theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 12, 2017

From Susan — Store These

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:34 am

Hi, folks!  Fall really is here!  It is crisp and dark in the mornings, but still gets somewhat warm in the afternoons.

Here are a pair of mittens that I made as a shop sample for The Yarnery.  They are Flint Mittens by Jared Flood.  I used Shelter in color Fossil, and a touch of blue from stash.

People seem to love the pattern, but I don’t think they would be terribly warm, though they look hearty and rustic.  The palm is done with a stitch that could let the breeze through.

As they say on GOT, “Winter is coming!”

September 30, 2017

From Both of Us — Knitting in Circles

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 8:17 pm

The crisp air of fall is upon us and the thrill of taking out our handknits!  We both recently finished a rather laborious but satisfying project – The Circlet Shrug by Norah Gaughan.  It is in the Making No. 3 — Dots book.  A fun book with a lot of interesting projects – and not all knitting.  We loved the Circlet because of the bold cabling with decorative holes.  It is stunning fabric.  The yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Arbor.  Susan used a deep evergreen called Dorado, and Sally chose a rich red, called Vintner.

Surly’s Circlet Shrug in BT Arbor, Color Vintner

To call the design “boxy” is an understatement.  It is a perfect rectangle when knit and a square when folded in half at the shoulders to seam.  Sally is planning to re-block hers for a little extra length.

What gives the Circlet its style is the seaming — you sew it so the armholes are relatively fitted.  It gives the illusion of an actual sleeve cap when worn:

Susan’s Circlet Shrug in BT Arbor, Dorado 

Here you can see the fabric close up, with back neck details (Susan’s Shrug).  Susan adapted the collar and back neck to more closely resemble the recent Norah Gaughan cardigan in Vogue Spring/Summer 2017.

Sally followed suit, pictured here at a different angle than Susan’s photo.  Note that we twisted our cables in different directions.

We are such lemmings!  We both bought the Marrakech Shawl Pin from Jul Designs because it reminded us of the cable motif in the shrug!  See first picture of Surly’s Circlet.

Marrakech shawl pin - front view

I way of a PS, Susan won a blue ribbon at this year’s Minnesota State Fair in the ‘sleeveless sweater’ category for her Circlet!

September 21, 2017

From Susan — Moosey Squared

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:44 pm

Who doesn’t like a cute Moose??!!  I love a cute Moose so I added another to my winter wardrobe of hand-knit accessories…which is pretty laden down with options at this point. 😉

I recently posted about winning some yarn and a cable book from TKGA.  The yarn is Madelinetosh “Tosh Chunky” in Antler – 4 skeins.  A lot, but not enough for anything big.  I had knit the Moose River Cowl once before and thought the yarn weight and quantity would be the perfect way to showcase and use this lovely yarn.  So, a second Moose River Cowl now graces my Ravelry pages.

The great thing is, it’s completely reversible!! :)

Thanks, TGKA, for a great prize!!

September 8, 2017

From Susan — Hopping on the Reyna Bandwagon

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:08 pm

With over 5,700 projects, no one could ever say that Reyna isn’t popular!  I bought a skein of KnitCircus Trampoline Yarn in color Mischief Managed and really didn’t know what to do with it.  Thought I would try a Reyna.

It took almost all of my yarn.  I did something different and don’t know if I should have.  Instead of starting the mesh with YO, k1, I started with YO, k2tog, and placed the spare k1 at the center.  This was so I could be inserting the tip of my needle into the knit stitch, not the YOs, on k2togs.  It makes a stronger line.  Putting the YO to the left of the knit stitch in a k2tog (or to the right in SSKs) creates a ropey appearance.  But my method also created a strong angle away from the center that is not in the original.

Compare to the original:

Not sure it matters to anybody!!  Including moi! 😉

The tassels were made from old yarn in my stash: Handmaiden Fine Yarn, which has a very crimped appearance.  I thought the tassels would look fuller with the crimpy yarn.  I do like it!!

PS to Chloe: Thanks for the nice comments, but this is just not “fair worthy!”  Fair too simple to get anywhere in the judging, but I am glad you like it.  I just hoped that the design would work with the yarn and I think it did.  Thanks!!

PS to Marlys:  Marlys asked specifically how I changed the mesh pattern, so here it is:

Original Mesh Row 1: k2, yo, k1, *yo, k2tog* until marker, yo, slm, k1 (center st), *yo, ssk* until 3 sts remain, yo, k1, yo, k2

My Mesh Row 1: k2, *yo, k2tog* until marker, yo, k1, yo, slm, k1 (center st), yo, k1, *yo, ssk* until 2 sts remain, yo, k2

Row 2 mesh was knit as the original pattern.

September 2, 2017

From Susan – Instant (Pot) Gratification

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:35 am

I LOVE my Instant Pot!  I bought it from Amazon with 1-click while hubby and I were watching someone cook with it.  John said, “We should buy one of those.”  I said, “It will be here tomorrow!”

It makes the best ribs, corn on the cob, HARD BOILED EGGS (that peel perfectly every time), and Coq Au Vin.  But yesterday I tried a recipe that had caught my eye for Salted Caramel Cheesecake.  OMG.  OMG.  The.  Best.

The picture from the Cookies and Cups Website

I bought a 7 inch spring-form pan and then followed the recipe as written.  You set the Instant Pot for 35 minutes, and then let the pressure release on its own.  I suppose it took an hour from start to finish in the Instant Pot.  My crust had “issues” because I didn’t use enough butter (long story).  BUT, it dropped out of the pan perfectly – just like on the Great British Baking Show!  The Ritz Cracker crust was crumbly and I suspected soggy.  I let it cool a while and then into the fridge.

After dinner I drizzled a piece with Smucker’s Salted Caramel Topping, so I did not sprinkle it with salt as directed in the recipe.  It was delicious – smooth, creamy, perfectly baked.  Not too sweet, not cloying and heavy like a lot of cheesecakes.  Perfection.  The crust was actually crispy, not soggy as I expected.  It was amazing.  Hubby RAVED about it!!  I like the smaller size, too.  Nice size for a small dinner party – or you could make a couple of different types if you had more people.  I would say it makes 8 small servings.

Smucker's Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping, 11.5 oz

This could be VERY dangerous!!

PS to Surly: An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker with a lot of settings to broaden its range of capabilities.  Do I use all of the features?  NO!  But the fact that you can set it and let it do its thing is wonderful.  My old pressure cooker had to be watched like a cat because it needed to get to the “rocker” stage and be turned down, etc.  You had to set a separate timer.  This just does the work for you.

I set eggs and corn on the cob for 5 minutes.  It takes 15 minutes total from start to finish.  The only problem I have is that I cannot hear the finish beep.  It is in my “hard of hearing” sound range.  John will say the beeper went off, and I did not hear one peep.  SO, what I do is set the timer on my range, adding 10-15 minutes to the time I set on the Instant Pot.  After the Instant Pot gets up to pressure, the timer you set kicks in, which is very visible on the pot.  I will sync my oven timer then, but I am always very close.  That is not a problem with the Instant Pot but with my own hearing loss!!

PS to Purrlie: Pressure cookers have been used as a replacement for slow cookers, often using the same recipe but very different cooking times.

August 30, 2017

From Susan — Always wanted to be a wiener!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:04 pm

It’s true!  I won a prize!  I am a member of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA), and they held a drawing on Ravelry for a cable knitting book and yarn — I was randomly selected!!

The book is The Cable Knitter’s Guide.  Plus I won four skeins of Madelinetosh Chunky in Antler:

Here is a sample project from the book:

Yay!  More yarn!!  :) More yarn?  What am I going to do with more yarn?  Oh, boy…the guilt starts. :(

No, wait.  No guilt!  It’s FREE yarn!  Yay!  Free yarn!! 😉

PS to Bonnie: I already knit the cables in Mr. Wiener’s little sweater!  It is a photo from the Great American Aran Afghan superimposed with the power of PowerPoint!  Two squares used similar cables, so I substituted a Starrmore cable from St. Brigid’s.  This is the same picture I used in Mr. Wiener’s sweater:

August 25, 2017

From Susan — Little Darcy Goes to the Fair

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:07 am

Oh, that Little Darcy — what a jetsetter!!  He seems to pop up everywhere!!

Little Darcy on display at the Minnesota State Fair!!  I entered Darcy in the “doll” category: Lot 724 — Doll, portrait, single or pair, face & costume representing an individual, living or dead (recognizable or accompanied by a photo of individual).  OMG!  They also have a fictional character category, but I wanted to include a picture!  So it is Colin Firth playing Darcy.  H I L A R I O U S.  When I took him in, I could not stop laughing and seeing him in the case made my life!  Plus, he won a second place ribbon.  Wowie!  If you are looking for Little Darcy, he is located in the main sewing case about halfway down – on the bottom ledge.

Okay.  Let’s talk about the fair.  The weather was spectacular, so the opening day crowds were HUGE.  I didn’t eat as much as usual, but pigged out later at Panera’s! 😉  I did manage to eat fried cheese curds and Big, Fat Bacon!!!

Creative Activities
Friend Kim blew away all the competition and earned her second sweepstakes in a row:

Kim’s Kauni EQ Damask Afghan

Kim used Kauni EQ yarn and the Damask pattern.  The two are a perfect marriage!  She used A. Starm0re’s checkerboard border, building the yarn herself to get long enough color changes to go all the way around the afghan.  An incredible amount of work!!  The exciting part was that her afghan was displayed right IN the main entrance in a glass case — you had to look at it or you would walk right into it!!  Her afghan is truly a showstopper.

Straight back and to the right was my latest (last?) Niebling:

Gloxiniaeflora by Herbert Niebling

This is the second time I have knit this particular Niebling.  The first was in 2012.  It is a dog to knit, so don’t expect a third!!

Funky Grandpa and my Circlet Shrug both got blue ribbons.  Could not get a good picture of Circlet!

Funky Grandpa

My biggest thrill was that my Plaid Squared Bag got a blue ribbon and a special award from Lila and Claudine’s!  It is my own design so it has a special place in my heart.

Plaid Squared, designed by Susan Rainey

Osmanthus got a second place ribbon, which I was thrilled about.  Shawls are usually a pretty competitive lot:

Osmanthus Shawl

I entered a bunch of hats and won two ribbons — Lolo by Brooklyn Tweed (in Carol Sunday 5-ply yarn) took 3rd, and the Dala Hat I made John last winter got 5th place:

Lolo Hat by Jared Flood – not a picture from the fair!

Dala Hat

This year I qualified as a senior ::groan::, so I entered a sweater that would have been in the same category as Funky Grandpa (plain cardigan).  You can only enter one item per category.  Fading Lines took a blue ribbon and the senior sweepstakes:

Good friend Bonnie won the Penelope Knitter’s Award for her Twisted Stitches gloves.

Bonnie Esplie’s Twisted Stitches Gloves

Bonnie won a lot of ribbons this year, as did another knitting friend, Kris King.  Her name is on almost every item displayed in the “blue ribbon” case!!

And we cannot forget Pronto, the Minnesota Knitter’s Guild Yarn Bombed Stallion, on the ramp leading to the Grandstand!!  I got to help sew him together, but others did much more work that can be believed!!  Kathy Lewinski knocked it out of the park!

PS to Pru: Thank you for the nice comments, and as much as I would love to take credit for inventing invisible stranding, I only came up with the name, a hat pattern, and a few twists and techniques!!

August 16, 2017

From Susan — Gray and Shriveled

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:33 pm

Had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?  😉

Have any of you NOT made a Hitofude?  If you answered YES, then go, right now, and get some fingering weight yarn (2-3-4 skeins) and start this puppy.  The pattern is less than 2 bucks!  Go…now!

I am knitting my FIFTH Hito!!  Two for me, two for elder daughter, and this one for my youngest daughter.  I am a bad mother – Jena should have gotten this sooner!

Jena tried on Laura’s which is so small a toddler could wear it.  I am making Jena a size medium, even though she is pretty petite.  The yarn is Pop Sock – The Yarnery’s own line of yarn.  I think my color is Inner Tube.  It is a good match to the yarn I used in my original Hito: Madelinetosh Lite, Composition Book Grey.  It is a nice, plump sock yarn with a lovely tonality.  I am nearing completion, though I have been puttering away on it for months.

I also finished up my state fair knitting.  Small things and a couple of sweaters.  The fair starts on August 24th so the excitement is building.  Or not.  I don’t know that I will do that well this year but it is always fun to look.  Friend Kim entered a stellar piece and should do quite well.

I will be looking for the Knitter’s Guild yarn bombed horse!  What fun!  It is so cute.

Speaking of yarn bombing.  They just finished installing a huge yarn art piece at the Mall of America!!  I hate shopping but I am going to go see the yarn bomb on display!

July 27, 2017

From Sally — Rocky Mountain Hi

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 3:46 pm

I know I’ve been very quiet here and on Ravelry for the past few weeks.  My husband and I have spent the past month in Boulder, Colorado.  We are on vacation, but we are planning to move here within the next six months to a year.  Feels a bit scary to say it out loud.  We love DC, but our daughter lives here and our son is on the west coast.  Our extended stay was to help our decision making process.  It’s very daunting!

A few days ago, we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and took a hike partway up Mount Ida.  The views were spectacular.  We saw lots of wildlife, too — elk, pika, and marmots.  So many marmots!  Here are a few photos from the hike.  (Please enjoy the marmot in the third photo.)  Those gorgeous mountains in the background are part of the Never Summer range.  Such a poetic name.

Our son joined us for a few days around the 4th of July.  Here he is with my husband on a different hike up Buchanan Pass.

I have been doing a little knitting — working on a very slow project:  the Circlet Shrug by Norah Gaughan.  I’m almost finished but it has gone very slowly  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel though.  The fabric is beautiful — heavily cabled, which is why it is slow.

Fortunately, I’ve been getting a little help.

P.S.  So nice to hear from some of you in the area.  Maybe a knitting gathering is in our future!


July 21, 2017

From Susan — Moo?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:16 pm

Hi, all!  Back from Camp, exhausted and still reeling from all that I saw and learned!  The show and tell projects were beautiful.  It is amazing to be in the same room for 3 full days with such talented people.  Meg [Swansen] is ever the perfect hostess: welcoming, warm, and hangs on every word like they are gold.  She makes everyone feel relevant, talented, and smart.  Amy [Detjen] is hilarious: she makes everyone feel loud, inappropriate, and unruly.  In a good way!!  It is a great combination!

Little Darcy had a great time and is shown here with his new hairdo standing next to my meager purchases:

The bag.  Oh yes, the darling bag with the sheep that thinks it’s a cow (or vice versa!).  Those adorable (yet slightly disturbing) spotted lips…I bought the bag and the rusty orange yarn from Jeanette and George of Sun Valley Fibers.  They go to Yarnover as well as Knitting Camp.  I fell in love with the spotted little face of Sunshine.  You can see Latte to Sunshine’s left.  Susie is hiding in this picture.  They are all sheep belonging to Jeanette and George!! :)

The gradient is from KnitCircus: Trampoline, color Mischief Managed (100% merino, 440 yds/100 gms).  The color spoke to me, what can I say!!??!!

We stay at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Marshfield, WI.  They treated us really well this year, including a lovely welcome reception!

But the highlight of the weekend for me was Culver’s on Sunday night.  They had a promotion going where Turtle Sundaes were $1!!!!  ONE BUCKEROO!!!  I substituted SALTED CARAMEL on mine.  OMG!!!  I mean, seriously, it was the best thing that happened to me all weekend!

This year’s contest theme was “At the Museum.”  I went very “literal,” unlike many other campers (I have no imagination!).  I took a beaded amulet that I had made and photoshopped it onto a picture of Nefertiti.  I then went on and on about Nefertiti and how I had recreated an exact replica of the amulet necklace she wore in her iconic statue, blah-blah-blah, right down to the pressed glass ornamentation.  Friend Kim jumped up with her laptop and called bullsh!t, and said there wasn’t a necklace on the original statue – that she had proof on her laptop!  (All preplanned.)  Amy Detjen said she did notice that my picture seemed to be photoshopped, to which I objected to Kim’s FAKE NEWS!!

I came in 5th overall and won a FABULOUS prize – Knit Picks Interchangeable Needle Set:

There were scads of gorgeous and creative entries, but Jane’s Sudoku Blanket blew me away!

Already excited for next year!!

PS to pt: Here are the only other pictures I took – they are not the full representation or the best photos!!

PS to Pru: the fair isle cardigan is Holly’s own design, though I believe she based the motifs on something she found already published.  The colorway and sweater design is her own.


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