Happy Monday! What did you get up to this past week? Things are getting chillier in Vancouver and it feels like old man winter is about to knock on the door! (haha.. remember that annoying ad?)
Vancouverites love to complain about the weather. Don’t you think? We are always fussing about things– whether it is a wet dreary day we’ve woken up to, or (gasp!) a chilly -1 morning that’s produced some frost on our windshield. We love to do all this winging yet we live in one of the mildest climates in Canada! Why do we like to whine? Well I think it’s because you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone (as Joni would say).
This past week I had the privilege of traveling to Montreal for a little sisterly visit. Let’s just say Vancouver’s terrible weather was really put into perspective for me. I now have the foresight to pause before complaining about Van’s humid, temperate winter days after experiencing chilly -10 November in Montreal! Brr..
While zipping around town on a little blue cruiser bike, bundled in a ridiculous amount of layers (I felt like a sad stuffed animal most of the time), I quickly found myself falling in love with our country’s most colourful, boisterous and seductive city–Montréal. My week was a whirlwind of activity, but offered a breath of fresh air into my busy Vancouver routine. It was so lovely to visit my sister and explore her McGill University campus, and the Montreal city at large. In my short five day visit, I really felt like I got a good feel of the city. Here is a list of my favourite things to do in Montreal–
Blue Owl’s Montréal Travel Guide
1. Hike the winding staircase to the tip top of Mont Royal to feel like you’re the queen of Frenchland.
2. Visit La Banquise late at night for a snack (24 hour Poutine!)
3. Enjoy a classy evening out with the OSM at the city’s stunning Maison Symphonique. (Didn’t get to do this, but wish I had!)
4. Grab a beer with friends at microbreweries Dieu du Ciel or Brasserie Reservoir for some tasty Montreal brews.
5. Plan a day trip to Marché Atwater or Marché Jean-Talon and pick up some fresh veggies, baguettes and cheese for dinner.
6. Take a breather at one of the city’s cute coffee shops. My favourites were– the Humble Lion and Le Couteau.
7. Stop by Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen at lunchtime for one of their famous smoked meat sourdough sandwiches. (Be prepared to wait in line, and arrive with your full party or else you won’t be seated.)
8. Warm up with a night cap at Else’s in le Plateau district. (we had hot whisky apple ciders)
9. Meander along rue St. Denis or Blvd St. Laurent to visit some quirky boutiques and vintage shops.
10. Bike up the hill to Mile End district and have an “o” themed afternoon with fresh bagels at St Viateur cappuccin’o’s at Cafe Olympia and doughy donuts at Chez Boris.
Are you in love with Montreal as well? There’s just so much to appreciate about that city I wouldn’t be surprised if you were too! I can see myself living there– perhaps one day. Last Monday, while checking off item number one on my list (Mount Royal), my sister and I decided to have an impromptu photo shoot amidst a stunning golden blanket of leaves cast down by the mountain’s maple trees, featuring one of my favourite hand-knit items, the Laurel Headband.
The cold days are upon us, so it’s time to bundle up with some cozy woollens, ladies. This adorable head-wrap is perfect for keeping your ears toasty all winter long, and looks darn cute to boot. See, there is a way to look good mid-winter without appearing like a sad stuffed animal! (Note to self..) I decided to name it the Laurel Headband because it channels the look of an ancient Grecian laurel wreath. Athena? Aphrodite?
The pattern is perfect for casual beginner knitters, mimics the trendy Anthropologie 2011 collection, and is a great excuse to learn how to cable knit. Jot down this pattern and get knitting my friend! You’re going to get lots of compliments on this one, you little grecian goddess ;)
The Laurel Headband
2 skein bulky weight yarn. (I chose 128 Cascade 865 Olive Heather) 9 mm needles (size 13 US) cable needle 2 coordinating medium sized buttons Tapestry needle
Short hand terms:
S1: Slip one stitch onto needle.
C8B: slip next 4 sts onto cable needle and leave at back of work, k4, then k4 from cable needle
C8F: slip next 4 sts onto cable needle and leave at front of work, k4, then k4 from cable needle
1. Double your yarn and cast on 16 stitches with both strands. Doubling your yarn will help make your headband super warm and thick.
2. Knit 2, purl 2 until you reach 4 1/2 inches.
3. Begin cable pattern (directions below) Repeat cable 4 times.
4. Cable pattern:
Row 2: sl 1, k1, p12, k2 Row 3: sl 1, k15 Row 4: sl 1, k1, p12, k2 Row 5: sl 1, k15
Row 6: sl 1, k1, p12, k2 Row 7: sl 1, k5, C8F, k2
Row 10: sl 1, k1, p12, k2 Row 11: sl 1, k15 Row 12: sl 1, k1, p12, k2
5. Wrap headband around head to measure for fit, then knit a few more rows of 2×2 rib if extra length is needed. (Approx length is 20-22 inches).
6. Bind off and weave in ends. Sew ends together to form an infinity loop or sew buttons onto one side to fit together with buttons. No button holes are necessary, just push buttons through the end of the other side to fasten. (I did the infinity loop look).
Pattern Credit: Jen Geigly from Ravelry.
Here is a printable pattern in PDF form
Congratulations on all your hard work. Let me know below if you have any questions or to show off your final products! Would love to see.
I hope you have a wonderful week full of focused work, productive days and daydreams of winter.. I am starting to fantasize about Christmas! Have you started to as well..? (I still feel a little sheepish even thinking about it just yet… it still feels too early! Eggnog.. christmas carols.. gingerbread.. you’re just around the corner!)
PS: How to nap. No more feeling guilty if you need a little shut eye ;)
PPS: A big thank you and huge squeeeeeze to my little sister Fiona for her wonderful modelling that afternoon amidst the chilly mountain air! Thank goodness for those stairs and some hot soup to get us warm again..