Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Things I Dream Of

1) I dream of taking a bath. I'm one of those people who takes a bath instead of a shower every day. At least I was until we started the rehab work on our bathrooms and laundry room. The workers are doing a great job, but it is a big project and it's taking longer than I would like. The bathtub is in the room, but Houston, we still have a problem.

2) Being warm. The heat at Lorna's Laces has been out since Monday. Brrr....  I'm warm enough if I wear my coat all day, but I'd like to take it off. And the gloves making typing hard.

3) World Peace. (I know that's a t-ball one, but it needs to be included.)

4) A loooong vacation. I think everyone should try and get more than a week away from work. I've only had one of those in the past 10 years. I'd love to figure out a month away, but that's just a pipe dream. BTW, visiting family isn't a vacation. It's a trip, but not a vacation.

5) My 18 year old body. The funny thing is that I wasn't happy with it then either. Some things never change, do they? Maybe I should come to terms with my biology.

6) An extra hour or so in the day. I'm not going to be greedy, I don't need an extra day in the week or anything. I just want an extra hour to hang out with the people I love in the evening and knit.

7) My mom before dementia. The woman who did such a great job of  raising me has been gone for some time. I don't like the new one nearly as well. But I love her just as much. Maybe more.

8) A winning Lotto ticket. I'd like to be rich but not famous. I want to be able to move around the planet without being recognized. In my private jet. Or on my yacht.

9) Coming back in my next life as a dog. A dog with a life like this one.

10) Adding one new true friend to my life every year. We're all moving so fast through this life, staring at screens. Let's not forgot that people are what makes us all rich. (Yacht excepted.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013


I was lucky enough to spend last weekend teaching at VKLive. It's a super event from beginning to end.

I open my class with a little talk about how we create colors at Lorna's Laces. I think people are kind of surprised that we're not all about color theory and the color wheel. We work more organically than that around here.

I discuss paying attention to the world around us. After all, we are surrounded by color. Think about the row after row of towels you see at the department store. (photo Wilson's Dept. Store)

Instead of just picking up the green towels you need for your bathroom, have you ever stopped to think about how they play off one another? Look at the jumble of colors, there's no rhyme or reason here, but they all look wonderful. Not a single one of them is asking if it's OK to sit next to their complementary color or across from their secondary friend. They all coexist in a delightfully chaotic fashion. 

What about the walk you took last weekend? It's been a beautiful fall and I bet there were a couple of houses with pots full of mums on the porch. (photo

Again, all the colors are living together happily. They aren't fighting or bickering. So what's up with all the rules we hear about? I've always thought they were kinda stupid. Something thought up by some scholar somewhere to suck all the fun out of something pretty. And fun. 

Lo and behold, when I got home on Sunday evening, my weekly update was in the mailbox. I opened it up and towards the bottom was an article by Becky Dietrich about breaking the rules in decorating. Most of what she talked about was color. There was some discussion of texture as well, but mostly color. 

Let me quote just a little bit of it:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lace Knitting: Basics and Beyond

Hi friends! Amanda here.

There are two sides to every coin as they say. In this case the coin is covered in a gorgeous combinations of YOs and K2togs.

I love lace. I mean really LOVE it! My favorite knit piece is my Rock Island Shawl made with Helen's Lace in Ashburn. I know, I know, a high contrast multi in a complicated lace pattern? It really does work I promise. I get compliments every time I wear it out. Generally this is followed with big eyes and "Did you make it?!". "No, I did not." is always my response. It is sad to admit but I did not make it. A wonderful knitter named "sleep2dreamher" on Ravelry made it for me.

That, my friends, is the other side of the coin. I am very very bad at lace. I try and I try and I just can't make it work...even the simplest patterns. I have to admit I am a stockinette sock kind of girl. I have lace fears. Shameful lace fears.

Enter stage left, Eunny Jang.

You guys know Eunny Jang right? Blogger, turned editor of Interweave Knits, turned now instructor at Craftsy. She is also a really amazing cook but that is sort of unrelated I guess. For those who don't know Craftsy you should really check it out. You can take classes on ANYTHING! Knitting and crochet of course but also sewing, baking, cooking, photography, fine arts, jewelry making, spinning, weaving...even cake decorating. All from the comfort of your own laptop, desktop or tablet. It is pretty cool.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Lace.

Eunny recently launched an amazing 9 lesson lace tutorial. This puppy covers it all. From casting on to binding off and all the chart reading and stitches in between. She even cover things like how to find and fix mistakes and how to insert lace patterns into other designs. And for the tiny bit of dork in all of us there is even a bit on the actual structure of the stitches of lace. Eunny is leaving no lace covered stone unturned here and doing it all using our gorgeous yarns of course.

So far over 500 students have enrolled in that class and with this link you can too. Heck you will even receive 25% off! Personally I think overcoming my lace fears is worth $29.99.

And we're finished...get it...finished. ;-)

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Doctor is Turning 50!!

Having you been looking for a gift for your favorite Time Lord fan? Or are your a companion yourself?  I mean c'mon, Doctor Who is turning fifty this month!

In case you aren't in the know, the whole thing is actually pretty cool. The anniversary of the first episode of Doctor Who is coming up on November 23rd. It's on a Saturday this year, just like it was way back then. Serendipitous, don't you think? They are airing it in the UK and the US on the same day. (Clever!)  They're also going to simulcast the program in 3-D to theatres in selected cities. Our Bettie tried to get tickets but they sold out in less than twenty minutes! She might have been a little grumpy about it. (OK, alot of grumpy.)

Anyway, we got together with the lovely and talented Kate Atherley (you might know her as Wisehilda) to create two patterns, Time & Space Knee Socks and Time & Space Scarf. These lovelies are loosely inspired by the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker.

Here are the details.

Socks.  Toe-up knee socks.
The pattern is worked toe-up, and written for DPNs, Magic Loop and 2 circulars, as you prefer. Four sizes, finished foot circumferences 7 to 8.5 inches, fitting teens to XL women's.  A variation for calf-length socks is included, too.
Six colors, in rather fetching stripes.  The kit of Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock contains special half skeins of the Shepherd Sock yarn - enough to make a pair of knee socks, or a two pairs of mid-calf socks, one pair for you, one pair for your companion. We're shipping them to your LYS in time for you to have it for the big event. Just give them a call. 
If you've got a Ravelry account, and just want the pattern it's available here
And a Scarf.
Nice and long. With tassels, naturally.
Patterns uses about 90yds of each of six colors from Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky. A kit is available from your favorite Lorna's retailers contains special sized skeins, just enough to make the scarf.
If you've got a Ravelry account and just want the pattern available, it's available here.
Or a Shawl. 
If your lifestyle requires a more ladylike or subtle homage to your favourite traveller, perhaps the Bigger on the Inside Shawl? Free pattern on Knitty. The pattern uses our Solemate in the colorway Bigger on the Inside. Again, your LYS can set you up. 

It's good to be well-dressed and warm if you're going on a journey. One of these should be just what you need.