Narrowboat Adventures: Weeks Nine And Ten November 11, 2017
Narrowboat Adventures: Week Eight November 5, 2017
Narrowboat Adventures (and Beyond!): Weeks Three and Four September 28, 2017
The time is flying by and suddenly, Week 3 has morphed into Week 4 and I am back in North America!
I won’t be on this continent for long, though. I’m spending the week with my Adventure Knitters in beautiful Nelson, British Columbia. More on that later…
Into our 3rd week, we were settling into a slightly more leisurely pace.Leaves were beginning to fall from some trees. On one lovely evening, we tied up under an oak tree and spent the night listening to the staccato machine-gun style rattle of acorns with every gust of wind. Our lesson: on nights when there are strong winds forecast, we won’t plan to moor under any type of tree in case of larger things than acorns breaking loose!For the last two weeks on the boat we’d been setting our sights on reaching Ellesmere Port or Chester on September 20th – not a tall order by car, but on a narrowboat (traveling at walking pace) you have to allow time for lock delays or other unexpected happenings and you can’t just hurry up.
I had a train to catch that Wednesday to get to Heathrow – hard to take a break from your journey, but needs must! John’s plan was to visit his mum and clean and do laundry. We also planned to offload any summer or unwanted gear – anything for space.We had gradually been learning how long we can go without taking on potable water, fuel, and how to judge the holding tank gauge for just-in-time pumpouts! Finding garbage drop offs can prove challenging, the Canals and River Trust have been removing skips from some of the watering points …. there is a quite a bit of fly tipping in evidence under the railway bridges.We’d taken Queen Bee to Ellesmere Port National Waterways Museum, to moor up whilst I’m away. The museum is situated on a basin accessed by a couple of locks and offers a snug protected berth. In fact, we’ve become part of the exhibit! Gongoozlers were busy taking pics as we came through the locks. We offloaded bin bags full of laundry and excess gear. John is taking the opportunity to stock up with dry goods and tonic water, which we constantly run out of!I was prepared with clothing and a small carry on case to be able to leave the boat as we passed through Chester and walk to the railway station.
As it happened we had a day in hand and decided to moor up Queen Bee and rent a car (had to walk to get that), and visit my mother in law for a night before my departure.
Next thing I knew, I was on my way to Nelson.I was dropped at Chester station and caught a train to London. This was a little like narrowboating in reverse, as the train line frequently criss crossed the canal that I had spent the previous 2 weeks on – it looked very tranquil on the cut.This felt cruel, having chugged alongside train tracks on many occasions over the previous couple of weeks. Now I found myself on a train, catching glimpses of the canal. It all looked so peaceful, rather like looking at a model scene. I saw the locks we’d recently been through and several boats on the move. I couldn’t exactly identify them without a map and they look so different from inside a train.
I then caught the tube across London during rush hour to get to Heathrow.
Next I had to find the hotel that I had booked! Couldn’t locate the shuttle buses so took a taxi. In the morning I was successful in catching a bus back to LHR and flew to Vancouver.
Here I was picked up by Judy, my Adventure Knitting co-conspirator, and conveyed to a very welcome bed and hot shower. We set off early the next morning on the 10 hour up-and-down car journey to Nelson, crossing several mountain ranges. The huge trees and craggy mountains were quite a contrast to the flatness of canal travel.
And now that I am here, let the Adventure Knitting begin!
My Almost Saintly Socks is our half-price pattern of the week!
An entertaining project for the ardent sock knitter, for those in search of an interesting foot-suntan pattern, or those with naturally hot feet! The scallop holes stitch pattern sets off hand-painted yarns beautifully.
The Almost Saintly Socks pattern is half-price ($4.50) until October 3!
The Mardi Gras DK Blanket July 23, 2017
The Mardi Gras DK Blanket is only the second of Lucy’s double-knit blankets that we’ve featured as our 1/2price pattern of the week and it’s a real beauty!
A spectacularly beautiful and warm double-layer blanket, this engaging knit will hold your interest. The linear nature of the motifs makes the pattern easy to follow, and any portion may be used on projects of all sizes, from coaster to blanket. Small ones are great fun, but a blanket is lovely to knit on; a dependable companion to work on whenever you need it.
Lucy’s Mardi Gras Blanket was knit using Malabrigo Yarn, but any fingering-weight yarn will suit this project. This pattern features detailed written descriptions, as well as diagrams and graphs, as well as PatternGenius and Stitch-map-style charts!
Here is Part 1 of the Circular Tubular CO method that Lucy uses to begin top-down double-knit hats and all of her DK blankets. It’s so elegant! See Lucy’s free YouTube Channel for parts 2 and 3!
Some of you may remember this blanket from our last Pattern-In-Progress Club: it’s hard to believe the official pattern was released over a year ago!
The Mardi Gras DK Blanket is on sale until July 26!
Not Quite Round the Horn! February 19, 2016
You probably know that I adore boats, right? Long thin narrow ones on the UK canals, great big seagoing cargo ones, ferries both large and small, and especially ones with sails. Anything boat-shaped really. In spite of that, for a number of years I’ve been resisting various tempting offers to teach on cruises to appealing destinations, on the grounds that they don’t really offer enough working days for the length of time away.
But now, as part of my newly adopted life policy of “Sod it, have more fun!”, I just had to say YES to this trip. Imagine my delight at being invited to teach on a 3 week cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago, taking the inside passage around the tip of South America! Just the names of the ports of call give me goose bumps; I recall them from my reading the many tales of the old clipper ship days.
Just to make it even more wonderful, I’ve been given the freedom to make the subject of the classes my favourite topic: Double Layer Knitting. This is the perfect venue to learn and practice, concentrating either on the basics or taking your DK adventures to a new level. The small class size and long duration of the trip will give us lots of scope.
We will be making knitterly trips while in each port, including to Malabrigo for essential supplies. My delectable project design yarn has just arrived, and I’m hatching up two projects, one small and one larger, so we will have something for everyone!
The larger project will likely be a blanket design. I’m debating as to whether it should be flat or in the round? What do you think?
I hope you will be able to join me – this is going to be a trip of dreams!
Many ways to chart – Part 1 January 11, 2016
The first of my addictive down-the-rabbit-hole double-knit blankets was the Sunburst. It had a nice straight-forward design that was easily described by means of a construction diagram and a conventional chart.
This was all that was needed to describe and portray this simple pattern. But, if you look at the blanket closely, you may be able to see the smooth sides of each of the 1/8th sections of the blanket are smooth, not serrated as they appear in the chart on the right. The central double increase pushes the stitches out, thus causing the actual continuous edge stitch columns to fan out, but on this kind of chart without using thousands of No Stitch symbols, this is the result. Below is a sketch of a tiny bit of such a chart with the outside columns running smoothly.
Before the advent of the truly amazing Stitch-Maps, this charting problem hobbled my ability to properly portray more complex designs: if you want to knit the pattern, surely you ought to be able to read it!
The Fiesta Family – Flying Swallows Stitch May 7, 2015
I’m always interested to see which garments in my traveling trunk show catch people’s attention. This trip it was particularly the Fiesta Vest. I was teaching buttonholes and bands, thus had the vest with me. I ended up explaining this stitch many times!
So here it is for you too.
This was the stitch I developed first for my Fiesta Feet Socks (which are on sale this week).
Do take time to read the comments as various aspects of this stitch are discussed.
Do not attempt to work this stitch flat, unless you enjoy WS row decreases and cutting your yarn frequently!
Worked in the round with a steek, you’ll have much more fun.