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Prep 4 the Men's Knitting Retreat North

I didn't really start thinking about the "Men's Knitting Retreat North" until Ram arrived. He is a friend I met at the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat 5 years ago.  We worked well together and he is the perfect companion to get you in the right frame of mind for a knitting retreat. 

My Yarn Crawl Companion

My Yarn Crawl Companion

Our tour of Toronto was largely shaped by the locations of a few knitting shops. First stop was The Purple Purl http://thepurplepurl.com/  in Toronto's Eastside. While I looked for yarn, Ram made a few new friends with everyone in the store. He brokered an introduction to Robbie Laughlin who was working in the store and knitting a toy Robot. We were told that a number of male knitters had passed through the store earlier that week and were stocking up for the MKR North. 

The Purple Purl: Leslieville

The Purple Purl: Leslieville

Reasons to Love The Purple Purl

  • The Owners:  Jennifer and Miko are welcoming and make you feel at home. 
  • The Staff: The staff are always friendly and helpful, Robbie is especially charming, knowledgeable and friendly.
  • The Yarn: They have a great selection of yarn and carry SweetGeorgia http://sweetgeorgiayarns.com/ ,  Spud and Chloe, Misti Alpaca http://www.mistialpaca.com/ and other great brands
  • The Customers: You will usually find several people sitting in the knitting circle eager to welcome new friends. 

The Purple Purl: Leslieville

The Purple Purl: Leslieville

Top: Jennifer and Miko

Left: the Knitting Circle. Right: Robbie Laughlin

Yarns Untangled in Kensington Market

Yarns Untangled in Kensington Market

We walked through Kensington Market, to Yarns Untangled. It was late in the afternoon and the store was packed. YU has an efficient use of space and carries a number of Canadian brands like Lichen and Lace http://lichenandlace.com/ ,The Mineville Wool Project http://minevillewoolproject.co... both from the East Coast. They also carry Topsy Farms yarn http://topsyfarms.com/ . Topsy Farms is on Amherst Island and not  far from my Cabin. I use Topsy Farms yarn quite a bit because it has great price-points and it is sustainably produced. 

I will circle back to Yarns Untangled  when it is less busy.

Romni Wools in Queen Street West

Romni Wools in Queen Street West

Our next stop was the the  Motherload of Toronto yarn stores Romni Wools http://www.romniwools.com/ I usually avoid Romni because  I have found the staff to be dismissive. There are too many great yarn stores in Toronto and no need to tolerate the "I don't give a shit" attitude by the staff.  We spent approximately an hour in the store and I was able to find relatively unique yarn for my latest project. While we were checking out, we had a great conversation with Jonathon (the manager). Jonathon is incredibly knowledgeable  about knitting and the yarn industry. It was great to hear Jonathon's perspective on a number of knitting topics. Consequently, Romni is back on my list of Toronto yarn shops. 

Americo in the Fashion District

The last stop was Americo http://www.americo.ca/.  I love everything about this store. The smell of fiber and the tactile display of yarn begs to be touched.  The beautiful  owner Nicole Sibboney  has overall control, from yarn selection and colour, to the end product:  Her designs are brilliant and finished products are displayed throughout  her store. I made a baby blanket last year and the complimentary colours, and the quality of the yarn made my humble knitting ability look brilliant. There is an incredible storyline that started to unfold between Ram and Nicole. I will set that story aside for another article. It deserves to be told on its own.

Our pre-retreat yarn crawl was incredibly successful.  We not only picked up great yarn, I feel like we made a few new friends.

This article is in the category: Events.

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