Monday, 30 April 2012

Frolicking With Knitters, etc.

On Friday, Marion and I went to the CreativFestival. I haven't attended in the recent past because there are fewer and fewer knitting and cross-stitching vendors but this year, I went with new eyes, now that I have begun to do more sewing and quilting. I bought a couple of kits to make chainmaille bracelets from Hyperlynks. I need to get flat pliers before I tackle one of the kits. There were three sewing machines I could have bought had I decided to make the investment but I held off. Some were really good deals because of the show, but the time wasn't right for me (that $1000 brake job last week put a real crimp in my budget). I can't remember what else I bought but I didn't spend very much money. I was saving for the next day's splurging.

Saturday was the Knitter's Frolic, a knitting show sponsored by the Toronto knitting guild, the Downtown Knit Collective or DKC. There were about 50 vendors and classes scheduled on many aspects of knitting over the weekend. As it is such a big task to organize and many volunteers are needed, I was contacted to see if I would like to volunteer to help out as I have done in the past. My knitterly friend, Jennifer, volunteered to wind yarn for an hour and our 'payment' was free admission, free snacks and beverages in the refreshment room and we got to wear name tags that said 'Volunteer'.

Jennifer and I did a very thorough investigation of all the booths as soon as we got there and again a couple more times after we wound yarn. We didn't want to miss anything.

I held off buying several things that looked alluring (in a knitterly way) but still came away with some 'booty'.

The first thing I bought was this lovely Jawoll Silk blend sock yarn. It was a show special and I couldn't pass up the price.
Several of my hand-knitted sock are showing their age so I want to get some more socks knitted for myself.

This polyester, flax and silk blend was also a show special. I have no idea what I'll knit with it, but I can't pass up a deal.
Here's another skein of yarn from The Black Lamb for socks for myself.
I was relieved to see more of this amazing overdyed superwash pencil roving. Can you believe it was bubblegum pink and orange before Laurie overdyed it?
Starlight is a double knit pattern. I'll be on the hunt for some light fingering weight yarn for this one. I have some mohair/silk laceweight in my stash that I'll use for Whisper.
I also snagged a couple of vials of soft, rubbery stitch markers.
And who could pass this guy up?
He is actually a Milkbone brand dog toy with a squeaker inside. I bought him to add to my ever-expanding sheep/lamb collection (as if I needed to collect more stuff...).

On Sunday, I took Franklin Habit's "Photographing Your Fibre" class. He explained the basic principles of photography and how to create the best lighting conditions for photographing fibre and knitted projects (natural, diffused light; DIY light tent; north facing window; in the full shade on a sunny day, etc.). I have never really studied these basics so it was perfect for me. He also explained how just by changing the white balance (WB) of the camera, you can change the quality of the photo. Most point and shoot cameras today have everything needed to take a good photo of one's fibre, yarn skein or project. It's just a matter of understanding how you can change the settings to get the best shot. Most of all he encouraged us to take photos all the time, several of the same thing with different settings and lightings and then determine the settings of the photos we liked the best.

Franklin also talked about composition and how 'props' can be used to enhance the photo rather than distracting from the main subject.

He has strong beliefs about what he likes, yet is gentle and, I believe, somewhat shy. I was one of the few people who asked if he is accustomed to posing for photos with 'fans'. He graciously accepted my invitation.
Yes, Franklin is quite compact in stature. We both had heels on our shoes that were about the same height. I'm only 5' 6" and I felt like I towered over him. He had a busy weekend and I believe he really liked our Canadian hospitality (and cookies and butter tarts). He was kind of bummed out to not have seen a Mountie. He thought they'd be wandering around like the cartoon characters at Disneyworld. Once it was explained to him that Mounties do not do policing for municipal or provincial matters in Ontario (or Québec), he understood why he wasn't seeing them all over the place.

That was another item checked off my 'bucket list'.

This morning, I dropped into Lena's school where she is the vice-principal and has a knitting club that meets every Monday at lunch. Participants are in Grades 6 - 8. I took my drop spindle and spinning wheel to show them how yarn is made. Some of the kids had seen spinning wheels on TV before. After my demo, I sat and knit with them until the end of lunch.  It was fun. Hopefully, they'll knit together again next year and I'll be able to drop in more frequently. (I blurred the kids' faces because I wasn't sure I was permitted to put their images on the Internet - erring on the side of caution).
This young lady had her own knitting loom.
It's great for knitting in the round.
Tonight, I met with my spinning group at the coffee shop. There were 5 of us and we took up almost a whole section of the place. I hope we can find a good place to go sometime soon. I have a couple more ideas of places where we might be able to go.

After I got home from spinning, I was feeling somewhat tired. After reading what I just wrote, I understand why. Having all this fun can be tiring! Who knew?


  1. You have been busy!

    I didn't go to the Creative Festival or the DKC show this year.....I did not need any more yarn!!!


  2. Glad you are having such a great time.....I decided not to go to either event......I really don't need any yan....LOL

  3. You got some great yarns at the show!
    I think you might also be tired from all the travelling!