twinset.us

Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

Archive for the ‘Fair Winds’


Episode 62 — Just Adorable!

In which we give a recap of TwinSet Summer Camp 2015, reaching 1,000 members, the shenanigans of the lamb Squirrel, a Seattle trip including visits to Tolt and So Much Yarn (and Starbucks!), knits for Vlad and being underwater with our knitting.

Episode 61 — Surprise!


In which we decide to surprise you with one extra episode before camp.  Another surprise…no out takes in this one.  We wanted to get it published as quickly as possible.

Episode 60 — Father’s Day Surprise Visits


In which we take forever to actually start the show, are visited by two delightful guests, and discuss new babies, knitting for new babies, surprise father’s day visits on the farm, snack foods and cat discipline.

Episode 59 — Big Feet


In which we discuss Shetland wool week, secret handshakes, housecleaning by buying magazines, new plants and new lambs!!, knitting for big feet, the ‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ and all the other wonder out there, getting cranky and lots of other stuff!

Episode 58 — Things are Going Swimmingly


In which we discuss gift bearing alpaca, four more little lambs and precocious ram lambs, downsizing stuff to make it possible to close drawers, but maybe not so much as to fit in tiny houses and other fun stuff.

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!  Consider joining us at TwinSet Summer Camp, too. It’s going to be great fun, and there is still plenty of room to join us in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here. Please consider coming for a relaxing weekend of knitting in the woods (and enjoying great camp food. No lie, the chef at this camp really is good!).

In the amusing and useful category, check out the Ravelry group thread in which RobinV actually applies one of our slick tricks with great success.

Patterns of Our Lives:

Ellen has been inspired by the movie Tiny: A Story About Living Small to try to downsize her stuff enough for a future move to a smaller house. Or at least enough to be able to close all of her drawers. Jan’s life is expanding, though, to include yet more sweet lambikins. (Hey, don’t mock me, you try to look at the pictures she is posting on Instagram without calling them “lambikins”.) The four newcomers are all ewe lambs. I can’t imagine how many lambs will be on the farm next year!

Jan also made some quick work trips, and she has a “special project” at work that is eating her life.  So…

Finely or Finally Knit

…Ellen is the only one with a major finished object this week.  Her Abria cardigan, designed by Bonne Marie Burns, is delighting her.  She knit it out of StraightFork Farm 60:40 huacayo:wool, on size 5 Signature circulars and the fabric is lush and drapey and wonderful.

Jan did finish another baby hat — this one intended for someone special who will arrive this fall (yup, Jan’s grandnephew (and Ellen’s grandson)). She used Tunisian crochet in-the-round and worked it up in no time.

And there is still time for you to finely finish a baby hat — get a soft, washable hat to Kiley by the end of May and mention our podcast and you will be entered in a contest for a skein of Wollmeise (in addition to the drawing that everyone is entered into).  Full info on her Ravelry page where she is Minipurlgirl.

On the Runway

Ellen enjoyed her classes with Myrna Stahman and Susan B Anderson at Yarnover and is making progress on the class projects, a Shetland lace scarf out of Jamieson’s Ultra and a funny kitty-cat based on Susan’s Build-a-Toy Workshop. By the way, check out Susan’s upcoming book, Kid’s Knitting Workshop. We think it would be fun for new adult knitters, too.

Jan is well into the second sleeve on her Making Waves cardigan in gorgeous yarn she scored at Maryland Sheep & Wool - Bijou Basin’s Seraphim. But she’s got a ways to go to finish, as she hasn’t done the body yet.

The baby Norwegian sweater, Geilo, a Dale of Norway design, has gotten some of Ellen’s attention, too, and she is well into the body.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Ellen ended up knitting the decreases in her sweater sleeves as though she were knitting a smaller size. It really didn’t affect the final outcome much, so she is calling it a feature. A dropped stitch in the body of her baby Norwegian sweater was not a feature, it was a mistake, but it is laddered back up and is under control.

Jan had lots of dropped stitches as her double-pointed needles kept falling out of her sleeves in that slippery angora Seraphim yarn. She’s got a slick trick to solve that though, so read on!

Design Principles

A mistake is a feature if you can reasonably assert that a designer might have chosen to do it that way and you might choose to keep it.  But some mistakes are just that, mistakes, and need to be corrected.

360 Degrees

Ellen let loose of her desire to control her yarn and spun up some art batts into wildly textured and soft yarn - alpaca, silk, and angora made for slubby but beautiful stuff. The angora was actually angora goat, Ellen thinks, because there is some very mohair-looking fiber but not really any bunny-looking fiber.

Fiber Jargon

Jan discusses range or territory wool and why yarn from small producers may cost more.

Embellishments

Ellen is unduly thrilled to have a new vacuum cleaner. Well, maybe not unduly. Her prior vacuum was about 25 years old after all.  Jan was thrilled at being bombed by her daughter and daughter-in-law.  They gave her bath bombs, like scented Fizzies for her tub.

Fun Fur

Abracadabra! yarn by HiKoo changes color from cream to bright pink and purple when you go out in the sun. Ellen got hers from StevenBe (I’m sure they would do mail order). She sees fun designs in her future. Jan sees more fun petting lamb’s fur in her future.

Slick Trick

Ellen loves Myrna Stahman’s trick for adding tails to simple ring stitch markers. The thin crochet cotton weaves in and out of your project as you knit, so if you accidentally slip the marker off your needle, it can’t go far. And Jan likes thick rubber bands for holding the stitches on her sleeves together, causing them to grip the needle just a bit tighter so the needles doesn’t slip out as easily.  She finds that if she slips a rubber band around the sleeve an inch or so below the live stitches, it gathers them together on the needle and makes it less likely that the needle will go slip sliding away.
You May Already be a Wiener

We’ll draw a winner for our contest for Lara Neel’s Craftsy Class, Socks My Way next episode. And if you can’t wait to take the class, take advantage of the 50% off code Lara has graciously shared with us (click class link).

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen is looking forward to the Zombie Knitpocalypse, even though she has figured out that she’ll have to come home early because of another conflict. She’ll miss the market, so maybe she can still fit into a smaller house. And both twins have plans for summer…

…TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

Deadline to register is June 30.

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 57 — Heaven Knows


In which we discuss a dinner for more than two in DC, visits from dear friends (military friends and podcaster friends!), a fun speaking engagement, a visit to DC by Karen, getting the Full Monty, biking around mother nature, Yarnover, Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and baby lambs (!!!!), and in which Ellen’s geeks out.

Thanks to stalwart listeners, old and new, for joining us!  TwinSet Summer Camp has hit a critical mass of campers to be great fun, but there is still plenty of room to join us in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here. Please consider coming for a relaxing weekend of knitting in the woods (and enjoying great camp food. No lie, the chef at this camp really is good!).

Listeners, please note there is still a need for small bits of handspun for the “Welcoming the Stranger” art installation in Portland. The weaving is being called “Abraham’s Tent” and you can find more information from welcomingthestrangerart@gmail.com OR on Facebook: Welcoming the Stranger Art OR Ravelry. Abraham’s Tent Donations will be accepted till July 2015. 

Patterns of Our Lives:

The twins got together for a short visit while Ellen attended a sustainability conference in Washington, DC. Short, but sweet. And Ellen visited the fishing cats at the National Zoo, too. She enjoyed seeing them wake up and stretch. Jan was busy enjoying seeing Fulton Theater production of the Full Monty, including a little unintended fully full monty peek!

Ellen enjoyed her classes with Myrna Stahman and Susan B Anderson at Yarnover. And Jan is enjoying the growth of her flock as two ram lambs have made their way into the world.

Jan also enjoyed Maryland Sheep and Wool, especially a visit from The Savvy Girls that came with it.

Finely or Finally Knit

Ellen finished her simply stole.  The pattern name: Stole.  In nine stripes of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues, it simply pleases her.

And Jan finally finished Felfs out of Paton’s Classic Wool Roving for her son.  She also worked up a little baby hat for Kiley (aka MiniPurlGirl) and her project to raise awareness about Shaken Baby Syndrome. Get a hat to Kiley by the end of May and mention our podcast and you will be entered in a contest for a skein of Wollmeise (in addition to the drawing that everyone is entered into).

On the Runway

Jan continues working on prototype validation of the Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree Yarns, an 80/20 merino/bamboo blend in colorway 1164 light teal, a semi-solid. She reports that the dropped stitch that caused her to frog last episode was a blessing in disguise as she cast on with slightly larger needles and is enjoying a more relaxed knit.

She is also working on Making Waves in gorgeous yarn she scored at Maryland Sheep & Wool - Bijou Basin’s Seraphim.

Ellen is working on Abria, a Bonne Marie Burnes or Chic Knit pattern, knitting it out of StraightFork Farm 60:40 huacayo:wool, on size 5 Signature circulars.  She’s on to the 3/4 length sleeves and hopes to finish the sweater just in time for heavy air-conditioning season.

Ellen is almost to the body on the baby Norwegian sweater, Geilo, from Dale of Norway.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Ellen’s is pretending that in her final stripe on her stole that she didn’t accidentally convert the 8×8 ribbing to 7×9 in one spot. You’ll never notice, right?

Jan reports that the thumb on one of her mitts for which the fit didn’t seem quite right, was actually just fine after blocking.

Ready to Wear

One of our group members, knittingdaddy, is proud to launch a new pattern, the Scrappy Sock Yarn Preemie Hat, that benefits the Family Support Network of Central Carolina. Check it out and support a good cause!

Design Principles

Swatch. Just do it and reap the benefits.

5 Minute Interview

Starring the The Savvy Girls!

360 Degrees

Other than a bit of conference call spinning on her mini Turkish spindle, Ellen hasn’t gotten much spinning done in all the activity of the last weeks. She did carry a spindle around one night.

Fiber Jargon

Ellen discusses the phase change behavior of Outlast(R) technology which is showing up in yarns like Mrs. Crosby Loves to Play Train Case.

Embellishments

Birding season is in swing, and Ellen is enjoying both eBird and Merlin.  Jan was reminded how much she likes iBird Backyard Plus3.

Fun Fur

Ellen and W are cracking up at old episodes of Star Trek. And Jan is enjoying the cute little llama that the Savvy Girls brought her from Maryland Sheep and Wool!

Slick Trick

Ellen suggests that one starts out to finish - when you know you will need to pick up stitches along a cast on edge, make the first row a plain knit row even if the pattern is lacy. It will be much easier to pick those stitches up.

Jan suggests using a Channel Island Cast-on followed by a row of k1,p1 ribbing to start Tunisian Crochet in the round. She likes not having to pick up stitches in a slip stitch chain, which can be fiddly.

You May Already be a Wiener

LauraKnitsPA won Judy Becker’s book Beyond Toes. But don’t despair, a new contest for Lara Neel’s Craftsy Class, Socks My Way has started. And if you can’t wait to take the class, take advantage of the 50% off code Lara has graciously shared with us.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen  has plans to attend Shepherd’s Harvest. Jan has plans to dash to San Diego and back. And both twins have plans for summer.

And with summer comes TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 ($240 if registration postmarked prior to April 30) includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!

**************

Episode 56 — Ellen Takes a Break While Jan Yammers On

In which we discuss stuff.  And a big surprise!

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us! And Ellen sends a special thanks to Mary of The Knitting Dish for her sweet comments on Ellen’s design, Diana’s Quiver socks. To all of our listeners, we send the encouragement to consider attending TwinSet Summer Camp in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here.

Ellen and Jan discuss a fantastic charity project -

Kiley is a senior in high school and as her capstone community service project, she is taking on the very serious issue of Shaken Baby Syndrome. She’s using knitting to bring it to parents’ attention in the form of handknit purple baby hats. She sent me a note about it: “I’m writing to ask if you could possibly knit or crochet a purple hat for my Click for Babies project for my senior year capstone. I need to collect 50 hats by the end of May and I could really use some help. I will also be writing a brochure to hand out at a local hospital to parents of new babies. If there’s anyway you could make a hat with at least 50% purple yarn, I would be very appreciative. Kiley is MiniPurlGirl on Ravelry and you can PM her there to get her address if you’d like to send a hat. And if you do, your name will be thrown in a hat for a chance to win a skein of purple Wolmeise. And I’m going to sweeten the pot - tell Kiley you heard about her project here on TwinSet Designs and I will have her do a second drawing from our listeners who knit hats for a skein of Wolmeise from my stash!

(Ellen adds: Even though Kiley needs your hats by end of May, if you are reading this a bit too late, consider checking out the Click website above to find other ways to contribute to this great effort.)

Patterns of Our Lives:

Ellen and W took a wonderful nature hike at Carver Park Reserve near Victoria, MN, seeing ospreys, a big ol’ snapping turtle, a pair of swans - maybe trumpeters!, a cute little chipmunk, and a beautiful common garter snake.  Jan didn’t see the nature (probably a raccoon) that made away with one of her ducks and took it on a trip to Florida. Jan also wasn’t there to see the shearing, but her gratitude to D was present as he managed it all. Jan had a good excuse - graduation at her university. I guess the Chancellor should be present for graduation.

Finely or Finally Knit

If you can count them, and Ellen does, she finished Master Knitter Level III swatches 1-3. Jan finished her very own Paving Mitts.
On the Runway

While only Ellen had finished items, both twins have stuff in progress. Jan continues prototyping her Top Stitch Mittens and is very happy with the design now.  She’s working a sample set out of Kihoo Kenzie 50% Merino, 25% Nylon and 10% Angora, 10% alpaca and 5% silk noils in Tekapo, a dark teal color 1013 and Kiwi, a yellow-green color 1007.

She is also working on prototype validation of the Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree Yarns, an 80/20 merino/bamboo blend in colorway 1164 light teal, a semi-solid. Could it be that we will see some patterns from Jan in the near future?

Ellen continues work on  simply stole.  The pattern name: Stole.  She is up to stripe eight of nine colors of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues.

She’s also working on Abria, a Bonne Marie Burnes or Chic Knit pattern, knitting it out of StraightFork Farm 60:40 huacayo:wool, on size 5 Signature circulars.  She’s about 8″ below the armscye.  3/4 length sleeves will finish the sweater just in time for heavy air-conditioning season.

Finally, she is doing a reprise on a pattern knit several years back for a really special baby, one that had been longed for over years by the mother and whose birth was a wonderful celebration. This is the baby Norwegian sweater, Geilo, from Dale of Norway. It takes a very special baby to get her to knit this sweater again, and boy, howdy,does she have a very special baby to knit it for.  And a boy at that. That baby boy is Jan’s grandnephew, due in late September!

Jan is working on more Felfs out of Paton’s Classic Wool Roving, her Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree, and she is grading her designs for the Fast Baby Booties out of  Schoppel Wool Reggae Ombre.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Ellen’s provisional cast-on got away from her. That isn’t very easy to pick up, but it can be done with patience. A bigger issue is when one misses one of those dreaded “at the same times”. She had to frog back a few inches of her Abria sweater so she could do both the short rows and the decreases specified on the cardi front at the same time.

Jan suffered a dropped stitch in her Pediboo socks and that has held up her progress while she figures out what next. And she isn’t sure she loves the thumb on one of her mitts - the fit isn’t quite right, so that may be a bite that needs medical attention.

Ready to Wear

Ellen is excited to be working with some great designers, Gale Zucker, Kirsten Kapur, and Mary Lou Egan, as their tech editor for an upcoming book. The details are under wraps, but you can be sure you’ll hear more about it later!

Jan developed a mini-sock to show off the RTW from Dale - his sock needle storage tubes, available at Maryland Sheep & Wool.

What Would Susan Ask?

If you could be a knit designer to anyone in the world, who would it be? Well, heck, this was easy to answer. Ellen would knit for Jan’s impending grandnephew and Jan would knit for Ellen’s impending grandson.

360 Degrees

Ellen continues spinning on all sorts of spindles. Her supported spinning on a Russian spindle, using baby camel, has resulted in ~545 yards after it was plied with Pagewood Farms Artesana merino singles. Jan finished the spinning of alpaca judging samples.

Fiber Jargon

Jan proposes that the fiber that is applied to a center strand in the core spinning technique be called cladding, much as the coating of the center of fiber optic cables is covered by cladding. We haven’t been able to find other terms for that outer fiber, so at least for us, cladding it is.

Embellishments

Jan acquired a Mother Hen at a local mud sale — it’s her new cast iron bank.  It has a momma hen on it with a little chick that can move on a spring loaded rail.  When extended away from mom the chick will lock in place and you can put a coin in a groove set in it’s chest.  Pull the little lever and baby chick goes running to momma and deposits the coin in the bank.  And when I say it goes running, I really mean it goes slamming into momma!  I put a little video on Instagram and you can actually see the bank jump when chick meets hen!

Fun Fur

Mini-cheeseburgers.  ’nuff said.

Slick Trick

When working stranded knitting while purling, it is not possible to catch the floats in the stitches as you go, as you can with knitting. If the next row has a knit stitch in the vicinity of the long float, just make the float a bit looser than usual and catch it the next round.

And for podcasters - if your pop filter goes missing, try putting a sock on it. On your microphone, to be specific, to prevent your P’s from popping.

You May Already be a Wiener

Watch the Ravelry group for the contest thread for a copy of Judy’s book Beyond Toes. Marciaviola won a copy of Soleful Socks.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen  has signed up for Yarnover class with Susan B Anderson and Myrna Stahman.  Jan is visiting with her niece (and Ellen’s daughter) before heading to Maryland Sheep & Wool where her husband, Dale, will test the market with his wooden knitting tools, sold in the Flying Fibers booth.

Both twins point out - it isn’t too early to think about summer.  And with summer comes TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 ($240 if registration postmarked prior to April 30) includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!

**************

Episode 55 — Traveling with Friends


In which we discuss woodpeckers, our recent travels (and our crowded airline seats), the approach of spring, a new to twinsetjan yarn shop, knitting mittens and mitts, Judy Becker’s book Beyond Toes — Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-On, taking spindles for walks and the $25 savings for those who register early for TwinSet Summer Camp!

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!

Patterns of Our Lives:

Ellen is looking forward to TwinSet Summer Camp in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here. Life might just slow down a bit for a nice long weekend in the woods.  Jan is watching many birds return to her neck of the woods. But she flew west to Seattle where she got to visit So Much Yarn. This lovely shop is at 1525 First Avenue, Suite #4.  This is in one of the buildings of Pike Place Market.

Ellen returned to Mexico for work and enjoyed the collaboration and the food, while Jan enjoyed the collaboration at knit night at So Much Yarn.

Finely or Finally Knit

Ellen’s successfully complete her Iknitarod project a few hours before the final musher crossed beneath the burled arch.  She made a Baby Sweater on Two Needles by Elizabeth Zimmerman (aka February Baby Sweater), calling hers March into February. It is out of Sea Star Handpaints Super Foot in Sea Glass Blues.  A baby-to-be-named-later will be the recipient.

And while traveling, Ellen worked up a set of her own design Tunisian crochet-in-the-round cowl and mitts, Paving Cowl and Paving mitts. Worked out of Frog Tree Alpaca Meriboo and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight, she is calling them Meriblue Cowl and Mitts.

On the Runway

While only Ellen had finished items, both twins have stuff in progress. Jan continues prototyping her Top Stitch Mittens and is very happy with the design now.  She’s working a sample set out of Kihoo Kenzie 50% Merino, 25% Nylon and 10% Angora, 10% alpaca and 5% silk noils in Tekapo, a dark teal color 1013 and Kiwi, a yellow-green color 1007.

She is also working on prototype validation of the Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree Yarns, an 80/20 merino/bamboo blend in colorway 1164 light teal, a semi-solid. Could it be that we will see some patterns from Jan in the near future?

Ellen continues work on a simply stole.  The pattern name: Stole.  Yep, that simple.  Ellen is up to stripe six of nine colors of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues.

She’s also working on Abria, a Bonne Marie Burnes or Chic Knit pattern, knitting it out of Straight fork Farm 60:40 huacayo:wool, on size 5 Signature circulars.   The yarn is really a dream - lovely color, Cool Depths, and it brings back memories of the TwinSet Summer Camp market at which I bought it from Cathy of StraightFork Farm.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Neither twin was bitten too hard, but Ellen did have to toss her superwash mitts into the dryer to get the yarn to tighten back up and not feel so sloppy after a wet block. Jan deluded herself into thinking her sock was knit too big so she tore it out, then discovered that she had knit it the right size in the first place.

Design Aesthetic

Jan and Ellen discuss Judy Becker’s book, Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-on. The patterns got the twins riffing about how they might apply similar approaches to other garments.

360 Degrees

Ellen is spinning on all sorts of spindles - supported spinning on a Russian spindle, walking spinning on a Peruvian spindle, and fine lace spinning on a small Golding spindle.

Fiber Jargon

Jan proposes that the fiber that is applied to a center strand in the core spinning technique be called cladding, much as the coating of the center of fiber optic cables is covered by cladding. We haven’t been able to find other terms for that outer fiber, so at least for us, cladding it is.

Embellishments

Ellen enjoys a purchase from a few years back - her Tom Bihn 3D Organizer cube for travel - no messy baggy to go through airport security.   Jan loves new podcasts and suggests Knitting Pretty with Em Galati and Woolful with Ashley Yousling.

Fun Fur

Ellen and W are enjoying the irreverent Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Dark humor, let it be said. The theme song is, well, incredible. Jan suggests another earworm - the Narwhals music video. Listen at your own risk.

Slick Trick

Two slick tricks this week - Ellen has been using knitting needle tip protectors to turn double-pointed needles into tiny straights. And Jan makes the recommendation of being sure to use a long float over the intersection between double-pointed needles being used as double-points. Flip the piece inside out so the float is stretched longer to avoid challenges.

You May Already be a Wiener

Watch the Ravelry group for a thread to give away a copy of Judy’s book Beyond Toes or Betty’s Book Soleful Socks.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen  has signed up for Yarnover class with Susan B Anderson and Myrna Stahman.  Susan is sticking around for StevenBe’s FiberFest, so maybe Ellen will take more than one class in April with her.

It isn’t too early to think about summer.  And with summer comes TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 ($240 if registration postmarked prior to April 30) includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!

**************

Episode 54 — Just Ducky!!


In which we discuss connecting with old friends and friends of our daughter/niece, the Iditarod and Iknitarod, cold, snow, trips to the theater and to the emergency room, an interview with Sherill Roi who encourages us to spin 15 in 15, and a review of the book, “Solefull Socks”.

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!

Patterns of Our Lives:

Both twins are enjoying melting snow - especially as Ellen watches the Iknitarod where the mushers and dogs are dealing with -40F!!!  That kind of weather would make anyone howl. Jan is looking forward to moving out of mud season. Ellen is looking forward to TwinSet Summer Camp in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here.

Ellen headed to California for work on water stewardship. She is just about done with the colds that have been plaguing her.  They didn’t keep her from tech editing another pattern for Mary Lou Egan.

Jan has been just ducky - every since her husband, who had resisted having ducks on the farm, fell for the cute little ducklings that were for sale at the farm store.  Four adorable Khaki Campbell ducks are living in Jan’s basement and will soon move out to the duck palace Dale will be constructing. It brought up memories, hard memories, of being pushed to eat duck eggs as children.  We hoped that we could hatch out more ducks, but we only had one duck, so odds of the resulting eggs being fertile were quite low.  Quite low indeed.

Check out Dale’s woodwork at Maryland Sheep & Wool.  Especially since Dale has suffered for his art, in the form of a trip to the emergency rooms as Dale learned not to wear loose-fitting clothing while working with his lathe.

And that lathe can keep running through a power outage as Jan is celebrating a new generator.  Not so much for the lathe, as for keeping water flowing to the animals.

Finely or Finally Knit

Ellen finished a bun and crow - her project, Eating Crow, is a pair of socks knit from her own design, Bunny Socks.  She called it Eating Crow because she found so many problems with this old pattern.  She’s cleaned it up and reposted it - it’s free, so enjoy now that she has improved the pattern.  The bun is the Bun Ellen has knit for one of the many babies to come this summer.  It’s in Swan’s Island organic washable DK - wonderfully soft yarn for babies.

Jan also did a baby bonnet - Béguin de Printemps, a very cute and fast little baby bonnet by Lili Comme Tout. She used Skinny Bugga in the Acmon Blue colorway which is a lovely gray lavender depending on the light. It is superwash MCN, a pleasure to knit with and perfect for a baby. Jan’s project is called Dean of Grandbabies.  It is for the grandbaby of one of her college deans.

Jan finished with her Tilde vest, out of the Ewetopia from Frogtree Yarns and called it Vice Versatile, as she decided to leave the shifted rib on the back of one side - kind of vice versa except not quite. Yes, this is the second project for which Jan has a project page, which pleases Ellen a great deal.

On the Runway

Jan has finished some things, and she finds her existing WIPs are cold. She is working on the reknit of her Top Stitch Mittens and writing the pattern as she goes.  But otherwise, not much else is going since she finished up the bonnet and the vest.

Ellen continues work on a simple stole.  The pattern name: Stole.  Yep, that simple.  Theresa Gaffey’s design is simple but delightful by virtue of understated color work, simple stripes in gorgeous colors, Ellen’s out of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues.

Ellen’s other work in progress is for the Iknitarod, a project knit during the running of the Iditarod sled dog race.  She cast on a Baby Sweater on Two Needles by Elizabeth Zimmerman (aka February Baby Sweater), calling hers March into February.  Knit on sock yarn, Ellen added another round of increases so it wouldn’t be a preemie sweater.  That means a lot more stitches, and a bit of an effort to finish before the Red Lantern (the last musher to finish the race).  It is out of Sea Star Handpaints Super Foot in Sea Glass Blues.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Jan’s vest really chewed her up.  A straightforward, simple pattern is a recipe for not paying attention.  She dropped back and crossed cables, dropped back and re-crossed cables the right way, harvested yarn from the back tails of the vest and finally ended with about 18″ of yarn.  She even had to seam the sweater with another yarn.  She loves the project, but admits it was a lesson in the perils of hubris.

Ellen had to replace the bunny’s face on the front of her little hat, but that was easily done and worked out quite well.

Design Principle

Jan extolled the value of prototyping - with the knitter in mind.  Stitch acrobatics that the designer enjoys might not make the most approachable pattern for a knitter off the street.  And a simpler pattern is easier to describe.  Her advice - simplify the design to the critical elements.  And prototype to be sure it all makes sense.  Sometimes that can be done with knitting, sometimes with paper, a la’ Erica Gunn.

Design Aesthetic

Ellen reviewed Betty Slpekar’s Soleful Socks, “the very best book on knitted footwear in the world” according to Cat Bordhi. That may be true, or may be close to true, but the book is definitely wonderful and presents a great new approach to creating socks.

5 Minute Interview

We are joined by Sherril Roi, aka Baabonnybelle on Instagram or Ravelry, who shares with us her thoughts on daily spinning and what you don’t have to do with your handspun.

360 Degrees

Ellen has spun on many different spindles in the last few weeks - spindles are great for traveling.  She’s focused on spinning some baby camel on a supported Russian spindle. She is considering applying some cop winding advice from an industrial spinning site - to evenly wind on for one layer and then run a widely spaced strand back to the beginning to create a separating layer before winding on the next even layer. Jan has signed on for some more alpaca samples - none of them being suri alpaca, which she doesn’t enjoy spinning.

Fiber Jargon

Jan shares huarizo, not chorizo (yum - we wish she’d shared some of that!).   This term refers to an alpaca-llama hybrid, which is a fiber classification that may have no connection to an actual animal.  The fiber is measured at 32 micron per  The Inca Group Classification system.

Embellishments

Ellen loves the new Dansko’s and also loves that Dansko is a B Corp!

Jan recommends
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Fun Fur

Ellen enjoys matching project bags and wonders if there will ever be a project bag perfect for #pocketsulu. FrontRangeBags is offering some Star Trek bags on her Etsy shop - maybe she’ll do some Lt Sulu fabric someday.

Slick Trick

Avoiding second sock syndrome - a tip Ellen stole off the Iknitarod board, posted by smokeyblue, proprietress of the Spinning Bunny. “I have second sock syndrome so I suggest doing the Leap Frog Method which works really well for me. Get one sock started through the toe increases. Then with a second set of circs, do the same to the second sock, only take this one up to the gussets. Then pick up the first sock , take it up to and through the gussets, etc etc etc.”

Jan’s slick trick is to duplicate stitch over worn spots on your socks BEFORE it breaks through and needs darning. Simple, and slick.

You May Already be a Wiener

Watch the Ravelry group for a thread to give away a copy of Judy’s book Beyond Toes or Betty’s Book Soleful Socks.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen  has signed up for Yarnover class with Susan B Anderson and Myrna Stahman.  Susan is sticking around for StevenBe’s FiberFest, so maybe Ellen will take more than one class in April with her.

It isn’t too early to think about summer.  And with summer comes TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 ($240 if registration postmarked prior to April 30) includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 52 — Five Years in the Making!

In which we discuss how good it is to be back, trips to Ohio to be with family, catching up at work, Sanibel Island get-aways, judgmental spinning, animal husbandry, rivers of birds and finishing a masterpiece!

And though these certainly don’t qualify as full-blown show notes, the registration form for the TwinSet Summer Camp (July 10-12, 2015 in Darlington, MD) is HERE.

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!

Patterns of Our Lives:

Both of us appreciated the time we spent together as a family, and we appreciated the support we received in the messages from listeners.

Ellen did quite a bit of tech editing - two hats, Annika and Constance, and some mittens called  Checks and Balances by Laura Ricketts.  Laura writes a nice pattern.   You should check them out!  She also edited another pattern for Mary Lou Egan, The Pine Point hat, also available on Ravelry.

Jan has been fencing things in, including her tax papers. She reports that Valor is being a gentleman and helping the ewes get their share of hay.  Between farm work, judging fiber samples that are due soon, and a heavy workload, the time has spun by for her.

Ellen and Wilson took a midwinter escape to Sanibel Island and Ft Myers, Florida.  Highlights included alligators, manatees, cottonmouths, Florida fighting conches, and much, much more.  She highly recommends (as she did last year) a visit to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve.  The 6 Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and Manatee Park are also high on her list.

Finely or Finally Knit

Ellen finished her Bohus Reproduction, Many Moments of Grace, which is the design Rimfrost by Annika Malmstrom-Baldini!  She used US size 0 needles and 5 years. The hunt for tiny clasps was challenging, but solved by using necklace clasps.Thanks to a tip from turbogal aka Lisa, she used a fine nylon thread to hold the neck of the clasps in place without being seen.

Jan shared that her Bohus reproduction, Fog Lights, only placed 2nd in the Pennsylvania Farm Show.  She said the winning piece was nice, but she couldn’t see how it outshone her sweater.  Perhaps the judges didn’t believe Jan actually knit her gorgeous sweater.

Ellen zipped along on Zip-Line and got a second sweater off the needles.  It follows the Elizabeth Zimmerman approach to a mock saddle shoulder sweater (see Knitting without Tears for the technique).  Ellen will create a design from this prototype, taking into account that the fabric needs to be denser (Jean Frost would agree that jackets should use a firm fabric.)

Jan created some dense fabric with a pair of a pair of felted Felfs. One pair for Jan, one for Dale.  The yarn, Schoppel Reggae Ombre, is pure wool in an Aran weight that felts very nicely.  She will soon be knitting Felfs out of Patons Classic Wool Roving which also felts very nicely.

Jan knit a pair of simple toe up socks with Patons Classic Wool Superwash DK — done in 41 hours elapsed time. She cast on Saturday evening in the bar with sibs in Ohio, and finished them on the drive home Monday morning.

On the Runway

Jan is got back to her Tilde vest, out of the Ewetopia from Frogtree Yarns and is making good progress.

And Ellen continues the work on the socks she is working up  for Modeknit Yarns out of ModeSock.  The pattern is well underway, but she wants to knit one more sock as a sample of another size. And that is all.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Zip-line bit Ellen in the form of mis-crossed cables.  Happily, heavy worsted weight yarn reknits quickly.

Grafting her hems in place on her Bohus reproduction nearly drove Ellen around the bend.  Lots of experiments (and lots of ripping out) ended up with a nice smooth hem.

Her socks managed to bite her, too.  She didn’t count the stitches for her heel flap correctly, so the heel flap also needed to be reknit.

Ready to Wear

Already mentioned above - Ellen called out the recent patterns she tech edited.

Negative Space.

It isn’t trite, it’s true.  Every stitch of knitting and every word of comfort add up to comfort.

Design Principles

Jan says you need to organize yourself to design. She didn’t do that last year, at least not the part about organizing herself to translate the knitted objects into a pattern.  Schedule time, arrange the space, arrange your tools, and make it a priority objective. If it isn’t a priority, that’s ok, but don’t expect it to happen.

5 Minute Interview

Dr. Yarn tells us about animal husbandry.  We can not recommend you reference this in any school projects.

360 Degrees

Bits of color! Ellen spun 1 oz skeins of Abstract Fibers BFL in several various colorways to share with friends who attended the Knitajourney Midwinter Retreat.  Even if she couldn’t be there, it was nice to know her yarn was.

Jan did finish her spinning samples.  She can’t honestly be enthusiastic about spinning Suri, as pretty as it is once it is spun up.  She will decline to spin Suri samples in the future.

Fiber Jargon

Felici - pronounced fah-lee’-chee.

Embellishments

Ellen is enjoying the Yoga Studio app on her iPad as it lets her choose 10, 15, 30, and 60 minute routines.  Jan loves unrollme.com, a website to control inbox email clutter, and she put out some praise for Signature Needles customer service.

Jan enjoyed her Solar Christmas Lights - they charge during the day, burn till the battery is out overnight, and recharge the next day.

Fun Fur

Giant pipe cleaner alpaca and sheep.  Note, that is giant pipe cleaners, not giant alpaca and sheep.

Slick Trick

Ellen used the same fine nylon thread that she used on the closures on her Bohus reproduction sweater for invisibly sewing the zipper into Zip-Line.   The stuff is so fine you can barely feel it, let alone see it! But it is tough and slightly stretchy so she is using it with confidence. One note - she wouldn’t use it for buttons as the single point of stress might be enough to cause the thread to cut into fiber.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen heads to Madrona and will be meeting her oldest daughter there!  And she has signed up for Yarnover class with Susan B Anderson and Myrna Stahman.  Susan is sticking around for StevenBe’s FiberFest, so maybe Ellen will take more than one class in April with her.

It isn’t too early to think about summer.  And with summer comes TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 ($240 if registration postmarked prior to April 30) includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!