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.