Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

A Cautionary Tale…please share January 31, 2015

Filed under: General Musings,The Tradewinds Team — happystitches @ 14:13

You may have seen my Tweet about re-starting my new work year on Jan 26th? The visitors had gone home, family members were back to work, the laundry was even under control, and I was ready to roll. I had a long list of projects to complete and workshop notes to write. I was ready and excited to get going, with creative juices flowing swiftly. Well, the whole thing got off to a very tough start.

I collected the mail (remember those messages that come in envelopes?) from the box on Jan 5th 2015 and began working my way through the correspondence. The bombshell looked every bit  like a mass marketing letter. I opened it, and the world changed colour. (It makes me feel ill writing this even now.)

To preface what follows: At Tradewind Knitwear Designs we totally support copyright rules and policies, obey them, and will support those whose copyrights have been violated.

It was a letter from gettyimages in Seattle, dated Dec 24th 2014: Unauthorized Use Notification ‘copyright infringement’… This was followed by  7 sides more of verbiage that I found very intimidating and a demand for $910 in settlement for the unlicensed use of one of their images from mid Nov 14.

That’s is HUGE sum for the inadvertent use of a picture of a pile of parcels for 6 weeks.

They included a screen shot of our home page, showing the image that they claimed to be theirs. Yes, we had used an  image which we believed to be free of copyright.

I’m shaking even now. I’d rather not relive this, but I feel it is important. There is a lesson here!

We IMMEDIATELY removed the offending picture as instructed. We made sure it was removed from our server as well. We began researching on line. I have only ever used pictures taken by one of the Tradewinds team or paid for and taken by Hillary for us, but in prettying up the home page News box Stephanie had in all innocence found an image on the Internet on a page of Google images–of a pile of parcels–and used it. (Please note, this is not in any way a criticism of our wonderful Stephanie. There are things that she should have been told, and wasn’t.)

There was no indication of any copyright – no watermark, no text; we’ve clicked on it exhaustively since and can find nothing. I failed to pick up on this stray picture (the buck stops here), and it sailed under our radar and onto the home page in mid – late November 2014. So here we had someone demanding money for this.

Did they really have any rights to it? How could we check? It smelled very like a scam. We searched on the company’s website high and low and couldn’t find the image. I even in desperation checked with our US lawyer for her opinion on this situation. “this is horrible, but it is legitimate.”

We called them to see if we could verify that they had the rights to this image and hopefully negotiate a lesser amount. We had used the image in all innocence and would have paid a modest penalty without argument. If their intention was to bring this to our attention and limit the length of time we accidentally used their image, surely an email notifying us to remove it with it would have done the trick and it would have saved two weeks? Even if they promised a letter to follow up the matter of compensation.

They were polite but intransigent, this was very highly valued picture and it had been used for 6 weeks and although they agreed to reduce the total by a small amount, we paid in excess of $700 in the end. That is a large part of our monthly earnings. We have learned an expensive lesson.

Please be warned: there are images lying around on the Internet with hidden identifiers. Use your smartphone–take your own pictures of everything. There are web crawlers out there detecting hidden data so that the pictures can be traced. Read more about this on-line, there are many other sites that have articles too.

Be careful when a third-party uses a picture on your behalf – you are the one that would be liable. Be cautious about re-blogging. Having said that please feel free to share this, it our photo and you may share it with our blessing. To cheer you up after this miserable saga, here’s Poseidon the cat, hard at work.

Poseidon taking on the cares of the world!

Poseidon taking on the cares of the world!


Long-Tail Cast On Revisited January 26, 2015

Air Conditioned Mittens from A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-knitters!

Air Conditioned Mittens from A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-knitters!

I love Long-tail cast-on! It’s so versatile and very easy to control. I opted for showing Knitted cast-on for my Brand New Knitter DVD as it includes so many elements that are repeated in an actual knit stitch and it will form stitches no matter how randomly they are made. But as soon as the basics are established and the knitter is comfortable with stitches, it will be time to explore the Long-tail method. This method is, in essence, a series of stitches (made with the ball yarn) knitted through a series of loops (made with the tail yarn).

It is otherwise known as Continental cast-on – but the name “Long-tail” reminds the knitter that a long tail of yarn is needed. I’m all in favor of helpful names!

In this video I demonstrate Long-tail cast-on and explore some of its many attributes!

I  demonstrate this cast-on by using two colours to differentiate the functions of the tail and ball yarns. It’s important to understand the role of the two yarns. If you use your tail yarn to make the twists around the feet of the new stitches, it can be unpicked or cut away at a later time as a form of provisional edge (not the most convenient one, but it will work).

Estimating the tail length is often cited as a problem with this method.  I recommend 4 times the width of the edge, which is usually perfect. You don’t want to have to economize on tail yarn length because you are running out, else your edge will wind up too tight. The tail yarn controls the spacing between the stitches (and YOU control the tail yarn).

Fear of tangles in the tail yarn sometimes leads knitters to economize on the length, too. No problem dealing with that: If you wind the tail into a butterfly, it keeps it tidy and allows it to turn and release the twists that tend to un-ply, and hence weaken, your tail yarn.

Long-tail calls for a little finesse from the knitter in balancing the tension between the two yarns. There is no reason why the new stitches should ever be tight. There is no need for a larger size needle to be used, either, as this only leads to baggy stitches and won’t affect the width of your edge.  You are in control of the tension and of the spacing of the stitches.

You’re the boss.

If you enjoy my You Tube videos – please tell your friends and sign up for my channel lucyknit

The Air Conditioned mittens pictured above in Abstract Fibers yarn, used Long-tail cast-on before the “holey” edge. This pattern is available in my ebook A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-knitters!


A New Year is Blooming January 16, 2015

An array of double-knitting, from medallions to blankets.

An array of double-knitting, from medallions to blankets.

It’s been a rocky start to the New Year around here and I just can’t seem to get un-mired from all sorts of nonproductive stuff. After a lovely family Christmas, I was all set to get creatively busy, then was suddenly hit by a fusillade of enthusiasm-sapping nonsense.  I just haven’t been able to focus.

However, today a breath of fresh ocean breezes has blown the cobwebs away.

And so, for you, I share a couple of Hillary Dionne‘s wonderful photographs of Blossom and Zinnia. I love her creative staging and use of colour coordinated lobster traps!

A magnificent Zinnia blanket knit by Arden.

A magnificent Zinnia blanket knit by Arden.


A bouquet of Blossoms.

Blossom medallion showing both sides.

Blossom medallion showing both sides.

Zinnia on the beach.

Zinnia on the beach.


Happy Holiday Greetings! December 24, 2014

Filed under: General Musings,home,The Tradewinds Team — happystitches @ 16:30
Tags: , ,



Happy Holidays from all of us at Tradewind Knitwear Designs!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Tradewind Knitwear Designs!


Christmas Greetings from an unseasonably warm and damp  Nova Scotia!  There isn’t even a hint of ice on the lake.  As a matter of fact, if it gets much soggier, we’ll have to dig Hermione The Tractor out of the front lawn!

I’m so fortunate that our house is full of grown children, I count my blessings every time we are all gathered together.  My son was lucky to dodge some nasty weather in the far North and got a flight out of mine camp in time to join the festivities. My younger daughter is home for the holidays, as well, and we will all be under the same roof come Christmas Day.

Just before the Family Invasion and in the nick of time, I’ve drafted out the final rows of the Blossom pattern.  Now I’ll have plenty of social knitting!   I’m looking forward to sharing these next steps with my Blossom PIP Club, once they are finalized.

I hope this note finds you well, warm and in good company, with ample supplies of yarn to see you into a New Knitting Year!  Many thanks for your continued support of the Tradewinds Team!

Lucy, Stephanie, Susan, Corrie and Diane




Look what Halifax got for Christmas! December 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — happystitches @ 19:06


Can’t wait to visit our new library! We are very fortunate to have an exceptionally wonderful library system here.

Originally posted on seaglassbits:

A brand new library!!!!
Words can’t really describe this incredible space!
An amazing new building opened just in time for Christmas, 2014 An amazing new building opened just in time for Christmas, 2014

Five floors connected by stairs and elevators Five floors connected by stairs and elevators

small seating areas small seating areas

state of the art checkout system state of the art checkout system




IMG_2524 4




View original


Finishing Tips – Making and Counting Sleeve Increases

Filed under: Knitting tips and hints,Knitting Topics,Youtube — happystitches @ 08:57
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Duck Sweater

Duck Sweater


Sleeve increases are one of the many areas of knitting in which a few tried and true tricks can help a knitter towards significantly easier and more elegant finishing.

The common sleeve injunction “Increase at the beginning and end of the row. Repeat every six rows until there are xx sts” is open to interpretation.  I prefer making my increases at 1 (or 2) stitches from the beginning and end of the row and interpret the instructions as such.

I don’t recommend using any selvage treatments here either. Working your increases in from the edge by 1 or 2 stitches will give a lovely smooth column of stitches along which to mattress stitch. Experienced knitters know the value of keeping a selvage stitch unsullied when the edge is going to be seamed and nowhere is this more important than on a sleeve.

Another point to remember when knitting sleeves is that it can be tedious to keep track of how many increases have been made and how many rows have been worked since the last increase.  Running yarn markers are an excellent tool which help here:

I begin by placing the marker yarn a couple of stitches in from the edge on either side, using a fine, smooth, brightly contrasting yarn. I use one long marker, which I run across the back of the work from side to side.  This avoids too many dangling ends. On every increase row, I flip the marker yarn to the opposite side of the work, keeping it between the same vertical columns of stitches.

This way, I can both count and record the rows between increases. I can keep track of how many pairs have been added and whether the two sides have been maintained equally. The elimination of the need to count the middle section saves a lot of time, as well. Leaving the marker yarn in place until the second sleeve is done makes it easier to compare the two sleeves at the end.

For more of hints on sleeves check out the Sleeve Tricks chapter on my Knitting Venus DVD

Have you any favourite sleeve tricks you’d like to share?


P.S. Our Online Advent Calendar Sale is coming to a close on December 25th.  We’ve been offering a different pdf pattern of mine at half-price every day throughout the month!  Stop by and see which one is on sale today!

Take a look at our  Special Holiday Bundles, featuring my Learn with Lucy Video Downloads paired with a relevant pattern.  These should get your needles clicking in time for the festivities!

Sleeve seam in my intarsia Rainbow Sheep Sweater

Sleeve seam in my intarsia Rainbow Sheep Sweater

Sleeve seam in my Bicycle Sweater

Sleeve seam in my Bicycle Sweater



Fixing Accidental Yarn-over Holes December 9, 2014

Filed under: Knitting tips and hints,Knitting Topics,Rescue techniques,Youtube — happystitches @ 07:49

You’ll know by now how much I enjoy incorporating deliberate Holes into my knitting, but today I’m presenting holes of a different category: the unexpected, and most unwelcome kind…

Every now and then you’ll be perusing your knitting and, much to your horror, will discover a hole created by an accidental yarn-over. The yarn has somehow traveled over the needle between stitches. This is most likely at the junction between dpns when first learning how to handle them, or when working a rib (between a knit and a purl).


Yarn-over Holes Before

Accidental Yarn-over Holes – Before


This problem is most commonly encountered by newer knitters to whom the prospect of ripping back many rows is very daunting.  This quick fix should enable the knitter to contentedly move along to their next project!

If you spot the hole right away, it’s simple to drop the offending yarn-over and absorb the extra yarn into the stitches on either side. If it is one or two rounds later, the newly formed column may be dropped and the yarn shared on each row. This fix has the advantage of restoring the original number of stitches but can’t be incorporated beyond a small number of rows (or rounds), however, as the excess yarn will remain visible and result in a large area of sloppy fabric.


Yarn-over Holes After

Accidental Yarn-over Holes -After


There are a couple of possible quick fixes if the hole is discovered much later. Neither of these is perfect but quite good enough for most situations.

Firstly, decide how important the location of the hole is. If it occurs right in the center front of a plain sweater, you might decide to unravel back and start again. Below the eyeline or at the side or back, though, will be no problem: just make a fix!  For a sock knit in a hand-painted yarn the fix will blend right in. Both of the methods below will leave you with an extra column of stitches which may be decreased away if necessary.

Method 1 (shown on the right-hand hole in the photo above):

This can only be done whilst the stitches are still on the needle. Ladder back the column to the yarn-over and release it. Rebuild the column but begin by making a twist in the yarn-over.

Method 2 (shown on the left-hand hole):
This may be done at any time, before or after completion. I think the result is the neater of the two. Take a piece of matching yarn and darn it around the two sides of the yarn-over, so that when the new yarn is pinched underneath the yarn-over looks like a normal stitch. Then take both yarn tails, one at a time and darn them into a single stitch a round/row or two lower. Adjust the appearance to suit before darning in the tails. The result is identical to a left-slanting raised increase (it may also be made to appear as a right-slanting increase).



Onwards and upwards! There is little to be gained from ripping back miles of stocking stitch for a simple fixable error such as this. Move on to new and more creative ones. You will learn far more from your mistakes than you do when you get it right first time (a happy accident in itself)!

Remember to keep an eye on our online pre-Christmas specials and Clearance items at my website!  Also, please do subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be updated whenever I add a new tip! (Ask your friends to join too!) Thanks for your support.

Happy Stitches!



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