Monday, November 30, 2009


Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, I'm ready for the snow! I'm not sure why but I don't think it should snow before then. Probably because I look at Thanksgiving as an autumnal harvest festival, not a celebration of winter. The Canadians may have it right by celebrating in October.

But now it's time to get into the holiday spirit. For some people it's making cookies, for others it's trimming the tree, still others shop til they drop. Me? I need the white stuff to really feel the holiday love.

But just in case mother nature isn't cooperating, I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve. Jackie E-S over at HeartStrings has come up with a pattern called Lacyflakes that has a bunch of different knitted snowflakes. They range in size from 6.5 to 8 inches and can be made with lace weight or fingering yarn. I can think of all kinds of applications for these guys....ornaments, coasters, you could even string several together and make a runner for the dining room table.

And while I think that icy blues and whites or classic red and green would be pretty, I don't see any reason why you couldn't mix things up. What about tropical colors for our friends who live in year-round warm weather? Or beautiful earth tones to complement the roaring fire? Or just go wacky with crazy brights for no other reason than it would be fun?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Teeny, Tiny and Little

Last Friday, my friends Doug and Susan welcomed their son Raymond Paul into the world. The little guy was about 8 weeks early and tipped the scales at just 2 pounds 11 ounces. I guess one of the big worries with preemies is lung function. It turns out that Ray's lungs are stronger than they expected, thank goodness.

While everyone is delighted that Ray is doing so well, his early arrival totally threw a wrench in the works, knitting wise. I was supposed to have until the middle of January to make a gift for goodness sakes.

I hadn't decided what to make yet. I hadn't picked the yarn. To top things off, I was totally befuddled by size. Exactly how big is a 2 pound 11 ounce baby?

Fortunately, I had some time on my hands. I had just had my knee surgery and was going to be planted on the couch at home for a few days. I poked around my stash and found several small skeins of superwash fingering weight BFL that had been given to me by Aimee, the owner of a wonderful yarn and tea shop, L'Oisive The in Paris.

Once I had the yarn, it let me know that it wanted to be a series of hats. I surfed around a little on the internet and cobbled together a pattern of sorts. I decided to start with the blue. I cast on 80 stitches and did a K1P1 rib for a couple of inches and then moved on to stockinette. Once it looked about right, I started the decrease rounds and that was that. One down.

The first one looked pretty big to me so I only cast on 60 stitches for the next hat. I picked the green yarn this time around. Instead of K1P1, I did a roll edge. It turned out pretty darn small, but is as cute as the dickens.

Last up was the yellow hat. I split the difference between the other and cast on 72 stitches. This time I worked the first bit in K2P2 rib.

This turned into a perfect recovery project for me. Anything requiring any real brain power would have been a waste what with the pain meds and all. Figuring out how many stitches to cast on and deciding on three different edges was about all I had in me.

I know they aren't fancy and I usually don't pick pastels for babies but somehow these teeny, tiny little hats are making me extraordinarily happy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Birthday Fun

My birthday was on Monday. I'm not sure why I wasn't as excited as I usually am about it. I'm normally the kind of person that shouts the news from the rooftops. I would hate for anyone to miss an opportunity to wish me well or send a gift. We used to make jokes about me having a birthweek rather than a birthday. More time to celebrate. And more opportunities for presents.

My dear husband was having none of my indifference. He made sure that the day didn't slip by unmarked. Actually, he got started a day early and took me to fancy pants brunch at North Pond on Sunday.

North Pond is located in the middle of Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park is to Chicago what Central Park is to Manhattan. An oasis in the middle of a big urban area. The restaurant is in what used to be a park district warming house for folks skating on the pond right out front. It's a pretty spectacular setting.

This isn't the kind of place we usually go. While it's more casual at brunch, it's one of those restaurants where "gentlemen" wear jackets. It was kind of fun to get dressed up on a Sunday afternoon. Somehow, just putting on a pair of black slacks rather than my usual jeans and a sweater started to make me feel the way I usually do about my birthday. I even had a celebratory Bloody Mary.

I woke up on my birthday to this:

When Michael and I first met, Tiffany had just brought out what turned into a kind of iconic bracelet. Over the years we've turned it into a charm bracelet. Most of the charms we've added were to commemorate something. Some are souvenirs of vacations or anniversary gifts. This one is the key to his heart.

He's pretty great.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Interweave Knits Winter 2009

The preview of Interweave Knits Winter issue just went up. My last post was about their Accessories Issue. So they published two magazines in the same amount of time that I wrote two blogs. I don't know whether that means I am way behind or whether they are just overachievers. Don't answer that. I'm pretty sure I know the answer, but I an choosing to ignore it.

Lorna's Laces Green Line Worsted is featured in the Nicole Reeves' Syrup Pullover.

There are lots of things to like about this sweater. I tend to favor v-necks, but don't like them too deep. This one seems just about right.

I'm also just in love with this arm detailing.

It seems like a snippet out of Victorian times. There was an article in the New York Times last weekend about fashion from that era reemerging. It talked mostly about menswear and tweeds and the like but I don't see any reason that we shouldn't embrace it as well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Interweave Accessories

I just love the special issues the magazines publish this time of year. The holiday issues that start showing up in October really get me revved up for the season. Now, Interweave Press has a brand new publication, Accessories. What a great idea! Lots of small projects that are perfect for last minute gifts.

Lorna's Laces is lucky enough to have two projects in this issue.

These are Nancy Bush's Infant's Fancy Silk Socks. How sweet!

This photo sure brings back memories....we had that book on the shelf when I was growing up. I remember sitting on my dad's lap "reading" it with him. He didn't read storybooks with me that much. More often, it would be the newspaper rather than a book. It sounds a little weird, but it worked for us. I guess as a kid I didn't care as much about what we were reading so much as getting some one-on-one time with him. Coming from a family with six kids, you grabbed the attention any way you could.

The other project is from Ann Budd. It's called The Frothy Scarf and it's made from our Helen's Lace.

Since Helen's Lace comes in big 1250 yard skeins, you could get several of these from a single ball.

Actually both of these projects are small enough that you could probably get multiples from a single skein. With the baby socks, it would be a nice way to use up some of those "orphans" we all seem to accumulate somehow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jasmine Lace Cardigan

Here's a sweet little sweater that Stef just finished up for Will's niece. Will works over at Bean's and Bagels, our local coffee shop. (Well, it's almost finished, she still has to pick the buttons.) It's Jasmine, from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms.

I almost hesitated to post the picture because the yarn is a one of a kind colorway that Stefanie made up just for this project. The background of it is our 4ns Blackberry colorway, then she added some little specks of bright pink. You can see it in the close up. Or just click on the top picture to embiggen it.

I was wondering what you thought of it. Is this a technique we should consider doing for widespread distribution? It's fun for us to do. What do you think? The possibilities are endless....

On a more personal note, I just found out I'm going to have arthroscopic surgery on my right knee next Friday. I tore the meniscus. I have no idea how or when. It's part of the reason I've been quiet on the blog lately. My knee hurts and I'm fussy. But I feel bad about being fussy. I mean it's a 30 minute outpatient procedure for goodness sake, not cancer. It makes me feel kinda of bad for complaining.

I've been looking for the silver lining for this whole surgery thing and one hasn't popped up. I'll keep looking and let you all know as soon as I find it. And if you find it before I do, please be sure and send it over.