You can take the girl out of her country cottage, yarn filled life, but you can't take the yarn yearning out of the girl! The Sicilian, the bimbi and I have been over the top of the world and back - we left the glorious Spring sunshine here in Dorset, flew over Greenland and touched down in snowy Whistler (via Vancouver, of course!). And it was breathtaking, inspiring and relaxing all wrapped up in one big, beautiful, white snowscape. I've dreamt many a time about vast white landscapes, scattered with snow laden pines.
Waking up to gentle snowflakes on our first morning in Whistler was like a dream come true. The children couldn't quite believe their eyes, but before long they were on the slopes up to their knees in powder and the reality and wonder of our situation began to sink in. And yes, the skiing just got better and better (well the childrens did anyway - thanks to their grandparents gentle guidance - I'm just happy to make it down in one piece these days!), but this trip wasn't just about seeing a new part of the world and hurtling down mountains, we'd come to spend time with my Canadian Papa and his wife (I was adopted as a baby here in England, but I'm actually half Canadian, half American). Having only found my Pa a year ago, every moment we all have together is magical. Meeting his family and friends is pretty special and my understanding of him gains texture and depth every day.
What he must think of me is altogether another matter! Yes, I loved being on the mountain, but I even surprised myself at how restrained I have become. Ten years ago I would have challenged myself to the very limit, but now I'm content to play it safe and worry about what the kids are up to - skiing in and out of the trees, searching out every deep patch of powder - their adventure knows no bounds. I, on the other hand, felt my heart skip a beat as we passed a little yarn shop on our first day in Canada. On our way out of Vancouver to Whistler we stopped off on Granville Island and I popped into the 'Fibre Art Studio'. Barely had my feet touched terra firma when I acquired three balls of beautiful yarn - handspun, hand-dyed or both.
I had promised the children I wouldn't spend the holiday with my nose in a crochet project, so I carefully packed my yarn away, peeking only occasionally at its' glorious potential! A few days of skiing and mountain life later and we were back in Vancouver for an afternoon, this time in Gastown. The kids, The Sicilian and my Pa were on their way to a Canucks ice hockey game - luckily for them I spotted a fabulous Vintage frock store, followed by an intriguing little yarn store. Gastown has a vibrant yet edgy atmosphere; there are evident social problems which accompany most downtown quarters in big cities, but with these come the low rents that encourage indie boutiques and galleries to thrive. The shop that caught my eye as we drove through was 'Community Thrift & Vintage' frock shop on Carrall Street. A fabulous 1950's skirt graced the mannequin in the shop window and inside was a veritable treasure trove of gorgeous vintage clothes, bags, underskirts, scarves and shoes - if only I'd taken an empty suitcase. Even better, the shop is run by a local charity for the community, staffed by members of that very community. From here it was just a short stride to 'Wool is Not Enough' on East Cordova. Shoshana, the owner, is so right, 'wool is not enough', but boy does it make my soul sing and her shop is an absolute gem of carefully selected yarns in beautiful hues and natural fibres. My luggage allowance stopped me from indulging. Not to mention The Sicilian's gentle reminders of my stash back in Dorset, which, whilst fast diminishing, still requires several projects worth of work! But if you're in the area, don't hold back, the colours of the 'Spud & Chloe' yarn alone are enough to warrant a whole Summer's worth of knitting and/or crochet projects.
And there, for now, I'm afraid I must leave it - having teased my Pa about his endless hunger for sports coverage, I fear I may be just as obsessive about yarn tales. We are back in Dorset now and the three balls of yarn I picked up on Granville Island are calling me to action - it's off to the Wool Workshop in the morning, I'll be catching up with the girls and casting on a few stitches or chains to see where my Canadian yarn takes me!xxx