This past weekend, Teddy and I jumped in the car and headed for the Big Smoke. It’s Creativ time again! It’s always such a treat to see what’s going on in other crafts and it’s inspiring to bring home new ideas and new ways of looking at knitting. This year, I was particularly surprised at what sprang from unexpected sources…Mary Maxim, for example. I don’t know if y’all have Mary Maxim south of the 49, but for a Canadian girl growing up, Mary Maxim was “Grandma Knitting”. Every week, in the Sunday paper, there would be a little black & white ad waaaay back in the classified section. It would be a tiny line drawing of a sweater or a hat and scarf. You’d clip the ad from the paper, make yourself a self-addressed stamped envelope, enclose about .35 cents plus 2 cents for postage and Voila! Three weeks later, you’d have a pattern in your mailbox! Magic!
How things have changed for good ‘ol Mary! Over the past couple of years at Creativ (and various fibre festivals) I’ve noticed a great number of her little pink bags being toted around. This year I decided to see what all the fuss was about. Wow! Grandma’s knitting no more! At least, not all of it. I’m telling you, there are some incredible marketing geniuses at work here. In her 60th year, Mary has partnered with Roots Canada (that’s right! Hipster heaven!) to create these magnificent sweaters, all evocative of our Canadian heritage and imbued with the irony so particular to hipsters. Yet, the Grandma quotient has not been entirely ignored with many of her iconic low priced synthetic fibre still available.
Some great knitting minds have been employed in Mary’s resurrection as well. Check out these brilliant short rows! Though I can’t say I’m nuts about the color or the yarn, I’ve been searching everywhere for this pattern, post-facto, and am seriously thinking of phoning Mary’s original Paris, Ontario store to get it.
The best thing about Creativ, though, is the desire on the part of knitters (and other crafters) to keep pace with what’s new and what’s out there to learn. Creativ hosts a multitude of classes and workshops which are very well attended, my own Two-at-a-time Sock class among them. I was blessed with an eager, skilled and intelligent group who really ‘suspended their disbelief’ to learn the technique. It was great fun and a great learning experience for me, too. At their request, I’ve posted two new videos on the Tutorials page, “Long Tail Cast On for Two” and “Twin Stitch”. I hope they’re helpful :)