Review and Realization.

I learned something really interesting this weekend.

Lucy Neatby has secret mind powers that she can use to control my knitting through the medium of a DVD. That…or I may lack some focus. One of the two. For a while now I’ve had the Knitters Companion: Knitting Essentials DVDs that Lucy made and I thought they were pretty darned good. (If you scroll down there’s a couple of clips to watch.) I’ve been knitting fairly adventurously for 34 years. I’ve read lots of books I’ve tried lots of patterns, I’ve investigated interesting techniques…I thought that it was pretty likely that I was going to be entertained by Lucy, but not taught. Not me. Not knitting essentials. If it was “advanced techniques” I would expect to pick up something, for sure. Essentials though? No way.

Well, pride goeth before a fall because dudes I learned something HUGE in the first couple of minutes. HUGE. The woman has a cast off on there that I can’t even begin to use words for. It’s humane. It’s life changing. It’s one movement instead of two it’s …well. Juno and Cassie have seen it. They know. (Can I get an Amen for the cast off?). The rest of the DVD was clever and helpful, but that Cast Off? Life changing. Worth the price of admission right there. The DVD’s are well filmed, of a good quality and Lucy knows her business in these re-windable workshops. There’s a list of what appears on the first movie here, and there’s a great index at the beginning of the disc so that you just just jump to the Cast-off bit (or the cast-on bit or the thing about decreases) over and over again. It’s sort of like having a live knitting book. You can look up what you need to know, watch Lucy imbue it with grace and wisdom and move on. (This might be especially neat for knitters like Wendy who like to see things live and in person to understand them.) Personally, what I liked was that Lucy Neatby will never know the exact number of times I rewound a part to watch it again, where it a classroom my exact mental density would have been revealed to her each time I said “What?” or “Show me again.”

When the new ones arrived from Lucy I sat down to watch them. I settled down with some seriously boring knitting


The 75cm (30 inch) strap for the yoga bag. The first 47 cm were intriguing. I’m pretty done with it now. I figured that “Sock Techniques 1″ would be a good distraction from the limp to the finish line.

Here’s the part where I learn something other than the Latvian Twist Cuff. (Very interesting, by the way.) I had to put down the yoga strap and cast on a garter stitch hat because I cannot listen to Lucy talk about knitting and not do what she tells me.


I’m trying to work linen stitch and Lucy’s describing a how to work decreases for a ruffle on the top of your sock and suddenly I’ve got fewer stitches on my strap. It’s like I’m helpless to defy her. I switched to the Scarf Rescue hat (from my book, though if you think about it I bet you could figure it out without buying it.) because it’s just straight garter stitch and still…


Lucy spoke. I listened. I’d be chugging along knitting every stitch every row and Lucy would tell me about tubular casting on and I’d nod, listening to her speak, her using every ounce of her teaching experience and me listening carefully because every so often she says something like “snuggle your stitches” and it makes me laugh and I’d look down and Wham. Some monstrosity of knitting happening on the needles because I cannot defy Lucy. I cannot listen to one knitting instruction and execute another. I listen, and my hands obey.


This garter stitch hat has actual mistakes. Knitting 34 years, all I have to do is knit every stitch on every row…there aren’t even any decreases, and there are mistakes. I could have sworn that I could work garter stitch in the late phases of labour or while parachuting, but lo’ in the face of the dulcet instructive tones of Lucy Neatby I have no control over my hands. Lucy has the Voodoo. I’m going to try stockinette and the second video today.


I am not optimistic. Lucy Neatby is my puppet master.

PS. Lene? Thank you for the snow. It arrived last night.

PPS. New total for Knitters Without Borders coming tomorrow.

127 thoughts on “Review and Realization.

  1. How far South can you send snow? I’d take a nice big pile of it, just for the novelty, in Northeast Florida!

  2. I really don’t have anything to say, but the sight of ‘0 comments’ made me try! I just ripped 4 inches of a feathers and fans shawl (146 stitches across) because I couldn’t listen and knit at the same time. I was listening to my mother, which can be a mistake even when not knitting. I’ll have to try some CD’s.

  3. Love the hat. How much snow do you have? My daughter’s boyfriend is going to Toronto for a gaming(?)comic(?) convention this Thursday.

  4. I’ve often wondered if I could be hypnotized. It sounds like you, Stephanie, and maybe the knitters of all nations could be hypnotized, mesmerized, snake-charmed, and brainwashed if Lucy had a mind to do it! I hope Lucy has no plans for world domination. We’ve all seen what knitters can do when organized.
    Still, I’m strangely fascinated by the thought of seeing a knitting DVD right now. Strangely…fascinated…

  5. I can empathize. I was talking to my mother on the phone about a lace-y baby blanket she’s knitting while I was knitting a monkey leg and I realized after I put down the phone that I had started to knit a lace pattern into the monkey leg-right around the shin area. The yoga bag looks wonderful by the way! I hope my sister doesn’t see this or else she’ll start dropping ‘hints’that she wants one too (ie-‘knit me that’). If you need any more snow we have quite a bit over here in northern BC, just let us know. Thanks for the wonderful blog.

  6. Knit while listening to knitting instruction? Isn’t that like counting, then having somebody yell out different numbers. Impossible. I know my wee little brain couldn’t handle it.
    Wish we had snow here in the Sierras. It’s pitiful.

  7. OMG that happens to me, too. Even when I’m watching Knitty Gritty and I already know what they’re demonstrating, I have to put down the knitting. It’s just too confusing to be doing one thing when you’re being told to do another. Which just kills me because there’s nothing like watching knitting to make you want to knit!
    P.S. Steph, we don’t have the same hair any more. Sorry.

  8. I will have to check out the DVD’s, I could use them. We have ice and sleet, I would love real snow. I miss home. hhummmm

  9. Wow….commenting in the top 10???
    I can’t imagine trying to knit and listen to instruction at the same time. Heck, talking (me) or responding to someone else will cause me to drop stitches, knit instead of purl and all kinds of weird stuff. Oh, yes, and weird stuff just because too.
    What is the sunset coloured yarn in the last picture? The stockinette?

  10. You ‘may lack some focus’? Excuse me. I’ll come back when I can read that without laughing.

  11. You got snow? All I have is rain and mud!
    As for you trying to knit while watching a knitting video… well… can you knit and chew gum at the same time? I’m sitting here cracking up, Steph, just picturing you trying to do one thing while watching a video demonstrating something else!
    Looking forward to the new donation total. XOXOXO

  12. Yeah, she’s a hypnotist, that woman. I made both her Paradoxical Mittens and Domino Baby Bonnet and was mesmerized (both patterns available through Shelridge Farm) . I worked with single-minded focus, neglecting my family, through both projects and they are genius. I wasn’t even bitter about making three mittens to get two that fit.
    If I knew you loved her so, I’d have waved the bonnet in front of you last Tuesday night. It’s angora….it’s better than a pet (hence the reason I carry it in my knitting bag instead of putting it on my baby’s head).

  13. I took her class in London and she taught the famous cast off- its great!
    she is also very funny when she talks about relationships of the stitches and how not to stab them in the heart!

  14. My mother and I tried to watch Lucy and knit at the same time over the Christmas holiday, and we both found it too difficult. But yet you want to be knitting something while watching Lucy — just watching alone with nothing in your hands is painful. So mom has been watching while jogging on the treadmill. This seems to be working for her.

  15. I was knitting on a baby blanket while visiting my nephews who were watching a Sesame Street “Count with us” DVD.
    You can imagine the chaos at the end of the feature.
    Bad idea. Really Bad.

  16. Snow, huh? We got freezing temperatures (in San Diego. Yeah, San Diego), which killed my angels trumpets, froze my pygmy date palms, and may have seriously damaged my citrus, not to mention the desert tortoise currently hibernating in my vegetable garden. Too bad I didn’t think to knit garden cozies.

  17. Isn’t the latvian twist amazing?
    i like it best when you do cast on in A, 2 rows of B, then 1 row of C then the twist row with C and continue on your way.
    Nicky Epstien uses the same twist to make curled edged on knit roses..
    Nancy Bush has it on socks.
    (but wait till you see Lucy Neatby on buttonholes. she is the master!)

  18. With so many excellent knitting resources online, do I really need to *buy* DVDs to learn basic techniques? (It is true: I am ch—, er, thrifty.) Well… if the Harlot And Tenth-Degree Black Belt Knitting Sensei can do it, maybe I can too.

  19. Making a person stop talking to listen is an intriguing skill. Making an experienced knitter defy her own simple pattern? I will have to check out the DVDs. πŸ™‚

  20. I think I’m ok now. So. How’s Joe’s gansey coming along?
    Sorry. That set me off again. Gotta go.

  21. I have all 4 of Lucy’s DVDs and they are FAB!! I had the exact same reaction to the cast off method – absolutley worth the price of admission! I ran in the other room to tell my husband, I was so excited. (He is unfazed by my outbursts.) I don’t knit while watching the DVDs. I sit with rapt attention, my mouth no doubt agape, as I watch Lucy.
    You all can have our cold. It’s not supposed to literally freeze in So Cal!

  22. Can’t resist—-
    But- Harlot- If you decided to use the new yoga bag as a knitting bag… then- I would be TRUE— “Kitting is the new yoga” bag, that is;)

  23. If Lene truly has the power to manifest snow, would you mind asking her nicely to please think of those poor homesick Canadians far away in places where the forsythia and irises are already in bloom and people keep saying things like “bet y’all don’t miss the cold weather”? I really, really miss the cold weather.
    Also, that luscious pink and green yarn in the last photo gives me a craving. Do you remember those candies you used to see around the middle of February that are quarter-sized blobs of soft, deep red stuff that melts on your tongue and tastes like roses and cotton candy and sweet, sweet love? The yarn reminds me of those. They’re probably made of things I wouldn’t eat now, like gelatin and high-fructose syrup. Sigh.

  24. Thanks for the referral to the DVD’s…I’ve added it to my Mom’s Day/Christmas/Bday wants and needs list. πŸ™‚ I love the scarf rescue hat…so do my kids…but I really really love reading you. πŸ™‚

  25. Lucy is the person who designed my husband’s endless sweater, Cables After Whiskey. I love Love LOVE the look… but.. well.. it’s endless.
    Lene has some ootent magic, btw. It’s also snowing the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We’re close to Ontario, but kinda far from Toronto.

  26. It’s the humility fairie, she visited me too yesterday to point out all the cable mistakes I’ve been making on the back of Celtic Dreams. Not a one on the front, but all on the back. 5 of them. It’s like she’s daring me to leave them like that. But I will cut. Oh yes I will. *Love* the kureyon colour.

  27. I think it’s funny that your garter stitch was affected by Lucy’s DVD. That’s…well, unexpected.
    Snowing up here in Cornwall, too – what’s this, 4-5 hours away from you? Lene must be one with the cold front.

  28. You got snow Stephanie? All we’re getting is freezing rain – 40 minutes north of you. The nasty kind that is impossible to scrape off the car. So I haven’t!! Just stayed in and knit more bears…. Can’t wait for that total!!!!!!

  29. Well, I learned last night that I cannot teach someone to purl while knitting stockinette – because I lose sight of what *I’m* doing.
    “Here,” I said, helpfully. “I’m on a purl row, let me show you…”
    And promptly created an ill-placed short row, because I was NOT in fact on a purl row at the time. I haven’t pulled that particular manuever even while knitting in a dark theater. But in a brightly lit living room with many witnesses gathered around to marvel at my knitterly brilliance?
    Sure. I can manage any number of @*^&@ ups…

  30. Is that a ruffle in the last picture, or just some really scrunched-together knitting? [g] Pretty, pretty yarn!
    Btw, I’ll hopefully be sending you some pix later this week of stitch markers for TSF/KWB prizes. You know, now that the BMFA brouhaha/your flu/the holidays have died down. πŸ˜‰ And once I’ve practiced a bit more on wrapping headpins after making loops. Much to my astonishment, after I did a test-run by making some for a friend first, I found one gets out of practice after not making much jewelry the last 8 years or so. Such a surprise! ::muttermuttergrumblesnark at fingers:: Wish me luck on the photography.

  31. We’ve got a bit of snow over here in eastern Washington…It won’t melt because it hasn’t gotten above something like 10 degrees all week! I’d send you some cold too if you need it. I love the color of the little bit of ribbing at the bottom of the post, can’t wait to see more of it!

  32. I LOVE Lucy’s cast off. I didn’t realise it was her own invention (I learned it from her at a workshop) until I started telling internet knit-friends about it. They all went “the modified what???”. So I googled it hoping to find them instructions, and it’s not out there on the internet either. Anyway, I’m glad that the rest of the world is finally talking about it!

  33. To bad none of these DVDs are available for Europe. I do wonder if I would be able to play them on my computer. Should ask around!
    And snow? Please, I want a whole lot of it over here!!!! I have this Spring weather, someone please send Winter over here!
    Greets from Belgium

  34. So. covet. the. Neatby.
    I have some of the Elizabeth Zimmerman videos that I borrowed from a friend. I totally forgot about them! I should dig them out.
    I refer to them as Kniteos. When I rule the world, terms like this will be universally accepted.

  35. Thanks so much for the notes about Lucy Neatby’s DVD’s. I’ve thought of getting them & then thought the same as you that they were strictly for beginners & I wouldn’t learn anything from them. I’m off to buy them right now.

  36. Also – could Lene send some snow this way? I’m used to cold sunny winter weather & all we’ve had this year is gloom, clouds & rain.

  37. I took a class from her a few years ago and was blown away. She’s just such an amazing teacher, and I probably should get the DVDs myself, because I felt like I left her classroom and promptly forgot 80% of what she’d taught me, I was so full of new! better! ways to do things. Our old habits serve us so well we forget we can learn new tricks without even getting up sometimes.

  38. Stephanie, I’m thinking that perhaps you have some crazy mind-control powers over me. First it was the green sock yarn I bought at Lettuce Knit around late November (Fleece Artist, in a particular colourway). Then it was donating to MSF. Now, more than anything in the world I want to watch Lucy Neatby videos while knitting with yarn from the Socks that Rock Sock Club. But this time: I. Will. Stay. Strong. Thanks Steph!

  39. I don’t mean to disagree with Maria of the first comment.. but please do not send snow south as everything is covered and saturated with water and first will come ice.. then the snow. and that.. would be that..I will stick by the rain..

  40. I’ve seen some clips from the first of the Knitting Essentials DVDs. Of course, *I* was too experienced a knitter to need to watch closely. HAH! Hubris. I am duly humbled. And I’m in very good company, O Yarn Harlot of the Flying Needles, very good company, indeed. I’d call Lucy right now, but I expect the phone lines to Nova Scotia are jammed within an inch of their lives. Maybe next week. I’ve seen what happens when you mention something. Just look at what you can do for MSF, after all.

  41. Of course, I learn about the DVD after Christmas!:) I am watching the EZ’s Knitter’s Workshop. They are cool. I will have to get the new DVD’s also!

  42. oh! you’ve made me want the dvds so much! i could learn so much from them. and, at long last, i could watch something other than curious george and thomas the tank engine on tv, since my children are fascinated by knitting.

  43. I’m with Emily from Belgium! Could the snow come to Europe? Maybe? Pretty please? It’s so warm here we have tulips (and much to my chagrin the dog is already shedding)
    (what’s the pretty yarn in the last photo? I want to give it my money)

  44. I bought all of Lucy’s dvds and watch them as a treat when the kids go to sleep. Who knew I’d learn so much, well Lucy knew, of course! πŸ˜‰

  45. Okay, so Lucy Neatby does the voodoo on you… but this not necessarily bad if you want what she is saying.
    Any woman who can knit serenely on the CBC while giving an interview, can probably also chew gum while knitting… so maybe you can do Lucy and knitting with some practise.
    Even more on the total?? Omigod!

  46. I also like the CDs. I’m looking forward to seeing the new total on the Knitters without Borders. But Lucy’s voice is so nice — very like my mother-in-law’s.

  47. We woke up to snow this morning and it’s still falling– as I was doing a HUGE shovel job,I kept thinking how much you like it when you get a big dump of snow cuz’ it’s a great excuse to just knit–I swear I shovelled faster anticipating my own knitting spell this aft. But of course had to break to read your blog and could not agree more about Guru Lucy –discovered her many years ago at a knitting camp and have worshipped at her feet ever since — one of the most original, entertaining teachers I have ever met and exceedingly nice (with a hint of spice) to boot!! You could probably compare teenager notes (if you have not done so already)?!
    Looks like the last pic in today’s blog may be Noro–Silk Garden? Kureyon? GORGEOUS colurway!! Only reason I think I know is because I am working on a Sarah James Diagonal Vest in Silk Garden and have been since I saw you here in Montreal last November… slow and steady wins the race and eventually finishes the UFO!
    Received my card from MSF today and looking forward to new totals…HURRAY!

  48. I’m having the same problem with YOUR one row homespun scarf pattern from 10/12/2006!! One false move, or one of the cats says something and I end up with 27 stitches instead of 26. I’ve had to tink back at least 4 times now. I can knit lace while watching House but can’t knit *knit 2, knit into the back of the next stitch, purl 1. Repeat from * till there are 2 stitches left. Knit 2. to save my life! πŸ˜‰

  49. The yarn shop I visited in Nova Scotia last summer had one of the DVDs playing. Lucy’s voice was a delight to listen to, but I resisted buying the DVD. I don’t own a DVD player (but, of course, my iBook will play DVDs just fine!). But a magic cast off? I might have to rethink this decision, as well, unfortunately, as the decision (not yet implemented) to buy the charting software Franklin and a lot of other bloggers are raving about. Decisions, decisions.

  50. new ideas and new inspirations every time i pull up this website.
    ok, now i really want those dvds!!!
    and i can’t wait for the new KWB total!

  51. Oh, you mean like when I am working on a lace pattern and the Numeric Forces of Television notice?
    See, when I am knitting garter stitch or stocking stitch in the round, it’s all old movies, westerns, and other numerically-deficient programming as Dave flips through each channel so as not to miss anything, ever.
    But if the TV sees that I am knitting LACE, the programming automatically changes, and something with numbers is on EACH channel as Dave skips across it … “she was stabbed TWELVE times” / “FOURTEEN to SEVEN at the end of the THIRD quarter” / “only $19.99!” / “TWENTY-EIGHT miles to the gallon” / “only SEVENTY-THREE CALORIES” ….. YACK!!!! And before I know it I have gone right from the traditional “Crest of the Wave” pattern to the traditional “Floor of the Pub” lace pattern.
    I love Lucy.

  52. I order Lucy’s Knitting Essentials 1 and Sock Essentials 1 in December. For some unknown reason, the post office decided to wait a month to deliver them, but they were finally here last week. I spent as much time as I could watching them over the weekend. And I will agree with you wholeheartedly, it’s nigh onto impossible to knit while watching them and not find yourself following her instruction. She’d say “purl” and even though I was working stockinette in the round, I’d find myself moving my yarn forward. Weird. I absolutely love these videos and will be asking for the 2nd ones in both series for my birthday!
    PS…That cast off does look awesome. I may just have to start a project other than socks just so I can get to a cast off edge!

  53. Steph — I’m going to look for those DVDs, although I worry that they might be too advanced for me (are they basic?) The idea of watching films while knitting jogged my memory, though: my daughter gave me all the “Firefly” episodes and I have 1-1/2 toques to finish. I’ll do it! We finally have a decent snow here in Madison WI and are delighted. It’s still snowing and my cats have spent the day watching the flakes. They don’t realize I’m over half-way through my first Kitty Pi!

  54. Snow? What’s that? I just got my nose sunburnt hanging out the washing.
    The DVDs sound good, I’m sending Him Indoors today’s blog post to add to his Pre-Approved Gifts for Valentine’s Day list.
    I’ve been knitting (reasonably adventurously) for 30 years, but I am constantly amazed by how much I don’t know. Add that to the stuff I keep forgetting; the Pomatomus socks taught me that I have huge gaps in my knowledge… just like I have huge gaps in my socks. I mean, YO, how hard could it be…
    Famous last words.

  55. I think Lucy Neatby is great. I love her humor in her patterns, even if it is just the names I know, like Cables after Whiskey. And that Macedonian sweater she just whipped up? OMG!!! Sounds like her DVD will be on my “I want this” list!

  56. I love the hat. It’s my favourite colour combination.
    If ever there was an endorsement for a product, this is it. Lucy will be running out of DVD’s in no time.

  57. I was fortunate enough to participate in a Lucy workshop in November. She ROCKS hardcore! Her grafting technique is the bomb!

  58. Hey! I saw a picture of your new book over there on the right! Tell us more about it! Carolyn in NC

  59. I’m in on the video. I’m a visual learner.
    ps. Last night at work I had a customer ask for a hot meal and some cold weather. It’s pretty warm for January here in Alabama. I heard that if you guys share the cold, we could get some too.

  60. Here’s a corollary to the Things That Mess Up Your Knitting list: if you make a mistake while knitting lace at 3:30am at the hospital, don’t try to fix it right then…it just messes things up even more spectacularly.
    Ask me how I know.

  61. I was lucky enough to go to a Lucy Neatby workshop in Nova Scotia a few years ago. That woman is amazing! I have some of her patterns, and my hubby actually bought me a kit for my birthday that year. No, I haven’t done it yet, but it is on my list!
    I have learned (partially learned) the Philosopher’s Wool two-handed fair isle from a video, and I couldn’t believe how much fun it is.

  62. I would also like to thank Lene for the snow, if she had anything to do with it finally showing up in Chicago this afternoon.
    Obey. The Neatby. The Neatby will be Obeyed.

  63. Snow in Seattle. Fourth snow this winter is forecast for tonight. Would gleefully send it to anyone who wants it. Can’t even get my car out of the driveway.
    Now, upstairs to knit because it’s too darn cold downstairs to do anything except cube ice!
    Must get the DVD.

  64. It’s kind of like how you can’t look a something blue and say yellow at the same time. Cognitive dissonance or something.

  65. My poor dear. This is why I don’t read about knitting, browse through knitting patterns, or anything about knitting while knitting. I read and my hands do as I read. Freaking musclememory-brain coordination!

  66. And again, you lead us down the path to the knit-goddess! I watched the vid-clip on Lucy’s site (the provisional cast-on). Another knitting epiphany! I’ve been using provisional cast on for toe up socks (Thanks, Wendy!) and love it…but I’ve been making a chain and PICKING UP THE DAMNABLE STITCHES! I watched Lucy’s clip in awe! THIS IS FREAKING FABULOUS! I SO have to order these! (And I should have lots of disposable income since I’m doing KFYS and UFO’s!) Thank you again, Stephanie! You are my knitting guru!

  67. I think I spy some Silk Garden in the always coveted colour 84? Mmm….
    I like how you can always find Lucy Neatby at a show by looking for colourful hair. A really nice lady to be sure.

  68. A hat with mistakes? You know, if you sent it away, it’d be as if the hat and mistakes had never existed in the first place. I’d be glad to lend a hand (or address) here.
    And I don’t want snow. I just want snow ice cream. I did my snow dance already and have the milk and sugar ready to go.

  69. Our knitting guild purchased that whole set of LN DVDs. Must borrow one at next meeting. And Lucy is coming to Ottawa to give a talk and two workshops in April! I can hardly wait. She is a remarkable teacher.
    And thanks in advance for tomorrow’s KWB total. Inquiring knitters want to know!

  70. another heartfelt AMEN for the glory of the cast off…took workshops with her a couple years back and that alone was worth the price of admission (though we learned so much more)…it’s probably the most even cast off method i’ve ever done

  71. perhaps now you have a glimmer of a thought as to how all of us feel when meeting you.
    I’m just hoping that I don’t drool, blubber and embarass myself at Madrona Fiber Arts πŸ™‚
    P>S> am ordering those videos first possible chance.
    When does your new book come out ? – the ugly cover version has hit Amazon.. let’s all duck and hide now. No one should malign you that way with such a rotten photo.

  72. Thanks for the review. Someone had suggested the Sock dvd as I am self teaching myself knitting. Glad to hear that it is so good, now putting my pennies away for it.

  73. Harlot, you are a very costly cult leader. Do you know what shipping costs are from the US to Germany? Not to mention Customs getting their cut….sigh….but if I must, I must. The Harlot has spoken, and we all must bow to her rule. Lucy Neatby videos, here I come!

  74. Front and center that blooper is, three garter ridges to the right of the center brown stripe.
    And if you hadn’tgone to such great pains to point it out no one would have played the Stitch version of “Where’s Waldo.” πŸ™‚

  75. I’ve been knitting for about a hunnert and fourteen years now. Just started a sweater that has k2,p1 ribbing. Cannot tell you how many times I had to stop and tink back before my hands finally learned to purl one instead of two. Smack!

  76. LOL!!! I had the honor of taking a 3 day workshop on Double Knitting with Lucy last year. It was just awesome. She is funny, witty, and has the patience Job. You think you’d have to ask her to repeat something a couple times, you haven’t seen me in action! Behold the power of Brain Farts! (From a past brain injury, not because of my mental diet!)She told us all about her DVD’s and we got to preorder them from our LYS. She’s a wonderful teacher. Maybe you should just give in and do what she says. Put a set of needles in your hands, some nice, but not too nice yarn and let Lucy be in charge. At least then you wouldn’t have to do all that ripping! Happy viewing!

  77. I went to a Lucy workshop in London. Isn’t she the greatest? I had to show that cast off to everyone I met for the next week or so.

  78. Oh great! Another “I must do, I must have”…your pretty darn good at hypnotizing folks yourself Steph! But I HAVE to see that castoff!!! By the by folks…if any of you can send ANY moisture, rain, sleet, snow, fog ANYTHING to Arizona it would make us sooooo happy..we keep getting teased and it never comes…the freakin’ cactus needs watering!!!

  79. so……….where’s the part about you coming to kansas?
    i know you will eventually and there will be an unflattering picture with a caption saying something like, and this is susan who finally harassed me enough to come to kansas.
    i’m excited.
    anyway yay for snow, we got some precipitation except its deceptively white ice that looks like snow until you step on it and fall over. and by “you” i mean me. and I haven’t knit anything since school got out for winter break (yeah…..because that makes sense) so i have nothing to say about the knitting. except have to watch out for that voodoo….it’s tricky

  80. You say that Lucy won’t know how many times you rewound to watch … she will know soon! Lucy just lives “up the road and around the corner” from me and I will be connecting not only her but the members of our knitting guild to your blog so they can read all bout your fondness for her and her talents … which, of course, we already knew! She is just brilliant!

  81. Lucy Neatby taught at TKNA in Niagara Falls a few years ago. (maybe more than a few years ago; I’m old) That was the first knitting class I ever took. My mother taught me to knit as a child and I was self-taught after that. The class was on steeks, which intrigued me. I learned SO many things from her, she is an amazing teacher. And fun! And human. She was wonderful as a teacher and I have been thinking of buying her DVDs because I like her so much, but thought I was crazy to do so. I have been knitting for 50+ years, do a little teaching myself. Maybe I should get them, to learn a little more! Thanks for the review!

  82. I’ve been reading your blog for a while and have started knitting in December (I’ve crocheted all my life). I just picked up one of your books “Secret Life of a Knitter” and I can’t stop laughing my butt off. I was looking at knitting in B&N and saw this book and bought it instantly. The funny thing is that 20 minutes before I was telling my hubby something about you.
    The funniest part is when I read that when you were working on the green afghan that you would reward yourself with working on other projects when you had gotten X amount done on the afghan. I laughed so hard because I had just done that very thing the week before.
    Thanks for all the laughs!

  83. Thanks for the tip on the DVDs, Stephanie! Speaking of videos, as a newly-minted knitter I’ve also found the Knitting Help website [] to be a great learning tool.
    By the way, what do knitters give to other knitters for recognition of recruiting a new knitter? I’m thinking of the pyramid scheme thing where you’re in a sales club, and after you sign up five more members, you get a toaster or something. Is there a knitting equivalent for converting knit-curious muggels into actual knitters? If so, someone should send my mom something for recruiting me πŸ˜‰

  84. I requested that my local library (Ottawa) buy all four of Lucy’s dvds, and they did! If you can’t afford to buy them, it might be worth putting in a request to purchase at your local library. You never know!

  85. Here in not so beautiful OK, we have a blanket of ice several inches thick. Be glad you came to us when you did, it is in the single didgits and icy.
    I love the Lucy DVD’s, and am so impressed with her style and the way she makes it seem doable. I met her in Tulsa last spring and she was a delight.

  86. Kate, that’s a great idea! Our library has some great knitting titles already-this set would be the icing on the cake :~) My spending freeze prohibits me from an immediate purchase, but it’s on The List.

  87. Lucy Neatby has another willing puppet, thanks to you! I went to her site and was buying DVDs and a sock kit before you can say “Take me to your leader.” Thanks for showing me the way!

  88. Maybe too late for others, but I THINK STEphanie’s sock program is coming on channel 58, the Do It Yourself channel, southwestern Michigan at 11 a.m. this morning, Tues. Not positive, but hopeful!

  89. Lene? I will offer up anything for snow. Anything. Well, anything except for my honey and the West Wing DVD set he brought along. Which is also highly distracting to knitters. Nevertheless, send the snow south — please!
    And what is that lovely yarn in the last picture? The colors are fantastic!

  90. I’m de-lurking in belated recognition of National De-lurking Week. I found you as an author before I could knit and before I knew there were such things as knitting blogs.
    Nothing to do with this particular post, but thanks.

  91. I watched some Lucy Neatby at a friend’s place, and as with you, although I have been knitting for ages (not 34 years, but we’ll get there), and thought there was nothing left for me to learn in terms of basics and essentials, how wrong I was! I learned THREE ways to decrease two stitches at once, when previously I had thought that I knew THE way (slip stitch purlwise, k2tog, psso). And since then, I have watched snippets of EZ’s video, read some EZ, and read some Mary Thomas. Who knew that there was so much territory not yet covered?

  92. That sounds like the game where you look at a bunch of color blocks with words in them and read the word, not the color–the red square will say blue, the yellow square says purple, etc. It’s harder than you’d think.

  93. Clips? What clips? I want to see them!
    I have a link to your blog on my Google homepage. You always make me laugh and it’s a good thing to do first thing in the morning. πŸ˜‰

  94. AHA! Found the clips..(insert head hitting emoticon here). LOL For anyone else who wants to know they are on the DVD page Stephanie linked to above.;)

  95. I was gifted with Lucy Neatby’s dvd having seen it at a knitting retreat and begged Santa for it. That cast off is what made me want it. You are sooooo right…it’s humane, and wonderful. I have mastered it and that makes me mighty.
    Now on to more Lucy Neatby challenges!

  96. All hail Lucy’s voodoo! I was wondering about those DVDs, sound definitely worth the price of admission! Meanwhile, looking forward to the new total . . .

  97. Does she have anything in there about memorizing cable charts, because I’m working HARD on the cable for the Cardigan for Arwyn (yes, Arwyn, not Arwen–Arwyn is 9 months old, and her cable is, by necessity, much shorter:-) and for some reason I can not fathom, simple instructions that lead to a bigger, more complicated masterpiece, totally elude me…

  98. So what you’re saying is that I SHOULD NOT MISS the Lucy Neatby weekend and guild meeting in April? Noted. πŸ™‚ I’ll be sure to have something appropriate to work on!

  99. I can knit while listening to an audiobook, but I can’t, no, don’t knit while trying to look at knitting books. Why? No, it is not because of the directions, it is because trying to knit and look at a book for me produces an odd posture that is not conducive to knitting. Would trying to watch EZ’s Knitting Workshop or a Meg Swansen video do that (what is mentioned in the post, not the posture) to my knitting?

  100. I took a couple of classes at Knitapalooza last spring with Lucy Neatby and learned that cast off. I’ve been knitting for almost 40 years, it never even occurred to me.
    Nice hat. I like the yarn you used.

  101. I know the feeling!! I work in a yarn store, and I’ve found that I cannot watch someone carry out my instructions without doing the same on my own project. Of course, if I try to instruct without keeping my hands busy, I practically try to rip projects out of people’s hands while they work. Jealous hands? Mine certainly qualify as such.
    (My solution: tink a lot.)

  102. Yes! I love that cast off! It’s so fast, so easy. Lucy is elite, worth spending almost any amount of money on to take a class with.

  103. Let us pray that there are no hidden subliminal messages in there! And St st for the second DVD? You are tempting fate.

  104. Amen to the cast off. I adore Lucy Neatby. She is artful, gentle, thoughtful and smarter than almost anyone… but not at all intimidating. If only I could be like her when I grew up.
    I have studied with Lucy three or four times. I’ve driven hours round trip at times to learn from her and been very happy to do it. I always come away feeling like I should have paid for more than one seminar, I learn so much… yet it is never overwhelming. She is a class act.
    I’ve seen the videos, and heartily agree with your assessment. She does things right, explains well, illustrates well, and sometimes makes you giggle without feeling childish. I hope she is ready for the onslaught of orders she will get this week because of your review. I expect she will do just fine.

  105. That is the same reason I can’t watch Knitty Gritty while doing actual knitting. Doesn’t matter what they’re doing on the screen, I either lose track of what I’m doing or what they’re doing.
    I want the DVD now though so I can learn this magical cast-off of which you speak!

  106. I think I have a solution for the beautiful Alchemy Alpaca. Could you use it to make the Dream Swatch Pattern from The pattern is meant to be knit with beautiful sock yarn. I’m currently making one and love it. I think the Alpaca could work, obviously it would be more fall and winterish but beautiful none the less!
    Here is the link.

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