Sun, 8 January 2017
Seattle! The Two Ewes are together in the Emerald City. Knitting hats, hitting the yarn shops, and having a great start to 2017!
Kelly arrived on January 5 to a partly snowy Seattle. It was a quick, three-day trip, and they managed to see three yarn shops. Hear about the visit in this short episode with the ewes recording together.
Some highlights of the trip were the felted chair at Maker's Mercantile and additions to Kelly's linens and button stashes.
The lowlight of the trip was that Tolt Yarn and Wool was closed for inventory (with no notification on the website). Alas, we were disappointed.
It was wonderful to start 2017 with a visit! Our next time together will be Stitches West on Saturday, February 25 for the podcast meet-up in the afternoon and Sunday, February 26 for the Marketplace. We hope to see you there!
Sun, 1 January 2017
In Episode 47 Kelly talked about handspun singles. In this episode she talks about plying handspun yarn and the properties of plied yarn for knitters who are buying commercial yarn.
She talks about
She also gives tips for yarn buyers and tips for handspinners.
The pictures in the show notes show a skein of yarn, rather than a piece of plied yarn, but the three pictures illustrate how the individual fibers look in a plied yarn that is over-plied, balanced, and under-plied. Pretend each strand of yarn is a fiber in a plied yarn and you will see that in a balanced yarn, the fibers are parallel with the direction of the yarn.
Sun, 18 December 2016
Podcasting about percolators, ponchos, and Pendleton woolens. Plus, we have two giveaway winners!
Marsha is making good progress on the Rodeo Drive poncho by Staci Perry. She has been focused on this one project and is making good progress. This despite a cabling accident caused by "knitting while podcasting" two weeks ago.
Kelly is continuing with the Curious Case of the Crazy Stitch Cardigan by Michele DuNaier. She can't figure out why it seems to have two sides (since it is crocheted similar to the way garter stitch is knitted, doing the same thing on each side), but she thinks she now has it back on track.
Kelly has also been doing a small amount of spinning while sitting in the living room enjoying the Christmas tree.
Marsha visited the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton, Oregon. She tells us all about the history of the company and the tour she had of the facility.
The wool that Pendleton uses is scoured in Texas--probably at the same facility that scoured the wool for the fabric in the fabric CSA that Kelly has purchased. Here is a link to the scouring company and here is an article about the expansion of their scouring operation.
Marsha took lots of pictures of the Pendleton Woolen Mill and the milling process.
Marsha also discovered that the Beach Boys wore Pendleton shirts and called themselves the PendleTones. Marsha's brother Mark splurged and bought a Pendleton blanket.
Marsha was able to visit the mill because she was spending the weekend in Walla Walla, Washington, where she and Kelly attended Whitman College together. She and Kelly reminisce about some of the familiar places and their college days.
Two winners were drawn. One lucky winner will be getting a skein of Countess Ablaze yarn and a totebag that the Countess was kind enough to throw in with Kelly's order. The other will take home three skeins of Blacker Yarns from the Woolly Thistle Shop. These skeins were contributed by Claire of the Woolly Thistle and the New Hampshire Knits podcast.
Kelly and Marsha will be attending Stitches West! It starts on February 23, 2017 and that is also the deadline for the Great Poncho Adventure.
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Sat, 3 December 2016
A little knitting and crochet progress, and a lot of discussion about the complicated topic of consumption. Climate beneficial wool cloth, thrift store finds, supporting local farmers and small dyers, and (gasp!) knitting from stash for a year are all part of the conversation.
Marsha has many things in progress (remember when she was a monogamous knitter?) but has been working exclusively on her Rodeo Drive Poncho. She loves the Berocco Ultra Alpaca yarn and is enjoying the simple but elegant construction of the pattern by Staci Perry.
Kelly worked on socks while recording, but other than that the only other project has been some negative crochet. Ugh! Due to a mistake that she still needs to figure out, she did the second half of the back panel and the second front both inside out. The shell pattern is markedly different on these new pieces of the cardigan--until you turn them over and look at the back. But no one wants a sweater with two right fronts! Ripping out has occurred so the offending pieces can be redone. The sweater is her Curious Cobalt Cardigan, made using a Michele DuNaier pattern.
The closest Kelly has come to a Poncho Adventure is to wind one of her three skeins. Stay tuned--she hopes to have more poncho progress for next episode.
Kelly talks about her experience at the Fibershed Wool Symposium 2016. There is enough material for a regular segment on the podcast for quite a few more episodes.
The mission of Fibershed is to "develop regional fiber systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere." The Symposium followed a "soil to skin" framework and had panels of speakers from shepherds to clothing designers.
One of the current projects is the climate beneficial wool Fabric CSA. The wool is grown in CA, woven in CA by Huston Textile Co., and being offered for pre-sale. Kelly bought some and will be receiving it in April. She will have to do the wet finishing of the cloth since that part of the supply chain isn't available in the state. That makes her a "prosumer" of the cloth, participating in the production, as well as purchasing the product.
The project is one of three farm-to-fabric projects that Fibershed has completed in their work to identify supply chains for a local textile economy.
The conversation led the Two Ewes to a discussion about consumption, consumer culture, the "buy local" movement, and a group of San Francisco residents that several years ago decided to give up purchases (other than food and other necessities) for a year. The verdict? It's complicated!
At Fibershed Kelly found out about an interesting KAL that they are hosting. The pattern is Radiata by Emily Cunetto. It is designed to be knit in any gauge of yarn that is local to the knitter, in other words, from their fibershed.
Another event coming next weekend (Dec. 11, 2016) is a natural dyeing workshop using mycopigments from mycoflora. That's mushrooms! The teacher is Alissa Allen and it is being held in Santa Cruz, CA in conjunction with the Santa Cruz Mycoflora Foray.
Kelly's family got an additional dog on the day after Thanksgiving. Nash is a yellow lab whose owner died. He is 10 years old and is very well mannered. He is fitting into the household very well.
Marsha shopped for a rain jacket for Enzo so she could continue to take long walks with him in the Northwest rain.
Mon, 21 November 2016
New projects this time for both Marsha and Kelly. Also lots of poncho talk and information about The Great Poncho Adventure. The Ewes are making ponchos! There are also two yarn giveaways announced this episode.
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She was ready to start her poncho with some Spirit Yarn, but decided that it was not the right yarn for the pattern. Instead she is going to find some yarn that is better suited. Late breaking news! Marsha got some yarn for the poncho! The pattern she is using is The Rodeo Drive Poncho by Staci Perry.
Kelly has made some progress on the crocheted Crazy Stitch Cardigan. It's a pattern by Michelle DuNaier. She has started on the shoulder and is almost ready to start the second side of the sweater.
She also had a project that was both started and finished since the last episode! She made two pair of Helmikuu Boot Toppers (by Sunshine Ravioli) while on a camping trip. The yarn was leftovers of Rowan Soft Tweed. Each topper took less than a skein, so about 75 yards per topper. It was great to use up these leftover skeins.
The Two Ewes have two giveaways this episode! Thanks to Claire from The Woolly Thistle, (and the New Hampshire Knits podcast) we have three skeins of Blacker Yarns to give away: Blacker Classic, Westcountry Tweed, and Blacker Swan. All are DK weight, 50 g balls of yarn. Go to the Ravelry group and answer the question in the Woolly Thistle Giveaway thread to be entered to win. Thank you, Claire for supporting the podcast with these three skeins to give away to listeners! Here are the skeins that will be given to one lucky winner!
The second giveaway is one of three GORGEOUS hand-dyed skeins Kelly bought from Countess Ablaze in England. Kelly told The Countess that she was going to use one of the skeins for a podcast prize, so she included a free tote bag in the order. So the lucky winner will win a skein of The Blue-Faced Baron fingering weight yarn in the color "This Ain't a Scene" and a black Countess Ablaze tote.
The Great Poncho Adventure has started! It's a poncho-a-long. Details are in the episode and in the Ravelry group. Make a poncho, a ruana, a buttoned wrap or a cloak. Start a new one or finish a work in progress. If you post on Instagram use #ponchoadventure
Sun, 6 November 2016
Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan is finished and the Two Ewes are celebrating! Project planning has begun for Marsha's next blanket and Kelly is once again making progress on the handspun Funky Grandpa cardigan. Join us for a fun episode full of fiber adventures!
The epic blanket is finished! Marsha finished Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan and it is fantastic! The pattern is Garter Squish by Stephen West although it was made to be bigger than the pattern. Finished measurements are 6'8" x 5'7" and it weighs 5 pounds, 8 ounces. This blanket contains the memories of her father Frank. It was made from yarn that she used to make him a sweater many years ago. It also contains the Spirit Yarn from destashes, the Goodwill, and yarns from friends (including our listener HockeyRachel). This blanket is filled with good karma!
Kelly is back to working on her Handspun Charlotte Cardigan. She is using the Funky Grandpa pattern and knitting with early handspun from a sheep named Charlotte. She is now working on the second sleeve and is almost done. Next is picking up the button band and selecting buttons from her button stash. Kelly talks about the joys of knitting with handspun and the importance of not waiting until your yarn is perfect or you have found the perfect pattern.
Kelly has also made progress on the blue crocheted cardigan that she is making. The Curious Case of the Crazy Stitch Cardigan by Michele DuNaier. The interesting construction is more curious than the stitch!
Kelly purchased yarn from The Woolly Thistle. St. Kilda Lace by Blacker Yarns is a blend of Soay and Boreray wool. Yarn from sheep she had never heard of was just too much of a temptation! For those interested in the two primitive breeds, here is a link:
Claire of New Hampshire Knits podcast and owner of The Woolly Thistle interviewed a US shepherd at Rhinebeck who has Soay sheep in her episode number 52.
While in the Woolly Thistle shop, she also found Manx and Hebridean yarns, both with mohair. They are sock yarns (a bit on the heavy side of fingering weight) and will probably be part of some argyle socks for Robert.
Next episode check in to hear about a giveaway of some other varieties of yarn provided by the Woolly Thistle for Two Ewes listeners!
Marsha had another call from the Goodwill. (No, not on her phone, she just has a "spidey sense" about these things!) It resulted in the purchase of 22 skeins of one type of yarn and several other skeins of a couple other brands. Plus, she found some cones of wool and a cone of cotton/linen that she sent to Kelly. Wow!
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Sun, 30 October 2016
Marsha continues to work on the Stephen West Garter Squish afghan she is calling Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan. She is working color twelve of fourteen and is ready to be done. It is hard to work on because it is getting so big and heavy. Definitely not portable! Marsha has been highly distracted by her new addiction...wash cloths! She as made WAHMingIt by Amber Perry, Spa Day Facecloth by Anne Mancine, Atomic Washcloth by Nanette Cormack, and is working on Ballband Washcloth by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne. * As I was writing the show notes I realized that I made the Atomic Washcloth completely wrong. The peach color should be stockinette and the blue garter stitch. Oh well. It's a design feature. :-)
Marsha is planning for her next project. She is looking at shawl patterns to use the Duren Dyeworks yarn she purchased at the NoCKR's retreat. Javala by Cailliau Berangere and Asunder by Lisa Mutch are under consideration. Marsha is also inspired the the poncho discussion and thinks the universe is sending her a message because she found eight skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in navy at the Goodwill. Two possible poncho patterns are Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas and Mesa by Yumiko Alexander.
Kelly has finished the knitting on the octopus and decided to wash and block before stuffing and sewing. Sewing will be a loooooooong project with eight tentacles longer than sleeves, plus the underbelly. The NoCKRs shawl came back out long enough for Kelly to make a mistake and then proceed for two more rows. Now it is back in the bag awaiting a little tinking. Ugh! She did successfully start a new pair of socks just for knitting during the recording. So now there are two pairs on the needles--both from yarns she bought this month at Lambtown. The green, yellow and orange pair are Invictus Yarns and the red, gray, and yellow pair are Duren Dyeworks.
Marsha wants to learn more about crochet. She loves Kelly's sweater Latticework Cardigan by Michelle DuNair. She also loves Irene Floral Lace Cardigan by Vicky Chan and Cairo Jacket by Doris Chan. There is an afghan call Modern Blanket of Flowers that is gorgeous, plus an intriguing shawl by Esther Sandorf called Stash Buster Blarf.
Kelly will be attending the Fibershed 2016 Wool and Fine Fiber Symposium on November 19. The event has an interesting mix of talks-from fiber producers at one end of the fiber pipeline, to artisans and retailers on the other.
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Sun, 9 October 2016
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 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.
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!
Sun, 25 September 2016
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.
Tue, 13 September 2016
Our monogamous knitting continues, but the wool fleece auction, bees, and planning for upcoming fiber events has kept life interesting!
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.