theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 30, 2008

From Susan — Response to a Hoodie Question

Filed under: Susan's Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie,Uncategorized — lv2knit @ 3:23 pm

Astrid wrote a comment about Roslin, “I can’t wait to see it. I know you’ll love yours as much as I do mine. How are you working the neck opening? It looks different. If you continued in the round that far up, how did you do it?”

Response to Astrid: I think it is an optical illusion in the photo.  I started working back and forth right above the fair isle band as described in the pattern:

Roslin004.jpg picture by lv2knit

It may be hard to see, but the split is there.

January 29, 2008

From Susan — There’s a Hood in my Future

Filed under: Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie — lv2knit @ 12:45 am

It is amazing to me that this pattern is working!  I know I should trust the designer 😉 , but even though the number cruncher is moi, I was not very trusting.  So the fact that it is working makes me very happy.

I have about 2.5 more inches of raglan shaping to do and then the hood.  I hope to be blocking by this weekend, which means there is no way I’ll be blocking by this weekend!  My self imposed “deadlines” rarely mean anything at all, except minor to major disappointment…

 Roslin004.jpg picture by lv2knit

I have been hauling this thing to work and getting a row or two done on break.  It’s a lot to drag around, but the knitting is mindless and fun!!

PS: The temperature is supposed to drop 45 degrees between now and tomorrow, with 50 below wind chill — even WE [Minnesotans] can’t believe it’s happening to us!

PS2: The windchill is only 34 below — positively balmy compared to -50!  I am 3″ into the hood!  Maybe I’ll be wearing this bad boy next week…

January 27, 2008

From Susan — Going Topless

Filed under: Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie — lv2knit @ 11:51 am

Not me!  That would send screaming hordes running through the streets in horror!  No, it’s ROSLIN that’s topless– at least for the moment ;):

RoslinHoodie1-27-08.jpg picture by lv2knit

I joined the three main pieces and now it seems HUGE.  You have the widest portion of both sleeves joined to the widest portion of the front and back.  It seems like a lot of knitting at once!  You decrease 8 sts every other row, which helps fairly quickly.  Once you get to the neck, you go straight up to the hood and then, finito, Bandito.  I did try it on, which looked a bit ridiculous: like an extremely rustic ballgown for the Oscars, and it looks like it will fit.  Yay!

My Roslin has quite a way to go, but here is another finished Roslin from our German knitting friend, Joanna (aka, Asinek on Ravelry) — Guten Tag, Joanna!!

AsineksRoslin2.jpg picture by lv2knit

AsineksRoslin1.jpg picture by lv2knit

She used very fine merino sock yarn.  It amazes me that people can use all these different yarns and come up with a finished Rossie!  Thanks for sharing!

So, I will continue to plug away on Topless so she will not be topless for long. 

PS to Lorraine: you will always be an honorary Rainey sister because of who you are!  Maybe if we had designed the Fetching glovelets it would be a different story!

January 25, 2008

From Susan and Sally — Glovelets on Parade

Filed under: Glovelets — Both Sisters @ 12:40 pm

From Susan:
As I said when I listed this little project on Ravelry, “Is knitting a pair of Fetching glovelets a requirement of all knitters?”  Honestly, I think every knitter on earth has made a pair of these!  My pair was knit from some of the yarn we purchased at Knit New York on our trip: Art Yarns 5 ply cashmere.  It could not be softer and my lil daughter actually likes them!  Should I have a contest to see how long before she loses one or both of the little [$45 –eek] cuties??

Glovelet002.jpg picture by lv2knit

Did I say she likes them?  She LOVES them!  She would not take them off last night, and I cannot tell you how happy that makes me feel!  They look absolutely adorable on her.  The last thing I knitted her was the lace top from Vogue Knitting which she wore once for a total of five minutes because I made her.

From Sally:
I was bored with my sleeve for the Pearl Buck cardigan about five rows after I started, so on the train up to New York I decided to finish my Wine and Roses glovelets from the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits. I had knit the first one ages ago, but never started the second. I knit them holding together a fine pure silk (Andrea in colorway greenjeans) and a pale green Kidsilk Haze. Here is the finished pair:

Then I, too, decided to make a pair of the Fetching glovelets/mitts out of the 5-ply cashmere. I really debated at the store (Knit New York) which color to buy and I think I chose poorly. I loved this yarn in the skein, but knitted up? Not so much. That is one of the real risks in my opinion with variegated yarns. Fortunately, these are just kind of a funky, fun knit so it’s okay. (FYI: I added a number of additional rows to these before reaching the thumb; I have small hands and they still would not have been long enough.) Here is the one I’ve made. I have started the second one.

From Susan:
I also started a pair of Dashing glovelets for moi.  My daughter was HORRIFIED!  “You’re not making the same ones as mine, are you?”  No, but to her they are WAY too similar.  She will not let me wear any fingerless gloves when she is wearing hers for fear that someone will mistake us for twins ;).

Dashing001.jpg picture by lv2knit

There are some problems with the pattern, but I am working it out as I go.  The yarn was acquired as a result of the recent stash diving I did at Surly’s 🙂 — Manos del Uruguay, Color Prairie #104 (it does not look like any photos on a website — it looks exactly like stained wood!).  I love this yarn and the color is spectacular.  I will provide an update this weekend on my Roslin Hoodie.  I joined the sleeves to the body so now it is moving as glacially as our weather has been!

January 22, 2008

From Susan and Sally — The Rainey Sisters on Broadway (sorta kinda)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Both Sisters @ 9:45 am

After Susan arrived on Thursday, she did some “stash diving” at Surly’s and found a number of treasures before we even embarked on our quest!  We left for NYC bright and early on Friday, hoping to get a couple of yarn store visits under our belts before the “theatah.”


Based upon the recommendations of our readers, our first stop on Friday was School Products — a counterintuitive name for a yarn store, but hey. It was full of various treasures, especially some nice cashmere. Even so, Sally was drawn to the wall of Koigu like a moth to a flame, though she already has a wall of Koigu of her own. Seventeen skeins (which was every skein they had) of a rich eggplant “solid” somehow found its way into her knitting bag.  Hmmmmm…how did that happen?

School Products is owned by Bertra Karapetyan — author of Runway Knits and the force behind Karabella Yarns.

Next up: Habu Textiles.

Habu Textiles is not really a yarn shop, but does specialize in very exotic fibers: steel yarn (thread, actually) and an array of other fun things like silks and bamboo. It’s a fun place to browse and touch, but we didn’t buy anything. (Sally already has six or seven cones of exotics from Habu that she bought several years ago.)

Friday Night

Friday night marked Clay Aiken’s Broadway debut in Spamalot.  Who could miss that?  It was a crazy, irreverent, bawdy, funny show.  Clay was wonderful in his multiple roles: Sir Robin, monk, idiot guard.  We loved Tom Deckman, who played “Herbert,” as well and enjoyed the play immensely.  There was a huge crush of fans at the Stage Door waiting to get Clay’s autograph, which we were unable to do — too far back.  But we left feeling like the evening was a raging success.


First Stop: Purl Soho, which has more beautiful yarn per square inch than almost any other store we’ve been to. The shop is small, but it is more than worth a trip (or two). We could have spent a fortune here, but we tried to restrain ourselves.  We bought some silk and mohair blends and some Blue Skye Alpaca and Silk for experimenting. Oh! And some sock yarn.

Soho itself is a fun area to wander around in. We wished we hadn’t eaten a late breakfast because right by Purl is a restaurant called Once Upon a Tart that looked intriguing if you know what we mean and we think that you do.

Next stop: Knit New York — a wonderful knitting shop with great coffee and even nicer people:

They encourage knitters to just hang out and knit, which was fine with us!  This place was our favorite.

Here’s Nina, whom we met at Knit New York:

Nina blew us away!  She is an extremely accomplished knitter at the very tender age of seventeen.  She made her hat (Interweave Knits) and knew so much about all kinds of knitting.  She has made two Rogue Hoodies (one sans hood for Mom), and just seemed so ahead of the game with her knitting.  We would love to see where she is in twenty years!  What a sweetie!

Here Sally is enjoying the ambience of the shop: it was great to sip coffee, knit and hang out in the warm and welcoming atmosphere — note wall o’yarn!!  (Doesn’t she look tired? We were up way too late Friday night, especially Sally.) We relieved them of a lot of their yarn burden 😉 — it was the least we could do. We bought some lovely 5-ply cashmere from Artful Yarns (for fingerless gloves or mitts) and lots and lots of Sirino, a silk and merino blend from the Great Adirondack Yarn Company.

The fantastic staff agreed to pose for us, Chorus Line style!

From Left to Right: Anneli, Miriam (shop owner), Carlee, Brooke, and Meghan

We rushed back to the hotel so we could get dinner before going to Wicked, but got waylaid by the opportunity to have Clay sign our programs after the matinee — and he did!

Saturday night we dined atop our hotel in the revolving restaurant with a view of the city and then on to the play: Wicked was fantastic, as everyone knows.  The production was amazing — we left there feeling like we had experienced a real Broadway show.  Sally especially loved it, as she hadn’t seen it before. Then back to reality!  We took the train back to DC early Sunday morning.

Here we attempt to capture the beautiousness of our acquired yarns:

The silks, the alpacas, the cashmeres…  ::sigh::  Just packing the yarn was a treat because of the softness.

We had a totally wonderful time — made even better by meeting up with old and new friends.  We say farewell to Times Square (view from our room):

View from Times Square!!

It was really cold there….Hey Cowboy, you seem to have forgotten your pants 🙂

January 16, 2008

From Sally — Where (Will) We Be? New York! New York!

Filed under: Pearl Buck Swing Jacket — surly @ 11:43 am

Start spreading the news . . .

Yes, the Rainey Sisters will be together again! Tomorrow, Susan is flying to Washington, and then on Friday we will take the train up to New York. We’re going to see Clay Aiken in his Broadway debut in Monty Python’s Spamalot on Friday night. (I say “we,” but y’all know it’s mostly me.) On Saturday, we’ll catch Wicked. (Susan’s seen it; I haven’t.) In between, we’ll knit and visit yarn stores. So far, we are thinking about Purl Soho, String, and Habu Textiles. Any other suggestions greatly appreciated, although we don’t have a lot of time.

In the meantime, for those who like to watch paint dry, I’ve finished the second front of Pearl Buck.

Just the two sleeves to go. (Doesn’t sleeve avoidance mean it’s time to start a new project?) The original pattern calls for very short (just below the elbow) belled sleeves. I’m making more of a full length stove pipe sleeve — kind of a cross between the sleeve on this:

and this:

The sleeves will therefore end up being slightly belled at the wrist, but get tighter at the elbow (even though I am not changing the number of stitches until close to the armhole).

The jacket doesn’t have any additional finishing along the front edges. I think it needs something. I’m debating among several quick little finishes; I’ll let you know what I chose to do once I decide.

Now to answer a few questions/points:

1. Should I get a little assistant of my own?

Yes. I mean, no. Not if I want to keep my husband. (Don’t tell him it’s a tough call.) I think someone asked his name. It’s Batman (the little assistant, not my husband).

2. The length of the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket

Yes, it’s pretty dang short. Too short to actually be called a jacket in my opinion, but I am not the one who named it. The usual way of lengthening by just adding rows before the armhole won’t work because the pleat chart, which completes the lower back panel, is a set number of rows. There are two ways one could lengthen it, however.

If you wanted to add fairly significant length, you could chart out one more diamond for the pleat — a larger, first one. You would need to alter the number of stitches you cast on and move the fold line stitches out slightly, but it would be relatively easy to do. I considered doing that, decided not to, and have slight regrets. Le sigh.

If you only wanted to add an inch or so, you could add that to the yoke, which is knit sideways. You would just add stitches to the number the pattern tells you to cast on, but then follow the directions as written for the neck shaping. HOWEVER, you would also need to adjust where you start the armhole shaping on the lower back piece and on the fronts. You would need to move the shaping up to compensate for the increased width of the yoke.

3. Why did I invert the pleat?

I just didn’t like the way the pleat hangs in the original design and thought it would be fun to hide the diamond pattern inside an inverted pleat.

PS from Susan — here is my Viking:

VikingTurid.jpg picture by lv2knit

January 12, 2008

From Sally — The Buck Stops Here

Filed under: Pearl Buck Swing Jacket — surly @ 3:40 pm

or will when it’s finished. Pearl Buck Cardigan. Get it? You do and you’re still not laughing? Okay, that was pretty lame even for a Rainey Sister blog entry.

Anyway, I’m slowly motoring along. I’ve finished the back, the back yoke, and the left front. It’s a simple, easy knit which is apparently what I was in the mood for. Who knew?

I lightly steamed and pinned the pieces onto Lucy to get an idea of how it’s turning out.

As long as I was taking pictures, I photographed these lovely porcelain buttons that my daughter’s boyfriend gave me for Christmas.

They’re made by his parents. If you’d like to see any of their other buttons (they also make pendants), you can find them here. If anyone is looking for gift ideas for me for some odd reason, I especially like this one. *g*

On a sad note, I said goodbye this afternoon to my little assistant. He and my daughter are on their way back to college. Sigh.

January 11, 2008

From Susan — Is Nothing Sacred??!!??

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:42 pm

This shocking article was in today’s paper. 

CrimeWave.jpg picture by lv2knit

We can only pray that this is not the beginning of a new crime wave!  What’s next?  Our WIP’s?  Our UFO’s?  Our stash?  Where will it end?

From Susan — Say It Isn’t So!!

Filed under: Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie — lv2knit @ 12:34 am

I know it’s crazy, but tonight I went to knitting group WITHOUT MY KNITTING!!!  I left my Roslin sleeve in the knitting basket next to my chair!  Horrors!  So there I sat at Panera’s feeling naked and bereft.  Friend Kim let me start a pair of mittens for her: these.  They are the classic Mitered Mittens from Elizabeth Zimmermann.  Kim had yarn leftover from a lovely scarf — an extremely soft baby llama or alpaca (?).  After a little whining, I did get an inch or so done.  I may need to make me some of these! 🙂  They are really cute when they get started.

After rushing home for my Thursday night fix of !!NEW!! Grey’s Anatomy, I did knit on my sleeve:

Sleeve-2.jpg picture by lv2knit
The pink running thread is for counting rows: every 6 row increases

I have a way to go here!  I did have to re-start this: my first attempt was too big — I have such delicate wrists, you know ;).  But it goes fast and is very mindless — exactly what I need right now.  Tonight is ‘weekend eve’ so I may stay up a little later and catch up on the knitting I missed!

January 8, 2008

From Sally — My Inverted Pleat

Filed under: Pearl Buck Swing Jacket — surly @ 2:53 pm

I’ve finished the back of the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket — it went fairly quickly because the piece is shorter than the back itself will be. There is a knitted back yoke that I’m about to cast on. I’m pretty much following the pattern as written, except for changing the way the pleat looks. When binding off the back, you “set” the pleat by binding several layers of knitting together. Here’s Lucy modeling what I’ve done. When it’s finished, I am hoping that the jacket will swing a bit in the back, revealing a little bit more of the design hidden in the pleat.



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