theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 23, 2007

From Susan — The Minnesota State Fair is HERE

OMG — check out this Big Guy from the Minnesota State Fair:

WhattaBoar.jpg picture by lv2knit

I’ll try not to boar you any longer!  I just had to go to the Fair today, come rain or shine (it was VERY rainy 🙁 ) and despite the fact that I was sick.  I had entered multiple knitted items in the fair and needed wanted to know how they did.  Attending on the first day is a ritual for me.

Okay.  I am just going to spill it, and you can decide for yourself if I am as big a pig as my friend here, but I entered ten things in the fair. They all received ribbons: 6 first place, 3 second place and 1 third. I also won the Sweepstakes. 

So, what did I enter?  Here are two items: My silk Diamond Fantasy Shawl and Camilla Gloves:

DFSandGloves.jpg picture by lv2knit
I entered the gloves last year and got 2nd place.  If you do not get a blue ribbon, you can re-enter the item. I should have quit while I was ahead ;).  I was extremely pleased that the shawl won something because I did not expect it at all.

I also put in the little lace top from Vogue Knitting that I made for my youngest daughter:

VogueLaceTop.jpg picture by lv2knit
She won’t even wear it, but at least it got a ribbon!

Next are a pair of socks I made right before the fair.  I wasn’t sure that they would win anything because so many very talented people knit socks…lots and lots of socks — they did get second place even though you can’t see the ribbon:

Socks.jpg picture by lv2knit
The pattern is from “More Sensational Socks” and they are knitted with Fortissima Socka Bamboo in Color 07 Ocean.

I also threw in one of my Lace Tams for the heck of it and was stunned it got a BLUE ribbon:

LaceTam.jpg picture by lv2knit
It is knit in Rowan Silk Wool DK.

I finally got the zipper sewn into Eris and it received a blue ribbon:

EriswithRibbon.jpg picture by lv2knitEris.jpg picture by lv2knit
I struggled mightily with the zipper pulls.  I cut off the ones that came with the zipper — perhaps an OOPS! — and then made 457 attempts at “pretty” zipper pulls.  It was crazy. I finally ended up using some beads I already had and attached them with wire wrapping.

My Peacock Shawl did very well and I was surprised and very pleased about that.  I know a lot of people knit fabulous shawls so I knew the competition would be tough:

PeacockShawl.jpg picture by lv2knit

The Modular Tote also did well:

ModularTote.jpg picture by lv2knit

Another total surprise was Ballerina.  I finished Ballerina last year but did not have a category to put it into, so I entered it this year in the plain knitting cardigan category.

Ballerina.jpg picture by lv2knit
You can see it also won the knitter’s Guild Award, but I have no idea how that is determined.  And I’m not sure what it means either! 

When I got into the building I started looking for my things and could not find Oregon anywhere.  It was not in any of the main knitting cases.  Sometimes they place knitting in odd places as part of a theme (i.e., Norwegian Sweaters with rosemaling, etc.), so I started searching high and low. I found Oregon between two gorgeous quilts:

OregonSweepstakes.jpg picture by lv2knit
Oregon surpassed all my expectations.  I was hoping it would do well because it was such a thorn in my side for so long and was so darned much work!!  I was beside myself!  It was thrilling to see those ribbons, I must admit.

I was equally thrilled to see that my dear friend, Kim, won a blue ribbon for her gorgeous Cats and Mice mini-afghan:

KimsBlankie.jpg picture by lv2knit
When I got there, the little cats were standing on their heads, so I asked them to flip it around — and they did!  I knew this darling blankie would do well.  I’m so proud of Kim.  It is an Alice or Jade (?) Starmore design.

I’m also VERY proud of my friend Linda who won second place for her cookies. 

LGsCookies.jpg picture by lv2knit 
She is a great cook and very deserving!  The only bummer was that my other friend did not get a ribbon for her ethnic bread, but she will try again next year.

Now, could I do a state fair post and leave out the infamous Sock Monkeys — au contraire, mes amies!  Our lil sock monkey fiend friend has been hard at work all year exploiting perfecting the sock monkey concept:

SockMonkeyChair.jpg picture by lv2knit
And perhaps more practical for you:

SockMonkeyHat.jpg picture by lv2knit

All in all a great time — until I got laryngitis.  I mentioned that I was sick and it did go into my chest/throat.  I hope this bout is shorter than last time (a full week!). 

I’m sure by now you are thoroughly bored, but are you as boared as this 1200 pounder?

Boar.jpg picture by lv2knit

And I know what you are thinking — yes, they are HUGE!!

April 3, 2007

From Susan — Picture This….

Filed under: Back Story,Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 11:21 pm

Geez it’s tough to get good pictures!  The color of this sweater is NOT orange.  Really!  But you get the idea, I guess.  And thanks to all of you for your incredibly supportive comments — you’re uplifting lil suckers!


I decided to name my mannequin “Lettie” after my Grandma.  I am named for my grandma.  Her name was Lettie Sue.  The hat I named “Aubrey” is named for my Uncle Bug and Great Uncle Jim — both really named Aubrey.  As you can tell, our family is WEIRD.  But I digress.

Okay, back to Oregon and cheesecake shots of her busty self on Lettie.


When it is on, the neck does not “ripple” like that either.

Here is a flat picture (no comments from the peanut gallery, please — and you know who you are!).


The next picture shows the part of the ribbing/zipper or button placement that can make you pull out your hair!  When you pick up the front bands in corregated ribbing, you need to make sure that they are picked up identically on both sides so that the OTHER stripes match — the stripes in the main pattern of the body.  You need to figure out exactly where the two knit sts will fall on every body stripe.  I didn’t get that carried away: I just made sure the ribbing matched at the boldest horizontal stripes in the body pattern.  I knew it would be especally noticeable because of the bands meeting in the center.  The color is very true in this, a scanned picture:


So it’s a wrap!!

And last and lovingly not least, is a beautiful picture of Lettie, known to all as Sue.



PS — I left Oregon at home to keep Lettie warm, so I can’t wear it tonight to see Yarn Harlot — the windchill is below zero 🙁

April 2, 2007

From Susan — Eight Months and It’s Over

Filed under: Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 11:20 pm

Oregon is done.  It is done.  Finished.  Complete.  Nothing left to do.  No stitches on needles.  No zippers to sew.  No steeks to cut.  I am in shock and awe.  I never thought it would happen!  I started this “project” at the end of July, 2006 and finished it this evening at 10 pm central time. 

Honestly, it was the thing that would not die.  I worked on it tirelessly, endlessly and tediously.  I cannot express the relief that it is O-V-E-R.  I feel like I gave birth.

I will post a picture tomorrow — I’m too sick and tired to photograph it tonight.

The final score?  On a scale from 1-10, I would give it a 7.  Why the 3-point deduction?

Point 1 deducted for yarn: I really prefer Jamieson Shetland for fair isle.  It has a harder finish, smaller gauge and does not “loft out” when wet blocked.  Also, AS’s yarn is nubby/thick & thin.  It is hard to get nice even sts when the yarn itself is uneven.

Point 2 deducted for fit:  I should have made it one size bigger and 1-2 inches longer.  Can I wear it?  Yes, but it feels skimpy.  [Note to self: if you HAD made it bigger, you would still be knitting on it, so shut up! 😉 ].

Point 3 deducted for return on investment: For the time put into this project, it should be absolutely, drop-dead stunningly, jaw-droppingly gorgeous.  It is very nice, but not as nice as it should be for the time invested.

Anyway, I am now ready and able to move on to the next….BIG thing!  Woo hoo!



March 26, 2007

From Susan — Answers…

Filed under: Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 9:18 pm

…to your questions. 

I did indeed change the look of Oregon from V-neck caridgan to a zippered jacket style.  Part of the decision was because of the weight and feel of the knitted fabric.  It just said “jacket” to me.  Can’t be helped; the sweater has spoken.  Also, when it said ‘jacket’ it also whispered “zipper” under its breath.  It did not take much calculating to make the changes, but it sure took a lot of knitting.  The neckband alone was 27 rows.

AuntieAnn asked about how I do the corrugated rib.  I do it the same as anyone else: k2 (color A), p2 (color B).  It is very slow and tedious, like regular ribbing, but you are also switching colors (every 2 sts) and changing colors (every few rows).  I did spend a lot of time trying to decide on the colors for the neck ribbing because there wasn’t anything that long in the pattern and I wanted it to match the front bands.  I ended up just mirroring the bottom ribbing and not matching the front bands at the point where they attach to the sweater.

The reason the fronts and neck are still on holders is because I am doing an i-cord bind off (2 or 3 st — haven’t decided yet) along the front edges, to frame the zipper and then binding off the neck in-between in one step. 

There you have it!

More answers to more questions:

The collar will stand up — not be folded up or down — so the right side of the ribbing will show (kind of a mock turtleneck).

The pattern came with the yarn from Virtual Yarns.  The original pattern is long out of print and virtually impossible to find.

From Susan — Alive and Kicking

Filed under: Eris Cardigan,Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 3:39 pm

I’ve been flying under the radar the last few days, but getting some progress made on both Oregon and Eris.  Marina kind of inspired me when she asked about the zipper for Oregon, so I knitted up all the bands this weekend.  That means Oregon is almost a fait accomplis! 


Eris is my take along.  I am over halfway done with Sleeve Number One.  I bought a new pattern off the internet this weekend and if I find the right yarn, I’ll share it. 

March 7, 2007

From Susan — Another Trip to Oregon

Filed under: Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 12:19 pm

Thanks to all for your congratulatory comments and best wishes AND for registering for the contest.  We will have another reminder next week, but have also provided a link in the upper right hand corner to sign up for the fabulous prize drawings.

Now, back to knitting!

A few days ago, Charm asked for some progress pics of my second sleeve.  I regret that I am unable to comply BECAUSE THE SECOND SLEEVE IS DONE!!!!  No more inch-by-inch pictures as it moves along at a glacial pace!  I worked on it the entire Snow Day (last Friday) and finished all but the ribbing, which I completed last Saturday morning.  I knitted until my arms and shoulders screamed!  Owie! 🙁

Here is Oregon with TWO SLEEVES!


Now what, you might ask?  I was thinking that I should just motor along and keep going, but I am so sick and tired of this project, I need to back off for a while.  I will return to it soon, but I just can’t make myself do it today!  I have a small, quick project in mind and if I can get the pattern today, I will start immediately!! 

Eris is going well, also.  I am a smidge away from starting the shirt-tail shaping.  I’ll talk more about our changes to the pattern once that is underway.

In answer to Alison — I am very embarrassed to admit this, but I do not do my two-color fair isle knitting with both hands.  I am a thrower (not a picker) and therefore carry my yarn in my right hand.  I drop the yarn and pick up the second color.  I can do two-handed knitting, but with fair isle I have found that I cannot spread out the just-knit sts as easily (to prevent puckering) AND hold the yarn in both hands at the same time — or chew gum for that matter! ;) 

February 17, 2007

From Susan — Thanks for the Comments…

Filed under: Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 10:37 am

…on my Oregon Sleeve excitement.  Some of you may have wondered why I needed to figure any of this out — doesn’t the pattern lay it all out for you?  It should and Alice does.  She will instruct you to start the armhole steek on Round #x and pick up the sleeve with a certain color to do the patterning.

The problem is if you need to adjust the pattern OR if you are even fussier than AS herself and have a particular way you want it to lay out.  I needed to add 3.5″ to the sleeve length (which I hope is enough, but will also rely on blocking).  Also, AS did not line up the sleeve stripes.  If you don’t start the sleeve at the same round as the body ended, the stripes will not line up.  This may not matter to everyone, but I thought, if I can do it the “right” way, why not? 

I did not get anything done last night — I went to bed before 10 pm and got up after 8 am.  I was so frickin’ tired!  Today I may do a bit more or start something new.  Sometimes the sheer effort of starting a new project will keep me plugging away at the old, boring and familiar.

February 16, 2007

From Susan — Stripes

Filed under: Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 10:09 am

This is the part of knitting that I find exciting when it works (“What a gripping life you must lead.”) and extremely frustrating when it doesn’t.  All the planets need to align when knitting fair isle stripes:

1) body length = 25-1/2 inches (determines where the armhole steek starts because the armhole depth must be reasonable)
2) sleeve length = 21-1/2 inches (AS has unnaturally short arms and mine are unnaturally long)
3) the start of the sleeve pattern is 100% determined by the armhole placement (last body round before armhole opening = first round of sleeve)
4) the END of the sleeve MUST match the pattern at the bottom of the sweater = the large leaf border plus ribbing.

In other words, the sleeve had to be one exact length AND start on one particular row AND end on one particular row — no substitutions and FEW opportunities for fudging.  And I wanted the sleeve to start at a good spot (the bold red/navy stripe).  About the only fudging I could do would be on the ribbing.  With a pattern repeat of 48 rounds, there is very little wiggle room — any change would add or subtract ~4″ to the sleeve length (though I could maybe stop in the middle of a main pattern repeat — still 2″).

Anyway, all the planets DID align — perfectly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


As you can see, the sleeve matches up perfectly.  It is the exact length I wanted (21.5″).  All the stripes match, even though there is an additional repeat in the sleeve to attain length. 


I did adjust the placement of my steek to guarantee that the planets would align.  Thank goodness the shoulder placement did not matter or that could have screwed up the whole thing. 

This background planning is the kind of thing that people don’t “see” when they look at your knitting.  They don’t realize how much time is spent poring over row gauge and stripe placement and sleeve planning.  But it sure bugs ME when I don’t get it right.

Thanks for letting me share the back story.  Non-knitters (and probably 99% of you!) glaze over when I talk about this stuff!! 😉


February 13, 2007

From Susan — Rib It Rib It

Filed under: Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 8:51 am

No, I am not ripping out, I am ribbing the sleeve!  I can’t believe I’ll get this sleeve done today.  Picture to follow!

February 11, 2007

From Susan — Can you stand another…

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Oregon Cardigan — lv2knit @ 11:02 am

…post about my &^%$##%&*&%$ Oregon sleeve?  Oh, good!

Which would you rather deal with (in terms of weaving in ends), this:


or this?


My thoughts exactly!  When you knit a fair isle cardigan, you join new colors at the center front.  The ends get cut off in the “cutting the steek” phase, so you don’t need to worry about them.  However, for pullovers and sleeves, there is no cutting so there is no trimming so the ends need to be dealt with somehow.  Some people simply tie the ends together and trim them short.  Others weave them in.  I WAS a weaver, until my last fair isle when I became a partial splicer.

With Rona I spliced the colors that had gradual changes — you can see from the picture that some changed like water colors and other color changes were very abrupt.  For abrupt changes, you can do a Russian Join, but that can be very time consuming.  I wish I had taken the time!  When I turned my sleeve inside out, it looked like the picture above — LOTS of ends!!

This time I am splicing every color change, even if it is somewhat abrupt.  I don’t care if the splices look like a candy cane!  I made a very conscious decision to not give a rip.  Here is what the under sleeve looks like:


I don’t think you can tell that the colors are spliced.  So, I am very happy now and will be REALLY happy when this puppy gets done, if that ever happens ;).  The dog hair that shows up in every picture comes free of charge.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress