The Royal

Here in Toronto, we have a great big agricultural fair each November called The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, though I’ve never heard anyone call it anything but The Royal. I’ve always loved The Royal, and the older I get the more I love this big country thing happening right in the middle of the largest city in Canada, because The Royal happens at the Exhibition grounds, and that’s just about downtown. You can take the streetcar there. My daughter Sam and I went yesterday, met up with a knit-posse, and took lots of pictures for you folks who aren’t fortunate enough to live close by.

Here I give you “Reasons why you should go to The Royal…or be really sorry you can’t”

1. Canadians aren’t stupid, so we aren’t about to hold a “Winter fair” outside. This is the main building for the fair,


and this is The Horse Palace. (I think the fact that there exists in the world such a place as “The Horse Palace” redeems humanity a little.)


2. You will see lots of animals. This is pretty fun. There are cows from the rear,


Cows from the front.


and cows arranged in rows. (We only stopped with the cows because it seemed appropriate, not because we ran out of cows.)


3. If you don’t like Cows, you had a lot of other choices. Do you want chickens?


or Pigs?


Maybe you want piglets?


How about this pig?


(Sam and I were unable to definitely state that this pig had eyes. We couldn’t find them. )

4. They have a totally awesome petting zoo. (Sam told me that she thinks the petting zoo at The Royal was “intense” and “hardcore”, and she’s 13 and pretty hard to please.) It must be good though, because I had a lot of trouble dragging not just Sam, but Rachel H. out of there.



5. Perhaps you like dogs more than other animals? We saw this.


6. I hear you. You don’t like animals. You like vegetables. Well yee haw cupcake because The Royal has that too.


7. You further discriminate and are only interested in Giant vegetables? Ok.



8. I hear the rest of you. You’re saying that you’re a fibre person and you’re only interested in fibre things. Gotcha. Well, that’s why I went to The Royal. There are fibre animals everywhere. (Click to make big)


Even Angora bunnies so furry that they look like they are cubed in their cages.


9. You can see a sheep to shawl contest where the teams start with a raw fleece, and pick, card, spin, ply and weave a shawl in less than 4 hours.


10. You can eat an apple dumpling with caramel and ice cream.


(Sorry, that one wasn’t fibre related, but we had to keep our strength up.)

11. Best of all though, you can go to the fleece auction. The best fleeces I have ever had came from The Royal, and this year there were some very nice ones. I gathered with my peeps:


and we came up with a gang sign for spinners.


We examined all the fleeces and made choices about what we were going to bid on.


Denny and I really liked this one. A beautiful white corriedale.


Then the auction starts.


Denny successfully outbid – well. Everyone to get us the one we liked (at like…$6 a pound. That’s a great deal.) and I got into a bidding war with Lorne from Wellington Fibres over a seriously good looking coloured fleece that Rachel and I are going to split. (We got that one too. It’s a beauty.) Mel got a bunch, Laura got some too. We cleaned up, actually.


The fleece auction is a lot of fun. A. Lot.

12. I’ve saved the best thing for last though. The best thing?



The butter sculptures.

Don’t you wish you could have come? Me too.

PS. Apparently some of you are getting a spyware “dangerous site” warning when you visit here? If you are, could you drop me a line at stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca (change the words to the symbols) and let me know what warning software you’re using? My liquidweb tech person (Stephanie, she just learned to knit) is saying it’s a database thing that she can fix.