Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

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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Not Quite Round the Horn! February 19, 2016

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You probably know that I adore boats, right? Long thin narrow ones on the UK canals, great big seagoing cargo ones, ferries both large and small, and especially ones with sails. Anything boat-shaped really. In spite of that, for a number of years I’ve been resisting various tempting offers to teach on cruises to appealing destinations, on the grounds that they don’t really offer enough working days for the length of time away.

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Woolly excursions!

But now, as part of my newly adopted life policy of  “Sod it, have more fun!”, I just had to say YES to this trip. Imagine my delight at being invited to teach on a 3 week cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago, taking the inside passage around the tip of South America! Just the names of the ports of call  give me goose bumps; I recall them from my reading the many tales of the old clipper ship days.

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Woolly excursions!

Just to make it even more wonderful, I’ve been given the freedom to make the subject of the classes my favourite topic: Double Layer Knitting. This is the perfect venue to learn and practice, concentrating either on the basics or taking your DK adventures to a new level. The small class size and long duration of the trip will give us lots of scope.

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Delicious Malabrigo yarns!

We will be making knitterly trips while in each port, including to Malabrigo for essential supplies. My delectable project design yarn has just arrived, and I’m hatching up two projects, one small and one larger, so we will have something for everyone!

The larger project will likely be a blanket design. I’m debating as to whether it should be flat or in the round? What do you think?

Craft Cruises Itinerary

I hope you will be able to join me – this is going to be a trip of dreams!

 

 

 

Many ways to chart – Part 1 January 11, 2016

Filed under: Design,Double-layer knitting,Patterns,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 07:16

sunburst

The first of my addictive down-the-rabbit-hole double-knit blankets was the Sunburst. It had a nice straight-forward design that was easily described by means of a construction diagram and a conventional chart.

This was all that was needed to describe and portray this simple pattern. But, if you look at the blanket closely, you may be able to see the smooth sides of each of the 1/8th sections of the blanket are smooth, not serrated as they appear in the chart on the right. The central double increase pushes the stitches out, thus causing the actual continuous edge stitch columns to fan out, but on this kind of chart without using thousands of No Stitch symbols, this is the result. Below is a sketch of a tiny bit of such a chart with the outside columns running smoothly.

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Before the advent of the truly amazing Stitch-Maps, this charting problem hobbled my ability to properly portray more complex designs: if you want to knit the pattern, surely you ought to be able to read it!

 

 

 

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!

 

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.

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A bouquet of Blossoms.

Blossom medallion showing both sides.

Blossom medallion showing both sides.

Zinnia on the beach.

Zinnia on the beach.

 

By the Fireside November 5, 2014

The Fireside

 

After the launch of the Blossom Pattern-In-Progress Club last week, I finally felt free enough to take off to Tancook Island for a few days’ R&R. It’s been a full month since I was able to have my fix of island time. It’s no good going when there are projects undone or hanging over me, that sort of to-do list defeats the purpose.

The Blossom PIP Club has been in the works for a very long time. Its release was delayed by travel, a crazy summer of visitor fun and the launch of our new web site.  Now the time has finally come to choose some lovely yarn, pick up the knitting needles and join me!

On another note, I’m reveling in the prospect of no flying for 3 months. I do have a couple of local classes coming up at two wonderful LYSs: Have a Yarn in Mahone Bay and Gaspereau Valley Fibers in the Annapolis Valley.  It’s fun to have time to do these local classes,  they often seem to fall through the cracks with my travel schedule planned so far in advance. I had deliberately left November unscheduled this year, as my US visa has now expired and I’m awaiting news of the results of my renewal application. I might be retiring sooner than anticipated!

For the first time in what seems like years, I have a little time to think and play. I’m even dusting off an old hooking project and there’s a drop spindle in the drawer with some lovely fiber from Idaho… So much to do.A few Dresden Plates

 

Welcoming the Cooler Days October 22, 2014

We have things pretty good here in Nova Scotia: though our summers do start wet and late some years, the season certainly makes up for it in September and October. We are treated to glorious foliage, our gardens are bursting with the colours of late-summer flowers and ripening vegetables, and we enjoy  an abundance of warm and sunny days. This is the perfect weather for long bike rides along the coast, leisurely strolls on the beach, and invigorating inland hikes. This September was gorgeous, and I was thrilled to introduce another crop of Adventure Knitters to my home-away-from-home on Tancook Island. We had a glorious week, spending much of it outdoors.

Paradoxical Mittens

Paradoxical Mittens

But now the colder months are fast approaching. We are starting to put our gardens to bed, and hunting through the closets for our warmer clothes.
While I like to create and design throughout the year, some knitters feel less compelled when the weather is warm. But with one or two cold snaps under our belts, the needles are coming out and we’re all getting back to work!
For many of us, it’s socks and slippers, blankets and cozy sweaters, and, of course, mittens and hats. This time last year I was knitting the Zinnia Blanket, and  I enjoyed the warmth of a sizeable WIP on my lap. Now I’m working on my Blossom design and, while I’ve focused mostly on smaller sample sizes, I am keen to let this winter flower grow!

DK Hats Bundle

DK Hats Bundle

To start off the season, we’ve created a new Bundle to help get some of those needles clicking and entice you to knit a few double knit accessories in the round: the DK Hats Bundle is on for a special introductory price for the rest of the month. It includes four of my double-knit hat patterns and my DK Hats Tutorial. A worsted weight DK hat is an easily achievable gift size project to practice on.

Who knows? With a few smaller dk projects under your belt, you might want to try working on a really large one this winter. You may even wish to join my upcoming Blossom PIP Club!

Happy stitches to you, wherever you are.

 

 
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