Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Lucy’s knitting cruise memories February 6, 2017

Filed under: Guest Post,Travels — codeandknit @ 20:16

Lucy has just returned from her recent knitting cruise all around  South America with a humungous photo collection. Since I was unable to go on the trip, I thought it would be fun to go through the pictures with her and get her to share some stories. I will share those tales and images here; maybe other knitters will enjoy the armchair experience as much as I will. (more…)


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.


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!


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!



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!


I’m back from my wanderings! July 23, 2014

Filed under: Travels,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 05:59
Raising a bridge on the Llangollen canal.

Raising a bridge on the Llangollen canal.

Excuse the silence during my recent sojourn in the UK. Internet and I never seemed to coincide. I’ll try to post pics over the next few weeks. It was so beautiful, I took hundreds. I did however manage to keep up with my new exercise goal whilst on this trip, never easy on a family holiday. Lots of country rambles and it turns out that a canal trip can involve almost equal quantities of walking if you wish. A canal boat at top whack only travels at walking speed. On days when I found myself short of steps, I simply hopped off the boat at a lock and walked to the next one! This also allowed for the taking of spectator style pics. The bridges and locks add a little weight training too.

The Chirk Aquaduct

Crossing the Chirk Aquaduct

Here’s an amusing article on how a Fitbit might affect your life.


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!



Island Life of Another Sort January 14, 2014

Filed under: Double-layer knitting,Knitting Travels,Teaching,Travels,Uncategorized — happystitches @ 09:49

Lobster boats at the dock

I love islands and island communities! Most of you have probably guessed as much from my ramblings about Big Tancook Island just off the Nova Scotia coast, where I go to recharge my batteries. On North America’s other coast, I have enjoyed the famous and Gulf  and  San Juan Islands (home of Cat Bordhi and her wonderful residential camps). What I have learned from my island visits over the years is that each has its own unique character and surprises.


A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit Mackinac Island in Lake Huron, at the bind-off tip of the Michigan mitten. Not unexpectedly, this island community turned out to be another one-off, quite different from all the rest.


The surprise: no motorized transport is allowed in the summer months!  All transportation is either horse- or human-powered. The horses commute seasonally to the island for their employment. As you can imagine, there are all sorts of fascinating details entailed by this transportation situation!

You may now imagine my delight when the invitation came for me to teach on this island in May of this year.  How could I resist? Of course I didn’t.

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island will be hosting its annual Needle Arts Seminar in May

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island will be hosting its annual Needle Arts Seminar in May

The Grand Hotel, and I do mean GRAND, hosts a very special four-day needlework weekend at the start of the season each year, and they have just opened bookings. I’ll be teaching two of my favourite classes: one day of double-knitting and a THREE DAY class on my Venus Rising Cardigan. The Venus class is a veritable feast of empowering techniques, and the opportunity to spend three full days with the same gang of students opens the door to all kinds of exploration.
If you possibly can, please join me – this will be a very special event (with some fabulous world-famous quilters, too) that should appeal to those knitters who love quirky with comfort. There will be plenty of nature and outdoor opportunities, as well.  For more information, contact Jackie Compton: needleart@grandhotel.com

For you other island junkies: I recently watched Martin Clunes’ documentary on British islands. Very interesting.  I had no idea there were so many inhabited islands dotted around the UK, John and I may have some exploring  to do during our next family visit!

Muckle Fulga -- I may just have to visit here one day!

Muckle Fulga — I may just have to visit here one day!


Happy Stitches For Us All November 18, 2013

Some of the best forms of a teacher’s pay are the comments from students. One of the classes I teach when travelling, “A Phoenix from the Ashes” has brought me many remarks along the lines of “life changing”.


I’ve been finding myself teaching in all kinds of interesting places of late, but it’s my happy students who keep me coming back again and again!

In truth, it’s the students who inspire me to continue traveling and keep teaching.   I started off as an instructor at local Guilds, shops and events.  Over time, I was asked to teach knitters in more and different locations.  Then my team and I decided to explore teaching “on film” and the DVD series was born (I had never intended to film so many titles, but I have a lot to share and, in truth, I still keep finding more!).  Somewhere in there, I wrote two books.  About three years ago, I was approached by Knit Companion’s Sally Holt, followed by an offer to teach a Craftsy course.  Now we’re busy with the Double Knitting Club, which is based mainly on visual demonstrations and teaching of new techniques.  In between all of this, in my free time, I have created a YouTube Channel and started filming clips from home.

As you can see, my teaching has found all sorts of new forms, and each brings its unique qualities.

What I still love best, though, is the interaction and feedback from students.  It’s always fun to build a relationship based on a shared passion, even if, in the end, it is more of an email correspondence, or a chat through social channels.


It’s always fun to find new friends who share my passion for knitting!

I recently received an email from one of my knitting friends.  She had made a beautiful cabled sweater, only to discover a glaring imperfection while blocking the finished garment.  Below is what she wrote, and some photos of her wonderful work:

Hi Lucy,


Note the miscrossed cable on the left panel

I discovered this mis-crossed cable WHILE BLOCKING this sweater. With the

help of your brilliant ‘daring fix’ video, I was able to fix it! Thank you,

thank you!


This is a delightful example of a superb rescue made on a fully completed sweater – all done without opening a seam or removing a neckband.

I can only imagine the horror that the sight of the wrongly crossed cable caused, especially when it was only spotted when blocking the finished sweater. However the triumph, I’m sure, was all the sweeter.

This fix was achieved using the method shown in Cable Fun – Part 4 (Daring surgical fix)


I’m so glad it came in handy!

Happy Stitches!

Sign up for my YouTube channel Lucyknit and then you will be notified of new videos. The full collection can be accessed (without the distraction of watching someone wrapping a cat in Christmas paper) from your personal Notebook on my website too (this service is free for all registered users).


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