Wednesday, August 20, 2008

RT Does Toronto (Part 2: Wallet Stealing)

We departed the Hockey Hall of Fame and decided that it was early enough that the best next stop on our itinerary was the one other request on my list.

After discovering (the hard way!) that Toronto is NOT a left turn-friendly city, we negotiated the maze of one-way streets, streetcars and challenging turns and landed …


Yep. Lettuce Knit.

Let me tell you, my blog-reading friends. This place is T.I.N.Y. If you’re a California quilter, take the old classroom at Bearly Stitchin’ and chop it in half the long way. One of those halves is what I’m talking about for the entire public area of the store.

If you’re a Western PA knitter … hmmm … Take the kitchen at Bloomin’ Yarns and double it (making it two equal-sized rooms, end to end). If you aren't familiar with either of those locations? Use your imagination. This place is small!

Hmmm … what should I get with DPUTiger’s credit card?

That shot above is the one I used in yesterday’s post. It’s the wall on the right as you walk in . It’s all sock yarn. Lorna’s Laces on the top two shelves the whole way across. The bottom shelf has Jitterbug on the left, a disappointing (to me) supply of Fleece Artist, a little Handmaiden, some Smooshy and a sock yarn I recognized from Bloomin’ but can’t remember the name.

I wandered in while the Hubster took a stroll around the block so he’d be entertained while I was shopping. And lemme tell you – this is one eclectic neighborhood! They’re in the heart of Toronto’s Chinatown.

Anyhoo, I worked my way to the back of the store. There was one customer who was sitting in the back knitting a sweater who alerted me to the basket just inside the door that I had already perused on my way in (“I’m not a sock knitter so I’m not sure what it is, but it’s handpainted yarn that just arrived this morning and everyone has been going bonkers over it all day long!”) and one store employee*, as well as one additional shopper with her daughter.

Here’s the display on the left as you walk into the shop. A bunch of Butterfly cotton hanging from the wall, some amazing BFL Fleece Artist on either side … I would have purchased that, but I didn’t have any sweater patterns in my head and didn’t want to jump in blind. But wow, that was some soft, beautiful stuff!

Oh, and all the cubbys? Koigu! I decided to not look too closely, since I know that both K1 and Yarns Unlimited in Pittsburgh carry the stuff.

While I was perusing … I had pretty much realized that there wasn’t any Fleece Artist that was going to come home with me (the only colorways I liked were their seacell stuff, and that’s sadly in the same category as Tofutsies for me no matter how pretty the blue is!), I started digging through that aforementioned basket at the entrance. Of Socks that Rock. That had arrived that morning. And included a brand-new Lettuce Knit colorway!

Anyhoo, while I was on the floor digging through yarn (c’mon. what knitter hasn’t done that?), a woman breezed in talking a mile a minute. It was Ramona of the Hibiscus for Hope socks! She was talking about how absolutely slammed she had been because of Steph and her blog posts (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee had been knitting Ramona's sock kit through her entire vacation) and how wonderful Steph was for doing that and how she simply couldn’t keep up any more with the sponsorships and pattern requests. Ramona was an exceptionally happy camper!

So I chatted with Ramona for a bit. And I chatted with the store employee* as well. After a decent back and forth between three three of us, I was invited to the weekly Lettuce Knit stitch & bitch. And informed that Steph would most certainly be in attendance that particular evening. For about a heartbeat I thought about staying and then took a deep breath.

Me: What time does S&B start?
Them: Well, people are already coming in. But Steph usually feeds her family and comes in around [two hours from now].
Me: Wish I could, but I just can’t do that. The Hubster would kill me.
Them: Too bad, but if you’re ever around on a [that day] again…

I really appreciated the invite, and their advice on which of our “final three” evening activities we should pursue. (we took their advice and did Second City. It was fun!) And I didn’t mind in the least that it felt kind of like I had been “vetted” prior to the actual invite. Hell, Stephanie had been on vacation for three weeks and I’m certain she wanted to be a regular human at her regular knit night, no paparazzi encouraged. Completely understandable. And in all honesty if the time of Stephanie's regular arrival was "in about 20 minutes" I would have stuck around. Two hours I simply couldn't justify.

So I made my (not small) purchase

One Handmaiden Casbah, 5 STRs

RT did good, as usual! I'll detail it better in future YPF's.

And we were on our way to the hotel to check in and do dinner and a show. I will certainly go back the next time I’m in Toronto. For the shop, not just the celebrities that call it home!

Bye! Thanks for being awesome! :-)

As we were leaving, Chris mentioned that he appreciated that I passed up an opportunity to meet the Yarn Harlot and remarked that it was too bad I hadn’t had any knitting with me anyway.

I stopped, looked at him and said “do you really think I didn’t bring any knitting on this trip? I have a sweater and a sock in the car!” Boys. What are you going to do? ;-)

One more day in Toronto to recap, but it’s super late, so I’ll put it off until tomorrow. Today kind of flew once I shut down the work computer. Went for an 8-mile bike ride, had dinner with Chris and my mom, put together two IKEA cabinets at mom’s request and then had to watch a 9-inning nailbiter with USA Softball in their first medal round game. Since stupid CNBC didn’t show tonight’s game live (9:30 pm EDT first pitch, tape-delayed for a midnight start), we had to watch online on my computer so I couldn’t write and watch simultaneously.

I’ll shut up now so I can go to sleep. Happy Hump Day, everyone!

*In going back and looking at the Yarn Harlot’s post about Franklin’s visit to Lettuce Knit, I realized that the store employee that I chatted with? Denny. How ‘bout that!


SJ said...

Sounds like an extremely fun trip, and I love the yarn you picked out. What's the STR on the far right? I want to snatch it!

Jenn said...

Wow, that is a big wad of awesome all around! And the thought of attending a snb with Steph? Eeee!

I love STR. It's probably my favorite sock yarn!

Jen said...

Lettuce Knit looks just as charming as I would have thought. RT's yarn choices look lovely!

Donna Lee said...

Somehow I always pictured that shop as bigger. I wonder if they have a lot of tourists show up on their snb nights. It must be tough to be a celebrity.

floribunda said...

I was glad to hear that it was only RT who stole your wallet, and not a stranger!