We're all home recovering from an awesome awesome knitalong today. We'll be releasing full details, sending out thank you messages and publishing some updates for next year over the next few days. But for now we just want to say thanks again to everyone who came out, everyone who contributed and of course a huge thank you to our volunteer team! In short:
The 2013 TTC Knitalong is almost here! We're unbelievably excited to be bringing you the best knitalong yet. We've had some incredibly generous prizes donated and we've also made a few changes that we think are going to make this a better experience for everyone. Please read through some of these details to learn how this affects you as a participant.
New Prize Structure
We've got the best set of prizes ever thanks to super generous donations from Toronto Yarn Stores as well as our other sponsors. In the interest of fairness & also to streamline the process a bit, we've made the following changes:
When you pay your $15 registration fee you are automatically entered in a team draw for 4 prizes. This means out of the 12-14 people on every team, 4 people will win prizes. Those are pretty great odds!
We'll still be recognizing participants' special achievements like "Needs a Sherpa" and more, but there won't be quite as many of these awarded.
This year we are also very excited to announce a special new feature - a raffle for a SUPER SPECIAL GRAND PRIZE. Tickets for this raffle will cost $5 each and all proceeds from this draw will go towards increasing the funds we are able to raise for Sistering. Team captains will have these available at registration.
Everyone knows that Toronto only has 2 seasons: winter and construction! This year is no different and this means a few diversions from usual routes. Please check this link to see if any of these route changes might affect you as you travel to the starting point:
Team captains will be aware of any route diversions that might affect travel between shops however, so don't worry about researching your whole route!
As usual we'll be landing at the Rivoli for the final event! This amazing venue has been incredibly generous in allowing us to take over the upper level for a couple hours to wrap up our yearly event. In recognition of this we have to request the following concessions from our participants:
Absolutely no outside food or beverages are allowed at the Rivoli. All their revenue for hosting us comes from our buying food & drinks here so its extremely important to respect this!
We are also pushing the limits of their capacity so we have to ask that no outside guests be invited to meet you at the closing venue. Obviously you are welcome to arrange to meet them after the event wraps up, this will be around 6:30pm.
Beating the Heat
Summers in Toronto have been hitting record temperatures every year. The forecast for tomorrow is 26 degrees celsius. Now we know this sounds chilly compared to this week's average mid-30's heat, but its still a pretty warm day! Please plan appropriately and consider bringing sunscreen, parasols and most importantly, re-fillable water bottles. There will be opportunities to purchase cold beverages along the routes as well but better to come prepared.
NEW THIS YEAR!
Every year we try to improve the TTC Knitalong, making it a better adventure for knitters and a more productive fundraiser for our charitable cause, Sistering. Some of the new changes for this year:
A slight increase in the cost to participate - the TTC Knitalong now costs $15 per participant. In exchange for this participation fee you get:
a couple of intrepid volunteer captains who will guide you and your team through a yarn-filled day of adventure
discounts between 10-20% at all participating yarn stores plus special sale items, refreshments and other fun activities at many of the stores
a cute TTC-Knitalong tote bag filled with coupons, freebies and other cool knitting swag
the chance to win some incredible prizes at the closing ceremonies
and last but not least... the majority of your participation fee will go directly to Sistering, our charitable partner here in Toronto. Last year we successfully raised over $1200 for this amazing organization, this year our goal is to do even better!
The chance to visit new stores! For the first time in a long time we are thrilled to announce 3 new stores have been added to our routes! Look closely at the schedule and maps as we've 'shaken up' the previous colour schemes and past routes to send knitters via TTC to even more yarn-y corners of the city.
New team names - this year we're changing up the colour scheme and adding a fun new twist! Each team is now named for a popular knitting stitch or technique. Don't worry though, you don't have to knit nothing but garter stitch if you sign up for Team Garter Stitch! For the full list of teams and which yarn stores they visit, please visit the registration page here.
Registration streamlining - to make registration simpler and more fair, we've changed our registration procedure just a bit. For the first 5 days (until noon on Saturday, June 8) we are only accepting direct individual registrations. This means if you want a spot on a team, you have to send us an email personally with your contact information and team choice. Why are we doing this? To make the more popular routes more accessible to everyone! If you want to be together with a friend or friend we don't guarantee anything in the first week. After June 8 we will accept joint signups, all you need to do is send us an email with both of your contact details and your team choices, and we will do our best to accommodate your group.
The Knitalong is happy that Sew'N Knit'N Serge Outlet wants to join us this year. Knowing that so many of you do more than knitting alone, we sent some of our intrepid captains east to Danforth & Main to check them out in advance. They have YARN. Lots and lots of yarn to dig through at great prices. Stocking traditional go-to brands Bernat, Patons, Kertzer and Lion Brand in large quantities as well as basic knitting and crochet tools means this outlet may just fill the hole in our knitterly hearts left by the recent demise of a favourite Canadian department store. "You can easily knit a whole sweater for under thirty dollars" observed madhattress. If a colour or style is discontinued, it is discounted even further. They even offer free drop-in knitting classes on Monday afternoons. What makes this stop unique on the Knitalong tour is the considerable sewing component. They are a Bernina sewing machine dealer (sewing machines are on the second floor) and there are two long arm quilting machines available to rent by the hour. Our members were most impressed by the huge selection of notions, particularly the amount and variety of buttons on offer. Sew'N Knit'N Serge Outlet is an LYS not to be missed by bargain hunters or knitters who quilt and sew. Closest TTC: Take the 23 Dawes from Main Station
What hasn't been said about Romni Wools over its forty year history? These
two floors of knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving supplies at Queen and
Bathurst have reached tourist attraction status. They may in fact stock every
yarn ever made anywhere. From weaving cones downstairs to the giant sock yarn
section upstairs, it’s the store that just keeps on giving. The books alone
take up an entire wall.
“We use every
square inch, from floor to ceiling”, said Marilyn Leonard in a Fall 2008
profile in Vogue Knitting Magazine. Yes, that’s right. Vogue Knitting has
Not only do
they carry everything, they keep it moving too. Seasonal restocking is the norm
meaning there is always something new and weather appropriate to grab your
interest. Once a yarn is
discontinued, it moves down to the basement sale bins so there
are always bargains to be had.The most recent Romni newsletters boasts “New Spring/Summer
yarns are now in stock. With gorgeous colours in cottons, silk, rayon, and
linen, to feast your eyes upon.”
Marilyn has recently moved on to open a satellite store in
the hamlet of Goodwood.
Her son now completely helms the downtown store. We look forward to
his always warm welcome at this year’s Knitalong.
Closest TTC: 501 Queen streetcar or 511 Bathurst car