Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Episode 49 Chat with Sir Willie and Jose McVean

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current episode and previous episodes.
This show is sponsored by my Longaberger home business and Quince & Co.  Visit Quince & Co for nature inspired yarns spun from American wool.  Sign up for their free weekly e-newsletter. 
Welcome to New Pipeliners!
Larry, Jill, Marie, Sarah, Kathy, Mina, Charissa, Erin, Deb, Shelly, and Missy.  If you are a new Pipeliner, do let me know so I can recognize you on the show!
Thanks to wv kelly and mamaorga for the iTunes reviews!
Marie, who is also Sopaipillas left a review on the German iTunes.  Marie, thanks for letting me know.  If you do leave a review on your own country’s iTunes, do let me know, as these do not show up on the U.S. iTunes. 

Pipeliner Notes
 Thank you to everyone who has written to me and left messages on the board.  About the word “skirl” as in “the skirling of the pipes, Louise of the Caithness CraftCollective podcast said that it can be used to illustrate the sound of a screaming of a bairn such as,  She is fair skirlin’.  What’s wrong?  
I read notes from Shelly in Atlanta and knitternurse.   A tip regarding using two needles of different sizes:  Knitternurse wrote that only the right needle needs to be the proper size.    
Moz wrote about my wool label on Bob’s Norwegian Setesdal Sweater.  To stabilize the label while writing on it with a parker, iron freezer paper to the backside before writing on it. 
I tell a funny story about Bob correcting me when I used the term "spit join". 
Nature Notes
Plant a tree if you can.  Trees are important for all wildlife.  Trees can keep your house cooler in the summer.
I read a (rather long, sorry!) poem.  Plant a Tree by Lucy Larcom.   "He who plants a tree, plants a hope."  I love that!


He who plants a tree

Clear DotPlants a hope.

Clear DotRootlets up through fibres blindly

Clear Dotgrope;

Leaves unfold into horizons free.

Clear DotSo man's life must climb

Clear DotFrom the clods of time

Clear DotUnto heavens sublime.

Canst thou prophesy, thou little tree,

What the glory of thy boughs shall

Clear Dot be? He who plants a tree

Clear DotPlants a joy;

Clear DotPlants a comfort that will never cloy;

Every day a fresh reality,

Clear DotBeautiful and strong,

Clear DotTo whose shelter throng

Clear DotCreatures blithe with song.

If thou couldst but know, thou happy tree,

Of the bliss that shall inhabit thee!

He who plants a tree,--

Clear DotHe plants peace.

Clear DotUnder its green curtains jargons cease.

Leaf and zephyr murmur soothingly;

Clear DotShadows soft with sleep

Clear DotDown tired eyelids creep,

Clear DotBalm of slumber deep.

Never hast thou dreamed, thou blessed tree,

Of the benediction thou shalt be.

He who plants a tree,--

Clear DotHe plants youth;

Clear DotVigor won for centuries in sooth;

Life of time, that hints eternity!

Clear DotBoughs their strength uprear;

Clear DotNew shoots, every year,

Clear DotOn old growths appear;

Thou shalt teach the ages, sturdy tree,

Youth of soul is immortality.

He who plants a tree,--

Clear DotHe plants love,

Clear DotTents of coolness spreading out above

Wayfarers he may not live to see.

Clear DotGifts that grow are best;

Clear DotHands that bless are blest;

Clear DotPlant! life does the rest!

Heaven and earth help him who plants a tree,

And his work its own reward shall be.

Clear Dotby Lucy Larcom Born March 5, 1824; Died April 27, 1893


  • Sock Summit  July 26 through 31
  • Stitches Midwest 25-26
  • Knitting Pipeline Retreat.  March 2-3 Washington IL  (near Peoria) Send email to so I can create a mailing list. 
In The Piping Circle
I chat with Willie and Jose McVean about The Netherlands, Dutch Pipes and Drums, Willie's home country of Scotland, his recent knighthood distinction, and some knitting!  Jose's mother knitted kilt hose for the entire pipe band.  (photo of hose coming soon!)

Jose ("Yo-say") McVean and Sir Willie McVean at Chicago Highland Games

Happy Birthday, Jose!

I said that the fastest knitter in the world is from The Netherlands. That was Miriam Tegels.  I think this lady is now claim to the title (she won the competition).  Look at her gorgeous Fair Isle!

STV: Scottish Lady is World's Fastest Knitter.  (Sorry I cannot embed in blog but they disabled the code.)
Thanks to Dutch Pipes and Drums for permission to play their music on Knitting Pipeline.  You may purchase CD's and DVD's at  This week's selection is "Arrival" which is Track 2 on In Concert.

Haste ye back!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Episode 48 A Soothing Shawlette

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current episode and all past episodes.

Thank you to Quince & Co for sponsoring this episode of Knitting Pipeline.  10% off your order ($20 min) with code KP62011 through June 30, 2011!

Welcome to New Pipeliners 

Sally from Cleveland, Susan, Beverly, Leislknits, Jeri, Arlene, MontanaSue, and Kathy Green! 

Thanks to knitstersusan for the Thumbs Up iTunes Reviews!

I found out that I need to change my country on iTunes to see reviews from outside the U.S.  A big thanks to Canadian Pipeliners: Djdee, Debbie, Clementine 22, and KnittingJane.

KnittingJane wrote in her review:  My dad was born in Edinburgh and the skirl of the pipes always sends a shiver down my spine. 

I wonder about the word skirl since it I have only heard it used in relation to bagpipes.  Do any other musical instruments have words that describe their sound exclusively?   That is a question for Martha and Grant of A Way with Words.  Check out this show/podcast!  It is fantastic!

 Pipeliner News

Joy (nitiram on Ravelry) started Kevin Fan Club on our board.  Kevin is our good friend and the announcer on the podcast.  I will get him on the show soon!

Anna Lena's Evenstar Shawl won a Blue Ribbon at the County Fair. Well done! (Pattern by Susan Pandorf)

I read notes from Pipeliners Maggie H and Shanna about going into Squirrel Mode when packing for a trip.  Patti/Wombat knitter links to podcasts on Facebook as she listens.  Great idea! I’m going to do that also.  JanMarie’s note was so clever.  She thinks that I’d better watch out since my husband suggested the ruffle on LaLa’s Simple Shawl…he might be turning into the next Stephen West.  I love reading your notes!

Ravelry Notes

Michele from the Quad Cities friended me today and I responded that I thought we already were friends. Lately I’ve been friended by people on Ravelry and I am fairly certain we were already friends.  Maybe we’ve just corresponded enough that I felt we were.  Michele wrote, “I’m curious how people use their “friends” on Ravelry.  I figure this is a work in progress.”

On an earlier episode I told you how I use the friends feature on Ravelry but what about you?  Share your ways of using the friends feature and I will share your tips on the show.

Giveaway Notes

This week’s giveaway is a skein of Simply Fine in your choice of color from Green Mountain Spinnery.  Many of you wrote that you loved the color I had and hope to get the same.  The color that I reviewed is "Variegated".

The winner is Jeri who is Patternwhisperer on Ravelry. Jeri, please contact me and I will let you know how to claim your beautiful skein of Simply Fine.

Nature Notes

After a big thunderstorm early one morning I encountered a baby robin on the sidewalk.  The nest was too high to reach and the mother bird was sitting on the nest.  The bird was close to death.  At moments like these I remind myself that nature does account for such accidents of nature.  It sounds a bit callous but there is consolation in knowing that a bird lays a sufficient number of eggs to ensure survival.  The main factor that nature cannot control is mankind.  We need to do what we can to minimize damage.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. 
 --J. Lubbock.  British Statesman 1834-1913

Needle Notes

I finished my second And So Are You Shawlette by Rose Beck of RosyPosy Designs.   I love this cuddly shawl.  Finished measurements are 15" deep, 50" across and an astounding 11 ft from tip to tip along the outside border edge.

I used 30% of the total yardage for the border, which is 2".  The yarn is delicious Opulence from The Woolen Rabbit.  Colorway: Iris.


Take a load off your circular needles when you have so many stitches.  I was using Knit Picks Options Needles so I turned the one circular needle into two very long needles with the purple stoppers at one end of each needle. If you do not have interchangeable needles try using two circular needles even if one is not exactly the same size. Twist a rubber band around the non-working end of the needle. For a border such as this a slight difference in needle size would not make much difference and would probably be indetectable.

I continue knitting Triangular Summer Shawl by Nancy Bush.  I am getting pretty good at nupps now!

I started Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Valimaki.  The yarn is Quince & Co Tern in Stonington and Oyster.  Tern is a blend of merino wool and tussah silk.  So soft and wonderful to work with. Garter stitch goodness and a stripes are a combination I can hardly resist!

Ready to begin a new project!

Quince & Co Tern in Stonington and Oyster

Yes, the design is assymetrical.
The Blethering Room

I'm moving along on the Stash Dash 5K with The Knit Girllls.  My total yardage is now 2,354.  I will post over there soon.
I do not recommend knitting laceweight yarn on a small needle to try to use up stash!

In the Piping Circle

Singing Happy Birthday to Jose.
Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums competed in the Chicago Highland Games.  We were fortunate to have The Pipe Major of Dutch Pipes and Drums, Willie McVean, and his wife Jose (Yo-say) with us.  It was Happy Birthday to Jose at our band tents!  I gave her the Merope Shawl from Romi's Seven Small Shawls knitted with Woolen Rabbit Harmony in the Chiquita colorway.

Massed Bands after a long day at the Games.
Aren't these little tenor drummers the cutest things ever?
The two on the left have curly red hair with a red ribbon braided through their plaits.

In Piping our lifelines are our fellow bandmates, the other pipers and drummers.  When one piper falters another will pick up the slack.  We play as a team, just as a team in sporting events.

Remember to share how you use the Friend Feature on Ravelry.  Do you "drive by" friend?   Do you group your friends?  Share with me and I'll share your tips on an upcoming episode.

The tune is Morgan's Magan by Turlough O'Carolan performed by Healing Muses on the CD Dolce Musica.

Haste ye back!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Episode 47 The Day a Knight Came to Dinner

Listen here or use the Flash player on the show blog.

Sign up for the free e-newsletter from Quince & Co.  Your name will be entered into a drawing for a Quince tote with 10 skeins of yarn of your choice!  Drawing will be held on Sunday June 19th.  Those who are already signed up for the newsletter are already in the drawing!
The Quince Sale for Pipeliners has been extended to July 1, 2011!  Enjoy 10% off your order of $20 or more!  Use the promo code KP62011 at checkout.

This week's giveaway sponsor is Green Mountain Spinnery.  Leave a comment (with your contact information or link to your blog) below and your name will go into a drawing for a skein of Simply Fine in your choice of color!  (The color I reviewed is the gray on the far right in photo.  yum)  The drawing will be held at noon on Thursday June 23 CDT.

Simply Fine Yarn by Green Mountain Spinnery
Pipeliner Notes 
Welcome to New Pipeliners: Sarahapple, Jo, Tink, zknits, Jennie, duBedaare, Lizzy B, Erica, Lisa, Terri, Kimberly, and Scarhandpiper!
Thanks for the iTunes reviews: mtk3, angelluna20, DCknitter, silverpennies, PostLeslie, and twinsetjan!

Thanks for your feedback on the Kate's Shawl episode.  I think I see I lot of ruffles in the future of Pipeliners.
I read a funny note from Kathleen Kibblehouse.  She cracks me up.

Giveaway Notes
There are four winners this week! When you contact me let me know which pattern you prefer or whether it makes no difference.  We have 3 copies of Esther Budd's HRH Kate's Shawl and one copy of another pattern from me.  I thought another designer had agreed to donate a pattern but I was mistaken.  I have taken care of this by purchasing the pattern for the winner.  Thank you, Esther!

Congratulations to our winnners!
  • sabafartash (Sabine)
  • Kei
  • Carla (1to1)
  • Caitlin
 If I don't hear from you within a week I will contact you with the good news!
Nature Notes

I bought the iBird app for the Midwest U.S.A.  I found it useful in the field in trying to identify a bird.
I tell a story about my husband defending himself with a tennis racket in the face of a wild blue jay.

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
--Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Needle Notes

LaLa's Simple Shawl:  I added a ruffle in garter stitch, a suggestion from my husband.  He's quite pleased with himself and I think it's cute.  I used all but about 8 yds of the 2 skeins of Plymouth Happy Feet.

I finished my first And So Are You by Rose Beck from the Be Mine Collection.

Again, foiled by a pleated border!  I told you these ruffles and pleats are yarn hogs and I wasn't kidding!  I thought I had about 200-250 yds for the border and yet I had to leave out the last increase and a few rows.  The pattern did not specify what kind of bind off to use but it did say to "bind off in pattern".  You can bind off in pattern using the Russian Bind Off, my current favorite.  See video tutorial.  I love the color of this shawl and the pleated border.

I started on Triangular Summer Shawl from Estonian Lace by Nancy Bush.  Laceweight yarn by Knit Picks.  This bit represents an estimated 15 hours of knitting.

The Blethering Room
Romi aka Rosemary Hill is starting a new series of shawls.  Seven Small Shawls Year Two: The Muses.  $20.  If you purchased the first book you should have received a coupon code so you can purchase the new collection for $16.  Use it by June 30th.  The patterns will be released as Romi completes them.
When packing my knitting for vacation I went into Squirrel Mode, stashing balls of yarn in nooks and crannies of my bags.  What was I thinking?  I didn't even have time to start on the Kilkenny Cowl by Pam Allen.  I have Chickadee in the Clay colorway set aside for this project. 
 Book and Yarn Notes
Thank you to Green Mountain Spinnery for sending these products for review.
Simply Fine is as close to handspun as you can find in a machine spun wool.  60% merino and 40% kid mohair.  It has a clean sheep smell and feels delicious.  I LOVE IT!  Highly recommended.  450 yds per 100 gr skein. One skein will be enough for a small shawl or a pair of socks.

The book contains a history of the working coop, a day in the life of Green Mountain Spinnery, 36 original patterns by various designers, some techniques, and a nifty thumbnail photo index of the patterns.  Charts are large and easy to read.  Nice large font.  Good layout and photos. About half the patterns are sweaters/vests and the rest include socks, shawls/scarves, baby and children items, hats, mittens, and even an entrelac afghan.  The working coop is environmentally conscious and an all-round good business to support.  They use local sheep and other fiber sources when available.  Recommended.
In The Piping Circle
The band competed in the Milwaukee Highland Games.  I'm the shortest piper in the band, behind the tenor drummer twirling the sticks when we are standing in the circle.  On June 18th we compete in the Chicago Highland Games in Itasca IL.
My band mates, Rob and Deb, have friends from The Dutch Pipes and Drums visiting them this week.  I invited them all over for dinner.  Willie is the Pipe Major for The Dutch Pipes and Drums and Jose (pronounced Josay or Yosay) is a piper also.  Then Rob told me that Willie has been knighted, hence the title of the podcast.  I didn't know that when I invited them but it didn't make any difference.  I was going to use my crock pot anyway.  It was a perfect evening but I forgot to take photos!
You can read about Willie receiving his knighthood title here on the May 2, 2011 entry.  He was bestowed the decoration of "Knight of the Order of Oranje Nassau".  Am I impressed?  Yes!
There are photos of Willie and Jose at our band rehearsal on my personal blog A Piper Knits.  Here's one photo of the 3 of us before we started playing.

Willie, Paula, and Jose

In honor of Willie and Jose I have included a selection from The Dutch Pipes and Drums after the theme music.  This is Track 1 which is Meeting of The Waters and The Badge of Scotland.
Purchase the CD In Concert here.  Thank you to Willie and The Dutch Pipes and Drums for permission to share their music on the podcast!
Haste ye back!

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.