Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tenuous Connections

I got news last week that a woman named Meghan Galbraith died. I had just reached my seat and was settling in at the theatre when I got the text. I was able to get some of the details before the curtain went up but the first act was a bit of a blur.

I was surprised the news hit me as hard as it did. You see, Meghan and I weren't what I'd describe as friends. We'd never stayed up late laughing over a bottle of wine. We never went out to dinner or took a walk. We weren't "friends" on Facebook. I didn't even know her last name until she was gone.

Meghan worked at the coffee shop right up the street from the studio for the first few years that I owned Lorna's Laces. She was the dynamo that made the shop tick. She probably moved on sometime in 2006 or 2007, so it had been a  long time since I'd seen her.

I'm sure part of my reaction is because I saw her every day for several years. Just for a few minutes, but almost every day. We said hello and sometimes shared a little something about our lives.

In the very early days of Lorna's Laces, I worked ridiculous hours. Fifteen hours days were pretty common. Seven day work weeks too. I often strolled up the street in the late afternoon or early evening for a little pick me up. Looking back, I realize sometimes it was as much for the smile as the coffee. Meghan was that person. The one who brought a little sunshine into your life just by being Meghan.


This death is tragic. Thirty-five year old women should be making music and living life in the largest possible way.

My takeaway from this is to remember that you might not realize the impact you can have on someone's life. Small interactions can touch hearts in big ways.

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Colors

It's that time of  year again. New color time! We launched 7 new colors at TNNA earlier in the month and they are shipping out to your local yarn shop.

This season, we named colors after women one of the crew holds dear. A mother, a grandmother, a friend. I'd like to bring your attention to one in particular, Go, Sandy, Go.This color honors our friend Sandy who is fighting uterine cancer right now. We'll donate 10% of the proceeds from the yarn we dye that color to cancer charities. If you have a particular charity in mind, let us know. We always like your input.


 Without further ado:









Friday, November 21, 2014

Turkey Day!

My favorite holiday of the year is Thanksgiving. I guess what I like about it the most is what it's not. It's not about religion. It's not about gifts. It's about gathering friends and family around a table to give thanks for the bounty of the season. And maybe a little football.

We're super happy to be part of Jimmy Bean's Wool's Fit for a Feast celebration again this year. It's an event where they gather hand-dyers together to create a collection of yarns based on their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. You can buy the yarns one at a time or the entire "dinner" or even "sides" or "desserts". Awesomesauce.

Just a few days before they asked us to get involved, I was over in Michigan and stopped by a cute little farm, FloraLia. It's small farm with forty or so bee colonies, a donkey, a few sheep, a bunny or three, a bunch of chickens and Mr. Turkey.


When he gets excited he puffs all up and struts around. He was doing that the day we were there. It's hard to tell from here, but he was easily 3 feet across. Isn't he amazing?


Anyway, when Jimmy Beans Wool called, I knew immediately that I wanted our "dish" for the feast to be turkey. But, instead of using a cooked turkey for our inspiration, we were going to use Mr, Turkey. He had so much more going on than even the most lovely roasted bird. Of course the brown and red stand out, but can you see the bits of blue on the tips of feathers? And all the grey?

So after a little experimentation, voila, Wild Turkey.


We're a little biased, but we think it's pretty nice. It's one of those colors that would work beautifully with almost any winter coat for a hat and scarf set. Think about it, camel, navy, black, grey, red. We pretty much have you covered.

So hurry on over to Jimmy Beans Wool and and get your feast before they sell out. This is all limited edition and they're going to go fast!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Naming Contest!


Well, it's that time of year again. We have fallen desperately, shamelessly in love with a new yarn but we can't for the life of us figure out what to call it. You've helped us in the past with Honor, Solemate, and Sportmate. I'm hoping you can work your magic one more time.

The yarn is yummy. It's a bulky weight with a super tight twist. Around here, we call that "sproingy". And I'm going to say it's a "technical" term. Or at least as technical as we're ever going to get. It's pictured here undyed, but we'll be dyeing it all of our colors.


So, the details. This is 90% superwash merino and 10% nylon. Why nylon, you ask? Well here's the logic: There isn't enough nylon in it to make the hand of the yarn feel any different than 100% merino, but that much nylon will make the yarn nice and strong. So, if you are the sort that loves a nice knit slipper, this yarn would be perfect.

Perhaps Cadeautje by Ysolda.


Of course the yarn isn't just about slippers, it's also be a fine choice for a nice chunky sweater or a fabulous hat and mittens or scarves or .... You name it, this will work. I swoon when I think what will happen to cables or of curling up under a toasty blanket made with this yarn.

Perhaps something like Susan Hanlon's Stylish Squares Blanket?


Between the superwash and the nylon, a blanket would be pretty bullet proof.

This will knit up at about 3.5 sts/inch. A 100g hank witll have 120 yards. Lovely, don't you agree?


I think that about covers the details. Except for the name. Can you help?

Email your suggestion to contest@lornaslaces.net. We'll narrow it down to the top three when I get back from vacation on December 1 and then we'll put it up for a vote. Winner will get a bag of the new yarn in the color of their choice.


Pretty sweet don't you think?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vogue Knitting Holiday

You're going to be seeing a ton of reviews in this space over the next few weeks. I've gotten quite a few books lately and I've been remiss in telling you about them. That said, the first thing I'm going to talk about is a magazine rather than a book because it's on the top of the pile on my desk. 

So, Vogue Knitting Holiday. I really like this issue. I think the thing that tipped it for me is that it's not a bunch of green and red. It's holiday but not HOLIDAY. I like subtle. I like sophisticated. 

Of course there is a special gift section. And the New & Now section is chock full of great ideas to make your special knitter happy. And one of the stories is about things that sparkle. But after that, the patterns and such are all good, solid, beautiful winter wearables.

Comfort and Joy is all about soft, chunky, wrap yourself in cozy. Just what we'll all be looking for in the coming months.

Next up is a section of designs all worked in red wine colored yarn. There are all types of garments here, sweaters, bags, cowls, you name it. There is something for everyone. It may sound silly to say it, but just because it's shown in wine doesn't mean you have to knit it in wine. There's a statistic that gets tossed around that says something like 75% of all garments are knit in the colorway shown in the magazine or book. Isn't that crazy.

One of the great things about being a stitcher is that you can pick and choose and make it your own. Don't like red? How about blue? Or is green your color? Make it work for you. There is no limit to where your imagination can take you.

The last story is called Merry & Bright. This is all about colorwork. Fresh and fun colorwork. Jacqueline Van Dellen created Modern Fair Isle Raglan in our Shepherd Worsted. It's shown here in 0ns Natural and 1ns Pink Blossom.


I have a couple of Fair Isle's on needles right now that just need things like a steek to turn them into FO's. Something about this kind of knitting is really appealing to me right now. 

All in all, I like this issue quite a bit. You should take a look. My guess is you'll find more than one reason to take it home with you. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jane Austen Knits 2014

By the time you read this, I'll be a few days into a delightful week away. And I mean AWAY. I'm at a retreat. The kind where you go on a long hike in the morning and do yoga in the afternoon. Have a massage. Eat healthy, vegan food. Sounds great right? I haven't even gotten to the best part. There is no internet. No phones either. I am completely off the grid for a week. If you see a white Samsung S4 walking around looking lost and forlorn, be kind to it. It misses me. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd show you our pattern in the latest  Jane Austen Knits series from Interweave. 


These are the Almost Pretty Stockings from Hannah Poon. If you ask me, I'd say they are full-on pretty rather than almost pretty, but I'm not the desinger. That'd be Hannah Poon. They are shown here in 21ns Powder Blue. I really love the instep treatment. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

137 DeKoven Street

Do you know what that address is famous for? Legend has it that on Sept. 26, 1871, in the alley behind 137 DeKoven Street, Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a lantern and the city of Chicago burned. We are a resourceful bunch and within days, we were rebuilding and getting back to business as usual.

With Vogue Knitting Live gracing our fair city once again, we partnered with the lovelies at Windy Knitty to design a colorway that embraced this piece of lore. In the past, we've done colors honoring both Potter and Bertha Palmer, the visionaries behind the Palmer House (and where the event is held).

Mandy came by the studio a few weeks back and we had a super morning playing in the dyepots. We embraced the reds and oranges of fire as well at the licks of blue and the pops of gold. At the end of the day, I think we did pretty good.


Then we thought you'd want something do with your pretty string, so we got together with Margaret Kendall and she created Rise from the Ashes.



This killer cowl is mosaic stitch worked in the round. It's a fabulous way to show off a high contrast multicolor. It's one of those patterns that make it look like you are a colorwork genius when in fact you are just cleverly slipping stitches. Smoke and mirrors. I love it when I can look fancier than I really am.





You'll be able to find it at Windy Knitty's booth, 102-104, at VK Live this weekend.We only dyed 50 hanks of this colorway on Solemate and burned the recipe afterward. So, when it's gone, it's gone.  You better act fact!

For a little bit more fun, Windy Knitty is doing a giveaway over on their blog. Even if you don't want to enter, (yeah, right) Mandy did a super job of talking about the fire and the history of the fire and the Palmer House. It's a good read.