Category Archives: knitting in public


Last night I joined in my first “yarn bombing” session (or rather, pre-yarn-bombing), courtesy of an invite from a few of the ladies at Passionknit. They are preparing an installation that will surround a large planter at the Textile Museum, just in time for their annual Yardage Sale at the end of May. (I always forget about this until it is too late to give donations. Next year, I swear!)



I didn’t want to show up without something to contribute, so before hopping on the bus I pulled out my 10mm needles (let me tell you it’s been a while since those saw the light of day…I am actually trying to remember when I even used them at all), and 2 colours of Patons wool, and before too long I had a bit of garter stitch to offer up to the collection. (Note to self: try knitting on needles larger than 2.75mm more often).


It was a sociable time, and we managed to get more than halfway through the assembly. They will need another session to finish putting things together, and then the final step is to attach it, corset-like, to the large planter outside the museum, for all to see. They have already covered a bicycle stand in a smaller fashion, but have been collecting donations for this larger project and have been getting contributions from school groups as well as individual knitters.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been a part of a group-knitting-assembly project like this before. It is fascinating to see it all come together. Multiple smaller pieces are stronger and more interesting than fewer, larger pieces, and everyone’s work is different.


Alisa has been blogging about the project as it comes together. I’m looking forward to seeing it take shape in the final moment. How often DOES one get to cover stuff in the city with knitting, anyhow? I am starting to see the appeal.

Happy knitting this Tuesday!


Filed under knitting in public

As if they could keep the knitters inside anyway

I am having one of those weeks where even though it doesn’t seem like I am doing anything terribly hectic, the knitting is slow to progress. I put in some knitting time every day, but still, it’s one of those weeks.

Transit Knitting FTW

Some days, if I didn’t have a transit project with me, I don’t think I’d knit at all. That morning bus ride is always good for a few rounds on the sock if nothing else. Thanks, sock knitting, for being so portable. (Aside: I think there may be a transit-cabled-aran-knitter inside me screaming to get out. Watch this space for further bulletins as events occur.)

Where’s the last place you knitted, that wasn’t inside your own house? Tell me your stories, knitters. It’s Thursday.

Happy knitting, wherever you do it today.


Filed under knitting in public, socks

If you can find a group of people

Here I sit this morning, enjoying some of Manhattan’s fine caffeine and free wireless, pondering the happenings of the weekend, regretting my return to the real world, envying all these stylish New York women who breeze around elegantly in their wool coats and tall boots and brilliant handbags and wondering what sort of effort it takes to be a part of that, and thinking that I really need to come back to this part of the world more often. There are good friends, and good yarn shops, and – oh yes – the occasional nearby sheep and wool festival.

My weekend comrades were Rebecca as per usual, and Liz who joined us for her first Rhinebeck weekend ever. Last night we had quick catch up dinner and ice cream with Melanie, and over the Saturday of Rhinebeck I ran into lots of awesome people, many of whom I completely forgot to photograph, thanks to my consistent alternating state between very relaxed and very exhausted. I do know, however, that hugging Elspeth hello never gets old, that Elspeth’s posse is the best bunch ever to have post-wool-festival home made dinner with, that Bonne Marie and Jodi are wonderful to talk to in person, that Toronto knitters are everywhere and will always find each other (found Kim and Molly, below) and that I am quickly finding that while these wooly weekends are superficially about the knitting, they are actually mostly about the people. Can we do this again next month?


Because I think if you can find a group of people with whom you can deeply discuss and debate knitting technique and pattern construction, Jane Austen adaptations, the trashy allure of Twilight, current politics, DC and New York neighbourhoods, Almodovar’s films, whether or not your favourite actor is alternately smart as a tack or dumb as a brick, or possibly whether he is gay or straight, and then circle back around to knitting…I think that you are probably doing better than many other people, and I am so grateful for reminders of that.

Rhinebeck was pretty cool. (In more ways than one. Thank the dear sweet and fluffy lord I had my Ultra Alpaca Cassidy and podster mitts and slouchy beret as backup. Temps were a few degrees above freezing for most of Friday and Saturday.)



There was a lot of yarn (more on that tomorrow), there were friendly sheep and alpacas.



In fact, Ann (above; Annimol on Ravelry) even got one of the friendliest sheep’s fleeces and immediately trucked it off for processing. We felt how soft the sample lock was and promptly reeled in our jealousy. Because Ann is actually a very nice and reasonable person (why yes it IS reasonable to kiss your newfound fleece) and if you can go to Rhinebeck and get something like that for your very own, then more power to you, I say.



And then there was train time and knitting time, and dinner and ice cream and sitting time, and now it’s all over and I have to go back. The real world is harsh and cruel. I think there might be something to the whole “Imaginary Rhinebeck” weekend thing. That’s a visit I’d like to make any time.

May your Monday be as painless as possible, and may your knitting welcome you when you come home. Catch you next time!


Filed under knitting in public, rhinebeck

Stranded again

On Saturday afternoon I was merrily engaged in another Advanced Level Knitting Technique: In-Transit Stranded Colour-work. (Because really, if you’re not working up a colour-work hat while crammed onto a commuter bus sailing down the highway towards the big city, I just don’t think you’re as committed to this whole “knitting” thing as you should be.)


I please myself to say I executed most of the crown shaping on that bus ride without any dropped stitches (though sadly my cute dragonfly stitch marker was the casualty…It was clearly the sacrifice the knitting fates were looking for and I had lost it by the end of the ride). But of course, this being colour-work and all, my eyes were pretty well glued to the knitting and I totally missed out on the degree of weirded-out glances I undoubtedly received.

This is the Beaumont tam, from Jared Flood’s recently released Made in Brooklyn booklet. It is a beautiful pattern and relatively quick to execute as colour-work projects go. And though this was the first time I’d worked with the project-specified yarn, Classic Elite Fresco, I doubt it will be the last. It’s soft, the colour selection is great, and it’s got bunny in it (10% angora/30% baby alpaca/60% wool), and I will definitely need one of these hats for myself somewhere down the road.


Because yes, this hat is no longer in my hands but lives with the fabulous ladies of the Purple Purl. The last time I was in the shop, Miko somehow managed to walk me over to the Fresco and hold me in thrall long enough to convince me to knit them up a Beaumont, and I left the shop with the ribbing already on the needles and a vague sense that I had somehow gotten myself hosed.

But naturally, I say this with love, because sample knitting is a very rare thing for me (aka “what do you mean I have to do all this knitting and time and don’t even get to KEEP IT FOR ME ME ME ALL ME” sort of knitting), but it’s very easy to do when you love the home that the knitting is going to. I’m just so super happy that the Purple Purl is about to turn Two Years Old. It feels like they’ve been around a whole lot longer than that, and I hope they never leave. Even though it takes me an hour and a half to get there, they are the store that feels most like my Local Yarn Shop.


Do you have a beloved Local Yarn Shop? What fabulous things have happened at your LYS lately?

Have a fantabulous Sunday evening, and hopefully a manageable Monday ahead!


Filed under fair isle, finished object: accessories, knitting in public, yarn stores

“A what?”

Now that I am home, bleary-eyed, and contemplating the regular non-knitting world, and pondering what has just happened…

I think it is a crying shame that so many of the Sock Summit attendees only had to travel within their own country, and therefore never had the experience of telling customs & immigration officers that their purpose of travel was for “a knitting convention.”

You should try it some time, it’s fun.


Filed under knitting in public

Like day camp for grownups

The 2009 TTC Knitalong went off with much fanfare yesterday, as four teams converged from the West, North and East (East Team A was particularly awesome…not that I’m biased…), gathering yarn, prizes, stories, and laughter in their wake. By the time we all ended up at the final stops, our bags were full and our wallets were light, make no mistake. But we could not have asked for better weather, and everyone’s spirits were buoyed by welcoming local yarn shops at every stop, and knitterly cameraderie along the way.

[ETA – we had 50 participants plus team captains, and also raised $275 for charity. Go knitters!]


I was a team captain for East Team A (East had to split into 2 it was so popular, and even then the teams were pretty full!) along with Joyce. (Joyce and Michelle took the horns this year and did the organizing, even amidst incredibly busy “real life” competed for their attentions. And we are all grateful they did!) Our team had an early 10am start at the Naked Sheep, who were ready for us with a table brimming with goodies, and balloon-popping door prizes. From there we carried on to the Purple Purl, where Miko and Jen put up stiff competition as a welcoming committee with goodie bags and punch.



Closer to the downtown core, our attention was needed by Lettuce Knit, Americo, and Romni, with a few scattered stops at the bead stores, ribbon shop, and much needed cafe stop for respite. I am actually starting to regret not purchasing that pima cotton flamme from Americo…oh help. This is what the powerful yarn fumes of a day like this will do.



There is really not much to say about a day like this except that you know it is going as it should when it all seems too easy. It was a great day, everyone on my team was awesome and we all just went along for the ride, filled our TTC Knitalong bags with yarn and goodies, and had much appreciated beverages at the end. I hope everyone had a blast. And if you haven’t had the chance to participate in an event like this, I hope very much that there is something like it close to where you live, or that you can do your own mini transit-knitalong-yarn shop day. Our local shops here in Toronto excel at what they do, and the Toronto knitting community continues to grow and expand in ways that make me very glad to live so close.



And now…well, my stash has grown a bit. More on that once I’ve recovered from my yarn hangover. Better get knitting.


Filed under knitting in public, yarn stores

TTC Knitalong: 2009

I was going to post today about another FO I managed to reel in this week (long-forgotten Sanqhuar gloves, anyone), but that will have to wait. It is far more important to announce the return of a fantastic Toronto knitting event – the TTC Knitalong! Registration is now open, so visit the TTC Knitalong blog for details. This will take place on Saturday, June 6th, now less than a month away!

The purpose of the event is simple: to gather as knitters, make our craft more visible, and have a great day while doing it. And, oh yes – to buy yarn! There will be 3 ‘teams’, in the West, North, and East, and all participants must register with a specific team. There will be limits on team size (sadly there is a maximum of how many knitters can cram into a single wee yarn shop – or streetcar – at once), so register early to select your team and avoid disappointment. If necessary, teams may be split into smaller, staggered groups to accommodate more participants.



The cost of the event is $10, which includes access to a few discounts available from the yarn shops participating in the Knitalong, a chance to win prizes throughout the day, as well as a donation to Sistering which is the charity of choice for this event.

I will be volunteering for this event on (I think) the East Team, but all 3 Teams will take you to a variety of yarn shops and include plenty of friendly knitters from across the Toronto area. If you’ve never done a ‘yarn crawl’ before, this is definitely a good way to do it! If you’re from the Toronto area or are considering visiting for a day to schedule in some yarn time, definitely consider registering for the TTC Knitalong. Fun times are sure to be had.




See you on June 6th!


Filed under knitting in public, yarn stores