TTC Knitalong 2014

A little late, but I changed jobs last week so I’ve been a bit swamped.

Saturday July 12 was the annual TTC Knitalong. It’s that annual event where Toronto’s knitters (and others! I know people come from far and wide) break off into teams and travel from LYS to LYS via Toronto’s public transit system, the TTC. I was on the best team (sorry, everyone else): Team Lace. We got to visit Passionknit, Creative Yarns, The Purple Purl, and Romni Wools.

Here is a great photo of us at the Purple Purl that I stole from Lynn.

Jennifer the Happy has another version of the same picture on Instagram and Twitter:

And here is the day’s stash additions of my 3 knitting group friends and myself. Not too shabby.

I especially enjoy Alia‘s open mouth of joy and Kara’s fingering of the silk ball in the bottom right corner. I regret none of the innuendos in the preceding sentence.

There are more awesome photos in Lynn’s blog post.

Here’s what I got 😀

(click on the photo for what store and colourway/dye lot info)

100% silk! And Passionknit had 25% off all yarn so… I really couldn’t say no.

NEON SOCK YARN. Need I say more? Lynn, Kara, and I decided we had to have it as soon as we saw it at Creative Yarns. Other team members judged us, but I don’t care. At one of our knit nights we plan on all showing up with neon socks-in-progress. It’s going to be epic.

And that is all the yarn I bought. I KNOW, right? But Lord knows I have enough stash at the moment.

BUT, Passionknit was lovely enough to give out free Mirasol lace weight. Yes, you read that right.

Other awesome freebies included this gorgeous wooden crochet hook and some stitch markers from the Purple Purl,

 

 

 

 

and this cool button from Wool Gathering (then again, I love buttons) sporting a sentiment I happen to share,

 

 

 

 

 

 

as well as a bag, back-issue magazine, and yarn from Romni Wools. How incredibly generous LYSes can be.

And here is this year’s official button and bag, both of which are probably my favourite of the three years I’ve been doing this.

I also won a prize! Which floored me, because I never win anything. I won a copy of French Girl Knits by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes and a skein of Diamond Luxury Collection Fine Merino Superwash Lace from Knitty and Diamond, respectively.

And I like almost every pattern in French Girl Knits. Bonus! I mean, how could you not. Look at this gorgeousness:

I also bought two books. This is likely not a surprise to anyone who reads this blog…

Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop is a classic. The late Mrs. Zimmermann was a master knitter from a European generation who memorized “recipes” for patterns, rather than rely on following written patterns verbatim. Take this page from her instructions for The Original Shetland Shawl as an example:

Marianne Kinzel’s First Book of Modern Lace Knitting is in the same vein, albeit the lace work featured in it is so detailed, some instructions are needed. I would like to try this doozy. Wish me luck.

Of course I will be using it as a shawl rather than a dinner cloth 😉 I’ll be damned if I let anyone eat off of this sucker.

Can’t wait till next year’s TTC Knitalong. It will be the 10th anniversary!

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Creativ Festival haul

Two posts a tad close together, I know, but I had to share the fruits of my second day at the Creativ Festival. Pics of my adventures as a model for the Fashion Knits show to hopefully come soon.

Voilà my haul of goodies, comprising both days:

Breaking it down, we have the two awesome books I got, more detail in my other post. Both are entirely worth the investment, but I love that I got them at a huge discount from Grantham Books. They’re at the festival every year, and I always come home with something. On their site they list other shows they go to as well as permanent locations.

In the foreground you can see some navy blue DK possum merino. That’s right, possum. It is made in New Zealand, and available in Canada here, the UK here, and the USA here or here. Apparently, “the possum fur is hollow and, when spun with merino wool, produces a hardwearing yarn with superior heat retaining qualities.” Either way, it feels awesome and I am excited to try it. Here’s a close-up.

I also picked up some good ol’ Berroco Vintage Chunky in white from Creative Yarns. It shall one day (soon) become the shrug for my wedding dress. I’ll be using the same pattern as for the one I talk about here.

I think it will be gorgeous. Actually, I know it will be because someone has already done it:

I also got some neats beads, pendants, and a pair of cool glass earrings at this store’s booth.

After much hunting, I was finally able to find a booth that sold Brother equipment for my Brother sewing machine. I got some thread, extra bobbins, a blind presser foot for fancy hems on dresses and dress pants (I have a backlog of stuff to fix…), and a teflon foot and twin needle for sewing onto knitting, so that maybe I can finally get the lining onto my cabled belt from way back.

One thing I did not buy, purely because I have a large enough stash already, is the HPKY I fell in love with. Their website isn’t the greatest, but I believe the yarn is called Lamé. It’s a bulkier weight and has strands of glitter running through it. The booth selling it (called Yarn Deals, LLC) I could not find a website for anywhere, but they had these wicked knitted samples that only need 1 skein:

I especially like the one with the tapered and braided ends. It makes it really easy to wear as a scarf or snood/hood type thing. Gotta remember this design idea for later.

And finally, you may remember Ozzy the Alpaca from yesterday’s post. Today, I leave you with a fortune.

I think I’m smart

Before I get down to business after a bit of an absence, I must first direct your attention to…

Felicia Day, I love you. I can’t believe I just discovered Geek and Sundry/the Flog now. Here is Knit Culture‘s take on the encounter as well.

So, basically this post is dedicated to how smart I think I am. I bought some inexpensive tools recently. Inexpensive tools that have proved to be indispensable (for me anyway).

First off, I wanted one of these.

Yarn holder, yarn lazy susan, I can’t find one unified name for it. Unfortunately, any one of the nice wood ones I had my eye on I couldn’t afford (though FYI, the site that that image links to supplies awesome stuff I don’t really see elsewhere).

Then I found this:

Link to the store here (their English could use some work, I'll admit).

Plastic? I don’t care, as long as it gets the job done. The job being preventing this from happening.

Yarn twisting and curling on itself – my mortal enemy. The physics can be found here.

And it turns out it works quite well. I did away with the silly holder. Didn’t really stay on anyway (though I’ve been promised they’re sending something to fix it).

My second stroke of genius came at the dollar store. I had been lusting after Knit Pick’s Chart Keeper, but a) I’m cheap, and b) the magnets worry me – won’t they hurt the electronics in my purse? Then I saw this:

Just a clear pencil case. I’ve already been using row counters to count repeats, so don’t need the magnets. The case does the job of keeping my charts from getting all crumpled in my bag just fine. The only downside is that this is the other side:

Not really my style.

In other news, I finished my belt for the Ravellenic Games!

I even made the buckle. Because I am a wizard (my ego is getting quite the stoking today, I know).

Cut and fitted 'em myself.

Voilà, my medal 😀

Unfortunately, my TARDIS plushy didn’t get done in time to qualify for the British Cricket event. But it’s done now 🙂

The pattern is by Nyss of Pixelated Mushroom and is available for free on her site.

Desmond investigates:

Almost done, I promise. But first…

Lookit my new Hunter boots! (And check out the sexy super pale leg). Yes that is a crocheted cat toy in the background (and yes, it came with the bed). I’m very excited because not only are they awesome and green, but I can’t wait to show off hand-knit socks in these puppies.

I’ll leave you with this lovely colour of Berroco Vintage Chunky (you can see the threads of purple running throughout more clearly IRL), which I’ll be using for the Simple Lace Shrug from This is Knit was scored by yours truly at 20% off at last week’s grand opening of the new Toronto LYS, Ewe Knit, which has opened up practically next door to my knit night group’s pub of choice. Whether this is awesome or horrifying (to my wallet, anyway) remains to be seen. They also appear to be installing an espresso machine. It’s like they know me…

I got my purchase home, set it down, and then this happened… again :

Cat after my own heart.

New York trip makes a good yarn

I’m back from NYC!

Mom and I had a great mother-daughter time.

Look! A library! Oh, and the beautiful scenery of Bryant Park too.

Just a couple more gratuitous photos (I actually managed to take some good ones so I have to share) and then there is some yarn news, I promise.

Central Park

Brownstones.

Driving through Times Square via pedicab with our awesome cabbie.

Annnnd *drumroll* the Lanesplitter is finally done! I was determined to get the finishing done so I could wear it, so I did. It involved two late nights stitching in my hotel bed while mom complained about the light being on. Sorry mom!

Now for more NYC related yarny goodness! Cause you know I couldn’t come home without a few skeins.

I managed to talk mom into two stores. I really owe her for that.

Voilà Purl Soho.

And the yummy DK weight Merino blend I bought there. Mmm

Some have said Purl Soho can have an elitist feel. I didn’t get that vibe. It has an upscale look to it, but I think this is just due to its location and the fact that it is very well laid-out and the displays are artfully done (apparently the owner used to work for Martha Stewart, so there you go). I found the staff friendly (granted there is a small possibility I may be biased since three of them commented on my Lanesplitter). The prices were usual and not inflated to my mind.

We also popped uptown to hit up Knitty City and The Yarn Company. Unfortunately Knitty City was closed  because it was Memorial Day. (Being two Canadians in NYC for Memorial Day of the bicentennial anniversary year of the War of 1812 was interesting timing on our part. American history classes like to gloss over the fact that we won). I neglected to get a photo of The Yarn Company but here’s my swag, complete with labelled bag that proves I was there.

I wish I had gotten a picture of the inside: they have a huge and wide selection of yarns that is beautifully displayed. The new owners have done a bang-up job.

I’m excited for the Tanis Gray pattern, though funny enough that is not what the yarn I bought is destined for.

This Woolen Rabbit skein (Opulence in colourway Mystic Mountain Pine) I just got because of the deep glorious greens and the fact that I’ve never seen it in Canada. It was the last one left, so I’ll have to think of a small project for it.

I also don’t think I have seen Hedgehog Fibers in Canada, so I picked up some sock yarn (yes, more Merino). In the Fool’s Day colourway unique to The Yarn Company to boot.

I think it will be an Amiga when it grows up. Amazingly, one ball should be enough. Score!