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

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 PST

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 PST

What's new with the Two Ewes? Well, not much knitting, but lots of other things have been going on. Both Kelly and Marsha are participating in the"Leave It" Division of the  Caithness Craft Un-Knit-Along (UnKAL).  There is also a chat thread for this UnKAL in the Twinset Designs Ravelry Group.  Marsha has put her Striped Study Shawl in the closet and Kelly has sent her Playground Shawl out to recess. :-) 

Meanwhile Kelly continues crocheting on the Starwars amigurumi. She has four done, Jabba on the hook and is planning at least ten more for the May the Fourth Be With You deadline!  The designer's (Lucy Collin) Flickr page has even more ideas than the book that came with the kit!

The Easter Bunny came out so cute and was so fun, Kelly decided to make a toy for both the "grands." The Purple Bunny was a free Drops Designs pattern with a few modifications that can be found in my project page.  The purple mohair brushed up really nicely to make a slightly furry bunny. The companion toy was Marshall from Paw Patrol, a pattern by Melissa's Crochet Patterns.  

Bee-sides the toys, Kelly has created a nucleus hive.  See this blog post for more information.   She has seen the queen bee for the first time.  Very exciting!  Here is a photo of a queen bee from the Bee Informed website.  Maybe someday Kelly will be able to take photos of her own bees.

Marsha continues to work on her Edie Tee by Isabell Kraemer. She has about another 5" to knit and then will begin short rows to shape the bottom edge.

Marsha has stalled out on her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang because she doesn't understand a specific stitch. She plans to contact the designer for help because she wants to work on it while visiting Kelly in April.

In January Marsha set the goal of spinning the Shetland and Merino fleeces she purchased last June at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon. She plans to attend again this year and promised herself she could not buy anymore fleeces until she spun what she already has! She's spun about half of the Shetland so far.  Here is a link to information about cabled and crepe yarn.  Kelly and Marsha discuss this variation of plying.

Enzo is now a little over three months old and weighs 29 pounds. Kelly and Marsha had a good chuckle over some the the crazy looks for poodles that are on the internet. (Photos from Drue Johnson's Pinterest Board, Ridiculous Poodle Cuts.)  Some of these looks seem borderline animal cruelty and Marsha promises she will never do this to sweet Enzo (unless he is a very naughty dog). ;-)

We're having another contest with prizes! 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. Contest ends at midnight on May 4th.

For photos, go to the Two Ewes Fiber Adventures blog.

Direct download: Episode_38_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm PST

Marsha and Kelly start off talking about Kelly's beautiful commute down the Salinas Valley (aka John Steinbeck's Long Valley).  She hasn't stopped to take photos, but here is an example of what she sees two days a week.

As she commutes, she has been listening to podcasts--many of them non-knitting related.  One that she discovered and just had to try because it sounded so unusual is the Chameleon Breeder Podcast . The topic of raising chameleons led to the topic of raising bugs and this week's episode is about stick and leaf insects.

Even more fascinating is the discovery that there is such a thing as the  Ovogram insect egg swap service. Insect breeders use it the same way knitters use a mini-skein swap!

The guest on this week's Chameleon episode owns the  Full Throttle Feeders bug supply company. Kelly is now addicted to this informational podcast!  On her commute today she also listened to True Crime Garage. Another fun (but totally irreverent) true crime podcast is White Wine, True Crime.

Marsha fills us in on the The Seattle explosion that leveled businesses across the street from the Fiber Gallery. 

Marsha finished spinning our Two Ewes premium CVM and mohair that Kelly sent her to test. It's beautiful and the mohair reflects the light to give the yarn a luster. Marsha has about 200 yards.

Marsha continues to work on her Edie T-shirt by Isabell Kraemer in Hempathy. She's making good progress in spite of the puppy responsibilities. ;-)

Kelly has finished Darth Vader in her Star Wars Amigurumi project.  She also finished the Bourbon Socks.  Sweet Georgia yarn is scrumptious!  She has finished about half of the yarn for her mom and has more ready to ply.  

Not much else has been touched in terms of projects.  However, she is looking forward to participating in the  Division One, Leave It Un-KAL that is being hosted on Ravelry by the Caithness Craft Podcast and the Twinset Designs Podcast.  Marsha may have to join in, too!

Marsha's puppy, Enzo, is doing well and getting BIG...over 24 pounds! Marsha talks about puppy class and Enzo's progress. If you want to see more pictures of Enzo check out his Instagram feed  @enzo_fuesel or Marsha's  @mfuesel.

The Two Ewes are excited to offer batts, as well as the handspun mini-skeins made from them, as premiums for any listeners who would like to support the podcast!  There is a limited amount of CVM and mohair still available for premiums of either batts or mini-skeins.  There is also the gray fleece from Charlotte (that Kelly is using for the Funky Grandpa) that has also been blended with mohair.  Any contribution of $15 or more will qualify for the premiums.  Kelly will contact you to determine whether to send fiber (two approximately 1-ounce batts) or mini-skeins (two approximately 80-yard minis).  If you are interested, please click the donate button at the show notes!

Direct download: Episode_37_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:17pm PST


In this episode Kelly and Marsha give updates on projects and the goals we set for ourselves that was suppose to be two weeks but ended up being a month. Kelly has been walking but Marsha hasn't, but she has a great excuse! :-) It has been raining like crazy in Seattle and she is on puppy duty. Enzo is now almost twelve weeks old and can be crated for 2-3 hours, so Marsha has no more excuses!

Kelly finished a Storm Trooper and is now waiting for more safety eyes in order to continue with other characters. First on the list is Darth Vader! The pattern designer, Lucy Collin, has a great Flickr page with photos of all her Star Wars creations (including some that aren't in the pattern book).  She also has a blog post where she talks about the pattern book project and another where she lists all the yarn colors she used.

Kelly has been spinning like crazy on her mother's Pebble Substitute.  The Bourbon Socks got some work over the Stitches West weekend and are close to finished.  (Got finished between recording and publishing the podcast!)  The stitch pattern is something I made up in order to show off the variegation.  See my project notes to get the stitch pattern for your own variegated socks!  Progress on the I Love My Husband (#ILMH) scarf is steady but slow.

Marsha has not been knitting very much, but did start the Edie T-shirt by Isabell Kraemer. She is using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy in a light blue called Ionic Blue.

Marsha tells about finding at the Goodwill twenty balls (100 yards each) of 100% mercerized cotton fingering weight yarn. Marsha got to wondering what "mercerized" means and tells what she found out on Wikipedia. Here is the article. Kelly and Marsha discussed having a dye-a-thon with the cotton during Marsha's visit in April.

At the end of the episode, Kelly podcasts from the trail during her 12-mile training walk the day before she went to Stitches West.  She shares distance training strategy and some of the ways she tricks herself into putting in the mileage.  Trails in her area are beautiful, the one below included a view of Moss Landing and the Monterey Bay (if you look closely in the photo, you can see the Moss Landing towers).  Here is a link to some walking training schedules that she has used.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Direct download: Episode_36b_bonus_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04pm PST

Kelly and Marsha talk about Kelly's recent weekend at Stitches West!  One of the year's biggest West Coast yarn events was more than a shopping trip, it was a chance to meet listeners, podcasters, and other yarny friends.  The conversation ranges from the items on the sales floor to tattoos, from purchases to civil war era yarn, and from starstruck silliness to the appeal of the collaborative business model. No show notes for this special episode.  Links and photos will be included in show notes for our next regular episode, due out soon.  http://twoewesfiber.com

Direct download: episode_36_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:39pm PST

Marsha and Kelly catch you up on all the things that have been going on with them over that last month.  New projects, new goals, new items in the Ravelry queue, new excuses pets family members, and new realizations about time management!  Press play and listen as we talk about our fiber adventures! 

Kelly has one newly finished project,  Toddler hats that she made for Robert's co-worker's daughter.  One is plain stockinette with some embroidered flowers and the other has a texture pattern.  Neither was made using a pattern, but information about them is on Kelly's Ravelry page.

She also has a newly started project.  She made Yoda from the Star Wars Crochet kit.  The designer is Lucy Collin and between her blog and the Flickr account she has with all the different Star Wars figures (some not in the kit) there are enough ideas for an entire galaxy of figures!

Two other projects got significant activity over the last month. The Sheep to sweater project and the Big Sur Bourbon Socks

Speaking of Big Sur, Kelly met her two-week goals with respect to walking.  She repeated the same goal for the next two weeks and will check in again.  The training for the Big Sur 21 Miler is going well.  The other two-week goal, finishing three skeins of the yarn for her mom, was not so successful.  She has finished one skein.

The Two Ewes blog can now be found using the url http://twoewesfiber.com or http://twoewesfiberadventures.com  Also, you can now find Two Ewes Fiber Adventures on facebook.  The new episodes will be published there in addition to this blog, iTunes, and Stitcher.  If you enjoy listening, please join us at our Two Ewes Fiber Adventures Ravelry Group.

Marsha and Kelly discuss spinning the batts of California variegated mutant (CVM)  that Kelly has made and is sharing with listeners. The breed is often  available at the Monterey County wool auction, but is classified as critical by the Livestock Conservancy.  The wool and mohair blend is spinning up easily, but does have some vegetable matter.  It makes a nice, lofty, woolen-spun yarn, but has some sheen due to the mohair.

Marsha finished her Mystery Wool Cardigan made from coned wool she found at the Goodwill. The pattern is #241 Neck Down V-Neck Shaped Cardigan by Diane Soucy from Knitting Pure & Simple. She loves the fit! Marsha talks about the process of washing the finished cardigan.

She continues to work on her Striped Study Shawl by Veera Valimaki. She is worried she won't have enough yarn to finish the pumpkin stripes.

Marsha's BIG news is she got a standard poodle puppy named Sovereign's Formula One or "Enzo". He was born December 5, 2015 and joined our family January 29, 2016. Marsha is looking forward to long walks with Enzo. A new puppy is a huge undertaking so Marsha has not met her goal of walking three times a week.

Kelly recommended the dog training book by the Monks of New Skete. A terrific book!   

The Two Ewes are excited to offer CVM and mohair blend batts, as well as the handspun mini-skeins made from them, as premiums for any listeners who would like to support the podcast! Visit our blog at http://twoewesfiber.com and click the donate button to contribute.

Direct download: Episode_35_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:35pm PST

Knitting, some spinning, lots of yarn project planning, and some fiber processing are the highlights of this episode. Kelly and Marsha do some goal setting with two-week goals and discussion of long-term projects.

Kelly happily finished two projects that have been on the needles 9 months or more. First, the Hoarfrost sock pattern by Louise Tillbrook was used to make the Frosty Mint Julep socks.

Second, Kelly finished the Niebling Doily Herbert Niebling lace patterns have an Arts and Crafts era style that is very distinctive. The Doily Head blog has a great collection of Niebling eye candy for your enjoyment! Kelly started her doily on Christmas day 2014 and finished it just over a year later. It was a fun and challenging project and there will definitely be another Niebling on the needles at some point.

Most of Marsha's projects have not seen much progress since she has been working almost exclusively on her Mystery Wool Cardigan (#241 Neck Down V Neck Shaped Cardigan) by Diane Soucy. The body is almost finished.

She is also considering three T-shirt patterns for her next project.  Edie by Isabell Kraemer, Brandilyn Top by Quenna Lee, and Ricky for All Seasons by Veera Sanon.

Marsha made two goals between now and the next Two Ewes episode. She will walk three times a week and add her training schedule to her calendar. Big Sur 21-Miler, here we come!

Her long term project goal is to complete the Garter Squish afghan by Stephen West. This means unraveling the sweater she made for her father years ago to use as the main color. She has been collecting various colors of worsted yarn, plus some blank yarn to dye, to use for the second color.

Kelly has two new projects on the needles. She is making a stockinette scarf for her husband. It is being made with a LUSCIOUS merino and silk laceweight yarn from Bumblebirch. Good thing the yarn is nice, because the project is on size 3 needles!

She also started a sweater using deep stash handspun!  The Funky Grandpa cardigan, by Maison Rililie Designs, will be a perfect pattern for this handspun yarn in both natural gray and overdyed colors.

Kelly's two week goal is to walk the correct mileage during the next two weeks. No cheating on the training schedule. She will also finish spinning 3 skeins of the Corriedale yarn that she is making for her Mom as a substitute for Shibui Pebble. Long-term, Kelly will be working on putting together the quilt that she started in high school over 30 years ago!

Join our Two Ewes Ravelry Group to become part of the wonderful and supportive Two Ewes community and participate in knit or crochet alongs. Contribute to the continued running of the podcast and get batts or mini skeins by clicking the donate button on the right side bar of the Two Ewes Fiber Adventures blog and making a contribution of $15 or more.

 

Direct download: Episode_34_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:51pm PST

Marsha and Kelly celebrate New Year's Eve with some finished projects, some newly started projects and by announcing the winners of the Two Ewes Crochet Along! 

Due to the quick turnaround of this episode, there are few show notes.  However, there are two important items:

Information and and links for Syllabub can be found at Kelly's old blog

The Johnny Cash song that Marsha was thinking of can be found on YouTube here.  And the song that Kelly was talking about was Hurt.

Have a Happy 2016 everyone!

Direct download: Episode_33_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am PST

Ep 32:  Happy B-Day to Ewe!

In this episode Kelly takes over the beginning of the podcast to throw Marsha a surprise virtual birthday party!  After some fiber adventuring friends send along Birthday wishes, the episode resumes with our knitting, spinning and yarny adventures, including finished objects, current projects, and a fun trip to Portland for Marsha. 

Additional show notes and pictures will follow soon at our show notes blog

Direct download: episode_32_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:39am PST