Monday, 22 May 2017

Learning with Lucy (Neatby)

The class we signed up for with Lucy Neatby was called "Various Variegations". We were asked to bring variegated yarns and solids that coordinated and contrasted.

We spent the day learning some of the stitch patterns Lucy uses to highlight the distinct colours in variegated yarn.
The first thing we did was knit a swatch using her Flying Swallows pattern. She's wearing the Fiesta vest above which used this pattern on the front.
We then knit a short row pattern from her Sea Lettuce scarf pattern, practiced a picot bindoff and discussed its uses. I like putting  picot bindoff on a plain edge of a shawl like I did on my Silverleaf Shawl.
We looked at various ways yarns were dyed using various colours, how they repeated, and how they could be used. Lucy explained how to create a 3-ply yarn from a single strand using a chain-plying technique as you go. She used that technique when knitting this Venus Rising cardigan.
Above Lucy's head is this cautionary sign.

(People who don't swatch are destined to spend a lot of time knitting ill-fitting garments or having a lot of UFOs lying around due to frustration.)

Her trademark is her brightly-hued hair. I just loved her glasses which really went with the whole look.

Lucy also explained how the yarn patterning can change with increases or decreases. Although it might be terrifying to cut knitted fabric, a good way to maintain pattern integrity in a bottom-up sweater is to knit a tube then cut the fabric of it for the armholes and neck. Also, when creating decreases, add a waste stitch that can be cut away later. 

I had brought a few balls of my handspun so I could experiment and figure out ways to incorporate my handspun into larger knitted items using contrasting or coordinating solids. She also explained 'Siamese Sleeves' where the two sleeves are knit as a tube with steeks separating the two of them. That way it is easy for colour changes and decreases/increases to be done to both in the same round. When finished, cut the sleeves apart and stitch together along the steek line.
She discussed a couple of ways to create bobbles. She showed us some examples of uses for domino knitting or mitred squares. We then experimented with some Fair Isle swatches and her 'Paintbox Pattern' where she alternates one stitch of main colour and variegated yarn in one row and separates the rows with the solid main colour.  

Lucy showed us several of her knitted pieces including socks that were knit with a double knit sole

and explained a garter-stitch, short row heel (also pictured above). It is great for patterned sock yarns where you don't want to interrupt the patterning with the increases for a heel flap and gusset. It is similar to an afterthought heel but you do the short rows as you go with either a contrasting yarn or the other end of the ball of yarn you're using. She explained that it was like cutting a toilet roll tube halfway around and bending it, then filling in the void (heel) with the garter stitch, short rows. I love her explanations.

This sock demonstrated the use of textured stitches. The tractor was done with intarsia.

My long-time friend from high school, Cathy, was also in attendance so the three of us went out for a good Mexican lunch at Bella Jacks. We did more watching and swatching after lunch and finished up in time to do some browsing and shopping at the Little Red Mitten. There was one door prize - a choice of either Lucy's 'Double Knitting Delights' DVD or her 'Cool Socks Warm Feet' book and my name was drawn!!!!! I'm so lucky. I have the Double Knitting DVD so I selected the book

which I didn't already own. Lucy graciously autographed it for me.
Initially I handed her a blue Sharpie to sign my book, which she refused. She found a pink one that was to her satisfaction, so she could sign my book.

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