Tag Archives: waterloo

ColourRIOT Live! (Or, Speaking In Public With and Without My Sister)

The Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Fair, hosted by my Knitters’ Guild, was a couple of weeks ago (September 14th). What a day it was! Read more about it — and then look for some exciting news at the bottom of this post!

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Fluffing Awesome

My friends in the Uptownknitmob are the most incredible, generous, loving people. Also, they are ninjas. Sneaky, brilliant, awesome ninjas.

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Knitters’ Fair – or Pandemonium, with Added Fibre

Why won’t I be at the KNITcamBRIDGE launch on Sept. 11? I’ll be a little busy elsewhere…

Saturday is also the 18th Waterloo County Knitters’ Fair, held by the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild. Since I’m the Guild president this year, I get the supreme honour of opening the doors (9:30 AM!) and introducing the guest speakers at the on-site seminars. (I have some less glamourous tasks too, lest you worry I’m getting a swelled head. I hand-cut 2000 attendee surveys last weekend, for example. 2000. I hope that’s enough.)

This is the absolute high point of the knitting calendar, as far as I’m concerned.

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There’s a HUGE amount of fibre-y goodness going on in this area on Saturday. A complete embarrassment of riches — and almost a tragic overabundance of fibre-related stuff to do, since I can technically only be in one place at once, so I don’t get to attend it all.

One of the big events that’s coming up is the official launch of the KNITcamBRIDGE project just down the road in Cambridge, Ontario. I won’t be there, but some of my knitting will!

KNITcamBRIDGE progress Sept. 9

Progress on the bridge as of September 9. Photo courtesy of CanLaddie on Flickr.

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Five Years

Five years ago today, at this time, my stomach was full of butterflies and I was pretty sure that the spandex shapers I was wearing were the only thing keeping me from falling completely apart. My mother was sewing my bra straps into my dress so they wouldn’t peek out, and my father was checking the weather for about the 50th time (at my request) to see whether it would rain or not. (They didn’t, and it didn’t.)

Five years ago, plus a couple of hours, I stepped out of the car and walked into my fiance’s arms for the last time.

Anne, Don (officiant), & Dan

The ceremony

Five years ago, plus a couple of hours and a few minutes, he and I were standing inside the Grist Mill in Waterloo Park, surrounded by our closest friends and family.

And then… and then! I no longer had a fiance — I had, and have, a husband. Continue reading

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Guess what I did last week?

the annes

Anne Hanson and meeeeee! (Photo courtesy of Yarnpr0n/Fireopalphoto.) -- Recognize Anne's cardigan? That's her lovely Sprössling, even prettier in person!

The Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild — of which I will be president next year! — held our biannual Adjudicated Show last Tuesday.

The emcee? Yours truly.

The adjudicator/guest keynote speaker? The elegant, insightful Anne Hanson of Knitspot!

Anne came to Waterloo (and New Hamburg, and Toronto) to adjudicate our show, and to teach some classes. I didn’t get to attend any of her classes, but I got something better: I got to hang out all day Monday while she went through the stacks of entries for the show.

Anne examining one of the lace submissions. (Photo by me, and much less lovely than the one above!)

I don’t envy her the task one bit. There were entries there that honestly took my breath away — some of the first-time-knitting-lace entries were especially incredible!

The Guild site will have a gallery of the winning pieces in all the categories soon; I’ll post when I get the link.

Anne was absolutely meticulous in her adjudication. Gracious and specific in her praise, and generous and constructive in pointing out what next steps a knitter might take to improve on a particular piece. I find it really difficult to assess someone’s knitting critically in that way — I can spot when something’s truly awful, but I’m not so good at the finer nuances, like a slightly different blocking strategy, or a different type of cast-on technique.

We had a whole team of volunteers on hand for Monday. Adjudication’s not a small undertaking, when the Guild is one of the largest in North America! Some people laid out the pieces in the next category, and the next, and the next, as Anne moved from station to station. Someone else took notes as she talked about each piece. Others set up a miniature studio, and photographed every winning entry. Still others transferred Anne’s comments about each winning piece to another computer, where they were formatted into cards to be given to each recipient, along with the photo of their piece, and (of course!) their prize. And that’s all just on adjudication day — there was a massive, massive amount of work done beforehand, setting out the categories, getting prizes donated, soliciting entries, etc.

Then — did you think I’d forgotten? — came the actual Adjudicated Show. Meredith (Yarnpr0n/FireOpalPhoto) has some fabulous pictures on Flickr already, and there will be more in the Guild gallery when that’s up! She captured the event better than I could have. To be honest, my memory is mostly a haze of public speaking anxiety and the complete star-struckness (star-stricken-ness?) that hit me when I realized I was sharing the stage with one of my personal knitting idols.

I have to say… when I agreed, last summer, to be VP of the Guild, I didn’t know what I was getting into, but so far, it’s been a completely positive experience. Just getting to be associated with this calibre of knitters, designers, dyers, spinners, etc., is a huge honour.


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I’m a Very Lucky Knitter

It’s a fact: South-western Ontario is a darned good place to be a knitter.

My local Knitters’ Guild in Kitchener-Waterloo is among the largest, if not the largest, in the country. That means great speakers, a TON of in-house expertise, a phenomenal library collection, and a really active community of fellow knitters to draw upon. (To think I only joined a year ago! What was I thinking, not joining sooner?) It also means the annual Knitters’ Fair, which now fills two ballrooms with yarn and fibre and patters…

We have a wealth of great yarn shops throughout the region. And what’s more, we have amazing producers within driving distance: Koigu, Shelridge Farm, Philosopher’s Wool, Wellington Fibres, and more are all more or less ‘local’ (within about 3 hours’ drive, anyway, which all still counts as South-western Ontario).

Wee Koigu "orphans," or mini-skeins of mill-ends

Wee Koigu "orphans," or mini-skeins of mill-ends

And the knitters! Here in K-W, we have Debbie New, and until recently, Sally Melville. In Toronto, which is only an hour’s drive, there’s everyone from the Yarn Harlot, Amy Singer of Knitty fame, Laura Chau (Cosmicpluto), et cetera et cetera et cetera.

But most especially, I feel lucky to have plunked myself down in a place where I’ve found so many kindred spirits on a very, very local scale.

By pure coincidence, I met Johanna when I made a banner image for our local Ravelry group. I used an image of some windows that are part of the old Seagram’s distillery, both because they’re iconic in this area and because I happen to work in one of the old Seagram’s buildings myself. Johanna (the local group’s moderator) saw the image and must have thought I was stalking her, because she lives in one of the other distillery buildings, with the same distinctive windows!

A lot of little windows on my world

A lot of little windows on my world

Johanna has taught me the basics of dyeing yarn, and allowed me to play with luxurious fibres in the process. She’s also a fellow “insulin junkie” — we both rely on many daily injections of insulin to keep ourselves going. And she was the first person I really knew at the Guild, and the one who convinced me to join!

There are others who are now regulars at our Thursday knit nights. Suzanne, who celebrated her birthday yesterday, is warm and funny and thought-filled, and a great source of perspective when things get crazy.

Happy birthday, Suzanne!

Happy birthday, Suzanne!

Then there’s Tess, and frequently her son Rory, who add life to every conversation; there’s Angie, who is an absolute peach and who knits absolutely beautiful things — often with the exact same taste in patterns as I have; there’s (occasionally) Lindsey, who knits with her students and inspires us all. There are occasional newcomers, who give us new projects to ogle and fondle.

And there’s Catt, who has just started knitting (though she’s been crocheting for a long while), and who, as our resident Newfie, injects colour and humour with every comment.

These ladies have really made this place feel like home — I’ve lived in Waterloo off and on for over a decade now, but aside from my husband and his family, no one has made me feel more like a local and a real community member than this gang of crazies lovelies.


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