TTC Knitalong 2011 - Yarn Crawl With a Twist

The last couple of years that I've been "awakened" to knitting I've heard about this really neat knitalong called the TTC Knitalong. Unfortunately though, something has always conspired against me to participate.

This year, having found out the date far enough in advance, I was able to make it a save-the-date with the girls for one of our monthly SnB days, which tend to be a little more loose in the summer time.

Unfortunately Lara was out as she was looking after her two neices, but I manager to convince Karen, Esther and our newest knitting buddy, Laura, to come along for the ride.

Here's the girls, Starbucks in hand waiting for the streetcar to take us to our starting point at The Knit Cafe.

Our mode of transportation for the day.

The TTC Knitalong is pretty much a super duper organized giant yarn crawl across some of the best knitting stores in downtown Toronto. Registration opens in May and you select a first and second choice for which team you want to be on. Each team has a different route that visits 4 yarn stores over the course of the day.

We were on Team Orange, selected to keep our TTC time to a minimum and avoid serious culture shock on the part of Karen who probably hadn't been on TTC in about a decade (okay, maybe not that long, but at least a few years!). Team Orange was hitting all the yarn stores on Queen Street West and East: The Knit Cafe, Romni Wools, The Purple Purl, and Americo. Wrapping up at Americo we knew we'd be a short walk to the Rivoli, for apres yarn crawl drinks!

There were 12 captains spread over 5 teams. Here's one of our captains, Joyce (and a member of the original Drunken Knitters), explaining how the day was going to work. We had roughly an hour to shop at each location and some extra time for lunch as well. No pics from our lunch, but the girls and I managed to convince the Amaya Express next door to The Purple Purl to open for us for a few orders of their delicious butter chicken. Yum!

Shopping underway at The Knit Cafe. Some Blue Sky Alpacas bulky cotton and a pattern for Ysolda's Liesl fell into my bag here. Apparently the short-sleeved version can be made with only two skeins so it seemed like a pretty good deal at $12/skein.

As part of our $10 entry fee (which raised money for Sistering, a local women's charity), we were given TTC Knitalong swag bags that also had a coloured button to identify us during the day and get us some sweet deals. There wasn't one at The Knit Cafe but everywhere else seemed to be doing a little something for the knitters (and some even had sales on anyway, since July seems to be a slower time for yarn stores - who wants to knit when it's hot?). 

Waiting for the streetcar to take us back across Queen Street.

Karen and Esther and a shocking lack of knitting.

I was trying to work on my Lanesplitter skirt so I don't have a lot of pics from the knitting and being on TTC portion. And Karen knit lace on the streetcar! Not for the faint of heart...

It was a fun day and while I'm not sure that we'd necessarily do it again (the girls and I are used to organizing our own out of town yarn crawls, but with less structure and time constraints) - we had a terrific time. Unfortunately Karen and Esther couldn't stick around too long, otherwise I'm sure Karen would have won a prize for not buying anything at all to add to her stash! The rest of us finished quite respectably in that department (we even got sock-knitter Laura to buy yarn to branch out and try knitting other things, including a whole sweater's worth at Americo!), but that's another post.