Vancouver 2023 – Granville Island

There’s so much to write about my week in Vancouver. So much that I don’t even know where to start!

This trip, I took a lot of video clips instead of so many pictures. This means I don’t have a lot of pictures to show you of what I actually did. You can now see the video I put together on Rachel’s latest livestream! The montage starts at 6:59, linked in the show notes.

Another way to tell the story of trip is via the stuff I bought! So I’m going to do that, without apology, without justification, without guilt, without going into the specter of consumerism that always looms over us. I bought these things, I’m proud of the fact that I stuck to my list and my budget, and I’m excited about the plans I have to work with them.

Silk Weaving Studio

When Rachel offered to take me to Granville Island again, I jumped at the chance for one reason. I really wanted to go back to the Silk Weaving Studio. Last time I was there, I bought a silk spinning sampler. It became a highlight of my 51 Yarns sampling, and along with my ramie sample, became my first Shakerag Top. I was keen to wear the top back to the studio, tell them how much I had enjoyed the fiber, and get some more.

I don’t think I got around to actually thanking them for their product, because as soon as I showed off my sweater, they were so excited and kind about it that I forgot. Diana, the store owner, insisted on taking a picture to share, and was just so kind about it. I also got to talk to Leslie about qiviut – she shared her master spinners’ thesis with me about qiviut, which I look forward to reading.

Here’s where I should pause to talk to you about my Qiviut Blending Project. If you’ve been following my monthly updates, I’ve shared about my progress so far. Basically, I want to play around with blending hand-processed, hand-harvested qiviut. Specifically, blending it with different wools and different silks. Qiviut just begs to be blended. Nunavut Qiviut has made some wonderful yarn blends that I got to play with during our recent class. But I’ve been developing this idea for some time now to take this blending idea to the next level, with hand spinning in mind. Most of my stash acquisition on this trip is for this experiment, which I hope to turn into a truly epic blanket.

My aim at the Silk Weaving Studio was to pick up 300g of silk. The Pedencal silk, on the right, was a must-have, as well as the Muga silk on the left. I worked with both for 51 yarns and enjoyed them so much, I needed to include them in my qiviut project. I was surprised to find the Tussah in the middle, which is very similar in colour to the Muga. I had thought to get some white silk in the mix, but I think it will be a more subtle experiment to see if the Tussah has a different texture to the Muga. I don’t know if white Tussah would have a different texture to the brown Tussah; I didn’t think to ask.

On impulse, I snagged these two little skeins of handpainted merino/silk blend. It looks to be about a DK weight. I want my friend Brenda to teach me how to make the entrelac headbands she sells, and these look perfect for the job. With any luck, they will pay for themselves.

The rest of the time at Granville Island was spent wandering through the Net Loft and the Public Market, enjoying a feast of sights and smells.

Net Loft has just beautiful shops, including a store with precious stones, a paper shop, and a shop that’s just lavender and french soaps. That’s also where Maiwa’s storefront is located. I’d visited there before and wanted to pop in again, though I wasn’t ready to buy anything there. I came away with a very specific idea for my next sewing project, which I have the muslin to test out before I buy nice fabric.

The Public Market is a familiar style of indoor market, with one area devoted to beautifully displayed fruits and vegetables, an area of artwork, and a sort of food court. We perched in a balcony seating area for a leisurely lunch, then headed over to the 05 Tea Bar a short drive away.

I haven’t mentioned yet that we met up at Granville Island with Greta, a.k.a. backtobasics on the Wool n’ Spinning slack channel. (Aren’t we an adorable advertisement for golden yellow?) We got to meet her during my last visit, and both times she took us to her husband’s tea shop, the 05 Rare Tea + Kombucha Bar. I love this place. It’s beautifully curated, combining the edgy and cool with the genuine welcome of tea nerdiness. No snobbishness here, just a love of great tea.

Pedro came to meet us there, bringing the smallest member of their beautiful family, and a couple of the knives he made using the caribou antlers I brought him last time. I wish I’d thought to bring more. Apparently the Labrador Tea I sent in the fall was a big hit, so I’ll make an effort this year to hire some help to harvest more.

Greta, Rachel, and I got to have a really nice visit at the tea bar, then we drove home through traffic and Vancouver drizzle. I forgot to mention that I spent our driving time between these two awesome kids, who shared with me about their life of homeschool and soccer and Minecraft, and made me miss my girls.

Our plan for supper had fallen pray to an Instant Pot error, so we went out to the local sushi shop. There were lots of laughs. I don’t remember what we talked about; probably Bluey and Marvel? But we laughed a lot.

I was going to put the whole trip in this post, but this post is already epic. So I’ll stop! Long story short: Granville Island is awesome. If you’re into touristy shopping of the truly artsy/craftsy sort, it’s a feast for the senses.

2 thoughts on “Vancouver 2023 – Granville Island

  1. Oh thank you for sharing this day!! I love that photo of the kids in the back with you — they did soooo well that long, long day!! I’m super excited about your blending project — can’t wait to see your reflections about it over time! xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s