theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 30, 2008

From Sally — Where in the World Have I Been?

Filed under: Paisley Long Shawl,Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 2:59 pm

Whew. I’m back and I finally have a computer. We went on a long drive cross-country to see my parents, my daughter (and my little assistant), and my husband’s family. Too much driving — once was definitely enough. We did have some fun along the way.

That wasn’t the most exciting part of our trip. That honor goes to suddenly coming across a tractor trailer wheel lying on its side in our lane on Interstate 80 with a huge truck in the lane next to us and a ditch on the other side. More thrills in those few seconds than in my entire paragliding. Fortunately, our car was drivable, just barely, and we made it home. Le sigh.

On the road, we saw some famous people:

More important, my hands are feeling much better and I’ve been able to do some knitting. While on the trip, I finished one of the sleeves to my Ode to Joy short cardigan (aka the Bolero).

I’m feeling a little bit unmotivated to pick up the stitches for the other sleeve. I added about two inches of length to the sleeve by doing additional rows of each color sequence starting about three inches from the top of the sleeve. (You pick up and knit from the top down.) The first one was a slo-o-o-o-w knit and I think I’m associating working on it with spending hours upon hours in the car. I need to get over it and just do it.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the Paisley Long Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. It’s a lovely piece and a relatively easy knit even though the lace is worked on both right and wrong side rows. You start in the middle of the shawl using a provisional cast on and then work your way to each end. I’m on the large set of “Paisley” patterns (on my first half of the shawl).

I’m making my shawl out of Wagtail’s 4-ply Fine Kid Mohair in Midnight Red (100 grams equals 410 yards). It’s a beautiful yarn with a nice sheen, but now that I am working on it I’m a little concerned that the color is very close to the Zephyr I used for my Peacock Shawl.

I do wonder how my shawl, which looks even more shrunken and misshapen then most unblocked lace, will ever resemble the beautiful model. Let’s cross our fingers.

P.S.Tangled Yoke: Someone asked about the bobbles on The Tangled Yoke. I’m not sure I understood your question — there are only bobbles at each end of the design as you go around the yoke. There aren’t bobbles elsewhere in the cables.

July 25, 2008

From Susan — Knitting the Wings of Icarus

Filed under: Susan's Icarus Shawl — lv2knit @ 12:07 pm

There are some patterns that become iconic because of their beauty and popularity.  The Icarus Shawl by Miriam L. Felton (mimknits) is one such project.  It is a lovely shawl that at some point, every knitter should must make. 

I have always loved this shawl — Sally made one a while back and it is gorgeous.  So, this is something that has been in my “mental queue” for some time.  I had some copper-colored Zephyr Wool and Silk laceweight in my stash and still have the charity knitting bug in my system, so I am knitting this for the United Way silent auction held every fall at my place of work.  If they do not hold the silent auction, then this will become mine :)! 

This is at the “plain Jane” stage which makes it perfect take-along knitting.  That is the nice thing about this pattern: the dull stuff gets out of the way at the beginning and by the time you are bored out of your mind, you get to start the lacework.  Mine will be a little smaller.  I realize that many people do not know how to wear shawls, so I am doing four repeats of Chart 1 instead of five, so it will be more “Swallowtail” sized — yet another “must-knit” classic (and a free pattern no less)!

Sally’s computer is in hospital so she will be at its side, holding its hand, but not posting for a while. 

July 21, 2008

From Susan — Deer Readers

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 8:36 pm

I really learned a lot about deer!  You are all very knowledgeable.  Thank you, and I will never divulge if I made my DH pee in a bucket or cut off his hair :)!  Maybe the Irish Spring Soap is the easiest way to go…we’ll see!  He doesn’t have a whole lot of hair…but oldest daughter is in cosmetology school so I think we may have access to an unending supply!

Are you sitting down?  I have a finished object!  It has been so long I hardly know how to act.  I was so overwhelmed by the excitement that I immediately gave the thing away!  It was always destined for the Wrapped in Care Project.  I thought I better make at least one shawl, seeing as how shawls have been arriving from Canada and the UK!  There are at least 11 shawls so far.  I am amazed and touched at the response.  Dee — the chaplain collecting and distributing the shawls — said that when the first woman received her shawl, she wrapped herself up tight and would not let it go.  She had suffered not only the loss of her baby, but her mother as well.  She really needed a big hug and the shawl provided it.  I don’t know who will receive my shawl, but I hope she feels the warmth and care that I tried to put into every stitch.  And please check out this stunning work of art by Soo.  She designed this shawl and knitted it for Wrapped in Care — thanks, Soo!

I knitted my shawl using the Adamas Shawl pattern.  It is a very nice, basic shawl pattern.  I would recommend it highly, especially for the advanced beginner.  The instructions are both charted and written out long hand, so it will cover both preferences.  She included all RS and WS rows on the charts as well as the edge sts.  She also included the second half of the chart even though it is an exact repeat so the knitter could follow it better. 

The bad news is that I used cheap acrylic yarn so it would be “easy care” :( .  I realized that I am a yarn snob for a reason.  The yarn, Caron’s Simply Soft in Country Blue, was not bad to knit with and the color was actually pretty, BUT it did not block very well because it is acrylic.  I am so used to wool and other natural fibers that block beautifully that it was a bit of a come down.  It takes as long to knit something out of crap as it does out of wondrous yarn, that it really does not pay to use crap. 

Here it is: 

It looks pretty good pinned out, but it kind of flopped when I unpinned it:

You can see that the points are mere blips!  Also, this pattern looks much prettier and more delicate in lighter weight yarn. 

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately.  I don’t mean to focus so much on charity knitting, but it is what I have been finding myself doing the past few months, so bear with me.  I’ll be back to knitting for me again come the fall, which I hope will bring some interesting projects!

Sally will be back on line soon after dealing with a computer malfunction of epic proportions.  My knitting peeps always enjoy her posts the best (I think I’m insulted!), so I hope she returns soon.

July 16, 2008

From Susan — Picnic is a Wrap

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 11:40 pm

The Minnesota Knitters Guild picnic was last night — it was great!  Really good food and lots of knitters — both newbies and not so newbies.  There was such a positive vibe in the air.  And I received three more shawls for Wrapped in Care — we also had ten afghans ready for the Project Little Lambs program.  You rock, MKG Members!!

QUESTION: How do you keep deer from nibbling the !##$%^%$&* out of your plants?  We have one little deer (very small deer tracks) that nibbled a huge chunk out of a newly planted tree in our front yard.  I do not want to lose our tree!

I taught a knitting class for another teacher tonight.  It was fun to get back into teaching mode again.  It has been a while!  Too long a while.  It was a beginning cable class.  It’s always fun to see the lightbulb go on when they see that cables are really just about knitting the stitches in the “wrong” order — and that you don’t do much of anything in between.  Lots of bang for the buck!  Not that cables can’t be complex, but they don’t need to be hard to have a lot of impact.  I think my next big project will have to be Am Kamin!

Sally should be back soon and may have some stories to share.  It sure seems like summer is moving at a lightning pace, doesn’t it??

July 11, 2008

From Susan — My Peeps is Back

Filed under: Mystic Waters Shawl,Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 12:10 am

Summer in Minnesota means that people go “Up North” — to cabins and resorts to enjoy our 15,000 lakes.  The city becomes a ghost town every weekend — especially over the 4th.  It has been tough finding two knitting peeps together at one time at my Thursday night group.  However, the peeps showed up tonight, at least 8 or so of us.  It was a wonderful way to spend an evening.  Are you knitting less and enjoying it more?  Then you must be at knitting night! 😉

Thanks to all of you for the unexpected and overwhelming response to the “old baby sweater.”  I guess the old classics truly stand the test of time.  I would share the pattern, but it would take a lot to uncover all the brain-webs and get to my inspiration, lost long ago!

I have been knitting a little here and a little there: trying to wrap up a shawl for Wrapped in Care and one for moi.  Dee Moore received three shawls from persons other than myself and has given one away.  She said when she saw how touched the mom was upon receiving the shawl, she was convinced this is a wonderful thing to do. 

I have been working on the Mystic Waters Shawl.  I hope people love it as my as I when I get it done.  I don’t know if it is a flashy as the Peacock Feathers or some other shawls, but something about it is very appealing to me.  I think it is the variety in the patterning that I like and the repetition of the squares within squares around the outer border.

 

I spoke to Sally today.  She has no cell phone service most of the time and cannot send emails, so she is pretty much incommunicado.   I miss our daily ::hourly:: phone chats and constant emails, etc.  It’s just not the same!

July 4, 2008

From Susan — Out of the Archives

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:05 pm

I received a small package in the mail the other day.  It was unexpected — no purchased goods expected.  To my surprise, it was a baby sweater that I had made for my now 24-year old niece when she was just a baby.  I did not know what to make of it.  Why would my brother return it now, after all these years, after my own two girls were far too old to be able to wear it.  My first reaction was one of hurt feelings.  Was he mad at me?  Ridding himself of all past reminders of his big sister?

Naaaahhhhhhh! 

I called him and he said, “You asked me to send this to you if I ever found it.”  Oh, yeah!  I forgot!  I thought it would be nice to have one of my old knitted relics as a keepsake — if they didn’t want it any more.  It has meant a lot to me to have the sweaters that my mom made me, and I like looking back on my own first attempts at knitting.  The sweater in question was my first blue ribbon at the State Fair.  In fact, when I gave the sweater to them, I left the ribbon attached. 

It’s fun to look at your old knitting.  There are many opportunities for “I would do THAT differently,” and, “What was I thinking when I did THAT?” and “Why did I choose that technique?”  The usual answer to these questions for me is, cuz it’s the only way you knew HOW to do it back then!

So, here is the old, old baby sweater, my own design, made in CHEAP acrylic yarn — for the baby, of course!  I did use antique buttons (because I had them in my stash!).  Be kind…

Tara's Sweater 004

I think I crocheted the buttonhole bands, which is surprising because I really do not crochet.  Doesn’t it look like something someone’s Grannie should be wearing?  In those days, baby garments were very traditional.

The back:

Sweater Back

And a close up of the back neck detail:

Back Neck Detail

I did a chain embroidery stitch around the back neck to carry the line all the way around.

And the sleeves have the small cable detailing:

Sleeve Detail

So, no new FO’s to share, but instead I am dredging up the past!  Now I knit very little seed or moss stitch because it is so slow, and it bothers my elbows (I have tennis elbows from knitting no less!), but I did a lot of it back then. 

Hope your holiday was filled with family and fireworks.

PS to kellistar: Unfortunately, I did not write the pattern down — at least that I know of.  I do have a lot of old knitting papers around and if I stumble upon the pattern, I will share it.  OW, feel free to use it as a creative starting point for your own rendition.

July 3, 2008

From The Rainey Sisters — Celebrating our Independence Day

Filed under: Back Story — Both Sisters @ 4:23 pm

Happy 4th of July to all of our readers.  Let’s remember the reason we celebrate the 4th.  We hope you enjoy this holiday with family and friends.

From Susan : As for me, I am celebrating independence from work.  I am relaxing, knitting, doing errands and hanging out with peeps.  I have a feeling that several WIPs will morph into FO’s all at once!  I can’t be “knit-ogamous” so each is getting a little bit of knit time each day!

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