theraineysisters knitting and so much more

April 26, 2011

From Susan — Whaddya Doin’ on Saturday?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:12 pm

Come and join Sally and me at the Silver Anniversary Yarnover!   Even if you do not want to sign up for a class, there is plenty to see and do. 

The keynote address will be presented by Merike Saarniit and is called, “The Evolution of Tradition to Contemporary Knitting.”   It is free to those taking classes and open to the public for $5.  The Vendor Market is free and boasts some fabulous shops and independent knitting-related artists.   You cannot fail to have a spectacular time.  And there are classes that you can still sign up for ON THE DAY ITSELF!!!

Check here for the brochure.

You can also meet the Ravelry Crew, hosted by StevenBe of the Yarn Garage.

For more discussion about the classes and events, visit the Yarnover Ravelry Group.  Hope to see you there!

April 24, 2011

From Both of Us — Happy Peepster

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 1:16 am

Knitters stand out in a crowd!

Check these out!

Our personal favorite, of course, is “The King’s Peep”:

Hope you have a Happy Easter or special Passover with family and friends.

April 20, 2011

From Susan — I am SO done with winter…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:41 am

…but winter is not done with me:


No lyin’, I’m cryin!

April 18, 2011

From Susan — Nieblings for Two

Filed under: Lotus Flower,Updates — lv2knit @ 7:51 am

If one Niebling is good, aren’t two even better?  I made my first Niebling table covering (doily??) a couple of years ago.  It was knit out of laceweight alpaca — not a very practical doily.  I had it in mind to knit another, and I finally did.  I chose Lotus Flower, because I thought it was very beautiful.   The pattern is readily available on Ravelry by Doilyhead.   I used Aunt Lydia Crochet Cotton Size 10.  Cheap stuff you can buy at Joann Fabrics.  After reading this discussion, I probably would have chosen differently…but, it is too late now and it seemed to have worked out fine. 


Lotus Flower by Herbert Niebling, Aunt Lydia Crochet Cotton ~1200 yards, US 1(2.25 mm) Needles

I did need to starch it, which was traumatic to think about but easy to do.  I had to starch it:  after just wet blocking, it became a limp rag that did not hold its shape properly.  I immersed it in a 50-50 solution of Sta-Flo liquid starch and water and then pinned it out on a piece of styrofoam insulation.  This worked out great…getting the insulation to my car was a comedy of errors, but that is a different story!!  Don’t attempt this feat on the windiest day of the year!

Believe it or not, this was my “take-along” knitting project!  The even rounds were straight knitting of up to 1200 sts.  The pattern rounds were often simple repetitions that were easy to follow because the pattern is so pictorial.  Still, it took a couple of months to complete.

Lotus Flower Overall Grade: A

Pattern: A — nice “starter” Niebling
Yarn: A — though there are probably higher quality choices out there
Finished Size: 40 inches in diameter

All in all, I am very pleased and highly recommend this pattern.  I am without a knitting project!  I just finished a Holden Shawlette, which I will post later…but now my needles are bare!  I have a few ideas, but the project has not revealed itself to me.  Hmmmm…

PS to Surly: NO, it will NOT fit into your suitcase!

PS2: I did need to join a second ball and also join within the first ball because it had a knot tying more length onto the ball.  I spit spliced it.

PS3: Bonnie asked about spit splicing and how it works on non-wool fibers.  I “spit splice” all kinds of yarn, but that doesn’t mean that I felt them together: I thin out each end, overlap and suck on the yarn — very appealing in public!!  I do this with almost every yarn I use.  If the ends are difficult to blend, I let them hang to the inside and then I sometimes weave them in or just cut them.  I had absolutely no trouble with the crochet cotton at all and the ends were completely smooth and the transition invisible.  I make sure I overlap the ends over several sts and never when a YO is involved.  In this pattern there were long stockinette areas where I could easily splice my thread.

April 17, 2011

From Susan — Bunny Swap

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:22 am

I am so lucky to be part of a knitting group with such very talented knitters — I have been exposed to so many great projects that have inspired me to pick up my needles.  Kathy (beloved friend and sidekick to Decorah, IA) brought in a set of the cutest felted bunnies you have ever seen.  Inspiring, yes, but I did not feel like making a bunny.  So, I made her an offer that she couldn’t chose not to refuse: I would knit her something and she would knit me a bunny.  The item she chose from me will be revealed later this year (stealth knitting as it were), but I ended up with the original bunny o’ my dreams!!


Lil Bunny Foo Foo

You can see how cute he is, but you cannot tell how soft: butter soft out of wonderful alpaca.  The pattern is Wooly Bunnies by Marie Mayhew — a local designer we are proud to call our own!

There is still time to make one of these lil cuties before the real Easter Bunny makes his appearance!!

April 14, 2011

From Sally — A Finished Object!

Filed under: Asterope — surly @ 12:24 pm

I feel as if I have been doing lots of knitting with little to show for it, so I am very pleased to have finished my Asterope shawl.  I use the word “my” loosely because I knit this for a friend.  Come to think of it, once I give it away I won’t have anything to show for this knitting, either.   Oh, well!  As I said in an earlier post, Asterope was designed by Romi Hill, and is one of the shawls in her 7 Small Shawls to Knit book.  I made mine my friend’s out of Madelinetosh Merino Light (420 yards to 100 grams) in the Tart colorway. It took about one and a half skeins for the larger of the two sizes.

I find it difficult to photograph shawls, and it is especially difficult to capture the rich red/black of this color. But here are a couple of photographs to give you an idea of what it looks like before it is sent on its merry way.

April 9, 2011

From Susan — DIY Shop Hop

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:02 am


The ceiling at Bella Lana

It is the weekend of the Annual [Yarn Store] Shop Hop here in Minnesota.  Yay!  Explore, shop, eat…repeat!

Some of my knitting friends and I decided rather spur of the moment to veer off the beaten path and come up with our own list of shops to visit.  We’ve done the Shop Hop thing in the past (obtain passports, get them stamped, collect charms, etc.), but this year we decided to focus on shops that not all of us had been to rather than going to old favorites.  The Final Four:

Lila and Claudine’s, Mahtomehdi
Darn.Knit. {anyway}, Stillwater
Bella Lana, Minneapolis
StevenBe’s A Yarn Garage Workshop, Minneapolis

We had a blast.  Here are some pictures:


Lila and Claudine’s


Darn.Knit. {anyway}


Bella Lana


StevenBe’s Yarn Garage Minneapolis Location

I did not buy much: just one skein of gorgeous Madelinetosh Merino Light in color Flashdance at Yarn Garage:

We dined at The Dock in Stillwater and had GREAT food!  I became an embarassment to the group while trying to get something sticky off my hands, so Kathy (former friend 😉 ) said, “I wish WE could post pictures on Susan’s blog!”   Thanks…

Flood season is upon us and Stillwater is located on the St. Croix River, so we got to see the levy they built to try to keep the town from flooding:

That’s a street sign in the water! 

What a fun day.  If you get a chance to do something like this in your area, DO IT.  It is such a nice way to meet up with other knitters and share our passion!

PS: The weather was spectacular!  We revelled in the warm spring breezes and relished the sun on our faces.  We also realized how much we love the four seasons, and pity the people who have perfect weather all of the time and therefore cannot truly experience the joy of a beautiful spring day.  Okay, we know we are rationalizing, but give us our small victory!!

April 5, 2011

From Sally — We All Make Mistakes

Filed under: Asterope,Spring Snow Cardigan,Updates — surly @ 9:35 pm

I make my share of mistakes while knitting. Sometimes I misunderstand directions. Sometimes I miscount. Sometimes I think I’m smarter than I really am. And sometimes I get caught up watching Jeremy Irons in The Borgias and just don’t pay attention.

For example, the other day I randomly threw a p2tog into my pink Japanese cardigan. (I can’t even blame Jeremy for that one.) I figured it out four or five rows later when my stitch count was off. I came to the end of a section of traveling stitches and instead of two purl stitches remaining, I only had one. It wasn’t difficult to fix that mistake — the hard part was finding it. I looked and looked at both sides of my knitting until I realized it wasn’t a dropped stitch, but a “gee what was I thinking” decrease. I dropped down a few rows, undid the p2tog, and laddered back up, adjusting the tension of the surrounding stitches to have enough yarn for the stitch that had been decreased on the rows above the mistake. Here are a couple photographs of the fix.

That wasn’t so hard, now was it?

I’m also working on a lace shawl — a gift for a dear friend. It’s a beautiful but relatively simple pattern (more on it at the end of this post). That’s where Jeremy Irons comes in. I was working on the shawl the other night. I glanced down at the pattern repeat, memorized it, knit that row, and kept going while Jeremy did things modern Popes just.do.not.do. In the light of day, I noticed something wrong. The pattern has lines of stitches that converge. Left leaning decreases (sk2p — slip 1, k2tog, pass the slipped stitch over) are paired with right leaning decreases (k3tog). I know this. I had already done these decreases on other rows. This time, however, I did the left leaning decrease across the entire row, and by the time I noticed I was five rows along in the pattern. Rut roh. The mistake is shown below.

So, to fix it I was going to have to drop back, and then recreate the intervening rows. (Did I mention there were fifteen repeats of this mistake?) The key part of the five rows (from where I was down to the mistake):

1. Current row (RS): yo, k3tog, yo
2. (WS): purl back
3. (RS): yo, k2tog
4. (WS): purl back
5. Mistake row (RS): yo, k3tog, yo (instead of yo, sk2p, yo)

I chose to work the next wrong side row and correct as I went along. I worked to each mistake, turned the knitting so that the right side was facing, and dropped down to the mistake. I only dropped down those stitches that I absolutely had to. Because I was correcting just a few stitches, I didn’t pin out the running threads to keep track of them — instead, I used a different wooden (non-slippery) needle for each row. After fixing the mistake a dozen times, I had it down to a science. It suddenly occurred to me that I should try to demonstrate what I was doing for the blog. That was harder than I thought it would be, even with a tripod. But here it is. (Disclaimer: I hate my voice, and I know this is not going to win for best documentary short at next year’s Oscars.)

Here is a close up of the repair.

Whew! That was one of those mistakes that I could have left — it didn’t change the stitch count. I obviously kept going without noticing it. I am making it for someone who doesn’t knit, and so I doubt she would have noticed. But the overall effect of the pattern would have been diminished.

As for the shawl pattern, it is Romi Hill’s Asterope, from her book Seven Small Shawls to Knit. The photograph below is from the book (I hope Romi doesn’t mind!).

The Asterope pattern is very clear, as are the charts. I cannot blame Romi for my mistake. I blame you, Jeremy.

April 3, 2011

From Susan — Love is in the Air

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:34 pm

This blatant R-rated display was observed in our yard today:

Turkeys 006

“Look at me!! I am one sexy dude…and I have a cute butt, too!”

Turkeys 008

April 1, 2011

From Susan — Could I Be Cuter??

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 3:07 pm

No.  Not possible.  Judge for yourself  — from the cover of Dale Baby Book NR 229:

And matching booties:

Another garter stitch set below — I would wear the jacket!

There are many more darling outfits in this book, with many for boys, too, but I tend to gravitate to the girlie stuff!  I have no one in mind for the projects in this book, so I may have to go on the hunt for babies…no, darling daughters — no grandbabies yet!

Old FO:
This has been done for a while, but I have not gotten around to posting about it.  I thought of it today because I bought yarn for yet another ruffle scarf — what is my problem?  I will have a flirty ascot for every outfit I own ;). 

This is the Cha Cha scarf in the rusty colorway.  Love it of course, but do I need a third?  Doubtful.  Very doubtful…

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