Monday, September 15, 2008

The Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair

What fun! Knitters Fairs feed the knitterly soul in me and I am grateful to the folks who originally dreamed up the idea for such great events. In the case of the Kitchener Waterloo fair, that would be, I am sure, Sally Melville.

With our two-hour drive, we always plan to arrive about 10 am. In time to shop before the best has been sold, but not so early that we have to waken before dawn and or stand in that long queue that always precedes the opening of the doors.

This year, the format had expanded to include two rooms. At first, I wasn't sure I liked the set-up. With the extra space, I missed the high-energy, carnival-like atmosphere provided by a crush of shoppers. But by the end of the day, I was a convert. The extra space made shopping so much easier. And shop I did. I didn't buy as much as I have done at some past fairs, but my purchases were better thought out. And that was probably due to the set-up. With extra space came the sense of extra time to make the decision.

So here's the haul.

Quite a bit of restraint, don't you think? What's in that haul?

Here are three more balls of Briggs & Little for my Waterloo sweater . That is Waterloo as in the pattern in Knits From The North Country, not as in Napoleon's Waterloo.

Then for my Diagonal Rib Cardigan - long on my list - I bought this Alafoss Lopi at $3.95 per ball from Camilla Valley Farm.
There were only two colours at that price. Both discontinued. Lucky for me, I love the brown.

I came across some Cascade 220Superwash. Just what I had been telling my sister-in-law she needed for children's winter toques. I picked up two balls for her - hope you like the colours, Joan. $4 per ball. Good sale price.

Then, my impulse buy! From the Montreal Alpaca man. I bought a kit for a pullover for - guess who? Me. It's all about me, folks, when it comes to knitting.
We had such fun talking to this vendor. He tried to explain to us - in his lovely French accent - why Peruvian Alpaca is the softest. According to him, Canadian Alpaca farmers feed their animals too well and keep them too healthy. He stressed "That means the hair" (at this point in the lesson, he grabbed a lock of his hair and held it straight up for us to see)
"is too 'Robb Ust' ". (Put a strong emphasis on the first syllable when you say that) It took us a moment, but we figured out that he was saying 'robust'. In Peru, he said, the grass is poor and limited and therefore the 'hair' - again a lock was grabbed and held up - is not so 'Robb Ust'. Therefore softer. Poor nutrition, softer fibre. It was quite funny. He was so earnest and we were trying so hard to understand the lesson.

Another great thing about this vendor - I thought I didn't have enough cash left to pay for the kit and asked if he took MasterCard. He didn't. But he did take cheques. However, I hadn't brought any cheques with me. At that point he said, "Take the kit. Mail me the cheque on Monday. " Trustworthy fellow n'est-ce pas? Good for the knitterly soul.

More 'fair' activities tomorrow.


EL said...

Wow what a great haul
Thanks for sharing


Anonymous said...

I had so much at the fair. Thanks for showing us the way.