Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Guide To Quilting and Knitting in Toronto Canada: The Amazing, The Very Nice, and The Elusive

After spending a couple of brief hours exploring the city of Toronto last weekend, I fell in love with the city.

It's one of those places that I have been to several times, but never really got to experience.  I'm sure you can imagine there is a difference between these two things.

My exploration time was very limited, but I learned a lot and can provide some thoughts on what to put on your short list should you find yourself in the beautiful city of Toronto.

1.  The Amazing: A clear stand out

The Workroom:

It's not easy to pick a favorite, and I'm very biased to my own personal taste, but if you can only visit one shop in Toronto it has to be The Workroom.

The shop was teaming with busy quilters taking a double wedding ring class.  I was impressed off the bat with such a difficult quilt pattern and so many eager quilters getting down to business.

They have a policy that they will cut any fabric in the shop in a fat quarter for you (including Liberty of London!) so I picked up a couple of fat quarters.  Their Liberty selection is not huge, but the bolts they do have are beautiful.  They have a really nice selection of Japanese Daiwabo taupe fabrics which are not generally easy to find.  Although I have a zillion taupe fabrics already I had to get just a couple more small pieces.

The collection of mini scissors is also to die for.  They are tiny,  friendly for air travel, and come in all different styles.  Just adorable. 

I have long wanted to get my hands on some sparkle floss from Japan, and could not find it when I was there on my last trip.  Not to worry, The Workroom carries it!!

They have an impressive collection of Canadian-made items including patters by Victory Patterns and Wiksten, and a hand screen printed stuffed animal/embroidery kits by kiriki.

The only bad part about The Workroom was having to leave it!  I am already wondering when my next trip will be.  Some additional photos below.  Please do not miss this incredible, beautiful, and friendly shop!

Note the top image is a photo of the vast fat quarter collection they have for you to choose from. 

I met the lovely Workroom owner, Karyn.  I'm on the left, she's on the right.
A view of the bolts of fabric.

Liberty of London fabrics on the left

One the the book shelf areas - Japanese quilting and embroidery books, Daiwabo fabrics

2.  The Very Nice:  Other shops you won't want to miss

The Knit Cafe:

The Knit Cafe was certainly the most friendly of the knitting shops had the pleasure of visiting.  Some locals were there knitting away and the yarn selection was stellar.

They had more Madelintosh yarn than I have ever seen in one place.  My LYS sells out of it almost immediately upon arrival.  I was standing in front of it all wishing I had more space in my bag.

I ended up purchasing a sock yarn ball from a local dyer, Hand Maiden in a green colorway called Casbah.

I met Kristin who is very passionate about yarn and celebrating her 10th year as the owner of The Knit Cafe.  I'm on the right, Kristin is on the left.

Lettuce Knit:Another nice stop was knitting shop Lettuce Knit

I would rate their weekend parking situation as almost impossible; however, their yarn selection excellent.  There were more Canadian brands here than I had ever seen.  The shop itself is not huge, but it very full and well organized.

I picked up some beautiful hand made ceramic buttons and a ball of self stripe yarn by Canadian dyer Rain City Knits in a blue and orange colorway.

3.  The Elusive:  If you can get into these places, you're slicker than I am

Finery Hand KnittingI was interested in this shop after reading about it on Yelp, but I wandered around the mall that it was supposed to be in and I never did find it.  A lot of the signs were in Chinese so I was a little hard pressed to figure it out.  Bummer, it might have been cool

Americo Original
It would have been fun to visit this shop too, but although they were supposed to be open on Saturdays, they were closed with a sign that said they would not be in that day.  I had to drown my sorrow by walking into a bead shop two doors to the right of it called Bling Bling.  That was actually a cool find.  Sorry Americo...I missed you.

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