April 27, 2014

Toronto Knitter's Frolic 2014

I enjoyed my time at the Knitter's Frolic yesterday.  I arrived a half an hour before the doors opened and it's always entertaining to stand around and talk knitting while you wait.  Where else can you flash the knitted item you are wearing under your jacket, as one lady did standing near me, and get oohs and ahhhs from the crowd.  Most people standing there were wearing a hand knitted item and there were many beautiful pieces to admire.

Once the doors opened I quickly went by the Purple Purl's booth and got a look at the new yarn line by Tanis Fiber Arts called Amber Label.  I then headed quickly to the Sweet Fiber Yarns booth, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite Canadian yarn dyers.  I could have bought so much there, the colours were stunning and the softness of the yarn was incredible.  I ended up buying three skeins of Coastal, a new DK line being debuted at the show, a 50% Merino 50% Silk blend.  I had a tough time choosing but I decided to go for the colourway called Vintage Lace.  I can hardly wait to start knitting with it.  By the time I made my purchase the crowds started to form around this tiny booth and it stayed that way until I left a few hours later.
Sweet Fiber Yarns in Vintage Lace
The other booth that caught my eye was The Needle Emporium.  The owner was debuting a new yarn line called Mrs. Crosby.  The owner of this shop definitely gets the award for best looking booth as she had all the yarn displayed in different antique trunks and suitcases.

One of the many yarn filled trunks/suitcases
I was very impressed with this yarn line at first sight.  The colours were beautiful and the feel of the knitted items on display was lovely.

Groovy knitted in Mrs. Crosby
I also had a hard time deciding on which weight/colour of yarn to choose.  But I finally decided on the Carpet Bag 80% Superwash merino and 20% silk combination single ply yarn in a colourway entitled Sunset Regatta.  I have a soft spot for blues, especially turquoise, as you can see from my Ravelry project page.  I think this yarn will end up as a Groovy, which has been in my queue for a while, and there was a knitted sample that helped convince me that this yarn would be perfect for it.

Mrs. Crosby in Sunset Regatta

By the time I made this purchase the crowds and lines were very big and it was difficult to actually get into the booths.  Eweknit, a favourite Toronto yarn store of mine, was another stop where I squeezed my way in and bought a very cute project bag.

Project Bag from Eweknit

The last purchase I made was at Shall We Knit.  The owner had a fantastic selection of Koigu that I couldn't get close enough to see.  But I bought one of my long time favourite yarns called String Theory Caper Sock Yarn in Cobalt along with two skeins of yarn called Breathless by Shalimar Yarns, a 75% Cashmere 15% Cashmere and 10% Silk blend in Corfu and Ore.  I was thinking of knitting Ashburn with this combination.  There was a sample of this pattern on display that I found quite beautiful.
Yarn for Ashburn

Next year I might try going in the afternoon, as I found the crowds even bigger than last year and the lines to purchase items were very long.  But I definitely think it was worth going because the selection was so varied and there is nothing like seeing yarn you have admired on line, being able to touch it, and see the colour in person.  I came with a specific list in mind but my honestly I really didn't use it, it was just too busy.

 I find the marketing side of the yarn business so fascinating.  For example, the Needle Emporium's owner Julie was so smart as she built interest for weeks prior to the show about the new yarn line on her blog. She had so many samples of what the yarn looked like knitted up in her booth.  Tanis Fiber Arts couldn't make it to the show but she debuted her new yarn line and colours in the Purple Purl's Booth (which by the way I couldn't get close to when I tried to go back).  She also built a lot of interest on her blog.

Overall I had a great time and there is nothing like being around other people that are as obsessed about yarn as I am.

I want to thank my friends who gave me yarn money for my birthday way back in January...I saved it for the Knitter's Frolic and thoroughly enjoyed using it up!

Next time I am excited to show you, not one, but two finished items!  Have a good week.  : o)

April 13, 2014

Spring Time

Work is really interfering with my knitting time these days.  I have so many projects in my queue waiting patiently to be started.  There are not enough hours in the day.  However, spring is in the air and I am excited by a few things.

1.  My Line Break Shawl by Veera Valimaki.  I can't tell you how much I love the Primavera colourway, it seriously makes me happy everytime I pick it up to knit.  This pattern is such a relaxing knit too, easily memorized, but not boring.
Line Break

2. The Approaching Knitter's Frolic in Toronto on April 26th.  I already have my shopping list ready and have picked out what booths I will visit first.  One booth is the Sweet Fiber Booth, a dyer from British Columbia.  I have long admired her yarn but have yet to see it in person. Shall We Knit, a yarn store from Waterloo, will be there too.  This store always comes with a lovely assortment of yarn, including String Theory's Caper Sock Yarn, which is one of my favourites.  A new line of yarn they carry is Skein Top Draw from Australia which interests me too. There will be no Tanis Fiber Arts booth this year but the yarn will still be there in the Purple Purl booth...another one of my favourite yarn lines. And that's just to name a few.  As I look at this list I realize that this may be a costly visit!

3.  Easter is one of my all time favourite holidays of the year. Both my children were born in springtime and I just love the weather, the flowers, the greening up of everything.  Last year, during my trip to London in March, my husband and I popped into Harrod's to have a look around and look what we saw:
Easter Egg at Harrod's

And in case you can't see the price look below:

Yep, 795 pounds.  It left me speechless and that doesn't happen very often.

4.  There are so many lovely patterns being published recently.  There is the Blackberry Bramble  by Thea Colman which is a cowl knit in a Scandanavian Motif using two colours with a third colour added for a surprise pop of colour. It is knitted in a worsted weight with 20% cashmere content.  I would love to wear this next winter.  For a lighter cowl Fine Tune by Joji Locatelli caught my eye as well.  It is worked lengthwise using short rows with stripes which is perfect for using up any leftovers you have.  It is knit in a fingering weight yarn.  Maha52's version of Byrum by Cailliau Berangere is simply beautiful.  She used a combination of Madelinetosh Sock in Well Water and Silver Fox and it is stunning.  

So there you have it....a list written by a frustrated knitter who has big plans and no time!  Time to go grab a bit of knitting time while I can and enjoy the lovely weather.  I hope you find time to do what you love.  Have a great week.