Knit East 2019

Last weekend Mom and I headed east to St Andrews by the Sea, NB, CA. There is something that feels adventurous when you need your passport to go away for the weekend. On one hand, you are just crossing a river, not far from home. On the other, once you do that, time changes, the dollars look like play money, all spelling rules change, French is on all signs, and people speak with a distinctly different accent. Oh, and all speed and distance road signs are in kilometers. The landscape is the same, but everything feels different. Adventurous!

We traveled very uneventfully the 2.5 hours from home to hotel on Friday, arriving in mid-afternoon at the beautiful Algonquin Hotel. We have seen it on past trips to St Andrews, but never stayed there before. It really is as elegant and comfortable as one would expect, definitely lives up to its reputation. Our room was at the end of a wing on the top floor, and except for the hike to everything, was perfect. Two comfortable beds, two comfortable chairs, plenty of room. The bathroom was small but so well arranged, better than most in that it wasn’t dominated by a giant marble counter. On the whole, we were quite happy with the place.

After we got settled we checked out the marketplace. I was kind of amazed at how they fit everything in. There weren’t a huge lot of vendors, but there was an abundance of yarn and fiber and knitting related things. As nearly as I could tell, most of the vendors were independent businesses from eastern Canada. The end of the room was turned over to Cricket Cove, the yarn store hosting the event. They had set up an entire yarn shop! Not all of that yarn was local, but it was all good.

My plan was to just scope it out and shop later, but I couldn’t resist a few skeins for a shawl. 😉

Then Mom and I headed back to the room for a nap before supper. It turns out that knitters had invaded the place, and we couldn’t get in to the pub for supper , so we ordered room service. Probably the wait was the same, but it was quieter in our room!

Saturday morning brought our first class, lecture style with Stephanie Pearl-McFee. She was as wonderful as everyone says, smart and humorous. I can’t remember the name of the class, but she walked us through selecting yarn, understanding different yarn characteristics and fibers, right through choosing a pattern, swatching, knitting a sweater, making it up and blocking it. All in three hours. As she said, once you get the knitting out of the way, you can get through a lot more material. We already know how to knit!

I did pick up some useful tips, and never will skimp on swatching again. 😉. Mom took lots of notes, and now understands why I always make her swatch and wash it before I will do the math on her patterns for her. So that was good!

After class we went to town for lunch, and to the grocery store for snacks for supper. And while there we found a treasure. A big display of Briggs and Little yarn, at half the price of the marketplace version! Naturally, I got a sweater’s quantity. They didn’t have the color I wanted, but they had natural, and I can dye it. I never thought I would get a sweater’s quantity of wool for $45 Canadian (I think about $35 US) but I did! I should have done what my friend A did and cleaned out their natural. But I was remembering the marketplace and wanted to save some cash for that.

Mom dropped me there on the return trip and it was much less crowded this time. I managed to buy a couple of amazing skeins of sock yarn. The dyer uses song birds for inspiration on her colors. It was very hard to choose just two! I eventually settled down to think about what colors I needed, and got a skein each of cardinal and ruby throated hummingbird.

I was tempted by so many things, but really was trying to behave, since I have a lot of yarn and plans already.

That’s all the yarn I bought, plus the swag. Not bad!

Saturday night they held a fashion show, which normally we would have skipped, but friend A had told us it was fun and there were valuable door prizes. She wasn’t kidding! There must have been 100, everything from darning eggs to Lucy Neatby videos to sweater quantities of yarn to complete sets of Addi and knitters pride needles! Naturally, we won nothing, but A’s friend did win a sweater’s quantity of yarn!

The fashion part was interesting. I liked seeing things knit up, and there was one shawl that I added to my favorites, for someday. Marianas is a lovely thing, I nearly went back to the marketplace for a kit, then realized I probably have yarn for it in stash. Such restraint!

It was fun, but a little overwhelming for these introverts, and it kept us up way past bedtime.

Sunday morning we had another class with Stephanie, this one on color theory. Oh, my, I learned a lot! How to use the color wheel, and be able to tell what goes with what. Again, she made it loads of fun to learn about analogous and contiguous colors, primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. The time flew!

Mom and I got ourselves checked out and loaded up, had one last lunch in town, and then headed back across the river, to a place where we know what time it is, the money is all one color, there is an “h” in “schoodic”, and the speed limit makes sense. It felt good to be in more familiar territory, but sad that such a wonderful weekend had to end.

23 thoughts on “Knit East 2019”

  1. Ohhh, that sounds like a WONDERFUL weekend. I wish I could have been there!! The classes sound amazing (I love that you don’t remember the names, in the end, that’s the least important thing), I can imagine that she’s a great teacher!! I LOVE the yarn you bought. I think I already caught a glimpse on ravelry, but the yarn inspired by birds? That’s a fantastic idea! Do you already have a sweater pattern in mind for the natural yarn you bought?

    1. It was a wonderful weekend, and she is a great teacher, assumes you have some knowledge but no question is to simple.

      I don’t have a sweater pattern in mind yet, but it won’t be natural when I get to it. I meed a new sweater, but not a natural one I need a navy cardigan, a pink cardigan, and a red one all come to mind. But no specifics yet.

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend! The color theory class sounded like something I could use. I love the cardinal and hummingbird sock yarns. It’s so difficult choosing colors for a multicolor project.
    I like attending anything wool or yarn related. Some day I would love to go to Rhinebeck. It would probably overwhelm me,however, with the masses of people.

  3. What a fantastic weekend! Your purchases are lovely:)
    Your descriptions of crossing the border is spot on. We did it so many times when we lived in Limestone and every single time it felt like an adventure:)

    1. Isn’t it funny how it feels like an adventure, when really we are crossing a river? What is that about? How does the culture know to change across the river? The accents are so different!

      I used to do it much more often when I lived on Washington County, now I am another hour west, it isn’t as accessible. But it is still not bad. 😉

  4. It sounds so very fun. I’m so glad you and Mom had such a great time. I still can’t get over the SQ of Briggs & Little, and in a grocery store!!!

    1. The business is named songbird yarns and fibres, songbirdfibres.ca. Be sure to spell fiber the Canadian way! They are twitter, facebook, pinterest, etc as @songbirdfibres

      And the us/canadian exchange rate is completely in our favor, roughly 30% off!!!

    1. It was a great trip. She was quite frank about swatching, and washing the swatch. In fact she said “if you aren’t going to wash it, don’t bother knitting it”. That was pretty strong! She also taught us about running stitches which were one of those “duh, how simple” things, making swatching and measuring in general much easier.

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend and added some very nice things to your stash. One of these days I will get across the river 😉 I’ll be happy to get to your neck of the woods some day. I love the song bird theme from the dyer. You chose 2 beautiful ones and I can’t wait to see how they knit up.

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