we are always happy to welcome visitors to our lovely island!

Dear Knitters,

A Busy, Busy Spring

I didn't remember to take enough photos of our Hooking Day, but Big Tancook Island is photogenic EVERY day! Around here, we are enjoying a crazy and wonderful spring. I always admire, from afar, folks who can both do amazing things and then write about them on the same day! I, on the other hand, get so caught up in the moment that I forget to take pictures while it's all happening, and then am too overwhelmed to write about the doings until the dust has settled. I guess I'm just not a natural blogger. (Speaking of amazing blogs, I love to read about Pip Leckenby's wonderful description of day to day life and work on her narrowboat Oleanna -- the beautiful photos keep me coming back!)

Open Hooking Day poster not quite enough cookies! I was deep into having ginger kittens about the Tancook hooking/knitting/textile day Hetty and I had organized for April 28. I had begun baking cookies a few days earlier but, when I heard from a friend that 35 members of her crafting group had signed up, coupled with the flurry of emails from people writing on behalf of even more groups of friends for information, began to realize that my mental estimate of 40-ish people might not be too accurate... I would need more cookies.

here comes the Tancook ferry! Considering the Tancook ferry's passenger capacity of 95, and the fact that other folks would also be using the service that day, I was starting to feel a wee bit concerned that the ferry might have to make a second trip. A second run is entirely plausible in this type of situation, but it would delay the overflow passengers by 1.5 hours, and the ferry crew would have to remain on duty for much longer than usual. I'd hate to inconvenience them or the regular passengers for my hooking party whim.

loading the apple trees I did extra shopping on the mainland, and loaded my not inconsiderable cargo of food and supplies onto the ferry. The day before Hooking day, the weather was vile (to put none to fine a point on it): liquid sunshine in monsoon quantities. In fact, the actual sun hadn't appeared in 10 days. We could only hope for better weather...
Of course, the mainland transport situation dictated that my 4 new apple trees also arrived that same day.

Luckily for Hetty, Heather and me, the rain abated for a few hours. This allowed us to set up the hall with tables and chairs, and arrange a display of local textile art and hooked rugs (both vintage and contemporary). We were ready.

here they come!... Happily, the morning of the big event dawned sunny.
Several islanders reported to me that, as the ferry sailing to Chester pulled in quayside, they were amazed to see the entire wharf covered with people with baskets, all awaiting the boat. They did indeed wonder what on earth was going on!
I had asked a friend to oversee and guide things on the quay in Chester and keep me posted of developments. At 5 minutes to ferry sailing time, she texted me with numbers: approximately 87 headed to Big Tancook Island. With fingers tightly crossed I breathed deeply.

Welcome to Big Tancook Island! The multitude of visitors arrived as one. The coffee was brewing, a team of volunteer drivers awaited on the dock, we unfurled our new Welcome to Tancook banner, and greeted the eager crowd.
Thanks to the sunny weather, many folks were happy to stroll up to the community centre and take in the scenery and glorious spring birdsong.
Some of the visitors accepted the offers of a drive, so they and the luggage were transported up the road.
A great thank you to all of the volunteer drivers, and a special thanks to Hillary and Rhi for the gorgeous Welcome sign!

a fun crowd! And now the textiles campaign began in earnest!
As everyone settled in, the enthusiastic chatter of like-minded folks from far and wide in Nova Scotia rose to happy chorus. I was delighted that many Islanders joined us with their knitting, caning and hooking projects. Two of our most productive island rug makers had brought their larger traditional frames and were eagerly consulted on their work.

impressive and delicious! The afternoon saw many of our participants take a conducted walk around the island, and we rounded out the day with a magnificent themed cake made by a talented island cake artist!

With the addition of regular weekend visitors to the island, the ferry was beyond capacity returning to the mainland. Plans were made to allow local traffic to get first dibs on the ferry places, and those visitors who didn't have too far to travel on the other side would hang to the back of the line and await the extra sailing an hour and half later.

another enjoyable Big Tancook walk! We returned with the overflow visitors and tried to feed them with all the remaining food stuffs. Never let it be said that anyone leaves Tancook hungry!

Many of our visitors hadn't been to Tancook before, and our event gave them the perfect excuse to finally make the voyage. It never ceases to amaze me that, when you mention Tancook, the usual response is "I've lived in Nova Scotia all my life, and I've never been." Judging by the numbers of non-expiring ferry passes purchased that day, I think we have some converts and that many of them will return!

The day was well summed up afterwards by one islander who said, "Wasn't that a super party!" Yes, it was!
The small amount of surplus funds have been donated to the Community Centre to fund a future historical project documenting all the remaining traditional Tancook hooked rugs, a worthy cause.

Great news!

my Octopus's Garden rug Hetty's Ode to Spring rug In conjunction with all the excitement of hooking day (and my relief at its success), Hetty and I have now launched our first 6 rug patterns, a new venture for us both. All patterns are hand drawn with sewn raw edges and borders with the grain. Details below.

Finishing a Few More Projects

planted AND protected My new apple trees were begging to be planted.
You really can't afford to miss a moment of the short growing season here. We do, however, have a deer problem. They had swum across from the Blandford peninsula, to Little Tancook and across the Chops (the passage between the two islands) 40 or 50 years ago, and have multiplied mightily in this secluded environment. A bane of every Tancook gardener, they were a death knell for the local sauerkraut cabbage crop.
I'd dug holes in the soggy swamp that is my back yard in anticipation, hauled several loads of seaweed up from the beach for mulch, and brought manure, stakes, and chicken wire across in preparation. It took a couple of days to complete the defences and get the job done. Now that the trees have been planted and are suitably protected, my fingers will remain crossed while I stand back and wait a few years for the delicious results.

some of my painted steps Having completed the planting, I resumed work on the great staircase project. It's an 11 step program!
I started painting my boards a couple of years ago but, what with all of the canal time coupled with painting in the unheated mud room, this venture never got past the "to-finish" list.
the completed stairs With my Tancook filming schedule for KnitStars 4.0 beginning on June 1st, I decided that this was going to be the year! Working on the final boards, I found it hard to know when to stop. Now I know that I could keep going forever, adding more and more scenic details: I didn't include muskrats, flickers, seals, birdhouses, knitting, quilts... I have got sharks, shells, pheasants, deer, sailing boats, lobster boats, seagulls... All were varnished before putting them in place and then they were DONE. I am thrilled with the result!

In Knitting News...

Atlantic DK Hat Atlantic DK Hat I released my Atlantic DK Hat pattern last week!
This is a really fun knit and is one of our new workshop-style patterns, with access to eight technique videos. A total bargain for $9.50 CAD. This super-warm hat features a textured double-knit brim (with a three-colour option) and three motif sizes which may be placed to suit yourself (no chart to follow) and organized random decreases (all explained within the pattern pages)!

Pyramid Blanket My Pyramid DK Blanket is off the needles and has been blocked.The pattern is well underway and we are offering a kit option in the same luxurious Handmaiden Casbah 5 ply yarn and colourways that I used to knit the original. The yarn pack consists of 29 50g skeins of Casbah 80/10/10% Merino/Cashmere/Nylon yarn and the kit price is $417.00 CAD (approximately $325 $US). Send us an email to pre-order yours now!


The end of an era

Attention! I have recently received the news that Patternfish, the pioneering Canadian on-line pattern store, has decided to cease trading. You have until June 30th to download your stash purchases to your computers or Dropbox accounts. Please don't forget!
I have always been immensely grateful to Patternfish for encouraging me to develop my patterns into digital format - I might have missed that bus without their support and encouragement. Well done, Patternfish folks!

Wishing you all the very Happiest of Stitches,

Lucy




New Patterns

Atlantic DK Hat

Atlantic DK Hat by Lucy Neatby


Make your unique free-style scrumptiously cozy double layer hat inspired by Lucy!
After working a cozy textured brim, with the option for two or three colour rounds, have some fun positioning your square motifs where the mood takes you: no need to follow a chart!
A series of three motifs are offered; pop in a motif wherever you have space. Random crown decreases allow freedom in the placement of the motifs as the hat becomes smaller.
This workshop-in-a-pattern features a full written pattern with photos, charts, diagrams and 8 video links!

Eight video links are included in this workshop-in-a-pattern.

  • Link 1 - Cast-On and Round 1 Tips
  • Link 2 - Knit/Purl Long Tail Cast-On in Pattern
  • Link 3 - Using Three Colours, Rounds 5-6
  • Link 4 - Correcting a Mistake in DK
  • Link 5 - Creating Garter Ridges
  • Link 6 - Placing Yarn Markers and Setting up Motifs
  • Link 7 - Placing Decreases Between Random Motifs
  • Link 8 - Decrease Tricks


Recommended Yarn: Fleece Artist BFL Lil' Sport
Size: Toddler to Adult
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Price: $9.50CAD


Our Newest Additions to the website

Fiesta Crab Rug

Fiesta Crab Rug by Lucy Neatby


Hand drawn original pattern by Lucy Neatby
Primitive linen, sewn raw edges and border lines with the grain.
31 x 35" with colour notes and picture
Drawn to order

Please note that this pattern is drawn on raw linen (not paper!) and does not include the rug hook or wool necessary to complete the project.



Designer: Lucy Neatby
Size: 31" x 35"
Techniques Used: basic rug hooking techniques
Recommended Tools: rug hook, hooking frame or hoop, rug hooking wool Price: $98.00CAD

Octopus's Garden Rug

Octopus's Garden Rug by Lucy Neatby


Hand drawn original pattern by Lucy Neatby.
Primitive linen, sewn raw edges and border lines with the grain.
29.5" x 29.5" with colour notes and picture.
Drawn to order.

This pattern is drawn on raw linen (not paper!) and does not include the rug hook or wool necessary to complete the project.



Designer: Lucy Neatby
Size: 29.5" x 29.5"
Techniques Used: basic rug hooking techniques
Recommended Tools: rug hook, hooking frame or hoop, rug hooking wool Price: $92.00CAD

Liberated Rug

Liberated Rug by Lucy Neatby


Hand drawn original pattern by Lucy Neatby.
Primitive linen, sewn raw edges and border lines with the grain.
19.5" x 31.5" with colour notes and picture.
Drawn to order.

This pattern is drawn on raw linen (not paper!) and does not include the rug hook or wool necessary to complete the project.


Designer: Lucy Neatby
Size: 19.5" x 31.5"
Techniques Used: basic rug hooking techniques
Recommended Tools: rug hook, hooking frame or hoop, rug hooking wool Price: $72.50CAD

Ode to Spring Rug

Ode to Spring Rug by Hetty van Gurp


Hand drawn original pattern by Hetty Van Gurp.
Primitive linen, sewn raw edges and border lines with the grain.
17" x 21" with colour notes and picture.
Drawn to order.

This pattern is drawn on raw linen (not paper!) and does not include the rug hook or wool necessary to complete the project.


Designer: Hetty Van Gurp
Size: 17" x 21"
Techniques Used: basic rug hooking techniques
Recommended Tools: rug hook, hooking frame or hoop, rug hooking wool Price: $63.00CAD

Well-Schooled Rug

Well-Schooled Rug by Hetty Van Gurp


Hand drawn original pattern by Hetty Van Gurp.
Primitive linen, sewn raw edges and border lines with the grain.
25" 30.25" with colour notes and picture.
Drawn to order.

This pattern is drawn on raw linen (not paper!) and does not include the rug hook or wool necessary to complete the project.


Designer: Hetty Van Gurp
Size: 25" x 30.25"
Techniques Used: basic rug hooking techniques
Recommended Tools: rug hook, hooking frame or hoop, rug hooking wool Price: $76.00CAD

Starfish Ripple Rug

Starfish Ripple Rug by Hetty Van Gurp


Hand drawn original pattern by Hetty Van Gurp.
Primitive linen, sewn raw edges and border lines with the grain.
21" x 29.5" with colour notes and picture.
Drawn to order.

This pattern is drawn on raw linen (not paper!) and does not include the rug hook or wool necessary to complete the project.


Designer: Hetty Van Gurp
Size: 21" x 29.5"
Techniques Used: basic rug hooking techniques
Recommended Tools: rug hook, hooking frame or hoop, rug hooking wool Price: $72.50CAD


Spring Sales

Infinite Entrelac Blanket and Scarf Check the newsbox for our weekly half-price pattern!

We are featuring the Infinite Entrelac Blanket and Scarf pattern this week.

This easy and practical gift has serious heirloom pretensions, suitable for treasures of all ages.
A reversible, infinitely expandable, blanket or scarf knitted in garter-stitch entrelac. Fun to knit and especially attractive when knit in hand-dyed yarn or one with a long colour gradation.
This easy-to-memorize pattern is perfect for knitting on the go!

The Infinite Entrelac Blanket and Scarf pattern is half-price ($4.75CAD) at LucyNeatby.com and Ravelry until May 25. Infinite Entrelac Blanket and Scarf



Knitting Essentials 1&2
Our 2 for 1 DVD bargains are still available on our clearance page!
For $29CAD plus shipping (and tax, where applicable), you can own any of the featured "Learn With Lucy" instructional DVDs. These in-depth and wide-ranging titles will have you knitting like a pro in no time!!



Celestial Merino - Mermaid
Our stock of Celestial Merino Yarns is almost gone and, sadly, we are unlikely to order more, as the base yarn has been discontinued. Only some colours remain, and we are selling the last of them at a reduced cost. Take a look for a last chance at these beautifully dyed 100% merino yanrs!

Happy Stitches!


New Additions to my free YouTube Channel

check my YouTube channel for new additions! If you're subscribed to my YouTube channel, you already know that I added a few more free videos since my last Newsletter!

Check out Horizontal Magic Buttonhole , and Three-Colour Double Knitting for a peek at some of the techniques I've been recording and sharing!
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Spun Yarn Changes Ahead

Our new mailing list at MailChimp is up and running! If you haven't done so already, we ask that you please sign up afresh if you would like to continue receiving Spunyarn. Just send us an email at info@lucyneatby.com and we'll add you to the new mailing list, we do not want to lose you!

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All images and text Copyright ©2000 - 2019; Lucy Neatby, Tradewind Knitwear Designs