Oh, Alberta

I leave Canada alone for 5 weeks and it decides to implode. My heart is breaking for all those who have lost homes, have had their property damaged and those who have a long road of rebuilding ahead. There's not a ton I can do from over here, but I did purchase an Alberta love magnet from Amy Victoria Wakefield, and she's donating proceeds to the Red Cross. (And, apparently, replacing artwork of hers that was damaged in the flood. How cool is that?)

So seriously, Canada. Stop it. Don't make me come over there. (Much as I would really love to right now) Stay dry and safe, everyone!

FO: Rock Island Shawl

Well, it's about freaking time that I have some actual knits to show off. Being separated from my stash is a good thing, I guess, because I've finished 2 things in the last couple weeks. But first and foremost, my Rock Island Shawl!

I seriously never thought I would finish this sucker. Because you knit the edge first and then pick up and work in, the beginning takes forever. I think I almost lit this thing on fire at least 5 times. In the end, totally worth it and I'll probably make another one.
I used Little Red Bicycle's Spark Lace which is a 75% merino, 20% silk and 5% metallic blend. That's right, this sucker sparkles. It's actually barely noticeable, but every once in awhile I catch a glint of silver in the sunshine. I like it! It's definitely super wearable too. I can't wait to actually block this with pins and real tools when I get back to Canada! You can see my Rav project page here.

Now, I'm trying to figure out ways to keep from dying in the heat. Seriously, my entire life has been spent with summers that get maybe 1 or 2 days above 30 degrees and now I'm facing down a forecast of days in the 30's for the next month or two. Oh, and it turns out I'm extra allergic to Italian mosquitoes (zebra/tiger ones?) so I'm spending my evenings slathering myself in antihistamine cream and trying to stay cool in my non-air conditioned room.

Stay cool, friends!


Well, I made it to Italy! I haven’t been around these parts since I only really have internet access while I’m on campus, and I never have time to write a post. So, instead of knitting over my lunch break, I brought my laptop to the park and here it goes!
I’m still not entirely sure of how I feel about my trip this far. I’m feeling incredibly homesick, and that’s putting a real damper on my desire to do anything. I’ve been working 9-10 hour days on my research and I’m typically exhausted by the end of the day and just retreat back to my apartment without doing much walking about. In order to counteract my apathy 2 weeks ago, I took a day trip to Venice. I’m only a 1.5 hour train ride or so away, and it’s only a €15 round trip train ticket, so what the hell, right?

This was my second trip to Venice. The first time, about 5 years ago, I was with James and we had just come off a rough week. (We had been robbed in France and I was without a wallet, so he had to pay for everything until I got a new credit card. Top that off with getting a fine for messing up our train passes.. it was a bad scene and I was super grumpy)
I arrived nice and early in the morning and was greeted by crisp (almost fresh!) air and pleasantly empty streets. I took my time strolling around, but at about 11 all the tourists are out in full force and, well, it gets a little cozy in those tiny streets. I passed at least 5 wedding parties, countless buskers and tourist groups. I did manage to make it to Piazza San Marco this time (somehow missed on the first grumpy visit) and the square, along with the waterfront, were just insanely packed. I ended up taking a turn to try and head back to the train station, but that kind of failed and I walked through small and empty streets for hours, only occasionally hitting a congested canal but I fairly easily abandoned those routes. I headed back home at about 3pm, and was quite happy to crash into bed and rest my feet. That was a lot of walking!

All in all, I probably won’t make a point of going back there again. I feel kind of pretentious saying that, but I think there are much more beautiful places to visit that don’t have the same degree of tourist mania. (If you can’t get a free map, there are probably too many tourists ;)

Have you been to Venice? What are your thoughts? This weekend I’m heading to Padua to fulfill my dreams of stalking the offices of Galileo and Copernicus.


ps: If you want to see more photos and follow my adventures, I'm on Instagram quite often! My username is hannahschm.