theraineysisters knitting and so much more

March 24, 2010

And the winners are . . .

Filed under: Back Story — Both Sisters @ 5:55 pm

First, thank you again for all of your kind comments. We truly appreciated hearing from all of you. And now, what you’ve all been waiting for — Nora, the envelope, please.

Well, actually, we didn’t use an envelope. Or even a hat. We used this:

In order to maintain a semblance of impartiality, the lovely Nora drew numbers (corresponding to post numbers with any duplicates removed).

The winner of Dancing Leaf Farm’s Bling Bling is post 145 aka Katie.

The winner of the Nora Cash Iroha is post 56 aka PA.

And, last but not least, the winner of the Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair is post 243 aka Carol.

Emails have been sent to the winners. Based on your enthusiastic response, we’re already dreaming up ideas for next year’s prizes.

Keep reading!

March 16, 2010

From Susan — Just Saying “Hi”

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 8:20 pm

This isn’t the really official post from our trip (my camera is still in transit and I have a few pics to share).  Just thought I would stop by and say hello to all of you.

I’m feeling pretty happy right now.  I just loaded some new stuff onto my computer. Our new computer came with Windows 7…my old printer was not compatible with Windows 7.  So, I bought a new printer when I bought the computer.  It looks beautiful.  Far more beautiful than my old one.  But, it does not scan worth a $%^^%$#&&. 

I used my old scanner a LOT for the blog.  I got great close ups and really true color.  The new one sucks!  They are both HPs (which is why I thought the new one would work!), but the old one was far nicer.  I was very disappointed, but found out from HP that I could get a disk to upgrade the old printer to Windows 7 — yay!!  So, today I set up the new printer to be wireless and set up the old printer to work with Windows 7. 

Here is the difference between the scanned images:

Left: old scanner                                    Right: new scanner

This is about the best picture I’ve gotten from the new one and it just doesn’t meet the high standards of our readers!!

The other thing I did today was set up my new camera.  I haven’t really gotten to the point of posting pictures, but I’m on the verge!  My old camera had 5 megapixels and the new has 12.  It, too, is a Canon Powershot.  I knew it would be easier to use since I’m used to it.

I’m quite the techie…at least for one day!

March 15, 2010

From Susan — On the Road

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 12:34 am

Hi, everyone!!  This is a very quick note from Surly’s house!  We have had a fun and very tiring trip…both in the car and in the air.  We will definitely post a few more details in a day or so and may provide some pictures: if I get my camera back!  I took some pictures at a very nice knitting store and LEFT IT THERE!  I hope they find it and send it back.  I can’t call them until tomorrow, so I’ll have to wait to see.  I had just ordered a new camera anyway, and it arrived at home while I was gone, so I do have a camera in any case.

Clay Aiken put on an awesome show — he has a spectacular voice and I am looking forward to seeing the program on PBS.

March 11, 2010

Do You Feel a Disturbance in the Force?

Filed under: Back Story — Both Sisters @ 8:45 am

Tectonic plates are shifting. The jet stream is moving.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast
. (W.H. Auden)

Yes, it’s that time again: a Rainey Sisters road trip. In a few hours, Susan will be winging her way to Washington, DC. From there, we travel to Raleigh for a weekend of talking, knitting, watching movies, and attending the taping of a PBS special starring Sally’s guilty pleasure. (Clay Aiken.)

If we can, we’ll post from the road.

February 8, 2010

From Sally — Snow Day (After Day After Day)

Filed under: Back Story — surly @ 2:23 pm

I know you’ve all been dying to know whether my half of the Rainey sisters survived the weekend storm that hit Washington, D.C. (And yes, for those who have asked — I live in the city itself.) The answer is yes, but it was quite a storm. On Saturday, when it was snowing its hardest, I remembered this stanza from Wallace Stevens’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird:

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbirds sat in the cedar-limbs.

Here are some photos I took of our yard, car, etc. That’s my husband shoveling — he was supposed to be bicycling in Tucson this week but his flight has been repeatedly cancelled and pushed back. He’s hoping to leave tomorrow.

1. Care to dine al fresco?

2. Believe it or not, that’s bamboo in the center of the picture. It’s so weighted down by the snow that you can’t tell.

3. This used to be our car.

4. Shoveling.

5. Shoveled.

6. Thor the Wonder Puppy

7. The snow covered our walkway lights. The lighting reminds me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.

Le sigh. We’re supposed to be hit with another 5 inches or more tomorrow evening. Fortunately, I’ve got the essentials: food, wine, and enough yarn.

February 1, 2010

From Sally — Popularity Contest

Filed under: Back Story,Sally's Swallowtail — surly @ 7:52 pm

Some patterns become extremely popular among knitters. The contrary knitter in me (there’s a reason my Ravelry nickname is surly) sometimes skips over those patterns for no other reason than their popularity. “Does the world really need another X Project?” I ask myself. Other times, there’s no denying the appeal of a project no matter how hard I might initially resist. Thus, I come to Evelyn Clark’s Swallowtail Shawl.

This is a very popular shawl pattern; on Ravelry alone, there are 6166 Swallowtail projects as of the writing of this post. It’s easy to see why. It’s beautiful. It’s simple. It’s free. And it’s fast. On a Friday, I bought yarn (more about that later). On a Saturday afternoon, I cast on. By Wednesday, I had a beautiful Swallowtail shawl — and it was even blocked. Who could ask for more?

I love it. And it goes beautifully with my Baby Cables sweater.

As for the yarn, I love it, too. It’s Neighborhood Fiber Company’s Studio Sock yarn in the colorway Cooper Circle. I saw it, and I had to own it.

I tried to knit my Swallowtail in just one skein, but when I got to the bind off row I saw this:

Yep — I only had three grams so I had to dip into the second skein. The remainder of it is going to my sister in the hopes that she can whip up something nice out of it. Otherwise, I’ll have matching socks for my shawl.

Where did I purchase this lovely yarn? At my new favorite yarn shop in the DC area: Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia. It’s a wonderful shop. Danielle, the owner, is friendly and helpful. Veronica, her lovely chief enabler, already recognizes my voice on the phone. (Is that a bad thing? Please say no.) They carry wonderful yarns from many smaller suppliers and a few larger ones. They’ll even call you when a yarn you’ve been lusting after arrives in the shop. (Don’t ask how I know this. Please.) They have a great frequent buyer program (gulp), big windows, Italian greyhounds, and — get this — a “Ravelry computer” for shoppers. Yes — it’s true. You can log onto Ravelry from the shop and browse for patterns, check how much yarn something takes, show off a project. It’s a great idea.

I definitely recommend stopping in at Fibre Space if you are in the area. Odds are surprisingly high that I might be there. What?

January 25, 2010

From Sally — A Sweet Surprise

Filed under: Back Story — surly @ 2:58 pm

I have the bestest big sister in the world. I just got this sweet surprise in the mail.

Now, that’s cool enough: chocolate, peeps, tattoos, and there were even some small knitting tools. But here’s the best part — she made the basket! I had seen a picture of one of these while trolling on Ravelry and said I’d make it if I knew how to crochet. Well, Susan knows how to crochet so she surprised me with it.

Thank you!!!

Now I have to go gorge myself on chocolate.

PS from Susan — It’s funny that Surly and many commenters refer to this as a sweet gift or project.  I used suger water to stiffen the bowl, so it really is sweet!  Sally didn’t know that when she posted either!  I hope it holds up over time.  I guess that’s the beauty of making things: you can redo them if you have to.

PS2: Ravelry Pattern Link — Filigree Basket

December 3, 2009

From Sally — Ack! Three Weeks ’til Christmas!

Filed under: Back Story — surly @ 1:35 pm

Mayhaps I was a bit too ambitious in my Christmas knitting projects; unfortunately, it’s too late to turn back now. Let’s do a progress check.

1. Vivian cardigan.

This is the sweater I’m knitting for my daughter, and it’s the one that will definitely be ready. Over Thanksgiving, I carried out my blindfold and camisole threat. The sweater fit her very nicely. Whew. (I took photos, but somehow I don’t think she’d appreciate my posting them.)

All of the knitting is finished. Yesterday, I sent the sweater off to my ultra-top secret zipper queen whose identity none of you will ever guess. So one project down.

2. Throw/blanket for my son.

I can’t show you progress pictures or discuss this in detail because it’s an as yet unreleased pattern and I am basically a test knitter. The key word, in terms of Christmas projects, is “blanket.” What was I thinking? It’s about half done. That also means it’s about half not done.

3. Open Cable Cardigan for my husband.

This project has been on the back burner to use a technical knitting term. I pulled it out again after mailing Vivian to the zipper queen. Hmmm. I thought I was almost to the armholes. I’m nowhere close.

I can’t show you what it will look like because it’s all in my head. My imaginary sweater is lovely; let’s hope it turns out. Here is what I have thus far.

There is an open cable running up each side of the sweater, dividing the fronts from the back. I plan to have one running up the middle of each sleeve as well. The yarn is City Tweed HW by Knitpicks in the colorway “Tabby.” I had bought that yarn for myself — my husband actually likes scratchy, rough wools. However, he saw this and loved the color so I’m using it for him. (Anyone need/want sweater quantity of some scratchy, rough, manly wool? ‘Cause I had already bought some for him and now I don’t know what to do with it.)

So, it’s three weeks until Christmas and I have to knit half a blanket and virtually all of a sweater. Who could have done this to me? I have no enemies.

April 5, 2009

From Susan — If I Found a Genie in a Bottle

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 9:13 am

My first wish would be that any knitting project I am interested in would take one day, and one day only, to knit.  In that way, I might possibly be able to experience ALL of the fun projects that I find on Ravelry, in books, in my knitting group or LYS.   It is extremely frustrating to be confined by the limits of time. 

Case in point.

Sock Innovations by you. 

This book arrived a couple of days ago — it is a very nice book.  Fun read, cute patterns, etc.  There are several socks both Sally and I would like to make, but I am currently trapped by Ode to Joy.  And I do mean trapped.  The never ending sleeve scenario has bogged me down.  My arms are inhumanly long — or so it seems when you are knitting to cover them up. 

I did find some fabric for a summer frock — not perfect (it’s a little “out there”) but certainly workable for one of the two I would like to have on hand to wear with my OtJ this summer:

Ode to Joy with Fabric by you.

My next choice will definitely be more subdued.  I’m thinking solid linen or cotton.  Ahhh, another quest!

Now, back to the Genie: my second wish would follow this “WTF?” moment this morning:

Spring Snow by you.

Wish #2 — no snow in April, May, June, July, August, September, or October!!

And, my third wish is none of your beeswax!

February 25, 2009

From Susan — Our Male Counterparts

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 11:13 pm

One of our regular readers, Kyle, is conducting a survey about knitters who happen to be men.   Let’s face it: they are outnumbered.   Kyle wants to learn more about the men who knit and about women’s attitudes toward male knitters.  So, the survey is open to both genders.  If you are interested, please click the survey link and join in!

Kyle William Dot Com by you.

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