When will it end?

Soon. The endless parade of “what I did on my summer vacation ends soon. I’m keeping the pictures of Baadeck Yarns for afters, since I know that I need to give you all a reason to hang in there. For today however, we are tramping through Cape Breton (part of Nova Scotia) and Prince Edward Island.
After taking the Caribou across the Cabot Strait we drove across Cape Breton (Many thanks to Dave and Joe’s sister Kelly for picking us up) until we reached the home of Dave and Camille. Dave and Camille are Kelly’s incredibly generous and hospitable in-laws, and they put the whole Harlot tribe, plus Ken up, and served as a launching pad for the bike trip. (This was brave. Really, as blog readers I know that you imagine that I am a handful, but really, out of all of us, I am the easy one in this operation. (That’s a lie. A huge lie. If you are really going to include all of us… Ken is the easy one, although I do clean stuff up.)
Dave and Camille have the most beautiful home sitting right on the ocean. The children disappeared the minute I got there, and a while later (yup…a while, I get the mother of the year award again) I asked Kelly where they got to. Kelly said that they had gone to play in the ocean, Amanda, Megan, Sam, Savannah, Kamilah and Asha (Asha was on loan from England. Lovely girl.) “Playing in the ocean” sounded like the kind of thing I should sort of have a look at, even though my kids swim well. Kelly and I walked to the shore and I looked down at the beach for my kids. The beach is down a cliff and the kids (and the grown-ups) climb up and down a rope to get there (there’s a path further down for anybody who would like to be called a pansy), then a beautiful rocky beach, then the ocean shore. I looked all along, but couldn’t see the girls. Kelly pointed them out to me. I followed her pointing arm and there they were, six little specks bobbing in the sea about a football field out from the shore.
My heart stopped. Kelly seemed unconcerned. I didn’t tell Kelly, though I’m sure she guessed, that I stripped myself of the “mother of the year award” and gave it to her in an instant. Was she out of her mind? Did she care nothing for their safety? What kind of a woman lets six lovely little girls swim so far out from the shore that you could never swim out to save them in time? What about the undertow? What about being able to touch bottom? What about whales, or passing ships or ….well I don’t know, but I assure you that if you were there you would have flipped out. I didn’t flip out (outwardly) and instead of accusing Kelly of losing her everloving mind, I just quietly said…”Oh no…that’s too far. They need to come in. No, no, Kelly, they are too far. I’ll go get them. This isn’t right.” Kelly laughed, waved at the girls and…
Sam stood up. The water reached her waist. There’s a huge sandbar that goes out for a million miles. Kelly’s still laughing. It took six years off my life.
The next day was Meg’s birthday, so I stayed up into the night with Kelly, (I have cut the wine bottle out of this picture purposefully…so that you won’t think less of me) knitting the red poncho like a fiend and casting myself into the abyss of fringe. My hair is fairly large.
Meg loved it, and I got her to stop bouncing on the trampoline (in her styling blue satin pajama bottoms) long enough to get this picture.
Yarn is the much beloved (and sadly discontinued) “Mexican Wave”, the pattern is the “very harlot poncho” given on this very blog, with a couple of eyelet rows thrown in. Meg has worn in every day (except the bike trip) since then. This is discouraging when her outfit is green, but I’m glad she likes it.
The next morning “Team Harlot” left Cape Breton and took another ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI, found our styling campground and began our bike trip. Five days of cycling around PEI carrying our camping stuff and clothes on our bikes, seeing the world, the wind in our hair.
That’s a rare flat bit near Cavendish…and that’s the family riding away. During the bike trip the socks saw something that got them all excited.
I swear to you with all of my wool that I really thought that lobster flavoured potato chips would be good. All the best that PEI has to offer, you know? Ken and Joe looked at me like I had finally lost my ability to conceal my insanity as I snapped them up gleefully in the grocery store. That evening by the campfire I opened them and happily popped one in my mouth.
I don’t know what I was thinking. In the interest of politeness, lets just say that the chips let me down. Way down. Down like I think I might rather briefly lick a wet dog than put another one of those chips in my mouth. It’s not that they are bad. It’s that they are….inexplicable.
We got to Green Gables, and the sock was thrilled to discover fibre content. There was the Green Gables spinning wheel:
the Green Gables swift and skein winder:
and the prettiest little basket of Green Gables knitting.
(For anyone who is thinking what I was…Yes. I did let them know that a real knitter would never put carders in with their knitting. I mean, for crying out loud people, let’s think a little. I spoke to them about snagged stitches and fuzzed yarn. I think they understood.)
It was a little crowded there, and I had my first real hint that people in PEI might also feel that taking many pictures of a sock posing with various historical artifacts and items of Canadian significance could mean that you were a few elves short of an effective workshop…if you catch my meaning. Joe, who’s arm graciously appears in these photos kept struggling to explain. “Steph knits, and we take this sock places and…Steph takes their picture with cool stuff…because…she’s a yarn harlot, and some other knitters care about this picture of the sock, she took it to Prince too…….”

It was the evening that we camped at Cavendish that the following tragedy occurred. I was wearing a retractable headlamp to give me light to put up the tents, when I was called to dinner. Without thinking, I pulled the headlamp up over my head. The retractable strap retracted, taking a fair bit of my unruly hair with it. I stood there in the dark, desperately trying to free myself before I had to admit to my family that I had managed to adhere a freaking lamp to my head. It didn’t work, and eventually I had to admit defeat. Ken cut me free. (It is impossible to tell if I am laughing or crying in this photo. I didn’t know which it was at the time either, though everyone else was definitely laughing. Especially Megan, who (thanks so much Meg) found the camera and took this shot.) I’m so elegant it hurts.
Saturday we returned to civilization, with Ken and Joe driving back across the Confederation Bridge, and the girls and I returning to Cape Breton. Kelly got her Birthday Poncho,
1 skein Fleece Artist “Curly locks“, using the Very Harlot Poncho pattern again, this time without the fringe. 9mm needle.
and I got to go to Baadeck yarns. That trip is getting it’s whole own day.
Want a hint?

40 thoughts on “When will it end?

  1. Keep it coming, Steph. (I can call you Steph, right?) Looks/sounds like you had (and are still having) a fabulous time.

  2. If other people wonder about the sanity of a woman taking pictures of a sock in different locales, what would they think of the rest of us who wait with baited breath to see where the Dublin Bays turn up next!

  3. oh my goodness!!! tell me the ‘hint’ is your purchase from Baadeck and I’ll just die…
    Do you get yarn with a specific project in mind (that you know the requirements for), or do you just have a general idea that a sweater of x type needs z yards of yarn and this might be nice for one of those? I worry that I’ll not have enough of a yarn so unless I know what I’m using it for and how much it calls for I just can’t bring myself to do ‘speculative’ yarn purchasing. Maybe if I ever get to be a proficient accomplished knitter like the great Harlot… but not now.

  4. Ah, hair and holidays … the night before we went on holiday this year my husband, Al, decided to cut his own hair … free-hand & mirrorless … at 1am … after he’d been in the pub since 9.30pm. It was lovely. He really suited the skinhead he had to have done at the barbers the next morning to even it up …and I SO enjoyed being on holiday with someone who looked like a card carrying member of the BNP …

  5. Those darn headlamps! I love mine (for knitting in the car at night, of course!) though you definitely have to watch how you take it off. Lift from the *back*!
    I learned the hard way also… luckily I have short hair though.
    That looks ouchy.

  6. I’m new to your blog and absolutely in love! You are hilarious! I haven’t laughed this much in ages…the sock…the hair…hehehe…PEI! OH MY! I’m definitely going to be a regular here…lol.

  7. Oh Harlot, I’ve come out of lurkdom to say that I know that flat piece of shoreline at Cavendish well. It is just there that you will often see silver foxes at dusk. They are the descendants of the foxes that financed some of the old mansions in Summerside and Charlottetown. I’m so homesick for the coast . . . and I was born and bred in Ontario.

  8. And I can’t believe you put one of those lobster chips in your mouth. You shoulda sniffed first . . . . Yes, inexplicable.

  9. I was describing your blog to someone at my knitting group last night: “I have learned not to drink my hot cocoa in the morning while reading it, or I end up with chocolate coming out my nose.”
    Lobster chips. What a concept. Can I interest you in some Oobleck (think Dr. Seuss) Pie? Avocado/lime/honey cheesecake. Very Californian. Trade you coasts.

  10. I am so enjoying your holiday stories and pictures. It makes me feel I have had a holiday too. Reading your blog is always a feel good part of my day.
    Meg’s poncho turned out awesome – no wonder she loved it. Kelly’s was nice too.
    take care,
    liz 🙂

  11. Both ponchos are GREAT! And I have hair that got caught in every hairbrush I owned for the first 23 years of my life, so I am well familiar with the laughter through tears…
    But what do you mean Joe had to explain? Are there people out there who aren’t living vicariously through your socks? What sad, shameful lives they must lead…

  12. Oooh, I LOVE all the iterations of the Harlot poncho! I just ordered my yarn…..It’s going to be “raisin” Mission Falls for me.

  13. I’ve been reading for about a month now and I have to say that I’m hooked. This has got to be one of the best internet navigational mistakes I’ve made. (Yes, I discovered your blog completely by accident.)
    You inspire this newbie knitter! The saga of the Dublin Bay socks actually goaded me into tackle socks for the first time, albeit a simple pattern. So far, one sock down …
    And I understand the hair thing. Hairbrushes, headbands, helmets of all kinds… I gave up on hairbrushes years ago!
    Thanks for sharing your adventures, follies and wisdom!

  14. As usual, I laughed ’til I cried. Then I got to the yarn pic, and I drooled. Can’t wait ’til tomorrow!

  15. Ah, yes….each post more hysterical than the last. Please keep them coming!
    My Harlot speaks, and I must obey: before you abandoned us — uh, I mean went on vacation with your family — you told us to make a poncho using your Very Harlot Poncho pattern. I must obey! However, I’m making it for an 18″ American Girl doll. I hope that counts!
    More! More! We must have more.

  16. It would take me a very long time to tire of your trip. I’m so envious I could burst. As a geology undergrad I spent a field season in Nova Scotia, PEI and Cape Breton Island, and I think of that area as God’s country. It’s just beautiful. So enjoy yourself and keep plastering us with pictures. The ponchos are beautiful, too. I love the colors in Meg’s.

  17. Harlot, have you ever heard of the book “Curly Girl”? Twelve step program for those who have been blessed with really big hair.
    My girlfriend’s hair has been gorgeous for the last two years since she got this book. She has lovely red ringlets now…
    Love the knitting. Can’t wait to make a poncho from your pattern!

  18. I want to go to the Great White North even more now. Golly. The past two days have had me laughing until I cry, bringing my roommate in from the other room going “Jess? Did you run into the wall again?” Don’t fear the big hair pictures, we’ll still love you no matter how immense it is. 🙂

  19. Steph- Any chance you’ll post the changes you made to the Very Harlot Poncho which turned into Meg’s Spicy Poncho? I love the horizontal eyelets….not sure if that’s the *proper* description, but it is awesome!

  20. See? Didn’t I tell you, Harlotina? It’s Curly Girl — a conversion experience (but why do you redheads get all the great curls, huh?)
    Now — name, rank and fiber content on every skein in that photo. Slowly. Purring is allowed.

  21. Beautiful ponchos,and girls !
    Sock’s having fun.
    Poor,poor hair. I love your hair.Really.
    Sexy yarn and roving.Did you buy all that ? And more ? Fab !

  22. Steph, I was wondering if you have ever stuck a dpn in your hair and then lost it in there?

  23. You had to climb a rope down a cliff to get to the water? You weren’t staying in New Waterford by any chance, were you??
    NO amount of detail from a trip to Baadeck Yarns is too much, I love that store.

  24. My sister and brother love Utz crab chips. They don’t taste “crabby” but rather like BBQ chips with Old Bay seasoning. I still can’t bring myself to eat them. When my sister was stationed in Korea, she sent my kids “fun” snacks to try like Hello Kitty candy and shrimp flavored crackers. (The candy is gone, the crackers reside, unopened, in the pantry). When she went to Australia, we got Kangaroo jerky and kangaroo tail soup (unopened, for display purposes only). She is currently in Afghanistan and we’ve gotten arabic labeled Lays potato chips (those went to school in the lunch box for showing off in Social Studies and then were eaten). I just packed a box to send to her – Shrek skittles and homemade rice krispie treats. I wonder if I can find some crab chips??… Love your trip tales. I need to talk the family into a trip to the maritimes.

  25. With unexplainable obsession, I’ve spend all day yesterday (from 5 am to just past midnight on and off) knitting a mint-green Harlet poncho in a fluffy bulky weight mystery yarn. It’s looking fab and I suspect the moment the fringe is done, my soon-to-be 5 year old will be dancing and parading around in it. It’s so super easy, I can see knitting umpteen more of them! That photo of the yarn started uncontrollable drooling. Lucky Harlot!

  26. Your blog is bringing back some great memories for me. I’m from Miami originally and one summer my parents took us on a trip following almost your same route. I was twelve and I bought my first skeins of 100% wool on that trip, in Nova Scotia. I also remember seeing a dome tent sent rolling across the campground due to the wind while on PEI. I haven’t thought of that trip in forever. Thanks so much.

  27. I’m a new reader to your site. Guess what? It’s blackberry friendly!!! Hurray!! You took the sock to Prince!! I had to go back to July 28th to see if it was the same day I saw Prince!! It was!! I was there. Without my knitting. I would have loved to have brought it. Until of course he started to play. That was the most amazing concert EVER!! Before that I would have said Cher 2002. He’s the funkiest dude. I don’t think you should give up on him. He’s way too cool. Time to sign off and get to work on my poncho while the baby (okay toddler) naps. Beautiful pictures.

  28. Your pictures made me so homesick for PEI. I’ve spent many an August evening knitting in a Cavendish cook shelter, enjoying the warmth of the wood stoves.
    My sock went on an 11 night rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. It didn’t get finished because I didn’t take a headlamp, but it enjoyed the immense beauty and stillness of that awesome place. Then it spent a day being seriously overloaded by sensory stimuli in Las Vegas, and is now happy to be home in New Jersey. My only complaint about the Canyon was that there were no yarn shops. Of course, there were no shops… no noise… no airplanes, cars, other people…. It was heavenly. But next year in PEI for me. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  29. I love your ponchos! And I love the scenery behind Kelly – I think the ocean is almost exactly the same color as her poncho! 🙂

  30. Lobster-flavored chips? Whoa. I didn’t know they had a flavor beyond faintly fishy (I eat lobster for the butter). (And AlisonH — Oobleck pie? Eeek!)
    I had to laugh about the hair thing. My hair is nothing like yours, but it is so very much the sort of thing I can see doing to myself. *grin*
    And this — “a few elves short of an effective workshop” — I’m stealing. I’m going to stash it in my collection of fun sayings like “Slicker ‘n owl snot on a door knob.” Thanks for being my enabler!

  31. Aaack! My hair used to be huge like yours too, when it was waist-length. If I brushed it I looked like Janis Joplin, and sometimes when I put it in a bun with knitting needles or chopsticks they got stuck in there. So I cut it all SHORT and spike it with gel every damn day and even though I love my short haircut I wish I could grow it out again and just let it be huge. But as you probably know, the growing-out stages of curly hair can look pretty nasty.
    Your ponchos are beautiful. They help me make the decision to take the blue cotton poncho I worked on in the car on vacation for a trip to the frog pond! Because it just doesn’t compare.

  32. Still rolling around laughing-Good God-you could make a DOG laugh! I am reminded of some rather nasty “Shrimp Flavour Crisps” from my last trip to England-they tasted like what would happen if you licked the underside of a lobster trap that had been out for awhile!(imagine it!)-And can I lie in your Baddeck yarns stash and roll around? Pretty please! Keep on writing-love to read your blog!

  33. Hello.
    I’ve been looking around and came across your site by accident. The information you link to from your home page is quite informative so thanks for taking the time to post it.

  34. Hello.
    I’ve been looking around and came across your site by accident. The information you link to from your home page is quite informative so thanks for taking the time to post it.

Comments are closed.