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Archive for June, 2013


Episode 18 — Making Hay While the Sun Shines!!

In which we discuss bird spotting, the mechanics of making hay, exercise options (totally!), motivation for riding, garden prospects, possible new neighbors, grand-dog sitting, the wisdom of dyeing hair while engaged in fine hand knitting, two cases of startosis, knitting on the needles, no knitting off the needles, making batts and making yarn, a listener design challenge, design principles a la Annie Modesitt, Sarah Punderson’s designs, reflections on Fiber Fest by some of our favorite knitterati, bags from swag, and a contest!

Thanks to Sarah Punderson for the Adirondack pattern.  Sarah shows up later in the show notes – read on!

Jan did not say “feeding nannies to tuna fish”.  She said “feeding mayonaisse to tuna fish”.  (A reference to “Night Shift” a 1982 movie starring Michael Keaton, Henry Winkler, and Shelley Long) Just in case you were wondering. You are correct, she did say that Swagger is being test knit and the pattern should be available soon.

In On the Runway, Jan reports working on a top down Icelandic sweater in Lett Lopi.  It’s her first attempt at steeking – good thing she has Ragga Eirikstotter’s Craftsy class to guide her through.  She is also working on another version of Swagger in a shawl width, using Wollmeise Lacegarn in Campari Picolo for the Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast Orange-along; the project is called Orange You Pretty.

Jan continues work on her Death Spiral shawl (Spiral Shawl design by Erica Gunn) and her Percasocks.  She is going mum on the latter as she may be submitting the design for publication.  She is willing to talk about the Happy Bath Towel out of Sugar ‘n’ Cream.

Ellen has finished all the pieces for her Blue Moons cardigan, based on the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan.  Next comes seaming and then picking up stitches for the large ribbed shawl collar still to be knit. She cast on Pogona, and amused herself no end by calling it Herbstetology.  Read the project notes for more on that (you likely won’t find it nearly so amusing, but she doesn’t care).  This is knit from her handspun at a finer gauge than the pattern calls so it has many, many more stitches than the pattern describes and will be quite the process to knit.  Ellen continues her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki, and has made great progress thanks to many waiting rooms. Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project  got a lot of attention, including some SKY KNITTING.  You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden  Ravelry group. As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, despite its misadventures in the next segment.

In Bitten by Your Knittin’, Ellen was bitten by her Master Knitter II resubmission, using too big a needle for the lace swatch, and also by Rimfrost when she knit the sleeve quite a bit larger than her arm required.  Happily, she did not dye her sweater with Punky Colors blue while trying the sweater on for fit.

In 360 degrees, Ellen described the lace 2-ply she spun worsted from a DesigKnit Rambouillet roving dyed in autumn colors.  She is also spinning a Corriedale cross fleece in woolen fashion.  Jan loves her Big Tom from Fancy Kitty and is carding a BFL lambsfleece.  In her enthusiasm to get going, Jan reported several rookie mistakes – not skirting her fleece thoroughly before washing and running a light colored fleece through the drum carder – the first batts through a new carder pick up excess  machining oils and a darker fleece wouldn’t have shown it as much.

During Design Principles, Jan interviews Annie Modesitt who shares her design inspirations.  We have a contest for a copy of her book, History on Two Needles, in action on the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.

Jan and Ellen both find all the KAL’s to be quite a challenge, so they have created a Design Challenge instead of a KAL for the listeners of Twinset Design.  Take a project you are already knitting and share a favorite design element in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. At the end of the summer, we’ll choose a winner of the effort, but we’ll all be winners after we read all these insights.

 Sarah Punderson, a designer for Plymouth Yarns and an independent designer as well, is our Featured Designer.   Check out her designs on Ravelry!

Jan presented a 5 Minute Designer Montage with Steven Berg, Stephen West, Ragga Eirikstotter, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

In Embellishments, Jan and Ellen discuss bags they received in their Fiber Fest swag bag, highlighting the small Atenti knitting bags and Della Q’s Rosemary bag.

Ellen may be attending the Zombie Knitpocalypse in late June.  Nothing is certain yet, but maybe for a day if life isn’t too crazy.

Jan reports that the SAFONA Fiber Frolic which will feature Melanie Gall of the Savvy Girls is being delayed until the fall.

Enjoy the episode!

Scratching an itch…

Dear Jan,

Ever since WestKnits Book One came out, I’ve been itching to knit Pogona.  The interesting construction with multiple increase points (not just another triangular shawl), the organic way it curved around the neck with just enough ruffle for flow and not so much to be girly, and the wearability of a shawlette for work or play – I knew this shawl was for me.  And when I got my Rhinebeck braid of Rambouillet (dyed by Erica at DesigKnit) spun up into a lace weight yarn, I knew I had the right yarn, too.

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Erica captured the color of autumn foliage perfectly.  I actually toned down the saturation in this photo – it is that gorgeous!

My only problem is that the gauge is much finer than that for which Stephen West designed the shawl, so what should be a super fast knit is more of a slow but enjoyable process.  I’m using a smaller needle and have a lot more stitches, but the fabric is fine and dreamy – even better to allow the fabric to drape.

Here is some more brilliant color I’ve enjoyed of late, a Baltimore Oriole (first I’ve seen, ever!).  He would go well with the shawl.

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And for a bit more color, in case that wasn’t enough, we got our first-of-the-year ruby-throated hummingbird to the feeder.

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And that reminds me – I need to go refill that feeder!

Love,

Ellen