our home on the canals---Ali's Dream

Dear Knitters,

flags out! I have come home! While I am a bit sad that our sojourn on the British canals is over for this year, it does feel good to be back on Canadian soil. I got a warm fuzzy feeling seeing our maple leaf flag on the luggage of other travellers as we checked in with Air Canada at Heathrow (it's funny the things you don't realise you were missing) and am enjoying getting back to "real life" at home in Nova Scotia.

above the Caen Hill Locks Our 2018 Narrowboating Adventure
Our footloose three months on the narrowboat Ali, while apparently aimless, were spent with some goals in mind. This year's bucket-list included completing the Kennet & Avon waterway, exploring more of the River Thames, and traveling the whole of the Grand Union Canal. Those few places we didn't reach on this trip are now on next year's list.

We were kept very busy, covering 939 miles and 874 locks in 81 days of canalboat travel!
the daily grind purchasing a pork pie in Skipton was a goal we happily met! We had few commitments away from the canal, other than occasional family visits. Each day dawned with John or I turning the key and encouraging the engine to rumble into life. Our direction of travel? Simply the one in which the boat was pointing! Unlike road navigation, where decisions and junctions come upon one with great rapidity, the next conscious turn on the canal (rather a natural wiggle or bend) might be several days away. Having said this, I often built up an upcoming turn-off into a momentous JUNCTION in my mind, only to find the 'major intersection' to be revealed as a small opening to be gently chugged along.

I was entranced with RiverKnits--a yarn dyeing operation aboard a narrowboat! I was entranced with RiverKnits--a yarn dyeing operation aboard a narrowboat! Being from far away gave us a lot of freedom.
Many UK-based boaters have homes and families to pop back to for family events, household duties, medical appointments and the stuff that is life. Also, those who dwell permanently on their boats are frequently tied to the usual regular necessities, albeit more loosely than land-based folks. That being said, we met several full-time narrowboat dwellers who have made life on the canals a unique and inspiring experience!

If you'd like to read more about the magic of canal travel, I thoroughly enjoyed Paul Gogarty's The Water Road (available in book and Kindle format!) and recommend it highly. He really captures the essence of a canal journey and the people you might meet along the way.

flowers on the deck Home Again
In my attempt to catch up with life, work, exercise, family and friends, my first weeks home have hurtled by. Nova Scotia has experienced a very hot and dry summer, so my flower beds were looking more Saharan than lush, with even the weeds quite desiccated. But thanks to a gift of glads and dahlias, as well as some pots pre-started, I have been able to quickly re-populate the flower bed on the deck: a humming bird has already been sighted calling on the petunias! I've pumped up my bike tires (flat but only at the bottom) and taken a couple of short rides - my first in a year, not having been home since a very cold, wet and snowy spring.

on my way to Tancook back to my rug! And so at last to Tancook, with my home there still stuck in late winter mode: no windows open, no deckchairs out, grass grey and boggy, all now catapulted into high summer. Many dear friends to catch up with and the siren song of the rug hooking project (started in March and left behind) calling my name. I have made a wonderful discovery about hooking - it's ideal for outdoor work in the shade, especially when it is too hot to do anything else. And it has certainly been hot and humid here. For weeks and weeks, I hear. Most unusual.

a Tancook welcome We are now in full-on preparation for our forthcoming Knitting on the Wild Side Camps in September. The island-side excitement is definitely building. Our dinner hosts are planning their menus to delight the knitters nightly (Hillary and I are coordinating to ensure that it's not chowder every day)! Houses are being prepared, room arrangements being planned, afternoon activities chosen.

playing with swatches I am putting the finishing touches on the class project and notes, although being somewhat hampered by a large handsome ginger cat -- who finds knitting both fascinating and delicious -- and very uninspiring hot humid weather. Despite the challenges, I promise to have technique-rich hats, bonnets and titfers to delight my September Knitting Adventurers!


Wishing you Happy Stitches,

Lucy





August Sales

Sunburst DK Blanket Remember to check the homepage at LucyNeatby.com for our weekly half-priced pattern.

In conjunction with this Newsletter, my Sunburst DK Blanket pattern and its accompanying Tutorial are half-price until September 1!

Cast-on, then keep knitting forever...
This is a very soothing project, with none of the normal hurry-up-to-finish pressure. Just something lovely to knit on, whenever you need it. Allow a full pregnancy if it is for a baby!
May be worked fullsize for blanket or partway only for a chairpad or placemat. Instructions for a chairpad size project are included.

The Sunburst DK Blanket pattern and its accompanying 8-part technique-rich Tutorial are half-price until September 1!
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All images and text Copyright ©2000 - 2018; Lucy Neatby, Tradewind Knitwear Designs