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

This week Kelly has two finished projects! She finished her Crochet-Along project, the Happy Hippopotamus by Heidi Bears. This was an excellent pattern and the finished hippo is soooooooo darling!

Also finished (but not yet blocked or worn) is the Color Affection, a shawl designed by Veera Valimaki. Kelly had a skein of heavy fingering and 4 skeins of DK and used them all, creating a shawl that is ENORMOUS! It will be a challenge to figure out how to wear it or where to put it once out of the cold :-) The colors are great together and it used some 5+ year old stash, so it is a clear win!

Kelly's current projects all require some knitting repair, so let's not talk about those. ;-)

Marsha isn't finished with her Lanata Cardigan, but she is close. Once sleeve cuffs are on, it's done. She is very happy with the sweater's design (by Amy Christoffers) and with the fabric she got from the German yarn that she used. She also continues to work on her brother Mark's Crazy Scarf from the Stonehedge Crazy yarn.

She is also close to finishing her Stripe Study Shawl, another one of the designs from Veera Valimaki.

In the spinning arena, Kelly is carding a lot! She has challenged herself to make significant progress in processing fleeces that are 5 or more years old. Since this is the last month of the challenge, she has put on the speed! No finished weight estimates yet, but her fiber stash was over 50 lbs at the start of this quarter.

Marsha has been on a learning curve for spinning Lincoln. As a long wool, it is different from what she has spun before. Also, she is hand processing it and spinning from the lock. She is thinking of using it for a blanket, but will wait until the yarn is finished to determine a use. Lincoln is an excellent fleece for rugs, bags and other high wear uses that don't require "next-to-skin softness," but do require a stable and "unbouncy" yarn. Here are examples of some (pre-Ravelry) projects that Kelly has made with Lincoln and Lincoln crosses over the years. Leftovers from these projects are destined to be used in a punch-needle rug hooking project one day soon.

Marsha was a finisher in the frigid Seattle Marathon the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Despite the cold and some challenges to her training in the month before the event she finished! Hurray!!!

Kelly talks a little about the Locke family eggnog recipe and the revised version that can be made in a kitchen bowl rather than a bathtub!


Direct download: Episode_31_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am PDT

Welcome new listeners from the Shorty's Sutures and Libsyn Feed podcasts! Welcome also to our listeners from outside the US (including Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, and Norway)!

Marsha and Kelly announce the winners in the Front Range Bags giveaway.  Thanks again to Nancy for offering one of her bags for a prize!  If you aren't the winner, don't despair.  She has generously offered a coupon code for 15% off to Two Ewes listeners!  Listen to the podcast or visit our Ravelry Group for details.  Then go shop for a Front Range Bag!

Marsha had quite a bit of knitting time while at the hospital with her son.  Ben had a bad bicycle accident, but is now doing much better.  While at the trauma center she made lots of progress on the Mark's Crazy Scarf out of Stonehedge Crazy (mill ends).  She has also been working on the Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Valimaki.  She is using the yarn she created at Yarnia in Portland.  Despite all the knitting time, she has no finished projects this time.

Kelly is still working on her Color Affection (also by Veera Valimaki).  She has used most of two skeins of the peacock blue, most of the large skein of spring green, and has just started on the second skein of brown yarn.  She made some modifications to the color pattern so that she could see more color interactions and use more yarn.  All that is left is a large band of solid brown at the bottom of the shawl, but it has become so large that each row takes soooooo loooooong.  

During a Veteran's Day camping trip in The Clubhouse, Kelly also made progress on the Hippo (pattern by Heidi Bears).  Alas, not enough progress to be able to claim a finished project!  She also brought the drum carder so she could continue her fleece processing obsession.  The most recent batts are natural colored California Variegated Mutant blended with hand-dyed mohair locks.  Both are from very deep stash.

The Indie Designer Gift-Along starts on Thursday, November 19.  Over 5,000 independent designers have their patterns available for 25% off.  Knitters and crocheters who have purchased these patterns can participate in a 6-week Gift-Along between November 19 and December 31.  See the Indie Gift Along group on Ravelry to check out the pattern bundles and the GAL threads.  

A few crochet patterns that Kelly is considering are:

Etheria cowl by Julia Trice

True Love shawl and Latticework Cardigan by Michele DuNaier

Geisha's Finest stole by Tanja Osswald

Both our CAL and the GAL end on New Year's Eve so there is definitely some double dipping potential here!





Direct download: Episode_30_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:48pm PDT

The Two Ewes continue to shine a spotlight on Front Range Bags by Nancy Totten.  Nancy has generously offered a project bag from her shop to a lucky Two Ewes listener.  Kelly has one of her bags in SF Giants fabric and it's great!  High quality, nice and roomy, and lots of handy features. It was the perfect bag for the Crackerjack Cowl project during baseball season. To enter, take a look in the Front Range Bags shop and report back to the contest thread in the Ravelry group.  Tell us which bag you like best (exclusive of the custom orders) and let us know about your favorite features in the project bags you use. A winner will randomly selected during our podcast episode 30.  Thank you Nancy!  We appreciate the opportunity to spotlight your bags and your shop!

This week Marsha and Kelly record separately due to busy schedules.  Marsha has finished her Crochet-Along project, the Virus Shawl.  Marsha also finished her son's Tricolor Socks made of her handspun from last winter.  He turned 18 earlier this month so she finished the socks for his birthday.  He bought himself a birthday present that is every mother's nightmare!  A motorcycle, which he is using to transport his bicycle!

Marsha is currently working on a scarf for her brother from the Stonehedge Fiber Mill Crazy that she bought in Portland.  She is also using the yarn that she created at Yarnia in Portland.  She is making the Stripe Study Shawl by Vera Valimaki.

Kelly has no finished projects and very little knit or crochet progress. The one project that got some time was the crochet hippo that she is making for our Crochet-Along.  She has been doing lots of fiber work, though.  She is spinning Wensleydale for her Aunt's vest.  She is finally able to spin on the Salish Spinner and has been using it to spin a bulky yarn from the CVM fleece.  She is also carding a very old, gray fleece of medium weight from a sheep named Charlotte.  All of this fiber activity is a result of cleaning up and organizing her large fleece stash.  

At the end of the episode we talk BOOKS!  Marsha reviews three books that she has added to her fiber reference library.  The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook and the Field Guide to Fleece, both by Carol Ekarius and Deborah Robson and Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece by Gail Callahan.

Kelly reviews a book that was generously sent to her by Interweave/F+W. 
Simple Woven Garments: 20+ Projects to Weave & Wear (Interweave/F+W; $26.99; May 2015).  "This book is a pattern and idea book for creating uncomplicated woven shapes and turning them into highly wearable, everyday fashions."

Direct download: Episode_29_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm PDT

The Two Ewes want to shine a spotlight on Front Range Bags by Nancy Totten.

Nancy has generously offered a project bag from her shop to a lucky Two Ewes listener. Kelly has one of her bags in SF Giants fabric and it's great! High quality, nice and roomy, and lots of handy features. It was the perfect bag for the Crackerjack Cowl project during baseball season. To enter, take a look in the Front Range Bags shop and report back to the contest thread in the Ravelry group. Tell us which bag you like best (exclusive of the custom orders) and let us know about your favorite features in the project bags you use. A winner will randomly selected during our podcast episode 30. Thank you Nancy! We appreciate the opportunity to spotlight your bags and your shop!

Marsha finished her Antarktis Shawl by Janina Kallio. The color is brighter than any photo can show!

Marsha continues to work on her Lanata Cardigan by Amy Christoffers and her Virus Shawl for the Two Ewes Crochet Along.

Kelly is continuing her crochet along project which she is calling Hippopotamine. She is using the Happypotamus pattern by Heidi Bears. She is also obsessed with finishing A Bigger Affection using the Color Affection pattern by Veera Valimaki.

A big oops! on the Crazy Vest needs to be repaired with surgery. It's the Mielie pattern by Hilary Smith Callis.

Kelly's only finished project is a swatch of 2-ply, handspun Wensleydale for the Knit British Breed Swatch Along. Here is a link to the Knit British podcast episode and blog talking about the Swatch Along. Kelly's swatch is also a sample of yarn she is now making for her Aunt Betty for a vest from the Wensleydale.

Marsha had a few "advent-ewes," one of which was Fiber Fusion, where she watched the fleece judging and succumbed to wool fumes and bought two more fleeces! One is a silver Gotland and the other is Romeldale in a variegated color.

On the second day of Fiber Fusion, Marsha attended a class on how to select a fleece. The class was taught by Judith McKenzie (a national treasure if ever there was one!). Marsha also visited Yarnia in Portland. At Yarnia customers create yarn by combining strands from multiple cones into one one-of-a-kind yarn.

Kelly had an "advent-ewe" of her own at the Pacific International Quilt Fest. This included a giant exhibit of mind-blowing textile art! A photo gallery will be posted in a separate blog post. Meanwhile, here is a link to this year's competition winners!


Direct download: Episode_28_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:36pm PDT

In this bonus episode Marsha and Kelly talk about fleece washing.  Kelly runs through the steps she uses and does a little myth busting about the delicacy of wool fleece and fabric.

Here are some links that you may find useful;

Spinderella's Fiber Mill washing instructions

U.S. GSA Technical Procedures for Historic Preservation:  Types of Cleaning Detergents

A method that doesn't use the washing machine

Direct download: Episode_27b_final_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm PDT

In this episode Kelly and Marsha have lots to talk about! So much, in fact, that part of it won't be heard here, but will be released as a bonus episode about fiber myth busting later this week.

The Two Ewes Crochet-a-Long started October 1st and ends December 31st. To view the rules, check out our Ravelry Group thread. We are thrilled that our listener Wendy of Knitty Kitty Bags has donated a project bag as a prize. Check out her shop to see her beautiful stock. Contact us if you would also like to add to the prize list!

Kelly talks about her crochet project, Happypotamus by Heidi Bears. Marsha reports on her beginning crochet class and her project, Virus Shawl.

Both Kelly and Marsha finished their Crackerjack Cowls by Stacy Simpson Duke. 

Kelly has also started a Color Affection that she is calling A Bigger Affection since she is modifying it (of course!) to use DK yarn and be as big as possible to use up some very old stash. The peacock blue and the acid green have been waiting in stash to be used together for about 5 years!

Marsha continues to work on her Lanata Cardigan by Amy Christoffers and her Antarktis Shawl by Janina Kallio.  Marsha also tells about the fabulous yarn she found at the Goodwill.

Kelly will be attending the Pacific International Quilt Show in San Jose on October 17th and 18th. Marsha will be attending the Fiber Fusion in Monroe, Washington on October 17th and 18th.


Direct download: Episode_27_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm PDT

Kelly and Marsha are knitters and spinners who are celebrating the first anniversary of the podcast! To celebrate they first talk about all their knitting, spinning, and crochet projects and plans. Then they have a conversation about the podcast and the past year.

Kelly finished her Cotton/Linen Featherweight making a few modifications to the beloved pattern by Hannah Fettig.  This is her fourth completed sweater from coned yarns from the rescued weaving stash!  Last year she made the Acorn Trail cardigan and the Gala Tunic from coned wool yarns. This year she made the Featherweight and Cherry Vanilla cardigans.

Work continues on the Mielie Vest, a pattern by Hillary Smith Callis. This one will be finished soon and has some modifications that can be found on the project page.

Marsha continues to work on the Lanata cardigan by Amy Christoffers. Since she returned home from California, she caught up on her Mariner Crackerjack Cowl, and has continued working on the bright green Antarktis.

During the last year of podcasting, the Two Ewes have both seen their fiber art and their thinking grow and change. The podcast has also grown, and the Two Ewes talk about some of the interesting podcast and blog statistics over the last year.

Listeners on iOS are warned that the upgrade to iOS 9 has caused the podcast app to fail on some devices. Users with an especially large library of podcast subscriptions are most susceptible to this problem.

Finally, as a way to celebrate International Podcast Day on September 30, the Two Ewes urge all listeners to leave a rating or review for your favorite podcast. It helps the knitting podcasts rise above all those other hobby podcasts.

To see photos and the full show notes visit our blog.


Direct download: episode_26_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am PDT

In Episode 25 we discuss the purpose of Marsha's visit to Kelly....The Monterey County Fair Wool Auction!  This is a great destination for all knitters, spinners, and wool lovers!



Kelly discusses attending the judging that occurred the week prior to the auction. She explains the history of the wool auction, the judging categories and the criteria that the judge used. She also talks about how the wool is classified-the Bradford (or spinning count) system, the American blood system, and micron measurement.


Marsha and Kelly discuss what they were looking for in fleeces, how they decided what to bid on, and the stress and strategies of a live auction!


If you are interested in an upcoming wool judging, Lambtown in Dixon, California will have their judging at 10:00 on Saturday, October 3, 2015.  Mark Eidman is the judge there, too.


Don't forget about the Crochet-Along that starts on October 1.  Information is in the Ravelry group.


Direct download: Ep_25_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16pm PDT

We don't always record together, but when we do, we prefer giggles.  Please listen responsibly.

Marsha visited Kelly over the Labor Day Weekend, and the Two Ewes have so much to discuss that this episode comes to you in two parts. This episode is ready for listening and Part 2 (Episode 25) will be uploaded in a few days.

In Part 1 we announce our first ever Crochet-A-Long! The CAL starts October 1st and ends December 31st. Projects can be of any size or number. Kelly is planning to make Happypotamus the Happy Hippo by Heidi Bears that she has had in her queue for awhile now. Marsha is planning to make Virus Shawl by Julia Marquardt. Marsha has never crocheted before so is planning to take a class at her LYS to get started.

During their visit Marsha completed her Pebble Beach Shawl by Helen Stewart using Stonehedge Fiber Mill Crazy. Thank you to our listener and Ravelry group member "kimbuktu7" for the recommendation. This is the first shawl Marsha has made that is crescent shaped and she loves the way the ends curl. A very wearable shawl, plus the colors look good with so many outfits.

Kelly also has a project going with Stonehedge Crazy yarn.  She is making a Wild and Crazy version of the Mielie vest by Hillary Smith Callis using two skeins of Crazy, along with a large skein of purple fingering weight that she has dyed.  This is a great pattern and is knitting up so quickly that it is addicting!

Marsha made good progress on her Lanata Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. This is a bottom up raglan sleeve cardigan. Marsha completed the body up to the armholes while visiting Kelly. It was now time to start the sleeves and in the podcast Marsha and Kelly discuss how she modified the sleeves. Kelly searched her button stash and found buttons for the cardigan.

Marsha started a new shawl called Antarktis by Janina Kallio. She is using Dragonfly Fibers Pixie in the color Zombie Apocalypse.

Marsha brought some of her washed Merino and Shetland fiber that she purchased at the Black Sheep Gathering. She had some trouble carding and spinning the fiber and in the podcast we discuss how Kelly troubleshooted (troubleshot?) the problem. Marsha discusses her experience using Kelly's drum carder and Kelly gives carding tips. (Perhaps a video would be a better medium for explaining the carding tips! There was lots of handwaving during the recording of this part!)

The other project that Kelly worked on while Marsha was visiting was the Playground Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska, using Alexandra's Crafts Merino/Tencel and a lone ball of Frogtree coral-colored alpaca.    Besides her two new projects, Kelly has plans for a large three-color shawl.

Direct download: Episode_24_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:50pm PDT