Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

The sun is shining, inside and out September 21, 2010

Filed under: General Musings,Pattern highlight — happystitches @ 17:34

This morning the sun is shining, inside and out.

Last week I was mentally bruised, battered and on a bed of sharp needles, wondering as to whether it was appropriate to post my experiences at UK Knit Camp.  I am glad that I did; I feel vastly relieved. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all the warm and thoughtful notes of support. I will be attempting to respond to all of you, but this may take a little time. BTW: My replies are not always sticking with the messages to which I thought I was replying (forgive my ineptitude), so scroll down to replies and you might be able to guess which one was meant for your message! Hmmm, I’m not entirely tech-savvy yet.

The one message that remains glaringly absent from my Inbox is any form of communication or $$ from the organizers of Knit Camp. :>(

Hopefully, we will all become wiser knitters in the future. A couple of other smaller, but equally repulsive, knitting-class related scams in the US (intentional or otherwise, who knows) have also come to light and henceforth we may have to ask for organizer references before students, teachers, vendors and volunteers put down money or time.
In spite of current bitterness, we must never forget that the overwhelming majority of knitters are wonderful people!

There are a couple of relief plans being developed, one of which is to make a small product purchase (over and above your planned expenditure) from the affected tutors’ product ranges. Christmas shopping for your knitting friends perhaps?  This idea is as yet in it’s infancy, and the list needs to be fine-tuned, as one or two tutors have been paid or partially so. Some tutors are out international flights, others UK milage, some tickets were paid, in addition to their teaching fees. Some folks on the current list were luckily not there, and others are not yet on the list.  I think a bit of info from each tutor as to where to find their products would also be helpful, as well as which products would most directly benefit them.

There is also a plan afoot to open an easily accessible fundraising account, for a short set period,  that will be run scrupulously and be monitored by a professional group to ensure transparency and appropriate distribution. (The professional help is being financed by an extraordinarily generous soul and will not come from funds.) My hope is that contributions could be made to first and foremost clearing the travel debts and interest on credit cards for those in this dire situation. Watch this space, I will notify you if this comes to fruition.

We still hesitate to take these steps, as we all feel that is important that the organizers must not feel that any of generous efforts should absolve them of their indebtedness and responsibilities in any way. But as I stated earler, most knitters are great people and care about others.

Let’s get off UK Knit Camp topics now and to what I would have been talking about otherwise. (Feel free to leave).

We’ve had a productive week here: two new patterns!  The Paintbox DK Scarf (the one I was knitting at camp) and the Fiesta Stocking are both up on Patternfish now. The hot-off-the-press edition of my free occasional Spunyarn newsletter, announcing the pre-publication special offer for my forthcoming book Cool Knitters Finish in Style is now out. To sign up for Spunyarn and receive special offers, knitting hints and news, send an email to webmaster@lucyneatby.com and Corrie will sign you up.

I’m heading out to Big Tancook Island and out of internet range for a couple of days to soothe my soul, but Susan, Dawne and Corrie will all be here rowing the boat.
If you’d like to virtually  join me on this glorious island, take a look at the Gallery on their new website.

Happy stitches and thanks again for your warm and woolly wishes, and for being the wonderful people you are!

Lastly for today, I would like to share with you a note (used with permission) that cheered my gloom last week!  This is why I teach!

Dear Ms Neatby,
I just wanted to rave about your Intarsia Untangled 1 DVD. I decided to knit a dinosaur vest for my great niece for her birthday, and I no sooner began the intarsia chart when I got stumped. I ordered your Intarsia Untangled DVDs and within a few minutes realized I’d made every single mistake you outlined: I was attempting to carry my green yarn behind my white yarn. Not only did the first two rows look horrible (this is a chunky yarn), it wasn’t elastic and the carryovers showed through to the right side. Besides that, I hadn’t prepared my chart and so my dinosaur looked like it needed a cane because apparently I can’t count up to ten and kept misplacing his other leg. After watching your DVD I now understand the importance of colouring the chart and counting out that first row, especially since my green yarn is represented by white squares on the chart and my white yarn is represented by gray squares on the chart. Heck, I wasn’t even pronouncing “intarsia” correctly!
Thank you so much — without this DVD I am sure I would have given up before I started and never touched intarsia again. Instead, I’m looking forward to preparing my chart and getting started on my dinosaur. I’ve already begun to look around for other child friendly intarsia projects for future knits.
Not only am I thrilled, I have happy stitches once again. ;D

17 Responses to “The sun is shining, inside and out”

  1. Cheryl Waters Says:

    I agree that knitters in general are some of the most wonderful people in the world. But when you have large events like this, often it is not knitters who are organizing these events but business people. There are scam artist in every walk of life. The nicer the person, the more likely they think they can walk all over you.

    The letter you received I think describes how most of us feel about you. Whenever someone asks me a question and wants a video of knitting, I point them to your DVDs. I think you are one of the best knitting teachers I’ve ever seen. You know how to make sure you show it as if the knitter is standing over your shoulder so they can see exactly what you are doing. You are someone I consider to be a natural teacher. Someone who can think of different ways to explain things and keep giving examples until the light bulb comes on.

    For more than a decade I tried to do a provisional cast on and I always had to pick out my waste yarn. When I finally found your video on the provisional cast on, the light bulb went on for me. Now I am determined to acquire every DVD you have done. I’m about halfway there. So thank you. You deserve all the kudos thrown your way.

    • I love the paintbox scarf. It is so fresh and inspiring and the white background gives it a spring-like feel.

    • Wow, many thanks Cheryl. I very much value your comments and greatly appreciate your word of mouth promotion of the DVD series.
      Happy stitches, Lucy

      • Cheryl Waters Says:

        I was every surprised when you said you didn’t think the English would know your name. I hadn’t realized you had been gone from there for so long. I only hope that these promoters see what is being said and decide to change their ways. I really wanted to go to this event, but knew I couldn’t afford a trip to England at this time. But to have made a trip thinking I would have been compensated for my expenses and time would have been financially devastating. We will all try to help you and the other teachers get through this bad time.

  2. What a wonderful letter for any teacher to receive! As a mother/baby nurse a lare part of my job was teaching, and those were the kinds of responses I loved!

  3. Elizabeth D Says:

    Oh, gasp! The paintbox scarf just took my breath away. (In an entirely different way from the previous post on this blog.) Ordering tonight.

  4. Dorothy Says:

    I can only endorse 100% what Cheryl Waters has to say. I find each of your knitting patterns a lesson in themselves, I intend to get most of them over time. Please keep writing them.

  5. Irene Says:

    Hooray for Positive People!

    I am so glad that you received the intarsia e-mail when you most needed to know that what you do is invaluable, and the way YOU do it is unique, and not able to be duplicated. Let’s hear it for one more un-confused person, thanks to you and your clear and varied lessons. It is brilliant that you photograph what you are doing from next to your head/eyes, so we can be there with you. It reminds me of Paul Child photographing Julia Child cutting up a chicken, and that took quite a bit of gymnastic dexterity!

    I was ignorant of the camp fiasco until your blog entry, at which point I went on to Ravalry to be even more enlightened (and appalled) by others who had a lot to say about the (seeming) scam and the unconscionable actions of the organiser. I guess she’s getting this act down pat; it’s not the first time she’s pulled such a deal, but this is a huge deal and involved so many international tutors and participants, to say nothing of the UK folks who paid their hard-earned money in good faith. I have heard nothing but praise for all of you teachers who did your best to give a Good Time to the attendees. While many people realised that there were “hiccups” throughout the camp, most of them had no idea of the scope of the incompetence. I am so sorry for all of you who were were so badly burned.

    I hope that some legal action will bring relief and remuneration to those who deserve it. I hope that the “organiser” will learn to never pull such a “trick” as that again.

    Luckily you are Lucy, and will be on your island soon. Enjoy!

    X O Irene in MI

  6. Angeluna Says:

    Think about perhaps each teacher offering special patterns, available only for this purpose, and all the income from those went into a fund to be divided. Or heck, just have a giant raffle to win something and sell tickets.

    Also, If there were a list of the teachers involved, I think everyone would make an effort to buy patterns or somesuch, purchases they were putting off until later.

    • Thanks for you ideas. I believe that some of these are going to be put into action to at least help the tutors clear their travel expenses from their credit cards.
      Thanks for your support.

  7. Stickweaver Says:

    Hi Lucy,
    I was shocked to hear that the knitting camp went so badly. Let us know what we can do.
    On another note, can people buy directly from your business, or do we have to order by mail? (I live in the area.)

    • Susan Says:

      Yes, you can buy directly from us, either in person or by mail. If you want to come by in person it’s best to give us a call to arrange a time as we don’t have set hours! 🙂 If you don’t get a person when you call, please feel free to leave a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for your support. Happy Stitches, Susan

  8. Pam Everitt Says:

    I think Cheryl put it very well. I certainly agree that you are a wonderful knitting tutor and love the DVDs I have managed to buy so far. I have had a hundred ‘light bulb moments’ and it all started when I came to a class at Knit Camp, so there were positives to it, at least for all the students. You have given me confidence to try new things and I am incredibly grateful to you. I do hope I’ll get a chance to be in another of your classes someday in the UK (preferably in Norfolk!).
    Kind regards


    • Music to my ears Pam. That’s the real pay for teaching. I’d love to do some workshops in Norfolk one day – my mother and sister live there. Stay in touch via my Spunyarn newsletter for the latest info.

  9. Peg Says:

    Looking forward to seeing you in BC in a few days. I plan to buy your Knitting Essentials DVDs. I have been knitting for 60 years, but there is just so much to learn!
    I hope you like sauerkraut, Lucy – Tancook is famous for it and I love it and the canned variety I can get just is not the same. Now Tancook is also famous for Lucy Neatby – how much notoriety can one Island stand!
    Safe Journey. Peg

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