AJ Knits






February 2012
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Episode 36:

  1. Production scheduling – It feels so good to be back infront of the microphone! Not to be to Excusey but... there's a chineese curse. Or a saying that's been attributed as a chineese curse... That says May you live in interesting times. Life over here ahas taken a turn to the interesting to say the least.

    1. Production

    2. What’s in My Teapot

    3. Shipping

    4. Materials Sourcing

    5. After 5

  1. Production

    1. Soft Serve by fervid Design

      1. I found this while surfing Ravelry for interesting hats to make for my knit groups year of the baby contest. It looks like a swirl ofhbh DQ soft serve. I’m using the left overs from the Top Down raglan sweater.

    2. 10 stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown.

      1. My knittign grup is having a blanket drive for Project linus. I have a large amount of recycled afghan yarn ans thought this blanket mayhe a good use as It doesn't include my main turn off when it comes to blamkets. Long never ending rows. I have this cast on and I'm to the point of adding in the contrast color. I've ripped it out twice as I'm not happy with how the joing look. The prescribed SL1 K1 PSSO isn't workign for me. I may tear this out again and tinker with it some more.

      2. Find out more about project linus at www.projectlinus.org it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”

  1. What’s In my Tea Pot

    1. casablanca twist

      1. An interesting twist on classic Moroccan Mint tea, which traditionally combines Gunpowder green tea from China with fresh mint. We kept the latter, and replaced the smoky notes of Gunpowder with the muscatel highlights of a First Flush Darjeeling from India. The result is very a refreshing cup, with bold, cool minty notes, smooth and relaxing texture and flavor. Very intriguing cup.

  1. Shipping

    1. The Cupcake Hat

      1. The Cupcake Hat is done! In the end I gave up on the Heart Shaped Pompom as the cherry. I can’t believe that I do not have a pair of scissors in the house that can cut well in the channel of the pompom makers. <Grrrr> That’s one for the Christmas List! What I ended up going with was a cut Amigurumi cherry that I crocheted and stuffed with one of my misshapen heart pompoms. Instead of multi colored “sprinkles” I did a series of French Knots in red for “Cherry Chips” It’s Flat out adorable and since it’s red and White Vaentinesy I’ve been wearing it around town today.

      2. Top and side views are on my project page. (Yes, this may be a sign of the Apocalypse.)

    2. Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes

      1. Knit from my Nazar Boncugu Wollemeisse. ("nah-zahr bon-joo-ooh")

        1. I’ll butcher this name no more! I Looked it up and was surprised to find my blue yarn was named for the Turkish Evil Eye talismans. http://www.turkishclass.com/picture_11212Nazar Boncu─ču is traditional Turkish talisman, usually made of glass, in many stiles, from simple to ornate. There is belief between Turkish people that it absorbs bad energy coming from evil eyes.” Learn something new everyday!

      2. I have 4 more rows and the bind off to go!

      3. I had to tink back the last garter stitch rib 2X. <Grumble> I was too involved with Mathew and Mary on Downton Abbey and the 1st time purled the wrong side row as normal. The second time I knit the wrong side row but for got the YO increases. Then my screw together interchangeable needle fell apart and luckily nothing fot away. It was at that point that I put the project down and went off to cook dinner and take a breather. I sat down to pick it up again while watching yet more Downton and found that some grubby little fingers had moved Mommy’s sticky note and I knit the wrong row on the chart. Every thing in back in place for another go at it tonight. Hopefully I’ll have a better time of it.

  1. Material Sourcing

    1. Merino Camel Blend

      1. I’m still working on the Merino Camel blend. I have all the camel blended into the merino. I have all the rolags sitting on the entertainment center so that they yell “Spin ME!” every time I walk by. My goal was to get them done for the winter Spin along but seeing as that ends today…. I don’t think I’ll be making it.

      2. I am still less than thrilled with these merino locks. In addition to having all sorts of second cuts in this bag I found that the other half the bag was poorly washed and is sticky. From the smell I don’t think it’s lanolin I think it’s excess detergent. A LOT of excess detergent. My thought was to try and spin some of this merino from the lock… But I think I’ll be re washing some of this.

      3. From the looks of things I’m estimating that I’ll fill my second bobbin and maybe a bit of a third.

      4. Cant’s wait to see this plied!

  2. After 5

    1. Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet

      1. Snow Storm

      2. Winter Fest in February

      3. Brakes

    2. Crock Pot Yogurt

      1. OMG Soooo Good!

      2. http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html

      3. Use whole milk for thicker yogurt. I used 2% and mine was a bit on the runny side. It was thick just not as thick as commercial yogurt. That first swipe with the spoon through the crock pot was soooo worth the wait!

Direct download: Episode_36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19am EST

Episode 35:


  1. Production Scheduling

    1. Production

    2. What’s In my Tea Pot

    3. Shipping

    4. Materials Sourcing

    5. After 5


  1. Production

    1. The Holden Shawlette by Mindy W ilkes being knitted from Wollmeise Twin in Nazar Boncugu ( merino super wash, semisolid) Electric Blue. Ignored for hats.

    2. Cup Cake Hat by Jane Mack What can I say I can't resist a funky hat. I'm knitting this out of stashed left over acrylic. I'm on the 2nd row of Bobbles in the icing


  1. What’s In My Tea Pot


    1. Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Green Tea

i Don the wonder Intern found this one and was nice enough to gift me a box for Christmas.

ii. The Back of the Box:  While out Candy Cane Decaffeinated Green Tea may lack the traditional red and white stripes and candy cane shape associated with your traditional candy cane, that familiar minty taste is ever present.  We’ve taken some of our favorite holiday flavors like refreshing peppermint, creamy vanilla, and spicy cinnamon and mixed them with a naturally decaffeinated, rich green tea.

iii.Sooo yummy and just the ticket for when a winter cold settles into the sinuses. Plus and I know this has nothing to do with the tea… It has a festive Narwhal on the box! What is not to love about a Narwhal with ornaments on his horn! I give the tea high marks ad Don get’s big brownie points for getting me my own box.


  1. Shipping

    1. Top Down Raglan Baby Sweater by Carol Barenys from Loops and Threads

    2. The Perfect Beret by Janelle Masters Knit from my Lake Effect handspun. Great no nonsense beret pattern to have on hand. I did knit the medium size and the opening grew a bit I may ,make the small size for myself next time.


  1. Materials Sourcing

    1. I got the yen to do something with the fiber I have from Humphrey the camel. 

    2. When I bought the fiber I was told that the staple length was too short to spin on its own and that I’d have to blend it with something.

    3. Belleoftheball from #Spinchat recommended merino.  So after some thought I went to Etsy and bought some Merino locks.  The locks came pretty dirty and there are quite a few second cuts.  Not happy with them but I had been so Jazzed about taking this project to guild (and the drum carder!)  that I took it anyway.

    4. My research

i. Earlier in the week I did some trolling on the internet for advice on blending fibers and how to use a drum carder.  Ask the Bellwether sent me to … you guessed it YouTube!  (The Frugal fiber artists best friend) and once again to Rexenne.  (I’ve run into Rexenne’s videos before.  I used one when learned to Navajo Ply.)  Holy energy Batman!  She is really PUMPED about fiber in her videos!

ii. Rexenne had a 4 part series on You Tube on how to use the drum carder. How to make a bat, how to lend colors, and how to mix fibers.  (AHA!)

iii. Incredibly informative

    1. When I got to Guild I had a good idea of how things were supposed to work.

    2. My Process

i. First I ran through the merino Locks fluffing them out by hand so that they I could almost see through them. 

1. The merino was so fine that it was sticking to our hands and may have had a bit of static in it.

a. Things that I forgot

I A Pan / or bag to put the bats in

ii. My Hand card to use as a burnishing tool

iii. My sushi mat looking place mat to roll the bat off the drum (though we did fine without it)

2. We ran through enough locks to make 1 good size bat

3. I then Split the bat in halve and then quarters and ran one quarter onto the drum

4. Once I had the 1st layer off merino on the drum I applied a layer of the camel directly to the large drum over top the merino.hb I used pretty much the same motion that I would use to load my hand cards.

5. After that the second quarter of merino went through the carder producing a big sandwich which we sectioned off and ran through a few more times to blend.

6. Then f course I decided there wasn’t enough camel and had to do most of the process over a few times.  The 1st bat took FOREVER!  The second bat went much more quickly once we had the process down

7.      My only regret is that I only did about half my fiber and I have it all spun those 2 bats gave one of my small bobbins full.  I now either have to wait until the February meeting to use the drum carder on the rest or blend it with my cards at home. I may try to do some on the cards and see what the noticeable differences are in the single.  It might make an interesting juxtaposition between the two plies.

8.      Interesting thing I learned in this process…  My dad …who goes to guild meeting to eat…J  Likes to play with the drum carder.  Look out Hank’s in the Hood!  Bob on the Boulevard may be comin’ for ya!

  1. After 5

    1. Cheese Crackers

i. I’ve been looking out for a recipe that was similar to the cheese crackers I ate at the guild Christmas party. I think I found one!

ii. http://busycooks.about.com/od/quickbreads/r/cheesecrack.htm

iii. I found one on about.com (there’s a link in the show notes)

iv. They take a whole stick of butter but the boys had them gone in one night and were asking about them the next day.  So double up the batch they are small. J

v.This is also a great use for left over grated cheese.  We usually have grated cheese in bags in the fridge for on top of Tacos, chili, and pizza… we love our cheese. So you can imagine my dismay that I didn’t have the 2 cups I needed for the recipe. So I went through the fridge and combined all of the cheesed I had.  Mostly cheddar, some fiesta taco blend, some mozzarella….  They turned out soooo good. Just like a cheez it with out the sonic orange coloring.  (And no Cheez food product!)

vi. I keep trying to make another batch of these but the butter has to be really softened to mix with the cheese.  I keep taking out the butter to soften and it either meets with an untimely demise… sat to close to the toaster oven and turned to goo or I forget about it which had been driving Joe a bit batty.  “Something weird is going on and I don’t think you’re doing it.”  “Oh really?  What’s that”  “I keep finding sticks of butter left out in the kitchen.”  Hahahahahah!  “Seriously that was me!  I’ve been trying to make cheese crackers all week and I keep forgetting or get distracted!”

    1. Nifty gizmo

i.A while back I tried to buy a pompom maker for hat’s and such. I saw one on sale at hobby lobby and picked it up only to realize when I got it home that it made heart shaped pom poms instead of round ones. It’s been languishing in my project bin. I’ve been playing with it this week and have yet to get any more than a vaguely heart shaped mass of yard. It’s fun to play with but will take some mastery. May be a good use for some ratty acrylic I have around the house.

    1. 3 videos up on the show notes for Humble Pie or … Episode 34 A few more to go. They are o frills but a few sections are interesting

    2. Still haven’t heard from 2 of the winners from the Christmas memory contest. I’ll give it another week and then I’ll ear burn you on Ravelry just incase you’re behind on podcasts like I am.

Direct download: epospde_35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:08am EST