Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

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

 

 

 

 

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The PayPal Saga: Supporting Small Business? June 13, 2019

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Posting cute cat photos to my social media accounts helped to save my sanity these last two weeks…

I wrote the following blog post yesterday; see update at the bottom.
I’m fit to be tied and have been pretty much out of business for the last 13 days.
Sometime in May, PayPal put a little Red Dot on my business account page. I clicked, as one would: they were looking to update my business information. I followed the link. Apparently, owing to new government  (Canadian? US?) regulations, they needed more business details than had been provided when the account was set up 14 years ago.
This didn’t seem too hard to deal with…
Little did I know!

This shouldn’t be a problem!

I looked at the list of requirements: they seemed to need confirmation that my name, address and business were all correctly associated.
The first hurdle appeared to be that the name on my PayPal account somehow read as Lucy Neatby Designs rather than the registered company name of Tradewind Knitwear Designs Inc.  No idea how it came to be that way, but that had been set up 14 years ago.
The online document listed  a list of the items that they needed. Many of them were quite personal, with confidential information that I would not normally share.
Initially, I set out to submit all the information documents requested but not the entire sheet. For example, they asked for a company bank statement with address and bank account details –  IMHO they really didn’t need to see my balance or transactions, so I submitted only the top halves of several of the sensitive documents, which included the requested address and company name, etc.
Satisfied with having now fulfilled my obligation, I moved on.

still smiling… the calm before the storm

A couple of days later I received the first (of many) emails with a subject line of “Request for Additional Information”. I called customer service; apparently they don’t accept partial documents. Every document must show all four corners of the sheet.
OK, privacy be damned! I resubmitted the full documents. A couple of days later,   another “Request for Additional Information” was sitting in the Inbox.
I had to go out of town for a week.  Upon my return, a second Red Dot had appeared, informing me that, if I didn’t comply, I might experience ‘service interruptions’.
I sent more documents and received more rejections. What points was I missing?  It was very unclear.  At least my personal profile now appeared satisfactory…
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Cats make everything better, right?…

Just after the first of June I attempted to pay my Ravelry invoice through my PayPal account and found I was not able to access the funds in my account. Consequently, I could not pay the invoice. Ravelry gives a few days grace in which to get an invoice paid, so I figured that, as soon as I got the PP issue sorted out, I would pay it.
Our sales record on-line led me to discover that our last sale had been on May 29th. Nothing since. Nor any notification from PayPal.  I was starting to receive messages on Ravelry asking why PayPal was refusing to allow my customers to make any purchases.
The enormity of the situation was beginning to reveal itself:  PayPal was holding my funds from May. They were denying all purchases, both through my website and Ravelry. As an on-line business owner, I began to realize the absolute vulnerability of my situation.

keeping calm with more cute Pluto photos

And so began my romance with the customer service department.
I would call customer service. Most of the customer service agents tried very hard to give me an explanation of what document was still needed.  I provided the documents (often duplicates of ones that had already been sent).
Every time I hung up feeling as though everything was now in place and life could commence as per usual, only to receive another banal “Request for Additional Information” 24 hours later.
To add further psychic pain, every time I rang PayPal they would let me know that I have a balance of $1472.91 in my account! That’s nice. Can’t touch it.  Apparently money in PayPal is theirs, and not yours, until you have transferred it.

Pluto, give me strength!

 After each rebuttal, I uploaded more documents, but didn’t receive any indication that they had been received or inspected.
I eventually made it to 13 customer service calls! I spoke with a number of very pleasant guys called Jason, and one *** who simply read the “Request for Additional Information” email back to me. Another one kindly gave me access to a link where I could upload multiple documents at a go.
I fell into a routine of uploading, and then calling Customer Service (I know all the codes and questions by heart now), to let them know what had just been uploaded and if there was anything else that they could suggest. I requested expedited service – this just resulted in faster rejections. Lovely.
The ninth guy I spoke with assured me that, in his opinion, all that could possibly be asked for was there, and said that if that was rejected he wouldn’t know what else to suggest. So…the next rejection read that they now needed a “- Published Annual Report, eCertificate of Corporate Status or Articles of Incorporation.”
I don’t have a published annual report; I’m not listed on the stock exchange! My accountant’s year-end report didn’t count.  I hated giving it to them, too. I sent the Corporate summary, Memorandum of Association and the last signed page of my company book.  I sent all 35 pages of it. I sent the listing on the Joint Stocks Registry.

just about ready to give up and hide away

Update on Wednesday June 12th:
After yet another call with PP Support in the morning, I was ready throw in the towel. Done. No more of this insane stress.
And then, it would seem out of nowhere by this time, within the hour of that call, what should appear to my wondering eyes but the following email:
Subject: PayPal has confirmed your identity.
  Dear Lucy Neatby,
Thank you for using PayPal. You’ve completed the procedure that helped us confirm your identity. Now you can use PayPal to receive payments.
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we can finally rest

Epilogue:
Last night I slept.
Today I’m feeling very grateful for all the messages of support and advice that you have all given me. Also, THANK YOU for the many of you who have generously made a purchase of a pattern or DVD, or have placed a yarn order since we have been allowed to resume business.
I feel that the PayPal treatment I received was very high-handed and arbitrary.

the KnitStars team, what a lovely bunch!

During this period, since the first Red Dot, I had a pre-arranged week away, and four days given over to working with the team from KnitStars and being filmed. These are the commitments I have to honour and give my full attention to.
I have been unable to concentrate on my preparations for an upcoming private 3 day workshop that I am to host very soon; I have made little or no progress on a new sock pattern for my Adventure Knitting gang heading up to the North West Territories next month. The Pyramid DK Blanket has made some small progress, but essentially my time has been spent fighting for my business and the folks who work with me.

back to work on the sock pattern

What stressed me out was the circular and vague nature of what PayPal were asking for.
Over the course of this saga I submitted:
  • A power bill from NS Power
  • A Canada Revenue GST statement
  • A full business bank statement
  • A full credit card bill
  • My company accounts published by my accountant
  • Proof of GST payments to Revenue Canada
  • A paid invoice from a supplier
  • A selection of documents from my lawyer relating to the incorporation of my business, including the company details and the signed pages.
  • Later on in the process, having checked with my lawyer that there was no other form of document that could be considered to be ‘Articles of Incorporation’, all 35 pages of my company book. This contains not fewer than 7 repetitions of the business address. (The subsequent PayPal response was that they needed confirmation of the business address.)
  • A printout of — and an active public link to — the Provincial Government Registry of Joint Stocks NS, documenting my incorporated business since 2002.
In return, as always, I got the phrase: “The document we received from you could not be accepted as a Business Registration document. Please provide us with a valid document.- Published Annual Report, eCertificate of Corporate Status or Articles of Incorporation.”
In the end, I purchased and obtained a Certificate of Status from the Registry of Joint Stocks NS. This was the last document I submitted. It didn’t answer the description eCertificate of Corporate status, but it was my last hope and it came good. Don’t know why.

I’m determined to keep my small business running!

This whole experience has made me very aware of the lack of regard the PayPal entity has for their customers. They are large, we are small and mostly powerless.
We are now done with this drama, and I have to move on and get caught up.
I apologize if I haven’t answered every comment (time was a scarce commodity), but we here certainly do appreciate the support you have shown us.
Happy Stitches,
Lucy
PS There is still one ominous Red Dot on my account….
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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

 

Knit Camp 2016: Only 3 Spaces Left! April 14, 2016

Filed under: Adventure Knitting,Guest Post,Tancook Cottage,Teaching — jcw104 @ 09:00

Wouldn’t you love to spend a week on a secluded island with Lucy, enjoying knitting classes, companionship and incredible tranquility? Join us this September for Knit Camp 2016 on Big Tancook Island, Nova Scotia!

tancook2Expect a warm Tancook welcome, and enjoy the rugged beauty of this remote island full of a peace and quiet that scarcely can be imagined in our modern world. You may even find the volume of bird song and sounds of the waves rather intrusive on occasion! You’ll travel back in time and leave the everyday world behind, the moment you step ashore.

Attendance is limited to 12 and there are now only 3 spaces left, so reserve your place today to avoid disappointment!

For more information see the Knit Camp 2016 Brochure or contact info@lucyneatby.com.

 

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Lucy will provide formal knitting classes for 3 hours each morning (there will also be informal gatherings for social knitting with Lucy at other times). With such a small group, we will be able to explore ideas more freely than is usual in a conventional workshop environment.

The topic for this year’s camp will be socks. We will explore the attributes of a great sock, and the best techniques and methods to knit them. Special emphasis will be given to cuffs and edgings, and fancy sock legs using stitch patterns of your choice. (You may select one of Lucy’s patterns or work on your own design.)

tancook4Afternoons will be free to spend as you wish. Curled up with a book on the beach (it’s pebbly, but pretty), sipping tea on your cottage deck overlooking the ocean, knitting in the gallery with friends, or wandering freely.

Optional weather-dependent plans include a bird watching walk with Hillary (she knows where they all hang out and what they are called), an expedition by ferry to Little Tancook Island, or touring by bicycle or on foot.

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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

 

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

 

 
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