theraineysisters knitting and so much more

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.


July 13, 2017

From Susan — Ready, Set, Go!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:06 pm

Ah, today I am getting ready to leave for Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp with friend, Kim.  Sally cannot go this year.  But Little Darcy is coming with us!  He has to get ready, too:

Little Darcy‘s hair needed a reset after I sprayed him down at Camp last year!!

July 9, 2017

From Susan — Wedded Bliss

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:17 am

I hate to “step on” my own post, but I want to share a very wonderful event with you all.  Yesterday my knitting peeps and I attended the wedding of a very special member of our group, Jimmy.  Jimmy and the love of his life got married yesterday in a beautiful, very meaningful ceremony.  Every detail reflected them, their interests, and their love for each other, their families, and their friends.  As Jimmy’s knitting peeps, we were very warmly received.  We brought our knitting to show who we are to Jimmy and everyone came up and said, “You’re Jimmy’s knitting friends!”

Jimmy and Taren hand threw enough plates for every person there.  We selected our favorite, used it as our dinner plate, and then got to bring it home as a memento.  Taren’s mom (with some help!) baked 24 of their favorite pies for the dessert.

They spoke their vows as the sun was setting behind them — the weather and venue (Schaar’s Bluff, Hastings MN) were perfect and every detail incredibly unique and beautiful.  They are so obviously meant for each other.

Jimmy designed and knit the ties that he and Taren are wearing with embroidery floss!!  They are stunning!  To Cath, the ties have not made it onto Ravelry!

Congratulations, Mr. and Mr. Kindree!!  The newlyweds will be moving to Norway where Jimmy has accepted a teaching job.  We are so excited for them as they start their lifelong journey together!

PS: Because I know you want to see the plate!  There were so many different styles – Asian-influence, African-influence, geometric, modern, etc.  It was impossible to choose so I went with a very simple, classic plate.  I LOVE it!!

PS2: Regarding the embroidery floss.  Jimmy used the 6 strands held together.  It approximated lace weight yarn, with a smooth, satiny finish and vivid color.

PS3: To Susan — our knitting group started about 18 years ago.  A few people were meeting and then one of them sent postcards out to any MKG knitter in the NW Twin Cities area.  That is how I heard about it.  The membership has changed over the years, but a few of us have stuck it out!!  We meet at the Plymouth Panera’s on Rockford Road every Thursday from ~3pm to 6pm or so. Any knitter is welcome to join us.  It is the highlight of my week and I really try not to miss it, though this Thursday I won’t be there because I’ll be at knitting camp!! :)

July 8, 2017

From Susan — Let’s Stroll Down Memory Lane

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:41 am

Sally is travelling and I have the summer doldrums, so not much to post.  I did start a new discussion thread on The Rainey Sisters Ravelry group though — called Knitters that Sew.  A lot of us do both and a conversation in another thread turned so much to sewing that we decided it deserved its own discussion.  Now THAT thread is talking about knitting!  Go figure…

Anyway, I was going to share this story in that thread, but thought I might as well tell it here, too.

We adopted our second daughter in the summer of 1995.  It was the most wonderful summer of my life!  I took the whole summer off to be with the new baby, and had my 5-year old daughter to help.  We had so much fun, and it was a special time I will always treasure.

Hanging at home gave me time to do the crafting stuff that I love.  I came up with an idea to make a Moon and Stars jacket – a black velvet jacket adorned with lamé celestial bodies: moon, sun, stars, comets, planets, etc.  To say it was “over the top” is an understatement!!

I decided to enter it in the Minnesota State Fair along with several knitted items.  It won a blue ribbon – yay!  I also won the sweepstakes for my St@rm0re Jacket, Eris0rt.  Because I was off all summer, and the fair was incredibly cheap back then, I took the girls several times throughout its ten-day run.

We would hang around the fair, eat corn dogs, and go visit my entries in the Creative Activities Building.  Bliss.  One very busy day, we were in the CA Bldg walking next to the case where my velvet jacket was displayed.  It was so crowded that we were creeping along in a slow line looking at the entries.

The woman next to me said to her friend [about my jacket], “That is the most hideous thing I have ever seen!!”  Right about then my oldest daughter said, “Look!  There’s your jacket, Mama!!”  The woman turned to me and said, “You made that, didn’t you?”  “Uh huh.”  She was horrified and embarrassed, but I told her that I knew it wasn’t for everyone and that she had made my day!  I got a huge kick out of it and it still makes me laugh.  Of all the people to be standing next to!

I also learned NEVER to say anything bad about anything on display at the Creative Activities Building within earshot of anyone else!!  You just never know!!

PS to Stashdragon: I wore the Eris0rt Jacket as my main winter coat for years!  It started to wear thin on the left shoulder where I’d hang my purse.  Now I only wear it occasionally to keep it from wearing out.  The velvet jacket does not get worn as often, to be honest!! 😉

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