Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Crew and Contest Winner

It's been a long time since I've posted a picture of the crew here at Lorna's Laces. I think it's always nice to have a face to go with the name you read about or the voice you hear on the phone.

Front Row: Sam and Pearl

Back Row: Me, Kylie, Caitlin, Stefanie, Emily and Amanda.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Process or Product

Last night a friend came over for dinner. While the pasta was cooking, I decided to wrap the OpArt blanket so I could get it in the mail to my brother. I also managed to complain about the endless rows of stockinette it required. She looked at the blanket and said "You mean garter stitch, right?"

It brought up the question of process vs. product. Since the blanket is knit in the round, knitting one row and purling the next creates garter stitch. But the process of knit one row, purl one row is stockinette, right?

So, which would you call it, garter or stockinette?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I was going through my bag today and found a list I scribbled on a notepad from the Hyatt in Columbus. It reads:

Yarn Haven, Knoxville?

Creative Knitworks, Hillsdale NJ

Playing with Yarn, Knife River MN

Gazebo Plus, New Hope PA

Twisted Skeins, Clarksville GA

Wolf Creek Yarns, Grove City PA

Whirled Fibers, Cedar Hill, TX

Ewe Count, Cheyenne WY

Delightful Ewe, Duncansville PA

I can't for the life of me remember why I made the list. I don't know what the shops have in common that would make me write them all down.

It's in my handwriting, so I know that someone else didn't stick it in my bag just to drive me crazy. I'm making my own self crazy without any help at all. I can't tell you how much I hate it when I do stuff like this.

The first person who can jog my memory so I know what I am supposed to do wins enough yarn to make a pair of socks in the new color of their choice. (Or another comparable prize if you don't do socks.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Colors

We introduced five new colors at TNNA. We liked the tonal thing we did with Satsuma last season so well, we decided to expand upon it this time around.

The first one is Fiddlehead. It's got several great green tones with just a hint of a golden brown.

Hermosa is named after a neighborhood here in Chicago. The colorway has shades of purple. Purple seems to be very popular this year.

Next up is Midway. Midway is one of the two big airports in town. The colorway is very calm and cool. Greys and blues predominate.

Sheridan Road is on of the major north/south streets on the northside of town. It starts in the city and goes all the way up through the northshore suburbs. It's a melange of blues.

Last up is Valentine. Technically, it's not a new color....several years ago we took a few colorways out of major rotation and this is one of them. While we were making decisions about which colors would make the cut for fall, there was one on the table that everyone liked. It seemed very comfortable somehow. Then the light bulb went on. It was Valentine! Or so close that we decided to introduce you all to an old friend.

We have things all knit/crocheted up in the new colors. You'd probably like to see them too, wouldn't you? I'll get crackin'.

Friday, June 19, 2009

At Long Last

I finally finished my OpArt blanket on the road to TNNA. I think it turned out pretty well.

I know I talk incessantly about how I like a simple project, but even for me, this was too much garter stitch. Maybe I'll have to take Miriam or Aiden up their offer to tutor me on lace. Then I can challenge Franklin to see who can finish Sharon Miller's Princess Shawl first.

This is knit from our Shepherd Worsted in 6ns Douglas Fir and Courage. The picture on the top is before blocking, the one on the bottom is after blocking.

I made the smaller of the two sizes, but since I substituted a worsted for the dk called for in the pattern, it ended up being closer to the larger size. That's OK by me since the baby will live in Jackson, WY and the winters up there can be long and cold.

I'll get it on its way to the new parents next week. I hope they like it. Even more, I hope the babe likes it. My dream would be for it ending up being the the child's Linus blanket. It's probably to big for that, but I can always dream.

The crate from market just showed up. I'll have pictures of new colors and such next week.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boogie with the Buffalo

You've all heard of Dancing with Wolves? Well, we're Boogieing with the Buffalo around here.

We got together with Ron and Cecil over at Buffalo Gold and are dyeing some yarn for them. We did five colors of their Lux Laceweight yarn. We're talking 330 yards of pure wonder. It's 45% bison, 20% cashmere, 20% silk and 15% tencel. Yowsa!

From left to right, they are calling the colors Yellowstone, Black Hill, Red River, Flat Lake and Wichita Mountain. The names derive from areas that buffalo roamed back in the days when there were big herds of them cruising around.

Since Lux starts out darker than what we usually work with, developing the colors was different from our usual process. Normally, we have a pretty good idea of how the color is going to look from the get-go. With these colors we got a few surprises. Some of the colors that normally show up very bright and vivid in our yarns were more muted. This stuff is rich and sophisticted.

Sure hope you like it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We got back from TNNA very late Monday night. Yesterday was a blur. I have so much to share about the show! Certainly too much to do in one post, so I'll parse it out over the course of the next few days or a week.

I want to show you the new colors and some of the other things we're doing, but I don't want to end up sounding like a big advertisement either. I'll do my best to balance things.

Since the crate hasn't arrived back from the show yet and I wasn't smart enough to take pictures of a bunch of the stuff I'd like to show you while I was there, today will be a "people" post rather than a "stuff" post.

We rounded up a bunch of folks over the weekend and took pictures of them next to the billboard.

First up is a big ol' group shot. From left to right...Miriam Felton of MimKnits, designer Mercedes Tasovich-Clark, Kristen Rengren of Vintage Baby Knits, Mary Heather, Jess and Casey from Ravelry and Ysolda.

Of course you all know Clara Parkes of Clara's Garden fame. Oh, and that little something called Knitter's Review.

This is Chrissy Gardiner of Gardiner Yarnworks and Lorna Miser, the founder of Lorna's Laces.

Next up is Marcy Smith from Interweave Crochet. Did you see that shawl in my last post? Yeah, I thought you did.

Here I am with Amy Singer of knitty.com. She was at market with Jillian Moreno but I wasn't able to get them outside at the same time. Jillian is the nicest person ever. She waited in line for me at Jeni's Ice Cream and delivered to me in the booth. Big kisses for Jillian.

This is Kristi Porter of Knitting in the Sun fame. Me again too. This one is a little blurry. You have to stand in the middle of High Street to take the pictures, so some of them aren't perfect. You have to be quick and dodge traffic.

Say 'hi' to Robyn Chachula and Amy O'Neill-Houck.

Jackie Katzenstein owns a shop called Wild and Woolly Studio in Lexington, MA.

Here's Mary Beth Temple from Hooked for Life. Lots of crochet in this little gallery, isn't there?

Last, but certainly not least, Cecil and Ron from Buffalo Gold. These two are dangerous. In a good way.

It's kind of funny, when we pulled up and I saw the billboard for the first time it made me cry. We advertise lots of places, in magazines and online etc, but for some reason this just hit me. Kinda silly, I know.

We had such a good time with it. I can't tell you how many people came up and asked us about it. It was a nice way to make new friends. I wish we would have gotten more pictures. Maybe next year.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Interweave Crochet

The Summer issue of Interweave Crochet is live today!

Tracy St. John used our Helen's Lace in Natural for The Shape-Shifting Shawl. (Say that three times fast!)

Pretty, yes?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Drive By

Check out what we saw when we pulled up in front of the convention center!

No flies on us!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Summer Knitty and a Contest

The summer issue of Knitty has arrived! It features this drop-dead gorgeous shawl by Dubliner Kieran Foley knit from our Helen's Lace. When you go to the link, you'll see a contest where you can win the yarn to make your own Cold Mountain Shawl.

It's kind of funny....I've been finding out lately that many of the men I know who knit are partial to lace. There are the famous ones like Franklin Habit but also the not so famous ones like Aiden and David.

I don't know exactly why I am surprised. I guess it's mostly because I have trouble giving away things I knit and you don't often see men wearing lace shawls. Sure, I make the occasional baby sweater, but on the whole I am a selfish knitter. If I knit it, I want to wear it!

This selfishness is compounded my complete awe of the lace knitter. I have knit some very small lace projects, but nothing on this scale. One day I will gather up the courage to journey down that road.

On a completely different note. We leave for TNNA first thing in the morning. There may be a couple short posts and intermittent tweets between now and when we get back, but I don't want to make any promises.

I can promise that the OpArt blanket will be finished by then. Less than 10 rows to go and 6 hours in the car in each direction. Even a pokey knitter like me can get that done. I wonder if I'll be able to get it blocked in the hotel room?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Interesting Times

I am finding the whole social network thing more and more intriguing every day. If you would have asked me a year ago if I'd be on Facebook, I would have laughed at you. Six months ago I scoffed at Twitter. Today I am involved on both.

The other day, someone who I don't know outside of Facebook sent me a note there. It turns out that he has a new rabbi coming to his temple and found out that she is a knitter. He wanted my opinion about what I thought would be the best yarn for him to give her as a welcome gift. He's knits lace almost exclusively, but was wondering whether he should go with DK or maybe sock yarn or??????

So, someone I have never met is asking me what he should buy someone he's never met. What a hoot! How cool is it that the little snippets of information gleaned on Facebook allowed him to feel comfortable enough to ask me? And that I could give him an answer that made sense?

We live in interesting times.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Knitting in the Sun Blog Tour

When Kristi Porter's new book, Knitting in the Sun, arrived at the studio everyone stopped what they were doing to take a look. As is our habit, the first thing we did was flip through to see how the garments using Lorna's Laces yarns turned out. We were not disappointed. There are two fantastic designs using our yarns in the book.

The first is Janine Le Cras's Bordeaux. It's a beautiful shawl knit from our Helen's Lace and named after a beach on the isle of Guernsey. I thought that was particularly interesting since most of us associate Bordeaux with the wine country in France rather than an island in the English Channel. Isn't it great when you get to learn an obscure factoid like that? I mean really, who knew?

The second design is from Anne Kuo Lukito called Yehliu. Anne drew her inspiration for the design from the divets and textures in some of the rock formations in the geological wonders at Yehliu Park in Taiwan. She's put lots of great information about that on her blog. The sweater is a gorgeous lacy, cabled, openwork cardigan made from our Lion and Lamb. Yummy.

This book deserves more than a quick flip and it got it. There are so many things to love about it. Great designs, first rate photography, high production values. But my favorite thing has to be the execution of the concept. It elevated summer knitting to its rightful place in the universe. It's not about small projects, cotton and lace. Just because it's warm outside doesn't mean we need to put down our needles or knit from a limited menu of garments. I have always knit year 'round without much consideration of the seasons. I knit what I want when I want. This book embraces that idea.

Now, I'm not totally unrealistic. I understand that a lap full of mohair on a sweltering day might not be your idea of paradise. But, that doesn't mean that there isn't a place for it at the table when it gets warm. Another of Anne Kuo Lukito's designs, Alishan, balances that mohair with linen and open stitches to make a great lightweight hoody that will keep out those cool nighttime breezes.

And even though Kristi's Coronado is a full length shawl collored cardigan, the use of openwork and a fine gauge soysilk and alpaca blend make this a versatile garment that could be worn on all but the hottest days. Most of us live with air condidtioning and appreciate having a little something to put over our shoulders when we get a chill.

The classic summer knits are by no means ignored. There are plenty of shawls, short sleeves, tanks and even a pair of pajamas. And of course a swimming suit! After all the book is about warm weather.

All the designs were executed with great attention to detail. Creative shaping abounds. A wide variety of body types were considered. This is the kind of book that provides more than just a collection of patterns. It is a springboard of inspiration. It's a way of thinking about why you make certain choices about fibers and textures. A book to go back to again and again.

Next up on the tour is Faina Goberstein.

You'll have to excuse me while I go cast on Bridgetown.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It seems like as good a time as any to start up our first Lorna's Laces knit-along. Since we hear that it's getting warm in some parts of the world, we decided on these Lacy Summer Socks by our own Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter.

Details on the knit-along are here. You can find the pattern here.

These cute short socks can be knit up using just a single skein of yarn. We're casting on on Monday. Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Peer Pressure

Isn't it funny how seeing what other people are doing can be the nudge you need to get back into something you once loved and drifted away from? I'm sure knitting is that way for many people. A baby is coming, they see someone on the bus or in a coffeeshop and wonder to themselves "why haven't I been knitting lately".

Recently, I've been seeing a ton of tweets about baking bread. Bread baking is something near and dear to my heart. When I was very young, my father had back surgery. As part of his rehab, he started baking bread every Saturday morning.

I think it was a way for him add a little physical activity back into his life without too much stress on his back. So, one of my earliest memories is waking to the aroma of freshly baked bread. I'm sure I am romantisizing things quite a bit after all these years, but I consider that smell one of my fundamental memories.

When I was in my twenties, I used to bake all the time. I'm not altogether sure why I drifted away from it. Maybe it was the pressures of work or the demands of someone I was dating. Who know? But it seems like as good a time as any to roll up my sleeves and start kneading again.

On of the great things about bread is that it requires that I set aside a block of time for it. But it's a flexible block of time. Once you spend a few minutes with the mixing and kneading, you have to let the yeast has to do its job. That gives me plenty of time to do something else, like knit. What I can't do is run to the grocery store, dry cleaners and library. The bread determines the rhythm of the day for a few hours. I like that.

On the knitting front, my OpArt blanket is coming along nicely. I have two more sections until I'll be finished and can take pictures that look like something besides a puddle of garter stitch. I'm hoping for next week.