Early in the summer, I signed up for the Knitter’s Virtual Vacation Swap. Over the summer, participants chatted with their matches, then sent a “virtual vacation” package from where they live to their downstream partner.

p9066706vacation.jpgI’ve had some lovely e-mail chats with my upstream partner but had no idea who she was until yesterday, when her package arrived: Chelle, at Rainforest Knits, in Burnaby, Canada. Burnaby is in the suburbs of Vancouver, where Chelle grew up, and she sent me a fabulous collection of items from Vancouver and elsewhere in Canada.


  • Tea. Thunderbolt Darjeeling (which I’ve not tried before, though Darjeeling is my favorite variety of tea) and blueberry tea (which I am looking forward to trying!).
  • Magnets. I collect fridge magnets, and Chelle sent three of them (including one with an otter, Gina!).
  • Maple syrup. In a maple leaf–shaped bottle!
  • A tiny stuffed beaver wearing a red sweater with “Canada” on it.
  • City of Glass, Douglas Coupland’s ode to Vancouver.
  • A rock and seashell (collected and cleaned by Chelle’s daughter) from a rocky beach on Galiano Island.
  • A plastic cup (with a built-in straw) from the Vancouver Aquarium. (Not pictured because Sylvia immediately claimed it as her own and refused to relinquish it long enough for me to take a photo.)
  • A skein of green hand-dyed, fingering-weight wool from Shelridge Farm in Durham, Ontario. (There are 350 yards/100 g of it. Any suggestions on what I should use it for?)
  • A skein of in Fleece Artist merino-seacell sock yarn in “Mermaid” (blue-purple-green), from Nova Scotia. (These are definitely getting turned into luscious socks!)

Everything in this package is so lovely. I feel like I’ve taken a trip to Vancouver. Actually, I have been to Vancouver—during one spring break while I was in grad school—and I loved it. I’m not a big-city person, but Vancouver struck me as a place I’d like to live. For now, I’ll have to content myself with traveling there virtually, thanks to Chelle—and maybe starting to hatch plans to travel there for real some time in the not-too-distant future.

The syrup and sock yarn were interesting to see, because my husband and I use similarly shaped bottles of maple syrup (my hunch is there’s one company in the world that makes those things and sells them to all the sugar houses) as wedding favors when we got married in Vermont. And the yarn has a wedding connection, too: it’s from Nova Scotia, one of the places we visited on our honeymoon.

Thanks so much, Chelle!

One Response to “Virtual travels, and trips remembered”

  1. Katie Jon 12 Sep 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Great package. Your swapper really knew things you’d like!