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Archive for June, 2008

Busy Saturday Planned: Join Me?

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Saturday is going to be crazy-busy in the Lansing, Michigan area… with all the right happenings. For one thing, it is International Knit-in-Public (KIP) day. Then at night Brian and I will be singing at Altu’s. Here is the schedule:

9:00-11:00am KIP just outside Lavender & Peonies, right in the Dewitt Farmer’s Market (north of Lansing maybe 20 minutes).

11:00-2:00 KIP at Patriarche park East Lansing (sponsored by Rae of Rae’s Yarn Boutique and Nancy of Woven Art)

2:00-5:00pm KIP at Threadbear Fiberarts, the west side of Lansing.

Knitting no doubt will continue… but I then will switch into my singing persona (for The Fabulous Heftones) and sing at Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine in East Lansing, from 6:30-8:30. Great food, great company, a great way to end the day.

And my Mom is back in town for the summer so it will be wonderful to have her (and her friends) in the audience. Singing in the winter just feels a little strange to have her not be there. Happy me!

I am feeling pretty crummy today. I awoke with a mean headache, so took some aspirin which then gave me a tummy ache. Drat. Unfortunately, that brings a grumpy Lynnie.

I hope that tomorrow will bring an improved grouping of head, tummy and attitude. I like myself better when I’m genuinely smiling. I think I will be crashing extra early tonight, in the hope that I can get up early enough to go north.

Interesting, too… my Brian is in the Scarlet Runner String Band. They will be singing in DeWitt at Sweetielicious Pie Pantry starting at 9am. Cool, huh? All in the family…

Please, local folks… consider joining me for one event or all. It will be a fun day!

I’m in the Book!

Friday, June 13th, 2008

I got word today that I will have one sock pattern/design of mine included in a book of sock designs by Lark Books. They expect it to come out in late 2009 and I probably will not be able to talk much about it until then. I will say that my design is colorful and an unusual structure, but will not be significantly difficult to knit.

Thanks to Rae for helping me brainstorm possible design motifs. Her input influenced the final design.

It is Summer. Aaaah.

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

(Photos not Lansing… see note at end of post.)
alexandriafruitstand.jpgIt finally feels like summer in Lansing. It’s been crazy weather here as with most of the midwest states, with 50mph winds and trees tossed into the air like salad. I took a lot of photos but am too crazy-busy catching up after 5 days on the road to process them for you right now. Trees just broke in two.

They closed Mount Hope Cemetery to visitors (and several parks as well). There are unstable trees and broken branches blocking paths. I hope there is not a lot of damage to permanent structures, I can not see any from the street but it’s a very large place.
karenwalkway16.jpgSeveral grocery stores lost all perishables. Even if they have insurance, they are all hitting their suppliers hard at the same time so we will no doubt have limited frozen food supplies for a while. In fact, one of my favorite stores has a supplier which was flooded and thus their buried computer lines were rendered useless so they had a delay getting their order filled. It is going to take time to get back in order here.

I remember when I was in Africa; how people there had a sense that things can just take time. They enjoyed one another’s company while they waited for things to happen. I practiced the mantra “I’m not in charge” the whole time I was there (I did not speak any main language in any country where I visited, so I had to trust my friends to take me places and keep me happy, fed and safe… which worked just fine).

I learned from my African friends that focusing on people and relationship is something I *do* have some control over. Weather and red tape are things I must wait out. Though I have been back from that trip for over three years, I am still very much changed by that experience.

And right now, it is hotter in Lansing, Michigan than it was most of the days I was in Africa. I am really loving it. I seem to have a defective personal thermostat… my feet can be cold at 78F degrees. I love 80-86F or so. Once we get higher than that, I still am more happy than in winter but it is definitely important to slow down and dress differently.

bahardarpalmstreet.jpgI’ll be wearing African or Indian clothing today when I wander forth into society. I love those clothes, I wait all winter to wear them. I never liked summer clothing before… woven cotton shorts and T-shirts leave me cold, but flowy long garments which allow me to sort of “float” down the street? I can not get enough of them.

OK, since I am not developing broken-tree photos today I will show you summery photos of my African trip. I was in Ethiopia for 3 weeks, Kenya 1 week, Egypt 1 week… between late November 2004 and early January 2005. I went with my friend Altu who was born and raised and educated in Ethiopia, but is now a US citizen and who owns my favorite restaurant, in East Lansing, Michigan.

First photo is a fruit stand in Alexandria, Egypt. Second photo is the garden of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, in the Karen district of Nairobi, Kenya. Third is a beautiful street scene in Bahar Dar, northern Ethiopia, which Altu wants me to tell you is not a typical scene but definitely gorgeous.

Amazing Video: Carmen Miranda, Tutti Frutti Hat

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

(This blog is about artfulness in all its forms… often knitting, sometimes soup, today a 1940’s Technicolor film clip. I hope I never run out of new ways to share creative expressions with you! )

If you like Wizard of Oz, if you like theatrical, improbable scenes with a zillion ladies in the chorus and a dozen organ grinders each with their own monkey, if you remember the June Taylor dancers on the Jackie Gleason Show, if you have never seen Carmen Miranda (wearing bananas on her head and unidentified red fruits which may be strawberries, decorating her floor-length gown)… you will not regret taking a few minutes to see a video (Brian found it, thank him) while it’s up on YouTube.


This comes from the 1943 movie “The Gang’s All Here.” We never know if something like this will be pulled from the site at any minute, so click fast, my friends.

This video is amazing. It’s trippy in the happiest Oz sort of way, condensed into merely seven and a half minutes of “I can’t believe someone thought of this, much less funded it…”

The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat

Chippy – Yippie!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008


Woohoo, I’m finished with the Chippy Socks for Kids pattern!!! I am shipping patterns as of today.

I started this project in late 2006, and it got sidetracked for over a year. I’m delighted to have dusted it off and given it life.

Big thanks to Rae and Diana, Eunice and Mary, who were essential to getting the pattern back out into the queue, tested, and illustrated well. I can not really work alone and do an adequate job. Having a team of this caliber means that my translation hiccups (like saying “Knit” when “Purl” was the right word) get caught. Working with you folks has made this a joy.

How I design, is I “sketch” on the needles. I cast on and I knit. If it looks wrong, I rip it out and try again. When I have something I like, I go back and count stitches and rows, and I figure out what I did. Those notes become a pattern. It is just the way I think.

chippymaryweb.jpgThe only pattern I ever wrote down as I knit it, was my Fast Florida Footies. I knit them in one day and knew I was going to give them to my Mom the next day. I had no time to look at them and count stitches!

But it is a bit painful for me to write things down, rip out, cross out text, knit again, make notes, rip, cross out, and so forth. Ugh.

Therefore I must have at least one more item knit, from my written translation of the first knitted item. Without the “test knit,” I am just sure to have a hiccup or two in there.

I’ve been very lucky to always have folks who wanted to help. I’ve had really good testers over the years… several folks I met through this blog have helped me more than once, and perhaps they will help out again. This time I had local people who piped up and asked to help before I even asked.

The socks at the top of this post were knit in size 0/infant by Diana with Cascade Fixation cotton/elastic yarn. It is very different from other yarns. I think it’s really a good one for tiny socks which can fall (or be pulled) off tiny feet, especially when they are small enough to not bother with shoes. That elastic/lycra component makes a difference in how they work while worn.


The second photo in this entry was knit by Mary in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. These are the largest size in the pattern, Child Large (shoe 10-11). This yarn is just lovely stuff, washable and springy and soft. It has enough microfiber in it to strengthen the merino wool and cashmere in the mix, and to make it a little shiny. I made a pair for Brian out of this yarn a few months ago.

The third set of socks were knit by the enthusiastic Eunice, whose 6-yr-old was chomping at the bit to get her own set after Mom finished the test knitting. I am guessing that set is already on the needles!

Eunice knit her sockies with Debbie Bliss Rialto, a machine-washable 100% Merino wool yarn. It’s really squishy and soft, not at all like the wool of my childhood. It also comes in a lot of great colors (there is also a Rialto Aran, but this is regular Rialto which is a DK/thinner weight).

And all this knitting happened while Eunice had a High School graduate in the house. Thanks for taking the time out of graduation week to knit for me, Eunice!

chippy170x170.jpgIt is ironic that the only Chippy Socks I actually knit myself were the first set of six: knit in a yarn now not available at any of the shops where I teach.

Luckily for my 4-yr-old friend Isabel, that happened while she was still small enough to wear those socks. She has been happily wearing them to the babysitter’s house these last few weeks, in between heat waves.

Home, Sweet Classes

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Rae and I got home just before dark on Monday night. We had a good time on our ride home, though we did hit a mean thunderstorm just south of the Michigan-Ohio border. It did not last long, but we saw a lot of lightning bolts which went horizontally in front of us, really unusual and impressive.

We hit another smaller storm not far from Ann Arbor, which did not really slow us down much. Considering that others from the show we just attended were flying, which can be strongly impacted by storms of this sort, we really were lucky to have a 4.5 hour drive rather than a delayed flight.


I start Tuesday with a full roster of local classes. Some are waiting to see if they might happen, others are happily already doing well. After five days out of town, I’m delighted to be back and ready to get going with my students. Maybe some local folks would like to join me?

(For the record, my calendar/class web page is woefully out of date. I aim to make it caught up within a week but meanwhile this will get you through the next 7 days of offerings.)

  • Tuesday 6-8pm, First-Time Toe-Up Socks (first of 3 weekly sessions, same time each week). Rae’s Yarn boutique, East Side of Lansing not far from Frandor.
  • Wednesdays starting June 11 through Labor day, 2:45-4:30, Summer KidzKnit with Ms. Lynn at Rae’s. Buy a punch card for 4 sessions for $20, and use one punch per visit through the summer, no need to attend each week if you are out of town. Ages 7-17, no pre-requisite, write me or call Rae’s 517-336-YARN for more details. (No refunds on unused punches, but you can sell yours to another kid.)
  • Thursday 4:45-5:45 Knitting Study Hall at Rae’s. Adult knitting, learn from scratch or get pattern-reading help, walk through certain parts of a project, on a number of subjects. Again, come on weeks when you can make it, OK if you are out of town one week.
  • Thursday night 6-8pm, Chippy Socks for Kids at Rae’s (week 1 of 3 in a row). Fuchippylindaweb.jpgn, multicolored socks for infant through child sizes (see photo at right). Knit 2 to 6 socks, designed to “go” together but not match, though matching is OK as well.
  • Friday June 13 & 20, 3-5pm, ZigBagZ mini (either Bottle or Sport versions) at Threadbear. take a few afternoons off and knit this big hit, a bag to hold your water bottle through the upcoming summer.
  • Saturday., June 14, Noon-2pm, one session. Darn that Sock! at Yarn Garden in Charlotte. Fix those socks you took the time to handknit. Keep them many more years!
  • Saturdays, 3:30-5:30 pm, Double-Striped Socks at Little Red Schoolhouse. First of 3 weeks. A great way to use this fun new slowly-self-striping yarn. (See photo, top left.) No swatching, easy toe.

I hope some of you join me. Life is fun when I have active classes going, no matter what they are and no matter where I am teaching.

I Sing a Song of Lansing (Michigan)

Monday, June 9th, 2008

(…writing this from a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Photos are from Columbus.)

I live in Lansing, Michigan. It is a rather ordinary place in many ways, but the people are quite fine. The artful folks all seem to know one another… knitters, painters, poets, musicians, theatre folks, dancers… we all overlap pretty regularly, it seems everyone knows everyone sometimes.

columbusbldg2.jpgBut as a professional making a living as an artful person? Mostly teaching knitting? Lansing is the best place of all.

For one thing, our guild is very strong. Often we have 30-50 people at a meeting. Weeks when we do not have a meeting, folks gather in member homes (the location rotates) and even in the summer when there are no big meetings, the knit-in’s happen every week.

And the most unique thing going on here? The yarn shops get along. They let their instructors teach at more than one shop.

Most towns require their instructors to be “loyal” and exclusive to only their one shop. Often those instructors are also regular employees of the shop, running the cash register and the like.

In Lansing, we currently have 4 shops in the contiguous communities which are the “greater Lansing area.” I teach for three of those four, and get along well with the one where I do not teach. I also teach at a shop 30 minutes south and am lining up a new relationship with a shop about 20 minutes north.

I have taught at regional and national events. Between those and the classes I teach at the local shops, guild retreats, non-local Michigan shops/guilds, and a little bit of other creative/teaching work, I make this my livelihood.

Sarah Peasley and Sharon Winsauer are also Lansing-area instructors who are on the national circuit. At least in my case, I could not make this my career if it were not for the far-reaching vision of the local shops.

We know we need each other. We know that when the whole knitting community is strong, healthy, friendly and well-served (no shop can have all yarns and fill all needs for any knitter), our entire industry in our area will be more healthy.

There is no sense thinking we are in scarcity. There *is enough* business for us all, abundance can reign if we all open up and see the big picture, the future.


I am here at the TNNA trade show. I’ve run into “the boyz” (Rob and Matt who own Threadbear Fiberarts on the West Side) and got a hug from Matt (when I saw Rob, he was seated and happily knitting with a group of friends and I was on my way to an appointment).

One shop in Lansing (Little Red Schoolhouse Yarns, run by Linda) did not come to the show this year. The shop north of town (Lavender and Peonies, run by LeeAnne) also didn’t make it.

However, I came with Rae and Cindy of Rae’s Yarn Boutique. Sarah Peasley came with Nancy McRay of Woven Art in East Lansing. Lindsay and Juli of Yarn Garden in Charlotte are also attending. And tonight, I wish I had taken a photograph. The seven I mention in this paragraph, went to dinner together and had a wonderful time.

This could not happen in most towns. I mentioned this to Beth Brown-Reinsel today. She just could not believe that not only could I teach at multiple shops in one town, but that we would go to dinner. It is just unheard of in this business. Probably in most businesses… you don’t go to dinner with “the competition.” I love breaking that rule!

Knitters go to any shop they can visit. We will always want to check out one more shop. Often vacations are planned or at least changed, to make way to a shop or three we have not yet experienced. Anyone who has a shop has done this, at least before they opened. Recently Rae bought yarn from Linda for a particular project. Hey, we are all in this together for the long haul, it makes sense to be friendly!

So tonight I am here to tell you how lucky I am, and how clearly I am aware of my great fortune. I have a wonderful job I would not trade for anything. I have good friends I’ve met in the business. And I do not have to pretend that I am loyal when few knitters are… I’m loyal all right: to knitting, other knitters, the lifestyle. The community of knitting. All of us, no matter which store I am in.

I am a very happy and lucky woman. I’m glad to be in this life. I’m delighted to share that happiness with you today.

Monday is the last day of the show… we do our last bit of ordering and take Cindy to the airport, then drive about 4.5 hours home. It has just been a wonderful experience here in Columbus.

Photos? Two views from the patio in front of our hotel (Royal Plaza). I love cities and that nice, tall, shiny building reflecting clouds made me smile. Yet looking directly around me, it was just like a garden. There are people walking in this area all the time, locals *and* tourists. These were taken around lunchtime and I saw a lot of folks walking to lunch with work colleagues. It’s an alive section of the city, for sure. I really enjoyed knitting on the patio for a while and drinking it in. My city is not big enough for this, and I loved every minute.

Who’s Who in Knitting and more

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

The Event

What a hotbed of creative folks this trade show is! There are so many big names, approachable talent in my (knitting) industry all here in one small spot for most of a week. It’s incredibly exciting to be here.

For most people attending, this is a buy/sell show, though nobody goes home with bags of merchandise. This is where retail yarn shops order their fall yarns and accessories. In a business heavy on wool, it’s the big deal of the year.

There are also classes and a fashion show. Friday there was a luncheon (where Stephanie Pearl-McPhee/Yarn Harlot was the keynote speaker… I missed it).

The People

I am going to drop names here for the knitters who read ColorJoy. Many of these folks are friends and colleagues, some have taught me, and some I just know who they are and we have never spoken.

(I am guaranteed to forget a percentage… if I hugged you and then didn’t list your name, please be kind, it is just the sort of chaotic environment that one can not remember everything.) They are not all my best friends or anything, but it sure shows you the powerhouse that is the TNNA show.

I have run into or at least seen across the room (in approximate order of seeing them):

Jillian Moreno
Annie Modesitt
Kristi Porter
Margaret Radcliffe
Sally Melville
Lucy Neatby
Kristin Nicholas
Amy Singer
Shannon Okey
Melissa Leapman
Rick Mondragon, Knitter’s Magazine
Franklin Habit
Vicki Howell
all three authors of Knit So Fine (Lisa R. Myers, Laura Grutzeck, and Carol J. Sulcoski)
Beth Brown-Reinsel
Cat Bordhi
Cookie A.
Chris DeLongpre of KnittingAtKnoon
Chrissy Gardiner
Anne Hanson/Knitspot
Mary Moran of KnittingZone and Hiya Hiya knitting needles
Cheryl Potter (of Cherry Tree Hill Yarn)
Casey, Jess and Mary-Heather of Ravelry

From Lansing:
I am traveling with Rae and Cindy of Rae’s Yarn Boutique,
had dinner with Nancy McRae (Woven Art) and Sarah Peasley/Handknitter,
chatted with Lindsay and her mom from Yarn Garden/Charlotte, and
waved and chatted with Rob and Matt from Threadbear as we were proceeding between evening engagements.

(For the record, I know who all these people are, as do many people in my industry… but if you dropped the name of a young actor I typically would not know who you were talking about. I don’t “do” movies or TV because I don’t enjoy them, so I’m totally out of touch in that realm. If you feel out of place here with my list of names, I understand.)

This is the 3rd TNNA show I’ve attended. It’s fun to finally know some of the folks and really feel connected.

The Best Part

The most exciting thing today was finally meeting Kristin Nicholas. We have corresponded for perhaps a year, maybe more, thanks to her blog. We have tried four times to meet up in person, in three different states. Finally this time we made it work. She’s a wonderful color-talent in many media (knitting, embroidery, painting/illustration, author of lovely books, etc.), and a lovely person.

It was also a thrill to meet Carol Sulcoski. We have been corresponding a lot lately by email because of the Knit So Fine blog tour. She just lit up when I walked up to the author-signing table. It is always great to be greeted that way!!!

Next post, photos. I had written too much this morning and deleted several over-detailed paragraphs just now (since I’m finally awake enough to focus). Just suffice it to say that days are busy here and it’s all good.

More TNNA Trade Show

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Columbus, Ohio is wonderful. I spent time yesterday with music friend, Megan Palmer, at a teahouse. I also spent good chatting time with Mary Moran of knittingzone.com and Margaret Radcliffe of Maggie’s Rags. Maggie has a book coming out in December, all about using color in knitting. I’m eager to see that.

So many people are here, people I know from this business from all over. I dare not start naming names in case I leave one out. Much fun, I assure you.

There is a Teachers/Designers meeting at 8am on Saturday (today) and so I didn’t sleep enough last night. Off to get presentable and find my way to that room!

Knit So Fine, Blog Tour

Friday, June 6th, 2008

blueyokesweater.jpgToday I am delighted to host the blog tour of the book Knit So Fine, by by Lisa R. Myers, Laura Grutzeck, and Carol J. Sulcoski. Carol and I discussed her Bohus-style-inspired sweater for this stop.

Historical Bohus knitting included a stranded-colorwork yoke. This sweater has the look from a distance, but is a quicker knit with lovely and simple color accents. It is an inspired concept, and it plays out very well in real life.


Of course, regular readers of this ColorJoy blog will know that my primary creative focus is color (expressed mostly through knitting but also in other areas). I have done a lot of knitting where I mix yarns or I hold two yarns together, usually two different colors if not two different yarn types entirely.

Carol’s Bohus-inspired sweater uses two strands of Jaggerspun Zephyr silk/wool laceweight yarn, held together. For the yoke, she changes one strand’s color at a time for subtle interest.

Two strands of silk/wool makes for a wonderful, drapey and comfortable fabric. With the silk content, it is warmer than other sweaters of the same (fingering/sockweight) gauge.

The Fabric Itself

With two strands worked together as one yarn, the fabric is much flatter than a fabric made of one fingering-weight yarn at the same gauge. I particularly love this specific attribute of knitting with two strands held together as one.

There is nothing like the drapey, somewhat “flatter” fabric you get when you knit with two strands, no matter what gauge you desire. The flatness and drape of a multi-stranded knitting fabric versus the same gauge using one strand, must not be underestimated. It looks more elegant, more finished. It also flatters all body shapes better, by its nature.

Not only that, but for the yoke she accented the garment by changing one yarn color at a time, creating a series of beautiful colors in a bit of a rainbow effect. I have employed this technique in my own designs, which is a subtle way to add color without a too-strong extreme stripe effect.

Carol says:

You may be familiar with Jaggerspun’s Zephyr for knitting lace shawls and scarves. It’s a laceweight yarn made of fifty percent wool and fifty percent silk. It comes in a rainbow of colors and can be purchased in cones or by the ounce. It’s very soft and drapey, and perfect for laceknitting. But Zephyr isn’t just a yarn for knitting lace. I’ve heard people talk about knitting very lightweight socks in it, and when double-stranded, it creates a lovely fingering-weight fabric, as shown in the Bohus sweater.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Bohus style of knitting. I love the book Poems of Color, which tells the story of this knitting movement, and the colorwork in these sweaters is truly magnificent. My yoke sweater is inspired by the Bohus movement, but made a bit more accessible in the way the yoke was knit. Instead of using charts and stranded stitchwork, carrying two and sometimes more different colors across a row, I simplified the colorwork dramatically by using two strands of Zephyr. You begin with two strands of the same color, then after a few rows switch one of the strands, then after a few more rows, switch to two strands of the new color, and so on. You get a great blending of colors with a more user-friendly technique.

Zephyr is the perfect yarn for this for many reasons: it comes in many lovely colors so you can have fun playing with different shades; and it’s so lightweight, that even when you knit two strands together, you don’t lose the softness or the drape. Plus the wool content gives it elasticity to counterbalance the silk. Because the sweater is lightweight, it will be wearable more seasons of the year than a heavier, all-wool sweater.


Learning to Embrace Color

For me, often the yarns available are what creates my interest in a project. I think that many folks are afraid to choose colors. However, most of us have a sense that we enjoy blues and greens, or rosy tones, or brights (in my case).

I teach color-comfort classes, and often suggest that folks try an “analogous” color scheme first, as a way to try more colors at one time. Analogous colors are those near one another on the color wheel.

For example, those of us who remember the early 1970’s remember the blue/green/purple scheme and the red/orange/yellow scheme that were in every fashion magazine and many stores at that time. Both of these schemes used high-intensity colors in an analogous group.

I have a group of artistic friends who favor hand-dyed batik fabrics in indigo, purple, and turquoise. This is a softer version of the same concept. Carol used a blues-and-greens colorway for her sweater, using dark and light values of this small group of analogous colors. So many of us love the sea-and-sky color scheme, that it really worked well.

Carol continues:

When I was swatching for the sweater, I got a bunch of little samples of Zephyr, and laid them all out on a table in good light. I had a hard time committing to a color combination, though. I loved the many pink and rose shades, but I also felt the blue and gray and green ones calling to me. I hope to knit this sweater again for myself, and I’ll definitely choose a different color combination than the sample just for the fun of doing it again in an alternate colorway!

Here is one colorway that Carol considered before choosing the blue-green version:


Carol then asks me:

Lynn, I bet you have already knit with Zephyr. What do you think of it?

I have dyed Zephyr a few times, but since I am not much of a lace knitter I did not use it until I knit my self-portrait. At that time, I could not find enough fingering-weight yarns in believable neutrals for my face.
My friend and colleague, Rae Blackledge of Rae’s Yarn Boutique in Lansing, Michigan, suggested that I use several strands of laceweight yarns held together to create more colors for shading. It really did the trick.

LynnH with her handknit self-portrait in 10,374 stitchesI did essentially what you did in the yoke of your sweater. However, I used four strands at a time of any number of brands of lace yarns, only one of which was Zephyr. (Click photo for larger image and the story behind the knitting of the piece.)

This yarn-combining allowed me great freedom in shading and gave me a vast variety of closely-related colors to work with. For example, I might use two strands of soft white with two taupe for a few stitches. Then I might use four of taupe, or three taupe and one white, ad infinitium.

It was not only a great solution for my subtle color-shading needs, but it gave me a much finer fabric in the final piece. I can not be more pleased with the result. Without the laceweights I may have had to hand-dye the yarns in order to get the shades I needed.

Future Plans: Laceweight Yarn for Garments

I have a *lot* of laceweight yarn left from the self-portrait project. I am not at all a lover of neutral tones in my wardrobe. Therefore, I’m considering overdyeing the neutrals and then holding them together to knit a tank top or tee.

I was grateful to get a skein of the Zephyr to swatch for this blog tour stop. I held two strands together and knit on size 2 US (2.75mm) needles. First I tried a basketweave/checkerboard in knits and purls. It has a nice sheen to it, and would drape well perhaps for a lightweight tee. Since this is a flatter relative of ribbing, it is a bit stretchy with a bit of body to it.

However, since my purl gauge is much tighter than my knit gauge, I got a basketweave that looked off-kilter even after blocking. (This is why I have test knitters for my published patterns… I have good ideas but my gauge-of-the-hour can fail me at times.)


Then I tried a stockinette version of feather and fan stitch using the same two strands and same needles. This is definitely a winner. It drapes well, it has a satin-like finish to the blocked swatch. Some silk is a little warm to wear, and the small lacy holes would allow a bit of breathing for a garment (or scarf, or heirloom baby item).


I typically knit socks more than anything else (160 pairs to date), thus fingering gauges are quite comfortable to me. At this time of year I start dreaming of tank tops. Often a new sockyarn will inspire me with ideas of tanks or tees.

However, this idea of holding a few strands of laceweight together is better yet… the fibers are even softer and more drapey, a better fabric overall.

Many Thanks!

I’m glad to have had the chance to be inspired by your book and this tour. Thank you, Carol!

June 7, tune in with Shannon Oakey/Knitgrrl for the next tour stop!

Nothing like computer woes…

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

LynnH in full ColorJoySo I’m getting ready to be gone from home for 5 days. I’m going to the TNNA spring show, a yarn-buying trade show in Columbus Ohio. It’s much fun, much overload, more yarn than you can imagine.

And I’m crazy-busy trying to finish everything I wanted finished before I left. And instead our internet connection went down for about 36 hours. Whew. Thanks for hanging in there for me.

Columbus is a wonderful city. I am looking forward to the food in particular. I discovered some very fine food vendors a block or two from the convention center last year. The bubble tea and Indian food will draw me back again, for sure.

I hope to be able to see a new music friend, Megan Palmer, who is based in Columbus. Unfortunately for me (good for her) she will be out of town this weekend but we are going to see if we can connect Thursday before she leaves.


And then we get to cross fingers, toes, and eyes… that I’ll remember people I met last year at the show. There are so many people, so much distraction, that I really hope I remember people from last year.

brianandlynndance16.jpgIf you know who I am and see me, please, please say hello. Sometimes people spot me across the way and don’t say hi. That makes me sad.

I’m not an accountant, I’m an artist. I’m in a touchy-feely business which is guided by relationship as much as possible. People are everything, really, in an art-based business. I want to meet you, do not be shy. Say hi!

(Here are 3 photos that are typical of how I usually look… on the subway in Toronto,  Yarn Harlot Canadian Book Launch April 2007; with Bosko and Honey a few months ago here in Lansing; and dancing with Brian at his parents’ 50th anniversary party last month. Surely this will make it easier to spot me in a crowd?)

OK, off to finish packing, sleep a few hours, and get on the road. Rae is supposed to pick me up at 8am. Ugh. I often do not get up till 10:00 or later. Fortunately, Rae and I both wake up slowly and will be kind to one another until the caffeine kicks in. We are good travel partners so that will be a fun part of the trip, actually.

Friday is the blog tour for Knit So Fine, do make sure to tune in here then!!!

Chippy Sock Order Information

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

chippysocksfixation2web.jpgI’ve had a few emails asking how to order a Chippy Sock pattern. You can click the link above (or the photo) to access my shopping cart, and pre-order. The pattern should be done in the next few days.

If you are eager to get it very quickly, you can put a note in the order/purchase screen on my site. This way I can email you a PDF document if you prefer, rather than sending you a paper copy through the mail.

Usually I have downloads through KnittingZone and I will do that within the next few weeks, but for now this is the only way to get an electronic version. (For those who have asked, right now Ravelry allows me to offer only free downloaded patterns, nothing for sale at this time.)

For the record, I will be at a yarn-industry trade show, TNNA in Columbus, Ohio, from Thursday through Monday. That’s June 5-9. I will be online a bit less there than usual. I’m told we will have free internet access in our hotel room. However, we never really know what kind of access and timing there might be with internet when traveling, no matter how much we would like to be sure.

If you order with no note by 11pm on Wednesday all will be “normal” (paper mail through USPS, from Lansing). I *am* taking a stock of patterns with me to mail from Columbus and we’ll see if I can keep things up as quickly as possible while I’m on the road.

This pattern calls for DK-weight yarn, at 6.25st/inch. The socks pictured here were knit in Cascade Fixation cotton/elastic yarn. They were knit over a year ago, and I am not sure of the color numbers. Turquoise is clearly 2706… but the pinkish color is more magenta than the other “hot pink” color which is closest to it (I have used both), yet I only see one bright pinkish color on their site (or Yarndex, or Ravelry for that matter). The yellow is yellow-green, and I think it is color 5806.

Mom’s Rhubarb for Brian

Sunday, June 1st, 2008

brianbirthday12.jpgI just downloaded photos from my camera and I could not resist. Mom always makes Brian a Rhubarb crisp on his birthday (well, almost always).

It is a tart and sweet and chewy baked treat, for those of you who have not tried it. Rhubarb is not a fruit, but used something like cranberries or very tart apples. The crisp has oatmeal and sugar for a sort of crust. The recipe calls for sugar and cinnamon but mom tried nutmeg instead, and it was very tasty.

–So, Friday the three of us went out for Japanese food (the photos of the sushi did not turn out well, but trust me, it was beautiful). Then after the meal we went back to Mom’s for dessert.

This candle was purchased for Mom decades ago by my brother and I, as a Christmas gift. There was a little gift shop we could ride our bikes to (yes, before I could drive a car) and it sold hand-dipped candles in colors Mom would love. These candles stayed on her mantle for a long time. They finally faded.

But mom does not waste things… so the decorations became birthday candles. Here is Brian just before blowing out his candle. It’s such a nice photo of him, I could not resist sharing it with you.