theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 31, 2013

From Susan — A Meeting of the Minds

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:35 am

I have at times referred to the dichotomy that I have going on in my brain: my middle-aged female self cohabiting with my adolescent male self.  These two personas co-exist in relative peace until “The Walking Dead” is showing opposite “Downton Abbey.”  In those battles, the adolescent male will always win! 😉

Imagine my excitement with the upcoming release of World War Z — a zombie apocalypse movie (score one for the adolescent male) starring Brad Pitt (oh yeah, baby!!).  Woo Hoo!!!

As a zombie-loving freak I will be at the first showing of this movie!!

In true zombie-loving, zombie-fighting style, I would like to share a new knitting pattern with you.  This design is supposed to replicate Beth’s hat in AMCs The Walking Dead, shown here in a poor screen-grab photo:

I couldn’t quite capture it exactly, but I came up with a cute alternative, modeled by my youngest:

The hat is called Beth’s Zombie Apocalypse Slouchy Hat and is available FREE on Ravelry!!  To quote the pattern page:

Be ready for the Zombie Apocalypse! This hat will allow you to make the best use of your stash. Because, let’s face it. After the ZA hits, where will you find a good yarn shop? And we know it is a practical accessory for fighting zombies – Beth on AMCs “The Walking Dead” has a hat just like it! Yes, this design is fashioned after Beth’s zombie-fighting hat.

Worked flat in garter stitch (with a twist!) and shaped with easy-to-do short rows, this hat can be adjusted to different yarns and sizes.

Pattern includes written out instructions (no charts), and diagrams.

It is free, so share it. We have to look after each other!

PS – I guess you can also wear it before the ZA…

The hat is very comfortable because it stretches to fit even my large head.  It can be adjusted to different sizes easily by adding a few sts, or adding a wedge.  I did this when I made a second hat for my older daughter using Madelinetosh DK.  Sorry, no pics!

So make one, share the pattern, go for it!  Like I said, we have to look out for each other!!

May 25, 2013

From Susan – Back to Reality

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:22 am

Hey, all!  I got back from Cape Coral, Florida (near Fort Myers) earlier this week after a really great weekend with ‘the girls’ (old girls, to be sure!!).  The house was fabulous:

Pools down there are surrounded by what they call a “pool cage,” the world’s best invention!  You can open up the house to the back yard and it is completely screened in!  The weather was perfect the entire trip: 80’s-90’s and sunny.

Our first stop was the Tropicaya (below) for lunch: authentic Cuban sandwiches.  What can I say?  It was the best sandwich I have ever eaten!!  The secret is Cuban bread.  My husband is a huge fan of The Cuban, so I immediately planned my strategy for getting a sandwich back to him.  It worked and we still have one of these delightful sandwiches in the freezer!

We did go on an airboat in the Everglades, even though it was well past the season for it.  Saw no gators there and very few birds, but we loved it just the same!  We did see a gator in a fresh water canal after leaving the Everglades tour, so it was well worth it!  My picture is too crappy to even see him.

Of course, we had to go to the beach:

Fort Myers Beach, photo taken from the pier

On our last evening, we dined near one of the canals on Pine Island and watched the sunset:

The day we left, we shopped a bit and swam in the gorgeous, saltwater swimming pool.  I did not take any knitting and I think that was a really smart thing to do.  It would have been distracting and it gave my hands a rest.

It was a great respite and a fun way to connect with old friends.  I have known these women for 40 years, and feel much closer to them now!  I see more travel in my future!


May 21, 2013

From Sally — Wrapped in a Cloud

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 3:32 pm

Susan recently said that I had finished three projects in one day.  It’s true.  But one was very small (I’ll share it another time), and the other is my own Pueblo Scarf.  You’ve seen it as I was working on it, and you’ve seen Susan’s.  So I won’t bore you with mine.  At least not right now.  Instead, I’ll share a quick and easy project that I love so much I’m sure I’ll make again (in different colors).

It’s a free pattern from Shibui Knits using their lovely Silk Cloud yarn, a beautiful lace weight of 60% mohair and 40% silk (330 yards in each 25 gram skein). It comes in absolutely luscious colors. Luscious.

The pattern is Gradient, so named because you gradually shift colors. The color transition is achieved by knitting three strands together and replacing one strand at a time with a new color.

The colors I used were Nude, Watermelon, Raspberry, and Bordeaux.

I knit it in just a few days and I’ve already worn it a lot. The bright colors make me happy, and it’s perfect to throw on when it’s a little chilly or when someone’s air conditioning is colder than I’d like. I definitely plan to knit another one in more wintry or fall colors.

I made mine about 45 inches long. I used almost all of the Watermelon and Raspberry; those middle colors are used in more transitions. I had a fair amount of Nude and Bordeaux left over.

P.S. I wanted to add that Susan and I are keeping those who have just suffered such tremendous losses in Oklahoma in our thoughts. I was born in Oklahoma, which is where our mother was from. The scope of the damage there is hard to understand.

May 15, 2013

From Susan – Off the Grid

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:26 am

I will be out of town for a few days — going to Florida with some of my peeps.  I will just be hanging out around a pool and maybe going on an airboat through the Everglades looking for gators!!!

I doubt I will be doing much knitting.  My hands and wrists have flared up a little bit and this may be the perfect excuse for a mini-break.  On the other hand, I can’t imagine not knitting on the plane OR when lounging poolside!

I do have a smallish project in mind.  One of my [cough::many::cough] purchases when Sally was here was the yarn for the Aranami Shawl by Olga Buraya-Kefelian.  If you buy just a little more, you can make two.  So that is what we did.  Olga shows hers knit in Brooklyn Tweed’s LOFT and The Yarnery in St. Paul is a new distributor of his yarns.  While in DC, this is the project I worked on and then finished shortly after getting home:

Aranami in LOFT

It’s cute, right?  But the yarn is a pain.  It is so fragile that it breaks doing the most mundane tasks: rolling it in a ball, pulling the yarn from said ball, picking up sts (which you do constantly in this project), sewing in ends (which you do constantly in this project)…well, you get the idea.  It did not happen every time, but I would not use this yarn again.  Which brings me to the next item.

On Mother’s Day, DD the eldest (my very knitworthy little pumpkin) saw the shawl and loved it and its Japanese vibe.  BUT, she did not like the look or feel of the yarn.  I went back the The Yarnery and bought Cascade 220 Fingering yarn in a similar array of colors.  The price differential is astounding: $5 vs $14.50!!  You need 5 colors and even though you only use small amounts of the first few tiers, you still have to buy a skein!!   $25 compared to $72.50.  The colors aren’t identical but I am fine with that 🙂 .

I have started it, but as I said, I am feeling discomfort when I knit (or do just about anything, to be honest!).  I leave tomorrow morning before dawn and will not know until then if the project comes with me or stays home… 🙁

PS – Deb asked which Cascade 220 Fingering yarns I am using:

8401 – natural
8010 – silver
8400 – charcoal
4002 – jet
8555 – black

The lightest color is whiter and the darkest is blacker than the version in LOFT.

PS2: Just adding this about LOFT — the above commentary is MY OPINION, and it is just an opinion.  Many knitters absolutely love LOFT and think it is amazing.  They put up with the fragility because of the colors, etc.  The Black Coal was the worst culprit for me so maybe I got a bad skein (?).  Anyway, even though I judged it harshly, you may want to see for yourself!!

May 11, 2013

From Susan — So Much Yarn…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:10 pm

…yet Surly has so much more!!  We were asked about the yarn we bought at our various knitting venues and I thought I would share a little of it today.  Every time I think I’ve got it all in the picture, I find another bag!  So this isn’t all of it, but most of it. 🙂

Pictures cannot really capture the depth and beauty of the colors and sheen.  I was very much sucked into the vortex by color.

1 – Sun Valley Fibers Merino-Cashmere-Silk 75/15/10 (400 yds) — from left to right my colors are Kent, Plum Crazy, and Strut Your Stuff.  Wow.  Just stunning.  I am thinking of using this trio for the “Color Affection” du jour:  Happy Street.

2 – Tess Designer Yarns Cascade Silk (100% silk) — no color name but a beautiful denimy blue.  I see this with beads in my own Sweet Dreams (like Sally’s).

3 – Fiesta’s La Boheme in color 153 Sugar Cane — I L-O-V-E this yarn for cowls.  They add a pop of color and style to my otherwise drab wardrobe!!

4 – Persimmon Tree Farm 100% Fine Mohair 550 yds — this very small producer caught my eye with a yarn that glowed copper.  Stunning color.  Will probably make Imagine When because it takes slightly more yardage than you get in a typical fingering skein (500 yds).

5 – Knit Circus Greatest of Ease Sock in color Fire Bird (460 yds) — another small dyer and stunning color.  Generous yardage, too!  She also has pairs of matching half skeins for making socks!

6 – The Grinning Gargoyle Seda Sock Merino/Silk 50/50 430 yds — another indie dyer.  I bought her yarn last year for my Color Affection and had to go back for more!  The two colors have no designated projects as yet.  The real show stopper was her 100% mink laceweight.  It was flying off the shelves!!

My knitting basket runneth over!  And there is more that will be revealed along the way.  I am in love with everything I bought.  I guess it is better than gambling away my mortgage or other unproductive activities!  😉

PS: Twinsetellen asks, “I keep telling myself it is a less expensive addiction than drugs or gambling.  It is, isn’t it?”  Hmmm.  Not sure.  😉

May 6, 2013

From Susan — Old Cow

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:39 pm

Yes, this project is dead to me.  I have so moo-ved on!!  ::Groan::

Pueblo Stole in High Country Colorway, designed and kitted by Carol Sunday

This was extremely putsy and I hope I end up liking it and wearing it.  I thought I could squeeze it in this year but it is going to be 76 degrees tomorrow!  Complaining?  NOOOOO!!

I flew back yesterday and saw snow covering some of the landscape, but luckily none here.  I took today off to recuperate from my grueling trip of knitting, eating, and watching TV.  To recover, I am knitting, eating and not watching TV.

Sally broke a record by finishing three projects in ONE DAY!!  One of them was her Pueblo Stole (getting it blocked), but she had two others as well.  I had two that day (one was also my Pueblo).  We will share the others as time goes by!

We bought some beautiful yarns at Maryland Sheep and Wool but it is stuff we will use so we feel good about all of our purchases.

Back to work tomorrow.  🙁  Not complaining, but…

PS: Janet asked what made this shawl/stole/scarf so putsy and Sally answered that you add new yarn on the fringe edge every row even when knitting the same block of color.  That added to the ever changing increases and decreases, and the 112 row color sequence and you get the idea.  Once done, you need to deal with the fringe.  I used a crochet hook to anchor each pair of fringes where they attached to the scarf, then I knotted each pair 5 inches from the scarf, and then trimmed them even.  P. U. T. S. Y.

PS2: Today is cool and overcast so I decided to wear this very autumnal fashion statement to work.  I have received NUMEROUS compliments!  Yay!!

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