Knitters Frolic Day Trip

Knitters Frolic Day Trip

With several of my friends vending again this year, I am crossing my fingers that I’ll be able to attend to support, wander, be amazed and of course, buy yarn!

Purlin' J's

imageKnitters and fibre-lovers! Saturday, April 30 2016 is the day we Frolic in Toronto!  Once again, Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Co. is offering a day trip so you can relax and enjoy the ride! Board the coach in Kingston or Belleville (you can knit while someone else drives!), arrive at the Japanese Cultural Centre for the 19th Annual Knitters Frolic, and for a $7 admission fee, shop from over 50 vendors, take an afternoon workshop (separate registration required), have a break at the Frolic cafe, and then snooze on the coach back to Belleville/Kingston! Your ticket includes:

  • A return one-day journey from Kingston/Belleville to the Japanese Cultural Centre in Toronto in a chartered coach with a washroom on-board, and plenty of space for all your purchases!
  • Ample time to shop over 50 yarn and fibrecraft vendors under one roof.
  • An opportunity to enroll in several Saturday afternoon workshops, such as Continental Knitting with Kate…

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The Wrap Up

Tired and stoked all at once…

I can’t believe how fast these weekends fly by! The structure does keep us hopping, it’s three classes, ‘show and tell’ for about 65 people one night and Vendor’s Night the next. Classes this year were really interesting and we had some terrific teachers. MASTERING SOCK HEELS with Amanda Schwabe of Aknitica, DOUBLE KNITTING TECHNIQUES with Julie Nandorfy of Riverside Studios and SHAPING AND DESIGN IN KNITTED FABRIC with Nancy Halliday. I can’t say enough good things about these gals. They were fun, engaging and had some really good information and review to share with us.

Debbie Marshall Wilson, owner of Sheep’s Ahoy and our Retreat convener, organizer and cat herder extraordinaire does a great job and the staff at The Glen House are always wonderful and tolerant of this bunch of crazy knitters.

I couldn’t be happier about the new friendships and professional connections I made this year. There were many new faces and like all established groups, an infusion of new vitality and ideas is always a great thing.

My own vending went well. I didn’t faint, stutter, blush beyond sunburn level or spill anything. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that one or two people know PSPRP and I think generally, folks like knowing the face behind a brand in the small world of crafting. Sales were good and I was grateful for the opportunity to ‘talk up’ my design philosophy, future path and the Berroco interview. I think that really helped lend me some credibility among this hugely talented pool of designers.

BFF and I stopped in at the Third World Bazaar in Manotick Station on our way to NR in Gananoque. It was one of those (almost) screeching ‘180s’ as we caught sight of the small, yellow signs that announce this time-limited shopping event. BFF is the shopper half of our duo and it took no arm-twisting to decide to pop in.

O. M. G.

It was a delight! The selection is overwhelming and it would have been easy to spend much more time there than we did. As it was, we came away with some amazing finds from this unique shopping event. Everything in the TWB is fair trade and there are so many countries, crafts and artisan made items, you’d be hard pressed to not find something amazing. The staff were super, they obviously love what they do and were quick to help, knowledgeable, and even offering unsolicited (but welcome) compliments and advice. They are excited about their products and like seeing them go to a good home. This obviously struck a chord with BFF and myself. Fair to say we’ll be making this a regular stop next year.

It was fun and yes, I’m a little starry eyed to have been sharing Vendor’s Night with gals who are incredibly talented and whom I’m glad to call friends. I hope you’ll click through on the links that follow and give them some love, you’ll be glad you did 🙂

Francine Hebert aka BFF of Fancy That: yarn and knitting jewellery

Joanne Myers of Wild Woolly: handcrafted lotion bars, soaps, candles and more

Natalie Servant of Natalie Servant Designs: Beautiful shawl patterns and more

Yvonne of Yvieknits Yarns: beautiful hand-dyed yarns

and (shameless plug) me, Karin of KeiB Designs: unique patterns for accessories and more

A few highlights from the weekend:

Outta Here!

The Needler’s Retreat 2015 begins this afternoon at 5:00pm. We will be having our usual private soirée with the official troublemakers and lovers of non-dairy creamer (Bailey’s) an hour or two ahead of that. I love these gals and it’s a treat to spend time away from all other concerns and be immersed in the craft we all love. BFF and I have the ‘honeymoon suite’ again this year. Yes. We really do call it that. You need a ‘backstitch pass sl st over’ to get in with the punk rock purlers 😀

I’ll be back with stories and photos next week and until then happy knitting and don’t ‘ss any knits or p2togs’ that I wouldn’t do!

Sexy Knitters Club

Not your Grannie's Knittin'!

Not your Grannie’s Knittin’!

Cheers all! ~ kei
6 November 2015

Preparations, Purls and Patterns

Life goes on and this is a very busy week for which I’m grateful. I’ll be spending an afternoon with my Mum and Sisters – the l’il big Bro works shifts 😦 – followed by wrapping up a crocheted crib blanket for my very first grand niece-ling. A visit to the dentist today – chipped a tooth! – as a former CDA, I’m mildly freaked about that. Thursday is official ‘Sit ‘N Knit’ at my LYS but I may forgo as Friday brings our departure for 2015’s Needler’s Retreat!

I can definitely say, this has been an excellent diversion. I’ll be vending in person, as opposed to selling on Etsy, et al and creating and updating my Seller’s ‘tool kit’ has been at the top of my list. My presentation will be very simple as the Vendor’s Night portion of the weekend is small, the bulk of the time being devoted to workshops. I’ll include an info stand with my Berroco interview in print and business cards, a binder with a selection of patterns and samples for those. Hopefully, I’ll create some new connections and broaden my customer base. I’ll be including the first of my professionally tech edited patterns and one or two of my friend Francine’s (of Fancy That) shawl pins. Verra excited 🙂

On the homefront, I did a redux on my bar cart / microwave stand yesterday. It’s not my favourite piece, being from the ‘year of apartment living’ but it’s useful and so I thought I’d make it more presentable. The DK version of Matinée ~ Marbles is done too.

A little gallery of the knits, the Duct Tape Diva stuff and the last of October:

The Countdown Is On

The Needler’s Retreat 2015 is coming up quickly. Taking place at the beautiful Glen House Inn in Gananoque again, this one will be really exciting for me. I’m preparing for my first Vending experience, a little nervous but glad it’ll take happen in a place and with folks I’ve known for a few years.

I’ve spent the morning doing Graphic Design work for my advert sheets and presentation binder and updating the files for my business cards. For now I’m just creating labels to stick on the old ones and bring them into this decade. I’m happy too, to have connected with a tech editor for KeiB Designs. I think it’ll add a professional touch and I know as a knitter, I appreciate that feature.

I’ve been working like a stevedore on the “Knitting / Guest” room and am really happy with the results so far. I’m still inundated with yarn (please visit my stash for sale on Ravelry and adopt some) but as of today, I have almost all of it in the one room. I did get some shelves (bamboo – recyclable and biodegradable – yay!) for my own closet and for the front hall. A little more work to do there as I’m still slowly working my way through old clothing and aiming for one more big donation to Diabetes before the end of the year. I put together coffee tables for the living room and finally replaced my 1960’s folding card table that was curb-dived about 10 years ago and has been serving as my kitchen table. Next up, I’m going to tackle what will be my office / sewing and needle work room. All in good time, I don’t procrastinate so much as to lose my title but I’m finding I have to make a mess in order to clean up a mess. It is so worth it though, as I’m getting better at getting rid of the things that make my life “heavy”.

I’m still working on the BW wrap and the Falling Leaves cowl but did get a wee bit bored and so took a break to whip up Anna Hrachovec’s “Boo Bat“. My daughter is crazy for bats and we kept a bat house at the old home. I love this cute little ami and can see a few more for her (I can’t tease her about being too old for bats. I still will buy anything Hello Kitty!) I am seeing trying my hand at some different techniques to create my own pattern but we’ll see how that goes. I know the weeks between now and Retreat weekend starting November 6th, will fly by.

This is a bigger post as I’m currently participating in a poetry writing challenge called OctPoWriMo and I suspect it’ll take a bite out of my blogging time for the next month. If you’re interested in poetry and other writing, I blog that at my other WordPress home: The Eclectic Poet. I’ll be here whenever I can though – you’ve been warned! 🙂

Here’s a Pictorial of the house and knit happenings: (You can hover over each photo for a quick blurb or click the first one and it opens a larger, slideshow-type of view, where comments, etc. can be made)

First Guild Meeting Of The Year

The Ottawa Knitting Guild kicked off with a great meeting last night.

I’ve been very sporadic in my attendance and must confess, I’d thought Guild might be too old and stuffy for me. Like so many things crafty though, the renaissance has gained fresh faces and younger devotées are coming out.

Our speaker was Anne Pitman, of Anne’s Yoga. Her topic was yoga for knitters and she was a delight! Her warm, engaging speaking style and soothing voice, combined with the knitter-appropriate movements that she demonstrated, had the entire room attentive and participating. No mean feat to get a roomful of knitters to set down the pins for a bit!

I am a marathon knitter. There’s never a moment other than work or eating – and sometimes I resent that! – that I’m not doing something with sticks and strings and it is hell on the Carpal Tunnel and even that old SUV injury at times. This brief introduction had me (and all the attendees) relaxed and smiling, even after a stressful day at work and the two busses in January scramble to get to the meeting on time. I think I’ll be adding classes with Anne to my “Would Like To Do” list for spring.

The upcoming courses look interesting and I think I’ll be joining the class that explores reading Japanese patterns. I have several Japanese knit and crochet books and I love the expanded range of designs v. North American but they can be a challenge.

I’m always looking for new skills and inspiration so… What new things are you looking at to expand and enhance your crafting this year?

Wrapping up with a little Yarn Pr0n 🙂

Yarn Pr0n destined for test knits

Manos del Uruguay Alegria and Silk Blend

Meh… Monday

Workday Mondays are a letdown after such a wonderful weekend.

Another Needler’s has closed successfully until next year. It was great to see the women I don’t have the opportunity to as often and nice to see a few new faces. I can’t believe how quickly the time flies when we’re there. The schedule was the same format as usual and though not rushed, it’s busy enough that I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked. The weather this year was a little colder, we did see some scattered snow flurries falling on our way to Gananoque. Just enough to leave a small trace on the windshield and to remind that, yes winter’s coming.

I loved all the classes and our teachers this year were engaging and I took away something useful from all of them. The Continental Combined knitting method is one I know I’ll be using and I’m intending to practise by working dishcloths that way. Ten minutes a day builds muscle memory!

Below is a link to the Flickr album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/63208434@N00/sets/72157648806549028/

I tried to capture some of the sere but still beautiful scenery along the Trans Canada Highway but there was a lot of laughing and catching up happening between this Navigator and our Driver, my BFF Frankie. Random snaps of classes, our teaching projects, our room (which has now become a home-away-from-home), the lovely cake from The Glen to celebrated the Retreats’s 25th year and some photos of the wine and cheese held the first night.

And now… off to the cubicle I go. I’ll update with projects and the (mostly) finished Oliver Twist Shawl later.

Have a good week everyone!