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







October 2016
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Knitting a blanket, an octopus, and some wash cloths have been keeping the Two Ewes in stitches these days.  Fleeces, yarn, and fiber friends were in abundance at Lambtown last weekend.  In addition, two public pledges will keep the Two Ewes accountable for some future projects!  For photos to go with the links, see our blog!

Marsha's Projects

Marsha  continues to work steadily on her Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan but found she needed to take a break from it. She discovered washcloths!! She has made two from the pattern All Washed Up by Jill Arnusch and is almost done with Diagonal Knit Dishcloth by Jana Trent. Both are free patterns.

Kelly's Projects

All octopus, all the time!  Kelly has more than half of the tentacles finished and has been working mostly on this project.

She did finally get back to the Mesa poncho by Yumiko Alexander so she could finish it in time for her sister's birthday.  Finding buttons from the stash will finish it up!

There has also been some casting on/hooking on!  The Curious Case crochet sweater by Michelle DuNair and a new pair of striping socks. were both started during the weekend away.  The yarn for the socks is from Invictus Yarns and was purchased at Lambtown.


Lambtown in Dixon, California was great fun!  Quite a few Northern California fiber friends were also attending and Kelly talks about the fun they had, including watching the fleece judging and selecting fleeces.  The judge for the day was Maria Rooney, a Romney breeder at Silver Creek Lambscapes in Oregon. 

Kelly bought a skein of green and yellow striping yarn from Invictus Yarns, a skein of red, yellow and gray striping sock yarn and a skein of blue gray to finish the NoCKRs Shawl from Duren Dyeworks.  She also bought a smaller gauge punch needle for punch needle rug hooking from Wooly Walkers.  This will join some other equipment and supplies she got at Stitches 2015 and Kelly has publicly pledged to start a punch needle rug project before the end of November. 

Bees and Dogs

They are taking a lot of sugar water since they are a small foraging force and the food sources at this time of year are limited.  Kelly hoped to be able to take video of the weekend inspection, but the sun was too hot and the phone camera kept shutting off.  Maybe next time!

Marsha talked about how nice it would be to have video of her training to help her see mistakes more easily. Marsha and Enzo are learning a lot in their training classes.  Marsha is learning that she needs to practice more between classes!  She has also publicly pledged to do so!

Direct download: Ep_52_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm PDT

Beautiful Autumn days, ongoing projects, an Enzo the Poodle update, and some of our listeners' knitting are the topics of this episode.  Marsha is coming to you from Seattle, as usual.  Kelly is coming to you from a tin can somewhere on the Central Coast of California.  :-)  She forgot to plug in her microphone and was recorded through the not-so-good computer microphone.  Sorry for this rookie podcasting error!

Shortly after the last episode Kelly started to work on Opus the Octopus.  He was the perfect project for her conference knitting.  One sleeve of the Handspun Funky Grandpa was finished so that the needles could be re-purposed for the octopus, but that was the only other project she touched in the last two weeks. 

Marsha continues to work on Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan and has passed the halfway point. She'll be starting the ninth color of thirteen.  She gives her hands a break by working on her Havasu Falls Shawl

The Ewes share information about listeners' projects (including a beautiful shawl, a great poncho, a sweater,  sock yarn scrap pajama pants, a knit dress and others) and they talk about future knitting plans.  Kelly plans a second Edie tee shirt if she can find the yarn. A crochet sweater by Michele DuNaier is on deck next.  It is The Curious Case of the Crazy-Stitch Cardigan.  She'll be using a cobalt blue bamboo and cotton blend yarn, Valley Yarns Southwick from Webs. Kelly's final project in the planning stages is the Om Shawl, which is really a form of poncho! There are three colors of Neighborhood Fiber Company gray that will go into this poncho.

Upcoming Events:  Kelly will be attending Lambtown in Dixon, California on October 1-2, 2016. 

Direct download: Ep_51_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:56pm PDT

Our monogamous knitting continues, but the wool fleece auction, bees, and planning for upcoming fiber events has kept life interesting!

Project Updates

Marsha continues to work on Frank's Spirt Yarn Afghan using the pattern from Stephen West called Garter Squish. She loves how the afghan keeps changing with each additional color. The afghan currently is about six feet wide and about 36" long. The afghan is no longer very portable, so Marsha is back working on the Havasu Falls shawl by Alison LoCicero. It's pretty good social knitting right now.

Marsha also washed the black Wensleydale-Cormo-Merino cross fleece she bought at The Black Sheep Gathering.

Kelly continues for work on her Funky Grandpa cardigan that she is calling Handspun Charlotte Cardigan because she is using handspun from a sheep named Charlotte. She reports on her experience of redoing one of the sleeves.

Kelly also discusses dyeing yarn for the her next project, Opus the Octopus by Cate Carter-Evans. She is motivated by the need to have a project for to work on while attending a conference. (Since recording Kelly has been on work conference travel and has made some good progress on the octopus!)


Kelly attended the Monterey County Fair and the wool auction. She sat in on the fleece judging, volunteer with set up, and attended the auction. She exercised extreme self-control and purchased only one fleece, but it is a beauty...a Santa Cruz Island fleece from Blue Oak Canyon Ranch! Here is a link to an article about these sheep to understand why we are so intrigued.

Marsha will be attending some events this fall and wanted to remind people about the terrific website called Knitter's Review that lists world wide fiber events. Nice to read about the events and dream. :-)


Kelly is so happy to report that she had a bee swarm in her garden! Check out her Instagram account at 1hundredprojects to see videos of the swarm and how Kelly got the swarm into the hive. So interesting. Kelly highly recommends the book Honeybee Democracy by Thomas Seeley and you can see a discussion of the book here. If you want to see a presentation of the research that was in the book, here is a really interesting video.



Direct download: Episode_50_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42pm PDT

Knitting monogamy and the fall semester have combined to reduce the yarn crafting of the Two Ewes this episode. Both are making progress on their Epic Adventures, though. View photos, and subscribe to the podcast at our Two Ewes Fiber Adventures blog!

Kelly has finished all the squares needed for the quilt that she started over 30 years ago. Now on to the sewing together!

Kelly also started a new sock project for meeting knitting. The Angler's Loop socks have an interesting cable pattern along the back of the sock. The pattern is designed by Andrea Mules.

Marsha has been moving along on Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan. The pattern is the Garter Squish by Stephen West. She is on the third color now and, at the moment, is knitting on this project exclusively.

 Marsha did something she never thought she would do. She bought a tie-dyed skirt! This is not your grandfather's tie-dye. She talked with the dyer about the technique (which includes dye removal as well as overdyeing) and is inspired to try some tie-dye.

Kelly attended the fleece judging for the Monterey County Fair Wool Show. The judge this year was Richard Jacobsen of Jacobsen Ranch. The fleeces in the show were spectacular, as usual! A "chrome" silver merino fleece caught everyone's imagination.

There are a few unusual entries this year. The most exciting was a Santa Cruz Island fleece.

This is a rare, heritage breed that had been feral on Santa Cruz Island. The Livestock Conservancy page links to a detailed and interesting article on the history of the breed by Lynn Moody. I don't know if she is the source of the fleece at the show. Here is an excerpt from the article.

"Jim and I acquired our starter flock of Santa Cruz Island sheep from Marion Stanley in July 2010. As an avid (though not particularly skilled) handspinner and knitter and beginning weaver, I was looking for a hardy, self-sufficient and fuss-free breed with nice wool, marketable to crafters and artists, and that were “endangered” and needed preservation and promotion. That these sheep were nearly indigenous in my adopted state of California, had an interesting history, and came from an environment similar to that of our ranch, were added attractions. I began this study wondering when exactly sheep were first brought to Santa Cruz Island–there seemed to be some conflicting accounts-and what kinds of sheep made up the ancestry of these unique and fascinating animals."

There were also Montadale and Oxford fleeces, not often seen at shows, and two Shetland fleeces. Although Shetland's aren't rare at wool shows, I haven't ever seen Shetland fleeces at the Monterey show.

The auction will take place on Labor Day, September 5, 2016. The fair opens at noon, but the wool area is open for pre-auction viewing starting at about 9 am.

If you have questions or comments and would like to email us, we are available at Or you can find us on Ravelry as "1hundredprojects" and "betterinmotion."



Direct download: Episode_49_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm PDT

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

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!


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

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