June 13, 2007

In the Garden City

I'm home (the flight from Alaska is seriously long.) but still catching up on where I've been and what I've done. The Garden City is Victoria's nickname, and it's entirely apt. Victoria sits on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, and it's British Columbia's capital. (People often think it's Vancouver, but that city just gets a lot of press.) It has the mildest climate of Canada, and I've often said that I would live here in a second, but for the rain and banana slugs. (The banana slugs are just plain creepy, growing up to 25cm that's 9 inches. Someone just told me that if you lick them your tongue goes numb. I am absolutely gripped by wondering how the heck someone figured that out. Not wanting to be burdened with a horrible mental picture, I didn't ask.) Victoria is also home to the oldest yarn shop I know of, Beehive.


101 years old this year. (I bet the back room is a sight to behold. I wonder what you could rustle up in there.) The sock saw the gate to Chinatown


and Marilyn's house.



She's the organizer of the knit-out, and lives on a boat. (She keeps her stash in a room of a building off the boat. I asked. I knew there was no way her stash was fitting on a boat.) The sock was happy to play to a Canadian crowd, and I was relieved that (since much of my family hails from the west coast) there was nobody I was related to in the auditorium. (Public speaking is weird enough without surprises to make it weirder.)



When it was over, the parade of 1st socks began. (I am so dim. It only occurred to me the other evening that this many 1st socks in one place can't be an accident. Wily Canadians. You wait and see, I'm going to switch it to shawls or something.)


Click to make the knitters bigger.


Colleen heard me when I said "That's it. I'm not doing 1st sock anymore. I'm going to do First Shawl!" and she whipped this out.


Yup. First Shawl.

Alyson (who just got married) used the same yarn as I used for my big pink thing (Blue Moon STR Pink Quartz) to knit her own big pink things.


Seriously fabulous.


Maybe you can only use this yarn for big pink things? Has anyone used it to make a small pink thing? Is it possible?

McKenna was there.


McKenna is the architect of the very clever and beautiful stash weasels,


and because part of the money is going for her education, and part of the money is going for Knitters without borders, I can tell you that should you wish to have your very own one of a kind Stashweasel (complete with birth certificate) that I'd be happy to put you in touch with the young artist in question.

Check this out. Val started with the baby sweaters and you know what?


She can't stop! It's not just me! The things are addictive. What an enormous relief to see her standing there with them.

I was honoured that Rabbitch was my hat lady...


Don't let the smile fool you. We all know just what we're dealing with here. (Note that she is not covered in dye. I take this as a personal compliment.) This was the only time she looked pleased, right up until we got her some beer. (That improved my mood as well.) After the talk and all the first socks, the Knitters invaded the patio of The Canoe Club (Canadian knitters are apparently a pub invading force to be reckoned with)


where over the course of an hour or so, we managed to claim all seats (a great cheer would go up when knitters procured another table)...except three. In these three seats remained three handsome young chefs...who were given a choice. Knit...or go.
I used my special knitting lesson for young straight men to teach them. It is not fit for repeating here, lest I lose my reputation for tasteful vagueness. For the curious, I will simply disclose that an analogy was drawn between the insertion of a knitting needle into a stitch and...well. Other forms of ins.....never mind. I'm sure you see where I'm going. Carry on. I'm sure that someone will post a link to pictures of this in the comments. One of the gentlemen said to me "knitting is sort of hard!" and I assured him that as with other things he was having difficulty with at present, like walking, speaking and forming an intelligent string of reason....knitting was easier when sober.

The next morning I made my way to the Knit out at Saxe Point Park,
and I met many wonderful knitters, including Barb


(Don't you just love the hat?)

and Paul.


If you look closely at Paul's knitting, you'll see that he's holding two really interesting knitted objects. In recent years, Paul's had two surgeries. Open heart surgery resulted in the anatomically correct heart he is holding on the left (The inside of the heart is correct as well, right down to the valves and chambers) and then more recently, he had a hip replaced....and he knit one of those too.
Lest yee think that Paul specializes in body parts...


this is just one of 84 blankets he's made. Incredible.
The sock and I checked out the view over the Juan de Fuca Strait, and we looked for whales...


but a found another sock photographer in the wild.
(I am so not alone in this.)


On that note, I made for the airport and Alaska and knit the whole way. I've been knitting tons actually, Alaska is far, and the trip there and back is seriously good knitting time. I've been working on the Kauni Cardigan.


I think it couldn't possibly be more lovely. (I know, you're all asking. the free pattern is here at Ruth's, (click on the little Union Jack to download a pdf in English) but the yarn is a little more complex. There's a rumour that it can be had at Knitty City in NYC, but I suspect it's all gone from there. I don't know of any other US/Canadian source, all the places I found were European. I ordered my yarn from here, and though my Danish is non-existent, when I emailed her in English she responded quickly (in English) and the transaction was swift and easy. The yarn was in my hot little hands very quickly...though shipping is a little dear. I suggest finding some other knitting friends who want the yarn too, and doing the shipping equivalent of a carpool to save money.
Happy Hunting.

I'll write about Alaska in a few days. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I don't do squat on my birthday that I don't want to- and that might mean I don't blog. No way to know. Today though, is the birthday of my esteemed mother, the person in the world I have the most respect for. Funny, articulate, sensible..If I am anything good, I learned it from my Mum. (Except knitting. She does not knit, but is perfect somehow anyway.)
Happy Birthday Mum!

(PS. Since tonight is the Knit Night at Lettuce Knit closest to my Birthday, and since I think the best place to have your birthday party is a yarn shop, I shall be there celebrating ...and you should feel free to join me.)

Posted by Stephanie at June 13, 2007 12:48 PM