July 26, 2015

From Sally — Queen of the Mountain

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 9:17 am

I’ve been a fan of cycling for lo these many years. I still remember Greg LeMond’s heart-stopping victory over Laurent Fignon in the 1989 Tour de France and, as long time readers know, my son-in-law was a pro cyclist. (He retired last year.) So how is it I never knew about Natalie Servant’s Tour de France shawl knitalongs? I learned about it this year at Knitting Camp. The challenge: cast on and finish the shawl before the riders reached Paris.

Even though the Tour had been going on for a week, I accepted the challenge and cast on. This year’s design was called Labrouste, designed by Natalie Servant and modeled after the gorgeous ceiling in the Henri Labrouste reading room in the Bibliotheque Nationale. Sun Valley Fibers was at Knitting Camp, and I purchased some of their luscious MCN Fingering in Terra Cotta.

I loved having an excuse to sit and knit and watch this year’s Tour without feeling guilty. I was rooting for a Frenchman to win. It didn’t happen, but Romain Bardet and Thibault Pinon gave me a lot to cheer about. I cast off just as the riders were about to start the final climb up the legendary Alpe d’Huez. In 1989, my husband rode up that climb. I drove to the top to wait for him. It was a scary road even in a car. I drove so slowly, and he rode so fast, that I was barely out of the car before he arrived. I still remember Nora running after him. (She was only 3.) Perhaps that’s where her love of cycling was born.

Below are some photos of the shawl, including a shot of the climb (well, of the TV showing the climb) and the unblocked shawl draped over the screen.

July 20, 2015

From Susan — A Loft

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:41 pm

Summer seems to be flying by.  Ack.

I did get a small project done!  I am going to teach a class at The Yarnery this fall and needed to make the shop sample.  I toyed around with a couple of shawl patterns and settled on Rakke by Susanna IC.  It can be knit with LOFT or Shelter.  I made the LOFT version, which takes about 2 skeins (my color is Long Johns).

It was a fast and fun knit.  There are nupps involved, but the LOFT handled them just fine.  LOFT is growing on me.  I kind of like it now!!  I found an error in the pattern and the Brooklyn Tweed Support Team responded quickly and efficiently.  Great customer service!!

All in all, a satisfying little project.  What is in store next?  Only the psychic network knows!!  I hope they let me in on the secret….

July 14, 2015

From Susan — The Hangover

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:23 pm

I have a post-Camp 2015 hangover!!  I feel groggy, sluggish and off kilter.  It is the result of being in an enclosed space with too much (is there such a thing??!!) yarn and lots of yarnies (people who adore yarn).  I’m sure I’ll recover quickly!!

Camp was great.  Wonderful to see everyone, and to sit at the feet of knitting royalty (Meg Swansen) and hear her words of knitting wisdom…as well as some jokes that are not PG rated!  We learned a lot, we laughed a lot, others knit a lot.  I experienced “project issues” and really have nothing to show for a “knitting weekend.”

Here are the yarns I acquired:

Not that much as these things go!

  1. Briggs & Little Regal, in two colors — I won this for taking 1st place in the annual challenge
  2. KnitCircus Greatest of Ease in Lothlorien — beautiful
  3. Schachenmayr Tahiti in Sun Shower (purchased at The Yarnery in a heading-home drive buy shopping urge)
  4. SunValley Fingering in a gorgeous reddish violet called Cherry

We stopped at The Norske Nook in Osseo Wisconsin and I picked up a cherry pie that was just out of the oven and piping hot.  Oh my.  We are eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

This year’s challenge theme was “If I Had Wings.”  I submitted Nightingale (as it is covered in wings!) and used Somewhere Over the Rainbow as my inspiration.  My little poem:

To celebrate our theme of ‘If I Had Wings’
I’ll harken back to a song that Judy Garland Sings…

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where my stash is all around me
Where troubles melt, no stitches drop
And I can knit and never stop
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow, yarn is blue
And the dream that I dared to dream finally did come true
If knitted little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow why, oh, why can’t I?

It’s back to work tomorrow, which will make Camp seem so far, far away…

July 5, 2015

From Susan — Sure Bet

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:05 pm

Are any of you infatuated with the new mini-skein gradient sets that are popping up all over?  I love them!  What a clever marketing idea!

I recently went for a dip in the gradient pool.  I saw the Beacon Shawl somewhere (I thought in Interweave Knits) so I quickly bought the kit from Pigeonroof Studios.  But, the pattern wasn’t in my copy of Interweave Knits.  It was in KnitScene…so off I went to find the magazine.

I loved the Sherbet (Sure Bet, get it???) colorway contrasted with the tonal charcoal.  The angular look and Tequila Sunrise colors called my name.

The knitting of the large triangle seemed to take forever.  I did add a couple of repeats in case my gauge was tight.  Plus, I had a ton of yarn so I figured I should use more of it.  Once the triangle was done, the colorful strips were fast.  I changed mine to get rid of the little “jog” at the color changes.

Beacon Shawl from KnitScene

Here is my Beacon Shawl — still on the blocking table!

I love it!  The colors are wonderful!!

Now I have to hunker down and get ready for Sally’s arrival and preparations for Knitting Camp.  Woo Hoo!!!

PS — It’s dry!

The raspberry is darker than it appears in the photos.  Love it!

ETA from Sally:  I’m packing.  One whole suitcase is devoted to nothing but yarn.  I hope I have room for my clothes.!

June 25, 2015

From Susan — He Knows He’s Cute…Don’t Encourage Him!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:55 am

We are co-parenting our daughter’s Shiba Inu, Yuki. Shibas are described perfectly in this article: more cat than dog, smart, and “independent” (read: he’s a stinker).  Too cute for his own good and totally aware of the effect he has on humans.

Yuki Loves his Care Bears!

PS – In answer to your questions, Yuki is fully grown and will not change color.  He is creamy all over except for the back of his legs and his ears.  Most Shibas are stockier than Yuki and a darker gold.

His tail “unfurls” when he relaxes and the recoil process is a sight to behold…that thing has a life of its own!  He is a tiny bit chubbier right now because John shares bagels with Yuki and Molly (our yellow lab) every morning.

They love their bagels with Daddy.  I know.  Bad for dogs!

June 22, 2015

From Sally — Splashes of Color

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 5:43 pm

Generally speaking, I prefer to knit with wools and cashmere — warm, winter/fall yarns. But the one advantage of more summery yarns is color. I just finished (almost) one project and have launched another based on the beautiful eye popping colors of the yarns.

My new project — just started yesterday — is Colina designed by Elizabeth Doherty. It’s designed to be knit out of Quince & Co.’s Sparrow, which is a sport weight organic linen. (Given the way this linen changes when wet blocked, you should be careful if you knit it out of a different yarn.)

I chose the color Citron. It positively glows.

The (almost) finished project is Purl Soho’s Silken Straw shell. This yarn is a thin pure silk tape. It feels almost like raffia before it’s blocked. I can’t say it’s a joy to knit with; it splits and if you drop a stitch it will just keep on going. But the colors are gorgeous and once it is wet blocked, the yarn softens and changes. I’ve finished the knitting and blocked my shell, but I haven’t woven in all the ends.

Because I’m leaving for an unexpected quick trip out of town, I thought I’d share it anyway. My color is called Geronimo. It’s tricky to photograph; I’ll take more once it’s wearable.

Finally, speaking of splashes of color, I thought I’d share pictures of my new “pet.” Froggy. He lives in our back pond and I think he’s adorable. I’m not sure the adoration is mutual.

June 15, 2015

From Sally: Shhhhh

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 8:37 am

It’s someone’s birthday.  I’m not at liberty to say whose birthday we’re celebrating today. A few clues: she’s the best sister ever, she’s my partner in crime, she’s my best friend.


Remember, you didn’t hear it from me.

PS from Susan — I don’t know who she could possibly mean! ;) I did take today off so I could go see Jurassic World but that may not happen.  We will go out to eat because I want to order and walk away from all of the dirty dishes.

June 14, 2015

From Both of Us: Sherlock Rainey

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 1:08 pm

The Sherlock Rainey Sisters spent the better part of this morning attempting to de-construct a link to the past that Surly was interested in.  She wanted to knit a poncho like the following Eileen Fisher Devale Linen Tunic from three years ago:

This color might be more accurate:

BUT – we had no picture (it was way back in emails), no product name, no hope.  With searching Google and trailing after Pinterest photos, we finally found both the correct name AND the exact item for sale on Ebay.

Susan to Sally, “Just buy it!  It’s not worth your knitting time and the cost of yarn to make it!!”

Sally to Susan, “I already did!”

Yep, Sherlock Rainey and Watson in perfect harmony.

ETA from Sally:  I found it, or rather Susan found it, on ebay.

June 10, 2015

From Susan — Buh Bye

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:07 am

Remember this?

It is Buh Bye.  Did not like it.  Did not want it.  Took it back.  When I went to Unwind Yarn Shop the first time, I saw a yarn I loved.  I did not buy it because I needed two skeins of the above and did not want to spend the money.  So I went back and exchanged my extra skein of pink&brown for a bright little summer skein that I love:

It is a specially dyed color for the shop from Dream in Color.  I love it and should have bought it the first time around.  They were so kind when I came in to exchange my yarn.  Great shop!

What will I do with it?  Probably look at it from time to time until I die.

June 4, 2015

From Susan — Who Woulda Thunk?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:33 pm

Certainly not my favorite FO, or best-knit FO, but perhaps now my most seen FO??!!??  Sally (and others) alerted me to the fact that my Alchemy Blocks Ponchini (aka “Color Blind“) appeared on the Ravelry blog this morning!!  My ponchette is famous!!

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