Categories
Musings

My Great Toronto Yarn Hop 2020 (virtual) Haul

The Great Toronto Yarn Hop is an annual event that takes fibre artists on a tour of Toronto’s yarn stores. In a usual year, you buy a ticket to be part of a certain tour group and take the TTC around the city to a handful of stores – each group is a different tour route. And at the end everyone congregates at a restaurant to socialize.

I always want to attend, but I never have because I feel a little shy about not knowing anyone. This year The Great Toronto Yarn Hop went virtual, which was the perfect opportunity to dip my toes in!

I bought my “passport” ticket and some extra raffle tickets and eagerly awaiting the event. This year passport had one week to shop from the participating stores and take advantage of the discounts they were offering.

This event was so great because I’ve only ever visited one local yarn store before even though we have so many here in Toronto. It was a great opportunity to get to know them, at least through their online sites.

Now that you know all about the event, we’ll get to the reason we’re here. My Yarn Hop Haul. It’s pretty modest I didn’t want to go overboard, especially because I’m supposed to be stashing down this year. So, I made just three purchases.

Warning, please read: Some of the links in this post are to Ravelry. If you have experienced negative effects from their new webdesign or you are at risk of negative effects from the new webdesign, please exercise caution following these links.

#1

I have had my eye on this Cocoknits stitch marker set for ages! I knew that The Purple Purl carried them so I fully intended to order them for my birthday. But The Great Toronto Yarn Hop came along and so I got my birthday gift early!

I put these to use right away on my current WIP the Simone Pullover I’ve been using one for my beginning of round and I LOVE the little spiral ones for progress keepers and to track measurements.

#2

A sweater’s quantity of Berroco Vintage DK from Knit-o-matic. This yarn is for the For Fox Sake sweater by Maxim Cyr. It’s been on my queue since it came out!

This was one of the sweaters I had in mind when I put doing more colourwork, and more colourful knitting, on my 2020 goals list. I knew I wanted to do a purple body on this sweater, but I was initially thinking a darker plum colour. But this fuchsia caught my eye.

It’s definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I can’t wait to see how it works up.

#3

This purchase is a two-in-one I ordered two skeins of sock yarns from The Knitting Loft!

I knew that I wanted to add some self-striping to my stash so I picked up this Biscotte Yarns skein of Bis-sock in the colourway Lighthouse. I love it!! This is definitely going to be a pair of a socks with a fun contrasting heel.

I also grabbed this hot pink skein of Artfil Belle sock yarn, this colour is called Bubblegum.

If you don’t know I absolutely love pink, especially hot pink. I have been wanted to knit a pair of hot pink Shag Carpet Shorties, so I’m going to hold this double to make them.

That’s it for my purchases, I showed a lot of self-restraint – LOL!

I did look at all of the participating stores, so these three purchases are just the beginning! I took note of all the yarns and notions that I would go back and purchase later. I really loved participating in this event, especially because it was an opportunity to support our local Toronto yarn shops during this challenging time.

Categories
Tips

Tips for Knitters During Social Distancing

Earlier this week I posted about Tips for Learning to knit for non-knitters or newbie knitters who were looking to learn a new skill during the COVID-19 self-isolation. But I recognize that the majority of my audience are people who already know how to knit. 

Well, I didn’t want anyone to be left out! So here are some tips for knitting during COVID-19 self-isolation. 

Have good posture

Good posture is a good habit to have when you’re knitting at any time, but during self-isolation, you’re likely to be knitting for longer than normal and this can take its toll on you physically. 

Here are some tips for good posture and avoiding pain while you knit

  • Sit up straight with back support. I know I’m guilty of knitting in a slumped over position with my legs crossed. But it’s better to sit in a straight posture, with your lower back supported and shoulders relaxed and not hunched or tightened upwards
  • Take frequent breaks! As much as we all love a knitting binge for hours on end it’s really not great for your body. Make sure you’re taking frequent breaks to stretch your arms and hands out. Here are some hand and wrist stretches courtesy of We Are Knitters
  • Take care of your eyes too! Make sure you have good lighting – ahem ahem a note to self as I knit in the dark watching horror movies…. And if you’re reading a pattern make sure you have it zoomed on your screen or use a magnifying glass if needed to make sure you aren’t straining your eyes to read

Support Your Local Yarn Store

Yarn stores that can still operate are doing so through online sales and curbside pick-up. With many of the larger yarn distributors placing a hold on shipping, like KnitPicks, this is a great opportunity to support a local business. 

You can also support independent yarn dyers during this time by buying yarn directly from them! I just picked up a couple beautiful skeins from Sweet Georgia and I can’t wait until they’re delivered!

Stash dive!

You might have some yarn in your stash that you’ve been waiting to use up. Now is the time!! Trust me there’s probably some real gems in your stash. 

I went deep stash diving into some scraps to use for Jessie Maed Designs My little Secret Crop KAL. This pattern is totally free during the KAL it’s kind of like a big test knit! You can find more details on Jessie’s Instagram.

A hand holds two knitting needles with a blue, white and orange knitting piece on them
I’m loving the blue and orange splashes in my Little Secret Crop

I’m having so much fun with it and I never would have thought to use the colours I’m blending together from scraps in my stash. 

Use Social Media to Connect

If you’ve been watching my Insta stories (and if not you should totally come follow me on Instagram) I’ve been doing a daily Captain’s Log update about my day. As well as posting other updates and pictures of the kitties.

Instagram has been a great tool for me during this to stay connected to my knitting friends and follow up with what everyone is doing. 

An orange tabby cat lies on a bed with paws curled up near his face
Follow me on Instagram for knitting and cute kitties!

Local knit nights are going virtual through video hang outs and knitting podcasters are doing more live video broadcasts to connect with their community. It’s so great that we have this technology to stay connected even if we can’t meet face-to-face!

Don’t get cast-on-itis

This is my final tip, and it might be the hardest one! I know that I have been suffering a serious case of cast-on-itis…I just want to cast on everything that I have queued up (and many things that I don’t have queued up).

This is definitely a good time to stash bust and knit a bunch of projects off of your Ravelry queue! But in order to really finish anything, it’s important you try and focus on just a few projects at once. 

That’s what I’m trying to do to make sure I really make the most of this time and come out with a bunch of FOs and not a bunch of UFOs.

If you don’t know FO = Finished Object and UFO= Unfinished Object

Two hands wearing blue speckled knit fingerless mitts hold a mug of coffee
Make sure you take this time to relax and enjoy some slow knitting

Those are my tips! This was an extra special bonus post on a Thursday – make sure you keep your eye out next Tuesday for my regular update. I’ll be talking about what I’m binge watching because of course while you’re doing all this knitting you need to knitflix!