by Lori Law
Each year, Toronto’s Downtown Knit Collective hosts the Knitter’s Frolic. From a vendor’s perspective, it is a weekend to be overrun by rabid knitters and fibre enthusiasts. The lineup begins outside the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre well before the 9AM opening time for the Saturday Marketplace. Once the doors are open, it’s a race to find favourite vendors to snap up items on shopping lists before someone else beats you to them.
From a shopper’s perspective? Although it can be overwhelming at times, as fibrephiles jostle to get a closer look at all that’s offered, despite the vast Kobayashi Hall space available to vendors, it is literally one of those festivals where you will find everything in one location, from smaller indie dyers (like Oceanwind Knits – AKA moi – not this year; hopefully I’ll be back on the circuit in 2012; Indigodragonfly, Tanis Fiber Arts, Painted Fleece, …among others) to larger comprehensive yarn and equipment peddlers (Camilla Valley, The Needle Emporium, ThePurple Purl, Shall We Knit… the list goes on and on) to farm mills (Wellington Fibres, Shelridge Farm,) and small fibre producers (Spinning Wheel Alpacas, Hopeful Shetlands…). In addition to yarn, patterns and fibre you will also find beads, buttons, spinning wheels, looms, carders, combs, spindles…Everything is under one roof!
As a vendor, you are lucky to grab a few minutes for lunch or to wander about to shop (and yes, vendors do like to shop from other vendors; we are generally as bowled over as shoppers are by the offerings). I appreciated the chance to catch up with ‘friends’ who I’d not seen since the last show. I do hope to get to the Frolic as a shopper this year. Not that I need more yarn OR fibre, of course. ;)
If you’re in Toronto, or are looking for a weekend getaway to immerse yourself in fibre-y happenings, check out the workshop list – classes fill up quickly but there are still some spots available for this year’s Frolic.
This year’s Frolic is Saturday & Sunday, April 30-May 1. The DKC Frolic is easily accessible from the 401 via the Don Valley Parkway or by using the TTC. If you’re hungry, be sure to check out the Knitters’ Cafe!
Photos © Dowtown Knit Collective, used with permission.