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

Archive for August, 2013


Episode 22 — Otter Nonsense

In which we discuss zoological explorations, tomatoes coming out of our ears, pedicures for alpaca, holographic Kelly Clarkson, biking to work, state fair entries, making a sweater in 2 years, fiber preparations, yertles (fiber turtles), and a meetup in Seattle.

Thanks to Dr. Gemma and Mary for their nice comments on Swagger on their respective pod- and videocasts, Cogknitive and The Knitting Dish!  (Both are worth a listen, regardless of their support of Jan’s pattern.)

In Patterns of our Lives, Jan stayed crazy busy, with guests, produce processing, new sheds (thanks, Dale!), and even a concert at which she got to see a holographic Kelly Clarkson. Jason Aldean was the headliner, but she liked the opener, Jake Owen.  Ellen hasn’t heard of either, and wouldn’t have recognized Kelly.  She is living in the music world of the 70’s and 80’s (thank you, MTV, for getting me through those long colicky nights…).

Ellen and Wilson visited the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.  They had a wonderful day of ogling otters, taking notice of tigers, and beholding butterflies.  They got some biking in, some kayaking, and Ellen got lots of entries in to the MN State Fair.

Jan is moving several projects that she cast on previously – another  version of her design, Swagger, this time out of two skeins of St. Charles’ Luna, a kid mohair/silk laceweight that will show how versatile the pattern really is.  Her tip – weight both skeins and start with the lightest (they may vary by a few grams), and make the end of that skein the center of the scarf/shawl.  You’ll most certainly have enough yarn to finish in that case!   Siesta, a T-shirt by Carol Feller, got some attention, too.  And though she intended to, she hasn’t actually yet cast on for Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain Shawl.  Something about a yarn selection problem…  She does have another version of her Summer Turban well underway.
Ellen has many WIPs but was fairly focused this week, getting the most work done on Blue Moons (see later!).   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.  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, and Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool).  She found her Bohus sweater,  Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, and worked on the sleeves during the recording of this episode.

The knitting seems to have been kind of hungry.  Ellen described adding buttonholes to a ribbed band after the fact in her Blue Moons cardigan and also how to fix a mis-crossed cable (or at least make it appear to be fixed).  She also got to fix the edge of her Black Spruce shawl – once again, worked the wrong edge stitch!

Jan’s biggest knitting issues were more yarn issues, causing her to frog her start to a project with her bulky handspun because she realized the color just wasn’t right for near her face; instead of a hat, it will be mittens. She did have to frog back a bit to fix a mis-crossed cable on the edge of her Siesta sweater.

After doing all the fixes on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern, Ellen is delighted to report that she finished it just in time for entry into the MN State Fair.   Jan didn’t have any Finely or Finally Finished Objects, but she is close on her next Swagger.

360 Degrees: Ellen reported the finishing of one more yertle (the little turtle shaped (or yurt-shaped) cops of singles that one gets off a Turkish spindle).  She is spinning fiber from Susan’s Spinning Bunny, a BFL roving dyed in the Sled Dog colorway. Jan dyed some handspun – using onion skins and alum plus cream of tartar and got a gorgeous antique gold that even Dale admired.

In a reprise on spinning terms, Ellen did some research and found an Abby Franquemont article from Spin-Off that should be helpful in understanding the differences between top, roving, sliver and more.

Fun Fur – or should we say Fun fur all!  Ellen’s Fun Fur is her rediscovery of the humor in Mathnet, a skit from the Square One TV math education show of the 80’s.  Highly recommended, educational for the kids and hilarious for the parents.  The episode which so tickled her was the pilot, The Problem of the Missing Baseball.

Jan described the Slick Trick of using a green scrubby to deflect the rinse water from a garment or skein of yarn so as to prevent any chance of felting.  Ellen’s contribution to this segment was the crossing of the last stitch in the shoulder with the first stitch in the neckline bind off so as to prevent any gapping at that corner.

Already Wieners – Lakchi won the depiller challenge and promises to report back on her findings.  Congratulations!

There is still one contest running to close out the Twinset Summer – 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.  Contest will close soon after the first of September.

Both twins share a Fashion Forecast – a trip to Seattle for a Bohus workshop with Susanna Hansson! Meet-up details on the the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 21 — Hello, Violet!

In which we discuss the birth of Violet…other stuff too, but really, Violet is what was important. (Okay, we also discuss beach vacations, 90th birthday parties, chickens to the freezer, knitting polygamy, making iced tea more delicious, a few knitting nibbles, what to do with 80 yards of bulky handspun, roving, top, batt and sliver (oh, my!) and have a delightful visit by Dr. Yarn.)

Along with the age of majority (21 episodes), we hit the nice round number of 500 members in our Ravelry group.  Thanks to all for joining in the fun!

In Patterns of our Lives, Ellen reported on a relaxing week at the beach after which she came back to a new job.  Jan, as a good big sister, willingly answered Ellen’s request for advice on how to settle in and start to add value.  In a nutshell, she said to open up your ears to people inside and outside of your new organization so you can get the full picture of what is working well and what might be improved.

Jan had a much less relaxing but more exciting time, welcoming many to the farm to celebrate her MIL’s 90th birthday, moving turkeys around, butchering the broiler chickens, and most important – welcoming their newly born cria, Fair Wind’s Shrinking Violet!

Ellen has many projects on the runway.   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.  She is well into the front bands on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern.  She is going to have to figure out buttons very soon.  Double breasted?  Toggle and loop as Jan used in her Manly cardigan?  Check in next episode and find out.

Jan has been casting on new projects – another  version of her design, Swagger, this time out of commercial yarn.  It may not have actually been cast on at the time this episode was recorded!  She did cast on for Siesta, a T-shirt by Carol Feller. And she is working on another shawl which she is calling Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain Shawl.

Ellen’s runway show continued with additional work on the edge of Bambinoo, a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo. 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, and Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool).  She couldn’t work on her Bohus sweater,  Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, because it seems to have gone missing (no foul play is suspected, just foul housekeeping).

The knittin’ was nibblin’ more than biting – Ellen had to tink back to correct a few stitches gone awry in her lace and Jan had some computer issues, but no major frogging took place in the last few weeks.  For Ellen, no finishing took place either, so Jan took a  solo turn for the Finely or Finally Knit segment.

She reworked her Summer Turban, a cure cap for a friend with cancer, to correct for size and to make sure she had enough yarn to finish.  It is out of a soft cotton and will be reminiscent of a head wrap when finished.    She has also finished her Cornish Dormouse tea cozy for the Caithness Craft Collective swap.

Both twins are keeping to their Tour de Fleece goals.  Jan says the cops from Turkish spindles remind her of Mongolian yurts; Ellen says they look like turtles.  From henceforth, they shall be called yurtles, at least where the Twinset is concerned.

In Fiber Jargon, Ellen attempts to decipher the difference between top, roving, and sliver, but admits more research is needed to get the details straight on sliver.  Dr. Yarn would not need to do this research, he would know.  You can enjoy some of his wisdom in this episode’s 5 Minute Interview.

As an Embellishment, Jan recommends that we all check out, wait, what was that again? Oh, yes, Lumosity.  A friend of ours attests to its helpfulness at building brain power; Jan attests to how much fun it is.  Ellen shared her Fun Fur enjoyed on her beach vacation – iced tea laced with Limoncello.  For a less sweet version, Jan recommends Limoncini.  Or something like that – Ellen does not speak Italian, but she is typing up the show notes!

Jan’s Slick Trick is to wash hand-knit socks in a wool wash like Soak or Eucalan that doesn’t require rinsing, hence eliminating one cycle of agitation and therefore one more chance to felt those socks.

Several of our listeners got to learn that They May Already Be Weiners!  yrallee, sewingmomy, and desz72 all won Brenda Castiel patterns, and anniepins won a copy of History on Two Needles.

The twins will try to get one more episode in before they head west to Seattle for a Bohus knitting retreat with Susanna Hansson and a group of their knitting friends.   Jan will then be heading to Magical Alpacas in Ohio for a fiber judging course.

Enjoy the show!