In which we discuss the continuing cold weather, alpaca escapades, animal visitors, renewed work on UFOs, extreme knitting repair, four and a half miles of singles, improving the likelihood that a yarn substitution will be successful, the wonderful designs of Aurélie Colas, stick on pockets, Iditaknitting, and in which we enjoy a visit from Dr. Yarn.
Spring still hasn’t made it to MN, despite springing forward into daylight savings time. Jan continued her grant proposal consulting work and rewarded herself with a little quiet knitting time…enjoying it until she noticed a herd of deer near the house. And until she realized they were alpaca, not deer. Turns out if you want to keep alpaca in the paddock, you need to close the gate. Luckily, a mad dash and some barking dogs warded the alpaca away from the busy road and Jan was able to convince them to go back up the driveway around the traffic circle and right back into the pasture.
Suddenly the chicken’s are egg laying factories – Jan is getting about 8 eggs a day!
Ellen feels better about MN weather by keeping track of the Iditarod. And the house finches are back and the gold finches are golding up, so maybe the weather will feel a lot better in the near future.
Jan has returned to Reposo, her version of Carol Feller’s Siesta sweater. She is enjoying the Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool she is working it up in. She has cast on for a new pair of socks in Wisdom Yarn’s Saki Bamboo. She is also working on another pair of Felfs.
Ellen has all of her UFO’s on the runway – 7 in total. Forever in the Forest, a new pair of ModeSock socks, Bambinoo, Many Moments of Grace, a self-designed sweater and some gloves.
Limpid, which is Ellen’s version of Martina Behm’s Lintilla, bit her, but she bit back. Using a daredevil approach to fixing an error back in the knitting and around a corner, as well. She dropped the joining stitches between the edge and the body of the shawlette so that she could then drop back to fix an errant stitch in the body. It worked – how satisfying! And the shawl is finished and posted on Ravelry.
Jan had some tinking to do, but nothing as heart-stopping as the Lintilla fix.
Or amputating fingers. Ellen found that she had misplaced the pinky finger – didn’t have it on the edge of the glove and had to frog back and reposition the needles.
Jan again is running out of yarn for a pair of Felfs for Allen. She just can’t find that other skein she was sure she had.
In Finely or Finally Knit, Jan has finished the knitting on Marie’s Felfs (if being clown-feet size is finished. they still need to be fulled.) Her big finish is her Oxen Soxen. Yes, she has a name for the pattern. No pattern yet, but at least there is a name.
In addition to Limpid, Ellen has finished some fingerless mitts out of Claudia Handpaint. She has creatively named the project, Tunisian Mitts. The pattern is well on its way, and with luck, will soon be test knit.
Jan has been working on lots of different things for the Etsy shop, but she doesn’t quite have any Ready to Wear quite yet. Shall we take up a pool and bet on when she will actually open shop?
Our sister, bab65, asked about yarn substitution and whether she could simply knit a larger size to account for a tigher gauge in her yarn. We discussed swatching for gauge and for fabric characteristics, considering the amount of ease in the design to assess how close the calculations need to be, and in fitted garments, to consider the most critical dimensions to match.
Here is an example of checking to see if changing sizes will account for a different gauge in a new yarn.
Gauge in the pattern with specified yarn: 20 sts/4 in (5 st/in)
Gauge in the new yarn 22 sts/4in (5.5 st/in)
Let’s say FINISHED circumference at chest for small is 36″ and for medium is 40″, to fit a person who measures 32″ for the small and 36″ for the medium.
For the small, one would need 36*5=180 sts in the specified yarn and 36*6=216 st in the alternative yarn to go around the chest in the finished size of 36″.
For the medium, one would need 40*5.5=220 sts in the specified yarn to create the finished size of 40″.
220 sts is really, pretty darn close to 216 sts especially in a sweater with 4″ positive ease. It is not quite another inch added on. The alternative yarn will probably work just knit at the size M to create a size S sweater. If the alternative yarn were of a gauge that didn’t come so close to matching the stitch count in another size, you would want to do more calculations and adjust the pattern – or find another yarn.
Aurelie Colas, aka spinnygonzalez, is our Featured Designer this episode. Check out her wonderful geometric and whimsical patterns, including Strips of Stripes, Christmas Scot-ing, and Sheepy Draughts and a Wolf, Too. Check out these and other wonderful designs. By the way, we said Aurelie is Scottish, but actually while she lives in Scotland, she is actually French.
If you listen to no other portion of this episode, do make time to hear some wisdom from Dr. Yarn, right around minute 40:00. He tells us why there are so many breeds of sheep. You can believe it, ’cause it is straight from Dr. Yarn.
In 360 degrees, Ellen was sucked right through the orifice and spun up all of the Enchanted Knoll top in merino:silk we mentioned last episode. What looked like a mottled top resulted in rather clear color breaks once spun up. Ellen split it in two and spun it worsted, then plyed the two together. Surprisingly, the colors stayed clear and the yarn is going to be self-striping. Ellen also finished up her CorriedaleX plying and has something like 2400 yds of light worsted to worsted weight yarn to play with.
Jan is Embellishing her life with Post-It Note Pockets. What a great idea!
Ellen’s Fun Fur is Iditaknitting. She-did-a-knitting on 6 projects! As the mushers in the Iditarod cleared each of the checkpoints in the race (there are about 2 dozen), Ellen switched to a new project. As a result, she is now back in gear on all of her UFO’s.
Check out the Living Doll KAL on the TwinSet Designs Ravelry group. We’re creating little living dolls from Mary, Millie, and Morgan.
Ellen’s Fashion Forecast includes a sheep shearing day on March 15 at Gale Woods Farm, Yarnover (April 26), and the same weekend, StevenBe’s FiberFest. Jan will be teaching classes at Flying Fibers – March 20 she teaches toe-up socks and April 17 she teaches an introduction to entrelac class using the pattern she has long promised us.
In the meantime, enjoy the show!