Stay with me - it's worth it.
Last Thursday my sisters and their children headed back home, so the population at my parents' house dropped from nine people to four people. Before we came out to Vancouver Island, I told my Mom that there was only one thing I absolutely wanted to do - I wanted to spend a day in Victoria.
A little background - I lived in Victoria for 5 years while I attended UVic and the place is just chock full of nostalgia for me. When I graduated and left for Japan, I honestly thought I would live and work in Japan long enough to pay off my student loans and then would head back to Victoria to live. I never anticipated meeting a tall, handsome (American!) man in Japan and getting married - much less moving to the East Coast when all was said and done.
So, as soon as Teri and Jaime left, Mom, Willow, and I hopped in the car and headed down the Malahat to Victoria. It was the perfect day to tool around a city on the water. After eating a quick lunch outside of the city, our next stop was the Beehive Wool Shop - and I know that those of you who have been on the knitting cruises know this shop very well. Incidentally, when I was in university (and barely even crocheted) this was not a wool shop, but rather a suspect place that sold all sorts of tacky gifts from Mexico and Central America.
Beehive is far enough out of the downtown core that we didn't have any trouble finding anywhere to park, but we were out of luck when we tried parking downtown. For a Thursday afternoon, every single parkade we came across was strangely full (damn tourists!). So, I ended up taking a lot of pictures from the car, such as The Empress Hotel:
Some of the hanging baskets that Victoria is famous for:
British Columbia's Parliament Building. I never considered how European this structure before - many government buildings here are very utilitarian (well, maybe with the exception of Philadelphia's City Hall which was designed after the Louvre).
While looking for a parking spot, I saw a couple of electric boxes on street corners that had been painted to look less of an eyesore. I wish I had thought to take pictures of some of the others, but here is one painted with apples:
And another hanging basket:
After circling the downtown core for far too long, we decided to head out to other areas of Victoria. We drove through Beacon Hill Park and parked a little south at Clover Point to walk down to the water.
Walking down the ramp I found this boulder (easily 3 feet across) that someone had carved a face into. It was beautiful - I just can't imagine how long it took someone to do that.
On our way back up the Malahat, Willow was determined to stop at one of the look outs - so my Mom stopped at the Split Rock lookout and I took this picture. I had to make it small here - but click on the link and go to Flickr and look at the larger size - the scope of the picture is amazing.
Okay - now for what you all have been waiting for as it is YPF - the yarn I bought in Canada.
This skein is Ultra Alpaca sock yarn, which I have never seen down here in Delaware. The colour is deceiving - at first glance you may think it is a denim blue, but when you get closer...
... you will notice strains of purple and dark green in it as well.
And of course I had to get some Canadian yarn! Here is my Fleece Artist Seal Wool sock yarn:
I like the muted colours and I am eager to see how they knit up.
And best of all - it is machine washable!
I also bought some Araucania Ranco Multy sock yarn:
I thought it was more blue and less purple when I bought it - but I still like it.
My LYS sells Panda sock yarn, but I have never seen the Panda Silk yarn there, so I had to snap it up. I struggled between the green colourway and the red colourway - and in the end the green won out because I know I have red sock yarn at home.
Aren't the greens pretty? I think these will make for exceptionally soft and shiny socks.
And lastly - a Willow original. She told me this is a picture of her and Lucky looking at themselves in a mirror. Pretty inventive, don't you think?
Now don't you think that was worth the long post?
On a personal note, thank you for all the emails, comments, and IMs. It really means a lot to me. I'm feeling better and I will be okay.