Friday, April 29, 2011

Interweave Knits Summer 2011

Interweave Knits Summer 2011 goes live today! The Bistro Lace Shawl by Daniela Nii features our Lion and Lamb in 509 Satsuma, 76 Aslan and 105 Glenwood.

Once again, I'm struck by the crossover in look and feel that is developing between knit and crochet projects. We're seeing it in our magazines as well as the fashion runways. Very interesting!

This shawl got me thinking of all the wonderful color combinations that you could pick for this project. If you are a purple girl, Lorna's Purple Mustang, Calumet and Blackberry would be marvy. Or what about Ysolda Red, Red Rover and Pilsen? Maybe Ashburn, Devon and Chocolate? Harvest, Gold Hill and Tuscany? The possibilities are endless.

What are your ideas?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

And the winner is....

I have to send out a big, giant THANK YOU to everyone who joined us in our little game. In case you don't remember, we blogged about a new yarn and a contest a couple of weeks ago.

We got hundreds of suggestions for the name of our new yarn. I have to tell you, we had so much fun going through them all. We sat around and talked about them over lunch. We discussed pros and cons. There were some pretty "lively" conversations.

One of the big factors we took into consideration was whether there was another yarn on the market with the same or similar name. That took quite a few great suggestions out of the running but we figured we didn't need to create confusion.

We ultimately narrowed things down to three and then did a survey through our newsletter.

Even though it wasn't one of the top three that made the cut for voting, we have to give an Honorable Mention to Menopause. We decided we couldn't use it but we're still giggling.

The second runner up was Goldilocks. There were several variations on that theme, but we liked this one best.

There was a whole category of what we ended up calling science-y suggestions. We narrowed it down to Astroknit. It ended up being our first runner up.

The winner of the contest got over 60% of your votes. I'd call that a landslide! The name, Solemate, came from Jill K. Jill, if you can email us at yarnATlornaslacesDOTnet, we'll can set you up with your prize!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Crochet

A new book came across my desk the other day, Little Crochet by Linda Permann. Over the past few months, more and more crochet is hitting my radar. Are you noticing it too or am I just crazy?

The first chapter is all about the basics. She discusses hooks, gauge, yarn substitution, how to read a pattern, symbols etc. It all made sense, even to this old fart of a knitter.

This book has some really cute patterns. I have kind of an oddball litmus test when it comes to kid's patterns...I always put my thumb over the kid/baby's face to make sure I'm not being won over by a pretty face. Virtually everything here made the cut.

The Sock It To Me Sweater Vest is a-dor-a-ble.

It's worked in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. MC is Franklin's Panopticon and CC is Chocolate.

The other pattern that I fell hard for is Stripe the Giraffe.

Seriously, could it get any cuter than this?

Speaking of tiny giraffes:

You know Linda was way ahead of them here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What's in a Name?

Once again, we find ourselves with a brand new yarn that is hopelessly, helplessly nameless. You named Honor last year, can I ask you to put on your thinking caps for us again?

"Yarn X" is a 55% superwash merino, 15% nylon and 30% Outlast viscose sock yarn. It has a nice tight twist just like Shepherd Sock, but it's three ply instead of four.

Lorna's Laces

You're probably wondering "what is this Outlast she speaks of?" That's a fair question. Outlast is this crazy fiber that interacts with your body's microclimate to moderate temperature from being too hot or too cold. It was used by NASA. Ferrari uses it for their race car seats.

We spent a lot of time deciding whether we wanted to go ahead with this yarn or not. At market in January 2010, we gave out about a dozen skeins to a bunch of different designers. They kept coming back to me and asking me when we were releasing it. I hemmed, I hawed. They poked, they prodded. I said let's do it! We're bringing it to market in June along with nine or ten new colors.

The photo you see is dyed in a really pretty color, but we'll be dyeing it in all of our colors, so don't let the one shown here influence you.

Here are the details. Send your entry to contest AT lornaslaces DOT net with the subject line reading "New Sock Yarn Name". We'll narrow the choices down to our three favorites by April 17th. Then we'll email a ballot with the top three to our newsletter subcribers on April 18 and let you vote for the winner. If you don't get our newsletter, you can sign up here. Voting will close at 5:00PM central time on April 22.

In case of multiple entries for the same name, we'll use a number generator to pick the ultimate winner.

You're probably wondering about the prize, aren't you? How about 12 skeins of the new yarn? My theory is that would be enough for the lucky winner to make a pair of socks every month for a year. (If you aren't a sock knitter, don't despair. We'll come up with something else to make your heart sing.)

Please keep in mind that we're not Publisher's Clearinghouse. Contests and giveaways aren't what we do every day. I'm trying to make things as simple and fair as I can. You could probably find a loophole to exploit, but let's try and play nice and just let this all unfold for what it, fun, fun!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Grand Street Ink and Rock Island

It's here, it's here! I'd like to introduce Grand Street Ink, the latest in our Color Commentary Series. It's a really rich, wine-y brown-y purple-y beauty.

grand street ink

This time around we partnered with the charming and talented Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. In addition to working with us on the color, he was nice enough to design a stunner of a shawl, Rock Island. When I saw the picture, it literally took my breath away.

I'll let him tell you about it personally.

It seems like Spring has been battling its way onto the scene in fits and starts for weeks. Despite a few bizarre instances of April snow recently, the warmer air seems to finally be sticking. It’s a perfect time to think about some serious lace knitting, and today’s pattern fits the bill nicely.

brooklyn tweed

The Rock Island Shawl is a piece that I designed for a special collaborative project. Last year, the nice folks at Lorna’s Laces invited me to be a part of their ongoing Color Commentary Series, in which designers are given free reign to develop a new colorway for LL yarns.

At the time, I had a very specific deep black-violet on the brain and wanted to pursue that. The original color inspiration came from some wonderful graffiti that I saw on Grand Street in Brooklyn that used heavy swaths of rich indigo and black. We worked back-and-forth for weeks and finally ended up with the finished colorway (shown above), which I’m thrilled with. I’ve named the color Grand Street Ink, after its original inspiration, and it is now available in their wide range of yarns.

rock island shawl

I chose to design for the color with Helen’s Lace, a fine laceweight 50/50 wool-silk blend. The silk took the dye beautifully and the finished fabric of the shawl is almost veil-like.

lorna's laces

The piece contrasts simple garter stitch with intricate Shetland lace motifs which are worked on both RS and WS rows, also over Garter Stitch. As a result, the shawl is completely reversible – both sides look the same. The triangle is worked backwards from standard construction, beginning first with the knitted edging. After the lace edging is worked, stitches are picked up from a yarn-over-selvedge along the straight edge and the main portion of the triangle is worked directly from those stitches. This means the most labor-intensive elements of the shawl are completed first, and pattern rows get smaller as you go, which is always a nice psychological bonus.

I think the design would look wonderful in fingering weight yarn as well… I may have started one already.

The Rock Island pattern is available through Brooklyn Tweed or Ravelry. Brooklyn Tweed’s “Grand Street Ink” colorway is available at your LYS.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mesh Cardigan

The Spring/Summer issue of Knit Simple hits newsstands today. This darling warm-weather cardigan by Cheryl Murray is right there on page 37.

It's knit from our bamboo/silk blend Pearl in 49ns Periwinkle and is sized from Small to 3X. With the nice open stitch, this is going to work up quickly and provide some (almost) instant grafification.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Twist Collective

The new issue of Twist Collective went live on Friday. There are a ton of cute things in it and once again the articles were thoughtful and entertaining. Sandi Rosner did an enlightening piece about gauge. While I'm religious about doing them, I'm afraid I fall into the "gauge swatches are a necessary evil" camp. One of these days I'll learn to embrace them. I think Sandi nudged me along.

There is darling feature called "Paper Dolls" where they showed off several garments on paper dolls rather than live models. It was a fun idea. Mithril, by Anne Berk is one of those. Here are some of Jane Heller's photographs, they really make the sweater shine.

twist collective

It's knit in our Honor, a 70% baby alpaca/30% silk blend and shown in #41ns China Blue.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Knitting and Crochet Time

Today's Topic: Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

I do most of my knitting while I'm watching TV in the evenings. It's a way for me to unwind after my day and spend time with my husband. I don't have as much knitting time in my life as I'd like, but that's the reality of things right now.

I've also noticed that the converse it also true. About the only time I watch TV is when I'm knitting. I've never been a big fan of reality shows and I've kind of had my fill of watching other people cook or decorate. There are a few of the cop/lawyer shows that I still like, but some of those creep me out too much. I guess the knitting splits my focus and lets the boring shows be less boring and the too intense programs be less intense.

The other time I invariably knit is when I'm traveling. If we're on a road trip, I make my husband drive and I ride shotgun with the needles. And I can't imagine going to the airport without some sort of project. Like most knitters, picking a travel project is an integral part of planning a vacation.

I had a group come through the studio a week or so ago for a tour and I mentioned the possibility of a real life KAL. It got very positive response. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. For many year BLL (before Lorna's Laces) I went to a weekly knitting group. Maybe it's time to bring that back into my life.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something to Aspire To

Today's Topic: Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do.

I had desperately hoped that I'd be able to show you all my Next Big Step today. Alas, the weather gods have conspired and the photoshoot was delayed. But if I can believe the secrets being whispered into my ear, next week will provide my opportunity.

I will tell you (yet again) that it is lace. It is beautiful, take-your-breath away lace. There will be a knit-a-long. It will be in color you have never before seen.

I live with at least some fear that I will not be up to the rigors of this project. That the lace will conquer me and I will find myself curled up in a ball, rocking back and forth and whimpering whilst it rears its mighty head of magic and laughs out loud at my insufficient skills.

But no, that can't happen. After all, what is knitting but two stitches, knit and purl? I will command their destiny.

Friday, April 1, 2011

And now for something completely different

Today's Topic: This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create.
There are no rules of a topic to blog about but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog..

yarn bombing

yarn bombing

wrigley field