theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 27, 2012

From Susan — My Huck Finn Moment

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:25 pm

Summers are short and intense in Minnesota.  Plus, we have more than 10,000 lakes (lots more) and the mighty Mississippi flowing through it.  Water is everywhere and it is part of who we are.  We tend to take it for granted…until we travel to some other state and see maybe three lakes.

My husband is what I affectionately call a “River Rat.” When we started dating, he actually lived on the river in a boathouse (a “garage” for storing boats, not a houseboat a la Cary Grant!).   When the river was high in the spring, we had to take a boat to GET to the boathouse, as the road would flood.  He has worked on the river for 40 years and we live in sight of the river.  My favorite past-time (other than knitting) is to take a little boat ride on our pontoon boat.

So. Why have we been “aground” for six years??!!??  It’s complicated, but it has been resolved!  Our cute little boat is in the water.  Tonight we took a short ride.  These pics were taken with my camera so they are not great, but they do capture the moment.

At the Dock

John at the Helm

The Sun is Setting

Heading Home

I hope I don’t have to wait another six years!  Happy summer, everyone!

August 23, 2012

From Susan — It was a Fair Day

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:51 pm

Yep, and even though I hate to step on my own blog post, today was the first day of the fair.   That means the results are in.  My Knitters Camp friend, Kim, and I set sail early this morning so we could get a front row seat for the knitting at the Minnesota State Fair.  This year I was really excited to see if Kim did well with her beautiful sweater.

She did: she received a blue ribbon!!

Kim’s ‘New Zealand Sweater’ from Knit One, Knit All worked in Simply Shetland Jumperweight, color Grouse

That flipped over piece of paper is her JRB Associates Woolgrower Association award!  Way to go, Kim!

My personal quest was to see how my latest Niebling doily did — Gloxiniaeflora worked in size 30 DMC Cebelia Coton, Size 000 needles.  It did well:

I have never worked so hard on anything in my life.  The knitting was physically difficult on such tiny thread with those $%^^$$ needles!!  But I do think it goes quite well with purple!!

My other “bigger” project was my Daydreams in Lace — it also garnered a blue:

I can’t get a good picture of it in any light, and certainly not through the reflecting glass of the state fair case!

I put in a few other small items and they were displayed all in a cluster:

Four of my entries are in this photo — my Friday Again is well hidden behind the gorgeous blue vest.  The textured hat (called Flavia and available on Ravelry) and brown Escargot hat are both mine, and my Grey Gardens gloves are hanging to the upper right.

Here are better pictures of the hats (both got 2nd place ribbons):

Not a state fair shot!!

The textured hat is actually sage green, but the color just faded out in the pictures and under the harsh lighting.  My gloves took a 3rd place:

First place in the glove category also receives a prize from my knitting group, The Penelope Knitters (click link to read the blog post about the name of our group).  This year’s winner was my good friend Bonnie (her Ravelry project page):

Really beautiful!!

Last and least, I entered my Ponchette, which took a 3rd place:

Honestly, Kim and I spent 45 minutes looking for the thing!  They had the shawls and scarves displayed at the far back of the building next to the baked and canned goods!

All in all, I was really pleased — especially to see Kim do so well.  I know she worked really hard on the sweater and it is absolutely stunning in person!  I ate the best pork chop on a stick that I have ever had in my life and did some shopping!  Great day at the fair.

Now, off to knitting…woo hoo!!

August 21, 2012

From Susan — The Short of It

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:26 pm

If Sally’s Whale is the long of it, then mine is definitely the shortie!

I totally got sick of my Whale…I had to think hard with the conversion to contiguous and then think hard to mitigate the tail and then think hard to decide on my closure and then I gave up!!  I convinced myself (and my argument was quite sound actually!) that I needed a summer sweater.  I don’t have very many and this would look cute with short sleeves over a shirt or long-sleeved tee.  The beauty of it was: NO SLEEVES TO KNIT!!  D.O.N.E!  I could really get used to this!!

Here is the back of my Whale.  No one ever shows the front.  Why?  It is boring.  Mine is even MORE boring because I omitted the cute cables at the bottom.  Again, too much thinking involved and I was sick of thinking.

I made mine out of Cascade Venezia Sport in color Cranberry.  Merino (70%) and Silk (30%), 307 yards/100 grams.  The color is deeper than it looks in these photos.  It is pricey ($17-20/skein), but my project only took 4 skeins.  Unfortunately, I bought eight.  While knitting this thing, I thought my knitting looked horrid — very uneven.  It blocked out better than expected, but I still see its many flaws.

Sally was asked about the contiguous sleeve method.  Basically, it is a top-down method that creates a set-in sleeve as you go (rather than a raglan or circular yoke).

There are a few ways of doing it.  Friday Again uses one stitch to separate the “every row increases” used to create the shoulder line.   Many use 2 sts to separate the increases, which Sally and I did on our Whales.  If you are interested in this technique, there is a Ravelry group devoted to it, and more patterns being designed all the time, many of which are free.   I would recommend either making one from a pattern or start with the mini-sweater that describes the technique.   Once you understand the method, converting patterns is not too bad.

The fit is superb if done correctly.  People often make the shoulders too wide.  The secret is to make sure they don’t extend past the bone at the top of the shoulder.

Thar she blows.

August 18, 2012

From Sally — Look, Ma, No Buttons

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:54 pm

Sorry it’s been so long since our last post; I blame me.  So does Susan.

Anyway, I finished my Whiteness of the Whale last week and finally got around to taking some photos.   As stated in previous posts, I made several modifications:  I knitted it using the contiguous method (which creates a set in sleeve without seams) and I lopped off most of the tail.  (There is still a very slight curve to the hem.)  My other change was in how I chose to fasten it.  First some photos.

Instead of buttons, I used bracelet findings. In other words, I took clasps used in making bracelets and attached them to applied i-cord along the fronts. I initially had some pretty silver clasps with peridot stones on them, but they were too small in the scale of the whale so I cannibalized these pretty “lapis” ones. (I had previously made them into earrings. I think they are having an identity crisis.)

Here is a close up of the clasps, with the upper one left open so you can see how they work.

Oh, and one more change: I added a little cable at the wrist because the front of the sweater itself is so plain.

So there you have it. The whale is finished. One more thing, though. You may remember that I started this project with Shibui’s new Linen yarn, which unraveled on me mid-skein. I did want to report that Jimmy Beans, where I purchased it, cheerfully gave me a full refund, including the cost of the skein I had already used. And Shibui contacted me and reassured me that they had had only a very few problem skeins reported to them, and that they were going to make sure that Jimmy Beans was reimbursed. So if you are interested in trying that yarn, don’t let my experience dissuade you. I may use it for something else myself. The colors are gorgeous.

August 8, 2012

From Susan — All Knitting, Great and Small

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:01 am

Not every project is a whale, some are merely minnows!!  This little project is noteworthy because I have yet to find a bootie pattern that I can get to turn out — other than Fleegle’s Seamless Saartje’s Booties.  And those are pretty feminine!  I wanted to make some booties for a boy and the standard freebies (all the “best fitting booties ever” on Ravelry) do not look good when I make them (hangs head in knitting shame).

I stumbled onto Yarn Harlot’s Cutest Booties pattern – done all in garter – and thought they looked cute…just like the name suggested.  Now, Stephanie P-M does not need my help to sell patterns, but I thought it was a nice little bootie.  I liked that they are actually baby socks and therefore would look darling on an older baby/toddler.  I used up leftovers from my Vitamin D.  I thought the color would go well with blue jeans or khakis.

The bootie is knit in garter, but I did not like knitting garter in the round!  I gave up on that after the cuffs.  I did my gusset decreases at the rate of 2/3 rounds (instead of every other round) to account for the difference in row gauge between garter and stockinette, otherwise I followed the pattern pretty closely.  Well, she also attached little pom poms which looked super cute…but I am too lazy.  Maybe next time!

Nice pattern and a quick knit — great for using up small amounts of sock yarn.  Stephanie says she keeps a few pairs on hand for those unexpected “arrivals” and that sounds pretty smart to me!

August 1, 2012

From Sally — Now You See It, Now You Don’t

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:13 pm

Sometimes, it’s hard to decide what we like and don’t like in a design.  Sometimes, it’s hard to know whether you like something until it’s finished.  In fact, that’s the problem with knitting:  you can spend hours creating a sweater, only to say “Hmm. That was a waste of my time.”

All this is by way of introduction to the modification I made to my Whiteness of the Whale.  I confess:  I liked the design that runs down the back of this pattern, but was ambivalent about the single “scallop” at the rear.  Will this “whale tail” make my ass look like the size of Monstro in Pinocchio? I kept asking myself.  But I kept going.  I finished the body of the sweater a few days ago.  Here is a photograph of Lucy wearing it.

See what I mean? Just.not.sure. I don’t have a photo of me in it, but what I really didn’t like is how it looked from the side. To me, it looked as if I had a droopy tail. My age-related drooping is not really something I want to accentuate.

What to do? I talked about it with Susan, who is also knitting this pattern and had similar concerns about the tail. It was, we decided, fixable. (Keep in mind that this was knitted from the top down, so the bind off is at the hem. Easy to rip back. Otherwise, this whale would be swimming with the fishes.) To understand the fix, you have to understand why and how there is a scallop in the first place. It’s due to the placement of the yarnovers and the decreases relative to each other. When you “pile” the yarnovers on top of each other, but have the corresponding decreases somewhere else, the fabric will bulge where the yarnovers are. That’s the principle behind ye olde favorite feather and fan stitch. So, I needed to place the decreases next to the yarnovers to mitigate the bulge. Fortunately, because the cables in the pattern periodically break up (and “undo”) the bulge build up, I didn’t need to go back too far.

I ripped out about three inches, to just where the last tail pattern started to go straight down instead of continuing to angle outward. (See the photo just above.) I then moved the decreases so that they were just about next to the yarnovers at the center of the pattern. I worked to within two stitches of the first yarnover from the previous right side row. Then I k2tog, k1 (the prior yarnover), yo, p, yo, k1, ssk and then kept working the rest of the row. I left a purl stitch on either side of the tail to help outline it a little bit. Here is what happened:

I am SO much happier with my sweater. Yes, the decreases are now somewhat visible next to the yarnovers in the center of the pattern, but for me that’s a worthwhile tradeoff. Moreover, the decreases were visible before where I had started to work straight, just in a different place, and this way I don’t have the corner that was produced by the curve to straight transition. (Note: If I had kept angling out the stiches as before, I still would have had a scallop.) Instead, the outer curve slopes gently down, and I think it looks more graceful. Susan had initially suggested I try using a central double decrease in between the two yarnovers, but when I swatched several ideas, the central double decrease disrupted the lines of the yarnovers.

It is hard to capture the color of this yarn. It’s closest to the very last picture. Because it’s not blocked, you can see what looks like an abrupt color change near the bottom. That’s because I had lightly blocked the body when I finished knitting it the first time (to check for fit and length), and the new knitting isn’t blocked yet. It will all come out “in the wash.”

Powered by WordPress