Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Felting Adventures

If you are here for the podcast, Welcome! and scroll down to the previous post!

Last Thanksgiving my mom brought me a magazine clipping with a picture of felted acorns.  A friend had given it to her and she wanted to know if we could make some of these for her for this year.  Luckily, we both remembered we wanted to do this and were on the lookout for acorn caps.
Tan Oak caps from our camping trip.

Mt. Madonna camping was the location where we hit the acorn cap jackpot.  The tan oaks there were very cooperative!

Earlier this fall I started up the dyepot and dyed a couple different fibers with chestnut dye.  I also added a little pumpkin orange for variation and depth of color.  The fibers I dyed were light brown CVM, natural cream colored targhee, and some natural Suffolk that was left from a quilt batt. I also got out my carding and felting stash.  (BTW, I made way more brown wool than needed for this project!  It actually takes very little!)
My embarrassingly large felting/carding stash!

We met at my house a couple weekends ago and did some wet felting!  What fun!  In my felting stash I have the remains of several sheer curtains and I cut out a couple squares of fabric about 6 inches by 6 inches.  We used these to contain the wool while shaping.  I had experimented with just rolling it in my hand, but that allowed to many lumps to form.  We needed the acorns to be smooth, not lumpy!  We rolled the wool and then wet it, wrapped it in the cloth and added a little dish soap and then just rubbed them in our hands.  It took a little while to get them to smooth out, but keeping the cloth tight helped.  Mom's hands are bigger and her acorns turned out longer than mine.  We had real acorns for models and some were longer than others, so this was realistic.
Acorns in progress getting tested for cap fit.
After making them, we rinsed out the soap, rolled them in a towel to dry and then put them on the rack in the dryer for a little more drying.  They weren't totally dry so Mom took hers home with some caps and I left mine drying on the kitchen table.  By the next day it was time to fit and glue the caps on. 

Fitting and gluing the tops.
They turned out great.  This is a pretty quick fall felting project with a big impact!  Perfect for gifts, too.

Finished product
 Do your part for world fleece and try this project!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ep. 4: And Thus Began Our Adventures

Check out this episode!

Marsha and Kelly talk about their current projects:

Marsha is working on her second Custom Fit sweater, the St. John Cardigan, with yarn (Rowan DK Soft) that she bought at a school auction. 

Kelly just finished her second Custom Fit sweater made with Berroco Remix.

She is currently working on a garter stitch stole that will be in a parallelogram shape.  It is out of one of her hand-dyed skeins, a variegated yarn in the color "Blue-eyed Giraffe."

They also talk about how they got started in the fiber arts.
My first skein of handspun yarn!

"I don't want a hobby with a lot of equipment," I said!

The L'il Herbie has been a great wheel!

A blanket woven with yarn that I took from sheep to finished project.

  Marsha talks about her great aunt Ruth Utterback who taught her to crochet. Aunt Ruth was a very elegant and fashionable woman. This picture of her was taken on a family trip to the Oregon coast around 1970. Marsha loves that she is wearing jewelry and scarf to visit the beach! It may not be clear in the picture, but she is also wearing a hairnet that has tiny pearls and a daisy that Marsha gave her. 

Great aunt Ruth Utterback.
Aunt Ruth's crocheted pot holders.
The red and green pot holder
 has the ric rac Marsha discusses.
Aunt Ruth's tea cozy.
Aunt Ruth's crocheted lace on pillowcases.
Marsha talks about the afghan her mother made for herself when she was a teenager in the 1940's. 
 Podie's afghan.
Marsha also talks about the first knitting project she made in the mid-80's in the knitting class she took from Karen Aho at Acorn Street Yarns

Marsha's first sweater.

Marsha couldn't find the sweater her mother Podie made, but she did come across the sweater Marsha made for her father Frank. He never wore the sweater bacause it was too big, too hot, and too heavy! Curious, Marsha weighed the sweater and discovered it weighs 2 pounds, 13.5 ounces. To put that in perspective, her Acorn Trail sweater weighs 14.2 ounces. :-)

This is the sweater Marsha made for her father, Frank.

Marsha's parents Podie and Frank
in the mid-80's.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Episode 3: Two Ewes, One Sweater

Check out this episode!

Marsha's Acorn Trail aka
"Ohlone 50K Commemorative
Trail Cardigan"
This week we’re talking about our Amy Herzog Custom Fit sweaters. Kelly named her sweater “Gardening at 90” because her inspiration was a sweater that a woman would still be wearing in the garden at age 90 because it is that durable! Marsha named hers “Ohlone 50K Commemorative Trail Cardigan” because we purchased the patterns the weekend we got together to participate in the Ohlone 50K.

We purchased our patterns at Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove, CA. Kelly used her “rescued” yarn and Marsha used “Owl” from Quince & Company. Marsha’s buttons came from Nancy’s Sewing Basket (she mistakenly says “box” on the podcast) and Kelly’s were again from one of her rescue projects. We love the fit of the sweaters and think Amy Herzog is a genius! Check out more pictures of the sweaters by clicking on the link to our Ravelry pages above.  Custom Fit is perfect for those who want to use stash yarn rather than buy the yarn called for in the pattern, those who spin and want to use their handspun, and those who need to make yarn substitutions due to issues with wool. 

Marsha also talks about her vegetable garden and two recipes she recently made, America’s Test Kitchen’s Oven Dried Tomatoes and Melissa Clark’s Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken from the New York Times. Marsha doesn't mention this in the podcast but when visiting Kelly she bought Royal Corona beans from Rancho Gordo. The were delicious!
Oven-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Sweet & Spicy Chicken

Royal Corona Beans

Thanks for listening!
Podcast music is Spanish Mood by Plastic3
Podcast header art by Sarah Ann Mills

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Episode 2: 5 Yarn Shops, 2 Adobes, and an Airstream Named Clyde

Check out this episode!

 The SLO Yarn Crawl takes the Two Ewes to San Luis Obispo, home of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.
Marsha loves adobes, including all the California Missions and Yarns at the Adobe!

In this episode Marsha talks about:

Our food adventures!
We had TWO great dinners at Luna Red, including the Olive Oil Cake.  We don't have Luna Red's recipe, but here is a recipe that seems similar. 
We had a great breakfast of Huevos Rancheros at Big Sky Cafe.

The Yarn Shops!
The Ball and Skein and More in Cambria where she and Kelly bought Reywa Fibers yak down and silk yarn called Bloom in the color Poppy.  We also talked with Sam Sansbury of Colinette and we both bought Colinette Jitterbug yarn in the Slate colorway.

Yarns at the Adobe in San Luis Obispo, across from the mission, fulfills two of Marsha's passions: yarn and adobes!  This yarn shop is actually in a historic adobe.  At this shop Marsha bought yarn from Valkyrie Yarn and Fiber so that she could make a sweater.  This yarn also has yak in it (yak, merino and silk), thus continuing Marsha's theme of yak yarn!  Kelly bought Berocco Remix to make her next Custom Fit sweater.

Nordic Mart, is also in San Luis Obispo.  It carries DROPS yarns, stocks many colors and has extremely good prices.  It was the first stop of the second day.   Marsha and Kelly both got Fabel sock yarn.  Kelly won the door prize from Nordic Mart!  I was a pattern for fair isle leg warmers, Cascade Fingering yarn in 5 bright colors, and a notions pouch chock full of goodies!

Eileen's Treasures in Pismo Beach had Flat Feet Fibers sock blanks and Marsha bought one.  Kelly bought a couple of skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca Sport and a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn.

Ranch Dog Knitting in Atascadero was nice and cool inside although it was over 100 degrees outside!  Yarn by a local (Paso Robles) dyer, Picket Fence Fiber Studio yarn, was the big find there!  Kelly also bought a silver shawl pin.  Atascadero has an interesting history that we didn't know at the time, but that we found out later from Marsha's brother.

The Airstream, Clyde!
What a fun way to have an adventurous stay!  The hosts were interesting and hospitable, providing beer in the fridge and making us coffee in the mornings.   Clyde had a patio, complete with turf, patio furniture, and flamingos, where we enjoyed wine in the afternoon.  We booked Clyde through airbnb and had a great experience.

Relaxing in the Airstream before heading to dinner.

Kelly talks about:
The items that are uppermost on her Ravelry queue and that she wants to knit in the near future (after the current Custom Fit sweater that The Ewes will talk about next episode).  Opus the Octopus, a Gala Tunic-length sweater, and the Niebling lace doily pattern Frosted Ferns are at the top and likely to be made this fall.  Other items are more like fantasy knits--Sea Tangles, Enchanted Mesa, and Baby's First DNA Molecule are things Kelly is interested in, but knows she may never get to. 

Marsha's purchases

Kelly's purchases

Thanks for listening!
Podcast music is Spanish Mood by Plastic3
Podcast header art by Sarah Ann Mills