theraineysisters knitting and so much more

November 30, 2011

From Both of Us — It’s a Man’s World

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 1:11 pm

As we’ve been designing and knitting gloves this fall, there have been a few murmurs in the background from the men in our lives: When are you going to do a man’s glove?  We ignored the murmurs until we saw Brooklyn Tweed’s new Loft yarn. Perfect! We could play with a new yarn and create a man’s glove that can easily be knit up in time for the holidays. Thus, the Foxhall Glove:

These classic gloves are named after a favorite neighborhood in Washington, DC, distinguished by handsome homes and large areas of parkland. The gloves are urbane and stylish without being fussy. We call it a man’s glove, but we provide a range of five sizes that can accommodate a woman’s hand or yarn substitutions and changes in gauge. We also included optional instructions for “pop top” texting thumbs and index finger.

Quick Facts about the Pattern:

Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, X-Large, and Large. Hand circumference 7 (7.5, 8.25, 8.75, 9.25) inches.

Gauge: 30 stitches and 44 rounds in stockinette stitch = 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 inches).

Yarn: Loft by Brooklyn Tweed (100% Wool, 275 yds/50 gms); 1-2 skeins. Shown in Meteorite. Red version knit using one skein of Dream in Color’s Smooshy with Cashmere (70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 400 yards/113 grams) in Fierce Scarlet. Other yarns of similar weight can be substituted.

Instructions: Directions are given in chart form and line-by-line written instructions. Included with the pattern is our eleven-page Glove Guide, which provides detailed information on how to get a perfect, custom fit when knitting gloves.

Cost: $6.00

How to Purchase:
The Foxhall pattern is available through Ravelry. Whether or not you are a Ravelry member, you can purchase the pattern by clicking the link below. You will be taken directly to a purchase page; after purchase, you will receive a link to download the PDF of the pattern.

To Receive a Loyalty Discount:
In order to reward our loyal customers, those who have purchased two of our previous glove patterns (The Bijoux Beaded Glove, The Snapdragon Glove, or The Smart Glove) will receive a 50% discount on this purchase. You will receive this discount on any glove pattern if two others are purchased (purchases you have already made will count). This offer will be extended to include our next unreleased pattern as well.  Unfortunately, this discount can only be activated if you are a member of Ravelry. Fortunately, Ravelry is free and easy to join. We highly recommend Ravelry to all knitters.


November 27, 2011

From Susan — Spoke It, Danno

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:43 pm

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I am suffering a little from turkey hangover, but that is a good thing!

If you read my last post, I included a hat I had just knit for my DD, called the Rikke Hat. So cute and so stylish. I had a skein of Madelinetosh DK in Tart (can’t resist Tart!) sitting around so I decided to make another: my Red Rikke.

In the original pattern, you knit garter stitch in the round: knit one round, purl one round. When you make the transition, you end up with what looks like a seam. I have no problem with that — it looks like a very perfect, neat seamline. BUT, in a hat, it means that (like any seamed hat) you kind of have to be careful to center the seam when you put it on. This can be annoying. So, I tried something different on my Red Rikke.

Red Rikke

I used a slip stitch at the transition point (which is the center spoke in the photo). The transition is hiding behind the slipped stitch. To do this I worked the pattern as follows:

Round 1: knit
Round 2: p12, slip 1 as to purl with yarn in back

The last st of the second round is the slipped stitch. I continued in this manner – changing needle size when indicated – until the desired length (~6 1/2 inches for my hat), ending with Round 2.

Decreases
I did centered double decreases every 4th row as follows:

Round 1: knit to 1 stitch before slipped st, slip 2 sts tog as to knit (like a k2tog but just slip the sts to the right needle), k1, pass the 2 slipped sts over (the last decrease will use the first st of the next round)
Round 2 & 4: p to slipped st, slip 1 as to purl with yarn in back
Round 3: knit

I continued in this manner until there were 24 sts remaining, and then I did the last decrease on the next knit row…8 sts.

The advantage is that you can throw the hat on any which way and it should still look good. The hat is still wet or I would try to get a photo on someone’s head. Not mine, though. I have a very large head and I am afraid to stretch it out! I made it kind of small so it will fit snuggly. It can always be stretched but if it is too big, too bad.

Feel free to use this modification if you like.

November 25, 2011

From Susan — Overheard on Black Friday

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:07 pm

Talk Turkey
These turkeys were part of a large flock on my lawn today…

Can you relate? Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition, but man, what a lot of work!! My dinner AND pie all turned out well, so I am thankful for that — and the leftovers.

Black Friday: I met up with my peeps this morning at 7:30 am at our LYS (Amazing Threads) for their Black Friday festivities. I did buy a few items. A pattern running through our group right now is the Rikke Hat (free pattern – Ravelry link). It is a cute, slouchy, easy-to-knit hat that takes one skein of worsted weight yarn. It is a great way to use up that one beautiful skein of handpainted yarn and gift it this holiday — like Madeline Tosh DK or Malabrigo. I made one already for my eldest and it was really cute on her. I reduced the “slouch” from 9 inches to ~ 6 at her request.

001

Now, I am off to knit, drink coffee, watch Netflix and eat pecan pie. Yep: nothing gets better than this!!

November 23, 2011

From Susan — Thanksgiving Eve

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:14 pm

I am waiting for tomorrow to dive into this pie! If I ate the whole thing, no one would actually know, would they? You’re better off getting rid of ALL the evidence rather than leaving half a pie, right? Well, it’s a theory!

Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving, all of our loyal readers! If you’re cooking, I wish you success. If you’re travelling, I wish you safe passage. If you are doing neither, I wish you happy knitting!

November 18, 2011

From Susan — You’ve Got Balls

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:49 pm

To that I say, yes.  Yes, I do.  Really cute ones!  I just started on a new knitting obsession using a free Ravelry pattern called Balls Up.  What’s great about this pattern is that you use small amounts from your stash, you can make them quickly, and they are very timely.  What great little gifts!

I used Palette yarn for the red and white and Debblie Bliss Pure Silk for the “silver.”  I also charted out a super easy bead pattern in multiple of 8 sts for the design.  You can really do what you want with this pattern.   I did need to do an addional increase and a few more rows.  But you can insert the styrofoam ball as you go to see how it is fitting.  The last few rows with the ball inside is putsy but doable and far superior to stuffing with fiberfill.  The styrofoam ball creates a perfect circle that is lighter than air.

I bought my balls at Michaels — 6 for $5.99.  You may be able to buy them cheaper elsewhere.

I plan on making a lot more of these!

In the “The Neighbors Think We’re Crazy” category, I submit the following in evidence:

I came home the other night and found that our butt-ugly circular garage opening was history…or at least ONE of them was history!  Hey, Buddy, make up your mind!   I was worried that this would become another “deck” project (i.e., great start but no finish…at least no finish for YEARS), but he is out there at this moment cutting the other door opening.  Whew!  There is hope.

November 15, 2011

From Sally — It’s Not ALL Gloves

Filed under: Rhodocrosite — surly @ 1:18 pm

Finally, a post about something other than gloves!  (Come on, we know that’s what you’re thinking.)

Sadly, most of our knitting lately has been gloves.  Nothing but gloves.  Even we’re getting tired of knitting and thinking about them.  My other knitting has languished, forlorn and abandoned, in various corners of the house.  I want to work on them, but my time has been limited.

One of these projects is a stole designed by Norah Gaughan called Rhodocrosite. Actual rhodocrosite — the mineral — is a rosy pink in color. If I had known that when I decided to knit this stole, I would probably have raided my vast stash of pink and red yarns. Rosy pink is one of my absolute favorite colors.

Instead, I decided to make it out of a yarn called Rimu. I have (I hope) just enough for the stole; I originally bought the yarn for an oversized scarf. Rimu, which comes from New Zealand, is a blend of Merino (60%) and Possum (40%). Yes. That was Possum. I’m using the Kiwicrush colorway. The yarn is very soft, and is supposed to get a nice halo when washed/wet blocked. We’ll see. First I have to finish it (which means finishing yet more gloves. But that’s enough about gloves for now).

Here is the obligatory in progress shot of my Rhodocrosite stole. It looks rather wavy and “unkempt” — the faggoting really needs to be blocked to look nice.

November 11, 2011

From Susan — Making People Cry

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:38 pm

Let’s face it.  Most of the time, making people cry is a bad thing.  But sometimes, it feels pretty good.  Like last night, when Mary Sue saw the scarf that I fixed for her DIL.  There were tears, and it felt pretty good!

And today, my daughter and I packed up a box of food — a family meal with all the fixins — to take over to her friend’s house.  Her friend’s mom was just diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, with a very poor prognosis.  Jena took the box over and spoke to the mom.  Again, there were tears, and Jena felt good doing something special for her friend’s family.

Doing something special for others, even strangers, can make one feel pretty good.  Knitters are known for their generosity and kindness, and I have tapped this trait in the past!  I would like to take advantage of your generous spirits once again.

Many of you may remember the “Wrapped in Care” Program I posted about a couple of years ago.  It is part of the Bereavement Program at United Hospital and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics – St. Paul.  The program helps mothers deal with infant loss and the pain of leaving the hospital with empty arms.  Handknit shawls are provided to these women for two reasons: to give them something tangible to wrap themselves in and also to provide a suitable backdrop for the last photos they will ever have of their infant. 

Many of you knit shawls in the past — so many that Dee Moore (the chaplain and my contact) was overwhelmed!  Well now they have decided to expand the program and model it after the “Care Carts” used in hospice settings.  They will put together a cart with comforting items for use by the grieving family in their time of loss and mourning.  One of the items Dee would like to be able to provide on each cart is a handknit shawl.  Either the mother or other grieving family member would receive the shawl as a gift in remembrance of their lost child.

Just writing this makes me teary.  I have not suffered infant loss, but the pain must be unbearable.  If any of you are able, please knit a shawl for this worthwhile program.  The details are in this flyer — which is aways available on the righthand side bar.  Also available are a couple of very simple patterns.  I also started a Ravelry group called Wrapped in Care which has been pretty dormant of late, but feel free to join, post your projects and suggestions, and ask questions.  There is no urgency to this request as the need is ongoing.

We can’t make the pain go away, but we can let the person know that someone cares.  And that feels pretty good.

November 8, 2011

From Both of Us — It’s a Snap!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 8:56 pm

Here we go again! Today we are launching the third in our series of five glove patterns. Not your garden variety gloves, we named this design ‘Snapdragon’ because the flowers can be changed in a snap.

First the gloves are knit — with a Leaf Panel that comes with both charted and line-by-line instructions. Then comes the fun part. Decorate your gloves with flowers knit from a variety of colors to create as many gardens as you want – by snapping them in place. Or use the same color yarn for a monochromatic look. You can make these your own with your color choices, embellishments, and imagination.


Winter Blues and Fall Foliage Colorways

Change them in a snap to a completely different look:


Spring Mix

Don’t feel like dealing with snaps? The flowers can be sewn directly to the gloves as a permanent feature. The Grey Garden Gloves below have sewn-on flowers and are embellished lightly with beads to create a formal, snowy look.


Grey Gardens

Quick Facts about the Pattern:

Sizes: Small, medium, and large. Hand circumference 6.5 (7, 7.5) inches.

Gauge: 35 stitches and 48 rounds in stockinette stitch = 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 inches).

Yarn: One skein of Dream in Color’s Smooshy with Cashmere (70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 400 yards/113 grams). Shown in Starless Sky. Other yarns of similar weight can be substituted. Grey Garden version knit using two skeins of Classic Elite’s Fresco (60% wool, 30% Alpaca, 10% Angora; 164 yards/50 grams). Shown in Parchment. In addition to main color of yarn, pattern requires small amounts of contrasting fingering weight yarn for flowers.

Snaps: Size 1 snaps (7/16 inch) in sufficient quantity for all sets of snap-on flowers. (Quantity depends upon how many flowers the knitter chooses to make; flowers can be sewn on instead of affixed with snaps.)

Instructions: Leaf Panel directions are given in chart form and line-by-line written instructions. Included with the pattern is our ten-page Glove Guide, which provides detailed information on how to get a perfect, custom fit when knitting gloves.

Cost: $6.00

How to Purchase:
The Snapdragon pattern is available through Ravelry. Whether or not you are a Ravelry member, you can purchase the pattern by clicking the link below. You will be taken directly to a purchase page; after purchase, you will receive a link to download the PDF of the pattern.

To Receive a Loyalty Discount:
In order to reward our loyal customers, those who have purchased both of our previous glove patterns (The Bijoux Beaded Glove and The Smart Glove) will receive a 50% discount on this purchase. You will receive this discount on any glove pattern if two others are purchased (purchases you have already made will count). This offer will be extended to include our two unreleased patterns as well.  Unfortunately, this discount can only be activated if you are a member of Ravelry. Fortunately, Ravelry is free and easy to join. We highly recommend Ravelry to all knitters.

We hope you love this glove as much as we do. Now go snap to it! 😉

PS From Susan — I was so touched by everyone’s response to my scarf surgery!  Thank you for your kind words.

November 4, 2011

From Susan — The Doctor is In…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:07 am

…and needs malpractice insurance!! A good friend sent me a picture of a scarf that was literally in shreds and asked if I could do anything with it:


This picture is of the center (middle) of the scarf.  The two ends were in better shape.

Uh, no!  Then she explained that it had belonged to this woman’s father and he had died recently.  It had great sentimental value.  Would I look at it?  Okay — I told her to bring it to our knitting group.

She brought the scarf and the mother-in-law of the woman who now owns the scarf.  The MIL also comes to our knitting group from time to time and is a lovely person.  It was hard to say no to this woman’s pleas, but I did say there were “issues.”

Issue 1:  Look at it!  It is a shard!  Shredded.  Nothing there!  The yarn was thin everywhere, not just in the area with the most holes.  It would be difficult to salvage sufficient yarn with the strength to do any grafting.

Issue 2: It is Brioche Stitch.  I have never really knit the Brioche Stitch before and after googling it, could not find anyone who had grafted it.  But, you know how I love a challenge.

I took the scarf home and proceeded to do a practice swatch of Brioche just to understand the structure.  The stitch looks like a complex 1×1 rib: the purl sts are slipped with yarn in front, and then the knit stitch is worked without moving the yarn back into proper position.  This creates a yarnover, which is knit togther with the knit st on the following row.

Once I got the hang of the stitch, I dismanteled the scarf and arranged the sts on needles the way I wanted to have them for grafting.  I knew that I would need to graft two rows to create the one row I needed.  (I will do a later post and show some pictures of the process…maybe!). 

The first row of the two (the right side) went as planned and looked pretty good.  As expected, the yarn I was using to graft shredded every few sts.  I had at least 20 ends when the whole thing was finished!

The wrong side did not look so good.  Once I got it done I realized that I had missed a critical step.  But, I am just stubborn enough that I plan on figuring out how to do this without the mistake!!  We shall see.

The finished right side:

You can see the line where I grafted, but I think it looks pretty good.  The wrong side is another story:

It is definitely more noticeable.  This is where I will need to file a malpractice claim!  I hope she will be pleased.   It is still as fragile as a dandelion puff, but at least it looks like a scarf.

And now, I just have to find that next great knitting project…I am thinking either the orange or the black and white:

What do you think? Wink

PS: A couple of you asked about the damage to the scarf — what the heck happened?  I think it is just from overuse and abuse.  If I find out anything different, I will report back.

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