Lucy Neatby - Tradewind Knitwear Designs - Spun Yarn 17
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May 2007

Hello friends, welcome to spring ...

It's past mid-May and our daffodils just came out on Tuesday (and disappeared on Thursday: more on the Great Daffodil Heist later.)! We are eagerly anticipating leaves in the not too distant future. I'm pretty sure that I ramble on in this vein every year (for which I apologize), but it truly is a BIG EVENT when you wait so long!
We have been in a bit of techno-whirl here. Until now, I have always been a very low-tech teacher. All I ever needed was a bit of space, a flip chart, pens, and my yarn and needles to stage a workshop. Other than in conditions of total darkness, classes can thus be carried out just about anywhere. Possibly the most challenging location so far was adjacent to an Espresso machine in a big-name bookstore. Other interesting venues have included: a Chinese restaurant, a jewelry store, a cruise ship (where I felt it necessary to interrupt class for dolphin spotting), the spring sunshine under a tree surrounded by curious ducks...
Alas, technology has now taken hold of me:
The idea suddenly occurred to me at 0230, as brilliant ideas are wont to do, that I might demonstrate many of the techniques which I teach in class even more effectively by showing a clip from one of the DVDs, rather than standing front of the class with large needles and yarn attempting to demonstrate backwards whilst speaking over my shoulder!

For this to work, the services of a digital projector would be required. Do you know how tricky it is to find one of these on a Friday evening? Even in a techno- savvy city such as Montreal? Unicorn spotting is more rewarding.

However, with the aid of my gracious and determined host, we did not admit defeat: when we finally exhausted the avenues of begging a borrowing, we tried to rent one.
Still no luck, until we tried a large office supply company, where, having explained our wishes (with an approximate translation into dodgy French), they replied that they were very sorry but they could not rent us a projector.
However, if we would like to buy one, we would be welcome to return it on Monday for a full refund! In fact, they happened to have one open, which they used for this purpose. Thus, with a considerably limp plastic card, and hoping fervently that we hadn't misinterpreted their offer, we nervously set forth with "Baby". As with regular infants, we felt disinclined to leave her in the car and preciously escorted her around with us all weekend. It proved well worth the effort. The many-times larger than life image from the knitter's eye view for all students was a big hit. And yes, the store was perfectly happy to take Baby back on Monday!
Lucy and the Pink Mac Now, as I career down the slippery slope of a major high-tech revolution, it suddenly became perfectly obvious that a new, less persnickety, laptop was required. This is when I took leave of my senses and tiptoed across to the Dark Side: I'm experimenting with a Mac.

For an only-ever-used-Windows kind of gal, this was tantamount to running off to join the circus! It is surely my insatiable curiosity (and desire to have a pink laptop cover) that drove me to this.
(Meet any Mac user and they are rabid in their passion for their computer(s) and missionary in their zeal to convert the unenlightened.)

So here goes: once more the old dog must learn new tricks. I'll keep you posted!

Now you see them .. You might have noted my cryptic remark regarding the vanishing daffodils: here's the scoop...

There I was, sitting peacefully up on the back deck in the shade, working on cross-referencing all the different clips we have now filmed (there are now 600+, and it's becoming a tad tricky to remember which discs they are all on), when two teenagers came strolling across my neighbour's backyard into our garden.
Puzzled by this pair of 'trespassers', I stood up to watch their progress and where they were headed next, only to see the boy reach down and pick my one and only blooming daffodil left and present it to his girlfriend!

I was stunned. I did recover sufficiently to address them from on high, which did at least give them a satisfying start. I informed them that the daffodil they were holding was actually MY daffodil. Then, almost lost for words, I lamely concluded with my wishes that she should enjoy it as much as I had been doing until it was stolen!
Now you don't ..

Thank you all for writing!
Great customer feedback is beginning to flow in for the new series of DVDs. It is always an anxious wait between shipping out a new product and the time we begin to hear back from you. (For some peculiar reason, we actually care very deeply about your opinions!)
Thankfully, the response has been overwhelmingly marvellous. We do thank everyone who has taken the time to write, and those who granted us permission to publish their comments on the web site. Check these out at

Important notice to those of you who already own some or all of the new DVD series: We hope you will appreciate that these are 'Collectors Edition' copies. (Have you checked out the spelling on the spine?)
Let's go Kintting .. As long as the 'Kintting Police' don't catch us, all will be well. We will remedy this error soon, as we only produce a small run of anything the first time around: we know from experience that Gremlins are sneaky creatures to catch and there is always just one more!
I tend to get totally immersed in the details of the contents of the DVD, so the cover always seems to be an afterthought (yes, I know that isn't supposed to be that way).

We are awaiting purls of wisdom from our six illustrious reviewers, after which we will re-edit the covers.
We also plan to adjust the numbering system on the top of the spines of the discs, to make it easier for you to find the disc you are looking for. Each one will soon have a unique alphabet letter. (Check our website for more details should you wish to standardize your discs.) We will also soon be offering a prettier version of the DVD index, complete with cutting lines, so you may print copies and trim them to fit neatly inside any of your DVD cases. (Thank you to the astute customer who suggested this revolutionary idea.)
The cross-reference index will also eventually be made available on-line: this will allow you to find out on which disc specific techniques are found. We hope you will find both of these useful. Please check the DVD pages of the site periodically for updates and improvements.
e are constantly beavering away, but all of the improvements take at least three times longer to implement than we anticipate (the webmistress is a knitter, not a computer guru).

Wishing you all seasonally appropriate weather, and happy stitches, wherever you may be.


PS. Since writing this, 6" of snow have fallen in parts of the province, and the trees and remaining flowers are shivering. Brrr ...
PPS. If any of you plan to attend the TNNA trade show in Columbus, OH in June, please drop by and say 'hello': we'll be at Booth 1246.

New Products and Special Offers

Note: Our shipping-free offer on orders of 4 or more of the new DVD titles ends on May 31st.

Sheep going, going, gone ...

Good news / sad news: We are having a flock-reduction sale! We will no longer be able to procure new members of our flock of sheep and lamb bags (one of the ladies involved in the production process has been taken quite ill).
We would therefore like to see our dwindling flock resettled in pastures new.
So, if you have been contemplating adding one of these adorable sheep to your life, wait no more, and we'll even offer our newsletter subscribers a 10% price reduction!
See our website for details of what's in stock, and please mention your Spunyarn discount when ordering.

New from Ilga: "Seascape" pattern collection

Our favourite stowaway, Ilga Leja (FYI: Ilga's last name is pronounced lay-ya) has just released her new "Seascape" design collection and we now have all her patterns in stock. The garments are, naturally, ideally suited for knitting on the beach or in other seasonal locations.

Got the shirt?

Gently subversive, totally you ...
Where's the shirt?

Make your Stitches Smile!

If you would like to join the movement for the preservation of the Contented and Happy Knit Stitch, and really need one more T-shirt, we now have "Make Your Stitches Smile!" T-shirts: for the passionate knitter who wishes to spread the word to the world.
(Probably not suitable as gifts for post-surgical friends, unless they happen to be knitters.)
The shirts are a succulent deep blue-purple with the design in white, on 100% pre- shrunk cotton.

Price: $14.00 Cdn

Sizes: Small (36 inches), Medium (40 inches), Large (44 inches), XL (48 inches), 2XL (52 inches).
Happy Stitch T-shirt

A new pattern from Lucy (at last)

Sizzling Hot Hat Sizzling Hot Hat (#173)

Warm the cockles of your ears with four layers of wool between you and the icy winds (it works for sheep). This is a supremely warm and fully reversible hat. Excellent carry-around knitting for the passionate knitter.
Suits any smooth fingering weight yarn, with a main colour and one or more contrasts.

Size: To fit head circumferences from 18 inches to 24 inches (Adult)
Yarn: Fingering weight wool, approximately 150 g.
Level: Determined Intermediate/ Advanced
Techniques: Two-colour double-knitting, double-knitting decreases.
Pattern: $ $6.00 Cdn.
Kit:Please specify A or B.
A. Celestial Merino Dream Solid and eight bright contrasts $55.00 Cdn(shown)
B. Celestial Merino Dream Solid and two Handpainted colours $55.00Cdn

Spunyarn Knit Tip

Knit training... you've just learned an excellent new technique. Well, use it before you lose it.
Don't cast on a whole new sweater because you want to practice that cool new bind-off; it'll be weeks before you get to that stage, and you'll have forgotten by then. Why not cast on 10 sts in some scrap yarn, or whatever you have attached to your project, (you might as well try a new cast-on method whilst you are at it) and then promptly bind them off? Or do whatever the technique requires. Your knit training regime for the day is now complete. Unravel the yarn (if needed for your project) and proceed, feeling very virtuous!

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