theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 3, 2016

From Sally — Oh, Baby

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:30 pm

I just finished knitting an adorable little baby dress under a tight deadline.  Why such a tight deadline?  After all, I knew the baby was coming for months.  I even knew several weeks in advance when I was going to get to meet the baby for the first time.

Well, as we all know knit happens. I started a different dress weeks ago.  Then, last week, I decided I didn’t like it.  The pattern wasn’t as cute as I’d thought it would be, the pattern itself had issues, and I was knitting it out of cotton.  The cotton was a beautiful, deep fuchsia — I loved the color.  But I hated knitting with it.

So, I cast around (ha ha) on Ravelry looking for something I could finish within 3 or 4 days.  It had to be a quick knit and I had to have the yarn in my stash because the roads were still a bit dicey from our big storm.  I settled on the Lizzy Dress designed by Taiga Hilliard. I rummaged around in my stash and found a light blue Madelinetosh Merino light — the right gauge and machine washable, too.

This was a great pattern: fun to knit, well written, adorable, and quick. If you make it out of one skein, you never even have to join new yarn. I made the 12-month size with a few modifications. I did fewer increases on the skirt so that the skirt was the 6-month size (which substracted one lace repeat). Note: If you knit this and make a similar modification, just take care when you set the side marker so that the lace is centered in the front.

I ordered an assortment of inexpensive shell buttons from Amazon (yay for free two day shipping). I was planning to use white buttons, but the pink seemed to pop.

I’m very pleased with how this turned out and I can’t wait to meet the recipient.


January 29, 2016

From Susan — Man, that was close!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:43 am

At knitting last night, Ellie (a favorite and long-time knitting peep) shared her latest FO…and the yarn she had left over when it was finished.  One little, inch-long nerd of yarn!  We absolutely roared!  I am sure the other patrons wondered what the heck was so funny, and none of them would get the kick out of it that we did!  She even had to cut off the tail from the cast on to weave through the last sts.  Way to maximize your yarn utilization, Ellie!!


Have you ever gotten a bee in your bonnet about making something, even if the logic is not necessarily there?  I do this often.  A toy, a hat, a doily, etc.  This time around it is a poncho.  I am obsessed with ‘obtaining’ a poncho.  I bought a woolen blanket so I could fashion my own poncho…FAIL.  I have started several poncho patterns…FAIL.

One of my knitting peeps made the Margo Poncho, and it is absolutely darling on her cute, petite self.  So I thought I would give it a whirl because I am so cute and petite!  :)

This is supposed to be a throw-away project mind you!  I do not want to spend a lot of money or time on it.  I just want my damn poncho!!

I bought some Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool on sale for $8 a skein (465 yds/8 oz, color Oatmeal) for one of my failed poncho attempts.  It is actually pretty nice yarn.

Fishermen’s Wool is supposed to knit up at 16 sts/4 inches, but I think it would look better at 20 sts/4 inches.  The Margo is knit at 14 sts/4 inches.  I wanted to knit it at that gauge so it would go faster!

I knew I had a thin cashmere yarn tucked away in my stash…for many years.  Plus, it was old when I got it – my dad’s mother died, and I inherited anything I wanted from her knitting supplies.  I have enough (fingers crossed!) to hold it with the Lion Brand, making the gauge exactly 14 sts/4 inches.  Yay!!

I am liking the results!!  The Aarlan Cashmere label shows a date of 1973.  Even though it is at least 40 years old, it is in nice condition.  Ravelry lists Aarlan Cashmere, but the composition is 60% wool, 40% cashmere, whereas mine is 75% cashmere to 25% wool.

I started on Wednesday and have about 11 inches done.  Hubby is leaving this afternoon until tomorrow night.  I hope to do a ‘Netflix and Knit’ binge and really make some progress!!

PS (January 30) — Progress made!

The front is done and the back started.  The color in the top picture is closer to the real thing.

PS2 — 2/2/2016 The back is done!  Just need to do the ribbing along the sides.  I should be able to get that done tonight.

January 23, 2016

From Sally — Snowed In

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:22 pm

It’s a good thing I’m well stocked with yarn, needles, and gin. We won’t be going anywhere for a few days. The official snow total for Washington, DC thus far is only about 16-18 inches, but that is a misleadingly low total. It’s taken at National Airport which a) is not in DC but in Virginia and b) is on the river, where the snow totals are usually lower than surrounding areas.

Here, chez moi, we’ve got a good two feet on the ground and it is snowing harder right now than it has all day. Here’s a photo taken several hours ago.

And a short video I took just now. (I changed angles part way through which allows you to see the snow better.)

I’m working currently on Inggun, an Elsebeth Lavold design. I’ve knit about 11 inches. If the snow keeps up, maybe I’ll finish this by early next week! Here’s a photo taken before it started snowing, when I had just gotten going. I’m knitting it all in once piece, and using her (now discontinued) Calm Wool.

IMG_2369_medium

January 18, 2016

From Susan — Little Rikke

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:03 pm

The new little black Rikke is finito…

Made with Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Pitch Black, 77 grams.   I enjoyed making a small, quick, and sure to be appreciated item.  :)  Some of you may notice that I did not do my own mods to this hat, which eliminate the “seam” at the center back.  Laura wanted this hat to look just like her other and sometimes simplicity is best.

PS (1-20-16): I gave this to Laura yesterday and she LOVED it!  Perfect fit and the right color…Yay!

January 16, 2016

From Susan — Home Again, Home Again

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:15 pm

I am definitely in the winter doldrums.  I just returned from a slog of a work-related trip to Vegas, and could not be happier to be home, even though the weather promises a  minus 35 degree windchill tomorrow.  Yes, I prefer a frozen tundra to a __________  (I really can’t print what I want to call it!).

Eldest daughter requested some knitting.  Resistance is futile.  😉  She wants another Rikke Hat, this time in pitch black.  So I bought a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca Worsted in Pitch Black (how original!!).

I was worried because the picture looks more like charcoal, but it really is a true black.  I have just started it so not much to show.

I took some knitting with me but made little progress.  Another reason to be glad I’m home.  :)  And to see my boys (John and Yuki).

PS — Yep, it is -35 windchill. Bummer.

January 10, 2016

From Susan — Note to Self

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:17 pm

As promised, we are watching the Vikings-Seahawks game in front of a roaring fire!

NOTE TO SELF
Read the pattern directions thoroughly.  That is all.

Well, not all – I had to rip back 8 inches on my Old Town because I was doing the increases wrong and it was not fixable…aaarrrggghhh!!

PS — I wish I could say that ripping back vast quantities of knitting was the exception, but unfortunately it is an all too frequent occurrence!

January 9, 2016

From Susan — Brrrrr

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:33 pm

Have you been watching the sports news lately?  All they are talking about here is the play off game tomorrow between the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings.  The game is in Minnesota tomorrow at 12 noon, in an outdoor stadium.  The expected temp will hover around zero, with brutal wind chills.  Our winter has been mild, but last night the temperature plummeted and tomorrow will be worse.  Great day to watch the game in front of a roaring fire on the couch!!

I will be travelling next week for work so I am planning what to bring…knitting that is!  I have a sweater I am working on that is in the “acres of stockinette” phase which will do for mindless knitting:

It is Carol Sunday’s Old Town.  Her designs are exquisite and wonderfully written.  It starts off fairly complicated and then settles into mindless.  Here it is shown in all its unblocked glory!

I am knitting it up in Shibui Baby Alpaca, color Trail.  I got it for a steal because the color is being discontinued.  It would not be my first choice but I couldn’t pass it up!   Now I love the color.  I thought the gauge would be slightly bigger and therefore I could make a size or two smaller.  Nope.  My gauge ended up the same so my first try was too small.  I had done a lot of knitting and had to start over.  :(

I may also bring a lace shawl but I haven’t really gotten that far.  I ordered a Kindle from Amazon, too (finally getting on board that train!), so I can read on the plane if it’s too claustrophobic for knitting.

Today is eldest daughter’s BD, so we will have to brave the elements to go out to eat.  Yippee!! 😉

January 2, 2016

From Susan – A Happy New Year!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:17 pm

I had a wonderful holiday (crazy busy, but that is the nature of the beast!), and topped it off with an authentic Korean dinner at my eldest daughter’s apartment.  We enjoyed homemade mondu and bulgogi, Kimchi soup, and a bunch of other things whose names I couldn’t hope to spell!  I remember the first time I entertained at my first apartment — served salad out of empty margarine (or whatever!) containers because I had no dishes.  Laura has no silverware…we ate cake with spoons.  Her birthday is this week so you know what I will be getting for her!! 😉

I wanted to let our loyal readers know about a brief promotion I am doing on Ravelry for my It’s Not About the Hat and Surrounded Afghan patterns.  They are both discounted 25% through January 8, in honor of the new year.  No code is needed.


It’s Not About the Hat

Invisible Stranding is for 2-color stranded knitting, and allows you to carry yarn across any number of stitches without catching the floats. There are no puckers and the other color does not show through. It is ideal for Norwegian sweaters and other stranded projects.  The pattern includes complete instructions, as well as youtube videos demonstrating each step of the technique.


Surrounded Afghan

This design forms a continuous edging on all sides as you go: when you’re done, it’s done.  Surrounded can easily be resized for any width or length.

So, if you haven’t bought these already and are interested, now is a good time to dive in.  It’s back to work on Monday.  Holiday time is over.  Is that the good news or the bad news??

January 8, midnight — the promotion is now over.  Thanks, everyone!

 

December 25, 2015

From Both of Us — Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 10:10 am

Hope your day is special in whatever way you choose.  We are planning family gatherings both today and tomorrow.  “Boxing Day” will be spent at Susan’s, with Sally and most of the family in attendance! 

Happy Holidays from Susan and Sally, The Rainey Sisters!

Santa brought Yuki a stocking:

December 19, 2015

From Sally — Truss(t) in Shibui

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:16 pm

As I said a few weeks ago, I’m a big fan of Shibui yarns. (I only wish I got a discount for promoting them!) I finished yet another project in Shibui recently and finally took some not so great photos of a great pattern.

Truss is a tunic designed by Shellie Anderson for Shibui Knits. Her version has a deep thigh high split, but I toned mine down. It’s knit holding one strand of Maai with one strand of Pebble. Maai is a light chainette type yarn spun from 70% merino and 30% alpaca. Pebble, the same yarn I used for my Leigh, is a tweedy blend of recycled silk, merino, and cashmere. By itself, Maai is very stretchy. Combining it with Pebble reduces the stretchiness and produces a cozy, plush feeling fabric that feels wonderful against the skin.

I made a very few small modifications to the pattern.

I made the side seam longer. The slit in the original is very deep — thigh high. I decided that wasn’t the best look for me. I added the sleeve stitches by knitting across a provisional cast on. That gave me live stitches so instead of a sewn seam at the bottom of the sleeves I was able to do a 3-needle bind off. Finally, I cast on a small number of extra stitches for the ribbing and then decreased in the first row of stockinette so the ribbing would hang straight without needing to be overly stretched when blocked.




P.S. I live, as many of you know, in Washington, DC. Right in the city. Here’s who I saw outside my window this morning.




P.S.#2 Robin, below, said the fox was brave to chance it in the big city. But we live near a large park that runs down through the city to the Potomac and we’re in a residential area that doesn’t feel urban. We have deer, lots of birds (hawks, pileated woodpeckers, various songbirds), squirrels of course, raccoons, and even the occasional coyote. There is one large buck who frequently walks down the middle of the street. Hard to believe that we’re in the city.

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