In which we discuss connecting with old friends and friends of our daughter/niece, the Iditarod and Iknitarod, cold, snow, trips to the theater and to the emergency room, an interview with Sherill Roi who encourages us to spin 15 in 15, and a review of the book, “Solefull Socks”.
Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!
Patterns of Our Lives:
Both twins are enjoying melting snow – especially as Ellen watches the Iknitarod where the mushers and dogs are dealing with -40F!!! That kind of weather would make anyone howl. Jan is looking forward to moving out of mud season. Ellen is looking forward to TwinSet Summer Camp in July, the 10-12th to be exact. The registration form can be found here.
Ellen headed to California for work on water stewardship. She is just about done with the colds that have been plaguing her. They didn’t keep her from tech editing another pattern for Mary Lou Egan.
Jan has been just ducky – every since her husband, who had resisted having ducks on the farm, fell for the cute little ducklings that were for sale at the farm store. Four adorable Khaki Campbell ducks are living in Jan’s basement and will soon move out to the duck palace Dale will be constructing. It brought up memories, hard memories, of being pushed to eat duck eggs as children. We hoped that we could hatch out more ducks, but we only had one duck, so odds of the resulting eggs being fertile were quite low. Quite low indeed.
Check out Dale’s woodwork at Maryland Sheep & Wool. Especially since Dale has suffered for his art, in the form of a trip to the emergency rooms as Dale learned not to wear loose-fitting clothing while working with his lathe.
And that lathe can keep running through a power outage as Jan is celebrating a new generator. Not so much for the lathe, as for keeping water flowing to the animals.
Finely or Finally Knit
Ellen finished a bun and crow – her project, Eating Crow, is a pair of socks knit from her own design, Bunny Socks. She called it Eating Crow because she found so many problems with this old pattern. She’s cleaned it up and reposted it – it’s free, so enjoy now that she has improved the pattern. The bun is the Bun Ellen has knit for one of the many babies to come this summer. It’s in Swan’s Island organic washable DK – wonderfully soft yarn for babies.
Jan also did a baby bonnet – Béguin de Printemps, a very cute and fast little baby bonnet by Lili Comme Tout. She used Skinny Bugga in the Acmon Blue colorway which is a lovely gray lavender depending on the light. It is superwash MCN, a pleasure to knit with and perfect for a baby. Jan’s project is called Dean of Grandbabies. It is for the grandbaby of one of her college deans.
Jan finished with her Tilde vest, out of the Ewetopia from Frogtree Yarns and called it Vice Versatile, as she decided to leave the shifted rib on the back of one side – kind of vice versa except not quite. Yes, this is the second project for which Jan has a project page, which pleases Ellen a great deal.
On the Runway
Jan has finished some things, and she finds her existing WIPs are cold. She is working on the reknit of her Top Stitch Mittens and writing the pattern as she goes. But otherwise, not much else is going since she finished up the bonnet and the vest.
Ellen continues work on a simple stole. The pattern name: Stole. Yep, that simple. Theresa Gaffey’s design is simple but delightful by virtue of understated color work, simple stripes in gorgeous colors, Ellen’s out of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues.
Ellen’s other work in progress is for the Iknitarod, a project knit during the running of the Iditarod sled dog race. She cast on a Baby Sweater on Two Needles by Elizabeth Zimmerman (aka February Baby Sweater), calling hers March into February. Knit on sock yarn, Ellen added another round of increases so it wouldn’t be a preemie sweater. That means a lot more stitches, and a bit of an effort to finish before the Red Lantern (the last musher to finish the race). It is out of Sea Star Handpaints Super Foot in Sea Glass Blues.
Bitten by our Knittin’
Jan’s vest really chewed her up. A straightforward, simple pattern is a recipe for not paying attention. She dropped back and crossed cables, dropped back and re-crossed cables the right way, harvested yarn from the back tails of the vest and finally ended with about 18″ of yarn. She even had to seam the sweater with another yarn. She loves the project, but admits it was a lesson in the perils of hubris.
Ellen had to replace the bunny’s face on the front of her little hat, but that was easily done and worked out quite well.
Jan extolled the value of prototyping – with the knitter in mind. Stitch acrobatics that the designer enjoys might not make the most approachable pattern for a knitter off the street. And a simpler pattern is easier to describe. Her advice – simplify the design to the critical elements. And prototype to be sure it all makes sense. Sometimes that can be done with knitting, sometimes with paper, a la’ Erica Gunn.
Ellen reviewed Betty Slpekar’s Soleful Socks, “the very best book on knitted footwear in the world” according to Cat Bordhi. That may be true, or may be close to true, but the book is definitely wonderful and presents a great new approach to creating socks.
5 Minute Interview
Ellen has spun on many different spindles in the last few weeks – spindles are great for traveling. She’s focused on spinning some baby camel on a supported Russian spindle. She is considering applying some cop winding advice from an industrial spinning site – to evenly wind on for one layer and then run a widely spaced strand back to the beginning to create a separating layer before winding on the next even layer. Jan has signed on for some more alpaca samples – none of them being suri alpaca, which she doesn’t enjoy spinning.
Jan shares huarizo, not chorizo (yum – we wish she’d shared some of that!). This term refers to an alpaca-llama hybrid, which is a fiber classification that may have no connection to an actual animal. The fiber is measured at 32 micron per The Inca Group Classification system.
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Ellen enjoys matching project bags and wonders if there will ever be a project bag perfect for #pocketsulu. FrontRangeBags is offering some Star Trek bags on her Etsy shop – maybe she’ll do some Lt Sulu fabric someday.
Avoiding second sock syndrome – a tip Ellen stole off the Iknitarod board, posted by smokeyblue, proprietress of the Spinning Bunny. “I have second sock syndrome so I suggest doing the Leap Frog Method which works really well for me. Get one sock started through the toe increases. Then with a second set of circs, do the same to the second sock, only take this one up to the gussets. Then pick up the first sock , take it up to and through the gussets, etc etc etc.”
Jan’s slick trick is to duplicate stitch over worn spots on your socks BEFORE it breaks through and needs darning. Simple, and slick.
You May Already be a Wiener
Fashion Forecast for 2015
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:
We hope to see you there.
Enjoy the show!