Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Escape to Knitca

I'm not a city person.

I like the idea of cities, I love the culture, entertainment, restaurants, and personalities that they have, but I am just not a big fan of actually being in cities.  Being in crowds, walking down streets with tiny yards (if there is grass at all), houses crowded together, trash cans lining the sidewalk, crazy traffic, breathing in the smell of car exhaust and cigarette smoke from the people who pass me on the street....all that stuff is on my "no thanks" list.  As a person who was born and raised in a smaller town and moved to another small town after college, I guess I come by it honestly.  I just prefer wide-open spaces and breathing clean rural air.  And it appears that I have unintentionally raised two kids that feel the same.

On our fourth day in Toronto, we got up early and headed out, with the intention of going to a museum.  We caught the bus at the corner and rode down to Coxwell subway station.  As soon as we stepped off the bus, our son announced, "I feel kinda nauseous."

He inherited my sensitive stomach, so I asked him what he ate for breakfast.  "Yogurt," he told me.  I gently reminded him that people like us need a little fiber in the morning to start the day off right, and bought him a banana in the subway station to eat before our train came.   I could tell by the way that he choked the banana down that it was pointless to continue our journey into the city.

We went back to the street and caught the next bus back home.  I wondered if his nausea had more to do with not wanting to spend a fourth consecutive day in a city that was louder, more crowded, and smellier than his world usually is.  So I told my husband, "We're taking the kids out to the suburbs today.  They need a break."  Not unexpectedly, our son, who had been sitting quietly in the kids' bedroom reading while we were having this conversation perked up when I said we were going to drive to a trampoline park outside the city and said, "Suddenly my stomach feels a lot better!"

As luck would have it, a nearby suburb, Mississauga, not only had a trampoline park, a Panera where the kids could have a "familiar" meal, and multiple frozen yogurt vendors, but it also had a yarn store where I unexpectedly found $48 worth of buttons that I needed to take home with me.   And the buttons weren't overpriced at all (they were all between .35 and .70 each) fact, I would say that to the contrary, they were less expensive than the buttons I usually buy in chain craft stores.  I easily pay between $2-$5 for a card that has one to four buttons attached, and at Knitca, I bought 14 sets of  unique buttons (most sets containing 6 or 8 buttons) for an average of $3.50 a set.  I found so many I loved that I decided to just stock up so I wouldn't have to buy any more buttons until my social security checks start arriving.

Knitca has a small store in Mississauga, but they are also a mail-order and on-line business.  You can download their latest catalog by clicking on the bottom right corner of their main page.

Much of their button inventory is on-line.  I leaned very heavily toward the painted wooden buttons.  I hope they hold up and don't crack with repeated washings.  I asked the woman working at the shop what the washing instructions were for the wood buttons and she said she thought they would be fine with hand-washing.  I'll keep you posted once I actually use them on a washable project!

I looked through the yarn they had in stock, but it wasn't really my taste.  It was a lot of solid colored yarn.  If I had a specific project that needed solid colors, I might have been interested, but I don't tend to buy that as "inspiration" yarn to have in my stash.  They did have a few unusual fibers like yak and mink, but they were available in very limited colors (like, I think they only had dark brown in stock), and they were too expensive to buy in any usable quantity, especially without a specific project in mind.   But the mink yarn, especially, felt quite lovely, and I'm sure it's very warm!

Stopping by the shop was a lovely end to a much-needed day away from the bustle of the city.  We got up early the next morning, headed over to the Ontario Science Center and had a great day with the kids, even through the place was insanely crowded with large groups of day camp children who didn't have quite enough supervision!

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