Crochet on the Canals…

We recently enjoyed a weeks holiday hiring a narrowboat and cruising up the Llangollen Canal between England and Wales. It has been a holiday on our wish list for quite a while and I absolutely loved it! Yes, I could easily see myself living on one of these boats…And there’s certainly a connection with crochet which is why I’d like to share a little of our travels here in this blog post… it’s a photo heavy post as we were immersed in such beautiful surroundings! Last year we visited the Crick Boat Show which I wrote a blog post about…

Crochet at the Crick Boat Show

…so I was already aware of the links with crochet. 🙂 Living on a canal boat certainly goes hand in hand with crochet. Here goes with sharing some of that crochet inspiration with you…

Firstly, yes there’s plenty of crochet to spot on the narrowboats seen along the canal. Such gorgeous filet crochet framing the windows and very intricate circular designs in some of the porthole windows too. Here’s a selection of just some that I saw during the week…it’s not always easy getting photos as the boats are often moving.

Many of the narrowboats themselves are so beautiful too. Many owners are obviously very creative people. This old traditional boat caught my eye…

Do you see that gorgeous Filet crochet there… 🙂

This boat was very pretty with a crocheted blanket in a cosy seating area…

And I spotted a knitted ‘Rosie and Jim’ on this boat as it went by…

Not only are the boats beautiful, showing so many signs of creativity by their owners, but they also have wonderful inspiring names too…

Spending time on a narrowboat provides a lot of time to enjoy crochet. These boats only move at a walking speed so the pace of life certainly slows down which is just wonderful and provides quite a few hours for crochet on the go…

I was lucky that other family members were happy to do the steering, work the locks and do other boat related tasks so I did get lots of crochet done. I finished a ‘Salty Kisses and Sandy Toes‘ hat for my mum. My parents came with us so there were 7 of us living on that boat together (plus little Salty)…

I used hand dyed yarn from The Mermaids Purse Yarns for the hat and look, the yarn matched our canal map! 🙂

And here’s the finished hat on my mum, whilst I’m wearing the original!

After the hat I moved on to make a scarf with some hand dyed yarn from Country Mouse Yarns

And yes, I managed to design and make a whole scarf during the week. Here it is almost camouflaged on the boat… do you see it? The pattern is coming very soon…

I brought a sample of Week 1 of my Changing Tides CAL blanket for a photo opportunity…img_2543

I didn’t just crochet all day, I promise… there was a lot of team work going on (there has to be on a boat) and look, I did have a little go at steering the boat too…!

img_3593-1I’ve learned so much about the network of canals across the country. We don’t have any canals near our coastal stretch on the south east of England so it was great to discover more about them. Most canals were built over two centuries ago for carrying cargo and trade.

Canal and River Trust

Many canals remain (with others being restored) and they are now used for people to enjoy for pleasure. Whether that’s on a boat or walking along the tow path.

The New Canal Age

And I loved that we could moor up anywhere along the canal so our overnight stops were often in the middle of nature!

My family know that I’m always on the look out for crochet so I was really happy when one of my sons spotted this in a tree along the canal tow path… a canal side crocheted Yarn Bomb!

There are lots of reasons to stop along the canal… and this little book shop with an honesty box to pay for items was really lovely and well worth pulling over for a visit.

The scenery as we slowly travelled along the canal was stunning. We were transitioning from winter into spring and nature was showing all the signs of bursting into life.

We saw an unusual encounter between a lamb and a peacock which was quite captivating to watch…

These reflections in the water were stunning and so peaceful…

Along our route was the World Heritage Site Pontcysyllte Aqueduct It’s an awe inspiring aqueduct where the canal is literally carried across the valley and over the River Dee below on a 200 year old structure. It was an amazing experience…

Yes we went over that aqueduct on the boat – not for anyone who has a fear of heights!

Also along our route were a few long tunnels to go through… this really does show the meaning of the saying “there’s a light at the end of the tunnel”!

In Llangollen I visited a craft shop. Many of you know I love to support local yarn shops wherever I go. It wasn’t a yarn shop but they did stock a wide range of ‘Anchor Tapestry Wool’. They were selling discontinued colours at half price so I treated myself to some. No, I’m not going to do any tapestry work but I’m sure I can crochet something with these 10 metre skeins! And I got some ever useful notebooks too…

And there was crochet to spot in the window of a charity shop too…

As you can see a week on the narrowboat was perfect for inspiring me and to get my creative juices flowing. From time gained in a much slower pace of life to the beautiful scenery, nature, boats and places to visit. It was a special family holiday and we all enjoyed it with happy memories made. It’s an experience I would certainly recommend and I would love to do it again… Happy Crocheting Everyone… and the ‘Canal Side Scarf’ pattern is coming soon… 🙂


  1. Lovely blog and your holiday looked amazing and relaxed it’s made me want to go, not sure its a good idea with the 3 Schamigos though, they aren’t as well behaved as Salty looked x

    1. Thank you Marie! Salty was apprehensive at times, especially going through the locks! But she loved walking alongside on the tow path so it’s a brilliant holiday for dogs… I’m glad my children are all older… I wouldn’t have found it too relaxing with younger children!

  2. What a wonderful trip! Thanks so much for sharing your photos, they’re wonderful. I’m putting a trip on a canal boat on my bucket list.

  3. What a wonderful blog, Eleanor! Really interesting to learn about a holiday on the canals and such fab photos too. I can feel a “Canal Crochet Retreat” coming on.. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your vacation. I doubt I’ll ever be able to do this. But I believe some of your pictures would definitely win awards if you submitted them for review.

  5. Hello from America. I enjoyed your blog and all of the beautiful pictures. Do wonderfully

  6. What a wonderful holiday! You are a gifted photographer as well as a brilliant crochet artist! Thank you for sharing such beauty with us❤️❤️❤️❤️

  7. Wow wow wow! Wonderful pictures. I just hear that my son and wife want to go to Schotland for a short trip and visit an old friend who is visiting her parents. She lives in New Zealand. How is it with 3 cildren on a boat?

    1. My children are all teenagers now Inge so they loved it and were super helpful… they did the locks and one of my sons did most of the steering. I would have found it very different with younger children who you’d have to keep an eye on all the time!! 😊💙

  8. That’s about the best boating blog I’ve ever seen and the photos really capture the beauty of our waterways. I lived on a narrowboat for ten years. It was the best time of my life!

  9. What a lovely blog! Obviously I am not the only person who goes on holiday with a bag full of yarn and head full of ideas!!

  10. That looks wonderful! You take a good photo. I especially like the sunset and what fun finding the little yarn bomb. I wonder why it was there?
    I too have a big stock of tapestry wool, inherited mostly, so I am very interested to see what you will do with yours.
    So pleased you had a great family break. Down hill now to summer when that aquaduct will have queues of boats waiting to cross!

    1. Thank you Caz… no idea why the yarn bomb was there… it was pretty though! And yes, many people told us about the queues in summer to go through the locks and over the aqueduct… definitely an out of season holiday for me! We were lucky with the weather… 😊💙

  11. It looked wonderful Eleonora. I’ve always wanted to try a narrow boat on the canals. It did bring back some very happy memories of when my mum and dad used to take me and my sisters to the norfolk broads where we spent many holidays on a similar looking boat called St Christopher (not as brightly coloured though). I loved every minute of those holidays xx

  12. Such an interesting and informative article which has inspired me to give a canal holiday a go! Lovely that you were so close to nature , it looks so relaxing 🌸

  13. You are such an inspiration Eleonora. Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I love following your journeys and your photos, not to mention your crochet. You have made me see the world in a different light. Walks with my dogs and days out are viewed through different eyes – always looking for quirks of nature and especially the signs of the different seasons. I particularly liked the photograph of the pine cones – what a glorious image. I am now on the hunt for young pine cones in bloom. Your seaside stash busting blanket remains a firm favourite of mine and your photographs of this are what has made me look for different and appropriate places to photograph my crochet.
    So thank you Eleonora x

    1. Hello Helen… thank you so much for taking the time to leave such kind and encouraging words… I’m very happy to have provided you with a little inspiration! Yes, those pine cones were pretty special… I don’t think I’ve seen them like quite like that before… looking out for those simple things is always a pleasure which I’m so glad you’ve discovered too… 😊❤️❤️

  14. It looks so lovely. Where could I rent such a boat? I’ve been looking at your links, but can not find it.
    I’m from Holland and would live to do this some time.
    Thank for the beautiful pictures.

  15. Your post brought back some lovely memories. We did that trip 10 years ago. I would love to do it again. You are an amazing person, crochet and some fabulous pictures. Cal coming along slowly but surely. I live near the coast in Wales so I get the connection to the sea. Penny

  16. Wow, stunning beauty, great photos! I would love this, going on my bucket list 😁 ❤️
    Thank you for sharing and looking forward to that pattern.

  17. Love this post! I follow your blog as an avid crochet fan, and I love seeing images of the South Coast where I grew up, however I also have a narrowboat that we also let out as holiday accommodation so I LOVED reading this! Glad you all enjoyed your holiday on the British Waterways so much. 🙂

  18. Thank you so much for your blog post, I have never been on a Canal boat but they have always interested me, maybe one day I will get the chance, so glad you had a great time 🙂

  19. What an amazing experience! I’ve never seen a narrowboat before. I live in Eastern Kentucky so I will dream thru your photos. Thanks for sharing it all.,

  20. Once again, you’ve shared a phenomenal vacation and so many lovely pictures with us. Narrow boats! I’ve seen pictures of the canals and know how important they have been to the regional economy and history in years past. I assumed the boats were currently used for day trips and short, charter excursions with a guide, but never imagined they could be rented by small groups for a several days’ long trip. That sounds like a perfectly relaxing way to spend a few days. Something else to add to the ever-growing bucket list. I’m going to have to live to be about 125years old to make dent in the list!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. You’re very welcome Linda! It’s certainly a very relaxing way to spend a few days… I really loved it. Many people also live on these boats… young people as well as retired! It’s a way of life for many… hope you get to go in one one day… 😊❤️

  21. Reading this blog today brought back so many happy memories of doing a very similar trip about 10 years ago with my friends. I go most years with 5 girl friends on a narrowboat holiday somewhere in the country. Your photos etc are amazing. 2 of us are often seen knitting or crocheting on the front of the boat! I’m so glad I was recommended your website by one of my students a few weeks ago, as I’m finding many wonderful patterns and blogs. I have just started week 27 of your Seaside Stash busting Blanket and loving every stitch of it!

    Keep up the grat work.


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