Friday, October 02, 2009

Knitting Sprawl - Peterborough, Ontario

Apologies for the long lapse in posting. We were in a sprint to the finish line with knit togethers morning and night so we were running around the province of Ontario as if our carbon footprint didn't matter. Reckless, I tell you.

After leaving lovely Ottawa (I know there is much more to say about Ottawa but I decided I would save it for the artwork itself), we headed to the Big T. I had scheduled five knit togethers in places I believed to be just outside of Toronto (and one inside). Again with the reckless. Or perhaps it would be better to say, I needed a serious lesson in Ontario geography.

Case in point: our first stop was Peterborough.

Peterborough is an interesting small city with a university so it has a cool vibe and it is tucked in some gorgeous rolling hills that are not too hard to reach just outside the charming, and active, downtown. Yes, Peterborough is a Very Nice Place. What Peterborough isn't, however, is just outside Toronto. Peterborough is lovely place, a special place. I would go so far as to call it a happening place. But to speak of it as anything but its own place is just wrong. This I learned thanks in part to the fabulous knitting group that call themselves the Elegant Spiders (great name!) and in part from the nearly two hour drive to get there.

We were met in downtown Peterborough by Kate, who not only organized a special meeting of the Elegant Spiders just for us but treated us to dinner at the local Thai restaurant. We were nearly speechless (and very full and happy). Kate also works as an animal rescue expert, which is how she came up with Elegant Spiders as the name for the group - a great story about a woman who called her because she found an "elegant spider" in the grapes she had purchased at the grocery store. The spider turned out to be a black widow! A good reminder to always check your grapes carefully before purchasing.

Anyhoo, Kate had many wonderful stories that kept even the dour Finnian in thrall and then we met the group itself at a coffee shop right nearby to the restaurant.

They happily talked about Peterborough because they all seemed to love it sincerely. In our search for the heart of suburbia, we have found all sorts of things. In Peterborough we really found community. The people in the group didn't live in the new developments that have grown up the hillside from downtown but even in those places we found children playing, neighbors talking with each other, people jogging and walking and other evidence that it didn't really matter what kind of house you lived in - if you live in Peterborough chances are you feel a sense of community.

Oh, and a friend in distant Toronto had told us that Peterborough also had one of the best Value Villages in Canada (for the non-Canadian, Value Village is a chain of large thrift/close out shops), so naturally we had to check out that claim. Maybe it was my mood, but I didn't really get into it. Yet I had to acknowledge they had something going on when I came to this aisle:

Peterborough. Yes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hear you!
Give me a good old fashioned thrift store anyday.