Thursday, February 20, 2014

Episode 56 - Sunset at the beach

We recorded episode 56 at the beach. Sometimes evening recording calls for inventive recording locations but we always enjoy the views. This time we were lucky again to spy some dolphins swimming in the bay. No matter how many times I see dolphins frolicking, they still bring a smile to my face.

Gayle and I are attending a local fiber industry event called Stitches West this week. We will be there several days and it is the one big fiber event that we attend every year without fail. If you are in the west and attending, please don't hesitate to look for us and say "hi." If you attend other fiber events, you can understand our excitement!

Thanks to everyone who answered our request for iTunes written and star reviews. We appreciate it! If you live outside the US please know you can still review the podcast, though your review shows up in the iTunes store of the country where you reside. We may not see them all (mainly because we won't know it is there!) but we are grateful for the support and kind words.

So sit back, pick up your knitting, and enjoy the podcast!
- Sharlene

What are we wearing?
Dragonflies Jumper by Joji Locatelli
Sharlene's Dragonflies
Solstice Cardigan by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
Gayle's Solstice

What are we stalking?
Salchow Trio by Monika Sirna
Patterns for 500 yards of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk+
Sweet Cables by Joji Locatelli
See You There by Joji Locatelli
Laneway by Veera Valimaki
Sunburst Shirt Dress by Anna Cohen
Rimrock Cardigan by Anna Cohen
Essential Sweater Dress by Anna Cohen

What are we knitting?
Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroku Fukatsu
Sharlene is also working on a soon-to-be-released cardgian by Joji Locatelli

What have we finished?
Another Halos hat
Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
Sharlene's Hermione Socks
Seamless Salomas Slippers by Megan Williams
Sharlene's slippers
Seaman's Cap by Benda Zuk
Gayle's Seaman's Cap
Bigger Booga Bag by Julie Anderson
Gayle's Booga
The Barley Hat by tincanknits
Gayle's Barley

We talk about a new collection of patterns from Joji Locatelli and Veera Valimaki called Interpretations. This is the Ravelry link where you can view all 12 pattern pages.
The Interpretations look book can be found here

We also review the Imperial Stock Ranch Imperial Yarns Erin worsted yarn.

Episode 56 - Audio link

Click here for episode 56 audio.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Episode 55 - Imperial Stock Ranch

It is no secret that both Gayle and I are fans of Imperial Stock Ranch yarns. I love the fact that in a global wool economy, the yarn I purchase from Imperial is comparatively "local." I love the fact that the ranch is a family-owned business. I love that I can talk to the person who raises the sheep, knows the history of all the buildings on the ranch, pays the bills, and selects new colors for the yarn lines. Imperial Stock Ranch is that kind of a place.

Olympic sweater, back, Imperial Yarns Erin base.
Gayle and I were lucky enough to catch Jeanne Carver the day before the opening ceremonies of the XXII Olympic Winter Games. It was the day before the US Olympic Team would attend the opening ceremony wearing the Ralph Lauren-designed sweaters made from Imperial Yarns--5.6 million yards of their Erin base to be exact, some 6250 pounds of wool. The story of how their yarns went from sheep to Olympic sweater is worth watching.  View it here, as told by Ralph Lauren.

If you visit the Imperial Stock Ranch website, you will see there are three areas to the ranch, producing meat, textiles, and yarns

Other stories about the ranch and the wool:
Oregon wool in Olympic Sweaters, from The Bulletin
Imperial Ranch entering apparel field, from The Oregonian

This eleven-minute video gives the best overview of the whole ranch operation, as told by the Oregon Field Guide.

Olympic sweater, front, Imperial Yarns Erin base.
To see the sweaters worn by the Olympians, view this article here, as told by Today.

Our short hour with Jeanne didn't allow us to talk about all the history of the ranch, but you can find out more here, as told by Jeanne to the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education organization.

You want cute lambs? Find them here, and find out what happens when ewes give birth to triplets.

This is a nice photo essay on the day the Imperial Collection was photographed, from The Oregonian.

There is also a short video that was put together by the local NBC affiliate about the ranch, the yarn, and the Erin wool that was chosen for the Olympic sweater. It can be viewed here.

At the beginning of our chat, Jeanne mentioned she could see snow outside and how the land needed the moisture. A ranch--like any living being--needs certain things to survive and flourish. The welcome moisture in the dry climate is just one of many needs. The ranch's current caretakers Jeanne and Dan Carver are giving back to the land in many ways, and Imperial Ranch willingly gives in return. As fiber artists, we have the opportunity to pick and choose the tools of our creation. I know that I will be using Imperial Yarns in the future. I too want to be part of the Imperial Stock Ranch story.

- Sharlene

Episode 55 Audio link

Click here for episode 55 audio.
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