Tour of Toronto Yarn Shoppes

Oh man. Toronto was yarn central heaven. Melissa (a fellow knitter) and I spent a weekend in Toronto to see the first night of Madonna’s Re-Invention tour in Toronto. We packed the car and headed out on the 7-ish hour journey from Philadelphia. I was armed with a Toronto street map and a print out of about 22 yarn shops. We planned on staying in Oakville, which was home of the Wool Bin. I mapped out 3 more based on the suggestion of other knitters: Romni Wools, Lettuce Knit and Knit-o-matic. We drove all day on Saturday, arrived in Oakville at 7pm after a pit stop in Rochester to check out the George Eastman Kodak museum. Up early on Sunday an in Toronto proper by 11am. We found Queen Street with only a few wrong turns.

Romni Wools. Oh dear. The very supermarket of yarn stores. Aisles upon aisles of yarn. You want mohair? Aisle 3. You want Colinette? Aisle 2. And on and on. A whole entire room dedicated to books and patterns. A room of sale yarn! The entire downstairs dedicated to spinning and weaving. Oh, and they were having a sale- 20% off all yarn, books and patterns. That’s right… with the sale and the exchange, it was like everything at 50% off for 2 very happy American girls. The owner and I chatted about yarn and she pointed me to the yarns indiginous to Canada. I picked up some hand-spun, hand-dyed yarns from Nova Scotia that came with patterns for socks and a scarf on the label.

I also found a few random balls of yarn that I want to use while knitting some felted party purses, along with the Spring issue of Tendances. I thought a French magazine was an appropriate Canadian purchase. I also picked up a ball of the new Rowan R2 paper tape yarn. Very interesting.

Melissa bought a few things as well and we were doubly impressed that the sale yarn was also part of the sale. Yarn bargains at every turn! It was almost too overwhelming.

We made our purchases and took a stroll down Queen Street checking out the sleepy Sunday morning crowd, popping in and out of shops as they opened.

Next on the list, Lettuce Knit.

Smack in the middle of Kensington Market, we were pleased to see the streets roped off and a pedestrian friendly shopping district. Parked the car in a nearby garage and then headed off to the shoppes. We found Lettuce Knit right away. Cute, quaint and very small, I think we were a bit spoiled from going to Romni Wools first. There was really nothing noteworthy at Lettuce Knits and I was a bit turned off that no one even said hi to us when we walked in despite the empty store. I was specifically looking for the recycled Sari Silk, but didn’t see it. I checked out some of the Embroidery Kits by Sublime Stitching before declaring it time for lunch. Delicious Grilled Cheddar and Apple sandwiches and lattes at the little cafe across the street from Lettuce Knits. I can’t remember the name, but well worth the stop.

A lovely, leisurely stroll through Kensington Market yeilded 2 surprises:

The first:

Laura Jean- the Knitting Queen! You see, *I’m* a Laura Jean. It even says so on my driver’s license! I had to stop in and meet the knitting queen in person! She was there and her knitting creations are gorgeous and funky and inspired.

The second:

Knitting needles, right? yeah, but these are from the DOLLAR STORE! Dollar store knitting needles! (Which, after the exchange, is really like .70 cent knitting needles!) I was so tickled, I had to buy them!

Next up on the list- Knit-o-Matic. Not much to say about this one since it was closed, despite the website stating they were open 12-5 on Sundays. We peeked in the window only to sadly spot a 20% off all yarns sign. Boo.

Back in the car, we realized it was only 3pm and we had until at least 7pm to kill. A quick look at the map and the list of additional yarn shops and we decided to drive out to Village Yarns and Italian Gardens Sewing and Knitting Centre in Islington. Silly us, we didn’t call first. If we had, we would have known that Village Yarns was closed and Italian Gardens no longer exists. By the time we got back into the city, it was 5:30 and would not make it in time to hit the 2 shops on Yonge Street before the 6pm closing time, IF they were even open. If I had it to do over again, I would have tried the Yonge St. shoppes first since we were close to them already.

Off to the concert, which was quite amazing. We wore the t-shirts that I made:

and got loads of compliments on them. Ours cost $7 while the offical ones were $45. HA!

The next day we spent the morning walking around Oakville and popped into the Wool Bin. What a pleasant surprise. Open and airy, very spacious with lots of yarn surprises at every turn. They also had the Nova Scotia yarns that I bought at Romni Wools.

Their sale bin overfloweth and there was a good sale on the Brasilia Color. I finally saw some of it knitted up and the striping pattern was gorgeous. I bought 2 balls of it and a few other small things. My favorite purchase was the swallow casein needles on sale for $2.50 a pair!

All in all, it was an amazing trip filled with food, fiber and Madonna. :^)

I am definitely ready to head back and pick up where we left off on the great yarn crawl of Toronto!

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7 Comments on Tour of Toronto Yarn Shoppes

  1. Uli
    July 26, 2004 at 10:45 am (13 years ago)

    I think you’ll really enjoy the Fleece Artist yarns from Nova Scotia. I really like their offerings for something unique and different. Sounds like a fun trip.

  2. caroline
    July 27, 2004 at 1:45 pm (13 years ago)

    What a flash from the past! you see I lived in Toronto for 4 years while my husband stayed behind in our house in Philadelphia. You did really well on such a short stay. Next time you’re up at Romni Wools go a half a block down to the Red Tea Box Cafe. The lunch bento boxes are coordinated with three matching teas! and they sell silk and refurbished home decor and furnishings. Funky and lovely. And one of the best meals you’ll ever have in T.O.! Anyway, thanks for the tour!

  3. Monica
    July 27, 2004 at 3:56 pm (13 years ago)

    Village Yarns is a nice yarn store. Not quite as big as Romni and bigger than Lettuce Knit. Good selection of yarns and super friendly staff. Thanks for the link to Knitomatic, I’ll have to check it out sometime.

  4. Sharon
    July 28, 2004 at 9:16 pm (13 years ago)

    Yet another reason to love Toronto!

  5. lisa
    July 29, 2004 at 4:19 am (13 years ago)

    I love the Fleece Artist yarn. I made a scarf with their stuff and LOVE it. It is so unique and fun to knit with. Glad you like Toronto and Romni.

  6. Mariko
    July 29, 2004 at 4:03 pm (13 years ago)

    What a great trip! You sure know how to pack a lot of excitement into a weekend!

  7. jo patt
    January 22, 2005 at 7:29 am (12 years ago)

    this sounds so fun.i am going to toronto in march and hope to do something like the tour.any help will be used.


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