Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

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

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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.

 

Activities:tancook5

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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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.

 

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

 

Fitbitting into the Winter… October 29, 2014

Filed under: General Musings,Knitting Travels,Teaching,Travels — happystitches @ 09:32
Pike's Peak, CO

Pike’s Peak, CO

Back in April, I took the pledge: I was going to exercise every day, regardless of being home or away.

I’ve done very well thus far, didn’t miss a day… until recently.  My game plan was to either walk 11000 steps as monitored by my Fitbit, ride my bike, swim, paddle or do a weight routine.  If hadn’t achieved my daily exercise goal, I’d gotten into the habit of walking after dinner until the necessary number of steps had been completed. This is less appealing in the dark, damp and cold, and now that the nights are drawing in, the siren song of the knitting chair by the fireside is hard to resist.

I did well on my last workshop tour. I found several like minded knitters in Colorado who, once the workshop day was done, joined me  for a good long walk. We found a route away from the road, set off, and got back in time for dinner. What a great way to spend time with new friends! The range of subjects we covered was astounding.

 

Osage Orange tree

Osage Orange Tree

 

 

My Kansas host lived near a park, and I walked there after class. The weather was perfect and, once I had located the pedestrian-only parts of the park, I enjoyed lovely walks whist listening to an audio book. I even discovered what Osage oranges look and smell like!

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Osage Orange

 

My next stop, in Livonia, MI, was at a hotel.  Here I  remembered that I hadn’t brought along my gym gear. The clothes could be improvised but, without appropriate indoor shoes, the indoor sports facilities were  a no go. I climbed stairs between floors and walked where I could. Sadly, though, being bounded by roads and parking lots is not conducive to walking outdoors. On the other hand, owing to the bizarre design of the hotel, I frequently headed off in the wrong direction between my room and the classroom, and gained many valuable strides this way!

 

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Post-workshop stroll in Lexington

Lake Huron

A gorgeous view: Lake Huron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onwards to Lexington, MI, right on the shores of Lake Huron. It was very beautiful there but, again, not easily suited to walking. I had hoped to walk back from the workshop to my host’s home each day, but the nature of the traffic on the apparently quiet road was enough to blow you off your feet!  I contented myself with some small-scale local strolls and a thorough exploration of all the streets in Lexington.

 

 

 

Detroit airport green wall

Luscious Green Wall in the Detroit Airport

Airport days present good opportunities for walking and, when time permitted, I avoided moving carpets.

Rather than sitting (knitting) and waiting,  I preferred to pace up and down the terminal a few times instead. In a crowded airport, you never know who a FitBit knitter might bump into!

Airport Sighting

You never know who you might bump into!

 

Why we do it? September 10, 2014

Filed under: General Musings,Teaching — happystitches @ 07:14
Teaching on-line at Craftsy

Teaching on-line at Craftsy

My teaching and traveling is fueled by you! Ask any  passionate teacher, we get a huge kick out of enabling someone to grasp a concept or master a technique. That’s why teaching live classes is so much fun. There is an energy generated by the interaction within a class. The muttering “well that was worth the price of admission” or the odd “wahoo!” popping unbidden from the lips of the newly enabled is the real pay.

Teaching virtually is rather different. I rely on people taking the time to write. Writing reviews, or just sending notes. Believe me I read and appreciate them and hug the words to myself when the going gets tough!

 

This recent letter really made me smile!

“Subject: Another one of your students

I am not a computer expert. I am writing this letter for the third time. Hope it makes it.

When I was looking at your vacation photos, I couldn’t help but feel that I was seeing a
family member or an old friend who had sent me some vacation pics.
After all; you have been in my home teaching me to knit since my 60th. birthday in
Feb. of 2010.  My goal was to begin learning all about the art of knitting when I turned 60.
You have spent many hours right in my living room teaching me lessons slowly,
standing still, in reverse or over and over. Wholly Cow, are you a patient instructor !
I now feel that I know you. You are in hundreds of homes where, I’m sure, others
feel the same way. You have hundreds and hundreds of students who, if they saw you
walking down the street, would call out to you like an old friend, “Lucy” ! !” Thank you” !
“Remember when you taught me to knit” ? !
So, for all of us who are too far away to shake your hand in person, Thank you Lucy !

You taught me to knit ! !

Your friend D****”

Do take time to write, in this fast paced virtual world to anyone who has made a difference in your life. It will make the world a finer place.

 

Blossom with petals Side B

Blossom with petals Side B

Blossom Blanket Side A

Blossom Blanket Side A

 

 
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