Vogue Knitting Live – Dyeing Shepherd Sock With Beth Casey (Lorna’s Laces)

I would like to start this entry with a post on my friend’s blog: http://www.simbalu.com/?p=186. I post it because I could not better describe the shape I was in right before this very friend introduced  me to (or in my opinion, gave me the great gift of) the world of yarn and crafting. I had just moved to LA from Ohio a year before, and this was no small thing considering I didn’t know a soul here when I stepped off the plane. About one year exactly after I moved, my dad died very suddenly of a one-in-a -million disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease. My grandfather died two months prior to my dad, and when I saw my dad at my grandfather’s funeral, I  had no idea he was even sick, much less that it would be the last time I’d ever see him. So…with that background in mind, you all can understand why, when my good friend Heather asked me if I’d like to add crocheting “to my bag of tricks”, she was offering me the best gift ever. I didn’t even know what to bring, so she lent me a crochet hook, taught me the basic stitch, and gave me my first ball of yarn. I went home and practiced half the night because I instantly fell in love with it and didn’t want to forget how to do it.

After the deaths, I carried a heart full of pain everywhere, all the time. I was tired constantly, but couldn’t sleep. There were two things that brought me out of the hole:  yarn, and a very special friend whose life has been way more tragic than mine has ever been. When I began to help her, I regained my perspective. And then there was yarn. If I was anxious or stressed, I sat down to crochet for awhile. Focusing on a pattern kept my mind busy, and if I couldn’t sleep, I crocheted some more. I made things for my sister’s baby, my family, the older woman I was caring for. Working with yarn started with love, and for me, it is still always about love – either the love I put into making something for someone dear to my heart, or love for the yarn and craft itself.

This may seem like a very odd way to start a post about dyeing yarn with Beth Casey, but she ended her class by talking about how much love is shared in this industry. The love that goes into creating beautiful handmade items, the love we all have for fiber itself, love of colors. Everything she said totally clicked with me, and it was awesome to hear it coming out of her mouth instead of mine.

And now about Lorna’s Laces and Beth herself. I was a fan of Lorna’s Laces since almost the first month I started knitting. I will be a fan for life after taking this class. Beth is an amazing woman – an excellent speaker, a great teacher, and just very fun and vivacious. She talked alot about how she gets inspiration for her colorways, told us the story of how she acquired Lorna’s Laces, and was very enthusiastic with all of us in the class about our dyeing choices. She was really unhappy in her previous job, and after she quit, she took time to figure out what was next in her life. She came across an ad for a yarn company that was for sale, flew to Chicago to meet Lorna, learned the tricks of the trade, worked out the business terms, and as they say, the rest is history. She’s still in touch with Lorna, and is obviously very happy with what she does. She pulls inspiration for colorways in much the same way that any artist pulls inspiration for work – from everywhere. I truly hope I get to learn from her again, and I hope if she runs across my blog, she will like what I wrote here. 🙂

And now, photos of the yarn I dyed in her class:

And last, but not least, thank you a thousand times over to my friend for introducing me to the world of yarn.  If I can find a gift of equal value to give back to you at this point in your life, I will do so with pleasure and gratitude.


Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef – Part I

As promised, here are photos from this amazing display. This was held at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. We shall just say that I had a very detailed tour of Pasadena trying to find this place, and then when we got there, no one seemed to know where the display was, so I also got a very detailed exploration of the campus! This is a beautiful college, located way up on a hill and it feels like you’re going off into some separate little world nestled away from the city. I’m sure it costs an ungodly amount of money to attend this school, but the setting is truly idyllic and full of visual inspiration.

Enjoy, and thank you to all of you who have continued to read my blog while waiting and waiting for these photos to appear! 🙂

Part of the floor display

Display meant to draw attention to the issue of pollution in the oceans. All made of recycled plastics and other junk.
Yes, this is all made with beads. It was behind glass, so difficult to photograph.
One of the few instances in which I've seen fun fur used to good effect! 🙂

More to come my friends, but I have to reformat some of them first. Also, perhaps I’m the last person to discover this, but if you click on the photos, it brings them up on a separate screen at full size so you can see more details. I am sharing the best of my photos with you all – this was difficult to photograph either because there were HUGE floor displays that I couldn’t even get all in one photo or because some were behind glass.

I Saw This Interview While It Was Happening…

…and tried very hard to not eavesdrop or be rude, even though I’d happily have sat and listened all afternoon to Kaffe Fassett talk more about his work and inspirations. 🙂 I also had a brief conversation with the interviewer, and she told me she was one of the few members of the press covering Vogue Knitting Live who was actually a knitter. It is kind of hard to imagine how you can intelligently cover something like knitting if you don’t actually do it (or how you can cover it and not be sucked into it!), but according to her, that was the case. Enjoy this review.


A Teaser…and a Special Quote

Apologies for not updating for awhile now, and apologies for a very short post today. But I would like you all to know I have not forgotten my blog or you, my readers, and my life has been full of both troubles I had to deal with, and also some very exciting creativity and experiences! As I mentioned before, photos are coming from the crocheted coral reef I visited, and since that time, I have done as much knitting as I could fit in to get ready for Vogue Knitting Live, which was this past weekend. Then of course, there was the big event itself: Vogue Knitting LIVE!! I was so very priveleged to spend two days either in classes and lectures with the masters of the fiber arts or shopping for my own fiber. Since I learned so much, and have so much to share, I will make separate posts for each class and experience, and I truly hope you will enjoy them as much as I did! I will also share my knitting and current inspirations.

First however, I am in desperate need of rest and recovery from all the craziness this past month, so I will leave you with the above teaser, as well as a quote that I heard straight out of Kaffe Fassett’s mouth in the lecture I attended: “I come from the school of design in which anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Study his work, and think about this in your own, and see what you come up with. I’ll be back soon, I promise!