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Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

TwinSet Designs, the Podcast!

Episode 41: Podcaster Shout Out!

In which we mention many other podcasters, and in which we discuss squirrel kings, sailboats, shorn alpaca and sheep, getting our hackles up, visits by fast knitting friends, not buying a fleece and then buying one after all, a daughter-in-law hiking the Appalachian trail, sealing up our fine fiber and TwinSet Summer Camp!

Patterns of Our Lives:

Jan had Memorial Day weekend alone as her husband and son sailed a  friend’s boat to Maine.  Jan did make new knitting friends in a class on  Controlling Your Colors at <a href=”http://www.flyingfibers.com/classes/”>Flying Fibers </a>.  Her daughter-in-law is hiking the Appalachian Trail - check out her adventures at <a href=”http://snarkycomment.com/wordpress/”>Adventures of Heidi Galore</a>.

Ellen saw an Indigo bunting at her backyard feeder - quite a thrill.  And she saw an anomaly of nature - a <a href=”http://www.inquisitr.com/700072/squirrel-king/”>squirrel king</a>.   This is the rare instance where a nest of baby squirrels get tangled  tails, possibly because pine resin has stuck them together.  She called  the local animal control squads for assistance.

The baby squirrels were cute - but not as cute as baby alpacas after  shearing.  Laura (LauraKnitsPA) came and helped Jan shear the herd.   William looks like a cotton swab with his fluffy head on a long thin  neck.  His fleece is gorgeous - but filthy!  Valor’s (the Finnsheep ram)  is gorgeous and Ellen has already bought it.

Ellen’s keeping those filthy moths away from her precious Bohus kits in gasketed waterproof containers.

Finely or Finally Knit:

Jan started and finished a project for her Controlling Your Colors  class.  She knit a Faux Argyle hood - her own pattern in yarn from  Persimmon Tree Farm - “Potluck” which is a 50/50 mohair/wool.

Ellen and Erica (Desigknit) whipped up a cute little <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/whitfield-shorty”>Whitfield Shorty Jacket by Anne Hanson</a>.   They worked it in the new Briar Rose yarn of Targhee wool.  Erica knit  the sleeves and the pocket, Ellen knit the fronts, back, and collar.   Done in less than a week!

<a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetellen/forest-path-stole”>Forever in the Forest</a> is just a block away from being finished!

On the Runway:

Jan continued on her <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetjan/snakey-socks”>new pair of socks </a>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.

Ellen continues working on the second of a second pair of socks in her own design out of <a href=”http://modeknit.com/yarn/”>ModeKnit Yarns</a> <a href=”http://modeknit.com/yarn/modesock/”>ModeSock</a>.  She hopes the pattern will be available soon. She cast on a pair of <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetellen/baby-booties-to-knit-in-the-portuguese-style”>baby bootees</a> to practice her newly acquired Portuguese knitting skills, and a <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetellen/wrapsody-in-be-fabulous”>wrap</a> to practice lever knitting (<a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wrapsody-in-be-fabulous”>Wrapsody in Be Fabulous</a> by Steven Berg), which she learned in Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s class.

Jan’s version of Carol Feller’s Siesta sweater, <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetjan/siesta”>Reposo</a>, in <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/louisa-harding-grace-silk–wool”>Louisa Harding Grace Silk &amp; Wool</a> is nearly done and Jan worked on a purse for her<a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetjan/mary-millie-and-morgan”> little Marie dol</a>l.

Ellen is continuing her design, <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetellen/chain-mail-gloves”>Chain Mail gloves</a>, and is testing the pattern as she goes.  Her <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetellen/baby-booties-to-knit-in-the-portuguese-style”>Portuguese Baby Booties</a> seam to be done - except for the seams.

Bitten by our Knittin’:

Ellen learns, yet again, that it is useful to follow an expert  designer’s pattern as her variations to the Whitfield Shorty turned  around and bit her. Tiny errors may have crept in, at least until she  and Erica actually followed Anne’s directions.

Jan barely had any issues - a mis-crossed cable or two, but that’s all.

<span style=”font-size: 13px; font-family: arial,sans,sans-serif; color: #000000; text-align: left”></span>360  Degrees:Ellen had day dreams about what she will do with Valor’s  fleece. Her plans include a gentle wash followed by combing.  She’ll use  a <a href=”http://www.woolcombs.com/w/Forsyth_4-Pitch_Combs.html”>hackle and hand comb</a>. Check out several videos (<a href=”http://www.woolcombs.com/w/Video_library.html”>Forsythe Woolen Combs</a>) on how elegant this fiber prep can be.

Slick Tricks:

Ellen shared how Lisa (turbogal) saved her Black &amp; White sweater  that stretched in the blocking - superwash wool will sometimes tighten  back up if it is thrown in the dryer.

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 <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/groups/twinset-designs-podcast”>Twinset Designs Ravelry group</a> where we are creating little living dolls from <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mary-millie-and-morgan”>Mary, Millie, and Morgan</a>.  the KAL will end with the Summer Solstice, and the prize will be a <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/designers/susan-b-anderson”>Susan B. Anderson</a> pattern (single pattern) of the winner’s choice along with a copy of the Pam Allen book, <a href=”http://www.interweavestore.com/scarf-style”>Scarf Style</a>.

For Jan, The Fashion Forecast means continuing her crazy schedule -  on June 6-8 she’ll be in Pittsburgh for the PA Women Veterans Seminar  and plans to visit <a href=”http://naturalstitches.com/”>Natural Stitches</a> near Philadelphia .

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  <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/groups/twinset-designs-podcast”>Twinset Designs Ravelry group</a>. We are still finalizing cost details, so no registration form yet, but watch <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/groups/twinset-designs-podcast/pages/TwinSet-Summer-Camp”>this space</a> for it!

Enjoy the show!

Episode 40: But We Digress

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!

Fiber Jargon:

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).

Embellishments:

Jan provided the embellishment for the week - Roku 3. She loves the universal search feature.

Fun Fur:

Ellen’s fun fur is really fun leather - fish leather!

Slick Tricks:

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!
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Episode 39: The Wolf Closest to the Sleigh


In which we discuss the craziness that has been our lives in the last month, fiber classes, fiber judging, birdies at our feeders, finally seeing signs of spring in Minnesota, Yarnover and Fiber Fest, visiting family and friends, healthy animals, paying taxes, wearing jelly beans and harvesting golf balls.

Patterns of Our Lives:

It turns out that when you let a month slip past between recording sessions, one’s life patterns get pretty complicated. Jan in particular has been crazy busy. Not that we’re saying that her past is checkered, but it is highly patterned! We slipped in some microphone time right in the middle of the Yarnover/StevenBe Fiber Fest weekend for Ellen and Jan’s schedule of volunteer duty at the MAPACA weekend show - and we amazed each other with how much had happened since we last spoke.

Ellen saw two snowstorms, despite the suggestion of the calendar that spring should have arrived in Minneapolis. At least when the snow melted, the grass was green. And at least she doesn’t live in Duluth, where they got 28″ compared to the mere 16″ in the Twin Cities. Luckily, she records from the bedroom in the basement and was covered in warm fleece - 16 samples of rare breed samples that she got washed up while snowbound. She recommends Synthrapol as an excellent fleece scour - low sudsing and boy, does it get that fleece clean.

Both twins have been seeing lots of birds at their feeders (Ellen’s juncoes needed snow shoes as they foraged on the ground during one of those storms, sinking in up to their bellies). Jan has heard and seen evidence of pileated woodpeckers in her woods - that is a serious bird.

Another serious bird, Jan’s broody hen, is brooding golf balls no more. It turns out that a little airing of her behind by being kept in a wire cage for a couple of days cooled her down and got her interested in hanging out with her barnyard buddies once more.

Yoda is blowing his down coat, and Jan is picking it up off the fence-line as it turns out to be quite soft. Who knew Yoda was a cashmere goat? (Editors note: any goat can produce cashmere - it simply refers to the fineness of the undercoat.) Jan does know that Finnsheep will make a great addition to the farm and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of her reserved ewe lambs. If only Valor, her ram, knew about the impending arrival, he’d be eagerly anticipating them, too, but he will have to be patient! Jan is making her final choices and may end up with one grey, one white, one black, and one brown - a spinner’s dream.

Easter Sunday was warm and sunny in Minnesota and Ellen and Wilson went walking in the woods, their way of recognizing the season of rebirth. Ellen wore jelly beans - socks that were cranked by her buddy, Lisa, in Knit Picks Felici sock yarn in the colorway, Jelly Bean. Jan had family in for a fitting dinner - leg of lamb. Hmmm, more anticipating of a flock of sheep on the farm!

Jan also had a house party of 8 total for a weekend of good food, good drink, and amazement that friends who met almost 25 years ago all looked exactly as they did when they all taught at the West Point U.S. Military Academy. Maybe if you drink enough…

She’s also been spinning more alpaca samples, hosting other guests, working on a conference for women veterans, and teaching knitting classes at Flying Fibers. And making Ellen feel like a lazy lout, but actually, Ellen is OK with that.

Jan took part in an alpaca handling clinic with Marty McGee Bennett, the alpaca whisperer, from the sound of it. She then acted as judging scribe at the MAPACA (mid-atlantic alpaca association) Jubilee. We may need to send Jan some earplugs to keep her brains from oozing out of her ears - how can one head absorb all that new knowledge without something giving?

Phew, can we get to the knitting now?

On the Runway:

Ellen continues on Forever in the Forest and is well into tier 19 of about 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. And she knit on Many Moments of Grace, her reproduction of the Bohus Stickning design, Rimfrost while recording the show. She returned to her Chain Mail gloves. The first is done, with all the gussets that Ellen loves (on the thumb, between the fingers). She will carefully knit the second according to her notes and write up the pattern at the same time (at least that is what she intends). And this being Yarnover/Fiber Fest weekend, she has a class project going now, too - a colorwork hat designed in a great class with Mary Scott Huff, stand up comic and colorwork designer.

In between all of her activity, Jan has been continuing to work on Reposo, her version of Carol Feller’s Siesta sweater in Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool. She has also gotten a new pair of socks started in Zitron Trekking 75/25 superwash/polyamide, colorway 006, a barber-poling mix of blues, lime and purple. Jan reports that the Karbonz 1.5s she is knitting them with aren’t her favorites as she does not like the the join between tip and shaft of the needle. She won’t be using them after these socks. She’s doing the socks in a staggered all over cable pattern, toe up as she is wont to do. (Ellen loving some archaic English here.)

Bitten by our Knittin’:

Ellen discovered, make that re-discovered, that lace knitting goes much better during the day when one is alert than at night when one is drowsy. She discovered, make that re-discovered, this by knitting lace when it was night and she was drowsy. Perhaps you figured that out? At any rate, she notes that when knitting entrelac, if you fail to do the joining stitch at the edge of your module, you don’t get a coherent piece, you get little flaps.

Ellen also knit a cowl-sized swatch, which later became a gaiter-sized gaiter, the appropriate sized project for the amount of yarn which she had. As she knit the “swatch” while practicing ergonomic walking knitting in Carson Demer’s Fiber Fest class on that topic, she wasn’t really discouraged. (Carson Demers - a physical therapist who doesn’t tell you to stop knitting because your knitting is hurting you. Instead, he helps you knit with less damage to your body and hunts for other things in your life for you to change. Because he knows not knitting will hurt even more!)

Jan learned that if one doesn’t knit much, the chance to be bitten by it is slim.

Finely or Finally Knit:

Ellen finished one more pair of her Paving Mitts. This one is named Paved in Gold and is worked in The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze Peppino.

And that gaiter-sized gaiter - also finished, in less than a day thanks to bulky yarn (Sirdar Click Chunky) and not that much of it. Because of the limited yarn, Ellen worked her chosen pattern, Mary Lou Egan’s Miss Gulch without the edging and with a much shorter cast-on and with a shorter pattern repeat. It’s a small Gulch, so she has called it Gully.

Jan knit a potholder. That’s nice, Jan.

Ready to Wear:

The Paving Mitts pattern is published! Thanks to test crocheters, Cindi (cperrine) and Vicky (vicksbear) who made beautiful samples and helped me improve the pattern. And to unofficial test crocheter Lisa (turbogal), who has made two pair of the mitts already.

The pattern is in Tunisian crochet simple stitch in the round, a natural for fingerless mitts. Worked in two colors, one tonal and one variegated, an effect of tiny colorful pavers laid in even rows is created. A perfect project for using up leftover sock yarn! It requires a double ended hook. The pattern includes useful links to techniques needed to complete mitts including Tunisian crochet techniques and crab stitch or reverse single crochet.

5 Minute Interview:

Dr. Yarn returns. We aren’t sure about his advice on substituting yarns…it just doesn’t jive with all that we’ve been told by other experts. Wait, what am I saying? I mean, it’s Dr. Yarn, it must be right. Right?

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 alpaca samples she was judging for the MAPACA Jubiliee show, and despite the crush to get them done, found it very rewarding to be able to compare the spinning scores to the scores which the actual fleeces earned in the show.

Fiber Jargon:

Ellen discussed what a quilted fleece is, and Jan explained why it is a defect in fleeces to be commercially processed. This excessive quilted appearance to the fleece (where the dark fibers are shorter than the white or vice versa), occurring after the first shearing, is something a hand spinner can deal with by separating the colors, but in a commercial process, the disparate fiber lengths would result in a lower quality product or lower yield. Ellen found the term in an article on Jacob sheep by Alison Pacuska in the 2nd issue of Ply magazine.

All the talk of quilts reminded Jan of the term, cotting, which refers to the matting together of a fleece during growth, such that it sticks firmly together and becomes difficult to process.

Embellishments:

Jan provided the embellishment for the week - the amazing ceramic work of Charan Sachar at Creative with Clay. He is a clay artisan who has recently learned to knit and is very clever. His homemade swift is very ingenious and very inexpensive. And his pottery — oh my, it is fantastic. His patterns are inspired by Indian textiles and embroidery as well as the henna tattoo tradition. His process if really cool — www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4v2JcZ1g18 — like decorating a cake, but it’s clay. Jan bought one of his cheese/butter holders to use as a notions tray on my end table and he’s pondering how he would make his version of a yarn bowl. Beautiful colors and textured patterns, check him out at his blog and his Etsy shop.

Fun Fur:

Ellen fell prey to i-device gaming this time - 2048 is fun to play for a bit, but it may be time for her to delete it.

Slick Tricks:

This one stolen shamelessly from a recent KnitSpot newsletter - using oatmeal canisters or bread crumb or potato chip cans to hold the ends of a cowl open and prevent creases during blocking. Jan suggested that if one wanted the cowl stretched, one could suspend it from a short length of pipe and weight it with a water bottle.

You May Already be a Wiener!

Both Jan and Ellen admit to a lack of focus on their dolls for the Living Doll KAL. Jan’s version of her daughter, Marie, does have a head now. Ellen’s dolls at least have yarn chosen for them. 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.

The Fashion Forecast is for continuation of fiber season. For Ellen, this means Shepherd’s Harvest. For Jan, it 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 attending (and hopefully showing little alpaca in) the PAOBA (Pennsylvania Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association) show on 9-11 May at the York County Fairgrounds; and she’ll 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.

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!

Episode 38 - Marco…Polo!!!


In which we discuss ongoing winter, the first signs of spring, a broody hen, a great knitting class with Candace Eisner Strick, insane activity in Jan’s life (that ended up preventing her from getting this episode edited for THREE weeks…yes, that’s right, three weeks), the languishing effort to get the Fair Winds Farm etsy shop open, our knitting and some tunisian crochet, the availability of the Paving Mitts pattern from Ellen, choosing yarn colors for a multiple yarn project like those mitts, the Living Doll KAL, a trick, an embellishment and some more information about a possible summer camp this July.

Patterns of Our Lives:

Jan’s broody hen is trying to hatch golf balls, while Ellen broods about the ever-lasting winter of Minnesota. She is encouraged to know that NASA has apparently made an important discovery in her state.

Jan continues to be the tease regarding getting her Etsy shop open, but for good reason - she is in the middle of a perfect storm of work and volunteer and homefront needs. Ellen feels low energy in comparison, but also has the time in her schedule to jump on opportunities to take impromptu knitting classes. She can recommend the class she caught with Candace Eisner Strick at StevenBe - full of material and quick-paced but fun.

On the Runway:

Ellen continues on Forever in the Forest and is well into tier 16 of about 23. Or maybe 21 if it seems long enough (she’s been knitting it long enough!) She is also working on a second pair of socks in her own design out of ModeKnit Yarns ModeSock. She hopes the pattern will be available soon. And she knit on Many Moments of Grace, her reproduction of the Bohus Stickning design, Rimfrost while recording the show. Her main focus, though, has been more Tunisian crochet mitts, and she’s now working a pair in The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze 100% merino Fingering (which searching on Ravelry shows that the skein bands haven’t caught up to the marketing, as the name there is Peppino. The mitts require two color ways and she is using Marco Polos (rich golds and browns) and Diva (deep purples and the same browns). These are her own pattern for Tunisian crochet in the round, which is being test-crocheted and will be available soon.

Jan has been continuing to work on Reposo, her version of Carol Feller’s Siesta sweater in Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool, and she knows she will be done soon as she is running out of yarn! She took a peak at her Death Spiral shawl, her version of Erica Gunn’s Spiral Shawl, which she is knitting out of Touch Yarns Mohair Merino. No sign of Felfs this week.

Bitten by our Knittin’:

Suffice it to say that neither twin needed stitches this week. Ellen did note that in Tunisian crochet, you can’t easily drop back to fix a stitch several rounds below - you have to unravel. And Jan did the odd tink or two, but nothing major.

Finely or Finally Knit:

Jan has finished the second of a new pair of socks in Wisdom Yarn’s Saki Bamboo. She is calling them Toes in the Sand. And with the leftovers, she made a sweet little preemie hat. You can find a picture of that on Instagram, where she is twinsetjan. (Ellen is twinsetellen on Instagram, but you already had that figured out, didn’t you?)

The pair of mitts on Ellen’s runway is her 3rd pair - she started and finished another one in the days between podcast recordings. This pair is out of Socks That Rock Seduction, a bamboo/wool blend with luster in a grey colorway that sets off the Claudia Hand Paint Addiction (previously Fingering) in Lemon Ice, a gray, yellow, electric green and white variegation.

Ready to Wear:

It’s Ellen’s turn to tease. She believes she will have the pattern out for the Tunisian mitts very soon, possibly before this episode airs. Was she right?

Design Principles:

Ellen discussed how she approached choosing colorways for the Tunisian mitts, looking for a yarn that would pick up one of the colors in the variegated yarn and serve as the grid that lays on top of the variegated background. Using a tonal yarn for that grid adds more visual interest without being too busy. She lucked out that her leftover Seduction was perfect for the Claudia Hand Paint, but she had it easier when choosing two yarns from the same dyer for the third pair of mitts. (That dyer, Rhichard Devrieze, used to dye for Shibui, by the way, and his new yarn is every bit as gorgeous.)

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. It is surprising that Jan has time for it, but she has taken on more fiber samples for judging for MAPACA (Mid-Atlantic Alpaca Association, not the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, though spinning is certainly becoming more popular.

Embellishments:

Ellen reports on the beauty and usefulness (and safety) of her new wooden OXO citrus reamer.

Slick Tricks:

Jan gave scitchr credit for a slick trick she reported in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group - the use of an i-cord edging to hide the loose ends in a striped project. That’s slick!

You May Already be a Weiner!

Both Jan and Ellen admit to a lack of focus on their dolls for the Living Doll KAL. Nancyswerner has focused - check her Living Doll out on the group thread. Adorable! The group is creating little living dolls from Mary, Millie, and Morgan, the KAL will end with the Summer Solstice, and yes, there will be prizes.

The Fashion Forecast is for fiber season. For Ellen, this includes Yarnover (April 26), and the same weekend, StevenBe’s FiberFest, followed two weeks later by Shepherd’s Harvest.

Jan will be teaching a raft of classes at Flying Fibers

  • April 10 — Swagger, based on her shawl pattern (4/20 note - this is in the past!)
  • April 17 — Intro to Entrelac (4.20 note - this is being rescheduled!)
  • 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

So many other events coming up for Jan, with lots of farm-related stuff - MAPACA 25-27 April; Harrisburg Farm Show Arena — PAOBA 9-11 May York County Fairgrounds; and Shearing Day at Fair Winds Farms on May 27. Then June 6-8 she’ll be in Pittsburgh for the PA Women Veterans Seminar.

We’d like to hear from you if you’d be interested in attending the first TwinSet Summer Camp from July 9-13 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! Let us know on the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. We will sign the contract for the camp if we get enough interest soon. And we mean soon - we’ll be deciding in just the next week or so.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 37: Teaser!


In which we discuss the ever continuing winter (in the frigid north), being inspired by new spinners at Gale Wood Farm, bringing home ribbons from the AOA show, the danger of loose dogs, chess party animals, putting the best edge on a garter stitch baby blanket, swatching for socks, colors to dye for, and getting gauge in the worst possible way.

Spring still hasn’t made it to MN, despite being a tease and offering up one warm day that lured Ellen out to run jog walk quickly for 2.5 miles. The finches in Ellen’s neighborhood are golding despite the temperatures, and Jan’s spring continues apace. She is getting the opportunity to see the occasional tundra swan along with the Canada geese that are flying north over her fields (probably heading to Minnesota to poop on Ellen’s lawn).

Ellen continued the family tradition of converting young men/boys into spinners - she snared one at the Gale Woods Farm spring shearing during which she ran a spinning demo. Jan pondered whether the right alpaca was allowed to become a young man - Dipper, a gelding, won a 1st in the Nationals fiber competition, while Dorito, current herd sire, only placed 6th and is showing signs of developing guard hairs in more areas of his fleece.

Of even greater concern to Jan is a large black dog haunting the chicken coop. She takes this seriously, and the dog and its owners had better do so, too. While she doesn’t want to take drastic action, she will protect her livestock.

Jan hasn’t been napping - she has been continuing to work on Reposo, her version of Carol Feller’s Siesta sweater in Louisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool. She is well into the second of a new pair of socks in Wisdom Yarn’s Saki Bamboo.

Ellen kept all of her UFO’s on the runway. Forever in the Forest, a new pair of ModeSock socks, Bambinoo, (a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo), Chain Mail gloves, and her Bohus reproduction named Many Moments of Grace.

The 6th UFO on Ellen’s project page bit her really hard. (One could say the bite was so hard it needed stitches, but that belongs in a later design element.) After reknitting the shoulders of Zipline, a sweater she is designing to use handspun from her stash, she was able to try it on. It is apparent she forgot to plan appropriate ease, and now all that is left of the sweater is two sleeves and some hanks of frogged yarn which is washed and ready to rewind into cakes. Jan’s Bitten by her Knittin’ was much more of the nibble category - some tinks on Reposo and a continued search for yarn to supply her Felfs in progress. And some challenges in designing an afterthought heel into a lace pattern, but she thinks she has digested that sufficiently.
Jan continues to tease us about the Etsy shop, blaming a camera battery for her lack of posting. She promises she will be ready by next episode. Ellen thinks it is a pie crust promise - easily made, easily broken. She’ll happily eat humble pie if she’s wrong.

In Negative Space, Jan assures us that sometimes quitting is winning. That is a relief!

One of our favorite Design Principles is to swatch, swatch, swatch. Ellen shares her approach to swatching for socks - casting on a sock cuff just big enough to hold two different swatch patterns and working one pattern on one half the stitches and the other on the other half. One can continue with this tube, changing patterns as desired, and getting accurate in-the-round gauge with highly efficient use of knitting time and yarn.

Ellen used Cushing’s Perfection Acid dyes with citric acid to aid fixing the color to overdye several of the skeins of CorriedaleX handspun which she finished plying a few weeks back. She followed the procedure in Wendy J. Johnson’s Yarn Works, and work it did, just perfectly. The bobbin dyeing experiment was interesting, but as the dye simply didn’t penetrate far into the bobbin, it probably won’t be repeated.

She is spinning on, this time with a gorgeous top from All For the Love of Yarn in 80:20 merino:silk in the colorway Greek Mythology. The current plan is to spin a 4-ply self-striping sock yarn. She split the top end to end in 4 long strips. It is slow going at the lace weight needed for the singles to end up with a 4-ply sock yarn, but the colors are highly amusing.

Ellen Embellished her kitchen with a Wüsthof whetstone . After learning from a Youtube video, she did a stellar job of sharpening her knives, then she embellished her thumb with half a dozen stitches. (Gauge was 8 sts/inch, by the way.)

For a bit of Slick Trick advice, Ellen suggests that when working with splitty yarn, think of your needle as pushing open a curtain rather than spearing a fish as you put it through the next stitch. Leading with the side of the needle rather than the tip will lessen the frequency of splitting the yarn.

Check out the Living Doll KAL on the TwinSet Designs Ravelry group. We’re creating little living dolls from Mary, Millie, and Morgan. Jan is going to work up her daughter as a 4 year-old fashionista, Ellen is going to create her gang as adults, mostly because tiny surgical scrubs will be so amusing to knit. Not to mention chef’s toques.

The Fashion Forecast is for fiber season. For Ellen, this includes includes the Minnesota Yarn Shop Hop (April 10-13), Yarnover (April 26), and the same weekend, StevenBe’s FiberFest. Jan will be teaching classes at Flying Fibers - April 17 she teaches an introduction to entrelac class using the pattern she has long promised us and May 21 will offer a class on working with variegated yarn for planned color pooling.

Saving what may be the best for last, we announce the serious exploration of July 9-13 for the first TwinSet Summer Camp. If there is interest, we may be scampering through the woods near Havre de Grace, Maryland with lots of fiber friends. Interested? Let us know on the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.

Time to go spin - enjoy the show!
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Episode 36: Spring Forward

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!

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Episode 35: Show Notes to Follow!


In which we discuss business trips with drive by yarn shop stops, discover we are both connected to an Indie dyer, alpaca barn parties, yet more snow, class with Abby Franquemont, cranking and spinning, cabled yarns, spinning wheel maintenance, a bit of outside work for Jan and a trip to the MN Closed Chess Championship for Wilson. (Congrats, Wilson!)

Ellen is hungering for spring after Minneapolis got hit by the biggest storm of the season. But she had a wonderful class with Abby Franquemont to distract her from the weather. And it was fun spinning through the class with LizzyRae, aka Lisa. Jan didn’t enter her babies Violet and Sweet William in the national alpaca show, but she did enter photos in the national photo contest. She’s added to her busy schedule with some consulting on a university proposal. Ellen’s waiting to see how Wilson does in the MN Closed Chess Championship.

Ellen enjoyed seeing her niece and nephew and meeting a new beer, Hop Knot, while on a work trip in Arizona. She really enjoyed a visit to the Heard Museum of Native American Art and Culture. And a visit to Tempe Yarn and Fiber where she got to add more beans to her diet - her yarn diet - with sock yarn dyed with black beans.

Jan made a boomerang trip to a party with some good friends in DC. She forgot her knitting light for the journey back, but as tired as she was, that may have been for the best. In shocking news, she and Dale made it the first mud sale of the year and didn’t buy anything!

The alpaca have been having their own party - they broke into the barn and had quite the fiesta.

Jan has been working on socks, just like last episode.

Ellen has another Ravellenics project on her runway. She’s knitting a chemo cap for a dear friend whose motto is “Knit 1, Kill 1 Billion”. The cap is Shedir out of Rowan Calmer. She also has the usual on her runway - Limpid which is her version of Martina Behm’s Lintilla ,and Forever in the Forest. She also cast on another pair of socks out of Modeknit ModeSock yarn.

Group members have some great items on the runway - check out Scitchr’s Tempest and Turbogal’s Black and White in Motion.

Ellen was Bitten by her chemo cap Knittin’ - she didn’t cast on the right number of stitches to allow the cables of the hat to flow out of the 1×1 rib so had to fudge a bit, then when it was time to decrease, she inadvertently left one side of the cable formation off the design. Dropping down, converting some purls to the needed knits to allow a meandering knit stitch which she picked up in pattern, and all was well. Jan had issues with cables, too - rows between turns and direction of cable turn seem to confuse her, even in her own design.

In Finely or Finally Knit, Ellen confirms that Shedir was finished. It is a great hat! And, she finished up her nascent sock design out of ModeKnit Yarns ModeSock.

This episode, the twins answered the What Would Listeners Ask question from Paintermom of how to maintain wheels. Ellen recommended oiling all moving parts - but not sealed bearings. Check your owner’s manual. Jan recommended a good cleaning and a wax to prevent drying. (There has been a good discussion on the TwinSet Designs Ravelry group as to whether this is a good idea - in humid climates, wax may encourage dust and tackiness).

In a discussion of filling the bobbin, we also discuss how to find your lost end. First, don’t lose it. When the singles breaks, keep treading, don’t stop. A few more treadles and the end often is flung away from the wound mass and is easy to find. And use a life-line - after making one pass of filling the bobbin, start back at the other end. This leaves a length of singles running nearly perpendicular to the next pass of wound on singles. If an end gets lost, it can’t be buried further down than that life line.

Jan reports that the fiber judging is finished and shipped. Ellen talked more about her Abby class, focusing on cabled yarns. The experiment which she found so intriguing followed this process:

Yarn A

  1. Spin 3 different singles, one wool, one silk and one ramie. Spin these clockwise (Z-twist)
  2. Create a 3-ply yarn using these 3 singles. Ply this counter-clockwise, or S-twist. Save plenty of each singles for Yarn B.
  3. Ply that 3-ply yarn back on itself, which is called cabling. Ply in your original direction, clockwise or Z-twist.

Yarn B

  1. Using the wool single, make a 2-ply yarn spinning counter-clockwise or in an S-twist. An Andean bracelet will be a slick way of achieving this for a sample length (see below).
  2. Do the same for the silk singles, then the ramie singles.
  3. Now using clockwise spinning (Z-twist), ply all 3 2-ply yarns together.

The difference in appearance of the two yarns is surprising, especially given that the fiber content is identical.

Ellen is also spinning up a skein of fingering weight yarn from a lovely top of silk/wool dyed by Enchanted Knoll Farm in Bruised Ego colorway.

In fiber jargon, Ellen clarified the difference between Andean plying and Andean bracelets. In short, the people of the Andes use many techniques to ply and to refer to Andean bracelets as “Andean plying” reduces the breadth of techniques that they use to just one technique which they would typically use for short lengths of singles.

Jan has a great embellishment - a Measuring Bracelet from JuniperGrace. Ellen enjoys her iPhone app for Lumosity.

Jan’s Fun Fur is really, really fun. Math with Bad Drawings. Go look at it and laugh. Ellen’s Fun Fur is Drive By Yarn Store Visits (see reference to Tempe Yarn and Fiber, above). Ellen brought home some Sonoran Desert Dyed Fibers from Cheryl Griset - and found out that Cheryl is a buddy of Jan’s from when she lived in the West!

Jan’s slick trick is to tuck her ball of sock yarn into her first sock as she starts her second sock. It is a just-in-time yarn bra!

The Living Doll contest winner is averill73, also known as Liz! You can all be winners by buying the new e-book from Susan B. Anderson. Check out “Mary, Millie and Morgan“to learn how to knit your own doll in a new TwinSet Designs KAL. Check out the Ravelry Group thread. The KAL will run through Summer Solstice, which occurs at 6:51 am Eastern Daily Savings Time.

Ellen’s Fashion Forecast includes a sheep shearing day at Gale Woods Farm, Yarnover, and 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!
————–

Episode 34: Of Buns and Birds!

In which we discuss buns of the bunny variety, birds of the painted variety, quick trips to Mexico and the Sunshine State, Spin Off judging, ice storms, back spasms, cast-ons and cast-offs, marking hanks of handspun and Russian Joins in honor of the event taking place in Sochi.

Ellen had a warm interlude in Mexico for work. A highlight was a wonderful breakfast prepared by volunteers at the site she visited, featuring huevos, chicharrones, and salsas; the only disappointment was that the small Mexican airport security staff took away her metal needles (no, they weren’t Signatures).

Jan has been kept off the streets by all the fiber judging she is doing for various alpaca shows. She appreciates the job because it is a chance to educate breeders on hand spinning quality for fleece. She did get a brief respite at the Lebanon Rabbit Breeder’s Show where she helped in a vendor booth and didn’t come home with a bunny, believe it or not. She is proud to say she has no extra buns.

Another warm interlude for Ellen was a Sanibel Island retreat. She saw aligators, roseate spoonbills and wood storks Ding Darling National Nature Refuge, and nesting woodstorks and a painted bunting at Corkscrew Swamp, all highlights for this casual birder (well, not the alligator so much).

Though Ellen sighs at being back in the cold, at least she didn’t have to deal with the ice storm that Jan and livestock dealt with in Pennsylvania. She sighs with pleasure to be able to share the news that Bohus Stickning reproduction kits will be available again, with Pernille at Angoragarnet receiving the mantle from Solveig Gustafson herself. Given the angora content, you know more buns are involved!

Jan made contact with a nurse friend who shared that their NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) is looking for preemie caps - not teeny tiny, but a bit smaller than newborn. Ellen’s pattern, Bitsy Baby Beanies would fit the bill perfectly.

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. She did hit some milestones, though - moving to a 3rd ball of lace yarn on the lace stole (over 1,000 yds knit!), on to the final edging of Lintilla, and into the 2nd sock of the Modesock socks.

She added her sweater Great Dayne to the active group, too, as part of the Ravellenic Games. She just needs to lengthen the sleeves and that will do it.

Jan is working on Felfs for her family, continues to work on her Hugs and Kisses Socks and has made progress on some more hats.

Ellen was bitten, not so much by her knittin’, rather by her failure to take notes on a design change she made on the fly in her own pattern. She also decided her sleeves on her Great Dayne sweater were just too short and surgery was in order. Jan’s own design bit her, too, as she would frequently find herself out of sync with the eye of partridge stitch pattern in her soon to be released hat pattern. She’s also run up short in the amount of yarn needed for a pair of Felfs.

In Finely or Finally Finished, Jan reports that she did master that hat design, her Surface Tension hat, and has one to offer to Team Knitmore’s Halos of Hope efforts. Ellen experimented with what amounted to a drinking game but for knitting, creating a cowl from a pattern designed for a scarf in which one changes the design as different elements of the Sochi Olympic opening occurred - it probably worked better as a scarf, because as a cowl it was really bad and will likely be frogged. Jan also finished some boot sock’s for keeping her feet warm during barnwork.

This episode, the twins answered the What Would Susan Ask question of what have they gotten from their podcast. They concur, being part of the global knitting conversations is a huge gift, and they admit, the nudges to get a bit more knitting done so they have something to discuss has been a gift, too!

Design principles for the episode included a discussion of cast on’s - including the long tail, the German twisted, Judy’s magic cast on, and the variations of the tubular cast on - and bind off’s - including a suspended bind off (scroll down in this link), Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, a 3-needle I-cord bind off, and the sewn bind off. Many other options are available in books and the web. Cap Sease’s Cast On, Bind Off compendium is an excellent source.

Ellen has been spinning a full 360 degrees - she is up to 11 hanks of her milk chocolate CorriedaleX, with 18 bobbins of singles remaining. She gave a description of how she ties her hanks so that they don’t tangle in the washing or dyeing.

Jan took us through the details of the process of judging alpaca fiber. She took us through the stages - first impression, condition of sample (cleanliness, vegetable matter), checking for soundness and uniformity, assessing fineness and texture, presence of guard hairs, how the fiber reacts to carding and how it spins. She gives plenty of comments and recommendations to the breeder of the fiber to improve the fiber for hand spinners.

Ellen used a Russian join to splice in her next ball of yarn for her lace shawl and described this term in Fiber Jargon.

Jan’s Embellishment for the week is a rain chain -it’s even pretty in the ice. And for a slick trick she described how she is labeling her hanks of alpaca.

The Living Doll contest will close soon (contest is closed). The 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.

Ellen’s Fashion Forecast includes a class with Abby Franquemont and then a sheep shearing day at Gale Woods Farm where she will be doing a spinning demo.

Jan’s forecast includes thinking about a possible TwinSet Designs retreat someday. Let us know on our Ravelry group if you have interest in this.

In the meantime, enjoy the show!

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Episode 33: Retreat!!!


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!

Jan also worked on a second version of her Surface Tension hat, this one for Team Knitmore’s Halos of Hope efforts. She continues to work on her Socks Previously Known as Hugs and Kisses.

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!
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Episode 32: A Living Doll

In which for some unknown reason we sound muffled. (I did have a stuffy nose and sinuses, but Ellen was healthy so that’s not the reason and I processed the file in the same manner, so that’s not the reason. Urgh! Sometimes this podcasting stuff is hard! Well, you can still understand us, so you’re getting it as it is.) And in which we discuss the cold (maybe that’s it, we were wrapped in scarves and mufflers?), haunted barns (maybe a ghost is choking us?), idea weekends with ideas that Ellen can’t share or she’d have to kill us (maybe she was smothering us with pillows?, but why would she smother herself?), a trip to DC with a stop at a new to me yarn shop (maybe I’m buried in yarn and fiber?), spinning and handling alpaca at the PA Farm Show (maybe an alpaca is sitting on us?), grilled cheese and tomato soup (maybe our mouths are full?), and Susan B. Anderson’s new e-book, “Mary, Millie and Morgan” (that’s it, those dolls are so cute you want to gobble them up…our mouths ARE full!).

We love the comments we get from listeners, especially the ones that make us laugh, like Alison’s on the last episode. You can find more of her pun-ishing humor at SpinDyeKnit.

And you can find the Mary Lou Egan patterns that Ellen’s been enjoying tech editing on Ravelry - Miss Gulch is a textured cowl and Swales Hat is a textured hat. Both are quick and fun knits!

Jan found plenty to do at the PA Farm Show, and then she found more fun at Black Sheep Yarns in Cockeysville, MD. Check that website out - gorgeous shop!
Despite challenges with the on-line registration (the tubes of the innernets seemed to have been plugged up, probably with felted fiber from someone who didn’t wash their Felfs in a pillow case), Ellen did get signed up for the Designing Tesselations class by Franklin Habit at Yarnover which will be on April 26 at Hopkins High School, just a few miles west of downtown Minneapolis. That same weekend, she plans to take part in FiberFest at Steven Be’s. She’ll be lucky if she doesn’t get clogged up with fiber! (She hopes if she is, some of it will be the luscious mink yarn from Grinning Gargoyle.) And she’s hoping Jennie the Potter will be there, too. And Wendy J Johnson of Saga Hill Designs with all her fibers and dyes - and her new book, Yarn Works. Yes, Ellen is glad she only has one class so she will have lots of time to browse the marketplace.

It’s not like either twin needs more yarn. Though they have been knitting up some stash - Ellen has been continuing progress on her Forever in the Forest stole out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia. Ellen is also working on a Martina Behm pattern, Lintilla in Rohrspatz & Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in the colorway Skarabäus, which is brilliant clear and limpid blues and greens with streaks of yellow, hence the name of her shawl, Limpid. And, for variety, Ellen has been designing a pair of socks out of ModeKnit Yarns ModeSock.

Jan worked on her Fog Lights sweater; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson. She is working on another pair of Hugs and Kisses Socks and promises a pattern, if she can figure out a name. And she’s working on a hat featuring Jagger Spun 100% wool and an eye of partridge pattern. She’s calling it Surface Tension and promises a pattern soon. More Felfs are on the way, too!

We encourage you to take inspiration from the 2014 Intentions thread on our Ravelry group - you listeners are writing some really good stuff!
The new e-book from Susan B. Anderson is good stuff, too. Check out “Mary, Millie and Morgan” - you won’t be able to resist dreaming about who you’d knit up as a doll.
Jan is still dreaming about spinning up Briar Rose - or at least, her lovely fleece. (She is an alpaca friend of Jan’s.) Ellen is dreaming of spinning up some Briar Rose, too - she has several bumps of BFL dyed by Chris at Briar Rose Fibers that should hit the wheel one of these days!

That’s it for now - enjoy the show!

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Episode 31: Bitten by our Kittens


In which we discuss our good fortune at Christmastime and in the opening days of 2014, Valor the Ram, a strategy for giving, the great alpaca drop of 2014, getting back to work on some big knitting projects, our review of 2013 and our goals for 2014, how to take stock and why you should eat more beans.

(Be sure to listen to the outtakes if you want to understand the title!)

Happy New Year to old and new listeners. If you don’t get enough of us on the podcast, find us on Twitter and Instagram as, you guessed it, twinsetjan and twinsetellen.

There were lots of holiday doings for both Jan and Ellen, but we’ll just hit a couple of notable things from the last week.

Ellen and Wilson spent a long evening working out their charitable giving for the year of 2013. Just in time, too, as they finished up on December 30! Here is their strategy:

  • We choose a few themes that mean a lot to us. Generally we focus on the environment, arts and education, human justice and aid, and fair politics.
  • We choose highly rated charities working in these areas by geography - local, national, and global. Charity Navigator is one site we use for research on the efficiency and integrity of charities we are considering.
  • We narrow down to just a few in each theme/geography, the fewer the better, with the goal of giving larger sums to fewer charities. This lets more of our dollars get used for program work and less on administrivia.
  • We avoid giving to charities that waste our dollars with dozens of mailings during the year, or gifts of notecards, nickels, stamps, etc.

Jan and Dale made a trip to Syracuse and brought home a new member of the family - Valor, a Finnsheep Ram! He rode home in Dale’s Dodge Ram and is friendly as all get out.

In On the Runway, Ellen worked on her Forever in the Forest stole out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia. Jan worked on her Fog Lights sweater; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson. She is working on another pair of Hugs and Kisses Socks and promises a pattern, if she can figure out a name. And she’s working on a hat featuring Jagger Spun 100% wool and an eye of partridge pattern. She’s calling it Surface Tension and promises a pattern soon. Ellen is also working on a Martina Behm pattern, Lintilla in Rohrspatz & Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in the colorway Skarabäus, which is brilliant clear and limpid blues and greens with streaks of yellow, hence the name of her shawl, Limpid.

Jan and Ellen were both Bitten by their Knittin’. (And Ellen was bitten by her Kitten - Selkie enjoys playing in roving, and played with one of Ellen’s holiday gifts. Let’s just say that alpaca will be used for blending, not for spinning right from the bump…) Ellen’s knitting troubles focused around her lack of focus, at least when coming to the edge of her Lintilla shawl. One edge is k2tog, one is kfb - suffice it to say that though they look very different, Ellen mixed them up and then didn’t notice for several rows more than once. Jan couldn’t quite get the sewn bind off for Dale’s scarf to look just the way she wanted.

You can still get a free copy of Ellen’s Bitsy Baby Beanies , a quick stockinette beanie for preemies and newborns. Listen to the episode to find the code for a free copy through January, or PM Ellen on Ravelry (she’s twinsetellen).

Ellen added a few more bobbins of CorriedaleX singles to her collection. She reported 25 at last count with about a half pound of fiber left.

In Design Principles, Ellen discussed the principles she is following in the design of socks out of a variegated yarn - primarily focused on looking for a stitch pattern that will highlight the color changes while obscuring pooling and has a manageable stitch multiple to allow easy sizing. She is looking hard at stitch patterns that carry the working yarn on top of the fabric at intervals, like linen stitch, but would like to find one that is easier to work.

Our Design Challenge for the episode is to consider 2014 intentions. Jan sums hers up with an intention to be appreciative, and Ellen twisted that just slightly with an overall intention to be grateful. Both of us intend to knit and design and spin…and laugh.

Ellen has been spinning a bunch more of that CorriedaleX fleece from Rhinebeck a couple of years back. She’s up to 25 bobbins with about a half pound of fiber left. Jan will be doing a bunch of spinning as she takes on judging the entries in the Sunshine State Alpaca Expo, with her results due by February 8th! In either case, pigtails, our Yarn Jargon for the week, will likely appear. Pigtails are when an energetic bit of singles (or a plyed yarn) doubles back on itself in a little twist. Depending on your intention for the yarn, they may be desirable (as in art yarn), or at least a sign of lots of energy for creating a tightly twisted yarn, like a sock yarn. Just ease them out during plying to release the energy into where you want it to be.

Jan’s Embellishment for the week is Heifer International. Ellen’s is the iPhone Ravelry app - Yarma. She uses it to add stash and project pictures without having to download them from her camera. Zombie Alpacas (We want to eat your grains!) showed up on a gift for Jan and she considers them to be Fun Fur.

The episode’s slick trick is a simple one, but still slick. Instead of hanging one of those stitchmarker row counters off your needle, throwing it out of balance and letting it get in the way, why not just pin it to your project? It’s there when you need it and keeps the knitting comfortable. Thanks, turbogal, for that tip!

The contest to win some Blacker Yarns wool has closed and we have a winner! Holity, aka Terri from IL, was our randomly drawn winner of a skein each of Blacker Yarns Pure Teeswater DK and Pure Dark Wensleydale.

Ellen will be heading to the Knitajourney Midwinter Fiber Retreat in mid-January, and by the time these notes go up, Jan will have been to the PA state farm show and starting to pack for Tina’s Fiber Retreat in late January. It’s only 8 months till the MN State Fair!

Stay warm!

Episode 30: We Believe!


In which we discuss the return of the light (and the owls), ice lanterns, the great Weaver’s Guild of Minnesota fiber estate sale, finally receiving processed fiber from the spring shearing, Christmas visits, what’s in Ellen’s pocketses, the best Christmas card ever, seeing Santa Claus, publication of Ellen’s pattern “Bitsy Baby Beanies”, successful design modifications and a winner of the Swagger DALKAL, some knitting and spinning and Ellen endures Jan’s singing.

“Come Enhance My Yarn Stash Tonight”
Lyrics (c) Jan Hamby — Free use for non-commercial and personal uses. Rights to publication reserved.
Instrumental background from the Helen Kane audio recording found in the U.S. National Archives licensed under the Creative Commons.

Santa Baby, slip some cashmere under the tree, For me.
I’ve been an awfully good girl, Santa baby,
so come enhance my yarn stash tonight.

Santa baby, some signature convertibles too,
Size 2.
I’ll wait up for you dear,
Santa baby, so come enhance my yarn stash tonight.

Think of all the things that I might’ve knit,
Hats and scarves and sweaters and fingerless mitts,
Next year I could reduce my queue,
And maybe you’ll find, you’re knitworthy too,

Santa baby, I wanna Schacht,
And really that’s not a lot,
Been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so come enhance my yarn stash tonight.

Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need,
The deed
To a local yarn store,
Santa honey, so come enhance my yarn stash tonight.

Santa cutie, fill my stocking with some rolags,
And project bags .
Skeins of handpainted too,
Santa cutie, come enhance my yarn stash tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree,
With lots of pretty stitch markers bought just for me,
I really do believe in you,
Let’s see if you believe in me too,

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing,
Roving.
I don’t mean wandering round,
Santa baby, so come enhance my yarn stash tonight.,
so come enhance my yarn stash tonight.,
Yarn stash, tonight.

Ellen reported on the stupendous estate sale held at the Weaver’s Guild of MN. She didn’t buy much, but she did bring home a gorgeous supported Tibetan spindle made by Spindlewood Co. She baked the few skeins of yarn she bought in her oven warming drawer (temps above 140-160F for several hours will ensure that no clothes moths survive).

Jan brought home fiber from Gurdy Run Farm and Woolen Mill - alpaca from her own alpaca’s fleeces.

Lots of cookie baking going on, including cookies that Ellen’s daughter Jenny created for Red Rooster Harlem. Ellen’s other daughter, Karen’s, first authorship on magnesium sulfate and cerebral palsy prevention in pregnancy wasn’t as recent as Ellen had thought - but Ellen is still proud.

Jan tries to convince Santa, Baby to enhance her yarn stash right around minute 15:15.

In On the Runway, Ellen worked on her Forever in the Forest stole and Jan had Dale’s linen stitch scarf as monogamous knitting.

Ellen finished up Chunkeanie, a reverse stockinette beanie by Wooly Wormhead, knit in Kashmir Aran. Also out of Kashmir Aran, she knit up Entrechat by Lisa Chernery. She used the Knitters Pride Karbonz dpns in size 8, liked the feel of these needles but found them noisy and clinky. And she finally finished her Fat Soled Felfs. The double weight soles felted a bit less than the single weight uppers, resulting in very pointy toes and heels - very elvish. And very good fitting! These were out of Ewetopia, and it felted beautifully. She dried her Felfs in her warming drawer!

Ellen got a pattern up for sale in 2013! Bitsy Baby Beanies is a quick stockinette beanie with a wide ribbed edge and simple to execute 4-point decrease. Listen to the episode to find the code for a free copy through January.

After discussing the design principles used in creating Bitsy Baby Beanies, we challenge our listeners to give thought to their design for 2014.

Jan finished up her cabled yarn, and Ellen added a few more bobbins of CorriedaleX singles to her collection. She reported 19 bobbins (but a later count gave 20) with over a pound of fiber left. Spindling on a Kuchulu (Jenkins Spindles) during conference calls gave her about 250 yards of fine laceweight yarn in the last few months, and she also continued spinning on her Lark for a heavier weight yarn.

Both twins agree - a niddy noddy is a useful tool for spinners and knitters alike.

Jan loves her embellishment for the week - the Brother P-Touch label maker.

Ellen discovered that dishcloths made out of Bernat Tizzy is a great way to find a scrubby in a sink of dirty dishwater.

Ellen’s slick trick was the slipped stitch edge in the Entrechat sweater by Lisa Chernery. Instead of the way Ellen had originally learned, Lisa had the knitter slip the last stitch of a row and knit the first. Jan’s trick makes linen stitch easier to knit. She simply always works from the knit side, doing this either by clipping her yarn with about a 6″ end at the end of the row and sliding (on a circular needle) back to the start of the row to work the next row. The tails at either end make a ready made fringe. For working in the round, steek stitches can be added that can then be unraveled to create fringe after the steek is cut.

In the DALKAL, woolybear368 aka Mary, from Massachusetts, won for her Keyhole Swagger. She converted a buttonhole scarf out of a bulky yarn.

Episode 29: Hats a lot of Knitting!


In which we discuss* our Thanksgiving celebration, knitwear on fire, alpaca with trench-o-phobia, cold and snowy weather, planning to make the most of your knitting time, shades of colors, crispy duck skin and foregone conclusions for the outcome of the Army-Navy game. (Navy will win, in case you are wondering!)

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but when your turkey was 42 lbs, you just don’t forget it very quickly. Jan and Ellen relate the fun of family and food and more food…and more food.

After getting home, Ellen and Wilson caught Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Ellen ogled the knitwear. The first scene in particular featured a fabulous cowly-shawly thing. Click on the link - a picture definitely tells more than these words.

Jan is happy to have water in her barn even if the alpaca weren’t so happy about the trenching needed to run the lines.

In Ellen’s knit group, Carrie (aka prjstartercarrie) finished up her version of StevenBe’s Mermaid Shawl.

We get a little competitive over who has donated more to Community Links International (an environmental, service-learning, immersion, volunteer, and international educational organization supported by the good folks at Frog Tree Alpaca) through Goodsearch. You can join the competition by registering on the site (it’s free, and every internet search you make throws another penny in the till).

In On the Runway, Ellen worked on her Forever in the Forest stole and gave her Great Dayne sweater some attention, too.

Jan worked on her Fog Lights sweater; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson. She is working on another pair of Hugs and Kisses Socks and promises a pattern, if she can figure out a name, and also worked on a scarf for Dale.

Ellen knit lots and lots of hats - using Kashmir Aran and the Purl Soho pattern, Thank You Hat - Simple Rib, for two of them, doing another one in Sirdar Click Chunky with Wool in yet-to-be-published hat design by Mary Lou Egan, and knitting a preemie hat and a baby hat with remnants of that Kashmir Aran and a pattern of her own device. She also worked up Chunkeanie, a reverse stockinette beanie by Wooly Wormhead in Kashmir Aran.

Jan finished up Stroll, another Swagger version - this one out of her own handspun of Finnsheep fiber, with a lower increase rate to let it have very long “arms” that can be tied around her in the fashion of a working shawl.

And Ellen has finished the knitting of her double-soled Felfs despite a false start… or two.

In the new segment, Ready to Wear, Jan announced that her Stream Bed Lace Shoulder Stole pattern is now available for purchase.

Stephen Robbins of Pelindaba Lavender was our guest for the Five Minute Interview at about minute 28:30 or so.

Jan and Ellen discuss the various types of colorways -variegated, ombres, and tonal. Examples of these yarns include Morehouse Farms Merino Variegated Morehouse Merino 2-ply (variegated), Berocco Ultra Alpaca Tonal (tonal), and Wooltopia Ombre Gradients (Ombre).

Check out the details of PineSlayerDee’s latest slick trick (or at least the latest one on which we have reported) - felting in a dryer - at her post on Ravelry.

Don’t forget to get a chance at winning a skein of Blacker Yarns wool! Make a comment in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group thread for the Blacker Yarns contest - tell us what yarns you like, and for a bonus entry, comment on something interesting you learned on their website in a separate post. (edited 1/5/14 - Contest is now closed.) Ann aka anarch on Ravelry already was a winner of the Stitchmaps

Episode 28: Podcasting across the Pond

In which we abandon our usual format to welcome a fellow podcaster to the microphone.  You’ll have to listen to find out who it is!  And in which we discuss what’s going on on both sides of the Atlantic, a bit more about ourselves, and of course, our knitting.

Special guest - Louise from <a href=”http://caithnesscraftcollective.podbean.com/”>Caithness Craft Collective</a>!

In  the Patterns of our Life/Wots e Craic section, Louise describes the  long process of making bunting for school decorations…with the help of  the children.  No children were harmed in the production of the  bunting.  Jan told about the flight south (to the basement freezer) of  her flock of turkeys.  Ellen told of a fun evening eating cupcakes with  Bevil and then laughing through a Franklin Habit lecture on Victorian  craft oddity.

Louise is knitting on a Harry Potter scarf in the  Gryffindor colorway. Ellen is working on Felfs and finds that if one is  going to get fancy with <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/the-art-of-felfs”>Felfs</a>, stitch markers are in order. She is making the sole double weight by using <a href=”http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss11/PATTverdant.php”>Susan Newhall’s Blended Intarsia</a> technique. Jan  worked on her <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetjan/bohus-grey-or-green-mist-2″>Fog Lights</a> sweater; the original design is the <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bohus-grey-or-green-mist”>Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson</a>.

Ellen reported on some SKY KNITTING - finishing a little hat based on the pattern <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/thank-you-hat—simple-rib”>Grateful</a> out of Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran.  Jan continued working on <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetjan/swagger-3″>Stroll</a>, another <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/swagger-3″>Swagger</a>   version - this one out of her own handspun of Finnsheep fiber, with a   lower increase rate to let it have very long “arms” that can be tied   around her in the fashion of a working shawl.

Ellen was Bitten by her Knittin’ again when she worked on her <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/projects/twinsetellen/forest-path-stole”>Forever in the Forest</a> stole. She is blaming the poor lighting on the airplane. Louise has an <a href=”http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/owls-2″>Owls</a>  sweater in progress, but as it has nibbled her (the decreases got out  of order), it is in time out. Her mum had been bitten by knittin’ a  mitten, rather, a fingerless glove, in which the fingers got a bit long.

In a fairly long MeMeMeYouYouYou section, the ladies chat about their careers, their dogs, and even the <a href=”http://www.scotlandstapestry.com/”>Great Scottish Tapestry</a>.

Louise’s Fun Fur was yellow acrylic yarn for some Despicable Me minion hats.  Jan’s was a punny novel by Michael Shepherd, <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Street-Michael-Shepherd/dp/0615724302/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386210941&sr=1-1&keywords=easy+street+shepherd”>Easy Street.</a>

We Purloined Purloined - the <a href=”http://www.knitmoregirlspodcast.com/”>Knitmore Girls</a> podcast segment - by purloining High Note, Low Note from Paula of the <a href=”http://www.knittingpipeline.com/”>Knitting Pipeline</a>.

We close out the show with a discussion of haggis.  ‘Nuff said.

Episode 27: Knock! Knock!


In which we extend our thoughts and prayers to those affected by storms near and far, and in which we discuss nasty colds, prolonged podcasting absence, rapid Master Knitter responses and successes, the end of an era in which Solveig reigned in the world of Bohus, responsible use of GPS and liquor, Finnsheep, the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat, visiting with dear friends, Blacker Yarns, designing colorwork mitts and more!!

Wow, this is another long episode. Getting sick gets in the way of all sorts of things - we are glad Jan is feeling more like her spunky self!

You can help all the communities affected by the tornadoes and typhoons by donating what you can to relief organizations, including for tornado relief at Crossroads United Methodist Church. And in the line of supporting good causes, don’t forget to check out The Art of Felfs, and consider buying it to support cancer research.

Jan and Ellen’s family grew by leaps and bounds - sister, niece and grandniece added to the gang as the Knitmore Girls joined the family.

The news that Solveig Gustafson is retiring from dyeing the reproduction yarns for the Bohus Stickning reproductions hit the knitting world hard. Cherish those kits if you have them! Don’t worry, Susanna Hansson will still be teaching her wonderful Bohus Stickning class. And Kimmet Croft offers a heavier gauge yarn for many of the designs.

Ellen celebrated her completion of the Master Knitter Level II course. (Lisa will be done any day now!)

Ellen did more than knit these last few weeks - she sewed, too! Holiday napkins and also a knitting project bag, nicely lined and zipped. Tutorial here and here.

Jan’s family continues to grow even more - by one cat as Heidi and Marie move to an apartment that only allows two cats and they need to leave one behind with Jan and Dale and in the spring by 4 or 5 Finnsheep. The contract on the lamb purchase is signed and Jan gets the pick of the litter.

Jan took a trip east to her buddy Heidi’s where she lolled about Iron Horse Yarns to celebrate her successful navigation without a real map. Putting one’s trust in a GPS takes faith.

Jan had that faith, and made her way up to Maine where she enjoyed the Knitting Pipeline Retreat with stops at Saco River Farms and Saco River Dyehouse, Tess Yarns, connections to knitters like Hannah Fettig and Pam Allen, and I understand they all ate Magic Cake. It seems that if you town is named Portland, you are in a fabulous fiber city. And that was without even mentioning the wonderful knitters Jan enjoyed at the retreat. If you want a taste of how wonderful they were, check out woolybear368’s videocast. She was the perfect roommate for Jan.

Both of us had lots on the runway. Jan is working on Stroll, another Swagger version - this one out of her own handspun of Finnsheep fiber, with a lower increase rate to let it have very long “arms” that can be tied around her in the fashion of a working shawl. She’s also working on a linen stitch scarf for Dale. Jan also worked on her Fog Lights sweater; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson. And of course, Jan is working on some more Felfs. Ellen is also doing Felfs, making the sole double weight by using Susan Newhall’s Blended Intarsia technique. She is using Frog Tree Ewetopia, a 50:50 merino:superwash merino blend (great for felting!).

Ellen made great progress on her Great Dayne sweater and it is becoming a real sweater - now with sleeves! She has developed an I-cord edging that includes the lacy cable from the raglan seams. She is well on her way to finishing her Tunisian crochet mitts and hopes to have a pattern out soon. Her friend Cammy brought a blending board to knit group, and Ellen blended, spun and then knit a little holiday ornament.

Forever in the Forest is got a bit more attention from Ellen as well.

Ellen was bitten by her knittin’ when she failed to follow her own design intentions while working on her self-designed colorwork mitts out of Blacker Yarns Pure Teeswater DK and Pure Dark Wensleydale. She finished an adult hat using the pattern Grateful out of Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran which is a merino, microfiber, cashmere chain-structure yarn that is machine washable. With the remnants she designed a little preemie or tiny newborn hat, which she calls Grateful for Babies. She also knit a tiny bag out of a swatch kit for the Scilla Bohus design. It fits her cell phone perfectly.

In the new design element, Swatcha Doin’?, Jan and Ellen review the yarns Ellen with which is knitting her colorwork mitt design. Both are DK weight, worsted spun, in 50 g skeins that are 119 yds in length. Lustrous, haloed, and supple and strong - both twins enjoyed the yarns a lot. Ellen, as mentioned, is designing a colorwork mitt of the two, they worked so well together. The Blacker Yarns website is a delight and so full of information - go check it out right now!

For a bit of Negative Space, Ellen shared the value of untangling one’s projects as well as one’s life - freeing up space for knitting.

In Design Principles, Ellen discussed the principles she is following in the design of her colorwork mitts - everything from yarn choice to techniques used for what is to be a simple knit and how to adapt for varying gauges by stitch pattern.

There is other designing going on in the DALKAL - the Design-Along, Knit-Along of Swagger. Check out the Ravelry group for details on this contest for a skein of Wollmeise!

Check out the Knitting Daily post on the Shirley Paden Design-Along to see a photo and the process Ellen finished in creating her SPDAL3 sweater.

Ellen has been very busy with her spinning - much more of her CorriedaleX on her Louet Victoria, a BFL roving on her great wheel, Cat (Catherine the Great…Wheel), and some more BFL on her Turkish Spindle. Jan has been spinning Corriedale, too, in brilliant greens. She did these on her Kromski wheel and plans to ply them and then cable those plies. Fiber Jargon for the week is “liquor”, aka the dyebath.

Ellen is enjoying her new water oven, the Sous Vide Supreme Demi. Jan is thinking her turkeys will weigh out to 14-24 lbs, probably too big for this.

In Fun Fur, Ellen exclaimed with joy over her Blue Moon’s Fiber Arts Rockin’ Whorl club delivery. She forgot she’d joined the club! Jan’s FF is Words with Friends, an app for smartphones that let you play word games with friends.

Jan’s Slick Trick saves you from having to figure out where to pick up stitches in a thumb for a mitt. In the first row after casting to create the thumb, instead of just knitting in the newly cast on stitches, kfb in each. On the next round, separate the stitches and put the purl stitches on one needle, ready to knit the thumb, and the others on the needle that is knitting the hand of the mitt. You are all ready to knit the thumb!

And you are ready to gain a chance at winning a skein of Blacker Yarns wool! Make a comment in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group thread for the Blacker Yarns contest - tell us what yarns you like, and for a bonus entry, comment on something interesting you learned on their website in a separate post.

The Stitch Maps contest continues - check out the contest thread quickly, as it is due to close the end of November which technically, already took place.

Thanksgiving will find Ellen and Jan together and recording with a virtual guest for the next podcast. Tune in and find out who it is!

Cheers,

Ellen and Jan

Episode 26: More Felfs, Less Chemo!

In which we discuss the Cat Bordhi Fall knitting Retreat, Frog Tree Yarns, the impressive research of David Krag (who with the help of knitters will eliminate the need for chemotherapy for many cancer patients!!!), Yoda and Red Roosters, Master Knitter II Submission madness and wild and crazy chess players, aquaknitting, The House of Jerky, super food, dressing like twins, the designer Melinda VerMeer (she does not have a pearl earring) and how knitters can do great good in the world. (More Felfs! Less Chemo!)

Wow, this is a long episode. If nothing else, listen to some good folks doing good work - we have an interview with Jim Petkiewicz from Frog Tree Yarn at 59:00, Cat Bordhi and her “More Felfs, Less Chemo!” initiative at 1:08:25, and the lovely designer Melinda VerMeer at 45:25 minutes in. The rest is Jan and me blethering on about our knitting and lives and maybe we toss a wee bit of useful information in, too, as detailed below.

Thanks, Jay and Judy, for the sweet iTunes review! It has earned you an invitation to the farm, I think. And thanks, Sandra, for the Bernat Tizzy dishcloths - a simple garter square, but simply delightful and useful.

In Patterns of our Lives, we didn’t mean to turn you all pea green with envy at the fun we’ve been having, but we did have a lot of fun between the Cat Bordhi Fall Retreat in Friday Harbor, Washington, our Seattle dinner with Paula and Marty, touring at the Pike Place Market and Underground Seattle, a score of Hazelknits Divine in the wild (accompanied by meeting Hazelknits and her dye partner in person!). Once home, Ellen stayed up late with Lisa getting their Master Knitter Level II resubmissions done, and then stayed up some more with some wild chess players. They plyed her with New Glarus Brewing Co. Moon Man No Coast Ale. Jan welcomed Heidi, her daughter-in-law to the farm while she and Marie find a new place to live in the area, and she welcomed the alien Yoda, I mean Yoda, to the farm to play mascot goat to the alpacas.

Ellen admitted to trying Scotch - and liking it. Louise of Caithness Craft Collective is chuckling about this one.

While on San Juan Island for Cat’s retreat, Jan and Ellen visited Pelindaba Lavender Farm, Island Wools, and the House of Jerky and were visited by Lopez Island Fibers. Wools that Jan and Ellen enjoyed knitting with included Frog Tree Ewetopia, a 50:50 merino:superwash merino blend (great for felting!) and Lion Brand LB Collection Pure Wool. Jan was working on a triple-twist mobius felted bowl and a tea cozy in the latter yarn, Ellen worked on felfs out of the Ewetopia.

Jan worked on her Fog Lights sweater; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson, Jan has substituted some different colors and is getting great results. She hopes to finish it by January, but not sure it will be January 2014 or 2015. Ellen made great progress on her Great Dayne sweater and it is becoming a real sweater! She hopes to get it finished soon and written up into an actual pattern.

Another project Jan got going during the retreat is another Swagger version - this one out of her own handspun of Finnsheep fiber, with a lower increase rate to let it have very long “arms” that can be tied around her in the fashion of a working shawl. Both Jan and Ellen started Felfs! and finished, them, too, during the retreat itself.

Ellen had another bout of knitting everything. She finished one more (her fourth) Harmonia’s Rings cowl by Sivia Harding, this one out of leftovers from prior cowls knit in Berocco Ultra Alpaca. She finished, as in decided to end, her work on the Domino Muffler by Vivian Hoxbro which she was knitting out of Habu Textiles merino/stainless laceweight. The colors weren’t working, it was futsy working with a doubled strand - time to move on to better horizons. Nothing wrong with the pattern, just with the particular rendition Ellen was trying.

Forever in the Forest is really truly becoming a stole and got a bit more attention. Also getting a bit, a small bit, of attention, were her self-designed fingerless mitts (not sleeveless, though it will be that) out of Tunisian Crochet. She did make good progress on her Chain Mail gloves. Not so much progress on the spinning, but her BFL fiber she brought did get a daily yard or two twisted out of it.

Ellen’s take on Kelly William’s Strib Hat did get good attention in the form of SKY KNITTING. All but the last crown decreases were finished on the airplane, and those were finished during the drive to the island. This hat will be donated to StevenBe’s Hats for the Homeless campaign.

Jan’s SKY KNITTING was the comletion of her version of the Lullaby Rain shawl by Paula Emons-Fuessle , which she calls Misty Morning.

And Ellen did finish one more project - the second poncho from Poncho-mania night at Lisa’s. With two identical ponchos, the twins had a great time amusing the islanders by dressing somewhat identically for the first time in decades.

After the trip, Jan did finish her tri-fold bowl, her Bohus reproduction and has more Felf’s in the work. Ellen focused on her Great Dayne sweater and also finished one of her Tunisian mitts.

Jan did get bitten by her knitting. By her own pattern! While trying to SKY KNIT during her red eye flight, she smocked an edge far too soon and then worked for another two hours before she realized it. All she can say is “drat”. She also decided to frog the design she was working on for the Percasocks and sent the yarn to Florida, in a sense.

Jan also finished a design for the Streambed Lace Shoulder Stole. Look for a pattern soon!

Melinda VerMeer doesn’t just talk about putting out patterns, she actually publishes. She recently had Nympholidaea published in Knitty, and she has many other lovely designs available. Twinset Designs can get a 25% discount on Melinda’s patterns through November using the coupon code, twinset.

Jim Petkiewicz of Frog Tree Yarn shared his story - about the development of their yarns, about the not-for-profit status of Frog Tree and the good they do, and how knitters can share in doing that good. One way is to register on Goodsearch and shop through Goodshop, selecting the Community Links International charity to receive the pennies that do add up with every click at no additional cost to the searcher or shopper.

Cat Bordhi explained how her new ebook, The Art of Felfs, will support research into targeted cancer therapy - without chemo! Go buy the book. Not only are Felfs adorable and fun to knit, you’re doing it for everyone you love. More Felfs, Less Chemo!

In 360 degrees, Jan got busy upon getting home from the Retreat with a bundle of alpaca fiber samples to wash and spin. She is evaluating alpaca fiber samples for the Spin Off competition at an upcoming Alpaca Association show. She got to see quite an array of samples and put a lot of work into it, but hopes handling this variety of fiber will just help her own fiber knowledge development.

Ellen has been spinning more of her CorriedaleX fleece on her Louet Victoria, as well as spinning a roving on Catherine the Great Wheel, using the walking spinning as a cool down after running. She’s been spinning the CorriedaleX with a long draw and the great wheel spinning is working best, at least with combed top, spun from the fold.

Jan told us more about a previously mentioned Embellishment - Stitch-maps.com. And one of our listeners has a chance to win a basic subscription to Stitch-maps, courtesy of JC Briar, creator of Stitch-maps. Just post a comment on the contest thread in our Ravelry group, telling us which of the stitch patterns on the site is your favorite. Or favorites, if you can’t pick just one.

Ellen’s Fun Fur - Trader Joe’s Pretzel Buns. (Stop snickering, Jan.) Jan’s Fun Fur was bunny races. See the Bunny Hop here.

In Slick Trick’s, Ellen shared a brilliant idea by Dee, also known as PineSlayerDee, which was shared on Ravelry here. Dee’s No-Twist Circular Knitting Cast On Method creates a little collar which lets you hold your circular cast-on in proper alignment for joining the needles with absolutely no chance of introducing a twist. Brilliant!

Hurry and sign up for the Carolina Fiber Frolic - all retreat, just relaxed knitting. Mention Twinset Designs for early registration pricing. But hurry, the retreat is coming up Nov. 8-10.

Jan’s Fashion Forecast is to see several of our listeners at the Knitting Pipeline Maine Retreat. Ellen is jealous, but she’ll comfort herself by visiting the Fall Fiber Festival in Hopkins, MN.

Don’t forget our design challenge, our first knit-along (KAL), and pair it with a design-along (DAL). We’ll be doing a DAL-KAL based on Jan’s pattern, Swagger. Two threads are up in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group - one for chatter, one for finished projects. If you add your own design variation to the project, you get two entries! The big prize is a skein of Wollmeise Twin, an 80:20 merino:nylon sock yarn - an appropriate prize.

Don’t knit like my sister!

Enjoy the show!

Episode 25: Three + One = Five

In which we discuss trips to Ohio, visits with siblings, fiber processing workshops, the secret to drum carding, poncho-mania, knitting and saunaing in the north woods, prize winning knitting, the size of Wilson’s head, the size of Ellen’s head, Jan’s loss of brain cells, dizzes and punis, safety to dye for, and the good fortune to be heading to Cat Bordhi’s Fall Retreat.

Thanks to those who leave iTunes reviews and star ratings - we really appreciate it. And Jan appreciates the wonderful swap package that pgknittingnurse sent her as part of the Caithness Craft Collective coaster swap. (We love you, Louise!).

Jan’s grand-kitty, Monkey, has come to live with her, along with Marie, Jan’s daughter. Marie’s wife, Heidi, will be joining the farm soon while the young ladies hunt up their own place. As if that weren’t enough, Jan bought four more alpaca - three from Ohio, one from the Lancaster area - and ended up with five. One was pregnant! Billy, aka Sweet William, is an adorable lamb, I mean, cria. She also reported on the fiber prep class which she took in Ohio - washing, carding, dyeing and more. Look for some beautiful fiber to come from her (soon we hope!).

Two drum carding lessons that Jan passed on - don’t pull back on the fiber as it enters the drum or it will wrap right around the licker drum, and when pulling fiber off the drum to form a roving, get the diz close to the drum to hold the fiber together.

And because Jan was in Ohio when Ellen was also in the state for work, all 5 of the biological children of our mom were able to get together. Too bad we couldn’t connect with our other sisters, Beth and Patty, too, or brother, Brent.

Ellen has been processing tomatoes and okra from the garden she adopted. She also fit a quick tech edit into her schedule for the Finitio Scarf by Mary Lou Egan. Poncho-mania hit the Twin Cities at Lisa’s - several of Ellen’s knitting friends joined Lisa to hand-loom the fabric for the Easy Folded Poncho (not the Modern Poncho, as we said in the episode) from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. Ellen’s poncho is out of a cashmere/angora/merino/silk tweed ordered from Colourmart.

Ellen reported on the fun of the Sisu Lost in the Woods retreat (which included a quick poncho looming!). This trip up north marks the start of autumn in Minnesota for Ellen - winter won’t be far behind. She was excited to report seeing an OTTER in the wild! Fair season started and finished nicely for Jan - she entered 7 items and received 6 ribbons in the West Lampeter Community Fair, including a second sock syndrome ribbon (2nd place on her socks!).

Jan continued working on Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain shawl. Jan resolved her yarn issues by ordering two more balls of yarn. Jan is also working on her Fog Lights sweater; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson, Jan has substituted some different colors and is getting great results. She is likely going to finish the sleeves first, then she can make the body as long as possible with the remaining yarn.

The Great Dayne sweater is back in Ellen’s hands after a few months rest. She’s improvising fingerless mitts (not sleeveless, though it will be that) out of Tunisian Crochet. Ellen finished one Harmonia’s Rings cowl by Sivia Harding, out of Berroco Vintage, a washable wool:synthetic blend and is well into a second, this one out of Berroco Ultra Alpaca.

Jan got bitten by her knittin’ when she was at Dale’s 35th anniversary of his graduation from West Point - luckily she caught a dropped stitch before it got too far away. It was a few rows back and she simply laddered it up to the correct row.

Ellen had a similar incident with her Grey Mountains (Mountain Peaks, a Bohus reproduction) hat (kit from SOLsilke) and also knit the geometric design twice because of an error the first time, then knit the following stripes a second time for the same reason. Her version of Sarah Punderson’s Adirondack, Black Spruce, caused some issues when she accidentally inserted the short row wedges that shape the shawl on the wrong side. Ellen did finish both of these projects despite the issues. She also finished a little mobius cowl from a skein of handspun yarn that was a gradient from yellow to blue.

Jan finished a scarf, Monet’s Argyle, where the yarn did the colorwork for her and resulted in an argyle pattern through deliberate pooling of color. Artful Color, Mindful Knits is the book which guided her in this project.

For a new design challenge, we introduce our first knit-along (KAL), and pair it with a design-along (DAL). We’ll be doing a DAL-KAL based on Jan’s pattern, Swagger. Two threads are up in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group - one for chatter, one for finished projects. If you add your own design variation to the project, you get two entries! The big prize is a skein of Wollmeise Twin, an 80:20 merino:nylon sock yarn - an appropriate prize.

In 360 degrees, Ellen has been spinning a bit with her Jenkins Kuchulu, a very small (and cute!) Turkish spindle while on conference calls and has gone to the other extreme by working with her Great Wheel on different fiber preps. Suffice it to say that some work better than others. Her medium sized wheel, her Louet Victoria, was just right for spinning up some more of her CorriedaleX that has been in the works.

Jan plyed up the alpaca/merino/stellina that the spun last week and also skeined and washed some yarn from Finnsheep. She also spun up a little art batt from her fiber processing workshop, and also finished up the last bit of her Into the Whirled batt and will soon get it plyed up.

Jan described the meaning of the fiber term, diz, a device used to draw a roving from a comb or drum carder. Ellen discussed punis - a fiber prep form for spinning.

Jan challenges us to investigate Stitch Maps, JC Briar’s new approach to charting without a grid, resulting in a depiction of what the knitting will actually look like. Go take a look at the web site and we’ll be discussing this again soon!

Ellen’s slick trick is a way to eliminate ends in Fair Isle knitting. It works for feltable yarns - figure out how much yarn is needed for about 5 sts. When you come to the end of a color, stop 5 sts before the end of the color and break the yarn off with 2x the length you determined that you’d need for those 5 sts. Lay this across the new yarn and fold it back on itself, then fold the new yarn back on itself. Adjust so the intersection is exactly at the point that gives just enough the length needed to knit those last stitches. Felt the join together by dampening it and rubbing it together between your palms (if working with a non-feltable yarn, you might try a Russian join).

It will be a slick trick if Ellen gets the show notes up before she has to pack for the Cat Bordhi retreat which she and Jan are attending in mid-October.

Don’t knit like my sister!
Episode 24: Orange is the New Black!

In which we discuss the new Knitty, lakes that aren’t lakes, really great spinning wheels, black…err…um…orange cats, more tomatoes, a Swagger KAL, the Ricefield Collective, lack of yarn, failure to read patterns, getting from design ideas to actual written patterns, a prize weiner and busy days ahead.

Ellen and Betsy (aka Bevil on Ravelry) made a trek to Wisconsin and visited Black Cat Farmstead, purveyors of antique spinning wheels, handspun and spinning fiber, and other lovely things like jewelry and soap. They enjoyed a gorgeous drive through rolling farm country and along the side of Lake Pepin, which is actually a very wide spot in the Mississippi River.

Jan stayed home and processed the harvest - lavender and tomatoes mostly. Once she gets her fiber sales going, you might get a little lavender sachet in your package, should you buy some! The farm continues to grow - Jan has bought yet another alpaca, Chena, another female so you can count on the herd continuing to grow.

Ellen is working on the Harmonia’s Rings cowl by Sivia Harding. She’s knitting it out of Berroco Vintage, a washable wool:synthetic blend, which creates a problem. The directions for washing say to turn the garment inside out, but this garment is a mobius ring, so how is this possible? (heh!)

She is also continuing work on her Forever in the Forest stole, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia. And she reports that the fabric of her Grey Mountains (Mountain Peaks, a Bohus reproduction) hat (kit from SOLsilke) is luscious knit at the fine gauge of a size 0 needle.

Jan is also knitting a Bohus almost-reproduction. It would be, except she has swapped out some colors to bring it more to her taste. Her Fog Lights sweater is coming along nicely; the original design is the Green Mist pullover by Kerstin Olson. She is also working on another misty project - Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain shawl. It may have stalled a bit due to an error in the lace several rows back and some philosophical pondering of whether she needs more yarn.

It seems Jan isn’t wondering if she has enough of that bulky handspun (which we’ve been discussing for a few episodes now) to knit mittens - she certainly doesn’t. But enough is enough and she has converted to knitting fingerless mitts, for which there was enough yarn, without a single full gram to spare.

Ellen has finely and finally finished Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project. It was knit out of Classic Elite Soft Linen, a warm, dense yarn, so despite being short-sleeved, it will likely be a winter sweater. Watch for a pattern to come out of this one!

Jan and Ellen discuss various approaches to design in the Design Principles section. Books that they find useful include Knit Notes: Explore * Design * Create and also Shirley Paden’s Knitwear Design Workshop.

For a new design challenge, we introduce our first knit-along (KAL), and pair it with a design-along (DAL). We’ll be doing a DAL-KAL based on Jan’s pattern, Swagger. More details to come!

In 360 degrees, Ellen talks about how great her wheel is - her new Great Wheel, that is, which was the result of her trip to Black Cat Farmstead. She hopes a walking wheel will increase the amount of exercise she gets! Jan got some spinning done - 8 ounces of 50% alpaca/50% wool w/ Blue Magic (angellina) in the Under the Sea colorway from Gurdy Run Woolen Mill , a bit of Columbia on the gorgeous painted jasper whorl drop spindle that was a gift from dear friend, Heidi, and she is preparing spin off entries for Dorito and Dipper - not for them to spin, but of their fleeces!

Jan’s embellishment this episode is the Terrace Cowl from the Ricefield Collective.

Ellen used her Slick Trick for the episode in finishing her Musing sweater - when picking up stitches for a band or whatever, use a needle two sizes smaller so that the connection is crisp. Jan’s ST is to use a smaller needle when executing Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off to get a bound edge that is stretchy but doesn’t flare.

Jaxie985 won the Design Elements contest that ran all summer - congratulations!

Enjoy the show!
Episode 23: Second Sock Syndrome

In which we discuss our Seattle trip for the fabulous Bohus knitting workshop, the weather, fair food, prizes for knitting everywhere, camelid fiber grading workshops, capturing domestic and wild life, Bohus knitting and reknitting, share a negative space essay about returning home, and learn some more fiber jargon and another slick trick.

We are thrilled that so many of you have chosen to listen, and even more thrilled when we get to meet you in person. Thanks, Holly and Kathy, for joining us in Seattle to knit and chat a bit!

Seattle was the focus of the Patterns of our Lives for the last few weeks - we both attended a special workshop with Susanna Hansson on the history and techniques of Bohus Stickning the couture house that produced fabulous and precious sweaters in the mid-decades of the 20th century. Susanna is a fabulous teacher, and the custom workshop for our small group was fabulous. Thank you, Susanna! And thank you to Paula and Marty, Ellen’s SIL and BIL, who hosted the twins for an interlude after the workshop in their gorgeous lake home.

Bohus sweaters weren’t all that were showing up in the Patterns of Our Lives. Jan turned around from her Seattle trip and headed to Ohio and Magical Farms, the largest alpaca ranch in the country, for a fiber grading workshop. Ellen (along with Lisa and friends) hit the State Fair and ate her way through to the Creative Activities barn, where they both enjoyed seeing some winning garments, including three second places in the various sock categories. Congratulations to Bevil, Jennifer, and any other listeners who won ribbons at the state fair or in their county or regional fairs.

Jan is done with her garden, or at least all the work of putting up the harvest. And she is done with the groundhog that took up an abode under her porch - thanks to Dale and his Hav-a-hart trap. Ellen is just getting into the gardening spirit after adopting a friend’s garden that would have gone unharvested while the friend is out of state this fall.

On the Runway features a Bohus reproduction sweater that Jan started in Seattle - her version of Green Mist which she is calling Fog Lights. She has swapped out several of the colors to move the design from the original misty version to one that is more vivid and is loving knitting it. Jan’s version of Siesta, a T-shirt by Carol Feller, is taking a reposo, but she made some headway on her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain Shawl which she is knitting out of Knit Picks Galileo, 50/50 merino bamboo in the Sand colorway. She is also working up a coaster for the Caithness Craft Collective swap. No details about it until it is in the hands of her swapmate, pgknittingnurse, also known as Andrea.

Ellen said she had less on the runway, but actually had 6 knitting projects going. All of her recent work on n Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project, seems to have clouded her mind. Other projects that saw the light of day included her Master Knitter Level 2 resubmission, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, and her Bohus sweater, Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace. She continues to work on a gloves-design-in-progress and cast on a new project, too - Gray Mountains, a hat in the Mountain Peaks Bohus design in the gray colorway. The yarn is a fine fingering 100% wool yarn - 170 sts on size 0 (US) around the head! Another new Bohus project for Ellen - a tiny pouch in progress from the Scilla design swatch kit which she received as part of the workshop.

Bohus knitting is featured in the Bitten by My Knittin’ design element, too. Ellen came to the bitter conclusion that her experimental top down sleeve caps on her Rimfrost cardigan were just not working and frogged the both sleeves back to the armholes. The yoke tension is also looking a little iffy. Jan admitted that she didn’t read the pattern thoroughly and jumped ahead to splitting the sleeves and body off from the yoke on her Bohus pullover and had to frog back to correct abnormally short armholes.

Jan has completed her version of her design, Swagger, out of St. Charles’ Luna, a kid mohair/silk laceweight. Promenade, her project, is being used as a shop model at Flying Fibers.

In the design element, Design Challenge, Ellen thanks Arlen of the Lost Geek podcast for the suggestion to look at the Simpleknits blog for ideas to knit from 1-285 yards of yarn. Jan has a new design challenge - what sweater pattern would be great for a stylish, athletic young man?

360 Degrees: Ellen reported the finishing of one more yertle from Susan’s Spinning Bunny, a BFL roving dyed in the Sled Dog colorway. Jan’s life kept her spinning enough that she didn’t need any more from a wheel or spindle!

In Fiber Jargon, we discussed combing, carding, and gilling. No, there was no fishing involved.

For a Slick Trick to avoid forgetting that second decrease in rows where you “decrease one st on each end”, Ellen suggests clipping a st marker in place at the end of the row as soon as you do that first decrease. When you hit the marker, it reminds you to do the second decrease.

The Fashion Forecast is for a northwoods knitting retreat for Ellen at the Lost in the Woods Knitting Retreat hosted by Sisu Designs. This one is full, but a second retreat is being offered later in the fall if you are interested. Jan is returning to Magical Farms for a fiber processing weekend, and both twins will be going to Friday Harbor in October for a Cat Bordhi retreat. Sounds like a good autumn, doesn’t it?!

There is still one contest running to close out the Twinset Summer - a Design Challenge instead of a KAL for the listeners of Twinset Design. Take a project you are already knitting and share a favorite design element in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. Contest will close soon after the first of September.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 22: Otter Nonsense!

Thanks to Dr. Gemma and Mary for their nice comments on Swagger on their respective pod- and videocasts, Cogknitive and The Knitting Dish!  (Both are worth a listen, regardless of their support of Jan’s pattern.)

In Patterns of our Lives, Jan stayed crazy busy, with guests, produce processing, new sheds (thanks, Dale!), and even a concert at which she got to see a holographic Kelly Clarkson. Jason Aldean was the headliner, but she liked the opener, Jake Owen.  Ellen hasn’t heard of either, and wouldn’t have recognized Kelly.  She is living in the music world of the 70’s and 80’s (thank you, MTV, for getting me through those long colicky nights…).

Ellen and Wilson visited the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.  They had a wonderful day of ogling otters, taking notice of tigers, and beholding butterflies.  They got some biking in, some kayaking, and Ellen got lots of entries in to the MN State Fair.

Jan is moving several projects that she cast on previously - another  version of her design, Swagger, this time out of two skeins of St. Charles’ Luna, a kid mohair/silk laceweight that will show how versatile the pattern really is.  Her tip - weight both skeins and start with the lightest (they may vary by a few grams), and make the end of that skein the center of the scarf/shawl.  You’ll most certainly have enough yarn to finish in that case!   Siesta, a T-shirt by Carol Feller, got some attention, too.  And though she intended to, she hasn’t actually yet cast on for Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain Shawl.  Something about a yarn selection problem…  She does have another version of her Summer Turban well underway.
Ellen has many WIPs but was fairly focused this week, getting the most work done on Blue Moons (see later!).   Work continues apace on Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project.  You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden  Ravelry group.  Also on her needles, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, and Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool).  She found her Bohus sweater,  Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, and worked on the sleeves during the recording of this episode.

The knitting seems to have been kind of hungry.  Ellen described adding buttonholes to a ribbed band after the fact in her Blue Moons cardigan and also how to fix a mis-crossed cable (or at least make it appear to be fixed).  She also got to fix the edge of her Black Spruce shawl - once again, worked the wrong edge stitch!

Jan’s biggest knitting issues were more yarn issues, causing her to frog her start to a project with her bulky handspun because she realized the color just wasn’t right for near her face; instead of a hat, it will be mittens. She did have to frog back a bit to fix a mis-crossed cable on the edge of her Siesta sweater.

After doing all the fixes on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern, Ellen is delighted to report that she finished it just in time for entry into the MN State Fair.   Jan didn’t have any Finely or Finally Finished Objects, but she is close on her next Swagger.

360 Degrees: Ellen reported the finishing of one more yertle (the little turtle shaped (or yurt-shaped) cops of singles that one gets off a Turkish spindle).  She is spinning fiber from Susan’s Spinning Bunny, a BFL roving dyed in the Sled Dog colorway. Jan dyed some handspun - using onion skins and alum plus cream of tartar and got a gorgeous antique gold that even Dale admired.

In a reprise on spinning terms, Ellen did some research and found an Abby Franquemont article from Spin-Off that should be helpful in understanding the differences between top, roving, sliver and more.

Fun Fur - or should we say Fun fur all!  Ellen’s Fun Fur is her rediscovery of the humor in Mathnet, a skit from the Square One TV math education show of the 80’s.  Highly recommended, educational for the kids and hilarious for the parents.  The episode which so tickled her was the pilot, The Problem of the Missing Baseball.

Jan described the Slick Trick of using a green scrubby to deflect the rinse water from a garment or skein of yarn so as to prevent any chance of felting.  Ellen’s contribution to this segment was the crossing of the last stitch in the shoulder with the first stitch in the neckline bind off so as to prevent any gapping at that corner.

Already Wieners - Lakchi won the depiller challenge and promises to report back on her findings.  Congratulations!

There is still one contest running to close out the Twinset Summer - a Design Challenge instead of a KAL for the listeners of Twinset Design.  Take a project you are already knitting and share a favorite design element in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.  Contest will close soon after the first of September.

Both twins share a Fashion Forecast - a trip to Seattle for a Bohus workshop with Susanna Hansson! Meet-up details on the the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 21: Hello, Violet!

In which we discuss the birth of Violet…other stuff too, but really, Violet is what was important. (Okay, we also discuss beach vacations, 90th birthday parties, chickens to the freezer, knitting polygamy, making iced tea more delicious, a few knitting nibbles, what to do with 80 yards of bulky handspun, roving, top, batt and sliver (oh, my!) and have a delightful visit by Dr. Yarn.)

Along with the age of majority (21 episodes), we hit the nice round number of 500 members in our Ravelry group. Thanks to all for joining in the fun!

In Patterns of our Lives, Ellen reported on a relaxing week at the beach after which she came back to a new job. Jan, as a good big sister, willingly answered Ellen’s request for advice on how to settle in and start to add value. In a nutshell, she said to open up your ears to people inside and outside of your new organization so you can get the full picture of what is working well and what might be improved.

Jan had a much less relaxing but more exciting time, welcoming many to the farm to celebrate her MIL’s 90th birthday, moving turkeys around, butchering the broiler chickens, and most important - welcoming their newly born cria, Fair Wind’s Shrinking Violet!

Ellen has many projects on the runway. Work continues apace on Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project. You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden Ravelry group. She is well into the front bands on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern. She is going to have to figure out buttons very soon. Double breasted? Toggle and loop as Jan used in her Manly cardigan? Check in next episode and find out.

Jan has been casting on new projects - another version of her design, Swagger, this time out of commercial yarn. It may not have actually been cast on at the time this episode was recorded! She did cast on for Siesta, a T-shirt by Carol Feller. And she is working on another shawl which she is calling Misty Morning, her version of Paula Emons-Fuessle’s Lullaby Rain Shawl.

Ellen’s runway show continued with additional work on the edge of Bambinoo, a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo. Also on her needles, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, and Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool). She couldn’t work on her Bohus sweater, Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, because it seems to have gone missing (no foul play is suspected, just foul housekeeping).

The knittin’ was nibblin’ more than biting - Ellen had to tink back to correct a few stitches gone awry in her lace and Jan had some computer issues, but no major frogging took place in the last few weeks. For Ellen, no finishing took place either, so Jan took a solo turn for the Finely or Finally Knit segment.

She reworked her Summer Turban, a cure cap for a friend with cancer, to correct for size and to make sure she had enough yarn to finish. It is out of a soft cotton and will be reminiscent of a head wrap when finished. She has also finished her Cornish Dormouse tea cozy for the Caithness Craft Collective swap.

Both twins are keeping to their Tour de Fleece goals. Jan says the cops from Turkish spindles remind her of Mongolian yurts; Ellen says they look like turtles. From henceforth, they shall be called yurtles, at least where the Twinset is concerned.

In Fiber Jargon, Ellen attempts to decipher the difference between top, roving, and sliver, but admits more research is needed to get the details straight on sliver. Dr. Yarn would not need to do this research, he would know. You can enjoy some of his wisdom in this episode’s 5 Minute Interview.

As an Embellishment, Jan recommends that we all check out, wait, what was that again? Oh, yes, Lumosity. A friend of ours attests to its helpfulness at building brain power; Jan attests to how much fun it is. Ellen shared her Fun Fur enjoyed on her beach vacation - iced tea laced with Limoncello. For a less sweet version, Jan recommends Limoncini. Or something like that - Ellen does not speak Italian, but she is typing up the show notes!

Jan’s Slick Trick is to wash hand-knit socks in a wool wash like Soak or Eucalan that doesn’t require rinsing, hence eliminating one cycle of agitation and therefore one more chance to felt those socks.

Several of our listeners got to learn that They May Already Be Weiners! yrallee, sewingmomy, and desz72 all won Brenda Castiel patterns, and anniepins won a copy of History on Two Needles.

The twins will try to get one more episode in before they head west to Seattle for a Bohus knitting retreat with Susanna Hansson and a group of their knitting friends. Jan will then be heading to Magical Alpacas in Ohio for a fiber judging course.

Enjoy the show!

Episode 20: Quickly Recorded, Slowly Published

In which we discuss population changes on the farm and in the backyard, barn raising, post pounding, fireworks on the Stone Arch Bridge, turkey escapees, awkward teenage birds, grizzlypig shenanigans, cherries for pie, vegetables for pickles, an expectant mother, good progress on many projects, how helpful it is to actually read directions, hiding decreases in ribbing, knitting cues, pitting tools and many, many contests. And be sure to note the “summer25″ discount code on Goodstuff’s Ravelry downloads!

On the Runway - Jan is working up an interesting construction in her Summer Turban, a cure cap for a friend with cancer.  It is out of a soft cotton and will be reminiscent of a head wrap when finished.  There are still some interesting challenges for her to overcome - including whether or not she has enough yarn!  She has also been hard at work on her Cornish Dormouse tea cozy for the Caithness Craft Collective swap.

Ellen keeps up a knitting blitz, working on the edge of Bambinoo, a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo and adding another module or two to Wired, her version of a Domino Muffler by Vivian Hoxbro out of Habu silk/stainless steel yarn.  Also on her needles, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, which Jan says can’t be counted as truly out of hibernation until she works on it 3 episodes in a row.  Tune in next time to hear its status!

Good progress was reported by Ellen on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern.  Her mods include moving the short rows from the edge of the collar to earlier in the collar band, creating a neck stand.  Work continues apace on Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project.  You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden  Ravelry group. As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.

Both Jan and Ellen were Bitten by their Knittin’.  Jan realized she was playing too much with her steek edging on her  Eek! a Steek! top down Icelandic sweater in Lett Lopi.  It’s the project for  Ragga Eirikstotter’s Craftsy class. The  edging got a bit frayed, but was nicely tucked in during the final finishing, so no worries.  Ellen learned that one must not cut off an end until one has woven it in.  Duplicate stitch to the rescue, in this case.  Ellen’s troubles continued with enthusiastic knitting carrying her ahead on  Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool).  Because the rows are listed in the pattern out of order (grouped by what you are doing, not by number), but she failed to notice this, some frogging was necessary.  And because she wasn’t paying attention to what the right side of her garment would be when worn, the rib at the point of increase for the collar had to be inverted on her  Blue Moons cardigan, so that the knit side would be on the front instead of the purl side.  Happily she didn’t have to frog all of her neck band progress - just the one rib!

Both twins had plenty of projects to discuss in Finely, or Finally Finished projects.  Jan finished that  Eek! a Steek! top down Icelandic sweater and is very pleased with it.  She may be even more pleased that she was able to present a friend with a wonderful wedding gift, the Cowgirl Wedding Shawl,  her knit of the Robin Ulrich pattern, Brandywine Falls.  Ellen grafted the toes of her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki.  Nothin’ like socks out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, Lightweight, in this case.  She aslo finished two shawlettes - Sashay, the sized-down version of Jan’s design, Swagger, knit in Ellen’s handspun Coopwort, and   Alison Jeppson Hyde’s Bigfoot Shawl, out of more handspun (Jacob this time, hence the name Wrapped in Jacob, inviting Jan’s innuendo).  In a moment (barely more than that!) of whimsy, Ellen knit one little baby sock out of some leftover cashmere yarn.  There wasn’t enough for two, but the little sock made a nice swatch.

Jan and Ellen are both part of the Team Captain roster for theTour de Fleece Team Sasquatch group (for podcasters and podcast-listeners). They wisely chose achievable goals - Jan’s is to spin 15 minutes a day, and Ellen’s is just to spin at all every day!  So far, so good!  Ellen will be taking a spindle on her upcoming vacation so she can continue her progress.  Jan is also using a spindle - and in another TM (twin moment) they realize they are both using Jenkin’s Lark Turkish Spindles.  You can investigate the wonder of Turkish Spindles on the Jenkin’s website, but consider yourself warned, you may need to buy one!

Ellen’s Embellishment for the week is the Norpro Deluxe Cherry Stoner.  If you need to pit cherries, you need one of these!

Ellen’s Slick Trick was to use a simple hang tag attached to one’s project for notes on pattern details that you’d normally have to drag out the pattern to check - maybe the frequency of decreases, or a simple lace pattern or whatever.  And she noted that the Slick Trick from last episode - moving the slipping of stitches in an Eye of Partridge or Slipped Rib heel flap to the purl side - was also mentioned in the a recent episode of The Lost Geek podcast.

Episode 19: Knit Everything!

There is so much knitting in this episode we barely have room for everything else.  Luckily, pixels are free so the show notes don’t have to be shortened.

Ellen confesses to embracing Susan Dolph’s take on the Permaculture principle of diversity to a ridiculous extent - she is knitting everything.  First up - Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project.  You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden  Ravelry group. Ellen continued her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki, during the recording of this podcast and finished the last two with just a bit of yarn to spare.  They aren’t done until they are grafted at the toes.  She continued working on her Blue Moons cardigan, knit out of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn using the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan pattern.

Even some long hibernating projects got attention - Bambinoo, a self-designed baby blanket out of Be Sweet Bamboo; Wired, her version of a Domino Muffler by Vivian Hoxbro out of Habu silk/stainless steel yarn; Zip Line, another self-designed pattern for a zipped cardigan; Great Dayne, yet another original, a top down raglan based on Brenda Dayne’s top down raglan class, and the most ancient project of all, Forever in the Forest, out of Misti Alpaca lace weight and based on the Forest Path Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia, which she started on her 25th wedding anniversary trip.  She has now been married well over 30 years.

As if knitting on all of her extant projects weren’t enough, Ellen suffered a bout of startosis, getting going on Black Spruce, her version of the Sarah Punderson design, Adirondack, in Cascade Venezia (silk/wool) saw a bit of attention, and Sashay, the sized-down version of Jan’s design, Swagger, knit in Ellen’s handspun Coopworth.

And in a twin moment, she cast on for Alison Jeppson Hyde’s Bigfoot Shawl, out of more handspun (Jacob this time, hence the name Wrapped in Jacob, despite Jan’s innuendo), and discovered while recording that Jan’s shawl, Ann’s Big Heart, knit from the same book, Wrapped in Comfort, was also a Bigfoot!
As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, despite its misadventures in the next segment.

Jan also got some knitting in.  She is well on her way to finishing Eek! a Steek!, a top down Icelandic sweater in Lett Lopi.  It’s the project for  Ragga Eirikstotter’s Craftsy class. She is enjoying her knit of the Robin Ulrich pattern, Brandywine Falls, which she is knitting as a wedding gift for a friend.  She is also knitting a tea cozy for the Caithness Craft Collective swap and continues her generosity with a self-designed Cure Cap for a friend who is fighting cancer.

Both twins had finished objects!  Ellen, still amused by her project name, finished her version of Stephen West’s Pogona, known on her project page as Herbstetology.  And Jan finished her  version of Swagger in a shawl width, using Wollmeise Lacegarn in Campari Picolo ; the project is called Orange You Pretty.  Both of these projects were for the Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast Orange-along.

And, on another happy note, Jan took enough baths to finish her Happy  Bath Towel out of Sugar ‘n’ Cream.  She only knit on it while in the bath tub.

The featured designer for this episode was Brenda Castiel.  Check out her patterns on Ravelry! Through the end of August, use the code summer25 to get a 25% discount on her patterns in her Ravelry download store.

Jan and Ellen are participating in the Tour de Fleece.  They wisely chose achievable goals - Jan’s is to spin 15 minutes a day, and Ellen’s is just to spin at all every day!  Check out their progress on the Team Sasquatch group (for podcasters and podcast-listeners).  Ellen admitted to purchasing a new fleece.  It is impossible for her to resist the beautiful fiber from Peeper Hollow Farm.  She bought a grey Romney ram fleece - stunning!

During Design Principles, Jan interviews Annie Modesitt who shares her design inspirations.  We have a contest for a copy of her book, History on Two Needles, in action on the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.

Ellen shared a review of the Lilly Brush(TM) sweater de-piller as her Embellishment.  In her opinion, it edged out the Gleener(TM), but both have their strengths.  A set of one of each is offered up in a contest running through July for listeners who are willing to  commit to reviewing them if they win - check out the details on the Twinset Designs Ravelry Group.

Jan extolled the virtues of Kookaburra Power - an all purpose cleaner she is loving using around the house.  For Ellen to love it, she’d have to do housework…

Jan and Ellen both find all the KAL’s to be quite a challenge, so they have created a Design Challenge instead of a KAL for the listeners of Twinset Design.  Take a project you are already knitting and share a favorite design element in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. At the end of the summer, we’ll choose a winner of the effort, but we’ll all be winners after we read all these insights.

Two other contests are taking place at the Twinset Designs Ravelry group - one for a copy of Annie Modesitt’s History on Two Needles will close mid-July.  The other is for one of our featured designer’s patterns.  It will run through mid-July, as well.
 Episode 18: Making Hay While the Sun Shines

In which we discuss bird spotting, the mechanics of making hay, exercise options (totally!), motivation for riding, garden prospects, possible new neighbors, grand-dog sitting, the wisdom of dyeing hair while engaged in fine hand knitting, two cases of startosis, knitting on the needles, no knitting off the needles, making batts and making yarn, a listener design challenge, design principles a la Annie Modesitt, Sarah Punderson’s designs, reflections on Fiber Fest by some of our favorite knitterati, bags from swag, and a contest!

Thanks to Sarah Punderson for the Adirondack pattern.  Sarah shows up later in the show notes - read on!

Jan did not say “feeding nannies to tuna fish”.  She said “feeding mayonaisse to tuna fish”.  Just in case you were wondering. You are correct, she did say that Swagger is being test knit and the pattern should be available soon.

In On the Runway, Jan reports working on a top down Icelandic sweater in Lett Lopi.  It’s her first attempt at steeking - good thing she has Ragga Eirikstotter’s Craftsy class to guide her through.  She is also working on another version of Swagger in a shawl width, using Wollmeise Lacegarn in Campari Picolo for the Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast Orange-along; the project is called Orange You Pretty.

Jan continues work on her Death Spiral shawl (Spiral Shawl design by Erica Gunn) and her Percasocks.  She is going mum on the latter as she may be submitting the design for publication.  She is willing to talk about the Happy Bath Towel out of Sugar ‘n’ Cream.

Ellen has finished all the pieces for her Blue Moons cardigan, based on the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan.  Next comes seaming and then picking up stitches for the large ribbed shawl collar still to be knit. She cast on Pogona, and amused herself no end by calling it Herbstetology.  Read the project notes for more on that (you likely won’t find it nearly so amusing, but she doesn’t care).  This is knit from her handspun at a finer gauge than the pattern calls so it has many, many more stitches than the pattern describes and will be quite the process to knit.  Ellen continues her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki, and has made great progress thanks to many waiting rooms. Musing, her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project  got a lot of attention, including some SKY KNITTING.  You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden  Ravelry group. As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace, despite its misadventures in the next segment.

In Bitten by Your Knittin’, Ellen was bitten by her Master Knitter II resubmission, using too big a needle for the lace swatch, and also by Rimfrost when she knit the sleeve quite a bit larger than her arm required.  Happily, she did not dye her sweater with Punky Colors blue while trying the sweater on for fit.

In 360 degrees, Ellen described the lace 2-ply she spun worsted from a DesigKnit Rambouillet roving dyed in autumn colors.  She is also spinning a Corriedale cross fleece in woolen fashion.  Jan loves her Big Tom from Fancy Kitty and is carding a BFL lambsfleece.  In her enthusiasm to get going, Jan reported several rookie mistakes - not skirting her fleece thoroughly before washing and running a light colored fleece through the drum carder - the first batts through a new carder pick up excess  machining oils and a darker fleece wouldn’t have shown it as much.

During Design Principles, Jan interviews Annie Modesitt who shares her design inspirations.  We have a contest for a copy of her book, History on Two Needles, in action on the Twinset Designs Ravelry group.

Jan and Ellen both find all the KAL’s to be quite a challenge, so they have created a Design Challenge instead of a KAL for the listeners of Twinset Design.  Take a project you are already knitting and share a favorite design element in the Twinset Designs Ravelry group. At the end of the summer, we’ll choose a winner of the effort, but we’ll all be winners after we read all these insights.

 Sarah Punderson, a designer for Plymouth Yarns and an independent designer as well, is our Featured Designer.   Check out her designs on Ravelry!

Jan presented a 5 Minute Designer Montage with Steven Berg, Stephen West, Ragga Eirikstotter, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

In Embellishments, Jan and Ellen discuss bags they received in their Fiber Fest swag bag, highlighting the small Atenti knitting bags and Della Q’s Rosemary bag.

Ellen may be attending the Zombie Knitpocalypse in late June.  Nothing is certain yet, but maybe for a day if life isn’t too crazy.

Jan reports that the SAFONA Fiber Frolic which will feature Melanie Gall of the Savvy Girls is being delayed until the fall.

Enjoy the episode!

Episode 17: I Just Flew in from Minnesota, and Boy, Are My Arms Tired!

In which I wonder where Ellen spent the money she was given for singing lessons, Ellen delves into algebra to solve the classic math problem “Gigi’s Socks”, we discuss much (much, much, much) activity in the patterns of our lives (multiple fiber festivals included!!), trips to Minnesota and NYC, visits with daughters, fine dining, farm lessons and lessons learned (Sorry, Chicks!), the value of a good shearer and many knitting nibbles, and we chat with the mothers of Steven Berg and Stephen West. Phew!!

In On the Runway, Ellen continues her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki, and is making good progress on her Blue Moons cardigan, based on the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan. Musing, her design her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project got a lot of attetion, including some SKY KNITTING (all caps, it’s what we’re going to call airplane knitting from now on, you heard it here first). You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden Ravelry group. As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.

Jan worked on her Death Spiral shawl (Spiral Shawl design by Erica Gunn) and her Percasocks. She got going on a project kit for the Malbrigo Linen Stitch Scarf soon after buying it at Yarnover.

In Bitten by Your Knittin’, Ellen was seriously nibbled by numerous projects. It took her 3 tries to get the length of the foot right for her first half of Saki, she miscrossed a cable in Musing which required dropping back 8+ stitches about 10 rows (traveling stitches, sigh), and the bumpy and lovely Shibui sock in which she was trying to knit a lace swatch for her Master Knitter Level II resubmission just didn’t work out - too much texture to show off the lace. Jan fought a battle with the simple but stealthy linen stitch scarf - the cast on directions suggested holding two strands together, but perhaps could have been more clear that you only do that for the cast on row (or perhaps Jan might have been a bit sleepy and interpretation may have been more clear). She overshot the pattern for Death Spiral and ended up with too many stitches. Instead of frogging her fine yarn, she is simply redesigning the edging.

In Finely or Finally Finished Items, Ellen finished her Souvenir of Fiber Fest, but not in time to wear it in front of the designer of the pattern who taught at Yarnover (Souvenir: A Blended Intarsia Project by Susan Newhall). It required over-dyeing in a dove grey to soften the contrast to a point that suited Ellen. Jan finished that linen stitch scarf. You can see her results on her project page for Malibrigo Madness. She also finished a teeny tiny Lett Lopi mitten based on the class she took with Ragga Eiriksdottir. It will become a Christmas tree ornament. The Ohio River Ebb Tide cowl that she finished during her weekend in Minnesota will become a neck ornament. This project was based on the Susan B Anthony Ebb Cowl.

During Design Principles, Jan discussed the value of getting second opinions to both stimulate ideas and to catch glitches.

In 360 degrees, not much spinning got done, except for the drum on Susan Hensel’s motorized drum carder in her booth, Sue’s Luxury Fibers, at Yarnover. Ellen carded up 3 art batts - a bit of a stretch for her, but good clean fun. Jan reported that she has a big drum carder of her own on the way - a Big Tom from Fancy Kitty.

In Fashion Forecast, Ellen is in training for the Tour d’ Cure. She and Wilson are signed up to do 45 miles, not such a big deal considering that their team captain who has Type I diabetes is signed up to do 100! No pressure, honestly, but if you donate to diabetes research anyway and would like to designate some to go towards making Ellen feel guilty enought to actually ride those 45 miles, you can do so at her fundraising page.

Jan’s forecast involves preparing for the SAFONA Fiber Frolic which will feature Melanie Gall of the Savvy Girls!

Episode 16: THUNDERSNOW!

Cover Art by Martin Austermuhle

In which Ellen sings and is repetitive and in which we discuss Yarnover and Fiber Fest, a great review from Jasmin & Gigi, Thunder Snow!, quick trips to Ohio, Spring springing…and not, farm stuff, mouse melons, love blankets, snow and the frozen north, blended colors and intarsia, when eagerness overwhelms instinct, yarn to dye for, figure irregularities, the magic bullet and Yarnover and Fiber Fest.

Jan shared information about the Yarn-a-go-go effort to support victims of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. You can find more info about helping knit Love Blankets here.
In On the Runway, Ellen continues her socks in the Monkey pattern, which she is calling Saki. She has a HO - a half object aka one sock. She also has one full sleeve and much of a second, as well as the fronts and the back, of her Blue Moons cardigan, based on the Veronik Avery Forestry Cardigan. In a moment of insanity, she thought she’d whip up a shawl for Yarnover, just days away as this was recorded, and started Souvenir of Fiber Fest, a blended intarsia shawl from Susan Newhall’s Souvenir pattern. As always, as she recorded, she worked on Rimfrost, aka Many Moments of Grace.

Jan is preparing for Minnesota weather at Yarnover by knitting up Ohio River Ebb tide, her version of Susan B. Anthony’s Ebb cowl. She is developing a classroom project to teach the techniques in her Tiffany Capelet design - a potholder! She continues on her Death Spiral shawl (design by Erica Gunn) and her Percasocks. Someday perhaps she will start a project page for them to which we can link. :-)

In Bitten by Your Knittin’, both Ellen and Jan struggled with thinking they knew what they were doing. Jan’s potholder gave her fits as she worked to figure out the best yarn for it, letting her eagerness start with the wrong yarn and having to come back to the old standby for this sort of thing - Sugar & Cream. Ellen learned that the signal that all was not well in her knitting of Souvenir was the words, “It’s great to get to the point where you really know what you are doing” coming out of her mouth.

In Finely or Finally Finished Items, Ellen finally finely finished Umeshu by over-dyeing the striated yarn that was camouflaging the lace. You can read of her misadventures with bleeding dye at her blog post on the subject. (Jan reported back later that she learned from some dyers at Maryland Sheep & Wool that overheating silk can cause it to not hold dye as well - maybe this was Ellen’s problem.)

During Design Principles, Ellen discussed how she appreciated the feedback she got from Shirley Paden during her on-line meeting to discuss her Shirley Paden Design Along 3 project. You can follow the process in the We Love Shirley Paden Ravelry group. Jan shared more information from her set of vintage design books, citing Overcoming Irregularities in Figure, Woman’s Institute Library of Dressmaking, (c) 1925. She will report back later on whether Amy Herzog’s Fit to Flatter suggests similar advice.

In Design Principles, Ellen again thanked Shirley Paden for the enormous effort she is giving to the Shirley Pade.

In 360 degrees, Ellen has finished the singles of her Rhinebeck foliage colored Rambouillet, dyed by Erica of DesigKnit. The colors are marvelous, if not really suited for spring spinning.

Jan shared an Embellishment (or was it Fun Fur?) - her Magic Bullet Blender with Drinking Goblets. As seen on TV!

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.

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 15: Coming soon!

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.

Jan is making a second version of her capelet design.  The pattern is now named Tiffany Capelet.  She continues on her Death Spiral shawl (design by Erica Gunn).

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.

Our Featured Designer is madmum, aka Louise.  Her blog is Knitting for Sanity.

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.

1-imag0202.jpg Our mud sale quilt score!

1-imag0351.jpg The stitch swatch for the gradient shawl/scarf. I think I’ll name the patten “Swagger” because the ribbed border looks something like swags and I’ll surely swagger when I wear it!

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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.

No Finely or Finally Finished Items for Jan, but Ellen did finish both Massive and her version of Seedling Dreams, The Impossible Dream.

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.

1-imag0200.jpg Dale’s Hat

1-dsc06452.JPG First Prototype of the Entrelac Capelet

1-dsc06460.JPGSeeded Pretzel Gauntlets

1-marie-knits.jpgMarie knits!!

1-dsc06462.JPGPreemie Hat complete with obscured cables.

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Five for Dinner

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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 hopYarnover (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.

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1-dsc06279-001.JPGDoing the Kush (cria at Spring Grove Alpaca Ranch)

1-dsc06442.JPGEntrelac Capelet

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.

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Thank you to knitdesigns for the RAP* of her Trinity Cowl and Hat and irocknits for her RAP of Levenwick.

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.

Ellen’s Fashion Forecast holds Madrona (February 13-16) in its sights and Jan is planning to come to Minnesota for Yarnover (April 27).  And Jan reports that Emerald Green is the Color of the Year.

Enjoy the episode!

*RAP - Random Act of Pattern.  See the Friends of KnitPurlGurl Ravelry group for more info.

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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.

Jan is working on her Death Spiral (Spiral Shawl designed by Erica Gunn), another Pretty Thing (designed by Stephanie Peral McPhee) for herself, a Cloisters Cap (designed by the Knitting Linguist).

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.

Jan finally started both her Spring Grove hat and gloves.  She is making good progress on her Show Me Your Larch Pack.  Jan also promises photos of her Felted Friends someday.

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!)

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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.

Ellen discusses the Upper Midwest Fall Fiber Festival where she bought some lovely dyed yarn and fiber from Esther Purl Fibers.

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.

Ellen is spinning a gradient roving from Fiber Optic.  Ellen is also spinning some BFL dyed in the Sled Dog colorway from the Spinning Bunny.

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.

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Episode 4 Rhinebeck Review (Click HERE to listen!)

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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.

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Episode 3

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 pillowFooling 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

Episode 2 You Like Us, You Really Like Us!

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.

1-september-2012-003.jpgJan had the flu earlier in the week, but still won a prize for her dilly garlic squash pickles and lots of ribbons for her knitting at the local agricultural fairs.

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.

Our active projects include Country Gentlewoman, Valentine Ring Bearer’s Pillow, Fooling Around, Hiya, Brooke!, Twin Girl Bunting, Sockesan!, and Rime Frost aka Many Moments of Grace.

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.

Episode 1 Hello!

img_3252.jpgWelcome to the first episode of the TwinSet Designs Podcast. We’re getting a kick out of it; we hope you will, too.

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.)

In news from our life,  Ellen describes the great grizzlyhog roundup, and Jan talks about the animals in her life - her dog Ruby and her 5 hens .

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.

In a mother-daughter effort, Jan and her daughter are knitting the Origami Pullover by Linda Daniels.  Jan is knitting the big piece and her daughter the smaller to create Ori-Mommy.

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.