Things I love about the train to Montréal:
a) 5-6 hours of uninterrupted knitting time,
b) I can sleep and still get closer to where I’m going,
c) 5-6 hours of uninterrupted knitting time, and leg room (not that I need much…I’m 5’0″…but still…there was a BIG knitting bag),
d) we land RIGHT in the middle of downtown, close to whatever hotel we’re staying at, so there’s no travel after our travel,
e) did I mention knitting? 5 hours? No interruptions?
The first order of business, after dropping our bags at the hotel, was to go out an explore! First stop…Old Montréal. We had business to do. We may be the only people to plan a trip around finding mustard.
(In our defense it was VERY good mustard. Brickstone honey, lime and chipotle mustard. We got a small jar on our last trip and discovered it’s a magic ingredient. We spread it on chicken before grilling it, put it in grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, salad dressings… We were very sad to see the bottom of the jar. Very. Sad.)
So, yes…Old Montreal. Home of the last place we saw OUR mustard, our favourite restaurant and this little gallery, whose name and exact location I can never remember, but have managed to find on every trip since I was in high school.
Ever been? This is what Old Montréal looks like…everywhere you turn.
I woke up on Day 2, to find the Boy online. He declared it was “YARN DAY” and was planning out where we should go and what our route should be. Jaw.drop.faint.dead.
(How did I manage to brainwash him into believing everyday should be YARN DAY train him to inevitably expect yarn to be part of every trip? I suppose it’s some strange combination of where we ended up on our second date, the fact that yarn is keeping a roof over his head and the Pavlovian instinct that comes after reskeining a mountain of yarn each week. He also does dishes.)
First stop, was Ariadne Knits. A bright and beautiful little store that had a nice range of yarns and fibre, including exactly what we were looking for: local yarn/fibre. We came away with some yarn and fibre from Projekt B, and some Alpaca/Merino from S.E.E. Alpacas.
Store atmosphere: Great! The owner was friendly and engaging, but also left us alone to browse. (Something I really appreciate) There was an area set out for people to sit and knit for a while. Definitely a place not to miss.
We won’t talk about the next store. Suffice it to say that when the words, “You know these dyers…as soon as they get good, they turn into divas and want control over their business” came up in the sales pitch…all sales went out the window. To any retail store owners…you never know who you’re speaking to.
Onwards to Effiloché! Billed as a “sewing room and knitting lounge”, it was chock full of yarn and fabric and notions and buttons and and and…from wall to wall to ceiling…and every nook and cranny! Great selection of both yarn and fibre. Including the small pile of fabric I can’t show here because a certain someone will spy quite yet, and a sweaters worth of one of my favourite shades of Tanis Fiber Arts DK merino. Not quite sure what this is going to be yet, but can’t wait to dig into it!
Store atmosphere: Warm and friendly. Again, there’s a large seating area in the middle of the store that invites you to sit and stay a while. Another must see.
And last on the list was A La Tricoteuse (no website), a small, neatly laid out store. Again, a good selection of yarns (the Boy has nicknamed it “the Possum Place”…in other words, the place where he discovered yarn can come from animals other than sheep head.desk.pound). Unfortunately, we were on the lookout for local yarns and fibres and didn’t find any here. The selection of commercial yarns that we had already seen at the other two stores.
Store atmosphere: Friendly proprietor. But if you’ve already been to Ariadne and Effiloché, you’ve probably already seen most of what A La Tricoteuse has to offer.
Other highlights of our trip:
This exhibit at the McCord Museum (don’t tell anyone…I made the Boy cover me while I TOUCHED the costumes!)
A long leisurely dinner at Rosalie (where we were sufficiently sucked up to)
Not going up to this museum:
Being able to walk around without getting soaking wet in the rain…thanks to the underground city.
Discovering that although our mustard was nowhere to be found IN Montréal, the Montréal-made mustard can be bought from an online store in Nova Scotia that also sells…wait for it…yarn.
And Otis? After a week of charming all the girls at the vets, he couldn’t get out of there fast enough. That’s our boy.