Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An update on the tours

An update on the registrations received for the tours next year: there are 8 places left for the trip to Wales and more for the Scottish Skeins itinerary.

If you have been considering coming with us, please let me know so I can save a place for you on either tour. Also, if you have questions don't hesitate to contact me. Tel: 613-695-0889 or toll free at the office 1-800-267-5552, or by email:

Monday, November 22, 2010

I've been away

I've just returned from a terrific visit to Vancouver Island. I spent most of my time in Victoria and also had a great visit to nearby Salt Spring Island. The whole time was made special by the visits I had with friends from previous tours--thanks Kym, Sally and Betty. It doesn't get much better to travel, visit and knit with congenial, interesting people. In the past, I'd only been to Victoria for less than a day. This time I had the opportunity to walk, visit yarn shops, a museum and enjoy the ambiance of this picturesque, interesting city.

I should have taken many photos but the only ones I have were of a persistent bird which kept pecking at my window. Initially, I wondered what the noise was as it came from the opposite side of the hotel room from the door. It was as though he/she was used to getting food from a previous occupant of the room. I took some close-up photos but that wasn't even a deterrent. The bill was large and hooked--finally I closed the curtains as I was starting to worry that the way things were going, there would be a broken window!

The November issue of the British magazine, Country Living has a lead article called "The wonder of wool". I appreciated the effort to promote the plight of sheep farmers and the wool industry, but was disappointed that they didn't go farther. For instance Scotland and Wales received very little mention and I felt the article focused disproportionately on Yorkshire. However, saying that, it's a great magazine and one from which I get a lot of ideas for our tour itineraries.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sad news

Today I learned of the death of Alex Larkin of Boston.

I know numerous people will remember Alex from past tours--he became a friend to many of us. I'd always admired his talents (especially his needlework and his skill knitting complicated Fair Isle patterns), his sense of humour and his gentle perception and insights. I'll miss him.

Monday, November 8, 2010

More news about Shetland

People who know me are aware that Shetland is one of my favourite places--and I know I'm not alone in this feeling. The November issue of the Visit Shetland newsletter arrived in my inbox and it was full of news. Have a look at:

Some highlights:
- The Lonely Planet publication has listed it as one of the ten top regions in the world to visit next year.
- There is a concerted effort to keep the Shetland dialect alive. (Anyone who has heard two Shetlanders speaking together, will know it's distinctive and reflects its Scottish and Nordic roots.) A Shetland dictionary has been published.
- In order to keep the Shetland lace traditions alive, the Shetland Amenity Trust and the firm of Jamieson & Smith have announced a project called "Shetland Fine Lace". You can learn more about this project at: Be sure to read the accompanying article by curator, Dr. Carol Christiansen, entitled "Islands of Gossamer Thread".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tours to Scotland & Wales

Finally, I've been able to send Garth (my talented website guy) the details for both tours in 2011 and expect them to be on my website: within a couple of days. I apologize for the repeated delays having the details and registration available, however I assure you they will both be special trips. Both itineraries are on my website.

We'll visit Wales from May 13th to 23rd, and an optional three-day extension to London is planned. This unique itinerary will include memorable travel through the Welsh valleys, visiting small picturesque towns, weaving and quilt centres, yarn sources, castles built by King Edward I to establish English dominance and control the 'feisty' Welsh, and much, much more! Come with us to this proud land of poetry and song.

The important flight reservations on Loganair have finally been confirmed and the Scottish Skeins & Skerries Tour (the fourteenth time it's been held) is scheduled for July 1st to 18th. I've revised our itinerary slightly and have added a day trip to the islands of Unst and Yell, the mostly northerly in the U.K. As in previous years, we'll be meeting with members of the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers in addition to two half-day workshops with talented knitters of Fair Isle and Shetland lace. We'll also visit Orkney and the Outer Hebridean islands of Harris & Lewis.

There is limited space on both tours, don't miss out!