Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yarn and the Mountains

We came home last night after a lovely, relaxing weekend in Canmore, AB. I've always liked Canmore. I've always said that it's like Banff, but cheaper. Not only that - I find quite a lot of it is untapped for its lovely paths and walks, lots of nice little restaurants and shops, and a fantastic inn that we've frequented over the years (that takes doggies!).

And well, there's yarn there.

The first time I ever saw Knit & Caboodle was a few years ago, and I'd only started to learn to knit. First thoughts? "Well, I'll never be able to afford any of that yarn anyway." I went down the road to the quilt shop to find beads for the jewelry I was making at the time.

Fast forward to last Saturday. It's a cool, slightly chilly day. There's a street festival going on in Canmore, and we've looked through some of the vendors, and visited the Mut Hut pet store, where doggie always gets treats from the owner, and the Bow Valley SPCA had a lovely old dog there who was looking for a home (yeah, sniff... I coulda taken her home if I could!). We walked back to Knit & Caboodle, and I told my hubby, "I'll be quick!" And in I went. Hubby settled himself in a corner outside, because he's gone through this before.

Now you know, I was pretty quick. For me, anyway. I motored through the store. In truth, I really didn't have anything in mind. I might have bought some yarn to make a shawl for a friend's wedding, but I just wasn't in the right frame of mind for it. I just wanted to see what was new and interesting.

Now, the thing about Knit & Caboodle is that there's this set of shelves near the door that has all the sale stuff. I do love sales, but I often skip the ones in yarn stores because I can never think of what to make out of the stuff sitting there, as it's often only one or two skeins in a colour.

And there they were. Eight skeins of Elsebeth Lavold's Angora at $5.21 each! It seems that it has been discontinued, and these skeins were looking for a home.

And well, I thought I'd take the one slightly darker skein, as well. I'd hate for it to feel left behind. Yarn has feelings, you know.

It helped that it was so cold outside. All I could think of was a nice little wrap or wide scarf to wrap around my shoulders. And that dark green would make a neat little stripe down the middle of it. And it's proof that, if you really know where to look, you can afford the luxury yarns!

The next day, we decided to head into Banff to have a soak in the hot springs before it got too busy.

After that, we headed into town. I had a secret mission: to find Jen By the Fjord Yarn Studio.

I really had absolutely no idea where it was. I have a really bad habit of not researching these things. I figured that, if I found it, I found it.

And I found it.

It's a tiny little studio, where the friendliest lady ever, named Judi, surrounds herself with yarn and friends. I had a nice chat with her, and found out that she used to live in my current town - even owned a shop. I could have sat all day.

But then I remembered I'd told hubby, "I'll be quick!"

I did leave with a beautiful skein of Sundance Sock Yarn from a local dyer who owns Rocky Mountain Dyeworks. Each skein is individually dyed - no dye lots, and for me, no worries. My skein has gorgeous tones of cinnamon, paprika and well... red! Again, it helped that it was so chilly out. I thought it would make another pretty scarf or shawl to wrap around my shoulders in the cooler evenings.

Oh yeah - we did do other things while we were away in Canmore. We ate smokies by the river. We hiked a bit on the trails. We had a gorgeous dinner at Chez Fran├žois, who has been serving delicious meals for 20 years. We relaxed in our beautiful room. We walked along the creek near the inn, and by the Bow River near the town centre. Nothing strenuous. Probably not very exciting for most.

But just right for us.

The only sad thing was that I came home to some corn seedlings I planted out last week that looked like they suffered a bit in the cold evenings we had. And, some of my peas looked like they may have dried out in the window box I planted them in. I did some major work out there, and I hope I've salvaged some of them. The worst part about gardening is the heartbreak. And the mosquitoes.

At least I can find solace in the yarn basket. You'll never see it suffering after frost!

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