Beth Smith

To Toronto and Back

Last week was crazy busy. Lou left for Toronto on Monday and I had stuff to do everyday until I left on Thursday to meet him – well, to get together with Denny. Lucky for me Lou was there too. So there are lots of pictures and a little bit of description to follow.Lets start with some spindles. I happened to mention to Abby about my lack of a Bosworth spindle. Never even had spun on one. So she bullied me into ordering a couple. She suggested and mini and featherweight. I, being a girl with little self control where spindles are concerned, ordered 3 – Mini, Featherweight, and Midi. It’s research, right? Waiting for the day when they have another opening for a new retailer to carry their spindles.
Also, and changing the subject, here is my new shawl. I have a goal to get it spun and knitted by SOAR – whether I get in or not. I’m still choosing a pattern but I’m leaning toward this one. If you have any other ides I’m open to them.
Last Monday was laceknitter’s group. We are now meeting at the Traverse City Pie Company since Yarn For Ewe closed. Yummy. Anyway, Sharon Winsauer was there with her newest design project. The woman is a genius. She showed me the computer picture of this before she started and I said No Way. Well…Yes Way. There are more triangles and circles and squares to follow. I’ll show you updates when I can.

Tuesday night was a fun Fiber Free For All and I took no pictures but it was a really fun day. Liz came all the way from Kentucky. I acquired Spinsanity Spindles for the shop. The free for all was a goodbye party for Mary who is moving to Arizona and it was a great turnout with plenty of talk about … a word I can’t remember now but I’m sure somebody will refresh my memory.

Thursday we all got up early and hit the road for Toronto. The kids were not excited about our 5:30 AM wake up call but I was trying to miss the traffic.

We got to our hotel about 10:30AM and I called my tour guide Denny and we met her downtown where she promptly took me to one of my favorite places.
Don’t worry. I didn’t only buy this one piece but I don’t like to be a tease.
We went to see some beautiful buildings and Denny entertained the kids in a maze. She was a fantastic tour guide. Buses and streetcars and subways and we saw the city in a way we never would have just on our own.

It’s a beautiful city with a diverse population and lovely architecture. It reminded me of the old cities on the east coast which I love with the old buildings and history blended with the new and modern things of a living city.

Plus…there is yarn.

First we visited Romni Wools. The oldest yarn store in the city. It’s huge and I think there may be yarn there from when the store opened. My favorite part was in the basement where the coned yarns and spinning fibers are. I’ll show you what I got later.

We walked around some more and saw more things and went to a park for a while where Denny lectured about how I should be building my business and she was just the girl to boss me into it, and then my darling took the kids back to the hotel so Denny and I could go to In the Loop Cafe.
It’s a lovely an friendly shop – with DELICIOUS scones with cream and jam.
Denny’s checking out my feather and fan shawl – which has made almost no progress in about 2 months.
This is the cafe/yarn shop. Very nice selection and very helpful staff. I bought some stuff.
Here’s a look at how my bag looks inside. It doesn’t really belong in this spot of the post but here it is anyway. Really, this is not how my bag looks only on vacation. This is every day. Fiber, my latest spun skein, a couple of spindles. Down a little further is some knitting which may not be obvious – and some shop bills.
We walked past this building on Friday. It’s the Art Institute. Crazy building.
Right next to that building in the park was this guy making a commercial or something. I couldn’t listen to what he was saying. Legs. That’s all I have to say about that.

We stopped into Americo yarns. The yarns were nice. The store was perfectly perfect. Here’s the thing. I don’t need any yarn. If I buy yarn it’s usually because somebody tells me something great about the yarn or the shop is very friendly and I like to buy something from shops where I feel good. This was a store that sold yarn. It’s beautiful and if I needed yarn it may be a good place to go. I didn’t get anything.
We went next to Lettuce Knit where Denny works. It’s got a huge amount of stuff packed into a tiny space. I felt better about my square footage:-) Plus fiber dyed by Denny. I got some stuff – show ya later.

After a good lunch at a little dinery type place we went to….
The Purple Purl. Fab.
This is another shop with a little cafe inside. Yummy tea and desserts and coffees and great owners and happy customers. This is the shop that felt like I want my shop to feel like. Comfortable and easy. Like – welcome to my living room where I just happen to also sell some stuff. We were there for hours and I hated to leave but it was Denny’s darling’s birthday and she had to do her wifely birthday dinner cooking duty so off we went but I will be back.
Saturday Denny had to work and so it was time for the family visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Maggie chose a notebook at the gift shop. She’s really a scholarly type girl.
Ryan’s favorite part was the interactive games.

Afterward we went to lunch at Richtree Market Restaurant which is in the same center – Brookfield I think.
It’s a big market place filled with stations of food. Anything you could want to eat. It was the day-before-mother’s-day so I thought I could eat whatever I wanted for lunch. Ryan had noodles, Maggie had a salad and Lou had a burger. I had strawberry crepes with berry sauce and whipped cream.

Then I had bread pudding for dessert:-)
Someday I will stay at this hotel. The Fairmont Royal York. Just look at that lobby. Someday. Someday.
While we were there I got my picture take with the Queen and Prince of Wales.

After that we went back to the hotel. The kids had a swim and then we went to the movies to see Speed Racer. Wait for the video.
So there was spinning over the weekend. I got this fiber from Romni Wools – it’s merino and silk from Fleece Artist. Spinning it on my new Mini Bosworth.
I also finished off the last of the Abby Batts in this color. Now I will wind the two spindles full together and ply the yarn and see what I’ve got as far as yardage. This spindle is packed as full as it would go. This much was actually a stretch. The spindle is a Forrester Bi-Wing that I got last year at SOAR.

So you wanna know what I got?
The Purple Purl sent me home with this stuff. The purple is 70% Mohair and 30% Wool from Auldcroft Angoras. It’s a 3 Ply lace yarn. The orange is from SWTC – Yang. Bamboo, wool and silk. I think it’s a cable scarf with stripes of the plain yarn and stripes of the sparkley stuff.
Also there are two spindles and a teeny tiny niddy from Houndesigns. I have emailed that company to see if they would allow me to carry their spindles cause they are fantastic. I mean it.
This is the loot from Romni Wools. An 80% Mohair and 20% Merino blend and some braids of Fleece Artist top. Also at Romni Wools I got a copy of the Classic Elite booklet with Jillian Moreno’s designs – a very good acquisition.
Here’s what I got from Lettuce Knit. The green stuff is 100% silk from Alchemy Yarns called Silken Straw. fantastic. I’m very curious about how it will knit. The rest of the fiber is lovely and soft and dyed by Denny. Did you guys know she does dyeing for that shop? She’s good.
From In the Loop. The solid yarn is 100% Mohair – anybody seeing a pattern here? – and the sock yarn is 50% Mohair and 50% wool. Both from Lindenhof Wool Mill. Beautiful stuff. Yep. Started another sock. I’m back to the double points. Don’t hate.
Got this cute hammer from soem cute little shop we were walking by. There are 4 screw drivers in the handle. I need it for when I am putting all of this wheels together and that ugly man hammer isn’t what I love.
And finally, Denny made me a cute little gift bag with fantastic stuff. Fleece Artist Lace yarn and yarn spun by Denny from Abby Batts and Merino from Australia and BFL lamb locks washed by Denny’s own hands.

It really was wonderful. Can’t wait to go back and visit again. But first Denny will be making a visit to the States when Janel Laidman is in town in July. She only has one request. The Brighton store. I need to email the Brighton people….to tell them those ads in the Martha Stewart magazines are working.

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