theraineysisters knitting and so much more

December 11, 2015

From Susan — Fo, Fo, Fo!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:08 pm

Well, actually TWO FO’s!!  I just finished a great shawl that seems to have its light hiding under a basket: Borderline by Nicole Montgomery.  What appealed to me about it was both the gradient colorwork and the bobble thingies at the edge.  The bobble thingies remind me of a shawl that my daughter owns that we have both really liked.

The pattern is very well written.  The shawl shaping is a NO HUMP crescent!!  I will use her shaping technique in the future for a great no hump shape.  The shawl is wrinkled slightly because I wore it yesterday and garnered many a compliment!!

I used my Fiberstory Fave Sock Gradient Set (purchased at The Yarnery) with the addition of a very dark full skein at the bottom edge.   Because the number of colors and yardage differed from the yarn used in the pattern, I had to adjust my row counts to accommodate.

I was a bit “crochet challenged” by the bobbly bits, but finally managed to do them.  You make all 50 and then attach them.  The first one I tried took an hour!!  After some trial and error, I restarted and did all 50 in one day.

My other FO is a cute little thing that is a great gift idea for this time of year.  It is called certifiable (why I don’t know!), and is a small hoodie that serves as both a gift card holder and a Christmas tree (or generic holiday) ornament:

This pattern was also very well written and just so darn cute.  Made it in one evening!!  I wonder why there aren’t more projects on Ravelry??!!

And now it is FO, FO, FO!

Kmkat mentioned that she thought the pattern was expensive at $5.  That is a personal choice, but to me it was worth it.  It was very well written and set up for minimal printing.  She detailed the pattern line by line.

December 4, 2015

From Susan — How did it turn out?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:42 pm

Well.  I finished my Waking Tide and wore it last evening to knitting group.  Kathy W. already commented on it.  It turned out the way I planned.  I had not planned on it making me look like a bus.  BUT, that is not necessarily the sweater’s fault!!  😉

I added buttons to the side “seams” and made the back a little longer than the front.  I also made it swingy so it would not be a fitted pullover.

I added ribbing to the edges as well – I thought there needed to be more “weight” on the hems and I wanted the sleeves to fit better.

All in all, I would say it is a very wearable sweater, though not real flattering.  I don’t care too much about that.  I was looking for something to throw on when I did errands and this will certainly serve that purpose!!

PS — Anya asked if you could add the lace panel to a plain sweater  (written by someone else) to avoid the sizing issue of the yoke.  That is how the original was designed.  The body and sleeves were fine.  Lace does have a different gauge than non-open type stitch patterns, so you might have the same issues.  Maybe you could do separate gauge swatches to see how many sts to remove.

November 26, 2015

From Susan — Giving Thanks

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:37 pm

Sally and I both want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  We will be spending the day with our families. :)

Waking Tide
At my knitters guild presentation, I talked about ripping things out when they did not work.  “‘Tis better to rip and reknit now than regret later.”  At least, that is my philosophy.

Boy, was that put to the test with this one!!

I have never been so disappointed in the amount of extra effort needed to make a pattern work.

First, I jumped onto the FREE Waking Tide bandwagon because I thought the sweater was cute (and still do).  I bought the identical yarn and color for the same reason (though my color looks very little like the original).  Once I decided to embark on the sweater, I bought the pattern so that I could have the final version with corrections and project photos.  There were no changes that I could see and no photos.  Every time I needed to look at a picture, I had to go into Ravelry.

I made several mods to the body of the sweater, which look very nice.  One change was to add the sleeves after the yoke so I could make sure of the length.  Another was to center the lace motifs, which I believe should have already been done.

I got to the yoke making a size 44 inch (17 lace repeats).  I noticed that on most projects the yoke ruffled because there were too many sts.  So, I decided to be smart and remove 2 YOs from the top of the lace pattern (34 sts decreased).  I took out 2 additional sts so my stitch count would match the next size down.  I thought I was brilliant.

It did not work!  Still way too ruffley.

So, I ripped it out back to the armholes (!), and removed the 36 sts at the beg of the lace panel (which gave me 15 lace repeats instead of 17).  I still removed the 2 YOs at the top of the lace work – another 30 sts decreased for a total of 66 sts removed.  I also went down a needle size.


So then I ripped back to the top of the lace panel and removed 60 sts this time (4 per lace repeat).  I now had removed 96 sts from the yoke to maintain the size I was making.  96 sts.

I had to adjust the yoke decreases from that point of course, fudging as I went along.  It now fits.

I have not finished the sleeves or blocked it yet, but removing a third of the sts to get the thing to work is beyond ridiculous, esp since the lower body fit perfectly.  Add the fact that I did not substitute yarn and my gauge matched the pattern specifications, and it makes no sense!

Susan’s Waking Tide in Progress

Someday I will be thankful that I reworked this sucker so many times!!!  And hubby is thankful that we have  snow in our future!  At least a dusting.

PS (11-30-2015): Done and blocking, and it does fit.  I guess it was worth the effort – we shall see once it is dry and the buttons are sewn on.  I added buttons to both sides!!

November 20, 2015

From Susan — What I Knit with Company

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:16 pm

Sally shared her cute sweater and now I’ll share what I started at the Knit with Company Retreat.  I fell in love with Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s Suke-Suke Cowl for its striking textural stitch.  I chose a multifaceted colorway in Malabrigo Rios.  It is a rich mix of greens, eggplant purple and browns called Canbombe.

It was actually pretty boring to knit, which is why it took me so long to finish!  The tuck rows took an hour each!   My cowl did not block well at all.  The edges ripple and it seems to accordion and look a little floppy.  All that said, it really looks nice on and I received a lot of compliments.  Rios is worsted weight, so if you have a couple of skeins of hand dyed worsted yarn (~400 yards’ worth) in a stunning color, this may really showcase it!!

Even the inside looks interesting!

All in all I am very pleased!

As a sidebar, I did a speaking gig at the Minnesota Knitters Guild titled Anatomy of a Project: Taking Your Project from Start to Finish on Tuesday evening.  It was really an honor to be asked, especially considering the caliber of knitters in the guild.  Thank you, everyone, for such a warm reception!!

November 13, 2015

From Sally — What I Knit with Company

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:24 pm

At the Knitting with Company Retreat that Susan and I attended, we got to see and try on lots of knitted models. I fell in love with Leigh, designed by Julie Hoover. I bought the pattern and yarn and cast on immediately.

There was lots to love. Leigh is a simple but classic shape with little details that give it interest: decorative eyelets along the sleeves (which perform double duty as the sleeve increases), a split hem, and small tucks across the back neckline. I added a single crochet seam across the top of the sleeve.

As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of Shibui yarns. Leigh is knit out of two strands of Shibui Pebble held double. Pebble — a tweedy lace weight mix of recycled silk, merino, and cashmere — doesn’t look like all that in the skein. But it’s wonderful when it is knitted up, especially after being wet blocked. I LOVE the texture.

I chose a color named Hedge, a dark grayish green. Or is it a greenish gray? Almost impossible to decide. Either way, it’s a beautiful, subtle color that’s a perfect neutral. Sadly, and I do mean sadly, Shibui has just discontinued this color. Shibui is known for blending their yarns into various combinations or mixes in their proprietary patterns and most of their colors are available across multiple yarns. Hedge, as far as I can tell, was an orphan color. That may be why it was discontinued — no other yarns (e.g., Silk Cloud or Maai or Cima) to blend it with.

I’m glad I found it when I did. Buy it while supplies last. Trust me.

I’ve attached some photos. Both the color and sweater are difficult to photograph. However, I can tell already I will be wearing this one a lot. (The second photo, of the back neck, is probably the truest to the color.)

November 4, 2015

From Susan — Sometimes Great Things Happen

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:18 pm

We knit and sometimes that knitting morphs into something fabulous.  I just finished a scarf that is beyond amazing…Vintage Velvet using Touch Me Due yarn, color Frate, by Muench.  (They also sell regular Touch Me, which does not have a tonal quality.)

Before Felting

After Felting

This short video shows what happens to the yarn once it is felted following the pattern instructions:

I bought the yarn from Jimmy Beans at half price — still expensive, but worth it!!  It looks like they still have a pretty decent color selection.  The pattern calls for 5 skeins, but I used 8 and got a scarf the stated size!  If I was to do it again, I think I would go with 7 and stretch it out more during blocking.

And what happened to all the people who wanted to hear about the retreat?  Not a single comment! :(

Response to Suzan who asked how I felted the scarf (did I follow the pattern):
I just followed the pattern instructions and washed it once in hot water (in the machine) – in a zipped lingerie bag.  I dried it in the dryer for a while, but it was still really damp.  It took forever to dry, so every morning and every evening I would pop it back into the dryer for 15 minutes or so.  It FINALLY dried!  At that point I fluffed it in the dryer one more time.  I don’t know that any of that was necessary!

October 31, 2015

From Susan and Sally – Yes, We’re Back!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:01 am

From the looks of it, we never returned from Detroit Lakes, but we did — right on time!!  We have been delinquent on “retreat follow up” but here goes.

We left the cities in a driving rain (pun intended!).  The lake was obscured by heavy fog when we arrived, but the hotel (The Lodge on Lake Detroit) was lovely:

The lobby

The View from Susan’s Room at Sunrise – once the fog cleared!

Shelley and Scott from The Yarnery did an amazing job of organizing everything – they were so welcoming and really planned the weekend to perfection.  The idea was to get a group of knitters together to knit and socialize in a relaxing setting, while hanging out with popular knitting designers.

Catherine Lowe, Julie Hoover, Olga Buraya-Kefelian (aka OlgaJazzy), Michelle Wang (pronounced Wong)
The four designers (and some other notables) were there to talk about their knitting journeys and to assist us in selecting projects from the many original samples on hand and in executing techniques from their designs.  They were warm, knowledgeable, and eager to participate and get to know the knitters.  There was a small Yarnery “pop up” shop that sold Shibui, Brooklyn Tweed, and Woolfolk yarns (along with assorted kits and other yarns) that was kept very busy.  The Shibui rep and BT support staff were also present.

Catherine has had a long knitting history, with a focus on meticulous finishing techniques.  Her designs and yarns are sought after by serious knitters.  (As a side note, she and Sally have a long time connection through Yarns International, where they both worked years ago.)  Julie, Olga, and Michelle are all talented and creative designers who found knitting after a circuitous journey, often landing on knitting design by being in the right place at the right time.  It was fun to hear their personal stories and their insights on their design process.

Susan worked on Olga’s Suke-Suke Cowl because of its striking textural stitch (using Malabrigo Rios).  Sally chose a Julie Hoover top called Leigh in Shibui Pebble that was super cute and fit Sally really well.

We had a wonderful time and met some great people!!

Once we returned, we both got swept up in real life.  We have several FOs to share which will be revealed in the near future.

And Happy Hallowe’en!!


October 21, 2015

From Susan – To “Air” is Human

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:04 am

Who could resist Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze and firepolish beads or Swarovski crystals?  Not I!!  I am too cheap for the crystals (I used firepolish 6mm beads instead, 50 for the pink and 100 for the green), used KSH from my stash, and a free pattern from Rowan.  Cheap thrills!!

The pattern is called Triangular Shawl by Jennie Atkinson.  It is sometimes referred to as a scarf, but it is the same pattern.  It says it takes one skein, but I had to dip into the second for the pink (the green is smaller for some reason and came in just under a skein).  Jennie reworked the design into a larger triangular shawl as well, that takes three times the yarn and crystals.

You need to create an account and log into the Rowan website to access the pattern.  I did my first (the raspberry color) following the pattern, but made some changes to the second (green) version.  MAKE SURE YOU BIND OFF LOOSELY.  I did not bind off loosely enough on the green and it is a problem.  If the bind off breaks, I have enough yarn to redo the edging… but it would be a bummer. :(

Also, I did not thread the beads onto the yarn until the row they were going to be used.  I did it as instructed the first time and it meant several rows of pushing the beads along for no real reason.  I wrote up my changes on my project page.

So I have two lighter than air shawls that are quite dressy.  I love them, and hope to just throw them on as an accent — probably more next spring and summer.

I am really getting excited because Sally arrives tomorrow.  We will be heading to this retreat, sponsored by The Yarnery (my favorite knitting store):

We each need to be working on something designed by the featured artists.  We will reveal our selections after the retreat!!

Response to Allison: I tried to email you but it bounced back!  I also had a horrible time following the pattern until I charted it and could see what was supposed to line up with the row before.  I put a copy of my chart on my Ravelry project page.

October 19, 2015

From Susan — Danish Knit Off

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:31 am

If you like cooking challenge shows (like Master Chef) as much as I do, you will adore this Danish version with KNITTING!!  Found this on Ravelry — where else??!!

The following two episodes have English subtitles, though others are available in the original non-subbed format.  Enjoy!!

October 17, 2015

From Susan — I am Revived

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:43 am

I just received something very special in the mail: Bohus Knitting – The Revival.  Oh my.  Very beautiful.  I already own Poems of Color by Wendy Keele (and there is overlap), but the new book is wonderful.  It is written in both Swedish and English, with lots of photos and patterns.  I saw the book being discussed on Ravelry in the group dedicated to Bohus knitting.  I clicked a link and was off and running.  I did not know how much the book would cost (~$56) or where it was coming from (Sweden) and did not care!  It would make a nice gift to yourself!!

PS – am I the only one that gets Poems of Color and Poetry in Stitches mixed up??

And speaking of revived — last Sunday we had a phenomenal weather day.  It was a gorgeous 85 degrees!  Summer yet fall all wrapped up in one.  I spent the day with a group of peeps that I have known for over 40 years.  We went to Florida together a couple of years ago.  Here we are with the mighty Mississippi as backdrop, enjoying a glorious day!

From left to right: Deb, Martha, Jan, Me

I love this picture for a lot of reasons, but mostly because my triple chin isn’t showing!! 😉

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