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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

O Canada!

We just got back from a trip to Montreal and Quebec City.

It was just so wonderful. The people could not be nicer, the streets were so clean and safe-feeling, and the scenery was amazing. Though, the highway drive between the two cities seemed like "bizarro America" because it was just like driving through Maryland or Pennsylvania but with French signage!  I wonder if I could live with 8 feet of snow a year...

And, thanks to a wonderful and indulgent hubby, I was able to stop by a yarn store in each city.  The concierge at the Intercontinental Hotel in Montreal obviously was not a crocheter or knitter because she just pulled up a random shop that didn't quite sound right; thankfully I got my internet working and was able to do a little searching of my own (tried to do research before leaving home, but couldn't figure out on the map how close/far things were).  Hence, right before heading out of town, we stopped at La Maison Tricotee (The Knitting House).  Everyone there was so friendly and tolerant of my attempts at French (though French is definitely the first language, everyone switches to English as soon as they see a blank stare in response to whatever they've just ), and they pointed out a lovely locally-dyed yarn that I grabbed up (and it was very reasonable in Canadian dollars, and, with the exchange rate, was even better in US dollars!).  It's definitely a modern, hip yarn store, with a comfortable seating area, a cafe, and all the bells and whistles you'd want in an LYS.  The neighborhood in which it's located sure seemed like a nice place to live as well.

Then off to Quebec City!  We stayed at the Fairmont Chateau Le Frontenac; it was like a fairy tale castle!  

We wore ourselves out running around the hotel hallways to the indoor pool and spa and then through the quaint alleyways full of shops and restaurants.  In the afternoon, we went driving in search of a yarn shop.  The first one I pulled up in my search, Softi, now is a beautiful art gallery but not what we were looking for.  So, off to La Dauphine we went (and thankfully there was an organic boulangerie next door for the husband :-).  

Although when you first enter, it appears a bit unorganized with no sitting area, you soon discover the amazing selection of yarns they have, really good quality, reasonably priced beauties.  Again the ladies there could not have been nicer or more helpful to me as I stumbled around trying to decide what to buy.  As soon as I actually unpack (got back late Sunday night and had to go to work on Monday :-(, I'll be posting pix of my finds and my plans of what to do with them! 

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Trip to Knitlandia

As I'm working on a post about baby blankets and trying to figure out some technical issues about how to make a fabulous chart of measurements available to you all, I decided to take a little "trip."  I've been meaning to get Knitlandia by Clara Parkes (note: affiliate link to book on Amazon provided below) and had a digital credit on Amazon, so I got the Kindle version, though I'm tempted to get the hardback, actual book as well because, while reading her stories, it just feels like you should have a real book in your hands!  I've really only just started the book but felt the need to recommend it to anyone looking for an escapist read.  I'm in the portion where she's telling about her trip to Iceland.  I've always wanted to go to Iceland, and, after starting this section of the book, I want to go all the more.  Ms. Parkes' writing style is easy to read and very descriptive, so you really feel like you're there with her as events unfold.  But, in a way, her storytelling is deceptive:  she's sharing an incredible amount of technical information about yarn production from sheep to mill to store.  I'm finding myself wanting to read this book rather than crochet or knit myself, play games on my iPhone, or do a bunch of other things, and, these days, that sounds like pretty high praise for a book!