theraineysisters knitting and so much more

December 31, 2006

From Susan and Sally — No Snow in Minne-snow-ta

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:42 pm

New Year’s Eve in Minnesota and not a flake to be found.  It is very disappointing and not a little disturbing (see “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Soylent Green,” and “The Day after Tomorrow”).


Because it has been a brown winter, it never did quite seem very Christmasy or wintery.  Last fall, Sally and I started a project we were both very enthusiastic about, but it never “got legs” so to speak.  It was a shawl that would be gorgeous (IF it worked) to wear during the holiday season — very festive and certainly wintery in nature.  It is the Winter Wonderland Shawl designed by Sharon Winsauer.


The pattern is available from the Alpaca Yarn Company which also carries the Forest Path Stole pattern (featured in Interweave Knits a few years ago).  Sally and I fell in love with this shawl, immediately ordered the yarn, and started cranking out snowflakes like crazy.  We didn’t post anything because we realized that this project could flop very easily because of the unusual construction — we wanted to see if it would work before posting.  We forged ahead and then, like so many times before, momentum stopped.  As Sally recently put it, “Its time has passed.”  So, these are the only snowflakes in Minnesota — at least anywhere near my home:


Aren’t they wonderful?  If nothing else, the snowflakes could be appliqued onto something.  This project is set to resurface in the fall of 2007 — if there is snow for inspiration.  If it is another brown year, I’m not sure the muses will deem this project knit-worthy.

Project details: 13 snowflakes are knit individually on dpns using “Glimmer” (3 skeins); then you pick up around each snowflake with Suri Elegance (1 skein) and knit the background.  To finish: graft the snowflakes together and knit an edging with Glimmer. 

I miss snow, and I miss winter. 

From Sally: Here are a few photos of my snowflakes, including one with its knitted background. (I know, I know. Mine aren’t as nicely blocked and finished as my sister’s yet.)

PS from Susan — it started snowing, but it’s too warm to stick much.  Turning to ice tonight for New Year’s Eve travel (!).

December 30, 2006

From Susan – The Blue Blob

Filed under: Current Projects,Oregon Cardigan,Updates — lv2knit @ 1:43 pm

I have been knitting my way into the New Year!  I hope all of you had a fabulous holiday.  Mine is still in progress as we are having my side of the family over on Wednesday — including Sally et. al.  It should be very fun.

I started the Lace Mobius and have made a bit of progress:


As you can see, the long circular knitting needle winds its way in a coil.  One full row adds length to both sides — it grows outward from the center.  The lace stitch is tres simple.  Even though there are 8 rows in the pattern repeat, you only do 2 different lace rows, which can be easily memorized.  However, I do not consider it mindless because I really have to look closely as I knit to see the sts.

Because the Moebius is not mindless, I took Oregon to knitting group on Thursday evening.  I know fair isle does not seem like a “mindless” choice, but it was the best I could muster, given the status of my currents WIPs.  It is a dismal state of affairs.  But, here is a picture of Oregon:


I am about an inch from the underarm shaping/steek.  Oregon has a shaped armhole, which AS did on a small number of sweaters and all (?) of her fair isle vests.  I am interested in seeing what difference it makes to the fit.  Even though the armhole is shaped, the sleeve is still worked without a cap.  This of course means that I will have to knit even more sleeve than normal to account for the length that is lost to the armhole shaping.  I’ve been knitting on it the last couple of nights and a little progress has been made — I have such a long way to go!!

Thank you for all the comments about the Santa stockings and my Santa mantel :).  I love your support and encouragement.

December 27, 2006

From Susan — Santa Stocking Sisterhood

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 5:36 pm

A couple of you wrote to say that you grew up with the same Santa Stockings as Sally and I.  Martha shared a photo of her beloved stocking and said I could post it.


I don’t know why it touched me so much seeing your stocking, but it really did.  Thank you for sharing, Martha! 

From Sally — Sunrise Circle Update and a “New” Project

Filed under: Blue Shimmer,Completed Projects,Sunrise Circle Jacket — Sally @ 11:42 am

It’s finished! I wore it on Christmas to a brunch and received a lot of compliments. This is a very flattering sweater and it fits me perfectly. I love success stories because they’re not all success stories. Here are some photos.

First, I wanted to show how I decided on the button placement. Because my sister was visiting me when it was just about finished, I put it on and she basted a line to show how the fronts should overlap to get the fit I wanted. She also marked with a thread where I DIDN’T want a button — right at the nipple.

Here is another photo showing the button placement in progress.

And, finally, the finished project:

Now that I’ve actually finished something, I’m still inching along on my Feather and Fan shawl. But I have also gone back to another “head start” project. It’s a Bohus sweater from the book Poems of Color. It’s knit from the neck down with no seams. The beauty of this kind of knitting is that you can keep trying it on as you go to see if the body and sleeves are the right length. There is also very minimal finishing. I loved trying it on when I only had the yoke finished — it looked like a Pharaoh’s necklace.

I started this a long time ago and then set it down when I was lured away by God knows what. But I’ve wanted to come back to it for a long time. It’s the “Blue Shimmer.” One reason I set it down is that the cream yarn I was using for the body and the sleeves was fairly uneven in its spinning and in its color. I wasn’t sure if I should unravel back to the yoke and substitute a more consistent yarn. I’ve decided not to — I’ll live with the imperfections in the yarn and hope that by doing so I don’t let the sweater cross from looking handmade to home made — a fine line. Here is a photo of where I am. As you can see, I really do have a good head start with this one.

December 24, 2006

From Susan — Merry Christmas to All

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 9:18 pm

…and to all a good night!


This is my “Santa Mantel.”  All my Santa stuff decked out over the fireplace.  Enjoy your holiday with family and friends! 🙂

December 23, 2006

From Susan — Chewbacca wants a Hat for Christmas

Filed under: Current Projects,Updates — lv2knit @ 1:25 pm

What went wrong with this hat?  It’s ruined!  It is WAY too fuzzy.  Oh, well, back to the drawing board.  Looks like money for Ian.


Laura said (before felting) that no guys she knew would wear a hat with purple in it anyway.  So, I got motivated to start the Moebius Lace Scarf and this time it is working.  Pics to follow.

December 22, 2006

From Susan — Just When You Thought You had Seen Everything…

Filed under: Back Story,Sock Monkey Dresses — lv2knit @ 4:25 pm

My Sock Monkey Ornament acquired a girlfriend — and look what she is doing.  That little monkey girl is KNITTING!!!!!


A couple of friends found this lil gem for me — I could not believe my eyes.  She has a little felt (-ed) knitting bag with balls of yarn and another scarf she already finished up.  She’s more ahead on her Christmas knitting than I am!  She is a knitting diva.

I did finish the Tychus Hat.  It looks just like the picture when it’s on — a little too long and a bit bell shaped.  So, I may try to felt it slightly.


This picture shows the grafted edge (the longest purple stripe up the middle).  I like it for some reason and it was fun to make.  Might be even more fun to change a bit…

Wendy of Wendyknits has been in a bit of a controversy lately because she talked about the “Knit from Your Stash 2007” concept which is floating around the knitting blogs.  Some people accused her of trying to put knitting stores out of business.  Absurd.  It is far more likely that on-line yarn shopping will put stores out of business or the fact that too many stores opened up hoping to jump on the knitting band wagon.  People can say they are going to knit from their stash, but if they want yarn, they will buy it.  I try to shop my stash, but what I want is rarely there.  If it is, great, but if not I’m shopping.

I’m feeling more ready for the holidays and certainly in a great mood now that I have my girl sock monkey.  She completes me! 


From Sally — I’m Knitting a Hat, too!

Filed under: Current Projects,Sunrise Circle Jacket — surly @ 9:11 am

I’m knitting a hat for my husband for Christmas. He wants a plain black stocking cap with the letters NCVC (the name of this bicycling team) going around in red. Exciting, eh? I started it last night so I could knit while watching the Vikings lose. All I have at the moment is the three-inch hem and the turning row, so there is no point in posting a photograph.

He asked me to use a blend of wool and alpaca I already had in my stash — how festive. I tried to suggest that I could go and find him a softer yarn, but he said he likes “scratchy hats. The scratchier the better.” Alrighty then. One scratchy, black hat coming up just in time for the holidays.

My Sunrise Circle is almost finished. All I have left is the button loops. I’ll finish it off as soon as I get some traction on this hat. My camera is back from the shop, so I’ll be able to post pictures.

From Susan — A Little Bit of Christmas Knitting

Filed under: Current Projects,Updates — lv2knit @ 1:31 am

Me — wait until the last minute?  Mais non!!  Ce n’est pas possible.  Au contraire!

I started the Tychus Hat because of two reasons: 1) someone showed it on their blog and it looked cute (cuter than on the site) and, 2) Laura (eldest daughter) promised to knit 2-color hats for a few of her male friends and I thought it would be a good idea to test drive the pattern.  I am making this for a nephew and if it turns out I may knit another.  I’m using 2 colors of Pastaza — purple and charcoal — on Size 9’s.  It is mindless knitting and very portable. 


As you can see, I used a provisional cast on so I can graft the last row to the first — that way there won’t be a front or back.  I’ll be finished tomorrow and will have an update.  I’M HO-HO-HO-PING IT FITS!!

December 20, 2006

From Susan — Christmas Traditions

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 7:55 pm

Pam shared her delightful Christmas stockings and Mittens on her blog so I thought I would do the same.

The stocking on the left is the original made for me, the others are the ones I knitted for my family over the years, with a smaller one for dog, Molly.

Our family stockings are more than just a family tradition.  Receiving a stocking — hand knit with your name on it — symbolizes that you are part of the family.  It is a time-honored ritual, highly anticipated when a new baby or spouse joins the fold.  The stockings are identical, with angora-bearded Santas and red candy canes, and we wouldn’t want them any other way.

My dad’s mother, Jeannette, hand-knit the stockings for all of us one Christmas in the early 60s from an old Bernat kit.  For me, the stockings meant Christmas.  Jeannette is the person who taught me to knit (or so I am told), so I was able to carry on the tradition.

As family members are added, I knit stockings for the brother- and sister- in -laws, nieces and nephews.  The family was shocked, however, the Christmas I made a stocking for my long-time boyfriend, John.  He wasn’t “official” — how did he warrant a stocking?  Don’t we have criteria?  Well, he had already planned to propose on Christmas Day, so I guess we were on the same wavelength!  And, as you know, we just celebrated our anniversary.

I did not realize until many years had passed that Jeannette had not made a stocking for herself, so I knitted one for her.  Darn that long name!  Very tough to fit it on a stocking!  I made it in time for her last Christmas.

I’m not sure who will carry on the tradition, but I hope someone picks up the needles.  It is something that truly knits us together.

Here is the pattern for those who wish to begin or continue this tradition!  Bernat Santa Stocking Pattern

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