Lucy Neatby - Tradewind Knitwear Designs - Spun Yarn 36
Lucy Tradewind Knitwear Designs Newsletter www.lucyneatby.com

SPUN YARN #36

November 2010



The Pinstripe Mitten
Dear Knitters,

Today is the day: a truck is enroute from Ontario with a pallet full of brand new Cool Knitters Finish in Style books to deliver here very soon! I'm currently on the early ferry on my way back to the Mainland after a couple of peaceful days in the fog and rain on Tancook Island, and I'm now gearing myself up mentally for some delightfully busy days. Unfortunately, Susan won't be here to enjoy the long-awaited moment, as she is away on family duties in British Columbia. She has left me lots of detailed records and notes and I will try to fulfill her role and not mess up her systems too badly.

The droopy weather suited me just fine on the island, as I had flooring to lay and wanted to immerse myself in a quilt project. The Tancook cottage back bedroom is tucked under the slope of the roof and used to be graced by an elderly shag pile carpet in a shade reminiscent of spring manure. This atrocity was evicted by an enthusiastic daughter this summer, along with the patterned linoleum found underneath. Sadly, under the lino there was only chipboard, rather than the plain wood boards unearthed in the other two bedrooms. However, it was a lot less effort and mess to cover the chipboard with flooring than to sand and refinish planks. I am psyching myself up for two more rooms that need this treatment next year. It's not the work, but the waiting between varnish coats that is tedious.

Ugly carpet The old linoleum layer New floor in progress New floor, all done.
The quickie flooring went pretty well: it's always the edges that take the time, and it was horribly difficult stuff to cut to fit into doorways and fiddly bits. I did discover that the best tool for measuring the bits that needed to be cut out was a quilters ruler. I finished the floor, with a couple of square feet of partial boards left over, and I'm amazed how nice it all looks.
A few days later...
Unloading the big pallet of books! Cool Knitters Finish in Style arrives in style!

The first wave of pre-paid orders have been shipped out with no unsettling bits of paper left over. Susan, the most organised person I know, has developed an excellent system of data entry and paper order forms, with the customer's payment info attached with separate written receipts that have to be removed from the book.
If all goes well: the envelope is labeled and the correct postage rate for the destination applied (at the appropriate end to allow me to shorten the envelope when it is taped), it is then stuffed with the book and its associated papers (you can't do this before franking, as it won't fit into the machine), I then insert the receipt and payment info into each package. If all the order forms are marked and all the receipts are gone from the receipt book all is well.
It is, in fact, entirely possible to become extremely confused in the midst of this!

Books wrapped and ready to mail

The next challenge ...
As a tiny little private publisher, I really miss the machinery the Big Players have to get the word out about a new book! I have given this issue a lot of thought, but always come back to the same solution: knitters and communication. If you have a copy of Cool Knitters Finish in Style and like/love your book, please do take it to your local yarn store and extoll its virtues for me. With so many craft books coming out thick and fast, it is difficult for a store owner to keep on top of those that are worth their shelf space in the long run. Please help them!
On the other hand, if you have the book and loathe it, please tell me, not them. I am always happy to get constructive criticism that will aid me in making products more useful to you.

Venturing into eBooks
This book is our first venture into the eBook format, undertaken largely as a result of customer suggestions. This book is available as a .pdf download as well as a paper book. If both versions are purchased at the same time, we offer a considerable discount on the .pdf version. We'd appreciate your feedback as to how this works for you. Do you use the .pdf as an on-the-road searchable reference, or do you actually read it on a digital device (laptop, pda, Kindle, i-Pad), or, do you prefer to curl up with chocolate and a paper book? Please let us know.
NOTE: As with most first ventures, hiccups arise! A few of you that purchased the pdf book from me have noticed that not all the pictures load properly when you use it on your Ipod: email us and we will send you a new amended version (free of charge, of course). Those who purchased the book from Patternfish already have the new version and all should be well.

My Australian cousins ...
The virtual book ensures that knitters much further afield will be able get the book much faster and cheaper than usual, so I am awaiting comments from Antipodean knitters regarding the happy 'Australian Cousins' (Pages 10 - 12). This is the first time I have committed the term to print, and don't want it to be taken the wrong way. As you know, I love the Cousins; they are exceedingly useful!

Pinstripe Mittens
I've just completed my second Pinstripe Mitten (pattern now available); my needles are currently double-knit-less. This is not a condition to be endured for long. I do have two partial Bubble Scarves and a partial Paintbox Scarf on the needles, but these don't count, as I've done them before and therefore I'm not much interested except when desperate. I feel the urge to get out a pencil and paper and sketch: Inspiration strikes when a need presses!

A happy conclusion to a bad story
The Stirling Knit Camp fundraiser (via Ravelry) to help alleviate the financial hardship (caused by the non-payment of tutor travel expenses to Scotland and teaching fees by the dis-organizers) has raised so much money that all the unpaid teachers' travel debts could be paid off (a great relief to those without a financial cushion to deal with travel-expense credit card debt), and there was a little over for the tutors who didn't receive a random micro payment from Jo. There is still a shortfall of over 20,000 Pounds Sterling that Jo appears to have conveniently forgotten about! Where the students' money all went, is anybody's guess.

JaneKAL (her Rav name) was the amazing organizing force behind the fundraiser, even going as far as paying (out of her pocket) a firm of accountants to oversee the fund, so that everything would be totally transparent and above-board. I am in awe of the power of knitters to work miracles!
A heartfelt "Thank You" to every one of you that has shopped positively with the unpaid tutors, sent messages of support, or contributed to the fund!
The fund was supposed to close at the end of October, but Clifford Towers Chartered Accountants have decided to volunteer their services to keep the fund open another month or so. And they're not even a knitting group! It's enough to bowl me over. Standing Ovation for all of you!

A new treat:
Learn with Lucy DVD clips now at Patternfish
In keeping with our attempts to look more tech-savvy than we really are, here is our newest offering on Patternfish: we have managed to make a small number of selected DVD clips available as downloadable files for I-phones. If the idea is popular, we'll add more clips for the on-the-go knitter. Your suggestions for future topics for inclusion are welcomed, as always.

Your call is important to us ... No, really ...
If responding to this newsletter by phone, please allow extra time for us to get back to you, as we are a little strapped for office inmates. I'll be on a teaching tour for 18 days (in MN, MI, MD, DC and IL) by the time Corrie gets this out to you; Susan is still out in BC on family duties; Corrie is up to her ears with the new website development, and Dawne will be doing her very best to get back to you asap. Please bear with us!

Our annual Open House: All welcome!
Date: December 4th 2010
Time: 1300 - 1600
Place: 45 Dorothea Drive, Dartmouth, NS
Come for our Specials, our hot cider, last-minute gifts, or come to see your knitting friends, but come!

Happy stitches,
Lucy


Product News

Pinstripe Double-Knit Mittens Pinstripe Double-Knit Mittens (#291) by Lucy Neatby

This is a reversible, warm mitten, a jewel of double knitting. Although not a quick knit, it makes excellent carry-around knitting for the ardent knitter once the simple pattern is established. The interconnected two-layer fabric is made with a basic negative/positive double-knitting technique. Options are given for both a gauntlet and a straight cuff with a channel for elastic or ribbon at the wrist. The thumb opening is made by use of two small waste yarn flaps to act as replacement.

Yarn: 75g Main, 75g Contrast Fingering weight.
Size: Medium adult, palm circumference 8 inches, size may be adjusted to slightly larger or smaller by changing your needle/yarn combination.
Skill Level: Advanced
Techniques: Two-colour double layer knitting, paired decreases, double layer waste yarn thumb opening.
Price: $9.00



Cool Knitters Finish in Style Cool Knitters Finish in Style by Lucy Neatby

This book is available as a paper copy or as a digital download

Please note: The digital version of the book is sent to you as a .pdf file for you to download to your computer or other digital device; it is not a DVD. When payment is received, we will process your order and email you the pdf file.

Prices:
Cool Knitters Finish In Style hard copy:
Canadian orders: $25.45 Cdn (Taxes and Shipping included)
USA orders: $28.45 Cdn (shipping included)
International orders: $46.45 Cdn (shipping included)


Cool Knitters Finish in Style hard copy and pdf purchased at the same time:
Canadian orders: $35.95 Cdn (Taxes and Shipping included)
USA orders: $38.45 Cdn (shipping included)
International orders: $46.45 Cdn (shipping included)

Cool Knitters Finish In Style digital book only:
Canadian orders: $15.75 (includes tax)
All other countries: $15.00 Cdn

Cool Knitters Finish in Style

Knitting Tip

Reading, and the consequences thereof ...

I enjoy reading a novel on an i-Pad as I knit; this form of reading is particularly well suited to knitters as the pages don't have to be propped open with a weight and they can be turned by the flick of a pinky finger without letting go of the needles or yarn.

The problem with reading whilst knitting is that one does tend to make errors. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. As a result of my inattention over the years, I have become adept at fixing mistakes and become a much more confident knitter as a result. Look upon every error, after you cease swearing, as an opportunity to practice your knit-reading and rescue skills!

Always try the 'spot fix' before ripping: you will learn much more from it and become confident in even trickier situations. There is an entire chapter devoted to my philosophy and techniques for rescues in Cool Knitters Finish in Style. Good finishing techniques are the cornerstone of miraculous rescues.



DID YOU KNOW:

Most previous issues of Spun Yarn are archived on the website; type in (or copy and paste) the website address (http://www.lucyneatby.com/) followed by the edition you wish to read: i.e. SY14.html or SY35.html, etc.


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