Ahhhh, the Creativ Festival, what an experience.
Thanks to strategic delays I managed to time my public transit run immediately after rush hour, reaching my destination station at just the right moment to join a stream of ladies (it really was all ladies as far as the eye could see, though I did spot a few mystified-looking husbandy types later on) making their way on foot to the big event. I even made a friend en route, which came in handy later, but that's a story for another day.
The conference centre where it was booked also hosts the annual auto show, so let's just get it out there: the place is huge. And the lineup to get in, because I got there early? ran all the way around the perimeter of the giant central L-shaped space and then a new line formed inside that one.
I was in the new line. I was the only one knitting in line. The ladies behind me noticed and were amazed I could knit while standing. One asked what I was going to do when the line started moving and I explained that I can knit while walking, so I would just go on knitting. It kind of underscored my sense of freakishness that I can do this. I know it's not actually weird, because Elizabeth Zimmerman explains in her Knitter's Almanac how to knit in a dark car at night and when Elizabeth Zimmerman speaks an awful lot of people listen, but I did feel a bit lonely to be the sole active knitter in such a gathering.
To be fair, there was an awful lot of non-knitty stuff going on. Quilting: lots. Lots of fabric. All the big sewing machine companies were represented and I had to try not to cry at the Bernina area, I want one of those so badly. Some jewelry things, some scrapbooking, some small appliances. And some bookshoppy booths with publications relating to every conceivable craft. But the first thing you saw walking in?
A giant booth full of qiviut, in both knitted and delicate little cake form. Both varieties got a lot of attention, not least because of the gorgeous colours it's dyed in now, but I didn't see too many people buying: it's become just staggeringly expensive since I bought the tiny bit I am hoarding in my stash.
But that's not what brought me all the way downtown:
I went to meet Louise, in person!
I have loved the yarn Louise dyes for her Biscotte shop for - oh, I think it's nearly two years I've been knitting with it. And I've never met her, or seen her things in any medium other than my computer screen before I've paid for it, and I was not going to pass up the chance to do both.
I love this wrap on display in the corner. But I wasn't able to ask what colourway this is or how you make it, because the booth became pretty much a beehive after I got this picture. No surprise, since Louise has a wildly appealing array of affordable luxuries - yarns with cashmere in the mix, or insanely soft merinos, all dyed in the richest and most beautiful colours. In fact it's pretty much Louise's fault I am becoming so spoiled in my fiber preferences.
Seeing the yarns in person was amazing. The colours are - wow. And the base yarns? yum central. It would be so worth making a vacation trip to Montreal with a detour to the shop as the main point.
For a while I was blinking at the bounty (and petting yarns, of course) next to another knitter who was doing the same and I was able to tell her which varieties would do what she was thinking of doing because it turns out I've used them all, but she was not able to tell me which one of the two skeins I had shortlisted would go best with the Carrot Cardi. Neither could Louise, really. So both yarns came home with me:
The purple stripey - which is another skein of Felix, the scrumptious yarn I used for Man Socks - is already wound into two cakes and has leapt to the top of the socks-for-me list, but the mottled green (merino, cashmere, nylon) was quick to make it known it needs to be Something Else... about which, more in a few days when it's a bit further along, heh heh heh.