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.
Sun, 28 August 2016
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Or you can find us on Ravelry as "1hundredprojects" and "betterinmotion."
Sat, 13 August 2016
Finished and Started
Marsha finished prepping the yarn for Frank's Spirit Yarn Afghan and she has cast on. This will be a long-term project.
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
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!
Sun, 31 July 2016
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 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 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!
Sun, 17 July 2016
Math, over-dyeing, color theory, and an interesting discussion of the Faroe Islands join knitting and spinning in the topics of this episode.
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 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.
For photos check out our blog.
Fri, 8 July 2016
Show notes coming soon.