A village visit for this crafty floating business

ALL ABOARD: Carol and Colin Wareing sell knitted garments and wool from their barge
ALL ABOARD: Carol and Colin Wareing sell knitted garments and wool from their barge
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Forget messing around on the river - this crafty pair have turned their hobby into a way of life after floating their business on the region’s canals.

Carol and Colin Wareing have turned their love for all things knitted into a mobile shop, selling wool and knoitted garments from their barge, Emma Maye.

‘The Wool Boat’ is currently moored in Burscough, where Carol and Carol call home, but regularly visits other moorings around the North West and further afield.

This weekend it will moor up at St Mary’s Marina, Rufford, followed by a trip to Tarleton on Tuesday April 30, with wool for sale from 10am to 5pm.

Captain Coliln, 56, says; “The whole idea started a few years ago when we decided to take a gap year. Carol was a teacher and I had just been made redundant from Phillips so we were looking for a bit of freedom.

“We went down to London on a narrowboat.

“Carole never stops knitting unless she is asleep - she is always making hats and jumpers, so we wondered if we could make a business out of it.

“One day when we were moored up in Yorkshire someone knocked on the roof and asked if we sold wool.

“We didn’t but we found some in Carole’s personal stash but from that point we contacted a supplier and bought about 10 different colours of wool.”

Since then the couple have expanded their range and now sell a vast array of wool, ranging from llama wool, merino, bamboo sock wool and oiled yarns, as well as a range of patterns, needles and knitting accessories.

Two years ago they outgrew their boat and bought Emma Maye, a 57ft narrowboat with a lareg store for wool.

Carole, 57, knits mostly to order but has a keen interest boatman’s ganseys - a type of jumper worn by fisherman on the east coast, knitted to a specific pattern to identify the community a fisherman comes from.

Colin says; “The idea was that if a fisherman got lost at sea they would be able to identify where he came from by his jumper.”

Colin and Carole, who are involved in the Burscough Heritage Festival, are looking for evidence of any patterns used in the north west.