Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Evolution overtakes Blossom: a Change of Species! August 26, 2014

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Blossom with petals Side A

 

Blossom with petals Side B

Blossom with petals Side B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been happily knitting away for about six weeks on a blanket version of Blossom. I had been loving it, but of late I have noticed a gathering lack of satisfaction (the fact that I don’t find I’m grabbing it at
every spare moment is a dead giveaway, I think).

I took a good long look at it today, to see if I could figure out what put me off knitting on it. An answer was not long in coming: I made a
poor choice of the type of colour change. I simply do not look forward to knitting this way for several more months till I have a blanket!

Let me explain…

In Blossom, I opted for quilted colour changes throughout, probably influenced by the fact that I wished I had used them on my Zinnia
blanket. The threaded colour change involves pulling the far layer stitch through the front layer stitch before working the stitches in
their matching colours. This locks the layers together, creates an indentation and makes a colour change.

However, they are slightly less pleasing when used in close proximity to one another, such as at the top of a petal, and–perhaps more
importantly–they are rather tricky to read as to on which row they were made. In a design like this with such frequent pattern shifts this was leading to frequent grumbly fixes and reworking of stitches to fix errors (Grrr… not another one!). A regular colour change, where the pair of stitches are each simply worked in the opposing colours, is easier to count and easier to fix, if necessary.

This piece is no longer destined to be a blanket and I feel much relieved for having made the decision. I’m not about to waste the
knitting thus far, however. I am going to repurpose it as a table-cover and try something experimental with each of the eight sections in turn.
My plan is to work each of them as a flat piece tapering away as the next petal is completed and try something altogether new!

Now that I’ve completed the petals, I’m delighted by the effect! The unexpected issues forced me to try something new and another exciting finishing option has been created. Below are a few more of my Blossom experiments.

Phew!! It’s time to cast on another blanket now!

IMG_7246 IMG_7247 IMG_7253 Blossom Chair Pads 1

 

Summer Sale! August 25, 2014

Filed under: DVDs,General Musings,Sale,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 12:00
Hot Pink,Mango, Buttercup, Lime, Turquoise and Pansy (purple).

Hot Pink,Mango, Buttercup, Lime, Turquoise and Pansy (purple).

There are  just two more days of our super Sumer sale to go!
There are bargains on plastic DVDs, books, Addi Turbo needles, Kauni bargain bundles, to name but a few items. For full details please see my latest Spunyarn newsletter.

This is an ideal time to fill in the gaps in your plastic DVD collections. Treat yourself to some of the more esoteric titles that you might have skipped at full price!

I anticipate that once current stocks are gone that we will no longer be carrying the plastic discs. Many of our customers have moved to the digital no-postage-required versions.

I’m often asked what the differences are between the virtual and plastic discs:

The content of the discs are the same, but formatted slightly differently to accommodate their respective medium.

Plastic discs are ideal for playing on bigger screens and televisions , the content is accessed by clicking on the index.

The virtual DVDs are designed for downloading or streaming and viewing on a laptop or tablet. The topics can be accessed individually or in chapters.  We archive your virtual DVD purchases for you in your Notebook on our website. They may be downloaded or streamed.

The choice between them is dependent on how you plan to view them.

I’d like to know if you have any favourite techniques that you discovered from the DVDs?

 

LN DVD Venus1

 

My First Socks! August 13, 2014

Filed under: Craftsy,Knitting Topics,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 08:32

My First SocksMy latest class at Craftsy.com My First Socks, is now live and available for purchase. I admit I haven’t had a moment to watch it yet. It’s rather odd walking away from the studio and taking no further part in the production. (Quite unlike the months of behind the scenes activity I was involved in when producing my own DVDs.) It’s a good feeling to have an expert team behind you.
It feels a little odd to be doing an introduction to socks class when my other Craftsy class (Foundations of Double Knitting) and probably my main customer base are at the other end of the knitting spectrum! So for those kind and wonderful souls who have supported me over the years and would like to support this class, think about setting up a gift purchase for your as yet un-sock-indocrinated friends! What I love about the gift purchase is you can do the business and set the class to deliver to your recipient on an appointed day in the future. Take care of birthday’s and Christmas now!
My aim with this class was to offer a solid practical entry into the world of sock knitting. I really had to reign myself in to avoid offering too many distracting choices at this point. A sock has a surprising level of complexity when it is all new to you. I hope that I will be able to launch many new sockists with this class!
What was your breakthrough sock knitting moment?

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Wall of silence – now demolished! August 4, 2014

Filed under: Craftsy,Knitting Travels,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 14:44
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My First Socks!It was so hard returning from the high of filming for Craftsy.com in Denver and not being able to post any photos of the filming without revealing the subject matter. No matter how you frame it, a knit sock looks suspiciously like a knit sock.

Now I’m allowed to reveal both subject and the class title page, and in addition offer you the opportunity to win a free copy of this class! Follow this link to sign up for your chance to win.

 

 

I’m back from my wanderings! July 23, 2014

Filed under: Travels,Uncategorized — Lucy Neatby @ 05:59
Raising a bridge on the Llangollen canal.

Raising a bridge on the Llangollen canal.

Excuse the silence during my recent sojourn in the UK. Internet and I never seemed to coincide. I’ll try to post pics over the next few weeks. It was so beautiful, I took hundreds. I did however manage to keep up with my new exercise goal whilst on this trip, never easy on a family holiday. Lots of country rambles and it turns out that a canal trip can involve almost equal quantities of walking if you wish. A canal boat at top whack only travels at walking speed. On days when I found myself short of steps, I simply hopped off the boat at a lock and walked to the next one! This also allowed for the taking of spectator style pics. The bridges and locks add a little weight training too.

The Chirk Aquaduct

Crossing the Chirk Aquaduct

Here’s an amusing article on how a Fitbit might affect your life.

 

It isn’t really double knitting? July 7, 2014

The Bubbles DK Scarf

The Bubbles DK Scarf

“It isn’t really double knitting! – I can’t separate the layers!”

This is one of the most common comments I hear from muggle* knitters as they try to separate the layers of two-colour patterned fabric. *A muggle knitter is one is as yet not fully aware of the mysteries and marvels that the parallel universe of DK offers!

You can work DK with entirely separate layers, however, this can only be achieved in single colour DK when making tubes or an open-at-one-edge fabric.
To achieve unconnected layers if using two colours, each one must be used only on one side. The edges can be open or connected.
Whenever you have two-colour DK with a pattern you will join the fabrics at the sides of each colour block. However the middle of each colour block area will be separate – this is what allows the bubbles in my Bubbles Scarf to be stuffed.

I often use the connection of the layers to secure the fabrics together. In my Cape Spear Blanket the area between the big motifs would be entirely unconnected and probably baggy if I didn’t add the bands of chequered turquoise/lime across the width of the design.

Cape Spear DK Blanket (Side B)

Cape Spear DK Blanket (Side B)

Cape Spear DK Blanket (Side A)

Cape Spear DK Blanket (Side A)

 

For more about double layer knitting try my Double Knitting Delight DVD or my Craftsy class Foundations of Double Knitting.

For further arcana for the initiated, there is my DK Club which offers an ever expanding selection of clips relating to DK

 

To further illustrate this, look at the red/grey DK swatch on the left.Striped DK fabric, needle removed. photo 3

The same swatch is shown opened up on the right, the vertical pockets are unconnected except at the sides. To create horizontal closures a threaded /quilted colour change is needed. (More another day….)

 

Faroese Shawl Success! July 2, 2014

Filed under: General Musings,Pattern highlight,Uncategorized — Lucy Neatby @ 06:14

It’s always a debate when writing a pattern, how much information to put it. I try to put in everything you might need, including technique information and options. However, this can backfire, based on the misconception that a long pattern is a complicated pattern. I do wish I could write a ‘cast on and good luck’ style of pattern – it would be so much quicker for me. Thus it is doubly heartwarming when you receive a message like this:

“I’ve had this pattern for a long time, but I’d always been a little (a lot) intimidated by it. I’ve done quite a bit of lace knitting, but somehow the construction of this, with the shoulder ‘pads’ was scary. But after finally frogging another project and getting enough yarn to try it, I sat down and really read the pattern and said, “what the heck?” It was really quite easy, aside from the mass to ride herd on. The only difficulty I had was deciding on the petal trim, whether or not the stitch remaining on the needle after binding off the required stitches was to be counted as one of the nine to be knitted, or not. Turns out, NOT. But frogging back wasn’t bad and after that it was clear sailing and now I have a beautiful shawl to keep me cozy in our cold Colorado winters. Thank you so much for your designs. MS”

BTW This pattern is on sale for half-price this week!

Here’s the lovely result:Faroese Flower Shawl

 

 
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