There is something about the cold snowy days and nights of winter that bring out the longing for travel and escape. We can escape into books, TV shows, movies, knitting, rug hooking or we can book those long imagined trips to places where snow doesn’t happen and everything is different. I grew up in Sayward, a small hamlet on the NE side of Vancouver Island. In my 1960’s early childhood, the roads were gravel and the power we used came from the diesel power plant out back. We cooked on wood stoves, heated the water with the same stove and lived in the quiet of the rain forest that surrounded us.
Travel was what my Grandpa did. In 1960 he retired from working and for the next 30 years he traveled the world. He flew, took trains, boats, and buses. For the first few years he traveled with my Grandmother but when she died in 1968 he continued on. He saw most of the world in those 30 years of traveling. He packed 20-30 perfectly pressed shirts, a tuxedo, khaki trousers, linen for the tropics and wool suits for the cold. He wore ties, cardigan sweaters and hats. Leather brogue shoes and walking shoes with argyle socks completed his wardrobe. He was tall, handsome and monied.
Grandpa brought home photo slides, stories and in the 70’s a woman called Grey Montgomery. She was a Texan, Southern Belle with a melodic accent that captured my imagination. She had been everywhere in the world it seemed and she wore clothes from fabric bought in India and then had made into beautiful clothes in Hong Kong. She loved my Grandpa and called him honey in such a sweet voice. When they came home from their latest trip we would watch the slide shows, listen in wonder to the stories and I would dream.
My sister Jane and her husband Morey have chosen travel this winter. Instead of the weekly postcards that we would receive from my Grandpa, Jane can text from her phone and send photos of Giraffes and Elephants from Africa. She talks of the beauty of the landscape and the wonder of walking in the footsteps of wildebeests and lions. Jane found the people to be amazingly kind and helpful, going beyond the call of duty to share their special part of the world. Travel makes us different, for it gives us perspectives that may not be available where we call home.
Jane and Morey are in Amsterdam now and then they travel to Morocco and Ireland following in the wandering ways of my Grandfather Louis. He would have been ever so pleased to hear that Jane was discovering the world beyond Sayward.
This winter I am staying home to knit, read, hook a rug and enjoy the beauty of home. I look forward to Jane’s stories and Morey’s photos knowing that I will travel just a little through their eyes from the comfort of my chair.
Here’s to a dreamy winter week.
Images from Jane’s time in Africa
This week’s hat pattern is “Wurm” by Katharina Nopp. It’s a fun design that has a few different techniques to brush up your knitting skills. Kathleen has chosen to do it in some yarn from her stash and used “Mithril” by Stansborough, a pure wool yarn from New Zealand.
The yarn in the store that we would like to see it done in is Elsebeth Lavold’s “Silky Wool”. It is a beautiful blend of fibres that creates a soft and warm product with colour that speak of the Earth. This particular hat would require 2 of the 50 gram skeins at $11.95 each. You can find the pattern as a free Ravelry download by clicking here: Wurm Hat Pattern.