Spun Yarn 94
Hugs and farewells were the order of the day the morning our Adventure Knitters left the Hume Hotel. Scattering to all corners of North America (apart from me - I was headed back to the Queen Bee, patiently awaiting my return in Ellesmere Port, UK), we had enjoyed a wonderful week of knitting, exploring, adventuring and companionship.
Our venue this year was the city of Nelson, British Columbia (population approximately 10,000). The Adventure Knitting trips are planned in collaboration with Judy Fawcett of Lloyds Travel. Judy and I brainstorm for locations that are on the road less travelled, yet accessible and interesting for adventurous crafters. Over the years this bi-annual adventure has taken us to Whitehorse (Yukon Territories), Saltspring Island (British Columbia), Churchill (Manitoba), and les Iles-de-la-Madeleine (Quebec), to name but a few places.
I love our adventure trips and Judy's attention to detail and thorough reconnaissance ensure that nothing that can be organized is left to chance!
This year's destination inspired many of our glampers, both repeat offenders and new recruits, to make epic driving expeditions to reach us from near and far. One came with family members in an RV, the others flew to Spokane, Washington. The breathtakingly rugged scenery makes for a varied and spectacular drive from there. Of course, many of the knitters made necessary yarn replenishment calls on the way!
I always admire the determination of our attendees to reach their goal. One was nursing a broken and pinned leg, and her recovery goal was to make it to camp: she did, in style!
Nelson has a reputation for being a little different and our experience didn't disappoint. If I had to sum the town up in one word, it would be 'happy'. Nelson's inhabitants are an eclectic mix of folks of all ages who march to their own music (in many cases, literally!). Live and let live is the rule. I saw more dreadlocks, abundant beards, tattoos, piercings and smiles here than anywhere else I've been. Check out the book Humans of Nelson if you would like a flavour of this tiny city. (Fun Fact: Nelson was the location for Steve Martin's Roxanne and is home to the inimitable Lana Knits hemp knitting store.)
Our time together lasted one week. We studied and knit,
played golf, caught fish, ate many great ethnic
meals together and explored the alleys, streets and surroundings of Nelson.
Our knitting project and kit for this year was my new
(named after the spectacular mountain range in the area) This pattern includes lots of interesting techniques to share with our students. The felted mittens have
two cuff options: the unfelted cuff offers good draft exclusion, while the gauntlet cuff is felted alongside the body of the mitt.
For the unfelted cuff option, the mitten is begun at the wrist, with an unusual thumb gusset and a reducing waste yarn opening.
After the mitten is completed, it can either be felted or embellished before felting. We obtained a couple of washing up bowls for in-class felting. The drying of our new mittens was achieved with the liberal application of the hotel hairdryers. Once the mitten was dry, the cuff could be added with a tubular edge to cover the join and tubular bind-off just for fun!
Several pairs of mitts were completed!
Our knitting classes ran until lunchtime on most days, with our afternoons focusing on local explorations. The week began with a trip to one of the many hydro-electric generating plants on the Kootenay River. This river has been used for power generation for over 100 years and the river is dammed in at least 5 places for further power generation. The water works hard!
Later in the week, we had a full-day field trip. We drove along the winding roads cut deep into the valleys, often alongside cascading mountain streams between the mountainous peaks to visit the now retired lake steamer Moyie. We also visited the local indie dyer at Riverstone Yarns (much requisite shopping was done) and called in at Sew Much More Yarn store in New Denver - a great boon to any local or passing needle-arts enthusiast.
We ate wonderful eclectic meals around town, whose restaurants (like the inhabitants) are many, various and charming.
Bespoke hat makers, Lillie and Cohoe, treated us to an enjoyable cheese and wine tasting at their studio. How fascinating to see the development of their designs, racks of pattern pieces and cutting methods. Naturally, we acquired ourselves a whole new look!
We had a significant cohort of NKCs (non-knitting companions) with us and they had their own activity program which included fishing, golfing and hiking.
Needless to say, an excellent time was had by all!
Judy and I are busy hatching up plans for 2019; stay in touch via my Spun Yarn Newsletter to hear more!
I've now gotten back to the Queen Bee for the continuation of my and John's narrowboat adventures; I've been updating my blog as often as I can with updates of my journey.
Wishing you Happy Stitches as we head into the colder weather,
Selkirk Felted Mittens by Lucy Neatby
A speedy and warm mitten incorporating a number of interesting techniques: a 'reducing' waste yarn opening for the thumb, an un-fulled cuff (for maximum draft exclusion) and a tubular bind-off!
Fearless Knitting - Empowering Techniques for Every Knitter
I'm thrilled by the feedback on this class and many Australian Cousin knitters have messaged to wish me G'day!
Foundations of Double Knitting
I absolutely adore double knitting and am thrilled that it is gaining in popularity with so many knitters.
My First Socks
This is my most popular class. I love knowing that more and more knitters are taking the circular plunge and learning how to create their own handmade socks (my favourite to wear, as well!)
Next Steps in Socks
Let me teach you all of the techniques you'll need when knitting your own pair of Fiesta Socks! The updated pattern includes sizes from infant to large adult.
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 are on the last of these wonderful, but now-neglected, patterns (including some of my own old style patterns). Rather than putting them into a landfill, we have been offering them as a collection! For $10 Cdn (plus shipping and applicable taxes), you will receive a surprise package of 10 diverse patterns.
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, and many more sale items, in the Clearance section of my website.
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