theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 21, 2016

From Sally — Shopping Camp, I Mean Knitting Camp

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 11:33 am

Here is my Camp recap:  I bought a lot of yarn.  The end.

Unlike Susan, I didn’t participate in the camp knitting contest.  How could I compete with Mr. Darcy, not to mention the fabulous Girl with the Pearl Earring shadow panel?  (I’ve always wanted to knit one of those pieces of shadow art; I own several of the patterns but haven’t made the commitment yet.)  Instead, I chose to contribute to the economy.

It started at The Yarnery, where I dropped a ton of money on some Shibui Linen and Twig.  (Not pictured below.  That will come in a later post.)  I hadn’t even made it to camp.  Or Wisconsin.  Oops.

My one non-shopping activity at Knitting Camp was participating in Show & Tell.  The only problem was I had nothing to show when I got there.  I felt as if much of my knitting in the past year has been pretty boring and since I only brought two suitcases (not a light traveler) how much knitting could I be expected to have on hand?  I stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning the day of Show & Tell finishing a shawl.  The quickie block I attempted hasn’t held up well.  Here’s a little preview.  I’ll post more photos once I’ve had time to reblock it.  The name of the pattern is Paradise Apples by Alla Borisova.  The yarn is Dye for Yarn’s merino silk fingering in the color Love Is Poison.  The color is more intense than it looks here.

On to the shopping!  Like Susan, I bought the yarn to make Helsinki by Janine Bajus (although I’m using a different background color).  Then I went wild at Sun Valley:  four skeins of Dust in the Wind (gray), 2 skeins of Coral, and one skein each of Antler (white) and Twilight (blue).  Their Painted Desert gradient kit called to me.  Twice.  (Hey, I didn’t know what I wanted to make out of it and I just hate worrying about having enough yarn.)  Finally, I picked up some beautiful silk lace weight from Lost City Knits in the color Silver Bells.  Whew.  That’s a lot of knitting in my future!


July 15, 2016

From Susan — Camp in Review

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:51 am

Sally, Kim, and I came back from Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp 2.75 on Monday.  I can’t speak for them, but upon returning from Camp I felt completely unplugged!  Dragged about for days.

Camp was great.  I loved seeing my favorite Campers (P, L, H, J, L, B, D, S, etc…you know who you are!!) and listening to Meg wax poetic about knitting.  Amy Detjen was particularly delightful this year. :)

I went a little bonkers with my shopping:

The Complete Surprise by Cully Swansen (Meg’s son) takes EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket to a whole new level.  As one of the few knitters who has never made a BSJ, I hope to do so with the inspiration of this book!  Cully described some details about the book and is presenting in other venues as well.

1 – an array of beauties from Sun Valley Fibers (from left to right: Calligraphy, Coral, Wedgewood, Maverick, Antler, and Cobblestone) in a variety of fibers – I just picked pretty colors!!

2 – sweater quantity in Jamieson Spindrift to make Helsinki by Janine Bajus, a fellow Camper.

Speaking of fellow Campers, we were honored to attend Camp with the extremely talented and prolific designer, Carol Sunday of Sunday Knits.  She was so unassuming and understated she really kept her light under a bushel!!  She had a shawl with her that will be coming out very soon.  I quickly ordered the yarn (her Angelic 5-ply in Moth) and will be starting it ASAP.  S T U N N I N G!!  She had several beautiful designs on her needles so we have much to look forward to!

One of the highlights of Camp is the annual contest.  This year’s theme was “Kniterature: Favorite Book or Movie Character.”  Kim and I both entered.  Kim’s entry was hilarious — she knit a sheep and placed duct tape over its mouth…”Do you hear anything?  Do you hear anything?”  Silence of the Lambs!

The winner was Jane, with a stunning shadow knit of Girl with a Pearl Earring:

Second place was Mary, with a full tilt rendition of The Cat in the Hat:

She goes all out!!  My entry took third.  Those who know me accept the fact that I have a full-blown yet well-founded obsession with Colin Firth, especially in his signature role of Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, BBC version, 1995:

The above collage was part of my presentation.  In addition, I made a knitted replica of Darcy, with a little handmade shirt:

He is about ten inches tall – the exact size as Darcy in the poster!  The final touch was that I sprayed his shirt with water — because it is all about the wet shirt!!  😉

The look of horror on the faces of my husband and daughter during the creative process gave me pause, but that did not stop me!!  :)  John is a little worried about the increased competition in the house!

Sally will share her Camp experiences soon.  She bought a ton of yarn and has some beautiful FOs to share.

PS to Pam — About the hair:  The hair was a lot of work!  In the pattern you start at the top of the head with the hair color and then switch to the face color – it looks like a skull cap.  After you finish the body, you go back and duplicate stitch the part in the hair and all the hair on the back and sides.  By then it looked like the middle picture.  To get the “Firth-Darcy” curls, I soaked yarn in starch and then wrapped it around large knitting needles until dry.  I layered kinked yarn over the entire head and then layered loose curls in the front and along the hair line at the nape.  The picture on the right shows the hair at its best.  It started to droop over time and after I sprayed him a couple of times with water!!


July 7, 2016

From Both of Us — Gone Campin’

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 7:45 am

Today we leave for Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp.  We will be gone until next Monday!!  Very exciting and should be full of fun surprises.

July 1, 2016

From Susan — Let’s Review!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:34 am

Susanne asked about the fabric I showed on the blog in reference to my very orange Newsom – at least I think this is the one she was talking about!!

I was deciding between a dress and a shirt and opted for the shirt.  Got it done, but it doesn’t go with the sweater!  It fits funny when worn together.

But, I do like the shirt and wear it a lot.  I get comments every time because it is so “out there!”  Fun and bright for summer!

I am off now for the holiday and KNITTING CAMP which starts next Thursday.  I am so not ready!!  Sally arrives on Wednesday and I plan on taking her to Blue Bamboo, now that she is such an accomplished seamstress!!

PS — A couple of you asked me about the pattern.  It is Butterick B4231.  Long out of print but still available: Amazon has sizes 8-10-12, and both Etsy and Ebay have it in sizes 14-16-18.  I recently bought a replacement for my copy because it has been used so often!!

June 28, 2016

From Susan — From Here To Eternity

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:50 pm

Q: “Momma, what is eternity?”

A:  “The time it takes to knit an afghan, dear.”

I am going to bulk it up a bit to speed things along!  Not as bulky as called for in the pattern, but when you have been given strict guidelines as to color and you don’t want to spend > $200, it limits your options!!

DD the elder (my very knitworthy girl), asked for an afghan like the one she uses when she comes over to watch Game of Thrones.  I said to just take that one…but, no way!  Wrong color!  She wanted the same gold as in her one of her bedroom throw pillows:

I opted for the pattern Umaro by Jarod Flood in Berroco Vintage Chunky, color “Sunny” (6121).  Umaro takes very bulky yarn, but I had trouble finding what I wanted in the right color that did not break the bank!  I had $50 worth of gift certificates for Sheepy Yarn Shop in White Bear, so I figured this would be a great time to use them.

I like the yarn, and I like the pattern, even though it has annoying seed stitch.  But I have not yet gotten into the rhythm of the knitting — the large needles are awkward.

DD left for Korea last Friday to study and returns in August, so I hope to have it done as a welcome back present, or maybe for Christmas?  She missed the season finale of GOT, which is a travesty that could not be helped!!


June 17, 2016

From Susan — Wiser?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:30 am

If you’re older, aren’t you supposed to be wiser?  Then I must be très, très, très wise!! Thank you all for the wonderful birthday well wishes!!  :)

Here are the roses that my husband got me.  They are stunning!!

Sister Surly was not to be outdone!!  She sent me the yarn to make Leap Year by Suvi Simola.

Some people think you have no imagination when you choose the same color and/or combination as the prototype — however, sometimes the color is a big part of what you LIKE about the prototype!  Don’t judge me!  😉

Surly bought me Cumbria Fingering by The FIBRE Co. in colors Buttermere and Hadrian’s Wall from Fibre Space in Alexandria.  It is heavier than the yarn called for and that is fine with me!  It contains brown masham wool, which is a long wool variety.

You can also see a small metal tin in the photo:

They are stunning pearl stitch markers that are better looking than most of my earrings!!

My plan is to work on Leap Year at Knitting Camp, which starts at the end of 4th of July week…coming upon us very fast!!  I have a lot to do before then !

June 15, 2016

From Sally — Special Bulletin

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 8:38 am

I’m interrupting our regularly (or should I say irregularly) scheduled blogging for a special announcement:


Happy Birthday to my big sister!!!!


Susan is my best friend, my mentor, my therapist, my partner in crime.  Happy Birthday!  

June 10, 2016

From Susan — Still Here

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:19 pm

Barely!  My knitting is in a slump and the weather will feel like 100 degrees this weekend!  Just thought I would stop in and acknowledge the fact that we have not posted in a while.

I just started a summer vest called Gisele – I’m making it out of Louet KidLin (color Colorado Spruce) from Sally’s cast off stash :) .  I saw one in person and the pictures in the pattern do not do it justice!!

The pattern has three “tails” that hang down on both sides and the center back (here is a side panel view):



I did not want the tail hanging down the back :( , so I eliminated the center back triangle:

The yarn is nice to knit with, though unfortunately it has been discontinued.  This feels like a slow knit, but it is decreasing so I hope it speeds up!!

PS to Samina — When I start knitting undies, you have my permission to confiscate my stash!  I would be bringing shame and disgrace to the knitting universe!

PS2: This thing is not growing AT ALL!  And in the interest of full disclosure, the color in the above pictures is actually prettier than it is IRL. :(

May 29, 2016

From Sally — Spring Awakening

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:13 pm

It’s shawl season.  Not that there’s a particular season for shawls, but periodically — out of boredom, frustration with fit, yarn lust — I get into the mood to knit nothing but shawls.  I’ve knit three of them in the last few weeks.  The first was Waiting for Rain. This is the second, which I finished a couple of weeks ago. I’ll about post my third one (also finished!) next time.

This shawl is Newfoundland, designed by Anne-Lise Maigaard. If you aren’t familiar with her patterns, she has designed a number of lovely shawls, several of which are in my queue. I liked the shallow crescent shape of Newfoundland as well as the “squared off” ends. It’s knit from the bottom up so you cast on all the stitches at once. (In other words, it starts off slowly.)

The yarn I used is Cashsilk Lace from Sweet Georgia Yarns (55% silk, 45% cashmere; 400 yards in a 50 gram skein). The color, Seagrass, was a custom dye for Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon. I purchased it to make a Forest Path stole, but the color changes that are so subtle in the skein did not look good in that pattern. Forest Path is built from entrelac blocks and the color became too blocky. It worked well for Newfoundland, though. I did put in the beads (there are very few of them in the pattern) but I think they sort of disappear in most light.

In a surprise turn of events, I also tackled a sewing project. I rarely sew. Rarely means that the last time I sewed something it was a poodle skirt for my now 30 year-old daughter’s 8th grade play. I bought myself a brand new sewing machine months ago and hadn’t taken it out of the box. When Susan was here for the Sheep & Wool Festival, I got inspired and bought some fabric. Here is the top I made. It ain’t couture, but it fits!

ETA: The sewing pattern I used is called the Wiksten Tank. It can be a dress or a top; I changed the length to be sort of in between so I’d have a summer tunic.

May 19, 2016

From Susan — Sincerest Form of Flattery

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:46 am

I loved Sally’s Waiting for Rain shawl – it is so unique and the color so stunning.  So I decided that I wanted one, too!

While out visiting the “Surly One” we made a quick stop at Fibre Space.  They were carrying a special order of “big wheels” in a variety of yarns.  Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Big Wheels carry a whopping ~800 yards at a $48 price.  I chose Quill, which has an overall gray cast with hints of brown and blue.  Very pretty.  Just not as pretty as Sally’s Sedge green :( .

Susan’s Waiting for Rain, Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, Color Quill

It is done.  I really like it — love the size and the shape for wearability.  Not yet convinced about the color!!

PS to Janet from Susan — Jean Moss Knitting Tour

Wasn’t that just a wonderful experience??  It was a highlight of Sally’s and my knitting life to dine with Alice that evening before her class!  I probably am the one who mentioned the author – it was Monica Ferris.  She did come to my knitting group several times, but I doubt that she wrote about me per se.  She did use the unusual name of a fellow knitter as one of her characters, and also tapped into our expertise for general knitting knowledge!!  She has not appeared in years but is welcome back any time!!

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