Lucy Neatby Designs Lucy Neatby Designs

Spun Yarn #42

November 2011 

Dear Knitters,

VERY large cattle Recent travels ...
On my way to 20 hours of R&R on Tancook, I found time to reflect upon my wanderings around the US, which this time around were delightfully unhindered by dramatic weather events. I at last completed my mission to teach at Yarn Expressions in Huntsville, Alabama; this was a trip that had to be aborted in May of this year due to tornadoes!
Now I can add another state to my list - there are only a few left that I haven't taught in yet.

Pike's Peak Railway I skipped out of Denver just ahead of the first snowfall of the season, having had a beautiful ride up Pike's Peak only days before. I even managed to bring a little rain to Houston: next time I should camp in a tent - that would really break the drought! (It works when I go camping!)
Like Twisted Yarns and Knitting in the Loop,all the knitting stores I visited on this trip were unique with glorious arrays of tempting yarn.

I was very lucky to see three sets of fall colours this year, first after returning home from Knit East, the Nova Scotian trees looked radiant even through fog and rain, and then later the aspen trees in Colorado were blazing gold and yellow against the bluest skies. Poor old Houston, suffering from a drought, did't have much in the fall colour department; in fact, trees were simply giving up and dying there. Huntsville was gorgeous; the foothills of the Appalachians were simply glowing with a tapestry of colours.

Returning home this time was enlivened by by unexpectedly bumping into my husband in the Newark Airport (there aren't that many flights headed to Halifax). Though it's far more enjoyable traveling with company, it is always when I'm with him that I forget (or lose) things. This time I picked up both of my checked bags in Canadian customs and headed to the exit. On being asked whether I had everything, I cheerily answered in the affirmative. Not until I got to the other side did John point out to me that I had indeed collected both my checked bags - but where was my carry-on? I sheepishly went back. (This would never happen to me if I were on my own!)

Coming home is a delight, but there is always a large backlog of work and life to catch up on. I desperately need to get my garden ready for winter. It's rather hard to believe that it will come when the last 72 hours have been so gloriously warm. Last night I went walking in bright moonlight without even the need to wear my mittens, and this morning I went out again to listen to the birds. I'm slowly adding to my list of sightings - today's highlights were a Yellow Capped Kinglet and a Boreal Chickadee.

Kitchen renoThe kitchen saga: the end is nigh ...
We are getting into the final stage of the kitchen reno now: adding colour and commissioning some exotic tiles from Lucky Rabbit. The ceiling is a delightful shade of blue and one wall a particularly fine shade of intense pink. We achieved a worktop, sink, running water and a plumbed-in dishwasher in time for Canadian Thanksgiving dinner with the family! It was lovely.

Double vision ...
My passionate exploration of double-layer knitting has continued and I've now become hooked on dots. The Mysterious Vanishing Dots Scarf is my latest pattern. It may be worked as an easy negative/positive design or you can make one, some, or all of the dots disappear from the second side without too much brain ache! It is fun to play games with your knitting.

Website updates ...
The web site continues to grow. We now have a slide show on the home page that features some of Hillary Dionne's lovely photographs. I can change it from wherever I am, provided internet access is available.
We have opened the Needles section and the Kits section is being constructed.
Many of our customers have started building their pattern and book collections in their Notebooks on the site - a great way to have them always available to them from wherever they have Internet access.(Bonus: If your computer dies, your pattern collection is still safe and just a few mouse-clicks away.)

For those living near enough ...
Mark your calendars for Dec 10th 1300 - 1600, for our annual December Open House and Sale. I hope to see you there!

Happy stitches and clement weather to you,


Product News

Banksia Bag

Banksia Bag (#899) by Lucy Neatby

Inspired by the Banksia Grandis plant of Western Australia, this bag was designed with openings resembling the exterior of the plant's cone. The scallop holes are quick and fun to make and do not involve casting on or binding off. Four sizes are given; I-cord straps finish the bag which can be felted if preferred.

Yarn:Any weight yarn in a solid colour
Size: 4 sizes, from Baby to Grand!
Skill Level:Intermediate
Techniques: Scallop holes, I-cord loops and knitting in the round.
Price: $7.00

String of Pearls Scarf

String of Pearls DK Scarf (#497) by Lucy Neatby

Impress your friends with this warm reversible scarf! The two sides are dramatically different, the better to draw attention to your double-knitting prowess. There is also an option to spice things up with the addition of the 'pearls' as you progress. This scarf offers you the perfect opportunity to train your hands to double-knit comfortably. Though a double-knit project will take a little longer than others, this design is simple enough to allow you to give your full attention to making the stitches. The yarn will do the work and show you off as a really clever knitter!

Yarn: 50g each solid and variegated in Fingering or Sport weight
Size: 4.5 inches x 32 inches, adjustable
Skill Level: Intermediate
Techniques: Two-layer stocking stitch double-knitting, with option to add reverse stocking stitch patterning.
Price: $7.00

Mysterious Vanishing Dot Scarf

Mysterious Vanishing Dot Scarf (#4100) by Lucy Neatby

Another wonderful, reversible scarf. You may have dots on both sides or choose to make some or all of them disappear from one side. An excellent introduction to dissimilar side double-knitting. Suits all kinds of yarns.

Yarn:This pattern is well-suited to a variety of yarns
Size: many sizes can be obtained, depending on the yarn weight chosen
Skill Level: Intermediate
Techniques: Two-layer stocking stitch double-knitting, with the option to add reverse stocking stitch patterning, or dissimilar sides
Price: $7.00

Foulard Laitue de Mer

Foulard Laitue de Mer (#468F) by Lucy Neatby

Tell your french knitting friends; Lucy's popular Sea Lettuce Scarf is now bilingual!

Quel beau foulard qui fait penser aux algues maritimes trouvés aux plages de la Nouvelle Écosse!

Une cascade de frisons en spirale, faite de rangs raccourcis, parsemé de picots sur les deux côtés pour un effet plus grand! Ce foulard peut être porté de plusieurs façons.

YouTube:Un vidéo de support est disponible - Sea Lettuce Scarf, the Beginning

Yarn: Ce foulard peut être tricoté avec les laines de toutes grandeurs
Size: deux grandeurs disponibles: 20 ou 32 mailles
Skill Level: Débutant à Intermédiaire
Techniques: picots, rangs raccourcis, terminaison modifiée.
Price: $7.00

Knitting Scarves from Around the World

Knitting Scarves from around the World edited by Kari Cornell

This lovely book features 23 stunning scarf patterns from countries with rich knitting traditions. With contributions from designers Lucy Neatby, Candace Eisner Strick, Teva Durham and others.

ISBN 978-0-7603-4064-6
Price: $24.99

Knitting Tip

Learning Something New

Just like musicians, knitters need the time and freedom to practice when learning new skills. I teach a lot of double-knitting classes; I can instill the enthusiasm and the technical understanding, but I can not give the hours of practice time so a knitter's hands respond fluidly to new requirements.
Consider how long it has taken to train them to their current level of ability. We cannot expect to fully enjoy a new technique until our hands can interpret our directions with ease.

This is why I designed the String of Pearls scarf. While using this deliberately simple double knit pattern, you can focus on the handling of the yarns. When you're comfortable with the basics, the 'pearl' may be added for additional entertainment.
Soon you will be ready to tackle a more challenging project!

When learning a new knitting skill, set up a practice swatch and do a round/row or two each night before settling in to your real project. You'll be amazed at your improvement with every passing day!

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