theraineysisters knitting and so much more

April 30, 2006

From Susan — Yarnover Hangover

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 12:56 pm

The 20th Annual Yarnover event was yesterday.  Yarnover is a one-day workshop and vendor market sponsored by the Minnesota Knitters Guild.  It was wonderful.  The organizers invited knitting notables from “around the globe” to speak and teach: Lucy Neatby, Candace Eisner Strick, Annie Modesitt, to name a few.  It is fantastic to be a part of the community of knitters. 

I taught an all-day workshop called “A Few of My Favorite Things…from A to Z.”  It included my favorite tips, techniques, and stories and hit every letter of the alphabet at least once — usually more.  The students were great — very enthusiastic and receptive.  I asked them to share their own tips or favorite projects as well, and they did not disappoint.  Mary, from Thursdays at Four, showed us the most gorgeous knitted, beaded scarf you’ve ever seen; Barb brought in two of the fabulous Christmas stockings she has made for each family member; Marcy shared her tip about using store-bought tags to keep track of key information on swatches (yarn and knitting needles used, gauge, etc.).  I always learn something and hope everyone had as much fun as I.

After the workshop, the MKG committee took the instructors out to dinner.  I got to debrief about the day and have a great meal — thank you, MKG!!

My knitting has suffered due to lack of time, but I did wear my Scoop du Jour to knitting group last Thursday and did receive the official seal of approval!   So there, a fait accompli!

I am now in a state that is rare for me.  I am kind of out of knitting projects.  I have Ballerina to work on, but it is too cumbersome to take everywhere.  I have a sock on the needles, but I am not terribly fond of sock knitting.  I could take out my Elsebeth Lavold “Margery” (see picture) and do the sleeves, but I’m not really in the mood.  That leaves one option: start a new project.  I’ll have to check my stash for hopefuls and get something going. 


April 27, 2006

From Susan — My Knitting Peeps

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:51 pm

As hoped, my knitting group did let me take a picture tonight.  As you can see, we are a happy and fun-loving bunch.  We meet every Thursday at Panera’s and knit, talk and eat — all my favorite things. 


From left to right: Deb, Emily, Diane (hiding behind Emily), Rosemary, Pat, Mary, Idonis and Linda.   There are more that show up on a regular basis — Ellie and Deirdre arrived after the picture.  Some have been knitting for decades and others for months.  But we all share our love for this past-time.

From Susan — Naked No More

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:06 am

I bought buttons, and they are now on my sweater — this may be temporary, though.  I am rarely thrilled about the buttons I end up with and usually threaten to buy different ones.  However, I have never actually changed buttons once they make it onto a sweater.  By then I have moved on and don’t really care any more!

ST Buttons

I’ll bring this to my knitting group tonight and get the approval I crave and then move on!  My knitting group gets me through the week.  They are more than just people I knit with — I really like their company.  If I can get them to let me take a picture, I’ll post it.

April 25, 2006

From Sally — Unfinished but still loved

Filed under: Current Projects — Sally @ 4:57 pm

Every once in a while there’s a sweater pattern that I just fall in love with and must knit. It may take me a long time, but I will eventually get around to it. One of those patterns is from an old Vogue Knitting. Here is the photograph that appeared in the magazine.

It was designed by Lily Chin, which surprised me. It doesn’t look like one of her designs to me — whatever that means. The yarn it called for — Edina Ronay Silk & Wool from Rowan/Westminster — is no longer available. I had to find a substitute. I’m knitting it out of Joseph Galler’s Extra Fine Pashmina in the color Musk (a beautiful soft brown with gray undertones). It’s gorgeous and wonderful to knit with. It will also be one of the most expensive sweaters I’ve ever knit.

I’ve finished the back and am just about to cross the fronts. It’s a tricky pattern, and I have made a few small changes to it. For example, as you can see from the photograph below it has Dolman sleeves. (It’s a horrible picture; sorry.)

The pattern has you cast on 6 stitches or so multiple times to get the curve and length of the sleeve. Instead, I cast on all of the stitches using a provisional cast on, and then added them in using short rows. Instead of binding them off in sets as the pattern instructed, I used short row shaping at the top of the sleeve as well. In other words, the stitches along the top and bottom of each sleeve are still “live.”

That means that when I finish the front, I will join the bottom edges of each sleeve using a three-needle bind off. At the top of the sleeves, I think I will graft instead for an even more invisible look.

This is a project that I started a long time ago and set aside for some reason I don’t even remember now. But I will finish it because I still love the pattern and the yarn.

April 23, 2006

From Susan — C’est Fini!

Filed under: Current Projects — lv2knit @ 10:51 pm

I finished the ST cardigan.  With a notable exception — it is naked.  No buttons.  I bought buttons as planned on Friday, but after seeing the finished product, they just don’t go.  For those of you who finish a cardigan from time to time, you already know that finding the right buttons is nearly impossible.  Even for a simple little project like this one. 

The other thing I did not do is block it.  I would have said last week that I ALWAYS block the individual pieces of a garment before sewing it together.  But, it did not seem worth the effort on this one, given the rustic texture of the knitting.  I normally would not “show off” my knitting when the sts are so uneven, but I’ll blame it on the nubby yarn and lack of blocking!  I may wet block it after I figure out the button situation. 

After putting it together, it fits perfectly.  So, I am pleased!

Summer Tweed Full View

Here are some detail pictures:

ST hem

This is a not great picture of the bottom edge of the button band.  I picked up the first st right into the cast on edge so that the bottom edge of the band would be even with the hem of the sweater.

Here is a close up of the side seam:

ST seam

The great thing about even st ribbing (2×2, 4×4) is that it works great for mattress st seams.

This is the back neck. 

ST raglan

The neck shapings did not affect the change I made from set in sleeve to raglan.  The button patrol is now on duty. 

(Knitted in Rowan’s Summer Tweed)

April 21, 2006

From Susan — I’m in shock

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:17 am

I finished knitting the pieces of the ST cardigan, basted it together, and it fits!!!!!  The sleeves are the perfect length.  The body is the length I wanted.  I am amazed, shocked and speechless — in a good way.  I started sewing the seams last night and I’ll buy buttons on my way home.  It should be done and ready to wear by this weekend (xxxxx — crossed fingers).  I will post a picture of the finished garment.  Chalk up another one for moi!

April 19, 2006

From Sally — More on Mindful Knitting

Filed under: Knitting Tips — Sally @ 12:51 pm

One of the problems in having a knitting blog I’ve realized is that readers (including, especially, my sister) can see just how many projects I have going at any one time. I can’t help it. It’s in my nature.

This winter, I’ve been of a mood to knit shawls, and I just started a new one. It’s a fairly simple lace pattern from Hand Jive Knits that will result in a long, rectangular shawl. You start it by knitting a border and then picking up the stitches for the body of the shawl from that border. When it’s long enough, you knit the other border and cast off at the same time. I am doing it in their yarn, in color Odd Duck #5 (which is how they name their variegated yarns). Here is the shawl in progress. I’ve pinned it so that you can get a better idea of how the lace will look when blocked since lace typically looks a bit shriveled and uninteresting before then. The lace pattern itself is called Dayflowers, and I first saw it in Barbara Walker’s second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Let me explain how this project relates to “mindful” knitting. The pattern directions only give the lace pattern in written direction form instead of in a chart, probably because the number of stitches varies from row to row. Although one can certainly chart such a pattern, it takes a bit more effort. You start with 140 stitches. The directions for the first row, which is the wrong side, say:

K3, *p15, k2; repeat from * to the last stitch, K1.

Bear with me for a tiny bit of math. I like to make sure the numbers work, which is something I almost always check before I start a pattern with repeats.

From my 140 stitches I subtract 3 (for the first three stitches because they are not part of the repeat). That gives me 137. I subtract 1 (for the last stitch, which is also not part of the repeat). That gives me 136. Each repeat has 17 stitches (the 15 you purl and the two that you knit), so I divide 136 by 17 to make sure it goes in evenly. It does! Yay! I have 8 full pattern repeats. So, when I started the shawl, I placed markers after each K2 so that I would know where my repeats started and ended; that’s especially useful for lace patterns in which the number of stitches varies depending upon the row. It’s easier to find and isolate a mistake.

So, with one row under my belt and my markers in place, I turned to the first RS row. Here is what the pattern says:

K3, *yo, K2 together, yo [K2 tog] 3 times, K2, yo, K3, yo, ssk, yo, K2; repeat from * to the last stitch, K1.

The math here works, but where I placed the markers didn’t. If you look again at the swatch, you’ll see that each pattern repeat is separated by a “ladder” of 2 stitches worth of garter stitch with a yarnover on either side. On the first WS row, I placed my marker after those 2 stitches. But, on the first RS row, the pattern also ends with those 2 knit stitches. Therefore, as I knit that row, those stitches were on the wrong side of my marker. (Have I lost all of you yet?) After a few moments of wondering if I had miscounted something, I realize what had happened and I shifted the markers 2 stitches over. In effect, that meant I was reading the first wrong side row as K1, *K2, P15; repeat from * to the last 3 stitches, K3 and making a similar adjustment on all of the wrong side rows. It’s a small thing, and it was easy to figure out by paying attention. Making that minor adjustment makes the pattern much easier to read and knit.

I’ve also started some more socks, which I’ll post pictures of later. I’ve also gone back to a sweater I started a long time ago from an absolutely stunning design. I’ll be back with photographs of that, too.

April 18, 2006

From Susan — Stalled

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:50 pm

I am making progress, but slowly, on the Summer Tweed.  Getting stalled like this happens every so often.  Well, truthfully, it tends to happen pretty frequently.  You get to a certain point in a project and just feel bored.  That is why so many knitters jump from project to project.  The problem is, if you jump ship, you may not come back to it.  I have many UFOs as proof.  So, if I really want the end product, I have to force myself to get through the doldrums.  I really need to finish this sweater because my spring/summer wardrobe is so pathetic.  I’ll keep on plodding.

I’ll leave you with an inspirational picture: From the ‘Avant Garden’ flower show at Marshall Field’s.  Spring is in Minnesota

! Flowers

April 15, 2006

From Susan — Summer Tweed Update

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:52 pm

I will definitely have enough yarn to make the sleeves as long as I want.  I picture this sweater being worn over a very soft cotton summer dress — long and flowy.  So, today I bought fabric.  Six yards cost me about $13.00!  Woo hoo!  This picture (from my scanner, not camera) shows the colors much more accurately.  So now I have both knitting and sewing to do.

 Summer tweed and fabric

I am behind on my knitting because of spring break.  I worked through all of it except Friday.  So I decided to take my two girls out for a one day vacation.  We did all the kinds of things you do on vacation: we went bowling (my girls are “bowlers” in name only!), had our nails done, ate lunch at a fabulous restaurant, and shopped, shopped, shopped.  It was so much fun!!!  We really had a good time. 

Tomorrow I will knit on my way to and from Grandpa’s for Easter dinner, so I hope to finish the second sleeve then.  Have a happy holiday, everyone!

April 12, 2006

From Susan — Too long or too short??

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:53 pm

What am I talking about?  Sleeves, of course!  There is no easy way to predict how long to make the sleeves on a sweater.  I have formulas and theories and 4 decades of experience — but, there is a 50-50 chance that the sleeves will end up the wrong length.  It is because each sweater is different: the fit, the hang, where the armholes land, etc.  I have finally accepted it.  I am mentally prepared to knit the entire sleeve, baste the sweater together, and undo it all to rip back the sleeve cap and correct the fit. 

It is looking like I will have enough yarn to finish long sleeves on my Summer Tweed.  Yippee!  I’ll be finished with Sleeve #1 today, Sleeve #2 by Saturday, and should be sewing the thing together this weekend.  And, alas, probably re-sewing it together AGAIN next Monday or Tuesday.  It’s worth it, though, or it just wouldn’t be fun to wear.

I’ll post some pics in the next couple of days.

I have done a bit more on Ballerina, but I’m mostly focusing on my Summer Tweed, so I can get it done and start wearing it.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress