Happy Stitches

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Narrowboat Adventures: Weeks One and Two September 16, 2017

Filed under: Canal boat,General Musings,Knitting Travels,Narrowboating,Travels — happystitches @ 16:32

Week One:

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Two days before we set off!

We had an interesting and busy few days after reaching the UK: pre-boat shopping and provisioning whilst we still had a car.

I knit quite a few rounds on the Ice Dragon blanket between Heathrow, Somerset, Merseyside and Oxford. And not a stitch for a whole week after having embarked on the Queen Bee!

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Our beautiful home for these three months: The Queen Bee

We arrived on QB with all our provisions and worldly goods in garbage bags (no room for suitcases on a narrowboat). Steve, Queen Bee’s owner, met us for a handover and we moved in. This felt roughly like getting a quart into a pint pot. The boat has plenty of equipment and every locker had something in it.

We sorted ourselves out bit by bit whilst heading to Oxford. The canal and homes alongside were beautiful, but without tying up and going into the city, you really couldn’t see much of the Oxford of dreaming spires, etc. We did get one brief glimpse of Jericho – familiar from Inspector Morse! Next, we started heading north, with one of our first stops just north of Banbury.

After only 4 days, it felt like we’d dropped off the planet.

 

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Heavenly Warwickshire countryside, winding along the contours on the Oxford canal.

 

Internet is tricky and I’m trying to conserve! I’m not getting much time to knit a stitch, but the journey has been nothing but enjoyable so far.

 

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This is my view as I answer my Craftsy class questions!

 

You will laugh, but never have I felt the urge to be so tidy! During the whole first week, in between steering, locks, taking on water, finding fuel and pump-out facilities, shopping for additional gear (bath mat, a few extra towels) and groceries, we sorted cupboards and lockers so that we could fit everything in (and find it again). There is plenty of equipment on the boat: 3 dustpans and their accompanying brushes are handy, but the duplicates and other things we don’t need can be stowed deep in the most convoluted of the available spaces. Tidying up reminds me of the game with 15 squares in a 16 square grid: you have to move one thing to get to another.
J has been entertaining himself by gradually puzzling all the systems out and making fixes – all four burners on the stove now work (and the radio). I’m getting unnatural urges regarding Brasso and polishing.

Having fun on the cut.

 

Week Two:

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I find myself juggling taking photos on my phone while trying not to use too much data. It’s bit tricky to get lock photos and action shots with just the two of us – we are both kept pretty busy.

 

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Hawkesbury Junction, turning on to Coventry canal.

 

After an intermittently rainy morning with a bunch of locks, which run through several appealing historic villages, we entered Warwickshire.  Here the canal meanders along a contour line in an apparently aimless fashion. With many 180 degree bends, it takes 11 miles to achieve 4 as the crow flies. The scenery was magnificent – too expansive for an iPhone. Next, we had a full day with many locks ahead to get through Napton.

The hedgerows are brimming with wild fruit The wild fruits are stunning: hawthorn berries, hops, rosehips, elderberries, sloes, curranty-looking springs, to name only the ones I can name or describe. One morning, I picked a basin of blackberries – they are everywhere along the canal but not often convenient to pick. There are apples, plums and pears in profusion, in canal side gardens and many gone feral.  The fields all look very smart and stripey in their recently harvested condition. The smells and scents of the countryside are delightful. The Oxford canal meanders along the contour lines, so not many locks. It’s such a pleasure to get away from the drone of motorways, hooting of trains, it’s just sad to know that the new planning white-elephant high-speed train will soon be cut through this extraordinary landscape – all to save a mere 20 minutes travel time.

 

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End of the day bliss.

On September 11, I finally knit one round on my Ice Dragon DK Blanket.  I’ve either been too busy, late with dinner, or the evening light on the boat hasn’t permitted knitting or any fine work. We’ve found a solution, though.  There is a small rocking chair on board and, if carefully angled (in the minute available space) so that I can put my feet up, I can then knit by the light of J’s headlamp.  It’s very focussed but works. I’ve got 2 x 40” needles in the work now and a third one to knit with. J has got the radio and DVD player working and the boat has an eclectic supply of discs aboard.

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Enjoying some highly anticipated knitting time!

Of course as soon as I picked up the blanket I discovered a FTRC (failure-to-read-chart) mistake from the road travel knitting, and had to change the colour of the centre line increases from 5 rounds back in eight places on both sides. Grr. Once I had that fixed I was able to proceed. One afternoon we had enough sun, and no locks so that I was able to sit on the stern deck and make my fixes as we transited Nuneaton. However I was exceedingly careful with my short fixing needles and crochet hook not to lose them overboard.

 

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On we go… we have found a good rhythm and are enjoying every moment!

 

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The Mardi Gras DK Blanket July 23, 2017

The Mardi Gras DK Blanket is only the second of Lucy’s double-knit blankets that we’ve featured as our 1/2price pattern of the week and it’s a real beauty!

Lucy Neatby's Mardi Gras DK Blanket

 

 

 

A spectacularly beautiful and warm double-layer blanket, this engaging knit will hold your interest. The linear nature of the motifs makes the pattern easy to follow, and any portion may be used on projects of all sizes, from coaster to blanket. Small ones are great fun, but a blanket is lovely to knit on; a dependable companion to work on whenever you need it.

Lucy’s Mardi Gras Blanket was knit using Malabrigo Yarn, but any fingering-weight yarn will suit this project. This pattern features detailed written descriptions, as well as diagrams and graphs, as well as PatternGenius and Stitch-map-style charts!

 

 

Here is Part 1 of the Circular Tubular CO method that Lucy uses to begin top-down double-knit hats and all of her DK blankets. It’s so elegant!  See Lucy’s  free YouTube Channel for parts 2 and 3!

 

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Some of you may remember this blanket from our last Pattern-In-Progress Club: it’s hard to believe the official pattern was released over a year ago!

 

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The Mardi Gras DK Blanket is on sale until July 26!

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Domino Baby Blanket June 25, 2017

Filed under: Pattern highlight,Patterns,Sale — happystitches @ 09:51
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Lucy’s Domino Baby Blanket

 

Have you checked out this week’s sale pattern? Lucy’s Domino Baby Blanket is a straightforward project, resulting in a practical gift with serious heirloom pretensions, suitable for treasures of all ages, newborn to sage.

Perfect carry-around knitting, this blanket may be worked from a single yarn, several yarns or from small quantities of many colours of similar weight yarns. It looks ten times as much work as it is, making it one of those high-yield-of-elegance-per-unit-effort projects. This versatile pattern can be knit using any yarn weight.

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The Domino Baby Blanket pattern is half-price ($4.50 CAD) until June 28!

 

Technique Corner April 3, 2017

Filed under: Guest Post,Knitting tips and hints,Technique Corner — jcw104 @ 08:00

After almost a year we have finally reached the end of Lucy’s YouTube videos, so this will be my last post for technique corner – I hope you have enjoyed these weekly posts, and that you have picked up a few new techniques!

For  the final technique corner video we have something truly unique: Lucy’s highly innovative ‘non-negative/positive’ double knitting.

Most double knitting is ‘negative/positive,’ meaning the same pattern appears on both sides of the knitting, but the colour ‘polarity’ is reversed (e.g., if the front has a white square on a black background, the back will have a black square on a white background).

Watch the following video to discover how you can expand your double-knitting horizons with non-negative/positive double knitting!

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Double Knitting playlist.

Julia Watt (on Ravelry: Julia Watt; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots)


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  Duck Sweater is 50% off until April 5!

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Technique Corner March 27, 2017

Ready to up your double knitting game? Here is an absolutely beautiful method of casting on for centre-out double knitting: while this technique is a little tricky, it is well worth the effort!

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Double Knitting playlist.

Julia Watt (on Ravelry: Julia Watt; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots)


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 Double Diamond Socks is 50% off until March 29!

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MARCH SPECIAL: buy any “Learn with Lucy” DVD or book (Cool Socks Warm Feet or
Cool Knitters Finish In Style) and receive the corresponding digital version free in your Notebook at LucyNeatby.com!

 

Technique Corner March 20, 2017

How can you make a flat swatch for a centre-out, knit-in-the-round pattern? Use Lucy’s ingenious method of simulating centre-out, knit-in-the-round fabric! (Demonstrated on double-layer knitting.)

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Double Knitting playlist.

Julia Watt (on Ravelry: Julia Watt; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots)


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 Tancook Hat is 50% off until March 22!

Tancook_hat

MARCH SPECIAL: buy any “Learn with Lucy” DVD or book (Cool Socks Warm Feet or
Cool Knitters Finish In Style) and receive the corresponding digital version free in your Notebook at LucyNeatby.com!

 

Technique Corner March 13, 2017

One of the tricks to successful double knitting is making tidy colour changes. Watch this video to learn how to ‘thread’ your stitches to produce perfect colour changes, then practice your technique using this week’s sale pattern: the double knit Super-Hero Hat!

For more videos like this, see Lucy’s Double Knitting playlist.

Julia Watt (on Ravelry: Julia Watt; my Etsy store: LanesEndKnots)


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 Super-Hero Hat is 50% off until March 15!

Superhero_hat

MARCH SPECIAL: buy any “Learn with Lucy” DVD or book (Cool Socks Warm Feet or
Cool Knitters Finish In Style) and receive the corresponding digital version free in your Notebook at LucyNeatby.com!

 

 
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