Monday, January 10, 2011

Book Giveaway and Candid Interview With Lorna (of Lorna's Laces)!


Phew! We are just getting back from the TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) conference in Long Beach, California and have SO much to share with you! However, you will have to check back later this week for that update because we have something even more exciting to share with you on this very happy Monday morning!!
JBW’s loveable head knitter and owner Laura Zander sat down with the brilliant Lorna Miser for a great casual interview about her new book The Knitter's Guide To Hand-Dyed And Variegated Yarn. And she left us a couple signed copies that we’ve decided to giveaway to all the Lorna’s Laces fans out in cyberspace AND in our LYS. Here’s the interview:
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Laura: Can you tell us how this book came to be?
Lorna: You might say the book ideas started a long, LONG time ago. I started Lorna’s Laces on a shoe string when I was in my 20’s. Amazingly, to me anyway, it grew to the point that I hired help, lots of help and needed a web site. On-line I met Laura (aka Jimmy) and we met a couple times to discuss how she could help build a site for me. At one point Laura inquired about the idea of supporting oneself owning a yarn shop. I knew enough successful shop owners to tell her that yes, it was more than possible, I was sure it could be done well if run as a business, not a hobby or as someone who wanted to sit and knit all day.
Oh how I wish I had a penny for every dollar Ms. Laura has earned. (joking) She has made me as proud as the new (8 years now) owner of Lorna’s Laces, Beth Casey. I sold the company to Beth in 2003 after it, like my children, had grown up and was ready to leave the nest.
Since selling LL, I now devote my work full time to designing, teaching and writing books. This is my second book. It focuses on teaching knitters why hand dyed and variegated yarns do what they do (make pools and seem unpredictable). Once you know what to expect from the yarns, you can take control of them. The techniques I show in the book are not complex or advanced, but they will allow you to emphasize a color, a stitch pattern or choose a pattern with confidence.
Beaded Silk & Sequins Color 141

Laura: What’s your favorite project in the new book?
Lorna: Not so much a favorite pattern, but my favorite technique is adding a matching solid. By choosing a solid, preferably a hand dyed one that matches one of the colors in the multi perfectly; you can add invisible stripes periodically as you wish. Doing this prevents color pooling and also lets me manipulate the color MY way…usually that mean with more purple in it!
Laura: Other than Lorna’s Laces (obviously), what hand-dyed company (or companies?!) do you admire the most, want to knit with the most, love the most?
Lorna: I like the work of Hand Painted Knitting Yarns and the way they combine so many textures, all dyed the same color. I love ArtYarns and their fabulous silk, beads and sequins! (BLING!)

Laura: What’s your favorite yarn of all time?
Lorna: If I was on the Minnow and stranded on a desert island with only one yarn choice (lol), it would still to this day be Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted. I designed the yarn with the right bounce, twist, loft, softness, body, ability to absorb color, washability, you name it! I just love this yarn for every reason under the sun.
Purple Mustang in Helen's Lace
Laura: Other than the new Lorna’s color (Lorna's Purple Mustang), what is your favorite hand-dyed color on the market?
Lorna: Hmmm, purple, aborigine, plum, lilac, eggplant, lavender, mauve, violet, wine, amethyst, heliotrope…do you see a pattern? Seriously, I do love purple. I wear a lot of purple, I had my car painted purple and I decorated my house in a lot of purple. But I do balance it with other colors. My current preference is sage shades of green and soft dusty purple.

Laura: What are you going to knit with the new Purple Mustang color?
Lorna: I've designed a very simple but dramatic shawl using Lorna’s Purple Mustang. The colorway ranges from very pale to very dark which can make a color difficult to show off well. I made a lace shawl that is a very repetitive eyelet pattern. The semi-circular shape is constantly increasing which changes the stitch number which in turn, diminishes the pooling. The colors can’t really form a repeat if the stitch number is changing all the time. Maybe I’ll have time for a pair of fingerless gloves and a hat to match this winter!

Laura: What’s on your needles today?
Lorna: There is always “work knitting” which means either swatches for proposals or items for classes or designs for publications. That does NOT mean that they are not fun, enjoyable knitting, just the opposite. Because I design projects that are true to me, things that I would wear or things that I think are fun to knit, I honestly enjoy every minute of my “work knitting”. Please don’t tell my employers! Shhhh!!
For fun knitting, I have far less discipline. I let personal projects linger for months, some even become UFO’s! Currently I’m finishing the sleeves and hood on a sweatshirt style sweater for my youngest grandchild. The older two have been wearing theirs for months, but this one lingers on! Yes, I’m just like many of you!

Laura: If you weren’t a knitting designer or involved in the yarn industry, what would you be? A chef? A musician?
Lorna: If I had to cook for a living, I’d be homeless. I like to bake a batch of cookies now and then, but mostly I dislike the kitchen. Many of my kitchen cupboards are full of paints, grandchildren’s treats and flower vases. I’d rather have flowers than a home cooked meal. I suppose I could work on the music though. I've played violin since I was um, 8 or 9? I love, love, love violin or fiddle or any kind of music that it gives. Occasionally when I've practiced people can stand to be in the same room while I play. Currently my beautiful antique violin is a wall hanging. I also have a very weird looking electric violin!

Vera in Shepherd Worsted
Laura: What’s one thing that most people probably don’t know about you? (Other than the fact that my favorite LL color, Vera, is named for your mother!)
Lorna: LOL, it’s great to have a mom who knits because I have often just given her yarn for a gift rather than having to knit the item for her. One time I designed a colorway for her, to match some of her raw silk separates that she wore. I named the colorway Vera as a gift and a tribute; however she had to knit it herself. (silly evil giggle!)
Other factoids about me? I’m spontaneous to a fault, I don’t really like planning tomorrow yet, but I will if you make me. I ride my bicycle a lot. I like country music, especially Trace Adkins who I've met one-on-one. I speak Himalayan Cat fluently and just a little Spanish. I love, love, love Scotland and one of these days I might just buy a one way ticket and disappear there. I’m not Scottish but could pass for it with my fair skin, (faux) red hair and the name Lorna but would ruin the secret by speaking since I can’t even fake a good Scottish accent. I can pass for Minnesotan though since I do have that in my blood, doncha know?!

Laura: Do you miss owning LL?
Lorna: Nope. It was a lot of work, physically, mentally and in my life, it had become a burden, not as much to me but to those around me. Since then I have found ways to start my life over and I might handle it differently now. But I have no regrets, I still get to do what I love every day of my life and feel recognized for it. I’m very happy.
Laura: Who’s your closest friend in the yarn industry?!
Lorna: You Laura, of course! You silly, smart, brat. Lol I adore you, admire your accomplishments and am proud to know you.
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Thank you so much to Lorna for taking the time to chat with us!! And thanks for generously donating these books for giveaway. Here are the details:
We have 2 signed copies of Lorna's new book, “The Knitter's Guide To Hand-Dyed And Variegated Yarn to giveaway! We will be giving one away here on the blog. To enter, leave a comment (one per person please) and tell us what your favorite Lorna's Laces colorway is before 3pm PST Friday (January 14th). We will pick a winner using a random number generator.
The other book will be given away as an in-store drawing! For those of you who don't know, we are not only your local yarn store online, but for a lot of folks we are their local yarn store in person!! All you locals drop in and enter in person this week. The time lines are the same!!

Check back this Friday and we will announce the winner's of both contests!! Thanks again to Lorna for all that you've done for Laura and the rest of us here at Jimmy Beans Wool. (And for making some of the most scrumptious delightful fibers!)

Good luck and Happy Knitting!
Bethany

137 comments:

  1. I love Lorna's Laces yarns. The color are so vibrant and beautiful. Please enter me in this giveaway. Thanks

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  2. I think the most amazing thing about Lorna's Laces, other than the fab colorways of course, is that they just shout "possibilities!" My favorite is Black Pearl. Loved the interview and love JBW.

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  3. Such an amazing yarn. I'm so glad to have found JBW as my LYS. My fav colorway is Eclipse.

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  4. Jungle stripe - love the green and purple together!

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  5. I just bought 2 skeins of her worsted! LOVE IT!!

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  6. Cookie's Deep Dark Secret! Exquisite depth of color, but not so dark that cabling doesn't show!

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  7. Iris Garden is one of my favorites...so many are so pretty

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  8. I love the Black Purl colorway because of the whole knitting/pirate connection! :D Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  9. My favourite colour is the simple Courage. Stunning!

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  10. If I could just treat myself to a bunch of new Lornas Laces yarn I would go for Satsuma as a favorite -- just yummy and warm! Claudia H.

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  11. My favorites are probably either blueberry snowcome or Wendyknits sunrise, but really, how to choose - there are so many beautiful ones!

    Jennifer

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  12. I ordered Goblin (2010 Oct color) for my daughter, but decided to try out one as a cowl. It is beautiful. But then, all the colors are great. I think Childs Play will always be a fave.

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  13. Out of all the ones I have purchased, Nicole's 1st Anniversary is my favorite! The colors just belong together!

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  14. I love Happy Valley. It is the first of Lorna's Laces colors I knit in and I made a pretty little I-Pod holder with it. A pretty pastel rainbow.

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  15. I need a spoon...that Vera is off-the-charts GORGEOUS! YUMMO!

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  16. While I love all the colors, Devon is my favorite.

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  17. I love the Vera colorway!! Oh, would love to win the book!!

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  18. I love the BitterSweet colorway. Thanks for the chance to win this book!

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  19. black watch is my favorite colorway. I have knitted it in several weights to make socks, scarf, mittens that all go together.

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  20. I have two favs. First is a limited edition color called Minne-toe-ta in the Shepherd Sock. I'm making beautiful fingerless mitts. My other fav is rainbow. I love all the bright colors. I already made a pretty scarf with it. thanks! Debbie in Alaska

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  21. My personal favorite is Amy Vintage Office. The colors are so 'me'.

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  22. Roadside Gerry!!! One of many fav's. Would love to win the book! Thanks for the chance.

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  23. Picking one is impossible but if I have to, it would be.....Twilight!!!

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  24. I love all the colors!!!!

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  25. I really like the caramel pumpkin latte colorway.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

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  26. Ohhh I don't think I can pick just one. Beverly or Devon are at the top of my list.

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  27. Another vote for Courage. I love those shades!

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  28. I love the January Ltd Ed but I haven't knit it up yet, so I'll say Peppermint Mocha!

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  29. I love LL 's Amish Colorway.

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  30. I agree--too hard to pick. But I'll go with Twilight. Today, that is. Tomorrow it will be another colorway, I'm sure. I love these yarns!

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  31. So many wonderful colors, it is hard to pick a favorite. I love Aslan for the sophisticated shades and Satsuma because I love orange much in the same way Lorna loves purple.

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  32. HI JBW!

    My favorite colorway is Amy's Vintage Office! I love LL's yarn so much it was hard to choose.

    Thanks,
    Sara Kist

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  33. Picking a favorite colorway is impossible! There are so many. But if I have to pick I'd go with Purple Mustang. I love lavenders and purples so much.

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  34. I love Bittersweet, ever since Knitty used it for the Clapotis.

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  35. I love, love, love Aubergine and Vera. Then there's Purple Mustang:) Okay...I pick Purple Mustang.

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  36. I believe that my new favorite has got to be purple mustang! purple lover that I am! lol

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  37. It's hard to choose a favorite color because they're all so fabulous! I think Mother Earth would be my first choice, with the grays, greens, and blues... those colors speak to me. I love Lorna Miser and I've had the pleasure of being in two classes she's taught!

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  38. amandaleigh on ravelryJanuary 11, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Favorite colorway... that's a tough one! I would have to say Rockwell is one of my nall time favorites!

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  39. I also love all Lorna's yarns. My favorite colors would be Twilight, Verve and Caramel Pumpkin Latte. Looking forward to the drawing. (Irene: idrebot@yahoo.com)

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  40. My favorite LL color is Vera too! I also love the Eclipse colorway, but didn't get to buy any. I lso love that the limited edition colors are in bigger skiens. Is this going to be the norm for all colors to come?

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  41. I love the Black Pearl colorway!

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  42. Hard to pick a favorite color because there are so many that I love. I really am in love with the new January color, Nicole so I guess that is my current favorite.

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  43. I wanna say it's hard, but Zombie BBQ is just so awesome...plus the name. does it get any better?

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  44. I can't choose just one! I love Bittersweet, Rainbow, Lucky Stripe, and Flames!

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  45. I just got 2 skeins of Green Line DK in Twilight and after seeing it in person I really wish I would have gotten more. So, right now, that's my favorite!

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  46. I simply enjoyed reading the interview! I have only knitted on scarf from Lorna's Laces. I am looking forward to learning about the yarns.

    Sheree

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  47. I have so many favorites: Vera, Baltic Sea, Motherlode and so many others!

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  48. Hi, Bethany! So nice to meet you at TNNA.

    Fave colorway? Kerfuffle (love the dark and stormy purple) and Vera (purple and green, my favorite combo for two decades).

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  49. I love any colorway in which purple is dominant.I need that Purple Mustang!!

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  50. I love Lorna's Laces! My favorite colorway is Twilight, I love that color combination.

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  51. Purple Mustang looks like it might be my new favorite color! I need to order some to play with it.

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  52. I love so many Lorna's colorways, but I have to say Purple Mustang is my new favorite! It's just gorgeous.

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  53. Growing up purple was my favorite color and Mustang is my favorite car. The purple mustang colorway is great!

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  54. It's so difficult to pick just one, and I keep coming back to Twilight. But Zombie BBQ wins for the name alone!

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  55. So hard to choose! I love Black Purl and Peppermint Mocha

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  56. Ohhhh, it's too hard to choose. What a copout! If I have to, it's probably Boughs of Holly. I LOVE that color mix!!! It makes perfect socks.

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  57. I love Purple Club and Lorna's Purple Mustang. Can you tell I'm a purple girl too? :)

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  58. My current fave colorway is Rockwell, but they are all so lovely. I think Purple Mustang may be something I choose, were I to win this wonderful contest.

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  59. Pilsen! I made my daughter a hat out of it and have plans for a shirt for her. I also have one skein of it reserved to make something for me. I'm also a big fan of Bittersweet.

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  60. Wonderful giveaway! My favorite colorway is Clara's Garden! I just love Pink!!

    Eliana B
    IKnitCupcakes on Ravelry

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  61. I love "amy's vintage office" and "turtle rodeo"... It's a tie....sorry!

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  62. sooo many favorites-
    I even love Zombie Barbeque!

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  63. Great to hear from a great designer. Keep the wonderful yarn coming!

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  64. It's a tie- Zombie BBQ and Nicole's 1st Anniversary

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  65. great interview! and thanks for the offer -- fav color right now LOL is "island blue"

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  66. black purl is my fave, in fact, I'm wearing it right now (in a clapotis)

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  67. I'm a purple girl also, so I think that Purple Mustang is my favorite also, but it's hard to say because I love all shades of purple in all of Lorna's Laces yarn.

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  68. i love "beckah's last day" it came out when my friend becka had her last day of chemo.
    i still love it and think of how thankful i am to have becka with us everytime i see it.

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  69. I love the Twilight and Eclipse colorways. I would love to wind this book. Thanks for the great opportunity. I also have a colorway done just for the Woolie Ewe called Mallard which I absolutely love.

    Ruby

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  70. bittersweet is my favorite

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  71. Too hard to decide.....I have them all in various sock patterns and wear them every day. To make me pick one would be too hard.

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  72. fave color - too hard to choose but I do love baltic sea

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  73. It's so hard to choose! Today I think it's Sheridan.

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  74. Gotta be Devon... but then again, I still love River and Zombie BBQ and Whitewater... d'oh!

    But we'll stick with Devon since I love that part of the city, too. :)

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  75. That last anonymous would be me!

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  76. My favorite colorway is Amber's First Kitchen. It's a great combo of my favorite colors. But there are so many wonderful choices, I'd be happy with any one of them!

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  77. my fav is Wendy knits sunrise.

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  78. My favorite (so very hard to choose) is Mixed Berries! That might change in an hour, but for now that's my favorite.

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  79. I have so many favorites it almost isn't fair to choose one. I am a fan of the purples, but I've bought Zombie BBQ in two different yarn types and am so looking forward to casting on. ZOMBIE BBQ!

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  80. I love so many! I have so many! I've used so many!!! But the first one that popped in my head was Gold Hill. :)

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  81. I love fiddlehead - although there are so many others that are beautiful. The Vera is also lovely.

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  82. I think I would be disqualified since I am an employee =(, but I can't help but join in the Lorna's love! =) My favorite of all favorites definitely has to be Seaside but Tuscany is such a close second!

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  83. Twilight- not because of the movie either, just because I love the color combo!!! Awesome!

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  84. My favorite Lorna's color is the laceweight I'm knitting right now - a soft lavender/blue/green/gold...wish I could find the tag!
    (Having problems posting via Blogger julie_silverman@yahoo.com)

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  85. I Love LL. My fav color is Zombie BBQ! I love how well the colors complement each other!

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  86. I just bought Pullman in the Shepherd Worsted and I'm really diggin' it.

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  87. I have many, but my all-time favorite? Purple Club!

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  88. Since I have it in Helen's lace, shepherd sock, twist, and shepherd worsted, I'm gonna have to say Lakeview. Such beautiful blues.

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  89. I love Zombie BBQ and Baltic Sea and I think Pewter would be my favorite solid.

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  90. so hard to choose just one..bittersweet!!

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  91. My favorite colorway of all time is Shadow but right now I'm loving Satsuma!

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  92. I love Heron!
    dgporterhouse at cox dot net

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  93. My all time favorite is sherbert - it makes great baby booties. But choosing just one is just about impossible.

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  94. My favorite colorway is Aslan! Gentle, subtle and very wearable.

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  95. I have so many favorites, but my current favorite is Zombie BBQ. The name alone makes me smile. I also love Purple Iris and Mt.Creek..mmmm

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  96. Very tough choice, so many beautiful colors! I'm going to say Black Watch.

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  97. feathersong (Benne)January 13, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    I remember finding Lorna's Laces site years ago. It was the first time I had ever seen such beautiful, premier quality yarn and I still love it just as much. It is very hard to pick a favorite colorway but Black Pearl and Blackwatch are particularly beautiful to me.

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  98. Shepherd Sock is by far my favorite sock yarn. It's difficult to pick just one colorway... maybe Aslan.

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  99. My favorite colorway is Sherbet. Mmm... it's oh so yummy!

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  100. Really love the purples, Purple Mustang is beautiful. But I'm into lace right now and would opt for Avondale with its soft colors.

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  101. My current fave would have to be Eclipse! I love the deep mysterious colors and how they almost hide within the charcoal.

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  102. Aslan, Twilight, Pullman and Pinstripe have permanent places in my stash. I am always wanting more! But my all time favorite has to be Black Purl. It is just the perfect color combination. :-) Can't wait to see the new book.

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  104. Love LL, just started another pair of socks and am in love.

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  105. Loved this interview!! Love the LL yarns too! Favorite color...anything with purple, love the pinks & greens...REALLY? Do I have to choose?! Have to say I LOVE JBW too!! You are like my local yarn store...(sometimes even better!) so wish I lived close, but soooo glad that I found you when I was there visiting! Jimmy Beans Wool has the BEST people working there and they have ALWAYS been sooo helpful when I've had questions on my orders! Thanks all you wonderful ladies of LL & JBW!

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  106. I just saw the Purple Mustang on this --- just like her car!!!! That would be my new favorite.

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  107. I love, love, love the Green Line Worsted! I just ordered my skeins and I swear, this time I am keeping them for myself! I will hide them and not show them to anyone until I have made myself something, I mean it! LOL

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  108. Oh. It's so hard to pick, but since I must pick one it would be Pilsen. Love Lorna's laces yarns!

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  109. My favorite color right now is Aslan because it matches my pug perfectly, and she loves Lorna's Laces Yarn as much as I do. <3

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  110. Watercolor is my favorite, though I love them all - its hard to pick just one.

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  111. My favorite LL colorway is, well, most of the monthly special colors for JBW! Of the colors always available I'd say Gold Hill was my favorite. I love all the beautiful colors though.
    Annie

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  112. The new Nicole's Anniversary color is unbelievable...one of my favorite color combos....now to figure out what to knit with it!

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  113. I am in love with the "daffodil" colorway! Love your store!!!

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  114. My favorite Lorna's Laces colorway is Purple Club.

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  115. ok I LOVE the Vera colorway. My grandmother was named Vera and had beautiful African Violets in the house and panseys outside. I would love to win the book! :)

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  116. Amethyst Stripe - I love purple!

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  117. Daffodil. It's really hard to pick a favorite!

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  118. Choosing just one. That's Sophie's Choice. I like Rockwell, but to say I like it best is like saying I like my left hand more than my right. All Lorna's Laces colors are gorgeous!

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  119. Today my favorite is Ysolda Red

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  120. I think if I were ordering one right now, I would choose Apple Hill. But there are SO many great ones, I have to say it's just my favorite right this minute.

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  121. Am I allowed to pick them all? Probably not, but it's true. Alright then, purple is my favorite color. The purples in all the colorways are so vibrant and varied that it's even hard to pick one of those. I do have a skein of Amethyst Stripe that I haven't knitted up yet. I just like to pet it. Yes, I have a problem. I'll make socks out of it someday. Maybe.

    Ok, I made up my mind. Zombie BBQ, because it's a great name and perfect for working on next time my husband insists on a Resident Evil marathon. Now if only I had some.

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