I’ll steal a line from Kim Werker and say that Knit City has really and truly changed the landscape of yarny, crafty things in Vancouver. Now, not only do we have a fiber show in the spring (Fibres West), we get a fibre and yarn show in the fall right in the heart of Vancouver. But it’s more than just being an additional event on the calendar. Amanda and Fiona did an amazing job of leading the organization of this event, pulling together a wicked team of volunteers, and drawing instructors and vendors from all over. There was an undeniable, special buzz about Knit City because we had guest instructors like Kate Atherley and Liz Abinante and vendors who had travelled really far to get here, like Little Red Bicycle (California), Indigodragonfly (Ontario), and Yummy Yarns (Alberta). Something about that said, “we deserve it”… we deserve to have an awesome, exciting fibre show where people come from all over to attend and wait in the queue for more than 2 hours to get in. There’s enough overwhelming enthusiasm and love of knitting here in Vancouver to make that happen. I’m so grateful that Amanda and Fiona were able to so gracefully capture that energy and create this wonderful new event.

Now, here are the photos…

We set up on Friday, all day. My husband, Dan, even took the day off work to come help with the set up. We had these brand new maple yarn racks designed and built by the custom furniture builders that just moved into the workspace across from our studio. They are lovely and portable (they fit in my car exactly because we measured the interior of the car). David helped unpack and set out all the yarn. It took us so long to get all the yarns up on the racks and in the right colour order. I was super exhausted by the end of set up (mainly because I hadn’t slept until 5 am that morning, and I was back up at 9 am) and was so close to skipping the Knit City kickoff party, but really didn’t want to miss hearing Kim’s talk. So I managed to leave the venue at 5:30 pm, run back to get more last minute things from the studio, grab half a leftover viet sandwich for dinner, and then run back to the Croatian Cultural Centre for the talk. Kim’s talk on crochet was hilarious and Kim connected well with the audience of knitters, inspiring hopefully a couple of them to make the trek into the scary world of crochet. Sadly, I couldn’t stay for Sylvia’s talk… this is the second time I’ve missed hearing her speak. I hear she is awesome.

On Saturday morning, we arrived an hour early to get ready and already found a massive queue of people who had been waiting for the doors to open. They had been lined up as early as 9 am for the 11 am opening time. The first 50 participants snagged a sweet swag bag, so I can’t blame them. Fiona and Amanda opened the doors to the eager knitters at 6 minutes to 11 am and they proceeded in an orderly way, dripping into the marketplace at an easy rate. But within a few minutes, Carina and I were surrounded by knitters and our booth was a little packed. What with the participants, all those wool sweaters, all the yarn in the booths and all that excitement, it started to get reaaaally hot in the ballroom. We had a really great, busy day and I burned off the rest of that adrenalin by joining my husband and his friends at the London Pub for bangers & mash, beer and UFC.

Sunday was went well and I had more of a chance to run around the market and visit with people. I loved that Caitlin and her man, Arlin, brought in a couple of trees to hang her “We Will Tell You All Of Our Secrets” sign off of. And I chatted with Jane and Shannon at the wonderful Jane Richmond booth that was packed full of Jane’s samples and photos. Jane has a brand new book, called ISLAND, and it is AMAZING. It has the most beautiful photos of our westcoast landscape with Jane’s elegant and modern knitwear designs. There are five patterns in the book and the Grace cardigan uses our BFL Sock yarn. Just 2 or 3 skeins of sock yarn can get you a cardi at the smallest sizes. It’s a pretty awesome project… I have a couple skeins of Oxblood reserved for it on my desk, waiting to be cast on.

I was nervous up until set-up day, not sure what to expect at Knit City. And now, I can’t wait for next year’s event.