theraineysisters knitting and so much more

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! 😉

May 14, 2017

From Susan — Happy or Not?!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:26 am

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!  Yay to us!!

Happy yet possibly not about my latest tiny FOs.  I made a set of très easy washcloths as a hostess gift for someone to accompany the soap I bought for her at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  I ended up having to make three Leafy Washcloths.

These are the two I gave a way:

This is the first one I made (the second is the one on the right in the top picture).  When I put both of them in water to wetblock, the blue color ran and left spots on the pink one!!

Why isn’t Lily Sugar ‘N Cream colorfast?  Why??!!  And why is my rowing so bad on these leafy thingies??  Why oh why??!!

I like the third one I ended up making better anyway (left in top picture) and prefer the decreases, etc. that I used as well (described on my project page), so I guess it was worth the extra knitting!!

PS: Thanks for the comments and suggestions!  I typically get rowing with particular yarns and knitting with cotton is likely the culprit.  I saw a cotton, machine-made (store-bought) sweater one time and noticed that it had rowing!  I wanted to take a picture of it but I was at a funeral so I thought it would be tacky, but it surprised me that it could happen in that situation.  Most of the cotton leaf projects also had rowing, so I guess I am in good (?) company!!

Love the Sinkmates pattern!  Thanks, Pru.  And good luck with your project, Julie!

PS2: to Natalie.   Rowing out  is described well in the linked article and actually mentions cotton.

May 12, 2017

From Susan — Knit It Up!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:08 pm

I actually jumped right into a project after I bought the yarn and finished it in a flash.  Okay.  Small project, but I really like it.  I posted about it a week or so ago:

The scarf is called Reverse Psychology and is perfect for gradients.

Here it is blocking so you can see the fun shape:

I added about 30 rows so I could get to the light gray!!

The yarn is beautifully soft, vibrant color.  Very nice!!

May 10, 2017

From Both of Us – Soggy Sheep & Wool Festival

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 3:20 pm

It rained last year and it rained this year.  We really didn’t expect two bad weather years in a row, but we came prepared!!  Susan stuffed three pairs of rubber boots from Target into her suitcase (two pairs for Sally to try!).  We tromped merrily through every puddle we encountered, without a care.

This little fella didn’t care either!!

On our Ravelry Group we had announced that we would attend the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  We ran into several readers :) , and spent some quality time with Pru (aka Tigermum).  What a delightful fellow knitter and hopeless enabler!!  It doesn’t hurt that she has a beautiful British accent so everything she says sounds better.

Inspired by Pru, we both bought Fiber Optic Paintbox Gradient Sets.  Susan bought Espresso-Crimson-Gold:

Sally got the Light Into Darkness colorway.  (The photo at the link is better than the photo I took if you want to see the true color.)

Susan also found a set of vintage buttons for her Funky Grandpa (now finished!!), and Sally bought some Signature needles to try out.  We did not go overboard and feel pretty good about it!

April 29, 2017

From Susan — Sometimes a Great [Sewing] Notion

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:31 am

As you all know, I sew as well as knit.  My sewing days don’t exactly predate my knitting days, but I did a lot more sewing early in my life.  I bought some fabric a while back because it reminded me of a picture of me from kindergarten, which of course I cannot find.  It also reminds me of a beautiful dress that my grandmother made for my mom.  Anyway, I decided to branch out and use a different shirt pattern – you know, mix it up a bit!  It went together extremely fast, but the fit just isn’t there.  The finished shirt cannot be altered, and is almost wearable, but I will need to make changes the next time around.  :(  It feels snug in the shoulders/armholes and the sleeves are too short.  My comparisons to existing shirts obviously fell short as well!

Back to the drawing board!!  At least next time I will know what to change.  I guess sewing is like knitting after all (in that you can make a sweater fit the SECOND time you knit it!), except you can’t finish a sweater in a day…

PS:  I did attempt some minor alterations.  I replaced the cuff with one an inch wider to add an inch to the sleeves – at that time I also converted the sleeve from an overlapping cuff to a French cuff because of the extra width.  I also redid the sleeve seam right at the underarm and gained about a half inch.  It fits a little better and the sleeves are much better!  Still need a couple of buttons.

Daisy mentioned the layout of the motifs.  That was a major challenge given the odd way the fabric was printed!

The lines you see are not seams — they are printed right onto the fabric!!  Half the fabric had a more solidly printed design.  It ran the length of the fabric, and undulated from really solid flowers to more open with more white background – you can see how it abruptly stops along the center line of the fabric, running along the entire length.  I used that for the back, but had to seam it down the center to avoid the printlines.  I had to match the layout of each half so the whiter areas would align.

The other half was printed in actual blocks about a yard long.  You can see in the picture how the pattern just cuts off and completely changes!  I could fit the front on one of these panels (and also the sleeves).  There the motif went from very solidly printed to white.  That is why there is so much white at the top of the sleeves and the front – I did plan it that way.

I feel much better about the shirt now and hope it goes more smoothly the next time around!! 😉

PS2 to Connie: I have never made a muslin sample but it does seem like a good idea.  I thought I had this covered because I had two shirts I was measuring from BUT I was lazy in my comparisons and assumptions!

PS3 to Metta: I think you mean a gusset.  I thought of that but had an issue with it.  The pattern has 1/2 inch vs 5/8 inch seams.  I did a French seam along the sleeve seam but had to trim it down to do the 2nd stitching.  That leaves an in credibly small seam to work with.  I do think that getting the half inch under the arm did help and will make it wearable!!

PS4 to Nancy: I bought the fabric a couple of years ago at Treadle Yardgoods in St. Paul on Grand Avenue.  As Carol Burnett (aka, Scarlett O’Hara) would say, “I saw it in the window and I couldn’t resist it!”

PS5 and Final: I did add 6×2 inch gussets to the underarm and it worked well!  The buttons are sewn on – but I used snaps in lieu of buttonholes.  The shirt is done.  The shirt fits.  It looks great!  Thanks all for weighing in!! :)

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!!!

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