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

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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!

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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

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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. 

137 - Separate and Crazy

Abby welcomes Guest Barista Laura the Joy of Cooking Fairy to the Cafe!

Latte: Laura is knitting a pair of vanilla socks of Patons Kroy. For Christmas, Laura received a kit by Weta to make Bofur’s scarf from the Hobbit movie. To add one more color to the scarf, Laura shopped at Green Planet Yarn. She’s added Rimu Merino-Possom blend. 
Abby is almost finished knitting the Skew Socks out of Fab Funky Fibres self striping yarn in Sargent Peppers. The yarn and pattern combination are totally addicting. Abby received her kit for Mary Scott Huff’s Dragons. The yarn from Abstract Fiber had a flaw, and Abby is hoping to replace it. 

Grande: Laura has finished many Christmas gifts! Among them: Three Blackberry Cowls, a scarf, a pair of socks. Laura has also been on a Martina Behm binge, and finished Brickless out of Madelinetosh Vintage, and two Hitchhikers out of Abstract Fiber’s Super Sock. She also knit a Tangled River Hat and the Persephone scarf Whew!

Brewing: Lots of talk about socks, especially what works for high insteps. Laura loves the heel flap and gusset construction, is not so crazy about short row heels, and also recommends the Houdini socks. Abby recommended three books: The Knitter’s Book of Socks, The Sock Knitting Master Class, Sweet Tomato Heels and Sensational Knitted Socks as well as the Fish Lips Kiss Heel.

Stir: Abby is spinning a Bullyseye Bump from Loop Fiber Studio, and it is fabulously well prepared fiber. 

Sofa: Laura is in a bit of a TV funk but talks about three movies: Philomena, Hobbit 2 and Saving Mr. BanksLaura also talks about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Abby tried the Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and isn’t crazy about them, but she is still binging on The West Wing and loves Orphan Black

Announcements: Keep knitting for Halos of Hope! We are beginning to make a real showing in the Podcaster Throwdown. Abby will be at Madrona and Abby and Laura will both be at Stitches West