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PNW and Canada adventure // part three: knitting edition

September 24, 2014

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My parents, my brother and I went on a four week road trip through the Pacific North West and Canada in August. It was an awesome experience and I took hundreds of pictures. I wanna share some of our adventures with you so I’ve decided to share our trip in three parts:
Part Ithe USA (from Seattle to Yellowstone NP to Glaciar NP)
Part II: Canada (from Calgary to Vancouver)
Part III: Knitting edition (duuuh, this is a craft blog and there are just so many awesome yarn shops and wip photos to share!)

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I’d like to start this post by saying that I was very lucky because a) I traveled with another knitter and b) my dad and brother were very patient when it came to waiting in front of yarn stores, driving around dodgy neighborhoods to find yarn stores and trespassing to take pictures of alpacas.

Packing for a long vacation
The picture above was taken the evening before we left Germany. I had planned out my knitting projects perfectly: from front left: alpaca yarn for the Elfreide scarf, some merino for a hat for a friend, Wollmeise lace yarn for a cardigan. top left to right: merino for a cowl for Julia and Isager yarn for a pullover.

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One hour later I had already changed plans: I didn’t bring the red/pink merino and the Wollmeise, instead I brought the buttercup to finish and 86 grams of sock yarn to make another pair of scrap socks. In retrospect I’d say it was a pretty good choice. I didn’t end up knitting the red/orange pullover (though I casted it on about 5 times… it just didn’t feel right.) but used most of the other yarn I brought.

Projects I finished during the trip:
scrap socks
buttercup
molly hat

Projects I started:
elfreide scarf

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Naturally, I couldn’t bring my knitting projects in a plastic bag. I made USA-themed project bags for my mom and me(they’re still available in my shop if you’re interested) because I love a good excuse to sew project bags. I also brought my trusty sock project bag that I made years ago to hold all those mini skeins.
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I brought needles, stitch markers, etc. for five different knitting projects. I squeezed them all into one of these travel knitting needle case. It even managed to squeeze in the stitch markers I bought in the states 🙂

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It’s a habit of mine to always bring my knitting. I rarely leave the house without a knitting project in my bag. The picture above was taken while waiting for the Old Faithful at Yellowstone. The scrap socks were one of those on-the-go knitting projects that I brought everywhere and finished rather quickly.

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We got an awesome rental car which my dad, my mom and I were allowed to drive. Although I love driving (especially through such beautiful landscapes!) I didn’t mind the extra knitting time I got when I wasn’t driving.

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Bonfire knitting!

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Knitting in hazardous areas.

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Dock knitting (it was too windy to actually knit in the boat).
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We were very lucky and saw several alpacas. I just love these fluffy animals. Aren’t they super cute? I wonder whether the brown one actually saw us. I think (s)he needs a haircut 😉
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The yarn stores
I like to take a business card whenever I visit a yarn store. I have no idea what I’m gonna do with them but one day I’d like to make a sort of yarn shop map in my studio where I display all the business cards I collected over the years of fiber obsession.
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Here’s a list of yarn stores we visited:
So Much Yarn in Seattle, Washington
Alpaca Direct in Hayden, Idaho
Joseph’s Coat in Missoula, Montana
Y’arnings in Helena, Montana

The Loop in Calgary, Alberta
Art of Yarn in Kelowna, British Columbia
SweetGeorgia in Vancouver, British Columbia
Baaad Anna’s in Vancouver, British Columbia

I’d say we had the best experience at the Art of Yarn in Kelowna (huge selection of yarn, great displays, very friendly and chatty staff). Though I also liked the yarn selections at So Much Yarn, Joseph’s Coat, The Loop and Baaad Anna’s. Y’arnings only had a small variety of yarns and not many colours/qualities I liked.
By far the most disappoint store was SweetGeorgia yarns. I took Felica Lo’s craftsy class on spinning dyed yarns and loved it. I think all the SweetGeorgia yarns are beautiful and one of a kind. But the staff was very unfriendly, they didn’t have the stuff in stock that they had in stock according to the website and gave me wrong information when I sent them a mail prior to visiting the store because I wanted to make sure that driving out there to the industrial area would be worth it. Plus their ‘sales’ on seconds was ridiculous. Seriously, 5-10% off if the yarn has huge chunks of undyed parts?

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I ended up buying now roving because I felt like I had to buy something to make the trip out there worthwhile. Don’t get me wrong, I love the products, but ridiculous prices on seconds, basically no decorations in store and a staff member who isn’t interested at all in customers is not my idea of a LYS. Bummer.
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I came back with a suitcase full of yarn and spinning fibers. Well there were some hand knits stuffed in there, too and a book or two. I also bought some kool-aid for dying yarns and fibers. Luckily, yarn is easy to pack because you can squeeze it in small corners (or shoes, mugs and sleeping mats…).

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I ended up wearing my hiking boots on the flight home because I needed more space to store all my yarn purchases. And let’s face it, wearing yarn on your feet doesn’t make much sense on a long distance flight 😉

If you have any questions, please let me know.

ps: In case you’re curious about the yarns and fibers I bought, you can check out my ravelry stash where I listed everything. I basically bought all the spinning fibers I have during the trip. I was very lucky to buy a bunch of luxurious fibers off craigslist while I was in Vancouver.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Tahnee September 24, 2014 at 13:43

    This must've been an epic trip! The pictures look fantastic, I really had to laugh at that brown alpaca 😀

  • Reply Nancy September 24, 2014 at 14:17

    This part of your trip must have been great fun I love the suitcase stuffed with yarn

  • Reply Lisa-24-7 September 24, 2014 at 14:42

    Where do I begin! That looks like such a fun experience, all the shops and stories. I wish I had the chance to do things like that. I love your pictures, especially the hazardous one. I can't wait to see what you make with all your new yarns.

  • Reply Noget Uldent September 24, 2014 at 16:19

    oh it sounds like such an amazing trip. I love that you got to visit so many different shops. I'm heading over to look at your stash right now…

  • Reply Kaiya September 24, 2014 at 22:00

    Ah yes, the traditional shuffling of yarns in and out of the travel bag before any long trip… I'm glad your choices seemed to work out for you! I'm sorry to hear about the SweetGeorgia shop. I also love their products,so I can imagine how extra disappointing the store was. I guess they must focus mainly on web and wholesale retail, not local?

  • Reply ...AnnaRose... October 13, 2014 at 23:02

    Hi from a fellow German living in Calgary now. I just found your blog through a link on Dunkelbunt's blog. The Loop is my LYS! It is run by a few friends of mine that I first met when I moved to Canada almost 7 years ago. Anna

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