theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 21, 2008

From Susan — A Teensy Post

Filed under: Presto Chango — lv2knit @ 7:32 pm

A couple of you asked me about the baby sweater I made.  It is called Presto Chango because you can button a new front on it at any time.  Very cute idea and the pattern is free!   I made some changes which are chronicled in our blog: primarily I thought there were too many bulky seams for a baby sweater.  The seams could easily be engineered out, so I did.

I am nearing the finish line on the Aran Wrap!  It is so heavy that it better be really, really, warm!  I am looking for some toggles to use as buttons.  I am going to use the natural holes created when making cables as the buttonholes.  I thought it would be nice to be able to hold the thing closed in a wind storm.

Speaking of storms, someone said something today that struck me as profound in this time of economic and social upheaval:

“Don’t wait for the storm to blow over — start dancing in the rain.” 

It sounds a little bit Pollyanna, but there is an element of truth to it.  Just don’t forget your umbrella…and pray there isn’t any lightning!

October 13, 2008

From Susan — A Brief Post and a Recipe for Nirvana

Filed under: Homage,Presto Chango — lv2knit @ 11:22 pm

Hi, remember me?  I’m Susan Rainey of The Rainey Sisters.  I share a blog with my sister, Sally.  We love to knit, talk about knitting, and share our passion for knitting with each other and our cyber-friends.  You would not know it from my recent lack of blogging, so I thought I would clue you in!

Fall is hitting us hard this evening — it may get down to 38 degrees tonight!  Fall means wearing sweaters so let’s get out there and crank out a few sweaters, peeps!

Do you recall this lovely vintage garment?  It was knit by my mom many years ago.  I am trying to re-create the pattern.  I started this little fantasy project last year, but the sucker was too big.  Off it went into the “some day” bin.  Well, I dragged it back out recently.  It is a great mindless project — at least the basic stockinette part.  Not so mindless when I have to figure out the shaping and raglans, but that is down the road a piece.

MomsMohair.jpg Mom\'s Dressy Mohair Sweater picture by lv2knit

I am using Rowan Kidsilk Aura (75% kid mohair, 25% silk; 82 yds/25 gms).  It is the chunky version of Kidsilk Haze and it is fabulous!  Tres cher, aussi.  The color here is not accurate — it has a creamy beige undertone — a pinkish warmth.  I love it, love it, love it.  it needs to be knit at a fairly loose gauge to take advantage of its loft.  When knit too firmly, this color (Ivory 750) looks dirty.

This is probably closer to the true color:

I also want to share a gift with you.  I called my folks the other day and Dad was making homemade onion rings — my gawd, that sounded fantastic!  He sent me the recipe, and I tried them out.  These onion rings are the best I have ever had in my entire life.  They are truly daydream worthy!  I do not do a lot of frying and they make a total mess of your kitchen, but every once in a while, don’t we deserve a sinfully decadent experience?  Dad says this batter works great on seafood, too.  M-m-m-m-m-m-m 😉 !

Sonny Bryan’s Onion Rings

September 4, 2008

From Susan — “It’s not you, it’s me.”

Filed under: Presto Chango — lv2knit @ 9:15 am

OMG!  It’s true!  We’ve all heard this ‘excuse’ at one time or another — from some “bad boy” that we hoped to lasso and tame against all odds.  But what if the odds were against it from conception?  Hmmm….gives one a little pause, n’est-ce pas?

A recent StarTribune included an article from the Washington Post called, “Gene in Men Linked to Marital Discord.”  A study of 1,000 hetereosexual couples and the presence of a gene variant (called an allele) were linked to marital discord.  Men with one or two copies of the allele were more likely to experience marital discord and divorce — 40% of all men fall into this category.  Men without the allele were more likly to be devoted and loyal.  This is all beyond my scientific capabilities, but I can sure name some men with the ‘bad boy’ gene!!

Presto Chango:
I finished the second “boyish” panel of the Presto Chango.  I think it turned out okay.  The yarn is very nice, but I like yarn that knits like yarn – not string.  It has the hand of soft cotton, which I am not fond of knitting.  But it is nice and soft – and easy care – for a baby.

The cabled panel was taken directly from the Aubrey Cap (from Simply Shetland 2), stitch for stitch.  No thinking involved!

I am now working in earnest on the Aran Wrap and still loving this project.  I will never catch Surly, but then again, I have to knit a lot more! :(

September 2, 2008

From Susan — FOs to Avoid FOs?

Filed under: Back Story,Current Projects,Presto Chango — lv2knit @ 4:17 pm

I am definitely exhibiting avoidance behavior!  I started two small projects in the past couple of days.  I’m not sure if I am avoiding the Aran Wrap Cardigan or the immediate comparison of my slow progress to Sally’s. 

I wanted to make a sweater for a co-worker who is expecting in November.  I was thinking of making the Baby Peapod from Interweave but I had it confused with “Presto Chango.”  I like the idea of this sweater because you can make the front panel however you want so it will work for either a boy or a girl.  We know my work peep is expecting a boy, but I made the standard lacey panel to be ready for Baby #2 if it’s a girl AND to gauge the panel’s size.  I’ll make a more boyish, cabled panel also.  But what was I thinking with white ??

I adapted this pattern to avoid seams.   I have nothing against seams per se, but they are bulky in worsted weight yarn on a baby’s small sweater. 


Presto Chango in Berroco Comfort (2 skeins), Size 7 needles

My adaptations:
Cast on the stitch count for the full back and both sleeves using a provisional cast on. Work to the neck opening and add a ball of yarn to work the top of both fronts at once. Once the sleeves are done, place sleeve sts on four separate lengths of waste yarn: right sleeve front, right sleeve back, left sleeve front, left sleeve back. Now join the fronts and the back: knit across left front, back, right front. Knit back and forth across these three sections until proper length; decrease per directions before switching to seed stitch at bottom border. Graft sleeves together or use a 3-needle bind off — I grafted mine.

One More State Fair Story
I got a phone call from a man stating he was a Minnesota state fair official.  He said he needed to verify that “Lyra” was crocheted.  I told him it was knitted, not crocheted.  He said my ribbons would be confiscated because it was not crocheting.  I told him that the lot specifically included knitting, tatting, and crocheting, to which he responded, “Oh, then that’s okay.  That means you will also win a bottle of wine!”  Huh??!!  WTF?  A bottle of wine??  Then he said, “You can pick it up at _______’s [my neighbor’s] house.”   Man, he got me on that one!  Whew!  Anyway, he delivered a lovely bottle of wine and homemade bread to my house — I think to make up for the heart attack he gave me!   So, I made the Winecozy from Knitty.com for my crazy neighbor!

I used some yarn I had on hand.  I think it looks better in the picture than it does in person!


Another excuse to use my pom pon maker!!!

I’ll make the cabled baby panel tonight and then I’ll work on the Aran Wrap in earnest — and, have a better excuse for being so far behind Surly ! 😉

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