theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 27, 2012

From Sally — the Calm before the Frankenstorm

Filed under: Sweet Dreams,Updates — surly @ 1:19 pm

I thought I better post while I still can — the forecast for our nation’s capital ain’t pretty. I’ve been fairly silent lately because due to various and sundry commitments and deadlines, I’ve had very little time to knit. However, I had been meaning to knit Sweet Dreams, the same shawl Susan posted about recently, and her project inspired me to finally cast on.

I used some Tess Designer Cascade Silk Sport in a lovely silver gray that I bought at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May. I bought the yarn for Nora’s wedding shrug, but decided it was a little heavier than I wanted for that project. I repurposed it for this shawl, and used the same beads I used on her shrug (I bought those beads for this yarn in the first place).

As Susan said, this is a lovely pattern to knit. It’s very easy and very adaptable in terms of size. Mine is larger than Susan’s: I cast on stitches in between the medium and large size given in the pattern, and I knit two repeats of the main lace chart instead of one. I still had quite a bit of my original 150 gram skein leftover. This is a long and thin shawlette that I think I will be able to wear almost as a scarf. Or maybe I can lash myself to a telephone pole when the winds are howling on Monday and Tuesday.

October 21, 2012

From Susan — A Whole New World!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:09 pm

I feel like I must be the last knitter on earth to figure this out,  but I do think the potential is there to change my knitting life forever!  Hyperbole?!?  You bet!

What am I talking about?  The best kept [knitting] secret of all time: the bottom up contiguous sleeve.  Yes.  A fitted sleeve knit in one piece with the body from the bottom up.  Others have tried it.  Others have succeeded.  But this is a first for moi.

Let me just say for the record that I don’t have a problem with seams.  They have their place and I am comfortable doing them.  But, that said, I hate sewing sleeve caps into the armscye.  Just hate it.   Many designers have glommed onto the fact that people do not like seams: there are many top down sweaters out there right now to prove it.  But there are still many bottom up designs that are worked in pieces to achieve the look of the set in sleeve.

Recently, Jared Flood introduced a new series of patterns, one of which really caught both Sally’s and my attention: Burr by Veronik Avery.  It is knit bottom up in pieces.  Could it be converted to bottom up contiguous?  I had to know.

The answer.  Yes.

Burr knit in Rowan Tweed, Color Reeth

Look at the beautiful set in sleeve!  And it fits me perfectly!  It is still wet and blocking, but I was too excited to wait to share it with my knitting peeps.

I love the beautiful details in this sweater: the YOs on the front and back, the gorgeous collar, and the inverted “V” ribbing details on the hems of the body and sleeves.  I did make major modifications though to achieve my goal of seamless, fitted sleeve:

1 – work both fronts and the back in one piece (I also made some other small changes in my set up)
2 – work to the armhole
3 – work sleeves in the round to the underarm
4 – join all pieces (leaving live sts at the underarm of both the sleeves and the body — ‘bound off’ sts in pattern) and start all shaping as needed (for this step, I graphed out all of the pieces onto graph paper to figure out my shaping)
5 – at the top of the sleeve cap (which was 2 inches wide at that point = 12 sts), stop knitting the sleeve and instead work the fronts and back as separate pieces for 1 inch each (and add short row shaping for the shoulder) — I added a ‘make 1’ to the fronts and back at the edge next to the sleeve cap for the seaming in Step 7
6 – join shoulders using 3-needle bind off
7 – graft the sleeve cap sts to the front and back extensions
8 – graft underarm sts

The picture below shows the work in progress after Step 5 is complete:

I am thrilled with the results and will share additional photos when it is dry and I have buttons.  This easy to do method is just one way that people eliminate the seam on sleeve caps.  I have experimented with other ideas for doing this and will try them out in the future.

This is another reason I love knitting — even after doing this for over 45 years, there is still so much to learn!!  Yowza!!

October 10, 2012

From Susan — Lettie in All Her Glory

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:39 pm

Lettie LOVES going to work with me.  She loves the hubbub and the people.  But most of all, she loves being noticed.

Uh, I don’t have the heart to tell her that NO ONE IS LOOKING!!!  Oh well.  She can have her brief moment in the “sun.”  I took my shawl in today for the silent auction.  I know it sold, but I don’t know what the final bid ended up being.  I’ll update this if I hear.

October 6, 2012

From Susan — Sweet Sweet Dreams

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:37 pm

I just finished one of the most beautiful shawls ever — in FOUR days!  It is a stunning crescent-shaped beauty called Sweet Dreams by Boo Knits on Ravelry.  It was quick to knit, easy to block, with lots of visual bang for the buck.

I used Madelinetosh Merino Light in color Golden Hickory.  The shawl can easily be sized up or down in both width and depth.  The Victorian looking points are created with the picot bind off and by just pinning the long points.

The downside is that Sweet Dreams is only available in a ~$15 e-book.  The GOOD news is that another Boo Knits design, called Out of Darkness, is almost identical (wish I had known that before buying the e-book…).  It shows it in laceweight, but believe me — it would also work in fingering weight (Sweet Dreams can be knit in laceweight or fingering weight).

I made the smallest size, but could have done the medium.  I am placing this into our silent auction at work and wanted to make sure I could get it done in time, having no idea that it would go so fast!

PS – the job report is in and unemployment is down.  I already had an inkling: my last two knitting classes have filled…the economy must be doing better!

PSS – Edited to add one more picture from niece Nora’s wedding (taken by a fellow wedding guest!):

October 1, 2012

From Susan — Old Gloxie

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:15 pm

Hey, folks!  It has been a while!  I am currently in full autumn mode.  John and I went on one [last?] boat ride last night and the changing leaves tell the tale:

Here is one of my favorite homes along the river:

From the river…

Close Up View

You expect to see Snow White and her Seven Little Friends pop out!

I have been doing a little knitting and none of it is getting me very far.  I did finally finish my Vintage Mood vest — it is blocking/drying as we speak.  I will add some pictures when it is wearable and on Lettie.  It is a bit disappointing.  Sally and I each started a new cardigan that we will unveil shortly and I am knitting a shawlette for our annual Silent Auction at work.  I didn’t think I had time, but the shawl is actually moving along pretty quickly.

I thought I might share a project that I finished, entered into the MN  state fair, but never really wrote about (except here).  I am referring to my Niebling doily, Gloxiniaeflora.

Gloxiniaeflora by Herbert Niebling

This was a long, difficult journey!  I thought it would progress like my Lotus Flower from last year, my mindless knitting project that I could take anywhere!   Oh no.  Not this one.  It was a bear.

1. I used tiny thread, size 30 DMC Cebelia Crochet Coton

2. I used tiny needles: size 000

3. the sts were very difficult to manage

For example: 
The little flower thingies are made by working 12 sts thus:  slip 6 sts as to purl.  K6.  Pass the 6 slipped sts over the 6 sts just worked.

Okay.  Go to your knitting basket, take out some stockinette knitting and try this.  On any yarn.  It does not work.  Or at least it did not work for me.  There is not enough slack in the sts to get them to pass over the 6 knitted sts!  And my thread was so thin, I was sure it would break.  So, I tinked the row back and then the row prior because there was no way I was going to take it off the needles.

On the row before the ‘slip-k6-pass’ mish-mash I worked the 12 sts as follows: [k1, yo] x 5, k7…sometimes I did [k1, yo] x 6, k6 depending on my mood.  In any case, when I got to the pattern st in question, I dropped the yo’s as I slipped the sts and therefore had more yarn to work with.  The sts passed over quite easily.

I also had to go out and buy Addi Lace needles.  Regular Addis, even at size 000, were too blunt to do even the simplest k2tog.  Anyway, it took forever and I was very glad when it was all done.

I was very pleased to win the sweepstakes because it felt like I had really earned it with this one!  The table linen judges are extremely generous in their praise and their points, so it was very nice to read their comments.

At the fair…

I starched this baby at about 50% (50-50 starch to water) and blocked it on my styrofoam board.  I love this delicate little creature and marvel at the genius that is Herbert Niebling.  I never tire of knitting his designs and will end up the little old lady whose house has every surface covered with useless doilies!

Powered by WordPress