World Wide Knit In Public Day: Toronto 2008


Since its inception in 2005, the second Saturday in June has been celebrated as World Wide Knit In Public Day to promote knitting all over the world. This year, in the Greater Toronto Area and all across Ontario, there were events hosted by various yarn stores and knitting groups. Click on the link above which will lead you to a great photo stream on Flickr of these events.

As for my plans, this past May I read on Stephanie Pearl McPhee's blog that this second Saturday in June was also her birthday. So Stephanie being Stephanie decided to combine the two events and throw a knitting party.

Stephanie and her friend Rachel upped the fabulous factor by arranging to have Franklin Habit of Chicago come to Toronto to photograph Canadian knitters as part of his portrait photography project The 1000 Knitters Project. Having read Franklin's blog since day one and greatly admiring his writing and illustrating skills, I knew I could not pass up this opportunity to participate.

This combined event was held at the wonderful Lettuce Knit which is located in downtown Toronto in the Kensington Market district. They hold many wonderful events here which I only ever get to read about as I am usually working or teaching at my local yarn store Village Yarns. So I decided to book the day off. I called Lettuce Knit to register my spot for the portrait and with several knitting projects (8) and a gift for Mr. Habit in hand, I made my way downtown for some knitterly fun.

Wonderful hostess and proprietor of Lettuce Knit, Megan Ingman.

This turned out to be a blissful day as the weather was gorgeous! The sun was warm and a beautiful breeze was with us the whole day. I had the opportunity to connect with old friends and acquaintances whom I have not seen in a long time and meet many new people which is always fun. Not having to work but to sit, chat, knit, relax and just "be" was such a treat.

May I introduce Anastasia and Kim. I met both women as customers at Village Yarns
and it was great to spend time with them on the steps in Kensington.

Kim is a fibre artist extrordinaire and is President of the Norah Gaughan Fan Club: Toronto Chapter. Just kidding! But Kim and I do admire Norah's design skills and are constantly posting on this group on Ravelry. Kim has her degree in Music and works with a local arts group assisting new and emerging artists in applying for grants and funding. She weaves, spins, knits, sews and teaches all of the above including yarn dyeing workshops - which I hope to take soon. Kim is wearing a lovely mobius shawl she knit in Colinette Giotto. Stunning! The perfect accessory for a sunny June day.

Since I insisted on taking Anastasia's picture she insisted
that I feature the socks she is making . . .


I was very happy to see my friend Lise and to meet her niece who was hanging with us for a few hours. Lise has taken a few of my workshops and we also have been to Gone Stitchin' together which is a knitters getaway weekend held every fall just north of Toronto. We both belong to the DKC and consider ourselves heretics of knitting. Lise has great style and is a great hostess. I look forward to more time together this summer. She being a downtown gal and my living in the west end does not make it easy to connect so it was a treat to be together for a while.

People came from far and wide to pay their respects to Stephanie.
Interesting rituals and customs unfolded including this scene . . .

Arriving on the heels of the ritual is Amy Singer, editor of Knitty Magazine.

It's Pink!

My great pals and associates at Village Yarns, Rosa (standing) and Dale (seated). They surprised me by signing up for the photo shoot and so we had a great time just being knitters.

Knitters are a curious lot and always interested in what project each other
has on the go. It never stops and we never tire of it. Dale holds court
showing her Jaywalker socks knit in Trekking Sock Yarn.

It wouldn't be a party without prizes of some sort so Stephanie and her team
generously had draws all day for some wonderful fibre goodies!

Team Spirit Captain Denny leads the rabble rousing!

I was lucky enough to win a skein of Socks That Rock Merino sock yarn. I
promised Rosa that I will knit an Evelyn Clark lace scarf and not block it. I
always tease Rosa as she loves unblocked lace and I like mine starched!

Speak of the devil, the lady wins a funky knitting bag!

For some of the attendees, the best part of the day was the cupcakes. Yum!

We fibre nuts use our skills at more than one craft. Rosa and I share a love of sewing and I had to take a few snaps of this pretty skirt she made from fabric purchased at IKEA! Thrifty!

Shorty's feeble attempt at rabbit ears on tall guy.

It was great to meet the charming, very funny and multi-talented Leigh Weitchel. Leigh lives in New York City and keeps himself in cashmere as a writer and freelance knitwear designer. He has been published by Vogue Knitting and Knit 1, both owned by Soho Publishing. A former professional dancer, Leigh was scheduled to be in Toronto this weekend writing an article about the National Ballet of Canada.
Having known Franklin online for years but never having met in person, Leigh jumped at the chance to get in on the 1000 Knitters Project, hang out with other knitters and write an article for an upcoming issue of Vogue Knitting. So much going on in this world! Poor Rosa, I asked her to take our photo but we wouldn'tstop talking long enough for her to get the right shot.

Then we shut up.

Meet the chic and fabulous Terri and Elayne of In The Loop Cafe which is their
knitting store/cafe located uptown on St. Clair Avenue. I usually pop in on
a Tuesday for a chat and to see their lovely selection of yarn.

Elayne was also celebrating her birthday so a very Happy Birthday to you!

That's the beauty of the Toronto knitting community, just as I'm sure it is like in other
urban areas that have multiple yarn shops. We all knit, we all love to shop and we
frequent the same stores. It's nice not to have any animosity and to build a great
community where we can all come together at each others events.

I think it's so cool that all these people that I know in our extended community here
in Ontario will now have the shared history of participating in the 1000 Knitters Project.

Danny working two socks on two circulars. In a silk/merino if I remember
correctly from Laurie at the Black Lamb in Port Hope, Ontario.

You should see these socks. I forgot to get a photo but they are stunning. He will
no doubt publish the pattern shortly so look for it here. I had the pleasure of finally
meeting Danny at the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat we attended in May. Hey,
sometimes ya gotta leave town to meet people who live in the same city.

Finally, after 7 hours of photography, over 110 sittings, the maestro emerges . . .
to take yet more photos . . .

as Denny performs her Gypsy Cabaret . . .

Life and happenings are discussed street side . . .

and Beaded Lace Shawls are admired for their
excellence of construction and beauty . . .

that some boys still to this day, find too irresistible to
pass up slipping over their shoulders . . .

Ah well, what's a party without a bit of campy fun . . .

So ended a wonderful day in our little corner of the world.
Such a fabulous time I had and I know everyone I spoke
with felt the same. Well done!

In particular, thanks to Megan and Laura.

Thank you Denny - my new favourite person in the whole world!
One day Denny and I will dance together like this . . . I can see it! I can!

To gorgeous Rachel, thank you!

Continued success Mr. Habit - come back to Toronto anytime!
(hey Joe & Ted! I did it!)

Most of all I thank dear Stephanie.
Communities need leaders. Someone, somewhere must beat the proverbial drum
to call us to attention, to make us aware, to encourage us to "represent".

I thank Stephanie for giving the shout out and for organizing this wonderful shindig.

Happy Birthday.


shyknitter said...

What a great day, nice to see all your pics!!

WonderMike said...

Wow, Patrick!!! You really captured the spirit of the event. You must be EXHAUSTED from all the photojournalism, but it looks totally worth the effort. BRAVO.

Longhorn Diva said...

Fantastic! So much fun to see the day through your eyes...almost feels like I wasn't 1000's of miles away. :)

Leslie said...

Great pics - couldn't be there but this is a "next best" thing! Thanks, Leslie

amy [Knitty] said...

dang, those are great pictures! i'm glad to see the bits of the day that i missed. you're really good behind the camera, sir.

Senora Fuerte said...

Good post! I've never been here before, but I'm coming back.

I wish I could have been there in Toronto, but I feel a little more like I was now. Thanks!

Ms. Create said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Those pictures are great. I feel like I was there, almost!

Daniele aka

Mary deB said...

Wow, what a day! Thanks for documenting it for those of us who couldn't be there!

Becky said...

Wow! Excellent coverage of what was clearly a most excellent day!

Sandra said...

what a fabulous memory of the day! I even caught a glimpse of myself there! (Orange shirt, fillingout the release while talking to Rachel).
Thanks for this!

Karin said...

What a wonderful photo essay and commentary, thank you so much.
I'll be sure to come visit your blog again.
All the Best!

Dr. Steph said...

Wow, perfect essay on the day. Sorry we didn't get to chat more--so many knitters, so little time I suppose!

And thanks for the photo of my prize mistressing.

Pamela said...

What wonderful photos! I am going to call our LYS and start planning a WWKIP event for next year. I am sure it would be great.

Thanks for sharing your day with us all.

Javajem said...

Wow - what a fantastic representation of the day! The next best thing to actually being there!

Meema said...

Thank you for documenting the day in Toronto for those of us who couldn't make the pilgrimage - great camera work!

Patternfish said...

Patrick, so thrilled to find you have a blog! And what a marvellous post; felt I was really there. Will return all the time, and tell everyone I know.

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