Two Ewes Fiber Adventures (general)

Joined by guest co-host Stephany Wilkes, sheep shearer, wool classer, and author of the fantastic new book Raw Material: Working Wool in the West.  Order it at your local bookstore or online.  Stephany is also president of the Northern California Fibershed Cooperative. She chats with the Ewes about her projects and then we discuss her book and her life as a shearer.  Stephany can be found on Instagram as @ladysheepshearer.

Full notes with photos and links can be found in the podcast section of  our shop website: TwoEwesFiberAdventures.com.  Join the community on Ravelry where we will give away a copy of the book Raw Material: Working Wool in the West.

Kelly’s Argyle adventure continues. The socks are roughly based on the pattern Men’s Argyle socks #5710. She’s not really using pattern that much, but she used it to create a Stitch Fiddle chart for the colorwork.

Also active this week are the Humble Bee socks. The pattern was a gift from Sara Bauer (sarapomegranate on Ravelry and host of the Yarns at Yin Hoo podcast).

Kelly has also joined the Jane Stafford Online Weaving Guild and is excited to get back to the loom.  The guild has an annual membership that gives weavers access to previous seasons of videos and also the current season of videos as they come out. At $75 Canadian it is a great value! The price will be increasing to $99 in December so check it out.

Stephany is just about to bind off yet another Purl Soho Boyfriend hat, a free pattern from Purl Soho, in Lani’s Lana Rambouillet twist, a black and white wool twist, undyed. It makes the PERFECT marled hat. Highly recommend it for gift and travel knitting, a simple k1, p1 rib all the way around.

Yesterday, she cast on the Anna Vest by Karen Templer of Fringe Association, and she has about 3” of the back piece done. I’m knitting it up in a heavy worsted, black, Shetland and alpaca blend. Her thoughts on this pattern? “I love it. Easy pattern to memorize, and I know I will get a ton of wear out of this vest in our coastal climate.”

Marsha continues to work on the afterthought socks. The long stockinette tube is finished and she is ready to do the steeking.  Meanwhile, she has started on Rabbit, a pattern by Claire Garland. The rabbit is beginning to take shape!

After project updates the three have a wide ranging conversation. Stephany shares her journey from a knitter looking for local yarn in a California yarn shop to the sheep shearing jobs she does across the state.  Topics include “urban hubris,” imposter syndrome, and the value of agricultural work; carbon farming and its potential to combat climate change; and the overlooked job opportunities in the world of sheep. For those in the Seattle area, Stephany will be at the Seward Park branch of Third Place Books for an author event on November 28 at 7 pm.


Join the conversation about this episode in our Ravelry Group, or contact us with your thoughts. twoewes@twoewesfiberadventures.com is our email address.  We’d love to hear from you.

 

Direct download: Ep_101_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:16am PST

Creativity, productivity, and community are three big benefits we've gained from 4 years of podcasting.  In our 100th episode we have our usual project updates and then we spend some time reflecting on the experience of the last four years.  Come join the community on Ravelry!

Marsha's Update:

I have a lot to say about my Afterthought Socks! It's a looooooooong stockinette tube and I'll be putting on cuffs, toes, and heels. We had quite a discussion about how to measure the spot for the heel. I'm sure some of our listeners can set us straight. Leave a comment here or join in the discussion in our Ravelry group.

My other active project over the past two weeks is the Slacktide Scarf. It has a nice interesting stitch--the perfect antidote to a long, boring stockinette tube. I'm also planning for the Rabbit by Claire Garland and have ordered the yarn called for in the pattern.

Kelly's Update:

I'm running out of yarn on the Running Water cardigan. I'm almost done with the collar band and then will start the sleeves. Meanwhile, I've started two new pairs of socks. One pair is using the Humble Bee pattern by Sara Bauer of the Yarns at Yin Hoo podcast. The other pair is variegated argyle socks using the chart I created on Stitch Fiddle.  Start with row 71 to get 2 diamonds on the leg (one front and one back) and one diamond on the instep.  All three projects are right at a part where I have to pay attention so I'm not able to knit at all during this recording.

A HUGE thank you to all our listeners! We never would have arrived at Episode 100 without you. You're feedback, encouragement, compliments, and suggestions have been so important to us.  You have enabled us to create a wonderful community.

Visit the Two Ewes Shop featuring locally produced yarns, from soil to skein. Small-batch, overdyed Romney and Shetland yarns grown and processed on the west coast, and the climate beneficial Replenish Rambouillet from Bare Ranch, a northern California ranch using carbon farming practices

Direct download: Ep_100_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:06am PST

Lambtown Sheep and Wool Festival, two sweaters, some weaving, the Fibonacci sequence, and some dog talk round out the topics for this episode. All this knitting has left us wishing fiber crafts were more aerobic!  Full notes with photos and links can be found in the podcast section of our shop website: TwoEwesFiberAdventures.com Come join the community on Ravelry or become a patron and support the show on our Patreon Page.

Marsha finished her Iba cardigan by Bonne Marie Burns, well sort of finished. She discovered after blocking the sleeves now need be shortened by about an inch. Marsha loves the cardigan! It fits well and the Rambouillet yarn is so soft, silky, and plump. Marsha is also working on the picot bind off of her Elinya shawl by Ambah O'Brien.

Marsha started a scarf named Slack Tide for her brother with Concentric by HiKoo by Skacel. She purchased the yarn at a great new shop in Seabrook, WA call String Theory Yarns and Fiber. The owner, Jean Chambers, is focusing on local yarns. Marsha also bought two skeins of Lina Fine Yarns and Textiles from Montesano, WA. Marsha also started her after thought heel socks as part of our Learn Along.

Kelly was at Lambtown over the weekend. Sheep shearing, sheepdog demos, sheep to shawl competition, fiber friends and a great marketplace made for a fantastic time. She also took a class on combing wool and spinning for luster from Stephenie Gaustad.

Her knitting continues to be monogamous, with all knitting energy going to the Running Water cardigan. She is using the Fibonacci sequence for the striping on the sweater.  The sweater has a tubular bind off at the hem.

The big loom has also been warped and Kelly is doing a long narrow sampler which will make a good loom bench cushion.

The Two Ewes Shop has small-batch Romney and Shetland yarns, and  the climate beneficial Replenish Rambouillet, with some new fall colors. Kelly's favorite is a color called "Just Say No to Pumpkin Spice Bourbon."

Direct download: Ep_99_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:51pm PST

A nasty fall has Marsha under the weather, but the knits, crochet, and weaving talk goes on. Besides a sweater project for each, the Two Ewes talk about future fiber plans, the Learn Along, and some new fall colors in the shop.

No full show notes this week, but do check out The Small Bird Workshop pattern page on Ravelry.  Catherine has generously donated five patterns as prizes for the Learn Along. Her patterns are great. Take a look!

Keep on Learning!

 

 

Direct download: Ep_98_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm PST

Marsha's knitting project has some woes, but the Wool Auction and Shop News are a big WOW! There's a Two Ewes Shop update with an exciting new Replenish Rambouillet yarn, produced with climate beneficial practices. Support the podcast AND the planet with these new fingering weight yarns. 

Kelly has no knitting projects on the needles and she has finished her first Papel Picado in filet crochet. It still needs to be washed and blocked, but it turned out great! There will be at least a few more of these finished before Halloween this year.

Marsha had a set back with her cardigan Iba by Bonne Marie Burns. The skeins of yarn looked the same but when she started the sleeves she realized there was a difference. The hard lesson learned is this is what happens when you are so impatient to start knitting that you don't alternate skeins.  Remember, no one ever regretted alternating skeins.Marsha unravelled the entire sweater and has started over, making good progress.

The Monterey Fair and Wool Auction was a complete success and Kelly ended up with some nice fleeces. Six of them, in fact! Besides fleece and fair food, there was the most interesting chicken at the fair this year! See the full show notes.

Direct download: Ep_97_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm PST

Marsha is knitting, Kelly is swatching crochet techniques, and the Ewes are planning a Learn Along that will last through November. For full show notes with pictures, visit the Two Ewes website.

Marsha is working along on her Iba by Bonne Marie Burns.  She's using textured Rambouillet yarn from the same batch that is in the Two Ewes Shop.  She loves the feel of the wool and the fit of the pattern. 

She also has the Elinya shawl on the needles for social knitting. 

Kelly has no knitting or crochet in progress, but she is swatching and practicing filet crochet in order to make Papel Picado. The real papel picado is a traditional Mexican decoration for Dia de los Muertos.  Kelly found a pattern for a crochet lace version and has visions of making enough to string across an entire room. 

She is also looking for a sweater pattern for some coned cashmere fingering and some Chickadee sport weight to combine into one cardigan.  A listener suggested Brise, a cute sweater designed for linen yarn.  Another one the is in consideration is Running Water.  

One of Kelly's projects from last year was entered in the Monterey County Fair and won Best in Show!  If you are coming to the fair, August 30-September 3, look for the Cowichan Sweater in the Wool Room. 

The Two Ewes are starting a "School Days Learn Along" that will last until November 30. To join, just participate in the chat thread in the Two Ewes Ravelry group and post your finished objects in the FO thread. All finished objects should be things for which you had to learn something to complete them. For example, Kelly will be learning some crochet techniques for the papel picado and Marsha will be taking a colorwork class so she can make a tea cosy that isn't too tight to fit over her teapot! Knit, crochet, weave, spin--all of those are eligible!

Marsha ends the episode with a quote from Kyoko  Mori's book Yarn: Remembering the Way Home

Direct download: Ep_96_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am PST

Marsha is knitting, Kelly is swatching crochet techniques, and the Ewes are planning a Learn Along that will last through November. For full show notes with pictures, visit the Two Ewes website.

Marsha is working along on her Iba by Bonne Marie Burns.  She's using textured Rambouillet yarn from the same batch that is in the Two Ewes Shop.  She loves the feel of the wool and the fit of the pattern. 

She also has the Elinya shawl on the needles for social knitting. 

Kelly has no knitting or crochet in progress, but she is swatching and practicing filet crochet in order to make Papel Picado. The real papel picado is a traditional Mexican decoration for Dia de los Muertos.  Kelly found a pattern for a crochet lace version and has visions of making enough to string across an entire room. 

She is also looking for a sweater pattern for some coned cashmere fingering and some Chickadee sport weight to combine into one cardigan.  A listener suggested Brise, a cute sweater designed for linen yarn.  Another one the is in consideration is Running Water.  

One of Kelly's projects from last year was entered in the Monterey County Fair and won Best in Show!  If you are coming to the fair, August 30-September 3, look for the Cowichan Sweater in the Wool Room. 

The Two Ewes are starting a "School Days Learn Along" that will last until November 30. To join, just participate in the chat thread in the Two Ewes Ravelry group and post your finished objects in the FO thread. All finished objects should be things for which you had to learn something to complete them. For example, Kelly will be learning some crochet techniques for the papel picado and Marsha will be taking a colorwork class so she can make a tea cosy that isn't too tight to fit over her teapot! Knit, crochet, weave, spin--all of those are eligible!

Marsha ends the episode with a quote from Kyoko  Mori's book Yarn: Remembering the Way Home

Direct download: Ep_96_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:49am PST

A bonus episode with a sneak preview of 100 fleeces that will be at the 2018 Monterey County Fair Wool Auction on September 3.

Kelly talks about the auction, how it works and what to expect.  She also describes the beautiful fleeces, talks about the judge's comments, and shares which fleeces are her favorites.  

Here is an article from shearer Stephany Wilkes about canary staining.

Here is an article from Montana State that has a chart that compares the 3 grading systems.

Here is a website from Wildfibres that shows the grades of wool by breeds. 

The auction starts at 11:30 at the Livestock Pavillion near Gate 6 of the Monterey County Fairgrounds.  Viewing starts around 9 am and wool buyers can get into the fair for free with a copy of a flyer.  You can get a copy from me by emailing twoewes@twoewesfiberadventures.com or by going to the Two Ewes website and using the contact form.  Check out the Anne's Web Ravelry group.  The Anne's Web guild is the hosting guild for the wool show and auction.

Direct download: bonus_wool_auction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am PST

Knitting and weaving, plus Alaska, sock recipes, and fresh starts in this longer-than-usual episode. For full show notes, including all pictures and links visit the Two Ewes Fiber Adventures website. 

Kelly has finished almost all her works in progress (WIPs) and is contemplating a clean slate on her Ravelry project page.  She finished the woven blankets, using over 4400 meters of yarn in the process.  She also finished the Sockhead Cowl that she had been working on last episode.  She still has one Sockhead Cowl on the needles and plans to finish it by the end of the weekend before classes start on Monday. The yarn is Tassie Merino from Handmade Travels and it is so nice to knit with. 

Kelly plans to rip out the socks she's making from a sock blank and give that yarn a chance to be something that will better show off the long gradient. She also contemplates ripping out the small start she has on the Coloresque Wrap. But that will have to wait until she can find it.  The yarn for that project has gone AWOL, perhaps because it really wants to be something else! The pattern is still intriguing, but she'll plan it with a different yarn combination.

Marsha finished her Summer Fjord T-shirt by Trin-Annelie knit with Fibra Natura Flax. The top fit beautifully and the 100% linen is cool and comfortable.

Marsha started a new cardigan, Iba by Bonne Marie Burns. She is using the textured Raucus Rambouillet yarn from the Two Ewes Fiber Adventures shop and loves knitting with it.

If you'd like to support the show make a contribution at our Patreon page  or purchase something from our shop. Thanks so much for listening and supporting the show!

Direct download: Ep_95_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:25pm PST

Sweater fit, math for pattern modifications, and a way to help sheep farmers impacted by California wildfires add to the usual project updates in this episode.  Join the Ewes for all this and more! For full show notes with links and pictures, go to twoewesfiberadventures.com

Marsha's projects are her combo spin and a linen tee.  The combo spin is almost finished and the yarn is really beautiful. She has selected a simple cardigan pattern and will talk more about that when she is ready to cast on.  The yarn has a significant amount of silk in it and the feel is really luscious.

The Summer Fjord linen tee is being bound off during the show.  It is knit from Fibra Natura 100% linen yarn.  Marsha had a mistake that she repaired by dropping about 5-6 stitches back a few inches and then reknitting only those stitches from the row. She has photos of the repair process on her project page in Ravelry. 

 Kelly has three finished projects, including the Bobble Sheep pillow that she finished awhile ago, but forgot to talk about.

A more recently finished pillow is the Clover, Bee, and Revery pattern.  It has a fabric backing sewn on and two wooden bee buttons as a pillow back closure.  This pillow has inspired her to make the Such is the Quality of Bees blanket out of the same yarn and using a doubleknit technique so that the front and back of the blanket both have the bee and rabbit pattern on them. 

Kelly also finished another pair of argyle socks.  The yarn is sport weight, but knit up at the same stitch gauge as the socks she made from fingering weight yarn before. 

Marsha discusses a listener question about the math required to change a pattern when using a different gauge yarn.  Another listener recommended Ann Budd's book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and The Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters.  Marsha also recommended the Craftsy class by Amy Herzog, Sweater Modifications for a Custom Fit.  There are additional Craftsy classes on yarn substitution and sweater fit by Kellie Nuss  and Sally Melville that look interesting.  Marsha is also interested in taking a class called Sizing Knitwear Patterns by Faina Golberstein, who is also a math professor. 

Kelly discussed the impact of the California wildfires on sheep farmers and ranchers.  One farm in particular--owned by Sally Fox, creator of Foxfibre colored cotton--was threatened by the County Fire.  Her property escaped damage, but she shared the story of evacuation on Instagram and that made Kelly think about the financial impact even when the property is spared.  Sally's company is Vreseis and it is dedicated to sustainable cotton production. She sells cotton yarn and fiber, merino yarn and fiber, cloth, and wheat flour--all from her farm.  With a purchase from her shop or a click of her donation button you can assist with the additional expenses of the recent fire threat and do your part for World Fleece!  Take some time to look at her website and read the story of her cotton-growing journey.

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Direct download: Ep_94_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm PST