Category Archives: Toronto

Look Who I Met….

Toronto has been experiencing some frigid temperatures this winter…but anyone in the GTA does not need me to elaborate on that.  (Good for getting all those knitting projects off the needles however.)

On my way to work the other day….I met Higgins.   Of course, I immediately admired his ‘knitwear’ and begged him for a photo.   Clearly, his grumpy face displays his total and utter distaste for the cold, but, wow, does he look great!

One can never go wrong wearing a little Fair Isle.
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Tall Ships

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The Tall Ships were in Toronto this past weekend.  With light winds and a temperature of 34 degrees Celcius it was spectacular viewing on Sunday if you happened to be out on the water.

Tall ships

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Friday, May 31st. 7:10 pm

Alternative transportation when it isn’t safe to fly due to weather conditions.

Saturday May 31

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Sunday in the City

Sunday in Toronto Harbour – spectating a youth regatta.

Sunday

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Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto

Yesterday was the  Knitter’s Frolic in Toronto, an annual yarn marketplace and class extravaganza hosted by the Downtown Knit Collective.

A view of the entrance to The Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre which has been the home to the Knitter's Frolic for many years.

A view of the entrance to The Canadian Japanese Cultural Centre which has been the home to the Knitter’s Frolic for many years.

This event is now so popular that it is not only a place for the tried and true vendors in and around the city to show their  wares (I counted 57 booths) , but a great venue for indie yarn dyers from all over the country to meet and greet.  I usually try to get to the market right when the doors open at 9, but this year I wasn’t able to make it until after lunch.  Although I probably missed some of the choicest offerings,   it was nice to be able to wander (and take some pics) without being crushed in the enthusiastic crowd of well meaning knitters trying to get to the display tables.  I did hear that the morning crowd was overwhelming this year.

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A shopper perusing the offerings at one of the booths. How to decide?

A few vendors really stood out to me this year.

1.  I loved the neon brights from Rain City Knits of Vancouver.  Created by Krista Steel-Varsakis,  the fabulous colours of these yarns were irresistable and were the stand out winner of the day.  Krista sources her yarns from a fair trade collective in Uruguay and  uses only food grade quality (non-toxic) dyes to achieve her outstanding and intense colours – truly ‘happy yarn’!

Rain City Knits of Vancouver.

Rain City Knits of Vancouver.  Great ‘mod’ booth presentation!

I’m pretty sure, based on the number of vendors I saw chatting with Krista, that her yarn will soon appear in local shops, but in the meantime you can check out this yarn at  www.raincityknits.com.

2.  Sweet Fiber, created by Melissa Thomson (also of Vancouver) wins without close competition  in the luxury yarn hand-dyed category.    This product is simply beautiful – and I could hardly keep my hands off.

Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Sock - a blend of merino and cashmere.  The colours were stunning.

Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Sock – a blend of merino and cashmere. The colours were stunning.

Melissa started her business while still an undergraduate at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and her training in colour theory stands out in her yarn.  I think there were at least five variations of grey colourways, her self proclaimed specialty, but the blues and greens were pretty incredible too.   Until she gets a little more representation in the shops here in Ontario, you can order her yarn at http://www.sweetfiberyarns.com.  Her blog has lots of detailed images of her colourways and it is worth a visit.

Melissa Thomson at the table with her beautiful yarns.

Lovely Melissa Thomson at the table displaying her beautiful yarns.

3.  The Needle Emporium, of Ancaster Ontario,   filled their booth with Madelinetosh and Zen Garden – for me this was undoubtedly yarn heaven.    Need I say more?  I went back twice.

View into the Needle Emporium Booth at the Frolic.

View into the Needle Emporium booth at the Frolic.

4.  Finally, Sheeps Ahoy, owned by Debbie Wilson, focused on fair isle, my knitting weakness.  I couldn’t help but be drawn into her booth by the stunning knitting samples she had on display.

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Can you see the ‘Rams and Yowes’ lap blanket and matching ‘Sheep Heid’ designed by Edinburgh’s Kate Davies on the right?

Debbie, who works out of her home in Ottawa, carries a number of Shetland yarns suitable for fair isle, including both Jamieson’s,  and Jamieson and Smith (the latter is the current fiber darling of Kate Davies).  She also carries a large number of Meg Swanson leaflets.  All designs were ‘kitted up’ and ready to go, a real treat for knitters at a show like this.  You can contact Debbie at http://www.sheepsahoy.com.

The fair isle samples at Sheep's Ahoy. I particularly like the Redbird Vest hanging on the left.

The fair isle samples at Sheep’s Ahoy. I particularly liked the Redbud Vest hanging on the left.

As we all know only too well, all good things come to an end – and so it is with the Knitter’s Frolic for another year.  The good news is that it is Sunday – the perfect day to play with some yarn!

Happy Knitting!!!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!

 

Valentines

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What’s happening at the LYS?

On the weekend I decided to drop into Passionknit, my local yarn shop,  just to see what was on the needles there.

First, I went to my new favourite coffee spot ” I Deal Coffee”  located at 3336 Yonge Street.  As I’ve mentioned before, their Maple Syrup Latte is a must try, but the regular coffee drinks are all superior.

ideal

People were still digging out from the big storm the day before, so traffic in Passionknit was light to start, but it got very busy in the afternoon.

people

I was only there for a short time – enough to get some ideas for my next projects.

Patti is making “Pop Spots”, a shawl designed by Juju Vail of Loop, London.

Patti using

Patti using Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca Lace, a luxurious blend of 70% alpaca and 30% silk.  The colours are kettle dyed in Peru and are simply gorgeous.

Morgan is making these adorable Luvbots by Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land.

Isn't he adorable?  I think they will be in the shop in time for Valentine's Day.

Isn’t he adorable? I think they will be in the shop in time for Valentine’s Day.

Meanwhile I spent some time surveying the Grignasco Loden wall….pondering the potential of using several of these colours together in one of Brooklyn Tweed’s new fair isle sweater patterns (see the Winter 2013 Collection).

The tweedy softness and the colours make this worsted weight yarn amazing.  The garment hanging below is awaiting finishing - can't wait to try it on.

The tweedy softness and the stunning colours make this worsted weight yarn amazing. The garment hanging below is awaiting finishing – can’t wait to try it on after it is blocked.

I left with seven colours of Baby Cashmerino – my inspiration for a new nautical themed fair isle cowl I’m working on.

nautical cowl 3

Passionknit is located at 3355 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4N 2N6  (416)322-0688   passionknit.ca

All patterns mentioned are available for purchase on Ravelry.com 

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Filed under Knitting, Toronto, Uncategorized, Yarn, Yarn Notes