Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knitter's Guide to Hand Dyed and Variegated Yarn

Last weekend I attended an author event at my local yarn shop. Lorna Miser, founder of Lorna's Laces, gave a talk about her book, The Knitter's Guide to Hand Dyed and Variegated Yarn.

Lorna Miser


The book is filled with techniques and projects for multicolored yarn, including many new stitches I have never run across before. I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to this book if I hadn't attended the talk because I didn't realize how much there is to know on the subject of working with variegated yarn. It was fascinating to hear about the different methods for making certain colors pop, preventing pooling, and selecting the best lace patterns for specific types of colorways.

Lorna talked about each chapter in the book and showed us the gorgeous knit samples used in the photographs. (I wanted to tuck more than one item in my purse and quietly walk out the door with it.) She gave us tips on patterns, stitches, and techniques that make the best use of variegated colors. I was completely inspired and couldn't wait to get home and start knitting.



Here are some of the highlights from Lorna's talk:


-She founded Lorna's Laces and raised it like a child until it grew to the point that it needed more than she could give. She sold it in 2003 and went to Scotland to recover from exhaustion.


-She now designs knitting patterns for many companies, such as Fiesta, Red Heart, Lorna's Laces, and more, and says you can support yourself doing that.


-On a skein of variegated yarn, the longer the section of color, the more opportunity for pooling. She recommends untwisting a skein before you buy it to look at the dominate color and check out the length of the sections of color.


-Adding bobbles to an item (like the cute mittens in her book) can help prevent color pooling.

-When knitting Fair Isle, to prevent puckering, first drink a glass of wine.

-Seed stitch can add weight to lighter yarns.


I'm currently knitting this neck cozy from Lorna's book using a stitch called Webbed Float Stitch with alternating strands of variegated and solid colored yarn. Next I want to knit a pair of lacy silk fingerless gloves.


Next month is Stitches West! I'm attending a class on designing with lace and can't wait.

16 comments:

Kate! said...

OOOOoooo I'm envious! It sounds like a great event!

Rachel said...

Very interesting stuff!

I believe that drinking a glass of wine prevents puckering whether you're knitting fair isle or not... haha

Rachel said...

Oh, and I also wanted to let you know how proud I am of you for resisting the temptation to pilfer some of her wonderful samples. You exercised great restraint, my friend. Good work! Now, can I please check your purse...

Caffeine Girl said...

How cool to meet the real Lorna.

My favorite tip is the wine one, but the bobbles suggestion is probably more useful!

Tracey said...

Those yarns look so beautiful. I need to check out the Webbed Float Stitch; it looks very pretty. I hope you post a picture of your neck cozy when you are finished.

Theresa said...

I love yarn... sigh, if I only knew how to use it:) Sounds like a wonderful event! Love the neck cozy, can't wait to see it when you finish!

Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

Dogwood said...

Wow, dear girlfriend you are really doing wonders with your knitting needles! Looks like a great book and fun to hear the author chat about each chapter.
Enjoy your Sunday.
Hugs...

GerryART said...

Seems you've come a way with more hints and tips, thanks for sharing with us.

Hugs

Lupie said...

So cool! I love her yarns and the class you're going to take sounds great. Can't wait to hear about it.

Louise said...

Sounds like an informative talk. I will have to take a look for her book. Thanks for sharing some of her tips!

Suz said...

delightful

Jane said...

How cool! Love what you learned, too. I have not used may variegated yarns. Love the wine tip, too! I don't need an excuse to do that!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, that sounds so cool! I love Lorna's Laces yarn -- I was just thinking this morning that my LL socks have held up better than other yarns. I don't love that they pool so much though -- I sure wish I'd heard her tips to prevent pooling. I don't think I'd want bobbles on my socks LOL!

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

So pretty! I have a friend that attends Stitches East. It's been held in my state the last 2 years.

*✿*millie meadowsweet*✿* said...

sounds like you are having some interesting adventures :o)

*✿*millie meadowsweet*✿* said...

just to let you know, i have commented on a couple of your older posts too.
don't know if people check this (i do).