Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Multnomah is now blocked and ready to be wrapped. This was a really fun knit. Feather and Fan is easy peasy but you still get a fair amount of bang for your buck.

It's the only holiday gift I knit this year. I have one other hand knit gift, but I made it awhile back so it doesn't count.

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the holiday knitting. I've spent one too many Christmas Eves doing the math of "If there are X rows/inch and I can do Y rows/hour, I can be finished Z hours AFTER the last FedEx pick up". Too much pressure for this old gal.

We're flying out tomorrow to spend the holiday with my mother. I still haven't picked my travel project. Maybe Citrus? I've really enjoyed the small shawls I've done recently. Should I go for one more?

There are also a couple of sock patterns I'm considering. I just received a batch of yarn that I need to test to see if it's something Lorna's Laces wants to add to the line.

Then there's a sweater WIP that I should get busy on. The thing is, I'm just not feeling the love there. The lack of love is so severe that I'm considering frogging the whole thing. I have never done that before.

They've canceled over 250 flights out of Chicago today....please keep your fingers crossed that the weather will clear up so we can go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who's not paying attention?

I've known my husband for just about 15 years now. I think we actually communicate pretty darn well. Sure, we have our breakdowns from time to time, but on the whole I've always thought we do a pretty good job at the talking and the paying attention to one another.

Last night, I was proven horribly, horribly wrong.

We were hanging out in the kitchen, having a beer and just talking. I'm in the midst of a big stretch of stockinette, which makes the beer/yarn combination pretty safe so I grabbed my knitting from the other room and got busy. We were having a great time. Chat chat chat. Laugh laugh laugh.

All of the sudden I notice he's looking at my knitting with great concentration and asks "You keep switching the needles from one hand to another. What's with that?"

People....15 years. In all that time, he's never once noticed how knitting works! That you consume the stitches on one needle (I was working on straights) and then turn the work and start over. To say I was stunned is the understatement of the day.

In his defense, there are two or three places I do the lion's share of my knitting. One is the couch watching TV. We're usually sitting next to each other on the couch. Another is in the car on road trips. The last is on airplanes. The latter two also have us sitting next to each other rather than across from one another. But still. Seriously?

Frankly, we got a big giggle out of the whole thing. And he redeemed himself in a pretty significant way when he asked me after all this time if I'd teach him to knit.

Any tips on teaching a lefty?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Winter Knitty

As usual, the folks over a have outdone themselves in their Winter issue. I haven't decided whether to love or hate them with the timing. There are a couple of things I could try and get done before Christmas, but I don't think I need the added pressure.....I love this kind of dilemma!

There are two projects done in Lorna's Laces yarns. The first is Marlowe Crawford's Pyroclastic Socks. They are shown here in our Shepherd Sock in #5ns Pond Blue. There are two things in particular that intrigue me about these socks. The first is that I love the way the cable blends into to toe. It's all angle-y and everything. Cute!

The other thing I especially like is the way Marlowe has chosen a shaped arch to make the sock hug the foot better. Functional details like this always draw me to a pattern. She mentioned that the inspiration for it came from EZ. How can it go wrong?

The second pattern that uses our yarn is Frost Diamonds by Stefanie Japel. It's designed using our organic Green Line Worsted in #407 Devon. So, you'll get a nice substantial wrap that will knit up pretty quickly.

Stefanie has a few tricks up her sleeve here too. She incorporates three increase points to create shoulders in the shawl so it stays put once you have it on. Brilliant!

I couldn't resist snagging this picture from Knitty too. It somehow reminds me of a stingray cruising oh-so effortlessly through the ocean. Besides that, it shows off the lace work so very nicely.

The last project in this issue that really spoke to me is Citron by Hilary Smith Callis. I've been all over the small shawls lately. This isn't shown in Lorna's Laces, but there are a few of our yarns that would be great here. I've mentioned a couple times lately that I have a feeling that mohair might be making a comeback. I like me a fuzzy little bit of warmth. Heaven might be just the ticket for this project.

Of course Helen's Lace would work well too. Or even Shepherd Sock. There are many choices and I don't really think you could go wrong.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bullfrogs & Butterflies

Today's post is about Bullfrogs & Butterflies. This is a single ply yarn, 85% wool and 15% mohair. It comes in 190 yard skeins and knits up at about 4-1/2 stitches/inch on US 8's. It's pictured here in the colorway Cat's Ahah!

The Ahah! colorway evolved from a conversation I had with Cat Bordhi a little more than a year ago. She wanted to create a "teaching yarn". She was looking for something that would allow students to easily see what they were doing so they could learn more readily. Both the yarn and the colorway were going to be part of the equation.

After looking at all of our yarns, Cat decided that Bullfrogs & Butterflies would be the perfect choice. The single ply meant it wouldn't get splitty and since it knits up at about 4-1/2 stitches per inch, it was substantial enough to make learning and teaching easier. I know Cat is linked with socks in our minds, but for this application, bigger is better.

Once we had decided on the Bullfrogs & Butterflies, the colorway was the next step. We wanted it to be both pretty and functional. The color changes needed to be very distinct and consistently about 5-6 inches long. After a bit of back and forth and a few near misses we came up with Ahah.

So, back to the yarn itself. B&B gives great stitch definition. That makes it a good choice for cables and texture work. Here is Kat Coyle's Ardent was featured in the Spring issue of Twist Collective. It's shown here in our Sheridan colorway. And modeled by the lovely Emily...we sure do miss her around here!

This yarn takes color beautifully. All of our yarns respond a little differently to dye, and this one just drinks it up. There are a couple of yarns that are a little fussy. We have to spend a little more time with them to get good results. Not so with Bullfrogs, it's a real pleasure to work with.

Last but not least, felting! This yarn felts like a dream!

I'll leave you today with a gratuitous Pug picture. This from Corinne Neissner's Doggie Knits. The colorway is Sherbet.

Monday, December 7, 2009


It occurred to me the other day that it would be fun to tell you about all the different yarns we dye here at Lorna's Laces. Believe it or not, we do seventeen(!) different ones. Okay, 15 yarns and two wooltop, but who's counting?

My first idea was that I'd do one post every day between now and Christmas, but that's just setting myself up to fail. And as soon as I miss a day, it will all just spiral out of control and there's no telling what might happen next. A more realistic goal it that I'll try and get to them all in a somewhat orderly fashion over the next few weeks.

Then I started to think about what a good organizational scheme would be. Should I go by weight? Fiber content? Price point? I decided that simple was the way to go and settled on alphabetical order. Today I'm going to tell you a little bit about Angel.

This is Angel. It's a 70% Angora, 30% wool blend. It comes in these cute little 50 yard skeins. One will make a pair of booties for a newborn.

Angora can be a very delicate fiber. That's one of the reasons that we add a little wool to the mix. It makes it a stronger yarn. Another reason is that angora is very warm. Adding the wool makes it more versatile.

This darling little hat pattern is knit from a single skein too. If you want to add the flower, you'll need a second.

But, Angel isn't just for baby things. It makes beautiful trim on hats and gloves. In it's undyed form it's a very bright white. This time of year that brings to mind Christmas stockings and Santa's beards.

And while it might be too warm to make a stockinette garment, it's a good choice for lace.

This is the lovely Stefanie Japel modeling the Lacy Dolman from her book Glam Knits. Just think about wrapping yourself in that cloud of softness!

We even have a special put-up of Angel for larger projects. We call them Archangels. They are giant 8 oz, 800 yarn skeins and can be special ordered in any of our colorways from your LYS. They would be perfect for a project like this.

Or what about a Clapotis? Here in Chicago, the weather isn't going to be getting any warmer for a long, long time. Snuggling into an Angel Clapotis could make a girl look forward to winter.