In which we thank our camp supporters, have a great time chatting about the success that was TwinSet Summer Camp, discuss making play out of work on the Snake River, being surprised by San Antonio yarn shops, shared birthdays and harmonious gifts, taking daughters to birthday dinners, welcoming Heidi back from the trail, various knitting bites (including a real doozy for Ellen and the recurring theme of ignoring pattern instructions), spinning many yards of yarn and using many wheel ratios, inspiration from Abby Franquemont, the Lost Geek Challenge Along and some other stuff.
Yes, it’s a LONG episode — enough for 3 half hour runs or for Louise to clean all the toilets in Mey.
Patterns of Our Lives:
It was wonderful taking a break, and it is wonderful being back. Before jumping in, a special thanks to the vendors who supported TwinSet Summer Camp.
Straightfork Farm Alpacas - Cathy Moore creates gorgeous yarns from her own alpaca and sheep fleeces, blending in wool and dyeing them to delightful colorways. You can buy them for yourself at her website.
A Riot of Color - Susan Eiseman Levitan dyes yarns and rovings that are truly, a riot of color. Visit her Etsy shop!
DesignKnit - Erica Gunn designs, dyes, and more. Visit her blog to find out when her life will allow her to get back to fulfilling our fiber dreams.
Fair Winds Farm - I’d link to an Etsy store, if one existed. Jan will be selling yarns, fibers, and alpaca clothing when it does open, and you can bet we’ll let you know about it.
A lovely yarn donation from Barbara of Eggy Johnson Yarns. At this point I don’t have a link, but if I get one, I’ll let you know.
A cloud of vicuna-alpaca fiber from Bob at Cloud Hollow Alpaca, compliments of jaxie95, our very own Linda. I really had to work hard not to hide this.
And a special, special thanks to Modeknit Yarns who provided a ball of either their Modeknit Modewerk or Modesock for every camper, not to mention a beautiful mini-skein set of Modeknit Fingering in the Midwife Speaking colorway as a door prize - gorgeous! Check out their other beautiful yarns on their website, Modeknit Yarn. I can personally vouch for Modesock and for Modewerk - loved knitting both of them.
And thanks to Laura (77threads on Ravelry) who arranged a destash charity drive that benefited the S.D. Ireland Cancer Fund and Community Links International.
TwinSet Summer Camp was a huge hit, even if the audio quality of the play back wasn’t perfect. It still brought back great memories. The TwinSet toddlers had a great time, too. And so did all the Bruce’s. (Here is the Monty Python skit that was the source of our nicknames.)
Ellen went fly fishing - for work! She was learning about the geology of the Upper Snake River Basin in Idaho and floating down the river is a great way to do it. Jan traveled to San Antonio to celebrate the retirement of a friend. She visited vineyards and then made sure and bought plenty of yarn to pad it in her luggage on the way home. The yarn came from The Yarn Barn, Unravelled, and Yarnivore, where she enjoyed the Wall o’ Cascade 220.
Both twins got amazing birthday gifts from their husbands - Ellen received a Folding Golding spinning wheel, and Jan received the four lambs we discussed last episode. Ellen then went to New York City to visit her daughter who has moved to a new restaurant, working front of house once it opens. Since it wasn’t open yet, the family dined for Jenny’s birthday dinner at Kajitsu for a wonderful fine dining experience of vegan Japanese. Equally delicious were the dumplings at Prosperity Dumplings.
Jan’s daughter-in-law is back off the Appalachian Trail, having finished about half of it this year. She’ll return and finish the rest in a future season.
Finely or Finally Knit:
Jan finished up her Greek Keys hat out of alpaca - the thanks for the finding of lost keys. She’s also finished the Shifting Ribs Toque, her own design, out of Wensleydale that she spun some time ago. Of course, there are no photos of these on Ravelry, so they may be mythical.
Ellen finished her Bloodroot Hat. She likes the size and shape, but her colorwork design didn’t really make her blood flow. It will be a great design swatch - for future and better designs.
On the Runway:
Ellen got a lot of sleeve knit on her Bohus reproduction named Many Moments of Grace, a reproduction of the Rimfrost design, but more to come on that in a later segmant. She got some progress in on her Crazy Vanilla Socks out of Schoppelwolle Crazy Zauberball sock yarn, worked on size 0 needles in a plain stockinette stitch and a Cat Bordhi Sweet Tomato Heel (not to mention the tubular cast on).
Jan is also working some very colorful socks out of Fluormania - wildly neon! And in other wild knitting - stainless steel/merino as a fiber - she is knitting a scarf she is calling Steely Cables. Can you find a picture (or even a project entry) of it on Ravelry? I can’t!
Jan will work next on her Death Spiral shawl, she promises.
Bitten by our Knittin’:
Ellen tells how she knit most of a sleeve on a 00 needle instead of a US size 0 (1.75 mm vs 2.0, for those playing at home), and it cost her 15,000 stitches, give or take.
Jan’s brain wasn’t playing nicely with math and she wasn’t able to get her decreases right on a hat - until she checked the number of decreases she actually needed. No 15,000 stitches worth!
Some dirty dishcloths tripped Jan up once or twice. Again, not to the tune of 15,000 stitches!
In Ready to Wear, Ellen announces the availability of her videos for techniques for the Paving Mitts pattern in Tunisian Crochet. You can find them on YouTube - Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
The Shirley Paden Design-Along 4 has started. Jan didn’t get a sketch submitted, and admits that she is relieved. Ellen sketched her design on the back of a hotel notepad and took an iphone picture of it to get hers in! You can follow the fun at the Shirley Paden Ravelry Group. The group has posted swatches - you’ll be amazed at how different people interpret the same design inspiration.
And as part of the Lost Geek Challenge-along, the TwinSet campers learned all about tablet weaving and dyeing, as well as other skills, like using a bead and head pin Looper.
Linda discussed lichen dyeing and sends us to a 44 Clovers for a reference to this simple and gorgeous dye source.
The twins enjoyed Dishcloth Diva Knits On! available for $14.95 in print or electronically via Ravelry for $9.95, published by Cooperative Press. Deb Buckingham, The Dishcloth Diva, brings us new patterns and new fibers - using her designs for a throw when worked up in wool. We note that the wool fiber information could be fact-checked, but that didn’t take away from the great designs. Cooperative Press provided us with the review copy of the book.
Tour de Fleece spinning went well. Ellen worked on the Spinning Bunny top in colorway Sled Dog and hit her goal of spinning every day, even if only for a few seconds. Jan is knocking it out of the park with over 1800 yds of 4-ply alpaca, spun from a spin-drafted roving from Sherri at Morro Fleece Works. She spun enough for Mishka, Julie Weisenberg’s great sweater, which she plans to knit for the Knitmore Girls Spin along, Knit along (SPAKAL).
And to top off Tour de Fleece, we have an interview with Abby Franquemont on the importance of spinning to our cultural and industrial histories. As Abby says, “one way or another, it’s all about yarn.”
Ellen’s new wheel is called Frances, because she is the “quietest thing in the room”, like Frances the Badger is in the Russell Hoban (illustrations by Garth Williams) classic, Bedtime for Frances. “Frances stood by Father’s side of the bed very quietly, right near his head. She was so quiet that she was the quietest thing in the room. She was so quiet that Father woke up all of a sudden, with his eyes wide open.”
Whorl ratios - which the Folding Golding has in spades. The whorl ratio is like the gear ratio on a bicycle - a higher ratio means that for one turn of the wheel, the flyer turns more times than for a low ratio. For instance, an 8:1 ratio means the flyer turns 8 times for one turn of the wheel.
Ellen’s embellishment was radish greens for eatin’! Just saute’ them in butter (wash them first!). Jan is searching an embellishment - a drip-free coffee pot. What is it with coffee pot designers? (note: since this episode aired, listeners solved this one!)
Jan is modifying her afterthought heel slick trick from a few episodes back. She is going to try to knit a shorter waste flap on her afterthought heels and use a dpn to make it taught instead of her fat fingers (Jan’s words). Thanks, Gigi, for the push to improve this and reduce the amount of waste yarn knitting Jan will be doing.
Ellen’s slick trick is to use a slip knot to attach a leader to the bobbin - then doing a second slip knot in the opposite direction. This prevent slippage in either direction so you can start spinning either way. She learned this one from Judith McKenzie.
You May Already be a Wiener!
Just mention on the forum thread which of the new Dishcloth Diva designs you’d like to knit. Check them out on Ravelry, tell us which one you’d knit first in our forum, and you will be entered into a competition for an e-copy of the book donated by Cooperative Press.
And, we are hosting a
Cleaning off the Needles KAL/CAL! Your project must be a WIP as of July 10, 2014 and must be off the needles by midnight of the Autumnal Equinox, 22 September. There will be prizes, including stitch markers donated by lotsofhermies and a project bag and yarn just like the ones from TwinSet Sumer Camp. We’ll start a thread for both chat and FOs.
Ellen continues to lead a learn-along for her Paving Mitts pattern at StevenBe. Jan is looking forward to chauffeuring Louise and her mom to the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat in late September.
The twins are going on a tour - the TwinSet Living Doll Tour! Check out the thread in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group for info on how you can have the toddler twin dolls visit you!
Enjoy the show!