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

Archive for February, 2013

And you thought that was an ice bucket…

Dear Jan,

When the hotel sink won’t hold water, you find something else in which to block your new socks.


And the shelf under the sink makes an excellent place in which to dry them.


Yes, Sockesan! is a finished project, and I am still highly pleased with the Noro Kureyon Sock yarn.  Post blocking the fabric is thin, supple, and soft.  The colors were always fab.

The pattern, well, there really isn’t a pattern.  Cast on about 72 sts, decrease at back of sock (paired decreases about 4 sts apart every 8 or 10 rows) down to 62 sts, work heel flap from other end of ball so as not to interrupt stripes, then pick the original working yarn back up to work the gusset and foot.  Kitchener closed.  Block in ice bucket.

I am pleased.



Episode 11 — Designed for Your Pleasure…Not in Stereo!!

In which we talked about making sure our listeners could hear our podcast, Madrona, why alpaca are like kindergarteners, zumba, Nemo, Madrona, our perfect yarn shop, designing by starting with a concept and designing by starting with the yarn, Madrona, how easy patterns can still bite you, the History on Two Needles winner, Madrona, The Fiber Factor competition, Madrona, and Madrona.

1-dsc06434.JPGEgg comparison

1-dsc06279-001.JPGDoing the Kush (cria at Spring Grove Alpaca Ranch)

1-dsc06442.JPGEntrelac Capelet

Houston, we have a problem…

Dear Jan,

I have started rooting for the owls to come out during the daytime.


While watching the squirrels raid our feeder, I’ve been working on my Fiber Fusion sweater.  After the precision demanded by the Master Knitter program, the freedom to create a knit fabric that is organic and rustic and in which I have no preconceived notion of the final garment is quite freeing.


I did get back that first round submission, by the way.  I’m pleased with how I did.  Several swatches to reknit or reblock, a few more swatches to rewrite, plus a reknit of the wrister (I forgot a row in the pattern – huh!?).  But the big happy is that all of the reports were accepted!  Lisa and I will start back on our work this week.

I’ve decided I’m going to make the Decibella cowl by Gale Zucker.  It just keeps haunting me with its magnitudeness.  (I’m sure that is a word.)  But I didn’t want to spend the big buck for the big yarn suggested.  Good thing I know how to make my own!


I’m using the cerulean blue fleece, colored in the remnants of the dyebath that I used for all that 5-ply yarn I spun a while ago, drum carded and spun into singles.


I saved a chunk of the last batt  to blend on the drum carder with some more of the natural colored fiber.  The misty blue that resulted is equally enchanting.


Six plies of each makes for bulky yarns with just enough contrast for interest, and close enough that your eyes won’t hurt looking at the cowl.


Too bad I don’t have that cowl done already as we are getting socked by a good snow.  Nothing like out east this weekend, but enough that getting to work in the morning will be challenging.  And that morning will come fast enough, so bye for now.



Episode 10 — Fiber Retreats are Real Treats!!

In which we talk about new eggs and new alpaca, spring coming to Minnesota on owl’s wings, fiber retreats for both of us, Master Knitter returns, shetland ponies in fair isle sweaters, yarn design for a bulky cowl, fulling and felting, a kindness of knitters, electric blankets for the car and emerald green.




Thank you to knitdesigns for the RAP* of her Trinity Cowl and Hat and irocknits for her RAP of Levenwick.

Jan is delighted to report that the alpaca are laying eggs now.  Wait, I mean the hens are laying eggs.  The alpaca came afterwards – all EIGHT of them.

Ellen enjoyed the SavvyGirls at their recent talk at a Minnesota Knitters’ Guild meeting.

Jan attended Tina’s Fiber Retreat and had a wonderful time with a kindness of knitters (listen to the kindly comments at ~11:00).

Ellen attended the Knitajourney Midwinter Retreat and had a wonderful time with a kindness of knitters (listen to more kindly comments at ~20:00).

Ellen also listened to some signs of kinder weather to come when she was serenaded by great horned owls during their courting rituals (~24:45).

Susan Dolph of the Knitajourney Podcast shared her thoughts on the weekend and looks back at what her podcast gave to her and continues to give to the fiber community (~26:40).

In On the Runway, Jan shares she is working on the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb!  neckwarmer.  She continues on her Death Spiral shawl (design by Erica Gunn).   Ellen’s Fiber Fusion sweater is seeing good progress.  Ellen’s Blue Moons Cardigan has come out of eclipse (Forestry by Veronik Avery).   As she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.

Jan avoided being nipped by her knitting, but Ellen did not.  In Bitten by Your Knittin’, she explained that a short skein (only 88 grams instead of 100), shorted the last two mystery knits in her series of 6 (really, you won’t hear of these again until they go public).  She also explained that her  Master Knitter Level II submission came back from The Knitters Guild of America committee who judged it.  Yes, she has to reknit a few swatches.  No, she doesn’t have to rewrite that report!

Neither twin had anything to report in Finely or Finally Knit, but both admired the lovely Fair Isle sweaters on those chubby Shetland ponies.

In Design Principles, Ellen challenged Jan to design a bulky yarn for a Decibella cowl, Gale Zucker’s recent design.

Ellen recommends that you embellish your car, especially if you live in MN, with an electric blanket.  It is really wonderful on those subzero mornings.  She got hers at Menard‘s.

In 360 degrees, Ellen reports that she has already started spinning the singles for the yarn she designed in Design Principles.   Jan has plied her burgundy and black alpaca and silk from a local Pennsylvania alpaca farm and spun and plied a gorgeous merino and silk gradient from Fiber Optic Yarns.

In Fiber Jargon, Jan and Ellen discuss felting and fulling.  The use of the terms is changing, but Ellen still likes the traditional use.  But Ellen wholeheartedly supports the use of a “kindness of knitters”, the collective noun for a group of knitters that was coined by Paula of the Knitting Pipeline.

Ellen’s Fashion Forecast holds Madrona (February 13-16) in its sights and Jan is planning to come to Minnesota for Yarnover (April 27).  And Jan reports that Emerald Green is the Color of the Year.

Enjoy the episode!

*RAP – Random Act of Pattern.  See the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Ravelry group for more info.