Lucy Neatby - Tradewind Knitwear Designs - Spun Yarn 23
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SPUN YARN #23

October 2008

Kedgi morning
Greetings, fellow fiber friends!


Fall is coming: the days are getting shorter and much colder here (we've had our first white-crispy-grass frost) and the airport beckons. Before I fly off again, here's what's been going on around here this summer!

It's been an unusual summer, revolving as it did around the constant ebb and flow of my teenage (+) flock (I'm not sure yet how my son got to be more than a teenager). The culmination of all the hubbub is that over the last few weeks we have emptied the nest. Even Beany the budgie has left for a lovely new home; is that taking the nest theme a little far?

All this leaves us with only Cuddles, our neighbor's cat, and far more glasses, cutlery and plates than I knew we owned. From a hive on non-stop motion, the house has suddenly become very quiet, and it has imbued me with a driving need to clear the decks: cupboard after cupboard is falling victim to my need to bring order. (I expect I'll get over it soon.) When there are only the two of you, it is easy to identify that the third and fourth toothbrushes or bath towels are not actually in service, but simply abandoned. Of course now I have to scour the house every few weeks to make up a full load of laundry, and the dishwasher thinks that we are on hunger strike.
With the gradual departure of the team over the last few years, I didn't really expect to notice much difference, but it has been more mentally significant than I had expected.
We have stuck quite close to home this year, indulging in only a series of short camping trips to Kedgi National Park with family and friends. As a necessity, one's knitting for backcountry camping must be light, so Holly and I decided to share a Vivian Hoxbro Net Scarf kit between us. Here we are casting on in the sunset at campsite #16. We started at different points and eventually met in the middle!
Holly casting on for the scarf

Tandem knitting on the Tancook Ferry

The next installment of the scarf was worked on the Tancook Island ferry (off Chester NS), on a long overdue day trip: I have wanted to visit this island for 16 years. (More about Tancook Island in a future edition.) It was amazing how many passengers asked about the progress of the knitting on the return trip (no comments on the way out, though). I finished the scarf this weekend whilst scouting out our next Adventure knitting location. The knitting was really fun, and the light felting transforms it into a wonderful fabric, which is still clearly knitting.
Over the summer and throughout the melee, I've been frantically busy trying to drag us into the digital age: all the patterns need reformatting so that they may be purchased online and printed at home. This greener option, for those that have access to a computer and printer, saves shipping costs and helps the planet by reducing fuel use for trucking. We will still be producing paper patterns for stores and for mail-order, but every little bit we can each do is a help. The Spindrift Capelet is, at long last, now available in both paper and .pdf format.

Our web site overhaul is still in the works, but, as it is a long-term project, currently we still have to manually send a Paypal invoice in response to a .pdf pattern order, followed by the pattern file. Hopefully this will become an instant process once our modifications are completed. As part of our new look, we have a new logo. Don't worry: the contented stitch will still be much in evidence, but we needed something that didn't need explaining to the uninitiated. Three of us went for the great unveiling of the ideas. The first proposal was met with an underwhelming silence. We were not enamoured. Then number two was shown: the gales of laughter it provoked clinched the deal. Our new logo was born. Take and peek and let us know what you think.
Check out the front page of our new format pattern!
the NEW pattern look
Another major project is also well on it's way to completion, the rewriting of the former finishing booklet "Taking the Chequered Flag": it's grown up into a real book!
The writing and the drawing has been done, and it's away being magically laid out and beautified right now; its new title will be "Cool Knitters Finish in Style". I can hardly wait to see how it will look. Unless you have gone through this, you can hardly imagine how moving a moment it is when a great pile of manuscript pages returns to you looking all sophisticated, as if it will very soon be a real book. It is too early to say when the book will be printed, but we'll keep you posted of developments.

I finally did it ...

the tattoo-ing I achieved one of my summer objectives! After sporting our temporary tattoos of our contented knit stitch for a number of years I resolved that I would have the real thing. Even having held the idea for such a long time, the final commitment was a decision not lightly taken. It had to be timed carefully so as not to compromise swimming in the lake on camping trips (a two week healing period is suggested before immersion) and I took advantage of Holly being at home to make it a more fun experience. It really wasn't that bad, a burning sensation at the time, and it ached somewhat, but I never did remember to take any painkillers. Now, however, I am very happy that I took the plunge! the tattoo
On the subject of pins and needles, at TNNA I met the charming creators of the KuKu doll series: these are quite the most fun series of simple-to-knit dolls that I have ever seen. They have recently come up with, you might have guessed it, the Lucy doll! And here she is. The kit even has details on how to add odd earrings and needle-felt the tattoo. If I were superstitious, I'm not sure how I'd feel about that! Oh, alright, go ahead and stick pins in me ... Shudders!!!
( This coming January we plan to film the stages in making the Lucy doll as an instructional DVD to go along with the kits.)
Lucy doll
Spindrift Capelet (used 2 balls Noro Sock yarn For the first part of the summer I was so busy getting caught up with myself (I live in hope) and writing, in between onslaughts of visiting relatives and children, that I really didn't feel very creative. I was knitting, but only to keep my hands busy, making more samples of the Capelet, (a very successful version was the one seen here in Noro sock yarn, photo by Ilga Leja, at The Loop, Halifax.)
But then the urge came over me to play ... tee hee ...

Out came a pencil and some scissors and I started to mess about. The result? A high speed cardigan, and I am delighted with it!
It incorporates one of my favourite yarn tricks, which I refer to as Navajo knitting. (See below for details) and many other technically interesting features yet remaining essentially simple, logical and easy to adjust. So there is now a new exciting pattern in the works for you adventurous knitters. It uses the Kauni yarn at triple thickness (from a single ball). At the lower right is the side of the first cardigan. Where do you suppose the seam went???

The knitting is simple yet uses sophisticated techniques to obtain good fit and seamless construction and, for a usually dedicated fine needle knitter, I'm enjoying the speed. I've knit 1.75 of them already and can hardly wait to make another! However why the 0.75?
Well, you may think that owning a yarn business would make one proof against running out of yarn or being short of buttons, but no! The first cardigan prototype is awaiting another shipment of the delightful Gita Maria silver enamel buttons (I'm short one), and the second cardi (to test the pattern) is deficient of an arm, due to my having accidentally sold the remainder of this colourway to a recent influx of cruising knitters!
I plan to finish #2 and start a third one (with holes) as soon as the next shipment arrives: I can hardly wait!!

(NOTE: I am currently testing out this pattern in a 2X and it is an absolute blast!! As an experienced knitter I am not often amazed at the engineering of a design: this one leaves me chuckling happily. As a confirmed fine-yarn-only user, the speed at which this sweater grows really pushes my instant-gratification button!
Corrie, Tradewindknits webmistress
)

Venus Rising, prototype

Venus Rising

Lucy's Socks in Knitter's Magazine #92 ...

holey socks! As many of you know, I don't often work with magazines, as deadlines oppress me dreadfully, but this month you will find a pair of my socks, which, for some reason unknown to me, Knitter's has named Bosnian Toes and Turkish Heels, of which they have neither. However, name aside, they are really fun socks to knit! Their original name, hatched up around a bowl of soup, with Cat Bordhi's assistance, was the Holey Anemone Socks, another suggested name was The Texas Air-Conditioned Socks, but whatever you call them, I'm sorry to say that they just don't have Bosnian Toes or Turkish Heels!

The big sisters of the "Definitely-Not-The-Turkish Heel" socks, the "Almost Saintly Socks" (holey, of course) are also at long last ready. They were almost finished in May, but needed some serious concentration to fine-tune the right and left heel placements of all three sizes of sock. It only took me until September to find the required time, but they are done now. Phew! They are heaps of fun to knit, even though they were a proper puzzle to write. We will wait to release the pattern until all sizes have been checked again.... but keep an eye on the What's New page on our site.

Adventure Knitting 2009 ...

Notice to all: We have ONE unexpected opening for one last spot on our Ecuador and Galapagos trip. Get in touch with Judy if you wish to join us.

The countdown is on for the Galapagos next May! I was recently delighted to find a series of free films about the islands on iTunes U: simply search under Galapagos. I am hatching up plans for our travel project; don't worry, I'll keep it small and portable (it is, of course, evolving as I write). This will be a trip of a lifetime: after 5 days ashore in Ecuador, we will have eight days of knitting, snorkelling and touring around the islands on a 16 passenger boat. Yes, there will also be eating and drinking. It can't get much better than this!

I've also been checking out local venues for out next Nova Scotia getaway. Watch this space or contact Judy for information on either trip.

Wishing you all a peaceful fall (with tidy cupboards, should it so please you) and happy stitches always,
Lucy
PS. HOME WANTED (Lost and Found): At right: a lost sock, complete with a set of Crystal Palace needles, was recently unearthed from the trunk of Karen's car. Does anyone own this poor sock? One sock is all done apart from the toe graft (could this have been the reason for its abandoment?) and there is enough yarn for a second sock. We would love to reunite this sock with its maker. found sock
PPS: If anyone else wants a stitch tattoo, I have the artwork all ready!
PPS: Joyous news for ardent sock knitters!! Addi has finally come out with 1.75, 2.25 and 2.75mm needles, all are formerly missing sizes.
And for Addi ciculars fans, Click Kits (sets of needles with flexes and tips)... these will be arriving any day.

New patterns and items in stock

New Pattern

Spindrift Capelet in two colours

The Spindrift Capelet (#476) by Lucy (Available as a .pdf)


A sensual, one-piece, sideways-knit shoulder warmer, good for day or evening wear. Minimal finishing required.

Size: Adult S-L
Yarn: Fingering/Sport 600 - 1000m
Techniques: Varying size scallop holes, picots, short rows
Skill Level: Advanced
Pattern price: $9.00 Cdn
Kit: Small contains pattern and 2 skeins Cat's Pajamas (Main and Handpainted). Price: $79.00
Kit: Medium -Large contains pattern and 4 skeins Cat's Pajamas (2 each Main and HP). Price: $145.00

SPECIAL OFFER UNTIL OCT 31st. 2008:

This $9 pattern free with any yarn order over $50 in value.


New Books

We now have in stock Cat Bordhi's amazing books. We carry only a very limited range of classically important knitting books and Cat's books have certainly achieved that status: she has changed the sock firmament as we know it.

New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One ($28.95)
Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles ($16.95)
A Treasury of Magical Knitting ($26.95)
A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting ($26.95)


New Kits

Just arrived:
We have several merging colours kits from Candace Eisner Strick. If you haven't seen (or touched) her merging colours garments you are missing out. These are going to be wonderful fun to knit: you use several fine strands of different colours simultaneously. I don't know how I'm going to be able to resist!
Currently we have:
Brahms Lullaby Picot Scarf Adagio Shawl
Brahm's Lullaby $99 Picot Scarf - in Autumn, Cape Cod or Purple Passion $49 Adagio Shawl - in Autumn or Rose Garden $89

Addi Click Kit


We would be happy to take preorders...they are expected to arrive this month!


The Addi Click system provides 10 different sizes of addi Turbo tips (3.5mm - 10mm), three different lengths of their new, extremely pliable blue cord (24", 32" and 40"), and one connector piece which helps to either store stitches or combine your cords. The Click tips require no tools to change; simply insert the cord deep into the tip, twist and release. The tips will remain secure until you change them.
Suggested retail for the addi Click is $159.90
Addi Click set

Knitting Tip

Making Navaho Knitting Yarn

This is a very useful technique for making use of those irresistible bargain cones of ultra-fine yarns that were just too wonderful to leave in the sale bin. Quite when we thought that we'd find time to use two miles of mulberry silk on 2mm needles remains a mystery to us all, but we all suffer from the same delusions in the face of a bargain!
Now, we could weigh the cone, and divide the total yarn weight into halves or thirds and wind appropriately sized balls of yarn. But winding two miles of silk holds little appeal, and once it leaves the security of its cone it is going to become a decomposing slippery mess!! (Not to mention the challenge of creating multiple exactly equal-length balls with no leftovers.)

But, by directly poaching an idea from hand-spinning, we can make a continuous three-strand yarn from a single source. (In the case of spinning, this is used to create a three-ply yarn even though you may only have one bobbin or spindle with the single-spun yarn on it.)
Take a close look at the structure of a crochet chain made with your fingers.
Begin with a generous slip knot, *put your thumb and first fingers through the loop and pull through a large new loop of yarn. Repeat from *. Now look closely at the chain you have created: There are three strands of yarn at all times: the two sides of the loop and the yarn connecting the base of one loop to the beginning of the next one (known as the back of the chain).

So how does this help us?
If we were to make GIANT LOOPS, arms-length long loops, then we would have a continuous length of 3-strand yarn with only the occasional little linking blemish. In fact, we could make an arms-length of yarn and then knit up to the end of the loop, and then make the next giant loop. In this manner the yarn can be tripled as you go.

This method allows you to triple the yarn (as you go) from a single source without any special preparation. It has a couple of other benefits as well: In colour situations, a yarn that has long colour gradation allows for the colours to be maintained pure and in sequence. What was a 9 foot long length of red yarn will become a 3 foot length of red yarn, and, if you only pull the last loop out until it is level with the colour change in the yarn leading from the ball, then colours will not become muddled. Conversely, some wonderful colour graded yarns do suffer from occasional abrupt mid-ball interruptions which can be very annoying (or you may not be able to find the exact match at the start of a new ball), but if you adjust the length of the loop in this situation, you can arrange the transition to occur so that the full loop of yarn is in the old colour and the back of loop connector is in the new colour, so that the colour-jump will be softened somewhat. It will go from three old to two old and one new, and then to three strands of the new.

If it necessary to join a new yarn, rather than cutting and joining all three strands, make the join in the single yarn and then draw through the join to the middle of one of the three strands of the loop. The join could be a splice, a spit splice or a temporary knot to be neatened later.
The end of summer cometh ...



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