Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What's That Smell?

It's kind of funny how often things just fall into place and the universe ends up pointing the way for me. Way back when I decided to do Pay It Forward, I was trying to think of things that I could do that would be something besides sending yarn or knitted items.

It was early May and I was getting ready to plant our garden for year. I use the term garden very loosely. We live in a condo, so we're pretty limited. We have window boxes in the gangway where I normally plant herbs and some more on our little deck where we have flowers.

Instead of my usual basil and mint, I decided it might be nice to have some new things. The lavender at the garden center looked beautiful and I've always liked the way it smells. So we picked up a few seedlings and they went in next to the mint.

I'd been thinking that a sachet might be fun. Later that week, I got a Knitting Daily email highlighting Eunny Jang's Lacy Sachet. Kismet! That pretty much sealed the deal. Now I just needed to wait for nature to run it's course so I had enough lavender to fill them. A couple of weeks ago, I harvested it and left it to dry.

Over the weekend, I created these:

They are knit from some yarn I picked up at Sock Summit. It's naturally dyed by Stevanie Pico and the colorway is Neon Bible. I'd originally planned to use the yarn for the Tempest I've been blathering about lately, but didn't like the way it looked when I swatched it.

The lining is plain fabric that has been sitting in a drawer for far longer than I care to admit. The ribbon was some I had in my ribbon box. So, I was able to make these without going out and buying too many of the components. That's always nice.

One is going to a Pay It Forward person and the other to my mother. Mom's vision and hearing aren't very good, but she gets real joy from smelly things. I often send highly scented flowers to her so I think she'll like the sachet.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I keep running into great things to do with sock yarn besides making socks. Don't get me wrong, I love me some socks, but it's nice to have other choices.

The first thing that comes to mind are all the small shawls I've talked about over the past few weeks like Milkweed and Ishbel. They've been very popular, both here at Lorna's Laces and out in the world as well. Sock Summit was lousy with them.

Then there is the knitty.com pattern, Tempest, that I've mentioned a couple of times lately and cast on for over the weekend. This is Emily's Tempest.

It's knit in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in 107 Red Rover and 16ns Charcoal. I'd been admiring the pattern for a long time and just never got around to it. Seeing Emily's is what really inspired me to get it on the needles. It's proving to be a very quick knit. (I know, I know. Famous last words.) I chose very dark colors without a great deal of contrast. I think I'll really like it once it's finished but the spot I often knit in doesn't have great light so it's been a little tricky keeping the colors straight.

Another great sweater that's made from sock yarn came across my desk last week from Connie Change Chinchio called the Mountain View Cardigan.

This one is shown in our Shepherd Sock Echo colorway. They are more views on Connie's site.

Isn't the detail work in the back stunning? Oh. My. I've always had a soft spot for great back detail. Seems like there's one gown at the Oscars that does it every year. Simple and elegant in front and then you get the back shot and kaboom!

These are just a few things that have hit my radar lately. So, what are you seeing? If you have pictures, send them along to yarnATlornaslacesDOTnet. We'd love to see them!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cookie's Deep Dark Secret

We've been keeping a secret around here. Cookie's Deep Dark Secret.

CDDS is the latest in our Color Commentary Series. It's a beautiful, rich dark blue. We went with a nearly solid this time around to complement Cookie's intricate sock designs. Besides, it was time to mix things up and do a nearly solid. We like to keep you on your toes.

Along with the new color, Cookie also designed a brand-spanking-new sock pattern that just went live on knitty.com called the Clandestine Sock. Girl has outdone herself. Please take a minute and click over to the picture on knitty. For the life of me, I can't unblurry this photo. I have tried repeatedly and it's late on Friday afternoon and I just don't have it in me to try again. You will not be disappointed.

The yarn is available and shipping right now. Check with your LYS.

Lastly, I want to send out a big ol' BRAVO to all the folks that make knitty.com happen. The fall issue marks their 7th anniversary and a redesign. They have outdone themselves.

They have also been a great supporter of Lorna's Laces over the years. There is a story there that needs to be told. I will save that for another day. For now I just want to say "Thank you".

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A VERY good mail day

Look what showed up in the mail! Handmade by Annie Modesitt no less!

There will be toast and tea and jam at 3:00. Anyone is welcome to join us.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunday Swing

What a wonderful weekend! We got the perfect Chicago Labor Day holiday. It was bright and sunny. Warm enough to sit outside and have a cocktail in the evening, but not so hot during the day that you couldn't be running errands or hanging out at a BBQ with friends.

We went to a great performance art production on Saturday night, Redmoon Theatre's Last of My Species. It's a short show, only about an hour, but they packed a lot into it. One of my favorite bits had them doing some acrobatic moves on a crane. It reminded me a bit of trapeze work.

I've been interested in trying my hand at trapeze for the last couple of years. The park district here had a company put up equipment on the lakefront awhile back and I never got over there to give it a shot. The piece on Saturday night piqued my interest again. I'll have to do some research. If anybody knows anything about it, please let me know.

I did have enough quiet time to finish up the Sunday Swing socks I started a week or so ago. These are done in the second size and knit in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. I cast on 64 stitches. They fit me just fine. It was a simple, quick knit. I like these socks well enough that I could see doing a second pair.

I also cast on a Tempest sweater. One of the colors I'm using is still top secret, so I can't show it to you quite yet. Maybe later in the week.