Friday, July 26, 2013

Episode 41 - Lazy days of summer

For some reason this is a particularly low-key episode. It was a hot day while recording, and I had been a bit under the weather health-wise the past week and though there is a lot of knitting, we are both a little low-energy.

Technical difficulties? If you have had difficulties reaching a few of the older episodes this week, those should be resolved now. We were booted off of our hosting service for using too much bandwidth! No, I don't understand because, well... isn't that what a hosting service is supposed to do? But we are moving on, our files have been moved, and the transition should be seamless to users. If you experience any difficulties, please let us know what episode you are trying to access so that we can make sure all the file transfers function as they should.

What are we wearing?
Low Tide Cardigan by tincanknits
Sharlene's Low Tide
Marion cardigan by Andi Satterlund
Gayle's Marion

What are we stalking?
Ginny's Cardigan by Mari Chiba
Army of Caterpillars by Miranda Harp
Nanook by Heidi Kirrmaier
Buttony and Boxy by Joji Locatelli (pattern not available yet, but you can see Joji's project page here)
Black Mamba by Rachel Frank
Angry Sheep Cardigan by The Needle Lady

What are you knitting?
Boxy by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's project page on Ravelry
Afternoon Tea Shawl by Helen Stewart
Askew by Lisa Mutch
Julissa by Vanessa Smith
Boxy and Buttony by Joji Locatelli
Nozky legwarmers by Monica Sirna
Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

What have we finished?
Sharlene is swatching for Amy Herzog's CustomFit
Wild Cherry by Melissa Goodale
Gayle's Wild Cherry
Booga Bag by Julie Anderson
Gayle's Booga Bag

Book reviews
History on Two Needles by Annie Modesitt
What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit? edited by Heather Ordover

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book reviews for Cooperative Press

Gayle and I chat a bit about both of these books in Episode 41, but we usually have much more to say than we can fit into the podcast. :)
- Sharlene

What (else) Would Madame Defarge Knit? Edited by Heather Ordover

This is the second offering in the Madame Defarge series, with knitting patterns based on "classic characters." If you listen to Heather's podcast CraftLit, you are already familiar with her podcast formula sharing a little bit of crafting chat and a little bit of book chat followed by a chapter or two of the current book selection. Knitters, myself included, look forward to knitting time spent with earbuds in place, listening to the current installment of Heather's classic selections.

The Madame Defarge series brings us knitting patterns and essays based on several "classic characters." If you have a favorite classic among those featured in this book, you might find extra inspiration to create one of the patterns while rereading or listening to an old friend. Having spent many past summers reading and rereading Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series I felt that Marilla's Shawl was an old friend and certainly something that the ever-practical Marilla would have thrown over her shoulders while sitting on the porch with Matthew. But if you aren't familiar with the literature that has inspired, you will still find the twenty-eight patterns for shawls, mitts, socks, and other accessories fun to browse. The essays by the pattern designers will give you insight into a significant character or theme from the classic novel that inspired the piece, and may in turn inspire you to read something new or to reread a forgotten favorite.

History on Two Needles by Annie Modesitt

History on Two Needles looks backward in art history to find inspiration. There are patterns here that will work for Renaissance Fair wear to pieces that will fit into a contemporary wardrobe. For each of the seventeen patterns found here, the artwork that influenced the design is pictured. Most of the designs are knitted recreations of the original garment, one exception being the Woodstock Tunic featuring a textured sweater design that is "quartered to reflect the elements of Edward's shield." I think it will be interesting to watch the Ravelry project pages for these pieces and see how knitters mix and match pieces into their contemporary wardrobes.

We reviewed electronic versions of both books and in both cases, I would like to have seen a photo index of the patterns. It is easy to thumb through the pages of a book to quickly find a specific photo or design, but not so easy to do this with an electronic file. This added functionality would be a welcome resource. To view all the patterns in each book before preparing my review, I found it easier to look at the each book's Ravelry entry to see all the pattern images in one place.

If you enjoy classic literature, or art history, or just aspire to these interests, both books are worth taking a look. These books remind us that as knitters and crafters, we can look for inspiration in many other areas of our lives. We are reminded to look back, and to look into history and literature for something new for our contemporary wardrobes.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Episode 40 - Best Laid Plans

The original title of this episode was going to be "Road Trip" for reasons which will become apparent once you listen. But even the best of plans have a way of falling apart sometimes, don't they? Thwarted by the heat of the 100 degree day, our plans to record while visiting yarn stores went out the window, and the secondary plan to finish recording once we returned to the bay and its cooling breezes flew out the other window after Gayle got the "come rescue us!" phone call from her stranded husband. So. Best laid plans. We call it a wrap almost 48 hours later and give you a little recap. Hope it doesn't come across too disjointed!

Gayle and I are excited to share two special things with you. First, we are going to be beta testers for Amy Herzog's new CustomFit software. (See links below.) Second, we have decided on a KAL based on the Pantone colors for Fall 2013. Details on the podcast and to follow in our Ravelry group.
- Sharlene

What are we wearing?
Current by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Sharlene's Current
Colors of Kauai by Hanna Maciejewska

What are we stalking?
Amy Herzog's blog
Amy's Fit to Flatter mission here
Amy's CustomFit announcement here
February Fitted Pullover by Amy Herzog
Julissa by Vanessa Smith
Aniron by Luise O'Neill
Boxy by Joji Locatelli
Afterlight by Amy Herzog

What are we knitting?
Askew by Lisa Mutch
Low Tide Cardigan by tincanknits
Outlast textiles information
Booga Bag by Julie Anderston
Wild Cherry Shawl by Melissa Goodale
Bumble Beret by Elizabeth Doherty

KAL links
Pantone Fashion Color Report Fall 2013
Think about how you will wear your new garment made using one of the Fall 2013 colors. Photograph it with a complete Fall look.

Audio link here.