You might be asking yourself: just what is Toronto Knits?
And what a great question! Let me begin by explaining how I came to knitting, the gaps I saw in the resources that were available as I learned all I could about the skill, and what I came to envision as the perfect, well-rounded resource for curious, engaged knitters in the community of Greater Toronto.
When I stumbled across the social network for knitters, Ravelry, in 2010, I was immediately hooked. I invested endlessly inspiring hours scouring the database for patterns and finished projects. After only a week or two, I had thousands of favourites collected – more patterns than I could ever hope to collect in my lifetime, let alone knit. At this point, however, I picked up the sticks (again; like many, I had learned the skill as a child, but set it aside for a while).
Mind the Gap
But there was one thing missing: an easily-navigable, local-to-Toronto, online community. Sure, there are Ravelry groups – but they frequently revolve around specific knitting shops. Others made me feel like I had to socialize in person in order to join in online – something that, as a natural introvert, I wasn’t too interested in.
However, more than online communities, I wanted to know where I could find all the local knitting classes, events & shows in my area, and I wanted them to be collected in one space, so I wouldn’t have to visit multiple websites to collect them all, every time I was looking for something.
Finally, I wanted a single place where I could reliably find all currently open knitting store listings nearby – wherever I was in the GTA. Google Maps was sorely lacking in listings in those days, and to this day are frequently incorrect. The same goes for KnitMap – a fantastic resource – but too many times have I found myself visiting a yarn shop listed on either resource, only to find it has either moved, changed its hours, or closed down completely.
The answer to my knitting woes? A curated online directory of yarn shops & mills, community organizations, and knitting/crochet circles in the Greater Toronto Area, replete with an owner-managed events calendar, and boasting a robust classified ads section for everyone else to buy & sell fibre arts related goods & services.
Toronto Knits is here to close these gaps in community offerings online that support the offline knitting community in both the City of Toronto, and the surrounding Greater Toronto Areas. And who knows – maybe one day, it will expand to include the whole of Canada!