theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 30, 2009

From Both of Us — Sweethearts for Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 10:55 am

Last year we introduced a new design: Sweetheart Glovelets.  With Valentine’s Day a mere two weeks away, we wanted to remind everyone about this FREE pattern in time to buy yarn or stash dive, and knit up these lil cuties!

Sally’s Glovelets:

Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere (1 skein, 200 yds/55 gms), US 3 dpns, Color Keja

Susan’s Glovelets:

Sweetheart Glovelets by you.
Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK (2 skeins, 114 yds/50 gms each), US 3 dpns

We hope you enjoy the pattern!

P.S. If you have any trouble with the first row of the pattern (the ruffle at the cuff), click here.

January 27, 2009

From Susan — One Last Glance (see added note re kits)

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:39 am

Well, at least for now!  The Bohus Exhibit was stunning, but of course, no photography allowed.  We were able to take pictures of the designs that Solveig recently put into kit form, but I did not have a camera with me .  Saved by friend, Kim!  Here are a few of the Bohus Beauties we saw that evening:

Red Light

Turquoise Light

Gothic Windows Pink (Sally bought this kit)

Rime Frost (aka Grace Kelly Bohus)


It looks like I missed a great time on Sunday by the blogs I’ve read.  There was a special dinner for the Swedish dignitaries and some of the MKG Board to thank us for our support of the exhibit.  I did not go because I had been out knitting with peeps for days on end and thought I should be home at least one night — mistake!  I do plan on visiting the exhibit at least once more before March.

I want to thank Sally for her kind words about the “nursing care” I provided — it twern’t nuthin.  Honestly, I didn’t do much of anything!  I do know now that every time she visits I better have homemade shortbread cookies on hand!

ETA from Sally:

A reader commented: “I love the pictures but I have a question that has not been addressed by any other blogger or any website selling the Bohus kits. What sizes do the kits cover? Or is everything written for just one size? (And why isn’t this mentioned anywhere?).”

Here’s the answer: The typical kit contains sufficient yarn to make the largest size. For example, I purchased the Gothic Windows kit in pink. Directions are provided for sizes XX Small, X Small, Small, Medium, Large, and XL (bust size from 36 1/4 to 46). At the top, it says, “There is sufficient yarn in each kit to make the XL size.”

For my Large Lace Collar, I made the size largest size yoke because of the modifications to the design I am making to knit it in the round. I had “yoke” (colored) yarn left over.

Here is a link to the American Swedish Institute Shop for kit prices and availability: ASI Link.

January 26, 2009

From Sally — Sometimes Bigger is Better

Filed under: Back Story — surly @ 9:21 am

I’m back in our nation’s capital, finally feeling well enough to drink some coffee without flinching.

I wanted to give a public shout out to my big sister, who took such good care of me while I was in Minnesota. She handled my luggage, dropped me off everywhere we went while she parked (to protect my fragile system from the cold), cooked bland foods for me, and basically waited on me hand and foot. I couldn’t have survived the first day or so of the trip without her nursing care.

It was such a wonderful event — I wish I had felt more able to enjoy it. I met so many wonderful people, and if I seemed a bit “unsocial” I hope you will all understand.

Thank you again to my big sister!

January 24, 2009

From Susan — Bohus Dreams

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:40 am

It was fantastic.  The exhibit is jaw dropping.  The history is inspiring.  The designs are too beautiful to be believed.

I picked Sally up at the airport and she was like a weak kitten, but was also quite a trooper.  We arrived at the opening reception at the American Swedish Institute, and right as you enter, you see your first Bohus sweaters in a small display case.  I gasped.  Then we entered the reception area and saw fantastic food — I gasped again and ran for the goodies!

Here are some of the key players at the event:

Susanna Hansson — Susanna is one of the favorite teachers at Yarnover and I think is single-handedly rekindling a love for all things Bohus.  She translates the Bohus patterns into English (thank you!).

Wendy J. Johnson — Wendy was instrumental is making the exhibit a reality and in getting the Bohus Stickning book (see below) to press.

Solveig Gustafsson — Solveig is recreating the gorgeous Bohus kits.  This endeavor is as much art as science, and she does unbelieveable work.  She dyes the yarn to precision and knits the samples (she said that she knits the yokes and her husband knits the bodies by machine!).

Kerstin Olsson — Kerstin is one of the original team of designers for the Bohus and designed my beloved Wild Apples.

Sally and I saw Susanna right away, and she asked if we would like to meet Solveig — of course!  Solveig said she reads our blog all the time!  I was floating on Cloud Nine after that comment! 

There were two main viewing rooms with Bohuses on display.  It was breathtaking to see a roomful of Bohuses!  Kerstin provided an informal history lesson on the different designs.

Later in the evening, Solveig did a lecture describing her personal journey into Bohus and the creative process of recreating the designs.  She has completed 32 designs and said there are over 1,000 left to do! 

She was so warm and funny.  Someone asked this lengthy question about the link to the past and did she feel a spiritual connection to the knitters who have gone before…etc., etc.  Her one-word response: No.

And then they unveiled her most recent designs: Blue Light, Turquoise Light (which she pronounced “turquose” — again, very cute!), Red Light, Gothic Windows and the simple but elegant Rime Frost.  Rime Frost is famous for the fact that Grace Kelly wore it on many occasions, so it is often referred to as the Grace Kelly Bohus.  How to choose?  One cannot!

I did buy the special edition book published for the event:

Available for $14.95

It includes pictures that have never been seen before.  Today we will see the documentary film about Bohus Stickning and knit in the “Castle” with others who understand the significance of this historic exhibit — woo hoo! 

For another perspective, check out Ellen’s blog.  Last night she wore her just-finished Forest Darkness (gorgeous!).

January 23, 2009

From Susan — Let the Festivities Begin!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:26 am

The Bohus exhibit starts this weekend and dignitaries from around the globe are converging on the Twin Cities — one notable name is Wendy of WendyKnits.  I was invited to a soiree last evening to welcome her to town.  It was in the fashionable warehouse district: upscale, trendy, cosmopolitan, sophisticated — of course, I was completely unfamiliar with the area!  Couldn’t find the place to save my life.  I finally got there because of Brad’s brilliant (baby steps) instructions, “Yes, turn right — yes, right there.  I can see you from here.  You’re doing fine.” 

The hostess: warm and inviting
The food: gourmet
The setting: out of a movie — think steel, glass, leather

I felt like a kid whose mommy and daddy let her stay up during a grown-up party!  I’m sure they thought we were all hicks because the knit-bloggers were taking pictures of everything, like tourists! 

I talked to some very wonderful knitters: Wendy, of course, Chris (from Stumbling Over Chaos), and Kmkat (aka Kathy at Kmkat and Her Needles):


We also met the hostess’s lovely mum, Donna.  She was elegant and lovely and fun:

Donna with their HUGE Standard Poodle — handsome as a movie star!

It was a great kick off to a sure-to-be fab weekend.  Today I await Surly’s arrival.  She has been quite ill the last couple of days, so she may not be able to make it.  XXXXXXX (crossed fingers!)

PS: Sally made it onto the plane so there is hope!!

January 21, 2009

From Susan — Great Day, Great Night

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:41 am

Wow — what a celebration for our country and the world…ushering in a new president and a new era.  It will be interesting to see what unfolds.

Last evening was our monthly Guild meeting.  It is always fun to meet up with dedicated knitters.  Our program was “movie night” and this is the movie we watched:

Forty minutes of heaven, except that it was 60 people watching a crummy TV with very iffy sound.  Oh well!  Loved every minute!  One of our newest members was introduced and said, “I found out about the guild through The Rainey Sisters.”  Yes — we got a shout out!!  Woo Hoo!  Thanks, Rose, for the “free advertising”!  It helps us keep our costs down!   And a special “hi” to Patsy! 

Sally arrives on Friday so we can participate in the wildly anticipated Bohus festivities.  To be honest, I don’t think the American Swedish Institute will know what hit them!  Saturday there will be open knitting time throughout the mansion.  We will rock the place!!!

January 18, 2009

From Susan — Seeing White Elefantes

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:15 pm

My third wee FO is my third wee Elefante…it turned out as cute as Number One.  I am so relieved!  If there was one cute Elefante and two daughters, it would not turn out well!

Of course it has to be in her school colors.    And the obligatory “butt shot:”

Cascade 220

And this picture is for Sally — we have the most gorgeous snow falling right now.  The grainy white specks are actually flakes (not the best photo!).  Maybe it will snow while you are here.

We’ve had fabulous snow for cross country skiing which is thrilling my DH to no end!  Yay!

PS — if you have not visited for a while, please scroll down to see Sally’s Bohus and to read about the event this week at the American Swedish Institute.

January 17, 2009

From Susan — Another Wee Project

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:28 pm

One way to generate FOs is to knit really tiny projects !  This one I started yesterday upon purchasing the latest Piecework Magazine, and I finished it today.  My mini-FO is certainly no rival for the masterpiece that Sally is working on.  I have the same kit in my stash and need to get going on it.  I feel very behind now!

If you only buy one Piecework, make it this one!  The issue has historical knitting as its focus and it is a small treasure — a fun, fun read with some great information.

Here is the crown of the cap:

I used oddments of Hebridean 2 ply from my stash in very different colors than those called for — I try not to second guess Alice very often, but I thought it was okay in this case!  It was a putzy and annoying knit, but over quickly.  I suspect that Alice is hoping to bring some new fair isle knitters into the fold, and I hope she succeeds!  The cap is small: measuring 5″ from brim to crown with an overall circumference of 14 inches.  I have no idea what I will do with it, or even why I made it, but it is done and I like it.

This week we are giddy in anticipation of the Bohus festivities, and I am also very excited to observe the inaugural from afar.  What a wonderful history lesson for all of us.

January 14, 2009

From Sally — A New Bohus

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Large Lace Collar — Tags: , — surly @ 10:49 am

I’ve had the yarn to knit a new Bohus sweater for a long time, and I finally started it. My inspiration for doing so is The American Swedish Institute’s upcoming exhibition, Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition. I’ll be traveling to Minnesota (BRRRRRR) next week to visit Susan and go to the exhibit’s opening weekend.

The Bohus now on my needles is the Large Lace Collar, and I’m using one of the kits produced by Solveig Gustafsson. The directions for these authentic Swedish kits have you knit the yoke in the round, and then knit the back, front, and sleeves as flat pieces. I’ve chosen to rewrite the directions to knit the entire garment in the round because I love having the whole sweater finished when it comes off the needles.

As with my Blue Shimmer, I’m going to make some small changes to the design. I’ll do a different neck than the ribbing the pattern calls for. I’m not quite sure yet what that will be, so I started the sweater with a provisional cast on to keep my options open. I’ve just now finished the yoke, which is the slow but fun part. Here are some in progress photos:

As I was about to finish the yoke, I decided to rip back three rows in order to line the patterns up differently. At that point, I had 400+ stitches on my needle and I didn’t want to lose them. (I was on a size 2.5 mm.) So I pulled out the needle, and then used it to pick up the stitches in the row I needed to rip down to. Once the stitches were securely on the needle, I could rip out the rows above it without worrying about losing anything. In case you’ve never done that, here’s a picture of how it looked as I was picking the row up:

It’s a little fussy, but much faster than other ways of doing it. Now that I am in the all black portion of my sweater, I’ve gone down a needle size to a 2.25 mm. The reason for that is in my experience, I knit a little tighter when I’m stranding. If I didn’t change needle sizes now that the sweater is all one color, the knitting would look looser and the sweater might appear to “balloon out” from the yoke.

I’m trying NOT to think about the fact that I am knitting an entire sweater on the size needles I usually use for socks and gloves.

January 11, 2009

From Susan — Something Wee

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:07 pm

Some things you make to wear.  Some you make to give.  And some you make to love.  This lil dude falls into the last two categories.   I swear that Ravelry will be the death of me because I keep getting drawn into new projects!  I stumbled onto this one and started it as soon as the Baby Cables was flopped on the floor to dry!

Elefante by Susan B. Anderson

I made him over the course of a couple of evenings and felted him lightly to soften the stitch definition.  You can see by the soda can that he is a small and lovable creature!   He was knit with Galway worsted wool from my stash using size US 5 dpns — really, any worsted should work fine.  The pattern called for crocheted ears but I knitted mine instead — my crocheting is non-existent!

I was making him (her?) for Person A…until Person B saw him and laid claim.  Person C protested the favorable treatment and placed an order.  Person D (moi) wants her own!!  And now I hear requests are coming in from other family members!  It’s a case of Fetching Glovelets all over again, although these are a lot putzier!  Just knitting four legs each time is a bit off putting.  But he is 2cute4words so what can I do??

PS — I finished the second one and s/he is just not as cute 🙁 .  I think the trunk is too long and the head too small.   This will go to Person A because Person A will never know that it is not the cutest, and Person A does not live with me, so I will not be constantly reminded that it is not as cute.   Wish me better luck with Number 3.

PS2: How I did the ears:
Make 1 = pull up running thread and knit with a twist

Using long-tail method, cast on 12 sts.
Row 1 (RS): knit
Row 2 (WS): K1, make 1, knit to last st, make 1, k1 (2 sts inc)

Rep these 2 rows until 20 sts total.  Knit 10 rows garter st (10 ridges will be visible on RS, incl. cast on ridge). 

Next row: k2tog, knit to end of row.  Rep 3 more times (16 sts).  Bind off.  NOTE: Bound off edge is sewn to Elefante.

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