theraineysisters knitting and so much more

June 23, 2012

From Susan — Quasi-mood-o

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:11 pm

Just a note: we have not died or fallen off the world.  But, it is summer and things are very busy for both of us.  Hope your first few official days of summer have been splendid.  It has been quite beautiful here the last couple of days and my DH is out there digging in the dirt like a 3-year old!!

So why the title “Quasi-mood-o?” You may recall that I was working on a vest called Vintage Mood.  It is a cute vest with a big problem.  A Quasimoto problem!  Several knitters complained about the hump at the base of the back of the neck.  I myself described this problem when I first posted about the project.  A fellow Raveler read my post and asked me what I had done to fix this.  I told her my plan, though I had not actually completed the repair.  I did so last night and thought I would share it.

Upon examination, my Vintage Mood had  ~3 inches of excess fabric at the base of the neck.  Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the hump before the fix, but you can see a smaller “pouch” here.  I thought through what was needed and came up with a step-by-step solution:

Step 1.
Put on the garment and mark the width of the back neck edge. Count these sts and make sure they are centered to the center back neck.

Step 2.
Pinch the “hump” together to see exactly how much extra fabric you need to get rid of — probably 2-3 inches. Measure down from the collar and mark the row at that depth.

Step 3.
Take the number of sts from #1 above and divide in half. Center these sts to the center back neck.  Place a piece of waste yarn through these sts (I used knitting needles).  The markers in the ribbing above are lined up with the first and last live sts that they will be grafted to to make sure the centers are lined up.

Step 4.
Snip the yarn below the ribbing and place the sts between the neck markers on a holder.  Snip the yarn from the row above the sts on the piece of waste yarn (#2) in the middle — pull the ends out through all the held sts from the center until these sts are held by the waste yarn or needles alone.

Step 5.
Using waste yarn, “draw” outline where the collar needs to be sewn down on either side of the center sts (shown in green below).

At this point I cut the excess fabric down the middle to make it easier to work.

Step 6.
Graft/sew the body of the vest back to the neck — make sure to line up the live sts center to center with the neckband sts. Ease the area that is being sewn to the live neck sts.  I grafted as stockinette on the body sts and ribbing on the collar sts.The distance along the green waste yarn is much longer than the number of sts in the collar would accommodate so I really had to pull it in to make it work.

Step 7.
Machine stitch along the inside edge (along the sewing line in Step 6) and then cut away the excess fabric. When stitching, be sure to stitch down the cut yarn ends from Steps 3 and 4.

Okay, that sounded easy enough…but when I got done, there were little pointy areas located at the spots marked as the neck width in Step 1.  It seems that I should have gone beyond the very back neck, farther into the front.  SO, I just machine stitched little darts on the inside and cut the points away.  At some point you say enough is enough!!

The result?  Quasimoto has left the building!!

PS: Julie asked if I would be able to describe what should be done while KNITTING the vest to fix the “hump” problem.  As I responded to her, I do not have the mental energy or motivation to try to figure out the changes that would be necessary in the pattern to fix this.  I think this is something the designer should be expected to do.  Maybe this is not a problem shared by everyone, but it does seem to apply to many and maybe warrants a re-look on her part…but mine is done and I do not have the desire or will to spend more time on it!!

PS to the PS — check out the comment from Sivani about using short rows to fix the problem.  She put in a lot of detail.  If anyone uses her method, let me know!

PS2: Trudy called me “fearless” but I am not.  This is a very expendable project — if it worked, great.  If not, no big deal.  The outcome did not matter one way or the other.

June 16, 2012

From Susan — I’m Old

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:31 am

Thanks all for the wonderful birthday thoughts and wishes.  I really did have a great day.  Last night I went out to a lovely dinner with friends I have known for almost 40 years (play dates were tough in the womb!! 😉 ).  We dined outside, which we really appreciate in Minnesota.  It is a special treat with a small window of opportunity.  They got me the Shades of Grey trilogy — which after the hype, I’m a little afraid to read!!

My husband bought me a new camera for my birthday.  Okay, I bought a new camera and told him it was from him!!

I had a skein of yarn in the store with me and I told the guy — get me a camera that can take a picture of this.  I would show you a picture but I don’t quite have the hang of it yet!  I think the learning curve will be pretty steep for me…

June 15, 2012

From Sally — It’s That Special Day

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 11:08 am

Yes, the wondrous day that only comes round once a year:


Happy Birthday to my big sister!


It’s the big one we like. It’s true. Susan is my best friend, my mentor, my therapist, my expert on all things mathematical and technical. We talk FOR HOURS on the phone virtually every day. I don’t know what I would do without her.

For her amusement (although I know she has already seen one of these), I am sharing videos of two Star Trek themed birthday cards. Star Trek reruns were one of our guilty pleasures in college. The original series now streams for free on Netflix and I occasionally watch episodes as great knitting tv. Susan and I can still recite some of our favorite lines by heart. “I’m a doctor, not a bricklayer.”

Please join me in wishing my sister a very Happy Birthday. (I won’t tell you how old she is because I am right behind her!)

June 7, 2012

From Sally — A Whale of an Idea

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 6:21 pm

I’ve been feeling pretty meh about my knitting lately. It seems the wrong season to knit much on my Milkweed sweater/coat, and nothing much has caught my imagination. I’ve been working steadily on an odd little garment that’s almost finished — a kit that I purchased at Yarnover. I can’t tell whether I love it or hate it, and it’s a race to see if I will run out of knitting before I run out of yarn. I’ll post about that once it’s finished and the love/hate verdict is in.

In the meantime, I’ve been wanting to knit something out of linen. I don’t always enjoy knitting with linen, but I love the results. The particular linen I’ve been fixating on is from Shibui Knits. Instead of the string-like fiber I’m used to, it is (in their words) “fine linen strands in a chain ply structure.” I’ve been intrigued for some time, but just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. As we all know, however, the right project surfaces eventually. This time, what surfaced was The Whiteness of the Whale, designed by Ann Weaver.

I need a light, breezy cardigan and I love the back detail. My whale will be more Blue Whale than Moby Dick, though:

Here’s an attempt to show the chain-like structure (reminiscent of Rowan’s Lima yarn):

I will make a few changes (longer, slightly wider sleeves for example) but the main change will be in construction: I want to knit this as a top-down contiguous sweater. The pattern is already written as a top down in sections, so it should be relatively straightforward to convert.

As long as I’m blathering, I’ll point out my wooden “Yarn Marley” in the photograph of my yarn. Technically, it’s called a Yarn Buddy and is a wonderful lazy Susan for a yarn cake or pull skein. I love it.

But I lovingly — LOVINGLY — call it a Yarn Marley because I sometimes drag mine behind me from room to room. You remember Marley from A Christmas Carol, don’t you?

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?”

My Marley is made of Canary Wood. I bought it at Yarnover from Sun Valley Fibers. Jeannette and George of Sun Valley Fibers are, hands down, two of the nicest persons I’ve ever met. My sister will concur. Their Yarn Buddies/Marleys were so beautiful that people were buying them before they could even be put out for display. I had a terrible time choosing which one to buy, and I may have George make me a custom Marley out of Purple Heart. If you’ve ever been tempted to buy one of these, stop resisting. The photos of George’s work don’t do justice to the beauty of the woods he uses. Their yarns are gorgeous, too. They are one of the most dangerous vendors for me to try to walk past at Yarnover.

Anyway, off to swatch with my linen chain. Wish me luck!

Add on from Susan — I, too, fell for the Great White Whale myself, but no yarn yet and two projects to finish first. I did happen to see the Shibui Linen tonight at my knitting group. Kathy had a skein of it in “Apple” and it is really, really lovely.

June 1, 2012

From Susan — An Afterthought

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:27 am

Wow. Talk about a blast from the past! I forgot I finished this a while back and did not post about it. Remember the steek cutting and color commentary from a month or two ago? I did go on to finish the project: Taiga Cowichan.


It fits and I like it and I have even worn it. I was pretty pleased with the whole thing until I went to DC in early May to visit Sally and saw HER Taiga. Her yarn is SO MUCH NICER!!!!! I felt sick. Mine looks like a POS in comparison. Her yarn is softer, smoother, prettier.

I knit mine out of the yarn that was used in the original: Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed. Sally used Blackstone Tweed Chunky. Just. So. Much. Nicer.

I did make some mods: the first of which I already wrote about – the steeking of the colorwork. The interesting thing is, the front band is bulkier where I picked up sts than where the steek is located.

I did a couple of inches of stockinette on the sleeves before starting the ribbing. I also wanted to make sure that the neckband fit like a mock turtleneck. It really wanted to slide down into crewneck territory. So I made a crochet chain and wove it into the inside of the collar. When I put it on, I pull up on each side and adjust it to fit. You can’t even see it from the outside, and the nubby yarn keeps it in place.


PS: Barb asked for a picture of Sally’s — this is from a former post! Hers is not yet done.

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