theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 30, 2006

From Sally — Who Says Knitters Are Obsessive?

Filed under: Back Story — surly @ 8:03 am

My sister and I obviously spend way too much time together. I was just coming over here to provide a link to The Last Knit and I see she referenced it in her last post as well. I’m sure many of you will recognize yourself in the single-minded concentration and the need to do “just a little more.” Enjoy!

September 28, 2006

From Susan — The Last Knit

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 11:40 pm

Not my last knit, but rather this very cute video: go to and search for The Last Knit.  I tried to link it but it didn’t work.  Someone from my knitting group told me about it, and it is worth a visit. I think we’ve all been there.  [No need to search; Sally has now put it on our site as well. See her entry from September 30th.]

I have not been getting a lot of knitting done, though I did get to knitting group tonight and spent high quality time with my knitties (= knitting homies).  I hope to get some knitting done this weekend and make progress on a few WIPs.

Marina asked what I was knitting in the Debbie Bliss Pure Silk.  It is a simple top from her new book:


I love the cap sleeves.  There is lace on both front and back, but I may go plain stockinette on the back since I will never wear it without something over it.  It is pure self indulgence to start this since I have so many other things going, but hey, I felt like it!  The knitting police can bust down my door, but they aren’t taking me alive!

September 26, 2006

From Susan — The Lone Blogger

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:30 pm

I don’t have a whole lot going on, but thought I better write something anyway.  Sally is again on the road (or plane, as it were), so I am the Lone Blogger.  I have been working on a couple of WIPs — the Woman’s Continental is progressing at a turtle-esque pace.  I have the back done, both fronts and the start of one sleeve.  All the fun stuff with this project is at the end so it will start to get interesting soon.  Oregon is languishing for the time being. 

I also started a small project just because.  Here is the newbie:


This is the Pure Silk from Debbie Bliss.  It’s very hard to get a good picture, but you can kind of see what it looks like and you can definitely see the luster of the yarn — wow.  I love knitting with silk, but it isn’t looking that good in terms of the evenness of the stitches.  I hope blocking helps :).

The other fun thing I did this weekend was teach a couple of knitting classes.  On Saturdays I’m teaching a class on the Rogue Hoodie from Girl from Auntie at Amazing Threads in Maple Grove, Minnesota.  What a fun project and a bit challenging — you graft the hood together at the top across all the cabling (see photo in Susan’s Gallery for detail).  It was my Olympic Challenge project from February of this year.  The knitters range from “this is my first sweater” to “been there, done that.”  The newbie knitter is absolutely darling.  Her mom is taking the class with her and is a fabulous knitter. 

The other class is another of my favorite projects: the Market Squares bag from Knitters Magazine.  The students are my knitting peeps from Thursdays at Four — we meet at Panera’s (quelle surprise ;)).  It is like a 2 for 1 special because I get an extra “knit night” per week.  This may become a habit!  There are pictures of both of these projects in my “Susan’s Gallery.” 

That’s it for now.

September 24, 2006

From Susan — About Emmeline

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 9:24 am

Betsy asked what yarn I used for my version of Emmeline.  The Koigu color is #P130 and the Kidsilk Haze is shade 601.  I’m not sure that will help you.  Neither of these colors appear to be available.  I went on the Koigu website and color P130 is not listed, but I did e-mail them to check it out so maybe I’ll get more information for you.  Kidsilk Haze 601 doesn’t look like it’s around anymore either!  But truly, MANY combinations are gorgeous — Sally must own 3-4 :).

Here are the pictures of Emmeline from the Rowan book — pretty unassuming, huh?  I had seen the version on the left knitted up several times, but the plain version looks so blah, I don’t know what possessed the knitter at the Yarnery to choose the yarn she did, but it really worked.  Both Sally and I made this sweater and added the bell ribbing to the cuff as well — it just seemed like it needed it!


September 23, 2006

From Susan — Scalpel, Please

Filed under: Back Story,Knitting Tips — lv2knit @ 9:25 am

Oh, I do like to cut up them sweaters!  Well, kind of.  I do not have an aversion to it anyway.  As you already know, Sally is a wonderful knitter, but there are some things that she defers to me.  She asked me to shorten one of my favorite sweaters of hers.  It’s funny, because she called me to ask if I was working on her gold sweater, and I was at that exact moment in time (she knows me all too well), and then she asked if I would post pictures of the process.

This is Sally’s design, knitted out of GGH Mulberry Silk held with Kidsilk Haze.  The result is a fairly heavyweight yarn.  The design is three-quarter length sleeve, fitted, with the identical v-neck shaping front and back.  She attached the neckbands using a 3-needle bind off.  With a lot of things, however, it is difficult to anticipate the perfect fit during the knitting phase.  The sweater was at least 4-5″ too long to be wearable in the way that she wanted.  The blue marker shows how much needed to be removed.  The color is more true in later photos.


The first step was undoing the seams and detaching the bottom bands, which I needed to preserve and reattach. 


Then I removed the mid-section that was to be discarded:


I ripped out some yarn from the mid-section to use for grafting.  It’s easier to use the yarn when it has been straightened.  I wet the yarn and wrapped it around a glass — it dries very quickly:


Then I grafted it back together using garter stitch.  I had to machine sew the side seams because the bottom border was wider than the part it was grafted to because of the shaped waistline.  And voila:


Here is a close up of the neckline and hem:




Another patient recovering nicely.  I just love this sweater.  It is very dressy, but would keep you warm for winter functions.  So many times you freeze to death if you need to look nice in Minnesota! 

Adding Kidsilk Haze to a lightweight yarn is a wonderful tip for increasing the gauge.  Sally and I have both made sweaters where we added Kidsilk Haze to Koigu to obtain a worsted gauge.  Here’s an example:


By adding the Kidsilk Haze, I was able to knit Koigu at 5 sts per inch and get the softest fabric!  This is one of my favorite sweaters to wear.  The pattern is Emmeline from Rowan Magazine #28.  I never would have noticed it, but someone from the Yarnery knitted it up in the “Kid Koigu” combination and the rest is history.  It is called the Yarnery uniform because everyone there has there own color version.

September 22, 2006

From Sally — Lismore (more Fair Isle)

Filed under: Lismore — surly @ 10:59 am

As promised, here are some photographs of one of my other Starmore sweaters in progress. This one, called Lismore, is from her book The Celtic Collection. She has reworked it in her three-ply yarn, which is what I am knitting it in. Although the pattern itself has not been changed particularly, she uses fewer colors in this version.

Here is a photograph of the original design:

You can purchase yarn and the necessary amendments to the original pattern here, but you will need a copy of the book.

Anway, here are some photographs of my Lismore in progress. The color looks a bit faded in these pictures for some reason; in person, this is a very striking and rich looking pattern.

I stopped working on it temporarily because I think the large turtleneck called for will be a bit overwhelming on me. I’m deciding whether I want a simple scoop neck with a band or whether I want to keep the ribbing but do more of a stand up split neck.

From Susan — And the the Judge’s Envelope, Please

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:16 am

I have been meaning to post sooner, but this week at work was such a bear, I have had zero energy when I get home, plus there was the issue of Grey’s Anatomy.  Between the 2-hour repeat of last year’s final episode on Wednesday (turn down the thermostat, please!) and the new season starting last night, I’m sorry – I do have my priorities!!  And worth every minute I might add!!!  OMG — when McDreamy finally professed his feelings for Meredith…….

On Tuesday I went to the State Fair Knitters Guild meeting, as I already mentioned.  So much fun and great to see so many entries.  The knitters who entered something in the fair bring their entries, describe the project, its quirks, the barriers they had to overcome, etc., and then share the judges’ comments.  I did not want to post the comments on my entries until after Tuesday’s meeting.  Envelope, please:

Beaded Bag:


Sunrise Circle Jacket:


Mermaid (note ‘check’ by amount of work):


Aubrey Cap (“texture” means cabled):


Rogue Hoodie:


Camilla Gloves — I was glad they mentioned the fit since I made several adaptations for a perfect fit to my hands.  They circled “amount of work” but I don’t think they realized that this was the most challenging project I’ve ever made!:


Silk Scarf:




99.5 points.  Everyone says you can’t get 100 points on anything, but I did get 100 once on a fair isle project, so I know it is possible or at least was at one time (could be the judges).  These were the first socks I ever made so I was very surprised that they won the blue ribbon.  All in all I think the judges’ comments were very nice, so I have nothing to complain about.  Most points are taken off in the “Workmanship” category which is 40% of the total, so people feel bad that their workmanship is being questioned.  I don’t see it that way.  One of the elements in that category is “amount of work,” so this is where the judges can give more credit to a more difficult project.  My favorite word on the judge’s sheet is under the first category “Beauty and Character” — disturbing!  I want to see what that looks like!

Hearing the comments of others, I think the judges do try to be positive and upbeat, and when they provide “instructive feedback” (read ‘criticism’) it is done with teaching in mind to help the knitter improve for next time.

I went to my Thursday knitting group last night and it was wonderful seeing everyone since I missed the last two times. 

It’s raining outside and I have two DVDs waiting for me!  I’m going to knit, drink coffee, watch movies and listen to the rain on the rooftop.  The perfect day!


September 19, 2006

From Susan — Mini Post

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 11:29 pm

I can’t write a full debrief about the Knitters Guild meeting tonight (I’m too tired and I have to get up at 4am tomorrow!), but let me just say that I enjoyed myself very much.  It was great to see all the knitted items that people brought in and hear the comments by the judges.  And I love the fact that people showed off the stuff they entered even when they did not receive a ribbon.  The only down side is that some of the stuff I was hoping to see was not there.

The best part is being able to touch everything, up close and personal.  Plus, I love the group itself.  The people are so friendly and outgoing that it feels like a reunion every meeting.  There must have been 70-80 knitters and a very upbeat atmosphere.  It’s fun to see what people are working on and catch up with friends.  Wow.  Great knitting karma.  Anyway, I’ll post more details in a day or so.

From Susan — Ballerina Bummer

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:31 am

Some loyal readers may recall that when I finished my Hanne Falkenberg Ballerina I was shocked that the sleeves went from being 5″ too short before blocking to the perfect length after blocking.  Woo Hoo for me — project finito.  Well, today I decided to wear Ballerina and BUMMER: the sleeves are too short by about 2″.  It just feels skimpy.  So I must go back to the knitting grindstone and knit a cuff onto the sleeves.  The pattern calls for a 2″ cuff on the sleeves, so I my jacket will actually look more like the original.  I don’t know about you, but I really do not like to go back to a project even though many would benefit from some kind of redo.

September 17, 2006

From Sally — a Quick Post

Filed under: Sunrise Circle Jacket — surly @ 8:13 pm

I flew to Los Angeles on Thursday to watch the Tonight Show being taped. Why? Well . . . I’m impulsive. And Clay Aiken (new cd in stores September 19th) was appearing and a friend of mine in L.A. had VIP tickets and my husband’s in Italy and it was my anniversary and I felt like doing something fun. So I went.

I did a lot of knitting on the plane, almost all of which I had to rip out because I was tired and not paying attention. I was working on my Sunrise Circle jacket and I knit most of the sleeve before I remembered that I had changed the frequency and number of my increases on the first sleeve. This is an example of unmindful knitting. I don’t really recommend it unless you like knitting things twice. I discovered the error of my ways on the flight back. Fortunately I had sock yarn so I could start a new orphan sock.

Le sigh.

I attracted a lot of attention at the airport with my roll-a-bout. Not only that, but my foot and its lovely shoe/cast thing threw security for a loop. I got a lot of “personal” attention from the security personnel if you know what I mean and I think that you do.

I haven’t forgotten that someone asked to see what other Starmores I have on the needles. I’ll give a pictorial update on that tomorrow.

Also — YES! I designed the Trellis jacket. My big claim to fame. I’m not sure why it would have had Susan’s name on the pattern, too but hey — I guess no one can tell us apart. (Hint: She’s the big one.)

PS from Susan — Here is a picture of the Trellis Jacket (featured in Interweave Knits), even though it is also pictured elsewhere on the blog:

Sally's Sweater 2

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