creative fuel

i love a trip to the city.  i mean the city.  toronto.

once or twice a year i have a work-related stay in TO.  when i’m there, my mission is to cram in as much walking, gawking and general city-imbibing as possible.  the chaos and crowds are both exhilarating and exhausting, and i find, for a short time anyways, that i am strangely soothed by the rhythm of urban life.  it couldn’t be more different from our home in the countryside, where trees outnumber people exponentially and heavy traffic means actually having to stop at the stop sign before turning.

one of the benefits of city excursions, apart from the fashion lessons, teashops and people-watching, is the improved access to all things crafty and the ability to refuel for my creative pursuits.  this trip allowed me to expand my stirandstitch stashes quite nicely (and to soothe IDS, who can get a little testy when left in the countryside for too long).

{crochet-fuel}     the yarn related highlight of this trip was my first ever visit to romni wools  – the epic toronto yarn store.  i don’t use the word epic flippantly here.  romni’s monstrous, bursting, teeming and towering collection of fibers is daunting to even the most yarn-starved shopper.  it was utterly overwhelming, but i managed to find some lovely, squishy goodies to take home, including some bright malabrigo sock and some nifty ‘braided’ cascade.

{sewing-fuel}     i discovered the workroom online and was instantly smitten.  they have a fabulous selection of contemporary fabrics and high quality notions, a friendly shop dog and a great calendar of sewing classes.  the timing of my trip worked out perfectly for me to take their three hour ‘serger essentials’ course – instruction i’ve been needing for years.  i came home with some new-found serger confidence and a set of rolled-hem napkins which we made in class.  i couldn’t resist a couple of pieces of lotta jansdotter fabric and three marvy patterns (including one for a sweet colette blouse) that i can’t wait to dig into.

{baking-fuel}     i have a cookbook addiction.  i could read cookbooks all day.  really.  this obsession has necessitated a moratorium on cookbook purchases (i also have a moratorium on tea mugs and flip-flops).  i had to allow myself an exception in toronto, though, for dorie greenspan’s ‘baking – from my home to yours’.  it’s been around for a while now, so it seemed less impulsive and more appropriate to add it to my collection (and really, what baker’s library is complete without it?).  i’ve been eagerly flipping the pages, wondering which recipe will be the first into my mixer.

•  •  •

stirandstitch has refueled!  three days in toronto allowed me to absorb just enough urban sensibility to remain connected to city-life.  it also offered loads of tea, a little bit of chocolate and plenty of creative fuel for projects-to-be.  and it was just long enough, just windy enough and just lonely enough to make me (and even my testy IDS) feel happy to come home.

•  •  •


Filed under baking, crocheting, sewing

28 responses to “creative fuel

  1. I love ‘romni wool’ store. My daughter lives close by. I really would love to take a serger class – I have one, but barely use it. Great blog as usual!

    • thanks, glenna!
      how lucky that your daughter lives near that area – it’s so great for shopping. have you been to ‘americo original’? it was also recommended to me but i didn’t have a chance to visit (they make some amazing cotton yarns).
      the workroom is west queen west – not too far from romni (but it’s too far to walk). maybe you can take one of their classes! it’s a tiny little shop but worth a visit.

  2. great post, I could totally relate. I love romni wool, going to toronto for extremely brief periods to look at fabric and wool and dorie’s book is my baking bible. I wonder if we live in the same rural area.

  3. Your pup is so sweet! I love the little basket quilt too, they look so cozy and homey.

  4. I LOVE those fabrics! 🙂

  5. a fellow cookbook lover! love food writing/cook book writing/food photography! nice blog!

    • cheers!
      what are your favourite books?

      • So far Laurie Colwin “Home Cooking”- a new one I’m reading by Tamar Adler called “An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace”. Gorgeous. These are really food memoirs with a few recipes sprinkled in. Love food memoirs.

      • And “Frankie’s Sputino”. More recipes than the others, but a lot of great food writing, too.

      • i’ve been lousy at reading lately – too many projects!
        i have been enjoying julia child’s ‘my life in france’. her writing, along with her husband’s photos make for a really nice read.
        one of my favourite novels is ‘stanley park’ by timothy taylor. if you’re ever looking for a food related fiction, it’s a great choice.

      • and a final thought…i love reading nigella lawson’s cookbooks. her recipes are reliable and delicious, and she’s a fantastic writer – very conversational and entertaining and relatable.

  6. I loooooove Dorie’s baking cookbook! wonderful buy.

  7. MacFab has some amazing fabrics too (hello Amy Butler!), I haven’t been to their shop but I couldn’t leave their booth at the Creativ Festival a few months ago!

  8. Pingback: blushing and {banana yoghurt bundt cake} | stirandstitch

  9. Drooooling over your fabric selections!!

  10. Droooooling over your fabric selections!!

  11. i grew up near toronto, and went to school there for a few months before emigrating to australia with my parents at age 13 … sounds like i should get back and do some shopping asap =)

    • toronto does have some great shopping, but i’d rather go to australia! it seems like you have fabulous fabric and yarn and shops and patterns…not to mention the weather 🙂

  12. I shall have to go to that yarn store when I next go to Toronto! 🙂

    • be prepared to be overwhelmed!
      there is another store called ‘americo’ which is east of romni on queen st west – i didn’t have time to check it out but i have used some of their cotton yarn and loved it – definitely worth a visit 🙂

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