Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair!


Two weeks ago I had the amazing honour of co-presenting at the Waterloo Knitter’s Fair with my sister! It was all Anne’s brainchild, sparked by a series about colour that she posted on her knitting blog over the spring. I’d written a guest post for her about colour palettes, and made one for her, so naturally enough, she roped me into the presentation! 

The KW Knitter’s Fair is the biggest knitter’s event in Canada, with 70 vendors filling up a hockey arena. They hit capacity at 600 people in the first 15 minutes!!! Madness. Those knitters are dedicated! 

ColourRIOT talk

Even though I teach in front of a room of students daily, the thought of talking to adults made me nervous! Especially as a sewist in a room of knitters… What if my thoughts on clothing and building a wardrobe didn’t interest them?

Luckily, our audience was great, and very kindly laughed at our silly jokes! We had about 60ish people, which I was very pleased with! 

ColourRIOT talk

Can you tell we like colour? Anne brought heaps of beautiful bright shawls and handknit blankets, and I brought a small selection of my me-made clothing in palette colours, all folded up in a basket. (Honest truth? I got really jittery the night before and packed those clothes as a sort of security blanket/calling card! I figured if nothing else I’d have some clothes to pull out and discuss, and people could see that I really do sew! :P)


By time the presentation started though, I wasn’t feeling shy – How could I when our slideshow included the palettes of so many of my sewing friends? Thank you everyone who let us use your images! 

ColourRIOT talk

So what does one wear to talk about colour? ALL THE COLOURZ!!!! I knew I’d succeeded when I mentioned that I was wearing black even thought it wasn’t a palette colour, and someone shouted out, “Where’s the black?!?” Hidden under the rainbow, my friend!

The dress is an unblogged Mission Maxi that actually has a silver thread running through it. Thrift store score! My Cake Pavlova top is perfect with maxi dresses, and luckily matches two of my mission Maxis!Anne wore head-to-toe me-mades too: a Maria Denmark Kimono tee, a McCalls drape cardi, and a Cake Hummingbird skirt.  

ColourRIOT talk

Can I take a minute to brag about my sister, Anne? I was so proud of her! In her teens and early twenties in particular, she struggled with social anxiety in a big way… and now here she is, charming a room full of people with her wit and insight into knitting! (Best moment: People actually gasped when she explained a concept! Revelations happened, people!) On top of that, that shawl she is wearing is a pattern she designed and published! And she won an award for most inspiring knitter from her guild the week before. I’m so lucky and proud to have such a talented sister!

So what did we actually talk about? Well, we started off with some basic colour theory, illustrated with yarn, of course! Next, I talked about colour palettes: how to find the colours you love to wear and narrow down the focus of your wardrobe. Then Anne took over and dug into how to choose the right kind of project for colour varigated yarn. (For examples, hand-painted yarn with subtle variations will work great for lacework, but yarn with short colour variations in bright colours could totally hide all your details and look like clown vomit!) 

ColourRIOT talk

At the end, we invited people to come up and make their own colour palette from paint chips. It was really cool to hear people talking about colour, and asking each other for input! Strangest of all was having people hover beside me and then realising they were waiting to talk to ME! 

(Bonus: See the red-haired girl in the awesome striped knit skirt? She lives in the city I’m moving to in 2 weeks, and she told me that a social sewing night has just started! I’m in heaven, people!) 

ColourRIOT talk

I’d like to say a BIG thank you to the KW Knitter’s Guild for having Anne and I to speak, and a huge thanks to all the knitters for being so lovely! It was a really cool experience, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

As for sewing and sewcialists, I’ve been loving seeing colour palettes popping up on blogs and twitter after my recent how-to blog post!


Inge realised that since sewing she’s been wearing brighter colours…

Pretty Grievances made her palette with PicMonkey and has a palette that’s perfect for fall…

Freya came up with a neat palette that mixed cool pastels with bold tomato red, white and black! 

Bobbins and Whimsy put together beautiful bright colours, and if you haven’t been reading her series on Sewing a Wardrobe, you should!

Huff Makes Stuff has also been playing around with colour and capsule wardrobe stuff, but hasn’t blogged it (yet?) 

In an unrelated coincidence, the lovely Thewallinna just happened to post about colour this past week too! 

Did I miss anybody? If I did, let me know and I’ll change it! 😉 

In summary: I love colours. I love knitters, and I love you, Sewcialists! 

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