Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Domino Baby Blanket June 25, 2017

Filed under: Pattern highlight,Patterns,Sale — happystitches @ 09:51
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Lucy’s Domino Baby Blanket

 

Have you checked out this week’s sale pattern? Lucy’s Domino Baby Blanket is a straightforward project, resulting in a practical gift with serious heirloom pretensions, suitable for treasures of all ages, newborn to sage.

Perfect carry-around knitting, this blanket may be worked from a single yarn, several yarns or from small quantities of many colours of similar weight yarns. It looks ten times as much work as it is, making it one of those high-yield-of-elegance-per-unit-effort projects. This versatile pattern can be knit using any yarn weight.

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The Domino Baby Blanket pattern is half-price ($4.50 CAD) until June 28!

 

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.

FullSizeRender

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!

 

 

 

Special DVD Offers: Have your cake and eat it, too! August 4, 2015

Filed under: DVDs,General Musings,Patterns,Sale,Teaching — happystitches @ 10:19
Filming the

Filming the “Learn With Lucy” series came with a unique set of Challenges and Joys!

When we first started filming the “Learn with Lucy” DVD series, we never thought there would be more than two or three titles, certainly not the eventual sixteen action-packed titles!  Though the process was sometimes grueling, and we did have obstacles to overcome (The great DVD disaster, Spunyarn 27),  the project has been a great success.

The dream team!

The dream team!

We have been selling the DVDs for 9 years now, as one title at a time or through our subscription service.  DVD subscription customers  sign up to receive one or two titles monthly until their collection is complete.  This, too, has been a wonderful success from the start.

My longtime friend, and now committed tech nerd, Corrie, foresaw that physical DVDs, as a means for sharing large amounts of video content, were on their way out. Computers, in happy homage to Moore’s Law, were getting faster very fast, and the price of computer memory was dropping like a stone (or a feather in a vacuum). She took on the challenge of finding a way to convert the information on the DVDs into a video format that could be used for on-line streaming and downloaded for off-line viewing.

Suffering for my art!

Suffering for my art!

This was a nasty exercise, but had to be done, since we did not have the original filmed production tracks. Did you know that web browsers are not in any agreement with each other as to which video format they will show or dis-allow?  After the pain and suffering, all 16 titles were completed, and tested on many browsers (!), so we could now provide knitters with a choice of medium.

The great thing about the video versions is that, once purchased, your videos are stored indefinitely in your Notebook at LucyNeatby.com.

Lost all your downloaded Lucy videos in your Great Computer Crash of 2013? No problem! Login on your new computer: all your things are still in your Notebook and ready to be downloaded anew.

For the above and other reasons, our Video Download versions have become very popular, their sales increasing  all the time. Our Video subscription customers make up about half of those sales now, as well.

While some knitters still do prefer the benefits of a physical disc (can be played on computer and tv screen, better image quality–we are still waiting for less expensive server storage space to happen, so we can afford to store the MUCH larger HD files for you), the trend is towards downloadable products.  This is something that has happened everywhere: to patterns, books, movies and educational courses. Just look at Youtube videos and newer Video Blogs, and the hugely successful courses offered through Craftsy, Coursera and others. Instant gratification is lovely.

Knitting Essentials 1

Knitting Essentials 1: our first monthly DVD Special!

In the wake of this technological tsunami there has been an inevitable decline in our “real” DVD sales. We have not ordered a new crate of “Learn with Lucy” DVDs in quite some time, yet we still have plenty of the titles in-house.  In our ongoing mission to downsize the brick-and-mortar aspects of the company, we have decided that a DVD sale was in order!

  For those of you who want the best of both worlds, we have launched a monthly DVD special, whereby you can get a DVD title with its accompanying Video Download version, for a specially reduced rate.  Our first title is Knitting Essentials 1.  Through the month of August 2015, this real-DVD-plus-video-Download pair will be on sale for $19.99 (plus shipping and tax where applicable)!  

A new sale title will be announced in the Newsbox at the beginning of every calendar month. (Is it too early to think about stashing holiday gifts?) If you already own the disc but would like the virtual version too, this offer will give you a present to bestow on a friend, or guild gift exchange, for the same price as a virtual disc. You’ll just have to watch the offers to complete your set!

Happy Stitches and enjoy Learning with Lucy!

We’ll be back to the narrowboat chronicles next time. (I’m loving reliving the trip for you.)

 

The Fiesta Family – Flying Swallows Stitch May 7, 2015

Fiesta Vest  Photo by Pauline Rook

Fiesta Vest
Photo by Pauline Rook

I’m always interested to see which garments in my traveling trunk show catch people’s attention. This trip it was particularly the Fiesta Vest. I was teaching buttonholes and bands, thus had the vest with me. I ended up explaining this stitch many times!

So here it is for you too.

This was the stitch I developed first for my Fiesta Feet Socks (which are on sale this week).

As I enjoyed it so much, I then went on to use it in the Fiesta Mittens and Fiesta Stocking patterns.

Do take time to read the comments as various aspects of this stitch are discussed.

Do not attempt to work this stitch flat, unless you enjoy WS row decreases and cutting your yarn frequently!

Worked in the round with a steek, you’ll have much more fun.

 

Happy December! December 1, 2014

Filed under: Patterns,Sale,Yarn — happystitches @ 09:56
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This year's Christmas Tractor has arrived!

This year’s Christmas Tractor has arrived!

We enjoyed a lovely Open House for our local knitters on Saturday afternoon.  I was happy to see some familiar faces, and loved meeting several new-to-me knitterly friends.  All in all, a huge success: the BOGO sales were enthusiastically embraced, Holly’s cookies greatly appreciated and many of us took the time for a bit of knitting around the kitchen table.

Farmall Super H

 

John had started decorating the Christmas Tractor, which was greatly admired by all.

 

We didn’t forget our Online Knitting Community and, with all of you in mind, have baked up a few low-cal Holiday treats at the website, as well!

From now until December 14, check out our Holiday Sales Bundles!  Most of these include two of my “Learn with Lucy” titles at 40% off  paired with an appropriate free pattern.  We’ve also included an eBook special, featuring my three digital titles: Cool Socks Warm Feet, Cool Knitters Finish in Style and A Little Book of BIG Holes for HandKnitters!

The Clearance Section is filling up with BOGO yarns, knitting needles and jewelry.  They’re going fast and we’ll be adding more products throughout the month. (Please remember that the items added later in the month may require express shipping if they are to arrive in time for the Holidays!)

Fiesta Stocking

a beautiful Fiesta Stocking knit by Susan, using our locally dyed BFL Aran yarns

 

And finally, I’ve introduced a new Sale Concept this year: my Online Advent Calendar will feature one of my downloadable products every day between now and December 24th.  Please note that each Daily Advent Calendar Deal will be available for 24 hours only, so check the Newsbox often.  To start the month off right, today’s item is my Fiesta Stocking pattern: you’ll have plenty of time to knit one before Christmas if you start now!

Wishing a Happy Start to the Festivities to you and yours! I’m looking forward to a busy month preparing for family visits and all of the Holiday excitement.  The countdown has begun!

Lucy

PS Poseidon the cat will be choosing a winner of Holli Yeoh‘s new Tempest Knits book later this week.

 

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

 

Remarkably Easy Holes! (And How to Make One) June 19, 2014

The Mille Feuille Shawl

The Mille Feuille Shawl

If you hadn’t guessed, I’ve been hooked on holes in my knitting for a very long time (ever since the Emperor’s New Scarf – recently knit by the Yarn Harlot). The type of holes used in this scarf are beautiful with their chained outlining, but time consuming and labour intensive.

Hence my new eBook A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-knitters, which is devoted to a DIFFERENT kind of hole. MUCH easier and faster.
I’d like to share with you the method I use for making these Holes – they don’t involve binding off or casting on. With just a little practice they become quick and easy. Holes make a fabric grow very fast and save on yarn!
HERE’S HOW A HOLE IS MADE in step-by-step detail.

These versatile Holes may be used as a form of both increase and decrease, for button bands, bag handles  and beautifully decorative, matching cast on and bound off edges!

My book offers 10 patterns using these holes and a very full technique section (60 odd pages) covering the other techniques used in the patterns including cast-on methods, finishing techs, grafting, short rows and much more.

THE PATTERNS

The Kangaroo Bag – uses the Holes for handles and double-layer knitting to create as many integral pockets as you wish. The pattern is written to accommodate a laptop in the main bag, with a large tablet pocket on one side and two (or three) pockets on the other, for a phone, Kindle, earbuds etc! All worked without breaking the yarn!

The many-pocketed Kangaroo bag

The many-pocketed Kangaroo bag

The Perforated Hot Water Bottle Cover – the Holes allow the heat to permeate out whilst protecting the cuddler from burns.

Tancook Hat – the Holey brim of the hat is folded over a contrasting colour to allow the underneath colour to show through. A quick knit-in-a-night hat.

Chinese Lanterns – just for the fun of it!

Mille Feuille Shawl and Scarf – an elegant modified mitered square, with a scarf option to use up the leftovers!

Air Conditioned Gloves – Perfect fingerless gloves for joggers and typists!

Banksia Bag – a perfect beach-bag. The holes allow you to use a lot less yarn than a solid one. The knitters equivalent of a string bag!

Spindrift Scarves – great gift-sized projects with an impressive appearance, ideal for using up oddments of yarns. There are two versions of the stitch pattern for horizontal and vertical scarves.

Almost Saintly Socks – such a pretty sock with my garter stitch short row heel – the pattern is Holey right down the top of the foot, although Holes may be used in the leg only if preferred.

Spindrift Capelet – A little shoulder wrap using short rows Holes of different lengths to give shaping. This would make an awesome skirt too!

A PAPER BOOK???

We recently polled opinions on printing a paper version of this book and have sadly decided against it. It’s really designed as an eBook with many coloured pictures and clickable links to technique videos, just where you need them.

If you would prefer a personal use paper version I would suggest having one made at a copy shop. Ask for it to be printed double-sided with a spiral binding and transparent covers. To make it more economical, have only the covers printed in colour and the remainder black and white.

 

HOLEY BOOK REVIEWS

“Lucy’s Holes provide clean, precise elegance at any scale and in any position…move over, yarn-overs!”
Cat Bordhi

“One of the first things students learn in art class is all about positive and negative space – how what isn’t present is as important to composition as what is. Here then, Lucy takes the textile artist to school with a wonderful exploration of the places knitting isn’t.  A little book of BIG holes for knitters is inspiring and charming, and as always when Lucy writes, the ornaments, tips and tricks for the rest of your knitting are worth the price of admission alone.”
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

 

 
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