Monday, March 28, 2016

Ep 38: Spring Fever Free-for-All






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.

Purple Bunny

 The companion toy was Marshall from Paw Patrol, a pattern by Melissa's Crochet Patterns.
Marshall of Paw Patrol
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.

Edie Tee
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. Here are some pictures of him.

Listening to our neighbors chickens.

Rainy day puppy.

Petal puppy.

Riding shotgun.

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.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 Bee Season

If you are here for the podcast episode, scroll down to find the player in post below.  If you would like to read about my bee inspection yesterday (2nd of the season), check out this blog post from my personal blog.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Ep 37: March Meanderings



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.

Photo by Flickr user Loco Steve/Creative Commons.
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.

image from http://www.chameleonbreeder.com/


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.


Two Ewes premiums.

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. ;-)

Edie T-Shirt

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.

Hello!

Marsha is endlessly fascinated by Enzo's sleeping positions.

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!





Friday, March 4, 2016

Ep 36b: B is for bonus!



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!


Enzo got a trim!
 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. 
Kelly's project updates

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.
Edie T-shirt
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.
Goodwill Score!
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).
Beauty in the distance and right underfoot!
Here is a link to some walking training schedules that she has used.