Spun Yarn 67
Home, Sweet Home
I've just returned from my eagerly anticipated trip to the United Kingdom and am looking forward to spending the remainder of my summer right here at home. There will be NO flying for me until I leave for the Colorado Knitting Camp in Denver in early October.
However, we shall not be kept from the airport! We have a glorious array of friends and relatives dropping by and my mind is currently occupied with the logistics of beds, sheets, entertainment and meals! It's a good job that I have a Blossom Blanket on the needles to keep my knitting hands busy.
July on the Canals
I'd like to share a little about this summer's UK trip, which was a bit different from our customary tour de relatives!
It all began innocently enough last year. After having attended a family wedding in Yorkshire, my sister-in-law suggested a family outing on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The canals were major engineering feats in their day, pre-dating the railway system and built to connect ports with industrial centers so that heavy cargo could be carried between them. I'd been aware of this complex canal system since my childhood, but had never really experienced them first-hand. Here's a small Canal History link to those of you who would like to know more.
We hired a little Narrowboat and off we chugged. I was entranced. The scenery was glorious, brimming with birds and animals and the architecture of the towns and villages we passed through. It was fascinating and the need to open and close a variety of bridges added some interactive entertainment. All of this at a walking pace!
This day's journey left me (and other key family members!) with a burning desire to go further afield, spend some more time on the water and try the locks as well, so we started planning an extended trip for our 2014 visit.
And We were Off...
We always try to visit as many family members as possible whilst in the UK and so began this summer's trip in Somerset with my sister and her growing family. From there, we headed up to Chirk, where our Royal Barge, Abbie, awaited us on the Llangollen Canal. She was very long indeed, 7' x 70'!
We started our journey by heading towards Llangollen
(home of the International Musical Eistedfodd) via the
the "stream in the sky",
which crosses a valley 127 feet in the air! Strangely, it didn't feel as weird as we thought it might, despite the sheer drop to valley
and river below!
In Llangollen we turned around (you have to pick your spots to turn a 70' boat in a 10' wide canal!) We moored for a little while, purchased local
produce (including some exceptional black pudding) and flowers for the roof of our boat, and met our newest crew additions - John's sister and her
husband, who would cruise with us for the next couple of days.
Off we set again, back across the Aqueduct and towards our first tunnels and locks. Life proceeded at a leisurely pace (just about walking
pace at top whack). The first lock was intimidating, but less so in reality than to read about. It made logical sense once you were there: close
the gates, release
water and don't get the stern stuck on the sill. Open the gates and off you go!
Halfway through the week we switched crew members for more of John's family. It was a great way to visit, with everyone having a little holiday and us not having to drive from place to place!
We made it as far as the
Shropshire Union Canal
before having to turn around and head back to base. It's hard to describe the pleasant, laid-back enjoyment that this holiday provided. We had some lovely visits,
were treated to enchanting birdsong and scenery, and got to know a whole other kind of UK lifestyle steeped in a fascinating history.
After our Narrowboating journey, we finished our trip off by heading to beautiful Norfolk to visit my other sister
who, after some knitting assistance, was well on her way to finishing a bottom-up raglan cardigan using Carol Feller's
Celtic Cables class
These sorts of trips bring along with them their own unique challenges, and we did meet a few, but, all in all, this was a glorious holiday. A lovely way to spend time with family and friends all whilst discovering a whole other aspect of the country of my childhood.
Teaching Further Afield
Now that I'm back home, I'm once again wrestling with sorting out the necessary outline contracts for my upcoming new US Visa application. If I am successful, I will have up to three more years of teaching workshops in the United States. It has taken us months to sort this out, and the cost is prohibitive. It has to be paid up front by me, then passed on incrementally to hosts and attendees. Sadly, this has become very expensive for everyone involved. I have reluctantly decided that this will be my last US Teaching Visa. I will continue to focus on teaching my craft through film, as this is quickly becoming the most popular medium with which I can share my love of knitting.
A Little Book of BIG Holes Bundle by Lucy Neatby
This Bundle was such a success during our Online Sale in July that we've decided to make it a permanent product in our
Techniques: Learn how to incorporate deliberate holes into your knitting!
Pinstripe DK Bundle by Lucy Neatby
The Pinstripe DK Bundle features the popular Pinstripe Socks and Pinstripe DK Mittens. These projects are perfect for practising double-knitting in the round. Match your socks with your mittens, or make each pair unique. Either way, you will end up with the coziest double-layer winter accessories yet!Skill Level:Intermediate/Advanced
I've just uploaded Video #24: Matching A Tubular Cast-On and Bind-Off to the Double Knitting Club!
In it, I show you how to use a modified sewn tubular bind-off to match both sides of the tubular cast-on edge when finishing a flat dk fabric. This is especially useful when you want an exact number of rows on both public sides after a final motif. This type of bind-off is perfect for dk projects such as scarves and blankets like the Moonstone Scarf or the Cape Spear Blanket.
As the nature of trade and business continues to evolve we are trying to follow suit and not become a dinosaur, and so are looking to eliminate certain products and reduce some of our inventory. With this in mind, we've decided to sell off some of our products at reduced prices later this month! You can expect amazing bargains on Addi needles (any sizes we have left in stock), hard copy books, selected DVD titles, many yarns and paper patterns. Because of the limited quantities of these products we will be asking you to telephone or email us with your order so that we can be sure to fill it as completely as possible. Payment may be made by credit card or we can send a Paypal invoice.
While you are welcome to order our products at any time, please be advised that we will be unable to ship any packages between August 7th and
the 20th, as Stephanie will be on holiday. We expect her
back in the office on the 21st when she will be happy to take and fill your orders.
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