TwinSet Designs, the Podcast!
Episode 14: Own it!
In Patterns of our Lives, Ellen recounts the happy trip on the bus to Dave’s Brew Farm. Jan is getting estimates for barns for the herd. She is also on the planning committee for the SAFONA Fiber Frolic which will happen in June - The Savvy Girls will be featured guests!
Instructions for a fine recipe of Baked Moth are here.
Jan is twitter-pated that Dorito the Alpaca now has a Twitter account.
Cutting it close, Jan got her entry in for The Fiber Factor. (Added post-publication of podcast - no, she didn’t get in, but it should still be fun to watch.)
Ellen’s Fiber Fusion sweater was included in the Third Place Gallery exhibit featuring Steven Berg, the Glitter Knitter, of StevenBe Workshop.
In the What Would Susan Ask design element, we discussed what crafts we combine with knitting.
In On the Runway, Ellen is juggling projects - her Great Dayne top-down raglan from her class at Madrona; Umeshu, her version of Melanie Gibbons’ Hanami Stole; socks in the Monkey pattern which she is calling Saki and she has started swatching for the Shirley Paden DAL3. As she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.
In Bitten by Your Knittin’, Ellen reported that using similar sized cable needles as the project needles to hold stitches and then taking a break from knitting that project can lead to some unfortunate knitting.
In Finely or Finally Finished Items, Ellen finished her Fiber Fusion sweater in time for it to be displayed at the Third Place Gallery. Jan finished Swagger, a new shawl that uses up every yard of the yarn she spun from her Fiber Optic gradient roving.
Ellen is participating in the Shirley Paden Design Along 3, which you can follow in the We Love Shirley Paden Ravelry group. Jan extolled her find of a vintage design set of books from Dogstar Books (for the Sirius Reader).
In Design Principles, Ellen discussed the value of a large swatch, especially when working with cables, to plan pattern flow.
In 360 degrees, Ellen played with color by spinning tri-color batts of Coopworth fiber which she created in a class with Carol Wagner of Hidden Valley Woolen Mills at last year’s Shepherd’s Harvest.
While there will be plenty of fun in April, the big events for Jan and Ellen both are Yarnover (April 27), and Steven Berg’s Fiber Fest April 25-29. If you are going to the Yarnover teacher dinner, stop by the bar at about 7:00 pm and say hi (we’re not going to the dinner), and if you are coming to Yarnover, we’ll be meeting up at 8:30 a.m. in the commons area at Yarnover.
Yarnover looms on the horizon, but Shepherd’s Harvest isn’t far beyond that. If you can’t meet up with Ellen in April, you can find her at SH in May, for sure.
Enjoy the episode!
Episode 13: How Now, Giant Cow?
In which we squee over Dr. Gemma’s review, welcome baby Matilda, and chat about Shirley Paden’s Design-A-Long, clever cats, alpaca roundups, giant cows, top shelf vodka, knitting satisfaction, lots of knitting on and off the needles, lots of knitting nibbles too, bulging bobbins and that’s not everything, but it is about the grist, err, um, gist of it.
More thanks! To new and returning listeners, for kind iTunes reviews, to stashmuffin aka Laura Rickets for making Jan feel better with the gift of her cowl pattern, sha-ZAM! and to Jennie the Potter for donating a beautiful button to the winner of the Madrona meet new friends contest. And special thanks to Dr. Gemma of the Cogknitive Podcast for the very kind (and thrilling to us) words.
Ellen continues reminiscing about Madrona, in particular about a new friend, designer Mari Tabita. Check out her lovely designs. Mari introduced her to the Shirley Paden Design Along 3, which you can follow in the We Love Shirley Paden Ravelry group.
Jan gave her alpacas the full health and beauty treatment with the help of family and friends, and retrieved the alpaca when a gate was left open, also with the help of family and friends.
In the What Would Susan Ask design element, we discussed how knitting makes us feel. Thanks again to Susan Dolph of the Knitajourney Podcast for letting us use her interview questions in our podcast.
In On the Runway, Ellen is juggling projects - her Great Dayne top-down raglan from her class at Madrona; Umeshu, her version of Melanie Gibbons’ Hanami Stole; socks in the Monkey pattern which she is calling Saki and she has started swatching for the Shirley Paden DAL3 as well as gotten a start on her re-knit of the Master Knitter Level II wrister. As she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.
Jan is making a second version of her cape design, this one is named Beta. She continues on her Death Spiral shawl (design by Erica Gunn). In the design phase, Jan is planning a new shawl to use up every yard of the yarn she spun from her Fiber Optic gradient roving and has swatched for it.
In Bitten by Your Knittin’, Ellen reported that you need to follow the pattern if you expect it to turn out the way it is in the picture. She learned this while knitting Seedling Dreams, an Amy Beth Mays hat. She also struggled a bit with her version of Gale Zucker’s Decibella, which she is calling Massive. Gauge and a lack of the right knitting needles held her up initially, but things turned out great in the end. Jan struggled with her new cape prototype until she started listening to what it wanted to be.
In Design Principles, Ellen discussed starting a design with a stitch pattern as the inspiration.
In 360 degrees, Jan reported on the continuing production of singles from her Finn roving. After Ellen described using 4 strands of commercial yarn plyed together to make yarn for her Massive cowl, Jan thinks she’ll do some cable plying of the Finn singles to make another big yarn.
In Fiber Jargon we discuss grist and how to measure it - one way being the McMorran Balance.
While there will be plenty of fun in April, the big events for Jan and Ellen both are Yarnover (April 27), and Steven Berg’s Fiber Fest April 25-29. Let us know on the Ravelry group if you’d like to meet up!
Enjoy the episode!
Episode 12 - Gauging where you’re at
In which we hear many, many highlights from Madrona, consider the image of alpaca at the feeding trough, ponder whether the fact that we are knitters has caused us to make decisions differently,were thankful for finding knitting that once was lost, are illuminated by the wisdom that can come from a single gauge swatch (especially one that is garment sized), take a spin with Finn, consider what to do when massively bulky yarn is not really so bulky after all, and enjoy hearing from the greatest Dayne of all.
Five for Dinner
More thanks! To new and returning listeners, for kind iTunes reviews, and to stashmuffin aka Laura Rickets for the gift of her great design, Wavy Gravy.
Ellen waxed poetic about her Madrona experience. She highlighted Susan Newhall and her Blended Intarsia designs, such as Verdant and Vitreous. It is worth a look at Susan’s reproduction Bohus project, Dean, which she worked as a dress. She ordered extra yarn from Solveig Gustafson, proprietress of SolSilke, who feeds the Bohus addiction of so many of us.
Ellen also talked about classes with Brenda Dayne of Cast-On podcast fame (Top Down Raglan Design) and Catherine Lowe (The Wow! Factor). She spun possum fiber with Judith MacKenzie. For info on how the brushtail possum is causing environmental and economic havoc in New Zealand, look here.
From winter in Tacoma, Ellen headed to the sunny south, enjoying the wildlife of Sanibel Island, Florida. Jan stayed home on the farm and shoveled poop.
In the What Would Susan Ask design element, we discussed how knitting has affected our decisions. Thanks again to Susan Dolph of the Knitajourney Podcast for letting us use her interview questions in our podcast.
In On the Runway, Ellen is juggling projects - her Great Dayne top-down raglan from her class at Madrona, her long languishing Umeshu, a version of Melanie Gibbons’ Hanami Stole (Jan finished her Sea Glass version of the same pattern years ago, though both twins started at roughly the same time), a new pair of socks in the Monkey pattern which she is calling Saki, and of course, she’s done a bit of work on her Blue Moons Cardigan and as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.
Jan described designing a hat for Dale out of the unusually constructed SMC Select Tweed Deluxe. She also made gauntlets for Marie out of an SMC yarn, project entry on Ravelry coming soon, I’m sure. She finished her design prototype, Stained Glass Cape. She continues on her Death Spiral shawl (design by Erica Gunn). In the design phase, Jan is planning a new shawl to use up every yard of the yarn she spun from her Fiber Optic gradient roving.
In Bitten by Your Knittin’, Ellen reported the savage bite of leaving Umeshu on an airplane, but the delight she had in Sun Country Airline’s lost and found service when they recovered it for her.
Most of Jan’s Finely or Finally Knit items were discussed in On the Runway, but Ellen got to report that Sockesan! socks are done and she is very happy with the results. Her verdict on Noro Kureyon Sock - thumbs up!
In Design Principles, Ellen discusses the many lessons in gauge she learned in Catherine Lowe’s class, and Jan discusses how gauge also applies to scale of the garment - a finer gauge allows for finer detail for a given size of project.
Ellen challenged Jan to design a bulky yarn for a Decibella cowl, Gale Zucker’s recent design.
Jan shared a recent favorite Embellishment - Mason (or Ball) jars. She uses them for all sorts of fun purposes.
In 360 degrees, Ellen reports that she loves the yarn she spun for a Decibella cowl, but it didn’t turn out bulky enough. Her current plan is to take some commercial worsted weight yarn and ply triples of it on itself to get the weight she needs for a massive cowl. She loves the other yarn enough that she may still knit a lighter weight version of the cowl in it, too. Jan is spinning fiber from the Finn bread of sheep as she is considering choosing this breed for their farm.
Brenda Dayne is the featured 5 Minute Interview.
The twins fashion forecast looks forward to spring - the Bart County Mud Sale March 2 and March 16 for Jan and on into April (spring comes later to in Minnesota) for Ellen with a 16 store shop hop, Yarnover (April 27), and Steven Berg’s Fiber Fest April 25-29.
Enjoy the episode!
Episode 11 - Designed for Your Pleasure - Not in Stereo!
In which we talked about making sure our listeners could hear our podcast, Madrona, why alpaca are like kindergarteners, zumba, Nemo, Madrona, our perfect yarn shop, designing by starting with a concept and designing by starting with the yarn, Madrona, how easy patterns can still bite you, the History on Two Needles winner, Madrona, The Fiber Factor competition, Madrona, and Madrona.
Episode 10 - Fiber Retreats are Real Treats! is LIVE!
In which we talk about new eggs and new alpaca, spring coming to Minnesota on owl’s wings, fiber retreats for both of us, Master Knitter returns, shetland ponies in fair isle sweaters, yarn design for a bulky cowl, fulling and felting, a kindness of knitters, electric blankets for the car and emerald green.
Jan is delighted to report that the alpaca are laying eggs now. Wait, I mean the hens are laying eggs. The alpaca came afterwards - all EIGHT of them.
Ellen enjoyed the SavvyGirls at their recent talk at a Minnesota Knitters’ Guild meeting.
Jan attended Tina’s Fiber Retreat and had a wonderful time with a kindness of knitters (listen to the kindly comments at ~11:00).
Ellen attended the Knitajourney Midwinter Retreat and had a wonderful time with a kindness of knitters (listen to more kindly comments at ~20:00).
Ellen also listened to some signs of kinder weather to come when she was serenaded by great horned owls during their courting rituals (~24:45).
Susan Dolph of the Knitajourney Podcast shared her thoughts on the weekend and looks back at what her podcast gave to her and continues to give to the fiber community (~26:40).
In On the Runway, Jan shares she is working on the Wham Bam Thank You Lamb! neckwarmer. She continues on her Death Spiral shawl (design by Erica Gunn). Ellen’s Fiber Fusion sweater is seeing good progress. Ellen’s Blue Moons Cardigan has come out of eclipse (Forestry by Veronik Avery). As she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.
Jan avoided being nipped by her knitting, but Ellen did not. In Bitten by Your Knittin’, she explained that a short skein (only 88 grams instead of 100), shorted the last two mystery knits in her series of 6 (really, you won’t hear of these again until they go public). She also explained that her Master Knitter Level II submission came back from The Knitters Guild of America committee who judged it. Yes, she has to reknit a few swatches. No, she doesn’t have to rewrite that report!
Neither twin had anything to report in Finely or Finally Knit, but both admired the lovely Fair Isle sweaters on those chubby Shetland ponies.
In Design Principles, Ellen challenged Jan to design a bulky yarn for a Decibella cowl, Gale Zucker’s recent design.
Ellen recommends that you embellish your car, especially if you live in MN, with an electric blanket. It is really wonderful on those subzero mornings. She got hers at Menard’s.
In 360 degrees, Ellen reports that she has already started spinning the singles for the yarn she designed in Design Principles. Jan has plied her burgundy and black alpaca and silk from Fiber Optic Yarns.
In Fiber Jargon, Jan and Ellen discuss felting and fulling. The use of the terms is changing, but Ellen still likes the traditional use. But Ellen wholeheartedly supports the use of a “kindness of knitters”, the collective noun for a group of knitters that was coined by Paula of the Knitting Pipeline.
Enjoy the episode!
*RAP - Random Act of Pattern. See the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Ravelry group for more info.
Episode 9 - Top Tips for Taking Classes…and Fleece Tips, Too! is LIVE!
In which we congratulate Erin of “The Anatomy of Knitting” on her two new baby boys, chat about the rewards of preventative medicine and Jan’s adventures and misadventures at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, listen to an interview with alpaca princesses and a local youth fleece to shawl competition team, avoid the worst of Jan’s flu experience, review knits on and off the needle, get into a disagreement over fulling and felting, offer some tips for finding fiber arts classes that will make you happy you took them, drool over edible roving, discuss how dye helps you find tippy tips of tippy fleeces, learn a tip to eliminate ladders in garter stitch knit on dpn’s in the round and look forward to fiber retreats this weekend and next.
In Patterns of Our Life, Ellen shared that she scored a used copy of Richard Rutt’s History of Hand Knitting (yes, you may be envious at this point). Jan started her own history of animal husbandry by picking out her herd of alpacas! You can see photos of all seven (yes, SEVEN) at the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. The new family members made her trip to the Pennsylvania Farm Show even more interesting. She made the show interesting to others by demonstrating spinning on the wheel and on a spindle with her friends Ellen, Janet, Julia and Willow (Ellen runs Aboundingful Farms, home to angora rabbits, icelandic sheep, angora goats leicester longwool sheep — handspun and crafted gifts. Tip: if you haven’t used your wheel in quite a while, make sure you put it together before you get on stage.
Jan and Ellen took an Intentional Pause to check in on how their new year’s intentions were going. So far, so good for both.
Lots of projects were On the Runway:
Ellen has made progress on her Fiber Fusion design project and is having fun playing with how the assortment of yarn is playing together. She continues work on Rimfrost (aka Rime Frost) as well, or as she calls it, Many Moments of Grace.
Ellen Finally Finished talking about the mystery 6 items. You won’t hear about them again for quite some time. Jan finished some things she can actually talk about - the Vintage Pixie Cap and Pom Pom Booties from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies, both of which will be gifts for our new grandnephew.
Jan and Ellen discussed designing a good knitting class experience for Design Principles. You can find lots of good discussion on this topic in the related thread on Ravelry.
Both twins can recommend this week’s Embellishment - maple cotton candy. Find it at a farm show near you!
In 360 Degrees, Jan discovers that her discovery of faux-lags was already discovered, not that it makes her any less clever. She discusses some of the challenges of her spinning at the Farm Show. Ellen has done just a bit of spindle spinning, using the Sled Dog colorway in Blue Faced Leicester from Susan’s Spinning Bunny.
Tippy fleeces are the topic in Fiber Jargon.
Jan brings two Five Minute Interviews from the PA Farm Show, featuring the Alpaca Princesses and Treadling Lambs and a Ram. Go, Fiber Youth!
Ellen’s slick trick for the week is managing ladders on dpns when you are purling. She finds that slipping the first stitch on the next needle and then working it as though it were a dropped stitch when she comes to it the next time around is very helpful. Jan shared that she manages ribs by setting up so a purl stitch is her first stitch - this is just the opposite of Ellen, who sets up ribs so that a knit stitch is first. Just goes to prove - you need to see what will work for you!
Our Fashion Forecast is for fun for Jan at Tina’s Fiber Retreat and Ellen at the Knitajourney Midwinter Retreat. BOTH twins will be attending Yarnover in Minneapolis on April 27 - let’s meet up! (Ellen will also be at Madrona February 13-16, so watch for her there, too!).
Episode 8 — High Resolution is Live!
In which we discuss much holiday fun and frolic with family and lots of food, update each other on a miserly quantity of completed knitting, have zero actual spinning going on, chat about the gleener, note the trick to the Channel Island cast on, and offer up our intentions to have better resolution in 2013.
Confession: If you don’t want to slog through all of our family catch up, you can just skip the first 15 minutes.
(~15:00) Finally, we make it to knitting and other fiber relevant topics. Jan realizes she needs to frog her Percosocks to correct a drug-induced gauge issue. She promises to knit up a hat and some booties for our new nephew. Ellen has made it through 4 of the 6 mystery projects and made a bit of progress on both her Fiber Fusion project and her Sockesan.
(~19:30) In Bitten’ by my Knittin’ (and Finely…and Finally Finished), Ellen tells about finishing her Cowl for George Bailey out of her handspun bison yarn. Hint: it is easier to get up and go fetch the cotton yarn for a provisional cast on than to pick up the provisional cast on from handspun bison. Jan was nibbled by a miscount in her work on her own Pretty Thing cowl (Pretty Marie) for her daughter out of Bijou Spun, a yak and nylon sock yarn. Use of stitch markers helped her find the miscount quickly.
Jan finished her Spring Grove Mitts which will be a gift for Carl, her alpaca dealer.
(~26:30) 360 Degrees brought admissions of no spinning from either twin, but fiber was discussed. Zeilinger’s has done a wonderful and quick job processing the Romney cross fleece that Jan and Ellen and Heidi are sharing (a Rhinebeck purchase), and Ellen is eagerly looking forward to her share. Ellen received some great silk fiber from Chameleon Colorworks as a gift from her nephew.
(~30:00) In Fiber Jargon, Jan and Ellen discuss the use of knitted lace to describe lace that has patterning on every round vs lace knitting being patterning every other round. While this use is extant, it seems there may be no definitive basis for this (see Eunny Jang’s comments here). If anyone knows more about this, please post to the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.
(~34:00) In Negative Space, Jan shares her thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions and her intentions to apply the optimal level of resolution to her activities in the coming year. Ellen’s intentions are to live lightly - in attitude, in impact on the environment, in diet, and in taking on fewer obligations. Listeners are encouraged to share their intentions in the Ravelry group.
(~42:00) Jan discusses a Slick Trick to help with the Channel Island cast on.
(~43:40) In a twin moment, Jan and Ellen have both discovered The Gleener(TM), a most excellent sweater de-piller with multiple blades to suit multiple sweater gauges and a good handle to make use much easier.
(~46:20) Jan is attending the Pennsylvania Farm Show on January 9. There is a fleece auction that day, too! Ellen will be attending the Knitajourney Winter Retreat held in Minneapolis January 18-20. There is still time to register - see the KAJ Ravelry Group. She will also be attending the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat in Tacoma, WA over Presidents’ Day weekend, and she encourages folks to attend even if they don’t register for classes.
Don’t forget to enter the contest for a pattern from History on Two Needles by commenting on which pattern is your favorite in the thread in our Ravelry group. Contest closes on January 15 or slightly later, depending on when we record next.
Happy New Year!
Episode 7 –Fiber Friends is Live!
We convey our sympathy to family and friends of knitpurlgurl. For ideas on how you can support her family, please visit the Friends of Knitpurlgurl group on Ravelry.
Thanks to irocknits for the gift of the For Good hat pattern - this time for Jan (she’s such a pouter)!
Thanks for the iTunes ratings, but more important, thanks for listening.
Jan’s recovery continues, slowly, but that doesn’t keep Ellen from teasing her about the Hens Who Will Not Lay.
The twins answer What Would Susan Ask?, this time dreaming about knitting.
Lots of knitting is happening this episode. Ellen has cast on a new cowl, using her bison handspun and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Pretty Thing. She continues to make (slow) progress on Blue Moons and is at her 3rd of 6 mystery items (all will be revealed in good time). She also reported on the start of a Fiber Fusion sweater under Steven Berg’s tutelage. She talks more about that in the Design Principles.
After discussing spinning bison fiber from a cloud in 360 degrees, Ellen discusses rovings, top, sliver, and clouds in Fiber Jargon.
Ellen reflects on her recent experiences in The Knitting Guild of America’s Master Hand Knitter program. She and her buddy, Lisa, just sent in their Level II packs - what swatches do you think they will have to resubmit?
Jan and Ellen are identical in their recommendation to check out Annie Modesitt’s new book, History on Two Needles. Jan liked it more for the history and the technical mastery while Ellen wants to knit several of the projects soon. Check out the book and get a chance to win one of the patterns! (See the Twinset Designs Ravelry group for more info. Contest closes January 15, 2013.)
Speaking of contests, congratulations to winners of a Cat Bordhi e-book -
Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks – Purplefrog5
A Treasury of Magical Knitting – Irocknits
A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting – SareBearKnits
and to Aljones1954, winner of the Rhinebeck project bag!
If you are in the Twin Cities area, you might be interested in taking part in the Knit-a-journey Winter Retreat, being held Jan 18-20 in Minneapolis. Details at the KAJ Ravelry group. Jan is attending Tina’s Fiber Retreat in her neck of Pennsylvania, but she reports it is all filled up.
Phew! Did you really make it this far? Thanks!
Episode 6 Fuzzy and Sticky — What’s Not to Love? (Click HERE to listen!)
In which we discuss feasts, post holes, knitting on drugs, knitting in church, why worsted isn’t the worst, remind listeners about the contests deadlines at the end of the month, and have a listen to the Abby Franquemont interview from Rhinebeck.
Thanks to irocknits for the gift of the For Good hat pattern!
If you want a peek at the chicken coop at Fair Winds, check out the Google Maps photo.
Jan has started knitting some some socks while recovering from surgery - her Percosocks. She hasn’t started a project page at the time these notes were written.
Ellen continues knitting on Rimfrost and a mystery knit.
Both twins were knittin’ bitten. Jan missed the “at the same time” in her Knitmore Girls’ SPAKAL sweater, the Larch cardigan. Ellen has a lunar eclipse in her version of Forestry which she is calling Blue Moons.
In Finely (or Finally!) Finished Knitting, Ellen whipped up an Overnight Hat to donate to charity. She also finished the wristers that are part of the submission package for the Master Knitter Level II certificate.
Jan reports that ice cream making is much simpler than she recalled from our youth. She used the Cuisinart ICE-21TQ Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker to make a cranberry lemon sorbet for their thanksgiving dinner. She did not take Ellen’s advice to use the sorbet as an icepack for her surgical wounds.
Ellen spun us 360 degrees and reports on the Fiber Optic Gradient Rovings which she has finished spinning in a fine worsted singles. Plying remains. In Fiber Jargon, she discussed the difference between the yarns that worsted and woolen spinning produce, and why.
We get more spinning info from Abby Franquemont in an interview Jan recorded with her at Rhinebeck.
Ellen reports a slick trick for knitting garter stitch in the round without purling. She found the trick on Fleegle’s Blog.
In Fashion Forecast, Jan predicts much laying down while she continues to recover from elective surgery, and Ellen mentions that she is taking a design class with The Glitter Knitter, Steven Berg, at his Minneapolis workshop, StevenBe.
Episode 5 Grateful Knitting (Click HERE to listen!)
In which we love the number 5, talk of knitting retreats and fiber festivals, twin spin, learn about the best yarn for cables, find out that singles are singular, hear a Cat’s purr, count our blessings post-Hurricane, hear about a beloved knitting mentor and talk about loss including that of Judith MacKenzie’s studio, ask our listeners to support Hurrican survivors and help Judith get back on her feet and offer not one, but two contests!
Interview with Cat Bordhi starts around 6:25 into the podcast - don’t miss Cat’s lovely reflections on knitting and life.
Hie thee to Maria’s Subway Knits Hurricane Sandy Relief effort. For a donation to your favorite charity of $5 or more, you can be entered for some great prizes.
Both Ellen and Jan admit to misusing the term “single” rather than “singles” to describe an un-plyed yarn. Ellen goes on to describe the design of a multi-ply yarn, using her handspun 5-ply out of which she is knitting her Knitmore Girls’ SPAKAL (spin along, knit along) sweater.
A Finely (and Finally) Finished object, Ellen reports in on the fit of her Que Sera, Suri hat. There are plenty of notes from which folks can knit one of their own on her project page, or they can wait for a pattern she plans to create for one at a slightly looser gauge.
Jan has cast on and finished her Party Cowl, based on Cat Bordhi’s Mobius knitting and knit out of Mountain Colors River Twist.
Not much has changed in on the needles - Jan is working on her Larch, Ellen on Rimfrost, and Ellen is also weaving in ends on her Master Knitter Level II wristers. Both Ellen and Jan drool a bit over the supply of Jamieson and Smith Shetland yarn at Churchmouse Yarns & Tea on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Two books affixed themselves to Ellen’s hands when she visited a local bookstore - because of their beautiful design as much as for their content. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers and a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt new edition of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein are gorgeous just to hold.
Please support not only a wonderful woman and teacher, Judith Mackenzie, but actually, the entire fiber community by supporting the effort to Rebuild Judith’s Studio following the fire that burnt the historic community center in which she was located to the ground.
That’s it for episode 5!
Please join in the conversation, too. We can be found on Ravelry where Jan is twinsetjan and Ellen is twinsetellen (but you knew that, didn’t you?). Email us at podcastATtwinsetDOTus or ellenATtwinsetDOTus or janATtwinsetDOTus, and join in the conversation at our Ravelry group, TwinSet Designs Podcast.
Episode 4 Rhinebeck Review (Click HERE to listen!)
In which we fondly recall the great fun we had at Rhinebeck including workshops with Abby Franquemont and Jane Woodhouse (spindling and dyeing respectively), shopping the vendor market, dreaming about future flocks, fleece acquisition, meeting listeners, connecting with friends and eating maple flavored cotton candy (that looked like roving!). We also chat about upcoming projects, design aspects to our SPAKAL (Spin-a-Long Knit-A-Long with the Knitmore Girls) sweaters and Ellen’s obsession with all things Shetland.
We kick the episode off with a discussion of our trip to Rhinebeck, aka the Duchess County Sheep & Wool Festival.
Jan discusses her natural dyeing class, taught by Jane Woodhouse of Brigid’s Farm.
Ellen discussed the all day class on spindle spinning with Abby Franquemont. You can join in on a discussion of spindling at the Friends of Abby’s Yarns Ravelry group.
And Ellen was thrilled to watch her daughter, Karen, learn to spin on a wheel and make great yarn at her first go.
Highlights of Rhinebeck acquisition included a Yarns International pattern and yarn for a Fair Isle sweater in natural colored Shetland yarn.
Jan bought a BFL lambs’ fleece and Ellen discussed the quality of Jan’s fleece. She bought several others to share with friends (and sister!) and Ellen reported finding 3 nice little Shetland fleeces to expand her collection of natural Shetland colors in the fleece.
Jan purchased a Golding spindle (so did Ellen, who also bought one for her daughter, Karen).
Roving left the festival with Jan, too - Fiber Optic roving and some paco-vicuña roving.
Jan is heading to Friday Harbor, Washington for a Forensic Knitting Retreat with Cat Bordhi.
Jan wraps up the Rhinebeck review with a soundtrack of Rhinebeck sounds and friend’s comments and her interview with Jane Woodhouse.
On and off the needles - Ellen has finished the knitting but needs to block Que Sera Suri. Knitting it twice enabled her to adjust the crown depth to use up all of her yarn.
Ellen cast on Veronik Avery’s Forestry for her Knitmore Girls SPAKAL (spin along, knit along) sweater. She discusses how to add a cable panel to a plain stockinette piece.
She continues to work on Rimfrost. Jan is doing imaginary knitting.
Ellen was Bitten by her Knittin’. Or maybe nibbled. When the TKGA Master Knitter program changed the requirements for the Hand Knitter Master’s program, Ellen struggled with getting her new wrister cast on in the correct color sequence. The yarn she is using is Elemental Affects Fingering, a 100% American Shetland wool.
Jan finished up her Flat Feet vanilla socks. She also made a little pipe cleaner sheep.
Jan is knitting her SPAKAL sweater, too, using the Larch cardigan pattern by Amy Christoffers. She discusses the design, highlighting the cast on, cast off, then pick up stitches technique which creates a surface braid feature along the band.
Thanks to Susan B. Anderson, for her nice call out of the podcast and for the wonderful designs she has given the knitting world.
Abbreviated show notes for an abbreviated show (plus I have to get to the airport so I can go to RHINEBECK!!!)
Many, many thanks for the many, many people who have downloaded the podcast and the many of you who have joined our Ravelry group. And a special thanks to Paula of The Knitting Pipeline podcast for mentioning us so favorably on her show.
Jan and I yammered a bit much about wedding fun, but maybe at least the mention of alpacas was interesting to you? I hope so. While Spring Grove doesn’t have their own website, if you use Google to search for “Spring Grove Alpaca Ranch Quarryville” and then click on images, you’ll see some photos that Carl took and a flyer advertising his stock and sires. Wedding photos will come later, probably in a marathon post from Jan.
Ellen is working on Sockesan!, her simple socks adapted for large calves (Jan, please stop calling me ham-calved. It mixes up your livestock.). She is also working on Que Sera, Suri, a ribbed cuff hat of her own design for her husband. It is made out of an alpaca blend yarn and is happening as it happens, hence the name. More on the pattern in future podcasts.
Jan has some UFO’s but after a major spate of wedding knitting - has NO active projects! Her finished projects include Country Gentlewoman (still damp from the blocking as she walked down the aisle at the wedding) and the adorable Valentine ring bearer pillow. Fooling Around got finished earlier in the week - perhaps she should have finished Country Gentlewoman first!
Ellen talked about the design of Noro Kureyon Sock and why this unusual yarn causes love/hate relationships for knitters. She may have convinced Jan to give it another try.
Jan told us about the Mary Pop-In tea strainer. Ellen is hoping to receive one in her holiday stocking this coming December.
The big upcoming event is Rhinebeck. Jan and Ellen will take part in the podcaster meet-up at 1:00 pm Saturday on the hill by the main entrance to the festival. There is some off air discussion that we may be recognizable by our tiaras…
Time to head to the airport! Cheers, Ellen
Welcome and thanks to listeners (you’re all new at this point!) and new Ravelry Group members…we are gobsmacked by the incredibly positive response that Episode 1 received…you really do like us! Thanks for those 5-star iTunes reviews!
Ellen chats about her trip to the North for an annual knitting retreat where she and friend Karen taught a silk hanky knitting workshop. She also made it to a Yarn Harlot lecture hosted by the fabulous Steven Berg of StevenBe and the Yarn Garage. Her mother-daughter activities included a piercing, and she encouraged listeners to play the scratch off game on the website for St. Sabrina’s piercing and tattoo parlor.
In What Would Susan Ask?, we talk about how we learned to knit and note that neither of us ever finished our first sweater project. Ellen discusses Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, with its treatise of mastery via tenacious practice, and how focusing on the craft of knitting for over a decade (before spinning made its nefarious way into her life) allowed her to achieve an expertise far beyond where she started. Jan allows that practicing several hobbies keeps her fresh.
Both Ellen and Jan were bitten by their knittin’ when Jan didn’t pay attention to details.
Ellen talked about some design principles related to knitting silk hankies (and explains what knitting silk hankies is) and Jan shared observations gleaned from placing spirals of color in a hat and mittens (referring readers to two links, Tech Knitting and Grumperina’s blog, for more information about starting and placing spirals).
Ellen’s negative space essay on the changing of the seasons cites Annie Dillard’s eloquent work and yielded an impromptu history lesson on Nebuchadnezzar and made Jan wonder what lady lake leapers wear when they dash from the sauna into the cold lake water!
Upcoming events were briefly noted and hopes for a Rhinebeck meetup discussed.
In this episode we introduce ourselves and some of our goals for the podcast. We were inspired by the questions Susan Dolph asked of many other podcasters on her Knitajourney podcast. (At the moment Knitajourney isn’t available for download, but Susan assures us she is working on straightening this out.)
We can’t resist mentioning a few of our WIP’s. Ellen loves the Noro Kureyon Sock yarn (but Jan hates this yarn) with which she is knitting her own simple design, Sockesan, and she is also working on Twin Girl Bunting plus many other projects which will be described in future episodes. Jan had already knit Twin Boy Bunting, and the pair of sweaters will go to our niece’s new twins.
Jan has been knitting rather than blog posting and told us about Brookline, designed by Elizabeth McCarten and published in Twist Collective Spring 2012, which she is knitting for her son’s wedding and the ringbearer’s pillow, also for you-guessed-it.
In an instance where Jan was bitten’ by her knittin’, she describes the challenges of noticing where double lifted increases are in a haloed yarn like the Touch Yarns Kid Mohair Merino lace when knitting her Death Spiral shawl, from the lovely Spiral Shawl pattern by Erica Gunn of DesigKnit. Ellen has also knit this pattern in her Spiral Around the Moon.
Jan told us about her sweater Fooling Around, inspired as she was doing just that with yarn that she really loves, Zealana Kia Ora Kauri Fingering which is a merino: silk:possum a 60:37:3 blend. The pattern is Devonshire designed by Pam Powers, another Twist Collective published design.
We wrap up the first episode with thanks to the podcasters who have encouraged us, especially Paula of The Knitting Pipeline and Susan Dolph, whose graciously shared her interview questions with us as well as encouraged us down this path.
Thanks, also, to all who are joining us by listening.
Please join in the conversation, too. We can be found on Ravelry where Jan is twinsetjan and Ellen is twinsetellen (but you knew that, didn’t you?). Email us at podcastATtwinsetDOTus or ellenATtwinsetDOTus or janATtwinsetDOTus, and join in the conversation at our Ravelry group, TwinSet Designs Podcast.