Tuesday, April 5, 2016

An announcement!

The Bede Sisters Podcast is now available on iTunes!  And there's a blog with show notes to go with it.  Find me at  http://bedesisterspodcast.blogspot.com/ 

I look forward to seeing you at my new blog!!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Spring!!

Spring is in full bloom in South Carolina.  The daffodils are pretty much done and the yellow jessamine is starting to fade already.  My creeping phlox is at it's peak and even the oak and pecan trees are starting to leaf out. 

Another reason to be excited this spring is my upcoming trip to Minnesota.  I will be attending the Shepherd's Harvest Festival in Lake Elmo, MN.  Why would a South Carolina girl travel all the way to Minnesota for a fiber festival?  First, it's a great festival with lots of fiber arts classes, fiber animals and wonderful vendors.  Second, Minnesota in May is pretty great.  Most of all though, I have friends there.  These are people I've known for years as online fiber buddies.  Shepherd's Harvest is special because I get to be with them, face to face, with loads of hugs and "squeeeees".


Treebeard Socks

Yarn--Prime Sock from One Twisted Tree in the Entish Lore colorway
Needles--US size 1, 2.25

First off, the yarn is gorgeous.  It's from a new indie dyer, Danie of One Twisted Tree.  The color is beautifully tonal, with rich color and subtle variation.  The color name is taken from J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  Ents are characters from the books and are walking, talking trees.  The pattern is inspired by Treebeard, an ent from the same books.
This pattern with this yarn?  Clearly it's the perfect geeky collision.
Yarn-- Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints, in colorway 9806
Needles-- US 4 - 3.5 mm
I have one finished object, my Hitchhiker.  It's getting a bit too warm in my neck of the woods to wear this shawlette, but I'm thinking it might feel pretty good in Minnesota this May. 
The first photo shows the Hitchhiker in progress and captures the color really well.  It's a variegated purple to pink fingering weight.
This is the completed shawlette, photographed just after weaving in ends.  At this point, I haven't blocked it.  I'm not sure if I will before wearing.  It's a garter stitch pattern, so there's no pattern that needs blocking to be revealed, although it could be blocked to a larger size.  I'll let you know if I change my mind.


Podcast Corner

Have you watched Geeky Girls Knit?  If not, get on it!  They are a mother-daughter video podcast from Edinburgh, Scotland, by way of Texas.  C.C. (mom) and Damaris (daughter) are from Texas and are currently living in Scotland while Mr. Geeky (known on the podcast as The Hubs) is going to school. 

C.C. and Damaris are adorable, funny and a joy to watch.  Each week, they share not only their finished projects and works in progress, they talk about their favorite yarny acquisitions, current reads and television/movie obsessions.  It's great fun to hear them geek out about Dr. Who and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

In addition to a successful weekly podcast, C.C. is a talented designer.  She has a new collection of Dr. Who inspired socks.  I am determined to learn how to knit socks toe-up so I can have a go at all of them! 

Happy spring, everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring is here!

It's definitely spring here in South Carolina.  The daffodils have bloomed, the forsythia is very yellow and the Bradford pear trees are blossoming.  Our lawn is even turning green.  It's mostly weeds, but still, it's green.

I've been doing a bit of knitting even though spring fever makes me want to play outside most of the time.  Yesterday I skipped my run and went for a bike ride with the children.  We went down our road to the local beaver pond and explored for a bit.  It was glorious!

On to knitting!


Rosamond socks

Yarn--Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Pearlescent Tonal
Needles--US size 1, 2.25 mm, 9 inch circulars

The Rosamond socks are a free pattern on Ravelry.  It's a beautiful lace pattern and not difficult at all.  They are knit cuff down with a heel flap and gusset.  The top photo was taken before blocking and the second was taken after.  I don't normally block socks, but these were for a swap so I wanted to make sure they were very clean.  It also relaxed the yarn and helped to show off the lace pattern.

The recipient already has them and loves how girly they are.  The lace certainly makes them feminine.  I look forward to seeing the socks knit for me;  the knitter has them done, I think, and almost ready to ship.  Woo-hoo!


Am I the last knitter on the planet to knit a Hitchhiker shawlette?  There are over 18,000 Hitchhiker projects on Ravelry.  It's very popular and now I know why.  The pattern is simple but does a great job showing off a beautiful yarn.  And because is mostly garter stitch, the fabric it creates is deliciously smooshy!


Yarn-- Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk Paints, in colorway 9806
Needles-- US 4 - 3.5 mm

The yarn is "souvenir yarn" from a trip to Hilton Head, SC, last summer.  It's a beautiful variegated yarn that ranges from deep purple through pink and to pale lavender.  I think I'm going to enjoy this shawlette very much. 

The only other WIP is the pair of ankle socks I'm knitting for me.  They haven't gotten any attention this week, but I haven't completely forgotten them.  They'll get done eventually.

Podcast Corner

The podcast feature this week is The Fat Squirrel Speaks hosted by Amy Beth.  This may well be the funniest knitting podcast on the planet.  Amy Beth never fails to make me giggle, if not outright guffaw.  She's clever and witty and definitely makes me feel like she's whispering her silly secrets to her best friends and I'm in on it. 

Amy Beth is not only hilarious, but a fabulous knitter.  She always manages to impress me with her finished projects, both knitting and spinning.  In addition to her podcast, she also has a shop, Fat Squirrel Fibers, where she sells project bags.  Amy Beth has great taste in fabrics, but you have to catch her shop updates as soon as they happen.  Her bags sell out immediately, as in set your alarm and be sitting at the computer with your hand hovering over the "buy" button. 

Check out The Fat Squirrel Speaks.  She'll make your day.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Lawrence sweater is done!

I'm going to jump right in with knitting talk, because I'm really excited about finishing my Lawrence sweater.


Actually "FO's" should be singular because I only have one, but it's a pretty big one.  Introducing my Lawrence Sweater.

Lawrence Sweater

Yarn--Cascade 220, colorway 9572
Needles--US 8, 5mm

It's done!  Yay me, and just in time for the end of Knitting Den's KAL (knit-a-long).  The KAL ended on February 28 and my sweater was blocking that day.

The color is a rich purple-y red.  The color bled quite a bit when I washed it for blocking.  It even discolored my needles while knitting, however, it doesn't look faded even after washing.  The Cascade 220 I used is not superwash, so I'll always be handwashing this sweater.  Hopefully, it will maintain the deep color for a long time.


Ankle socks for me
Yarn--Four Seasons Gründl Hot Socks
Needles--US size 0, 2.00mm
Yes, this is the same picture I used last time.  I've made a little progress on the foot, but I didn't take a new picture.  These are my "purse knitting", meaning that I can grab them for on-the-go knitting when I need something simple and small.  They may take a while since I'm only working on them occasionally.

Rosamond Socks

Yarn--Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Pearlescent Tonal
Needles--US size 1, 2.25 mm, 9 inch circulars

The Rosamond socks are for a spring sock KAL in an online group.   I knit a pair of socks for another member of the group, while someone else is knitting for me.  It's so exciting; I've never had anyone knit socks for me!  It's a great group and while not everyone has met in person, many have known each other for years online.

The pattern is great, pretty lace design and not too difficult.  It's a free pattern on Ravelry and well written, with both charts and written instructions.  I'm on the second sock about half-way to the heel.

Podcast Corner

This week's podcast feature is a new podcast, tplaysnice.  It is hosted by Tracy from the UK and she is just adorable!  Tracy's podcast is only a couple of months old, but she has hit her stride quickly and I look forward to each week's new episode.  Each episode, she talks about what she's wearing and it's fascinating to see her gorgeous handknits.  I like seeing her beautiful sweaters "in real life".  A photo is helpful, but seeing it on a real person is even better.

Tracy is another podcaster who makes me feel like I'm sitting down for a chat with a friend.  Do join Tracy for her lovely podcast; she'll make you feel right at home.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wisdom teeth? Who needs 'em!

I remember having my wisdom teeth taken out when I was 17.  I was in the 11th grade and taking U.S. history from Mr. Killian.  He was the high school baseball coach and I had expected him to be mediocre at best as a teacher.  My apologies to all the coach/teachers out there for underestimating him.  He was funny and quite engaging while trying to cram a bit of history into a bunch of teenagers.

The day I was to have my teeth out, we had a history test.  The thought of trying to take the test a week after the rest of the class and after being in a fog for a few days seemed risky, so I asked to take the test early, on the morning of "the procedure".  When I finished the test and went to turn it in, Mr. Killian said, "Kay, I'm a bit worried about your grades."

Gasp!  I was a good student, as in graduated fourth in my class of over three hundred, so a problem with my grades was, in a word, unacceptable.  I gulped and said something like "Really?"

He replied, in the most serious tone possible, "Well, with having your wisdom teeth removed, you may not be as wise and your grades could suffer."  After a second or three for that to sink in, I laughed, probably a little too loudly, and he wished me luck.  I survived, both the tooth extraction and the history test.

Today was my daughter's turn to have her wisdom teeth removed.  Even though she's 23, it was a bit difficult to watch her leave the waiting room on her own and then wait for them to let me know she was done.  She did fine and wasn't too incoherent when I saw her, although she did ask for a smoothie* about five times.  I'll sleep in a chair near her room tonight, just in case.

All that to say, knitting hasn't been too high on the list this week.  I am almost done with the Lawrence sweater and it will hopefully be a finished object by next week.  I also am working on a pair of Rosamond socks for a KAL (Knit-A-Long).  Details to follow next week!

*I made her a banana/mango/orange smoothie a couple of hours ago.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Socks and a Sweater

My family celebrates two birthdays this month, my older daughter and my husband.  My daughter just turned 23 and she requested dinner out at Miyo's.  She loves their Asian cuisine, especially the sushi.  We had a very nice dinner with two of her friends and her aunt and uncle.

Next week, my husband has a birthday.  Last year, for his 50th, we did a Star Trek themed party.  This year will be much more low-key, probably a family dinner.

On to fiber!


I finished this handspun this week.  It's a superwash BFL (blue faced Leiscester) in shades of pink, blue and purple.  It's a three-ply, worsted-ish weight.  I'm not sure yet what it's going to be, maybe a hat or fingerless mitts?


Lawrence Sweater

Yarn--Cascade 220, colorway 9572
Needles--US 8, 5mm

The Lawrence sweater is making slow but steady progress.  I split for sleeves last night--yay!  It should move a bit faster now, with almost 100 fewer stitches per round.

Ankle socks for me
Yarn--Four Seasons Gründl Hot Socks
Needles--US size 0, 2.00mm
I started a pair of socks for me, using the same yarn I used for Janie's socks.  We can be matchy-matchy!  This is the first time I've made socks on size 0 needles.  It's taking longer but I like the fabric it creates.
I cast on 64 stitches and did 20 rounds of ribbing before going to the heel.  The heel is worked over 32 stitches.  I'm not sure yet how many rounds I'll need for the foot, but I'll keep you posted.
Podcast Corner

This week's podcast is Knit1HeartToo.  It is hosted by Wendy and Sheila, podcasting from Massachusetts.  They are both moms and knit for themselves as well as their families and friends.  Don't let their silliness fool you; both are talented knitters and produce wonderful items. 

Here's a quote from their blog page. 

"Knit 1, Heart too" grew out of something that we both have in common. Wendy has been a heart failure survivor since 2006 and Sheila is mom to an amazing boy who not only survived a serious congenital heart defect diagnosed at birth, but later survived liver cancer and two liver transplants. We know a lot about hearts and that it takes a lot of heart (and courage) to survive. And we knit with a lot of heart, too.

These are amazing women.  Sheila is a phlebotomist and Wendy is currently a stay-at-home-mom, having left a career as a lawyer.  Love this podcast!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February already?

It's February already?  There are two family birthdays this month, my husband and my older daughter, and I haven't done a thing to get ready.  My husband, Andy, is pretty happy with a nice dinner either at home or at a restaurant.  My daughter will be 23, so she is making plans with friends. 

It's been a mild winter so far and I noticed today that a few bulbs are starting to peek through in my garden.  I also saw some daffodils already in full bloom, just a few miles from home.  Goodness, spring is coming early!

On to fiber projects!

I have two finished objects this week!

The Ashton Shawlette
by Dee O'Keefe
Yarn--Gerschubie Fiber Arts, Cottage Sock in the Picot colorway
Needles--US 5, 3.75 mm

I love how this shawlette turned out.  It's my first attempt at a lace shawl and I wasn't sure if I would make it through, but here it is!  Most knitters know that blocking is nearly miraculous in it's ability to bring out the best in finished projects, especially lace, and this shawl proves it.



Even Andy was impressed.  He's normally very polite when I show him my projects, but this time he "ooo-ed" and "ahhh-ed" quite a bit.  I wore it to church Sunday and he pointed it out to several people with a "Do you like Kay's shawl?  She made it."  Thanks, Sweetie!

Icy Water
by Muraka Mari
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore DK in colorways  515 and 256
Needles:  US size 4, 3.5 mm

I also finished a pair of mittens for my younger daughter.  It's a pretty colorwork pattern and should be very warm for Janie's small hands.  I haven't blocked them or taken a final picture.  If I can get them back from Janie, I'll take one. 


I'm down to two current projects, finally!  The Ashton shawl and the mittens had both been hibernating since last fall and I'm glad to have them finished.  Now I can focus on the ones left on the needles and my spinning wheel. 

I'm still working on the Lawrence sweater, although it has taken a back seat this week.  I also started a pair of socks for me, in the same yarn as the ones I did for Janie.  We get to have matching socks!

My spinning has been slow but steady.  I started a pink/purple/white superwash braid a couple of months ago and just finished spinning the singles today.  I'm spinning it on my Louet Hatbox wheel, which is a very compact travel size wheel.  Now I need to set up to ply the yarn, hopefully into a three-ply.

Podcast Corner
One of the first podcasts I found was The Knitmore Girls.  This podcast is hosted by Jasmin and Gigi, a mother/daughter team.  They are charming and funny and I so enjoy hearing about their projects.  The podcast started in 2008 and has been going strong ever since.

Both Jasmin and Gigi are experienced knitters and I like knowing which projects they find challenging and which ones they can breeze through.  Their show segment "When Knitting Attacks" is a light-hearted look at the week's uncooperative knitting.  It's encouraging to know that even the best knitters sometimes make mistakes.

They also talk about spinning and sewing, as well as reviewing books and other fiber art supplies, like yarn and needles.  The Knitmores can be counted on to give their honest opinions and recommendations, both good and bad.

Check out the Knitmore Girls!