Happy Stitches

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Technique Corner April 25, 2016

As discussed last week, a provisional cast-on is used when you need to be able to ‘undo’ your cast-on edge to reveal live loops.

However, many of you have probably experienced the frustration of attempting pull out a provisional cast-on only to have your yarn become hopelessly jammed (turning your supposedly ‘provisional’ edge into a permanent one). Or perhaps you’ve had stitches mysteriously disappear, leaving you with fewer live loops than you originally started with.

In this video Lucy explains how these problems can occur when using the provisional crochet cast-on technique, and how you can avoid them.

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Casting On playlist.

Julia Watt (Ravelry: jcw104; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots.com)


Is there a topic or question that you would like to see Lucy cover in future YouTube videos? Please post your suggestions in the comments section.

For more Tutorials, Patterns, Books and the “Learn with Lucy” DVD series, visit Lucy’s website.

Lucy’s Craftsy Classes: Foundations of Double Knitting , My First Socks and Fearless Knitting – Empowering Techniques for Every Knitter.

WEEKLY PATTERN SALE: Lucy’s  Domino Blanket is half-price ($4.50CAD) until April 27!

domino_blanket

DVD SALE: Lucy’s Finesse Your Knitting 1 DVD is for the sale price of $19.99CAD for the month of April!

 

Lost at sea? April 20, 2016

Filed under: Canal boat,Narrowboating,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 09:32
IMG_5112

Checking the tunnel is clear. Disembarkation optional!

In a just a few weeks time we’ll be making our annual escape to the UK canal system. This cleverly combines water travel, scenery, activity and visiting the relatives, all in one long thin boat-shaped package. The best!

Making canal trip plans has reminded me of one of the memorable adventures from last year’s trip (that I somehow forgot to post). It concerns one of our crew members managing to get herself picked up by the police!

IMG_5068

Wanted. Preferably alive!

We had developed a nice little routine for opening the lock gates and mooring up, and also for tunnels. Our friend Karen doesn’t care much for transiting long dark tunnels (not much to see, and icky cold drips down the back of your neck), and prefers to hop off the boat before we enter the darkness, and to follow the tow path (originally used by the tow horses) to the other end of the tunnel .*

IMG_1761

In a tunnel

As the boat only travels at a steady walking pace (or somewhat less) in a tunnel, she would  rejoin the boat at the other end. It’s not an ‘official’ disembarkation requiring preparation. So, this time Karen hopped off the boat, armed only with a sunhat (no phone, ID or money), nor any detailed  idea of whereabouts we were (doodling along the canal will do that to you).

On this occasion, as our boat emerged back into the light, I spotted not only Karen on the bank, but also a policeman. The policeman leaned out of his panda car and hailed me with: “Is this your friend?”  I responded in the affirmative, knowing nothing of what had gone on. I would soon find out!

Meanwhile, on dry land.. Karen’s story

” I am walking, of course, following the towpath along the top of a tunnel. I am walking along, admiring the wildflowers, identifying the occasional bird, all the while the tow path seems to veer further and further from where I imagine the canal to be  . . .  Hmm . . . Well, I can hardly go back, as the boat is moving on–the only option, really, for a narrowboat on a canal . . . So I keep going . .  Soon I am in the middle of the village,  a very lovely village, but with no sign of the canal. What to do? I turn a corner. More village, as far as the eye can see. Not good. Hmmmm, I see two police officers on foot, coming towards me . . .

Me: Are you on a mission?
They: No, why? Can we help you?
Me: Yes, I seem to have lost my boat.
They: It is probably in the canal.
Me: I seem to have lost that, too.
They: Well, now, Where are you from? Not around here?
Me: No, Canada. I pay taxes to the Queen, too.
They: Well, good then. Jump in the car and I will drive you down to the canal.

And he does. The officer winds through the little village, pointing out small misdemeanors as he goes: There is Alice (name changed to protect the innocent)– why isn’t she wearing her seat belt? Finally he pulls into a little parking lot, about 50m from the canalside, the canal just passing under a small bridge to the left.

I thank him, get out of the squad car and walk down towards the canal.

He: Where will they be?
Me: Either this way or that . . .

So I get to the canalside and look up the canal, where I am sure my friends must be by now. There are three narrowboats, moored along the bank. One is from the same hire company as ours . . . Could I be so lucky? I start to lean out to see if I can see the name of the boat. As I start to lean over, I look to the left as well. There is a bridge, and a boat coming through underneath. Guess who? Lucy, in all her hot pink, orange and turquoise glory, is at the front of a canal boat, looking at me. I guess I looked pretty surprised. What were the chances?

He: Are these your friends?
Me: Yes!
And I jump on board. Sigh . . . Never a dull moment.”

Such are the small adventures that make up a day on the canal (not usually involving the police, though)!

*Often there was no tow path within the tunnel, and the horse would be led over the top. The boat would be propelled by the crew laying on a plank across the boat, and using their feet on the tunnel sides to ‘leg’ the boat through.

Don’t forget our DVD special this month is Finesse Your Knitting 1 – receive the disc and virtual version for $19.99 (+tax and shipping), normally $49.98! (This is one of my favorite discs – including the elegant Magic Buttonhole technique.

 

#542 #924  Magic BH & DoubleBand

The Magic Buttonhole.

 

Technique Corner April 18, 2016

All knitting must start with casting on, but there are times when you do not want the resulting cast-on edge to be permanent. This is where you need to use a provisional cast-on; that is, a temporary cast-on which you can later ‘undo’ to reveal live loops.

There are a number of different ways of making a provisional cast-on, some of which are easier than others. In this video Lucy demonstrates her favourite method, the provisional crochet cast-on: watch to see how simple it is to create a temporary cast-on edge using a crochet hook.

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Casting On playlist.

Julia Watt (Ravelry: jcw104; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots.com)


Is there a topic or question that you would like to see Lucy cover in future YouTube videos? Please post your suggestions in the comments section.

For more Tutorials, Patterns, Books and the “Learn with Lucy” DVD series, visit Lucy’s website.

Lucy’s Craftsy Classes: Foundations of Double Knitting , My First Socks and Fearless Knitting – Empowering Techniques for Every Knitter.

WEEKLY PATTERN SALE: Lucy’s Fishtail Scarf pattern is half-price ($3.50CAD) until April 20!

fishtail_scarf

DVD SALE: Lucy’s Finesse Your Knitting 1 DVD is for the sale price of $19.99CAD for the month of April!

 

Knit Camp 2016: Only 3 Spaces Left! April 14, 2016

Filed under: Adventure Knitting,Guest Post,Tancook Cottage,Teaching — jcw104 @ 09:00

Wouldn’t you love to spend a week on a secluded island with Lucy, enjoying knitting classes, companionship and incredible tranquility? Join us this September for Knit Camp 2016 on Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia!

tancook2Expect a warm Tancook welcome, and enjoy the rugged beauty of this remote island full of a peace and quiet that scarcely can be imagined in our modern world. You may even find the volume of bird song and sounds of the waves rather intrusive on occasion! You’ll travel back in time and leave the everyday world behind, the moment you step ashore.

Attendance is limited to 12 and there are now only 3 spaces left, so reserve your place today to avoid disappointment!

For more information see the Knit Camp 2016 Brochure or contact info@lucyneatby.com.

 

Activities:tancook5

Lucy will provide formal knitting classes for 3 hours each morning (there will also be informal gatherings for social knitting with Lucy at other times). With such a small group, we will be able to explore ideas more freely than is usual in a conventional workshop environment.

The topic for this year’s camp will be socks. We will explore the attributes of a great sock, and the best techniques and methods to knit them. Special emphasis will be given to cuffs and edgings, and fancy sock legs using stitch patterns of your choice. (You may select one of Lucy’s patterns or work on your own design.)

tancook4Afternoons will be free to spend as you wish. Curled up with a book on the beach (it’s pebbly, but pretty), sipping tea on your cottage deck overlooking the ocean, knitting in the gallery with friends, or wandering freely.

Optional weather-dependent plans include a bird watching walk with Hillary (she knows where they all hang out and what they are called), an expedition by ferry to Little Tancook Island, or touring by bicycle or on foot.

tancook3

 

Technique Corner April 11, 2016

If you are daunted by the prospect of estimating your yarn-requirements for a knitting project, this post is for you!

Accurately estimating how much yarn a project will require is an essential skill for all knitters (even if you are working from a pattern that provides yarn requirements, you would do well to make your own personalized estimate, since the amounts given in the pattern may bear little resemblance the amount of yarn you actually require). However, many knitters are unsure how to work out their yarn requirements and so end up relying on guesswork.

In this video Lucy demonstrates a simple method of obtaining accurate yarn estimates for any project, using nothing more than your test swatch, a measuring tape and a digital scale.

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Tips & Tricks playlist.

Julia Watt (Ravelry: jcw104; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots.com)


Is there a topic or question that you would like to see Lucy cover in future YouTube videos? Please post your suggestions in the comments section.

For more Tutorials, Patterns, Books and the “Learn with Lucy” DVD series, visit Lucy’s website.

Lucy’s Craftsy Classes: Foundations of Double Knitting , My First Socks and Fearless Knitting – Empowering Techniques for Every Knitter.

WEEKLY PATTERN SALE: Lucy’s Equilateral Vest pattern is half-price ($4.50CAD) until April 13!

Equilateral_vest

DVD SALE: Lucy’s Finesse Your Knitting 1 DVD is for the sale price of $19.99CAD for the month of April!

 

Further into Outer Space – Planetary Orbit 2 April 8, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — happystitches @ 07:55

IMG_3575

OK, I’m not quite sure how the second version started, but I liked the idea of not having regular blocks and using only spotted fabrics for the circle backgrounds. It was a little trickier to piece, but I carefully applied Gwen Marston’s adage (paraphrased slightly): ‘If it’s too big, cut something off. If too small, sew some more on.’ I was amused and pleased with the result.

The free motion quilting of this creation was great fun;, I had learned some lessons from No. 1, including consistent bobbin thread — I used a star burst around each of the circles, and pebbled all the green connecting fabric. IMG_3544

Now, what to do about a border? I wanted something circle-themed. So I cut a series of jelly-bean shapes with the B&W fabric on one side and the spotty fabrics on the other side. These were then sewn right sides together, cut in half, and flipped.

Green Holes

These half-jelly-beans were then arranged around the perimeter and sewn in with the back fabric. As I arranged them by colour, it meant the the front side appearance was random. All good fun. What next?

IMG_3576

I’ve had occasion recently whilst developing samples for my Craftsy classes to work with Cloudborn Yarns, and I rather like them. I haven’t tried them all but the Highland Sport and Worsted and the Superwash Sock twist are all good honest wool yarns. Not fancy to look at but they behave very pleasingly on the needles. A defined twist, lots of bounce and not over processed. I have found the sock yarn does gain twist as I knit and has to be untwizzled periodically, but I think it will wear well. These yarns are on sale this weekend, take a peek.

Our April DVD of the month*  is Finesse Your Knitting 1 – this is one of my favourite discs, and the reason that I began my DVD series.

  • This gives you both the virtual (streamable and downloadable) and the solid plastic disc of this title, all for the price of the virtual disc only, $19.99 Cdn (+ shipping and taxes if applicable).
 

Technique Corner April 4, 2016

You are probably already very familiar with long-tail (or continental) cast-on, but have you ever taken the time to really examine your technique?

Take a few minutes to watch this video, in which Lucy explores the finer points of the long-tail cast-on, and reveals various tips and tricks that can help you fine-tune your technique.

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Casting On playlist.

Julia Watt (Ravelry: jcw104; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots.com)


Is there a topic or question that you would like to see Lucy cover in future YouTube videos? Please post your suggestions in the comments section.

For more Tutorials, Patterns, Books and the “Learn with Lucy” DVD series, visit Lucy’s website.

Lucy’s Craftsy Classes: Foundations of Double Knitting , My First Socks and Fearless Knitting – Empowering Techniques for Every Knitter.

WEEKLY PATTERN SALE: Lucy’s Equilateral Hat pattern is half-price ($3.50CAD) until April 6th!

Equilateral_Hat

DVD SALE: Lucy’s Finesse Your Knitting 1 DVD is for the sale price of $19.99CAD for the month of April!

 

 
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