Lucy Neatby Designs Lucy Neatby Designs

Spun Yarn #38

March 2011 



Spindrift Scarves
Dear Knitters,

What's in your Cart?

We live in exciting times. After several years of frantically paddling to catch the technology wave, we are now close to surfing on it. We are delighted to announce our new interactive website: it comes replete with a shopping cart and instant downloads for .pdf patterns and my e-book! You will be able to make your purchases online, directly from the website: no more need for emails back and forth to order items! We hope you will find it fun and convenient.

For Members Only ... but we'd be ever so pleased to have you become one!

On the Home page, up in the right-hand corner, you will see a 'Register' button. Click it, and there's your Profile page. Enter the required fields, submit the form, and an email will zip to your inbox giving you a direct login link. (You may change your profile any time you wish.) Once you log in as a member you will have access to 'My Notebook' (the little notebook icon below the login button) - a place where you can collect your PDFs, subscribe to DVDs, browse the Spun Yarn archives and more).

As with most things we have ever done, we are starting small and will be growing the site as speedily as we sensibly can. We are starting out with my patterns, DVDs and books only. This will help us to adjust to the new site (think: steep learning curve!), such as keeping track of nebulous virtual orders and such, while assuring there will be no surprise behind-the-scenes inventory issues.
Once we have mastered this, we'll be adding the full range of yarns: Kauni, our Celestial Merino, Blueface Leicester and our scrumptious Cat's Pajamas, after which will come kits, needles and the rest of our stock. Please be patient with us during this huge transition! If you are puzzled or confused by anything in the new site, do email or phone us and we'll be happy to help.

OMG, who's on YouTube?

With our newly acquired (albeit not Advanced) technical skills, we will continue to enhance both new and existing patterns by filming pattern-specific video clips. Any pattern-support video clips you would like to see? Tell us!
Take a look at my new You Tube channel and feel free to subscribe. You do not have to own the patterns to view the clips! Subscribing will allow you to be notified each time a new video is posted. Please note: there are currently two Lucy Neatby channels (it's a sad story of lost passwords, mix-ups, etc.) but the newer one of the two (lucyknit) is the one where new items will be posted.

Quilting inspiration:

My quilting adventures have not advanced a great deal in the last couple of months; it was necessary to devote any available spare time to enjoying our winter snow to the maximum! However, as the snow has now almost gone, the desire to sew bits of fabric together is gaining the upper hand.

This has been yet further fueled by the acquisition of a book called Gwen and Freddie Collaborate! by Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran. Freddie turns out to be my soul sister in her feelings towards colour: her quilts are vibrant and action-packed (even to my eyes!) and the only colour she takes exception to is brown. I'm so with her. Watch this space as I go wild(er)!
Things on the island have been pretty quiet. Again it's a time crunch for me to get there, but things have been magically happening over there (with lots of help from my friends): I now have a woodstove to sidle up to. It is truly a cozy place for the winter now. I have taken advantage of the chaos engendered by the installation of the new chimney to strip out my bedroom, which is now all sanded and awaiting my ministrations with a varnish brush. Still cannot decide on the colours of the walls ... (not brown).

With the advent of spring in the northern hemisphere, all kinds of changes begin to appear: longer hours of daylight, melting of the snow cover, and little signs that plant life will once again appear above ground. This year, spring brings one more change: some of our pattern prices must rise a little.

There has been a lot of discussion around the office about pattern prices lately: they have been held steady for years, despite rising operating costs. In fact, none of us can even remember the last time there was an increase.
Times, meanwhile, have been changing and our operating costs have been steadily increasing. The US dollar is now at par with the Canadian one, effectively reducing my U.S. teaching wages when converted to Canadian dollars.
Although a very small savings in company overhead has been realised from the shift to digital patterns, this in no way offsets the huge number of hours, hardware and software investments, and employees that were needed to arrive at this stage. It is with much agonising and with great reluctance that we have decided that we must raise the prices of some patterns and of the new book, Cool Knitters Finish in Style, on May 1st. (Rescheduled from April 1st, because we can only deal with so many big changes at a time!) Of course, this would give you an extra month to stock up on $6 patterns ...

The $6 patterns will be raised to $7. We feel that a $7 pattern still represents excellent value-for-money: you get, usually, 6 pages of basic pattern directions enriched with enough extra technique hints, variations and technical explanations to make them more like a workshop than a pattern. Each pattern is designed to give you more basic knowledge and consequently more scope in the creative art of knitting. We strive to give you power over your knitting!

Must go knit now; I have another exciting new bag design on the needles.

Happy stitches,

Lucy

P.S.Thank you to all of you who sent condolences on the death of my dear mother, who finally gave up her struggle on March 14th. Thankfully I was able to go to England and be with my sisters to say our farewells. Although this was the expected outcome of extreme old age, it is the end of an era. I guess I am now an orphan; although I felt that I had largely lost her once I was no longer able to communicate with her by phone. She has been interred in a picture-perfect English churchyard, filled this month with daffodils and dog-toothed violets, which is strangely comforting. She would have approved the setting. We tried to be glad of her release from pain, celebrate her achievements and be appreciative of a life well lived. Thanks to all the friends and family that attended and sent cards and letters.


Product News

The Lucky Number Hat and the Sea Lettuce Scarf are the first of my patterns to contain pattern-support links in the form of You Tube clips. More are planned!

Lucky Number Hat

Lucky Number Hat (#111) by Lucy Neatby

Any number is lucky in this hat; knit the brim to fit and take the numbers from there. I'm excessively fond of I-cord edged garter stitch (thank you Elizabeth Zimmermann). It's so elegant, warm and elastic. This fun little hat or headband makes the most of it. An option for grafting the beginning and end of the brim together has been given for the questing knitter. It is possible, with a little practice, to achieve a perfect invisible join which adds to the style. The hat may be knit simply or further enhanced with a striped brim, lining, variable depth brim or earflaps. This hat is ideal for using up small quantities of yarn.
YouTube:Three supporting videos for this pattern available - Knitting up new stitches, Perfect graft of I-cord edged garter stitch, I-cord trimmed striped Intarsia band.

Yarn: 75 - 100g any weight
Size: Child to Adult
Skill Level: Intermediate
Techniques: Knitting up stitches, flat and circular knitting. Options include grafting the brim for an invisible join, earflaps and a striped intarsia brim.
Price: $7.00

Timberline Toes

Timberline Toes (#345) by Lucy Neatby

An elegant top-down sock designed for a single self-patterning or hand painted yarn. Beginning with a safe and easy tubular cast-on, features the comfortable, durable and replaceable Garter stitch short-row heel and matching strong Garter stitch toe.
This pattern is also available in my book Cool Socks Warm Feet.

Yarn: 100g fingering weight sock yarn.
Size: Adult multi-size
Skill Level: Intermediate
Techniques: Tubular cast on, Garter stitch short-row heel
Price: $7.00

Chequerboard Socks

Chequerboard Socks (#378) by Lucy Neatby

Warm, toe-up socks begun with a garter stitch short-row toe and feature the matching heel. No grafting (Kitchener stitch) required. The two-colour-per round fabric is turned into a check by a sneaky periodic shift in the pattern, no yarn changes are required.
This pattern is also available in my book Cool Socks Warm Feet.

Yarn: 100g fingering weight sock yarn
Size: Adult multi-size
Skill Level: Intermediate
Techniques: Short-row toe (worked flat), two-colour-per round knitting, Garter stitch short-row heel
Price: $7.00

Whirlygig Bag

Whirlygig Bag (#378) by Lucy Neatby

A multi-size, any-yarn-will-do, geometric delight, consisting of swirling squares all knitted together with the integral strap. This may be worked in a modular fashion, negative/positive or with two matching large square sides. The strap has the option for decorative openings for greater visual appeal. No assembly required.

Yarn: Any weight 30 - 400g according to size and weight.
Size: S (M, L)
Skill Level: Easy/Intermediate
Techniques: Long-tail cast-on, decreases, knitting-up stitches, I-cord
Price: $7.00


Knitting Tip

Fabulous Facings

Facings are really the answer to a knit-maiden's prayer (sorry guys, but 'knit-blokes' doesn't sound quite as pleasing - but they will work for you too). They are not often included in knitting directions, but may be added as you think fit.
There are three primary reasons to plan or add facings: to improve the stability of the edge, to increase warmth, to cover or protect something within (for example to protect stranded knitting from being snagged in a cuff). You can also make neck, arm and front bands much more attractive, stronger and easier to get over the head (in case of a neck) by facing them.

Facings dont have to be worked in the same weight as the original garment, especially for the second two functions, nor do they have to be the same colour as the public side. Oddments may be used up on the facing for economy, colour play or to ward off boredom!

I was so delighted by the finished appearance of the lined ear-flaps in the Lucky Number Hat that I thought I'd share the pictures. Directions are included in the pattern for lining the brim; the ear flaps were a personal addition for a friend who works outdoors a lot. I knitted up stitches inside the earflap as described for the brim, worked the flap with a selvage stitch on either side and then mattress-stitched the sides of the facing to the I-cords along the edge of the earflaps!

Lucky Number Hat - ear flap facing Harlequin Jacket - front inside facing Tractor Socks - cuff outside Tractor Socks - cuff inside showing facing


All images and text Copyright ©2000 - 2011; Lucy Neatby, Tradewind Knitwear Designs