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

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

Friday, June 27, 2014

Episode 176 A Pigeon Called Martha

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by my Longaberger Home Business and Quince & Co. I am also a Craftsy Affiliate.
Quince & Co Piper is our pretty little southern bird. We sourced the softest super fine kid mohair we could find from a Texas herd of angora goats and blended it with super fine Texas merino to make a lighter-than-air, almost lace weight single-ply yarn. Piper has a pretty halo and a subtle sheen, thanks to the long, silky fibers of the mohair. Find Piper and the other Quince fibers at

You can find my Longaberger Home Business at Please send me a personal message to sign up for my customer email list.
You can also find me here:
Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.
Instagram: knittingpipeline
Twitter: knittingline
Pipeliner Notes
Last week I talked about a way of thinking called synesthesia. Synesthesia is a trait where senses get cross-wired. I heard from several Pipeliners who are fellow synesthetes: Asatellen, Sarebear, knittyNancy24, and shpizel. It seems most of you are time/spatial synesthetes which I read was a more rare form.
In True Detective the main character, Rust, has synesthesia.
My Sister Bay KAL pattern to be released first week in July by Quince & Co. I’m going to make a weekly assignment to break it down into manageable bites like a mystery KAL without the mystery.
SSK July 16-20
Stitches Midwest 2014  Bronwyn and I will be there Thursday through Saturday.
Nature Notes
It is now butterfly season and we are starting to see more of them. I’ve seen several Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Red Admiral, Pipevine Swallowtail, and the common sulphurs. A Mourning Cloak crossed my path on my morning walk this morning which was a delightful 66 degree temperature and just lovely. I’ve talked before about the plight of the Monarch Butterfly several times on the show. I have not seen a monarch yet this year but it is a little early in the season. I want to share this Pipeliner Note with you from Linda who is Camby on Ravelry. She writes:
Hi Paula,
I know from listening to your podcast (which I continue to enjoy very much!) that you like butterflies, so when I saw this article I immediately thought of you. A friend of mine in Minnesota posted this article on Facebook and I (living in California) went to their website, Their goal is to increase the monarch population "One Milkweed at a Time.” I knew their population was dwindling, but I didn’t realize how severe the problem is. According to the article, the area of Mexico inhabited by Monarchs in the winter has fallen 97% from its high in 1997. I also didn’t realize that milkweed was the only source of food for the Monarch caterpillar. The organization is trying to boost the population by getting people to plant milkweed. They are giving away free seed packets to anyone who wants them. Their website has a link to get free seeds. There is also a link to make a small donation, starting at $2, but it isn’t required to get the seeds. Donation is totally optional. Their website is interesting, explaining about the Monarch’s life stages and its migration. I just thought this was a great idea that you’d be interested in hearing about. It is so easy for many to do. I’m going to be planting some milkweed! 
Linda C (Camby on rav)

Linda, Thank you so much for sharing that information and the website. Milkweed is the host plant for Monarchs. This is the plant the adult needs to lay the eggs. Then the larvae hatch and eat leaves…turn into chrysalis, and emerge as an adult monarch. Without the host plant there is no reproduction. Quite often host plants are those that we call weeds and that makes it harder for the butterflies that need that plant. Some other host plants are nettles, hackberry, dill, fennel, parsley, spicebush, pipe vine, willow, elm, pawpaw, and sassafras. Some butterfly species are quite specific, such as the Monarch that will only reproduce on milkweed. Others are a little less specific such as the Mourning Cloak that will accept willow, aspen, cottonwood, and elm.
Passenger Pigeon Extinction Centenary
I read an article earlier this week that is related to this topic. It is the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius. The last passenger pigeon, Martha (named for Martha Washington), age 29, died in her cage on September 1, 1914 in the Cincinnati Zoo. Her body was shipped on ice to the Smithsonian. She has been living in a file drawer for many years but is now out on display again.
There is no one alive today who has seen a live Passenger Pigeon. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Passenger Pigeon was the most abundant bird species on our planet. No one dreamed that in a fairly short period of time, 100 years or less, such a common bird could become extinct. I don’t think there is a bird today that compares in terms of quantity. There were masses of passenger pigeons so large that their passing darkened the sky. People hunted them for food and their habitats of forests were cut down. In one source I read it said that the invention of Morse code made it possible for people to communicate where large flocks of the birds were roosting. It seems Morse code was the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram of the day.
I am sure you will be hearing a lot more about the Passenger Pigeon this year.
The last confirmed wild Passenger Pigeon in Wisconsin was shot in September 1899 near Babcock WI. The bird was mixed in with some Mourning Doves and it was only after it was killed that a man recognized it as a young Passenger Pigeon.
Babcock, WI was the home of Elizabeth and Arnold Zimmermann. Some of you may have ordered wool and books from her at that address. There is a monument there with a plaque that was dedicated in 1947. The conservationist Aldo Leopold wrote “On a Monument to a Pigeon” to dedicate this memorial which is considered the first monument to an extinct species. The essay was published in a Sand County Almanac after his death in 1948, just one year later.

"Men still live who, in their youth, remember pigeons; trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a few decades hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know."
-Aldo Leopold, "On a Monument to the Pigeon," 1947

Needle Notes
In episode 175 I was finishing up Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker. I had run into a bit of a roadblock with the buttons because the holes in the button were very small.

From Grammie2Maddie who is Betsy from Atlanta.
Paula, I know you’ve probably been thinking long and hard about your buttons, but I have a suggestion. If you use a very thin sewing needle (like a sharp, not a crewel or general sewing needle) you can use sewing thread doubled and knotted to go through the button holes. I know you said the holes are tiny, but if you use doubled polyester sewing thread, you ought to be able to go through the holes several times - also you can place a pin underneath the button before you start - between the sweater and button- and when you’re finished going in and out of the holes you can wrap the thread around the threads underneath the buttons, making a shank. This technique is very stable and holds the button on quite well. Do you think this would work?
I wrote to Betsy that I had actually done that only with embroidery floss, fewer strands than I normally used but she explained it a whole lot better than I would have. Then I also knit the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits to complete the set.

In Progress:
Lace-Edged Women’s Hat by Julie Hentz (free pattern) Using Plymouth microfiber which I bought some time ago for the purpose of chemo hats.
Tubularity by Martina Behm
Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu (pronounciation help by cPerrine)
Cperrine wrote: I was just visiting Japan with my daughter and her youth orchestra and working on the Hitofude. Given it’s a Japanese word and Japanese designer, I thought it fitting. So I was excited to hear you talk about your Hitofude, Paula. I think it is pronounced “hee-toe-foo-day” per my limited understanding of Japanese. I’m making mine with Fat Squirrel fibers in a color I bought at last year’s Spring retreat (Spring 2013).
Tripartite by Stephen West. Swatching with Sparrow in the Pigeon colorway.
In The Pipeline
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. Recommend if you like ghost stories, paranormal. 3 stars. Writing was decent but story not my style.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. 2nd book in Outlander series
The Fault in Our Stars by Jon Green. Love Story of this generation. Mixed feelings because I don’t believe even precocious teens would ever talk like these two and their friend Isaac but kept my interest nonetheless.
All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I would prefer to read this rather than listen but it is ok.

The Lightkeepers with Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Dern, Blythe Danner, Mamie Gummer and Tom Wisdom. Clean. You can watch with your grandmother and it would be fine.
The Book Thief with Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie NĂ©lisse and Nico Liersch.
Saving Mr. Banks with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks

In The Piping Circle
Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums placed first in Grade V at the Chicago Games last week in Itasca!

This is an old favorite by John Muir which I have shared with you before.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. --John Muir
Have a great week, haste ye back, and hold your knitting close.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Episode 175 More Intarsia and Brain Reveal

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer.  Try a different browser like Safari.  Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by my Longaberger Home Business and Quince& Co. I am also a Craftsy Affiliate.

Quince & Co Piper is our pretty little southern bird. We sourced the softest super fine kid mohair we could find from a Texas herd of angora goats and blended it with super fine Texas merino to make a lighter-than-air, almost lace weight single-ply yarn. Piper has a pretty halo and a subtle sheen, thanks to the long, silky fibers of the mohair. Knit it on a larger needle if you want. It fills in nicely. Great in sweaters, hats, and, of course, shawls. Find Piper and the other Quince fibers at

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline


Stitches Midwest 2014

Nature Notes

Our Barred Owl is making more frequent stops here.  I had two very good photo opportunities this week and will share some of those photos on the blog.  Last night we heard a Screech Owl very close to the house.  That is more unusual here although we heard them a lot in town.

Varmits.  I love the word Varmit.  Raccoons.  Oh my.  We often have two or 3 under the feeders grazing in the evening. They fight and hiss.  I read in the June 2014 issue of Watching Backyard Birds (Companion to Backyard Bird Digest) Top 10 Tips for Dealing with Raccoons by Julie Zickafoose and Bill Thompson III.  If you feed birds you attract other animals as well.

Take in feeders at night.  We do take in hummingbird feeder at night because the racs will trash it.

Female raccoons are lactating in June so they are very hungry and will do just about anything to get more food.  Don’t cross them.  They can be vicious.
One of the benefits of living on the prairie.  Sunsets.  This photo is not enhanced.

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

Needle Notes

Beyond Puerperium by Kelly Brooker.  This time the intarsia version.

Prairie Piper’s Beyond Puerperium

I hope I can make these buttons work.  They are perfect!

First time in fingering weight and first time with intarsia border.

Button issue...buttons are perfect except the holes are quite small. I’m not sure I can sew them on properly.

The Blethering Room

Tornado update:
Last week Chicago Bears came to town to help clean up.
Brain Reveal:
Marilyn vos Savant from her column:
Irene Hurst of Dallas writes:
I associate days of the week, numbers, and names with colors. For example, Saturday is brown, five is red, and Sharon is pink. I’ve always done this; it’s normal for me. But I’ve never told anyone about it except my husband, who’s never heard of such a thing. Is there a word for it?

Marilyn responds:
The term is synesthesia, and you have the most common form—colored letters and numbers, etc. Not that the trait is common! Studies have found an incidence of about one person in 2,000, with several times as many females as males. Other mixing of senses (sounds, smells, and more) also occurs, but these types are extremely rare. (Be thankful that five is just red—not red, smelly, and sounding like a crow.) Rest assured that people with synesthesia are otherwise perfectly normal.

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon when one or more senses overlap

Billy Joel, Duke Ellington, and Stevie Wonder oh and Lady Gaga all have/had synesthesia.  Maybe Vincent Van Gogh

Scientific American What is Synesthesia?

Some people have temporal/spatial synesthesia, where time, weeks, months, etc have a pattern or location around the person. Described as looking at a map.

Time/spatial synesthesia is more rare.

For me, a time/spatial synesthete, time and numbers including months of the year, days of the week, all numbers, hours of the day are in a pattern or map.  Each map is individual so I don’t mix up months and days of the week.  If you say a number to me I see it on a map in relation to all other numbers. It gets hazy after 1,000.

Casting on:  I think I count in my head although I don’t believe this is related to synthesia.

Are you a synesthete too?

In The Pipeline



Piper by quince & Co

Pam Allen’s Blog post about Angora goats in Texas

Tubularity by Martina Behm

Hitofude Cardigan by Hiroko Fukatsu

Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham

Nymphalidea by Melinda VerMeer

Tripartite by Stephen West

Sarapomegranate of Yarns at Yin Hoo

In The Piping Circle

Good Neighbor Days in Washington

Tonight playing at a dedication in Morton IL

I met Molly at the Highland Games in Wauwatosa.

We won 1st place in Grade 5!  Here I am with my buddy, Kevin, whose voice you hear at the beginning of each episode of Knitting Pipeline.

Next competition is June 21 in Itasca IL ChicagoGames.
One more Prairie Sunset photo

Have a great week, haste ye back, and hold your knitting close.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Episode 174 Sock Surfing

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer.  Try a different browser like Safari.  Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by my Longaberger Home Business and Quince & Co.  I am also a Craftsy Affiliate.

Quince & Company Kestrel is a new take on a simple linen yarn. We took the same Belgium-grown organic linen that we use in our little Sparrow and spun it this time in a ribbon structure. Kestrel knits up quickly at 3 ½ to 4 stitches to the inch. Its flat surface adds a slight texture to simple knit and purl stitches. But we think the best thing about it is its incredible drape. Like all things linen, woven or knitted, Kestrel only gets better as you wash and wear it. Find Kestrel and the other Quince fibers at

You can find my Longaberger Home Business at  Please send me a personal message or visit my web site to sign up for my customer email list.

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline

Pipeliner Notes

From FarfromHarmFarm:

And thanks for your great podcast. Would you take it as a compliment that you are the one I listen to last thing at night to help me drift off to sleep after a busy day with my kids? I hope so as its intended as such. I also want to ask you if you know anything about hummingbird behavior. We had a hummingbird show up on Sunday and he stayed all day perched on top a branch of our pin cherry tree. He sits for ages and then flies off and back throughout the day. He’s been with us for 4 days now. Always on the same branch facing the same direction. We are wondering if he’s waiting for his mate to arrive. Best wishes, Claire

I’m not an expert, Clair, but from my reading on hummingbirds I would say that the male hummingbird was probably defending his territory.  Hummingbirds are very territorial. Everything that birds do is related to either mating/territory/feeding/survival. Birds don’t sing because they are happy.  They don’t fly for the fun of it. At our feeders hummingbirds push other hummingbirds away from the portals although there is plenty of room for several to be getting nectar at the same time. I did see two at the feeder once this week and that is unusual.  Some species are more territorial than others.

Birds and Blooms latest issue is mostly on hummingbirds.

From Fun4Tracey

Tell SundanceFunpants to start with Itty bitty Hats by Susan B Anderson to learn knitting in the round. The instructions at the beginning of that book for knitting in the round are so clear and reassuring.

And the first little beanie hat in the book is instant gratification.

I can’t imagine starting with a sock if you’ve never previously knitted in the round at all.

I also love the idea of the Simple Knits Collection. (TinCanKnits)

Paula, I loved your approach to comparing these two projects. Very informative and fun to listen to!

From Florida Kelly:

In regard to first knitting project, I am a big believer in knitting what you love. I personally love cables so my first project was St Ciaran by Alice Starmore. I had learned how to cable by following her tutorials in the front of one of her books, set up an excel spreadsheet to set up my pattern so I could keep track of where I was in each cable repeat and went to town. It wasn’t until I finished and asked how to weave in ends at my LYS that they knew it was my first project.
So I am not sure I would try for a sweater or a sock if you have to adjust for size ( i have big feet) but I say anything goes! Even a simple lace shawl isnt bad if you pick a pattern without grafted edges (any of Paula’s are great!)
Have fun, pick good yarn that you love, and enjoy!!

Elizabeth Zimmermann and I-cord from AnneC

I use i-cord to seam the shoulders of the Baby Surprise Jacket, then run it around all the edges--makes a nice finish!

From Linnekat:

Thanks so much for the i-cord information. I finished my sock yarn leftovers blanket earlier this year and was trying to do an i-cord border and just couldn’t make it work. But I took your advice and am knitting on the wrong side -- it looks so much better. And I had just checked out “Principles of Knitting” from the library, so I read what she had to say. Her note about gauge was very helpful. I went up two needle sizes and now it is laying nice and flat. I’m about half way around and so pleased with how it looks!

Think Like a Quilter Episode:
From KnittingMama82
Really enjoyed this episode. What is your next long-range project? Love the “Think Like a Quilter” philosophy.

Short Row Afghan by Sarah Bradberry
Linnakat’s Scrap Yarn Short Row Afghan

Episode 171 Blethering With Sarah and Bronwyn
From JCEllison:
I had the pleasure of getting up on podcasts yesterday as DD took an extra long nap. I always love the high notes/low notes part because I can relate to them so well. I laughed when I heard the one about people showing up early. I am with you on that one. However, there was one time when I was guilty of being painfully early myself, but it was on accident. I was doing my pharmacy residency in Memphis and was invited to the senior medical resident’s house for a party at the end of my month on the general medicine floor. It was on the Sunday of daylight’s saving time during Spring and I was living alone at the time so I had no one to remind me to change my clocks. I also left early because I wanted to make sure that I found the house. When I arrived over an hour early, my host gave me the strangest look! It wasn’t until I got inside and saw one of his clocks that I realized my mistake. I felt like a complete moron.

From Marsha/Teal:
Bronwyn, I thought this as well but just learned differently in the Craftsy forum. You can download to your PC using the following process.

When you go to the Craftsy site, scroll down to Terms of Use, click on it, scroll down to #3 Accessing Your Purchased Content.  Then click on ”visit this link” at the end of the paragraph, log in, then right click on each lecture and you can save to your computer. I tested with one of my classes and it worked.
From Windybrookspins: (one of most active Craftsy students)

I just finished watching Professional Family Portraits with Kirk Tuck. Great free class.
Working on Perfect Pizza at Home now. Awesome teacher. I don’t know why I felt like I needed to get my free classes out of the way before I could focus on my purchased ones, but this is my last free class I am enrolled in and I plan to buckle down and do the purchased ones next. My favorite free class has been Complete Knife Skills. I didn’t really know anything about proper knife use before and I have watched parts of that class multiple times.


SSK July 16-20
Stitches Midwest 2014
Stash Dash 2014 TheKnitGirllls
Nature Notes
17 year Cicadas
Periodical Cicadas/Magicicada  (they are not locusts, as locusts are in the grasshopper family)
Peoria Journal Star Article Listen Up It’s the 17 year Cicada
Memorial Day…Owl outside our window
Last Thursday about 10:30 AM there was a bang on the window and a scuffle on the deck.  I saw a Barred Owl chasing a House Finch. The finch escaped. The owl only stayed for a few seconds in a tree outside the porch before flying through the woods.
I’m watching a Red Bellied Woodpecker at the feeder right now.  Recently I was able to get a photo of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker that shows how this bird gets its name.  At first glance the red belly isn’t usually visible.  In my photo you can see what looks like a brush stroke of a watercolor brush, in a faint orange red on the lower belly.  The Red Bellied Woodpecker is a common visitor at our feeders and on the trees at the edge of the woods.
Can you see the blush of red on his belly?
We are so happy that the House Wrens did settle in at least one of our bird houses and the male sings all day long.  I remember a few years ago when our youngest son threw a bachelor party for his brother.  Someone plodded upstairs with a bit of a greenish tinge asking, “What is that bird that sings ALL THE TIME?”  It is just a few minutes before 8 PM right now and the House Wren is singing loudly right outside my window.
What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. ~Gertrude Jekyll
Needle Notes
Stitch Surfer by Louise Robert from Knitty, Deep Fall 2012
Stitch Surfer Trunk Show at Knitting Pipeline Retreat by Diane and Stephen.

Earth and Sky by Westknits (my first Mystery KAL 2011)

 The Blethering Room
On Project 333:
ClickClarke wrote: Loved hearing about Project 333 and I’m going to try it, at least as a guideline/goal as I switch out winter to summer clothes. Found myself chuckling trying to remember, Paula, how many shawls you once told us you have? Maybe we could have a knitter’s version of Project 333. Depending on our proclivities, we could have 33 shawls or 33 hats or 33 scarves, for example. We could have a 333-along where we try to get our stash down to 33 and give away the rest to a good cause. We could keep our Ravelry favorites or queue to a manageable 33. Who says knitters can’t embrace the simple life?? As always, a delightful show!
LouiseTilbrook wrote:
I’ll admit to being intruiged by the project 333 idea and it’s definitely something I’ll be checking out. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by clutter right now and I like the idea of being able to simplify things a little.
I need a 333 for kids toys I think - 33 items that they actually play with for 3 months. With the rest in storage somewhere as opposed to being under my feet - lol
Just to report back, I have done a bit of reading about the 333 project and really love the idea. I set about my wardrobe with a vengeance yesterday and now have 33 items (Inc shoes). Everything else is packed away in the loft. It’s quite scary but at the same time, so lovely to be able to reach in and select an item without worrying about causing an avalanche :)
Celtic Cross Pipes and Drums at Good Neighbor Days last Friday night

In The Piping Circle
70th Anniversary of D Day.  Bill Millin, Piper
Milwaukee Highland Games Saturday June 7 in Wauwatosa WI.
I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good.

Have a great week, haste ye back, and hold your knitting close.

About Me

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