October Knitting Cruise/Retro Post #3…

My Mom met me in Seattle, then we spent the weekend at The Lion’s Paw Inn.  Besides shopping for scrap booking supplies and yarn, we went to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

The coastline along the way:


The North Head Lighthouse, and my Mom:


The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:


On Monday, 1 October, we returned to Seattle to board the Celebrity Cruise Line Ship Mercury…

On the first evening, I started my spinning project, some beautiful pink wool from Heidi Parra at The Artful Ewe.  When it got too dark to spin, I worked on my (future felted) laptop sleeve made from needlepoint yarns.  The wheel is my friend Caryn’s Louet Victoria.  It spun a very fine thread very nicely – so nicely and fine that I didn’t finish by the end of the cruise and had to wind it into a ball to ply with more later:


Our first stop was Nanaimo, BC.  My Mom and I went on a nice historic tour of the downtown area.

This is a fillet crochet piece that was gifted to the church we visited:


Here’s an antique saxony spinning wheel on display in the natural history museum:


Then we headed over to Gabriola Island to visit Paradise Island Alpaca Farm.  While we were waiting for the ferry, we met a lovely woman, Jane, who is from about 40 miles from where my family is from Upstate NY.  Since we didn’t see the farm’s van waiting for us on the island, Jane gave us a tour of the island by car and took us to the farm.  Here are some of the alpacas we met…




The farm’s shop was very cozy with a nice selection of different weighted alpaca yarns.  I even got some highly coveted alpaca in black and gray.  Since it was so chilly, I bought a hat crocheted from a white alpaca boucle yarn.  To help artisans in Peru, the farm sends it’s fiber to make items the shop can later sell to further help the artisans.

For dinner, the appetizer I picked was a portabello aspic with goat cheese.  Since I was reading  the totally wonderful book, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell, I had to order the aspic, which was pretty tasty after you get over the texture:


And here’s the flan for dessert, complete with caramelized sugar and chocolate ric-rac:


The next day, we went to Victoria, BC.  We started off by doing some yarn and button shopping.  In my rush to buy up lots of Hand Maiden yarns, I forgot to take pictures of the Beehive Wool Shop and the Button & Needlework Boutique.

After we ate lunch on the cruise ship, we went on our planned excursions to the Victoria Butterfly Gardens and Butchart Gardens.

The male Atlas Moth…and the female Atlas Moth…who will only live for about 3-5 days after emerging from their cocoons – long enough to make more Atlas Moths…



A Blue Clipper:


A Common Blue Morpho (female):


A Great Mormon:


A Mocker Swallowtail:


Another Blue Clipper:


An orchid:


One of the many Angels Trumpet trees:


And on to Butchart Gardens…begonias to start:


The Sunken Garden:


The Ross Fountain:


Some dahlias:








The Japanese Garden:


The Star Pond:


Here’s a shot of our cruise ship:


A cool hallway on the ship:


Our last day was one at sea.  I took a free-form knitting and crochet class in the morning with Tatyana Tchibova(concentration not helped by the rolling seas).  In the afternoon, I took Olde English knitting with Jule Castner.  Other classes were taught by Alexandra Immel and Susan Dirk.  That evening, we celebrated Sam’s (early) birthday on the cruise:


After the cruise, we ran all over Kitsap and Mason counties on a search for a size 1, 47″ Addi Turbo Lace needle to no avail and met up for dinner with Spring, Venita, Maria and Kevin at the Outback.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take a pic at dinner.  Spring gave me her clapotis-inspired scarf from her own hand-painted bubblegum silk.  Now I don’t have to covet it from afar!

The next morning, we met up with Maria and newlyweds, Ward and Sharon, for breakfast at Hi-Lo’s 15th Street Cafe:


We went up to The Artful Ewe to see Spring and Heidi.  I wound off my pink fine wool single with Heidi’s ball winder.  Here are some shots of the shop…can you see Spring on her Lendrum?



…and Heidi modeling one of her beautiful shawls…


Then we cleaned the rest of my things out of my house for hopefully the last time (it’s on the market).  Here’s a shot of the newly remodeled kitchen:


12 Responses to “October Knitting Cruise/Retro Post #3…”

  1. Liz C Says:

    Hi Bethany,

    We love Hi-Lo’s! I’v had to limit my visits to once a month or I end up hurting myself with the moon biscuits & gravy.

  2. Rachel Says:

    Hi Bethany – Sounds like a great trip! We used the exact same cabinets for our IKEA kitchen in our last house. We’ve moved now and I am coveting another IKEA remodel…

  3. shetalkstostrangers Says:

    @Liz – I haven’t tried those, yet! I almost always get whatever is on special there. One thing I miss from the U.S. – good big breakfasts!

    @Rachel – They actually weren’t from Ikea, but from Home Depot. It takes about an hour to get to Ikea in Seattle and that wouldn’t have worked well with all the trips the contractor and I had to take to make things perfect! I wish I had a good before picture. The cabinet layout really added space and opened up the area to the dining room.

  4. Milyn Says:

    Hi Bethany! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Wish I’d known you were headed to Naniamo, that’s where my brother lives. I haven’t visited him there, but I’d have connected you if you had the time to meet him and his wife…

    Good to see you are having fun and keeping busy. I am jealous that you are getting so skinny (re photo in hall on cruiseship) Good for you. I think I have found the pounds you lost, LOL!

    Miss you… Any chance of your heading our way in 08? 07 was so busy for us that we are planning to take it a bit easier this coming year, so may not get a visit in to you… We’ll see…

    Zen hugs your way…

  5. Rachele Says:

    What a great trip. One of my best friends is from Nanaimo so I’ve been to the Island a few times and love it.

    Julie and Julia was a great book, wasn’t it? I haven’t had a chance to try aspic or debone a duck since I read it though!

  6. shetalkstostrangers Says:

    @Rachele – I doubt I will ever harvest marrow from a bone, but I did really enjoy hearing about it! I feel so lucky to have gotten our spontaneous car tour of Nanaimo – another case of feeling rushed with a group. It’ll be nice to visit again when I return to the U.S.

  7. Sam Says:

    Hey that’s me! Great pictures of the cruise. It’s making me want to sign up for another one.

  8. shetalkstostrangers Says:

    @Sam – Hey! I was looking around for you at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. Did you go and I missed you?

    They need to do a knitting cruise out of Tokyo!

  9. Stacy Says:

    Gorgeous! Butchart gardens is one of my favorite places on earth. So good to see you there and looking so happy.

  10. randmknitter Says:

    Hey, Bethany! It sounds like a great trip–I’d love to do a knitting trip someday, too, like that one that starts in Victoria and Vancouver and then goes by train up to Banff, knitting all the way. Are you back in Japan–and if so, will you be back here for Madrona in February? Have a great holiday, wherever you are! Miss you–best, Terri

  11. John.Jnr Says:

    Here’s wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous new year !

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