theraineysisters knitting and so much more

July 3, 2010

From Sally — String Theory

Filed under: Counterpane Blouse — surly @ 6:22 pm

Hello. Remember me? The other Rainey Sister? I haven’t posted much lately, for which I apologize. I haven’t been doing all that much knitting, and the major piece of knitting I was doing can’t be shared yet. But I do have a finished object to share: my Counterpane Blouse.

As you may remember, I was knitting it out of the specified yarn, Louet’s Euroflax Sport (100% linen). I was even knitting it in the Crabapple color way, just as it was shown in Interweave. (Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?) Well, I will say again that I didn’t enjoy knitting with this yarn. I likened it to unwaxed dental floss. Twine or string if I was being kind. I’m used to my knitting looking fairly decent as I work on it, and I was dismayed at how horrible this looked while being knit. Many of you assured me, however, that it would soften and improve with washing and blocking and as usual you were right. The difference in drape and feel is pretty astonishing. So, I am much happier with this project than I was in the middle of it. I think it will be cute over jeans or cropped linen pants. (Lucy, as usual, eschews the pants.)

What else have I been doing today? Baking Monkey Bread for my son. I make a rich butter dough in my bread machine. After the first rising, I cut the dough into chunks, coat them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and toss them into my Monkey Bread mold to rise again. Then, just before baking, I pour a mixture of melted butter and brown sugar over the dough.

It’s a very low calorie food — for me — since he’s already eaten most of it. Ah, to have the metabolism of an 18-year-old boy.

June 15, 2010

From Sally — Wishing My Sister a Happy Birthday!

Filed under: Back Story,Counterpane Blouse — surly @ 9:24 am


Yes, my big sister celebrates her birthday today!  Susan has always been my guardian angel and protector, my confidante, my best friend, and my favorite knitter.

Please join me in wishing her the happiest of birthdays. I wish we were off on some fabulous knitting jaunt together today, but we aren’t, Blanche.

As for knitting, I have had very little time to knit lately, and the time I have had has been devoted to my stealth knitting. I have managed to pick up my Counterpane Blouse here and there. This is a simple, quick knit. I should have finished it by now, but I haven’t. I like what I’ve got so far, and once it’s washed and blocked so that the yarn softens and the stitches even out, I think I’ll be happy with it. Here are some not-so-great progress shots.

PS From Susan — Thanks for the lovely birthday wishes (and on the right day!!).  I received this card from Dad:


Uh, thanks?!?

The Counterpane is looking great.  I’ll update people on my Alexandria fiasco soon.

May 21, 2010

From Sally — In the Pink

Filed under: Counterpane Blouse — surly @ 5:12 pm

I love pink, as I’ve said here before. I collect pink yarn in all shades but I often just pile it up and admire it. In a surprise move, however, I’ve actually started a bright pink summer project from the summer issue of Interweave Knits. It is the Counterpane Blouse designed by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. I loved the color — pink! — so I’m using the exact yarn called for: Louet’s Euroflax Sport (100% linen) in Crabapple.

Here is where I am in the project at the moment:

It’s not a difficult pattern, but I’m not sure what I think about working with this yarn. I tend to shy away from cottons and linens because I prefer wool and because cotton in particular is not as easy on my hands. This particular yarn feels like unwaxed dental floss when you work with it. It’s also difficult, at least for me, to achieve uniformity in stitch size and appearance, which tends to drive me a little crazy.

Everyone tells me, however, that linen yarn really softens up and has a wonderful drape the more it is washed and worn. I can tell that it has softened up just from being worked with and from having been lightly steamed. So I am cautiously optimistic, and I really like the design.

I’m not sure when I’ll finish it, however, because I’m also working on a bit of a stealth project. It’s not a total secret but I can’t really show photos of it in progress. Fibre Space — a wonderful yarn store in Alexandria, Virginia that I’ve mentioned in the past — asked me to design a baby blanket for their Bundles of Joy club. Subscribers receive the yarn and exclusive pattern for four different baby projects. The blanket features a color that was custom dyed just for the club. I’ve done all of the design work, but I’m still knitting the model. I’ll share it here when I can. They still have spots in the club if you’re interested.

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