Frolic: 2019 Edition

April 27 was the annual Toronto Knitter’s Frolic, hosted by the Toronto Knitters Guild.  This is a much loved annual tradition, not only for people in the Greater Toronto Area, but from all over. I’ve attended this event since 2015 (and wrote about 2016, 2017, and 2018), and it is always fun, slightly overwhelming, and my bank account leaves a little lighter.  Being ‘old hat’ at this event, I know to budget my nickels accordingly so to avoid doing too much damage!

In a nutshell, the Knitter’s Frolic is a large yarn festival, held in Toronto and featuring vendors from around Ontario and beyond.

This year, I was quite pleased with my purchases:

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In the middle is a project bag, made by Bling Your String. They seem to be a Frolic mainstay, featuring lovely project and notion bags of lots of different shapes and sizes. The Tardises on the bag really sold it for me. Last year I bought a sock yarn set from this vendor and made a pair of Hermione’s Sock with it.

The blue and white yarn above the bag is Regia, which I’m planning on overdyeing for a pair of the Thirteenth Doctor socks.  When the Doctor regenerated into Jodie Whittaker, their style regenerated too. She wears a long trench coat, rainbow suspenders, and underneath her boots are a pair of blue striped socks. Coming to my needles soon…

Continuing with my Doctor Who obsession theme, to the left of the bag is Fourth Doctor self striping sock yarn with co-ordinated brown heel.  There’s 125g of sock yarny goodness in those skeins, and I have lots of time to find the perfect shawl/cowl with which to showcase this yarn!  It was done by indy-dyer The Yarn Therapist, and her etsy shop is HERE.

The green yarn caught my eye at the All Dyed Up booth.  It is a little different from colours I usually gravitate to; blues and teals are my jam, but this lovely skein came home with me.  I’m not sure yet what it is destined to become, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

Finally, the last skein is from Songbird Yarns and Fibres. It was dyed, like all of her yarns, inspired by different songbirds. I bought the Red Winged Blackbird in, surprise surprise, sock weight. What is especially lovely about this yarn is that the dyer donates $2.00 per skein to Bird Studies Canada to help with conservation initiatives.

This year, I went with my cousin, a new-ish knitter, so I got to spread the frolic joy to a new yarn enthusiast!

Another Frolic in the books. Looking forward to knitting with all my lovely new purchases.

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Once Upon a Sock: May 2019

When the first Thursday in April came along, the date that is typical for releasing the Once Upon a Sock posts, I was walking thousands of steps all over Montreal, then trying to recover onboard a Via Rail train back home. Needless to say, I didn’t write anything sock-y last month.

For May, I am pleased to show progress in a few pairs.  The last time I posted about my Leo and Roxy socks was for March’s Once Upon a Sock;  they were finished in time for the Montreal getaway, keeping my poor, tired feet nothing if not warm.

I also finished my plain stockinette socks, a good go-to pair for ‘keeping the hands busy’ knitting. The yarn is Opal, and it does this fabulous, effortless self patterning thing, making the socks look far fancier than I ever intended. I haven’t worn these, nor have I decided if I’m going to be selfish and keep them, or if I’ll tuck them aside…

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While in Montreal, I bought a gorgeous skein of Biscotte self-striping yarn.  This is my second Biscotte skein, and I LOVE this yarn. It is unbelievably soft and lovely to work with.  Over the Easter weekend, I took myself to the movies, cuff completed, and ready to start the leg.

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Once again, I am completely enamoured with a simple stockinette sock, where all I’ve had to do is knit over and over.  I essentially got the leg worked up while watching Shazam!, worked on the heel and gusset through the following week, so by the time I sat to watch Avengers Endgame, I was ready to work the foot.

And then, this happened:

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While I LOVE working on socks, I may not be as sock happy through the next month. I’m really itching to find a different project, something less sock-y, more time involved… maybe a sweater or t-shirt is on the horizon… off to Ravelry!


About Once Upon a Sock: On the first Thursday of the month, a number of sock-knitting bloggers share their progress with the theme “Once Upon a Sock,” an awesome initiative co-ordinated by Paula @ Spin A Yarn! It’s well worth checking out the other posts because it’s always interesting to see what other people are looking at; it’s like sock yarn eye candy!

Challenge in Progress – Soper Creek’s 2019 Yarn Challenge

For over a decade, one of my LYSs, Soper Creek Yarn, has run a Yarn Challenge, where they prepare kits of a particular yarn, and they challenge knitters to come up with something creative using that yarn – more can be purchased, but ONLY that yarn can be used. FOs get put up in her display window and voted on in store and online. I’ve never won, but for the last three years, I’ve enjoyed playing along.

This year, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the yarn.  Years before, I’ve laboured over what to make, never quite sure. Not this year. I had the pattern in mind, I bought the yarn, and I cast on later that night.

The pattern and work in progress will stay secret until after voting because thems the rules and I wanna play fair, but I can post pics of the yarn in cake format!

The yarn is Briggs and Little Sport, and it’s woolly and wonderful. It has that wonderful wool smell, and this probably weird, but I keep smelling my project. It has that distinct scent, wholesome, slightly barnlike. As well, I LOVE the colours selected by Tina this year (last year’s was rather challenging for me, but I guess that’s the name of the game).

The project is very much in progress.  Looking forward to sharing pics in a few weeks!


In case you were curious, here are the links for previous years’ challenges

2016 Yarn Challenge

2017 Yarn Challenge

2018 Yarn Challenge

Seeking Ravenclaw

I just couldn’t find the right yarn, so I dyed my own. My co-worker asked me to make a pair of socks for her daughter for Christmas, made in the colours of her Hogwarts House, Ravenclaw.  I was heading to Toronto last week and thought, since I’m on Queen Street, I’ll take a trip to Romni. Surely, they should have some self-striping yarn in blue and grey/silver. Romni has rows upon rows of yarn, but I couldn’t find the right yarn.  I found something close, though:

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This is Regia 4-fädig, and I think it was part of a sports-team/college colours line, but it was a blue (check) self striping (check) sock yarn (check). It just wasn’t grey.  Halfway between buying it and walking to my car, I thought it could be fun to try and dye it, making the white grey and hopefully making the blue a little deeper.  If it works, awesome! If not, it was an experiment and I’d have a blue and something self-striping yarn that could become socks sometime down the line.

Unfortunately, grey is a really challenging colour to achieve with food dyes as most grey/black colours are comprised of many different colours to look black.  Example, when I dyed yarn for my Captain America shawl, they grey looks great in the slow cooker, but when it dried, it became obvious the colours broke, giving a variegated purple/green look.

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It was pretty, and it looks great in the finished shawl, but this certainly wasn’t what I was trying to achieve.

As the Regia soaked, I experimented with a few colour combos. Ultimately, I was happiest with the look of Americolor Soft Gel Paste in ‘Slate.’  You can test your dye by dipping paper towels into what you’ve prepared.  All the Wilton tests were giving off too much green, but this one looked like it would be a muted grey with a hint of green/blue halo. I held my breath, added the dye to the slow cooker, and walked away, lest I compulsively checked the crock pot every three minutes or so.

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To prepare the dye, I used 1 cup of water, 2 tbsp of vinegar, and about 1/4 tsp of the Americolor gel (fun fact, I had to type ‘color’ about four times to spell it the American way). Ultimately, I prepared the dye twice, so it had about 1/2 tsp of the colour added.

The finished skein?

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I am rather pleased! There’s only the hint of a green hue, but overall, it’s grey and blue and oh-so-Ravenclaw!