The Great Toronto Yarn Hop

Let me tell you about my Saturday.

For the last 12 years, there has been a giant yarn crawl in the City of Toronto, a fundraiser for an organization called Sistering: A Woman’s Place, “a multi-service centre for homeless, at-risk and socially isolated women in Toronto.” Recently rebranded as The Great Toronto Yarn Hop, I bought my ticket back in June and eagerly awaited this event!

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Here’s how it worked, in a nutshell.  There were several ‘teams’ you could join (and buy your ticket for), and each team followed a particular route visiting a number of yarn shops; in Toronto, there is quite a large number!  At the end of the day, all teams met at a pub where you could compare purchases, and raffle tickets, sold throughout the day, were drawn and prizes awarded.

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I joined Team Linen, largely chosen because I liked the first stop of the day, easy to get to from Transit, located in historic Kensington Market.  Although I’ve been to Yarns Untangled before, I was looking forward to seeing what they had in the shop. After time spent at Yarns Untangled, and a skein of Robosheep Yarns Sock purchased, we jumped on the TTC and headed to Stop #2, EweKnit.

EweKnit was the largest shop we visited, located at Bloor and Ossington, with a large main floor selling yarns as well as fabric and needlepoint kits, and basement set up with looms where they offer weaving classes.  I was good to my budget, only buying a single ball of Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool, and it’s already earmarked for a project.

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Stop #3 was Knit-O-Matic, a bright shop on Bathurst, just south of St. Clair, complete with store bird to welcome groups.  This stop was particularly busy as there was another team in the shop at the same time, but I somehow managed to do perhaps the worst damage to my budget here.  I bought two skeins of Cascade Yarns® Avalon, adding to my stash of two and a half skeins. What I had wasn’t enough to really make something with, but adding these extra metres could mean I have enough to make a nice light summer shirt.  I also bought a skein of Manos del Uruguay Alegría:

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With colours like that, how could I not?

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Our final stop was another shop I’ve visited before but was happy to return to Passionknit, on Yonge, north of Lawrence. At this last stop, my allotted budget had significantly dwindled, and my backpack was bursting with yarny-wonderfulness, so my sole purchase was a skein of Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM), in their special colourway released for Local Yarn Store day.

I had so much fun during the Yarn Hop.  Six skeins of yarn, four shops (two new), and I met people from all over Ontario at this event. A cowl in progress was easily accessible during our travels, and I was able to get in a few stitches on transit.

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This was me, on Line 2 (Bloor) line travelling from Stop 1 to 2; stitches in progress, wide stance to prevent falling over.  As I said, so much fun.

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Heat Wave

I’d like to know who is propagating the myth that Canada is a cold country, because for the last week or two, southern Ontario has been hit with a heat wave. Temperatures are in the 30sC and feeling like 40sC (which, thanks to a handy conversion online, I can tell you is high 80s/90s in Fahrenheit). It’s hot. It’s especially hot for someone who doesn’t have air conditioning, and while I was able to fare quite well in the first few days, I very quickly lost the battle in trying to keep my house at a normal, comfortable living temperature.  New fans have been purchased, I relish my time at work with AC, and I’ve gone to a movie or two to escape the heat.  It was also quite lucky that we got a reprieve over the weekend and it cooled off somewhat, but summer has most certainly arrived, and she’s come with a vengeance!

This heat has also affected my knitting behaviours. My Doodler shawl, made with wool blend yarns, had to be put aside because working the the fibres was like a strange form of cruelty to myself.  Instead, I’m gravitating towards cottons. My Boxy sweater has come along with me to a few movies.  It’s knit in the round over what feels like a bazillion stitches, and right now I’m working towards almost a foot and a half in plain stockinette. It’s a perfect movie project, being worked in Berroco’s Weekend.  Also getting some attention as of late is my Sanibel Cowl, worked in Cascade’s Ultra Pima Paints.  I’m so in love with these colours, which is why I bought the skein to begin with.  I also adore how soft Ultra Pima feels, with excellent drape.  I’m looking forward to finishing this project, although I have a feeling wearing it won’t be possible until the first few autumnal days.


So, to that person who goes around asking Canadians if they live in igloos and take their dog sled to work, please, come visit the Greater Toronto Area. Not an igloo in sight, although one would be a welcome relief from the heat.

Happy knitting!

Foiled by Meterage Yet Again!

How is it that it’s Monday already? I have not intentionally fallen behind on my posts, but it feels like I’ve just blinked and June has somehow ended.  Anyone else feel this way? Just me? Great.

I’ve been busy, making really great progress on my Doodler shawl by Stephen West. See:


I’m done Section 1 and am well on my way with section 2, and all in all I’m really happy with this project.  That is, I’m happy I’m no longer playing Yarn Chicken, a game I woefully lost.

Remember weeks ago, when I wrote about my Captain America shawl and didn’t pay attention to required meterage? And remember when I had to frog almost half a hat because I, oh that’s right, didn’t pay attention to meterage.  Well, I wasn’t about to do that again.  Pattern called for 325 metres.  I had 345 metres in my skein of Mineville Wool Project.  I’ll be great, I foolishly thought.  Only a handful of rows to go, and I ran out of yarn.  A trip to the yarn store later, I find a skein that’s as close of a match as I’ll be able to get, so I work a few rows, and the new yarn sticks out like a sore thumb.  It was painfully obvious that the skeins didn’t match.  So I frogged the entire wedge, rows and rows of work, and I re-worked the wedge alternating the two skeins.  It worked, and with the cabled edging being worked along the top, I don’t think it will be as noticeable.

The full skein on the left is my new one – the colour difference is clear between that one and my original colour…

After two painful instances of not paying attention to meterage, I thought I did good and was in the clear. Maybe this is my trend this year. Oh I truly hope not…

On being okay with the simple things.

Saturday morning. I’m curled up in my favourite chair, sipping my first coffee of the day, while reading and knitting.  I’m working on my Worsted Boxy, a pattern which calls for inches upon inches of simple stockinette.  While watching my first skein deplete at a satisfyingly rapid rate, I found myself  blissfully aware of how much I’m enjoying this project.  Round after round of nothing by the knit stitch, something that I’m sure would drive other knitters crazy with its monotony, meanwhile, I’m falling more in love with this ever growing fabric.

There is something really satisfying about a ‘vanilla’ project. For some, it could be the simplicity of a single repeated stitch, while for others, it could be watching the item grow exponentially.  I love these simple projects because it’s something I can work on while accomplishing other things, like reading or watching television.  As well, vanilla projects make for great movie theatre knitting – there’s no need to track where you are in a pattern or differentiate between a knit or a purl. You just keep knitting over and over.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore cables, admire lace and envy those with the patience to tackle projects I have yet to delve into, but on that Saturday morning, coffee in one hand and yarn in the other, I couldn’t help but love the simple stockinette. And I was okay with that.

Works in Progress Wednesday

I’m in a weird knitting stage where I want to be knitting, but I have no inspiration.  That hasn’t slowed me down though.

I’m working away at a pair of socks, yarn from the 2018 Knitter’s Frolic.  The speckles are making me super happy, and I love how the colours look together.  The yarn was from Bling Your String, 70g total in their Beach Glass colour.  Socks for my feet never take the full 100g that typically comes in a skein, but I was worried about running out with only 70 grams to work with (20g for the heel/toe and 50g of main colour).  My worry led to my weighing the yarn after completing each section to ensure I’d have enough for sock 2.  I did, and sock 2 is well on its way to completion.

I’m also making a lot of progress with my Doodler, and again, I’m going to gush about the colours working out well together. I just love the multi-coloured speckles anchored by the dark green.  I’m excited to get to the point where the third variegated colour is introduced.

I also started a blissfully simple project – Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli.  I bought a lot of cotton/acrylic yarn from Soper Creek (Berocco Weekend – it was a warm morning and I was completely put off by the idea of wool, hence the cotton), and I cast on later that afternoon.  Rounds and rounds of stockinette; I turn my brain off and just knit.

Happy knitting everyone!