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

Archive for January, 2015


Episode 51 — Don’t Call Me Shirley!


In which we discuss things.  And for which there are no outtakes due to an incomplete edit.  I explain the very sad reason why in the introduction.

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!

Patterns of Our Lives:

It seem that colds are making the rounds – if last episode you tracked voices by thinking “It is Ellen Jan that has the deep husky cold-voice”, note that this episode it is Jan Ellen.  Sheesh, this is getting dumb.

The weather in Minnesota has also been cold — well below 0F — giving Ellen a chance to deep freeze her stash.  She stored her favorite bins of yarn out on the deck for a few days, hoping to kill off any possible infestations.

Lots of holiday travel and events took place in the lives of both twins.  Writing this in March, Ellen has to admit she isn’t finding it of enough compelling interest to mention it.  Suffice it to say that lots of visits, lovely Solstice celebrations and Christmas celebrations, with the highlight of handmade hats for Jan’s entire family — made by her daughter!  Jan got a late Christmas gift by taking ownership of the car that replaced the one the deer crash totaled.

On the farm, Valor is in his glory as the ewes have now joined him in his pasture.  Saber the guard llama does not approve.

turbogal AKA Lisa and Ellen had a fun evening at StevenBe’s masquerade birthday party.  Steven’s great knitting paired with vintage garments from two local shops — Restyle and Autumn’s Vintage.

Finely or Finally Knit

Jan finished the hat she was working on in the last episode and is very pleased with it. It is a tam style with a  9-point floral motif. She says she need to come up with a name for it and get pictures posted. Ellen can confirm this, there is not project page for this.  It is not unique in this feature.

She has also finished up a Hitchhiker by Martina Behm out of Schoppel Crazy Zauberball Starke 6.  Classic yarn, classic pattern.

Ellen knit a hat, too! She called it the 23 hour hat because that is how long it was from cast on to bind off. She’d picked up some glittery nail polish with purples and greens and silver sparkles in it for a holiday gift for my niece and on a whim walked into the big box craft store next door to see if there might matching yarn. Red Heart Boutique Midnight in the colorway Serenade was perfect, especially given that it was near bulky weight. Her niece chose the Nola Cloche by Hilary Smith Callis for the pattern, and it was a fun and simple hat to knit.

The big finish for the episode was Jan’s FOG LIGHTS!! Fog Lights is her variation on a Bohus reproduction sweater (Jan has made some color modifications to the original design of the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson).  Needles: 1.5mm.  Yarn: laceweight merino:angora from Solsilke (now retired).  She isn’t going to wear it right away so she can enter it in the Farm Show — the PA version of a state fair.

On the Runway

Ellen continues work on her Bohus Reproduction, Many Moments of Grace, which is the design Rimfrost by Annika Malmstrom-Baldini.  Finishing it seems close.

Ellen is all done with Scotch Tango, her  Shirley Paden Design-along 4  Fair Isle design, except for figuring out how she wants to handle the raw edges of the steeks and blocking.   With this project about done, she is turning her attention to the rest of the Master Knitter Level 3 program and along with turbogal, aka Lisa, has been laying out a plan for tackling that.

And Ellen continues the work on the socks she is working up  for Modeknit Yarns out of ModeSock.  The pattern is well underway, but she wants to knit one more sock as a sample of another size.

Jan is ready to get back to her Tilde vest, out of the Ewetopia from Frogtree Yarns.

Bitten by our Knittin’:

Jan didn’t get bit.  Ellen maybe did.  She was moving so fast through her Scotch Tango that she forgot to change colors and had several episodes of frogging.
What Would Susan Ask?

If you limited yourself to designing one type of thing, what would you design?  For Ellen it is gloves – so many designs, so much to learn.  Some of the designers she admires include Julia Mueller, the Rainey Sisters and Regina Satta.  And Jan would knit sweaters, with the same thinking.  Except that she would be a cheater-cheat-cheaty and design sweaters with attached hats, attached mittens, attached pants…

Note that Julia Mueller of Laris Designs has made her glove patterns available for free rather than deal with the convoluted Euorpean VAT situation.

Design Principles

Jan says you need to organize yourself to design. She didn’t do that last year, at least not the part about organizing herself to translate the knitted objects into a pattern.  Schedule time, arrange the space, arrange your tools, and make it a priority objective. If it isn’t a priority, that’s ok, but don’t expect it to happen.

5 Minute Interview

Dr. Yarn tells us about great pets for knitter.

360 Degrees

Ellen spent a good bit of time fighting with a felted braid.  She found that moving from a fat singles (she’d like to develop the skill to spin fat singles so she can experiment with the yarns in Sarah Anderson’s The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs) to a thin singles made it much easier – fewer fibers are easier to pull from the felted fiber and less likely to do so in clumps.

Fiber Jargon

Tailspun yarn – yarn spun so that curly locks are embedded at their cut ends into the yarn, leaving the curls to fall free from the strand.

Embellishment

Jan enjoyed her Solar Christmas Lights – they charge during the day, burn till the battery is out overnight, and recharge the next day.

Fun Fur

Pocket Sulu! A holiday ornament of Lt Sulu of Star Trek, purportedly from George Takei, #pocketsulu traveled to the Christmas holidays with Ellen. He has appeared in a number of Instagram photos exploring the holiday landscape, and you can expect to see him join in more fun in the future.

Slick Trick

When cutting the end of an end woven in, fray it rather than clipping it sharply off.  The frayed edge will stick to the fabric and be less likely to unravel.  This tip was shared in a knitting class taught by Annie Modesitt.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

The twins shared their goals for the coming year.  For Ellen, it mostly involves eating more beans.  She believes in achievable goals.  Her theme is to knit fresh, and she intends to keep clearing off her needles so she can do just that.  Jan’s main goal is to continue clearing space in her life, physical space at first, but mental space as a result.  And she hopes to schedule the time to write up those patterns.

It isn’t too early to think about summer.  And with summer comes TwinSet Summer Camp!  July 10-12, 2015.  Registration form can be found here:

https://app.box.com/files/0/f/0/1/f_26386300459

Registration fee of $265 ($240 if registration postmarked prior to April 30) includes:
A real bed for Friday and Saturday night!  With back-pampering Tempurpedic mattresses!
Meals served family style in the camp lodge, Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Special diets are well-looked after, please note requirements on registration form.
Lots of camp activities, like knitting by the river, knitting by the swimming pool, hiking into the woods to knit, singing campfire songs while knitting, making and eating s’mores (no knitting!), and more.  We hope to have some vendors, and we’ll schedule one knitting/craft class, but the name of the game for the weekend is relax in the woods, let someone else do the cooking, and knit and enjoy each other!

We hope to see you there.

Enjoy the show!