Lucy Neatby - Tradewind Knitwear Designs - Spun Yarn 19
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SPUN YARN #19

November 2007

The Rockies near Jasper

Hello friends,

It has been a fall filled with adventurous knitters, working their needles on islands, ferries, planes and trains. This will be a more pictorial newsletter than in the past, as I am making a concerted effort to take more pictures (for posterity). I now carry my camera around rather than leaving it in my suitcase: poor Earnest has become an overweight chicken!

Our first fall event was our Adventure knitting camp on Salt Spring Island: what a blast. First came the fun of reaching the island: for me this involved flying followed by two ferry voyages. I absolutely love ferries: it's such a civilized, friendly way to travel. (I am sure however, that if you live on the islands, and have to leave on a regular basis, one could quickly become disenchanted.) In fact, the first time I visited Saltspring Island I heard people referring to "fairy time" which was in actuality Ferry Time: life is totally dictated by the schedules and the two terms could almost be regarded as interchangeable!

After a mad flurry of shipping boxes out, it was a relief to get to my destination and find most of them safely arrived and nothing vital forgotten. Our island week included splendid sock knitting, superlative food, stunning studio visits and an only slightly soggy hike. The island lifestyle infused all of us with its delightfully laid-back attitude, so much so that during a lengthy evening power outage some resourceful knitters knitted in the alleyways by the soft glow of the emergency lamps and another saw herself back to her room by the light of her I-pod. Nobody panicked at all.

After camp (which was over way too soon), I headed south for a brief visit with Cat Bordhi. We had scheduled a "sea-trial" workshop to be held aboard the inter-island ferry. What a lark. Oh, I do like ferries. Our group of curious knitters boarded the ferry early in the day, with our lunch in hampers, and we studied double-knitting and Cat's revolutionary new approach to socks from the comfort of the enclosed passenger deck of the ferry. We happily knit to a constantly changing backdrop of rugged island scenery and wildlife. This maiden voyage was deemed a great success; look for more Cat & Lucy ferry capers next fall!

Time zoned out ...
Interestingly, on my latest trip I stopped in sequence in four time zones, by far the easiest way to adjust. Toronto (-1 hour from Halifax) was my first stop for the Creativ Festival, where I reconnected with many friends. I had my own booth at the show; this was great fun, hard work and a very educational experience!

The next time zone saw me in Chicago (-2 hours): such an amazing city. (That, by the way, is high praise indeed from this professed non-city gal.) If you ever have the opportunity to explore downtown, grab it with both hands (even if you have to put your knitting down briefly). Be sure to check out Millennium Park: such thoughtfully designed public art is rare, and you can witness it being enthusiastically enjoyed by local citizens aged from 2 to 102. There is something for everyone. Aside from this, Chicago offers beautiful architecture, street art, history and friendly folks (many of whom knit).

The third time zone (plus the autumn time change) found me in Edmonton, Alberta, for River City Knits' fourth Wool, Wine and Wheels train trip to Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. This trip was a feast for the eyes. We knitted our way west on the train through a rugged and awesome November landscape: the lakes were just fringed with ice and all colour was gone from the scenery.
We arrived in Jasper, were bussed to the Jasper Park Lodge, where, as we settled into our cabins, the slight drizzle changed to light snow. So pretty! These cabins, incidentally, were luxurious beyond the wildest dreams of your average settler (or even those of an itinerant knitting teacher, who on her last visit to Jasper was mightily impressed by the cedar outhouses in the National Park campgrounds).
Next morning we woke to a perfect winter wonderland: the surrounding mountains were glorious in their new clothes.
This is quite a venue, boasting hot and cold running elk en suite! One particular elk youngster seemed quite intent on joining me in my room; Barb had visions of e-news speeding through the knitting world of '... Lucy splattered by an elk ...' as she hastily dragged me through the doorway, with me still clutching my camera. The things I do to ensure your newsletter! A fun time was had by all (especially the elk).

The fourth time zone, I found myself in Anacortes, WA, known to many as the gateway port for the San Juan Islands. This is a really busy little town with ships being built at the end of the high street, refineries doing their thing, ferries dashing in and out, and lots of yachts and boats in marinas all around and, most importantly, a superb yarn shop: Ana Cross Stitch. Be sure to stop by and stare in the windows (before entering); rarely have I seen such beautifully planned, inventive window displays: it's almost like a puzzle - there are so many bits to see. Look carefully at these little pictures ... it's easy to miss the details.

There was one last stop before heading home, no time change this time, but a significant climatic one. It was a brief sojourn in San Diego. Thankfully for the residents, the recent fires were out, and for me it coincided with balmy warm weather and Fiona Ellis (a fellow Brit/Canadian, and author of Inspired Cable Knits and most recently Inspired Fairisle Knits) visiting there too. We actually had a moment to go out to eat together in Old Town. Serendipity at work.

Meanwhile, whilst I've been out living the highlife, we've also been busy back at the home pier.We have one exciting new Lucy pattern for you: the Spindrift Scarf. I think this stitch is immense fun and compliments our Cat's PJs yarn perfectly.

The bag book, Cool Bags, Hot Knit Tricks is slowly nearing completion; it's a long slow labour, but we are getting there.

Filming for the next DVDs in my (never-ending?) series is scheduled to begin on Jan 7th. There are a lot of fascinating and useful knitting techniques in this world! We anticipate having 2 new titles: Intarsia Untangled, covering intarsia knitting techniques from the basics to the sneaky stuff, and Finesse Your Knitting 2, containing more details for the connoisseur.
We have recently added a number of additional DVD clips to our website, and are pleased to announce that you will now be able to find some of our clips on youtube. Check back periodically: we hope to add a few more there in the not too distant future.

Happy stitches wherever you may be,

Lucy
P.S. Just FYI: the American Christmas stamps this year are all knitted designs!
P.P.S. I hope to see some of you at Stitches West in Santa Clara; I'll be at the Shelridge Farm Booth. Tracy from XRX is nothing if not charming and persuasive!
Deception Pass, WA
Deception Pass, WA

Will this sock fit?
Will this sock fit?

So much yarn ...
Serious stash building

We're really serious!
And then you just ...

Anacortes
Anacortes

Lucy's Spindrift Scarf
Lucy's Spindrift Scarf

A New Pattern from Lucy

Spindrift Scarf
A most spectacular and fast way of spreading your yarn $$$ or creating an intriguing fabric in jig time! (It incorporates more air into your knitting.) This scarf may be worked either widthwise or lengthwise according to taste: the two fabrics look remarkably different.

Yarn: Any weight soft yarn; suits a hand-painted yarn such as Cat's Pajamas very well.
Techniques: Scallop decreases, modified conventional bind-off.
Level: Intermediate
Pattern: $6.00 cdn

New products in stock..

Knowknits Bags 1. Knowknits Project Sacks

Anyone that has visited us in person knows well that space is at a premium around here, thus we choose our new additions very carefully.
These handy little sacks are perfect for containing all your single project needs: the strong fabric, drawstring and carrying loop make them ideal. They come in three sizes and a range of bright colours so that you can easily distinguish between projects without needing to look within. With these bags several projects can be carried in a larger knitting bag without risk of entanglement!

Sizes: Small (8" tall x 6" wide) $20 Cdn, Medium (11"h x 8"w) $26 Cdn, Large (13"w x 11"w) $34 Cdn
Colours in stock: Hot Pink, Turquoise, Lime Green, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow (SMALL size only)

2. We now have all of Ilga Leja's latest collection of designs in stock for your holiday dressing and giving.


Limited time Gift Specials (until 24/12/07)

The Sock Special Package:
Contains Lucy's Cool Socks Warm Feet (autographed on request), Sock Technique DVDs 1 & 2, and a skein of Cat's PJs yarn all for $109 (a $117.95 value) plus applicable taxes and shipping.

DVD Special Package
Any five DVDs for $139 (a $145 value) plus applicable taxes and shipping.

Lucy-pattern Package
Buy any two of Lucy's patterns and get the third one (of lowest value) at half price.

Spindrift Scarf Kit
Pattern and one 100g skein Cat's PJs yarn $39 (a $41 value) plus applicable taxes and shipping.

It is that time of year again!
On December 8th 2007, between 1 and 5 pm, come and join Lucy, Corrie, Diane, Kathleen and Susan (and probably Mr. Cuddles) for our ninth annual open house.
Corrie is catering, as she has all these years, with her mouth-watering array of cookies and hot apple cider.
We have all kinds of goodies for you:

1. All ten of Lucy's action-packed knitting DVDs

2. New Patterns from Lucy: The Sizzling Hot Hat, the Spindrift Scarf

3. Ilga Leja's latest design collection: The Opera Season

4. Come feel our new yarn ... The Cat's Pajama's luxury Merino/Cashmere/Nylon sock yarn!

Bargains of the Day:

1. TAX FREE SHOPPING ON EVERYTHING

2. Bargain Yarn Basket

3. Lucy's patterns 25% off

Cash donations for "Feed Nova Scotia" will be welcomed!

Knitting Hint

The slippurl and Alternative Heel Stitch

When working a conventional heel-flap consider switching the row on which you slip the alternate stitches.
Customarily RS heel flap rows are: (S1, k1) repeat to end. Every alternate stitch is slipped. And WS rows are: S1, purl to end. Only the first stitch is slipped.

Try Alternative Heel Stitch and compare:
RS: S1, knit to end.
WS: (S1, p1) repeat to end.

Why bother to make the switch? You can save a lot of time by sliding the RHN into both the stitch to be slipped and the stitch to be purled simultaneously, then throw the working yarn around the RHN to work the purl stitch and allow the stitch to be slipped to fall off the LHN onto the RHN. (Keep both stitches near the LHN tip and withdraw the LHN a little to slip the stitch off.)
With a little practice, you will become very speedy. This technique is very useful in reverse stocking stitch double-knitting too. To encourage this practice, I've written you a little pattern.
double-knit ornaments



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