Saturday, December 19, 2015

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 adventurer friends give Marsha birthday wishes, the episode resumes with our knitting, spinning and yarny adventures.

Marsha has finished her Lanata, a lacy cardigan designed by Amy Christoffers.  The fit is perfect and she is wearing it while she podcasts!

Marsha's Lanata

Marsha's Lanata
She continues to work on the Crazy Scarf for her brother, using the yarn Stonehedge Crazy.  Marsha likes this yarn base so much that she recently added a sweater quantity of Stonehedge Shepherd's Wool to her stash.

To round out the knitting categories, Marsha has cast on her Winter Vegetable Garden.  Using a book by Susie Johns, Twenty to Make: Knitted Vegetables, she is currently working on the turnip.  Fiddly, but small and fun!

Kelly has worn her Color Affection Behemoth and has perfected a way of putting it on that involves hooking it to a door and spinning around until it has wrapped her! :-)  Warm and cozy during three-hour final exams in freezing cold classrooms.
A big shawl.


She finished a third crochet project in the Two Ewes CAL.  It is  Etheria, a cowl design by Julia Trice. The pattern is fun and quick.

Marsha discusses her recent trip to the Portland area to drop off wool to be processed into yarn.  After a tour of the machinery at Fantasy Fibers, Marsha and her brother Mark visited the Goodwill, Pendleton Woolen Mills, and the Pearl Fiber Arts yarn shop. After all that, she and Mark headed to The Dalles, Oregon in search of Glayva, the scotch whisky liquer.

Kelly talks about all the fiber she has been carding.  The wool is natural colored CVM and it is blended with dyed mohair locks.  The fiber was all bought locally, at the Monterey County Wool Auction.  The batts are lofty, soft, and well blended.  She has also been carding some gray fleece with the mohair locks.  She wanted to share this wooly goodness with listeners and came up with a way to do it!

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!
In process batts
Finished batts and yarn
More finished batts

Any contribution of $15 or more will qualify for the premiums.  Kelly will contact you to determine whether to send fiber (two 1-ounce batts) or mini-skeins (two 80-yard minis).  If you are interested, please click the donate button!




Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ep 31: Frozen Fingers, Goodwill Confessions, and Eggnog


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!



Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ep 30: Talkin' Turkey


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).
Mark's Crazy Scarf


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, Marsha has no finished projects this time.


Kelly is still working on her Color Affection (also by Veera Valimaki).
Color Affection
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).
Hippo with no head

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.
Adding mohair to the wool.
Some finished, some in fluff stage.


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!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ep 29: Motorcycle Nightmares, Wool, and Weaving


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 from 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.  Marsha also talks about Adventures in Yarn Farming by Barbara Parry. 

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; May 2015).  "This book is a pattern and idea book for creating uncomplicated woven shapes and turning them into highly wearable, everyday fashions."

This book is currently on sale for $17.34 at the Interweave Store.  The photo above shows the shrug that Kelly talks about in the episode.

Here are a couple of Kelly's favorite garment ideas in the book:



The authors are:

 Sara Goldenberg received her MFA in fibers from CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado. As a textile artist, Sara has shown her work in solo and group shows throughout the United States. Sara teaches weaving at colleges, conferences, and at her local weaving shop.

Jane Patrick is the former editor of Handwoven and vice president of sales for Schacht Spindle Company in Boulder, Colorado. She is the author of Time to Weave and The Weaver’s Idea Book and the coauthor of Woven Scarves, as well as the author of the videos Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom and Inkle Weaving from A to Z.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Ep 28: Brain Like a Shaken Snow Globe--Again!


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!
Sunglasses required!
 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.

Color Obsession

A big oops! on the Crazy Vest needs to be repaired with surgery.  It's the Mielie pattern by Hilary Smith Callis.
Bad words might have been involved!
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.
Wensleydale swatch
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.
Romeldale

Gotland
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!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ep 27b: Fiber Myth Busting Bonus Episode


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


Check out this episode!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ep 27: Swept Away by Crochet



 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.

Virus Shawl

Don't I look a little maniacal here?!

Marsha's Crackerjack Cowl

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!
Don't these just beg to be a Color Affection?


Marsha continues to work on her Lanata Cardigan by Amy Christoffers and her Antarktis Shawl by Janina Kallio.

Lanata Cardigan

Marsha also tells about the fabulous yarn she found at the Goodwill.

Goodwill yarn.

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.