theraineysisters knitting and so much more

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!! 😉

June 18, 2017

From Sally — Chain Chain Chain

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 6:01 pm

I finished a very cute linen top a few weeks ago, Deschain designed by Leila Raabe.  The jury is out on whether it is cute on me.  I haven’t worn it yet.  Maybe tonight!  I sort of envision throwing it on over a sleeveless dress to ward off air conditioning.

The yarn is Kestrel by Quince & Co. in the color Ash.  It’s an Aran weight ribbon made of linen.  I liked the color and the feel (once wet blocked) of the yarn.  I was a bit disappointed however to find multiple breaks and knots in several of the skeins.  The skeins only contain 76 yards as it is — and some of my skeins turned into 3 skeins of varying lengths.  Not.good.

I made no real mods — this was a quickie knit.


I’ve been experimenting with some lenses for my iPhone camera.  One lets you take extreme close ups.  Here, for example, is a lace cap hydrangea flower from my garden.

For fun, I took a close up of the Kestrel yarn.

June 15, 2017

From Sally — It’s Someone’s Big Day Today

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 7:46 am

Yes, it’s all true.

Today is Susan’s birthday!

Here’s one of my favorite photos of my sister — she’s with my daughter.

Please join me in wishing a very Happy Birthday to my sister, my best friend, and my partner in crime.

June 11, 2017

From Susan — No Power!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:32 pm


We got hit with a bad storm this morning.  The temperature dropped 40 degrees since yesterday, and we got lots of hail.  The backyard neighbor’s tree is resting on our power line so we have no power!  I have resorted to French press coffee!  When will this insanity end!!??!!

6-11 at 5 pm: still no power! :(  There are a lot of trees down so no ETA on removing the tree on our line.  It is dark in the house already and my projects are dark and/or complex.

6-11 at 9 pm: Power is ON!!  Hallelujah! !  I have never been so happy to see trucks and workmen in my life!

June 8, 2017

From Sally — Copy Cat

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 8:58 am

Susan posted about a lovely gradient scarf she knit that shifts from yellow to gray:  her Reverse Psychology.  I thought the gradient kit I bought at the Sheep & Wool Festival would work well with that pattern and go with my Funky Grandpa.  In the Rainey Sister tradition, I shamelessly copied her and made my own.

The yarn I used is Fiber Optics Kashmir Paintbox gradient in the colorway Light Into Darkness.  Each gradient kit contains 15 mini-skeins of 30 yards each.  The color moves from bright yellow to black.

I wound the skeins into one, simply tying them together as  I went.










Then, as I knit the scarf, I spit spliced the skeins together.  It worked great.  At the very end, I needed a little bit more black to finish out the last section so I spliced in a bit of the black yarn from my Funky Grandpa.

And I do think it goes with my sweater!

June 5, 2017

From Susan — We are still alive!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:39 pm

You know – it’s summer!  And I have been busy with some family obligations.  Today my adult daughter had six teeth pulled and needed her momma!  Sally and I have started a new knitalong which we shan’t share [probably] until they are done or buried, one of the two!

A shout out to a knitting peep, PW, who is going through a health crisis.  We are thinking of you every day and waiting for your return to our Thursday night knitting group.  You are missed!!

May 24, 2017

From Both of Us — Grumpy Fan Paws

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 6:34 pm

Funky Grandpa is adorable and we wanted to keep its charm, with a few improvements in construction.  Susan started her FG before Sally and forged ahead through the uncharted [modification] jungle.  Whoever goes first has to wield the machete!!

We both used Carol Sunday’s 3-ply – Sally used Dove and Susan did hers in Smoke, with the same black and Zauberball.  Carol’s yarn is wonderful to knit with and unbelievably soft.  It worked perfectly here!

Susan’s Funky Grandpa

Sally’s Funky Grandpa

Our Mods
We started with the black rectangles at the shoulders with a provisional cast on.  We doubled the width of the shoulders for more support.  Then we attached the gray MC yarn for the back at each shoulder, increasing every other row at the neck edge for a bit and then cast on across the back.  This dipped the back neck down slightly.  The cast on across the back gave the sweater more structure.

We worked the back and fronts together even before joining at the underarm.  For each contrasting color (CC) stripe, we knit the 2-row CC stripe across the back, broke the yarn, worked the CC stripe across the right front, broke the yarn, worked the CC stripe across the left front; then for each section we knit 8 rows in the MC.  We continued this process to the underarms.  This meant that all the stripes match perfectly throughout.  Once the back and fronts are joined, the striping is no longer an issue.

The back folded over the front to show matching stripes

Because our shoulders were wider to start, we needed to adjust the front V-neck shaping.  Our V-necks are not as extreme as the original, so we did fewer short rows on the front bands.

Susan did increases throughout the body to create a longer, more A-lined silhouette.  Sally added a bit more length to the cropped body:

Instead of doubling the yarn for the bottom ribbing (1×1 in the original), we chose to do 3×1 ribbing on all edges in single yarn.  To bind off, Sally doubled her yarn, whereas Susan used some leftover 5-ply in the same color from her Milkweed.

The pattern called for afterthought, CUT IN buttonholes.  Ack!  NoAbsolutely not!!  Instead, we picked up front band sts so that the ribbing and buttonholes would be spaced properly and align with every other stripe.  That was a design feature we really liked in the original.

We were both able to find cute vintage buttons to go with the funky grandpa theme!

Susan found her buttons this year at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Sally had purchased her buttons earlier at Yarnover

So two Funkys for the price of one!  We were both surprised at how little yarn these took.  Sally only used three skeins of gray for hers.  Susan has no idea! 😉

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