In which we discuss our recent experiences at retreats (Ellen at the Knit-a-Journey Mid-Winter Retreat in Duluth, MN and Jan at Tina’s Fiber Retreat in York, PA), farm medical procedures from which several of the animals would like to have retreated, the dangers of knitting lace after the drams, the value of The Knitting Guild of America Master Knitter classes, the whimsical and classic designs of Ann Kelly, plying yards and yards of Corriedale Cross singles, a slick trick and some other stuff — to include a new spinner!
We are coming and going these days - just catching Jan after a fun weekend at Tina’s Fiber Retreat at Camp Donegal and Ellen is getting ready for some work travel.
The previous weekend, Ellen played with the gang at the Knitajourney Midwinter Retreat up in Duluth. Wonderful company, wonderful food (if you are ever in Duluth, a visit to the New Scenic Cafe is a must; At Sarah’s Table ain’t bad, either), and wonderful yarn (Three Irish Girls, based in the area (Superior, WI to be specific), has Duluth colorways like Hawk Ridge) made for a wonderful weekend. A Scotch tasting may have contributed to some people being bitten by their knittin’ later, but The Balvenie Doublewood, the Glennfiddich 12 years old, and the Bunnahabhain Islay single malt were highly enjoyable (even if Bevil thought the later tasted like sheep).
Jan spun up a storm - and so did her daughter, Marie, at Tina’s Fiber Retreat, a local tradition. As always, in both cases, spending time with kindred spirits was the real highlight. The spinning included Jan’s test drive of roving made from her alpaca, Dipper’s, fleece, which we hope will soon available via Etsy. She also got some knitting in - a bootsock out of a Skacel yarn (sorry, Jan, until you link the project I can’t figure out what yarn this was!) containing a variety of lovely fibers - wool, silk, nylon, alpaca, and even some angora. She avoided the Second Sock Syndrome by knitting the 2nd sock first. Hah!
Ellen has the usual on her runway - Limpid which is her version of Martina Behm’s Lintilla , Forever in the Forest , and her nascent sock design out of ModeKnit Yarns ModeSock. Forever in the Forest bit her, but really can’t be blamed as Ellen was working on lace late at night and after the aforementioned Scotch tasting.
And in a case where the knittin’ was bitten, Ellen reported that after almost 4 years of hard wear, she wore a hole in the thumb of her Springtime Sugarplums gloves knit out of Socks that Rock Mediumweight from Blue Moons Fiber Arts. It is amazing how close in color the replacement thumb is - that is a good dye job!
Jan and Ellen discussed how the rigor and detailed curriculum of the TKGA Master Knitter program is both a bit maddening and really advances your skills. They recommend jumping in whatever level you are at - the earlier in your knitting career that you do, the more you’ll learn, but you’ll learn something no matter how experienced you are.
Featured designer for this episode is Ann McDonald Kelly, whose Monkey Balls ornament amused Jan no end. Other lovely patterns in her collection include the Houndstooth Tank and the Kelmscott Throw, among many. Jan thinks a Nexo Jacket, which is a free pattern that uses mosaic knitting to excellent effect, may be in her future.
Jan shared her spinning during Patterns of our Lives, but Ellen had some content to share. She has finished one bump of the BFL in the Sled Dog colorway using her Turkish Spindle from Jenkins Spindles, and plans to use a Golding spindle for the second bump. But first, she wants to continue the great start she has on her CorriedaleX singles.
While on the topic of plying up skeins, Jan clarified the Fiber Jargon of skein, hank, and ball. Technically, a loop of yarn tied in several places is not a skein, it is a hank, but even Jan agreed that modern use includes skein for this purpose. A ball is clearly something else - yarn wound into a ball shaped (or cake shaped!) object. Jan mentioned that you wouldn’t eat that cake from a roving plate, yet one more way fiber is put up for sale, in this case, a large shallow cake of roving.
Check out donniestatzer’s tip for accurate button placement on fine gauge knits, this episodes Slick Trick.
The Living Doll contest is proceeding with some wonderful descriptions of the living dolls our listeners would like to knit up out of the new e-book from Susan B. Anderson. Check out “Mary, Millie and Morgan“to learn how to knit your own doll.
Enjoy the show!