Episode 15: So.Much.DOWNTON!!!

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Hello Everyone and welcome back! We hope everyone had a very safe and happy New Year and that the year is going well for you so far!  If you’re just checking us out now, thank you very much for giving us a shot! If you’re a returning listener, thanks for coming back!

DOWNTON ABBEY TRIVIA CONTEST!!!! ROUND 1 !!

As mentioned in this episode and in previous episodes, this episode is the beginning of our Downton Abbey Trivia Contest!  All you need to do is be a member of our Ravelry group and click on the link below! It will direct you to Rafflecopter where you can answer this episode’s trivia contest and you can also earn extra entries in the draw by joining up at our other social media sites (it will do it automatically 😉 )  The raffle link will stay active for 1 week and we will draw for the winner and announce their name in the next podcast where we will ask a new question and a new link will be provided, as well as a new prize will be up for grabs!

The Prize for this episode is a large Downton Abbey notions pouch from Knitty Kat Bags and a Downton stitch marker set from The Vintage Rose

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and the question is: What country is Kemal Pamuk from?

Click below to Enter and Good luck Everyone!!!

Downton Abbey Trivia Contest No. 1 

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

Podcasts We Mention

The Knitmore Girls Podcast
The Knitgirllls

KAL/CALs

Katy will be starting on the Downton Abbey Season 5 MKAL as she purchased the new kit as well and she is currently participating in the neverending Behmalong from the Knitmoregirls podcast.  The Outlander MKAL shawl has been put on hold until April when the season resumes.

FOs

Katy finished a Barley hat with Berocco Vintage in a pretty Bergundy colour and added a 2 inch pompom on top! And IT WAS ALMOST LOST!!!! In the kerfuffle of her battery dying for her car, she dropped it at the garage. Fortunately, it was eventually found and picked up at the garage by her dad!! Yay!

Barley hat

Barley hat

Barley Hat - back view

Barley Hat – back view

WIPs

Katy has finished the huge diamond lace netting portion of her Orchid Thief Shawl and has casted on a Hitchhiker Shawl by Martina Behm and is using her new skein of Western Sky Knits mcn in the colourway ‘Rainbow Night’.  She is also still working on the ‘Snowball’s Chance in Hell’ mitts and has pulled out her husband’s ‘Clockwork’ to work on, possibly finish for Valentine’s Day.

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm in 'Rainbow Night' by Western Sky Knits

Hitchhiker by Martina Behm in ‘Rainbow Night’ by Western Sky Knits

Orchid Thief shawl by Ysolda Teague in 'Orchid' by Queare Fiber

Orchid Thief shawl by Ysolda Teague in ‘Orchid’ by Queare Fiber

Valerie is currently working on a cowl using Robin Charade art yarn in “Cabaret” using Susan Bates size 19 (15mm) needles.  She is not using any particular pattern.

Cabaret Cowl

Cabaret Cowl

Spinning

Katy had to put her wheel away for a bit – space constraint – but has been enjoying her spindles. On her drop spindle she is spinning ‘Herbs’ by Spun Right Round and that’s 100% Rambouillet. On her new Turkish Drop Spindle by Turtle Made, she started her Moon Rover Yarn braid in the colourway ‘Nebula’ and is loving every second of it!

'Nebula' by Moon Rover Yarn on a Turtle Made Turkish spindle

‘Nebula’ by Moon Rover Yarn on a Turtle Made Turkish spindle

'Herbs' by Spun Right Round on a regular drop spindle

‘Herbs’ by Spun Right Round on a regular drop spindle

Needs and Wants

NEED:  Katy needs to knit from stash for the rest of the year!!! Possibly just one little exception to purchase yarn for her birthday.  Valerie needs to look into renting an offsite storage unit to clear out the clutter from her apartment.

WANT: Katy wants a brighter outlook on 2015… cause the year hasn’t really started very well in her opinion.  Valerie wants a cleared out and organized balcony so she can enjoy it for this spring/summer.

WANT TO DO: Katy wants to see The Hobbit!!!! Cause she hasn’t yet, a whole lot of obstacles, ill-timed naps and toddler shenanigans have kept her from seeing it yet.  Valerie wants to make pom-poms for her cats as she thinks they’ll have fun playing with them!

WHAT WE LEARNED: Katy learned how to ply on the fly with her Turkish drop spindle!! It’s awesome and she feels like a little spider while doing it 🙂  Valerie learned quite a bit from gossip about old high school people with a friend.

You had me at Yarn!

Katy found out that Lorna’s Laces has new Princess Bride inspired colourways!  “As you Wish” and “Farmboy”!  She also wouldn’t go amiss at receiving a skein of “Zombody Loves Ewe” from Desert Vista Dyeworks for Valentine’s Day!

Valerie found a cute crochet pattern called “Mollie Flowers” by Brigette Read where you make a whole bunch of crocheted flowers and then join them together for a blanket.  The pattern is free on Ravelry.

New Stuff!

Katy’s mom made her a Downton Abbey Tote bag for her knitting! She plans on using it for the Downton Abbey MKAL shawl and other WIPs as well while she watches Downton. Our good friend Emily, aka Wenchfaery, also gifted Katy a Downton Abbey tea-for-one set which she squealed at and admitted she thought of buying when she first saw it as well 😉

Downton Abbey Tote Katy's mom made for her along with her Downton MKAL kit

Downton Abbey Tote Katy’s mom made for her along with her Downton MKAL kit

Downton Abbey tea-for-one set Emily had gifted to Katy for Christmas

Downton Abbey tea-for-one set Emily had gifted to Katy for Christmas

Valerie received a few belated Christmas gifts from Katy’s mom!  A beautiful Solomon’s Knot Mobius Wrap done in Red Heart Boutique Yarn and an awesome 100 Snowflakes to Crochet pattern book!  Valerie also received, at Christmas, a crochet pattern book from Katy and loves it 🙂

Solomon's Knot Mobius Wrap

Solomon’s Knot Mobius Wrap

Pattern Book!

Pattern Book!

Another pattern book!

Another pattern book!

Reading and Watching

Katy got to watch Guardians of the Galaxy again and loved it. She also watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with her husband. It seemed shorter but maybe it’s because all the other movies lately have been pretty long and this seemed to be more geared towards kids. Will Arnett was the best part of the movie for her!  Gotham is also on the watched list and is getting very good.  Valerie is watching Agent Carter starring Hayley Atwell, and though the television show is slow going at first, she really loves the character of Peggy Carter and thinks she is bad ass!  Valerie would like to begin watching Orphan Black as she’s heard many good things about it.

Katy also briefly started reading ‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell, just the first chapter as she had to get some shut eye.  Valerie is still reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, and when finished will begin to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

We both finally watched the Season 5 Downton Abbey Christmas Special and LOVED IT!  Katy cried when Tom, Mary and Edith were talking to Sybil and when Mr. Bates surprised Anna. Robert wins father of the year when he was talking to Edith! He’s the best ‘Donk’ ever!!! AND Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes are freaking adorbs!!!  That’s all we’ll say so as not to give too much away, but it was wonderful and opulent!

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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!!!