theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 17, 2007

From Susan — Where, O’ Where, Art Thou?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 12:53 pm

Do any of you know the origin of this pattern?  A friend of mine and I are very taken with it, but we don’t know where it is from.  Your help is very appreciated!!


Later that day: June, you’re the best!  I knew my knitting blog peeps would come though.  The pattern is called the Chinese Lace Pullover and is available from Knititude for $5.50.  It comes in a myriad of sizes.  I bought it already!! 😉

July 16, 2007

From Susan — Kauni Kauni

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 7:24 pm

I’m seeing double!  I’ve been working my way back to you, Kauni — but it’s slower when you reknit something.  It took a little bit of the wind out of my sails. 


The picture shows spliced photos of the old and the new Kaunis.  I really did prefer the old, mistake-ridden colourway, BUT it is better to have the mistake-free version instead.  I am very near the armholes and therefore must do the math so to speak so everything lines up properly.  I hate that!  It means making a commitment to sweater length and shoulder placement, and I am such a commitment phobe with knitting.  Eeeeesh — the neckline comes next! 🙁

PS — I had such a nice evening yesterday.  I met with Maura from The Yarnery and several of the teachers.  They are great people and fabulously talented knitters!  We talked some business and then went next door to Axel’s Bonfire for a lovely dinner.  I had a wonderful time!

July 14, 2007

From Sally — The Four Carousel Horses of the Apocalypse

Filed under: Widdicombe Fair — surly @ 2:46 pm

Yes, I am finally knitting on Widdicombe Fair, aka the Carousel Baby Blanket. I’ve put it off as long as I dare: there is a baby shower happening as I write. (It’s not actually a show-her; it’s a show-he put on by friends of the father. I know. I’m rolling my eyes, too.)

I have finished four of the five repeats of the pattern so surely this will be ready by the time Baby X is born and able to receive visitors. One reason I have been a little slow on this project is that I’ve already knit one exactly like it in the same colorway (see Gallery at right). My husband, one of the show-he hosts, just loved that particular blanket and so when I offered to knit a blanket for this baby, he stated a strong preference for this pattern. Alrighty then. But it’s not quite as fun as knitting a new one.

Here are some progress pictures (do you detect a blue and gold theme? this is my husband’s favorite room in our house):

Here’s a close up, which shows both the steek and the miniature carousels:

Finally, for those of you who like to peek at the inside, here’s a close up of the raw side, which also includes the wrong side of the steek:

July 12, 2007

From Susan — I Mis-Kaunted

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 10:39 pm

I thought I was really on a roll.  This Kauni thing is easy and kind of addictive.  HOWEVER, you still need to PAY ATTENTION!!  Just a little bit!  I mis-counted my rows and obviously spaced out.  I was almost to the armhole steek when I noticed that I had added a few rows and switched polarity on my foreground and background colors. 

It would not have been that big of a deal, but as I said to Sally, “It is bugging me now, it will bug me tomorrow, and it will be all I can see when I look at this sweater.”  To which she replied, “Hang up and start ripping.”  


Right under the blue marker are two red lines: one with 2 rows and a single row red stripe.  That is where I screwed up.  The background of the next section should be red with blue squares.  I would have left it as is if I had not done such a bold red line.  It just screamed “M-I-S-T-A-K-E” at me.  So, it is gone.  I did as Surly told me: I hung up and ripped.  It was painful, but like ripping off a bandaid, it is over and done with.  Time to move on!!

July 11, 2007

From Susan — Some Questions about the Kauni Cardigan

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 4:41 pm

I was asked a couple of questions about the construction of the Kauni Cardigan.  Here are the responses:

1) When you knit the garter stitch block trim, do you work it in the round and steek that portion of the sweater open, or do you work it back and forth (flat)?
I worked the garter stitch check in the round with a steek. 

2) The color transitions are mesmerizing. Did you consciously select combo B by picking where you started each of the skeins? You probably have to be careful when you join in a new skein? I imagine that your tension has to be pretty consistent to maintain the color combo.
The way I chose B was not very scientific, though I did not want to start with light colors.  I started from the outside of the two different skeins I had.  I did not want to pull from the center because the balls are very large and collapse on themselves as they get empty in the center.  I wound off a bunch from one skein – just enough to guarantee that the same color would not meet as I was knitting.  I had decided early on that I would not try to lose sleep over the color combinations — just let it evolve. 

The tension just takes care of itself — nothing special there. 

I wound each of my full Kauni skeins into two balls because the skeins are so big.  I will simply join to the end where I broke the yarn and it should continue in the color transition as established without a problem.  This yarn is 2-ply and very similar to Shetland wool so it splices incredibly easy.  I have come across a couple of knots and just spit splice it together.

July 10, 2007

From Susan – Over the Rainbow

Filed under: Susan's Kauni Cardigan — lv2knit @ 2:04 am

I have been playing around with the Clowny Kauni Cardigan.  I started it several times as a matter of fact!  I had difficulty getting gauge and even ripped back after completing two full squares.  I started out on a US 5 (3.75mm) needle and finished the garter check with those needles — a little snug, but blockable.  Then I started the body using the same needle, and it looked sloppy.  Plus, I went up one size to a US 6 (4mm) to do the stranding so it would not “cinch in”.  That is the right thing to do, but the wrong needles.  So I ripped back to the garter check, and changed to US 4 (3.5mm) for the straight knitting and 5’s (3.75’s) for the stranding.  B-I-N-G-O!!  Much better looking and much nicer to knit.  Up to that point, I was not enjoying this project at all.  That has happened to me before — going down one needle size and making the project much more fun to knit (?).  It is amazing how that small difference made such a big difference to me. 

I put together a graphic showing the various color combinations of the Kauni Rainbow yarn.  It is not terribly scientific, nor is it 100% accurate for the colors, BUT it does show how the various combos will play out.  There are 5 sets of colored bars.  The left bar in each pair (separated by black) is the same.  The second bar starts in a different place on the color wheel.  You look at the combinations from the bottom up, as they would appear as you are knitting them.


In the above graphic, the colors are transforming from purple to red to orange, etc.  You can also knit the colors in the opposite direction — purple to blue to green — as shown below:


I am essentially doing combo B from the first graphic — why?  No particular reason — it just worked out that way.  As I looked at the other combos, I guess mine is as good as any, though it is a bit shocking to the eye to start a purple and orange sweater.  My daughter said she won’t be seen with me when I wear it!  It does look a bit clownish at the moment and I keep telling myself that I need to let it unfold and it will be beautiful.  I have looked at many other Kaunis on line and they all share the same color combinations, so I need to keep that in mind and appreciate the totality that is Kauni, not parse out every single color combination.

Here is what I have so far — this picture is quite true to color:


I really like the garter check border*.  The pattern calls for 1×1 rib, which I am not fond of.  If I had chosen ribbing, I would have opted for 2×2.  However, I think the garter check is very much in keeping with the “square” theme of the design.  As the knitting progresses, I am liking my Kauni more and more :).  I have done about 10 inches and looking at Color Bar “B” you can tell I’m about 2/3 of the way into the full color cycle.  BTW: My knitting does not look this smooth in person, but blocking may get it there ;).

*For those unfamiliar with this edging, using Colors A and B:
Row 1: k2(A), k2(B)
Row 2: p2(A), p2(B)
Row 3: k2(B), k2(A)
Row 4: p2(B), p2(A)

And I know you want to see the inside — admit it!


It’s funny.  I was hauling this around today and knitting on it, and people were fascinated by it.  Several people asked me about the yarn and the knitting method — both men and women alike.  I’ve been knitting for years, on all kinds of projects, but this one seems to have a quality about it that attracts and interests people. 

I have other projects to work on right now, but I am enjoying the simplicity of this pattern and watching it unfold.

July 9, 2007

From Sally — Mermaid Update and Random Acts (of Kindness and otherwise)

Filed under: Sally's Mermaid — surly @ 4:12 pm

I’m back from Texas (a little more on that later). I didn’t get a lot of knitting done while I was gone: half of one Mermaid sleeve. For all you liberal arts majors out there, that means I’ve still got one-and-a-half sleeves left to knit. Maybe a one-sleeved jacket would be dramatic and stylish? No, I didn’t think so, either. Here is the half-sleeve in all of its glory.

I’ve held it up to my arm in a very scientific fashion and I think it’s long enough, which is nice since I can’t add length to it the way one can with a traditional sleeve. The blue on the “cast on” side is my provisional cast on (done from leftover Koigu). When the sleeve is finished, I’ll do a three-needle bind-off so I have no seam. Hanne Falkenberg does it slightly differently, but I think my way will be easier.

The next photograph is a gift of beautiful handspun yarn I received from someone I’ve never met. She’s a fellow Clay Aiken fan who likes to spin. She’d seen some photographs of my knitting and wondered if I would like some handspun yarn. Yes, yes, yes I said. It’s really lovely yarn, too. I’m not sure the photo does it justice. The darker brown yarn has interesting flecks of color in it, including bits of turquoise. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with yet, but I think I could get a really nice hat or some lovely gloves or glovelets. She wants to work on spinning some fine laceweight yarn which I’ve “generously” offered to take off her hands.

One of my other hobbies, in addition to writing and knitting, is concert photography. I was in Texas for the two opening shows of Clay Aiken’s tour and had a lot of fun hearing him perform and taking pictures under very different and trying light conditions. Here are four shots. The first two are from the Frisco concert, which was outside at night just before fireworks on the Fourth of July. The second two are indoors with stage lighting. (I’m giving you small versions of the photos to help lower the eye rolling quotient.)

Finally, speaking of Clay Aiken and spinning I’ve been following the story of the incident involving his flight from Houston to Tulsa as it gets more and more attention. I first heard about it from friends of friends who were actually on the same plane as he was. This was a smaller plane with no separate first class — steerage all the way. He apparently fell asleep and his foot ended up on the armrest of some woman in the row ahead of him. She tried to get him to move his foot; I don’t blame her. He slept through it. She then started yelling at him and hit him in the chest (not a great idea). That woke him up. Yelling may have ensued. As the story spreads across the Internet, it is morphing like the old game of telephone. I think by the time it’s all over with, the report will be that he was dragged away by the FBI for attacking her with a shoe. Don’t they have anything better to report? (At least it’s not more Paris Hilton.)

I’m going to go work on my baby blanket now. (I keep saying that, don’t I?)

July 8, 2007

From Susan to Dorothea — Guten Tag

Filed under: Back Story,Knitting Tips — lv2knit @ 11:11 am

Guten tag, Dorothea!!  Thanks for reading!  Dorothea commented on my last post and had several questions.  Here are my responses:

1) Where can you find the Market Squares Bag pattern? 
This great pattern was originally featured in issue #63 of Knitters Magazine and was later put into a book containing 13 bag patterns that had all been in the magazine.  There are many outlets for the book, called Bags: A Knitter’s Dozen.  I’m sure you will be able to find it easily.  My Market Squares Bag was knit in 5 colors of Cascade Pastaza, and then embroidered with leftover fair isle jumperweight wool:


2) Where can you find the felted clogs pattern?
The felted clogs are from Fiber Trends Pattern #AC-33 and should also be easy to find. 


3) Do I knit the sleeves on a fair isle sweater from the armhole opening to the wrist or from the wrist up and sew them in?
The only fair isle sweaters I have made are designed by A. St*rmore, and I follow her instructions.  She has you join the shoulders by grafting, cut the armhole steeks, pick up the sleeve sts around the armhole opening and work the sleeves from the top down:


This is a picture of Oregon in progress, showing the sleeve right after I started it.  As you can see, when you knit the sleeves this way, the pattern sometimes needs to be turned upside down to be knit correctly, as I did here so the trees are going in the right direction.

I think I covered all your questions, Dorothea.  Thank you for reading and commenting.  Glück!!  Good luck finding the patterns. 🙂


July 7, 2007

From Susan — Throw Me a Line, Please

Filed under: Back Story,Knitting Tips — lv2knit @ 3:13 pm

Michelle commented — yes, the same bountiful Michelle as recently described — about using a lifeline for the Mystery Shawl.  [Aside] — I do believe that Sally and I are the only two knit-bloggers in the universe not making the Mystery Shawl [end aside].  She made a mistake and had to rip back to her lifeline. 

While I was knitting the Peacock Shawl, I got teased about using a lifeline in knitting — like it was the same thing as training wheels on a bike — for knitting nerds 😉 !  But I like to think of a lifeline the same way I think of using stitch markers, or any other knitting aid: as something that eliminates extra and unnecessary effort.  Could you do a lace pattern without stitch markers?  Sure, but why go through the mental exercise?  I rarely needed my lifeline, but it was nice to know it was there, and the effort (less than 5″) seemed well worth it.  I’m glad it was helpful to Michelle.

July 5, 2007

From Susan — Final Fantasy

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:51 pm

Before I launch into my latest FO, I’d like to ask this question: “What do you all know that I don’t?”  I mean, do I have two months to live and no one bothered to tell me?  I am trying to figure out why everyone is being so darn NICE to me!!  First, Romi sends me a beautiful pin and then a lovely package arrives in the mail.  Michelle sent me this array of “knitting nirvana” to thank me for a very small favor (and I do mean miniscule!!):


The yarn is soft and luscious just like vanilla ice cream and the other items are absolute great FUN!!  Thank you, Michelle — you are knit-tastic!  Wow 😉 😉 😉

On to the knitting portion of this blog… 

The Diamond Fantasy Shawl is a fait accomplis.  I finished it Monday, but needed to block and photograph it, which adds time to the blogging process!

Here it is in its unblocked, crinkly, ugly duckling stage:


Being blocked:


Don’t you just love the built-in edging?  That’s why I like this pattern.  And now she’s back on Lettie for the final viewing:


The finished shawl ended up being 68″ by 34″ which isn’t too bad.  I started with ~450 yards of worsted weight silk of unknown origin and now have something to show for it.  I feel pretty good about that.

Front view:


And, with the gorgeous shawl pin!


I think it’s wonderful!  I wish the camera captured the sheen of the silk yarn.  I am really glad I read blogs because that’s how I got hooked up with this pattern.  Bloggers rock 😉 !!

PS – Cindy mentioned the lovely photograph of the fireworks — my daughter took that picture.  I thought it looked very professional!

PPS — Sally, please come back!  I need my blogging partner!  I know everyone is tired of reading a single sister — it isn’t called The Rainey Sisters for nuthin’.


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