Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Lucy’s Advent Sales! December 1, 2017

Filed under: Advent 2017,home,Sale — happystitches @ 10:11

 

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Today’s half-price pattern is Lucy’s Igloo Hat! Check at LucyNeatby.com daily until December 25 for more Advent Specials!

Join the festivities as we count down to the holidays!
We’ve created a 2017 Advent Calendar Sale and will be featuring one half-price pattern per day until December 25.
Our first door opens to Lucy’s Igloo Hat!
You’ll have plenty of time to knit this delightfully warm, top-down, fully reversible, double knit gift: one side of the hat features a rippling texture pattern and the other sprinkles of colour!
The Igloo DK Hat pattern is half-price ($3.75CAD) until the end of the day!

Check back at LucyNeatby.com daily for more Advent Calendar Specials!

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A Little Excursion into Fox Paws April 26, 2015

Fox Paws designed by Xandy Peters

Fox Paws designed by Xandy Peters

Fox Paws is a crazily unique design by Xandy Peters. I’ve long regarded knitting a creation from another designer as an excursion into their brain. It’s often an interesting journey. In this case, it resembled an extremely enjoyable potholing or spelunking trip.

My first acquaintance with Fox Paws was whilst on my way to speak to the Snohomish Guild in Washington. My kindly and thoughtful drivers factored in time to stop at a beautiful yarn store, Serial Knitters, should the traffic gods be with us. They were. The Fox Paws wrap displayed in the window stopped my in my tracks before I even entered. It was the most striking, beautiful and un-knitting-like piece of knitting I have ever seen.

It was extraordinary. I began to hear a little of its story: about the store knitalong and the fact that the Yarn Harlot had knit one fairly recently.

After Madrona, I headed east for some housebound winter hibernation and resolved to give this design a whirl. I don’t usually have much time for recreational knitting, it takes away from my available time to work on the designs I have brewing. I purchased Xandy’s pattern on Ravelry anyway (I sometimes just buy a pattern as a vote of support for the designer despite knowing I may never knit it. I file it under Retirement Projects).  At this point, I had been happily chugging away at my Blossom blanket for the last six months, and the rounds were a merry 1400+ sts in Kauni. Although I love Kauni, it is not the most satin soft of yarns. My hands were craving a bit of variety, and some indulgence with Cat’s Pajamas was very alluring. Done deal. I was curious.

I paused to read Steph’s blog post.  Her  knitting adventures always make for great reading, and she had dropped a few cryptic remarks about vows of silence and the k5togs(among others!) when I saw her at Madrona . A long road trip loomed, the perfect time for some recreational knitting. I would leaven the Blossom with the Fox Paws. Yarns were packed, always a last minute grab and go for me. I leapt in blind.

The first mistake I made was that I changed colour straight after casting on (reading error on my part), but I actually like it and copied it for the bind off. At first, I kept losing my place in the row (this is not a design to allow your attention to even momentarily wander) and this work is not easy to unknit or count. I quickly learned not to embark on a row unless I could go the whole way. Fortunately, the Trans Canada Highway across New Brunswick is singularly unexciting.  I was fine unless my driver had the temerity to try to engage me in conversation. I did find it a bit tricky to read the multi-line rows, it took total concentration to keep track of where I was and how many times I had repeated an action. This would have been a great time to make an audio pattern. (Speak the row out at knitting speed and record it on your phone. Play it back through your ear bud as you knit: no need to take your eyes off the work).

Throughout the growth of the first repeat, I found myself marveling at Xandy’s creativity and cunning (also wondering what mind-altering concoction she must have been ingesting at the time). This is a superbly clever design. There is an excellent logic to the design: the vertical stacks of stitches that make the fingers and the stalks have a pleasing consistency along the same row. It really helps if you are familiar with the k1-O-k1 increase before you begin (one of my favourite increases). The clumps of extra stitches do feel a little awkward on the needle, and the frequent slipping of two stitches back to the left-hand takes a little practice (you will get plenty). The joining method, which is heralded by the k5tog, is dependable and easy to remember once you have done a couple. The pattern is made additionally challenging because the pattern action rows (believe me this is James Bond kind of knitting action) take place on WS rows. This makes it harder to keep your bearings.

This is NOT take it to the guild evening kind of knitting.

In fact, peaceful music without lyrics is about all I could handle.  I limited myself to one pattern row per knitting session, and there were times when that was enough! Fox Paws is quite challenging but might well change the way you think about knitting stitches. I can only imagine the considerable work it took to design and write this pattern, Xandy has done a great job, hats off to her!

Cat's Pajamas Solids

The  Cat’s Pajamas colours that I used were: Lime, Hot Pink, Mango, Turquoise and Damson

If I were to make another Fox Paws, I would:

#1 Use wood or bamboo needles with lace tips: Addi lace or Hiya Hiya sharps.

#2 Once I have chosen the colours and designated them A – E, I would take the time to colour code the table of colours to save confusion.

#3 Practice the k1-O-k1 increase and the k5tog decrease. This decrease isn’t too bad if you slide all 5 stitches onto the taper of the left needle before attempting to stuff the second needle into them. Lace needles would help a lot.

#4 Develop a personal shorthand diagram for each pattern row.  I’d reduce the stacks of stitches to an annotation of stack 3 or stack 2 and reduce the joining method to  dec+2 or dec+3. This is not something the designer could or should do for you. It’s about how you picture it. In my mind this would be a combination of diagram and text.

#5  Read the knitting. Pay attention to the stacking of the double decreases (at the junction between repeats), if they don’t line up vertically every alternate row, something has gone wrong.  The k1-O-k1 increase at the top of the fingers should be  over the central stitch. It’s hard to fudge the numbers if they are off and this pattern is NOT easy to un-knit.

#6 Keep the stitches nearer the tips of the needles than usual.

#7 And lastly, I would NOT rely on stitch counting – it’s very hard to do and there are an awful lot of them on some rows!

All in all, this design is well worth the effort, and the results are just fabulous!

Happy Stitches!

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!

As a side note: our Flash Sale on Bundles has been extended until Thursday!  Bundles are collections of patterns and other digital products which will be stored in your Notebook upon purchase.  Take a look, you might find something to inspire you!

 

The Storm Mountain DK Hat March 19, 2015

Storm Mountain DK Hat

The Storm Mountain Hat features built-in insulating air spaces!

Nova Scotians are digging out after yet another massive storm, with some parts of the province having received upwards of 50cm of snow.  Add to that the 70km/hr winds, and most of us  are now tunneling through drifts much taller than ourselves!

Sometimes the best solution to life’s little problems is to sit back, pull out some yarn and needles, and start a new knitting project. With that in mind, and as a small consolation to our Nova Scotian friends, we’ve decided to offer the aptly named Storm Mountain DK Hat for only $3.50 (half-price) this week!

This warm double-layer hat has built-in insulating air spaces between the layers. The hat uses two yarns: the inner yarn is the only one that touches the head and occasionally appears on the public side of the hat. The exterior colour only ever appears on the outside of the hat. The air spaces are created by working more rounds on the exterior fabric than on the interior layer.
We added a bonus to the updated pattern a few months ago, which features an alternate top I like to call the Space Cadet option!

The Space Cadet Topper option will work for any size Storm Mountain Hat you choose to knit: here it is on a baby-siazed version, knit with my Cat's Pajamas Yarn

The Space Cadet Topper option will work for any size Storm Mountain Hat you choose to knit: here it is on a baby-siazed version, knit with my Cat’s Pajamas Yarn

Wishing you Happy Stormy Stitches!

 

Happy Holiday Greetings! December 24, 2014

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

 

 

 

Canada/Independence Day Online Sale! June 29, 2014

Filed under: books,Bundles,DVDs,General Musings,home,Patterns,Sale,Travels — happystitches @ 08:45

 

 

Our morning ride awaits!

Our morning ride awaits!

I’m just off for a bike ride this morning, I’m going to take advantage of the lovely weather before things heat up too much!  We’ll be riding a different route from our usual one today, enjoying another gorgeous coastal route.  This should be fun!

 

 

Canada/Independence Day Online Sale

Canada/Independence Day Online Sale

Before I go, I wanted to update you on my Online Sale starting today and lasting all week.  We’ve dubbed it the “Canada/Independence Day Online Sale”, in honour of North America’s two upcoming National Holidays.  A large number of my downloadable products are on special, including ALL of the “Learn with Lucy” Video Downloads, certain eBooks and Special Sale Bundles, and patterns from every department!  Full details are in my mini-Spun Yarn Newsletter, released late last night.

 

Happy Stitches, I’ll get back to my own projects after the ride!

Lucy

 

Spring, the DK Club and a Sale! June 16, 2014

Spring on Tancook Island: my home away from home!

Spring on Tancook Island: my home away from home!

 

I hope you’ve been enjoying the spring as much as I have this year! My last teaching trip, which took me to Ontario and Saskatchewan,  was a  huge success: I knitted with old friends and new and, happily, had some time to visit with my younger daughter in Toronto.  Upon my return to Nova Scotia, Holly and I headed out to the Island, armed with buckets of paint.  My little Tancook home is certainly becoming a bright oasis!

 

A bright welcome: my back door is almost colourful enough for me now!

A bright welcome: my back door is almost colourful enough for me now!

 

 

In other news, I have uploaded another video to my Double Knitting Technique Club:

In Video #22: Perfect Graft of a Single DK Tube in the Round, I demonstrate a way to invisibly join two ends of a tube using my Perfect Grafting Technique and brightly contrasting waste yarn.

This is a larger version of grafting I-Cords into hoops!

 

Video #22 of my DK Technique Club.  It's never too late to join this ever-growing Club, and you will have access to all of the Videos filmed and yet-to-be-filmed!

Video #22 of my DK Technique Club. It’s never too late to join my ever-growing Club, and you will have access to all of the Videos filmed and yet-to-be-filmed!

 

 

As with all of the DK Club Videos, I have included an accompanying set of Notes.  It includes links to two of my free Youtube Clips, which demonstrate Perfect and Imperfect Grafting in even more detail.  Remember, too, that it’s never too late to join the DK Technique Club!

 

We have announced our online Canada/Independence Day Sale, which will run from June 29 to July 6, 2014!

This week-long event will feature our downloadable products: you will find discounts on selected Patterns, e-Books, Tutorials and more!  We may even add a few special Sale Bundles to our new Bundles Section at LucyNeatby.com!  Please do check in, you’re sure to find some fantastic deals.

We are also planning a second sale for later in the summer: this one will include shippable products such as yarns, paper patterns and some kits.  We will keep you posted with those dates once they are finalized.

The Little Joey Bag is a clever and quick DK design

The Little Joey Bag is a clever and quick DK design

For today, I wish you Many Happy DK Stitches!

Lucy

 

A Very Special Birthday Gift May 12, 2014

Filed under: General Musings,Holey Knitting,home,Pattern highlight — happystitches @ 09:06
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Happy Stitch double-knit Earrings made for me by my daughter in 2012

Poseidon Neatby: the picture of innocence!

Poseidon Neatby: the picture of innocence!

 

 

 

You may remember the adorable double-knit Happy Stitch earrings which my daughter made for me just two years ago(and the feline disaster that befell them (click the above link for the full story). They have been lovingly worn by me every since. Poseidon, who is our current cat-in-residence, has not been given the opportunity to once again have his way with them. I keep them carefully stored away from any such mischief making!

 

 

 

 

 

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test-knitting mini earrings for size

Well, after a few test-knit samples to ascertain the proper size, Holly has done it again. This year’s birthday gift from her was a specially commissioned pair of micro-Chinese Lantern earrings! They are adorable, and the perfect accessory. I am delighted!

 

Aren't they lovely?  Poseidon has been kept well away from these beauties!

Aren’t they lovely? Poseidon has been kept well away from these beauties!

If you are interested in knitting your own Chinese Lanterns, you will find the pattern, along with 9 others, in A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-Knitters, the new e-book I released last month!

 

 
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