Episode 14: Happy New Year!

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Hi Everyone! Welcome back and if you’re a new listener thank you for checking us out! We also hope everyone had a lovely holiday season!  Val & Katy mentioned Diwali and Ramadan in the Happy Holidays greetings, unaware that they had happened earlier in the year.  We apologize, but hope that whoever celebrated had a good one! We also hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!

In our next episode, in celebration of the release of Season 5 of Downton Abbey in the US and Canada, we will be beginning Downton Trivia contest! The trivia questions will be from Seasons 1-4 of Downton Abbey and will span all of our social media outlets; Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! So if you’re not joined up, you should probably do so!  THERE WILL BE PRIZES!! AWESOME PRIZES!! We have had generous donations from Canon Hand Dyes, The Vintage Rose , Knitty Kat Bags , and Jimmy Beans Wool and they are so, so wonderful! Please be sure to visit these shops, because they are fantastic and we can’t guarantee Katy won’t run away to Mexico with the prizes! They’re that good!!!

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Shops We Mention

Canon Hand Dyes
Vintage Rose
Must Stash Yarns
Moonrover Yarns
Knitpicks
Western Sky Knits
Turtle Made
Jimmy Beans Wool
Knitty Kat Bags
Desert Vista Dyeworks
Marigoldjen

Podcasts We Mention

The Knitmore Girls
Knit 1 Geek 2
Minerva Turkey Knits Podcast
The Knitgirllls

FOs and HOs

FO’s:  Val created many Christmas presents.  Crochet Wristlets in Candy STripe and Black by Red Heart Super Saver yarn for Katy and a pair of Pixie Slippers Socks in the same colourway for Katy.  Val made 7 pairs of Pixie Slipper Sox in total for friends and family. Val would also like to get her hands on some pom pom makers so she can make fuller pom poms… even though the small ones are super cute 😉

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Katy finished the Fairbanks cowl for her Mother-in-Law using Madelinetosh Tosh DK in ‘Isadora’ and she absolutely loved it! She also finished ZuZu’s Petals by Carina Spencer out of her handspun ‘Split’ by Squoosh Fiber Arts. It turned out so well and there was enough left over for Mom to make herself some fingerless mitts to match!

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HO’s – Val is working on her Corner to Corner crochet baby blanket and is in the decreasing stage of the pattern.

WIPS

Val is already working on dishcloths for next Christmas, and is determined to finish her crochet Triangle Shawl before spring. Katy is still working on the ‘Snowball’s Chance in Hell’ mitts for her friend, but she is also working on her Orchid Thief shawl and various socks that are on the needles.

Christmas Dishcloth WIP!

Christmas Dishcloth WIP!

Goals for 2015

So instead of our Needs and Wants, we decided to post our goals for crafting in 2015:

Val’s goals are to knit more socks for herself and restart & finish the Orchid Thief Shawl.

Katy wants to finish as many of her WIPs as possible and continue spinning as time allows. She would also like to knit one sweater for herself and one for her son.

You Had Me @ Presents

At KnittyKatBags‘ Christmas party, Val purchased some presents for herself which included a Boxy Project Bag and Notions Pouch done in a cherry blossom fabric.  For Christmas, Katy and her husband got Val the matching Knitting Tote and now Val has the complete set!  Val also received a Sassy Fox notions pouch and a skein of Knitpicks Hawthorne Fingering yarn in Ladd’s Addition.

Cherry Blossom bag set from KnittyKatBags!

Cherry Blossom bag set from KnittyKatBags!

Cupcake Box bag and Sassy Fox Notions Pouch

Cupcake Box bag and Sassy Fox Notions Pouch

Ladd's Addiction!

Ladd’s Addition!

Katy received a sweater quantity of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Garnet Heather to make the Freeport Cardigan, Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin, Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey, Topsy Turvy knit toys by Susan B Anderson and a super cute kitty tape measure from her Mom. Mom also made Katy a pretty pair of ‘Be Mine’ socks out of Patons Kroy sock yarn in Red. She also received the awesome mitts and slippers from Val as pictured above and are already being used regularly!!! Cause they’re awesome!!! Katy actually received a bit of money and bought herself a skein of MCN ‘Rainbow Night’ by Western Sky Knits, a black and pink 3D printed Turkish Drop Spindle by Turtle Made on etsy, ‘A Cog in the Wheel’ shawl kit from Marigoldjen, a skein of ‘Cocoa Mint Quilt’ by Desert Vista Dyeworks and a Downton Abbey 2015 MKAL kit from Jimmy Beans Wool featuring Lorna’s Laces shepherd sock in ‘Edith’s Secret’ and ‘Farwell’. Yep, that’s it for Katy… for forever! LOL

What We’re Reading and Watching

Both Val & Katy watched the Tudor Monastery Christmas Special and loved the history behind Mincemeat Pies and Spices.

Katy actually (for real) read two whole books! Both by Rainbow Rowell, she read ‘Fangirl’ and ‘Eleanor & Park’ and enjoyed them both very much!! Val is re-reading a Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, and after hearing so many good things from Katy about Fangirl, will be reading that as well.

Val watched Downton Abbey Christmas Special and all she’ll reveal is that she cried in 2 places.  Katy still needs to watch it but she did rewatch Guardians of the Galaxy and watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

After recording, we both saw on YouTube the Special Episode of Downton Abbey for ‘Text Santa’ featuring Mr. George Clooney! It’s hilarious but has a few spoilers, so if you haven’t watched all of Downton up to Season 4, let it be the icing on your cake when you finish!

Downton Abbey Text Santa Special – Part 1
Downton Abbey Text Santa Special – Part 2

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We’d like to wish each and every one of you a very happy New Year and may your families prosper in health and love through all of 2015! Happy Crafting everyone!!

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Episode 13: Sweatshop Clone

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Hi Everyone! Welcome back and if you’re a new listener thank you for checking us out!

Just an announcement that we’re taking an episode break because of the holidays. So there will be no December 15th episode. But….

…In January, in celebration of the release of Season 5 of Downton Abbey in the US and Canada, we will be holding a Downton Trivia contest! The trivia questions will be from Seasons 1-4 of Downton Abbey and will span all of our social media outlets; Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook! So if you’re not joined up, you should probably do so!  THERE WILL BE PRIZES!! AWESOME PRIZES!! We have had generous donations from Canon Hand Dyes and The Vintage Rose and they are so, so wonderful! Please be sure to visit these shops, because they are wonderful and we can’t guarantee Katy won’t run away to Mexico with the prizes! They’re that good!!!

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Shops We Mention

Canon Hand Dyes
Vintage Rose
Must Stash Yarns
Moonrover Yarns
Knitpicks
Gnome Acres
Interweave Knits
Knitsomniac Design

 

Podcasts We Mention

The Knitmore Girls
Knit 1 Geek 2
Minerva Turkey Knits Podcast
Dancing Geek Podcast
The Fat Squirrel Speaks

Events

The Royal Winter Fair – November 7-16, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario – Exhibition Place
Katy attended on November 16th with Agents of Sheep to compete in the Sheep to Shawl competition. It was a total blast even though we were all up at the crack of dawn!  We got in the groove and this was our first time as a team competing in the Sheep to Shawl Competition. After 4 long hours spinning, plying and weaving… our team gathered in the East Annex to find out how we did! And…. WE CAME IN 5TH our of 9 teams!!! Which is a really good debut and we were all very pleased. Our shawl (theme was Out of the Darkness and Into the Light) sold at auction for $100 too!  Our team photo afterwards was sent to Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson from the Marvel Universe) and he had retweeted our photo, which was a pretty cool cherry on top!  We can’t wait till next year!!

Agents of Sheep - Kris, Karen, Michelle, Kerry, Katy and Maggie

Agents of Sheep – Kris, Karen, Michelle, Kerry, Katy and Maggie

Spinning & Plying at Sheep to Shawl

Spinning & Plying at Sheep to Shawl

Katy aka Agent Twist plying away

Katy aka Agent Twist plying away

Our Finished Shawl!

Our Finished Shawl!

On the Auction Table

On the Auction Table

 

 

 

 

 

 

KAL/CALs

We have our Loved Ones KAL and also our Corner to Corner crochet afghan CAL going on till the end of the year. They may be extended or they may just fizzle out. But we hope, if you participated, that you had fun. Let us know in our Ravelry group what you’d like to do in the future.

FOs and HOs

Valerie finished a pair of Pixie Slipper Sox with a pom pom on each foot for a family member for Christmas in the two shades of brown she described in Episode 12.

Katy finished one of the ‘Snowball’s Chance in Hell’ mitts and is waiting till December to cast on the second one because she’s working on some Christmas gifts.

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WIPs

Valerie is working on a pair of pixie slipper sox in Grape Fizz and Amethyst Red Heart Super Saver for someone special as a surprise Christmas present. As well as some fun various and assorted dishcloths that she can have ready for last-minute gifts.

Katy is working on a gift for her mom (details after the holidays cause Mom listens 😉 ). She’s also almost done the Elsa and Anna socks from Must Stash Yarns in the sport sock base. And, if that’s not enough, she cast on the Fairbanks Cowl in Madelinetosh Tosh DK in the colourway ‘Isadora’ for her mother-in-law. She had the yarn in her stash too so, shopping from stash for the win!

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Needs and Wants

Katy needs sleep and more time to knit her gifts. Valerie needs socks and underwear from Santa!!

Valerie wants a bottle of Hypnotic Poison by Dior and Katy wants LUSH bath products…and a relaxing bath.

Valerie learned about Perfumed Court; a perfume/fragrance decanting site highly recommended by twitter friend. Katy learned that coffee is her friend!

Katy wants to do more spinning and Valerie wants to bake Christmas Cookies!

New Stuff
Val picked up two skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn at Walmart and another pair of needles. The colourways that caught her eye were Grape Fizz and Candy Print.

Katy was enabled by The Minerva Turkey Knits podcast to pick up a braid of Moonrover Yarnsfibre in the colourway ‘Nebula’ it’s gorgeous!!! And she didn’t break her ‘yarn’ diet either… cause this was fibre!!

Nebula by Moonrover Yarn

Nebula by Moonrover Yarn

Katy’s mon also purchased the Interweave Knits Gift issue where she found the pattern for the Fairbanks Cowl that she’s knitting for her mother-in-law! Lots of pretty hats too, a shawl with 2 sizes, a little girl’s tea party and lots of cool fun things to knit for gifts!

You Had Us at Yarn… and Patterns… and Podcasts!

Val went and logged on to and found two great colourways that she wants! The First is ‘Under the Tree’ which is lovely Christmas colours as if you were lying under your tree and looking up at all the pretty lights, ornaments and tinsel… and you can get that one in her Sparkle Gnome base so you actually can have tinsel in your yarn! And the other is ‘Eddie Griswold’, which of course is a character from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which is a favourite of ours at Christmas. The yarn is white, brown and leisure suit blue! Perfect!

Katy discovered a new-to-her knitting podcast called Dancing Geek Podcast on Youtube! His name is James, he lives in the UK and he’s adorable! Check him out if you have the chance. She also discovered that Knitsomniac Design on Etsy is carrying pretty tweed sock and dk yarn in the colourways “SherLOCKed” and “Tardis” … her geeky little heart yearns for them.

Val also found some cute Christmas patterns for you:
Christmas Lights on Ravelry – crochet your own string of pretty Christmas lights!
Christmas Characters Amigurumi ornaments – Super cute for the tree this year, or stocking stuffers for a friend!

Here are a couple special mentions for the knitter on your Christmas Gift list!

Tiny Rudolph – this tiny little guy is premade with clay antlers! You can also request to get a key fob on him for your keys!

Yarn Texture Smartphone Case – get this for your tech-savvy knitter and they’ll be happy all year!

What We’re Reading and Watching

Valerie is still reading through the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, she’s in the middle of The Fiery Cross. Katy isn’t reading anything because it would cut into her limited knitting time… but she’d love to be reading something 😉

We’re both also watching Tudor Monastery Farm on TV Ontario (TVO) and are loving it! We love the farm shows and this is the same group of people who made the Victorian and Edwardian Farm series.

AND!!!! We both watched the Season 5 finale of Downton Abbey online and we won’t give too much away but … Rose is gorgeous and is lucky to have such a wonderful father, Robert made us cry with his admissions and discoveries and his actions for Mrs. Patmore, and…OMG ANNA!!! That’s all we’re gonna say! 😉 Tune in to Season 5 in January and come back for our Downton Trivia contest and you can chat all you want about it in our Downton Chat Thread on our Ravelry group!!!

Talking Point

So we were discussing whether items made with a knitting machine or loom are less ‘handmade’ than ones knit by needle or hook.

Valerie and I are in agreement that if you make the time to craft something for someone, even if you use a knitting machine or loom, that it doesn’t make it any less handmade. Especially if you can’t use your hands because of an injury or arthritis.

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We hope you enjoyed this episode and we hope you all have a lovely Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year if we don’t release our next episode until January 1st! Everyone be safe and have a wonderful Holiday!

As always, itunes reviews and star ratings are much appreciated and please come and join us in our Ravelry Group for our KAL/CALs, contests and just plain good ol’ conversation. Take care and have a good fortnight everyone!!!