theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 30, 2006

From Susan — Mini Sunrise Update

Filed under: Current Projects,Sunrise Circle Jacket — lv2knit @ 10:07 pm

I decided to check and see if the Sunrise Circle Jacket will fit before I invested more time into it.  I basted the sleeve seam and tried it on.  It is perfect.  I can’t believe it!  It really makes me want to finish it.  I wish it was not May and 80 degrees right now!

Jennifer asked about Blocking Wires.  I have used them for years and swear by them.  They make the blocking process much easier and foolproof.

May 29, 2006

Filed under: Sunrise Circle Jacket,Updates — lv2knit @ 8:42 pm

The front/sleeve is done and being blocked. 

Sunrise Blocking

I am sometimes asked about how I block: I almost always wetblock by soaking the piece in cool water and then spinning the excess water out in the washing machine.  Wetblocking is great when you need to make the piece larger or you have irregular sts.  In this case, I was knitting tighter to get row gauge, with the thought that I would stretch the width and length as needed — and I needed to!  Here you also see the blocking wires that I frequently use.  Blocking wires allow you to manipulate the piece you are blocking without putting in and taking out a million pins.  You can see how straight the edges are, which is really nice for sewing the seams.  With pins, you get a scallop effect.  Once the wires are in place you can get it to size with very few pins.  The wires hold all edges in place until the piece is dry.  It is the perfect* size now, but I don’t think I could have achieved that with a different blocking method. 

I started the second sleeve tonight.  I’m on a mission because I want to get back to Ballerina, get that done, and move in reverse to Margery.  Had I stuck with Margery at the time, I could start something NEW!!  So, I must knit!!

*perfect remains to be seen!! 

May 28, 2006

From Susan — A Sunrise Update

Filed under: Current Projects,Sunrise Circle Jacket,Updates — lv2knit @ 7:21 pm

Here is the oddest sleeve and front you will ever see.  You can now see how the front takes shape as a half circle attached to the sleeve.  It is fun to do, though I would not care to knit several of them as others seem to be doing to get the correct size.  If I can’t block it to fit, it may end up in the UFO category!  I have also done a bit more on the Wedding Ring bag, but not enough to show yet. 

Left front progress

Sally, the Icarus Shawl is a gorgeous project — I will defer this one to you.  I have a couple of shawls already started that I need to finish first.  Please post pics of your progress.

From Sally — Icarus Shawl

Filed under: Icarus Shawl — surly @ 1:21 pm

I found out today that there is a knitalong for the Icarus Shawl. If you would like to join it, the link is:

Icarus Knitalong

There are some lovely photographs that show the back of the shawl in more detail. It’s worth a click even if you don’t feel like joining the knitalong.

shawl details

May 27, 2006

From Sally — Joining New Yarn

My favorite way to join yarn is with a felted splice, more commonly known as a spit splice. I am almost to the same point my sister is in the Sunrise Circle Jacket, and I need to join in a new ball of yarn. So, here is my method. Note: This method works best with 100% wool yarn (or other natural wool-like yarns such as cashmere, alpaca, etc.). It does not work with washable wools (which won’t felt), cotton, linen, etc. It does work with silk/wool blends and many other yarns. I always test whether or not this method works before I start knitting. (Forgive the funky photos; I am taking them with my built-in web cam.)

Here are two “ends” — one from the piece I am knitting, where I am running out of yarn, and the other from the new ball.

Photo 3.jpg

After making sure that an inch or two of each end is slightly unraveled, I moisten the end of each. I stick it in my mouth — hence the name spit splice. You can also dip each end in water. Once each end is moistened, you overlap them and twist them together slightly with your fingers.

Photo 5.jpg

Then you lay the overlapped, slightly twisted together yarn across your palm and rub your hands together vigorously. This felts the two ends together, giving you one continuous piece of yarn.

Photo 6.jpg

When I finish knitting this sweater, I won’t have any ends to weave in except for those used to seam or start a new piece.

PS – from Susan: I have used this method on non-wool yarn, but I don’t “spit and splice” I just splice.  I used it on the Summer Tweed cardigan, which is silk and whatever.  I split the yarn into half its strands and overlap them and twist them together.  I let the extra overlap fall to the back of the work.  Sometimes I trim them later, but often do not.  It also shows me where I added new yarn so I can see how much knitting I am getting per skein.  It does not work for all yarns but it is sure worth a try!


From Susan — Sunrise Again

Filed under: Sunrise Circle Jacket — lv2knit @ 5:31 pm

You can kind of see the progress I am making.  I don’t know if all of my fussing is worth it.  It will obviously look better when it is blocked.  I looked for pictures of other Sunrise Circles in progress but none of them showed much detail.  Oh well, onward I go! 

Sunrise Left Side

From Susan — Sunrise Circle Jacket Update

Filed under: Current Projects,Knitting Tips,Sunrise Circle Jacket,Updates — lv2knit @ 11:24 am

I am done with the left sleeve, up to the raglan shaping.  The way the pattern works, you start increasing on the left side of the raglan and create a half circle, which becomes the front.  I have been experimenting with the increases.  As some of you know, I suffer from PKD: perfectionistic knitting disorder.  I’ve got it bad!  I have never liked the way that some increases distort the adjacent sts — this happens because the yarn needed to create a new st has to come from somewhere.  This is especially true with the “m1” (m1 = make one = lift running thread between 2 sts and knit it with a twist to create a new st).  As you pull up the running thread, you pull the adjacent st tighter, making it smaller than it should be.  This can be very noticeable.  In the Sunrise Circle pattern, there are rows where you make 4 “m1’s” in a row ([k1, m1]x4).  Each st would be getting tighter and tighter trying to give up the length needed to make a new st. 

While knitting the sleeve, I tried something new.  First, I decided to place the sleeve increases along the center of the sleeve, just to add visual interest and keep with the funky look of the jacket.  I was going to use the lifted increase method because it creates less st distortion, but decided instead to use m1 as it would match the fronts — and of course I got stitch distortion.   So, I tried something different and it worked perfectly:

Sunrise Sleeve Incs

You can see there are right and left slanted m1s without st distortion.  The technique: make a yarnover (YO) on the row before the m1, in the same location as the m1 will be.  A YO is simply a way of making the running thread longer between 2 sts.  When it is knitted without a twist, it creates a new st and a decorative hole, as in lace.  However, I knitted the YOs with either a right or left twist so there is no hole.

The Sunrise Circle Jacket is asymmetrical, so for me to place the YOs in the correct position, I would need to read the pattern rows backwards on the WS rows.  Not necessary.  The right side of the jacket already reverses the shaping.  For example, when I set up for Row 3 on WS Row 2, I will read Row 3 of the right side of the jacket and substitute purl sts for knits and YOs for m1s.  Then when I knit Row 3, I will knit the YOs with either a right twist or left twist depending on the pattern.  Does this sound way too compulsive?  I thought so.  Evidence that I have PKD.  Perhaps I should adjust my meds!

May 24, 2006

From Susan — Sunrise Update

Filed under: Current Projects,Sunrise Circle Jacket — lv2knit @ 11:12 pm

Those of you who know me know that I am taller than average — 5’10” or so.  I finished the back of the Sunrise Circle Jacket and I do believe that it will fall somewhere south of my derriere, with the armholes at about the waist.  My row gauge appears to be fairly close, so I have a couple of options: a) forge on and hope for the best or, b) try to rework the pattern and agonize endlessly about how it will turn out.  I have chosen Option A.  The pattern is too weird to do too much reworking.  I have decided that since it is a fast knit and not too expensive, I’m just going to go for it.  Several blogs discuss the sizing of this sweater and even the designer got into the mix, so I am not the only one with “concerns.”   However, I figure that since I am at the upper limit for height, if it’s too long on me, heaven help the others who are knitting it!  I am going to hold off blocking the back until I am more sure about it in case I need to rip it out.

Update on the Wedding Purse: the bride-to-be loves it and wants me to make two tiny versions for the ring bearer to use for carrying the rings.  I’m going to use crochet cotton because it’s finer and will look more delicate.  More on those as they are created.

The sad news for me is I cannot be at knitting this week — it’s those darn kids again!!  John is working and someone has to feed the little darlings!

From Sally — A Beaded Mini-Purse from One of Our Readers

Filed under: Free Patterns from The Rainey Sisters — Sally @ 8:53 am

A friend — Wendy — who has been reading this blog made her very own beaded mini-purse starting with Susan’s pattern and making her own changes. She said I could post a photograph of it here. I think it looks great!

From Susan — Sunrise Circle Update

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:45 am

I am doing the raglan shaping, but have been told to ‘put on the brakes’ a bit by my Knitalong Companion.  Sally just got the yarn on Monday and has not really gotten started.  I will try to hold off a while, though I was thinking I should finish the back and block it so I can get a good picture.  In the interim, I’ll work on Ballerina.  I think it boils down to the fact that I am a little bit competitive (about my knitting anyway) and like being ahead — I will try to squelch that tendency!! 

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