Monday, January 16, 2012

KnitScene Spring 2012

Back at the yoga studio since the first of the year?

Tilli's Toeless Socks would be just the thing. Designed by Ozumi Ouchi from Lorna's Laces Solemate yarn they use just one skein of Solemate. They're shown here in in 1211 The "L".

The issue just went live so you can check out all the wonderful designs here. Or just pick up a copy at your LYS.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Post I Started to Write

I started out writing this post earlier in the week and got sidetracked by my love of books. I originally wanted to talk to you about what an honor and privilege it is for Lorna's Laces to be included in books.

Books like this:

Which is a revision of this:

Folk Socks is one of a handful of iconic knitting books. When Nancy Bush called me in the summer of 2010 to tell me she was revising it and wanted to use our yarn, I was pretty speechless. First of all, Nancy Bush was calling. If all she wanted was to say "hello", I would have walked on air. But she wanted to use our yarn to replace some yarns in the original patterns that are no longer available. That was like Christmas and my birthday all rolled up into one.

Originally published in 1994, this is a go-to book for sock knitters all over the world. It starts out with the history of socks. First ones made from woven fabric and then the evolution of the knitted sock. She gives us a tour of the traditions in Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark and other parts of Europe. There's a great discussion of guilds.

Then she gets into the how-to part of the book. I really liked the pattern/chapter for The Basic Sock because she shows several variations for heels and toes. I tend to get in a rut and use the same heel all the time so this was a nice nudge to explore other possibilities.

The balance of the book is patterns. There are two that use Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. We did special colors just for this book. The first is St. Peter Port Stripes.

It has a Balbriggan Heel and a Wide Toe. The word Balbriggan makes me smile. It is knit from Charcoal, Natural and Folk Socks Black.

The second sock is Flammegarn. It's named for yarn dyed by rush or twine around the yarn before it's placed in a dye bath. We did it a little differently, but I think Folk Socks Red turn out pretty nicely.

This book is a real treasure. It's the kind of book that you can go back to over and over not only for great patterns but because the text teaches us all the wonderful history and gives us a connection to all the knitters that came before and will come after us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Different Side

While a fair amount of how I define myself these days comes from yarn and knitting, there's a piece of my life that's always revolved around books and reading. I have fond memories of going to the bookmobile over summer vacation and checking out as many books as they'd let me, devouring them and waiting anxiously for its next visit. I can still lose the day as readily in a bookstore as a yarn store.

I'm a little quirky about my reading. I always read the last page of a book first. Even if it's only one word. I don't know why. I do know it isn't because I want to find out what happens early. And as crazy as it might sound, it rarely ruins the ending for me. I do it pretty regularly with magazines too. So often the last page is something self contained and fun.

I also read the acknowledgment page and sometimes the notes. I've even been known to take a peek at the copyright page to see when the work was published or what printing it's in.

I like the way books smell. I used to work in college textbook publishing and my job was to try and talk professors into using my company's book for their classes. Some of them had incredible libraries and I got to see some remarkable volumes over the years. It raised a few eyebrows when I'd sniff at the books when I opened them. I guess I still do that with wool.

As far as I'm concerned the jury is still out about e-readers. I have an iPad and have read a few books that way but I'm pretty ambivalent about it. All things being equal, my vote would probably still come down on the side of the printed volume.

I can categorically say that I prefer a printed magazine to a virtual one. I like their size and turning the pages. I still cut things out and put them in folders, even in the era of Pinterest. I'm pretty new to the Pinterest and am loving it, but I still like a magazine.

I start and finish every day reading. I can't fall asleep without reading at least a few pages and I like easing my way into the day in the same fashion.

Well, that wasn't the post I set out to write today. I was going to do a book review and got sidetracked along the way. I'll tell you more about it next time.