This post is a little overdue, (and pic heavy)but I wanted to chronicle my adventures in Toronto for
The Yarn Harlot's Inexplicable Sock Scavenger Hunt/Book Launch. I had the most amazing time!
I met so many wonderful people who I would never have had the pleasure to meet if it weren't for this event.
When I started blogging, I never imagined it would open up my world of knitting as it has. I'm very grateful every time I get to meet one of "my people". That was no exception this Tuesday.
Through the magic of Ravelry, I hatched a plan with Gretchen (knitmn on Ravelry) from St.Paul Minnesota to meet up at union station to do the scavenger hunt, maybe do some lunch, and go to see the Harlot speak at her book launch. Two knitters in different countries who have never met, (one blogless...and Gretchen, I know you want to start a blog..just sayin' ) meeting up in a city that neither of them live in. Most people would think this is nuts. I mean the other person could be an axe murderer for all you know. It's insanity. But here's the beauty of the knitting/knit blog community, I never gave it a second thought. Never have I met such wonderful, thoughtful, giving, friendly, compassionate people. Knitters are brave, knitters are up for anything, knitters are good people. Just looking at the staggering amount of money in the sidebar of Stephanie's blog could convince anyone, (muggles included) that knitters are among the best people I know.
My inexplicable day actually started much earlier than 1pm on tuesday(which is when we were meeting).
I hopped on a Greyhound at around 12:45 am on Tuesday morning, full of excitement, but hoping to catch some sleep. I was wearing this...
This was not to be though since it was pouring rain the whole way, and the bus ride was a bit rocky. No matter...I was headed to Toronto for 24 whole hours of un-interrupted fun. I cannot tell you how much getting a day away all by myself is..but I digress...
I arrived in Toronto at 5:30 am, and tried to figure out what I'd do until the late morning. I was to meet up with a couple of girls from Brantford at 11 am as well (Chris and Andrea..I'm so sorry we didn't hook up). So I made the trek to a Tim Horton's to grab some coffee, and a bagel for breakfast.
I decided since it wasn't too busy, that this might be a perfect opportunity for me to get my photo for the scavenger hunt. Let me tell you...this is not as easy as it sounds. The employee was so excited I asked her to hold the sock for a photo, and even began telling me about how she was a new knitter and wishes she could knit socks..when her manager came upfront from the kitchen and glared back at her. I quickly took my sock and headed back to my seat. I didn't want to get the poor girl in trouble, and she did have another customer walking into the store. I waited till it was all clear, then proceeded to the counter again to get my photo. She looked at me and whispered "you need to ask my manager if it's OK, I might get in trouble".
Huh? poor girl was terrified. So being bold..I strolled up to the manager, and explained the hunt to him..even showed him the list, and after about 5 minutes of trying to convince him I wasn't a lunatic, he agreed to the photo..."BUT ONLY IF NOBODY IS IN THE STORE" he said cause you know I might just ruin his image and scare away all the customers. Dude...it's 5:45 in the morning...I don't think you need to worry. Here's the pic.
So, with the first one out of the way I was feeling great. At this point it was still dark outside, and I had like 5 hours to kill, so I decided to go to the Subway and buy my day pass. Then just for kicks I hopped on the train and rode it all the way to the end of the line and back so I could knit on the sock a bit. I got off at union station about 7:30, and decided to shop a little, so I went down to the PATH ( an underground 20 km path that has lots of shops , coffee places, and places to eat).The only things I bought were gel insoles for my shoes, and blister bandages, but more on that later. I scooped up some Jugo juice, and made my way to the Hockey Hall of fame. Had another seat and took this pic:
Once my juice was done, I headed back to Union station to meet Chris and Andrea for 11 am.
Unfortunately, this was never to be...we missed each other some how, and by 12:00 I gave up.
I was so happy when 1 pm rolled around and I actually saw Gretchen! And because I'm such a dork, I didn't get one single photo of her! Let me just say that I totally lucked out getting her as my companion for the day. She rocks. So much so that I think I may become her stalker, and make a trip to Minnesota just so I can hang out with her again. Dudes, she owns a bar. Nuff said.
Oh and apparently we have some weird psychic connection, because we were both wearing our Central Park Hoodies. Total Fluke, although hers is much nicer than mine.
After taking some photos of the socks at Union Station, and with the CN Tower we headed back down to catch a streetcar to Lettuce Knit. Love.That.Place. Here's Megan the owner in all her cutesy pregnanty state. She's adorable, and she sells the best yarn ever. I want to marry her.
There's the hot chocolate we brought her on the counter. They make really yummy smelling organic goat's milk hot chocolate at the place a couple of doors down from her shop. Very cool little cafe. She makes them hand knit mug cosies ( I hope she gets free hot chocolate out of the deal). Guess who else I met there?
Jenna, who writes Girl From Auntie. Swoon. She's all cutsey and pregnanty too. She's holding my monkey sock for the photo of another Toronto Knit blogger. How cool is it that I have her for my photo. I had a little falling down at the store but managed to resist alot of the yarn fumes emanating from the place. After that, we decided we really needed to re-fuel with some lunch and beer, so we headed back down to Queen St, and decided to check out The Horseshoe Tavern
This pic was taken on the way there. I thought it turned out rather nicely so I've included it.
Let's call this one Grafitti Sock
We had intended on having our beer and food there, but we sat down and not a singlw person approached us to see if we needed anything, so we left and headed to the pub down the street. I think it was called The (Raging?)Bull Pub.
I had a descent veggie burger and fries, along with a Molson Canadian beer
(they had no Toronto indies) actually the waitress kind of looked at me funny when I asked her.
It's been a long time since I've had a beer that tasted this good. The wind had started to pick up and it was getting colder so we were parched by the time we got there. At this point I couldn't hide my excruciating pain from Gretchen, and admitted I needed to find some different shoes, or I'd be done for the day. Croc's were the first thing that came to mind, but walking an additional 10 minutes to get them just wasn't an option. So I got Flip flops at Claire's (which were a huge relief) and we walked down to King St to get our Walk of Fame photos.
Here's Margaret Atwood's star. Rachel H actually got Margaret Atwood to hold her sock and took an actual photo of the Lady Herself, which I could never compete with.
Once we were done there, we wandered down to University Ave again and decided it might be time to find coffee/tea and head to the main event, so we caught the train hopped off by the university and walked toward the theatre (we hoped) there was a few moments of uncertainty where we weren't sure we were walking the right direction, but all was well. We arrived at the Theatre, where Chris and Andrea finally tracked me down! Better late than never I suppose. They saved us a couple of seats, and we settled in to knit a bit and watch the show.
Let me just say, Stephanie is frickin' hilarious. I enjoyed every single underpants story. Such a smart cookie she is.
I apologize for the craptastic nature of the photo, but some guy decided that a room full of knitters didn't need the lights on. Once the talk was done, and MSF pins were bought, Gretchen and I decided to find out where on God's green earth the bar was so we wouldn't get lost.
Gretchen hooked us up...Amy (of Knitty) told her we could follow her to the bar. And so we did. We actually sat with Amy and Keri (kiwicanuck) who deigned that fantastic cable/lace/dropped stitch stole for the summer Knitty. More food and drinks were consumed, and there may have been a little yarn enabling discussion in which I may score some Noro sock yarn which I regretted not buying while I was at Lettuce Knit.
This is also a terrible picture, but It's not every day you get to have dinner with the Creator/Editor of your favorite online knitting mag. Amy by the way also has a new book which came out the same day as Stephanie's. I've got this one on the way to my mail box.
By the time I had to leave (to catch my bus back home at 1 am) my poor little feet were feeling like they were going to fall off. It was all I could do not to cry. As I write this, they are still too swollen to fit into my shoes, and the blisters are just...huge, and gross (I'll spare you the pictures I took of that) they were really bad. I wanted to stay longer but my body just couldn't do it. I hugged my new pal and made my way to the curb to hail a cab to the bus station. Man those guys are fast! I had 2 cabs stop at the same time for me with one single wave of the arm.
The whole day was surreal, inexplicable, wonderful, validating. I can't wait to do it again. I hope I get the chance to hang out with all of you again..next time, with better shoes!