In this episode, I’ll share some new knitting, spinning and pottery projects I’ve been up to, I’ll enable you to some tea, and art batts, as well as a new wine and yarn pairing. I’ll share some details about the sheep shearing school I participated in, and more!
I used to dislike knitting with variegated yarns, even though I thought they were BEAUTIFUL in the hank. I thought they looked strange as a fabric, too busy and chaotic for my taste. But the truth is, I just never knew how to use them! Some patterns were positively made for variegated yarns, and I'm so excited to begin my journey with them. And I'd love it if you wanted to join me!
The Pincha Shawl pattern, designed by Pinpilan Wangsai, is perfect for crazy, colorful skeins. The short row shaping (*gasp!*, it's ok, this is why we have a supportive community!) perfectly engages with the multi-colored bits, and turns them into deliberate stripes that give this shawl fantastic movement on many levels. This awesome pattern might almost be a calling for that Skein Too Beautiful To Use...
What you'll need:
1, 100g skein of fingering weight yarn (can be variegated, but it doesn't have to be)
Size US 5 (or 3.75mm) needles for working flat
In this episode, we do a bit of a reintroduction, since the show has been on for more than a year now! I’ll share some beautiful patterns I’ve been working with as well as some things I’ve been dyeing. We’ll do a little Lush Skein, and talk about what is in my textile reading Stash. I’ll also introduce a new regular segment about sustainability and ethics in the fiber industry.
Each podcast episode, I discuss wine and yarn pairings in a segment called "The Lush Skein". Here, you will find a complete list of all the pairings to date. If you want to know the reasons behind the pairing, however, you'll have to listen to the show to find out! Try them out (21+ of course), and let us know what you think! Feel free to send some suggestions and I'll review them on the show!
Ugarte 2012 Rioja - Tempranillo/ Graciana blend.
Hatshepsut - Sinew and Stone, Koobi Fora merino/nylon blend
A New Home - Casual Fashion Queen, merino/nylon blend, fingering weight
Piccini - Sasso al Poggio, Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot blend
Cords and Cobwebs - Chocolate Covered Raisin fingering weight with sparkle
Masi - 2012 Campofiorin red
Sock Obsession - Bling colorway
Hot Coco with Orange - non-alcoholic
Van Gogh Riesling - 2013, Médoc France
SockObsession Yarns - sock weight, 75% superwash merino, 25% mulberry silk, Anastasia colorway.
Blackstone Winery - 2013 Pinot Noir
Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers - light worsted weight, 100% Peruvian highland wool
Rioja Vega Winery - 2013 Crianza; Tempranillo blend
Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino - wool, acrylic and cashmere, lightweight DK
Miss Babs - Maryland Sheep and Wool Exclusive Colorway
Helderberg Meadworks - Heritage Mead, Navy Blue Wax 2014
Madelinetosh Tosh DK - 100% Merino wool, DK weight, Nectar colorway
Petite Petit - Michael David Winery, 2013, 85% petite sirah 15% petite verdot
Manos del Uruguay - Maxima, Worsted weight, colorway Flame/ Carmine
Faustino VII - 2012 Tempranillo
Þingborg Handspun - plant dyed, 2 ply, DK weight
Outer Pines Co. - Aja's handspun and dyed, various colorways, worsted weight
Wool and the Gang - Crazy Sexy Wool - 200g, Super Bulky weight
Intipalka Valle Del Sol - 2013 Malbec
Root 1 Heritage Red - Red Blend
Lett Lopi - Worsted Weight
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Whiskey Barrel
Johnnie Walker Red Label
Louise Harding Grace Silk and Wool; DK weight, 50% Merino wool, 50% Silk
La Fiera Salento Primitivo
Montoya Vineyards, Pinot Noir
Schoeller Essliinger, Fortissima fingering weight
Brassfield Winery, Eruption; red blend
The Fibre Co. Acadia Yarn, DK weight blend; 60% Merino wool, 20% Baby alpaca, 20% Silk
Museum; 2009 Reserva, Tempranillo
Blue Sky Alpaca, Suri Merino; Worsted/DK weight, in Crimson colorway
Bota Box; anything
Green Mountain Spinnery, Weekend Wool; 2 ply worsted weight
Putney Mountain Winery: Rhubarb Blush
Moss Vinyards; 2013 Architettura Reserva
Solutute Wool; Llama-rama!, 2 ply, fingering weight, 50% llama, 50% Romney wool.
The Ghost of the Aran Sweater
There was a bitter wind blowing from the east
and I grabbed my work in progress
My husband was busy cooking our annual fall feast
And I was in the way; that was obvious.
So I headed out to a local park
To settle myself on a leaf-covered bench
It was evening, now, ‘bout an hour ’til dark
And raining a bit, though not enough to be drenched
Happily I sat, needles clicking away
The bright autumn leaves were whimsically windblown.
But the longer I sat, the sky darkened to grey
And I began to feel that I may not be alone.
As if some pending doom had sat down beside me
Some Sleepy Hollow spirit with a pumpkin for a head
It was then that this stranger revealed their identity
And cause for this sudden feeling of dread.
For my eyes drifted down twelve inches below
From the row that I was knitting,
And I spotted an large cable twisted the wrong way.
Come on! You’ve got to be kidding!
Then around this heinous new discovery,
I saw ten stitches had been dropped!
How was I ever to mend this to recovery?
So I sat there, staring, and shocked.
“How could I have missed this?! A mistake so far back,
I must be the worst knitter in the world”
I nearly gave myself an asthma attack
When I realized a row of knits had been purled.
I sighed heavily, breath condensing in air,
And held my nearly finished aran sweater at arms length
I knew deep down what I had to do now,
And searched my soul for the strength.
The sky grew darker, just one street lamp shone
The brisk autumn wind whipped in mocking.
I slowly pulled the wooden needles from the stitches,
And I sat there, alone, and began frogging.
All the knitters in Yarnsville start to double check their ply
When the Unraveler slinks into town half-past-five.
This mischievous terror plays all sorts of tricks
Such as replacing all of your purls with knits!
It unravels those stitches you created with precision
Leaving a tangled up mess is its mission.
Just as you start to smooth out the heap
You realize the fiber isn’t from a sheep!
Yes, the Unraveler has hidden your cashmere and wool
All the vibrant colors are now woefully dull.
Any project you attempt will feel so pathetic
If all you have to work with is synthetic.
All of your hard work has been all in vain
You won’t finish holiday gifts in time once again!
The clock starts ticking
Neglected projects start twitching
The Unraveler thrives on your lack of progress – it’s sickening!
You begin to concede - you’re not worthy of tweed!
You can find others who, like you, check the dye lot
To be sure the end result is what you sought.
So you can present a loved one with their new favorite clothes,
That warm their hearts, fingers, and toes.
Yes! With each other’s support there’s no fuss.
The Unraveler stands no chance against us!
Now try a new pattern; questions and advice can be shared.
Knitters uniting = Unraveler beware!
- Kayla Pratt
Sheep with the pumpkins
Eating the grass and the weeds
Helping pumpkins grow
I wore a wooly costume
Sheep followed me home
- Paul, Age 11
The Skein From Hell
I am the blood red skein from hell,
Within your project bag I dwell,
Waiting my time to near,
To wreak havoc and sow fear.
Though I am but fifty grams,
And come from the purest coats of lambs,
I am evil to the core,
I’ll drop your stitches to the floor,
And with anguish you shall cry,
When your projects go awry.
Knots and tangles I have many,
And I cost a pretty penny,
If your game of choice’s “yarn chicken”,
With frustration you’ll be stricken,
For I’m too short (and yet too long),
Not quite right (yet not quite wrong).
Knitting lace? I’ll have you frogging,
I’ll give your fingers a right flogging,
You’ll work late into the night,
And you’ll awake all in a fright,
For your work will all have vanished,
All your effort will be banished,
Back into your project bag,
And your heart and hopes shall sag.
Of despair, I am the queen,
The meanest yarn you’ve ever seen,
And though my soul is most unclean,
I wish you Happy Halloween.
- Mike Red
There once was an old spinster that lived on Walnut street. She was lonely and wanted a friend. She bartered some sheep food with a young shepherd to buy his orange wool. Unknown to her, the wool was enchanted by the evil wizard who transformed himself into the young shepherd. The old spinster spun the yarn and knit pumpkins for the trick or treaters. Halloween was the only time of the year the lonely old spinster ever had visitors to her house.
The old woman knit 15 pumpkins. She put the first five in her yard and gave the remaining ten pumpkins to the children who came to her house. She went to bed that night. At midnight, the enchanted yarn turned the pumpkins into evil pumpkins. Pumpkin vines grew and grew and grew. Tentacles wrapped around every piece of candy that they touched.
The two heroes took them apart with their weapons. Yeah, the pumpkins are gone. THE END
- Ted, Age 8
Knit, Knit, Purl
It was a late winter’s eve and there I sat in my chair
All cozy and nice while outside a storm was in the air
Knit knit purl
Knit knit purl
I was working on a sweater, it was almost done
Just a few more rows now, knit two, purl one
Knit knit purl
Knit knit purl
The thunder thundered and the rain pittered and pattered
On my window, when suddenly the silence was shattered
Someone, something? Was knock-knocking on my front door
My introvert heart skipped a beat, it gave me such a fright!
Who’s there? what’s this? It’s almost mid-night!
I put my work down and snuck to see
Who’s outside? Why now? Why me?
I opened the door
and no one was there
Only the wind and the rain and nothing but air.
Then! Behind me I heard, upon the hardwood floor!
Skittering and scattering, claws on wood!
Oh no! I knew that sound, it was not good!
I ran back to my chair and my eyes opened wide
My sweater was gone! Where did it hide?
Under the chair -- I saw -- as I looked down
...And my cat, going to town
Rip! rip! purr!
Rip! rip! purr!
Gossamer threads of a web
Remind me of Arachne
They send stories through my head
As I spin in the wind.
What will this weave?
Dreams are woven into each piece;
Good, bad, and unusual.
I bet Arachne didn’t expect her fate.
The thump of the lazy kate,
Out of my reverie.
Plying is done.
In my hands the wool will make. . . What shall be its fate?
- Victoria Boehmer
In this episode, I share a brief segment on my first few months living as an immigrant in Iceland, a fantastic new yarn and wine pairing, and some of the top sustainable and ethical large-scale yarn producers.
In this episode, Meadow shares recent adventures in fleece processing, experiments with turmeric as dye, outlines some historical evidence of mordants, and shares some household and backyard things that can be used to dye yarn!
(These are affiliate links. If you would like to learn more about dyeing and prehistoric textiles as well as support this show, purchase a book through these links and I will receive a small commission.)
Ode to the skein too beautiful to use
The one with the gold in the greens and the blues
Its soft gentle fibers tickle my face
I look at the pattern but put it back "just in case!"
In case I find something better! A pattern more fit,
To that heavenly aquatic sunset, also known as 'the shit'.
Yarn wound so straight, hank twisted just-so
That the colors fall inward, they ebb and they flow
From out of the center, and up from the sea
Like an oceanic nebula, spun only for me.
No, this hat pattern just will not do
I'll need to make something special from you.
And so it continues, for those gold, greens and blues,
Enchanting that skein too beautiful to use.