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!