Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yo, Fiendish Irish Knitter Lands in BC!

We got here, we got here, and what a marathon that was. A 4 am start is really not my favourite thing. Mercifully the howling gales and rainstorms had blown themselves out so at least we didn't get drenched leaving. Quick flight to Amsterdam followed by several hours of waiting around. I know, I know, the cool thing to do is take the train into the city to look at canals, but you can't quite relax, can you, with another flight looming on the distant horizon. Fortunately it's one of my favourite airports to spend some time - they have cute little mini-trolleys for your hand luggage (and free too - other airports take note!) there are some amazing shops, even electronic ones for DH, and how many other airports have a museum with an exhibition of Rembrandt and other old masters? Or a comfort zone where you can get a shoulder massage or a full body aqua-treatment? Plus their coffee is good, strong, and can wake up even someone who started at 4 am. With six hours between flights, the Glitz socks got a good workout.

It was the first time I'd tried hooking the little bag on to my belt and wandering around knitting, and it worked very well. Most people averted their eyes but one elderly Dutch lady was enchanted, patting my arm and saying, 'Good, good, very good,' and a fashionable gent manning a gift store was also fascinated. Maybe they'll go on from there, we must continue the good work!

It's exasperating to fly from Cork into central Europe, wait there six hours and then fly right back over Ireland to go to Canada, but that's the way it works these days - you have to get to the best hub for your trip. A nine hours plus flight tests your endurance too. Got right through a lightweight but fairly thick novel and the socks were nearly knee-length before we got to a sight that made any inconvenience worthwhile -

The coast of Greenland, totally clear with the late afternoon sunshine throwing the mountains into sharp relief. It was the kind of sight you couldn't believe you were seeing even as you flew. I forgave DH yet again for taking the window seat - his results are usually a lot better than mine.

Gosh, you Canadians, you do have a big country, don't you? Once we'd passed Greenland, which took long enough, and could finally see Canadian soil far below, there was still almost half the journey to do. How many rounds can you knit before your patience and eyes start to whinge 'Are we there yet?'

Much as I love them, I was genuinely feeling a bit sick of socks before at last we were circling over the beautiful coastline of British Columbia, seeing the huge rafts of logs floating in the Fraser River below, and dropping to the airport. And then a car to pick up, the complexities of the evening rush hour to navigate (it was about 5 pm by this time) and we headed out towards Chilliwack and the hills.

The sun was setting behind us and gilding everything in a rosy glow as we reached Chilliwack and waited for a huge freight train to pass before at last pulling up outside a motel and gratefully climbing out to stretch our tired limbs. Staying here the night to recover from the jet lag and a full 24 hours travelling. And tomorrow morning...? Tee hee, DH doesn't know it, but I've done my homework. There are two yarn stores in this here town! Will just one have that Interweave Knits issue with the Icarus Shawl that you've all been going on about and I have had to listen to you going on about all summer? Catch up with you at the next stop. Miss you!


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you had a safe, if long and tiring, trip. Have a wonderful time and enjoy the yarn shops.

Vicki in So. Cal.

Fun Knits said...

Welcome to BC. I hope you enjoy your trip. Fear not if you can't find the Interweave Summer magazine. I have a copy at my store. I also have a bit of Lace weight Alpaca, plus lots of hand dyed lace weight wool.
Shelley from Fun Knits Yarn Shop
Quadra Island BC.
- Sorry I am going to be away at my knitting retreat the day you come. I would like to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Lower Mainland! Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Oh Jo, if I'd only known, I would gladly have found a copy and sent it to you! I'm relieved to see that 'fun knits' has your back...many thanks goes to your DH for the photos, they are outstanding, I'm glad you two made it safely and I'm so excited for you and especially so since you did your homework (as if you wouldn't have). I must say, the photo of you holding your sock in the plane seat, is that a wee dimple I see? I myself grinned hugely seeing your smile.
Happy times to you both (I'm so glad you're keeping up with the blog while abroad!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for checking in with us so soon. Glad your trip was safe. Have done many flights over Greenland and I never saw the coast so clearly. Hope you brought TWO extra bags for yarn. Can't wait until you check out Fleece Artist. BTW, their Kid Aran felts like cast iron, should you have a felting project in mind. Clogs?

Anonymous said...

Wow, did you actually get to knit on the plane? Has security loosened up a bit, then?

LaurieM said...

Yes we Canadians do have a big country. I worked with some Swedish people who were planing on taking a road trip to Ikea. So they looked a the map and calculated that it would be a short trip to get there. I told them no, it was probably a 2-hour drive.

They were flabbergasted. How could it be that long when the distance on the map was so small? It was really funny, because they were really quite smart people.

Anonymous said...

After those Brits got two asian boys chucked off a flight from Malaga I wonder if you wore full Islamic costume and knitted the passengers would all be wondering what you could do with circs ."Take me to Havanna ( that's how old I am ) or I knit you a terrible pair of plain grey socks".Anyhow you have to find every yarn shop you can .The whole country always looks beautiful to me ..look forward to more posts .

Ms. Knitingale said...

Jo, you're unbelievably close to my home--I'm just a ways down the coast in Seattle. BC is beautiful, and I wish you a lovely and exciting trip. So glad you made it safely. And I hope you brought an extra suitcase for yarn! Oh, and if you get to Vancouver, check out Granville Island. So much fun!

Fiberjoy said...

I was concerned that Hurrican Gordon had set your trip on its heels. It's a relief to know you've arrived safely.
Isn't this weather gorgeous! Enjoy every moment.
(I think BC is also experiencing warm sunny days.)

Anonymous said...

Ahh, knitting and driving around BC. Pretty close to heaven, huh? And ferry knitting is even better. Have a great trip.

Anonymous said...

whaddaya say you ditch DH and just take me next time, huh, huh??
so dying to travel i can taste it and so jealous of you! will you visit the east coast on this trip?

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Welcome, Welcome! If you email me, Jo, I will give you my phone number. Looking forward to meeting you! Yes, we do have a BIG country.

Oh by the way, there is a chocolate shop almost across from Uptown Yarns - handmade chocolates, ice cream, bread and scones! Looking forward to your visit!

gwtreece said...

Glad you arrived safely. Canada is very pretty and big.

kelli ann & lorie said...

hello, fiendish irish knitter! isn't that funny-- zoƩ and i are visiting B.C. at the same time, knitting (sometimes) fiendishly. hope you have enjoyed your trip... your photos look like you are having worlds of fun! and... fun knits... a knitting retreat?! i think i need to read some more about that!*!