theraineysisters knitting and so much more

March 31, 2006

From Susan — The Rainey Mother

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:01 am

Because watching knitting progress can be as exciting as watching paint dry (oh goodie, another inch!), I have decided to provide some hysterical or historical backdrop to our blog.

Before there were the Rainey Sisters there was the Rainey Mother.  Our mom (no longer a Rainey, but that’s a long story in itself) was an extremely talented seamstress, like her mother, and a wonderful knitter.  I use the past tense not because she is “no longer with us,” but because she no longer pursues these activities.  She taught me most of what I know about sewing and was quite the perfectionist.  She would say things like, “That zipper doesn’t look very good on the inside.”  Huh?!?  Who is going to be looking there?  But it did make ME a perfectionist as well, and I started out as an avid sewer well before the knitting bug bit me hard.  I still sew out of necessity and on occasion for the artistry.

As I said, my mom was a knitter.  I do not remember when I learned to knit or who taught me (my dad’s mom, I think), but I do remember going to mom for knitting help, “Am I on the knit side or the purl side, Mom?”  She would knit beautiful sweaters, and I still have a few of them:

Mom's Dressy Mohair Sweater

This is a beautiful mohair jacket with 3/4 length sleeves.  I don’t remember when she made it, but I think it is gorgeous.

The next is a sweater that Mom made for me when I was in 6th Grade.  I absolutely love this sweater.  It is a darker tan than it appears here.  I’m not sure what the pattern stitch is — it looks like a variation of the Trinity Stitch:

Sixth Grade Sweater

You can tell that even then I was “the Big One.”  Here is detail from the buttonbands.  You can see the beauty of mom’s workmanship.  Notice the machine-made buttonholes and fine handstitching.

6th gr Button Detail

Here is a sweater she made me in high school.  I wore it often.  The color does not show up very well — it is a beautiful, much darker, teal blue out of a very soft yarn.  And it was knit in the round (you go, girl!).

Teal Sweater

And some details:

Teal Neck Detail

Teal Hem Detail

So you can see that Sally’s and my interest in the needle arts stems from a long line of crafters.  I owe a lot to my mom’s instruction and encouragement — thanks, Mom!

As I said, my mom was a seamstress and I do some sewing as well.  I am going to make a dress for the wedding I am attending — the one where I made the wedding purse for the bride.  Here is the fabric when there is white behind it:

Rose with White Background

Here it shows that the roses are sheer:

Rose Sheer

So, when the fabric is lined it will look fairly solid, but unlined you can totally see through the roses.  It is quite pretty.

March 29, 2006

From Sally — Gallery of Widows and Orphans

Filed under: Uncategorized — surly @ 4:00 pm

Who would do this? What kind of monster would create so many lonely socks and gloves?

It’s never on purpose. Really. It’s not. Here is the current wall of shame (actually my living room table) complete with explanatory notes (aka excuses). (The photo will enlarge if you click on it.)

Clockwise from the top:

1. Ah, yes. These are for my husband. The yarn is Opal — a very nice sock yarn. I first made a bull’s eye heel, but it doesn’t work for his feet because he has such high arches. He needs a more traditional heel flap. So, I ripped out the heel, did part of the heel flap, and got — uh — distracted. But I only started those in January or early February so I don’t feel too guilty. Yet.

2. The very first sock I ever made. I’d finish it if I could find the rest of the yarn.

3. This is perhaps the saddest case here. I finished this pair and wore them proudly. It’s a nice cotton/wool blend — perfect for summer. Alas — the mate misappeared in the wash. I have no more yarn and have never seen this colourway since. It’s not my fault!!!!

4. Eric’s glovelets — a famous fingerless glove pattern. So close and yet . . . so far.

5. Beautiful lace socks knitted in Koigu. I think the colour looks like melted ice cream. This, too, was an early pair. I knit it on two circular needles. The pattern is from Interweave Knits. The mate is cast on. And has been for nigh on to two years. I think.

6. A lovely glove don’t you think? Out of self-patterning sock yarn. But they were for my son and I never thought they fit him all that well. I knit these without accounting enough for where his little finger is placed on his hand. And he’s only grown. So . . .

7. Another Koigu sock in a rare solid. This is a really beautiful pattern that you can’t see unless it’s “stretched.” The cuff is actually knit on this one. There’s hope. I love them.

8. More fit issues. I may rip down to the start of the fingers and fix these ’cause I really like the colour.

9. This yarn is from Socks that Rock. It’s lovely to work with and a little heavier than the others shown. Instead of zeros (size 2.0 mm) I knit these on 2.25. I felt as if they were flying. Well, at least the first one. I just finished this one recently and its mate’s cuff is finished as is the beginning of the lace pattern. (Again, unless stretched you don’t really see the openwork on this — it’s a ladder lace pattern.) I’ll definitely finish these. I promise.

10. I just finished this sock today and its companion is already cast on! This is Lana Grossa’s Mega Boot Stretch shade 703. I love this yarn.

11. Camilla gloves in Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk. I lost momentum, but they are lovely and I do want to finish them.

Well see — that wasn’t so bad now was it? And I DO finish pairs of things sometimes.

From Susan — More from Summer Tweedville

Filed under: Current Projects,Knitting Tips — lv2knit @ 11:39 am

Last evening I finished the back.  I did indeed change the style to a raglan, and it worked really well.  In order to make sure the neck shaping would work with the raglan, I charted out the original shaping on actual size graph paper and then superimposed my changes.  I will repeat with the sleeves and fronts. 

The site I use to create graph paper is Actual Size Graph Paper.  It will make just about any size graph.  I use this paper for designing, adapting patterns, etc.  When you print, do not mark the setting “fit to paper” or it will change the dimensions of the graph, which defeats the purpose.

I will start the fronts tonight.   


March 27, 2006

From Susan — Summer Tweed Update

Filed under: Current Projects — lv2knit @ 1:42 pm

After ripping out 4″ I actually made some progress yesterday.  Thirteen inches.  Two more to go to get to the armhole shaping. 

Emily, do not laugh when I say this: I am making some changes to the pattern.  I really see this more as a raglan, so that is what I’m going to do.  The other change is based on my yarn stash.  I don’t have enough to make the sleeves long, so they’ll be 3/4 length.  When I make long sleeves, they really need to be l-o-o-o-o-n-g, so not enough yarn. 

I’ll post a picture tonight.

Coincidences are strange things.  Today Elizabeth from Swedish Yarn Imports called me.  I had called her months ago, before starting my Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid jacket, and asked her if I could special order an extra ball of each of the three colors.  She explained that all the yarn comes to her in kits and that it is very difficult to obtain single balls of yarn.  Well, I went ahead and proceeded without the extra yarn and finished my Mermaid weeks ago.  In fact, I wore it today for the first time — the day that Elizabeth called to say she had the extra yarn for the Mermaid kit that I had asked about.  [theme from Twilight Zone] doo-doo-doo-doo; doo-doo-doo-doo.

Here is the Summer Tweed Update (15 1/2″):

Summer Tweed

The color of this yarn is a really gorgeous periwinkle with white and pink nubs.  Here it looks brown!  Maybe future pics will be more accurate. 

March 25, 2006

From Susan — Ooooops

Filed under: Current Projects — lv2knit @ 8:07 pm

I had not really thought about the fact that by chronicling my knitting progress in such a public manner, my mistakes will be on ready display.   On my last post you saw my “progress” on my little Summer Tweed cardigan.  To quote Sally,

From now on, I will read directions. Really. I will.

I was doing 2×2 ribbing, not 4×4.  And I like the look of the 4×4 ribbing.  So, even though I had done almost all of the tedious ribbing in the annoying nubby yarn, I am back to the casting on phase.  Oh, well.  It ain’t always pretty, is it?

From Sally — Widows and Orphans

Filed under: Uncategorized — surly @ 8:01 pm

I’m terrible about starting projects and then, um, leaving them to marinate for a little while.

This is especially true of socks. I love knitting socks. Love them. Well, at least the first one. Tomorrow I will post a gallery of all of my one-off socks in search of relatives. I’m trying to shame myself into completing the pairs.

I guess if I am being honest I should post photos of my orphan gloves as well.

From Susan — New project

Filed under: Current Projects — lv2knit @ 1:16 am

Yes, I know I said that I have been trying to stay with one project at a time to get some results, but I decided to start something new.  I’ll keep working on Ballerina, but the new project is timely for the spring/summer season.  I’m knitting a pattern from ChicKnits (is it Chick Knits or Chic Knits??) called Scoop du Jour — a simple, very cute, summer cardi that I’m doing in Rowan’s Summer Tweed.

Scoop du Jour in Rowan Summer Tweed

I really do not like working with nubby yarns — every st is a struggle.  Why do new knitters like making garter st scarves out of novelty yarns?  I can’t get a rhythm going.  It is much more pleasurable to knit on Ballerina, but………

Speaking of a pleasurable project, I really enjoyed making the Camilla Gloves from Simply Shetland 2.  I made 3 pairs this winter: two for me and one for a close friend.  The first pair I made was in the yarn called for in the pattern: Jamieson Spindrift:

Camilla Gloves Jamieson Spindrift

However, I much prefer the gloves I made with Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk (color Verte).

Camilla Gloves in Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk

They are softer than cashmere and the yarn is so forgiving.  Alpaca tends to knit up unevenly, like crooked teeth, but the silk smooths it out.  I LOVE ALPACA AND SILK — it is beautiful, strong and has that gorgeous silk sheen.  These gloves are a challenging project but really, really FUN.

March 23, 2006

From Susan — Thursdays at Four

Filed under: Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 8:48 pm

Welcome!  I hope some of you from my knitting group choose to visit the site.  It will have a lot of information about me that you already know.  After all, you spend time with me every week sharing my favorite activity.  Our knitting group has brought me hours of friendship, laughter (lots of laughter!), and inspiration.  I look forward to the next time even as I leave.   So welcome and feel free to post comments about whatever you choose.

From Sally — Koigu Toreador Jacket

Filed under: Gallery — Sally @ 10:15 am

I thought I’d share my (finally) finished Toreador jacket. For those of you unfamiliar with this pattern, it’s made of seemingly endless mitered squares knitted together. There is no seaming, except at the sides and underarm. All of the squares are picked up from each other.

I made a few minor changes to the pattern. I lengthened both the sleeves and the body. The original pattern is very cropped, and I felt that it was a little too cropped on me. Also, I felt that it rode up slightly in the back (I was fortunate enough to be able to try on a model in the size I was planning to knit). To solve that problem, I added a row of small squares in the “main” color to the front and a row of large squares in the main color to the back. In the second photo, you can see how I “bridged” the difference with a triangle (which mimics the triangles inserted at the sides to shape the underarm).

It was a fun pattern to knit and I love knitting with Koigu yarns. But it was kind of a slog. I love wearing it, though.

First, here is a not very good photograph of the front. (Clicking will enlarge)

And here is the side detail:

March 22, 2006

From Susan — Finally reached the midpoint

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:46 pm

That last couple of rows took forever!  Here are some pics of my progress.  The funny looking yarn threads are used for counting rows between increases/decreases.  Some people use safety pins, but I prefer this method (esp great for counting incs on sleeves).

Ballerina Left Front

Ballerina Left back

And a detail shot of the raglan sleeve:

Ballerina Raglan Detail

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