theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 26, 2016

From Both of Us — Little Darcy Goes to Washington

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 5:57 pm

When asked about the purpose of Susan’s trip to DC – Sally responded with a somewhat noncommittal reply.  Now you will get the full scoop!  (The working title of this post was “I plead the Firth!” but some of us did not agree … 😉 ).

Of course there was the usual knitting, shopping and eating! 😉  But the main purpose had to do with the timing.  THE SHIRT was to be on display at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.  We saw the refurbished Capitol gleaming in the sun as we headed to the Folger – absolutely breathtaking.

The Folger exhibition is titled Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity and runs into November.  Yes.  They brought in the actual shirt:

THE SHIRT was magnificent:

Incredible details and amazing tailoring.  Little Darcy LOVED it!!


My shirt!!

It looked like they had taken the shirt right off him, and let it dry as is.  Wow.  😉  Wow.

They had a beautiful exhibit of personal items of Jane Austen’s (including her famous ring and hand written notes), as well as memorabilia from the film:


Jane Bennett’s Wedding Bonnet

The trip was also timely because Bridget Jones’s Baby is now showing.  We re-watched the first two BJD films in preparation before heading to the theater.

Little Darcy, Susan, and Sally loved it!!  Six thumbs up!  Thank goodness the script made Bridget smarter and more likeable than she was in the second film.  Of course, time has taken its toll on all the characters.  Colin Firth said in an interview on Live with Kelly! that in the next BJD movie he would rip the tubes out of his arms, jump off his bath chair, and chase Bridget down using a walker!

Little Darcy also just had to re-watch his favorite BBC miniseries:

Oh, Mr. Darcy indeed!!

Little Darcy had all sorts of fun over the weekend:


Dining Out, Eating Caper Berries

He has long had a fondness for Caper Berry Gravy, aka green gunge (“Just stir it, Una!!”):

Little Darcy enjoyed a movie on AmazonPrime:


Tom Hanks looks perturbed with Little Darcy and P&P in general!

He also enjoyed watching the Vikings beat the Carolina Panthers (“Go, Vikes!!”):

And helping Sally with her latest knitting project:

All in all a very satisfying weekend.  Our yarn purchases (not that many 😉 ) will be revealed in time!!

Little Darcy says goodbye to our lovely capital:

PS — Can’t believe we forgot to mention running into Mary Lou Egan, a colleague of Susan’s from The Yarnery!!  It was such a wonderful surprise!!  She (along with co-authors Gale Zucker and Kristen Kapur) were at Fibre Space promoting their new book, Drop-Dead Easy Knits.  They had the entire trunk show on display and were doing workshops.  So great to see Mary Lou!!  Susan is a long time admirer.

PS2 from Susan to Nadine:  Little Darcy cuter than Mr. Darcy??!!  It is a sacrilege!  Or a compliment…don’t know which.  I am conflicted!! 😉

September 17, 2016

From Susan — I Think I Cancan

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:57 pm

The first kiss of fall fills the air and means that summer is over.  It is a wistful time, but a pleasant one.

A friend recently asked me if I could fix the cast on for the French Cancan Shawl, which has a definite hump like many other crescent shawls.  I seem to have become the unofficial “hump whisperer.”  Please do not put that on my headstone!!

The French Cancan does not use the same rate or method for the increases that I have used in other shawls, so I had to build the cast on from scratch.  It isn’t perfect but I think it is an improvement.  A link to the cast on for this shawl is here.

I decided I needed to make the shawl to test it.  :)  I started out with fingering weight yarn and completed the entire body.  I found the braided edging (which takes 2 rows per stitch to complete = 800 rows for mine) too daunting, so I started over with worsted weight yarn.  Cheater!!  😉

I used very well aged yarn from my stash – Mulberry Silk from Horstia left over from my Viking Turid sweater.  Beautiful 50-50 silk and merino yarn.

I added some short rows and other mods to the corners so they would look pointed and not lopped off.  Here is my French Cancan blocking:


Blocking shows reduced hump!!


Lettie likes everything French!!


Corner Detail

So there is my French Cancan.  I hope to wear it when I visit Surly next week.

September 14, 2016

From Susan — OMG, My Mother Goose Hat is “Famous!”

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:51 am

My Mother Goose hat is featured on the main Ravelry page!  Thanks, Bonnie, for alerting me to this news!  My little hidden hat is getting its day in the sun after all!!  :)

September 9, 2016

From Susan — It’s a Two-Fer!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:16 pm

Sally is in Colorado selflessly tending to her DD’s medical needs and helping cheer her up.  She really appreciates that many of you responded to the question she posed about the mystery knitting needles!!

I picked up my stuff from the fair on Wednesday.  There are several items that I had not yet posted on the blog or Ravelry.  One is the hat that no one saw!  Literally.  No.  One.  It was better hidden than [insert your favorite insulting political comment here].

The pattern is called Mother Goose Hat and to me it screamed invisible stranding!!  The last pattern row has one white stitch and the rest blue!  The technique worked beautifully.

I think it’s pretty cute!!  The hat received a 5th place ribbon at the fair which means I received a $0 award.  Yep.  Not even a buck!!

And to Gretchen — you will have to wait until next year to get a picture with Babe!!

PS in response to Amy:  I will bring my stuff and judges’ sheets to the fair, but you are only allowed to talk about five entries.  :)

PPS to Angela:  I wasn’t complaining about 5th place (maybe about the $0!! 😉 )!  I feel like getting any ribbon at our fair is recognition.  The competition in Minnesota is fierce!

September 2, 2016

From Sally — Do You Recognize This Needle?

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:32 pm

I was just swatching for a project and one of the needles I grabbed is a favorite of mine.  Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea what the brand is, whether it’s still being made, or whether it’s been changed.  I have several of these needles in different sizes but nary a package in sight.

Here are two photos.  As you can see, the cord is black.  It’s also extremely flexible.  The tips are sort of between being pointy and blunt, and the surface itself has a nice feel.  Not too grabby, not too slick.  The needle size is “engraved” on the tip (you may not be able to read it in the photo).  Finally, the cord itself flattens out slightly just before it attaches to the tip.

If these are still being made I want to buy more.  I thought I’d reach out to our readers to see if anyone knows about these mystery needles.

ETA: Thanks everyone — the consensus seems to be Inox. I knew our readers wouldn’t let us down. And thanks for the information on where to find replacements.

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August 31, 2016

From Susan — It’s Déjà Vu all Over Again

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:48 pm

It was back to the fair for me on Tuesday – this time with DD and DH!!  We visit very different parts of the fair than when I go with Kim, so it is worth a second trip.  The weather was superb and, because school has started for many kids, there weren’t big crowds.  Yay!

Here, Laura and I share a cuppa Joe!!

And who would believe that nestled between the Food Building and Pork Chop on a Stick is an oasis of serenity and beauty!

Yes, this idyllic resting spot is located right in front of the Horticulture Building and has lots of shaded seating!

The best thing I ate on Tuesday was Bacon on a Stick from Big Fat Bacon.  Yes.  That is what they serve…big, fat bacon.  And it was d e l i c i o u s!

We had a ton of fun but I was so tired I didn’t think I could make it back to the car!  Now, we have to wait a whole ‘nother year!!

PS to Anya: Your husband has excellent taste!

August 26, 2016

From Susan — FAIR-ly Certain

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:44 am

I am fairly certain that I will never have a nicer day at the fair!  The weather was S P E C T A C U L A R.  Could not be better.

My knitting peep, Kim, and I always hit the fair the first day and trot right over to the Creative Activities Building to see how our entries fared.  I had high hopes for Kim because she entered an amazing afghan.  And there it was in the main case:

We went bonkers!!  It was so exciting to see her beautiful blanket festooned with ribbons.  It is the Elephants Blanket by Alice Starmore.  When we could tear our eyes away from the glory of it all, we saw more:

Right above her afghan was her submarine sweater and above it my Newsom Sweater, both with blue ribbons!  Yay!  (I don’t think I got a single good picture of my Newsom).  Close by was Kim’s adorable Lilleput Sweater, which also walked away with a blue ribbon.

You kind of have to hunt around for everything — the good news is that they included people’s names on all the items that won ribbons!!  Really nice addition!

We went around the corner and there was my latest Niebling Doily:

It was displayed so beautifully I was really pleased!  It is in the main case with the needlework and quilting.

I also entered a sweater I just finished, Carol Sunday’s Milkweed Pullover (the color in the top two pics is the truest):

My other Carol Sunday entry, Dancing with Bears, also got a blue ribbon:

I entered a slurry of hats and another sweater that received ribbons:

Except for Woodfords, none of these are on Ravelry yet.  I will come back and describe them later in more detail.  :)  If you try to find my Mother Goose Hat at the fair, good luck!  It is so far back it is almost in the next county building!!

We were overwhelmed and had to celebrate with fair food.  We were devastatingly disappointed in the corn dogs from our “favorite” location, kitty corner from Creative Activities!  Mine was cold, with uncooked batter around the dog.  Kim’s was only slightly better and not at all up to par!  Ugh!!


And the price went up, too! Now $4 (this picture is from several years ago).

After the fair we immediately went to our Thursday Knitting Group.  Peep Kathy brought in a baby hat that is crazy adorable — Little Frankie Stein:

I got home exhausted but happy after a wonderful day at the fair.

August 22, 2016

From Both of Us: In Vogue

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

One of things we often do when a new knitting magazine arrives is to page through it together over the phone.  Last week, when we received the new Fall Vogue, we both fell in love with the Leather Caged Purse kit from Maker’s Mercantile (shown on page 9).  The kits weren’t “live” on their website yet.  We hounded them kept checking back until they appeared and then placed our orders before the hoarders could get them all.  And thank goodness we did!  They are now backordered.  Yay for the hoggish speedy Rainey Sisters!

The kit comes with a cage and 3 skeins of  HiKoo by Skacel WoolieBullie in your choice of colors.  The fabric lining can be purchased from them or on your own.

Susan finished the cream colored version with black cage straight away and decided that to justify the expense of the cage, she would make another bag in brown.  She bought the brown yarn locally at Amazing Threads to get going ASAP.

Susan’s husband saw the bag on the table and said, “I just saw that in the most recent issue of Vogue Knitting!!”  😉

Here is the brown version:

Yes, the cream one is cuter, but they couldn’t both be cream or there would be no point!!

Sally selected a red purse cage and cream yarn.  They had several cute fabrics to choose from so she ordered two fabrics with her kit.  Here is her “When in Doubt Wear Red” rendition of the bag:

They all turned out really well and we feel quite cagey! 😉  ::Groan::

From Susan to Purrlie who said, “There’s just something a little perverted about that leather strapping.”  That’s what I like about it!! 😉

August 13, 2016

From Susan — Sew What??!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:20 am

Hi, Folks!!  I am immersed in watching Olympic Gold!  The Americans are doing so well!

When  Sally was here in July, she and I stopped in at Blue Bamboo, one of my favorite fabric shops.  It is primarily for quilters, but I find most of my fabrics there.  They had a very cute, Minnesota-themed tote bag as a featured pattern for the quilting shop hop.  You could pre-order the kit, which I did.  Here is the pattern:

I think it is a fairly popular pattern.  I got the kit last week and made it over the weekend.  It turned out so cute!

It looks ginormous in the picture, but it is only about 12 inches high and 15 inches wide!  I had to play around with it a little bit to make the straps longer – the kit only included the exact fabric needed.  It has six very nice pockets inside:

The picture looks like a fish, but is just the pockets! 😉  I added a magnetic snap.  I really like it and may make another, though it was a TON of work.  The second time around I would know what I was doing!

August 5, 2016

From Susan — Do you feel like dancing?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:21 am

Dancing with Bears!!  If you hang out on Ravelry (and who doesn’t? :) ), you may see newly added patterns flash across the Patterns Page.  I used to check out every single bloomin’ pattern that was added but unfortunately I have not kept up with that practice.  However, a new design by my good friend Carol Sunday was just released!!  It is the same shawl I saw at Knitting Camp that I just had to make.

I knit it out of Carol’s yarn: Angelic 5-ply, color Moth.  I absolutely love, love, love her yarn!!  It is soft and lofty.  The finished items are light as air.

I made a few changes: I made the largest size, but mine is shallower because I continued the short rows at the same pace throughout (this will make sense if you knit it!).  I used smaller needles to make it a bit tighter as well.  I did wrap my short row turns (not picking up the wraps, though, because it was in the garter section).  Carol did not do wraps and that looked good for me on one side but not the other.

A very nice project, though with >600 sts at certain points, it can feel like a slog!!

Hope your summer is going well – we are anticipating a perfect weekend!

PS to Suzan:P Good advice!  I do always read the Sales and Promos Forum!!

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