Friday, October 29, 2010

On to the gardens!

You know that you are going to see the sunken garden, when you plan a trip to Butchart Gardens. You've seen pictures of it, but when you get there and see it in person it is very impressive. You could hear it from everyone around you... "WOW", "Oh my, how beautiful"... all the ooohs and aaahs are well deserved.


We visted in mid-September, luckily the late summer flowers were all in bloom. Only a few places were being changed out for the fall. The weather cooperated and we enjoyed a beautiful day at the garden..
As I mentioned before, we took the express shuttle, so we were able to walk around at our leisure. If you decide to take the shuttle, be sure to get your hand stamped before you leave the garden. If the bus is full, you will be asked to wait for the next one.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

See the butterflies...

When you go to Butchart Gardens, don't forget to make a stop at the Butterfly Gardens. We took the Grayline West Express Shuttle to the Gardens and they make a stop at the Butterfly Gardens on the way to Butchart. You can stay as long as you like and catch the next shuttle to get to Butchart. It was a great tip that we learned on TripAdvisor.

Once inside, we stepped into a tropical garden. Quite different from the cool weather outside. But you soon forgot about the humidity as the butterflies flitted around you. Lots of photo opportunities... Just watch where you step!

Vic butterflies

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The best way to start the day

We stayed at the Chateau Victoria, which boasts a rooftop restaurant, Vista 18, with a 360 degree view...
IMG_2375I'm sure it is a spectacular view when there is no fog! When we first stepped in the restaurant, it felt as if we were up in the clouds. You couldn't even see the buildings next door. This photo was taken after 30 minutes, a little better.


Breakfast, however, was a much better view. If you are hungry, then Mount Baker is for you... Eggs, ham, bacon AND pancakes with a berry compote. Delicious!

IMG_2378 Made to order Omlette with Breakfast Potatoes. Chips for breakfast - I love it! And they had homemade blueberry jam, yummy.

IMG_2379Vista Scramble - Chorizo, Tomato, Cheddar and Mozzarella on Sourdough toast.  Perfect way to start the day!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Follow your nose!

We walked past a Greek restaurant each time we walked back to our hotel and we'd catch a wiff of some wonderful cooking. Follow you nose, right? We stopped in for an early dinner. Step in to a charming dining room when you walk into Millos Restaurant.

IMG_2354Spanikopita to start, then bring on the meat!
IMG_2356The rack of lamb with Greek herbs and spices and the Millos Ribs... No room for dessert after that...

Next time we're in town, we'll go when there is belly dancing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Art in the streets...

IMG_2333I was so surprised to see this sculpture as we were walking through the streets of Victoria, I only got one picture of it.
It really isn't a very good one. I really should have stepped back and taken a photo of the entire sculpture. The steel sculpture is created by Glenn Closson using a line from the poem "Hide and Seek" by Carla Funk, Victoria's first Poet Laureate. You can find more details about the sculpture here and about the poet here.

Apparently there is a penny hidden at the base of the tree trunk... something to look for the next time we are in Victoria.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Museum Day

The forecast was for rain, so we postponed our visit to the gardens and went to the Royal BC Museum instead.

The permanent exhibits were great, but my favorite was the "Behind the Scenes: Part 1 Natural History". They put their collection of specimens on display. Plants, animals, insects, birds, feces (replicas, but still...). I spent the most time in the birds section (especially the eggs) and the least time in the insect section (yuk!). There were also displays telling you about the curators and the collection managers. Well done!
And then it was time for lunch... following another recommendation, we walked to Nautical Nellies.


IMG_2331On the menu - Wild Halibut tacos and "The Ultimate Lobster Sandwich" (with yam fries, of course).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Onto Victoria

We took the ferry to Victoria for a few days. It is a 3 hour ride. Luckily, it was smooth sailing and the trip went by quickly.
After going through customs and checking in, the first order of business was to get some dinner. On a recommendation we walked to Bard & Banker. It used to be a bank, now it is a pub. A pub with delicious food and live music at night. We had burgers (lamd and beef) and steak and ale pie. Oh, yeah, don't forget the chowder and yam fries...Comfort food, done right.
Bard & BankerBard &BankerBard & Banker

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pike's Place Public Market

IMG_2109You know you are in Pike's Market when you see the flowers. Since we were there in September, the bouquets were full of fall colors.
And I have to make time to see the fish. The last time we were there, they had a rock fish (?) on display. This time there is a "Giant Pacific Octopus".

IMG_2119I enjoy walking around when the vendors are setting up their stands. But most of all, I love the variety of food that you can find. I usually make a stop at Three Girls Bakery to get a variety of pastries and the Mr.
insists that we make time for a Smoked Salmon Pate piroshky at Piroshky Bakery.


My new favorite is the Farm Fresh Potato Chips. You get a small paper bag of freshly fried chips made from some of the potatos that you see here. I got a mixed bag of purple and gold chips that just came out of the fryer. They were gone in a flash, so once again, no picture...  You should try a bag if you are there!IMG_2124


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What can I say - It was on clearance....

More yarn!I heard about it and ignored it for about a week, but the I caved and bought more yarn...All were priced under $3 a skein...Isn't it beautiful!

Here's what I got:
  • Nashua Snowbird (70% wool, 30% alpaca)
  • RYC Natura Silk Aran Yarn (73% Viscose, 15% Silk, 12% Linen). 
  • Rowan Fine Milk Cotton Yarn (70% Cotton, 30% Milk Protein).
I got a sweaters worth of green yarn and was a bit worried of what the dye lot would be, but luckily it is from the same dye lot.
I can't wait to start using this...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Through the Loop Socktoberfest Clue #1

TTL SocktoberOctober is half gone and I just started my Mystery socks. Parts are published every Friday. You can find them on Ravelry or on the TTL blog. Last year was the first time I joined the TTL Soctoberfest and I loved the result.

I dug into my stash and decided on Knit Picks Stroll in Duchess Heather. It was part of a sock yarn sampler.  This year, I'm starting a little late and playing catch up. Here is my completed clue 1.

There's lots of informaton on stretchy cast on techniques on the ravelry thread for week 1. I started with the long tail over two needles. I am learning to cable without a cable needle! A little scary at first, but I watched a bunch of videos and decided to dive in. On to Clue #2!

Friday, October 15, 2010

October HAL #2

Equinox hat HALThe second October HAL from the Hats! Hats! Hats! group in Ravelry is the Equinox Hat by Dawn Hansen.
I decided to use the Stitch Nation by Debbie Stroller Bamboo Ewe, red and gray, that I picked up on the mainland. Dropped down to size 6 needles, but cast on 90 stitches.
The instructions call for the hat to be blocked, but I like it unblocked.

Two down one stitch-along to go... up next Through the Loops Socktoberfest...

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Thought I would start posting some pics from our trip. Of course, the first would be about food! We arrive in the morning and I am starving. This time we chose to eat at Lowell's in Pike's Place Market.

IMG_2107 IMG_2108

Don't you just love it... "Almost classy since 1957"?! There are three floors. You can order on the first floor and your meal is delivered to your table on the first and third floors. Or you can choose a sit down service on the 2nd floor. The line was short, so we choose to be served.
We had smoked salmon benedict and the corned beef hash special. Both were incredibly delicious. The right way to start the day and our vacation! Oh, yeah, the view is spectacular, but I didn't get a photo, because I was too busy admiring it!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More yarn!

While on vacation, I like to visit craft stores, if there is a yarn or needlework store nearby, all the better! You can be sure that I will be leaving with something. Here's my haul from this trip!
Vacation yarn!

I picked up some Ella Rae for another soft hat and found some hand dyed sock yarn in Victoria. I also picked up my first skeins of Malabrigo. To round it all out, I added more yarn for hats that was on sale at Michaels.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ascendance Crown is finally finished

It seems like I've been working on this forever, but it really has been only a week. In that week, I've restarted this project 3 times... It was a challenge and I was determined to finish. Here is my Ascendance Crown...

HAL done!I started this about a week ago, the first of 3 October stitch-a-longs. I learned...
  1. I should not crochet for long periods of time. Or I should remember to let go of the hook for a moment to stretch out every once in awhile.
  2. Don't be afraid to try a project, even if it looks too complicated. Just take it one row at a time
  3. If something doesn't look right ask... especially if you are participating in an HAL where the designer is there to help you. It would have saved me a lot of time if I asked before I got to row 41!
I'm glad that I did this hat and am very proud of the result. Who wouldn't want to wear a crown like this!

Friday, October 8, 2010

book 'em, danno

Filming 5-0Shh...this photo was taken while waiting at a red light. I drive by this corner almost every day on my home from work. About once a week, it is filled with trucks and equipment. So, what are they doing? They are filming Hawaii 5-0 of course!

Really, this is just the lighting, the actual filming is going on inside the building. I'm not out and about during the day, so chances of catching the an outdoor scene with real actors is just about zilch. But I'm keeping my eye out for them...  Just watch for all the street closures...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Green Halley's Comet

Halley's Comet HatOne more Halley's Comet hat completed! I am loving this pattern. Thank you Marnie MacLean. Right now it my "go to" pattern for hat knitting. For this hat I used Vanna's Choice in Seaspray mist. It is wonderfully soft and the washable factor is a plus for hospice hats.
Halley's Comet Hat

Can you see the yellow below the hat? Mr. Giraffe's body is completed and stuffed, waiting for the remaining pieces to be finished. Meanwhile, it makes a great base for hat modeling.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crochet Hat-A-Long for October

I am participating in a Crochet Hat-A-Long for October. The design is by Akua Lezli Hope and is called the Ascendance Crown. My first look at the pattern was when it was delivered to my inbox on October 1st. Oh my it seems a bit intimidating. It's been awhile since I've picked up my crochet hooks and this has popcorns, berries and cables... The instructions seemed to be written well, so I'll just take it one row at a time...
Here's my progress through row 26.

Not the best photo...I'm using Vanna's Choice in Scarlett. I think I like the festive look. This is going pretty quickly and I may be able to keep up with all the projects that I signed up for this month... We'll see...


Monday, October 4, 2010

Another Halley's Comet

Halley's comet hat
Wisp is not cooperating and will be on the back burner for a bit. Meanwhile, I'll make another hat!

I really enjoyed stitching the Halley's Comet Hat and thought I would do another one. I'm running low on washable yarn for hospice projects, so I thought I would try Vanna's Choice. It is 100% worsted weight acrylic and comes in a variety of colors.
It looks a bit anemic here, but it is a nice spring green color. A few more rows to go and this will be done!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's October already!

Can you believe that it is October already? I've been slacking on the posts and the knitting because of this. I downloaded the free version before the trip and haven't been able to put it down.

I was making progresson Wisp, but the missed yo (yarn overs) on the lace edging really bothered me, so it has been frogged. Back to square one...Cast on...again...

through the loopsMoving on, since I really want to pick up my knitting again. I've joined a knit along... more than one actually...
The first is the Through the Loops Sock KAL. I joined this last year and I loved the result. Kirsten releases a part of the pattern each week in October, so it really is a mystery. The great part of it is the parts are manageable, so each week, I was able to work on both sides of the sock and by the end of the month I had a completed pair. Here's a photo of the 2009 Mystery socks.

In addition, you all know about my ongoing hat projects... On Ravelry, I follow a group called Hats, Hats, Hats to keep a eye out for new hat patterns. For the month of October, there are two Hat-Alongs - one knit and one crochet. I joined both so I hope I can keep up! I'll post more about those once I cast on.