theraineysisters knitting and so much more

March 1, 2017

From Sally — Better Late Than Never?

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 12:12 pm

I’m posting two finished projects over the next few days.  One is a vest, I finished some time ago.  I shared it in our Ravelry Group, but neglected to share it here.  The second project is a Christmas gift for my son.  He asked me to knit him a sweater several Christmases ago.  I finally put it in the mail yesterday.  (Such a bad mother.)

First up:  Nancy’s Vest, another design by Carol Sunday.  I used her 3-ply Angelic yarn in the color Smoke.  I absolutely love the drape and feel of the fabric produced by this yarn.  I definitely need to knit a full sweater out of it — so soft and cozy.

I made very few modifications to this.  I used a slightly different tubular cast on than Carol’s.  My other change was to the back neck.  The button bands of the vest are knit as you go; then the band is extended across the back and grafted.  Instead of grafting the neckband at the center of the back, I knit one side longer and grafted it at the shoulder so it would be less noticeable.  (Because you’re off half a stitch, I knew the purl stitches wouldn’t line up perfectly.)

The tubular cast on:

February 26, 2017

From Susan — Hat Trick

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:17 pm

Can someone love something TOO much??  John L O V E D the Dala Hat.  Loved.  It.  So much so that he envisioned me cranking these out like a little “Dala Hat factory” for all of his friends!!  He convinced me that two particular people were Dala Hat worthy: 1) the guy who keeps winning the Mora Vasaloppet, and 2) a guy who has skied every Mora Vasaloppet that has ever been.  Okay.  But consider this the world’s biggest favor!!  Unfortunately he only mentioned the one hat prior to me going to my LYS for yarn, which meant a second trip. :(

The yarn I used for John’s hat (Arbor) was not only very expensive ($13.25/skein) but also not washable.  I just couldn’t see sending a poor little hat out into the wild that could not survive improper care.  So, I used Rowan Pure Wool Superwash DK (colors Kiss, Navy, and Flint for hat #1, and Clay for hat #2).  I really struggled choosing between the Flint (gray) and the Clay (tan) my first go-around at the shop.  So I ended up making one of each, and preferred the clay.  John’s hat used a clay color, but lighter.

Superwash just doesn’t block as well as regular wool, but wearing a hat stretches out the knitting irregularities so they should look okay when worn.  That’s what I did this weekend instead of going to the Birkie!  The race was cancelled, but John drove up with a buddy for the festivities and to hunt for snow farther north.

February 20, 2017

From Susan — A Horse of a Different Color

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:54 am

This post is just a quickie update to the one I wrote last week about my husband’s XC skiing antics.  I was shown a free Dala Hat pattern that was just too perfect for my Dala winner.  I used BT Arbor yarn for the hat.  I liked knitting with the Arbor, but when I wet blocked it, the red color ran.  There is slight discoloration remaining right next to the red sts in the hat.  Not very noticeable, but disappointing.

It’s his birthday Wednesday, so this will be a cute little present for him.  The “big race” is supposed to be next weekend (American Birkebeiner, aka “The Birkie”), but the temps have been record breaking in the 50’s and 60’s!!  He is revved up to go, but it may not even happen!  Bummer!

PS regarding the red color: it really isn’t bad enough to bother with.  If red dye starts running down John’s face I may do something about it!! 😉

PS to Caryl — I actually did knit it in one day!  Well, over a 24 hour period with sleep, etc. in there, too!

PS to Marla — Yay!  Go for it and then share your FO on The Rainey Sisters Ravelry Group!

February 15, 2017

From Susan — It’s a Birthday!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:01 am

Yes, it is that time again…and that picture again!!  I am recycling (you know: reduce, reuse, recycle!!).

The tiny munchkin in the picture is my lil sissie, Surly.  She is still a tiny munchkin and still my lil sissie.  She is my friend and defender.  She is my confidante.  She also gives me grief from time to time, but that’s okay, because she feels bad afterward and I probably deserved it!  😉

February 14, 2017

From Both of Us with L O V E ! !

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 9:34 am

February 12, 2017

From Susan — Bursting with Pride

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:25 am

Yesterday my DH skied in the 56 km Mora Vasaloppet Cross Country Ski Race and won his age group by 20 minutes!!  Way to go!!  We added another Dala horse to our mantel.  When he finished he said he could have kept skiing but last night he said his legs were sore… 😉

I finished the knitting of my Anguli Cowl.  It is still wet and blocking:

You seam the short ends, which are at the center back neck.  I am 99% positive that the seam will look hideous!!  It’s funny that the cowl looks so wrinkled in the picture but not so in real life.  Hmmm.

PS to Suzan: You are not the only one that likes the snow leopard print!  John gets comments at every race!

PS2 to Kathy: I added a 2-stitch i-cord to the left edge.

PS3: Here is the final cowl.  It looks cute in the picture but it is bulky at the back neck and seems smallish.  Not sure about it… :(

PS to Nancy — it’s not really the seam but the bunching of the fabric that makes it bulky.  It’s okay!  I haven’t really worn it for real.  Just on Lettie!

PS2 to Nancy — wore it; loved it!  Very comfortable!

PS to Julie — I love the idea of buttons on the back edge!!

February 7, 2017

From Susan — Take a Breath

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:07 am

We are in the final lap of winter doldrums!  No snow here but expecting ICE today!  Ish.

I started a small cowl last night to inject something old and something new into my knitting.  It is the Anguli Cowl:

The “old” part is that I am using the leftover yarn from my Leap Year Cardigan.  I thought the cowl would be cute worn with the cardi!!

I am also working on my very own Breathing Space:

My yarn is from Sun Valley Fibers – a merino, cashmere, silk mix.  O, yeah!  I am absolutely loving it.  I finally found a jogless stripe method that I like.  More on that later!  😉


January 31, 2017

From Sally — Bzzzzzzzz

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:57 pm

Susan and I seem to have a gray and yellow thing going on.  I finally — after a long hiatus — just finished my Breathing Space by Veera Välimäki which I’ve affectionately nicknamed Killer Bee.  I knit it out of Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply in a dark gray called Pewter and Madelinetosh Pashmina in Candlewick.

The Candlewick was a Christmas gift from my son and so I only had one skein.  It wasn’t enough; I did have to find another one.  The second skein was brighter and less ochre.  I preferred the darker skein but what do you do?  You can see the brighter yellow near the hem and on the lower part of the sleeves.

The two yarns were somewhat of a mismatch.  The Miss Babs is thinner with a springy, tight twist.  I hated how the sweater looked while I was knitting it — loose, sloppy.  A disaster!  I should have used two more similar yarns but once I got to a certain place I didn’t want to start over.  And never have I had so much trouble picking up sleeve stitches.  I was so discouraged that I threw it in a corner and ignored it for months.

I drove myself crazy trying to eliminate the jogs caused by the stripes (which is complicated by the short rows being done at the same time).  I tried many methods and wasn’t completely sold on any of them.  In a burst of frustration, I split the sleeves and knit them flat.  It’s the only way I made myself finish knitting this.

I’m so glad I made myself finish it, however.  Now I wonder why I was so unhappy!

It fits perfectly and once blocked, the fabric has a lovely drape.   It is very wearable.  My husband LOVES it.  He’s rarely so enthusiastic about something I’ve knit unless it’s for him.  Not the best photos.  It looks cuter on but I have no way to get a photo so you’ll have to use your imaginations.

January 25, 2017

From Susan — It’s About Leapin’ Time!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:42 pm

Man, I have been slogging away on this sweater for what seems like forever.  It is the Leap Year Cardigan by Suvi Simola.  It was a lot of knitting, and re-knitting.  Sally bought me the yarn last year on my birthday, so I really wanted to make good on such a wonderful and generous gift.  The yarn is Cumbria Fingering from the Fibre Company (60% Merino, 30% Masham, 10% Mohair, 328 yards/100 grams) in Hadrian’s Wall (charcoal) and Buttermere (acid yellow).  The mohair and masham made me keep thinking that my sweater was full of dog hair, but I think it was just part of the yarn!

So, it’s done and cute and it fits.  But that is the end of the story.  It was a long road to get here.  The pattern had “issues.”  When you look at the pattern’s main picture, you can see that the shoulders fit funny:

Several people mentioned that the sweater feels like it is falling off the shoulders toward the back.  I started the sweater and the front raglan line went across the top of my shoulders, almost in the position of a shoulder seam!  I almost threw in the towel…but Sally had given me the yarn and I liked the design.

Basically I reworked the cardigan by lowering the position of the front raglans.  In the original pattern, the front raglan line originates at the point of the color change from yellow to gray.  I lengthened my collar a bit in the revised version, so it would have been back even farther on my first go around.

All my mods are written out HERE to help others!!

This picture is the original attempt – shown on top of a raglan sweater that fits me well.   See where the raglan is (red marker) compared to the blue sweater underneath??

This is the final result:

The other major mod was to the collar.  I did not want the visible lines along the center back neck.

I believe the lines are there to mask the change in knitting direction.  However, by simply knitting the collar in one piece, the change in knitting direction occurs where the MC starts and is virtually invisible — see right side of the sweater below (left side of picture) where the gray starts.  I think it is much less noticeable than having the lines in the back, but some may like them as a design feature.

Several people added little pockets at the hemline and I thought they were cute!  Not sure how practical mine are!!

I am really pleased with the final outcome and glad to put it to rest.  Thanks, Surly!!! :)

PS:  I do like the yarn quite a bit!  Nancy thought this would be cute with a denim shirt.  I bought some fabric already to make a shirt in anticipation of finishing the sweater!  It is not matchy matchy, but I think it goes well!  Now, I just have to do the sewing!  😉

January 24, 2017

From Both of Us — And the Winner is…

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 9:48 pm

Marie!  Yay, Marie!!  We finally connected and she was thrilled to win Drop-Dead Easy Knits (now only $13 on Amazon!)!

And you may already be a wiener only if your name is Marie… 😉

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