Monday, September 16, 2013

The Knitters Fair - A Mixed Review.

Well, my personal jury is still out on the 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair.  The change of location made a BIG difference to the feel of  the fair.

Previous years, the fair was held in a very pretty, park-like setting, with picnic tables for those of us that brown-bag our lunch.  The interior of the  building was also pretty. Nicely decorated with a feeling of elegance.  The showrooms were  in the ballrooms.  That set the bar high for the feel/tone of the fair.

This year, for reasons rumored to be more parking and cheaper rent,  the fair was relocated to a hockey arena. No park-like setting for our lunch - we ate  on the grass beside the parking lot.  Nothing elegant about washrooms, stairways or  eating areas in a hockey arena.  A different tone altogether.

We arrived early and thank goodness we did.  Within an hour of the show opening, the Fire Marshall had arrived and was limiting the number of people in the showroom.  That meant  l-o-n-g  lineups to get in.  Some  knitters said they had a 45 minute wait before being allowed in.   Yikes!

The number of vendors was way down, it seemed.  Down a bit last year from the historic 75 - 80, but this year, there were only 54.  As one of our group said, it is the first year  she would rate the Knitters Frolic in Toronto a better/bigger show than Kitchener.  Sad.

My spending was down this year too.  Is that related to atmosphere?

First stop was the Knitca booth where  I picked up the  bulky yarn that was waiting for me.
Seeing the colours in 'real life' made me change from my original choice of Lion - shades of brown and orange - to Rainbow.  Vibrant and  multi-coloured it should please  Nicki, my personal, colour critic.

The Knitca Mom & Dad were very clever people I thought. They stationed their two, knitting offspring at this little table with lots of Knitca yarns and needles, giving shoppers, like this lady,  a chance to try out their yarns.  

Beyond that, I found some long cables for my Knit Picks needles at Grand River Yarns.  Thanks, Rochelle.

Beyond that, I went to the Colour Riot workshop
 presented by Anne Blayney and her sister and learned that I really need to spend some time studying colour to know what I am talking about.   Yes, that is the famous Glenna C you see in the purple sweater, kntting and  listening.

And beyond that , the knitterly items that caught my eye were this  great coffee mug  -

and this DVD & pattern by Meg Swansen.


Overall, the day was great.  The weather perfect.  The drive easy and uneventful.  Some, but not too much money spent.  Great, like-minded friends to hang out with.

But that hockey arena.  Really?


Sandra said...

You and I really are separated at birth - I had the same feeling about it - my vote is a return to Bingemans!
Love the rainbow yarn and the mug is most excellent!

Sel and Poivre said...

Love the switch to Rainbow from Lion!

LynS said...

I know you were disappointed, but 54 vendors! Sounds like my idea of shopping heaven. I don't think there would be 54 yarn and related vendors in the whole of Australia. Even with the less than perfect arrangements, it must have been a great day.

Yarn and Ivories said...

What a shame about the demise of the ballroom setting. It was truly grand, though rain last year kept us from admiring the surrounding park. Pattie attended and I heard no complaints!