hints of spring

May in Nova Scotia

first blossoms Spring is Here...
As spring tiptoes slowly onto the island, I'm hungrily snapping up all the very small signs of hope. I call this the 'could-try-harder' season. If the wind would stop blowing and the clouds clear away, it has the potential to be a lovely day. So far, we have managed this about once a week. We hit an exhilarating 12c the other day!
Due to the current state of the world, I've now spent an entire continuous month sleeping in the same bed, with the bed itself remaining in the same position (as opposed to taking it with me on a canal boat). This a record not hitherto achieved for very many years!

delicious treats We are now nearly two months into limbo. Every day seems much the same as the last, and I still haven't established a routine.
Making time, I still feel pushed for time. This is surely ridiculous? My best working time is straight after breakfast. I used to get up early and get some writing/work in before breakfast but that time slot is now fully dedicated to drinking tea in bed and reading. I glance serenely out over the bay, watching the sun rise or the lobster boats haul traps, or the surf break on the reef, all depending on the nature of the day. It is such unalloyed pleasure, and I'm not willing to give it up.

hungry birds at the feeder This week, I have actually managed several exercise sessions that have raised my heart-rate and warmed me up, much to the amusement of the curious and bedraggled sparrows dining at the feeder outside the window.
I entered this troubled and day-dissoving viral stay-at-home period with a few optimistic goals, one of which was to do regular physical exercise. My daughters, who are very disciplined and do regular serious exercise, have (frequently) suggested that they would rather I stayed fit, and that I should be doing weights, as well. I'm totally in agreement with both sentiments.
I always claimed that my totally unstructured life on the road for workshops, the back and forth between the island and mainland, off on a boating jaunt, etc, meant that I just couldn't possibly establish a regular routine. I guess this excuse no longer flies...

not really an option here On the mainland, I could jump on my road-bike and ride with a friend immediately after lunch, after we both had finished our morning's work.
That ongoing commitment was enough to get me out and, since the prettiest part of the ride was the furthest point away, there wasn't any room for shortcuts.
Tancook Island, however, doesn't lend itself to road biking; there are only four km of dirt road here, and I'm not keen on pothole-dodging.

I have managed a couple of yoga sessions with some online classes from Yoga Download, but not regularly. Something else always seems to crop up!
I really have to find a proper location: frankly, I don't relish the idea of practicing in front of someone sitting doing a crossword, or upstairs in the back bedroom, where the floor area is so tiny, I touch the ceiling in tree pose, impact the walls when stretching sideways, and hit my head on the sloping ceiling when doing a forward fold! Not perfect conditions.

I'm also a wee bit concerned about bouncing up and down too vigorously downstairs, as I've seen the supports and beams in the basement! (Honestly it's fine, but there is just something unnerving about knowing exactly what is holding you up.) Soon it may be warm enough to use the deck (but the same caveat applies - although I know where the rotten bits and could probably avoid them).

morning temptation The next distraction is that the bathroom is at its warmest (i.e. least cold) first thing in the morning (having had the heated floor on overnight), tempting me to have a shower right away. Once I'm dressed for the day, I have a rooted objection to changing into other clothes. I also hate showering twice in a day.
The feeble excuses and reasonable rationalizations abound...

finding the best video The next question: what exactly should I do? I absolutely need someone to tell me. To stand there and insist and show me over and over again. There are a plethora of online classes available now, but how to choose the right one? I've asked for recommendations from my socially distanced trainers (the aforementioned daughters) and am now compiling a list of ones that work for me.
I'm trying to be sensible of the fact that I need to start at the beginning: nothing too crazy just yet.

My plan now is to immediately dress in exercise-friendly togs right from bed, followed by exercise, shower, breakfast, and getting on with my day. This wearing of the clothes psychologically obliges me to get on with it. It has been working for 4 days so far and we shall see how it goes. Wish me determination!

getting outside Wishing you happy, healthy stitches,


New Patterns

Night and Day DK Cowl

Night and Day DK Cowl by Lucy Neatby

With 13 video links included, here is the perfect double-knit workshop-in-a-pattern!

The Night and Day Cowl, is a mini, wearable version of the Night and Day DK Blanket.
A cozy, draft-excluding neck and shoulder warmer, in two lengths. It is worked from the decorative upper edge and can be continued until you run out of yarn!
Sufficiently stretchy to fit most folks, child to adult.

A series of 13 video links are included in the pattern to guide you every stitch of the way.

  • Link 1: Simulated in-the-round Swatching
  • Link 2: Bi-Colour Knit/Purl Cast-On
  • Link 3: Double Decreases
  • Link 4: Increases and Re-Sequencing
  • Link 5: Reading Increases and Using Markers
  • Link 6: Decorative Bind-off Row
  • Link 7: Reverse Stocking Stitch and Slip-Purl
  • Link 8: Fixing Common DK Errors
  • Link 9: Fixing Multi-Row Mistakes
  • Link 10: Alternative Rotation Purling
  • Link 11: Avoiding Joggles
  • Link 12: Right and Left Decrease Pairs
  • Link 13: Finishing and Neatening the Round

Size:short and long
Skill Level:Intermediate to Experienced
Yarn: Fingering: 2x50g for the short cowl; 2x 100g for the long
Price: $9.50

My free YouTube Channel

check my YouTube channel for new additions! Subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the over 100 (!) free video tutorials I've added over the past few years.
I'm using my quarantine time to help you create even more Happy Stitches!

My newest video features the cowl I'm working on using delicious yarns from Fleece Artist.
Decorative Bind-off for Doubleknitting!
There are many different bind off methods for double knitting. On this edge I'm using this method but adding a decorative detail periodically. I work on the determined larger needle size (use a dpn or circ) until I reach the decoration position and then make a crochet chain loop between the near and far stitches of pair. I've used this edge on my new Night and Day cowl, as well.

Sales at LucyNeatby.com

Domino Baby Bonnet Remember to check the newsbox for our weekly half-price pattern.
We are featuring the Domino Baby Bonnet pattern this week.

A quick gift for a newborn or toddler: a pleasure to knit, practical and comfortable, with minimal finishing required. This project is ideal for using up small quantities of several colours of soft yarn. An excellent companion to last week's sale pattern!

This pattern features detailed written instructions and helpful charts.

The Domino Baby Bonnet pattern is half-price ($3.75) until May 23,
Happy Stitches!

Clearance Section Keep an eye on our Clearance Section and watch for various sales on our regular product pages - our efforts to achieve a major inventory reduction in 2020 will be your gain!

DVDs How about giving your knitting friends a class with me in their own homes? We are revisiting our popular DVD sale:
ALL of our DVDs are half-price! For $15CAD plus shipping (and tax, where applicable), you can own any of the "Learn With Lucy" instructional DVDs. Visit the DVDs page to order yours now!

Additionally, we are offering even deeper discounts on DVDs: any second DVD you order will cost $10CAD, and any additional DVD will be another $5. This special can be found on our clearance page--please specify your chosen titles and your mailing address when placing your order.
These in-depth and wide-ranging titles will have you knitting like a pro in no time!!

Video Download Specials

Brand New Knitter To encourage the development of a new hobby for those who need distraction, we are continuing with our Brand New Knitter Video Download for $1CAD and, for our seasoned knitting friends, all of the other Learn with Lucy Video Download titles have been marked down to half price ($10CAD each)!
Please do send photos of any new knitting projects you have embarked upon. We've seen some delghtful examples results already.

Want to buy the Brand New Knitter Video Download, or any other digital products, for another person? To purchase any of my digital products for someone else (or for multiple friends), just follow the steps below:

  1. Visit LucyNeatby.com.
    Either Sign In or Register (top right corner). Click the "shop" tab on the Homepage and follow the prompts to the Patterns, Tutorials, Bundles, Clubs or Video Downloads you would like to purchase.
  2. Make your purchase.
  3. Email your giftee(s) and ask them to register themselves. Ask them to please include their name in their registration. This is marked as optional, but will it make it easier for us to complete your gift.
  4. You then email us at info@lucyneatby.com to let us know the names and email addresses of the recipient/s. Please include the names of the gift purchases. We will manually add their gift from you to their Notebook and will notify them.
  5. Tell your giftee(s) they can access their digital products by going to LucyNeatby.com and logging in and viewing their Notebook.

If you wish to receive email notification when a new Spun Yarn is published, please write a note to info@lucyneatby.com and put "Subscribe" in the Subject line. If you wish to unsubscribe, please put "Unsubscribe" in the Subject line.

All images and text Copyright ©2000 - 2020; Lucy Neatby, Tradewind Knitwear Designs