Updates from October, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 1:47 pm on October 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Lorna’s Laces 

    Yesterday I dragged my husband to a warehouse sale and demonstration at Lorna’s Laces in the city.  Actually, I did not have to pull too hard.  He is keenly interested in sheep, wool, and the processes involved since our visit to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival a few weeks ago.  Talk is of a future sheep farm (mostly fun speculation), but first we have to make sure that he does not kill the worms again, and Chickens are coming to the back yard next spring.

    Mr & Mrs. Lorna’s Laces (not real names), were both extremely nice.  Their studio is located in the Ravenswood neighborhood in Chicago, in a great warehouse building full of woodworkers, candle makers, artists and small businesses.  After shopping, we got a great demo in custom dying, and a lot of questions answered.  While it is quite messy, it does not seem to be all that complicated.  Some day I will try it, I think by first taking a class.

    I purchased some great yarn.  I had trouble in the past with her sock yarn being very splity, so I checked out the Mill Ends carefully.  Dan picked this out for socks for himself:

    And I got this for socks for me.  I had first picked out a skein of primary colors, but thought that it would get muddied, I like how these colors flow together:

    And these are for a pair of mittens, I hope 200 yards of sport weight is enough…

    And finally, this sock yarn (you had to buy the full bag) for a Faroese shawl for myself.  I think that it will knit up beautifully.

    • Lisa 4:20 pm on October 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Love the yarn for the shawl! Can’t wait for pictures of that!
      I need a shopping trip to Chicago….feel like sharing more info on Mr and Mrs. Lorna’s Lace?


      • knitting1105 9:44 pm on November 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t know much. She bought this company after searching around for what to do with her life. Her husband was there, and they are very cute together. I got really good vibes from them, and they seemed to love what they do. I am sure they would show you around if you came to Chicago. Just don’t come in January or February…


    • Raeknitswa 7:40 pm on October 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The mitten & shawl yarn are pretty can’t wait ti see then done. I have never used Lorna’s Laces yarn hope this yarn isn’t splity for you.


  • knitting1105 1:20 pm on October 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Keeping it Secret 

    I am making something as a Christmas present, and will need to keep it secret, so my postings will only include snippets of the project.  This is very fun to make.  If you are on Ravelry, you can find more details there.

    This is my first time using Knit Picks yarn, and I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by it.  It is 75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon.  I am sure that the Merino is what makes it so soft.  I have always avoided Knit Picks as I had thought that the yarns would be inferior, they only carry their own branded yarns.  This would make wonderful mittens or socks.

    • Raeknitswa 12:53 am on October 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      The colors are going to look pretty together I can’t wait to see what you make.


  • knitting1105 7:05 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply  


    This magazine arrived in my mail the other day.  I knew that it could not be a gift from my family, as they would not know to order this.  My first thought was that it was a trial that I received from taking my spinning class at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival.  But then I looked closely at the mailing label, and it showed a year’s subscription.  So, I tried out my limited internet detective abilities, and found on my account that it was actually a gift from my dear friend Manning.  Thanks again Manning!  I had one dog-eared earlier issue that I have been pouring through.  This will be a fun challenge to learn everything.  Next stop is to find some people to spin with who actually know how to spin, I don’t want to get myself into bad habits.  I have been taking the Manning approach to learning thus far, and just watching YouTube videos.

    My knitting is slow but steady these days.  I am guessing that I will get more done as the weather turns cooler, like it is tonight.  I have been working on a pair of cable socks for a friend.  My own design that I improvised as I knit.  the cables travel across the front of the sock.  I had started with just a simple cable down the sides, then decided I was bored with doing that.  I am liking how they are turning out.  The yarn is Panda Wool by Crystal Palace, it is very soft with bamboo in it, and has a nice lustrous sheen.

  • knitting1105 3:24 pm on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    My “go-to” sweater coat 

    I made this coat many years ago.  It was designed by Joan Schrouder, and is called the “Barnstormer”.    I was even able to track down the pattern in my knitting filing cabinet.

    I had taken a class with Beth Walker O’Brien at Have Ewe Any Wool in Elmhurst many years ago.  I remember working on this in the spring of 2000 as I watched my son play baseball, and then we got into the car to drive to look at some poodle puppies for sale–and Lloyd chose us then.  I saw her example of this coat, and she was offering a class.  The original yarn specified was no longer available, so as a class we substituted Harrisville Highland Style.  I worked hard on the colors, and time has proven it right, as I still love this jacket.

    It is a heavy garter stitch coat.  The decoration is garter stitch fair isle.  This is about the only time that I have seen it done, and the result is stunning.  It has a knitted in pocket, a hood, and I-cord edging in an accent color.  Whenever I wear this it elicits wonderful comments, even from yarn shop owners and at knitting events.  I wore it last night to my knitting guild.  They were talking about cleaning and preservation of knitted garments.  I decided to photograph this today, and saw some food stains on the front (those snacks last night?), and horrors, a small hole.  Luckily, I have a spare skein of the blue tweed, as I had planned long ago to shorten the arms.

    So, it is getting a well deserved bath right now, and I will dry and repair it.

    Detail of the garter stitch fair isle:

    Reverse side of the fair isle:

    • Karen 5:33 pm on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Do you know where I can get a copy of that pattern?


    • knitting1105 6:41 pm on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Try contacting Joan through Ravelry, her name there is schrouderknits


    • Lisa 10:26 pm on October 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You do beautiful work! I am envious.


    • Joan 3:32 pm on October 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You done me proud, girl! I love your bright color choices!

      As for the pattern’s availability now – I sold the design to Cascade probably at least 15 years ago. Even if I were to re-secure the rights to publish it, I don’t have it on my computer any longer, so rewriting it would be a major job. Sorry about that.

      The patt was based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Hurry-Up Last Minute Sweater, sometimes called “Wishbone”, that’s in the December chapter of KNITTERS ALMANAC. The percentages are the same to get that shaping. The difference is that it’s made in a finer wt yarn than EZ called for, KW-DK wt at 5 spi instead of super bulky. To make the yoke shaping work, you HAVE TO do it in garter or some other shorter row gauge yarn or else the armholes stretch down to your waist. I knit an earlier prototype without the FI band and it works and acts great, so that’s an option.

      Joan Schrouder

      Liked by 1 person

      • Priscilla L. Bouic 5:10 pm on March 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so much for posting pictures of both front and back of the fair isle design on your barnstormer coat. It is stunning! And thanks to “Schrouderknits” for explaining about the pattern. I have been sampling some “garter-jacquard” stitches and realized that long floats might be a problem unless you keep color changes to 3 sts or less. But I see that on your reverse side it doesn’t really matter. The floats work out so well. That was my big question about this technique, so thank you so much for clarifying that. I love your beautiful work. and thanks for sharing.
        Happy Knitting,
        Knittyhaha on Ravelry.

        Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 2:11 pm on October 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Little Guys 

    I started these yesterday.  We went to Wisconsin to see Ethan play frisbee, and I was working on another pair of socks.  I had taken along a new book that I just got, Knit Socks! 17 Classic Patterns for Cozy Feet.  I had been perusing this book the day prior, and saw the cute “Little Guys”  sock pattern, and thought it would be fun to knit up.

    I used a beautiful tangerine colored Baby Ull by Dale of Norway,  Size 1 needles.  Very, Very Quick.  There are some other patterns in this book that I would like to knit, notably the cover socks.   This is a good book for beginning sock knitters, as every step is clearly spelled out in chart format.  Myself, I could do without all of the beginning pages on the anatomy of a sock, and basic sock knitting techniques.  Seriously, how many books do you need that cover this same information?

  • knitting1105 12:16 pm on October 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Cotton Candy Scarf 

    My first project from weaving to knitting.  I called this “Cotton Candy”, as it reminded me of the colors and fluffiness of the cotton candy at the county fair.  Every year I would look wistfully at it, as my mother would refuse to buy it for us.  Was it the cost, or the product?  I never knew, but I also refused to buy my children cotton candy at the amusement park…

    Just a simple garter stitch scarf, gifted wool whose province I do not know, and bulky yarn due to the early stages of my learning curve on the spinning wheel.

    I think that I will send this to my best blog commenter, who always has such wonderful words of support for me.

    • Barbara 2:20 pm on October 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Those colours are gorgeous – really summery. It must be so satisfying to do the whole thing, from fleece to finished garment.


  • knitting1105 7:31 pm on October 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Navajo-Churro Sheep 

    Last spring I saw an inspiring lecture at my knitting guild by Susan Strawn, author of Knitting America, where she presented her doctoral thesis on Churro Sheep, and the craft culture of the Navajo Indians.   I was reminded of it as I was cleaning out my emails.  I had written to Susan after her lecture to say how much I enjoyed it, and she replied and directed me to this interview.

    The Churro Sheep were systematically wiped out by the US government first in 1865 by a massive slaughter prior to leading the Navajo on the long walk to Arizona, and again in the 1930’s by government imposed stock reductions.  Or so they thought.  The breed was considered extinct until Dr. Lyle McNeal and others started collecting and selectively breeding the sheep through the Utah State University.  This is a great interview that aired on NPR last summer talking about the “Sheep is Life” festival that takes place every year in Arizona, and a bit of the history of the sheep.

    These sheep have been saved from extinction, and are no longer considered endangered.  If you have been reading this blog, you will know that I just purchased a used spinning wheel and I am having great fun (not great success yet) spinning on it.  I had taken a drop spindle class a year ago, and never really got the hang of it.  At the time of the class, I purchased 2 balls of Roving that I thought I would like to spin.  They happened to be Navajo Churro.

    Now that I have a real spinning wheel, this wool will be coming into play soon.

    The Navajo-Churro sheep is considered a primitive breed, a direct descendant of the Churra sheep brought to Mexico in 1494 by Spanish explorers.  It has a long hair outercoat, and a fine wool undercoat.  Mainly used for weavings, the undercoat is good for outerwear.  I am assuming that these rovings are the undercoat, as they feel very soft.  I should be able to tell by the staple length.  The wool comes in a wide range of natural colors.

    Characteristics (from The book of Wool):

    • Fineness: Undercoat:  18-30 microns; Outercoat: 30-47 microns
    • Staple length:  Undercoat:  3-6″; Outercoat: 6-8″
    • Crimp:  Low, with curly tips
    • Luster:  Moderate
    • Suitable for:  Midrange garments, Outerwear
    • Felting Qualities:  Medium
    • Bets 6:30 am on October 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That looks like the roving I bought this year at the Midwest Fiber & Folk, from IL Green Pastures Fiber Coop. Though she said it was 30% alpaca for added softness. I also got a spindle and a free lesson there, and am enjoying learning it when I have time. They also told me Navajo-Churro is great for beginner spinners, along with Romney, Corriedale, and Shetland. Thanks, I will check out the interview.Good luck with your wheel!


      • knitting1105 12:55 pm on October 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        It is from the Illinois Green Pastures Collection, but all Navajo Churro wool, from the Maierhofer Farm. This is next on my list to spin up.


    • Karen 10:03 am on October 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for featuring Navajo-Churro sheep on your blog 🙂 Your roving is most likely a blend of both the inner and outer coats. Separating the two coats is a lot of work and is not necessary since it’s lovely to spin ‘as is’. Navajo-Churro is indeed classified as a ‘coarse’ wool but it should never be harsh to the hand. The Navajo-Churro Sheep Association breed standard describes the wool as ‘lustrous with a silky hand’. The N-CSA website: http://www.navajo-churrosheep.com has more information on the breed.
      Best wishes on the spinning. Keep at it – it will get easier as you go and it’s a lot of fun!


      • knitting1105 12:56 pm on October 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, it is crimpy, but soft. I was not even aware of what I was purchasing at the time, just liked the look and feel. I had found that link, it is attached to Dr. Lyle McNeal’s name. It does have wonderful information there. Thanks for the info.


    • Mimi 3:47 pm on October 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      She (Susan) also stopped by SnB on Monday! Did anyone (else) tell you?


  • knitting1105 7:12 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Spinning Dream 

    So, I had this great dream last night.   I went to a knitting and spinning convention, filled with all of the great knitters and spinners, and as always, an awesome market.  I looked around at all the beautiful things that people were knitting and spinning.  I finally zeroed in on an amazing green that would spin up with a heathered look, to make a green and brown fair isle sweater.  Not to be, even in my dreams.  I was pulled aside and told my spinning was not up to the task yet.  And this is what they showed me:

    Let’s be fair folks, this is just my second attempt at making yarn.  And with gifted “Lord knows what” yarn.  I do think that my dream holds promise to future abilities.  Here is the unknown “cotton candy” yarn pre-plying:

    • Janet 7:42 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It will get better; lots of practice!!


    • Lisa 8:23 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Looks pretty good to me! I love the purple and green combo!


  • knitting1105 9:31 am on October 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    For Tyler 

    Franklin Habit is a knitting blogger in Chicago who does amazing art, photography and knitting projects.  He wrote a moving post about the recent suicide of Tyler Clementi.  Please read this.

  • knitting1105 11:43 am on October 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Returning to Montague 

    The sweater that is…  I only wish that I could sit on the beach, especially in the gorgeous Fall weather that we have been having.

    This is a slow progressing sweater, but I knew that about Hanne Falkenberg patterns when I started.  The instructions for the front neck were a bit confusing, so I put it away for a few days (after trying and ripping out twice), and I realized that she was asking for CO 3 sts once, CO 2 sts 3x, then CO 1 stitch (all every other row at the neck edge) until you reach the desired number.  Her instructions were:  Cast off at neck edge on alternate row, first 3,2,2,2 sts and then 1 st until 38 sts remain.  I kept thinking that it was size related, and it is not.  I guess I was in a bit of a brain fog.  That fog continued to the sleeves where I did not understand that after 2 garter st rows with the picked up sts next to the saddle shoulder, and knit several rows in garter until the decreases didn’t make sense.  Then I went and found the card with the photograph on it.  The sleeves are all in the Shaker rib after the first 2 rows, and attached to the front and back.  Makes for a bit of a bulky knit to carry around, but a lot less sewing up at the end.  Anyways, here is my progress:

    Hanne Falkenberg Chess Men’s Pullover.

    Colors: Aubergine and Coffee from the Hanne Kit.

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