The Kitchener-Waterloo farm country of Ontario is a mecca for country food and craft markets, as well as the annual Oktoberfest beer festival. Originally settled by Mennonites and hard-working German immigrants, their work ethic reaches down to us today.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters' Guild has been going since 1986 to promote, improve and celebrate the craft of knitting. Their annual event is one of the largest all-knitting events in Canada.
The KW Knitters' Guild sponsors the Knitters' Fair at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, and this year it's on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You'll find yarns from local Alpaca and sheep farmers, imported yak yarns, and even mulberry silk, great deals on all yarns, as well as all the newest trends in knitting.
KW Fair 2014 with Permission KWKG Flickr
The Kitchener-Waterloo Memorial Auditorium is located at 400 East Avenue, in Kitchener. There is lots of free parking all around the auditorium.
Entry fee is $7.00 per person, and children under 12 are free. When you enter, be sure to put in your ticket for the door prizes.
KW Auditorium via Flickr
The fair hosts about 50 different vendors bringing knitters the newest and most unique knitting yarns, patterns, and products on the market. Many of these are specialty hand-spun and coloured yarns, as well as various yarn spinners. I also found last year unused silk yarn from silk carpet manufacturers at good prices.
This was the first time I'd worked an alpaca yarn. Cascade Eco Duo alpaca yarn is quite different from wool yarns and is an extremely lightweight mix of 70% baby alpaca and 30% merino wool. Alpaca yarn is reportedly significantly warmer than wool, and is also called "yarn of the gods" for its incredible softness. This has slight colour variations. I also found it tends to give off fibres I think, and it would work better if it was washed first.
A big trend I saw last year was mulberry silk yarn. This yarn is made from silk worm cocoons, where the silk worms are fed on mulberry leaves. This makes for a very high quality and durable silk yarn that takes easily to dye so the colours are gorgeous.
KWFair 2014 with Permission KWKG Flickr
One of my favourite knits to design and knit are fingerless mittens. Here is one of my designs using a small cable pattern, and Lion Brand's 'Amazing' yarn.