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In March 2007, The Loop organized our first ever charity knit-a-thon. For 24 hours, many friends joined us to knit and crochet a mountain of hats, mittens, scarves and baby blankets for a trio of local Halifax shelters.
Some of our output from the knit-a-thon last year

Some of our output from the knit-a-thon last year

We’re ready to take on a new challenge and it’s happening this fall. On October 18th, we will be having a nocturnal knitting session to support two complementary causes. October 18th is also the date of Nocturne, a night-time art festival being held for the first time in Halifax. You can spend the evening wandering the city enjoying the many galleries that will be open until midnight, and while you’re at it, drop by The Loop to do some knitting for a good cause or two.

Late night knitting action at The Loop

Late night knitting action at The Loop

We will be making blanket squares for Afghans for Afghans, in partnership with our friends at Sunrise Mercantile in Tatamagouche. We will also be making socks and helmet liners to send in Christmas parcels to Canadian troops posted around the world.

We will accept afghan squares prior to the knit-a-thon, and afterward until November 20th. The afghan squares will be collected and sent to Sunrise Mercantile in Tatamagouche, who is coordinating a delivery to the organization Afghans for Afghans (click here for more information about the program).

We will deliver your warm wool socks and helmet liners for Canadian troops to the Military Family Resource Centre, who will pack them into the holiday parcels that are sent to troops overseas. We will need to drop these items off to the Centre by October 27th, for mailing on November 1st.

Natural fibres are preferred for both of these projects. In the next few days we will post more information about the items to be knit, materials requested by the organizations, and special discounts the Loop will provide on those materials for the knit-a-thon.

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I grew up in a rural area of southern Ontario, and when I was about 12, my father somehow convinced me and my older sister to join the 4-H calf club. Membership in this club involved learning about cattle anatomy, diseases and husbandry in general. To join this club you were required to have a calf to train; this training would culminate in the 4-H kids parading their calves around in the cattle show of the local fall fair.

My pedigreed Polled Hereford heifer, Missy, had a lovely personality and we enjoyed our time together. Somewhere there is a photo of me on our farm sitting on her back as she grazed contentedly; this behaviour did not conform to show rules.

I wonder if it was her eventual tragic demise, however, that turned my attention to sheep?

A year or so later, my dad bought me two ewes. No pedigrees here. These Finn-Lincoln cross sheep were more like mutts. But they were my flock, and I stuck with sheep for several years beyond the 4-H course requirements and the Puslinch Fall Fair sheep show.

Yes that really is me, and yes I once was that skinny.

Yes that really is me, and yes I once was that skinny. The ewe is Nellie, who was generation 2, with her lambs.

The point of my reminiscing is that back then, when I was 17 and had eventually bred a flock of a dozen or so sheep — selling lamb chops to neighbours and selling poor-quality wool to whoever owned that truck that came to pick it up — who would have imagined that years later, I would be sponsoring a knitting category in another fall fair in another province? Not me, that’s for sure.

But, here we are. The Maritime Fall Fair is fast approaching, and The Loop is sponsoring a new knitting category in the Homemaking Competition: Lace scarf or shawl. The prize will be a lovely and generous gift bag from The Loop.

When I spoke to the organizers of the competition about the current interest in lace knitting, they seemed skeptical. I talked them into it. So please, all of you genius lace knitters out there, please don’t let them think I’m crazy. You have until October 6th to submit your entries. (Please don’t submit them to The Loop!)

Other knitting categories include various types of mittens, sweaters and socks.

You can view all the rules for all of the homemaking competition in a lengthy Word document, downloadable from the Fall Fair’s website. There are 21 points in the General Rules, so we recommend you download the prizebook and check it carefully. The rules include but are not limited to the following points:

¬ Articles will be received by officials in the Handcraft Division between the hours of 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 6, 2008. ENTRIES ARRIVING LATE CANNOT BE ACCEPTED.

¬ Persons who cannot [deliver in person] their exhibits may send them express or mail prepaid, addressed to the Handcraft and Needle Arts Division Maritime Fall Fair, 200 Prospect Road, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3T 1P2. Such parcels must be mailed or expressed to reach the Exhibition no later than Monday, October 6th. at 12:00 noon.

¬ Exhibitors showing original designs are encouraged to send short descriptions of methods and materials used.

¬ Articles must have been completed within the past year.

We are constantly impressed by the talent of our customers, so we hope you will participate in the Maritime Fall Fair! You know you want a blue ribbon!


You may have heard by now that Pacafiesta will be happening again this year, on the weekend of September 27th and 28th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. So if you have a hankering to be overwhelmed by cuteness and lovely fibres, head up to Exhibition Park.

Pacafiesta celebrates the North American fibre industry, including the very engaging animals that provide us with that fibre. It’s an opportunity to meet goats, alpacas, sheep and even rabbits up close. Demos and workshops will include spinning, rug hooking and needle felting. The Loop will have a booth, highlighting our selection of local and North American yarns along with other tools and accessories.

If you don’t have a motorized vehicle, never fear, the organizers of Pacafiesta want to make sure you can get there. They have organized a shuttle bus, providing two round trips on each day of the fest. The bus will pick up from, and return to, The Loop. Space on the shuttle will be limited to 29 seats per trip. The bus is a small schoolbus-style vehicle, comfortable for all members of the family. There is a charge of $2.00 each way ($4.00 round trip) to help the organizers cover the costs of renting the bus.

The schedule for the shuttle is as follows, for Saturday and Sunday:

DEPARTURES from The Loop: 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

RETURN from Pacafiesta:  2:00 p.m. and 4:00 pm.

We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

Cathy is merriment
Mimi is starlings
Morgan is pomoboho
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