Monday, 31 August 2015

30 days of Mindful Yoga

It's been a while (far too long actually) since I did some regular yoga. I started ok in the beginning of July but then it got super hot and we went on our road trip and the excuses gained more power every day. I had two highlights in Canada, when I went to a proper yoga studio for the first time. I very much enjoyed the lessons there and I think I learnt so much from just being together with other people practising yoga and being corrected. I am thinking about starting to do this back home as well, there actually is a yoga studio close by but it's hard to find a regular time and so far it's still been far too hot.

But just now Candace posted a new yoga challenge for September, the temperatures are going to drop tomorrow (and this time it might really be the end of this intense heat -  we had 39 degrees on the balcony yesterday) and I talked a lot about yoga and pilates all over the weekend so the timing is perfect.

I also love mindfulness but have been neglecting it for a while - so again - perfect fit.

There were no poses to choose from so I chose my own, I am going to do Lower Back Stretch, which will be excellent for my back muscles and my spondylolisthesis.

Antonia already took a photo of me in that pose and I hope I'll be able to relax further down after a month. We will see, fingers crossed that I will stick with my practice ;-)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Madeira Park - Vancouver

On the 31st of July we started the last part of our road trip. We left the silence of the Sunshine Coast and took the ferry to Vancouver. Still on the Sunshine Coast we had a last coffee break on the beach in Sechelt / Selma Beach.

The light on the ferry was amazing, so many different shades of blue. Too bad it only took us about 45 minutes, I would have loved to stay on the water for much longer.

As soon as we landed at Horseshoe Bay it was obvious that we had arrived in a different world. There was such a long queue of cars waiting for the next ferry out, probably because it was the beginning of a long weekend and everybody wanted to go where we just came from, either the Sunshine Coast or Vancouver Island. We drove the other way, right into a huge traffic jam. It took us more than an hour to get from West Vancouver over Lions Gate Bridge, through Stanley Park and Downtown to our bed and breakfast Cambie Lodge on West 13th Avenue. We were pretty knackered by the time we arrived and were very glad to take a break.

The next morning I was all excited because I was finally going to meet Melissa. I've known her for more than ten years. We met through, had a lifejournal at the same time, spent a lot of time on flickr, are friends on facebook and instagram and read each other's blogs. But we never met in person in all these years and there were always 9 hours of time difference between us. So it was strange to actually see and hear her at 12pm in front of Broadway-Cityhall. But it didn't take long at all for it to feel perfectly normal. I love internet friendships ;-)

She took us on a walk along False Creek to Granville Island, then we had to have a break at Starbucks because we were so hot. Next we crossed Granville Bridge which freaked me out quite a bit. On one side there is the long distance to the water, so I had to stay clear of that edge but on the other side of the footwalk the cars drive by really fast and you know you really shouldn't fall on the lane.

Too soon it was time to say goodbye again. I really hope we will meet again somewhere and I wished we didn't live right on the other side of the world from each other.

In the evening we went to Kitsilano Beach. It was the 1st of August which is typically celebrated with firework in Switzerland (it's Swiss National Day) and we were so happy to find out that we were going to get a very special show even though we weren't home. The time before it got dark was amazing, we saw the most spectacular sunset which made me wish I lived closer to the sea even more.

The firework was cool too even though we were slightly too far away for close up photos.

On our last day we took the bus out to E Hastings Street where I wanted to find Baaad Anna's yarn store (and of course we found it, because I already posted my Vanilla Latte Socks and my Playdate Cardigan which were both knit with yarn I bought there). Then we flew over Canada and had a blast and last but not least we rode rented bikes around Stanley Park.

And then, sadly, it was time to go home on the 2nd of August. We had a bit of time before our flight to Reykjavik took off, so we said goodbye to Vancouver Island and the sea from Iona Beach Provincial Park and then we had to leave.

Right now I am kind of sad that I sorted through all our 3000 photos and wrote all the blog entries I wanted to do but I am sure lots and lots of little moments will stay in my mind and we will always look back to this road trip with longing for more.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Finished Object: Peanut

Pattern: Peanut by TinCanKnits
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label
Colours: Lemongrass and Cobalt
Needles: 3.5mm and 4mm Round Needles
Start of project: August 22th , 2015
End of project: August 23rd, 2015

On Ravelry

This little vest wasn't planned at all, but it just happened. Last Saturday I was comfily sitting at home, knitting on my Atlas when the bell of my flat was rung. Outside there were my lovely neighbours who wanted to introduce me to somebody. They had actually just had a baby boy the day before and the amazing mom was not only back home already but she had also walked up three flights of stairs, was still carrying all her stuff from the over night at the hospital and kept standing outside my flat, calmly talking about birth and everything. So I met Jascha ;-)

So when they finally went inside their flat (I wasn't impatient but rather scared for that poor new mummy) I couldn't keep myself from going to my stash right away and once I'd found some lovely leftovers from Antonia's hoodie I cast on a little Peanut Vest. I loved knitting it, it grew so fast and I knit a good part of it next to the pool. I am looking forward to seeing in on the little guy who is still far too tiny to wear anything as big as the small vest I just knit ;-)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Comox - Powell River - Saltery Bay - Earl's Cove - Madeira Park - Skookumchuck Narrows

On the 29th of July we left Vancouver Island. I was sad to take the ferry and to leave this magical island behind and I really hope I'll have the chance to go back at some later point in my life.

On the plus side, we got to ride the ferry twice that day and I really love ferries. It's such a great way to travel, you park your car, get on top of the ferry and enjoy the weather (I guess it would be a very different experience in bad weather, but we only had sunshine whenever we were on board). We met a family from Switzerland and they took this dangerous photo of all of us ;-)

Back on the mainland we drove down the Sunshine Coast. We missed the next ferry between Saltery Bay and Earl's Cove but I didn't mind waiting at all, it was a lovely spot, we had food and I had just started my From Vancouver Island with Love hat...

On the other side there were only a few kilometers left to our next accomodation - the Chateau Cedro Rosso in Madeira Park. This four bedroom "castle" was just amazing. Everybody had their own room with its own bath, there were three different living rooms, huge windows, a kitchen with everything, four balconies, a garden, sea view and I think our flat at home would have fit in at least twice. Too bad we only stayed for two nights, I could have spent much more time on that deck!

On the 30th we drove back for a little while and then we hiked to the Skookumchuck Narrows, where a huge amount of water must pass the Sechelt Narrows twice a day. We missed the peak of the tide and were about half an hour late, but it was still really impressive to see all those whitecaps and whirlpools.

It was about an hour each way to get there and back and because the weather had gotten really hot by then we were very happy to reach the Skookumchuck Bakery and Café at the end of the trail and stop for a delicious sandwich and some homemade ice teas.

And to end this blog post: This is one of my favourite photos of our road trip. All of us together and in a good mood. It wasn't like that all the time, we actually fought quite a bit. Being together 24/7 in a foreign land and with a different language was intense. I often felt a bit overwhelmed being the only adult and we often forgot to eat until we were terribly cranky or we were tired from all the impressions. But the good thing is that we made up and felt like a family again even after bad moments.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Finished Object: Playdate

Pattern: Playdate by TinCanKnits
Yarn:  Party of Five / SweetGeorgia
Colours: Snapdragon
Needles: 3.25mm and 3.75 Round Needles
Start of project: August 8th , 2015
End of project: August 23rd, 2015

On Ravelry

For this little cardigan I used the second part of my yarn shopping at Vancouver's Baaad Anna yarn store.

It was love at first sight with these five small skeins of sock wool. I had no idea what I'd knit with it but I knew right away that I wanted it. We went back to our b&b that day and there I got a text message from my cousin. His wife had just given birth to his second daughter. I knew I wanted to knit something for her but had no idea what it would be yet.

 The next day we flew back home and I think it was still in Canada that I read Julie's Modification Monday blog entry about a very special little Playdate cardigan. I had already seen this stunning version on Tanis' blog a couple of days earlier.

After a very long flight we got home and the next few days were a blur of jet lag and birthday parties. I actually met my cousin but didn't see the baby yet. And then it clicked. I realised I must have bought that yarn pretty much at the same time the baby was born back home in Zürich, so of course the yarn had to be made into something for the baby and I remembered those two blog entries and voilà -  my own stripey version of Playdate.

I only did the fair isle on the knit rows, the purl rows came out too uneven. Knitting this was slow work, all the colour changes brought lots and lots of yarn ends to sew in. I tried to do it as tidily as possible, but the ends aren't totally invisible and I hope it won't unravel. But I am happy that I knit it like this and I hope little Marlene will like it once she's a bit older ;-)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Courtenay - Mt. Washington

On the 26th we left the west coast and drove back across Vancouver Island to the other side of the island. Our aim was the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa where we spent our next two days and three nights. The resort was amazing with a beautiful garden, a great view over the Strait of Giorgia, a pool and I even took two yoga lessons there that I very much enjoyed.

After our first night I woke up really early. Just in time to see that the sunrise couldn't be too far away. So I put on some clothes on top of my PJs and together with Antonia we walked down to the beach and enjoyed a beautiful and rather cool rising of the sun. I love watching sunrisings while on holidays, it's always totally worth it and the best part is going back to bed afterwards, filled with all the amazing pictures of the sky.


After my yoga lesson we drove to the mountains, to the Mt. Washington alpine resort. It was much closer than I expected and it was fun to drive up the steep winding roads. I can imagine how hard it is to get up there if there's snow. There was no snow for us but quite a bit of fog. Because of that there was barely any view and we didn't see anything towards the sea, but it was wonderfully spooky and quiet and we had a lovely walk back down the mountain from the top.

On our second day in Courtenay we drove further north to Miracle Beach where we spent some time swimming and walking around in the shallow water until the tide regained all the land and we had to leave.

That afternoon I finished my Bradway Shawl and Antonia took lots of FO pictures ;-)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Finished Object: Vanilla Latte Socks

Pattern: Vanilla Latte by Virginia Rose-Jeanes
Yarn: White Birch Fiber Arts 80/20
Colours: Fruit or Vegetable
Needles: 2.75mm Round Needles
Start of project: August 2nd , 2015
End of project: August 16th, 2015

On Ravelry

I bought the yarn for these socks in Vancouver. Before we went on our road trip in BC, I checked up the area for yarn stores. There were several but the one I liked best was Baaad Anna's so going there was definitely on my to do list. On our second last day in Vancouver the time was right and we took the bus out to East Hastings St. At first we couldn't find the shop and it was so hot we were close to giving up, just when we spotted the sheep sign outside the store.

Inside the shop was filled with lovely goodies. I was kind of overwhelmed by all the possibilites, but pretty soon I was sure that I wanted to buy a skein of selfstriping sock yarn. There were many beautiful combinations but the purple and pink of Fruit or Vegetable looked just perfect.

I wound the yarn and cast on while still at the B&B in Vancouver. I always find the few first lines rather wobbly so I wanted to do that in the calm of our room. But then this was the ideal travelling project. I knit on the plane to Reykjavik and on the second one to Zürich, I knit at the lake back home in Zürich and at the pool as well as on the balcony and the sofa at home.

The yarn was a pleasure to knit with and I loved seeing the stripes grow. I am glad that I picked the Vanilla Latte pattern, I am sure I'll knit that pattern again.

Now that the weather has turned much cooler I am sure I'll wear them soon and I hope I'll get the chance to buy more selfstriping sock yarn, preferably when I can actually buy it in a real yarn store ;-)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Pacific Rim NP - Schooner Cove - Long Beach - Tofino - Chesterman Beach

Friday and Saturday 24th and 25th we stayed on in Tofino and explored the Pacific Rim NP and the beaches in and around Tofino.

We started with the rainforest, there are a few hiking trails that lead through the woods on planks. At first we walked the 1 kilometer to Schooner Cove. Lots of trees growing on top of each other and covered with moss, in all shades of green.

Then we came to Schooner Cove which I really liked because it was quite deserted when we got there. There was even a little bit of fog which made for a great mood.

In the evening we met friends from Switzerland who happened to stay in Tofino at the same time. Sometimes the world is such a small place. We had a lot of fun taking silly photos on the beach and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset together.

On Saturday we went to Tofino again. There were so many cute little details to see, like these sharks on the zebra crossing.

We spent the afternoon on Long Beach where I continued with my Bradway Shawl and Yannick and Antonia tried their luck at body surfing. They were among the only ones who went into the water without a wet suit and it was not really a very hot day either...

In the evening we went back to "our" beach, the Chesterman Beach right next to our B&B. We had coffee and hot chocolate, tried to let fly our new kite and saw another sunset. It makes me all nostalgic to see these photos and I wished I could go back right now ;-)

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Long Beach - Ucluelet - Broken Islands

Thursday 23rd of July - We left the B&B too early for breakfast, which was the best thing that could have happened. Not because the breakfast was bad the following mornings, it was indeed excellent, but because we got to eat breakfast at the beach and not any beach but the wonderful Long Beach of my dreams. I almost can't look at this photo, it makes me want to go there again sooo badly.

We didn't actually spend a lot of time on the beach that day because we were supposed to be in Ucluelet for a whale and bear watching tour with Alan and Toddy Landry of Archipelago Cruises on the Raincoast Maiden. After we'd heard the safety instructions and been introduced to everyone, we left Ucluelet and went exploring. After only 5 minutes we saw our first black bear, cozily walking along the beach, looking for food. It was actually our only bear but we didn't know that at that moment and it didn't matter because there was so much more to see. Eagles, seals, sealions, seaotters and humpback whales with a calf. I would have needed a better camera (with a longer zoom lense) to really capture them, but right there it was were impressive.

I was also very fascinated by the beautiful scenery of the Pacific and its islands, especially the Broken Islands where we had a very fancy and tasty lunch on board. After more than 5 hours on board we went back onshore, what an amazing day!

We went for a coffee and hot chocolates in Ucluelet because it had been quite cool during the way back and we had a little walk around town before we headed back to Tofino.