theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 5, 2018

From Susan — Some Gloxie PSs!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:34 pm

Several people had questions about my last post…

A couple of more “PSs” — The source I buy my patterns from now (for far less than $76!!) is Doilyhead.  Her patterns are crisp, sharp copies — very easy to read.  Unfortunately we just missed her half price sale!  Darn it!

Chloe asked me how long Gloxie took in terms of hours.  I did not track the hours, but I did finish it in just over two weeks.  I was on a deadline as I decided to knit Gloxie in July for the state fair in August.  Lyra took months because I was completely intimidated by my first Niebling!!  My other Nieblings took months because I worked on other things at the same time.  My favorite to knit by far was Lotus Flower.  It was a joy to knit, quite intuitive, and I think a perfect “starter Niebling.”  The pattern from Doilyhead is $8.

Lotus Flower is the doily you see as a back drop for many of my pictures.  I recently replaced it on my table with this one to change things up a bit:

Frosted Ferns is very popular because it is a free pattern – you have to dig for the pdf with the charted pattern.  There are several variations to the outer border.  I keep this one out on my living room coffee table.

Niebling’s charting is unusual but easy to follow once you understand it.  It really is just knitting after all, and there is a Ravelry group dedicated to Herbert Niebling where people answer questions.  I recommend browsing through the “Show your Niebling” pictures to see which ones you like – there are many small doilies to get started.   However, don’t fall in love until you know what the pattern source is!  Not every design is readily available, or start from Doilyhead’s blog to find one you like.

People are also converting Niebling doilies into shawls.  I made a half Lyra into a shawl:

It is a way to knit less and get a lot of visual bang for the buck!  Not everyone wants to adorn their entire house in doilies!  🙁

January 3, 2018

From Susan — A New Home for Gloxie

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:53 am

Last year — almost exactly a year ago — I did a presentation for the Minnesota Knitters Guild on Herbert Niebling.  I talked about his background and his lace legacy.  I also brought all of my Niebling doilies as props.  One of the audience members was a curator for the Minnesota Historical Society.  She asked if I would ever consider donating one of my Nieblings for their permanent collection.

What a huge honor to be asked!  She said that only a doily that won a sweepstakes would be considered and that they would like to have the ribbons associated with the doily.  I immediately thought of my small Gloxineaflora because it looks so delicate and vintage.

Alas, I decided I could not part with it!!

So, I decided to knit another, but certainly not in size 30 thread and 000’s needles!!  That is why I made a second Gloxie – I wanted to donate something that I knew I could give up!

Thank goodness it won a sweepstakes, or I would be back to square one!  I received word yesterday that the MHS review board had accepted my donation, so now it is theirs to keep and do with as they wish.  I doubt it will ever be publicly displayed, but it will appear in their on-line archive after about 6 months and anyone who cares to can request a viewing in their textile collection.

Bye, Big Gloxie!!

The Artist’s Statement I submitted:

The first time I saw a Herbert Niebling doily – his famous ‘Lyra’ — was on a knitting blog in 2007. I felt like I had been struck by a thunderbolt! I couldn’t believe anything like it was possible. I had to have my own Lyra, even though it was well beyond my knitting skills.

Herbert Niebling (December 20, 1903 – May 15, 1966, Germany) was an avid gardener who transformed his love of flowers into elaborate, almost three-dimensional, lace creations. Over the span of four decades he created hundreds of ornate designs. A Niebling doily represents the pinnacle of lace knitting and is the goal of many a serious knitter. When I discovered Niebling, his patterns were quite scarce. They were only available in their original German publications, which were long out of print. Occasionally one would surface on Ebay, and as luck would have it, a Lyra pattern became available. I won the bid for $76 and was over the moon! Now, many Niebling patterns are readily available in English in high-quality digital format, for under $10! This renewed interest and improved access can be attributed to Ravelry — an online knitting and crocheting community. This popular forum gives knitters an opportunity to share their gorgeous projects and inspire others. I have since had the privilege of knitting several Niebling doilies, including Lyra, Lotus Flower, Frosted Ferns, Doily with Cables, and Gloxiniaeflora.

The joy and satisfaction of seeing a finished Niebling on my blocking board is indescribable!

PS to Betty:  It didn’t seem all that generous — it was very fun to knit!

January 1, 2018

From Susan — Bling in the New Year!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:18 pm

Oh, I am so sorry about that title!!  😉

For Christmas, I made my older daughter a pair of beaded wristlets and the younger daughter a pair of Baby Fan Mitts – both in black Woolfolk Tynd.  I have made MANY pairs of Baby Fans.  It is my “go to” pattern for fingerless gloves.  BUT, the wristlets I made for Laura are from a relatively new pattern called Time 2 Sparkle!  I saw them and thought of Laura immediately.  She loves black and gold.  And I love the very vintage, almost “Downton Abbey,” look of them.

I did not realize that the pattern called for two colors of beads.  You need to pre-string the beads in a precise order, something like: 8a, 2b, 1a, 1b, 3a, 1b, etc. for 500 beads…per wristlet!!  Oh, hell, no!!  It would take HOURS!!!!!  Instead I used single color gold beads on a hank and strung them like this:

The 500 beads equaled about 40 inches, which took maybe 5 minutes to string.  I spent more time chasing the loose beads that got away because I didn’t secure the other end of the thread!!

The wristlets start out as a square:

Then you seam all but the last two inches at the top:

This makes the top wider to go over the hand:

I love them!  I went out and bought more beads so I can make a pair for me, but what I might do is shorten them and make a bracelet instead.  Not sure yet what I’ll do!!  These would have been in my “nine for 2017” but I did not get the pictures with Laura until yesterday!

December 31, 2017

From Susan — Wrap it up!!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:37 am

We survived 2017.  I wasn’t sure it was possible and there were times that I doubted we would.  Things in the world have been shaken up topsy turvy and not all to my liking.  But knitting is still knitting and that I can control…to a certain extent!!

On Instagram, several people have started sharing “Nine in 2017,” so here is what I posted!  I am lv2knitmn on Instagram, and I would love it if you followed me!!

December 25, 2017

From Both of Us — Merry Christmas!!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 11:00 am

We hope you are able to enjoy this holiday with family and friends.  Sally is heading to spend the next couple of days with her son, and Susan is hunkering down in the polar vortex with her immediate family.  No big plans but so far a very nice Christmas!!  🙂

December 20, 2017

From Sally — Still “Here,” Still Knitting

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 6:05 pm

Yes, I’m still a Rainey Sister.  I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted.  Poor Susan has been left to do it all while I moved and then recovered (somewhat).  A few of you have asked how the move went — what we did right, what we did wrong, what we learned.  I’m not sure yet how I’d grade our decisions but I do have a few thoughts.

One thing we did right was to start going through our belongings months ahead of time.  We got rid of a LOT of stuff’; we’d been in our house for 20 years and things were stashed everywhere.  Sorting became our version of Swedish Death Cleaning, in which you rid yourself of possessions so your heirs don’t have to.  Even so, we still had a lot of boxes to move.   We could have gotten rid of more.

We chose to move to Boulder before we put our house in DC on the market.   We did that so we wouldn’t have to be there while it was being shown.  I didn’t want the stress of last minute showings (and constant cleaning), the invasion of privacy, or worrying about small items going missing during an open house.  .

It was the right decision for us, but has a few downsides.  We are renting, and therefore we know we’ll be moving again.  It would have been more fun or exciting to go directly into a new “final” home.  We have boxes and boxes of belongings that we don’t want to bother to unpack.  I can’t find things when I want them.  (I do know where my yarn is.)  We don’t feel “settled.”  ‘Cause we’re not.  On the other hand, renting here gives us time to learn neighborhoods and understand the market here before we look for a new house.

The move itself was very hard.  I sobbed when I left our house in DC for the last time.  I loved that house.  Still do.  It was, however, too big for just the two of us.  We were too far away from our kids.  We could have stayed put and been perfectly happy, but it felt as if it was the right time to make a change.  We wanted to move when it was our decision and when we could still enjoy the outdoor life offered by Boulder.

Now that we’ve been here for a few weeks, the upsides are very real.  I see my daughter every few days instead of once or twice a year.  I’m closer to my son — it will be a short flight to see him on Christmas instead of a full day’s trip.  Within six months to a year, when we’ve found a house and gotten into a routine, we’ll be even happier that we’re here.

I just took a walk.  Within 5 minutes, I was in the foothills.  I even ran into a herd of mule deer.

In the meantime, I have been doing some knitting.  I just finished a sweater  – – Carol Sunday’s lovely  Milkweed Pullover.  Some of you may remember that I started her cardigan version of this design years ago.  It is beautiful, but it wasn’t flattering on me.  I loved the stitch pattern, but set it aside.  I was thrilled when she re-worked the central design into a pullover.  It’s a much better look on me.

I made very few changes.  I reworked the start of the sleeves so that the ribbing flowed into the braided cable.  I also put a decorative button at each side of the split hem.  I have more of the buttons; I’m trying to decide whether to add a second one.  Opinions welcome.

The yarn is Carol Sunday’s Angelic 5-ply, which is heavenly (pun intended).  I knit it in the color Bone.  The yarn has a lovely halo after blocking and it’s wonderfully soft.


December 13, 2017

From Susan — Stop Me, Puh-lease! With an explanation…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:25 pm

Addendum 12-16:

The whole reason I fell down the “mini hat rabbit hole” was because tonight I am going out with three very old and dear friends.  I have known them for over forty years!!  I had pictured making them my friend’s delicious nut bread and attaching a hand-knit ornament.  I started knitting some cute mini hats and thought, “Why am I knitting someone else’s mini hats??  Why don’t I create my own mini hats?”  And so I did.

That started me down the path of repurposing my Snowfall Hat (which is why there were three snowflake versions) and adding some other designs (tree and candy cane, plus two ill fated attempts at tree and candy cane).  Well, I still needed the hat ornaments for my friends!!  But now I did not want to give them the originals because now they are the mini hat prototypes!!   Aaarghh!!  So yesterday I made 9 loaves of nut bread and three more mini hats.  The last one is still damp — hope it dries by tonight!!

That makes ten mini hats in the past week, so I say no more mini hats for me…

December 13:
Okay.  I designed two more mini hats for the Mini Hats Snowfall Series.  But I am done now, I promise!!

The Christmas Tree and Candy Canes are the latest and last to be added.  The Candy Canes may look familiar.  I was inspired by our family Christmas stocking!

Anyway, I need to go lay down now…


December 10, 2017

From Susan — Mini Happy Returns

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:04 pm

I have been working furiously to get this little pattern out in time for the holidays!  It is FREE to anyone who has purchased my Snowfall Hat pattern — ever: past, present, or future.

These take about 8 grams of yarn (26 yards) and a few of your leftover beads.

Thank you for your support, loyal readers!! 🙂

December 3, 2017

From Susan — Can’t Help Myself!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:39 am

I had to knit another Snowfall Hat!  I really am addicted to these hats and missed knitting on them.  I also wanted to do a pink colorway, which I am calling Peppermint Stick.  Sally and I wanted to do shades of purple/lavender, but the beads just weren’t there, but we did find these gorgeous pinks.

I knit this using WOOLFOLK TOV DK which is wonderful yarn.  No halo, but just gorgeous to work with.  It is called DK but the yardage is identical to Fresco so I tried it.

I used three shades of pink from Fire Mountain Gems:

Rainbow Ruby, #6, 40 gm, H20-5851SB
Transparent rainbow inside color hot pink, #6, 40 gm, H20-5632SB
Light Pink, #6, 40 gm, H20-5737SB

I did the bottom ribbing differently and deeper.  I prestrung as follows:

1 row clear
2 rows light pink
3 rows Transparent Rainbow
4 rows Ruby Rainbow

This placed the darkest color at the cast on edge and made the ribbing 20 rows instead of 14.  Because my ribbing was deeper, I deleted rows where I could at the beg of the hat and at the start of the dec rows. I ended up using more beads and more yarn.

The other side:

I hope I have enough beads to make a quick pair of Peppermint Mitts!!

PS to Sherri – a couple of people on Rav have made the hat for children and it looks adorable!

November 28, 2017

From Susan — The Bold and The Beautiful

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:33 am

It’s big and it’s bold!  I wrote about my quest recently for the perfect yarn for my “even larger” Plaid Squared bag.  I found the yarn and started knitting the bag based on my diagrams.  I will put together my notes and send out the “recipe” as an addendum to the Plaid Squared pattern.  It will not be as detailed but it is based on the other bags so the directions are there.

The colors just aren’t right — the really dark color is actually a medium gray.  I will try to get better pics when it is done.  I ordered some leather handles and bought some lining fabric.  It turned out just like I pictured, so I am very pleased.

The miracle of felting!!

Now that that’s done, I can think about the next project.  I am starting a sweater with the slowest ribbing known to knitting kind.  I am barely able to slog through a row a day.

PS: the shawl in one shawl in a gold to gray gradient, called Reverse Psychology.  Sally and I both made it!

PS2 to Diane:  These are the handles I ordered – have not yet received them.  And these are the handles shown on the original red and black bag.

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