In which we discuss filling up our bellies at Thanksgiving, podcast endings and podcaster beginnings, cabbages and kings (well, not kings), fine dining in NYC and nights on the town in DC, visitors and the proper pie ratio, new members of the farm family and a bit of farm animal photography!
Thanks to listeners, old and new, for joining us!
Patterns of Our Lives:
Ellen and Jan enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner together – it didn’t include any of the homemade sauerkraut that Ellen has been making in her basement, but it did include lots of pie. Jan’s work is going very well and so has the associated social life. Jan enjoyed wearing her sparkly handknit shoulder stole to the National Defense University Gala. Kind of like prom for the middle-aged, eh?
Jan has a new llama named Saber to guard her ewes, and Ellen has several new inches of snow. Besides the frozen water, Ellen reported on water in general and her proud attendance in Chicago at The Nature Conservancy Global Water Summit where General Mills’ (her employer) water stewardship work, much of it part of Ellen’s responsibility, was highlighted.
Jan says no water has broken in the alpaca herd – no cria has shown up at Dahlia’s side and Jan is starting to suspect she really isn’t pregnant. Dahlia, that is, not Jan.
Finely or Finally Knit
Ellen had no finished items, but Jan did finish the stole mentioned above – one of her Streambed Shoulder Stoles knit out of Art Yarns Mohair Splash Beaded 74% Mohair and 26% Silk in midnight blue. She also needle-felted a little chickadee to decorate a future holiday gift.
On the Runway
Ellen took advantage of #SKYKNITTING on the way to Chicago and then to Thanksgiving to make great progress on Scotch Tango, her Shirley Paden Design-along 4 Fair Isle design. She is working her sleeves flat but in the round – she is working both sleeves at once, joining them at the edges with a steek so she doesn’t have to work fair isle from the non-public side. She continues to work on a new sock design for Modeknit Yarns out of ModeSock.
Jan has continued work on her socks out of Opal’s Van Gogh Sock Yarn in the colorway Cafe Terrace at Night. Ruby, her little dog, will appreciate the new dog bed that Jan has started and made great progress on. And even with all those projects, Ellen was still unable to find project pages for any of them. Sigh.
Karen, Ellen’s daughter, was nearing the finish of her own Green Mist Bohus reproduction sweater, and this is motivating Jan to get going on her Fog Lights (Janhas made some color modifications to the original design of the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson).
Bitten by our Knittin’:
Ellen swapped techniques in the middle of the corrugated ribbing for her Scotch Tango and the resulting change in tension means she is needing to adjust some of the stitches by giving them a tug with the tip of her needle all the way around the band.
Counting tripped Ellen up, too, or rather not counting – she didn’t decrease the foot of her sock to the proper number and had to tear back a chunk of the foot and rework it. Tip to listeners – just because you designed the sock doesn’t mean you can ignore the pattern.
Jan wasn’t pleased with the rate of increases on the large gauge dog bed (2 sts/inch!) to create a circle and she needed to pull back and reknit. At that gauge, it probably didn’t take much more than 5 minutes to reknit, so I’m not sure it is even worth mentioning here.
Ready to Wear:
Ellen introduced the Diana’s Quiver socks – Modeknit Yarns ModeSock, a 60:30:10 merino/bamboo/nylon in wonderful colorways – lots of tonals and near tonals as well as variegated yarns. The pattern is designed for this sort of subtle colorplay – with floats on the surface to create both texture and flickers of a solid color dispersed across the dappled background. Two sizes – a 64 st and a 72st sock on US size 1 needles (2.25 mm). One skein will make the pair. She is selling the pattern on Ravelry, but if you’d like a copy for free, order some ModeSock and let Annie know you’d like the pattern.
She notes that there is another sock pattern out there that uses the little tent stitch – and the sock looks quite similar to hers though she had a very different inspiration. Ellen’s sock does handle the ribbing and the gusset differently, and the details of the heels and toes differ. She just wanted to be up front and acknowledge this pattern, though she didn’t know it existed until she received a comment on the blog that the reader was knitting a very similar sock.
Ellen’s essay, “Bigger on the Inside”, has since been mentioned on the Knit.Theory podcast Episode 31 in the Literary.Theory section (around 32.30 in the recording). Check out Ammie’s lovely videocast if you’d enjoy seeing lots of knitting and do some thinking as well. Ammie promises a quiz show theme for 2015, which should be lots of fun. Thanks for the mention, Ammie!
Besides finishing a braid up for Jan, Ellen has been spinning up some of her own batts on Catherine the Great Wheel. That wheel spins so fast that even with lace weight yarn, progress is fast. She spun from the fold, which prevents locking up of the fiber because the twist has moved back into the fiber mass. For a photo tutorial, check out Abby’s Flickr display. She also plied and plied and finally finished off a two-ply laceweight – 1,268 yards! This was out of Fiber Optic gradient braids of merino:silk – fun to spin and promises to be fun to knit.
Jan mentioned the fun of bringing an old spinning wheel back to spinning condition while Ellen visited. It was like a puzzle, given that there were more than one spinning wheel.
Fiber Jargon – telekiknitting: from The Knitting Dish‘s husband. When you are so tired that you don’t have energy to actually knit, so you just knit in your mind. Try it – it really can calm you down or help you be patient when you can’t actually hold knitting in your hand. (Check out The Knitting Dish – even more enjoyable than telekiknitting).
Embellishments – Ellen’s is a double-pointed needle WIP holder handcrafted by Dale of Fair Winds Farm (yes, that would be Jan’s husband). Jan’s embellishment is her goody box from the Savvy Girls Swapetition courtesy of crouchingcheese on Ravelry. What a bounty – everything from brooches, candy, teapots and even hedgehogs (in the form of a teapot cozy)!
Check out #FeministPrincessBride. Feminist! Feminist! Feminist!
The backward loop is a very low bulk cast on. It works well over a few stitches – but when you cast on more than 5 or 6 stitches, it just isn’t snug enough. You probably noticed that as you knit the first round by the time you got to the last stitch of the cast on you probably had a big loop of extra yarn — and a hole in the underarm. One way to resolve this is to cast on a few stitches less than specified – maybe one less for every 5 or 6 stitches called for. Then, as you knit the first round, as you get that extra loopiness, just use it to make a cast on stitch to replace the one you didn’t cast on originally.
You May Already be a Weiner!
hotknitter will have hot hands after winning Laura Rickett’s most excellent ebook of Sami mitten patterns, Beauties From the Far North – Swedish Sami Knitted Mittens.
Have fun storming the Patriarchy! (And enjoy the show!)