theraineysisters knitting and so much more

November 22, 2017

From Susan — Indie Dyer

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:31 am

Yes.  I am a new indie dyer of beautiful yarns.  Okay.  In the interest of full disclosure, I am the dyer of one skein of yarn!! :)

Last night the Minnesota Knitters Guild hosted their November meeting and we all got to dabble in dying yarn with Kool-Aid!  The meeting was a blast and extremely well organized!!

I started with a skein of KnitPicks Bare Palette (Peruvian Wool 440 yds, 100 grams, $5.99) that has been in my stash for years.  Pure animal fibers work best, I guess.

Soak the yarn thoroughly for at least 20-30 minutes.  Most of us brought in wet yarn.  Take a bowl of water (enough to cover the yarn) and add 1 package of Kool Aid for every ounce of yarn.  I used 4 packages of Watermelon (apparently I was inspired by the watermelon colored shirt I was wearing!).  My friend Kim dyed hers an intense Kelly green.

Add the yarn and swish the yarn gently in the Kool Aid water.  Make sure the water covers the yarn completely.  Microwave it 4-8 minutes, checking after 4 minutes.  The water should be clear, and mine was!  Rinse gently in very hot water to avoid felting the yarn.  Other people used very concentrated colors to paint their yarn.  That process is slightly different and since I didn’t do mine that way I didn’t pay very close attention.

My yarn is a gorgeous color, though there are some white areas.  I am going to over dye with additional watermelon Kool Aid to color the white.  I am more than fine with some tonality in the final product!  I think I will knit a lacy scarf with my beautiful yarn.  I am so pleased with how it turned out and will definitely try this again!!  Thanks, MKG!!!

PS: I did over dye my yarn  with more Kool-Aid, but did not find powder at the store I was at, so I bought the liquid.  I squirted the whole bottle into a bowl of water and repeated the process described above, making sure that the white areas were exposed to the color.  The white is gone and I don’t think the color changed much overall!

 

November 17, 2017

From Susan — Ten Million on Cuteness Meter!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:02 am

Sorry, could not resist Baby Tony!!

I have had a thing for hippos for YEARS and this one is way adorable!!  The tongue sticking out??!!  Gimme a break!

November 13, 2017

From Susan — Reverse Psychology Plaid

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:11 pm

You know how you get a bee in your bonnet over something?  I have had it in my head for a while now to knit a Plaid Squared bag in the same color combination as the Reverse Psychology Shawl (scarf??) I made earlier in the year.  I am teaching Plaid Squared as a class at The Yarnery right now, so this notion hit a fever pitch!  I dragged my poor shawl/scarf everywhere and hit almost every store in town.

The problem was that most of the stores that carry Cascade 220 and 220 Heathers do not have all of the colors (including The Yarnery).  I needed to see them together with my shawl.  Finally, at Lakeside Yarn in Excelsior Minnesota, I struck gold.  Literally, the Color Gold 9463B.  And they had the gray and “mixed” color I wanted: Charcoal Grey 8400 and Straw 4010. :)

The bag I am knitting is an even larger bag than the “Deeper Bag.”  I also have had this bee buzzing around for a while — can I make the bag larger and still have the bottom wrap around continuously?  I can and I am!!  I will add this as an addendum to the pattern as more of a recipe than a step-by-step tome.  Once you have made one of these bags, it would be easy to make the larger version.  More to come when it gets finished.

Do not ask the inevitable question: how many felted bags does one person need?

PS to Janetcc — I have thought about using two, lighter weight yarns for this.  The problem is also a limited selection, BUT when the combination of yarns felts, it does not do so evenly.  They would need to be twisted perfectly together to have an even felt.  Cascade did make their worsted in a tweed variety.  I have a black-brown combination that pairs perfectly with dark brown and black.  It is very dark so I deemed it unsuitable.  The brown-black does not even show up on their website any longer so I do not know if they still make it.

November 4, 2017

From Susan — Snowfall – the Pattern – Has Dropped!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:11 am

I have been sitting on this for weeks now, just waiting for all the pieces to fall into place.  Today I finally launched my most recent design.  Somehow I got this inspiration to knit a snowflake hat using beads to create the snowflakes.  Beads replace yarn in the colorwork and it is really fun knitting.

Snowfall Hat and Snowfall Mitts

Sally, friend Kim, and friend Shelley have been wonderful test knitters.  I see more beaded knitting patterns in my future – already ideas are blossoming!!

Here is Sally’s daughter wearing her “Snowy Snowy Night” version:

PS to Nancy: I abhor eight-sided snowflakes!!  How can they be even considered a snowflake??!!??  And the beads are super easy to do.  It’s just knitting.

PS2 to Karen: I really wanted to use dark gray Fresco.  They showed that it existed, but it is listed everywhere as being a discontinued color.  I knew it would be the perfect yarn for the gray version.

I contacted Classic Elite and here is what they replied, “We have discontinued the grays because the angora in the yarn was working its way up through the fabric and then pilling terribly. It seems to be a problem with the dark grays, I don’t know why.  The decision was made to discontinue the color to avoid unhappy customers.  Fresco is not going away. It is a great yarn and we see many years into its future.”  I am sure it will be fine for your projects and I am a bit envious of you using the gray.  But since it was discontinued, I just did not want to use it for the pattern samples.  They recommended Inca Alpaca but it is worsted weight and way too heavy.

PS3 – links to our bead source are included in the patterns.  We got ours from Fire Mountain Gems – size 6 sliver lined.

November 3, 2017

From Both of Us — The Rainey Sisters On the Road

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 11:01 am

We just returned from a road trip to North Carolina to attend an event for the National Inclusion Project (a very worthwhile cause).  Sally has been involved for quite some time, but this was Susan’s first time attending the gala and other events.

Here we are hanging out at a local pub:

Susan really is not a blonde bombshell!  We got very little knitting done, but had fun.  Susan met a lot of new friends – many from New York!  Whatta hoot that was.  They kept making fun of the Minne-soh-ta accent!!

October 22, 2017

From Sally — Light and Airy Kobolt

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:47 pm

I just finished knitting a sweater out of  Woolfolk Luft.  This is an unusual yarn.  It consists of a threadlike cotton webbing surrounding unspun merino — so unspun it almost looks like dryer lint.  Very expensive dryer lint.  That does not sound like a ringing endorsement but let me be clear:  I love this yarn.  It’s incredibly soft, does not seem to want to pill, and feels light as air.  Here is a close up of the yarn in two colors (yes, I bought more).  The cotton webbing is always the same color — it creates a marled effect on dark merino and recedes on a light color.

And here is a close up of the blue yarn with the webbing cut away and the unspun merino feathered out.  As you can see, there is almost nothing to it.

 

Finally, here are some shots of my finished Kobolt, an oversized funnel neck designed by Sarah Solomon.  This was a quick, easy knit.  My only modification was to add some extra length.  I’ve included a rare “modeling” shot.  You may want to avert your eyes!

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.

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