Sunday, September 28, 2008

Oh, Canada

Back from vacation! Vacation = eating my way through the Pacific Northwest with three awesome friends.

Vancouver, BC is amazing. The food is delicious and diverse, the city is clean, and the architecture gorgeous. By the end of our first day in Vancouver we were checking out real estate prices and wondering about becoming a citizen of the Commonwealth.

One of the things I loved most about Vancouver was the appreciation for outdoor space. They have a fantastic park, Stanley Park, the streets are lush and tree-lined, and the majority of apartment buildings had terrace, balcony, or roof gardens--bringing some fresh air and beautiful foliage into the urban landscape.

Here is a shot from the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Just a few minutes outside of downtown, this is apparently the biggest tourist trap in the area, but we could not resist the lure of a temperate rain forest and and a nice forest stroll.

Vancouver at Sunset, from our hotel room, looking toward English Bay.

Vancouver from our balcony in morning sunshine.

Did I mention that in Vancouver we gorged ourselves silly? Great food in that city. In Vancouver we ate salmon in these various ways: smoked salmon jerky, sashimi, in assorted sushi rolls, in fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, more sashimi, salmon artichoke dip, salmon pie, seafood quiche, and some more sashimi. I may have missed a few...

After Vancouver, we sailed for Victoria. Victoria itself was an underwhelming city with a few great buildings, and a lot of empty shops.

The highlight was definitely the gorgeous ferry ride from the mainland to Vancouver Island. Spectacular!

After Victoria we said good bye to two wonderful travel partners, and explored Seattle on our own for a few days. More goooooooooood food. We bough a crab, a pound of shrimp, a crusty loaf of olive sourdough, and a cranberry apple piroshki at Pike's Place market to make one of the best picnic style dinners ever. Not quite a picnic in an outdoor sense, but what else can you do when the Office season premiere is on but hunker down with some tasty snacks. Bears, beets, Battle Star Galactica.

We rowed all about Lake Union. More like N rowed me all about Lake Union in a cute wooden row boat rented from the Center For Wooden Boats in Seattle. And look, Sleepless in Seattle style houseboats!

Sweet Chinatown dragon...

We return very relaxed and happy, and still ready to move to Vancouver! I only went to one knitting store (the very cute So Much Yarn in Seattle) but restrained myself. I would love to be able to continue to restrain myself and knit from my stash until 2009. I did buy a couple cute fabric scraps at the Underground Quilter in Seattle's Pike's Place Market. I love quilting stores! The cotton, the prints, the adorably small bundles!

I do have some FO action shots!

My latest FO: Turn a Mountain Square
Pattern: Turn a Square Hat by Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Bernat Natural Cashmere (the dark grey) and Rowan Natural Silk Aran in Indigo
Comments: Seeing as this is the third one of these babies I have knitted, I will not go on too much. The only mod I made from the original was to knit on dpns not circs. The raglan decreases are at the joins in the needles, making the decreases a bit loose. I do not usually have laddering at my joins, but in this case with the decreases, they did crop up.

Oh! I know I said I would not go on too much, but I will share a mega dunce moment. The first two times I made the hat (having never made anything with color changes before) I did not know what "carry the other color" meant. I was cutting my yarn at every color change, making a mega mess of ends to deal with. I ended up hand felting the ends so they wouldn't run. Lots of ends. Tons. Like Monster from the Muppet's hair. It wasn't until I had started this third one, and was in the car, sans scissors, that I realized what was going on. I thought I wasn't going to be able to knit much on the car ride, since I did not have scissors and could not clip the ends. So I just knitted on anyway, thinking I could cut and tie off for felting when I got home. At the second color change it became gloriously clear: I had been mega dense about the directions! You are not supposed to cut the yarn, you are supposed to CARRY the unused color. Duh. Big time.

It is times like that I realize I my knitting career has been short and unproductive! Speaking of which, this month is my second knitaversary. The first year, I was still crocheting a lot, and only finished 1.5 scarves in my first year! That's it! Here in year two, I have completed a bunch more scarves, hats, booties, a cowl, socks, and am working on my first lace. I have picked up spinning (and sewing!) and taught several people how to knit. I hope that year three will bring my first sweater and a ton of awesome sockies!

The grey-red hat is turn a square #1, made for N. The blue-grey turn a square it #3, the Mountain version. The awesome short row hat to the right is made by our very own Kristina, out of some lovely Claudia's hand painted. I must say, there is nothing better than seeing good friends appreciating good knitting! These homemade hats were on these heads for at least a few hours everyday on this vacation.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Welcome home and happy knitiversary!! (I'm having mine right now too!) It looks like a glorious trip.... I have been wanting to go to all of those places soon.