Lucy Neatby Designs Lucy Neatby Designs

Spun Yarn #39

June 2011

Kauni Yarns
Dear Knitters,

There is much news to impart. Really exciting news would be the promise of weather other than periods of rain, drizzle and fog here in Nova Scotia. But compared to the terrible weather traumas that some of you have been suffering, we'll just be grateful and keep on waiting for the leaves, trying to keep our spirits up and the mould at bay.

Website news
The new web site is settling in very nicely. Thanks to all of you who have shopped, set up pattern notebooks and uploaded your photographs. Considerable attention has been given to the security of your personal information. We are especially conscious of this in the light of recent breaches at some well-known enterprises! At least we do not store sensitive information like credit card numbers! Please do let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Corrie is constantly working away at revisions and improvements. Website construction is busily happening behind the scenes: we still have a few sections of the shop to add. A total make-over is unbelievably more complex in practice than in theory!

Seduction by yarn!
Our next website addition will be the yarn section. (We are holding off the grand opening till Canada Post is back to work, so that we can actually ship you your yarn!) It has taken quite a while to physically export sample skeins of everything to Tancook Island for Hillary's photographic attention. Once sorted and loaded into a case here, it is then popped into my Mini, driven to Chester, carried into the cargo box, craned on board of the William G. Ernst ferry, conveyed across Mahone Bay, offloaded onto the quayside and carried to Hillary's awaiting island wheels. Once the yarn reaches dampish land again it then has to await low tide, a lull in the sea gulls and a break in the fog before actual photography can proceed.

Bags of yarn being crated Crate hoisted aboard the ferry Ready for the sea voyage Yarn and Hillary

EQ colourway of Kauni For most yarns, what you see is what you get. We've been experimenting with the presentation of the Kauni yarn, because of its unique personality. At first sight, when I show a knitter the full balls of the multi-colour Kauni, the initial reaction is: "You cannot be serious. These are all the same colourway?" The balls appear to be completely different from one another; even I have to check the labels!

The colour gradations are so long, that apart from getting very intimate with the ball and peering into its innards, you can hardly tell what to expect. This makes on-line sales a challenge. So, for our Kauni product photos, we show three balls of each colourway (as different from each other as possible, to best represent the range of colours). Our secret weapon: we have wound a full ball of each colourway on a ball-winder to give you an glimpse of all the colours in the ball and their sequence. That's quite a lot of winding, but we are getting there.

In addition, we have named the colourways, as names are far easier to remember and more informative. (We will still be providing the official alphabet-letter designations from Kauni.) Doesn't Heavenly Shades of Night have a nicer ring to it than EL? We have, with Ilga Leja's blessing, used the names she has created, and have filled in the gaps for the hitherto unnamed ones. I'll leave it to you to work out which one I was sorely tempted to call "Used Band-Aid"!

All you devoted Kauni users: check out some of the new triple-letter colourways. We are planning to keep all the colourways in stock for maximum knitting fun.
I'm delighted with the new photographs, they make me want to rush out and buy some (and I already have a basement full)!

Patterns on tap
Now that nearly all of my patterns are available as .pdf downloads (there are a few esoteric ones that I am still working on), I plan to offer a pattern updating service to our faithful customers. I would like to add digital copies of all the patterns you have purchased from us in the past to your My PDFs folder in your Notebook on our website.
This would put your Lucy Neatby pattern collection all in one place, accessible from any digital device at any time. In addition, the patterns will automatically be updated for you so that you always have the most recent edition, including any new YouTube knitting tech links.
As this will be a time-consuming process, we will have to hire some hours of extra help. We initially plan to offer this to 10 customers per month, for a nominal one-time fee of $20. We regret that we can only offer this service for patterns purchased directly from us by mail order or as a direct sale. I am sure you will find it very convenient to have your patterns 'on tap' at all times, and there will be no need to worry about misplacing the pattern or having it evaporate in a computer crash.
For those who choose to buy paper patterns (where a digital version currently exists), from now on you will automatically receive a link to a digital copy of the pattern, and a copy in your My PDFs folder in your Notebook on our website.
(Note: this can only be done if you are a registered member, otherwise we have nowhere to put it!)

Tancook Island happenings
In addition to the audacious daylight yarn heist alluded to in the gull link above, Tancookers have been witness to various significant developments at my cottage. The woodstove is now installed and functioning wonderfully well: it changes the whole dynamics of the house. However, I hadn't expected to be sitting cozily by its side well into June!
The hole for the stove chimney The first fire in my new stove A cozy day in June
Taking leave of my senses and advantage of the chaos and dust engendered by the wood-stove installation process, I awoke one morning with the resolve to strip out my bedroom and re-decorate it. The linoleum and orange shag pile carpet and most of the wallpaper had been removed last year, but the floor was still unfinished planks. The first thing I did was to dismantle my bed and put it in another room - quite a luxury to be able to decorate an empty room!
The sanding, staining and varnishing wasn't nearly as bad as trying to do the whole downstairs: much smaller area and I didn't have to worry about leaving a dry access route to the bathroom! I kept on changing my mind on which colours to paint my room until I discovered the work of the artist Laurie Kaihlanen. I fell for some of his riotous butterfly and flower pictures and have painted the room in comparatively understated, yet cheery, warm shades of salmon and custard (even in the fog, it looks like a sunny day). The aim now is to move back in and then to commission Hillary to adorn the walls with flowers and the odd butterfly and bird, and to turn the casing for the wood-stove chimney into a tree with driftwood branches. Yes, each life needs some fun.
Sanding the floor Before paint Cheerful paint
In order to enhance visitor accommodation, I decided to import a new bed to complete my room. Easier said than done, given the logistics. I couldn't easily drive along the highway from Halifax with a double mattress on top (or wrapped around my Mini). I thought about the options and none looked promising. Someone reminded me of a local secondhand furniture barn in Chester: they deliver to the ferry. First problem solved. I purchased a mattress, and a head-board and chest of drawers (for the quilt fabrics) just for good measure: when encountering a delivery opportunity, one makes the most of it! I arranged for it all to be sent over on a particular ferry. Friends with a truck were secured to meet the ferry and the rain held off. All went perfectly to plan until it came to the donated box-spring which wouldn't, no matter how we angled and poked it, go up the stairs nor yield to being cut or folded in half. (You missed a good show.) We reluctantly had to admit defeat and decided to build a wooden frame as a substitute!
The truck delivers my new bed Box spring - Stuck! Very comfy bed
Driftwood art rail I also recently stumbled upon the perfect piece of driftwood, that I had been seeking for ages, to use as a picture rail in the bathroom. Now I'm able to suspend all the fishing paraphernalia that has been slowly accumulating on the worktop. My very own fisheries museum!

Now as if this weren't enough upheaval in my life, it was determined that the kitchen at home was in dire need of more counter space: remodelling was on the agenda. Those last five words are equivalent to opening Pandora's box. You just know that this isn't going to be easy or simple, even if it only impacts the kitchen. In my case, in order to add kitchen counter space, the first move was to make more kitchen wall by blocking off the main access to the Tradewinds office and to open a new doorway elsewhere. This of course has huge consequences for our shop/workspace (a bit similar to stuffing a size 2X Aphrodite into a 32" finished sweater). Now that I have the bit between my teeth, I'm determined to gut the office, repaint it, refurnish it and move back in with maximum efficiency, all whilst maintaining business as usual and not losing the paperwork!
This looks as if it's going to be fun.

Happy stitches,


Product News

Digital Pattern Supplement Service

PDF icon If you would like to supplement your past paper pattern purchases with the latest digital editions of the same patterns, placed in your "My PDFs" in "My Notebook" on our website, please send us an email indicating this.
We expect this to be a time-comsuming process and so plan to handle no more than 10 customers per month. We will contact you when your turn comes up. There will be a $20 charge payable via Paypal or credit card for the service, regardless of the number of patterns to be replaced. Only the patterns documented as direct sales (from us) in our records will be replaced. (Note: Please do not send money until you have been contacted.)

The Lighthouse Bag

The Lighthouse Bag (#898) by Lucy Neatby

The lace and twist-stitch pattern is remeniscent of the steep spiral stairway that wends its way up the tower to the light. This is a very useful bag, in several sizes, worked in the round in a spiraling lacy pattern that gradually decreases as it winds its way up the bag to finish in a short-row Spider strap which is knitted into the bag in six places to give excellent support.
Minimal finishing required. May be felted.

Yarn: Fingering to Chunky weight yarns, 80 - 300g
Size: Multi-size
Skill Level:Intermediate
Techniques:Lace, twisted stitches, garter stitch short-rows
Price: $7.00

Mermaid Socks

Mermaid Socks (#377) by Lucy Neatby

A sock worked with a single self-patterning yarn that appears vastly more complex than it is! Begun with either the wonderful self-gauging sideways sock-top or a soft wavy edge, the cuff eases into an Estonian pattern that creates an illusion of entrelac. The garter stitch short row heel is used for style, comfort and fit. Options for a common or spiral toe are given. This pattern is also available in my book Cool Socks Warm Feet.

Yarn: 100g fingering weight sock yarn
Size: Adult multi-size
Skill Level:Advanced
Techniques:Garter stitch sideways sock cuff, Fishtail Stitch, Garter stitch short-row heel, Spiral or Wedge toe.
Price: $7.00

Marietta Rib Socks

Marietta Rib Socks (#396) by Lucy Neatby

A well-fitting ribbed sock with options for a playful ruffled or scalloped cuff edge for comfort and style. These socks ar worked top-down with a coordinating common heel which is blended into the rib of the leg. 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:Intricate ruffle decreases, scallop holes, ribbing, common heel and wedge toe
Price: $7.00

Crenellated Toe-Up Socks

Crenellated Toe-Up Socks (#379) by Lucy Neatby

Begun with a Bosnian-style, square garter-stitch toe; they can be adjusted to fit a variety of sizes and are easily tested to check the fit of the foot, ideal for knitters on the go. Beginning at the toe has many advantages: custom fit, last-minute size adjustments, and for the knitter's peace of mind, once past the ankle, you can continue to work up the leg until you have used up almost half of the yarn and know that you have sufficient for the second sock. 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:Bosnian toe, Turkish Heel, Picot bind-off and Sock Toe Chimney (here used for the heel!) fully illustrated
Price: $7.00

Knitting Tip

Do it daily and have fun!

Really, knitting is therapeutic for you. Here in Canada one of our most famous hockey goalies regularly used it to relieve stress before and after major games, and he had such a record of wins that people took notice. Its effects on the body and mind are not unlike those of meditation, but as a bonus you get a product to show for it. Knitting is a powerful form of re-creation and creation, all in one. So be good to yourself: knit.

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