More trip…sick of it yet?

Sorry for missing yesterday guys, as my friend Linda would say, I sort of “flamed out on re-entry”. I’m better today. Got some groceries, got the pictures developed, went to the post office, did laundry, cleaned the god-forsaken pit that we call a home….you know. Pulled it together. There are still bike parts in the front hall, but hell…you can’t have everything. (I admit that I am somewhat disappointed that my personal share of “not having everything” includes bike parts in the front hall instead of, say…not being able to buy organic quinoa in the convenience store on the corner, but let’s not get bitter.)
Just to ensure that I bore you all to tears and make sure that not one living soul comes back to read this blog, let’s continue the Dublin Bay socks tour of the maritmes…shall we? (I swear that there is yarn in this one, though I will not be granting Claudia’s request for really, really big hair pictures. She is right, they do exist, but it is better that they live in mystery.)
Joe, the sock and I (and some increasingly dirty children) made our way from the civilization of St. Johns to the incredible wilderness of Gros Morne National Park. Sam wanted to see a moose, and Joe promised her that he would give her a dollar if she didn’t see one by bedtime. 10 minutes into the park (right after the black bear, we were given this pamphlet when we entered)… Sam and the sock saw a moose.
This, I freely admit, is not the best moose picture in the world, but I didn’t have my camera with me the other 18 times. Even though you can’t tell in this picture, since the moose was lying in the grass, moose are huge. Moose are also a creepy kind of fast. They can be aggressive, and run up to 56 km/h and swim as fast as two men paddling a canoe. (Only in Canada would somebody rate the swimming speed of an animal using that reference, and only in Canada can you imagine exactly how that was figured out… go with the mental image “Paddle buddy, paddle, for crying out loud put your back into it!”)
We camped, swam, hiked, boated and knit through parts of the park (the park…should you forget that everything in Canada is immense…and that everything in Newfoundland is twice the size that it is in the rest of Canada, the park covers 1,100 square kilometres). One of the highlights, at least for the sock, was the hike and the boat ride into the fjord at Western Brook Pond. (Again, note the charming Newfoundlander knack for calling immense things by charming little diminutives….pond. Sure.)
We saw lynx, which was pretty cool, even though lynx eat sheep (and are therefore my natural enemy) and the children played in Shallow Bay at sunset.
Reluctantly, we left Gros Morne, and travelled around the edge of Newfoundland, where I amused the locals with my big hair, my complete lack of an accent (if you really want to crack somebody up in Rocky Harbour, pronounce the “H”. Newfoundlanders take the H’s off words that have them and put them on words that begin with vowels. A perfect example would be a Newfoundlander hearing an echo. They might say “Dat’s an ‘ell of a h’echo”.) and french pronunciation of non-french items. Pronouncing “Baie Verte” (Kathy…your going to love this) “Bai Verr” (which is the french) will get you a lovely enquiry…”So me dearie…where ya from?” They say “Bay Vert” (rhyme “vert” with Bert). It was on this part of the trip that I found “Aunt Maggie’s homespun”, in Woody Point, and scored this….
for so little money that I was woozy. The blue is called “Quoddy blue”, and I got enough for a sweater to remind me of the sea on Newfoundland’s West Coast.
I knit, we drove, I knit…we drove…until we reached Joe’s hometown of Corner Brook. On our way into the town I just about lost my cool. Joe hit the brakes, Meg leapt out of the car with the Dublin Bay sock, and I snapped this shot of the town sign. Check it out.
That’s right, for those of you with monitors that don’t believe in reflecting detail, the motifs on the sign say that in Corner Brook, you can get (in this order), a place to stay, food to eat, gas, YARN and camping.
I love Newfoundland. (It turns out, in the interest of full disclosure..that the ball of wool and needles symbol means that you can get Newfoundland handknits here. Still cool, not as cool as when I thought that the world had finally come around to my way of thinking and started marking yarn shops on town signs so that you would know if it was worth stopping….but cool.)
While in Corner Brook we swam where Joe swam as a kid, saw his old house, played where he played, saw his school and stayed with a dear family friend, Dick. Dick graciously let our tribe invade, let us take showers and eat real food, and regaled me with stories of knitting. When Dick was a lad, his mother used to punish him by making him knit. The amount he needed to knit was determined by the offense (when he stuck a girl in the hindquarters with a safety pin he had to do a square of a “whole needle full”), and Dick claims now that he can “knit anything”…though he doesn’t. Ever. Incredibly, it isn’t that his mother used knitting as punishment that turned him off. It was that when he had finished the proscribed amount...she would unravel it. Bitter.
While here, the Dublin Bay sock got to meet a Canadian celebrity, Jason King (who happens to be dating Dicks charming daughter, and is a really nice guy and, as witnessed by the holding of a stupid sock from Ontario, a pretty good sport too).
That’s Dick forcing Meg to stand beside Jason for a picture while she dies a thousand deaths. That’s what Dick’s like. (I like him.)
The next day, another long haul to Port aux Basques (for Kathy, that’s pronounced “Port ‘O Basks”) and the seven hour crossing on the Caribou to take us to Nova Scotia.
The sock thought it was a huge boat. The sock worried a little about sinking. The sock tried not to think about being so far out in the ocean that there was no way that it could ever drag the children to shore if the boat sank. The sock isn’t like that.
Tomorrow..Cape Breton, Kelly’s poncho, Meg’s poncho and more maritime Hijinks as the Harlot and crew cavort across another two provinces. For now, I’m off, since this is what my girls have done to my nephew Hank while I typed…
for anyone keeping track, it’s 12 days until the first day of school.

30 thoughts on “More trip…sick of it yet?

  1. Hey-what would it take to be included in next summer’s vacation? I wanna go! And-12 days?! We only have 4! Boo hoo! Wasn’t it like, yesterday that you wrote about the first day of summer break? Wow, summer has flown by, that is for sure.

  2. That roadsign is the best…they have their priorities right, now don’t they – shelter (where to knit), food (to fuel your knitting), gas (to get to the yarn store) & then YARN itself!
    And then public transportation as a last resort…to get to the yarn store. 😉

  3. Scenery, yarn, AND a hockey star? I am sooo jealous. Despite my residence south of the Mason-Dixon line, ice hockey is right up there with knitting in my book. In fact, come every October, it’s me, Center Ice, and a ball of wool straight through to the Stanley Cup playoffs. If this year’s season is cancelled, I fear for my sanity!

  4. If you ever find yourself near the Idaho-Washington State border… Coeur d’Alene is pronounced Core da Lane.
    Love the knitting road sign!

  5. You are Super Harlot if you’ve already done all the vacation laundry. I understand the boat fears. My husband is trying to convince me to sail for long periods of time where land can not be seen. I get panicky thinking about it.

  6. Im going to miss those socks and their adventures. But the real reason I am posting , is to make you a little jelous. My kids started school today, and man is it lonley without them.

  7. I could barely finish the rest of your post for the tears of joy streaming down my face at that sign. Seriously. My coworker is handing me tissues and I’m having to claim allergies and fake sneezes here.
    But shouldn’t it be “Haunt Maggie’s ‘Omespun”?

  8. I haven’t even gotten to the end of the post and I have to comment.
    My brother runs a wilderness canoe tripping camp in Northern Ontario, and the image of how you come up with a two-men-in-a-canoe unit of moose swimming speed measurement reduced me to choking, helpless giggles at my desk.
    The thing is, two competent paddlers in low wind conditions can really make some good time. Those damn beasts must be FAST.
    Stephanie, my employees are supposed to think I’m WORKING. Can you tone it down, please?
    The same thing happened when I read your skating heroine story in Knit Lit, too, but I was safely at home when that happened.
    Goodness, WELCOME HOME!
    Gotta go back and read that again. And the rest of it.

  9. Your story of moose and canoes reminded me of exactly how close northern Minnesota is to Canada. In fact, should you ever find yourself driving Scenic Highway 61 in Minnesota, just outside of Knife River you would find a roadsign that reads “Yarn Shop.” At the end of the indicated driveway, you would find Playing With Yarn (, which is run from half of the proprietor’s home and is chalk full of yarny goodness. You would also be set up for an epic hike along the Superior Hiking Trail (, which is both beautiful and challenging.
    But why the heck would you want to visit Minnesota, when you have all of this, only better, without crossing the border? Well, you could comceivably come through Minnesota to get to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival (
    Of course, such a superior Harlot as yourself should probably disregard the ramblings of a mere Hooker. You use twice the number of needles that I use, and are thus twice the woman.* 🙂
    *Bastardised from a canoeist/kayaker rivalry in which canoeists claim “half the paddle, twice the (wo)man.” I’ll cease rambling on now.

  10. My family is from Newfoundland, but I have never been there. I think after I have finished hearing all about your trip, I am going to have to plan one of my own. Living in T.O. is great, but my goodness it looks beautiful out there.
    And any place that has a yarn sign has to be good.

  11. I love Hank and I love your girls. When I was younger, I dressed by brother up as a little girl for Halloween and pulled him around in the wagon–he was about 3. I would ask for candy for him if he didn’t feel like going to the door. The people would say, Brother? Where’s your brother? Upon being informed that my brother was the very adorable girl in the wagon (complete with red leather mary janes–delicious), they’d gasp and look upon me with horror–it being the relatively unenlightened Southern-Mid-West of the mid-70’s. He loves that story now–well, at least his son finds it hysterical.

  12. Sick of it?!?!?! Are you CRAZY!???!?!
    The only thing that got us all through the last two weeks was knowing how much fun it would be to hear you tell about it, and how the pictures would be worth 1,000 words each.
    ALREADY it’s worth it, but we want MORE MORE MORE!
    And, really, the picture of your girls in Shallow Bay is frame-worthy, contest-worthy, poster-worthy. Breathtaking.
    We’re so lucky that you’re so generous!

  13. The knitting road sign is amazing. I wonder if I could move there. You still take pictures that have to be developed? I haven’t taken a single non-digital pic since getting a digital camera. Glad you’re back!

  14. I am so with Claudia. Would Canada take me? Any place that wants peace, and health care plus! has yarn on the signs! I’m ready.

  15. Yarn Harlot,
    I continue to envy the Dublin Socks trip to the Martimes. Your pics are so beautiful. I’m glad you are back-I really missed your blog.
    I love the roadsign.

  16. Yeah, yeah. All of the above times ten. But what I really want is a really-big-hair picture. Please?

  17. I’m loving the travalogue.Fantastic pictures.The socks’ gut instincts about big boats are spot on. :0)
    Fab yarn you bought !

  18. You know, for all the lip and worry those DB socks gave you, I’m surprised they survived the trip at all.
    I was hoping for more graphic shots of yarn and wool, but I understand this is a more family oriented site. Perhaps, if I give you my email, maybe we can work out an arrange for said photos… *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*
    Again, welcome back =)

  19. Steph, lovey, thanks for the Newfoundlandish French.
    I knew I loved that place.
    But how could you not love a place where people refer to the washing cycle that’s careful with your “fine washables” as the “tender” cycle?
    I ask you.

  20. Hey there…long time no chat!
    Looks like your trip to NL was great! I’m home here on the rock as well now!!! I was actually camping in Gros Morne a couple of weeks ago myself (at a campsite just a few minutes north of Rocky Harbour). We had a great time there! There are few pics on my blog from our hike up Gros Morne! I have some awesome pics of Moose from the park also, i’ll post a couple on my blog when I get back to my apt (in a couple of weeks) for you!
    Must be going again…. BTW, I love the sign pic!!!! I never noticed the yarn on highway signs before…but i’ll be sure to check now!!! hehe……….and I had a great time at the ferry terminal as well knitting haha (in Nova Scotia)…seems we’ve had some similar experiences! ^_^

  21. Ah, Steph!! You’ve outdone yourself when my two youngest boys (17 yrs and 19 yrs) had to come over to the computer to see what the sock has seen!! This post deserves to be re-read many times! Jenny

  22. I would have SO stolen that road sign. I would have figured something out. Maybe wrapped it up in newspaper and told the airline it was a REALLY big thing that was used in my sick second cousin’s sister’s aunt’s dialysis machine. They might have caught me. But I would have SO stolen it.

  23. I just LOVE the signs in Canada- they are so helpful! I would have been running off the road to take that picture too- awesome.
    The picture of your kids swimming was great- you should blow that up and frame it or something.
    Sigh. I wish I was back up in the Maritimes… It is so beautiful. My guy and I were just up there and he asked me to marry him on a beach in PEI. 🙂

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