theraineysisters knitting and so much more

December 12, 2006

From Susan — Anya was On Me

Filed under: Anya,Updates — lv2knit @ 3:52 pm

I wore Anya all day yesterday at the craft show.  It was very comfortable and soft — like an old shoe.  That’s exactly what I wanted from this sweater.  I was not looking for a fashion-forward, edgy, exotic sweater, but a down-to-earth, wear-it-every-day sweater. 

Thanks to everyone who commented.  What nice people you all are.  I especially like blog surfing on the links you provide with your names.  It’s very nice to see what everyone in knitdom is up to. 

As for me, knitting has not been in the picture.  I am drowning in life, bobbing with my head precariously near the surface, sinking dangerously beneath the churning surf occasionally.  Blub blub.

I have decided that only lists will save me.  If it’s not written down, it will not “get in queue.”  If it is not in queue, it will not become a priority.  If it’s not a priority, it will not get done.  Simple.

I am very glad that Sally already knitted the Moebius Lace Scarf.  She has agreed to lend it to me to serve as the shop sample until I get mine finished (it is on the list, but has not made it to the top of the queue!).  That bought me some very valuable time.

December 10, 2006

From Susan — The Raising of Titanya

Filed under: Anya,Updates — lv2knit @ 11:38 am

I finished Anya (!).  I repeat, I FINISHED ANYA!!

It is not the best, but it is definitely not embarrassing either.  I just could not stand the thought of being beaten by a sweater!  I wet blocked it — blocking the bajeezers (sp?) out of the sleeves.  I sewed it together yesterday and finished the neckband last evening.  I kind of like the way the neck turned out.  I am still not totally happy with the sweater, but it is wearable.  I have a few last touches and then FINIS!!

Here is a close up of the neckband, which looks a bit squished because this picture is from my scanner:


I do like the way the neck turned out.  With this type of neckline (mock turtleneck), there is often a problem: when it’s big enough to go over your head, it looks too big when it’s on.  I developed a bind off technique that helps with this — at least I think I developed it, because I have not seen it anywhere. 

Susan’s Elastic Bind Off:

K1, *k1, YO, slip first 2 sts over YO; rep from * until 1 sts remains on LH needle, bind off normally. 
NOTE: When you do the YOs, hold the yarn across the needle to the back so the other sts have something to be slipped over.

I usually work this from the WS, not in pattern but as to knit (as shown in the picture).  The bound off edge has a slight stretch so it goes over your head easier.  I know many people use EZ’s sewn bind off to get a stretchy BO edge, but this yarn does not like being pulled through anything (as I found out during the mattress seam phase!).

Here is a close up of the sleeve cuff:


I crocheted a chain to weave through the cuff at the point where it hits the wrist to tighten it — I wanted it to definitely look like a ruffle and not like I have the world’s longest sleeves.  The sleeves are the perfect length — they are just too narrow — and I added 8 sts to the pattern.  The sleeves for all sizes were the same (?!) and very small at that.  I also do not like how the raglan turned out at the top (my fault).  I should have fixed it, but I did not feel like taking it apart at that point. 

It is wearable.  It’s kind of cute, but not great.  What more can you expect from salvaged goods?


December 4, 2006

From Susan — Titanya

Filed under: Anya — lv2knit @ 11:25 pm

Thanks to Carol and Marina for their words of support and encouragement: much like the smiles and cheers of those left waving good-bye on the dock as the Titanic set sail.  And my Titanya has suffered the same fate — disaster.   It is true.  My Titanya has failed to make landfall.  Blub-blub-blub.  Can she be salvaged?  Only time will tell.

When Sally and I started our blog, I was excited to join the knitting community and share my knitting progress and successes.  I had not counted on the fact that I would also be sharing my flops, failures and UFOs.  They are all part of the bargain, but I had kind of forgotten about them — placing them gently on the back burner in my enthusiasm.   Well, here’s one on the front burner! 

What sank Titanya?  It is ill fitting in so many ways.  After my careful measuring and knitting, it looks absolutely awful.  I basted it together prior to blocking because I wanted to see if the sleeves were the right length (ironically, the only thing that worked!).  It looks like it-shay.   It might improve with major wet blocking, but to be honest, the wind just got knocked out of my sails.  I think it is going to UFO Purgatory.  Whether it resurfaces or not remains to be seen. 

So, it is on to my next wreck – er – project.  I am going to make a lace scarf for a class I will teach in January, so I need to get it finished fairly soon.  AND, it needs to turn out.


The pattern is from Fiber Trends (AC-39), Moebius Lace Scarf.  Sally made this in pale pink Kid Silk Haze, and it is beautiful.  I’m going to use Kid Silk Night, color Starlight Beige, which is a soft gray-beige with a silver shimmer.  

Wish me luck as I set sail on another venture — I’m not afraid to get my feet wet again! 😉

12-5: Additional note: the Starlight Beige does not appear to be working — I think the silver thread changes the texture of the yarn (makes it a little stiffer) so you don’t get the proper drape.  Uh oh!  I hope there isn’t an iceberg on the horizon!!

From Susan — Anya is on its way

Filed under: Anya,Current Projects,Updates — lv2knit @ 8:33 am

I finished Sleeve #1 and have about an hour left of Sleeve #2.  I will steam block the pieces tonight and start sewing it together, though I might not get that finished today (I usually wetblock everything, but I want to see if the sleeves are right first).  I then need to pick up and knit the neckband. 

This weekend, I kept getting tempted with new and recently acquired projects, but I stood fast and resisted!  Up to this point, I caved.  That’s why it has taken so long to finish this very simple and quick-to-knit project!

Depending on all the forces of good and evil, three options remain: 1) it’s perfect — wear it; b) it fits great, but needs to be wetblocked; c) the sleeves need length tweeking.  I’ll deal with the reality of the moment and then voila, Anya will be history — this week for sure! 

December 2, 2006

From Susan — On the Road to Anya

Filed under: Anya,Current Projects,Updates — lv2knit @ 9:22 am

I am so excited because I am actually making some progress on something.  It seems like it’s been a long time since I could make that claim.  My first sleeve is done up to the raglan shaping.  I have several inches on the second.  The problem with “pulling the trigger” on the raglan shaping is that it will determine the length of the sleeves.  I have measured and thought and calculated, etc.  I always worry about this anyway, and sleeve length is harder to figure out with a raglan.  This is because it is difficult to tell how much drop there is to the armhole. 

I have measured the length provided by the top of the raglan (it is the same as the front and back) and measured from where I think the neckline will start down to my wrist. 

Total length – raglan portion = remaining sleeve, n’est-ce pas?

30″ – 10″ = 20″   Not the toughest math problem (Look, Ma, no calculator!!).  If the sleeve gods are appeased it should work out.  There is the added ruffle portion of the sleeves, but I am going to let that fall coquettishly over my delicate hands.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the “purl problem.”  I would be interested in hearing from “lefties” (Continental — pickers) knitters and “righties” (English-style knitters — throwers) to see if the problem is more prevalent with either style of knitting.  My observation of knitters over the years has given me an opinion, but I’d like to see if it bears out.

Some of you suggested using two different needles — a smaller size for the purl row.  I did try this years ago, but since only the first few sts of my purl row were affected, it over compensated.  I’m with Lorraine (and puh-lease check out her sock monkeys!!), I would probably go over the edge if I had to keep different needle sizes straight, though Sally did suggest KnitPicks needle sets as an option.

You may have noticed that I did not mention going to my Thursday night knit group.  :(  My sadness is overwhelming.  I stayed too late at work.  My new resolution (and I am not waiting for the New Year) is to leave work on time and get to my knitting group.  I need my peeps!!  I added it as a permanent appointment on my Outlook calendar.  I’m going to treat it as a medical need. 😉


November 28, 2006

From Susan — Red Anya Returns!

Filed under: Anya,Current Projects,Updates — lv2knit @ 1:45 am

I have some knitting mojo back!  I forced myself back into my Anya sweater, having gotten to a part on the front requiring a small amount of brain power.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.  Almost every knitter gets stuck when thinking or calculating becomes involved.  It’s not that I only want to do mindless knitting — I would go crazy doing nothing but straight stockinette or garter and nothing else.  BUT, when I need to stop and figure something out, it can put the brakes on a project and even be fatal.

In case you forgot what Anya looks like, (mine has raglan shaping):


Because I am very committed to wearing this bad boy, I pushed onward.  After ten minutes of calculating, the front did not take very long to finish.  So, I got to start the sleeves — and I love them!  I love the little ruffle-like edge at the bottom.  I did have to do some figuring because I am adjusting the size, but was so inspired that it did not slow me down.  I really love the yarn and hope to be wearing this in the next week or two.


Very fun knitting.  I wish I had more time to knit.  This is such a busy time of year — fun, but crazy!!

October 27, 2006

From Susan — redanya

Filed under: Anya,Current Projects — lv2knit @ 9:06 pm

I have been working on my two latest projects: Anya and the Vogue Lace Top.  Lace Top front is done, back is done, sleeve #1 is started.  It would be great if I could get it completely finished this weekend so I can move on to other things.  Yes, I constantly think about the next one in queue, or the next step (how will I finish the top edge?) as I am knitting.  I think I kind of drive myself crazy.

Anyway, here is a picture of my mindless, on-the-go knitting:


I absolutely love the yarn and know I will love the sweater.  I am fashioning it after a sweater that I wear all the time due to its loose fit and comfort.  I always feel good wearing the thing.  But I can’t wear it EVERY day, so I’m making its fraternal twin in this gorgeous, soft, beautiful, deep red yarn.  Sally and I are both in love with red at the moment.

The only change I will make is to convert it into a raglan — I really like raglans!  Raglans are very nice to knit and sew up because a mattress seam is virtually invisible.  I’m just about to the point of the raglan shaping on the back.  I sure hope I get some knittin’ time this weekend.  THAT is the definition of a good weekend!


October 22, 2006

From Susan — Some Knitting for a Change

Filed under: Anya,Current Projects — lv2knit @ 12:15 pm

Have you gotten the latest Vogue Knitting?  It has a red scarf on the cover that is very pretty but looks like a lot of effort for a scarf.  Inside is another in their series of gorgeous white camies.  I fell in love with this one for my daughter:


And started it yesterday:


What fun knitting — rather addictive, really.  It doesn’t hurt that I am making the extra small, which is tres petite for my tres petite daughter.  I have never made a lace shawl with tiny yarn like this.  This is a great introduction to it and not as difficult as I thought it would be. 

I am using a Douceur et Soie/Kidsilk Haze knock off called Ovation from the SRK Collection.  Absolutely wonderful to work with.  The back got done in one day — how long do you estimate the rest to take me?  You know how it goes: lots of activity and then a rapid slow down.  My hands, arms, and shoulders are in pain from doing too much yesterday.  But I’ll try to keep up the pace.

I also bought some yarn for one of those sweaters that you make to wear — a lot.  The pattern is Anya from Jo Sharp.


Her Silkroad Aran Tweed is very expensive but I bought the identical yarn called Katmandu in color Plum (I say identical because it is from the same mill and has the same look, gauge, and composition: 85% merino, 10% silk, 5% cashmere).   I can’t start it until I finish the little lace top for Jena — m  u  s  t    k  n  i  t  !    !    !    !

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