1. Melbourne, Australia 2. Vienna, Austria 3. Vancouver, Canada 4. Toronto, Canada 5. Adelaide, Australia 6. Calgary, Canada</a> 7. Sydney, Australia 8. Helsinki, Finland 9. Perth, Australia 10. Auckland, New Zealand Source: The Economist Intelligence UnitHere's what I love about the three Canadian cities (Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver) in the Top 10: Toronto: the multiculturalism of Toronto (where I now make my home) makes Toronto one of the most fascinating places to live. The ethnic neighbourhoods, the dozens of daily and weekly newspapers published in many different languages, the faces on the street, the customs, the amazing array of international cuisines, the languages I hear on the subway to work each week...
(Chinatown at Spadina and Dundas, Toronto: Courtesy Tourism Toronto)Calgary: the Alberta city seems to breathe its western roots and sense of history, and not just during Stampede season. I recall how Calgarians pulled together during and after the 2013 flood. And I do love the cowboy culture that is more than the fad it's become in other cities. That's just the way many folks are. I have family in Calgary who have always gravitated toward laid-back, down-home kinds of places. I think I understand why they've chosen Calgary to live.
(Fort Calgary historic park: a sense of history, an enduring spirit of place)Vancouver: Seldom have I visited a city where the great outdoors is so accessible. Vancouver offers spots of outdoorsy wilderness and green forests right within the city. The sea wall in Stanley Park and Capilano Bridge are accessible from the downtown core of Vancouver within minutes. Plus, you've got Grouse Mountain a short jaunt away and then incredible Squamish just up the highway.
(Capilano Suspension Bridge: just minutes from downtown Vancouver)What Canadian city do you think should have made it to the Top 10? Why so?
The Sundew Hat is one of our all-time favourite easy knitting patterns for winter—a super easy pom-pom beanie that is sure to be worn again and again.
Quick to knit and extra-cozy, the Sundew Hat is the perfect cold-weather accessory. Whether you are looking to knit a thoughtful last-minute gift or your own quintessential hat, the Sundew Hat is a crowd-pleasing favourite with its classic design and soft texture. It looks great when worn slouchy, and just as cool with the brim rolled. We designed the hat in our luxurious Alpaca Wool yarn, which perfectly balances the softness of alpaca with the structure of wool. The yarn is a pleasure to knit with and the pattern is easy to follow – you will be so pleased with your results, you’ll want to make a Sundew Hat in every colour.
The Sundew Hat is a good beginner project as the thick stitches are easy to see and you will be able to wear your finished hat in no time. Because the stitches are chunky, it is easiest to follow the instructions and begin knitting the project with round needles and then switch to double pointed needles when required to complete the crown shaping. The hat is finished with an oversized pom pom. This special touch is easy to make – you can purchase a pom pom maker or create a pom pom the old-fashioned way using cardboard cutouts. Before attempting to make a pom pom, we find it helpful to watch online tutorials, which ensure that you achieve the right look on the first try. You also have the option of buying a pre-made pompom, or leaving the hat without any embellishments at all. Either way, you’ll have a beautiful hat that you’re sure to love!
- 2 Skeins of Americo Alpaca Wool (30% Superfine Alpaca / 70% Wool) 100g / 87 yards (80 m)
- 6.5 mm (US10.5) 16-inch (40 cm) circular needles and set of 6.5mm (US10.5) DPNs
- 1 stitch marker
- Yarn needle
Note about the yarn: Alpaca Wool is available through Americo Original online and in select yarn stores. You can substitute for other bulky/heavy worsted weight yarns like Americo’s Highland Simple Twist, Copito Medio, or any bulky/heavy worsted weight in your stash.
Finished size is 20-inch (50.8 cm) circumference by 11.5 inches (29 cm) long. Yarn has considerable stretch; one size will fit most head circumferences
13 stitches = 4 inches (10 cm) in stocking stitch using 6.5 mm (US 10.5) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge.
K, k: knit
P, p: purl
DPN(s): double pointed needle(s) - a needle with points at both ends; used in sets of 5
M or PM; //M//: stitch marker or place marker; denotes stitch marker dividing sections
Ribbed/rib/ribbing: a pattern stitch – has vertical columns of knit and purl stitches, side by side, with elastic properties. Examples: (K1, P1) aka 1 x 1 ribbing, (K2, P2) aka 2 x 2 ribbing etc.
St-st/stockinette /stocking stitch: a pattern stitch – in circular knitting – knit every round
k2t (slant to R): Knit 2 together (a decrease) - insert the needle into the front of the 2 knit stitches from left to right. Draw the yarn through to the front both stitches from the needle
Using 6.5 mm (US 10.5) 16” (40cm) size needles, and Alpaca Wool yarn, cast on 64 stitches, //PM//, and being careful not to twist your stitches, join in the round.
Round 1: (K1, p1), repeat to the end of the round.
Repeat this round for 4.5 inches (11.5 cm)
Change to stocking stitch (knit every round) until stocking stitch measures 4.5 inches (11.5 cm), and you have a total of 9 inches (22.8 cm) from the beginning of your work.
Note: When the stitches no longer fit comfortably around the circular needle, change to double pointed needles.
Round 1: (k6, k2t), to end of round. (56 stitches)
Round 2 and all even rounds: knit to end of round.
Round 3: (k5, k2t), to end of round. (48 stitches)
Round 5: (k4, k2t), to end of round. (40 stitches)
Round 7: (k3, k2t), to end of round. (32 stitches)
Round 9: (k2, k2t), to end of round. (24 stitches)
Round 11: (k1, k2t) to end of round (16 stitches)
Break yarn leaving an 8-inch tail. With yarn needle, thread through remaining stitches, tighten to close the top of the hat and secure inside the hat.
A pom pom maker can be easily made using cardboard and scissors. Instructions are readily available online. A commercial pom-pom maker can be purchased.
Weave in all loose ends.
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop that features a high-end selection of yarns, textiles, custom knitwear patterns and accessories. Only natural fibers, produced especially for us in the Andean highlands of South America are offered, including luxurious wools, llama, alpaca, organic and premium cottons, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo's one-of-a kind runway pieces and classic styles for the hand knitter are created in our design lab. Americo is based in Toronto, Canada and ships internationally from their online store: americo.ca/shop.
Ann Douglas shares her weight-loss story. Image by: David Wile
Ann Douglas shares how a walking routine and being kinder to herself helped her lose 120 pounds.I had almost given up on ever losing the extra weight I'd been carrying around my entire life. It was January 2013. I was staring down a milestone birthday (50) and the number on my scale (286 pounds). Heading into midlife with more than 100 extra pounds increased my odds of a premature death or disability. I wanted so much more for myself and my family.
|This story was originally titled "Many Steps Forward" in the October 2014 issue.|
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Skate for fun. Skate to work. It's all part of winter in Ottawa (Courtesy: National Capital Commission)
A twilight skate to end a family-friendly day with the Parliament Buildings in the background. (Courtesy National Capital Commission)
Rent skates. Buy a hot snack. Embrace your outdoor mojo on Ottawa's Rideau Canal. (Courtesy: National Capital Commission)
And when the little ones are too tuckered out to skate, or don't know how, rent a kid-friendly sled! (Courtesy: Jantine/Ottawa Tourism)6 Factoids about the Rideau Canal in winter 1. The Skateway enables you to skate more than 7 kilometres, starting near the National Arts Centre and heading all the way south to Dow's Lake Pavilion. 2. If you don't have your own blades, no sweat. You can rent a pair of skates. 3. Can't skate or have little kiddies who tire out, no worries. You can rent a bright red sled and glide along the frozen canal route. 4. The Rideau Canal is the focal point for Ottawa's Winterlude during the first three weekends of February. Get all the details from Ottawa Tourism's Winterlude site. 5. Ottawa folks frequently skate to work. Watching skaters with knapsacks or brief cases is a common site. Beats taking the bus! 6. How does the Canal stay so smooth and skater-friendly? At night time, when the canal is free of skaters, city workers drill holes in the ice and pump water onto the surface to flood it. Smooth sailing for skaters the next morning! For more information, check out the Rideau Canal Skateway web site. Follow me on Twitter @DougONeill as we discover more enjoyable ways to embrace winter in Canada!