To Twist and Back

Who knew yarn could be so exhausting! Kathryn, Maureen and I spent the weekend in St-André-Avellin at the Twist Fibre Festival. There were all kinds of knitting, spinning and felting workshops and about 68 vendors with yarn, roving, fleece, pottery, clothing and various hand-made items. Here we are enjoying a beer (as you can see I’ve already “enjoyed” mine) before the insanity began.1Our friend Francine was already there (with the scarf), and we met Stephanie, she writes patterns for children’s clothing and sells knitted items.  2And we met Yvonne, of Yvieknits, she and Francine shared a booth.23They were knitting, we opted to just quaff our beer, knitting would have got in the way! We were all staying at Auberge Petite-Nation, good prices, good beer (but you know that already), clean and simple rooms. Just one drawback… the shower from hell, death by a thousand needles.12I guess this keeps water usage to a minimum, nobody can stand more than about 3 minutes in there, wash your hair, and anything you can stand having the needle-spray hit on your body and get the hell out! I believe this shower head not so secretly desires to be a mechanical meat tenderizer, like this:

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Now back to happier thoughts… We set up on Friday and headed over to the arena before the 9 am start of festivities on Saturday. 9 am to 6 pm. A looooong day. Well worth it but exhausting. Sunday was marginally better, we got to quit at 5 pm. But I did make a sale at 4:55, so who’s complaining.3How pretty is that? All of Kathryn’s batts were gone by 1 pm! She will have loads more for Almonte (more info at end of post). Hopeful Shetlands was next door to us, like last year, with an old sock knitting machine that kept the crowd fascinated.4Kathryn wore the lace-weight tee I knit to showcase her yarn. I will write up some sort of pattern since people are bugging me for it. But since I am not an overly enthusiastic pattern-writer, it will be a guideline of sorts, with advice on how to make it fit (it’s really a pretty simple top-down piece) and I will get it done soon. Promise. Really. Well maybe.22We also inadvertently brought exactly the same skirt, in exactly the same colour. Guess having similar taste helps keep the peace when deciding on what to knit for samples. My dummy was a big hit too. Everyone seemed to really like the shawl (cashmere merino lace) and the pattern (not mine, but Boxleaf Triangle from Anne Hanson) and the top was knitted in Kathryn’s merino singles (just over 2 skeins!), the pattern is Folded.14The woman in the  background was knitting super thick but super soft wool on needles the size of broom handles!

By Sunday afternoon, the booth was getting a bit sparse… Yay!13Since we all know that my yarn somehow miraculously reproduces, filling my formerly-known-as-guest-now-yarn room, I was fairly well-behaved in the purchasing department, looking for yarn I don’t actually have (I know, how is that possible??? yarn I don’t have???)

I got loads of silk (my plan, down the road, soonish, is to knit fingering/dk silk shawls – my design, so no copyright infringement, to sell as a finished product, for a fair amount of $$, and see it they sell. If not, I’ll just look fabulous for years to come, or give them as Christmas presents that can never really be fully reciprocated, haha). Anyway, my silk dealer was Daf at Farmable Fibres, and I bought this:20

Kathryn and Maureen also grabbed some of that silk, who could resist? The silk roving on the side, I plan to spin for myself and I got that from The Roving Spinners booth, she packaged her silk to look like candy, very clever and really, isn’t silk the candy of spinning?6Such beautiful colours:7I also splurged on a sheep mug! Everyone needs a sheep mug! And some ceramic buttons from Laura Sheppard (I know she should change the spelling of her last name, I’ll suggest it next time).8I really liked her yarn bowls too, maybe next year…10I also got some beautiful mohair blend yarn from Wellington Fibres, lace weight in teal/peacock and fingering in a mustardy shade for a sweater. Maureen got a skein of the lace weight in a beautiful shade of purple and Kathryn bought a few boxes of dyed locks. We saw lots of people walking around with Wellington Fibre boxes. Again great value for your $. 

21The picture does not show the true colour. The yarn cake on the side (how perfect is that, yarn and cake??) is cotton fingering Wolle’s colour changing yarn, which I’ve been wanting to try out. Lastly, I did actually buy something for someone other than myself, hard to believe, I know. I couldn’t resist another felted animal head from FeltFactory. For my grandson, in Cape Cod where nary a moose is to be seen. (I myself have actually seen one on our highway, not hit, but freaking out and he did make it to safety).19My mother was worried that it might frighten the little guy, but I figure if you grow up with felted animal heads on your wall, why would they frighten you? Better than clown heads, which are just evil.

Back to Kathryn’s yarn, these lovely ladies carry her yarn in Montreal and they had a booth at Twist, La Maison Tricotée:16And Kathryn will be at the Mississipi Valley Fibre Festival in Almonte (in the Almonte Arena) on September 7 and 8. Hope to see you there!

Let’s twist again…

It is almost time for Twist Fibre Festival! August 24th and 25th. There will be tons of vendors and interesting workshops. Kathryn has been working hard getting ready for it. And after that, on September 7th and 8th, the 18th Annual Fibrefest in Almonte.

My mother and I popped into her studio for a visit:2There was lots of yarn and fibre on the drying racks. 4

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Kathryn showed my mother a sweater she is working on, in her own hand-dyed yarn of course:3My mother was an ace knitter in her day. She knit herself funky little dresses from fingering weight yarn and great sweaters for us kids and my dad. Of course I can’t find any funky little dress pictures but I have this one of a sweater for my dad:Family 126Yay 70’s! Don’t you wish you had a couch like that?? This sweater was also knit from fingering weight yarn, with a woven cable pattern on the front and zipper! She still has it tucked away somewhere. The glass was a joke, I think…

Last time I was at Kathryn’s studio I forgot to take a picture from the outside, it is a former elementary school, with pretty well all the classrooms now being used as studios by several artists. Her studio is where the first six windows are behind the trees.8This weekend there was the opening of the Fairbairn House Heritage Centre in Wakefield. There were games for the kids, people dressed in costume, and a few vendors, including Kathryn:13It was a very pretty setting.

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Yes, I did get some of that garlic, yum.

In other news… Frankie has learned to swim after and fetch A STICK. 10It looks like he won this contest, but we do help him cheat. Sorry Pitou. And there is some stick tug-of-war afterwards:12And although I have almost as many shoes as knitting projects, I couldn’t resist these when I was visiting family in Guelph.3They look like measuring tapes! And I could actually use them, since I lose my measuring tapes regularly, but I don’t think I’ll ever lose these.

Hope to see you at Twist or Almonte, or both!