Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ep. 6: Here's to New Advent-ewes!

Check out this episode!

Marsha talks about her progress on her St. John Cardigan. She completed the first of her Merry Socks and cast on for the second sock.
First Merry Sock made with Punta
Yarns Merisock Hand Painted.
She is close to completing her St. John Cardigan and her needles can never be idle. Really, can anyone's? She talks about swatching with Hope 55 from Valkyrie Yarns & Fibers for her next project in her queue, the Featherweight Cardigan.

Valkyrie Yarns & Fibers Hope 55.
Kelly talks about her progress on the Gala tunic.  One side is done and the second side has been started.  No sleeves, so the end is near!  She hopes she looks this cute in the finished project ;-)

And then Marsha's reveals her BIG surprise! A Lil' Herbie spinning wheel. She discusses why she wanted a spinning wheel, why she wanted a Lil' Herbie, how she found it, and what it means to her.

Lil' Herbie safely strapped in
for the ride home.

Repaired, cleaned, waxed,
lubricated and ready to spin!

Signature, date, and number made. So cool!

Marsha's first yarn!

Yarn made with the merino fleece that
came with Lil' Herbie.

Kelly and Ben spinning on her Lil' Herbie.
Ben today. 

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Marsha, of course, talks about food. But, surprise, not Thanksgiving food! She made a Butterscotch Cream Roll Up (oops, she says caramel in the podcast) from her absolute favorite cake cookbook, Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson the owner of Baker & Spice. Marsha got to visit the bakery on her recent trip to Portland Oregon.

Butterscotch Cream Roll Up.

"Mecca" :-)

Kelly talks about her sourdough starter.  This "pet" has been around almost a year now and is much less demanding than she originally thought.  The sourdough recipes that she uses the most are:
Rustic Sourdough bread from Instructables
Sourdough Pizza dough from Breadtopia
Pancakes from Yumarama
Biscuits from King Arthur flour

The website she liked the most when she was learning about sourdough starter was Sourdough Home with no-nonsense instructions.

Marsha talked about the college days so forgive them if they wax nostalgic and show a few pictures from the 80s of life at North Hall, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington!

Kelly celebrating snow in front of North Hall.  Note the be discussed in future episode!

Robert makes Thanksgiving preparations in the North Hall (ex-hospital) kitchen. 

Marsha tries on her birthday present.  The perfect 80s sweatshirt!

Kelly and Marsha in 1983.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ep. 5: What's Under the Kilt? Kilt Hose of Course!

Kelly began making socks almost from the beginning of her knitting career.  With the help of free patterns on the late nineties version of Knitting Pattern Central, her first pair were a pair of men's socks for her husband.  Also helpful were the tons of hand-me-down needles that she was given from friends and colleagues who discovered that she played with yarn.  Disregard for gauge, devil-may-care yarn choices, and the "if you fit 'em, you get 'em" method of determining size and recipient were the hallmarks of her early sock knitting.

The hat made out of the first Cotswold fleece--the same yarn that was used for my first socks.

Most recent socks for the husband.  These fit much better than the first ones!
Kicking back in hand-spun, Hermione's Everyday socks

What's in my sock drawer!

These baby socks have gone to a good home

The empty sock jar! 

Marsha knit sweaters first, and took a more rational approach to sock knitting: taking a class, using sock yarn, and creating socks that fit her feet well.

Fast-forwarding to the present, they both have full sock drawers, and both ended up as fairly traditional sock knitters--preferring DPNs, top down, heel flap and gusset, simple patterning (if any).  Kelly often gets pattern inspiration from her first sock pattern book, Socks, Socks, Socks, the 1998 publication of contest winners from Knitters Magazine.  Marsha uses the recipe that she got from the sock class and loves the self-patterning Heart and Sole yarns. For Marsha socks are a very relaxing project and because of this she make the same two socks patterns over and over so she doesn't have to keep referring to the pattern. Another way of looking at it is she doesn't have to think too much!

In the podcast she incorrectly stated the basic sock pattern she uses. It is actually Knit to Fit Ankle or Calf Socks by Nancy Lindberg. The ribbed socks are Globe Trotter Socks by Jodie St. Clair.

The first socks she ever made in a sock class are the bottom socks in the photo. The orange socks, second from the top, are her most recent socks. The very top socks are Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns.

Marsha's socks.
Currently she is making socks using Punta Yarns Merisock Hand Painted.

Marsha's sock-on-the-needles she is calling Merry Sock.

And finally, Marsha talks about Sarah Core's oh-so-much-fun Mini Mania Scarf that she made with sock yarn leftovers.

Bonus Interview!!!
Marsha interviews her brother Mark Failor and their good friend Gary Clark about kilt hose, the socks traditionally worn with a kilt.
Here are Gary (left) and Mark (right) the night of our conversation and at an event last summer. Handsome men!


Here are two books that are great resources on how to wear a kilt. Scottish National Dress and Tartan by Stuart Reid and So You're Going to Wear a Kilt! by J. Charles Thompson.

Mathew A.C. Newsome is a excellent source for kilts and accessories. My brother's jacket was made by Mr. Newsome.

Of course Ravelry is a terrific source for kilt hose patterns but there is also a wonderful little book written by Lady Veronica Gainford titled, Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings.

Mr. Newsome also refers us to a free kilt hose pattern designed by John Anderson that Marsha thinks is very handsome.

Here is a picture of the some of the hose that we talked about.

In honor of all things Scottish, Marsha is including a recipe for Tipsy Laird that she makes when her family celebrated Burns' Night. She makes a pound cake to replace trifle sponges since they are not available here.

And finally, in honor of Marsha's late father Frank we offer his favorite kilt joke:

A kilted Scotsman was walking down a country path after finishing off a large amount of whisky at a local pub. He felt quite sleepy and decided to nap against a tree.
As he slept, two female tourists heard his loud snoring. When they found him, one said, "I've always wondered what a Scotsman wears under his kilt."
She boldly walked over to the sleeper, raised his kilt, and saw that he wore nothing at all. Her friend said, "Well, the mystery is solved! Let's thank him for sharing!"
She took off her pretty blue hair ribbon and gently tied it around the Scotsman's endowment. A while later, the Scotsman was awakened by the call of nature. He raised his kilt and was bewildered at the sight of the neatly tied blue ribbon. He stared for a minute, then said, "I don't know where y'been laddie... but it's nice ta see you won firrrst prrrize!"

Check out this episode!