Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Announcing the Summer of Reading that Will Change Your Life

Greetings, it's been a long time! I am embarking on a summer of reading life-changing books, and I invite you to join me. Here's the skinny:

The Summer of Reading that Will Change Your Life! Here are the books I've picked to read between now and Labor Day. Will you join me? If any/all appeal to you, please post which you want to read so that we can discuss. I have no particular order in mind:

This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
How Can I Help by Ram Dass
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion

Who's in?

Monday, February 2, 2015

144 Sunny Afternoon

We welcome guest barista M. K. Nance to the podcast. 

Grande: Nance has finished a trio of hats called Sudice. Each hat has a Polish name , and are knit from Three Fates yarn. You can find the hats here. Nancy also finished a hat from Lakes Yarn & Fiber called Fernan. Abby finished her Hitchhiker from yarn she spun from the (now defunct) Crown Mountain Farms fiber in San Francisco Nights, and Copperline mitts by Elizabeth Doherty out of Zealana Rimu DK. They are soft and lovely!

Latte: Nance is knitting a hat from Black Trillium Lilt in Blue Suede Shoes. The hat has no name — yet. Abby is knitting vanilla socks from Stray Cat Socks self striping yarn in the color Lollipop. Abby is also making Carson by Romi Hill from Collinette Jitterbug. There might not be enough yarn, but she plans to improvise if need be. Abby is also knitting Conina socks for Laura, but they are going very, very slowly. 

Brewing: Nance talks about how she learned to knit. A teacher thought knitting would give seven-year-old Nance the dexterity to learn to tie her shoes. Nance mentions NÃ¥lebinding, which you can read about here. Nance’s design process begins with an idea, often a stitch pattern she designs in Stitch Mastery. 

BONUS: If you purchase one of Nance’s hats on her ravelry store between now and February 5th, use the discount code mentioned on the podcast for half off!

Abby is still pondering knitting a sweater! She would love to knit Queen Bee by Mary Scott Huff, but doesn’t currently have the yarn for it. She also talks about taking on brioche knitting, finally. 

Caffeinated: Abby is excited about the New York Times Cooking app, which is available for iPad and Android. 

Sofa: Abby has been watching Project Runway All Stars. HBO did a wonderful documentary called Banksy Does New York. We also mentioned Exit Through the Gift Shop which is related, in some ways. We are loving the new podcast Invisibilia. Don’t miss it! Nance recommends Anzac Girls, an Australian TV show. 

Events: Madrona! Maybe we’ll be there, maybe not. It’s undecided. 

You can check out Nance’s website here

Sunday, November 30, 2014

143 Winging It

This is how garter stitch looks in reverse spun yarn.
Listen here. 
Abby is drinking Good Earth Decaf Tea.

Latte: We were testing Biscotte et Cie sock yarn. It is a nicely plied three-ply sock yarn, which is fun to knit with, but the color way was not to her liking so it is being frogged.
Copperline Mitts by Elizabeth Doherty from the Metalwork collection is a lovely fingerless mitt pattern, being knit from Zealana Rimu DK weight merino/possum yarn. The yarn was generously gifted to Abby by Adwila, a listener in New Zealand.

Grande: Many projects are finished! Hitchhiker from hand spun merino (from Crown Mountain Farms, who are no longer in business), Lintilla from Sheepspot Sustainable Merino Fingering yarn, Grace Socks out of Lilt Sock by Black Trillium Fiber Studio. 
Also “refinished” is Bigger on the Inside, which is now blocked into a wearable shape. 

Brewing: We want to make a Romi Hill shawl, specifically: Carson,  but the yarn we want to use might not be enough, but we don’t know how to tell! This is frustrating.

Taste: Review of Magpies, Homebodies and Nomads by Cirilia Rose. 

Stir: Finished! Three Feet of Sheep, spun into a two-ply fingering weight gradient rainbow-ish yarn. After purchasing a Russian supported spindle from KCL Woods, learning to use it has proven a bit of a challenge. Help!

Sofa: We recommend three books: Station Eleven by Emily S. John Mandel, Physics for Rock Stars: Making the Laws of the Universe Work for You by Christine McKinley, and The Alienist by Caleb Carr. We mention the podcast “Books on the Nightstand”. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Knit Knitmore Cafe!

I recorded with Jasmin and Gigi, the Knitmore Girls. Listen to our mashup at the Knit Knitmore Cafe!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

141 A Couple of Jersey Girls Sitting Around Talking

Listen here.

Abby is joined by Sasha, formerly host of the Spin Doctor podcast, and currently owner of a new yarn company, Sheepspot! And, we digress, and digress. 

Latte: Sasha is making a “Simple Things” shawlette from sock yarn she dyed herself. She is also working on socks from Ann Budd’s  Getting Started Knitting Socks. A conversation ensued about the necessirty for knitting socks with negative ease, fear of clowns and their pants, and adventures in uncommon heel construction. Sasha is also knitting the Structured Alpaca Cowl, a pattern from Purl Soho. Sasha recommends their blog, The Purl Bee. Sasha sings the praises of Lobster Pot cashmere. Sasha talks about Indigo Dragonfly and their Dye Camp where she dyed the cashmere she is using for this cowl.  All Abby has been kntiting this week is the long-suffereing Color Affection and vows “nor more garter stitch” for a while. Abby refers to the Einstein Coat, which may be the ultimate garter stitch project.  

Chai: Abby talked about Stitches West, her “no sock yarn” constraint, and the lovely Three Feet of Sheep fiber that she is currently spinning as well as her “birthday earrings” from Sacred Laughter. Shasha and Abby both confess to having rather large stashes of sock yarn.  Abby feels that shopping at Stitches West is very difficult, and that for her, it is primarily a social event. We talk about the difficulty of having Madrona and Stitches West falling only one week apart, and decide that all of our friends simply need to attend Madrona next year. Sasha talks about finding wonderful shephards in Ontario and how getting to know them, their flocks, and interacting with them on behalf of her new company, Sheepspot has made Ontario feel so much more like home.  We hear of winemaking shepherds, Babydoll Southdowns, Ile-de-France and more! You can read about the Livestock Conservancy here.  

Caffeinated: Sasha, in case you don’t already know, is starting a “little yarn company” called Sheepspot. Sheepspot sells breed-specific, hand dyed yarns. “The natural spot for woolgathering. ”You can read all about it, sign up for the newsletter, and yes, buy yarn, right here. You will no doubt be as excited as we are!  

Abby is excited about table top games. We’ve already mentioned Ben’s game website but when we visited Ben last week we played Hanabi, Dominion and Carcassonne. Abby is hoping to learn Android:Netrunner, but it is complicated!

The rest of our conversation will be released as a separate episode in a week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

140 - Baaaaaaak!

Listen here.

Bravi to all who knitted for Halos of Hope! If you posted a hat on the thread in our Ravelry group, please pm me your email so I can send you a link to the Challah recipe!

Latte: Conina by Rachel Coopey for Laura the Joy of Cooking Fairy in Abstract Fiber’s Super Sock yarn in Alfalfa, Leftie by Martina Behm, Color Affection (still), 

Brewing: I need to get some socks on the needles and I’m seeking a nice self-striping pattern that is NOT a plain vanilla sock. Also, I am Jonesing to make a sweater, and trying to choose among: Queen Bee, Floriston, Pumpkin Ale, Lavendula, Thorntower and Lillium

Chai: Madrona! Mary Scott Huff’s Eeks Steeks Class, Jacey Boggs full day Advanced Spinning class and Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s Knitting for Speed and Efficiency (aka “Lever Knitting”). At Madrona, seeing the inside of Mary’s projects was unbelievably inspiring. 
Caffeinated: I’m excited about Ben’s new endeavor: www. and my new Fitbit One.

Stir: I finally unpacked my Matchless and I’m delighted to report that it is spinning like a dream. I’m spinning Frabjous Fibers “Three Feet of Sheep” in “Tropical” colors. 
Taste: Happy Feet by Cathy Carron and Indie Socks by Chrissy Gardiner and Donna Arney are reviewed. 

Bitter Cup: The ill-fated SPAKAL sweater remains ill-fated. I am sure I have some options, but I do not really know that they are.  Stay tuned. 

Readalong: The Power of Habit readalong is gathering steam. Please join us! A contest is brewing (pun intended) in connection with this read-along. 

Sofa: I am watching House of Cards, RuPaul’s Drag Race and my guiltiest of pleasures: Fashion Police

Saturday, January 18, 2014

138 - Breathing Fire

Listen here

Susan Dolph joins Abby for this week’s episode!

Latte: Susan is knitting a sweater for her husband, hoping to replace an old sweater with a new “Doug’s Lounger” of her own design.  
Abby has been knitting totally monogamously on the Dragons! scarf for her “Eeks Steeks!” class with Mary Scott Huff at Madrona next month. 

Grande: Susan made two Halos of Hope Hats — for Team Knit Knit Cafe, of course! She used some Florette yarn, which is very soft. Thank you, Susan! Susan also finished her pillbox type hat and matching scarf and mittens; the project is called “Warmth”.
Abby finished the Skew socks out of Fab Funky Fibres Sargent Peppers color way. They were a FUN knit!

Stir: Susan has been spinning fiber from Huckleberry Knits. Abby had challenged Susan to spin a gradient, but it didn’t work out exactly the way Susan was expecting. Still, she is happy with it! Abby sent her Matchless wheel to Schacht. It needs a lot of work, but she’s looking forward to getting it back in perfect condition. We talk a bit about travel wheels, and mention the Schacht Sidekick, the Hanson Mini-spinner and the Majacraft Aura. Susan also talked a bit about her locally-made Earl Oman wheel

Brewing: Abby has been thinking about the folly of New Year’s Resolutions, but would like to explore how to change habits we don’t like. In that vein, we invite listeners to join our read-along of Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. There will be a thread in the ravelry group for us to share what we’re learning and what it is (or isn’t) doing for us. Susan mentioned that she gave up lists and projects for a while, but that it hasn’t made her happier. Abby mentioned the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert which talks about our inability to necessarily know what will make us happy ahead of time. Susan mentions the Rich Roll podcast.

Chai: Abby visited Susan at the home of Abstract Fiber and it was a delightful visit and “tour”. Abby also visited the Portland Japanese Garden which was deeply inspiring and very beautiful. Abby mentioned the book Peaceful Places Portland and she hopes to explore more of these. 

Caffeinated: Abby is excited about a pattern called “There and Back Again”, a double-knit scarf that “shows” the story of the book The Hobbit

Sofa: Susan talks about books by James Lee Burke, and his daughter Alafair Burke. Susan would like to know whether any listeners have read and recommend the Samantha Kinkaid series, set in Portland? Abby mentioned Good Reads as a place to find book recommendations. Abby mentioned A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which Susan recommended a few episodes back. Abby recommends the movie Not Fade Away and on TV: the Call the Midwife holiday special, Psych’s new season. Abby is excited about Tim Gunn’s new show Under the Gunn. Finally, Abby recommends the podcast Books on the Nightstand, which was a listener recommendation. At that podcast’s recommendation, Abby is reading We have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. Susan has just finished watching The Wire and as a result discovered David Simon’s book The Corner on which the series was based. 

Events: Abby will be at Madrona and Stitches West. Also coming up is the Rose City Yarn Crawl! Join me! Susan is doing a Knitajourney mid-winter retreat. It’s too late for you to go to this one, but you can find information here, and learn about future retreats.