Two Ewes Fiber Adventures: A Podcast about Knitting, Spinning, Weaving, Crochet, Dyeing-- All the Ways to Play with Yarn and Wool

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Civil War Socks, two epic projects, and a few rants from the Two Ewes are on the episode this week!

Finished and Started

Kelly finished the Civil War Socks (pattern by Karin Timour) and they fit her husband perfectly. The choices of yarn color were made as a result of reading this Civil War discussion board post.

Marsha finished prepping the yarn for Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan and she has cast on. This will be a long-term project.

She is also continuing work on the Havasu Falls Shawl that she is making from a Freia gradient yarn.

Kelly has started working on her long-term project, too. It is a quilt top that she started while in high school. Since the last episode she has made progress on this quilt, which she is planning to use as a queen-sized bedspread. It is a hand pieced quilt in the "Split Rail" design and is made from sewing project scraps from her childhood and teen years. For example, one of the fabrics is from the "Swirl Skirt" that Kelly had in the 1970s.

Kelly has also started a Mesa poncho for her sister. She discusses the yarn structure and how that is affecting the knitting in an interesting way.

Fiber in the Wild

Marsha discusses an article about the resurgence of sewing from the New York Times (August 2, 2016). The article led her to the pattern for the Walk Away Dress.

Another NY Times article details the use of the crystals on the leotards of the US Gymnastics Team. This led Marsha to a rant about women's athletic uniforms in the Olympics, but don't worry, Kelly derailed her before she started in on the Beach Volleyball uniforms!

 

 

Direct download: Episode_48_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am PDT

Spinning, dyeing moth-proof yarn, crocheting bears, and knitting handspun singles are adventures in this episode.  Kelly gives an extensive review of knitting with handspun singles so that spinners will know how to use their yarn without always plying it.  Marsha has been researching the meaning of the old-fashioned "moth-proofing" that was done to her spirit yarn.  We hope that both topics are interesting and helpful to you!

For show notes with pictures, see http://twoewesfiber.com

Marsha's projects

Marsha has not done too much knitting recently but she has made some progress on the Havasu Falls Shawl by Allison LoCicero and completed spinning 10 ounces of golden Shetland roving that she got at the Black Sheep Gathering. 

She has also been doing a little more over-dyeing in preparation for the the afghan project she is making with spirit yarn.  Detailed information about the preparations for this project (including the math that we discussed in the previous episode) is in the Project Page for Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan.  One of the colors came out lime green, as planned.  The other skein was meant to be coral but turned out gold.  The yarn was labeled as "moth-proofed" and Marsha has done some research about what that means.  The process includes treating the wool with a pesticide called Mitin ff, and may be the reason that the dye didn't adhere properly.   

Kelly's Projects

Kelly has started back up on the second of the Civil War Socks for Robert.  She has put a few more sections on the NoCKRs shawl, too, but it is now time to figure out how much yarn she will need to do the final repeats.  She has modified the New Beginnings pattern by Boo Knits in order to use two colors and wants to use all 800 yards, if possible.  Kelly has also continued in her addiction to crocheting bears for the Mother Bear Project!  She now has 13 bears to enter into the Knit/Crochet Along that the 2 Knit Lit Chicks are hosting on their Ravelry group.  To see pictures of the bears with the children in African countries take a look at the Mother Bear gallery!

Swatch-a-Palooza

Kelly has been doing a study of knitting with handspun singles.  She used a variety of handspun yarns and swatched them with a variety of needle sizes, documenting the process along the way.  She has posted her article, complete with pictures, here on the Two Ewes blog dated July 31, 2016.

Fiber in the Wild

Marsha's ears perked up when she heard NPR commentators say that Hillary Clinton should "stick to her knitting" as a strategy for her acceptance speech.  The Two Ewes weren't sure what that meant and speculated that it must be an old saying.  After recording, they found this link that helps to explain the meaning!

Direct download: Episode_47_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm PDT

Math, over-dyeing, color theory, and an interesting discussion of the Faroe Islands join knitting and spinning in the topics of this episode.

Kelly's Projects

Kelly has won the battle with the first of the Civil War socks. Several adjustments for fit were needed, but the finished sock is now perfect and it is on to the second one.

The only other knitting has been on the NoCKRs shawl. The desire to use as much yarn as possible of both colors has led to some pattern modification experiments.

Kelly has been doing a lot of spinning with two different wool/angora blends. One is a dyed gray and the other is a natural white. She also continues working on the CVM fleece with both a fingering/sport 3-ply and a bulky singles yarns on the wheels.

Marsha's Projects

Marsha was doing really well on her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang but discovered she knit past the point where she should begin decreasing for the shoulders. Ugh! She now needs to do some ripping back.

She started a shawl call Havasu Falls by Allison LoCicero using Freia Handpaints Ombre Lace in the color way Ice Queen.

Since the last episode's discussion of the Tour de Fleece, Marsha has been focusing on spinning. She has one skein done and three bobbins waiting to be plied of the golden Shetland roving she purchased last month at the Black Sheep Gathering. When that project is done she plans to start spinning a big ball of unknown wool roving from Pendleton Woolen Mills.

The Two Ewes have a discussion on the planning Marsha is doing to make the Garter Squish afghan by Stephen West. There is lots of talk of math including the golden ratio!

The Garter Squish afghan is knit using two balls of worsted weight yarn. One in a main color and the second in ever changing contrast colors. For the main color Marsha will use the repurposed blue spirit yarn from the giant sweater she made for her father. For the contrasting colors she will use odds and ends from her stash. She didn't love some of the colors which leads to a Fiber in the Wild adventure.

Fiber in the Wild

Kelly and Marsha met Maddy Wallace (appledappy) at the Jorstadt Creek Dye Studio booth at the Black Sheep gathering. Maddy invited them to Over Dye Saturday held at the studio in Olympia, Washington. Marsha was able to attend and over dyed some of her thrift shop yarn that she will use in her Garter Squish afghan. Over Dye Saturdays supports Click for Babies who educate new parents on preventing shaken baby syndrome.

Jorstadt Creek Dye Studio is owned by Kerry Graber (jorstadtcreek) and she is focusing on fiber from local producers featuring Icelandic, Finn, and Gotland wools all grown in the Olympia area. Her yarns are sold at Bazaar Girls in Port Townsend, WA and Yorkshire Yarns in Lakewood, WA. An Etsy shop is coming soon. Kerry is also part of a design group call the BK Collective featuring Jorstadt yarns. Marsha met two of the designers, Kaia Petersen (cayennepepper) and Jann Hoppler (jmhknits) at the studio. They have some lovely patterns. A couple of Marsha's favorites are....

Traslov Hat by Kerry Graber

Garrison Street Scarf and Cowl by Kaia Petersen

Ebb and Flow Shawl by Jann Hoppler

A huge thank you to everyone at Jorstadt Creek. Marsha had a blast! Here are some pictures from the day or visit her project page, Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan, for more photos.

And finally, Marsha talks about a story she heard on the BBC World Service about sheep being used to map the Faroe Islands. Here are links discussed.

Faroe Islands

Sheep View 360

Free Faroese Sweater Pattern

Free Sarah Lund Faroese Sweater Pattern

For photos check out our blog.

 

Direct download: Episode_46_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm PDT

Show notes coming soon.

Direct download: Episode_45_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:07pm PDT

Knitting, spinning and preparing for the Black Sheep Gathering has Marsha and Kelly so excited that they can't stay on topic!  Lots of interesting (we hope!) tangents in this episode.

Marsha has finished her Ricky for All Seasons by Vera Sanon.  She loves the look and the fit and recommends the pattern. 

She is still working on her Spirit-Yarn-a-Long project, a shawl called Sunny Delight by Brian Smith.  This will be great train knitting for her train trip to Eugene for the Black Sheep Gathering. 

Kelly cast on and finished a Spirit Yarn project.  The Bethel Tank has been in her queue for about two years. She used some coned cotton that she and Marsha had dyed a couple summers ago in a dyeing experiment.  Along with the cotton she carried along a strand of rough-spun linen coned yarn.

The Spirit Yarn Along will continue until June 30 in the Ravelry Group.  Winners will be chosen randomly from the discussion participants.  Share your projects and Spirit Yarn stories. While discussing the projects Marsha speculated that there was probably a podcast about buying storage units.  Indeed there is!  Kelly found this podcast about buying storage units.   Storage Auction Shogun's Podcast. 

Kelly is also working on Civil War era socks for her husband from a 19th century pattern.  The toes, cuffs, and heels will be her handspun.  It is a 3-ply mohair and merino blend fiber from Sincere Sheep.  The leg and foot of the socks will be Invictus Yarn BFL sock in an indigo color.

Going to the Black Sheep Gathering  in Eugene, Oregon?  If so, we have a meet-up planned for the evening of Saturday, June 25.  We hope you can join us.  Listen to the show and check out the Ravelry Group for more details.

Direct download: Episode_44_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm PDT

In this episode you will only hear one half of the Two Ewes. Kelly finished up the school year with a cold and wasn't able to record. We didn't want to miss reaching out to everyone so it is short episode with Marsha. Well, Kelly does make a short appearance at the end of the podcast since at editing time she had a little better voice!

Kelly has finished two projects!  She decided that a good day to bind off the I Love My Husband scarf was their 32nd anniversary.  It was one of the projects that she brought on the camping trip they went on.  She also finished the Edie tee by Isabel Kramer.  She decided not to add the neckline edging, but she did add a moss stitch edging to the hem and sleeves.  The yarn fabric washed up nicely in a cold water machine wash and a trip through the dryer. The hem and sleeve edges are rolling up, so it will need a bit of ironing there.

She continues work on the Latticework Cardigan and hopes to finish before the Black Sheep Gathering.  Breaking News!  The sweater is finished! 

The end of the semester prevented her from selecting a spirit yarn project (although Pi Baby from last episode was made from spirit yarn).  Now that school is over and the grading is done, she will be searching through stash for a good candidate.

Marsha has not picked up her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang for weeks since she has been working on other projects.

She is almost to the bottom edge of her Ricky for All Seasons by Vera Sanon. She want the T-shirt to be a little longer than the pattern is written. She plans to put the bottom edge on waste yarn, finish the neck and sleeves and see how much yarn she has to make the Tee longer.

Yarnia in Portland, Oregon was awesome and sent her 2 ounces more yarn to finished her Striped Study Shawl. Thank you so much Yarnia!

Marsha is still working on her Spirit-Yarn-a-Long project, a shawl called Sunny Delight by Brian Smith.

She has been spinning and carding the Merino fleece she bought last year at the Black Sheep Gathering. Marsha promised herself she cannot by more fleece at this year's gathering until she spins what she bought last year!

Fiber in the Wild:

Marsha visited just two yarn shops, Tolt and Quintessential Knits, during the LYS Tour of shops in the Seattle area. At Tolt she bought baa ram ewe Dovestone DK from Yorkshire, in a light grey/blue call Brambly Bath . The yarn is 50% Blueface Leicester, 25% Wensleydale, and 25% Masham. Marsha had not heard of Masham so had to buy the yarn!

We have a discussion thread in the Ravelry Group for the Spirit Yarn Along. Use your spirit yarn (whether de-stash or DEEP stash) to make something between now and June 30. Talk about it, show us pictures, and share the creativity. Winners will be selected randomly from the thread.

Kelly attended the Spinning at the Winery on June 4, held by the Treadles to Threads Guild at the Retzlaff winery in Livermore.  What a fun event!  In addition to spinning a braid from Woolgatherings, there was much spinning encouragement going on.  Dagmar got going with her new wheel and Jennai actually won a wheel in the raffle!  Woohoo!  What a great day!

Going to the Black Sheep Gathering?  If so, we have a meet-up planned for the afternoon/evening of Saturday, June 25.  We hope you can join us.  Listen to the show and check out the Ravelry Group for more details.

There is a little Bee Talk at the end of the podcast.    For photos check out our blog at twoewesfiber.com

Direct download: Episode_43_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm PDT


Kelly and Marsha have been busy with non-fiber responsibilities but still made progress on various projects and even started a few.

Kelly finished a crochet gift for a first-time-father-to-be. Since it was a math department colleague, she made Pi Guy for the new baby.

She is currently working on the scarf for her husband, the Edie tee and the crochet Latticework Cardigan that she cast on for the Spring Fever Knit/Crochet Along.

Marsha continues to work on her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang, but progress has slowed because she has started new projects. (What was she thinking!) She has finished the deceases for the armhole and will soon start the shoulder and neck shaping.

She is making good progress on her Ricky for All Seasons by Vera Sanon and is about to start the shaping decreases for the body.

In Episode 41 Marsha discussed her plans for a shawl using the Spirt Yarn from the NoCKR's detash room. She took home with her a skein each of Cascade Yarns Alpaca Lana D'Oro (multi), Knit Pics Capra (brown), and Ranch of the Oaks Alpaca (grey). She purchased a beautiful skein of The Fiber Company Acadia (cream) that coordinates beautifully with the Spirit Yarns. She cast on the shawl Sunny Delight MK2 by Brian Smith.

Marsha also has a self-imposed deadline to spin all, or at least part of, the two fleeces she purchased last year at the Black Sheep Gathering before she attends this year's festival in June.

Kelly discusses some Fiber in the Wild.

We have a discussion thread in the Ravelry Group for the Spirit Yarn Along. Use your spirit yarn (whether de-stash or DEEP stash) to make something between now and June 30. Talk about it, show us pictures, and share the creativity. Winners will be selected randomly from the thread.

Kelly is looking forward to Spinning at the Winery on June 4, held by the Treadles to Threads Guild at the Retzlaff winery in Livermore.

Going to the Black Sheep Gathering? If so, we have a meet-up planned for the afternoon/evening of Saturday, June 25. We hope you can join us. Listen to the show and check out the Ravelry Group for more details.

 

Direct download: Episode_42_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32pm PDT


We did it! Kelly and Marsha completed the Big Sur 21-Miler walk on Sunday, April 24th and in this episode the talk about the experience. We also give updates on projects and announce the the winners of our Spring Fever Free-for-All.

Kelly finished all her Star Wars Amigurumi! They were sent to her brother-in-law just in time for "May the Fourth be With You." He really loved them.  Check out Kelly's project page to see all the fun she had posing them with each other for pictures. There are still more of them that she might make but for now the Star Wars toys are done!

Kelly is currently working most on the shawl out of the NoCKRs 2016 yarn from Duren Dyeworks.

She decided to reuse the New Beginnings pattern by Boo Knits. She has one shawl from this pattern that she loves and she decided she could make some adjustments so that it will work with the two colors and use up all the yarn.

Kelly has swatched for the Edie t-shirt out of the Queensland Collection Savannah.  This is the yarn that Marsha and Kelly both bought right before the retreat.  It is a linen and silk blend.

Marsha has made good progress on her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang. She has finished the decreases for the armholes.

She has cast on for a T-shirt called Ricky for All Seasons by Vera Sanon. She is using Queensland Collection Savanna a silk and linen blend. The sweater is designed for short, 3/4 length, or long sleeves, in either cotton or wool blends. Truly a pattern for all seasons.

Marsha also talks about wanting to cast on a project using Spirit Yarn from the NoCKRs retreat destash room. She brought home some beautiful alpaca and cashmere and wants to cast on a social knitting shawl. Keeping in the spirit of Spirit Yarn, she is looking for a free pattern and will use the free needles she got from the destash room. She doesn't have enough yarn so plans to purchase a fourth color from her LYS where she has a gift certificate.

Spirit Yarn Patterns:

Outdoors - Maanel

Livezey House Wrap - Jocelyn Tunney

Pradera Wrap - Jocelyn Tunney


Our Spring Fever Free-for-All is now done and we have drawn the names of the winners which are announced in the podcast. The discussion thread has been so popular we are keeping the thread open even though the contest is finished. Keep posting!

We will have a new discussion thread in the Ravelry Group for the Spirit Yarn along. Use your spirit yarn (whether de-stash or DEEP stash) to make something between now and June 30. Talk about it , show us pictures, and share the creativity. Winners will be selected randomly from the thread.

Going to the Black Sheep Gathering?  If so, we have a meet-up planned for the afternoon/evening of Saturday, June 25.  We hope you can join us.  Listen to the show and check our Ravelry Group for more details.

 

 

Direct download: Episode_41_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:47pm PDT

The Two Ewes record together this week since Marsha is visiting Kelly for the NoCKRs retreat (last weekend) and the Big Sur 21-miler (coming up this weekend).  You'll hear about what inspired us at the retreat, the progress we've made on our current projects, and our plans to meet more listeners.  We also talk about the idea of Spirit Yarn.

The retreat was a great way for Kelly to get miles of spinning done! She worked on more of the yarn for her mother's Shibui Axis vest.  Two large bobbins were filled and that should end up being 4-5 ounces of yarn once it is plied.  Kelly also knitted on the Funky Grandpa cardigan that she is making out of handspun.  Both of these projects turned out to be great social projects.  Marsha worked on her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang.  She also started the Shetland Crescent shawl by Kieran Foley, but made better progress on the sweater. 

The projects at the retreat were so fabulous that Kelly was inspired to immediately queue the Mesa by Yumiko Alexander.  It is a versatile garment that can be worn as a cape or as a shawl or as a poncho.   She is also planning to make the Cancun by Erin Kate Archer.  This boxy sweater is essentially a lace sampler.  The version at the retreat was tunic length and very flattering!

Marsha was inspired by the colors at the retreat.  California knitters seem to use more colorful yarns than knitters in the Pacific Northwest. One item in particular caught her eye.  It was a beautiful version of the Stephen West shawl Exploration Station.   She was also inspired to one day take a trip with Kelly to Rhinebeck,  aka New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.

All that inspiration has led to some big plans!  Kelly plans to make the Edie Tee since Marsha's finished project looked so fantastic on her.  Kelly bought yarn that would be suitable while visiting the Continental Stitch in Morgan Hill just before the retreat to take advantage of the discount that they were offering NoCKRs participants.  Marsha has plans to make Ricky for All Seasons by Vera Sanon

Both of the Two Ewes purchased the custom dyed retreat yarn from Duren Dye Works. Kelly is thinking of making the two-color shawl Sjø by Katja Löffler.  Marsha is considering the Daydreamer Shawl by Janina Kallio.   

Marsha and Kelly enjoyed the de-stash room at the retreat and came home with lots of Spirit Yarn. These are yarns that have been loved at one time, but now need good homes.  They contain such spirit and potential that just looking at them provides so much inspiration for projects to come.

Going to the Black Sheep Gathering?  If so, we have a meet-up planned for the afternoon/evening of Saturday, June 25.  We hope you can join us.  Listen to the show for more details.

Direct download: Episode_40_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12am PDT

Our adventures continue. Marsha has a revelation about lace and another about her mama bear ferocity. :-) Listen to us discuss current projects, bees, a puppy, and some "Fiber in the Wild"!

Kelly continues the Star Wars crochet saga and has finished Luke, Han, Leia, and Jabba.

Creating tea cosies would be a similar sculptural activity and Kelly recommends a look at the work of Loani Prior , an Australian knitter who is also on Instagram as @queenoftheteacosies.

She has also finished the Wensleydale yarn she is making for her Aunt Betty to use for a Simply Garter Vest. The yarn is loosely spun and plied--a good way to make sure that the longer, courser wools don't end up feeling like wire. In fact, the yarn is shiny, silky, and very spongy in the skein.

For the Spring Fever Free-for-All Kelly has "chained up" the Latticework Cardigan by Michele DuNaier. At this point she is almost ready to separate the sleeves. The crocheting is fun and fast. It would be even faster for an experienced crocheter. This is Kelly's first crochet garment, so learning the construction and fitting methods has been interesting.

Marsha finished the knitting of her Edie Tee by Isabel Kraemer. Next is weaving in the ends and washing. The Two Ewes discuss the sweater's short rows and Kelly recommends the free Craftsy class by Carol Feller.

Marsha hasn't had time to spin more of her Shetland fleece but she did spend some time carding.

Marsha contacted Michele Wang, the designer of the Fairfield Cardigan, after she got stuck on the double yarn over. Michele was so kind to send photos of the how to work the stitch and now Marsha is back on track.

Marsha discusses two books she is reading by Clara Parkes. The Yarn Whisperer: My Unexpected Life in Knitting and Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World.

She also talks about two articles she recently read in the New York Times. "The Sock Queen of Alabama" is about an "artisan" sock manufacturer in Fort Payne, Alabama with two sock lines called Zkano and Little River Sock Mill. As more and more manufacturing is moved offshore, it is interesting to learn how one mill is thriving.

The second article, "A New Breed of Opera Diva: Sheep", is about the staging of Louis Andriessen's "De Materie", a Dutch avant-garde work that features a flock of 100 sheep! We cannot find a video of the sheep but here is an audio of the opera.

Click here to go to the blog, or here to go to the Ravelry group for the much discussed picture of Gary wearing undergarments crocheted by a co-worker. Don't worry! The picture is work safe. :-) You may remember Gary from the Kilt Hose interview in Episode 5.

The Two Ewes Spring Fever Free-for-All is underway. You are encouraged to cast on a project for spring but casting on is not required to play. (But really, why would you pass up an opportunity to cast on?) The project can be anything that feels like spring to you. Maybe a Tee or lightweight sweater, spring colors or maybe you want to learn a new technique for a new season. It can be knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving--or just talking about the above. Finishing is DEFINITELY NOT required! Isn't spring fever the urge to be irresponsible? ;-) We have a discussion thread called Spring Fever Free-for-All on Ravelry. The winners will be selected by random number generator, so the more you participate the more chances you have of winning. If you're on Instagram we're using the hashtag #twoewesspringfever. Contest ends at midnight on May 4th.

Marsha plans to cast on a shawl for the Spring Fever Free-for-All with Friea in the colorway Melon. Here are some of the patterns she's considering. A couple of them she would need to combine with a complementary yarn.

 

Shetland Crescent - Kieran Foley

Hanami Stole - Melanie Gibbons

Non Troppo - Asa Tricosa

Merlin - Kieran Foley

Havasu Falls - Alison LoCicero

Windward - Heidi Kirrmaier





 

 

Direct download: Episode_39_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm PDT