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

Archive for July, 2013


Episode 20 — Quickly Recorded, Slowly Published

Episode 20 — Quickly Recorded, Slowly Published is finally available!

In which we discuss population changes on the farm and in the backyard, barn raising, post pounding, fireworks on the Stone Arch Bridge, turkey escapees, awkward teenage birds, grizzlypig shenanigans, cherries for pie, vegetables for pickles, an expectant mother, good progress on many projects, how helpful it is to actually read directions, hiding decreases in ribbing, knitting cues, pitting tools and many, many contests.  And be sure to note the “summer25” discount code on Goodstuff’s Ravelry downloads!

On the Runway – Jan is working up an interesting construction in her Summer Turban, a cure cap for a friend with cancer.  It is out of a soft cotton and will be reminiscent of a head wrap when finished.  There are still some interesting challenges for her to overcome – including whether or not she has enough yarn!  She has also been hard at work on her Cornish Dormouse tea cozy for the Caithness Craft Collective swap.

Ellen keeps up a knitting blitz, working on the edge of Bambinoo, a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo and adding another module or two to Wired, her version of a Domino Muffler by Vivian Hoxbro out of Habu silk/stainless steel yarn.  Also on her needles, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, which Jan says can’t be counted as truly out of hibernation until she works on it 3 episodes in a row.  Tune in next time to hear its status!

Good progress was reported by Ellen on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern.  Her mods include moving the short rows from the edge of the collar to earlier in the collar band, creating a neck stand.  Work continues apace on Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project.  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.

Both Jan and Ellen were Bitten by their Knittin’.  Jan realized she was playing too much with her steek edging on her  Eek! a Steek! top down Icelandic sweater in Lett Lopi.  It’s the project for  Ragga Eirikstotter’s Craftsy class. The  edging got a bit frayed, but was nicely tucked in during the final finishing, so no worries.  Ellen learned that one must not cut off an end until one has woven it in.  Duplicate stitch to the rescue, in this case.  Ellen’s troubles continued with enthusiastic knitting carrying her ahead on  Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool).  Because the rows are listed in the pattern out of order (grouped by what you are doing, not by number), but she failed to notice this, some frogging was necessary.  And because she wasn’t paying attention to what the right side of her garment would be when worn, the rib at the point of increase for the collar had to be inverted on her  Blue Moons cardigan, so that the knit side would be on the front instead of the purl side.  Happily she didn’t have to frog all of her neck band progress – just the one rib!

Both twins had plenty of projects to discuss in Finely, or Finally Finished projects.  Jan finished that  Eek! a Steek! top down Icelandic sweater and is very pleased with it.  She may be even more pleased that she was able to present a friend with a wonderful wedding gift, the Cowgirl Wedding Shawl,  her knit of the Robin Ulrich pattern, Brandywine Falls.  Ellen grafted the toes of her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki.  Nothin’ like socks out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, Lightweight, in this case.  She aslo finished two shawlettes – Sashay, the sized-down version of Jan’s design, Swagger, knit in Ellen’s handspun Coopwort, and   Alison Jeppson Hyde’s Bigfoot Shawl, out of more handspun (Jacob this time, hence the name Wrapped in Jacob, inviting Jan’s innuendo).  In a moment (barely more than that!) of whimsy, Ellen knit one little baby sock out of some leftover cashmere yarn.  There wasn’t enough for two, but the little sock made a nice swatch.

Jan and Ellen are both part of the Team Captain roster for theTour de Fleece Team Sasquatch group (for podcasters and podcast-listeners). They wisely chose achievable goals – Jan’s is to spin 15 minutes a day, and Ellen’s is just to spin at all every day!  So far, so good!  Ellen will be taking a spindle on her upcoming vacation so she can continue her progress.  Jan is also using a spindle – and in another TM (twin moment) they realize they are both using Jenkin’s Lark Turkish Spindles.  You can investigate the wonder of Turkish Spindles on the Jenkin’s website, but consider yourself warned, you may need to buy one!

Ellen’s Embellishment for the week is the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Stoner.  If you need to pit cherries, you need one of these!

Ellen’s Slick Trick was to use a simple hang tag attached to one’s project for notes on pattern details that you’d normally have to drag out the pattern to check – maybe the frequency of decreases, or a simple lace pattern or whatever.  And she noted that the Slick Trick from last episode – moving the slipping of stitches in an Eye of Partridge or Slipped Rib heel flap to the purl side – was also mentioned in the a recent episode of The Lost Geek podcast.

Shawl we dance?

Dear Jan,

It seems that I shawl knit nothing but things to adorn my shoulders lately.  Why in the last few weeks alone, three shawls have come off my needles.

First was my version of Steven West’s Pogona, which I call Herbstetology.  Yes, I know our readers will be fascinated by the etymology of this name.  I will indulge them…

Pogona is the genus of a group of lizards.  Herpetology is the  study of lizards and other reptiles.  Herbst is German for autumn.  My Pogona is knit out of the Rambouillet roving that our friend Erica dyed to represent the autumnal glory of Rhinebeck.  Really, it’s quite obvious, isn’t it?

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The more mundane details – knit out of my 2-ply handspun, semi-worsted spun, 600+ yards out of about 4 oz of fiber, so a lace weight.  I knit it on US size 3 needles, if my memory serves.  So much fun knitting this fabric – it was lightweight and soft and will be a joy to wear.  I added several extra sets of increases to increase the flounce factor.

Next off the needles – my version of your very own pattern, Swagger  (Readers, coming soon to a Ravelry store near you!).  Mine is smaller, not as long or wide, more of a Sashay, really, which is what I named it.  More handspun, this some Coopworth batts spun woolen and chain plyed to about a heavy worsted weight.  I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn.  It was supple rather than soft, lively and strong but also obedient. The pattern, need I say, was great, too.  Very intuitive – after one repeat of the cute little swag and I was off script. And it was sweet that the design let me use all but about 5 g of this yarn.  Well done, Sister!

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The only thing it lacked was more length – even making the scarf quite a bit narrower than your version, it was not going to give me tails long enough to comfortably wrap around my neck.  So I added a buttonhole at one end, and now I have a shawl/scarf/cowl that I can wear three ways!

The last shawl off my needles is one I’d been wanting to knit a long time – Alison Jeppson Hyde’s Bigfoot Shawl out of her Wrapped in Comfort book, sadly now out of print (but check Alison’s blog, SpinDyeKnit – she can help you find a copy).  Alison’s shawls are shaped like a bagel with a wedge cut out so that they sit and stay on one’s neck, even if knit a bit shallow because one runs out of handspun.

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Yep, more handspun, this out of  Jacob fiber.  Jacobs are those crazy looking sheep with 2 and sometimes 3 sets of horns going every which way.  I had some tan and some chocolate brown, so spun one 2-ply yarn with both plies tan, one with both in brown, and one a marled yarn with a ply of each color.  I then knit pure tan, mixed, pure chocolate from neck to bottom edge and am very pleased with the flow of the color.  I call it Wrapped in Jacob.

It also pleased me to realize that the shawl you had knit from Alison’s book, Ann’s Big Heart, was also the Bigfoot.   Twin moment!  (And I admit to being pleased that the gradient that my hair is becoming matched the shawl really well!)

So what’s on my needles now?  Really, do you have to ask?

Love,

Ellen

Episode 19 — Knit Everything!

In which we discuss (at length! — it’s been 4 weeks after all!) knitting to the end of the skein, starting many projects, the big straw harvest of 2013, living through loss of internet and barely living through a knock out virus, animal population explosions at the farm, many visitors and visits to Rhode Island and DC, lots of contests, reinforced selvedges, motivational spinning with the tour de fleece and a featured designer.

There is so much knitting in this episode we barely have room for everything else.  Luckily, pixels are free so the show notes don’t have to be shortened.

Ellen confesses to embracing Susan Dolph’s take on the Permaculture principle of diversity to a ridiculous extent – she is knitting everything.  First up – Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project.  You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden  Ravelry group. Ellen continued her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki, during the recording of this podcast and finished the last two with just a bit of yarn to spare.  They aren’t done until they are grafted at the toes.  She continued working on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern.

Even some long hibernating projects got attention – Bambinoo, a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo; Wired, her version of a Domino Muffler by Vivian Hoxbro out of Habu silk/stainless steel yarn; Zip Line, another self-designed pattern for a zipped cardigan; Great Dayne, yet another original, a top down raglan based on Brenda Dayne’s top down raglan class, and the most ancient project of all, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, which she started on her 25th wedding anniversary trip.  She has now been married well over 30 years.

As if knitting on all of her extant projects weren’t enough, Ellen suffered a bout of startosis, getting going on Black Spruce, her’s version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool) saw a bit of attention, and Sashay, the sized-down version of Jan’s design, Swagger, knit in Ellen’s handspun Coopworth.

And in a twin moment, she cast on for Alison Jeppson Hyde’s Bigfoot Shawl, out of more handspun (Jacob this time, hence the name Wrapped in Jacob, despite Jan’s innuendo), and discovered while recording that Jan’s shawl, Ann’s Big Heart, knit from the same book, Wrapped in Comfort, was also a Bigfoot!
As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, despite its misadventures in the next segment.

Jan also got some knitting in.  She is well on her way to finishing Eek! a Steek!, a top down Icelandic sweater in Lett Lopi.  It’s the project for  Ragga Eirikstotter’s Craftsy class. She is enjoying her knit of the Robin Ulrich pattern, Brandywine Falls, which she is knitting as a wedding gift for a friend.  She is also knitting a tea cozy for the Caithness Craft Collective swap and continues her generosity with a self-designed Cure Cap for a friend who is fighting cancer.

Both twins had finished objects!  Ellen, still amused by her project name, finished her version of Stephen West’s Pogona, known on her project page as Herbstetology.  And Jan finished her  version of Swagger in a shawl width, using Wollmeise Lacegarn in Campari Picolo ; the project is called Orange You Pretty.  Both of these projects were for the Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast Orange-along.

And, on another happy note, Jan took enough baths to finish her Happy  Bath Towel out of Sugar ‘n’ Cream.  She only knit on it while in the bath tub.

The featured designer for this episode was Brenda Castiel.  Check out her patterns on Ravelry! Through the end of August, use the code summer25 to get a 25% discount on her patterns in her Ravelry download store.

Jan and Ellen are participating in the Tour de Fleece.  They wisely chose achievable goals – Jan’s is to spin 15 minutes a day, and Ellen’s is just to spin at all every day!  Check out their progress on the Team Sasquatch group (for podcasters and podcast-listeners).  Ellen admitted to purchasing a new fleece.  It is impossible for her to resist the beautiful fiber from Peeper Hollow Farm.  She bought a grey Romney ram fleece – stunning!

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.

Ellen shared a review of the Lilly Brush(TM) sweater de-piller as her Embellishment.  In her opinion, it edged out the Gleener(TM), but both have their strengths.  A set of one of each is offered up in a contest running through July for listeners who are willing to  commit to reviewing them if they win – check out the details on the Twinset Designs Ravelry Group.

Jan extolled the virtues of Kookaburra Power – an all purpose cleaner she is loving using around the house.  For Ellen to love it, she’d have to do housework…

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.

Two other contests are taking place at the Twinset Designs Ravelry group – one for a copy of Annie Modesitt’s History on Two Needles will close mid-July.  The other is for one of our featured designer’s patterns.  It will run through mid-July, as well.