theraineysisters knitting and so much more

February 22, 2009

From Sally — Ode to Spring

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 4:34 pm

It’s windy and cold here today. We even had a passing snow flurry this morning. So it’s a perfect day to turn one’s thoughts to spring, especially if long stretches of knitting tiny black stitches has become wearing.

That being said, I finally finished my Ode to Joy cardigan. The knitting of this piece was finished months ago. I just hadn’t been able to force myself to do the final finishing, especially weaving in ends and sewing on buttons. I hate sewing on buttons for some reason. I even batted my eyelashes at my sister in January and tried to get her to do it for me. It didn’t work. Yesterday, I wove in the ends. This morning, I tackled the buttons. (There were only three. How much whining does it take to sew on three buttons? Apparently lots.)

There was one legitimate issue with sewing on these buttons, in addition to the many issues that always come up (proper placement, deciding whether the shank is long enough, etc.). They are square buttons, and my intention had been to place them so that they “sat” on the sweater as squares instead of being turned so that they look like diamonds. The problem was that the way the shank was affixed to the button made that very difficult.

The buttons kept wanting to turn. I finally relented and just placed them as they insisted.

Lucy wants to know whether from the back she looks like a linebacker. (I told her no; don’t shatter her dream):

A Few Ending Points:

1. I’m trying to decide whether I will ever wear this without buttoning the buttons. If not, I may lightly baste the button band down to keep it from gapping slightly. (One tip: if you ever do that, sew it down where the outside edge of the band with the buttons sewn to it meets the inside edge of the buttonhole band. That way, the visible outer edge on top will look as if its been buttoned and not sewn.)

2. I had talked about lengthening the sweater considerably, but I didn’t. I made the lower band deeper and I blocked it somewhat longer. If you wanted to make this significantly longer, and wanted to keep the color shading, I figured out how. The problem was that I was past the point when I could have done so by the time I figured it out.

If you look at the back of the sweater, you’ll see that the pieces making it up are the same “height” as the matching front pieces but are twice as wide. That was done by casting on twice as many stitches, but doing two lines of decreases (forming the decorative triangle). If I had thought ahead, I could have started the front by making a third piece (which would have been the first piece I knitted). I would have cast on the same number of stitches, but done the two lines of decreases, roughly figuring out the color transitions on the fly. My basic front pieces are 8″ long; that would have given me a 4″ piece — plenty of extra length. On the back, I would have had to do four lines of decreases (creating two decorative triangles on the bottom piece).

All of that assumes I would have had enough extra yarn AND that the new triangle and double triangle pieces would still have looked cute. Who knows? I’ve probably lost you all by now anyway.

Someone asked me recently about my Little Assistant. He’s been visiting me since mid-November. I’ve become insanely attached to him and will blubber like a baby when he leaves, which will be soon. He’s taking a nap next to me right now.

July 30, 2008

From Sally — Where in the World Have I Been?

Filed under: Paisley Long Shawl,Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 2:59 pm

Whew. I’m back and I finally have a computer. We went on a long drive cross-country to see my parents, my daughter (and my little assistant), and my husband’s family. Too much driving — once was definitely enough. We did have some fun along the way.

That wasn’t the most exciting part of our trip. That honor goes to suddenly coming across a tractor trailer wheel lying on its side in our lane on Interstate 80 with a huge truck in the lane next to us and a ditch on the other side. More thrills in those few seconds than in my entire paragliding. Fortunately, our car was drivable, just barely, and we made it home. Le sigh.

On the road, we saw some famous people:

More important, my hands are feeling much better and I’ve been able to do some knitting. While on the trip, I finished one of the sleeves to my Ode to Joy short cardigan (aka the Bolero).

I’m feeling a little bit unmotivated to pick up the stitches for the other sleeve. I added about two inches of length to the sleeve by doing additional rows of each color sequence starting about three inches from the top of the sleeve. (You pick up and knit from the top down.) The first one was a slo-o-o-o-w knit and I think I’m associating working on it with spending hours upon hours in the car. I need to get over it and just do it.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the Paisley Long Shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. It’s a lovely piece and a relatively easy knit even though the lace is worked on both right and wrong side rows. You start in the middle of the shawl using a provisional cast on and then work your way to each end. I’m on the large set of “Paisley” patterns (on my first half of the shawl).

I’m making my shawl out of Wagtail’s 4-ply Fine Kid Mohair in Midnight Red (100 grams equals 410 yards). It’s a beautiful yarn with a nice sheen, but now that I am working on it I’m a little concerned that the color is very close to the Zephyr I used for my Peacock Shawl.

I do wonder how my shawl, which looks even more shrunken and misshapen then most unblocked lace, will ever resemble the beautiful model. Let’s cross our fingers.

P.S.Tangled Yoke: Someone asked about the bobbles on The Tangled Yoke. I’m not sure I understood your question — there are only bobbles at each end of the design as you go around the yoke. There aren’t bobbles elsewhere in the cables.

June 15, 2008

From Sally — A Bundle of Joy

Filed under: Back Story,Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 11:38 am

You thought I was talking about my Ode to Joy cardigan, didn’t you? Just remember, though — you can never underestimate the power of the bad Rainey Sister puns. The bundle of joy I’m talking about is this one:

Yes, it’s true! It’s Susan’s birthday!!!


Susan is my sister, my best friend, my mentor, my cheerleader, and my therapist. It’s a thankless job, but fortunately she is there to do it!!

Now, on to the other bundle of joy: my cardigan. Slowly but surely I’m making progress. I’ve finished the back and the two fronts, put them together at the shoulder, and done some of the neck finishing. Lucy was SO happy to finally have something to wear, even if it is awfully skimpy.

So I have to knit two small pieces on the back (which is how you join the front and back at the sides), knit the sleeves, figure out exactly how much I need to lengthen it, and knit the front bands. Stay tuned.

June 4, 2008

From Sally — A Little More Joy

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 10:50 am

There’s good news (at least for me): I’m allowed out of my splints for a few hours each day, and I am allowed to knit as long as I don’t over do it. Yay!

So, I finished the lower part of each front of my Ode to Joy and then knit the first piece of the back. Here they are stacked up. (Hmmm. I think I see a croissant flake/crumb on the back. Oops.)

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is a cropped cardigan. Very cropped. The size small is only 18″ long when finished. These pieces measure just 16″, which makes sense because there is a bottom border and some length added at the shoulder. It’s just a little too short for me; I’d like my finished length to be 20″ even for a cropped sweater. I debated about whether to add stitches to the top half of the fronts on the armhole side to get length that way, but decided against that method because it would lower the neck and cause me to do some more obvious cosmetic changes on the back. So I went ahead and finished the first front with the idea that I’ll add a couple of inches to the bottom of the sweater when I’m finished.

Here’s the right front as finished:

I was asked which decrease I am using. I’m following the pattern directions on this one: slip one, knit two together, pass the slipped stitch over. All decreases are done on the wrong side.

In response to a question about how the color changes are done: You knit this sweater holding together three strands of lace weight merino (and using that as one yarn). You switch out one strand of yarn at a time to a different color in order to change the colors. The pattern provides the exact sequence and tells you when to switch.

It’s a fun knit and easy to pick up and then put down, which is great for me right now.

PS from Susan: I’m just going to piggyback on Sally’s post and add a picture of my Saartje’s Booties with Buttons:

Saartje's Booties w/Buttons

I gave them to “Big Sister” and she loved them!

May 23, 2008

From Sally — A Garden Full of Joy

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 6:14 pm

The weather has been dreary here in Washington for much of the spring — we’ve had lots and lots of rain, but few days of clear blue skies and warm sun. Today, however, was glorious. In celebration, I cleaned up the porch off the library. It has a lovely view and is in range of our wireless network. Yay!

The other good news is that I’ve been able to do a little more knitting. I’ve now finished part of each front of my Ode to Joy short jacket. Short is the operative word — as written, this sweater is only 18″ long in the size small.

I have a couple of ideas on how to lengthen it an inch or two. It’s not a rush, given that I can only knit a few rows a day.

So, in the meantime, I’m enjoying what is in bloom. My wisteria:

A bell-shaped Clematis:

What’s this? My Little Assistant is here for a visit?

He and my Big Assistant love the grass.

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend.!

May 13, 2008

From Sally — Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button(s)?

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 10:13 am

I do!

At the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival I found the perfect buttons for my Ode to Joy cardigan. Don’t you love it when that happens?

I may only be able to knit a few rows a day, but at least when I finally finish this project (at this rate, my estimated date of completion will be sometime in 2012) I won’t have to shop for the buttons.

I’m partway through the matching square for the other front. I know. It’s sad.

April 29, 2008

From Sally — A Little Joy

Filed under: Sally's Ode to Joy — surly @ 1:31 pm

I haven’t had a lot to contribute to our blog since mid-March; it’s hard to write a knitting blog when you can’t type much and you can’t knit at all. Susan has been gamely shouldering the blogging burden, but I’m going to give her a little bit of relief today.

I’m still in the splints about twenty-two hours per day. My right hand is improving; my left hand is not. Even so, I was given the clearance to knit a little bit as long as I keep the splint on my left hand while I knit. I’m taking it very very slowly, but I have knitted a few rows each of the past few days. I started my own Ode to Joy (designed by Candace Eisner Strick) in the Cape Cod colorway. I don’t have much to show for it yet, but I’m so happy to do any knitting I don’t care.

Thanks for all of the support and kind thoughts.

Powered by WordPress