theraineysisters knitting and so much more

June 29, 2008

From Susan — Up to my **Bee-Boop** in Mud

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 8:35 pm

I know.  We said we wouldn’t blog much over the summer, but what the heck!  Sally is on an extended road trip and will not be able to write much, so that is one reason for the announced hiatus.  I’ll check in when I can, and we will for sure hit the blog-o-sphere at least weekly (weakly?). 

Check this out:

This is the road to my house .  Now, picture a torrential downpour.  The road was a muddy mess all weekend — you should see our poor cars!  The “high road” to the left is not even really a lane — I have no idea why they built it up like that.  It is supposed to be “in process” until November…bummer!

Re: knitting.  Lorraine mentioned that she is in a bit of a knitting funk.  I can relate.  Is it the summer blahs?  Is it due to the fact that it’s not sweater weather? 

I have been knitting every day but seem to have absolutely nothing to show for it.  Nada!  For me, that is contributing somewhat to my funk.  If I start something new — to feel excited about my knitting again — it will continue the downward spiral of nothing getting finished.  It is a dilemma and one which I have written about before.

On the bright side, the Wrapped in Care Ravelry Group now has almost 60 members.   They have shared some great shawl pattern ideas and one member is ready to mail in two shawls.  I am amazed. 

PS — I realize that not everyone is on Ravelry — but they are the only people I can keep tabs on with regard to the Wrapped in Care Project.  I will track the numbers on our blog (see upper righthand corner).  Thanks to all for supporting this project!

June 27, 2008

From Sally — My Little Bolero

Filed under: Uncategorized — surly @ 5:03 pm

Well, actually, it’s my Ode to Joy cardigan. The sides are together and I’ve started one sleeve. For me, with the amount of knitting I can do, that’s progress.

Speaking of progress, my left hand almost feels normal; my right hand not so much. My knitting, therefore, is a bit sporadic. I don’t want to push it and risk prolonging this slow slow recovery. It’s been long enough as it is! That leads me to an important Rainey Sister announcement. *Clears throat and taps side of glass with spoon*

Important Rainey Sister Announcement

It’s the summer doldrums. It’s also a time of vacations and increased family responsibilities. Therefore, Susan and I are committing to blogging at least once a week, most likely on Thursdays or Fridays, through the end of the summer. We just can’t promise to blog more frequently than that, although we won’t hold back. If we have something to post, we will do so. We just need to feel as if we can kick back and relax a little bit so we are refreshed with lots of enthusiasm and projects in the fall.

We hope all of our readers will understand and we hope each of you has a happy and productive summer.

PS from Susan — I echo Sally’s sentiments.  It’s not that we want to disappoint our loyal readers.  It’s just very hard with work and soccer and summer activities to get enough knitting in to post about.  Aaaaghh!  The pressure of it all!

PS2: About the pants:

First, I did have my doubts about the pants.  When I got ready to leave for work yesterday DH says, “What’s the deal with those pants?”  Hmmm, thinks moi.  I shrugged it off because DH has no fashion sense.  Whatsoever.  None.  But, it gave me pause.  So, when I was in line at the cafeteria, I deliberately mentioned the pants to the cashier to gauge her reaction — thinking her reaction might be “polite” and neutral, but less than enthusiastic if she did not like them.  BUT to hear such a clear negative response from both her and the woman in line, it confirmed my worst fears.  The pants looked ridiculous.  It’s one thing to dance to your own drummer with confidence and flair — but quite another to look ridiculous.  At work.  In an important meeting.  So, once my fears were confirmed I could not continue the charade.  So, I lost the pants.

June 26, 2008

From Susan — De-Pantsed

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 11:44 am

Okay.  So I’m wearing my cute new outfit today (see previous post) and was in the cafeteria getting coffee.  The cashier complimented me on my new dress.  I said, “It has these pants, too.” And she said, “Lose the pants.”  Then someone else walked up to pay for her food — a complete stranger, mind you — and said, “Yeah, you’ve got to lose the pants!” 

So, I took them off — not in the cafeteria line, but…I did lose the pants.  I’m a little bummed that no one liked my cute pants!

June 24, 2008

From Susan — From The Yarnery

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 10:32 am

The Yarnery is sponsoring its own charity knitting event, called The Promise Blanket.  They are creating a simple, but beautiful blanket that will be auctioned.  The proceeds will benefit Women’s Advocates, Inc.  They have a free pattern available at the Yarnery for a blanket square.  Knitters and non-knitters both can bid at auction time.

June 21, 2008

From Susan — Whatcha Working On?

Filed under: Mystic Waters Shawl — lv2knit @ 8:23 am

Thank you all for the wonderful outpouring of support for the Wrapped in Care program.  I received a number of stories that validate the project and a number of people who have jumped on board to knit a shawl and/or get the word out to knitting groups, church knitting ministries, etc.  Thanks!  I created a Ravelry Group called Wrapped in Care — I would love it if those of you who are working on shawls would join!  You’re all issued a formal invitation to join the group!

This weekend, instead of spending two full days at a soccer tournament ( – er, Bad, Bad Mommy! – ), I will be sewing.  I am making the dress that goes with my Mystic Waters Shawl (which isn’t making much progress) — here’s the pattern:

Check out the cute pants that go under the dress!  I thought that was a great idea — more coverage without looking frumpy, so I bought the dark blue to go with.  It says “fast & easy” so I hope there is truth in advertising!  My real sewing days are over.  I used to do close-to-couture sewing and made all of my clothes.  Now, fast and easy rules!

I’ve stationed myself downstairs in view of the DVD player and will sew to Pride and Prejudice or something along those lines.  I know every word by heart, so it can play in the background.

What are the rest of you working on?  My knitting is in such a doldrum lately that I would love to be inspired by others!!


June 17, 2008

From Susan — Wrapped in Care

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 11:05 pm

Knitters are very kind and generous people.  Generous in spirit and generous by giving of themselves in the form of knitting.  I think most of us are more excited by the giving of a knitted item than the recipient.  It is an expression of love, affection, and caring — the gift of our time and talent, which is the most precious gift of all.  When asked, knitters step up to the plate every time.  I’ve seen it happen many times over, and I am counting on it now.  Prove me right, knitting peeps!

Wrapped in Care Shawl Project
I was approached recently by the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics — St. Paul about an idea they had come up with in their Bereavement Support Group —  a group for mothers who have suffered the death of an infant.  They would like to provide these women with a hand-knitted shawl at the time when they must say their final good-byes. 

The grieving parents often want to take a picture with their baby as a lasting memento.  If the mother has not already been discharged, she can be photographed holding her baby in a beautiful hand-knit shawl instead of a hospital gown.  Wrapped in Care.

They sought me out because they know I am an avid knitter — they wondered if I would be willing to knit a shawl for this fledgling idea of theirs.  And, did I happen to know any other knitters who might be interested.  It took me a few minutes to think about it (I am a bit slow on the uptake!). 

Do I know any knitters?
Until a few years ago, I was a solitary knitter, “networked” only with my sister.  Now, I am part of a weekly knitting group, a VP of the Knitters Guild, a regular blogger, and part of the Ravelry community.  I am linked to hundreds, no thousands, of knitters both locally and worldwide through the internet.  I started to think, wow, I could really get the word out and make this happen!

The Fates Played a Hand
Part of my role as a VP of the MKG is to plan monthly programs for the membership meetings.  The June 2008 program was selected long before I knew anything about the shawl project and the June topic: “Share Your Shawl” a member show-and-share of their gorgeous hand-knit shawls.  The program was held this evening, and it was an amazing sight — 47 of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring shawls you have ever seen! 

I thought this meeting would be the perfect time to roll out the “Wrapped in Care Shawl Project” and tie it into the “Share Your Shawl” theme.

I also realized that even though people have wonderful intentions, sometimes they get side-tracked as time goes by.  So, I went to the United Hospital Foundation and asked for funding for some free shawl kits to take to the Guild meeting.  I thought if people took a kit home, they would be more likely to knit a shawl.  So, I distributed 15 shawl kits at the meeting tonight.  Way to go, Guild Members!!!  Thanks in advance for your support!  Mwah!

This will be an ongoing effort with no specific deadline — too many shawls are needed.  United and Children’s are topnotch hospitals and provide excellent care to mothers and infants — but even so, 200 women each year leave the hospital with empty arms.

What can you do?
Please consider knitting a shawl!  I know many of you do charity knitting and many others are waiting to be inspired.  The details are included in the flyer and brochure linked below (and in the right-hand corner of the blog).  The finished shawls can be sent directly to Children’s Hospital.

My Thursday knitting peep, Emily, has really stepped up to the plate.  She is already on her third shawl!  Bless your heart, Emily — you’re wonderful!  Here are the shawls she knitted:

 The shawls do not need to be expensive.  And “easy care” is the key.  For the shawl kits, I did a lot of my shopping at JoAnn Fabrics (I know :)).  The Yarnery was another source!  The Bereavement Support Group said that soft yarn is preferred, in muted, non-variegated colors (or with very gentle variation in color) — these photograph the best. 

And please, help get the word out. 
Link this to everyone, everywhere.  I have created a pdf flyer and a bi-fold brochure that explain all the details, such as where to send the shawls, etc.  Take them to your knitting groups.  Link them to your blogs!  There are many free shawl patterns to choose from out there, such as The Alix Prayer Shawl and The Adamas ShawlI have also written up the two, very easy patterns pictured above.

Wrapped in Care Flyer

Wrapped in Care Free Patterns

These links will be available permanently in the right-hand column of our blog.

I am honored and humbled to be a part of this project.  I feel like it was meant to be — that the reason I blog and have linked up with other knitters over the years happened for a purpose.  I am so excited to share this with all of you!! 

Please help make this a reality.

June 16, 2008

From Susan — Thanks!

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 7:44 am

Gee, everyone!  Thanks for the birthday greetings!  Surly, I’ll need to get back at you for sharing the photos!

As you may recall, the OH was this weekend — on my birthday!  And on Father’s Day.  So, DH and I had a “relaxing” day of hosting 60-75 people at our house!  It went extremely well, the weather was drop-dead perfect, I had food for 150 people (oops — note to self: buy less food next time!)….it was a success.  Just not relaxing.  Especially at ten minutes to 1:00 when nothing seemed to be ready.

Here is the cake before:

And after:

Friend Mary was right: cut the cake and put pieces on plates so people eat the darned thing!  The cake was humongous, and we did send a HUGE chunk home with John’s dad to share with relatives who could not be there.  I saw many old and dear, dear friends and felt overwhelmed by their love and caring.  So many of them go back to BEFORE the days when Laura was tiny.  One friend I have known since I was twelve!  So it was as special for me as for Laura and well worth all of the effort. 

Sally, your Ode to Joy is absolutely stunning and I keep thinking I should have gone with that colourway — so easy to second guess oneself!

Thanks again for the well wishes!

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 11, 2008

From Susan — Apparently It Is…

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 5:15 pm

…a Minnesota thing!  Mostly, anyway.  It was really fun reading about all of the traditions and mores from around the country. 

As you can probably surmise, I have done very little knitting of late.  A lot of running around, a lot of shopping, a lot of “preparation.”  But not a lot of knitting.  I have stolen a few moments here and there to work on the Mystic Waters Shawl and bought some really pretty fabric to make a dress/jumper to wear with it.

As for the party, we are not doing a lot to our house — some people do a full home makeover from roof to basement.  BUT, this was the perfect excuse to buy a new sofa for the downstairs family room.  The old one was 35 YEARS OLD!!!!!    It was a rust-colored loveseat that I slip-covered several years ago.  The joy I felt when that thing was dragged out to the dumpster is beyond belief.    It actually had springs poking out of it like in the cartoons!  It was stained, holey, ripped and lumpy.  OMG!  The new sofa is lovely and no lumps, no springs, no rips. 

Now it’s back to work!

June 8, 2008

From Susan — Is This a Minnesota Thing?

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 12:44 pm

I am talking about the obligatory “Graduation Open House” aka “High School Graduate Fundraising Event.”  In Minnesota, everyone has to host these events for the new graduate.  To not do so means that a) you do not love your little darling and b) your child will start out broke.

There are only so many weekends available, so scheduling your event is tricky (ours is next weekend).  This often means trekking from one open house (OH) to another to pay off congratulate the honoree.  The typical OH consists of tables and chairs set up outside or — in case of rain — in the garage.  Food is simple and served buffet style.

I have been dreading looking forward to this fiasco celebration for 13 years — since Laura started her first day of kindergarten.  I am not one for hosting large parties and avoid entertaining whenever possible. 

So, last weekend I attended my first in a series of open houses and had an epiphany.  The hosts are really good friends of ours and always throw great parties, so I knew it would be nice.  It was nice and not overly lavish — yay!  But here is what Gina said that turned on the light bulb for me: “We decided to have the party indoors.”  I should have realized this as I was standing in her kitchen at the time, but I am a little slow on the uptake.

I realized that what I had been dreading all these years was trying to put on an outdoor party: Our garage is crap, our deck unfinished; what about renting tables and chairs and tents and serving warmers, the weather, etc. etc.  How do you keep the hot food hot, the cold food cold….OMG!  Now that we have decided to have the party inside, it is a much more attainable goal.  I also decided to keep everything very simple and not do any of the cooking: all the food is being prepared elsewhere. 

I think I can do this now!  Laura will feel loved, and Laura will not be broke — though of course, I will be!

PS from Susan: I tried to drop a subtle hint to Laura about “eloping” (i.e., give her the $$ that I would have spent, but not host the gig), but then ALL the criteria would not be met: I would be broke, Laura would not be broke, but Laura would not feel loved.  So, the gig goes on!

PS2: Our school also hosted an all-night party the night of graduation.  It cost $175 — my daughter did not want to attend, so we got off the hook there, though I heard it was fun.  She wanted to spend the evening with friends from a neighboring school who would not be able to attend.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress