theraineysisters

April 13, 2014

From Susan — It’s Never Too Late

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:46 am

Well, that’s not entirely true.  This time around it IS too late!  It is definitely too late to wear one of my latest FOs.  I just finished a cowl (yes, another one — I have decided that it is impossible to have too many cowls).  It has a totally winter vibe and even though today is a bit dreary, all the snow has left our yard so spring is here.  :)

It is a free pattern called Kinetic by Shibui Knits, and is meant to be knit in gradient colors.  I used Freia Ombré Sport in the colorway Oro Azteca. You buy two “sister” skeins and they flow one to the other.  It is pricey: $25 a skein!!

I am not sure how I will wear it but I have until next winter to decide!!

Friday several of us did our own short version of the Shop Hop.  A friend of mine – Bonnie – mentioned that StevenBe had a zombie knitting bag at the shop.  Well, someone had to be dumb enough to buy it!! :)

April 7, 2014

From Susan — I Love Pie

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:02 pm

I do really love pie.  Especially cherry pie with tart/sweet cherries and flaky crust.  Oh boy!  So when I saw this cute little pattern (All Your Pie Tape Measure) it caught my eye.  I whipped up these two little ditties yesterday afternoon.

My husband, who is usually very supportive of my knitting habit, was speechless.  He looked at these and was afraid to say anything.  The look on his face told the story.  He was either thinking, “She has WAY too much time on her hands (so why is the house such a mess?),” or, “She has finally gone completely over the deep end!”

It IS a compulsion that cannot be denied.  What can I say?

PS in response to Pam’s question: My “knit” version really did not have a lot of knitting.  Just the bottom crust.  I crocheted the cherry filling because I wanted more texture and crocheted the fluting around the top of the crust.  The lattice for both versions were standard i-cord.

April 4, 2014

From Debbie Downer – er – Susan — April Showers

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:02 am

A foot and still snowing.  Welcome to Spring!  Woo Hoo!!!

April 2, 2014

From Susan — Cutie Patootie

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:06 am

Oh my gosh!  I saw this pattern on Ravelry (Yellow Chicken Doll ) and fell in love.  It screamed, “Make me!”  My daughter would love it, I was just certain.  So, off I went into my yarn remnants and my Little Chick was born:

I showed her to my daughter last night and it was true – she loved her!  :) Wants more.  Lots more.  :(   Hmmm.  Success can be a two-edged sword, n’est-ce pas?

March 28, 2014

From Susan — My Lil Mønster

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:38 pm

Things kind of slip past me from time to time.  I finished a sweater quite a while ago and it languished waiting for the buttons.  I HAD the buttons.  I just needed to sew on the buttons.  Months went by and I finally put them on.  I also needed to block this bad boy but decided to leave it au naturel!

You may remember this:

We saw it is person at Needlework Unlimited last year and my friend Beth and I fell in love with it.  It is Dydsmønster by Bente Geil.  I finished the knitting in October!!  Sewed the buttons on in February, but am just posting about it now.  Better late than never!

I essentially re-knit this entire thing.  I had the “can’t read the instructions” problem.  I had the “I don’t like the sleeve decreases” problem.  And all this led to a lot of extra knitting.  But it is done and it fits and I like it.  The buttons are gorgeous and just the right color, but I think they are too small.  I may keep my eyes open for some that are slightly larger.


Back Neck Detail

The pattern does not call for symmetrical increases along the v-shaped inset, but I did them symmetrically — looked better to me.

The yarn is deceiving: it is very small gauge and quite soft.  It does the “thick-thin” thing and goes down to a thread at times.  I spliced in extra yarn quite a few times because I was afraid it would break.

All in all, I really like this one.

March 21, 2014

From Sally — It’s a Wrap Update

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 3:51 pm

I finally finished my Mary Tudor wrap. I don’t have great photos; my model is rather static. But I hope these give you the idea. The finished piece is about 73 inches long and 22 inches wide. I considered adding fringe, but I’m not convinced the wrap needs it. I’ll wear it and see what I think. I thought it would be too warm to wear this by the time I finished it, but sadly Spring has been willing to wait.



March 10, 2014

From Sally — It’s a Wrap

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 8:36 pm

As any longtime readers know, Susan and I both are fans of Alice Starmore designs.  We love the new Tudor Roses book.  I was especially taken with her reworking of Mary Tudor.  There was just one little problem.

I had already knit it in the original colorway.


How many Mary Tudor sweaters could/should one person knit? My solution: use the new colors but knit a stole instead of a sweater. I cast on enough stitches to knit 13 repeats of the design. I expected to knit those 13 repeats four times, but three turned out to be wide enough. (Yes, I’ll have lots of yarn left over, but that’s okay.)

It’s not quite finished. I’ve still got the border to knit and with over 1000 stitches picked up all the way around, it won’t be fast. Especially since it will involve fair isle and purling. With the border, and after blocking, I expect it to be about 68-70 inches long and 22 inches wide.

Here are some progress shots. The first is very true to color. The last two were taken after I cut the steek. The piece was still on the needles, however, so they don’t show the full length.



March 1, 2014

From Susan — Doomed from the Start

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:43 pm

Some projects get off to a rocky start.  We sometimes toss them and sometimes we persevere.  I had such a rocky start with this project that I really don’t know what possessed me to keep going!  I guess I kept looking at the picture and seeing a sweater I could wear to work and with jeans – cute and comfy and stylish.  Now that it is done, I will just say that it is wearable.

The sweater is Maestro by Heidi Kirrmaier.  I love Heidi’s (aka PipiBird’s) designs — I have made several of them.  A friend sent me a link to it, I had yarn in stash (Rowan Felted Tweed DK, in Avocado), and boom.  I had cast on in less than an hour!!  That was kind of a mistake.  Had I let it simmer a while and looked at other people’s projects, this would be a non starter.

Red Flag #1: I misunderstood the directions and knit the entire collar incorrectly.  Okay.  My mistake.  Start over.

Red Flag #2: There are weird “points” at the front neckline…I think they are there on purpose!  I did not like them so I ripped out many inches of the body and re-worked the front neckline.

Red Flag #3: Not sure I liked the short rows along the bottom.  I thought the look of the hem was cute, but worried that on me it would have a “droopy drawers” look, which I have already achieved to perfection!  I re-worked the hem without short rows, but retained the cutaway front.

Red Flag #4: Because I had not looked at Ravelry projects, I failed to notice that the fronts just have too much fabric!  I have nothing to fill it in, so it is ill fitting on me.

Red Flag #5: For a shawl collar to lay flat nicely, the back neck edge must have sufficient circumference.  This did not.  The outside edge of my collar was too tight, which caused the collar to pull up and the lapels to roll forward.  I was constantly tugging at it and adjusting and wearing pins…annoying.  So, I thought I would attempt what I thought would be an easy fix.  Is there such a thing???

Note: The collar is started by knitting a length of i-cord and then picking up the collar sts along the i-cord.

Red Flag #6: Note to self — if you are going to cut your collar to detach the i-cord, be sure to cut the right thread. Emoji

Red Flag #7:  You can add length to free standing I-cord, but attaching the live sts back is not so easy!!  I cut the sweater, placed the live collar sts on a needle, and then added 2-1/2 inches of extra length to the i-cord.  I put a needle along the i-cord in the exact position of where I had picked up the sts.  Plan A was to sew the live sts to the I-cord.  Plan A failed.  Emoji

Plan B Initiated: I decided to do an i-cord bind off along the live collar sts.  So, I cut off the old i-cord and started binding off, adding an additional row of i-cord every 4th st.  Then I grafted the live i-cord sts to the other edge of the lapel.  It worked.  The pictures below show before, during and after!


Cutaway Front

The sweater can now be declared finished, as am I!  After all that work and re-work, all I can say it that the sweater is “okay.”  Sometimes you really have to wonder!

PS – Now that I sound like a complete Debbie Downer, the point of all this is that I really liked the look of the design and was willing to work to obtain it!  Other people may have gotten there with much less hassle!!  I am recounting MY experience and it may not apply to others.

PS2: Wore this to work yesterday and the collar laid flat like a dream!!!

February 23, 2014

From Susan — Another Boo Boo

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:22 pm

As all of you must know by now, I absolutely adore the Sweet Dreams Shawlette from Boo Knits.  I have now made four of them and have many more to go (I need one myself!!!).  My eldest daughter loves her shawls so much she wears them every day to work, so she needed another color!  I dragged out some stash Madelinetosh Light in color Baltic and whipped up another of these babies:

This shawl is stunningly beautiful and is an easy, quick knit.  What more do you need?  The only problem is the cast on.  Boo uses the shortest garter tab cast on I have ever seen.  She has you knit 3 rows of garter to create the tab.  As is true with most crescent shaped shawls, you end up with a hump at the center back of the shawl.  For some people, this is very pronounced.  It can be blocked out a little bit but not completely.


Sweet Dreams shown for illustration

With each one of these I have experimented with a different approach to the cast on to eliminate or at least reduce the hump.  The last one I made (in Shiny Penny) was the closest I got (until now :) ), but was too tight across the center:

See the little pucker at the center top?  The top edge has absolutely no give.  It could possibly be the yarn (50% silk), but I suspect not.  It LOOKS okay, but Laura asked for something with more give and a shallower silhouette.

You can see in the top picture of the Baltic Dreams version, there is no pucker – the top edge is relaxed, the hump is greatly reduced.  There is a small area at the starting tail that needs a little work while blocking, but it’s not too bad.  My Sweet Dreams Cast On was born!  I ended up with 37 sts instead of 7.  This will work for many of Boo Knits’ designs but not many others in this exact form.  The concept might work for other crescent shawls, but you would need to experiment with it to get it to mimic the rest of the shawl edge.

In addition, I just returned from the Birkie.  It was bitter cold, windy with lots of new snow — a very tough ski for my birthday boy!!  Plus, John had been sick all week.  So, not his best race.  I again missed his finish because I slipped into the bakery at just the wrong moment!  That makes three years in a row!  Aaaarrrggghhh!  Maybe next year?? ;)

February 17, 2014

From Susan – Surprise, Surprise

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:44 pm

Birthday Update

Last fall I asked Nora (Sally’s daughter) if she would be up for surprising her mom on her birthday – she jumped at it!  We both flew in on Saturday afternoon and met at the DC airport.  A prearranged car dropped us off at Sally’s house.  Nora phoned her mom at the same time I started banging on the front door.  She couldn’t figure out why Matt wouldn’t open the %$%^^& door!

Sally was stunned!  She never saw it coming!  Nora deserves an academy award for her portrayal of “dog-walking daughter” when her pooch, Enzo, had already been with friends for two days!!  Matt never let on, and we kept it from other family members who might inadvertently spill the beans.

Sally had hoped that Nora might show up for her birthday, but by late afternoon Saturday (when Matt had never made an excuse to “run an errand” so he could pick Nora up at the airport), she had resigned herself.  We really fooled her.  And it is HARD to fool Sally.  She knew right away that Bruce Willis was dead in The Sixth Sense …she ruins every suspenseful movie she goes to!

That evening Matt took us to a spectacular restaurant for a feast fit for royalty, so it was a really fun day!!  I am now back in snowy Minnesota.  Whoopie! :)

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