Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

KnitStars 4.0–all the details! October 29, 2019

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Knit Stars is a 3-week, all-online, global learning event that takes place November 11 – Dec 2. It is a series of feature-film-quality instructional and lifestyle videos by the world’s leading Knit Stars. This year you will have the chance to learn from 11 different Stars from Peru, Uruguay, Nova Scotia, and other points across North America!

 

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any questions?…

 

I imagine you might have some questions and would like some more details!  The KnitStars team have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers, and I’d like to share them with you here.

If you have any more questions, I’ll be hosting a live video on my Instagram page tomorrow at 1pm Atlantic Time and answering more of them then.  I’d love to have you join me there!

 

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KnitStars hint!

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about KnitStars 4.0

 

When can I register for Knit Stars?

Anytime now up until midnight midnight Pacific / 3am Eastern, October 31 (Halloween), so don’t miss the deadline!

 

 

Who are this year’s Stars, and what are they teaching?

Martha Wissing: Make a Chullo-style Hat with Cupped Tassels

Susan B. Anderson: Seamless Toy Knitting Techniques

Marly Bird: Shop Less, Mend More: Extend Your Wardrobe’s Lifespan by Mending with Crochet

Blue Sky Fibers: Connect, Create and Cable with Blue Sky Fibers

Manos Del Uruguay: Hand Dyeing the Manos way

Lucy Neatby: Two-color Double Knitting

Hannah Thiessen: Slow knitting, Natural Dyes and Mending your Knits

Andrea Wong: Portuguese-style knitting

Pacomarca: Meet the Alpacas!

BONUS workshop just added! Diane Ivey: Guide to Moving Forward: From Social Media to Building More Inclusive Communities

Caitlin Hunter: Traditional Colorwork, Reinvented (Caitlin’s workshop debuts February, 2020 but is still included as part of Knit Stars 4.0!)

 

Do I have to watch it in a particular timeframe?

The workshops roll out a few days apart, over a 3 week period in November, so you can take it all in as you go. You own all of the workshops, so you can watch them whenever you want, on your own schedule. It’s all super-organized in short modules so you can squeeze them in between all of your other activities or save them up and indulge in a binge-watching weekend! You can rewind, pause and fast-forward the videos and stream them on your desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. You can also download the workshop videos to your desktop or laptop to watch anytime.

 

What skill level do I have to be at to benefit from Knit Stars?

Whether you are a beginner, a master, or somewhere in between, Knit Stars is designed to help you get more out of your knitting and/or crocheting.

And every yarn lover, at every level, will be inspired by the mini movie masterpieces that lead off each workshop! You’ll see behind the scenes in the Stars’ own private studios, workspaces and farms, to learn what inspires them and drives their passion for fiber, design and sustainability.

 

What are some of the reported benefits of taking the course?

  • It’s made me a better knitter / crocheter
  • It’s given me the confidence to design, sell patterns, and teach at my LYS
  • I’ve learned skills that I thought I wasn’t ready for!
  • A whole new world of inspiration has opened up for me!

What is included in my membership?

  • Feature-film-quality instructional and lifestyle videos from 11 of the world’s hottest knit and crochet designers
  • 10 bonus patterns
  • Access to our private Facebook group, an ultra-positive, global group that is active year-round, sharing wins, progress, pattern ideas, and encouragement.
  • The option to purchase additional custom-dyed yarns, kits and goodies, created exclusively for Knit Stars 4.0 owners by some of the world’s hottest indie dyers.

 

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I love finding the perfect colour combinations for my double-knit projects!

What are some of the yarns and kits exclusive to Knit Stars 4.0?

Hedgehog Fibres Alpaca DK KS4.0 Kit for Andrea Wong’s Portguese Knit Cowl

Handmaiden BFL Kit for Lucy Neatby’s Double-Knit Alpaca Hat

Blue Sky Fibers City of Lakes Scarf Kit

Amano Eco Puna Limited Edition kit for Martha Wissing’s Chullo-Style Hats

Barrett Wool Co. Kit for Susan Anderson’s Alpaca Toy

 

Will previous seasons of Knit Stars be available for purchase?

Yes! You can get Knit Stars 1 – 3 for $199 each until our registration window closes midnight Pacific / 3am Eastern Oct. 31! Take a look at the Knit Stars registration page for more info about each series.

 

Once again, if you have any more questions, I’ll be hosting a live video on my Instagram page tomorrow at 1pm Atlantic Time and answering more of them then.  I’d love to have you join me there!

 

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the incredible KnitStars film crew!

 

 

Alpaca Your Bag With Me! October 2, 2019

 

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At last! We will soon be able see the results of the filming with the KnitStars gang here this past June. KnitStars 4.0 – Alpaca My Bag is about to be released!
This is an intimate and lasting way to attend 10 master classes with designers, teachers and fibre producers from around the world, all without leaving your home: no flying, no hotels, no lost luggage! Membership will include many perks and bonus patterns.

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This year, Knit Stars put together a course that teaches people how to go deeper with their knitting and their fibre. Hannah Thiessen is one of this year’s Knit Stars for whom the course was eye-opening and inspiring.
Hannah was tempted to join Knit Stars for years…but she was pinching her pennies. Then she got the call to be in Knit Stars 4.0 and started watching the previous seasons…
She couldn’t believe what she’d been missing!
My link will direct you to Hannah’s journey from skeptic to KnitStars instructor!

 

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I’m super excited to have been included in this project and can hardly wait to share the footage of Tancook Island. During my multi-part workshop, I’ll be demonstrating my favourite technique, double-knitting. I’ll introduce you to my lovely home on Big Tancook Island and my little cottage workspace – all while teaching you my take on double knitting techniques in step-by-step workshop lessons.

I feel very honoured to have had the film crew come all this way to visit me. I’m also eagerly anticipating the exciting South American footage as well as all the other designers’ offerings. The filming quality is so superb that it gives you a real taste of all these many diverse lives.

Please use my affiliate link to discover more (if you later enrol having used this link, I will earn a little extra from your sale). I can’t wait to see you there!

 

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When you sign up with KnitStars 4.0, you’ll get sent even more inspiring stories and some free instructional videos by several more of this year’s Knit Stars. Enrolments open later this month, we are all so excited to share our workshops with you!

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Wishing you all the very KnitStarry-est of Stitches,

Lucy

 

 

 

 

 

Earlybird Enrolment Ends Tomorrow! April 25, 2019

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I’m so pleased to be joining all of the creators who will be showcasing their talents with the KnitStars team in November!  I’ll be joining designers like Susan B Anderson, Marly Bird, Caitlin Hunter and many more!  (Check my affiliate link for details)

You’ll be taken behind the scenes to the Stars’ own private studios, workspaces and farms, to learn what inspires their designs and drives their passion. Then you’ll learn from them in a series of 10 step-by-step workshops that will take your knitting and crochet to the next level. And the best part? You own them, so you can learn at your own pace – pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding as needed until you really lock in the learning! So it’s ideal for all levels.

 

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I’ll be sharing my favourite addiction, two-colour double knitting, from my studio on Big Tancook Island.  I have so much to show you, from cast-on to cast-off, all while giving you a special sneak peek at my colourful home and wonderful Island community.

Now the bad news:  When the earlybird pricing (a 15% discount) ends tomorrow,  you will no longer be able to reserve your spot until October.  Click on my special affiliate link to join us now and you’ll be part of the fun and learning all of November.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!
Lucy

 

 

Exciting Adventures Ahead April 18, 2019

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For a quiet year away from the gallivanting routine that has been my life for the last 20 or more years, this year is shaping up BUSY again… somehow I still feel there are not enough hours in a day!
Two unexpected mini camps have been organized on Big Tancook Island (sorry, both are already full), I’ll be Adventure Knitting with Judy and others in the North West Territories in July, teaching in Edmonton for River City Yarns in July and teaching at Knit East in New Brunswick in October. Whew!

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And, as of today, I can finally announce ONE more exciting teaching gig:
I’ve been chosen to teach in KnitStars for Season 4.0!
KnitStars select 10 amazing thought leaders from the knitting firmament and film them in their respective working environments hosting a series of classes.

I’d love for you to join me and the other fabulous instructors for this exciting on-line global learning event beginning in November! This year’s lineup features craftspeople from Peru to Oregon to Nova Scotia and points in between. You’ll have the chance to join me on Tancook Island without even taking the ferry!

The online style of the conference makes it possible for anyone around the world to join the fun.

Click my affiliate link to see who’s teaching what!

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During my multi-part workshop, I’ll be demonstrating my favourite technique, double-knitting, from my favourite island, Big Tancook, what fun! I’ll introduce you to my lovely home away from home, with sneak peeks at some of my Tancook friends and my little cottage workspace – all while teaching you my take on double knitting techniques in step-by-step workshop lessons.

 

Early bird discounted registration is open as of TODAY and closes at the end of the day on April 26!

If you purchase KnitStars 4.0 using my Knit Stars Affiliate Link, I will earn a commission – at no additional cost to you. Once purchased, all of the KnitStars 4.0 workshops are yours to be viewed at your own pace as many times as you wish.

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Wishing you all the very KnitStarry-est of Stitches,

Lucy

 

Narrowboat Adventures 2018: A Fond Farewell July 22, 2018

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It’s over. We have departed from Ali’s Dream.

We made our way super, extra, very slowly the last 1/4 day, stretching it out as long as possible.  We meandered back to Swanley BridgeMarina, to allow time for a last canal coffee, and to savour the last 5 locks.

In total, we completed 939 miles and 874 locks in 81 days (not to mention several bottles of Baileys – the essential ingredient in our canal coffee).

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a last bit of knitting while enjoying another glorious sunset

We filled Ali up with fuel, did a few pirouettes and backed her into a very slender berth. Then followed 24 hours of washing, polishing and sorting. I achieved my Fitbit goal and then some just on dashing to and fro between the boat and the marina laundry!

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Jackie-the-Boat-owner made a few queries about us being happy to get back to a flush toilet and ample water flow but, honestly, a washing line and good Internet connection were all I’d missed.

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Our last was another stunningly beautiful morning but, strangely, between locking the boat and reaching our hire car, there were raindrops. Actual rain drops. This turned into a light shower, requiring windscreen wipers and creating modest puddles. Not enough to break the drought, but it did help to make our departure easier.

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Thanks for reading and joining in John’s and my summer adventure. And now I’m signing off from the cut…

I’ve started putting out feelers for next year’s boat.

 

This week’s sale pattern:

 

 

The  versatile, multi-size Lighthouse Bag is another fun summer project! It is worked in the round in a spiraling lacy pattern that gradually decreases as it winds its way up the bag to finish in a short-row Spider strap.
This quick project requires very little finishing and can be felted to make it resistant to stretching.

The Lighthouse Bag pattern is half-price ($3.75CAD) until July 26,
Happy Stitches!

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Narrowboat Adventures 2018: Cruising into July July 8, 2018

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Breakfast on the sun deck!

July made its appearance in the midst of a heat wave. A UK heat wave usually only lasts 2 days, but this one has held out. We’ve adjusted to the weather by setting off even earlier in the mornings to catch the cool bit of the day.  It’s too warm to do anything other than read, and definitely too sticky to knit.

 

 

 

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Langley Mill at the top of the Erewash Canal

 

We celebrated Canada Day by doing 16 wide beam locks, making it up to Langley Mill, at the end of the navigable Erewash Canal.

The Erewash was rehabilitated from a stagnant swamp in the late 70s, and what a transformation it is! The water is crystal clear (you can see right to the bottom), with a disconcertingly vast number of fish. It’s hard to stop gazing at them and pay attention to steering! The fish are mostly 6” and smaller, but when walking up the towpath between locks I did spot a couple of pike at least a foot long lurking under the lily pads.

 

 

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We took a diversion the other day.  We were going to head north at Autherly Junction and get onto the Shropshire Union, but then I received a message from Riverknits on instagram that we were very nearby one another. It appeared that, if we turned left onto the Staffs and Worcs canal and headed down about 12 locks, we might be able to meet up. John and I decided to give it a go.

 

Becci and Markus arrived a hour or so after we tied up. Their range of mini-skeins dyed in 72 colours was most impressive. All of the dye-work is performed on a 60’ narrowboat (with a 2 1/2 year old underfoot)! Formerly conventionally employed engineers, maternity leave and a redundancy payout spurred Becci and Markus into trying yarn dyeing full time. I’d say they’ve found their niche! They sell the prepared skeins at shows and through their web site, taking parcels to the post office nearest to where they happen to be tied up!

 

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25 hot locks before 12:30!

We’ve had our conference with Ali’s owner, and she’d like the narrowboat back at Swanley  in about two weeks.  It’s a bit shocking to have such a finite period, but now we can plan our final couple of weeks (assuming we don’t succumb to heat stroke).

To finish our trip off we plan to head up the Montgomery Canal. This is a fairly newly reopened branch off the Llangollen that we have never had time for on our other trips.  We have to book passage through Frankton Locks in advance.  This is limited to 12 boats a day, so we have to determine when we will be there and when we will return.

 

 

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This week’s sale pattern:

Wow, it’s hot out there!
Lucy’s cool cotton Swirling Sun Hat is a quick summer knit requiring little finishing. Knit the lace brim to fit the head, pick up sts around the brim, and work in the round up to the crown.

A quick and satisfying hot weather project!
The Swirling Sun Hat is half-price ($3.75CAD) until July 12,
Happy Stitches!

 

Narrowboat Adventures 2018: Along the Grand Union Canal July 1, 2018

After having spent some time on the Grand Union Canal, John, Ali’s Dream and I are back on the top half of our canal map!

When we reached Norton Junction, we might have turned left and gone to Braunston, Napton and the Hatton locks on the Grand Union, where we were a month or so ago.  Instead, we turned onto the  Leicester length of the Grand Union. There it magically turned back into a narrow  canal until we reached Foxton Locks.

 

 

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Flowers and cattle! A cloudy but warm morning on the Grand Union

 

Almost immediately, we were out into beautiful unspoiled Leicestershire countryside, with often not a building in sight. Huge fields of very dry arable land. We noticed cracks in the soil in the fields, and maize crops that didn’t seem to be getting much taller. That particular  section was closed last autumn due to lack of water, although we were assured that the near continuous rains of February to April had refilled the reservoirs. Despite that, every time we dropped a double wide lock 70 x 14 x8’, in volume, it felt like a lot of water going downhill. We met up with other boats occasionally and shared a few locks, but were alone for the most part.

Along our way, we took every canal side spur that presented itself. We took the Wendover arm: 6 miles up to a dead end, a windy narrow little channel that suddenly took you past a modern working flour mill, and later petered out in a small turning basin in a field.

The next one was the Aylesbury arm: after many narrow locks we reached a turning basin in the middle of the town that appeared to have been bulldozed and rebuilt without any soul. There were visitor moorings and services there, but we felt no inclination to stay.  After a quick raid on Waitrose, we were on our way.

 

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the irresistible Hambleton Bakery

 

Our next detour was to Market Harborough, which was quite a surprise: a lovely basin at the end, beautifully redeveloped but in keeping with the former port and wharves. We found excellent moorings and services, too. John and I took a short walk through town to the wonderful Hambleton bakery, a butcher, fishmonger, hardware and all sorts of excellent small shops.

 

 

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Halfway down the famous Foxton Locks

Foxton Locks are famous, with two 5-step staircase locks with a small pound between them. There were many gongoozlers milling about.   The locks are interesting in that they let any excess water out into a series of side pounds as you go down. This saves water but makes for a more complex operation. Fortunately there are volunteer lock keepers to keep track of both boats and people!

 

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Beautiful sunset on the Grand Union Canal

The weather continues to be extraordinarily dry and hot.  I have discovered the delights of dipping my feet,  socks and all, into a bucket of canal water.  What a relief, especially when they feel that they might catch fire! In the evenings, we endeavour to moor in the shade.

We are headed towards Nottingham now, then the Erewash canal before heading east towards Shardlow.

 

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Happy Canada Day from Ali’s Dream, John and me!

Hoping that summer has found you wherever you are, Happy Canada Day!

 

 

This week’s sale pattern:

 

 

Happy Canada Day to our Canadian friends and Happy Fourth of July to our American ones!
To celebrate, my  Zinnia DK Blanket and its accompanying Tutorial are our very special downloads of the week.

The Zinnia is a spectacularly beautiful double-layer blanket; something lovely to knit on, whenever you need it. Knit a smaller Zinnia and create a lovely chair pad or coaster!
The Zinnia DK Blanket and its accompanying Tutorial are both half-price until July 5,
Happy July Stitches!

 

 
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