Kate and I got back Sunday from Toronto's Creativ Festival; the first time I'd had a chance to attend since my first time in 1997 (back when it was still the CSNF.) It's a bit of a pricey proposition, after transportation, hotel and event tickets are summed, but after all was said and done, I reckon it worth every penny.
We got there on Friday about noon, and were immediately overwhelmed by the size and variety of exhibitors. We walked around in a daze, until we ran into Joe. His friendly patter brought us into his booth to see what was going on.
Joe is the husband of Jonelle Raffino, the creative force behind SWTC, the alt fiber yarn maker. Joe gets thrown to the wolves at festivals all over North America at the SWTC booth, and encouraged us to touch and stroke the new offerings (have you seen Therapi??? It's 30% Jade. I kid you not.) Nice guy. Nice yarn.
We took a break mid-afternoon, completely overwhelmed. A sit and knit, a cup of tea, and I for one felt ready to go back in.
There were free workshops going on all day long in different venues on different topics. We attended one on garment embellishments- fairly low on information but long on beautiful examples. The workshop on "Knitting Without Patterns" turned out to be inspirational gold... Nina opened our eyes and made us feel much more confident with ad-libbing our own patterns. Mistakes can turn into design features, and nothing needs to be made as written. What a startling yet obvious truth.
I had a little bit of serendipity at Mary's Yarns. A couple of years ago I ran into some simply divine yarn at a shop in L.A.... I don't know what I was thinking when I failed to come back with a single skein. They had a small selection at Mary's booth... I scooped up a single perfect skein as a momento of both L.A. and the festival. This will be something luscious... I'm thinking a cowl.
Mountain Colors "Twizzle", 85% merino/15 % silk in Wild Raspberry.
I picked up a nice ball of bamboo/nylon sock yarn at the Mary Maxim booth.
The surprise purchase of the day was yarn for a cardigan. Kate and I both bought four balls of this, because we fell in love with this cardigan after trying it on at the Adirondack Yarns booth. It's a surprise purchase because it's an acrylic yarn. I've always considered myself above acrylic yarn (preferring natural fibers) but the beauty and softness of this yarn could not be denied.
I had a comprehensive serger lesson at the Baby Lock booth; I made the error of asking one of the reps there "what's the point of having a serger?" He took 45 minutes and 15 sewing samples to deliver his answer, and thoroughly convinced me. I'm not sure how I ever got along without one now! :)
Day Two will be a separate post, lest this one become too long.