theraineysisters knitting and so much more

April 27, 2017

From Susan — Say It Isn’t So!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:14 am

Ack!!  Snow on the deck!  Okay, it is a dusting and will be gone very soon, but it is cold!!

April 24, 2017

From Susan — Yarnover the Great

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:19 pm

Oh, my knitting peeps.  If you weren’t at Yarnover this weekend, you missed a great event!  The organizers, led by my good friend Shelley H., outdid themselves.  And I mean that.  They escalated our little, scruffy “Let’s Put on a Show!” to a Broadway production!

In previous years we held Yarnover at schools.  Bad seating, bad lighting, bad food, cheap rates.  We never thought, as a non-profit, all volunteer guild, that we could afford to hold the event at a nice hotel.  But Shelley and her team had a dream and made it happen!  It was so nice…and it is very close to where I live — yay!!

I took a class on double knitting.  The teacher (Alisdair Post-Quinn) was great, his samples beautiful, etc., but the technique itself is worse than brain surgery without anesthesia (yes, I said that all weekend! 😉 ).  Knitting is a hobby.  Knitting is supposed to be fun.  Knitting has its share of ‘annoying,’ but should it be 150% annoying??!!

The Vendor Market rocked!  I spent a teeny, tiny bit of money…

Can you say gold and gray?  Everything I knit anymore is a variation of yellow and gray!!  Really.  I am not exaggerating!  The yellow-gray gradient is KnitCircus Lavish (70% merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, 600 yards, color Brass & Steam).  The Grinning Gargoyle selection are all Seda Sock (50-50 Merino Silk) in (from left to right) – Thundersnow, Sea Glass, and Crate Lake.  Yes, I know.  Stunning.

On Sunday, they held the April MKG meeting at the hotel in a huge amphitheater.  The speakers were Shannon and Jason, aka The ShibaGuyz, who design crochet and knitting designs.  They have three Shiba Inu – no idea what the plural of Shiba is.  I have one Shiba Inu.  I wanted to bond!!

Yuki lounging in the sun!

I showed them this picture of Yuki — I took it as I left to go to their lecture.  He is a Cream, which is not a sanctioned variety by the AKC, but is by the British KC.  We aren’t showing him so it doesn’t matter, but I sensed that they looked down on him just a little bit.  Or they were in a hurry.

I got home and worked on my latest project, which is now at a point that requires some thinking.  Not a lot of thinking, but more than I feel like doing.

Meet my Funky Grandpa, which also has a gold/gray thing going on!  I am quite enjoying it, though I want to take a short break from it.  I am knitting it in Carol Sunday’s 3-ply and Zauberball.   Just the sleeves are left.  My sweater will not be short and cropped for reasons I do not care to discuss 😉 .

So, I did the unthinkable and started with my brand new yarn.  I wanted to do a shawl-type thing but realized that all the yellow would be at the nape of my neck like a big egg yolk!  I saw the identical yarn used to knit a scarf called Reverse Psychology and liked the way the yellow can be anywhere you want to drape it.

I can’t wait for next year’s Yarnover – it is just going to get better!

April 14, 2017

From Susan — Take a Breath!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:00 pm

My Breathing Space is finally D O N E !!  It seemed to take forever.  It didn’t help that I started it a couple of times with different contrasting colors (always with the denim blue, but I tried several other stripe colors!!).  My denim is Sun Valley Fibers MCS Fingering (75% Wool – Merino, 15% Goat – Cashmere goat, 10% Silk; 400 yds/115 grams).  The yarn is amazing!!!

Last year at knitting camp I dragged my peeps over and made them vote on a contrast color.  We chose Sun Fibers MCS in a silver gray (quick silver?) to go with the denim.  I like the combination!!  It has a beautiful drape and gorgeous tonality.  You cannot go wrong with this yarn!!

So, you KNOW I did something different with this pattern!  It is in my nature and cannot be avoided!! 😉  I did not want to change the colors along the longer edge, which is what the pattern instructed.  As you may remember, I did not have a good technique at that point for jogless stripes (see this post).

Veera Välimäki has you start and change the color stripes along the “seam line” on the long edge (shown as original method below).  I wondered if you could avoid that :) .

Basically, I started the first stripe where the stripe was supposed to end, knit across the BOR marker to the turning spot.  I did a short row turn, purled back to my start point.  Then I knit the extra sts you were supposed to knit and carried the yarn for the next stripe for those few sts so it was in position.  I then knit the second stripe across all the required sts, turned and purled back, and carried the first color for a few sts to be in position for the next stripe…and so on.

Below you see the details.  The long side without stripe jogs on the left (the little blips are the increases that you do).  The top right is a close up of the short rows on the front, where the yarns were being carried across.  And then the two inside shots — one of the back of the sweater where I did not carry the yarn, and the front side where I did.  From the right side you cannot see any difference.

All the while I was increasing, etc., per the pattern instructions.  The two sides finally met at the “seam” at the short side of the skirt.

At that point I had to deal with the jog, which I described in the same post linked above.

The sweater fits great, but I don’t think it’s all that flattering!  I was hoping that the style would be slimming, but I think it has the opposite effect.  I still wear it frequently because it is a great top to wear in transitional, springtime weather!!



April 2, 2017

From Susan — I Remembered!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:31 pm

Well, more like I was reminded!  A friend brought her finished Forget-Me-Not Shawlette to knitting a couple of weeks ago and reminded me about the kit that I bought at Yarnover, 2015 (upper left corner of this picture):

Linda had knit her shawlette “crescent style.”  She said the instructions were included in her pattern, but they were not in my version.  I faked it and came up with my own crescent Forget-Me-Not:

It is so cute!  I love the colors and love the feel of the fabric.  I hope that when next fall rolls around, I will not forget this little cutie, though it does go with a light blue linen shirt that I wear in the summer!  Fast knit and nice results!

PS to Anne C.:  Anne asked how I wear these small, triangular shawlettes.   It varies depending on their size somewhat.  This one is small and not slippery.   I tied it in the back and let the ends hang down and it stayed in place, but I didn’t wear it very long.  If needed, I think I would pin it invisibly so it would hang down in back and just look tied (not in a full knot).   Kathy W. wore one of these at knitting recently.  She tied the ends in a knot and wore the point slightly to one side — it looked super cute!!

PS2 to Susan — I have made numbers 1, 4, and 5 (there are two 5’s, the StevenBe’s Alchechini — one kit was for Surly and she has not made hers yet!).  Number 4 was this little necklace.  2 & 3 are still marinating!!!

March 28, 2017

From Sally — A Bird in the Hand . . .

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:26 pm

I have nothing grand to share — nothing that will compare with Susan’s last two project posts.  But it’s not a competition, right?

I’m almost finished with a sweater.  I would be wearing that sweater today if I hadn’t been sidetracked by a lovely hat that reminded me of a favorite poem:  Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens.  My favorite stanza is the last (although I love them all).

It was evening all afternoon.   
It was snowing   
And it was going to snow.   
The blackbird sat   
In the cedar-limbs.

My hat has fourteen birds, not thirteen.  Close enough.

The pattern is Passerine designed by Erica Heusser.  I knit it out of two shades of Tosh Merino Light, which I had in my stash:  Well Water and Composition Book Grey.  I love the tonality and the mood the two colors created.  (I only wish the Well Water hadn’t gotten so very thin in a few spots.)

I made a few modifications.  The pattern tells you to cast on with your contrast color and then, on the first row, start 1 x 1 twisted rib using the main color.  I knit one row plain in the main color before starting the ribbing.  The reason for this was to avoid purl bumps in the contrast color — you get a sharper, cleaner line.  The row of plain knit disappears once you start the ribbing.

Next, I used Susan’s invisible stranding technique from her It’s Not About the Hat pattern. One advantage of having Susan as a sister is that she even drew out the extra stitch lines for me.  Thanks, sis!  I also used Susan’s shaping from her free One Day Hat pattern.  I wanted a closer fitting type hat rather than the slouchier look in the original pattern.

As for photos, well, it’s hard to take a picture of a hat on yourself!  So I have one not so great photo.  I’m traveling to meet up with friends tomorrow.  If I can persuade one of them to act as a model, I might be able to get some better pictures.

March 19, 2017

From Susan — A Rose by Any Other Name

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:04 pm

I just finished a beautiful shawl called Osmanthus that is so delicate and pretty — and the color of rose petals.  Knit in Grinning Gargoyle’s MCS Fingering, color Petals (70% Wool – Merino, 20% Silk, 10% Goat – Cashmere goat), it is very soft and luxurious.  The color is almost solid with a slight peachy cast, and periodic flecks of darker pink.  Grinning Gargoyle brings her stunning yarns to Yarnover every year and we make a DASH for her booth!  The colors are spectacular.  I have used her yarn often in the past.

There are pink seed beads through the lower half or so.  Here it is blocking:

It is really huge, and took about 825 yards!  I hope it’s not too big!! 😉

I think it will be a really nice shawl to wear in the spring and in summer with air conditioning.  It screams summer wedding to be honest!  I will for sure take it with me to Washington, DC when I go in May to visit Surly and attend the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!!

March 11, 2017

From Susan — Worth the Wait

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:02 pm

I am coming up on my second anniversary — as of March 15, it will be two years since I started this sweater!!  Yay!!  Yay for finishing!!  The sweater is Fading Lines, and it is done.  It is  Joji Locatelli design in Pigeonroof Gradient Sock Yarn.

I had high hopes when I started this project.  I got off to a quick start on tiny yarn and tiny needles, but it was too long and clung to my derriere in a very unflattering way.  I set it aside.  Last fall I dragged it out again, made some adjustments, finished up through the collar and again put it aside.  I decided that it would be a great spring sweater so I dragged it out once more…but could not find the pattern (with all of my notes), which was with the bag of yarn.  I found some yarn, but not all of it.  I had purchased one extra skein of the background color as insurance, but it didn’t look the same.  Did not have the same speckly tonality of the rest.  I knew that knitting the sleeves with that yarn would be very noticeable.

I combed the entire house multiple times and never found anything more than the “bad” skein and a couple of very small balls of “good” yarn.  Last week I stumbled onto the pattern: alone, not in a bag, and without the oodles of yarn needed to knit the sleeves. :(  Uh oh.  So, I decided to use the small nerds of “good” yarn as long as I could and then switch to the not-so-good yarn.  It worked!  I got all the way to the garter cuffs in the matching yarn, and so just switched out at the cuffs.  Whew!

My Grade:

Pattern: A
Yarn: A, the gradient colors are strikingly beautiful
Fit: A+ (!!!)
Overall Score: A+

Fit is everything and this fits me the best of almost any sweater I have ever made!  I L O V E it! 😉  Sorry, I could not get any good pictures.

March 7, 2017

From Susan — If you don’t like the weather now…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:50 am

…wait five minutes!  Last night, tornadoes and hail.  This morning, snow on the ground.

March 5, 2017

From Susan — Don’t Jog My Mellow

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:20 pm

Mary Sue asked me about the jogless stripes method that I referenced when speaking about my Breathing Space.  I was going to wait and describe it when I posted my finished project, but my project has hit a speed bump.  :(  So, I decided to share it now because I was asked!!

The center line shows the position of the change in colors.  It is jogless, but can be seen because it protrudes slightly.  This is because I twisted the yarns together on each row to avoid gaps.  That has really nothing to do with the jog per se but more to do with carrying the colors up the rounds and leaving holes between changes.  I think some of that will block out (I have not blocked this yet).  And to be honest, I don’t care about the vertical line now that the jogs are gone!  Woo Hoo! 😉

The original pattern has the color changes occurring on the longer of the two sides.  I did not like any of the usual techniques for jogless stripes when I started the sweater, so I completely changed the construction so my joins would take place on the short side (too complicated to describe now).  After I finished the short rows that create the angles of the sweater, and got to the short side to start working the stripes in the round, I tried every jogless technique I could think of.  They were all horrible looking, until I found The Icelandic Knitter’s Jogless Join!  And that is the technique I used for the stripes.  It works really well.

In a nutshell, you knit to the end of your round with Color A.  Do not remove EOR marker.  Place the last Color A stitch back on the left needle and knit it again with Color B (this step is kind of awkward).  Knit Color B round as you normally would, but knit the last stitch in round by lifting the Color A stitch from the end of the Color A round and knit it together with the extra Color B stitch.  She shows pictures of this.  Many people do this step with the first stitch of the round, but I think this works better.


March 3, 2017

From Sally — Christmas in March

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:02 pm

As promised (or was that threatened), I’m posting today about a sweater I knit my son for “Christmas.”  Let me be honest here — he asked for a sweater several years ago.  I said yes because he is extremely knit worthy.  He appreciates and wears everything I’ve ever made for him.  This project, however, had trouble coming together.

I first started it with some lovely cashmere from Carol Sunday.  I love her yarn, but the pattern he helped me choose (NOT one of hers) had issues.  Moreover, I didn’t care for it all that much.  I started it over once and then it slowly migrated to the abandoned pile.  The guilt remained.

This past September, I purchased different yarn and found a new pattern.  The yarn is Cumbria by the Fibre Company in the colorway Appleby Castle.  It’s a blend of Merino, Masham (a breed of sheep I was unfamiliar with), and Mohair.  (Susan used the fingering weight version for her Leap Year cardigan.)  I chose a pattern called Fantomas, which featured knit in sleeves and shoulder saddles with a zip up neck and small stand up collar.

It started out great.  I told Sterling I was knitting him a sweater when I saw him in October (in part because I needed to re-measure him after all this time).  “Is that still happening?” he asked.  Oh, the guilt.  But there was a snag.  He liked the yarn.  He liked the pattern.  More specifically, he liked it except for the zip up neck which is what I liked about it!

Back to the drawing board.  Sort of.  I had knit the body and sleeves to the armhole, joined them, and started some of the sleeve cap shaping.  (This pattern uses knit in saddle shoulder shaping very similar to Elizabeth Zimmerman’s.)  I took the whole thing apart and removed some body length because it looked too long when I made him try it on.  (I hope I don’t come to regret this decision but the overall body length of 30 inches specified in the pattern seemed awfully long.)  Then I rejoined it and plotted out how to rewrite the pattern to give him the crew neck he wanted.

Using Actual Gauge Graph Paper, I first drew out all of the sleeve and saddle shaping called for the in the original pattern and marked where I would have split the neck for the zipper.  Then I measured some of my husband’s crew necks and looked at some other sweater patterns to determine a basic depth and width for a standard men’s crew neck.  I roughly sketched out on my graph paper where I should take off center neck stitches etc. and hoped for the best.

I didn’t think it was working when I was starting the saddle decreases at the top of the shoulder.  However, because there was so little knitting left at that point, I decided to keep going.  If it didn’t work, I’d get a better idea of what was wrong if I actually finished.  That was the right decision because it did work.  I tried a couple of different neckline treatments, finally settling on a 1 x 1 rib in knit & seed stitch to complement the stitch pattern on the sleeve, and I had the saddle stitches flow into the neckband.

I was so excited to throw it in the mail that I took very few photos.  My husband is my reluctant model.  He and my son are close in size  but it should fit Sterling a little better.  I hope the length is right; I’m waiting to hear that he’s received it.  Sorry for the skimpy photographs, but I was very excited to get this off the needles and out to Portland, Oregon.


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