theraineysisters knitting and so much more

March 18, 2016

From Both of Us — Has it really been that long??

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 1:26 pm

We are just about to celebrate our 10th Bloggiversary!!  March 20 marks the momentous occasion.  It really doesn’t seem possible.  Though we have had times when we wanted to quit, and certainly times when we didn’t post very often, we both still enjoy it.  The blog’s original purpose continues to ring true — read our first posts!!

From Sally – March 20, 2006
My sister Susan and I decided to start a joint blog focused on our knitting; we live 1000 miles apart but we talk on the phone almost every day and most of the time we’re talking about knitting. We have absolutely no idea how to create a website, but we do know how to knit.

From Susan – March 20, 2006
Sally and I share many interests, but knitting is our passion.  We decided to share a blog because, as I said to her, it’s like having a garage sale — I don’t have enough to do one of my own.

How better to celebrate than with fabulous prizes!  We are giving away THREE wonderful prizes to lucky readers/commenters.

PRIZE ONE: Rack Up a Shawl
Susan’s Rakke Shawl is being given away to a lucky reader.  This design by Susanna IC was knit in LOFT (color: Long Johns), and would be a beautiful accent piece for your fall or winter wardrobe:

PRIZE TWO: Feeling Plucky??
Originally purchased with the Camilla Shawl in mind, this coveted yarn from Plucky Knitter could be used for any of the wonderful multi-colored shawls found on Ravelry.  Three skeins of Plucky Oxford (430 yards/115 grams, 75% merino and 25% cashmere), one each in Steelcut, Wingtips, and Hats Off:

PRIZE THREE: Tynd to Your Knitting
This yarn is confused.  It thinks it is 100% merino (Woolfolk Tynd 223 yards/50 grams, color Navy), but it makes cashmere feel like sandpaper!!  This yarn would make luscious fingerless or regular gloves because it feels so fabulous against the skin.  Two skeins.

How to Win??
Three lucky winners will be selected at random on Thursday, March 24th by midnight and announced on March 25th.

Simply post a comment and make sure your email address is correct.  We will pay shipping within the continental US.

If you have a preference for which prize or prizes you would like to win, include it in your post.

Thank you to all of our loyal readers.  We have enjoyed hearing from you over the past ten years.  You have encouraged us and raised our spirits on many occasions. 

February 29, 2016

From Susan — A Little More Work to Do!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:27 pm

More knittin’ and more sewin’??  I found some cute spring fabric at Blue Bamboo and a skein of yarn in my stash that ties the whole thing Newsom together.  More work but twice the fun!

And in response to Grace who thought my dryer technique took nerves of steel — it was necessity and nothing more.  It could not be blocked when it was SO big!!

PS – Several of you asked what I will be making with the fabric.  I will probably make a dress I can wear to work, though the blouse idea is a good one!!  The skein of fingering weight yarn will probably end up as some kind of “Trillian“-like scarf.  It needs to be something that works well with variegated yarn.

February 24, 2016

From Susan — A New Some [-thing]

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:38 pm

That was a tortured title!!  But, it is meant to announce my latest FO: Newsom by Bristol Ivy.  It felt like a bit of a slog, but only took a month so it couldn’t have been THAT bad, plus I threw my Margo Poncho in there somewhere, so quit complaining! 😉

When Sally and I went to Rhinebeck in 2014, I bought three skeins of Miss Babs’ Yowza – Whatta Skein in French Marigold — a jaw-dropping, tonal orange.  I loved it, but could not find the right pattern.  Everything was too this, or too that and most times I did not have enough yarn.  I thought this simple style might work…and it did.

This sweater drew me in because of the clever construction.  The sweater starts at the center of the back, right at the hem.  Bristol says you can’t really adjust the length much but a couple of people tried it as did I.  I am almost six feet tall, people!!  My mods are described in more detail on my Ravelry project page.

The bold line continues up to the underarms, where you attach the sleeves:

Yes.  You are essentially knitting a rectangle: up the right side “seam,” across the back, then down the left side seam.  At the point in the picture, I am ready to attach the sleeves – up the right side, around the sleeve, across the back, around the second sleeve, and down the left side.  it is crazy town!

The two diagonal lines between the stockinette and garter sections continue, becoming the raglan lines on the front of the sweater.  You can see the front raglan line here:

It forms one continuous line from the center back to the front neck.  So cool!  A second [new] raglan line is added where the back and sleeves have been joined:

The color looks light and dark in the picture, but that is just shadow.

Now.  About the fronts.  They do not come together, nor are they supposed to apparently, but I knew mine would not even be able to wave at each other!  So I did a series of short rows to create a wider hem.  I did this after all the raglan shaping was done, right when I was ready to begin the collar.  I did short rows every 6 sts which added 18 ridges to the width on each front at the hem only.  Then I knit the collar, concluding with an i-cord bind off.  I also did an i-cord bind off at the sleeve cuffs.

The sweater fit well but needed blocking.  I wet blocked it and it became GINORMOUS!!  I threw it in the dryer a couple of times and that did the trick.  It fits perfectly and the yarn feels amazing.

Whew!  Another one bites the dust!  Now I need spring weather to wear this bright little puppy. :)

February 18, 2016

From Susan — I’m a Lil’ Devil

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:45 am

I saw this in yesterday’s paper and had to share it!  The full color cartoon comes from the Flying McCoys website.

Send me straight to ………

February 15, 2016

From Susan — Say “Happy Birthday” to…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:13 am

SURLY!!  Yep, today is the little Rainey Sister’s birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister, and bestest friend!

February 12, 2016

From Susan — A Small Update

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:04 pm

Remember this picture from a post or two ago?

Well, friend Ellie brought in the final finished object to knitting last night, with such a cute embellishment!

Thanks to all for the warm reception to my Margo Poncho.  People have been curious about using two yarns, etc., etc.  Obviously, the cashmere I used is long gone and no longer available.  I was wondering if KnitPicks Palette could be substituted, since to me it is a very thin fingering weight yarn.  I have a bunch in my stash and (even though I did not have an exact match to my cashmere), I swatched it to check gauge:

Palette in Doe swatched with Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool Oatmeal

The gauge was 14 sts/4 inches which is perfect.  I remeasured the gauge on my poncho and it was 15 sts/4 inches, so the Palette is actually closer!  I have Palette color cards and Camel Heather is almost an identical match to the color.  The fabric is not quite as soft, of course, but it is very nice.

KnitPicks Palette Camel Heather

Two skeins of the Palette yarn ~equal the same yardage as one skein of Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool, so 4 Palette and 2 Lion Brand would make this poncho at a pretty reasonable price.

February 9, 2016

From Susan — Poncho Mia

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:31 am

Yay!  My Margo Poncho is done — as of last week actually.  Eight days from start to finish, so a nice quick project.

I made a few mods, which are described on my Ravelry project page.  I only buttoned it at one spot on each side (there is a button on the front and back) — it looked better that way on me.  I bought the buttons at Hancock Fabrics and doubled the cost of the project!  But I think they are really nice.  They are 1-3/16 inch instead of 1″ and I like the larger size for this.

I was trying frantically to finish this before the weekend and then I never wore it!  Oh well.  At least now I can forget about my poncho obsession and move on!!

February 3, 2016

From Sally — Oh, Baby

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:30 pm

I just finished knitting an adorable little baby dress under a tight deadline.  Why such a tight deadline?  After all, I knew the baby was coming for months.  I even knew several weeks in advance when I was going to get to meet the baby for the first time.

Well, as we all know knit happens. I started a different dress weeks ago.  Then, last week, I decided I didn’t like it.  The pattern wasn’t as cute as I’d thought it would be, the pattern itself had issues, and I was knitting it out of cotton.  The cotton was a beautiful, deep fuchsia — I loved the color.  But I hated knitting with it.

So, I cast around (ha ha) on Ravelry looking for something I could finish within 3 or 4 days.  It had to be a quick knit and I had to have the yarn in my stash because the roads were still a bit dicey from our big storm.  I settled on the Lizzy Dress designed by Taiga Hilliard. I rummaged around in my stash and found a light blue Madelinetosh Merino light — the right gauge and machine washable, too.

This was a great pattern: fun to knit, well written, adorable, and quick. If you make it out of one skein, you never even have to join new yarn. I made the 12-month size with a few modifications. I did fewer increases on the skirt so that the skirt was the 6-month size (which substracted one lace repeat). Note: If you knit this and make a similar modification, just take care when you set the side marker so that the lace is centered in the front.

I ordered an assortment of inexpensive shell buttons from Amazon (yay for free two day shipping). I was planning to use white buttons, but the pink seemed to pop.

I’m very pleased with how this turned out and I can’t wait to meet the recipient.

January 29, 2016

From Susan — Man, that was close!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:43 am

At knitting last night, Ellie (a favorite and long-time knitting peep) shared her latest FO…and the yarn she had left over when it was finished.  One little, inch-long nerd of yarn!  We absolutely roared!  I am sure the other patrons wondered what the heck was so funny, and none of them would get the kick out of it that we did!  She even had to cut off the tail from the cast on to weave through the last sts.  Way to maximize your yarn utilization, Ellie!!

Have you ever gotten a bee in your bonnet about making something, even if the logic is not necessarily there?  I do this often.  A toy, a hat, a doily, etc.  This time around it is a poncho.  I am obsessed with ‘obtaining’ a poncho.  I bought a woolen blanket so I could fashion my own poncho…FAIL.  I have started several poncho patterns…FAIL.

One of my knitting peeps made the Margo Poncho, and it is absolutely darling on her cute, petite self.  So I thought I would give it a whirl because I am so cute and petite!  :)

This is supposed to be a throw-away project mind you!  I do not want to spend a lot of money or time on it.  I just want my damn poncho!!

I bought some Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool on sale for $8 a skein (465 yds/8 oz, color Oatmeal) for one of my failed poncho attempts.  It is actually pretty nice yarn.

Fishermen’s Wool is supposed to knit up at 16 sts/4 inches, but I think it would look better at 20 sts/4 inches.  The Margo is knit at 14 sts/4 inches.  I wanted to knit it at that gauge so it would go faster!

I knew I had a thin cashmere yarn tucked away in my stash…for many years.  Plus, it was old when I got it – my dad’s mother died, and I inherited anything I wanted from her knitting supplies.  I have enough (fingers crossed!) to hold it with the Lion Brand, making the gauge exactly 14 sts/4 inches.  Yay!!

I am liking the results!!  The Aarlan Cashmere label shows a date of 1973.  Even though it is at least 40 years old, it is in nice condition.  Ravelry lists Aarlan Cashmere, but the composition is 60% wool, 40% cashmere, whereas mine is 75% cashmere to 25% wool.

I started on Wednesday and have about 11 inches done.  Hubby is leaving this afternoon until tomorrow night.  I hope to do a ‘Netflix and Knit’ binge and really make some progress!!

PS (January 30) — Progress made!

The front is done and the back started.  The color in the top picture is closer to the real thing.

PS2 — 2/2/2016 The back is done!  Just need to do the ribbing along the sides.  I should be able to get that done tonight.

January 23, 2016

From Sally — Snowed In

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:22 pm

It’s a good thing I’m well stocked with yarn, needles, and gin. We won’t be going anywhere for a few days. The official snow total for Washington, DC thus far is only about 16-18 inches, but that is a misleadingly low total. It’s taken at National Airport which a) is not in DC but in Virginia and b) is on the river, where the snow totals are usually lower than surrounding areas.

Here, chez moi, we’ve got a good two feet on the ground and it is snowing harder right now than it has all day. Here’s a photo taken several hours ago.

And a short video I took just now. (I changed angles part way through which allows you to see the snow better.)

I’m working currently on Inggun, an Elsebeth Lavold design. I’ve knit about 11 inches. If the snow keeps up, maybe I’ll finish this by early next week! Here’s a photo taken before it started snowing, when I had just gotten going. I’m knitting it all in once piece, and using her (now discontinued) Calm Wool.


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