theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 12, 2017

From Susan — Knit It Up!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:08 pm

I actually jumped right into a project after I bought the yarn and finished it in a flash.  Okay.  Small project, but I really like it.  I posted about it a week or so ago:

The scarf is called Reverse Psychology and is perfect for gradients.

Here it is blocking so you can see the fun shape:

I added about 30 rows so I could get to the light gray!!

The yarn is beautifully soft, vibrant color.  Very nice!!

May 10, 2017

From Both of Us – Soggy Sheep & Wool Festival

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 3:20 pm

It rained last year and it rained this year.  We really didn’t expect two bad weather years in a row, but we came prepared!!  Susan stuffed three pairs of rubber boots from Target into her suitcase (two pairs for Sally to try!).  We tromped merrily through every puddle we encountered, without a care.

This little fella didn’t care either!!

On our Ravelry Group we had announced that we would attend the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  We ran into several readers :) , and spent some quality time with Pru (aka Tigermum).  What a delightful fellow knitter and hopeless enabler!!  It doesn’t hurt that she has a beautiful British accent so everything she says sounds better.

Inspired by Pru, we both bought Fiber Optic Paintbox Gradient Sets.  Susan bought Espresso-Crimson-Gold:

Sally got the Light Into Darkness colorway.  (The photo at the link is better than the photo I took if you want to see the true color.)

Susan also found a set of vintage buttons for her Funky Grandpa (now finished!!), and Sally bought some Signature needles to try out.  We did not go overboard and feel pretty good about it!

April 29, 2017

From Susan — Sometimes a Great [Sewing] Notion

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:31 am

As you all know, I sew as well as knit.  My sewing days don’t exactly predate my knitting days, but I did a lot more sewing early in my life.  I bought some fabric a while back because it reminded me of a picture of me from kindergarten, which of course I cannot find.  It also reminds me of a beautiful dress that my grandmother made for my mom.  Anyway, I decided to branch out and use a different shirt pattern – you know, mix it up a bit!  It went together extremely fast, but the fit just isn’t there.  The finished shirt cannot be altered, and is almost wearable, but I will need to make changes the next time around.  :(  It feels snug in the shoulders/armholes and the sleeves are too short.  My comparisons to existing shirts obviously fell short as well!

Back to the drawing board!!  At least next time I will know what to change.  I guess sewing is like knitting after all (in that you can make a sweater fit the SECOND time you knit it!), except you can’t finish a sweater in a day…

PS:  I did attempt some minor alterations.  I replaced the cuff with one an inch wider to add an inch to the sleeves – at that time I also converted the sleeve from an overlapping cuff to a French cuff because of the extra width.  I also redid the sleeve seam right at the underarm and gained about a half inch.  It fits a little better and the sleeves are much better!  Still need a couple of buttons.

Daisy mentioned the layout of the motifs.  That was a major challenge given the odd way the fabric was printed!

The lines you see are not seams — they are printed right onto the fabric!!  Half the fabric had a more solidly printed design.  It ran the length of the fabric, and undulated from really solid flowers to more open with more white background – you can see how it abruptly stops along the center line of the fabric, running along the entire length.  I used that for the back, but had to seam it down the center to avoid the printlines.  I had to match the layout of each half so the whiter areas would align.

The other half was printed in actual blocks about a yard long.  You can see in the picture how the pattern just cuts off and completely changes!  I could fit the front on one of these panels (and also the sleeves).  There the motif went from very solidly printed to white.  That is why there is so much white at the top of the sleeves and the front – I did plan it that way.

I feel much better about the shirt now and hope it goes more smoothly the next time around!! 😉

PS2 to Connie: I have never made a muslin sample but it does seem like a good idea.  I thought I had this covered because I had two shirts I was measuring from BUT I was lazy in my comparisons and assumptions!

PS3 to Metta: I think you mean a gusset.  I thought of that but had an issue with it.  The pattern has 1/2 inch vs 5/8 inch seams.  I did a French seam along the sleeve seam but had to trim it down to do the 2nd stitching.  That leaves an in credibly small seam to work with.  I do think that getting the half inch under the arm did help and will make it wearable!!

PS4 to Nancy: I bought the fabric a couple of years ago at Treadle Yardgoods in St. Paul on Grand Avenue.  As Carol Burnett (aka, Scarlett O’Hara) would say, “I saw it in the window and I couldn’t resist it!”

PS5 and Final: I did add 6×2 inch gussets to the underarm and it worked well!  The buttons are sewn on – but I used snaps in lieu of buttonholes.  The shirt is done.  The shirt fits.  It looks great!  Thanks all for weighing in!! :)

April 27, 2017

From Susan — Say It Isn’t So!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:14 am

Ack!!  Snow on the deck!  Okay, it is a dusting and will be gone very soon, but it is cold!!

April 24, 2017

From Susan — Yarnover the Great

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:19 pm

Oh, my knitting peeps.  If you weren’t at Yarnover this weekend, you missed a great event!  The organizers, led by my good friend Shelley H., outdid themselves.  And I mean that.  They escalated our little, scruffy “Let’s Put on a Show!” to a Broadway production!

In previous years we held Yarnover at schools.  Bad seating, bad lighting, bad food, cheap rates.  We never thought, as a non-profit, all volunteer guild, that we could afford to hold the event at a nice hotel.  But Shelley and her team had a dream and made it happen!  It was so nice…and it is very close to where I live — yay!!

I took a class on double knitting.  The teacher (Alisdair Post-Quinn) was great, his samples beautiful, etc., but the technique itself is worse than brain surgery without anesthesia (yes, I said that all weekend! 😉 ).  Knitting is a hobby.  Knitting is supposed to be fun.  Knitting has its share of ‘annoying,’ but should it be 150% annoying??!!

The Vendor Market rocked!  I spent a teeny, tiny bit of money…

Can you say gold and gray?  Everything I knit anymore is a variation of yellow and gray!!  Really.  I am not exaggerating!  The yellow-gray gradient is KnitCircus Lavish (70% merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, 600 yards, color Brass & Steam).  The Grinning Gargoyle selection are all Seda Sock (50-50 Merino Silk) in (from left to right) – Thundersnow, Sea Glass, and Crate Lake.  Yes, I know.  Stunning.

On Sunday, they held the April MKG meeting at the hotel in a huge amphitheater.  The speakers were Shannon and Jason, aka The ShibaGuyz, who design crochet and knitting designs.  They have three Shiba Inu – no idea what the plural of Shiba is.  I have one Shiba Inu.  I wanted to bond!!

Yuki lounging in the sun!

I showed them this picture of Yuki — I took it as I left to go to their lecture.  He is a Cream, which is not a sanctioned variety by the AKC, but is by the British KC.  We aren’t showing him so it doesn’t matter, but I sensed that they looked down on him just a little bit.  Or they were in a hurry.

I got home and worked on my latest project, which is now at a point that requires some thinking.  Not a lot of thinking, but more than I feel like doing.

Meet my Funky Grandpa, which also has a gold/gray thing going on!  I am quite enjoying it, though I want to take a short break from it.  I am knitting it in Carol Sunday’s 3-ply and Zauberball.   Just the sleeves are left.  My sweater will not be short and cropped for reasons I do not care to discuss 😉 .

So, I did the unthinkable and started with my brand new yarn.  I wanted to do a shawl-type thing but realized that all the yellow would be at the nape of my neck like a big egg yolk!  I saw the identical yarn used to knit a scarf called Reverse Psychology and liked the way the yellow can be anywhere you want to drape it.

I can’t wait for next year’s Yarnover – it is just going to get better!

April 14, 2017

From Susan — Take a Breath!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:00 pm

My Breathing Space is finally D O N E !!  It seemed to take forever.  It didn’t help that I started it a couple of times with different contrasting colors (always with the denim blue, but I tried several other stripe colors!!).  My denim is Sun Valley Fibers MCS Fingering (75% Wool – Merino, 15% Goat – Cashmere goat, 10% Silk; 400 yds/115 grams).  The yarn is amazing!!!

Last year at knitting camp I dragged my peeps over and made them vote on a contrast color.  We chose Sun Fibers MCS in a silver gray (quick silver?) to go with the denim.  I like the combination!!  It has a beautiful drape and gorgeous tonality.  You cannot go wrong with this yarn!!

So, you KNOW I did something different with this pattern!  It is in my nature and cannot be avoided!! 😉  I did not want to change the colors along the longer edge, which is what the pattern instructed.  As you may remember, I did not have a good technique at that point for jogless stripes (see this post).

Veera Välimäki has you start and change the color stripes along the “seam line” on the long edge (shown as original method below).  I wondered if you could avoid that :) .

Basically, I started the first stripe where the stripe was supposed to end, knit across the BOR marker to the turning spot.  I did a short row turn, purled back to my start point.  Then I knit the extra sts you were supposed to knit and carried the yarn for the next stripe for those few sts so it was in position.  I then knit the second stripe across all the required sts, turned and purled back, and carried the first color for a few sts to be in position for the next stripe…and so on.

Below you see the details.  The long side without stripe jogs on the left (the little blips are the increases that you do).  The top right is a close up of the short rows on the front, where the yarns were being carried across.  And then the two inside shots — one of the back of the sweater where I did not carry the yarn, and the front side where I did.  From the right side you cannot see any difference.

All the while I was increasing, etc., per the pattern instructions.  The two sides finally met at the “seam” at the short side of the skirt.

At that point I had to deal with the jog, which I described in the same post linked above.

The sweater fits great, but I don’t think it’s all that flattering!  I was hoping that the style would be slimming, but I think it has the opposite effect.  I still wear it frequently because it is a great top to wear in transitional, springtime weather!!



April 2, 2017

From Susan — I Remembered!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:31 pm

Well, more like I was reminded!  A friend brought her finished Forget-Me-Not Shawlette to knitting a couple of weeks ago and reminded me about the kit that I bought at Yarnover, 2015 (upper left corner of this picture):

Linda had knit her shawlette “crescent style.”  She said the instructions were included in her pattern, but they were not in my version.  I faked it and came up with my own crescent Forget-Me-Not:

It is so cute!  I love the colors and love the feel of the fabric.  I hope that when next fall rolls around, I will not forget this little cutie, though it does go with a light blue linen shirt that I wear in the summer!  Fast knit and nice results!

PS to Anne C.:  Anne asked how I wear these small, triangular shawlettes.   It varies depending on their size somewhat.  This one is small and not slippery.   I tied it in the back and let the ends hang down and it stayed in place, but I didn’t wear it very long.  If needed, I think I would pin it invisibly so it would hang down in back and just look tied (not in a full knot).   Kathy W. wore one of these at knitting recently.  She tied the ends in a knot and wore the point slightly to one side — it looked super cute!!

PS2 to Susan — I have made numbers 1, 4, and 5 (there are two 5’s, the StevenBe’s Alchechini — one kit was for Surly and she has not made hers yet!).  Number 4 was this little necklace.  2 & 3 are still marinating!!!

March 28, 2017

From Sally — A Bird in the Hand . . .

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:26 pm

I have nothing grand to share — nothing that will compare with Susan’s last two project posts.  But it’s not a competition, right?

I’m almost finished with a sweater.  I would be wearing that sweater today if I hadn’t been sidetracked by a lovely hat that reminded me of a favorite poem:  Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens.  My favorite stanza is the last (although I love them all).

It was evening all afternoon.   
It was snowing   
And it was going to snow.   
The blackbird sat   
In the cedar-limbs.

My hat has fourteen birds, not thirteen.  Close enough.

The pattern is Passerine designed by Erica Heusser.  I knit it out of two shades of Tosh Merino Light, which I had in my stash:  Well Water and Composition Book Grey.  I love the tonality and the mood the two colors created.  (I only wish the Well Water hadn’t gotten so very thin in a few spots.)

I made a few modifications.  The pattern tells you to cast on with your contrast color and then, on the first row, start 1 x 1 twisted rib using the main color.  I knit one row plain in the main color before starting the ribbing.  The reason for this was to avoid purl bumps in the contrast color — you get a sharper, cleaner line.  The row of plain knit disappears once you start the ribbing.

Next, I used Susan’s invisible stranding technique from her It’s Not About the Hat pattern. One advantage of having Susan as a sister is that she even drew out the extra stitch lines for me.  Thanks, sis!  I also used Susan’s shaping from her free One Day Hat pattern.  I wanted a closer fitting type hat rather than the slouchier look in the original pattern.

As for photos, well, it’s hard to take a picture of a hat on yourself!  So I have one not so great photo.  I’m traveling to meet up with friends tomorrow.  If I can persuade one of them to act as a model, I might be able to get some better pictures.

March 19, 2017

From Susan — A Rose by Any Other Name

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:04 pm

I just finished a beautiful shawl called Osmanthus that is so delicate and pretty — and the color of rose petals.  Knit in Grinning Gargoyle’s MCS Fingering, color Petals (70% Wool – Merino, 20% Silk, 10% Goat – Cashmere goat), it is very soft and luxurious.  The color is almost solid with a slight peachy cast, and periodic flecks of darker pink.  Grinning Gargoyle brings her stunning yarns to Yarnover every year and we make a DASH for her booth!  The colors are spectacular.  I have used her yarn often in the past.

There are pink seed beads through the lower half or so.  Here it is blocking:

It is really huge, and took about 825 yards!  I hope it’s not too big!! 😉

I think it will be a really nice shawl to wear in the spring and in summer with air conditioning.  It screams summer wedding to be honest!  I will for sure take it with me to Washington, DC when I go in May to visit Surly and attend the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival!!

March 11, 2017

From Susan — Worth the Wait

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:02 pm

I am coming up on my second anniversary — as of March 15, it will be two years since I started this sweater!!  Yay!!  Yay for finishing!!  The sweater is Fading Lines, and it is done.  It is  Joji Locatelli design in Pigeonroof Gradient Sock Yarn.

I had high hopes when I started this project.  I got off to a quick start on tiny yarn and tiny needles, but it was too long and clung to my derriere in a very unflattering way.  I set it aside.  Last fall I dragged it out again, made some adjustments, finished up through the collar and again put it aside.  I decided that it would be a great spring sweater so I dragged it out once more…but could not find the pattern (with all of my notes), which was with the bag of yarn.  I found some yarn, but not all of it.  I had purchased one extra skein of the background color as insurance, but it didn’t look the same.  Did not have the same speckly tonality of the rest.  I knew that knitting the sleeves with that yarn would be very noticeable.

I combed the entire house multiple times and never found anything more than the “bad” skein and a couple of very small balls of “good” yarn.  Last week I stumbled onto the pattern: alone, not in a bag, and without the oodles of yarn needed to knit the sleeves. :(  Uh oh.  So, I decided to use the small nerds of “good” yarn as long as I could and then switch to the not-so-good yarn.  It worked!  I got all the way to the garter cuffs in the matching yarn, and so just switched out at the cuffs.  Whew!

My Grade:

Pattern: A
Yarn: A, the gradient colors are strikingly beautiful
Fit: A+ (!!!)
Overall Score: A+

Fit is everything and this fits me the best of almost any sweater I have ever made!  I L O V E it! 😉  Sorry, I could not get any good pictures.

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