Vancouver, it’s been a pleasure

 You know, when I travel all the time like this, it’s all based on work, and it’s hard to justify too much fun, beyond the fun that it is to actually have this job, which is so much better than working as a Diet Coke sample girl in the supermarket (and yeah, I had that job and you bet I had to wear a pinafore.) There’s not any time to sightsee, and if I wanted to have a little fun I’d have to stay an extra day, and spending money to earn money sort of negates the purpose of the latter, so… I go. I work (at my pretty fun job) and then I come back home, and then people really think I’ve been to these places, and I haven’t. Not really.

This trip was a little different.  I was in town for Knit City, and let me tell you, that was pretty amazing fun all by itself.  I love the Canadian events with an unholy passion, and it was clear from the attendance and enthusiasm that Fiona and Amanda have got their feet nicely under them, and Knit City is really going to be a thing.  Great classes – nice vibe – and an amazing, amazing marketplace full of amazing, amazing Canadian yarn and other stuff knitters like. The list of Vendors read like a Canadian dream team.

It was so awesome it smacked me into camnesia, and I only have about 4 pictures of the whole event – and one of them is a selfie of me, Amanda and Fiona that is so incredibly bad that I feel like publishing it here would terminally influence our relationship, and I would really like to come back to Knit City again. 

The event was great, and I had a wonderful time, especially since some of my favourite Ontarians were my fellow teachers (Hi Kate! Hi Fiona! Hi Kim!) We had time for some meals together and we had a grand time in general, and I really can’t say enough nice things about my clever and welcoming students, but here was the best part.

I had one afternoon off. I finished teaching at noon, and I didn’t have to speak until the evening,  and the sun was shining and (together with a friend) I rented a bike and went for  ride on the seawall all the way around Stanley Park.  It was amazing. 

I really got to enjoy the park.  On my way to the park my cab driver asked me what I was doing.  I said I was going to Stanley Park.

"This is a very good idea." he said.  Then I told him I was going to rent a bike, and ride the seawall. 

"This.." he said, "Is the ideal."

He was totally right.  Thanks Knit City, and thanks Vancouver. You’re all awesome.
I’m on my way home. 

PS I took the Skytrain to the airport and it was very cool.

PPS: Hey Toronto, Clara’s coming tomorrow night.  Anybody fancy a bit of a yarn party?

191 thoughts on “Vancouver, it’s been a pleasure

  1. The mental self imagery is hoping that the Diet Coke sample girl was before you had ‘working class breasts’. I think the job may have been a paid one rather than ‘voluntary’ no pay.
    I have been trying to suggest this ‘voluntary job’ idea to 17 year old son. His reaction is contempt, ‘if he is going to work he would prefer to be paid for it!’ – wouldn’t we all. Here’s hoping his introduction to the working world isn’t too difficult for him.
    Hey I got two posts for the download price of one!

  2. I have never had the opportunity to come to Canada, but the more I read your posts and see your photos, the more convinced I am that I NEEEEEEED to come – beautiful yarn and great people; what more could you ask for!?!

  3. Stanley Park is one of the most wonderful parks I have been to and riding/roller skating/walking around the seawall is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Gee, that reminds me that I haven’t been to Vancouver since I didn’t need a passport to go.
    Glad you had such a great time. It is a wonderful city.

  4. My favorite thing about Stanley Park was the sign stating that the entire park and its facilities are a smoke-free zone. Amazing and wonderful!

  5. No, thank you!! It was awesome to take a class with you, and your talk was fantastic. I had tears running down my face I was laughing so hard. You are so good at what you do, thank goodness you do it!
    Ps-I couldn’t help but think of your blog post about it taking five hours to get here. It takes me six of walking, buses and ferries to get to an island you can see from Stanley park 😉

  6. Thank you for coming to Knit City, and for the amazing, hilarious lecture on Saturday night.
    I was volunteering all weekend, and it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a very long time.

  7. Your lecture on Saturday night was amazing. I had tears running down my face from laughing so hard! Thank you for a wonderful evening.

  8. Triple blog post action! That would be me if I had a blog.
    Vancouver is craaaaazy beautiful. One of my top 10 cities I’d love to visit!

  9. Knit City was incredibly awesome. The lecture was the cherry on top of a fantastic bowl of ice cream. Way too funny and hope to see your here again next year. Vancouver loves you too.

  10. I live near “Stanley Park” – but it’s not as pretty as that one!
    Clearly the name is popular.
    Also, clearly I need to get me to a knitting event of some sort pronto!! (time to start saving….)

  11. I agree with Diane’s comment that ready posts like this make me want to come to Canada, again! Shoot, they make me want to MOVE there! Ok, until I remember the snow…

  12. Lucky you getting to teach in my favourite city in Canada (I don’t live in BC). The people are nice and the scenery is breathtaking and I would live there if it wasn’t so expensive.
    By the way, you seem to be getting a lot of fan mail written with an alphabet that is unfamiliar. Don’t forget google translate. My son in law is Taiwanese and I have used it a lot, although I have no idea what language the posts are in.

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming to Vancouver. Your lecture on Saturday was so funny that I, too, had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. I also had the opportunity to take your Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class and it’s already had a (positive) affect on my knitting speed. The event was a dream come true for me 🙂
    And your photos make me so thankful that I get to live in such a beautiful (and snow-free) city.

  14. Lucky Vancouver. We want you in Ottawa! (or Cornwall, or Montreal). We are close to Toronto 😉 We need to learn to speed knit!
    Vancouver looks beautiful. I had a chance to visit Victoria once – equally gorgeous, plus there is whale watching, and Butchart Gardens, and old-growth rain forest and … Next time you are there, take the extra day.

  15. I saw that park from our cruise ship deck, way back on our 25th anniversary cruise. It has been on our bucket list as someplace to explore ever since then.
    See: that’s why you did all those miles of bike training. Glad you got to do some fun riding, too!

  16. HA! ” spending money to earn money sort of negates the purpose of the latter” You are obviously not a farmer. We spends tens of thousands of dollars in the spring and hope to at least break even come winter.
    Looks like a fabulous time at the beach. Better than freezing like we are doing here in the Ottawa Valley.

  17. So glad you had such a great time in my neck of the woods. Vancouver is truly a gorgeous city and you hit it at a great time with beautiful fall weather. Thinking I need to put Knit City on my list for next year!

  18. Whew! I’m finally caught up. I only found your blog a year ago when I stumbled upon your reversible scarf pattern, and I went all the way back to the beginning and have been reading ever since. Thanks for making me laugh and cry and feel that my love of knitting is not only normal but wonderful.

  19. Great to have you in Vancouver , Knit City was a blast, your lecture was hilarious and thought-provoking too, thank you. And for you, a ride around Stanley Park on a sunny day- bonus!

  20. I live in beautiful BC and had no idea about Knit City, I live in Quesnel and would definitely make the trip to be among fellow knitters! My people!

  21. I know what you mean about traveling for work.
    My husband and I used to drive semi over-the-road. All we ever saw were interstate highways, truck stops, and loading docks. We were always under a *major* time crunch because that’s the way the transportation industry works.
    At one point I swore that the next person who asked me if we stopped to see the Grand Canyon while we were in Arizona, was going to get smacked. 🙂
    Glad you got to take a mini vacation this trip!

  22. I live in one of the buildings in the picture you posted near the top and I have a most fabulous view. I love living here. Thank you for taking the time to see something of our beautiful city – and to show people that it doesn’t just rain all the time, smile. You didn’t mention our encounter in the bathroom. I’m hoping you’ll do a series of bathroom stories some day. Seems you’ve had more than one encounter. Thanks for being here, and thanks for dropping by our booth (

  23. I love Vancouver.
    When I was there, my spouse had a conference and we stayed downtown. I decided one afternoon to visit a yarn shop with a carding machine. To get there, I unwittingly walked through the downtown East side. I would have never been brave enough to do so had I known what I was doing but am really glad that I did.
    Next time I’ll go to the seawall. At the time yarn seemed very important.
    Glad you enjoyed it!

  24. Somehow, other people’s pictures remind me even more how lucky I am to call the Lower Mainland my home, glad you enjoyed your stay!

  25. You walked past me in the marketplace right when I was buying raw qiviut fiber that was on sale, and I almost went up to you to say, “Look what I found!” because I knew you would appreciate the value of qiviut fiber at 30% off. But I am a chicken and that seemed rude, particularly as it was probably during a break between your classes, so I didn’t.

  26. I was lucky enough to take two fabulous classes from you (and one from Kate and one from Kim – apparently I favor Ontarians) – thank you so much! Now I feel confident that I will get out of the room if I must produce a sock, and I’ve been practicing the knitting method you taught us. I’m going to teach my daughter this way, I think.
    I’m so glad you got a nice day and were able to get to the park!

  27. I spent a day in Vancouver once and did exactly the same thing; and it was wonderful. I especially liked the sort of Zen rock sculptures on one of the beaches – little rock towers that look impossible. Glad you had a chance to have such a wonderful “day off” experience! You definitely deserved it.

  28. I am so glad that my daughter invited me to attend your talk on Saturday night. I appreciate the serious messages that you communicated so well through your wonderful humour. Many times since then I have thought about your words and they have lifted my spirit. Thank you for coming to Vancouver to share your gifts with us!
    To keep with your theme of respecting knitters and their art, I want to share an anecdote with you.
    My daughter was attending a conference in San Francisco a year ago. As always, she brought out her knitting while she was listening to a speaker. The woman sitting next to her said, “You should put that away, we worked too hard for too many years so that we would not have to do tasks like that any more.” Recovering quickly from her shock, my daughter said, “Oh, I thought we were fighting for the right to do what we wanted to do”. She continued to knit, and I continue to be proud of my daughter.

  29. It was my first time hearing you speak in person. What an amazing night!! As others have said, I laughed til I cried and my stomach still ached the next day. I left so inspired and so proud to call myself a knitter. Thank you!! Can’t wait til next year.

  30. I’ve been to lovely, lovely Vancouver twice (from UK) and I’ve done that exact same thing twice too. Just when you think that a perfect city by the ocean couldn’t get any better, they have a perfect park and a beautiful cycle route. It’s just heaven.

  31. I’ve been to lovely, lovely Vancouver twice (from UK) and I’ve done that exact same thing twice too. Just when you think that a perfect city by the ocean couldn’t get any better, they have a perfect park and a beautiful cycle route. It’s just heaven.

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