Friday, December 27, 2013

136 - No Whine for You!

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Grande: Karen finished the Uncle Frank socks for her husband’s Christmas present, and her own Port Ludlow socks. Abby finished the “Generation Next Pullover” and her first pair of Felfs, which do not fit as well as expected.

Latte: Abby is knitting Skew from Fab Funky Fibres self striping  yarn, and her SPAKAL sweater from the Dark and Stormy pattern. These both gave her some Bitter Cup grief this week. The description of the left leaning  and right leaning lifted increases did not work well for Abby, but when she looked at this video by Cat Bordhi, everything became clear. Abby also mentioned Elizabeth Doherty's blog post about, rowing out. Karen is knitting a Gaptastic Cowl for her daughter from Dream in Color Classy. Abby mentioned the Alewives Cowl. Karen is also knitting her vanilla self-striping yarn, but wants to find a good solid color for the heel. Ben also is knitting a sock, and sent in the following photo:

Brewing: Abby is looking forward to knitting Mary ScottHuff’s Dragon scarf for her Madrona class, and is anxious to get started. We talk about knitting projects to wear at fiber festivals, such as Madrona, and the relative merits of the “wrong” side of stranded knitting.

Tip Jar: Abby has an idea about using knitting yarn to sew buttons on knitwear: just use a few of the plies.

Sofa: Abby recommends the Lady Gaga and Muppets HolidaySpectacular, if you like that kind of thing, available on Netflix. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

135 What the DK?!!

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Latte: Karen is knitting a pair of self striping socks with Felix from Biscotte et Cie, and she is almost done with the Uncle Frank socks for her husband’s Christmas gift. Abby has been having some retail accidents with self-striping yarn as well, from Thoroughly Thwacked, Fab Funky Fibres, Lollipop Yarn and Stray Cat Socks

Abby’s Latte bled into some Bitter Cup as well. She’s been working on the Meadow socks, seaming the Star Trek TNG sweater for Miss Kalendar’s son, and started (but had Bitter Cups with) two Halos of Hope Hats. One hat, still in progress is Swirl(???) and the other hat is an improvisation on that pattern. Note to self: seaming black is difficult at night. For seaming technique, Abby recommends Lucy Neatby’s book Cool Knitters Finish in Style. Abby knitted one Felf, which has not been seamed or felted yet, so it looks like a weird mini-scarf. 

Karen bemoaned a pair of pajama pants that she sewed that came out very “clowny”.  

Stir: Karen has finished spinning 8 ounces of Abstract Fiber’s BFL in Big Girl Pink. She promises to knit something out of it

Brewing: Abby has a few sweaters on the needles, and wants to finish them because she’s wearing sweaters now. She mentioned The Rhinebeck Sweater by Ysolda Teague, Thorntower by Robin Melanson from Twist Collective, Twist and the Ribby Cardi  from Chic Knits. Maybe monogamy in sweater knitting is called for? Goal: finish the SPAKAL sweater in time for Madrona. 

Karen is brewing what she is will knit out of her hand spun. She is looking for a small shawl that requires fewer than 250 yards. Do you have suggestions? A cowl is another option, Zuzu’s Petals  or Eleanor

Abby is wondering how do “do it all” or at least feel OK about not doing it all. Abby wants to read and knit at the same time but doesn’t know how. Karen suggests scheduling the activities that are most important. She also muses about why there isn’t more DK weight yarn available. 

Update: We are gathering prizes for Halos of Hope participants for Team Knit Knit Cafe. If you don’t have time to knit, you can donate money to help with shipping. Every $5.00 donated here counts as one hat — and one entry for the prize drawings. Prizes include a copy of Knitting Art, three patterns from Brenda Castiel - check out her designs here, a pattern or patterns from Elizabeth Doherty (Blue Bee Studio). More prizes to come! To donate cash rather than - or in addition to - knitting hats, go here

We are Purloining something from the Knitmore Girls: German compound nouns! Karen’s current favorite is kopfsteinpflaster which means “cobblestone”. 

Sofa: Karen recommends Miss Fisher’s Mysteries, which she heard about on the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. Both Karen and Abby are very disappointed in this season’s Project Runway All Stars. The good news is that Tim Gunn will soon have his own show, Under the Gunn , which you can read about here

Karen took her daughters to see Frozen and said the animated knitwear is wonderful.

Abby is Psyched about Psych the Musical, which will be on the USA Network. Abby also recommended the Psych parody of Twin Peaks, called Dual Spires

Coffee Cart: At Powell’s, the amazing independent book store, Abby bought a book called Gluten Free Bread. From there, she went to  Bob’s Red Mill, which is really red, is really a mill, and which Bob sold to his employees. They give tours, and their store is a treasure. If you’re in Portland, check it out. They have every kind of grain and flour imaginable, and more. They also do mail order. 

Tip Jar: Adjust your thermostat for comfort and energy savings!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

134 Sweaters & T-Shirts & Socks, Oh, My!

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This week, Abby is joined once again by Susan Dolph, semi-regular guest barista!

Announcement: The game is on, and that game is Halos of Hope. Get your Knit Knit Cafe hats in to Purlesence or send them to Abby or  bring them to Stitches West. This is a great cause and we want to support it. Abby has picked the following free patterns she’s planning to knit: Scallop Lace, Swirl and Wurm. Please join us. There will be prizes! One prize for everyone who enters is Abby’s Challah recipe/Challah cowl pattern. Photograph your hat and put the photo in the ravelry thread. Label your hat “Team Knit Knit Cafe” and send it to:
 Purlesence Yarns
564 S Murphy Ave 
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
or bring it to Stitches West, or PM Abby about how to get it to her. If you want to know more about Halos of Hope, check out their website here

Latte: Susan is still knitting Kelmscott. Abby has been knitting Leftie and Meadow Socks. Abby and Susan both love Hazelknits yarn! Susan mentioned Abby’s Meisi gloves. 

Grande: Susan has finished her “pillbox top” hat, and two pair of socks out of her hand spun! Susan mentioned The Sock Knitter’s Handbook by Charlene Schurch. 

Brewing: Susan is still working on the “non-negotiable shoulder” sweater, and feels she needs to write herself a note so she remembers where she is. Abby wants to use her Thoroughly Thwacked self striping yarn to make a pair of Texting Mitts like Ben’s

Abby reported a Holiday Miracle about Fab Funky Fibres yarn that magically appeared in her mail box. The plan is to knit Skew

Susan has spun some Navajo Churro 3 ply yarn and she doesn’t know what to do with it. Susan is thinking mittens, but they would have to be lined. Abby is thinking Felfs, also lined. Abby mentioned Anna Zilboorg’s Magnificent Mittens and Socks. Abby talked about capturing all her ideas, and she uses the GQueues app to do this. 

Caffeinated: Susan is very excited about snow!!!! Abby is excited about NPR’s Planet Money series about the making of a tee shirt. You can read about it here and listen to it here. Abby is also caffeinated about Katwise coats. You can see a charming video of how they’re made here, and buy the pattern here. We are trying to get together a Serge-Along. Who’s in?

Stir: Susan has 4 ounces BFL/Tussah silk fiber, and asked Abby what do do with it. Abby suggests a 2 ply light fingering/laceweight yarn spun as a gradient. 

Bite: Susan asks listeners how to avoid gaps along the raglan seam of a top-down raglan sweater. Abby had a few thoughts, and we would like your input!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

133 - Thanks!

Yes, it's the same yarn :)
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We welcome Ben back for Latte and Sofa!

Latte: Ben is knitting Capucine, a hat that has definite bonnet characteristics. And yes, he was knitting it from the same Cascade Eco yarn that he used for the sweater he was wearing, so there was some camouflage going on (see photo, above). 

We kind of segued into Brewing, with Ben talking about how changes in his life have led to changes in what and when he knits. 

Abby mentioned that she has begun Meadow Socks from When Vampires Knit Socks and Miss Winkle by Martina Behm. The socks are from Hazelknits Artisan Sock and the shawl is from Cascade Heritage Paints

Sofa: Ben has been spending lots of time playing “traditional” (i.e. non-digital, or analog) games. He spoke about three that he likes and mentioned another one that we didn’t get to talk about when we recorded. Ben is also designing some of these traditional games. More on that to come! The games Ben recommends are: 7 Wonders, Carcassone, Dominion, Space Alert and Twilight Struggle

Abby added a few more comments:

Grande: Fish Lips Kiss Heel Vanilla Socks are finished and feel pretty wonderful to wear. There is enough self striping yarn left to power a few Leftie shawls. 

Brewing, Part 2: Abby’s committed to sewing in the ends from her current Leftie as she goes along to avoid a huge number of loose ends at the finish. Abby also continues to be Felf-obsessed, and even purchased a Wonder Washer for felting purposes. The first “Felf Pocket” has been knit, felted and measured and Abby is feeling somewhat “slipper obsessed”. Abby mentioned dryer balls that she put in the Wonder Washer to help the pocket felt.

First Felf pocket!

Abby ignored Black Friday except for a brief visit to Twisted for their Pajama Jammy Jam. 

Abby mentioned her Hunter rain boots in “Big Kid” sizes. They’re half the cost of adult Hunters. And they’re purple. 

Events: Abby, Ben and Karen will all be at Madrona. Abby is going to Stitches West and asks YOUR commitment to knit at least one hat for Halos of Hope! Come on, you know you want to.

Monday, November 25, 2013

132 Knitting Everything All the Time

Don't mess with her; she's a black belt. 

Grande: Abby finished Ben’s texting mitts! It took two years, but they’re ready in time for Hanukkah.
Listen here.

Latte: Abby has begun knitting Meadow Socks from Rachel Coopey’s When Vampire Knit Socks. She’s knitting them out of Hazelknits Artisan Sock yarn. Abby might have to wear them with her Transparent Light Up Skechers because much of the patterning is on the top of the foot. She continues to knit her Vanilla Socks in self-striping yarn. After writing to Fly Designs about the knots found in the skein, Fly Designs refunded a portion of the purchase price. They also informed us that they are using new yarn bases now.  Bright and Sunny  is still in process, as is Miss Kalendar’s baby’s Star Trek The Next Generation pullover, now that Abby has solved the question of how to make the communicator badge. (Wool Felt)

Brewing: Abby wants to knit a shawl (or two, or three…) While wanting to cast on everything, next up is most likely Chicknits Alby and a lace shawl by Lily Go, but which one is a mystery. Abby also wants to knit Bigger on the Inside, and Martina Behm’s Miss Winkle. Abby believes that new knitters should use nice yarn!

Caffeinated: Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses has been reissued! Go get it now; it’s gorgeous. Abby also says a big “thank you” to Pantoffels for gifting her The Art of Felfs: Felted footwear for families by Cat Bordhi. This is a wonderful book and the proceeds all go to breast cancer research. 

Coffee Cart: Abby went to three interesting Portland places this week:
1. The Button Emporium - where she finally got buttons for Shalder!
3. Pearl Fiber Arts (yet again!) where she met and spoke with Stacey of Thoroughly Thwacked     Yarns, and bought a skein of Self Striping sock yarn from which she intends to knit Skew.     You can find information about Stacey’s yarns here.

Stir: Abby’s Matchless is going home to Schacht to finally get that pesky noise removed. If you are interested in, but unschooled in spindle spinning, or you want to get a child ready for spinning, there is no time like Hanukkah! A dreydel is a wonderful top to learn to spin with; the flick to make the dreydel spin is the same as the one you use when you flick a spindle. Try it!

Sofa: Abby recommends two BBC shows: Orphan Black and Broadchurch. In honor of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, Google made  special Doodle that is an interactive game. You can still find it, and play it here

Events: Abby and Karen (and many other of our favorite people) will be at Madrona. Abby is also going to Stitches West and will deliver Halos of Hope hats, so get started on them!

Monday, November 18, 2013

131 Dear Abby

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Latte: Abby has been working on Vanilla Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel, Ben’s texting Mitts, Bright and Sunny, and Leftie. For Ben’s mitts, Abby learned the Tubular bind off and the Tulip buttonhole; she also reviewed/relearned the tubular cast on. 
Karen is working on Vivian and Uncle Frank socks for her husband. 

Although there was no “official” Brewing segment, Abby said that she’s planning to cast on a pair of socks from When Vampires Knit Socks by Rachel Coopey, a beautiful collection of socks. 

Abby also rants about knitting for oneself and the assumption that anyone is knitting for others. 

Caffeinated: Abby found a video that shows you how to quickly and easily remove the seeds from a pomegranate. 

Karen is quite excited to be taking her Black Belt test in Tai Kwan Do. 

Abby was very stoked when she was interviewed this week and the interviewer was wearing Alice Starmore’s Oregon, which she had knit. See it above!

Abby ordered some custom dyed yarn from Fab Funky Fibres but sadly, Etsy still had Abby’s New York City address. The super of the building is on the lookout for the yarn and Abby believes it will eventually get to her.  

Stir: Karen finished spinning the singles of Dragonfly Fiber in Villianess. Karen is not sure what she’s going to make from it, but it is definitely enough for a project. Now she is spinning 8 ounces of Abstract Fiber two-toned BFL in Big Girl Pink. 

Abby is still having problems with her Matchless, but she is doggedly pursuing a solution.

Sofa: Karen has been watching The Hollow Crown on PBS; four Shakespeare history plays and loving it. Abby went to a poetry reading, and enjoyed the poetry as well as got some knitting done. Abby is not a big poetry fan, but she does like hearing Billy Collins read his poems on NPR. Karen also saw Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing and was distracted by the digital black and white. We mentioned the podcast Chop Bard.  

Events: Abby and Karen are both going to Madrona and we hope you are too!

Addendum: We have thrown our “hat” into the Halos of Hope Podcaster Throwdown. We’re late and not very competitive, but if you want to send hats, Abby will bring them to Stitches West

130 - Non-Negotiable Shoulder

David Tennant as Hamlet, Patrick Stewart as Claudius. 

Abby is joined this week by Guest Barista Susan Dolph, formerly of the Knitajourney podcast.

Latte: Susan is knitting Kelmscott by Carol Sunday out of Classic Elite Renaissance. Abby mentioned Carol Sunday’s Acorns Sweater, which she knitted a few years ago. Susan is also knitting a “tutti fruitti” colored hat, scarf and mittens. Susan is using a stitch pattern from the book Pop Knitting. Susan is planning to use braids as well as textured stitches. 

Abby is almost finished with the Lady Grey shrug and is also knitting her first “vanilla” socks, which will have a Fish Lips Kiss Heel.  Abby couldn’t remember the name of Lucy Neatby’s Cool Socks for Warm Feet. She’s thinking about knitting Sivia Harding’s Lady Tryamour Socks from The Knitter’s Book of Socks. 

Grande: Susan has finished two shrugs, since we last spoke. She has also finished Stretching, a pink crocheted sweater by Dora Orenstein. She also finished Garden, a cardigan with silk scarf addition, inspired by this pattern. 

Abby finished Brickless and totally loves it. 

Brewing: Susan talks about hats, braids and how to knit a flat disk.  Abby thinks she will solve her Clapotis problem by frogging and re-knitting it using the “rule of 5” or knitting a Martina Behm pattern, which allows one to knit until the yarn runs out. Alternatively, Miriam Felton’s book Twist & Knit is full of patterns that are written for as much yarn as one has on hand.  Abby’s also planning a Leftie, and she wants to use leftover yarn! 

Bitter Cup: Susan knit an unhappy sleeve cap from some thrift store harvested sweater yarn. Abby suggested knitting set-in top-down sleeves using Barbara Walker’s method in Knitting from the Top

Sofa: Abby reminds everyone that new Doctor Who episodes start on November 23rd. Susan is planning a Thanksgiving Day “Cars and Trucks” themed Movie Marathon featuring Car Wash, Cannonball Run, and Convoy. Abby notes that Alice Starmore’s Tudor Roses is about to be re-issued. You can order it here. This led to a bit of a detour into a discussion of stranded knitting, negative ease, sleeves and a rant against drop shoulder sweaters. Abby recommends  the BBC/Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet with David Tennant and Patrick Stewart.  Susan recommends (and reads from) A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Show notes are late, sorry.
Here is an example of what I meant about Z twist and S twist not changing:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

129 Plethora of Patterns

At Pearl Fiber Arts with Bonne Marie Burns
Listen here.

Latte: Karen is working on Vivian by Ysolda Teague. She is shaping the sleeve in seed stitch in a way that makes the increases invisible. Very impressive!
Abby has done a lot of knitting on Color Affection, and is almost finished with Brickless. She has no socks on the needles - ack!
Karen's Vivian Sleeve
Brewing: Abby feels like Dr. Gemma of the Cogknitive Podcast, who sounds like she wants to knit everything right now, and that’s how Abby feels, especially about shawls! Abby is looking forward to starting a pair of socks using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel (which is fun to say!) using the self striping sock yarn she purchased at OFFF. Abby’s also looking forward to knitting Bonne Marie Burns’s Alby from ChikKnits. It’s a great holiday knitting project that only takes 245 yards of yarn!

Take a Bite: If you had one or more hours added to your day to do whatever you want, but you need to add something new, in other words, you can’t say “more knitting time” or “more spinning time”. What would you do with that found time? Karen would like to learn a few languages and how to smoke meat. Abby would like to design knitwear and learn to play the saxophone. Her inspiration was Lene Lovich. How about you? What new thing would you do with more time?
Lene Lovich, saxophone inspiration
Coffee Cart: Abby went to Pearl Fiber Arts with the smart, talented and charming Bonne Marie Burns (Chicknits). Pearl is a great place to go for locally indie dyed yarns. Rachel of Wanton Fibers was having a trunk show and a skein of Prodigal Lace (50/50 Baby Camel and Silk) caused Abby to have what Fairy Godmother Mary refers to as a “retail accident”. Abby plans to make Stephen West’s Tripartite from this luxurious yarn. In passing, Abby mentioned that Chicknits and Ysolda Teague sweaters are some that she trusts implicitly. Karen also feels this way about A. Karen Alfke’s patterns.
Abby also talks about Community Warehouse, a fantastic Portland organization. She is going to participate in this year’s Chair (and table) Affaire

Sofa: Abby recommends (again) the documentary about New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. On the recommendation of Linda Holmes of the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, she began watching The Good Wife, which, so far, so good (no pun intended). Abby also is reading Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and is loving it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

128 McGyver It!

Narcissa Socks. Link to podcast on the right.

I'm  baaaaaack!

Latte: I'm still knitting the Lady Grey Shrug and I love it!
I'm plodding along on the Color Affection shawl. Very slowly.
I am racing through Martina Behm's Brickless and loving every moment of it. I was inspired when I saw Laura the Joy of Cooking Fairy's Brickless in progress when she visited. 

Segue into Events: Laura visited during OFFF and the "Oregon Monsoon of 2013". At OFFF I purchased some self striping yarn from Fly Designs and two skeins of Super Sock from Abstract Fiber in the color "Portland" -- naturally. 

I had, by the way, the pleasure of joining my San Jose friends virtually, via FaceTime. It was a blast, and four of the five of us were knitting Brickless!

Grande: I finished the Narcissa Socks. A fun knit and a lovely pair of socks. I enjoyed using Crazyfoot yarn and I think it will wear very well.

Bitter Cup: I do NOT know how to fix the Clapotis I was knitting. I ran out of yarn near the beginning of the decrease section.

Brewing: I've unpacked my yarn and organized my stash into a large Ikea shelving unit; it makes me so happy! I filled a crystal bowl with leftover sock yarn and I'm hoping it will inspire me to finally put together yarn to knit Leftie, another Martina Behm pattern. 
Sewing Table Home Depot Hack (I added the shelf)

Brewing morphed into Caffienated, I was so excited!  Yes, that is the McGyver theme!
After much frustration and a great deal of effort, I gave up on truly repairing my sewing table and McGyvered it with a Home Depot hack for under $30. Now I can sew! I also used an Ikea hack to create a semblance of a standing desk, which has improved my life at work. 

Finished standing desk Ikea hack

I purloined from the Knitmores the idea of my "year". It's the Jewish year 5774, and i have declared for Abby 5774 that I will learn The Brioche Stitch. I have the book and have signed up for the Craftsy class with Nancy Marchant. I also have decided to learn double knitting, because I want to knit the Null Hypothesis Scarf from Needles & Artifice

Sofa: I went to see This is The End which I enjoyed, and which led me to revisit the TV show Freaks and Geeks. I recommend Freaks and Geeks highly! I have also been watching Homeland, Masters of Sex and Scandal. I also must mention that I "foisted" the movie Bridesmaids on Laura. Finally, if you haven't been watching the TED talks ("Ideas worth Spreading"), hurry up and watch some; they are amazing.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

127 - Does It Ever Get Cold Here?

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Latte: Karen finished one of her Port Ludlow socks and is picking up stitches on the gusset of the second sock. Her Vivian sweater is (mostly) back on track now. She is very happy about two listeners suggestions for ways to deal with closing a sock toe without a darning needle. The first is from listener LibraryPaste on Ravelry, who recommended the Knitting Daily Finishing Tip: For Those Who Hate the Kitchener Stitch. Additionally listener knerdy suggested another way to finish the toe - see post #15 in the Ravelry thread for details. The thread also has some extremely helpful suggestions for sock patterns for Lederhosen.

Abby is working on her Abby's Narcissa socks from Mountain Colors Crazy Foot. She has turned the heel on one sock and is about to turn the heel on the second sock. When working both socks Abby has a method of turning each heel separately using a third circular needle. This boggled Karen, who thought the needles and socks looked a lot like an octopus.

Abby has finished the first sleeve of her Lady Grey shrug.

Abby's Color Affection shawl in Malabrigo Silkpaca is also still in process. She is not in love with knitting it, but thinks she will like the shawl when it's done. The knitting itself is background knitting, and not interesting enough to hold her attention if she isn't doing something else at the same time. Which may be why Abby it itching to start something new.

Bitter Cup: Karen has another round of Bitter Cup with  Alewives Cowl. Abby was right. The needs some time to sit quietly and reflect on its behavior. Abby is thinking about casting on her own Alewives Cowl now.

Karen also has a little Vivian sweater bitterness. She overshot the point in the chart where the sleeves join the body and will need to undo two rows of knitting when it comes time to join everything. This leads to the question - do you have to read the pattern before beginning a project. Abby and Paula of the Knitting Pipeline disagree on this subject.

Abby also declares her love of Ysolda Teague's patterns and discusses knitting the Vine Yoke Cardigan.

Brewing: Abby is brewing a baby-sized Star Trek the Next Generation commander's shirt for Miss Kalendar of The Brass Needles' new baby. The question at hand: how to fashion a baby-safe communicator pin? Abby's current plan is to use wool felt and metallic thread embroidery to make the pin, then sew the pin to the sweater. She is planning to be done within two weeks.

Karen is brewing hats for her daughters. Pattern suggestions are much appreciated. She has considered making kid-sized Wurms, but isn't sure. She has also just started Percy (the shawl), not to be confused with Percy (her cat). It is lovely. Abby suggested using Judy's Magic Cast-on to start the garter tab. Genius!

Percy the cat

Stir: Karen is spinning away on the Dragonfly Fibers merino/silk fiber she got at the first Sock Summit. She is spinning it into fine singles on her Hansen miniSpinner and waiting to decide how she wants to ply them. A miniSpinner is also on Abby's list of 'things she wants to buy soon'.

Abby's Matchless is still making a ticking noise. She has spoken with Sandi at Purlesence Yarns, but even after following her sage advice the wheel is still ticking. Abby is now on the trail of a local person who should be able to diagnose the problem.

Sofa: Abby and Karen are both watching Project Runway: Season 12. They both still dislike Ken intensely. Neither of them was very happy about the Belk challenge this week either. Karen is still rooting for Alexandria and Dom. While Abby prefers Kate and Helen.

They are both excited about the cast announcement for Project Runway All Stars Season 3. In an unsurprising show of partisanship, Karen will be rooting for hometown boy Seth Aaron Henderson. Abby has not yet revealed her favorite.

Karen also noticed that Arsenio Hall has a TV show again. When did that happen?

Abby expressed her frustration with the current and final season of Dexter. She loves Michael C. Hall, but hates what has happened with his character and feels this season is a train wreck.

Abby has also vowed to watch at least one episode of Duck Dynasty after hearing the Stephen Thompson and Linda Holmes discuss how much they enjoy it on this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Menu: Abby has been experimenting with making a Paleo Diet version of her Aztec Chocolate ice cream using first Trader Joe's coconut cream, then coconut sugar and coconut milk in the base. Taste testing of the latest version indicated that she should not have left out the brandy. However, as Abby learns, you cannot go out late and buy brandy or any other kind of liquor for that matter in the State of Oregon. We have standards, people.

Events: Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. We're going! It's like a county fair, with only the cute animals.

Take a Bite: Abby needs to replace her iron and ironing board. Karen has an Oliso, but she has heard on the Internet that gravity-feed steam irons are the coolest. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

126 - Too Much Caffeine

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Welcome back Guest Barista Karen! (CallmeK2 on ravelry)

Latte: Karen finished one of her Port Ludlow socks. She is also recommencing work on her Vivian sweater after an edging mishap and a miscrossed cable. Abby is working on her Color Affection shawl in Malabrigo Silkpaca. She is making good use of a listener suggestion to print out the colors of the stripes and bold the rows on which the shaping happens. She is also adding yarn-overs to the ends of the rows to keep them loose and easy to block.

Bitter Cup: Karen ripped her Alewives Cowl (again) and is casting it on (again). Abby's Narcissa socks from Mountain Colors Crazy Foot developed an error in the lace pattern. She dropped down and fixed it but... her Asterope shawl (knit out of Bumblebirch Grove purchased at Pearl Fiber Arts in Portland during her first job interview) also sprung a mistake. Attempts to fix it were unsuccessful so off to the frog pond it went. The printed copy of the pattern for Abby's SPAKAL sweater, Dark and Stormy, has gone missing. It has been revised since she started the sweater and it is currently unclear which version she was using.

Brewing: Karen is brewing sock patterns for her sister-in-law. She wants to knit traditional socks for lederhosen. Karen has found one pattern, Trachtenstr├╝mpfe mit Stulpe, but she would appreciate any suggestions.
Abby feels like she is still living in chaos and is brewing solutions to help her take control of her living environment. She has not yet fully unpacked; this is making her feel disordered and causing difficulty for her when she can't find things. She would love input on organizing her new space and prioritizing purchases for that organization.

Coffee Cart (formerly Chai)- Where We've Been, What We've Found: Abby found Coava Coffee in industrial Southeast Portland. Karen is looking for a new coffee bean supplier and was very happy to learn about Coava Coffee.

Coava Coffee shares a space with Bamboo Revolution, which Abby also thought was cool.

Karen went to the Wollemeise store in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm while she was in Germany. Her husband tells her that "Pfaffen" is a slightly derogatory term for priests and that "Hofen" is yet another word for village.
Karen took pictures of the adorable yarn art in the store:
Abby is making a Lady Grey shrug out of one skein of her Wollemeise yarn.

Sew Steep: Karen has a quilt top, her first, that needs to be quilted. Abby promises to help her. She also has a quilt top in need of quilting, a quilt that she started for Ben when he was young.
Abby has a magic tool to baste the quilt sandwich together.
Abby is also making a dress for herself, but needs to make some alterations to the pattern.

Sofa: Abby and Karen are both watching Project Runway: Season 12. Neither of them has a favorite yet, but so far they both like Alexandria and Dom. And they both dislike Ken. A lot.
Abby watched the Dr. Who movie, which she hated. But she really liked Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor. Karen admitted that she has never seen Dr. Who. Abby wondered whether the answer.
Karen watched Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work and enjoyed it tremendously. It is NOT about plastic surgery, in case you were wondering.

Events: Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. We're going! Are you? Critters. Classes. Fleece Sale. Awesome!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

125 The Game's Afoot!

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Welcome back Guest Barista Susan Dolph, formerly host of the Knitajourney Podcast!

Latte: Susan is knitting fingerless gloves out of Lamb's Pride Worsted. She's also working on two brown sweaters for herself. Her "famous" pink crocheted sweater is almost done! Abby is working on Color Affection, Narcissa socks - out of Mountain Colors Crazyfoot, and Lady Grey, a shrug by Rachel Erin, out of Wollmeise

Brewing/Taste: Abby's been watching What Not To Wear, now in its final season, and she is still thinking mightily about the issue of fit, both in relation to all clothing, but especially with regard to socks. Along those lines, she's acquired two new resources: Fish Lips Kiss Heel from Sox Therapist Designs, and Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith. Abby mentioned that the socks are photographed in John Fluevog shoes, after which she has lusted for many years. 

I highly recommend Big Foot Knits (Cooperative Press, from $16.95) and I'm very excited about diving into both of these resources. Also, see Cat Bordhi's sock books, where you will learn that a gusset is not always necessary, and that instep increases can be placed pretty much anywhere with the same effect.

Chai: Susan talks about a wee knitting retreat wherein everyone felt comfortable being fully themselves! 

Caffeinated: Abby is excited about Farmers Markets. Get yourself to one! Abby mentioned Ayers Creek Farm and The Smokery

Sofa: Susan is enjoying the music of Arthur Lee, which you can sample here, and  then Susan reads a children's book by Dave Pilkey. called God Bless the Gargoyles. Abby mentioned Far From the Tree, a very different book with some similar themes.

Tip Jar: Abby and Susan both encourage you to take good care of your feet! A product Abby loves is Glytone Ultra Heel and Elbow Cream.  

Sunday, August 11, 2013

124 - Grok the Sock

Listen here.

Latte: I cast on another try at Color Affection. This time, I'm using Malabrigo Baby Silkpaca lace. 
Brewing: I am trying to get a handle on how to precisely fit a sock. I've referred to several sources, among them: Clara Parkes's The Knitter's Book of Socks, Techknitting, and's Foot Sizing Survey Results. I mention that the word "grok" comes from Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, (and by the way, if you haven't read it, you should!). 
Bite: Verlyn Klinkenborg wrote a short column for The New York Times on Sunday, August 11th called Books to Have and to Hold. [Disclaimer: I was not familiar with this author and I think I mistakendly thought he was a woman. Sorry!] The question for you is: what is the difference for you between a paper book and an ebook? Corollary: what if your knitting projects simply disappeared when you finished them? Would you feel differently about knitting? In this segment, I mention Stephen King's 11/22/63. 
Taste: Review of The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits published by interweave/ 
Sofa: My new photo obsession is taking pictures inside of a kaleidoscope. I talk about the new season of Dexter, and the podcast Chop Bard.

Special thanks: DebC, for supporting me through a difficult change in my eating habits! If you want to learn about "Paleo-ish", one place to start is here.