Monday, March 28, 2011

The Episode with No Name - 34

It doesn't have a name because Garageband kept crashing and simply refused to save the file with a name! Either way, you can listen here.

We were joined this week by Ben's girlfriend Nichs!

Latte: Ben is still working on Flagstone, and he's fashioning a Converse sneaker inspired tag for imminent yarn bombing. Nichs is knitting a hat that leads a double life. Abby started knitting Hawthorne, and loves the feel of Mopsy yarn in her hands. She is determined to finish the Surprise Socks, and continues to work on Transatlantic and Cassidy.

Grande: Abby finished Ptarmigan and is in cashmere-loving heaven. She won't take it off, and is glad the weather is still cold.
Nichs finished a Snapdragon hat out of Malabrigo Rios.

Bitter Cup: The Surprise Socks are driving Abby crazy; they're too simple to really hold her attention, but too complex to knit on automatic pilot. Frustration reigns.

Brewing: Abby ponders the next big lace shawl project. Nichs wants to knit some chemo caps. Ben is wondering what to knit when the weather turns warm. Abby suggests lace!

Demi-Tasse: We are very excited that one of our favorite books, Sweater Design in Plain English is about to be published in a revised, second edition. Grab it!

Chai: Abby shares "New York's best kept secret" - Century 21. The store, not the real estate company! They are about to start selling online, so check it out here. Bargains are to be had!

Tip Jar: Spring is here, or will be soon. Before you put your knitwear away for the season, make sure you've washed and blocked everything first. Ben's cure for knitting ennui is to take a break and sew in all your ends. We think this is brilliant!

Non-segment: Abby reveals that she's been spending quite a lot of time on an art project in connection with an art show she's participating in that opens in April. Each participant was asked to create a piece of "book" or "book cover" art to be used in the promo poster. If you want to have a look at Abby's piece, here it is!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Abby Goes Batty - Episode 33

Listen here.

Latte: Abby is working on some Surprise Socks for her mentor, Transatlantic for the Westknits KAL and has cast on Ptarmigan again thanks to a very generous listener who sent another skein of (gasp) cashmere! Ben is still working on Westknits Flagstone.

Brewing: Abby wants to knit a big lace shawl but is still undecided on a pattern. Meanwhile, she wants to finish Ptarmigan and also start and finish Hawthorne out of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Mopsy. Ben is trying to consolidate his notes from various sweaters he's designed so that he can publish them here. Go Ben!

Stir: Abby finished her 3 ply Lemon Meringue sock yarn from FiberOptic pin drafted roving. She's also experimenting with long draw, funky batts and "letting go" in her spinning. 

Bite: Listeners have offered some great suggestions for the Evergreen Knitters' Group library, including the Stitch n' Bitch books, the Knitter's Book of Yarn, the Knitter's Book of Wool, the Nicky Epstein "Edge" books,  and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. Abby also recommended Bust magazine, edited by Debbie Stoller for the adventurous among you. 

Double Chai: Abby visited and talked about Seaport Yarn. We also finally hear the Brooklyn General conversation between Abby and Melanie of the Savvy Girls Podcast.

Barista's Special: The Westknits KAL has been extended (at least) through April 7th. Knit on!

Demi Tasse: Ben and Abby got a kick out of a promo for a live-action Mario parody. Again, explicit language warning.

Tip Jar: Keep your ball bands! Put them inside your yarn cakes and when your project is complete, file them with pertinent reference information. Also, when you give a knitted gift, include a ball band for the care instructions.

Knit, knit!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Love Lucy Episode 32

Is this your granny's afghan?

Latte: Ben continues to knit Flagstone for our Westknits KAL. Abby's knitting was bitter this week!

Grande: Ben finished some dice bags; he's not sure how many. Abby finished the Distelfink socks and feels very accomplished!

Taste: Abby sat down to watch a Lucy Neatby DVD and was transfixed. Meals went uncooked, laundry unfolded (midterms unwritten); you get the idea.

Bite: The knitting group at Ben's college wants to start a knitting library. We ask what you would put on your list of must-have knitting books. Books on our list include: Barbara G. Walker's Treasuries, Knitting in the Old Way, Knitting from the Top, everything by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Anna Zilboorg's Knitting for Anarchists.

Stir: Abby got some spinning time in and watched Abby Franquemont's DVD Drafting: The Long and the Short of It

Bitter Cup: Abby started and frogged her Transatlantic shawl three times, but is now on the right track. Her Potpourri socks suddenly looked an awful lot like an old fashioned afghan after she listened to the Knitmore Girls' review of Around the World in Knitted Socks.

Tip Jar: We described how each of use uses Excel spreadsheets to help with out knitting. We've posted our "sample" spreadsheets, Ben's for Devon and Abby's for Cassidy so you can see what we were talking about. Ben's spreadsheet is here, Abby's is here.

On a final note, Abby warned against over-zealous trimming of yarn ends. If you don't give them enough length, they will pop out on the right side of your knitting, which is not a happy sight.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Excitable Barista - Episode 31

Listen here.
Kitten Mittens!

Latte: Ben is churning out those stranded knitting dice bags. He's currently on his fourth one.  Abby cast on Potpourri Socks, and continues to knit Cassidy,  Distelfink and Bandwidth.
Grande: Ben finished three dice bags. Abby finished the Stricken socks and the Derry Raglan and Cowl. Ben also finished the Kitten Mittens.
Chai: Abby visited Wool and the Gang, a very unusual knitting shop in SoHo.
Taste: We reviewed The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques by Nancie Wiseman. 
Bite: Abby is in search of the perfect circular needle: slick, pointy tip, almost indestructible. Advice, anyone?
Caffeinated: Both Abby and Ben are reading the Dresden Files books and thoroughly enjoying them. Ben also recommends the audio books.
Barista Special: It's not too late to sign up for our Westknits knitalong! You can do that on our ravelry group, or via email.
Norwegian Star Earflap Hat, Ben finished it last week.

Tip Jar: Ben advises that a change in posture can really affect your gauge. Abby shared a few tips from the Wiseman book.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just When You Think You're Done - Episode 30

Listen here.

Latte: Ben is making a colorwork drawstring bag for gaming dice. He used Judy's Magic Cast On to start it. Abby is finishing Stricken, and continuing to work on the Derry Raglan, Distelfink socks, and Cassidy. She also cast on Bandwidth.

Grande: Ben finished the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat, and is almost done with Kitten Mittens.

Brewing: Ben wants to compile a small library of original stranded knitting patterns. Abby is thinking about summer knitting. She wants to spin, knit lace shawls and socks.

Bite: What is your next knitting challenge? Can we help? We're both wanting to take on intarsia. Ben is challenged by the "mohawk dragon hat" and Abby wants to knit the Geek Chic Argyle Vest.

Chai: Ben comes on strong at his local yarn shop.

Cup of Joe to Go: Abby celebrated her birthday with the Columbia Knitters who are both charming and skilled. And there was ice cream cake! Karoknits's Undergrowth hat was so pretty, Abby had to add it to her queue.

Barista's Special: We get our first knitalong underway with a Westknits KAL. Knit any pattern by Stephen West between now and the end of March. There will be prizes, including two copies of Westknits Book 2 donated by none other than Stephen West himself. Sign up on the ravelry board, or email us.

Bitter Cup: Abby learned, again, the perils of the "center pull ball/cake" and wasted more than two hours dealing with "yarn barf". Ben solved his girlfriend's yarn problem by cannibalizing a scarf.