland Woolworks housed in new-ish warehouse factory on the outside of town. The building wasn’t even worthy of a photo. I quickly got over the look of the building once inside. Heck, after all I wasn’t there to see the outside of the building.
At first, I was a bit confused by the set up. The entrance guides you straight into their order packing room and I happened to show up just as a large group of fellow NWRSA members were finishing their purchases. After I figured out that I shouldn’t be picking through the boxes in this room, I finally came upon the overstock/discount room. It was mostly stocked with yarns but also had a few spinning and weaving item. Nothing caught my eye, but I’m sure lots of other knitters would have been thrilled with some of the bargains. I’ve been trying not to buy any more yarns unless I have a specific purpose for it.
Besides the bargain room there were three other show rooms in the building; one with spinning wheels and tools; another with weaving stuff and a third with knitting tools, yarns, books and fibers. Since I’m not a weaver, I really didn’t give that room a second look.
I spent a bit of time in the room with the spinning wheels, debating on whether I should purchase a pair of Forsyth mini combs. Since I already have a wheel I didn’t look closely at them but I can tell you that they have just about every brand on the market. I also thought about getting a "Spinner’s Control Card" but wasn’t sure I really needed it. After later hearing Rita mention that this tool couldn’t be an accurate way to find substitute yarns, I sure glad I didn’t get it. I’ll save details about why for a later post.
Since I really didn’t need anymore spinning tools, I spent most of my time wondering through the yarn and fiber sections. My main justification for going to Woodland Woolworks was to purchase 1.5 pounds of plum merino for my current project. (Yes, I’m still considering whether I’ll stick to the pattern or deviate a bit.) Anyways, I quickly found what I was looking for. They definitely had one of the most comprehensive selections of fibers, yarns, books and tools that I’ve ever seen. I just wish it didn’t take four hours to get there.
I was a bit tired and hungry after the long drive so I only browsed for 1/2 hour and managed to get out with only buying what I came to get. While I usually buy most of my yarn and books at local shops, I’ll still consider Woodland Woolworks when I can’t find what I’m looking for locally. Since they have a wide range of fibers and spinning tools, it’s more than likely that as I use up my fiber stock that I’ll place an order through their website in the future.
By the way, despite advertising in NWRSA’s Loose Threads, they did not have a booth at the conference. Someone mentioned that they haven’t shown up at conferences for awhile now, but nobody knew for sure why.
Very interesting review. I’ve gotten their catalogs for a while myself, have purchased some Opal sock yarn, but not much else. Of course I’m never in that part of the country anyway, but I like reading reviews of stores.