Lace on the Brain

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I feel like I've been thumbing a lot of catalogs lately. Partly because even though it's not even October, the holiday season mentality has already hit our house, so there's been lots of looking and thinking and pondering and wishing and wanting and list-making going on.

The new Patternworks showed up yesterday, so that also got a quick thumb through. I'm sure I'll browse through it many times more, but I made my first pass-through last night. Every time I look at one, different things jump out at me depending on my mood, what's on my needles, what I know I'm getting ready to make, what yarns have been on my mind, and so on. But I surprised myself last night when it was a couple of lace books that really caught my attention. It must be how well Charlotte is going (and has gone) making my brain turn laceward. I especially took note of the review of Lavish Lace. I hadn't heard of that one yet. (I used to keep up with everything that was already out or on its way out, but I'm definitely behind these days, and with the proliferation of knit books out there, I've found myself disappointed in many of the new releases I'd anxiously awaited.) While I'd like to see the "best of" Shawls and Scarves collection in person, what struck me about Lavish Lace was the emphasis on lace being knit at a variety of gauges and with a variety of yarn weights. Has anyone already seen or bought this book? Any comments on its contents and range? I've got tons of stash, and lots of stuff, actually, that would work for nice lace projects.

Since I had lace on the brain today, I headed over to FiberTrends because I had seen a shawl I loved in an advertisement in an issue of Interweave this summer. It's the Shoalwater Shawl. I'm not sure why it speaks to me, but it made an impression on me – and still did this morning. It's something about when I look at it, I think about where we vacation in Maine (when we get to vacation) and I have a nice romantic moment where I'm standing by the waterside, surrounded by rugged cliffs, as the tide crashes in… and I'm wearing a shawl like that, of course! Now, in reality, in all the times we've been in Maine, I've never worn a shawl. L.L. Bean fleece is more typical. But, maybe not next time. Something changed after having the baby. Hormones definitely got crossed somehow – and have stayed crossed.

At any rate… I can't help it. I love patterns. We always talk about how big our yarn stashes are, but for many of us, our pattern collections are also huge.

I also spent time this morning savoring the latest issue of Bas Bleu. While I am a loyal shopper, and we make very regular trips to the local Borders because Matthew, too, loves books and has adopted a passion for the fine art of book browsing (what more could a mother want to pass on to her child!), Bas Bleu is one catalog I simply adore. The reviews are awesome. The books they spotlight are great, not your run-of-the-mill bestsellers. There are always a ton of books I think, "I'd like to read/see/thumb" through that. Let me say again, the reviews are great. They're smart. Insightful. Poetic. Just dead-on good and well-done.

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