Saturday, December 31, 2011

71 Together Again

Abby continues to try spinning cotton!

Ben and Abby are together again in New York!
Ben reports finding his Java Socks, and he's working on them again.
Abby is still working on the Dahlia sweater, Shalder sweater and the Kleio shawl. 
Abby cast on the Lucky 13 Hat from Pretty in Punk. There have been a few bumps, but she's determined to work it out.
Ben is looking forward to starting the Herringbone Mittens when he finds his suitcase!
Abby continues to do battle with spinning cotton on her Schacht Sidekick.
Ben asks our listeners:  How do you pack knitting for a trip?
Abby keeps patterns on her Kindle or her iPad and can access documents on her computer using the GoodReader app.
Ben is excited about the massive strategy computer game Civilization V which is available on Steam.
Abby got a small wrist rest to combat "Starcraft blister" and recommends this!
Abby shared a tip she read in Spin Art by Jacey Boggs
Abby remembered that the construction for Vonica was quite unusual and a bit counter-intuitive.
Ben suggests that knitters carry a multi-tool or Swiss army knife or Leatherman.
We talk about the Nantucket Bagg which was originally designed as a tool bag/apron and is now marketed as a knitting bag.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Go Deep - Episode 68 & We Talk Too Much and Ben Makes a Steve Jobs Joke - Episode 69

Episode 68

Listen here.
Latte: Ben races against his yarn to finish another World War II Watch Cap.
Abby breaks down the construction of the Dahlia sweater. She struggles with cabling on the Rocky Coast Cardigan, and abandons it to start Shalder.
Grande: Ben talks about knitting in public at the bus stop, teaching three needle bind off while finishing the Dragon Slayer Earflap Hat, and receiving a lovely Norwegian Star Earflap Hat.
Abby finished the Cat Mittens. Paula from the Knitting Pipeline podcast inspired her to redo a too-tight thumb, and to simply cut into her knitting.

Abby finished Strata Sphere, finally!

Brewing: Ben wants to knit complex socks. Abby suggested Cookie A , Janel Laidman and Cat Bordhi.
Ben is trying to decide what to do with the Aurucania sock yarn and the Burgundy-Magenta Lustra yarn.
We talked about Elizabeth Zimmerman's Percentage System, Jared Flood's steeked cardigan, and Jane Ellison Queensland Collection 9.

Abby talked about The Knitter's Book of Socks and the new Jean Frost book and reading in depth.

Take a Bite: We talk about variegated yarns, including Noro and Creatively Dyed
Abby mentions The Knitter's Guide to Variegated and Hand Painted Yarn by Lorna Miser

Abby mentioned Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein for Cassidy
We talk about the Burn Test to determine fiber content of yarn and the McMorran balance for determining yardage relative to weight and WPI

Caffeinated: Ben talks about two Zelda Games and the 3Ds

The Tip Jar: Abby mentioned the Leslie Wind cable needle/necklace

Episode 69
Listen here.
Latte: Abby is working on her Dahlia sweater and Shalder, but her Super Secret Socks are going to be frogged.
Ben is working on a Weasley sweater and a new knit tie.
Grande: Ben just barely finished his World War II Watch Cap, with less than a yard to spare!
Bite: Abby asks listeners for advice on The Who-induced tinnitus and how to study for her history exam.
Bite Back: Listeners ask: How did Ben celebrate his birthday? He visited a wine bar called Swing.
Brewing: Ben seeks design inspiration from The Clash. Abby wants to spin for the Dragon Slayer Earflap Hat.
Demi Tasse: The Cloud!: a subway story

Caffeinated: Ben is caffeinated about The Roots' new album undun (language on the album is not work-safe) and plays a snippet of "Kool On" after the sign-off.
Abby is taking plenty of pictures with Instagram.

Bitter Cup: H&M Puts Real Model Heads On Fake Bodies.

Chai: The iPhone mugger is on the loose, Abby goes to see Latkes & Hams, and sings the praises of Holiday Markets.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Episode 67 - Scratch That

Latte: Ben's working on Dragon Slayer Earflap Hat.
Abby mentions Wooly Wormhead's Going Straight
Ben is going to make Viking Hats.
Abby finished the knitting on Strata Sphere and has to block it

Abby is planning to swatch for the Rocky Coast Cardigan from the Coastal Knits book
We talk about Quince and Company yarns
Grande: Ben finished the Dragon earflap hat
Bitter Cup: Abby messed up the Dahlia sweater and is tinkling an inordinate number of stitches and rows.
Take a Bite: We talk about shawl shapes. Abby mentions "More than Circular" from Shawls and Scarves.
Ben talks about the advantages of seamless sweaters, and we talk about sock ribbing.
We talk about the Old Norwegian cast on. We have posted a video that demonstrates how to do this versatile and stretch cast on.
Taste: Abby reviews Knit Noro Accessories
Caffeinated: Ben's excited about the new album from White Denim. Abby's excited about cooking from scratch. Most recently, she made a fantastic soup from the book The Daily Soup Cookbook.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Style - Episode 66

Listen here.

Latte: Ben is working on the dragon hat. Abby cast on the Dahlia sweater in Chickadee from Quince and Co.
Bitter Cup: Abby frogged her Cat Mittens when she was running low on yarn. Ben had some trouble with symmetrical charts. Abby discovered the reason for her yardage woes on Strata Sphere.
Brewing: We talk about style. References include What Not To Wear, Kendall Farr's The Pocket Stylist and Style Evolution, Advanced Style, and Jean Frost's Jackets and Custom Fit Knit Jackets.
Chai: Ben went to see Wild Flag at Neumos in Seattle.
Stir: Abby starts to spin with her new Sidekick, but had some trouble with long-draw technique.
The Tip Jar: Ben suggests that you get redundant with your patterns, Abby advises you to organize your needles, and asks for app recommendations to do so.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Imperfect - Episode 65

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Announcements: We reveal the winners of Ben's Challenge: Stripepike's Hot Pink Orchid Thief and ExecutiveKnitter's Leopard Slippers.
Latte: Ben is still knitting the magenta earflap hat. Abby is still working on the Cat Mittens. She talks about twined knitting on the Klieo shawl.
Bitter Cup: Ben accidentally donated yarn he needed. Abby bought less and more yarn than she needed for Strata Sphere, and made some mistakes on the Cat Mittens.
Brewing: Ben wants to knit a Guy Fawkes Mask with a three-dimensional mustache, inspired by the Move Your Money march. Abby contemplates stitch definition and even knitting.
Taste: Abby reviews The Knitter's Life List by Gwen Steege.
Caffeinated: Abby is excited about Project Accessory. Ben recommends The Smiths' remastered collection Complete.
The Tip Jar: Ben suggests organizing your yarn and subdividing your stash. Abby reminds you to buy extra yarn in proportion to your project.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Eureka! - Episode 64

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Announcements: Occupy Wall Street has put out a call for urgent winter donations including wool scarves and hats. See ravelry group.
Latte: Ben is working on a Seussian earflap hat using the chart from Beware of Dragons. He hasn't yet finished the Classic World War II Watch Cap. Abby is making progress on her her Strata Sphere. She's still working on the Cat Mittens, and the Klieo shawl.
Grande: Abby finished Cassidy. Again.
Chai: Ben and some friends threw together Doctor Who costumes for Halloween with mixed results, using several finished knits. Abby visits The Knitmore Girls in California. She visited Sweet Pea's Crepes, bought a Schacht Sidekick at Purlescence, and met the Jade of the Geek Girls Crafts podcast, Miss Kalendar of Brass Needles, and Laura, The Joy Of Cooking Fairy. She visited Bobbin's Nest, You can find the Knitmores' account of the trip in Episode 166.
Demi Tasse: Ben opens his yarn from Rhinebeck, Transitions from Gypsy Girl Creations.
Taste: Abby reviews Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Socks.
Stir: Abby learns long draw spinning.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Llamas, Long Stories and Love - Episode 63

Listen Here
Announcements: Ben's Challenge ends Halloween at 5PM EST.
Latte: Abby finished her first Cat Mitten, and started the sleeves of her Strata Sphere. She continued work on My Heart Beets 4U, and she's just cast on Klieo by Romi Hill. Ben has cast on another Classic World War II Watch Cap, this one for himself.
Grande: Ben finished his a WWII Watch Cap and an improvised hat and pair of socks for the protesters occupying Wall Street.
Bitter Cup: Abby experienced some difficulties with grosgrain ribbon on her Cassidy.
Brewing: In an unscheduled Brewing segment, Ben seeks Abby's advice on other means of strengthening button bands.
Chai: Ben teaches an impromptu knitting class in the craft section of Powell's City of Books. Abby talks Rhinebeck. She encountered the Dahlia Cardigan in the wild, on its creator. She picked up some Sunna from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. She also encountered an interesting modification of the Cardiff Coat, and met Stephen West.
Bite: We ask: Do others expect you to knit for them? Do you feel “selfish” when you knit for yourself? Do strangers assume you are knitting for someone else? What’s going on here?
Caffeinated: Abby loves her iPhone, Ben is holding out for a Galaxy Nexus. Plus, a story.
Demi Tasse: A mix-up in the mail.
The Tip Jar: Ben suggests designing or improvising hats in slices. Abby suggests checking out patterns in person.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mystery, Surprise and Suspense! - Episode 62

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Opening: Ben is drinking Teavana's Matevana
Latte: Ben is near the end of his Classic World War II Watch Cap, shaping the crown as the show goes on. Abby is knitting Jorid Linvik's Cat Mittens and a top secret project. She's finally finishing her Cassidy in time for Rhinebeck.
Grande: Ben finished Daybreak, but hasn't blocked it yet. Abby talks about putting shawls in outfits. She's done with the Anemoi mittens, but had some blocking difficulties. She also finished knitting flowers for Miss Kalendar's wedding.

Brewing: Ben is planning a bulky cardigan. Abby contemplates spoilers and knitting.
Chai: Abby spent a day with a listener from the UK, and visited the farmer's market.
Demi Tasse: Ben sorts his stash.
Cup of Joe to Go: Abby shares stories from her knitting group at Joe: The Art of Coffee, and some pictures of swatches dyed with cake decorating colors. Ben and Nichs spot the Snapdragon Tam in the wild.

Announcements: The next two shows may be slightly delayed due to knitting-related travel. Abby will be at both days of Rhinebeck. Abby and Ben have founded a group to knit socks and hats for the demonstrators occupying Wall Street.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Fall Line Up - Episode 61

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Latte: Ben loses the Daybreak race and casts on the Classic World War II Watch Cap for a second time. Abby is seeing structure on Strata Sphere and talks about yarn combinations for the Anemoi mittens.
Brewing: Abby plans for hat repair. Ben is planning an Ouroboros scarf and unveils his fall/winter knitting plans.
Stir: Abby wants to learn about spinning with a plan.
Caffeinated: Abby shares a recipe for Beet Salad with Chevre.
Demi Tasse: Abby has found a great new solution to her vision problems.
Tip Jar: Ben talks about knitting around different color palette, Abby talks about the properties of superwash.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

60 - We Find Bargains

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Latte: Abby is back on track with Strata Sphere. She discovered the secret with a simple project: counting. She's continuing to work on My Heart Beets 4U socks, and has started the Anemoi mittens again with very different yarns (see above). Ben is making great progress with his Daybreak, and continues to work on the Java socks. He thinks that the beginning of classes next week will give him great knitting opportunities.
Brewing: We discuss planning a wardrobe and designing a line. Abby mentioned the use of a croquis as a tool for sketching. You can download your own croquis "families" here and here. The croquis is placed under tracing paper, you draw your garment, then add the parts of the body which would be showing (i.e. head, arms/hands, legs, etc.)
Taste: Abby reviewed 60 Quick Baby Knits. She recommends knitting as a great way to try out new techniques or perfect those you feel need work. She added  that if you don't have a baby to knit for, there are many ways to knit for charity. You can find charity knitting lists here and here. The second link organizes charities geographically by state (sorry US only).
Chai: Ben had a very productive day at the Seattle Public Library Book Sale which is held twice a year in an airplane hangar in Warren G. Magnuson Park. His haul included the Moosewood Cookbook, as well as the original Stitch 'n' Bitch, Romantic Hand Knits, Knitting on Top of the World and Indigo Knits.
Abby found her bargains on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where she scored two leather jackets, one for her and one for Dalya, but advises you that you MUST haggle to get the best price.
Tip Jar: Ben suggests that different fibers really do behave differently: use it to your advantage. Abby shared a tip from Cat Bordhi: buy a small straight edged mirror to hold up to swatches, samples and swatch photographs to double your view.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Knitting Funk - Episode 59

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Latte: Ben is working on the same projects as last time, and so is Abby(!!!)
Brewing: Ben's designing a sweater vest. He wants to shape it, unlike much men's wear.
Bitter Cup: Abby is in a funk. Nothing in her knitting is making her happy. She's decided to begin the Knitting Guild Association's Master Handknitter  Program, Level II. If yo'd like to join her, or start Level 1 (or 3), click here.
Chai: Abby taught knitting at the TNNA booth at this year's Maker Faire. If you live near a Maker Faire, don't miss it!
Don't forget Ben's Challenge! Make something unexpected out of unloved yarn, post a photo on Ravelry to enter the challenge.
Check out some cool new podcasts: 2KnitLitChicks and Geek Girls Crafts!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sheep, Cats, Dogs, Moose - Episode 58

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Latte: Abby is working on Strata Sphere and learning to tolerate some small mistakes on the Anemoi Mittens, Ben is still knitting Daybreak and the Java socks.
Grande: Ben finished his bowtie, and talks about turning it into a proper pattern.
Brewing: Abby ponders in-class knitting, Ben chooses shoulders for an ugly sweater.
Taste: Abby reviews the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook.
Caffeinated: Abby shares her experience with the literal bulletin board social media site Pinterest.
Chai: We recorded the music of the New York subway. Check it out.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Last Woot of Summer - Episode 57

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Ben is back in WA, but the New York stories continue...
Latte: Abby is working on Strata Sphere, Lisianthus, and an old UFO, Tree of Life socks. This required re-learning to knit backwards. Abby's favorite instructions for doing this maneuver can be found here. She also cast on Anemoi Mittens and had some real challenges with the Tubular or Italian cast on.  Ben is knitting a bowtie (bowties are cool), Daybreak and the Java socks.
Grande: Abby finished her Intrepid Traveller socks, which she has named "Psockadelic".
Ben fondles the yarn at Brooklyn General
Home of egg creams and insane sundaes
Chai: Ben joined the Men's Knit Night at Knitty City. The next day, we journeyed to Brooklyn General with our friend Deborah, and we met Maria, host of Subway Knits there. We enjoyed some decadent desserts at the Brooklyn Farmacy, where it was too dark for Abby to knit backwards with black yarn. She wished she had her Stitch Light from Buffy Ann Designs. We ended the night, after a detour to Uniqlo, at the Columbia Knitting Group.
Caffeinated: We baked a cheesecake! Have a look:
The recipe is from Cheesecake Madness by John J. Segreto. This book is out of print, so we're going to share the recipe with you here:
Macadamia-Mocha Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1 cup finely ground macadamia nuts
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 lb sweet butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
8 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (the best quality you can find)
1 tsp. instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tsp. hot water
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups sour cream
3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
4 Tbsp sweet butter, melted
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate (to make chocolate curls)
1/2 cup whole macadamia nuts
Pan: 10 inch springform pan
Crust: In a medium size bowl, combine the chocolate wafer crumbs, ground macadamia nuts, cinnamon, and butter. Blend well with fingers, fork or pastry blender. Press or pat the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a well-buttered springform pan. Chill in the freezer or refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Filling: In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and smooth, then beat in the cream cheese. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and add to the mixture. Add the dissolved instant coffee, the cocoa and the vanilla and continue to beat until very smooth. Beat in the sour cream and chopped macadamia nuts. Mix in the butter, then pour the mixture into the chilled springform pan and bake in a preheated 350  degree oven for 45 minutes or until it is firm around the sides and jiggly in the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
Topping: Prepare chocolate curls. When almost ready to serve, remove the sides of the springform pan, then decorate the top of the cake with whipped cream, chocolate curls and whole macadamia nuts.

More caffeinated: Abby will be teaching Knitting at the TNNA booth at the Maker Faire in Queens on Sunday, September 18th. It's a fantastic event you won't want to miss, with something for everyone -- really!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shawl Together Now - Episode 56

Listen here.
Latte: Ben is still knitting Daybreak and the Java socks. Abby is still knitting the Intrepid Traveller socks, the Strata-Sphere sweater, Lisianthus shawl and a pair of original socks.
Grande: Ben blocks his shawl, and we walk you through it, in great detail!
Bitter Cup: Ben's first try at a bow tie didn't turn out exactly as he'd hoped. He's ready to try again.
Chai: We knit on the subway; nobody noticed. Then we visited the Lion Brand Studio, where we got to test knit cashmere and other exotic yarns that are available only at the Lion Brand Studio or online. We then went to the Kinokuniya Bookstore, where we lost ourselves in the knitting, sewing and fashion books and periodicals. You can find more information about Japanese knitting stitches here.

Closeup of Ben's Bitterroot Shawl on the blocking boards.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Get Effusive - Episode 55

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Latte: On Abby's needles: Strata Sphere sweater, Intrepid Traveler socks, Lisianthus shawl. On Ben's needles: Daybreak, Java socks.
Bitter Cup: Ben and Abby peek at the spoilers for the Westknits Knitalong
Grande: Abby finished the Clandestine socks.
Brewing: Abby unvented a vertical buttonhole, after looking at the Tulips Buttonhole from TECHknitting.
Chai: Abby visited Knitty City and the Peacefood Cafe. And she's sharing a recipe for ginger-ade. Ben visited Infinite Yarns Inc. and picked out yarn with a five year old.
Bite: Ben's Challenge has now become a contest!
Taste: Ben and Abby flip through Knit Noro.
Demi Tasse: We rediscover Patricia Roberts.
Tip Jar: Now you can follow Abby and Ben on Google+

Monday, August 15, 2011

Out of the Comfort Zone - Episode 54

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Latte: On Abby's needles: Clandestine socks, Intrepid Traveler socks, Lisianthus shawl. On Ben's needles: Daybreak, Java socks.
Brewing: Ben is designing a bow tie, using techniques he learned from Cookie A at Sock Summit. In the eighties, Patricia Roberts designed several sweaters with dimensional bows in the design. Abby is unhappy with the buttonholes on her Cassidy and is trying to figure out a better way. Abby is also swatching for Strata Sphere in Noro Silk Garden. 
Chai: New York City is always full of surprises. This week, the basement of her building has bee turned into a home theatre, inexplicably sporting two humidifiers...
Caffeinated: Ben is excited about new clothing which breaks out of his typical style. Included in his new acquisitions are: Derby shoes, a bow tie, and some very LOUD suspenders! Abby is excited about the return of Doctor Who, and the Signature Needles she tried out at Sock Summit.
Tip Jar: Ben says: pick s yarn that is out of your comfort zone: make something from it! Abby reminds you that you can enlarge charts and make notes on patterns to make things easier to see.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ish - Episode 53

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Latte: Ben is working on the Java socks, Abby is working on Clandestine, a "Frankenstein" Rockin' Sock Club sock combining the two March patterns and a sock of her own divising. Abby also started Lisianthus, a lovely shawl by Romi Hill.
Bitter Cup: Ben started Daybreak but had to frog it and will start over. Abby had a disaster with Vonica, which is now in Time Out and may remain there a long, long time.
Brewing: We discuss the pros and cons of toe-up and top-down socks, and discuss other knitting dichotomies. Ben mentioned the Hat Heel Socks as another unconventional construction. Ben is planning a knitted plaid project and we talked about various ways to create plaid in knitting.
Chai: We talk about some more of our Portland adventures at: Burgerville, The Peoples' Sandwich, Voodoo Doughnut and Portland's lovely Rose Garden.
Tip Jar: Abby says: buy yarn! so that you can swatch generously. Ben says to draw inspiration from non-knitting sources and from such things as tree bark patterns, architecture and more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sock Summit Summary - Episode 52

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Wow, Ben and I had the best time at Sock Summit! We abandon our usual format (but it will return next week).
Latte: Ben is knitting Java socks and Herringbone Mitts. Abby is knitting Vonica and Clandestine Socks.
Grande: Ben finished two knitted ties!  if you'd like to make a knitted tie like the one Ben is wearing above, you can download the pattern and chart here.
We had an amazing time meeting listeners and taking classes from the likes of Cat Bordhi, Cookie A, Anne Hanson, Franklin Habit, Amy Singer and more!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Big Five Oh - Episode 50

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Latte: Ben is knitting another tie, Abby started Cookie A's Clandestine socks. Teri-knits suggested a tie in linen stitch, and Ben is going to try that with sock weight yarn.
Grande: Ben finished Bitterroot, but hadn't blocked it yet. 
Brewing: Abby wants to knit a Kindle cozy, and is thinking of Argyle. Ben suggests using cotton so that fibers don't migrate into the Kindle's various ports.
Take a Bite: We begin our discussion of blocking with info and advice about blocking lace shawls.
Chai: Abby has had a few "New York Challenges" this week, from a dead mouse who apparently has relatives, to air conditioning woes and a stolen welcome mat.
Next week we'll be at the Sock Summit. If you want to me us along with many other podcasters, please go to the Bar-Maids booth #400 on Saturday between noon and 1:30 p.m. We look forward to meeting you!

Finally, if you want to to know more about us, check out our interviews with Susan at knitajourney. We recommend listening to Ben's first, since Susan interviewed him before she interviewed Abby. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blame it on the Yarn - Episode 49

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Latte: Abby doesn't have much on the needles other than Vonica and Pretty Twisted. Ben is still knitting Bitterroot.
Grande: Abby finished the Transition Point socks.
Bitter Cup: Ben tried to knit the Angelus Tie, but his yarn was too thick. Abby had another mishap trying to make a wedding shawl for her friend; she might blame this on the yarn, or else on the distraction of Duck Soup. She also stabbed herself repeatedly with knitting needles. Ouch!
Stir: For this year's Tour de Fleece, Abby's going for quality rather than quantity. Please join us on Team Sasquatch.
Demi Tasse: Abby recommends Adaptor, a free video format converter for Mac. Ben has come up with a book recommendation in the field of economics: Filthy Lucre by Joseph Heath. If you're not quite ready for that, try starting with Freakonomics
Bite: Ben mentioned an article in Slate magazine about how ravelry is "better than facebook". We ask you what community you would like to see with a super-functional website, and how you envision that site. 
Caffeinated: Lots of excitement this week. Ben has discovered Put This On, a cool site for men's fashion. Abby is (finally) knitting Cat Bordhi's "Sweet Tomato Heel". You can get the ebook here. Both Abby and Ben are excited about Google Plus. Try it, you might like it!
Chai: Abby has mice, yes, again. She recommends various Hudson River Parks as respite from the summer heat, and for their lovely vistas. Ben went bouldering at Smith Rock in Oregon (see photo above).

When you have listened to the episode, go have a look at this video. Enjoy!

Finally, we will be participating in a Podcaster Meet-up/ Meet and Greet at Sock Summit. Stay tuned for the details!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tour de Freakout - Episode 48

Listen here. (BTW, there is always a link to the podcasts on the right of this page.)

Latte: Abby continues to work on the Transition Point socks; Ben continues to work on Bitterroot.
Grande: Abby finished the Orchid Thief Shawlette, which you can see here.
Bitter Cup: Abby had issues with the Swing Set socks and they are now in time out. Vonica had a few burps too, but is now on track.
Demi Tasse: Ben had some thoughts on how to recruit more (especially male) knitters. One answer: knit in public!
Taste: Abby reviewed Knit, Swirl!, a book of amazing new sweaters by Sandra McIver. These gorgeous, drapy inventions are unlike anything we've ever seen before.
Bite Back: Ben reveals that he is studying for two degrees; one in History and another in Economics. Abby will reveal what she's studying in her Knitajourney interview with Susan, but invites you to guess!
Stir: Tour de Fleece has been a steep learning curve for Abby, but after much trial and error, and a great deal of help from Judith Mackenzie's The Intentional Spinner, by George, she thinks she's got it!

Tip Jar: Try to see colors in natural light and trust yourself!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Heel Obsession - Episode 47

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Taste: We reviewed some of the patterns in the new Knitty.
Caffeinated: Abby has gotten hooked on the TV show Breaking Bad; Ben is watching Oz.
Stir: Please join Team Sasquatch for the Tour de Fleece!
Bite: Our question for you: What is your learning style? Who or what are your teachers?
Bite Back: We talked about how you can measure how much yarn remains from a partially used skein. Abby mentioned the McMorran balance as a handy tool in this process.
Tip Jar: Abby talked about the TKGA Master Handknitter's Course, Level 1, which she took several years ago.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tour de Orchid Thief - Episode 46

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Latte: Ben continues to work on the Bitterroot shawl, and has picked up his Paraphernalia socks again. Abby is knitting the Transition Point socks, Swing Set socks and is closing in on the end of the Orchid Thief shawlette.
Grande: Abby finished the Marilinda socks (see photo above).
Brewing: Ben is looking for some new classroom knitting and would like to make some gloves out of sock yarn. Abby recommended patterns by Julia Mueller, which might be called the glove equivalent of Cookie A's socks. Ben also wants to find a way to support or stiffen a knitted brim on a hat. Abby mentioned Debbie New's book Unexpected Knitting which features, among other things, a seaworthy knitted boat, as a place to find unconventional textures and "hands" in knitting.
Stir: We invite you all to join Team Sasquatch. The dates for Tour de Fleece are July 2nd through the 24th. In preparation, everyone should pick a goal/project, prepare your fiber (if necessary), spin a one ounce sample, if applicable, and make sure all of your equipment is in good working order and accessible.  Abby also recommended her favorite timer app, Kitchen Timer for Android. When time is up, you hear a rooster crow!
Taste: Abby raves about Teva Durham's new book Loop-d-Loop Lace. If you have any interest in knitting lace, run, don't walk, and get your hands on this book!
Caffeinated: Ben has been playing a "table top RPG" based on the Dresden Files books. Tonight he (with help from his girlfriend) is preparing a sumptuous Southwestern themed meal including nachos, meat and vegetarian fajitas and for dessert: flan!
News: Abby and Ben will be featured in a future interview episode of the Knitajourney podcast with the amazing Susan. If you don't listen to this podcast yet, you should!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blinders of our own devising - Episode 45

Abby's Cerisara. It took a long time for her to figure out where she was! (See Tip Jar)
Listen here.
Latte: Ben is working on the Bitterroot shawl and has also started making miniature sweaters out of sock yarn. We talked about other knitters who have made amazing miniature items, including Althea Chrome, whose knitwear appeared in the movie Coraline. You can find here website here. Abby continues to knit Cookie A's Marilinda socks, Swing Set, Vonica and has picked up an old UFO, Cerisara. She's also cast on The Orchid Thief shawlette by Ysolda Teague and Transition Point socks from the Rockin' Sock Club.
Brewing: Abby could not get gauge on Vesna with her yarn of choice and has thus abandoned that project for now. Ben is in the design stages for a cardigan with cables, set in sleeves and a shawl collar.
Take a Bite: We invite listeners to submit questions for discussion and/or answers from Ben and Abby.
Demi Tasse: Ben recommends some books for those who want to get excited about and read about history. They are The Devil in the White City, I Claudius and Claudius the God, and A People's History of the United States. Abby also recommended the magazine Mental Floss which studies the history of food in the current issue.
Stir: We are joining Team Sasquatch for the Tour de Fleece. Abby suggests you plan your project and make sure your wheel or other equipment is in good working order. Please join the Team Sasquatch Ravelry Group here! BTW, you don't have to be a spinner. Knitters, crocheters and others are welcome. Just set a goal. If you want to learn to spin, that, of course, is a very worthy goal!
Tip Jar: Abby uses the "coil-less pin" stitch markers to move stitches around when knitting two socks on two circular needles. She also recommends you keep good notes about where you are in your projects when you set them down. Ask her how she knows this....
Ben's tip is to try something new or challenging on a small scale. Knitting for babies and children is one option. Knitting miniatures might be another!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Extreme Knitting - Episode 44

Listen here.
Latte: Ben is knitting the Bitterroot Shawl. Abby continues to work on the Marilinda socks and Vonica. She has also begun Swing Set socks.
Grande: Ben finished the He Said She Said Cowl; Abby finished the Elektra shawl (see photo above).
Brewing: Abby wants to cast on Vesna but is not sure about her yarn choice, or whether or not to use beads.
Caffeinated: Ben is excited about watching The Shadow Line, and Abby is enjoying her virtual trip to Seattle while watching The Killing. We ask: Has the way you watched TV changed with the new technology? Has this changed what you watch?
Demi Tasse: Abby is excited about the newest yarn and patterns from the Rockin' Sock Club. This much seed stitch she feels she can handle!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The DK Continuum - Episode 43

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Latte: Abby's working on Vonica and Elektra. Ben is working on Bitterroot and the He Said She Said Cowl.
Grande: Ben finished his He Said She Said cap. 
Brewing: Ben is thinking about making his first buttoned cardigan. One pattern in contention is George by Jane Ellison. Alternatively, he might design his own. Abby has been trying to figure out the best way to put buttonholes on her Cassidy. She decided, with Ben's help, to make "vertical" buttonholes using the intarsia method. The buttonholes will then appear horizontal on the button band. 
Bitter Cup: Elektra provided some challenges, but everything is OK now!
Chai: Abby saw the gawkers waiting for an appearance by alleged rapist Dominique Strauss-Kahn (see above), saw some steam punky sculpture in a subway station, and toured the Bronx. So why is it called "the" Bronx?

Cup of Joe to Go: Ben knit an entire hat during one (full day) class; Abby's not so sure she'll get much knitting done in class this summer.
Bite Back: We enjoyed the guilty pleasures that listeners shared with us. Ben mentioned Studio 60 on Sunset Strip which is available on Netflix instant watch.
Tip Jar: Ben says: take all your knitting notions with you, always! Abby says: when you are frogging a project with beads, set a terrycloth towel down on the floor, sit on the floor and let the towel catch your beads. Also: be willing to think creatively when you have a "bitter cup" and know that your first solution to a problem might not be the best (or last).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Seams Like Fun - Episode 42

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Latte: Abby is working on Cassidy, Vonica, Marilinda and Elektra! Ben is working on Bitterroot and He Said, She Said.

Caffeinated: We found out that coffee is apparently good for you!

Bite: Do you have a guilty pleasure? We have many! Some of them are: Boston (see iconic photo above), Burn Notice, Chuck Palahniuk, Gilmore Girls, Luther, Community and So You Think You Can Dance.

Tip Jar: The cure for mildew is Lysol liquid disinfectant. Try some in your laundry!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oops I Did it Again - Episode 41

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Latte: Ben's knitting Paraphernalia. Abby finished the sleeves for Cassidy and has blocked the pieces. She'll be ready to start the hood as soon as everything shown above is seamed.
Abby also started another wedding shawl for her friend, this time it's the Vernal Equinox Shawl. She also frogged Elektra and has started it again with beads. 

Grande: Abby finished Daybreak but still has to block it.

Bitter Cup: Abby ordered more yarn online and the colors - again - did not turn out as she expected. 

Chai: The Yarn Company in Manhattan is under new ownership. Abby enjoyed seeing the transformation and chatting with owner Tavy and the real Stacy Charles. 

Stir: Abby thinks she's gotten the hang of spinning 50/50 Merino/Silk from the fold.

Demi Tasse: There is an article in the Summer 2011 Interweave Knits about how yarn overs and their accompanying  decreases affect the look of your knitting. Abby recommends this article highly. It's entitled Any Way You Want It: Custom Pictorial Lace Motifs by Melanie Rice.

Bite: We're nearing our one year anniversary. Any lose ends you'd like us to weave in?

Barista's Special: Yes, the knitalong has begun! We'll be making either Vonica or He Said She Said, both by Bonne Marie Burns. You can get a discount on these patterns for the next three days by using the code: knitknitcafe. We hope you join us on this new adventure! You can find yarn ideas for Vonica here. For next week, get your patterns ready, pick your yarn, and let's get swatching.

Tip Jar: Ben has gone low-tech and purchased a pocket notebook to keep track of all things non-digital. Abby recommends taking care not to "spill the beads" when you're using beads in your knitting. She also talked about the differences between Czech and Japanese seed beads.

Events: We are both going to Sock Summit! Please let us know if you will be there. We're really excited about the event and about meeting listeners.