Spun Yarn 87
My South American Adventure
I'm back from my South American idyll. The knitting cruise was fantastic, I learned and experienced so many new things. What a
fabulous and varied continent this is!
Travel puts our everyday experiences into new perspectives. I've now been to higher latitudes South than I have North: 66° 12' S was our furthest latitude. We visited Argentina, Uruguay, The Falklands, and Chile on this trip.
It's refreshing to visit somewhere where you really are foreign, when even ordering coffee is a challenge! One exception to the general newness of things, which rather amused me, was that many of the native plants were familiar, and known to me as 'exotic'. The intrepid plant hunters hit pay dirt here when they found fuchsia and monkey puzzle trees growing wild there and unhesitatingly brought them back north as garden novelties.
As I had hoped, having knitters
captive resident aboard a vessel for longer than a ferry ride proved very helpful in finally convincing both their hands and
minds to cooperate with the creation of double-layered knit fabric. I am delighted to report that many new double-knit aficionados have
been launched! Quite a number of hats,
cowls and scarves were completed and double-knit samplers/blankets are blossoming on the needles, as well.
A Special Tour for Knitters
Our most stellar yarn highlight (and there were several) was our visit to Malabrigo in Montevideo, Uruguay! To say that the knitters in our group were excited is an understatement. Climbing the 91 steep concrete steps up to the fourth floor of a former meat packing plant in 28°C weather proved as nothing to the determined fibre lovers. Here we were warmly welcomed and shown the skeining, dying and processing which results in the wondrously soft, luscious and colourful yarns with which many of us are familiar. We were also permitted to help the export of many of these delights back home via our luggage! Some of us (ahem) even bought new suitcases in order to transport said goods.
The educational side of the cruise:
There were so many things which I had no appreciation of prior to this trip. Travel brings new relevance to things that must have formerly passed me by.
I was surprised to find out that
is an island! All these years, I thought it was just attached at the
end of the continent.
I was awed by the massive lace and cables network of channels that perforate the Pacific side of Chile. And what an extraordinarily long thin country Chile is, with so many climatic zones from south to north!
On the disturbing side, I learned of the devastating effect of the opening of the
in 1914 on South American countries: ships
no longer had to go south past many famous ports to cross between the oceans, resulting in huge impacts to trade
in the now by-passed cities. Everything we do has side-effects, nothing is neutral!
I was amazed at the extraordinarily pristine nature of the Antarctic region, and alarmed by how it clearly shows how rapidly the climate is changing.
We experienced the evidence of the many forest fires currently raging in Chile; we saw and smelled the smoke in Valparaiso and in Santiago (yet it hardly makes the news here!).
We saw the ecological damage being caused in Tierra del Fuego by the deliberately introduced beavers.
To Sum Up
All in all, the tour was a fantastic success! Not only did I come face-to-face with the most wondrous creatures, geographical marvels and fauna, but I also loved sharing this trip with some lovely, like-minded folk who I feel delighted to call new friends. I am still revelling in everything I experienced and learned on this unique journey. I feel I could go on for days about the delights of the trip, but no written account can really do it all justice. if you would like to try a nautical cruise yourself with Craft Cruises, they have a fine selection of upcoming itineraries. Tell Melissa I sent you!
Two New DK Patterns!
Now that my South American adventure has come to a close, I am free to release the Magellan DK Hats and Star of the Seas DK Blanket to all comers. These were such fun designs, incorporating both South American and nautical elements. My hats and blanket were knit using Malabrigo yarns, which are a supreme joy to work with. What a treat!
Knitting Travels in 2017
My time is pressing and I'm leaving shortly for the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival in Washington and then, after a bit of a ski holiday with the family, to Wisconsin for the Woodland Ridge Retreat, and the Madison Knitters' Guild's Knit-in before heading out to New York State (Rochester Knitting Guild), Minnesota (Minnesota Knitters Guild), Ontario (Little Red Mitten) and Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Stitches Conference) for a busy spring!
My last American date before my final US visa expires is at the Houston Fiber Fest and my last scheduled workshop event for 2017 is the semi-annual Adventure Knitting camp, expertly organized, as always, by my good friend, Judy Fawcett. Adventure Knitting will be held from September 24th to the 29th in Nelson, British Columbia. This is a breathtakingly beautiful area in the interior of a magnificent province.
Please check my Workshops Page to see when I'll be knitting near you!
Happy Stitches to you all!
Star of the Seas DK Blanket by Lucy Neatby
The Star of the Seas DK Blanket is now available to all knitters!
This blanket pattern combines the delights of the delicious hand-dyed Malabrigo yarns with nautical and South American themes. The sportweight Silky Merino and Arroyo yarns create a lovely partnership which gives the blanket a sensual texture and visual lustre contrast. This project makes for wonderful travel knitting: interesting, colourful and technically pleasing, while still very portable and fun. The centre-out double-knitting method is very adaptable to various yarn weights and gauges.
Size:variable, from coaster to blanket!
The Magellan DK Hats by Lucy Neatby
The Magellan DK Hats pattern is now available to all knitters!
Keep the ears of the ones you love warm! As a first double-knit project, work Version One, which begins with the brim of the hat. Once you have gained confidence and wish to make a second hat, the ear flaps (from Version Two) can be worked and added in after completing the brim before continuing. While this project was designed to fit a head circumference of 20-22", the size may be adjusted up or down by using larger/smaller needles and/or heavier/lighter yarns.
Recommended Yarn:I used Malabrigo Arroyo and Malabrigo Silky Merino, but this project is very adaptable to various yarn weights, gauges and types
Back in the days of paper-only patterns, we were fortunate to
sell wonderful designs by Ilga Leja
and Catherine Vardy in addition
to Lucy patterns. Our new website, the transition to digital photos,
and various other technicalities now prevent us from marketing these
We still have a few of these wonderful, but now-neglected, patterns available (including some of my own old style patterns). Rather than putting them into a landfill, we would like to offer a collection of them to you! For $10 Cdn (plus shipping and applicable taxes), you will receive a surprise package of 10 diverse patterns. When you order two packages, we'll be sure not to send any duplicates.
The range of designs is very wide! There are mittens (fulled and otherwise), tams, booties, shawls, scarves, socks, hats and sweaters--to name but a few. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
You'll find this special pattern collection in the Clearance section of my website.
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