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!
It's a little bit hard to believe, but Sweet Paprika has been in business for exactly 10 years this month! We have a few things planned to celebrate our anniversary, but I thought it would be nice to start off with a little look at where we started, and where we've been, over the past decade.
It all began way back in 2007, when Elizabeth and I, and our other sister Margaret, were all living in Ottawa. We knew we wanted to put our skills to work in some sort of business, but we weren't exactly sure what direction that would take us in yet.
A few years ago Elizabeth proposed that we make the month of February each year "Finish it February": a time to pull all of our unfinished objects (UFOs in knitter slang) out of the closet or from under the bed and dust them off.
This is the third year we've done this, and I still have quite a number of projects to pull out and deal with each year, but I've noticed that although I still have many very old ones (which I keep swearing I'll finish one day), I've been much better about not accumulating new ones since we started this.