theraineysisters knitting and so much more

November 30, 2007

From Sally — A Little Progress on Ballerina

Filed under: Sally's Ballerina — surly @ 3:32 pm

I keep plodding along with my Ballerina, all the while eyeing more enticing projects that seem just out of reach. I fear that if I put Ballerina down at this point, I won’t get back to it for months — which seems kind of silly when I am so close to finishing.

I’ve had obstacles. First, my little assistant came for a visit and he’s not always as helpful as I’d like.

Then I traveled to a Christmas concert and didn’t get much knitting done.

Now I’ve got company coming and I needed to shovel out the guest room. Even so, I’ve just got the last part of the right front, the neck band, and the finishing (which won’t be too bad) left. Here are some photos. Lucy’s hoping it looks a bit more elegant when it’s finished.

November 29, 2007

From Susan — I LOVE the Buttons

Filed under: Completed Projects — lv2knit @ 8:16 am

We all know the heartache of searching for the right buttons.  I had a concept in my mind for the Lopi Cardigan and started my search.  What I ended up with is not really what I saw in my mind’s eye, BUT I really like them.  They are elaborate mythical dragons.

November2907.jpg picture by lv2knit

I did not think something this ornate would work with the heavy yarn and simplicity of the design, but when I laid them out, the flecky light and dark grey of the yarn looked nice with the buttons.  The sweater fits perfectly (I had to shorten the sleeves from my original guesstimate) and it buttons beautifully without gapping.  So, I am very happy with the result!!

November 27, 2007

From Susan and Sally — Ruh Roh!!

Filed under: Free Patterns from The Rainey Sisters,Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie — Both Sisters @ 11:48 am

Scooby-Doo-tv-06.jpg picture by lv2knit
“Ruh roh, reveryrody!!”

We must now admit to imperfection!  Darn it!  There is an error in the Roslin Hoodie pattern for the Size Small.  Please check out the Roslin Errata link for the corrections.  The Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie pattern has also been revised with the corrections.  We hope that none of you suffered irreparable mental trauma due to the incorrect math calculations in the pattern ;)!

Thank you for letting us know about the errors as you find them so others will be saved!

November 25, 2007

From Susan — Tote à Tote

Filed under: Modular Purse — lv2knit @ 2:46 pm

I promised a picture of my side by side Modular Totes and voila:

November2507002.jpg picture by lv2knit

I now love my new purse ;).  Felting is an amazing phenomenon — it transforms an ugly duckling into a relatively ::beautiful:: swan!  Even DH said he had held out little hope for the purse and now thinks it’s great.

Lettie wants to use it as a knitting bag for smaller projects:

November2507005.jpg picture by lv2knit

The original pattern can be purchased as a pdf download hard copy to be mailed* from the Yarnery for $4.50.  The changes I made to transform the large tote into a purse are written in this file: Modular Purse Modifications, which can be found in our Free Patterns section — upper righthand corner.  You will need to buy the original pattern.

June asked what I did in the blocking process to prevent the flap from getting “wavy” — answer: nuthin.  I think the firm i-cord edge may have prevented the ruffling effect, but other than that I did nothing special.  Now, I will go forth and use my lil spring-colored bag — woo hoo!

*Please note correction!  The Yarnery will send you a hard copy of the Modular Tote Pattern, not send an electronic pdf.

November 24, 2007

From Susan — FO Squared

Filed under: Completed Projects,Modular Purse — lv2knit @ 1:50 pm

Well, I did finish two items the last couple of days — BUT, they were 1) already started, b) not that difficult, and 3rd — not that fantastic.  The thing is, even if you just get a base hit instead of a grand slam homer, it still counts as a hit, right?

The two things I finished are the Lopi Cardigan and the Modular Tote Purse.  Both were lots more work than I anticipated — isn’t that usually the case?  By the end, I wanted to cut them both up and throw them away. 

Let’s start with the purse.  This project became the “Thing That Would Not Die.”  I have worked on it off and on for what seems like months. 

Give this thing a haircut: look at the ends!

November07003-1.jpg picture by lv2knit

Here are some pre-felting pics:

November2407003-1.jpg picture by lv2knit

November2407007.jpg picture by lv2knit

I made a major mistake on the front flap, but did not discover it until way too late.  I would have needed to re-knit 3/4’s of the flap and that was not an option, especially since I had already joined it and finished the i-cord around the entire thing!  In shaping the flap (rounding the lower corners) I rounded the wrong squares!  So when I joined it to the bag with the rounded corners down, the flap was 90 degrees off.  It would have lined up perfectly if I had shaped the correct corners!  But, like I said, too late!

Here is the felted bag drying, front view:

November2407012.jpg picture by lv2knit

Back view:

November2407013.jpg picture by lv2knit

The second FO is the Lopi Cardigan.  This is a bulky knit, wooly-wool sweater.  I still need to find buttons, and truth be told, it’s still damp! 

November2407008.jpg picture by lv2knit

As Surly would say, “It is A sweater, not THE sweater.”  It is wearable, it is kind of cute, it is very scratchy, and it looks kind of blah when it is on.  Here is Lettie trying to model it:

November2407005.jpg picture by lv2knit

And a close up:

November2407009.jpg picture by lv2knit

So that is why I knew I could get two projects done.  The potential third FO has no hope of getting done this weekend as I had hoped.  It took me too long for the above items.  I am going to finish my Kauni Cardigan next.  I really want that off my plate.  I also have an additional Hemlock to make for a shop sample for the Yarnery.  I’ll be teaching the Hemlock this winter.

So the good news is that I finally got some projects done — I have not worked on Lyra for several days now, so I want to get back to that one as well. 

Hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday.  We spent the day with family and ate, ate, ate!

PS — Here is the Reynolds Lopi Pattern #82273 for those who missed in past posts:

LopiPattern.jpg picture by lv2knit

PS Squared 😉 — When the felted purse dries, I’ll take a picture of it with the regular Modular Tote so you can compare the two sizes.

November 21, 2007

From Susan — Master of Ceremonies and More

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 1:04 am

Tonight I attended the Minnesota Knitters Guild meeting.  The turn out wasn’t huge (I think everyone was baking pies), but the program was quite worth while. 

Our Master of Ceremonies, and actual Master of Knitting, was none other than the new president of the knitters guild, Shelley Monitor.  Shelley put on a one-woman show — both chairing the meeting and presenting the program. 

Have any of you considered tackling the Master Knitter’s Program from the Knitters Guild of America?  Shelley is a bonafide Master Knitter and was also asked to be one of the evaluators, so she knows the program inside and out.  To get that kind of “inside information” was well worth the price of admission 😉 .

The Master Knitting program consists of three levels, each building on information from the previous level(s) and increasing in complexity and expectations.  There is a knitting component in the form of multiple swatches and finished projects, knowledge of techniques, book/magazine reviews, design, pattern writing, lace, cables, fair isle, socks, etc.

Here Shelley is shown in the fair isle sweater she designed.  Her other submissions are on the table:

November07003.jpg picture by lv2knit

The sweater was beautifully knit, as you can see.  You also have to knit a vest, argyle sock, hat, child size mitten and a small lace doily. 

November07007.jpg picture by lv2knit

Shelley designed the light blue cable hat as part of her Level III submission.  Shelley said that she learned quite a bit going through the process and that it brought her knitting up a few notches.  It has gotten rather expensive to do the program: you must be a member of TKGA and then pay for each level (~$90 each).  Under 800 people have completed all of the levels combined, and I believe Shelley said that fewer than 150 have gone all the way through Level III.  Don’t quote my numbers 🙂 !!

I completed Level I several years ago and actually started Level II.  I got bogged down and started to wonder how best to spend my valuable knitting time: working on swatches and set assignments or on “real” knitting.  I obviously opted for the latter, but after hearing Shelley tonight I might try to dig out my Level II stuff and give it another look.

Anyway, I’m not trying to “sell” the Master Knitter’s Program.  But it is something that serious knitters should at least know about.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my knitting peeps!!  My goal is 2-3 FOs this weekend!!  Woo Hoo!!

Thanksgiving.jpg picture by lv2knit

PS — in response to Thomasean’s comment, “I would like to try the TKGA Levels program as well. The thing is, is that I would have to try to figure out how to correct myself. I don’t know how easy that would be to do.”

As a member of TKGA, you would have access to a lot of resource materials, such as previous “Cast On” articles on the Master Knitting Program.  Shelley said she did not own any of the books — she had very few reference books at the time — but decided to buy most of them because of the value she saw in them after finding them in the library or knitting shop.  I already own all the ones she mentioned — (I have collected beaucoup books over the years 🙂 ).  Also, when you submit, they give you very specific feedback on what you need to correct.  Ravelry also has a TKGA group that discusses the program.  So, you would have resources to help you!  And, you would learn a lot along the way.

November 16, 2007

From Susan — Hey, Don’t Blame Me!!

It was brought to my attention that the Hemlock Ring Pattern has a mistake — the mistake was in the original pattern written in 1942.  And I know this for a fact because Diane brought a vintage pattern book to knitting group and the pattern was there, mistake and all.  When I knitted my Hemlocks, I must have just fixed it as I went along and did not pay much attention. 

Round 35 (original): 
35th rnd: O, k 1, O, * sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, O, k 4, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (O, k 1) twice; sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (k 1, O) twice. Repeat from * around. 

Round 35 (revised):
35th rnd: * O, k 1, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, O, k 4, O, sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, (O, k 1) twice; sl 1, k 2 tog, psso, k 1. Repeat from * around. 

I revised the Hemlock pdf that is linked in the Free Patterns section of our blog.  I’m sorry if any of you had problems with the pattern!! 

As far as my other knitting is concerned, I am done with the back and both fronts of the Lopi Cardigan.  I’ll start the sleeves and may even finish them this weekend.  I can see why people like knitting with BIG, FAT Yarn!!

November 15, 2007

From Sally — Some Quick Notes on Ballerina

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Sally's Ballerina — surly @ 4:01 pm

I’m not sure this post will make any sense to someone who hasn’t knit or isn’t in the middle of knitting a Falkenberg Ballerina, but here goes anyway. In my update yesterday, I showed the raglan edge between the back and the right sleeve before the stitches were re-activated. Here it is again so that you don’t have to scroll:

Falkenberg has you alternate between reducing one stitch and two stitches through short rows on the raglan. It’s easy to keep track of where you are (and whether you need to be deactivating one stitch or two) because they clump together. If you’ve just deactivated two stitches, for example, you’ll see what looks like three stitches in a clump: the yarnover (which Falkenberg uses instead of a wrap) and the two stitches. Alrighty then. When you are working on the other side of the raglan line, you are “increasing” through short rows. Again, you either add 1 or 2 stitches. The problem is that when you are increasing stitches through short rows you knit past your last increase on your way to do the new one. It’s harder, therefore, to see what you’ve just done and remember if you are supposed to go up by 1 stitch or 2. I’m easily distracted, constantly interrupted, and I’m working with black yarn. (Note: on the sleeve side of the raglan edge, all of my stitches are black so I can’t just use the color change as a guide, which I will be able to do on the raglan side of the right front when I am increasing stitches there.)

My sister Susan came up with a clever way to keep track: she wove a contrast yarn around the stitches before she started the short rows. That made the knitting itself much more mindless. Here’s the method:

First, in addition to increases up the raglan via short rows, you are supposed to be increasing stitches at the other end of the knitting to form the sleeve. Falkenberg makes three stitches out of one to increase two stitches (instead of using short rows). Susan and I both wanted to be able to do a three needle join of the sleeve seam. So, before starting the raglan short rows I did a provisional cast on of all of my sleeve stitches using a contrast yarn. Then I knitted one row from the cuff edge to where the stitches would join the armhole and the raglan. At this point, things looked like this:

Then I wove a contrasting yarn through the raglan stitches.

Then I could start knitting, increasing on both sides. The blue yarn tells me to stop and turn. It’s mindless, and I don’t need to remove the blue yarn as I go.

I’m sure this probably sounds incomprehensible unless you’re knitting one of these; I apologize. As a reward for making it through this painfully boring blog entry, here’s a touch of fall.

November 14, 2007

From Sally — Where Have I Been?

Filed under: Sally's Ballerina — surly @ 11:50 am

Did you miss me? Sorry to have been missing in action. I took a short trip. First, I had to visit my little assistant. Doesn’t he look cute in his bomber jacket?

Then I jetted off to Paris:

Well, maybe it wasn’t Paris. Maybe it was Las Vegas and I just wished it were Paris. (This is the view of the Paris Hotel from my room over at the Bellagio.) I discovered that I am not a Las Vegas lover, which I pretty much suspected before I went. I don’t gamble and I don’t like cigarette smoke. But I did love that view of faux Paris, especially at night.

I also drove out to see the Hoover Dam. (I wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, but I didn’t have time.) Right at the Hoover Dam, they are building a bridge, whose supports you can see in this photo. I think I’d be nervous driving over this thing when it’s finished.

I’ve also done some knitting. Some of it is stealth knitting that I can’t talk about yet. But I have made some progress on Ballerina. I’m finished with the back — just one sleeve and the right front left to go. Lucy is hoping it’s long enough to cover her ass and thighs after it’s blocked.

Here is a close up of the raglan before the stitches are activated for the next sleeve. When you are reducing the number of stitches on the raglan, the stitches “clump together” with the yarnover under Falkenberg’s method. It’s easy, therefore, to tell whether you have just reduced by one or two stitches. When you are increasing the number of stitches up the raglan, which I’ll be doing next, it’s trickier. I’ll show you how I keep track (a method devised by Susan) tomorrow.

Finally, here is a photo of those stitches after they’ve been reactivated.

November 12, 2007

From Susan — 10-1/2 to 1

Filed under: Lyra by Niebling — lv2knit @ 12:58 am

Those are the needle sizes I’ve been switching between all weekend!  Wow!  It feels very strange but actually is a nice change up.  I knit for awhile on Lopi Cardigan and then switch to Lyra.

Here is the Lopi back drying.  I decided to block the pieces as I go.  I never do it this way, but I just felt like it this time.  I kind of wanted to see if the knitted fabric would soften up.

LopiBack.jpg picture by lv2knit

Here is a close up of the shoulder showing the Japanese Short Rows done on shoulder shaping: 

LopiShoulder.jpg picture by lv2knit

I rarely shape my shoulders.  I do not like shoulder seams (too bulky) and did not like the look of my previous short row technique.  I REALLY like Japanese Short Rows: easy and very invisible.  Now I can get shaped shoulders AND do a 3-needle bind off!  Woo Hoo 🙂

Here is the “Blob” in progress.  I have not forsaken Lyra!  I am now on Round 130-ish and still in love.  There are acres of stitches in each round so I plod away at a snail’s pace.

Blob.jpg picture by lv2knit

Here is a bit of pattern close up.  I really do need some longer needles…

LyraCloseUp.jpg picture by lv2knit

The more I knit on this, the more I appreciate the design and its ingenuity.  The flowers are sculpted in thread and air — positive and negative space.  It is really amazing.

I should finish the Lopi sweater in another week or so and then may work my second Kauni sleeve.  I have the need to get some things off my plate, and working on ‘almost done’ stuff is certainly a way to do that!

Rudolph Update:

Apparently, a few of you called Amazing Threads for the Rudy Pattern (they had to start a waiting list!).  CiD sent me a lovely thank you with a copy of this pattern — for Elfred, Rudolph’s Sidekick:

Elfred.jpg picture by lv2knit 
 Bag-1.jpg picture by lv2knit
…this knitter’s accessory bag: you put it around your neck so you can keep all of your knitting necessities close at hand.  Thanks, CiD!!

Well, Monday starts another week — hoping yours is great.

To Jess L. and others:
Remembering you this Veteran’s Day.

PS in response to question about Japanese Short Rows: I learned how to do them from Nonaknits – check out this link. 

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