Friday, April 22, 2016

Ep 40: Spirit Yarn


The Two Ewes record together this week since Marsha is visiting Kelly for the NoCKRs retreat (last weekend) and the Big Sur 21-miler (coming up this weekend).  You'll hear about what inspired us at the retreat, the progress we've made on our current projects, and our plans to meet more listeners.  We also talk about the idea of Spirit Yarn.

The retreat was a great way for Kelly to get miles of spinning done! She worked on more of the yarn for her mother's Shibui Axis vest.  Two large bobbins were filled and that should end up being 4-5 ounces of yarn once it is plied.  Kelly also knitted on the Funky Grandpa cardigan that she is making out of handspun.

Bottom edge is bound off.  On to the sleeves!

Both of these projects turned out to be great social projects.  Marsha worked on her Fairfield Cardigan by Michele Wang.

Fairfield Cardigan
She also started the Shetland Crescent shawl by Kieran Foley, but made better progress on the sweater.


Shetland Crescent

Marsha was inspired by the colors at the retreat.  California knitters seem to use more colorful yarns than knitters in the Pacific Northwest. One item in particular caught her eye.  It was a beautiful version of the Stephen West shawl Exploration Station.   She was also inspired to one day take a trip with Kelly to Rhinebeck,  aka New York State Sheep and Wool Festival.

All that inspiration has led to some big plans!  Kelly plans to make the Edie Tee since Marsha's finished project looked so fantastic on her. 
Edie T-shirt.
 Kelly bought yarn that would be suitable while visiting the Continental Stitch in Morgan Hill just before the retreat to take advantage of the discount that they were offering NoCKRs participants.  Marsha has plans to make Ricky for All Seasons by Vera Sanon

The projects at the retreat were so fabulous that Kelly was inspired to immediately queue the Mesa by Yumiko Alexander.  It is a versatile garment that can be worn as a cape or as a shawl or as a poncho.   She is also planning to make the Cancun by Erin Kate Archer.  This boxy sweater is essentially a lace sampler.  The version at the retreat was tunic length and very flattering!


Both of the Two Ewes purchased the custom dyed retreat yarn from Duren Dye Works. Kelly is thinking of making the two-color shawl Sjø by Katja Löffler.  Marsha is considering the Daydreamer Shawl by Janina Kallio.  


Duren Dye Works NoCKRs yarn.
Marsha and Kelly enjoyed the de-stash room at the retreat and came home with lots of Spirit Yarn. These are yarns that have been loved at one time, but now need good homes.  They contain such spirit and potential that just looking at them provides so much inspiration for projects to come.
Our de-stash finds.   Spirit Yarn!
Going to the Black Sheep Gathering?  If so, we have a meet-up planned for the afternoon/evening of Saturday, June 25.  We hope you can join us.  Listen to the show for more details.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ep 39: Lace has Holes and other Revelations


Our adventures continue. Marsha has a revelation about lace and another about her mama bear ferocity. Listen to the Two Ewes discuss current projects, bees, a puppy, and some "Fiber in the Wild"!

Kelly continues the Star Wars crochet saga and has finished Luke, Han, Leia, and Jabba.


Creating tea cosies would be a similar sculptural activity and Kelly recommends a look at the work of  Loani Prior , an Australian knitter who is also on Instagram as  @queenoftheteacosies.  

She has also finished the Wensleydale yarn she is making for her Aunt Betty to use for a Simply Garter Vest.  The yarn is loosely spun and plied--a good way to make sure that the longer, courser wools don't end up feeling like wire.  In fact, the yarn is shiny, silky, and very spongy in the skein.

For the Spring Fever Free-for-All Kelly has "chained up" the Latticework Cardigan by Michele DuNaier. At this point she is almost ready to separate the sleeves. The crocheting is fun and fast. It would be even faster for an experienced crocheter. This is Kelly's first crochet garment, so learning the construction and fitting methods has been interesting.

Marsha finished the knitting of her Edie Tee by Isabel Kraemer. Next is weaving in the ends and washing.  The Two Ewes discuss the sweater's short rows and Kelly recommends the free Craftsy class by Carol Feller

Edie Tee

Marsha hasn't had time to spin more of her Shetland fleece but she did spend some time carding.

Carding Shetland on a rare sunny day.

Marsha contacted Michele Wang, the designer of the Fairfield Cardigan, after she got stuck on the double yarn over. Michele was so kind to send photos of the how to work the stitch and now Marsha is back on track.

Fairfield Cardigan

Marsha discusses two books she is reading by Clara Parkes. The Yarn Whisperer: My Unexpected Life in Knitting and Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World.





She also talks about two articles she recently read in the New York Times. "The Sock Queen of Alabama" is about an "artisan" sock manufacturer in Fort Payne, Alabama with two sock lines called Zkano and Little River Sock Mill. As more and more manufacturing is moved offshore, it is interesting to learn how one mill is thriving.

The second article, "A New Breed of Opera Diva: Sheep", is about the staging of Louis Andriessen's "De Materie", a Dutch avant-garde work that features a flock of 100 sheep! We cannot find a video of the sheep but here is an audio of the opera.

Here is the much discussed picture of Gary wearing undergarments crocheted by a co-worker.

Gary. Always the center of attention. :-)

The Two Ewes Spring Fever Free-for-All is underway. 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. If you're on Instagram we're using the hashtag #twoewesspringfever. Contest ends at midnight on May 4th.

Marsha plans to cast on a shawl for the Spring Fever Free-for-All with Friea in the colorway Melon. Here are some of the patterns she's considering. A couple of them she would need to combine with a complementary yarn.

Freia in the center in the colorway Melon.
Shetland Crescent - Kieran Foley
Hanami Stole - Melanie Gibbons
Non Troppo - Asa Tricosa
Merlin - Kieran Foley
Havasu Falls - Alison LoCicero
Windward - Heidi Kirrmaier