Friday, November 30, 2012

Episode 24

In which we talk about holiday gifting, and how the upcoming holidays affect our project choices, and knitting lessons we have learned this year.

What are we wearing?
Dragonflies Jumper by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's Dragonflies
Discontinued Merino Stretch yarn
Warriston by Kate Davies
Gayle's Warriston

What are we stalking?
Women's Hand/Wrist Warmers by Joelle Hoverson
Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda Teague
Pull Me Over by Andrea Black
Burrard by Glenna C
Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli
February Fitted Pullover by Amy Herzog

What are we knitting? 
Gayle's Stripey Scarf
Opposite Pole by Joji Locatelli 
Wooly Wormhead Mystery KAL pattern

What have we finished?
Sharlene's first Snowball Hat
Sharlene's second Snowball Hat
Garter Stitch Mitts 1, 2, 3, and 4
For Good Hat by Megan Williams

2012 Knitting Lessons learned projects
Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn
Sharlene's failed Boneyard Shawl
Gayle's failed Taygete

Somewhere around the 44 minute mark the neighbor's gasoline gardeners arrive and you will hear leaf blowers and mowers and other assorted gasoline-powered garden appliances. (So loud and smelly!) It isn't that bad, and I may be the only one who notices. :)

If you are considering knitting something for yourself for the Self-Indulgent KAL, please come over to our Ravelry group and discuss! Knit something for yourself and kick off the new year with a new knitting project. I am now declaring that I will be knitting the Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang. Join us!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Episode 23

 What are we wearing?
 Owls by Kate Davies
Sharlene's Owls sweater
 Aidez by Cirilia Rose
Gayle's Aidez sweater

What are we stalking?
Walpole by Hannah Fettig
Meridien by Joji Locatelli
Francis Revisited by Beth Silverstein
Sharlene's Ingenue
Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang
Snowball Hat by Katie Himmelberg
Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli

What are we knitting?
Opposite Pole by Joji Locatelli
Ruth's Tee by Rachel Ivy Clark
Malabrigo Sock yarn
Gayle's Stripey scarf
Rayures by Amy Miller
What have we finished?
Dragonflies Jumper by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's Dragonflies
Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Commuter by Stephanie Sun
Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer

A book review
Shades of Winter, Knitting with Natural Wool by Ingalill Johansson and Ewa K. Andinsson

Links for Gayle's adventure weekend!
VJ Foster - Gayle's Uncle
The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

A book review: Shades of Winter

In episode 23 we review Shades of Winter: Knitting with Natural Wool by Ingalill Johansson published by Interweave Press. I am posting my written review here. 
- Sharlene

First Impressions
This is a beautifully photographed, cohesive collection. The collection was photographed at Icehotel, Sweden. The images of the hotel and grounds in the photographs made we want to see and learn more about the hotel.

All the yarns used in the designs in the book are "Ecological Wool" described as being "natural colors of sheep's wool." The patterns use two yarn weights. The Swedish Yarns used are:
Marks & Kattens Eco Baby Wool (#2 fine)
Marks & Kattens Eco Wool (#4 worsted)

The patterns and book are divided into three color categories:
  • Natural White
  • Gray
  • Beige 
There are twenty-five patterns, with 5 patterns actually being sets of matching accessories, such as cap, cowl, wrist warmers, and socks.

Natural White
The Ribbed Cap and Wrist Warmers are great basics, good beginner projects and great for learning to knit in the round. The Lace Sweater is a beautiful tunic. The Texture Knit Cardigan is definitely something I would wear. There is also a vest version that I like as well. The Stockinette Dress is 60s-inspired and photographed quite nicely with white boots that give it an updated feel.

I love the Cabled Cap, Cowl, and Wrist Warmers. Also the Lace Shawl with crocheted edging.

The Short-Sleeved Vest is a great layering piece. The Garter Stitch Shawl looks cozy and warm.

I like the fact that Interweave uses Craft Yarn Council standards for yarn weights in the patterns. It is nice that patterns are offered in ranges from approximately 30" to 50" for the garments. There is a range of accessories and garments.  Knitters who don't like to follow charts should be aware that is the only option in this book. There are no accompanying written out instructions for sections that are charted. Many of the garments are styled and designed for more youthful figures, though a few sweaters may appeal to a wider age audience. The accessories may appeal to a wider age range as well.

It has been difficult as of this writing to find photographs of any of the designs in the book. There are few entries for this title on Ravelry. Given this difficulty, this will be a book you may need to seek out in person rather than ordering sight unseen.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Episode 22

We open this episode with a bout of the giggles, having made three attempts to get the episode number correct. :) Fortunately for our listeners things get better. We chat about Sharlene's new kitten, hear a little bit about knitting for Halloween, and our usual segments. We finish off with a book review of the publication November Knits from Interweave Press. You can find the written review below. Enjoy!

What are we wearing?
Wicked by Rachel Bishop
Sharlene's Wicked
Amande Vest by Hilary Smith Callis
Gayle's Amande Vest

What are we stalking?
Pull Me Over by Andrea Black
Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli
Opposite Pole by Joji Locatelli
Aurora Australis by Melinda Vermeer
Golden Hour by Suvi Simola

What are we knitting?
Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer
A-Line Hoodie by Diane Soucy
Dragonflies Jumper by Joji Locatelli
Daphne and Delilah by Rebecca Danger
Taygete by Rosemary Hill

What have we finished?
Preemie Hat 
Patsy Hat
XOXO Headband by Amy O'Neill Houck
Gayle's XOXO
86-10 Headband
Gayle's 86-10
Gayle's Pinkbow Scarf
Amande Vest by Hilary Smith Callis
Gayle's Amande
Gyre cowl by Elizabeth Elliott
Gayle's Gyre

Also mentioned:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Patsy (YouTube link)

Meet Boo!

This is the new kitten Boo. He's been in our house for a few days now and the family couldn't agree on a name. The calender hanging in the kitchen has a graphic of a black cat with the word "Boo!" over it for Halloween. I laughingly suggested Boo, and surprisingly, the four people trying to agree on one name didn't disagree! Which after days of many, many possible name suggestions was a minor miracle. :) Not being one to leave it at Boo, I have been calling him Kitten Kaboodle, so I think that Boo will stick!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Book Review: November Knits

In Episode 22, we review the lovely book November Knits, by Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley, published by Interweave Press. I am posting my written review here for you.
- Sharlene

The authors, Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley are the distributors of The Fibre Company yarns, Kelbourne Woolens. I do not know what other yarns or yarn lines Kelbourne Woolens distributes, though from their website, they appear to only distribute The Fibre Company yarns. The authors only have a handful of their own accessories in the book, calling themselves “curators” to the collection.

First impressions
This collection of garments and accessories is full of casual, easy-to-wear pieces you will reach for day after day. I love the way the pieces are styled,  casually, but put-together. The cover sweater, the Burdock Cardigan–which I quite like–is styled with jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. The model looks contemporary yet classic. I think it is a piece that can appeal to many age groups, and fit into the wardrobes of students, moms, and career women.

I believe all the patterns use different yarns, including:

- Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica
- Imperial Stock Ranch Tracie
- Rowan Felted Tweed and LIma
- Berroco Peruvia Quick
- Mountain Colors Mountain Goat
- Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted
- Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock
- Green Mountain Spinnery Local Color
- O-Wool Classic
- The Fibre Company Organik, Canopy Worsted & Fingering, Savannah, and
Road to China Worsted
- Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift
- Classic Elite Yarns Fresco
- Quince and Company Lark
- Schaefter Yarn Audrey
- Madelinetosh sock

The patterns are divided into three sections.

In Farm Hands, the focus is on texture. Ivy League features “layering pieces utilizing multiple color techniques, Fair Isle, stranded knitting, and stripes.” The Southern Comfort section uses decorative embellishments such as lace and beads. There are 20 patterns in total, including two that are 2-piece sets, most by designers that are known or recognized.

What would I knit?
From the Farm Hands section, I quite like the Burdock Cardigan, written by Maura Kirk. It is the green cover sweater, knit in a textured “Star pattern” stitch, and as I previously mentioned, styled casually, for my lifestyle.

I also like the Market Jacket, by Tanis Gray. Tanis also previously designed a cowl that I liked in the Knit Red book that Gayle and I have previously talked about on the show. Like the Burdock Cardigan, the Market Jacket is an easy layering cardigan, this one knit top-down, also 3/4-sleeve but with lace panels to add interest. The fold-over collar gives it a more traditional than modern feel, as do the wooden buttons used on the sample.

From the Ivy League section, I have previously mentioned in episode 19, the Cobblestone Trenchcoat by Veera Valimaki. The Cobblestone Trenchcoat is knit in one of my favorite yarns, Rowan Lima. The Trenchcoat has a little swing built into the skirt, a wide, almost ballet collar, and a big oversize hood. It looks very warm and very cozy. It sports 4 top-closure buttons, easily modified if you want closures all the way down the front.

The Trefoil Cardigan by Gundrun Johnston is a sweet, flower-yoked sweater, knit in colorwork, with side pockets that have a little peek-a-boo contrast lining. I personally love the little peek of lining, as I always feel if you are going to line a garment, try to make it fun. I think the pockets give it a more contemporary feel than the usual colorwork yoked sweater, and you could knit this one in a classic or a modern palette depending on your wardrobe or mood.

Favorite Accessories
The Hilton Field Cowl by Kate Gagnon Osborn is a reversible cowl, with Herringbone colorwork on one side, and stripes on the other. The Thistle Leg Warmers by Melissa LaBarre are knit with a simple cable and seed and rib stitches, in Imperial Yarns Tracie, one of the many yarns I want to try.

Pattern Writing
I love that the yarn weights needed for the patterns are all specified using the Craft Yarn Council yarn standards.

Sizes range from low 30’s to 40”, 48”, 50”, 52”, 57”, and 61”. If you are on either end of the size range, you will want to check the specific patterns you are interested in for your size. Not every garment has the same size range.

Lace and colorwork patterns are written as charts only.

Most of the garments could potentially appeal to a broad age range, and can be styled up or down. The accessories, though not as appealing to someone who doesn’t live in a mitten climate, are certainly beautiful, and similarly, can span age groups. The photography highlights the garments, and doesn't focus on moody models or stunning background scenery to sell the garments. As a knitter, I appreciate a book publisher that knows the difference. Overall, I think this book is a great value with patterns that are interesting, contemporary yet classic, and succeeds with "inspired designs for changing seasons."

Mea culpa

In Episode 21, I mistakenly said that the lace pattern in Corazon only has charted directions. My mistake!! The written directions for the lace motif are on page 1 of the pattern.

So, the awesome Corazon includes both charted and written instructions for the lace motif.

Second - xanthey,  Erika, is the winner of the Corazon pattern from the lovely & generous mindofwinter,  Julia! Erika, we can’t wait to see your version knit up in the future. Congratulations!

- Gayle