In which we evidently discuss everything whether it relates to the planned content or not.
Patterns of Our Lives:
Ellen enjoyed the end of Fiber Fest, taking in Andrea Wong’s class on Portuguese Knitting and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Knitting for Speed and Efficiency classes, as well as a lecture from Stephanie that was all about smart knitting. From Andrea, Ellen learned that purling with your thumbs can be easier than using your fingers! And Steph had many words of wisdom, including to beware swatches that grow as they suggest a serious problem with the fabric contained. Her class on knitting efficiency included such gems as “petting your knitting is not the same as knitting!”
Jan spent some time at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, where she was very restrained in her fiber purchases, though Dale did buy a spinning wheel. For her, of course. Happy early birthday indeed! The wheel was a Road Bug, made by David of the Merlin Tree.
Ellen eased the pain of going back to work with a work group outing to the Textile Center. Bevil joined her and they dyed yarn (pink for Bevil, of course, and teals for Ellen, also of course) and tried their hand (should I say fingers?) at kumihimo.
Jan continues her education in alpaca, this time by showing Sweet William and Shrinking Violet at the PAOBA (Pennsylvania Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association) show. Despite being in the wrong color class, William came home with a 4th place ribbon. Just wait until next year! But she didn’t have to wait till next year to bring home ribbons for a rug, a hat, and yarn - handspun and commercially spun.
Ellen has been spending some time killing babies (more clothes moths, sigh. Tip: check old boxes of shoes when you clean out for moths.) Jan spent time welcoming babies - more chicks, mixed heavy breed chicks, some of whom will grow into laying hens and some of whom will grow into dinner.
And Shepherd’s Harvest made a nice finish to the fiber season in Minnesota. Believe it or not, Ellen didn’t buy much - some sheep cheese and an ounce of guanaco fiber. Yum on both counts! The Black Welsh sheep farm she mentioned is Chengwatana Farms.
On the Runway:
Ellen continues on Forever in the Forest and is on tier 21 of 21!. She is also working on the second of a second pair of socks in her own design out of ModeKnit Yarns ModeSock. She hopes the pattern will be available soon. She cast on a pair of baby bootees to practice her newly acquired Portuguese knitting skills, and a wrap to practice lever knitting (Wrapsody in Be Fabulous by Steven Berg), which she learned in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s class.
Reposo, Jan’s version of Carol Feller’s Siesta sweater in Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool took a siesta while Jan worked on clothes for her little Marie doll. She continued on her new pair of socks started in Zitron Trekking 75/25 superwash/polyamide, colorway 006, a barber-poling mix of blues, lime and purple. She’s doing the socks in a staggered all over cable pattern.
Bitten by our Knittin’:
The twins toes were nibbled as both had minor issues with socks in progress. A miscrossed cable here, a tink back to correct pattern there (even if the sock is the 4th in that pattern one has knit, it is possible).
Finely or Finally Knit:
This week it was Jan’s turn to be productive - she finished a Coiled Carpet — hand sewn from rug yarn from her alpaca, and also worked up a new design - Twisted Tocque — 100% alpaca DK hat on size 6 needles; heavily cabled. Your editor thinks she linked to the right project - but you’d better check with Jan! 360 Degrees:
Ellen continues to spin her top top from All For the Love of Yarn in 80:20 merino:silk in the colorway Greek Mythology. Spinning a sock yarn with laceweight plies does take time. She is in her final ounce of four, then for some plying fun. This just might not be a simple 4-ply!
Jan spun up some Falkland dyed by Erica of Desigknit, plyed the alpaca singles she spun at the farm show, and test drove her new wheel with some fiber from MDSW. She admits to once more buying fiber “seconds” and regretting it - they drafted poorly. Let this be a warning to you!
Ellen discussed courses and wales. Of course, a course is the technical term for a knitted row, and wale, a wale is a column of stitches (think corduroy wales).
Jan provided the embellishment for the week - Roku 3. She loves the universal search feature.
Ellen’s fun fur is really fun leather - fish leather!
Jan’s slick trick was to select the perfect size of O-ring from a variety pack to put on the shaft of her bobbin winder to hold various bobbins in place on it.
You May Already be a Wiener!
Jan now has a doll for the Living Doll KAL, though it does need clothes. Check out the Twinset Designs Ravelry group where we are creating little living dolls from Mary, Millie, and Morgan. the KAL will end with the Summer Solstice, and the prize will be a Susan B. Anderson pattern (single pattern) of the winner’s choice along with a copy of the Pam Allen book, Scarf Style.
For Jan, The Fashion Forecast means continuing her crazy schedule - she will be teaching a couple of classes at Flying Fibers
- May 15 — Toe Up Socks, using her Fast Baby Booties pattern (a freebie!) (the pattern, not the class)
- May 22 — Control Your Colors, working with variegated yarn for planned color pooling
She’ll also be having Shearing Day at Fair Winds Farms on May 27. Then June 6-8 she’ll be in Pittsburgh for the PA Women Veterans Seminar.
Ellen has another day of Shepherd’s Harvest - we’ll see if she maintains her resistance to adding to her stash.
The first TwinSet Summer Camp is a go - from July 11-13 near Havre de Grace, Maryland. It will be smashing, with camp songs and crafts and swimming and hiking and you don’t have to do any of that if you’d rather knit! Sunday afternoon we will all visit the farm which is less than an hour from camp. Information is on the retreat page at the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. We are still finalizing cost details, so no registration form yet, but watch this space for it!
Enjoy the show!