Earlier this spring I got an email from Pop Montreal with a call-out for vendors for the Marché des Possibles, which they organize on summer weekends in the Mile End neighbourhood. I happened to mention to my wonderful dye studio interns that I would love to do it but didn't think I had time to deal with organizing it. "We'll do it!" they said, and so I booked us a booth for the weekend of July 16 and 17.
We were there during the day market hours (there's also an evening market as well as concerts and other events) and we brought some Sweet Paprika yarn and patterns, but also set up a smattering of fun demos as a kind of "fibre craft tasting". We had quite a few passers-by come in try their hands at knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving on frame looms.
Since I am on a knitting hiatus at the moment (I seem to have developed a slight case of tendonitis and need to rest my hands) I took some time while we were there to work on some of my other crafting that often gets neglected in favour of knitting or crochet.
I finished off spinning some fibre that I've been working on for much too long (just needs to be plied now!) and I got out my Zoom Loom, a fun little piece of equipment that I haven't fully explored the potential of yet.
The Zoom Loom is a 4 x 4 inch pin loom, which is threaded by wrapping the yarn around the pins in a very precise pattern. The weaving is then completed using a long needle. It's a little complicated to sort out the wrapping pattern the first time or two but it goes very quickly once you get the hang of it. I was even experimenting with using different yarns for warp and weft by the end of the day.
Of course, part of the fun of being at a market is checking out the wares of the other vendors... I managed not to spend too outrageously this time, but I did come away with a lovely card from Robin Clugston.
And on Sunday afternoon we had the good fortune of being booth neighbours with Shane from Tabletop Books. Among his great selection of second-hand books I found this set of the Wrinkle in Time trilogy (which was one of my favourites growing up) and decided it needed to come home with me too.
All in all it was a fun weekend and a well-organized event. Along with the artisans and performers there was also selection of food vendors, including popsicles, asian-style shaved ice, and the most refreshing chia lemonade I've ever had. The Marché des Possibles continues all summer, and programming for upcoming weekends is usually announced on Facebook. It's definitely worth keeping an eye out for fun upcoming activities if you're in the area!
Summer is a time when I gravitate towards certain types of projects: lace (not too hot and bulky), socks (small and portable), shawls (don’t have to worry about fit), and crochet (fast).
Hitting three out of four of my vacation-project favourites, this seems like the perfect time of year to review one of Interweave’s latest compilation books: Classic Crochet Shawls. This book includes 20 shawl patterns from the Interweave archives, so some may look familiar as they’ve all been previously published in either books or magazines.
Russian grafting is a method of joining live knitting stitches and is used as an alternative to Kitchener stitch in our Argyle Christmas Stocking pattern. It is a good choice here because the stripes on the toe would not align exactly if you grafted using Kitchener stitch, so the decorative Russian grafting is used instead.
This particular method of Russian grafting uses a crochet hook to join the stitches. Use a crochet hook that is the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles. Russian grafting can also be used to join two separate pieces of knitting.