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Toronto’s Downtown Knit Collective; LYSs, Yarn

Guilds of the world–listen up.

The Downtown Knit Collective (DKC) sets the standard. About 50 of their 280 members hosted the Vogue tour group for a fantastic fiber afternoon at the University of Toronto.

Carly Scott, Executive Editor of Vogue Knitting, is with us and she brought many of the pieces in the Fall, 08, magazine. I hadn’t seen too much of interest in the magazine—that’s changed!!! In person, like great art, sweaters can truly be seen and these were works of art. She even brought a few pieces from Nicki Epstein’s new book and they were dynamite. Sorry, no pics.

FYI — I wasn’t aware of the videos and commentary by Carla on the Vogue website. It allows you to see the garments from all sides and moving. Check them out here.

Linda Pratt, who used to own Great Yarns in Raleigh was also there. She now does marketing for Westminster Fibers (Rowan, Kertzer, etc,). She brought sweaters from Rowan and Nashua publications.

After some mighty swanky refreshments, the speakers began.


Fiona Ellis
shared some of her work. I was most interested in her design stories.

Some lesser known locals including Kurt Dunn who is knitting three stained glass windows, one each of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Kurt studied with Kaffe Fassett and the windows literally glow because of the blends of colors and textures. They will be huge and stunning.


My favorite knitting mind, Debbie New, was there and was hilarious. In the past Debbie has knit portraits, stained glass, a one-strip sweater, and a boat. Now she is knitting kaleidoscopes and sort of whirligigs. Incredible.

Lots of door prizes. I won a package from Soak–a big bottle, about 30 single wash size packets and a stunning baseball hat.

Dinner at the Royal York together and a special gift–another bottle of Soak.

Knitting purchases for this day. A copy of the Nashua magazine just released. I had to beg and plead with Linda Pratt to sell it to me, but I got it.

Sunday we went shopping!

The first time we got on the bus this lovely young woman came up to me and said, “Jane Prater, my name is Beth Levine from Boston, and I read your blog.” Well, I was just blown away. She had discovered me through the blog of the World Renowned Turtlegirl76. ( Is there anyone out there who doesn’t read Cristi’s blog?)

Today when we got to Lettuce Knits, Beth insisted on a “yarn harlot” moment and her mom took our picture.

Louise is a great lady, but not much of a photographer. She is seated on my right and Beth took this picture.

If you look closely, you can see the young owner of the shop with her 5-week old baby tied to her front. She opened just for us and gave us 10% off –and–wait for it—several packets of Soak!!

I purchased one skein of Handmaiden Casbah. This is the first time I had encountered this yarn. It is 80% Merino, 10 % Cashmere, 10% Nylon;
325 m/115g
Machine washable, sport wt.


Feels luscious, so it will probably be a scarf thing.

I was disappointed that she only had a few skeins of the hemp I had hoped to buy.

Next stop was Romni Wools. Romni is reminiscent of the 7th Avenue shops in NYC. Thousands of cheap plastic bins stacked to impressive heights. They carry just about everything you ever heard of, but not Allhemp3–the object of my quest.

I managed to adhere to my goal of purchasing responsibly. I bought
1. Rowan Mag #37

2. One skein of Classic Elite Alpaca Sock Yarn which I had never seen. According to Rosemary, the Chicago winters are tolerable only if you have several pairs of socks in this yarn.
60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon
100 grams = 450 yards
8 sts/in on #2



Handwash—–definitely a scarf.

3. One skein of Malabrigo sock yarn!
100% merino superwash, kettle dyed
3.5 oz. = 440 yards

Soft? It’s Malabrigo.

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6 Responses

  1. yeah! its much better,

  2. well its nice to know that you have great hits here.

  3. very nice! hahahahaha

  4. when will you go online?

  5. I’ve been spammed.

  6. You’re a rockstar and you know it. =P I’m happy to tell the world about you! You’re my knitting guru!

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