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

Archive for April, 2015


Episode 56 — Ellen Takes a Break While Jan Yammers On

In which we discuss stuff.  And a big surprise!

Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us! And Ellen sends a special thanks to Mary of The Knitting Dish for her sweet comments on Ellen’s design, Diana’s Quiver socks. To all of our listeners, we send the encouragement to consider attending TwinSet Summer Camp in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here.

Ellen and Jan discuss a fantastic charity project –

Kiley is a senior in high school and as her capstone community service project, she is taking on the very serious issue of Shaken Baby Syndrome. She’s using knitting to bring it to parents’ attention in the form of handknit purple baby hats. She sent me a note about it: “I’m writing to ask if you could possibly knit or crochet a purple hat for my Click for Babies project for my senior year capstone. I need to collect 50 hats by the end of May and I could really use some help. I will also be writing a brochure to hand out at a local hospital to parents of new babies. If there’s anyway you could make a hat with at least 50% purple yarn, I would be very appreciative. Kiley is MiniPurlGirl on Ravelry and you can PM her there to get her address if you’d like to send a hat. And if you do, your name will be thrown in a hat for a chance to win a skein of purple Wolmeise. And I’m going to sweeten the pot – tell Kiley you heard about her project here on TwinSet Designs and I will have her do a second drawing from our listeners who knit hats for a skein of Wolmeise from my stash!

(Ellen adds: Even though Kiley needs your hats by end of May, if you are reading this a bit too late, consider checking out the Click website above to find other ways to contribute to this great effort.)

Patterns of Our Lives:

Ellen and W took a wonderful nature hike at Carver Park Reserve near Victoria, MN, seeing ospreys, a big ol’ snapping turtle, a pair of swans – maybe trumpeters!, a cute little chipmunk, and a beautiful common garter snake.  Jan didn’t see the nature (probably a raccoon) that made away with one of her ducks and took it on a trip to Florida. Jan also wasn’t there to see the shearing, but her gratitude to D was present as he managed it all. Jan had a good excuse – graduation at her university. I guess the Chancellor should be present for graduation.

Finely or Finally Knit

If you can count them, and Ellen does, she finished Master Knitter Level III swatches 1-3. Jan finished her very own Paving Mitts.
On the Runway

While only Ellen had finished items, both twins have stuff in progress. Jan continues prototyping her Top Stitch Mittens and is very happy with the design now.  She’s working a sample set out of Kihoo Kenzie 50% Merino, 25% Nylon and 10% Angora, 10% alpaca and 5% silk noils in Tekapo, a dark teal color 1013 and Kiwi, a yellow-green color 1007.

She is also working on prototype validation of the Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree Yarns, an 80/20 merino/bamboo blend in colorway 1164 light teal, a semi-solid. Could it be that we will see some patterns from Jan in the near future?

Ellen continues work on  simply stole.  The pattern name: Stole.  She is up to stripe eight of nine colors of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues.

She’s also working on Abria, a Bonne Marie Burnes or Chic Knit pattern, knitting it out of StraightFork Farm 60:40 huacayo:wool, on size 5 Signature circulars.  She’s about 8″ below the armscye.  3/4 length sleeves will finish the sweater just in time for heavy air-conditioning season.

Finally, she is doing a reprise on a pattern knit several years back for a really special baby, one that had been longed for over years by the mother and whose birth was a wonderful celebration. This is the baby Norwegian sweater, Geilo, from Dale of Norway. It takes a very special baby to get her to knit this sweater again, and boy, howdy,does she have a very special baby to knit it for.  And a boy at that. That baby boy is Jan’s grandnephew, due in late September!

Jan is working on more Felfs out of Paton’s Classic Wool Roving, her Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree, and she is grading her designs for the Fast Baby Booties out of  Schoppel Wool Reggae Ombre.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Ellen’s provisional cast-on got away from her. That isn’t very easy to pick up, but it can be done with patience. A bigger issue is when one misses one of those dreaded “at the same times”. She had to frog back a few inches of her Abria sweater so she could do both the short rows and the decreases specified on the cardi front at the same time.

Jan suffered a dropped stitch in her Pediboo socks and that has held up her progress while she figures out what next. And she isn’t sure she loves the thumb on one of her mitts – the fit isn’t quite right, so that may be a bite that needs medical attention.

Ready to Wear

Ellen is excited to be working with some great designers, Gale Zucker, Kirsten Kapur, and Mary Lou Egan, as their tech editor for an upcoming book. The details are under wraps, but you can be sure you’ll hear more about it later!

Jan developed a mini-sock to show off the RTW from Dale – his sock needle storage tubes, available at Maryland Sheep & Wool.

What Would Susan Ask?

If you could be a knit designer to anyone in the world, who would it be? Well, heck, this was easy to answer. Ellen would knit for Jan’s impending grandnephew and Jan would knit for Ellen’s impending grandson.

360 Degrees

Ellen continues spinning on all sorts of spindles. Her supported spinning on a Russian spindle, using baby camel, has resulted in ~545 yards after it was plied with Pagewood Farms Artesana merino singles. Jan finished the spinning of alpaca judging samples.

Fiber Jargon

Jan proposes that the fiber that is applied to a center strand in the core spinning technique be called cladding, much as the coating of the center of fiber optic cables is covered by cladding. We haven’t been able to find other terms for that outer fiber, so at least for us, cladding it is.

Embellishments

Jan acquired a Mother Hen at a local mud sale — it’s her new cast iron bank.  It has a momma hen on it with a little chick that can move on a spring loaded rail.  When extended away from mom the chick will lock in place and you can put a coin in a groove set in it’s chest.  Pull the little lever and baby chick goes running to momma and deposits the coin in the bank.  And when I say it goes running, I really mean it goes slamming into momma!  I put a little video on Instagram and you can actually see the bank jump when chick meets hen!

Fun Fur

Mini-cheeseburgers.  ’nuff said.

Slick Trick

When working stranded knitting while purling, it is not possible to catch the floats in the stitches as you go, as you can with knitting. If the next row has a knit stitch in the vicinity of the long float, just make the float a bit looser than usual and catch it the next round.

And for podcasters – if your pop filter goes missing, try putting a sock on it. On your microphone, to be specific, to prevent your P’s from popping.

You May Already be a Wiener

Watch the Ravelry group for the contest thread for a copy of Judy’s book Beyond Toes. Marciaviola won a copy of Soleful Socks.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen  has signed up for Yarnover class with Susan B Anderson and Myrna Stahman.  Jan is visiting with her niece (and Ellen’s daughter) before heading to Maryland Sheep & Wool where her husband, Dale, will test the market with his wooden knitting tools, sold in the Flying Fibers booth.

Both twins point out – 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!

**************

Episode 55 — Traveling with Friends


In which we discuss woodpeckers, our recent travels (and our crowded airline seats), the approach of spring, a new to twinsetjan yarn shop, knitting mittens and mitts, Judy Becker’s book Beyond Toes — Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-On, taking spindles for walks and the $25 savings for those who register early for TwinSet Summer Camp!

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

Patterns of Our Lives:

Ellen is looking forward to TwinSet Summer Camp in July, the 10-12th to be exact.  The registration form can be found here. Life might just slow down a bit for a nice long weekend in the woods.  Jan is watching many birds return to her neck of the woods. But she flew west to Seattle where she got to visit So Much Yarn. This lovely shop is at 1525 First Avenue, Suite #4.  This is in one of the buildings of Pike Place Market.

Ellen returned to Mexico for work and enjoyed the collaboration and the food, while Jan enjoyed the collaboration at knit night at So Much Yarn.

Finely or Finally Knit

Ellen’s successfully complete her Iknitarod project a few hours before the final musher crossed beneath the burled arch.  She made a Baby Sweater on Two Needles by Elizabeth Zimmerman (aka February Baby Sweater), calling hers March into February. It is out of Sea Star Handpaints Super Foot in Sea Glass Blues.  A baby-to-be-named-later will be the recipient.

And while traveling, Ellen worked up a set of her own design Tunisian crochet-in-the-round cowl and mitts, Paving Cowl and Paving mitts. Worked out of Frog Tree Alpaca Meriboo and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Mediumweight, she is calling them Meriblue Cowl and Mitts.

On the Runway

While only Ellen had finished items, both twins have stuff in progress. Jan continues prototyping her Top Stitch Mittens and is very happy with the design now.  She’s working a sample set out of Kihoo Kenzie 50% Merino, 25% Nylon and 10% Angora, 10% alpaca and 5% silk noils in Tekapo, a dark teal color 1013 and Kiwi, a yellow-green color 1007.

She is also working on prototype validation of the Tangled Vines Socks out of Pediboo from Frog Tree Yarns, an 80/20 merino/bamboo blend in colorway 1164 light teal, a semi-solid. Could it be that we will see some patterns from Jan in the near future?

Ellen continues work on a simply stole.  The pattern name: Stole.  Yep, that simple.  Ellen is up to stripe six of nine colors of Rach-Al-Paca Suri alpaca in lustrous colors ranging from deep orange through creams and on to greens and blues.

She’s also working on Abria, a Bonne Marie Burnes or Chic Knit pattern, knitting it out of Straight fork Farm 60:40 huacayo:wool, on size 5 Signature circulars.   The yarn is really a dream – lovely color, Cool Depths, and it brings back memories of the TwinSet Summer Camp market at which I bought it from Cathy of StraightFork Farm.

Bitten by our Knittin’

Neither twin was bitten too hard, but Ellen did have to toss her superwash mitts into the dryer to get the yarn to tighten back up and not feel so sloppy after a wet block. Jan deluded herself into thinking her sock was knit too big so she tore it out, then discovered that she had knit it the right size in the first place.

Design Aesthetic

Jan and Ellen discuss Judy Becker’s book, Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-on. The patterns got the twins riffing about how they might apply similar approaches to other garments.

360 Degrees

Ellen is spinning on all sorts of spindles – supported spinning on a Russian spindle, walking spinning on a Peruvian spindle, and fine lace spinning on a small Golding spindle.

Fiber Jargon

Jan proposes that the fiber that is applied to a center strand in the core spinning technique be called cladding, much as the coating of the center of fiber optic cables is covered by cladding. We haven’t been able to find other terms for that outer fiber, so at least for us, cladding it is.

Embellishments

Ellen enjoys a purchase from a few years back – her Tom Bihn 3D Organizer cube for travel – no messy baggy to go through airport security.   Jan loves new podcasts and suggests Knitting Pretty with Em Galati and Woolful with Ashley Yousling.

Fun Fur

Ellen and W are enjoying the irreverent Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Dark humor, let it be said. The theme song is, well, incredible. Jan suggests another earworm – the Narwhals music video. Listen at your own risk.

Slick Trick

Two slick tricks this week – Ellen has been using knitting needle tip protectors to turn double-pointed needles into tiny straights. And Jan makes the recommendation of being sure to use a long float over the intersection between double-pointed needles being used as double-points. Flip the piece inside out so the float is stretched longer to avoid challenges.

You May Already be a Wiener

Watch the Ravelry group for a thread to give away a copy of Judy’s book Beyond Toes or Betty’s Book Soleful Socks.

Fashion Forecast for 2015

Ellen  has signed up for Yarnover class with Susan B Anderson and Myrna Stahman.  Susan is sticking around for StevenBe’s FiberFest, so maybe Ellen will take more than one class in April with her.

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!

**************