Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Going Coastal

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L and I had a great time in Nova Scotia last week. Mostly we spent our time hanging out with family and friends and eating really good food. It was a short trip, so there wasn’t too much sightseeing (unless you count various restaurant interiors and living rooms), but here’s a taste of our trip.

The famous lighthouse in Peggy's Cove. It was a bright and sunny day in Halifax, but when we got to Peggy's Cove it was quite chilly. The upside, of course, was there was almost no one else there.

The famous lighthouse in Peggy’s Cove. It was a bright and sunny day in Halifax, but when we got to Peggy’s Cove it was quite chilly. The upside, of course, was there was almost no one else there.

Besides the lighthouse, Peggy's Cove remains an active fishing village (lobster being the main catch, I think).

Besides the lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove remains an active fishing village (lobster being the main catch, I think).

This is the classic view as you drive into the Annapolis Valley. The tide is in and that long dark peninsula is Blomidon, a provincial park and legendary home to the Mi'kmaq god Glooscap.

This is the classic view as you drive into the Annapolis Valley. The tide is in and that long dark peninsula-looking thing is Blomidon, a provincial park and legendary home to the Mi’kmaq god Glooscap.

The beach at the base of Blomidon. The tide is somewhere between a third of the way and halfway out. That speck in the middle is L.

The beach at the base of Blomidon. The tide is somewhere between a third of the way and halfway out. That speck in the middle is L.

We walked along the beach for a little while and, despite the sun, it was freezing. The point up ahead is the very tip of the mountain (which looks like a peninsula from farther away).

We walked along the beach for a little while and, despite the sun, it was freezing. The point up ahead is the very tip of the mountain (which looks like a peninsula from farther away).

Crocuses! My parents have amazing gardens, but at this time of year all the glory goes to the crocuses, which offer a welcome riot of colour after the winter.

Crocuses! My parents have amazing gardens, but at this time of year all the glory goes to the crocuses, which offer a welcome riot of colour after the winter.

I mentioned before that one of the things I was hoping to do was find some yarn. Specifically, a match to this skein. I am thrilled (and, honestly, pretty surprised) to report success! The woman who dyed this yarn lives quite close to my parents, and she invited my mum and I over to see if she could find a match. She raises sheep and has a Suri Alpaca, spins and dyes yarn. Marilyn is amazing. I didn’t take any pictures, since we were in her house, but the big basket of handspun sitting in her living room was incredible. Anyway, it turns out that the yarn I was trying to match is a wool/mohair blend dyed by her but spun at the MacAusland woolen mill in PEI. The mill doesn’t use any harsh chemicals, so there is still some VM in the finished wool, but that doesn’t bother me. Plus, Marilyn explained that the chemicals actually weaken the yarn, so if that bit of VM means my garments will last longer, I’m doubly fine with it.

I think the grey is soft enough that I'm not worried about the bumblebee effect.

I think the grey is soft enough that I’m not worried about the bumblebee effect.

She had one skein left of the colourway I wanted, so I snapped it right up. She also had a few other colours – a really beautiful green, a variegated green/gold/grey, and some undyed skeins. I was really taken with the green, but I’m trying really hard not to buy single skeins unless there’s good yardage (or a plan), so I resisted and went with the two undyed skeins instead, which gives me just under 400 yds of each colour. I really like the grey/yellow combination, and am thinking this will either become the small version of Westloop (the leading contender) or the Great Divide shawl.

The full haul, l-r, top to bottom:  Two skeins undyed yarn from Marilyn; Swan's Island  Organic Fingering weight in Vintage Lilac, two skeinds Swan's Island Washable DK in Midnight (for a new hat for L), yellow/gold skein from Marilyn; Four skeins Fleece Artist Wool Tweed

The full haul, l-r, top to bottom:
Two skeins undyed yarn from Marilyn; Swan’s Island Organic Fingering weight in Vintage Lilac, two skeins Swan’s Island Washable DK in Midnight (for a new hat for L), yellow/gold skein from Marilyn; Four skeins Fleece Artist Wool Tweed

Of course, that isn’t all I picked up. I was in a bit of a mood I guess, and before I knew it there were 10 skeins of yarn to fit into my bag on the way home. The bottom row (above) is all from Gaspereau Valley Fibres, which had a ton of new stock (at least compared to my last visit) and is definitely my LYS-away-from-home (or at home, depending on how you define things). The Swan’s Island is from Loop, a yarn shop in Halifax that I’d never been to but had a chance to check out this time. The Lilac is for me and the Midnight is for a new hat for L. I have at least tentative plans for everything I bought, and have already cast on some of the Fleece Artist — spring knitting, here I come!

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This old house

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The front of the house.

The front of the house.

Two weekends ago (that is, not this past weekend, but the one before) I went home to Nova Scotia for four days. It’s always nice to go home, but this time there was an actual occasion: this year marks the 250th anniversary/birthday of the house I grew up in. Yes. My parents’ wooden house is (at least) 250 years old. Obviously, this is not usual, but it is especially impressive when you consider that the town it’s build next to burnt down twice.

The house was brought up on a barge from Connecticut in 1763. After the British expelled the Acadians from the Annapolis Valley they wanted to ensure that they couldn’t return, so in addition to burning their homes and fields, they brought Loyalist Americans north to settle the land.

My parents bought the house (which sits on five acres of land) in 1991 and have basically spent all the years since restoring historical details (such as exposing all the beams downstairs) and creating gardens. When I went home, it was to help them host a tour of the house and gardens, in support of the local historical society. I took a bunch of pictures, so I thought I’d share some.

Looking in – you can see the original height of the meadow on the left.

Looking in – you can see the original height of the meadow on the left.

The walled garden is the newest edition and still a work in progress. It was excavated four years ago, at which point the walls were built, and every year since then something as been added. This is the first year that it has been fully planted, so a lot of the ground cover and whatnot hasn’t spread.

The view across the garden from the entrance.

The view across the garden from the entrance. We ate dinner up here almost every night I was home (there’s a big stone table in the shelter).

The view from the far back corner, diagonally across from the entrance.

The view from the far back corner, diagonally across from the entrance.

There are lots of flower beds and gardens, and a whole fenced in yard where we played as kids, but besides the new walled garden, the other sort of spectacular part of the property is the ravine. When we moved in, and for most of my childhood, it was a wild and overgrown swamp, but in the late nineties my dad had it excavated and turned it into two beautiful big ponds, which are now home to muskrats, many frogs, and a ton of water lilies.

Looking down toward the bottom pond, from the bend in the little stream that connects them.

Looking down toward the bottom pond, from the bend in the little stream that connects them.

Stone steps that lead down to the patio by the ponds/back up toward the house.

Stone steps that lead down to the patio by the ponds/back up toward the house.

Of course my trip home wasn’t entirely about the house and gardens. My dad took my sister Connie and I to the south shore for lunch one day and, as luck would have it, there was a lovely new-to-me yarn shop. I was very good and didn’t go crazy, but I did walk away with this beauty:

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in what I'm guessing is her Autumn colourway (she doesn't write the names on the tags because they are hard to repeat exactly and people get mad about it, or so I've been told.)

Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in what I’m guessing is her Autumn colourway (she doesn’t write the names on the tags because they are hard to repeat exactly and people get mad about it, or so I’ve been told.)

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty excellent trip.

All over but the Kahlua

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Yesterday, I flew back to Toronto from Nova Scotia. As you may have heard, the East Coast (as well as Ontario, Quebec, and the American Midwest) got rather a lot of snow yesterday, so my flight was delayed. Since my mum drove me to the airport in a snowstorm, a delayed flight was a welcome excuse not to rush, and we got there in time to have dinner in the airport pub before hugging goodbye at security. My flight didn’t board for another hour and a bit, but I was knitting and it wasn’t cancelled, so I wasn’t upset.

In journalism, three instances or examples of something in a reasonable period of time is considered a trend, and if that’s the benchmark I think it’s fair to say that delays during holiday travel have become an annual tradition for me. Not a tradition of my own making (I’m not missing flights or anything), but nonetheless, I’m getting good at waiting patiently in airports, not freaking out about bad weather, and mentally preparing for cancellations.

So, delayed flight? No problem. I had a snack in my carry on; I had a sock to finish and another ball of yarn wound and ready in case I needed it; I had two books – in short, I was not worried. The flight boarded and when the woman I was sitting next to asked me to put away my knitting for take off, I said “no problem” and leafed through the in-flight magazine until she said she was okay with me knitting again (I was quietly annoyed, but it was a bumpy flight and she seemed nervous about everything, so whatever, it’s the holidays). I knit through the turbulence all the way to Ottawa (an hour and 45 minutes or so). My nervous neighbour disembarked. I knit while we sat on the ground. I knit through the announcement that the flight was going to be diverted to Hamilton.

Let’s pause here so I can point out that, when the plane lands at the Toronto Island airport, I’m 20 minutes from home, but when it lands in Hamilton, I’m nearly two hours from home. I knit through that and despite being annoyed, decided that it was better than having to spend the night in Ottawa. The airline said they’d have a free shuttle to bring us to Toronto, so I was still going to get home. In bad weather, this is what you have to cling to.

I finished knitting my sock on that flight and then proceeded to sew in the ends. All fifty million little ends (well, there were 12, but that felt like a lot). The light was bad, but by the time we landed, I was almost done. I picked up my luggage (both bags made it!) and got on the warm and waiting shuttle. I finished sewing in my ends, had a nap, arrived in Toronto, grabbed the second cab that pulled up, and was home by 2 a.m. Yes, that’s later than I was expecting to be there, but honestly, only by about two hours, so I considered myself lucky. L and Ganymede aren’t home yet, so our apartment was dark, but it was warm, and there was lots of fun mail, so it wasn’t a terrible homecoming.

It was when I opened my bag to get out my pajamas and whatnot that I got the sense something might be wrong. There was this smell. It was sweet, and unmistakably sticky, and rather coffee-ish. I am, generally, a very slow unpacker. It drives L crazy, but I can’t help it; I hate unpacking. Nonetheless, I went in to investigate. Kahlua. The smell was Kahlua, and it was everywhere. I had packed a bottle in my bag (a gift from my sister) and I guess the pressure must have been too much because the lid of the bottle just sheared right off. When I pulled out the bottle to assess the damage, it was dangerously light, and that’s when I realized how bad it was: not a drop, not a small spill, but an entire bottle of dark brown, sticky liqueur had emptied into my bag. The truly miraculous thing is that it managed to get on every single white object in there while leaving almost all the dark (majority) of my clothes entirely untouched.

Gingerly, I began pulling alcohol soaked shirts and dresses out of my pack. It was like some sort of twisted Rorschach Test – can you really handle holiday travel? what do you see in this impending stain? – and as it became clear that all my favourite clothes were soaked, I held it together. It’s just clothing, I told myself, totally replaceable. Then, oh god, then I pulled out a skein of beautiful hand-dyed yarn that my mum had given me for Chrismtas and discovered it soaked through and I just about lost it. That’s right: delays, diversions, alcohol soaked clothes – all nothing; but three skeins of damaged yarn? Tears. Only two or three, though, because who has time to cry when your wardrobe is on the verge or irreparable stains and your yarn is damaged? (I have no photos of any of this because, although it is excellent blog fodder, it didn’t occur to me to take photos until after everything was in the water. Use your imagination, I doubt you’re picturing something worse than the reality.)

Thank goodness I’m a knitter. We are, without a doubt, the best equipped to do major hand washing, and I sprang into action. SOAK is a lifesaver. Alongside Spray and Wash, I think I may have saved everything. Seriously. Everything was still so wet that nothing had a chance to set, so after dousing it all with stain remover, I plunged it into a bucket of warm water filled with SOAK and left it there overnight. This morning the water was the colour of dark toffee, but my clothes came out stain free. The yarn I rinsed (carefully) in very hot water and hung to dry, it looks okay I think.

I may never be able to drink (or smell) Kahlua again, and I still have to do a proper clean of my bag, and I’m pretty sleep deprived, but I’m home. And, as a gift to L, I’m unpacked uncharacteristically early. I can only hope that if you have holiday travelling ahead of you that it goes more smoothly!

Oh, the socks? Here’s a shot of them finished (but unblocked – I’ve been a little busy). I’ll do a proper post about them later.

cranberrysocks3

It’s Boxing Day and the knitting is easy

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christmas2012

I finished! It was a bit close – I cast off and blocked my dad’s hat on Christmas Eve – but I finished on time and without tears. What makes this really impressive (at least to me) is that on Dec. 20, after arriving in New Brunswick, I cast on for my Christmas socks because I needed some public knitting. I worked on them at my grandparents’ (and then knit on the mittens in secret at night) and then in the car on the way to Nova Scotia (a 4.5 hours drive) and then around the house, and managed to finish the first one in just three days! So, that means I finished a mitten, knit two thumbs, most of a hat, and a sock in four days. While socializing and shopping and eating and everything else that the holidays require. Not bad, I say.

I was just starting the pattern of the second sock on Christmas morning.

I was just starting the pattern of the second sock on Christmas morning.

I’ll do a proper Christmas post later this week, but I just wanted to pop in and wish you all Happy Holidays – I hope your Christmas (or just your Tuesday, if you don’t celebrate) was wonderful and well spent. I’m never sure if this is my last Christmas at home, so I always try to make the most of it, including going on chilly hikes with my dad on Christmas day. Here are a few shots from that to carry you through your turkey leftovers.

blomidon1

We’ve hiked the same trail on Christmas day for years, and it never disappoints.

blomidon2

If you look closely, you can see that my dad is wearing his new hat.

If you look closely, you can see that my dad is wearing his new hat.

The tide was mostly in when we started, but way out by the time we got back to the car.

The tide was mostly in when we started, but way out by the time we got back to the car.

If it’s going to rain, it’s good to be at home

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I’m not sure how we managed it, but the best weather of our trip was when we were camping. I don’t know if my morale would have held up if I’d had to hike out (and up) in the rain, and the drive from Cape Breton back to the Annapolis Valley (about 6 hours) would definitely have been wasted on bad weather. It’s just as well, then, that it didn’t rain until next day, our first full day at home.

Rain in Nova Scotia is not like rain in Toronto. In Toronto, we rarely get a full day of consistently torrential rain; in Nova Scotia, a rainy day is a very rainy day. Very rainy. Luckily, we were coming off several days of outside activity, so an indoor day wasn’t entirely unwelcome. I blogged, L caught up on some work, and then I taught my sister to knit.

Would you just look at that concentration?

Her birthday was last month, and I told her that, as a present, I’d give her a knitting lesson. She came by the shop a few weeks ago and picked out her wool (she went with Berocco Ultra Alpaca in a pea green sort of colour, which was a good beginner’s choice, I think) and since we were going to be visiting our parents at the same time, we decided that would be a good time to start. I packed needles, she packed wool, and on Wednesday, the lesson began. I taught her the cable cast-on, and then knitting and purling, so she can make a nice stockinette scarf. I thought about just teaching her to knit a garter stitch scarf, but that gets boring after a while and you may as well learn both stitches from the get-go.

Jenny does not like purling, but otherwise was doing well. I had to rip out a few sections for her (at her request, I should add) because of holes and, twice, because she’d reversed the stockinette, but by Sunday she had a pretty good hang of it. She’s going to come visit to learn how to cast off.

After the first rainy day, the weather improved a little. It was still overcast and wet, but not full-on raining, so we decided to head out for the afternoon. We went wine tasting. The area where I grew up has steadily become wine country (there are six wineries within 20 minutes of my parents’ house) and the wines are fantastic. We set out to visit all of them, but because the tastings are so generous and plentiful, we had to stop after four.

While I do not know what kind of grape this is (it’s about a month from harvest, though), I can tell you it was at the Sainte-Famille winery.

It was a grey day, but the view from Muir Murray (that’s Blomidon on the horizon) is always gorgeous.

We visited (and tasted at) Sainte-Famille, Muir Murray, and Gaspereau Vineyards, and also walked around the Domaine de Grand Pre winery, but decided we needed a breather. We still bought six bottles of wine: two bottles of maple wine (did you know you could ferment maple syrup? Neither did I), a maple port, a Muscat, a Baco Noir, and a Marechal Foch. Nova Scotia is acclaimed for its white wines, but I find it hard to pass up its reds. (My dad, deciding that wasn’t enough, then bought us a seventh bottle at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market on Saturday – Blomidon Estate Winery‘s Tidal Bay (a white), which we tasted at the market and agreed was very good. The winery is just down the street from my parents’ and because we both already know and enjoy their wine, we didn’t stop in.)

I think visiting twice each time I’m home is totally reasonably and normal behaviour.

Our little wine tour brought us past Gaspereau Valley Fibres, one of my most favourite yarn shops. Yes, we stopped in. It was there knitting day, so the shop was filled with happy knitters. Honestly, between that and all the new fibre, I was so overwhelmed I didn’t buy anything. Then, of course, I kicked myself all the way home. We went back the next day. (I’ll tell you about that on Wednesday).

We had five days at home, and while I would have been quite content to knit and read and hang out, L wanted to be out doing stuff (and rightly so – he didn’t grow up there). On Friday we went into Halifax for the afternoon with Jenny. Our third sister Connie (the middle) was working, so we walked around Point Pleasant Park and then met up with some friends for coffee before having to scoot home where my parents were hoping to have dinner in the garden.

It’s kind of amazing to think that this park juts out into the water beside the Halifax seaport and is still so lovely and wild-seeming.

Unfortunately, before we made it back, it was rainy again. We thought we could tough it out, but then it started pouring, so we gave in. This is what it would have looked like though, if the weather had behaved.

My parents (especially my dad) do gardening on a different scale than most people. This is the eating shelter in the walled garden in the meadow. Yeah, I know.

On Saturday, we went to the market (as I mentioned) for breakfast and then went hiking. My dad, Jenny, and L went off to Cape Split (which is a gorgeous hike) and my mum and I walked the dikes instead (in this context, dikes are the earthen walls built to keep the ocean out of the plains where the farmers have their fields, just in case you were wondering), which is a very nice long walk.

Another view of Blomidon, this time including mud flats! The tides in the Bay of Fundy (and the Minas Basin) are the highest in the world, and the water level rises and falls 50 vertical feet twice a day. Thus, when the tide is out, there are kilometres of mud flats, and when it’s in, everything is covered.

The tide was out, unfortunately, but we still saw two bald eagles and soaked in some sunshine. We all managed to get home at more or less the same time, and then L and I headed back into Halifax for dinner and a birthday party at the Keith’s Brewery.

Walking around the “garden” (my parents have 5 acres) is a singular pleasure, and often the cats will trot along with you. Here they are (Cosma on the left, Samya on the right) doing a sort of synchronized rolling routine in the bocci court. It was adorable.

In addition to the walled garden, the traditional walk also includes the ponds, which are in the ravine behind the house. It’s a pretty nice place to visit.

Sunday was lovely and sunny, so naturally we spent that day packing. Considering how full our bags were in the first place (hiking + camping + regular visiting = a lot of gear), I think we did quite well to fit seven bottles of wine into our packs. My yarn purchases required an extra bag, but even that seemed reasonable. We loaded up the car and drove back into Halifax to visit with Connie and then head to the airport to fly back to Toronto. I can hardly believe I have to go back to work today, but I guess that’s the sign of a good vacation.

Cape Breton, you beauty

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It’s true. Even if, like me, you know that Cape Breton is supposed to be lovely and picturesque and scenic and all that, it is still jaw dropping. I mean, it’s spectacular. That’s what we kept saying over and over, for the entire four days we were there. L or I, or both of us, would look out at the view and say “Well. That’s friggin’ spectacular,” and then shake our heads.

We arrived in Cape Breton late Saturday afternoon. We flew into Halifax (and, if we’re being honest, very nearly missed our flight out of Toronto. We had to run, and arrived gasping at the check in, and only just managed to board. It was uncomfortably tight, and I was so flustered it took me three tries to get the cast-on right for the Spruce Jaywalkers.) and picked up our rental and drove to Baddeck. We got in around 5 and I must say I was thrilled to see we were staying here:

The Inverary Resort.

Before heading into the woods for two nights, it’s nice to spend in a night in a good bed, you know?

On Sunday morning, we left Baddeck and headed for the famous Cabot Trail, which just so happens to be the only good way to get to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. They aren’t kidding when they call this drive scenic. We stopped a few times to take in the views (and stretch our legs).

Oh, just some ocean, no big deal.

We made it to the park around midday and loaded up our packs. The hike into our campsite was 6 km, almost entirely downhill. We started at the top of Mackenzie Mountain (335 m) and hiked down to sea level. The forest there is kind of striated, with spruce at the top giving way to birch trees surrounded by a carpet of ferns, which gives way to more spruce, which ends with a mix of oak, maple and birch (and a few spruce) at the bottom of the river valley.

Fishing Cove River to the left, our trail to the right; pretty lovely all around.

It was a lovely hike, and it took us here, to Fishing Cove, which was our home for two days and nights.

The view back up the valley from the beach.

Little tent in the big woods.

On the first night we sat up on the cliff and watched the sun set and were lucky enough to see a pod of porpoises (like dolphins) swim across the mouth of the cove just as the water was reflecting all the red and pink and yellow light of setting sun. It was, well, spectacular.

Sunset in Fishing Cove.

Fishing Cove has eight sites, and on our first night, they were all filled. Ours was tucked a little bit back up the hill – still within view of the beach, but on its own – so it didn’t feel crowded. On our second night, though, we were the only campers, which made the cove feel wilder and more ours.

The view from the tent.

The next day, we got up early and hike out of Fishing Cove (6 km back up to where we left the car). From Fishing Cove there isn’t really anywhere to go, and we wanted to do some day hikes. We hiked the Skyline – all the along the spine of a mountain that juts out into the ocean. Part way into the hike, L and I were chatting when all of a sudden he said “moose!” and I turned around and say a lady moose having a snack about two metres away from me off the side of the trail.

Moose!

It seemed not at all concerned that we were there. I wasn’t sure it could get much better than that, but then when we got to the end we saw whales. Sure, we were at the top of the cliff and they were basking in the water down below, but still. We didn’t have binoculars, so I can’t say for sure, but I tend to think they were pilot whales, which are common off the coast and bigger than the equally as common mink whales, making them easier to see.

After we got back to the car, I was about ready to collapse. It turns out that the combination of sleeping on the ground (I do have a good sleeping mat, but still), hiking more or less uphill for 6 km and then hiking an additional 9 km pretty much immediately after has an adverse affect on my legs and hips. Who knew? Needless to say, I was in pain. Of course, we still had to hike back down to our campsite. There are two ways into Fishing Cove: the short way and the long way. We took the long way in on Sunday because we wanted a good hike and L wasn’t sure if his ankle (which he injured a few weeks ago) would be up to a steeper hike. On Monday, though, we decided to try the shorter hike. It’s the same vertical difference (335 m to sea level), but over 3 km instead of 6. Thus, much steeper, but also much shorter.

See that wee that little inlet way down there? Yeah, that’s Fishing Cove. It looks way farther when your legs are about to give out, let me tell you.

It’s also how we were going to hike out with all our gear on Tuesday, because the parking lots for the two trails are pretty far apart. I won’t lie, I was dreading it. The trail was steep (as expected) and also quite rocky. A good chunk of it looks like it used to be a creek bed (and almost certainly becomes one in the spring), so the rocks were loose underfoot. Between that and the pain in my legs, well, I was worried.

These cliffs were red anyway, but they glowed even redder at sunset.

As it turns out, I needn’t have been. Up is easier than down, and we hiked up and out with all our gear in under an hour! Honestly, if I were to camp at Fishing Cove again (and I think I would – it was gorgeous), I would do it this way again. The long trail is definitely a better downhill hike, because the ground is firmer and the incline not as steep, which made walking down with a pack not too treacherous. However, when climbing out I will take short and tough over long and just-about-as-tough any day. Fifty minutes of pain is, for me, preferable to two hours of pain. Otherwise, both are quite nice hikes through lovely woods, and I would recommend them.

L with his pack on the way in, and me with my pack after successfully hiking out. I don’t even look that tired!

In case you skimmed your way through this whole post wondering about the knitting for heaven’s sake! Don’t worry, there was knitting, and wool shopping, and it will get its own dedicated post. It’s worth the wait, I promise.

The Cabot Trail: totally fun to drive, but even better if you’re the passenger. L and I drove the scenic stretches through the park several times (out of necessity) and we took turns. It’s the best way.

August? Paging August.

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I don’t know how it is where you are, but over here I’m a little disoriented. I mean, it was just July wasn’t it? What the heck happened to the last month? This was how I felt about November and March when I was at university – two months that were so jam-packed that they sucked up your life and didn’t spit it out again until you were already on the other side.

That’s when I realized where August went: work. All month, I’ve been working two jobs. I’ve been in the shop or doing shop stuff in the morning, and then come early afternoon I get ready and head off to the Post, where I stay until it’s too late to do anything but go to sleep when I get home. My weekends, while mostly work-free, have also been full. It has been a month of fun and learning and newness, but definitely not a month I would describe as restful. Clearly, this calls for a holiday, and lucky me, tomorrow L and I are getting on a plane and heading east: Nine days in Nova Scotia. Oh heck yes.

We’re going to spend the first four days in Cape Breton, hiking and camping and (hopefully) visiting Baadeck Yarns (I’ve already planted this seed in L’s ear, so he’s prepared). After that, it’s back to the Annapolis Valley for five days of hanging out at my parents’, visiting friends, and being relaxed. There will be sight-seeing, there will be friend-visiting and shopping and all that, but there will also be free time, and unscheduled hours, and oh my gosh, I cannot wait! (Yes, yes, there will be blogging too.)

Because of the camping portion of the trip, packing is a little trickier this time than it was the last time I went. Nonetheless, there will be room to bring some knitting with me, and also to bring some wool home with (we all know what happened last time I went home, after all).

This is a very accurate depiction of the colours in these socks. I love them. I wouldn’t even rip this back (despite my Jaywalker desire) if I wasn’t already feeling they were going to be to big. Sort of serendipitous really.

I am bringing my Fleece Artist Spruce Socks – which I cast on as regular socks and, despite being three inches in, have ripped back so they can become the Jaywalkers they want to be – and something else as-yet undecided. I can’t bring the Christmas socks, because my sister will be visiting home at the same time we’re there. I was planning to bring the wedding mitts, but the yarn still looks like this and I’m not sure I’ll have time to wind to before we leave.

This will be mittens. It will. I’ll wind it just as soon as I’m home.

I feel fairly confident that the Spruce Socks will take more than a week, but there’s a lot of driving and flying built into this trip (L and I will split the driving though) and I don’t want to run out. Considering my yarn-buying plans, this seems like a silly worry, but still, I think I’ll pack an emergency skein just in case. The only question is, where to put it?

One thing I will definitely find room for (and, let’s be honest, I will definitely fit in that extra wool) is my finished Georgian Bay shawl. I cast on in the car on the way to Tobermory the first time we went this summer, knit on it for four days, got home, and promptly got distracted (we talked about busyness, yes?). The weekend of the baby shower, though, I was so filled with productive glee (read: caffeine) that I stayed up and finished it. That was two weeks ago, but since we were going back to Tobermory, it seemed only right to take pictures in the place it was meant for.

This is kind of a little shawl, I admit, but under a light sweater or jacket it’s perfect. I already want to make another one (though maybe slightly larger).

While it’s slightly smaller than I’d choose (dear self: go up a needle size; just figure it out already), I love it. I love the colour, I love how soft the wool is, I love the eyelets, I love it. I was convinced I wasn’t a triangle-shawl person, but I take it back.

Details
Pattern: Doublish, by Alex Tinsley
Yarn: Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Nebula
Needles: 3.25 mm Addi lace circulars
Modifications: None! I can hardly believe it either. It’s ravelled here if you’re into that sort of thing.

I bought two skeins of Nebula because I was worried about yardage (I am always worried about yardage, but the pattern was pretty specific on this point) and have an entire unwound skein leftover. I was thinking about exchanging it for another colour – unless you have a better idea?