theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 29, 2008

From Susan — Proud Mom

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:14 pm

Today we reached a milestone of mega-proportions.  My oldest daughter graduated from high school.  It’s true! I know this happens to just about everyone sooner or later, but it still feels pretty special to me.  I am bursting with pride!

It’s hard to believe that the little peanut John is holding (with those unbelievable cheeks ) grew into the lithe and beautiful young woman pictured.

Laura is bright and talented and artistic, and wise beyond her years.  Graceful, gentle, with more than a touch of class and elegance.

Laura, you are special and loved! And, you’re not my little baby any more!

PS (June 1) — Commencement was tonight and now it is official! Hats off to you, Graduates!

May 28, 2008

From Susan — Play Mystic for Me

Filed under: Mystic Waters Shawl — lv2knit @ 7:20 am

That’s what Lettie said, and I had to comply!  Bad puns abound in our household.

Row 226 and Chart D complete.  Using my crack math skills (or should I say, my math on crack!), I figure that around Row 260 of 367, I will be at the ~50% mark area-wise.  There is something so wrong about that!  I feel better deluding myself with row counts and not square inches :).  But I must be at least 1/3 done…The picture isn’t great or artistic, but the green is pretty close to accurate.

This is a fun shawl to knit and I attribute it to lack of repetitive patterning.  The squares along the sides repeat, but not noticeably and the internal patterns have a rhythm, but the shawl in its entirety does not feel repetitive.  It certainly is not mindless, and I prefer that for my at-home knitting.  My mindless, take-along knitting is not progressing very well because I do not have much time to work on it.  Monogamy assures faster results, that’s for sure!

Rudee “accused” me 😉 of not being completely honest about my “stay-cations,” citing Sally’s and my recent trip to NYC.  I agree and disagree: did you notice who was missing on that trip?  My family peeps!  I go on trips with Surly, but my family and I never go anywhere!  Our family vacations are non-existent :(.

The weather here is downright b-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r.  Last year it was in the 90’s and now it’s barely making it to 60.

May 26, 2008

From Susan — Mystical Progress

Filed under: Mystic Waters Shawl — lv2knit @ 12:15 am

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of you.  Are many of you having “stay-cations” this summer??  Stay-cations are those taken close to home to avoid rising gas prices.  All my vacations are stay-cations…

Anyway, part of my weekend plans involve knitting — shocking, I know ;).  I’ve been puttering along on the Mystic Waters Shawl and still really enjoying it.  The chart has grown to 4 pages wide already (landscape, no less!), so I now have it folded in half. There are no repeats to the chart, so I marked off 10-stitch intervals to help keep track of where I am.  The sts tend to line up clearly at various points, so that helps, too.

I’m in the 180’s — er– make that the 200’s out of 367 — 50% done with the rows so ~30% (?) done with the shawl.  I am on Chart D out of Charts A through I.  Shawls are a lot of knitting, n’est-ce pas?

Click here for a close up.  The color is greener than the pictures, but still very pale.

PS: We had some terrible weather come through today, and a tornado touched down within a few miles of here.  Further to the northeast a town was flattened. 


May 23, 2008

From Sally — A Garden Full of Joy

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 6:14 pm

The weather has been dreary here in Washington for much of the spring — we’ve had lots and lots of rain, but few days of clear blue skies and warm sun. Today, however, was glorious. In celebration, I cleaned up the porch off the library. It has a lovely view and is in range of our wireless network. Yay!

The other good news is that I’ve been able to do a little more knitting. I’ve now finished part of each front of my Ode to Joy short jacket. Short is the operative word — as written, this sweater is only 18″ long in the size small.

I have a couple of ideas on how to lengthen it an inch or two. It’s not a rush, given that I can only knit a few rows a day.

So, in the meantime, I’m enjoying what is in bloom. My wisteria:

A bell-shaped Clematis:

What’s this? My Little Assistant is here for a visit?

He and my Big Assistant love the grass.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.!

May 21, 2008

From Susan — Retro-Post

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 7:31 am

Last night was the knitters guild meeting — very well attended with many new knitting peeps!  We had a couple of guests.  The first was Jennifer Castellanos who represented Project Little Lambs.  They need 200 baby afghans by August 1.  The afghans will go to babies and children whose families have been victimized by domestic violence.  The brochure shows how you can sign up to knit an afghan or donate money.  This is a worthy cause and the afghans do not need to be large or expensive.

Contact info for Project Little Lambs: Jennifer Castellanos, 612-335-2759; or

Our second guest was the aforementioned (in an earlier post) Kari Cornell, co-author of Retro Knits. 

Retro Knits

OMG!  What a fun book!  She brought the original source material for us to look at — several people recognized some of the sweaters and patterns from their own childhoods (“My mom made my brother that sweater!”).  The patterns have been re-worked with yarn weights rather than the way they were originally written: for a particular yarn brand.  Just as many companies today put out pattern books to support their yarn, so did the companies of yesteryear.  Most of those companies are gone.  It was amazing to see styles from the past that are stylish today: shrugs and wraps, etc.  One observation: the designers were unknown…no names listed anywhere.  Now, we seek out particular, well-loved designers.

So, I bought the book as I expected and Surly, your signed copy will be in the mail soon!

May 18, 2008

From Susan — Mystic-fied

Filed under: Mystic Waters Shawl — lv2knit @ 9:14 pm

i am really liking this shawl!!  I am in the early phase of infatuation when you need to knit all you can!  It fades quickly as we all know.  Strike while the knitting needle is hot, as they say.

I am done with the first two charts (130 rows complete): 26 x 13 inches:

The finished shawl is supposed to be about 50×100 inches!! Using my bogus math skills, that means I am ~13.5% done.   That’s not too bad, though I will never keep up the same pace. 

Tomorrow is Monday :(.

May 17, 2008

From Susan — A Small (but Time Consuming!) FO

Filed under: Alix's Prayer Shawl,Mystic Waters Shawl — lv2knit @ 11:13 pm

I have been working on a stealth project for a while and finally finished it.  However, it did not turn out quite the way I wanted, so it will not be going to the use for which it was intended.  I think the yarn is too heavy for the project and also not of high quality — the color runs!  I was disappointed but not devastated.

The FO is a shawl: Alix’s Prayer Shawl designed by Myrna A.I. Stahman.  Many people have made this shawl and it is a nice (and FREE!) pattern.  The origins are from a novel by Debbie MaComber which was lent to me by a work peep.  It has a knitting theme so she thought of me.  The books are a light and easy read with a lot of knitting references and quotes from many notable knitters.  I am reading them in the wrong order (3-1-2), but it’s no matter!  The Alix shawl was part of Book 3.

I used a mohair blend from my stash and US Size 9 needles.  I really think this is a nice, easy lace shawl pattern and would look wonderful in a lightly variegated or semi-solid sockweight yarn (like Koigu). 

I also started another project which is just getting off the ground — it, too, is a shawl.  What is with the shawls lately??  I have no idea!  Maybe I got the shawl bug from Surly.  I have at least three more in queue!

Anyway, I am making the Mystic Waters Shawl. 

It is a gorgeous pattern.  I am again using yarn from my stash (I am so proud ) — Zephyr and Silk Laceweight in Sage.  I am already in the 90’s for rows completed, which means it’s about 5″ long!  This is tiny knitting and a huge shawl.  Many people have also made this shawl — will 2 skeins of Zephyr be enough??  I’ve seen 2-3 listed and I only have two.

Mitered Jacket is in a slump but is the only knitting I can take with me.  The MWS is too intense (must follow the pattern stitch by stitch, line by line!). 


May 16, 2008

From Susan — Book Diet Follow Up

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 9:10 am

Thanks for the great and supportive comments about my book-buying spree!  I can’t wait until they all arrive!

Kelli already has the Retro Knits book and had this to say:

“I just received the Retro Knit book in the mail today and it is fabulous!!! I actually plan on writing the authors via publisher, asking them to expand on the patterns and do another book. I love vintage patterns. This book is well done with original photos of the original publications. The added tips, yarn alternatives and sizes are also great. This belongs in every knitters library. There is something for everyone in this book.”

That is SO good to hear!  As I mentioned, Kari Cornell will be at Tuesday’s MKG meeting and will be selling copies of the book.  She told me that the book was originally supposed to be out last fall, but the work involved in re-writing the patterns for modern sizing, yarns, etc. was more time consuming than they originally anticipated.  If the book does well, I’m sure they would consider a second volume.  They probably had a hard time deciding on which patterns to include and have dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of additional options.

May 14, 2008

From Susan — I Need to go on a Diet

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 9:07 pm

Well, yes, I could stand to lose more than a few el-bees, but I am talking about a book diet!  I have been stuffing my fat face with new books lately and it is leaving me very little $$ for yarn (or food, or gas, or…).  Here is a sampling of the books I have on order:

Numero Uno:

Elements of Style

This delectable book is due out in October and was written by my blog friend Romi Hill.  I couldn’t diss her by bypassing her book, now could I?

The next sweet lil morsel is brand new and co-authored by someone I know IN PERSON: Kari Cornell.  Kari is a member of the knitters guild and will be talking about this book at our meeting on Tuesday, May 20.

Retro Knits

Again, would it not be rude to diss a member of the guild? 

Okay, another luscious tidbit (tres cher, like high quality sushi) is this acquisition:

Knitted Lace Design s of the Modern Mode Book 1

And like sushi, an acquired taste — there are some German patterns, translated into Japanese with a few English pages thrown in for reference!  I feel like I’m in a WWII movie.  There is a pattern that I am very interested in which I will describe in a later post, I’m sure ;).  Yvonne asked for the source of this book: I bought it from Lacis ($67 plus handling).

This is bad, very bad!  Each book contains potential projects and another trip deeper down the rabbit hole.  My bookcase is overflowing.  Where will it end?

Now, many of you are probably thinking: why doesn’t Susan just go to the library like all frugal/smart people do?  One phrase stops me in my tracks: OOP — out of print!  G-r-r-r-r-r!  So many great knitting books go OOP and become a) unavailable and b) highly sought after. 

I decided to take my dad’s advice: buy every copy they have before the hoarders get them! 

May 13, 2008

From Sally — Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button(s)?

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 10:13 am

I do!

At the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival I found the perfect buttons for my Ode to Joy cardigan. Don’t you love it when that happens?

I may only be able to knit a few rows a day, but at least when I finally finish this project (at this rate, my estimated date of completion will be sometime in 2012) I won’t have to shop for the buttons.

I’m partway through the matching square for the other front. I know. It’s sad.

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