theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 27, 2008

From Sally — The Joy of Silks

Filed under: Japanese Ironwork — surly @ 5:23 pm

Susan recently talked about Japanese knitting patterns and pattern books. She and I both purchased several of them recently and, being easily distracted, I started playing around with some swatches. I won’t bore you with all of the various swatches I knit and all of the yarns I tested. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to knit one of the patterns I was seeing or whether I wanted to design something using some of the unique stitches I was seeing. I finally decided to try a fairly simple but elegant design. My scanner isn’t working and although I know I’ve seen a photograph of this design somewhere, I can’t remember where it was. (I will definitely post it when I find it.) I’ve made some modifications to the design, but not too many.

I have in my stash some beautiful white laceweight silk. Lots of it. Several thousand yards. I felt guilty dipping into it, but on the other hand I’ve been hoarding it for so long that it’s ridiculous. Even after I finish the sweater, I’ll have plenty for a shawl.

I decided to mix it with some Kidsilk Haze in the color Pearl both to get the gauge I wanted and to make a soft fabric with a little bit of a halo. I’m very pleased with the results, although I will be upfront: I know that the knitted fabric doesn’t look great in this photo. Because I am twisting stitches on most rows, the stitches look irregular — like teeth that need braces. I did wet block my swatches, however, and when I did so the stitches really straightened out and looked great. So I am fairly comfortable that the finished project will look better than it does right now. (*crosses fingers and toes*) I do love how the Pearl color softens the white silk; in person, the resulting color does look like a pearl. It has a soft, luminescent sheen. After being wet blocked, my swatches were unbelievably soft. I can’t wait to wear it.

Here is the current state of the back:

I don’t know what the Japanese name for the pattern is, so I am calling it Japanese Ironwork here.

Never fear — I’m still working on my Cross Lanes and my Pearl Buck.

P.S. I want to thank my sister for blogging in my absence. I was visiting my daughter (and my little assistant!).

February 25, 2008

From Susan — I Want to Thank the Academy

Filed under: Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 1:19 am

For what?  You didn’t win anything!!  Well, that’s true, but I want to thank them for hosting the awards this evening — an annual event I enjoy every year :).  Unfortunately, I saw very few of the movies because they were so grisly.  I did see Juno and was pleased Diablo Cody won the writing award.  A couple of other Twin Citians did well, too (the Coens).

This afternoon I went to the MKG Tea and had a wonderful time.  Met some new peeps and ran into some people I have not seen in AGES (15-25 years to be exact).  Wow — flashback time.  It goes to prove that knitting is a way to bring people together.  We had a 7-year old there (Anna) who has been knitting since last October — taught by her grandmother and attending her first Guild meeting.  How cool is that?

February 24, 2008

From Susan — Will Someone Knit for MOI??

Filed under: Roseleaves Tunic — lv2knit @ 10:46 am

Lorraine so aptly voiced this sentiment (“Susan- I’d love to have a [Merci] scarf like that, but I don’t want to knit one- does that make sense?”) — alas, I am afraid the answer is a resounding, YES!  It makes tons of sense!  However, for most of us, we are the knitters, not the knittees.  There are so many things I “want” that I do not have time to make.  I want them to magically appear in my closet, in the exact style, color, etc. that I covet.  It takes so long to make everything and costs so much for the yarn (I do have expensive taste ;)) that I can’t do it all.  The internet has just made it worse.  I find “must haves” every day!

But this is too scrumptious to ignore:


Sirino 50% silk/50% wool from The Great Adirondack Yarn Company, color Serengeti II (675 yds, 150 gms)
Note presence of dog hair — it is on everything I own

This yarn is so beautiful, I cannot find the words.  It is like knitting from an Egyptian pharoah’s jewel cache.  There is a lot of a deep rusty, copper color and a deep, regal purple, with very short runs of aqua and peacock teal.  The sts shine like there is light emanating from inside.  I hope when I get to the lace section (with stockinette thrown in) that I still like the way the colors work — but this is stunning color, like I have rarely seen.

February 23, 2008

From Susan — A Mini Update

Filed under: Lyra by Niebling — lv2knit @ 1:29 pm

I just did something to my computer so my icons are back.  I don’t know what I did, but there is hope.  One commenter said to “defrag” my computer.  I have no idea what that means!  My husband mentioned it, too, and said we should do it once a week (I THINK he said defrag! ;)).  If I figure out what that is, maybe I’ll do it!

I bought longer needles for Lyra, so I could actually see the pattern emerging as I transitioned from one needle to the other. 

I think there are still about 50,000 sts left to knit on this baby — it is truly the most ambitious project of my knitting life.  The “tulips” are almost done, so I see light at the end of the tunnel.  The light is a very small dot way, way, WAY in the distance :).

The yarn ball left on my scarf is the size of a small lime — but it never gets smaller!  I want this done NOW.  Note to self: stop knitting on other projects…

I had to restart my Roseleaves Tunic.  I decided to follow the instructions for a change and ended up not liking the way the slipped edge stitches looked.  I started it up again this morning, so nothing really to show yet.  Note to self: STOP the madness!  Finish the $%^&&%$ Merci Scarf and then work on Roseleaves!

Hi, Sally!  Hope you, Nora, Joe and B-Man are having fun!

Reminder to Twin Cities Knitters: the Minnesota Knitters Guild meeting is tomorrow at 2 pm.  It is a “tea” (which means food!).  I love the MKG Teas — it’s like the world’s biggest knitting group!  Hope to see you there.

PS — The Merci Scarf is the tres simple scarf I have been knitting as a thank you to a special person in our lives.  Here is the final scarf!!

The “pattern” has already been posted on The Blog, but here it is again:

The yarn is drop dead soft: it is Cascade Autunno in Desert Shade (Color #34918, 98 yds/50 gms, 100% Fine Merino — I used 4 skeins).  I had never heard of it, but it is very soft with gentle variegation and a ragwool effect.  I had trouble finding a stitch that would work because of the ragwool coloring — too much going on for many stitch patterns.  I am using a seed rib as follows:

The Merci Scarf (multiple of 4x + 3 sts)
I am using US Size 8 needles and 35 sts

Row 1: *k3, p1* rep betw * * to last 3 sts, k3
Row 2: k1, p1, *k3, p1* rep betw * * to last st, k1

It is mindless and perfect for a scarf because it does not curl and is reversible. 

PS2 — I cannot find Utilities OR disc defragment anywhere on my computer :( I did find it and I did defrag!!  Woo Hoo!  Thanks for all of your advice!

February 22, 2008

From Susan — Back to the Basics

Filed under: Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 12:57 am

I am still working on that $%^^$## scarf!  As my peeps pointed out this evening, I could have finished a sweater by now!  I am down to the last skein  — BUT, I digress!

At knitting tonight, Emily was wearing a recent FO — an oldie but a goodie.  It is the Roseleaves Tunic from A Gathering of Lace. 

I had a brainstorm: could I use the laceweight silk and wool that Sally and I bought in NYC?  It is crazy with color — lots and lots of gorgeous color:


Sirino 50% silk/50% wool from The Great Adirondack Yarn Company, color Serengeti II (675 yds, 150 gms)

Purple, gold, tan, turquoise, etc.  I swatched and I am starting it.  I’m not sure if it will work, but so far I am pleased.  I am excited to be excited about some knittin!  The yarn is lustrous because of the silk.

I hope to be able to blog again this week.  My computer is acting very strange — the desktop icons keep disappearing.  It is tres annoying.  I am not a computer person, so we may need to seek HHHHHHHHEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!! 

February 19, 2008

From Susan — A Very Knitty Day

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 12:11 am

Yesterday I was immersed in knitting from dawn (not quite…) until dusk (actually, pitch dark!).  I started the Roslin Hoodie class at The Yarnery.  A very nice group of students, with very nice yarn choices for their hoodies.  The class is set at a reasonable pace so people can get the project done and have a life.

Then, last night, I spent the evening with a wild bunch of Nicky Epstein fans at Amazing Threads.  Nicky taught a 3-hour class on edgings and flowers and bold finishes.  It was a fun evening.  Nicky had already spent the weekend at the Mall of America with “Knit Out” so she was a little tired, but she seemed to hang in there just fine.  I, on the other hand, was still recovering from little daughter’s 13th birthday from the night before, so I was more pooped than Nicky!

Knitting has been slow and not very exciting.  I am working on the Merci Scarf, and it is ~40 inches long — so it looks the same, except 40 inches long!  B-o-o-o-o-r-r-r-r-r-r-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g!  I love the scarf, but it is taking a lot more time than I thought.  Scarves are a lot of knitting.

On the way to The Yarnery yesterday, I also visited my oldest daughter’s artwork, on display at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.  She won a silver key award in the Scholastic Arts Award program.  She created a poster for her own (faux) company, with an environmental theme.  Since my knitting is too boring to photograph, I will share her artwork with you:

Portrait of Artist as Lace Tam Model:

Happy Monday and Happy Knitting :)

February 17, 2008

From Sally — Sometimes I Think I Have No Imagination

Filed under: Uncategorized — surly @ 9:56 am

No, I don’t live over at youtube. I really don’t. I have friends who send me links that they think I’ll find of interest. This one involving “animated” pieces of knitting is simply amazing.

February 15, 2008

From Sally — Thank You!

Filed under: Uncategorized — surly @ 6:25 pm

I so appreciate all of the birthday wishes. This has been a quiet birthday; my husband is in Minnesota visiting his mother so we celebrated early. I’ve spent the day knitting and reading. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to a yarn shop just because.

I also spent a little time watching this video of a knitting machine made entirely of Legos. It’s fascinating. I can’t quite figure out what it’s doing, but I was heartened to see that this machine knits even more slowly than I do!

From Susan to Sally

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 1:31 am

BIRTHDAY.gif BIRTHDAY image by joseletty

To My Best Friend and Blogging Partner!!  Woo Hoo! :)

Yes, it’s twoo!  It is a Surly Birthday today!  I will not spill the beans about her age (it would give me away, too ;)), but do the math, people!

Cake.jpg 
birthday.jpg birthday image by hottytoddy33

February 14, 2008

From Susan and Sally — Be Ours!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Both Sisters @ 7:21 am

HAPPYVALENTINESDAY5.gif HAPPY VALENTINES DAY image by brandiperez

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