In which we discuss the new Knitty, lakes that aren’t lakes, really great spinning wheels, black…err…um…orange cats, more tomatoes, a Swagger KAL, the Ricefield Collective, lack of yarn, failure to read patterns, getting from design ideas to actual written patterns, a prize weiner and busy days ahead.
Ellen and Betsy (aka Bevil on Ravelry) made a trek to Wisconsin and visited Black Cat Farmstead, purveyors of antique spinning wheels, handspun and spinning fiber, and other lovely things like jewelry and soap. They enjoyed a gorgeous drive through rolling farm country and along the side of Lake Pepin, which is actually a very wide spot in the Mississippi River.
Jan stayed home and processed the harvest – lavender and tomatoes mostly. Once she gets her fiber sales going, you might get a little lavender sachet in your package, should you buy some! The farm continues to grow – Jan has bought yet another alpaca, Chena, another female so you can count on the herd continuing to grow.
Ellen is working on the Harmonia’s Rings cowl by Sivia Harding. She’s knitting it out of Berroco Vintage, a washable wool:synthetic blend, which creates a problem. The directions for washing say to turn the garment inside out, but this garment is a mobius ring, so how is this possible? (heh!)
She is also continuing work on her Forever in the Forest stole, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia. And she reports that the fabric of her Grey Mountains (Mountain Peaks, a Bohus reproduction) hat (kit from SOLsilke) is luscious knit at the fine gauge of a size 0 needle.
Jan is also knitting a Bohus almost-reproduction. It would be, except she has swapped out some colors to bring it more to her taste. Her Fog Lights sweater is coming along nicely; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson. She is also working on another misty project – Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain shawl. It may have stalled a bit due to an error in the lace several rows back and some philosophical pondering of whether she needs more yarn.
It seems Jan isn’t wondering if she has enough of that bulky handspun (which we’ve been discussing for a few episodes now) to knit mittens – she certainly doesn’t. But enough is enough and she has converted to knitting fingerless mitts, for which there was enough yarn, without a single full gram to spare.
Ellen has finely and finally finished Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project. It was knit out of Classic Elite Soft Linen, a warm, dense yarn, so despite being short-sleeved, it will likely be a winter sweater. Watch for a pattern to come out of this one!
Jan and Ellen discuss various approaches to design in the Design Principles section. Books that they find useful include Knit Notes: Explore * Design * Create and also Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop.
For a new design challenge, we introduce our first knit-along (KAL), and pair it with a design-along (DAL). We’ll be doing a DAL-KAL based on Jan’s pattern, Swagger. More details to come!
In 360 degrees, Ellen talks about how great her wheel is – her new Great Wheel, that is, which was the result of her trip to Black Cat Farmstead. She hopes a walking wheel will increase the amount of exercise she gets! Jan got some spinning done – 8 ounces of 50% alpaca/50% wool w/ Blue Magic (angellina) in the Under the Sea colorway from Gurdy Run Woolen Mill , a bit of Columbia on the gorgeous painted jasper whorl drop spindle that was a gift from dear friend, Heidi, and she is preparing spin off entries for Dorito and Dipper – not for them to spin, but of their fleeces!
Jan’s embellishment this episode is the Terrace Cowl from the Ricefield Collective.
Ellen used her Slick Trick for the episode in finishing her Musing sweater – when picking up stitches for a band or whatever, use a needle two sizes smaller so that the connection is crisp. Jan’s ST is to use a smaller needle when executing Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off to get a bound edge that is stretchy but doesn’t flare.
Jaxie985 won the Design Elements contest that ran all summer – congratulations!
Enjoy the show!