theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 31, 2009

From Both of Us — Who Would Win??

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 7:48 am

In response to Susan’s question:

“If you [both] entered the same contest, with the same garment, who would win?”

Sally: Susan, of course.

Susan: Sally would win, hands down!

Thank goodness we’ll never know!!

August 28, 2009

From Susan — Fair Weather Day

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:17 am

Today was Day 1 of the Minnesota State Fair!  As I mentioned yesterday, I volunteered to help staff the knitters guild booth.  That is a great excuse to hang around lots of knitters.  And lots and lots and lots of other people, too!  Opening day, perfect weather and “Thrifty Thursday” prices meant a huge crowd.

I got to the fair at 11:30 am and needed to report for duty at 1 pm.  I left right after my shift.  Needless to say, I did not see much of the fair this time around.  BUT, there are a few places I always get to no matter what.

Best Corn Dogs
State Fair 2009 Best Corn Dog by you.
Location: kitty corner from Creative Activities

The corn dogs are piping hot and fresh, with a tender, melt-in-your-mouth cornbread crust.  Yum!!  I had two.

Best Coffee
State Fair 2009 Coffee by you.
Location: Down the street from Creative Activities

They also have a cool jazz trio that plays live music — they are quite good:

State Fair 2009 Trio Tipo by you.

I did spend quite a bit of time wandering around the Creative Activities building trying to find my entries.  It took a full half hour to find everything! 

My entries and their standings (full results here):
Baby Cables Pullover — first
Sweetheart Tunic — first
Lace Beret — first
Quincy hat — first
Aran Wrap — second
Sunburst Beaded Amulet Bag — second
Beaumont Beanie — third
Swirl Scarf — nuttin’

I couldn’t find my hats right away because they were on mannequins wearing beautiful sweaters and my eyes were drawn to the sweaters.  I couldn’t find my scarf because it was so well hidden behind everything else in the case!  I mean hidden.  I mean, please make sure no one is subjected to this scarf!  Protect the innocent!

It is very difficult to take good pictures because of the glare off the glass, but here are a few:

State Fair 2009 Baby Cables by you.
Baby Cables — my scarf is in this picture!!  Exactly!

State Fair 2009 009 by you.
Sweetheart (aka Whiskey) Tunic and Aran Wrap (in the back)

 Could someone PLEASE cough up a few bucks to buy new mannequins?  This next shot looks like “Night of the Living Dead.”  The mannies are downright embarrassing. 

State Fair 2009 027 by you.
Quincy in foreground

State Fair 2009 004 by you.
Lace Beret #13 from Vogue Knitting (hi, Trisha!)

Note the special award for intarsia on someone’s fair isle vest!

Sunburst Bag

State Fair 2009 020 by you.
Beaumont Beanie — on a headless mannequin (almost an improvement!)

And check this out:

State Fair 2009 016 by you.

No, not the “Night of the Living Dead” creepy child mannequin…look at the hat (by person unknown)!  It’s our Roslin Fair Isle Hoodie knit up as a hat!

Now, I know they have a few bucks to spend on displays — this glass exhibit looks like a fine art house.  Breathtaking:

State Fair 2009 Glass by you.

State Fair 2009 Glass by you.

They also had an exhibit of vintage-looking lingerie:

State Fair 2009 008 by you.

Here are some gorgeous crocheted and knitted table linens:

State Fair 2009 Table Linens by you.

All in all, it was a quick trip, but felt like a full day indeed. 

PS — One of the little knitting items I brought for the MKG booth is my latest FO, and something so clever and cute that a lot of people were interested in the pattern:

It is “Knitted Bunny” and is made with a 6″ knitted square!  It is such a clever idea!  It is all in the way you sew it together.  You knit the ears separately and can also add a little tail.   I wanted to share the link here because so many people liked it.  Mine is made of KidSilk Aura.

August 26, 2009

From Susan — 1 Day and Cow-nting!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:27 am

…until the Minnesota State Fair!  Corn dogs, Pronto Pups, alligator-on-a-stick.   You name it and you’ll find it at the Great Minnesota Get Together! 

One of the really exciting things you will find ::cough::cough:: — not on a stick I hope — is moi!  I will be staffing the Minnesota Knitters Guild section of the craft booth in the Creative Activities Building from 1-3 pm on opening day tomorrow.  Please stop and say “hi” if you are hanging around looking at the ribbon-festooned knitting. 

I did enter a few smaller items this year and will certainly not be taking the world by storm, but it is always a fun place to hang around.  Especially the first day when all of the hard cores come out to see the knitting. 

If you do stop by, please say your name as I have NO MEMORY lately and need all the help I can get!!

August 22, 2009

From Susan — Even MORE Hats!

Filed under: Hats,Updates — lv2knit @ 9:15 am

As I promised, there are even more hats on the loose in my house.  Hats are fun because they are fast.  And that makes them my new best friend.

This small booklet came out a week or two ago and there a couple of hat patterns that I liked.

Made in Brooklyn by Jared Flood

As mentioned in the last post, I started my Lace Beret in pale gray Fresco yarn.  I also have some cream Fresco in my stash.  One of Jared’s hats uses four colors of Fresco, two of which I already had!  Woo Hoo!  I ran out and bought the other two colors and voila:

Beaumont Beanie by you.
Beaumont Beanie in Classic Elite Fresco

This hat is baby bunny soft and has a halo about it.  Four skeins is enough yarn to make two hats.  There are two versions of the same hat: one is the beanie you see here and the other is a tam that is shown in two colors only.  The main difference is the gauge.  This hat is knit on US size 5 needles, with a gauge of 31 sts/4 inches.  And I thought I was a tight knitter!  My knitting looked very sloppy to me as I was going along, so I decided it was trying to become a tam.  Plus, the ribbing was way too tight and so it was shaped like a tam.  I wet blocked it on a plate and everything:

Beaumont Beret by you.

It’s pretty as a tam, BUT it started to shrink.  As soon as it was off the plate it started getting smaller!  So, I re-wet it and blocked it as a beanie.  The finished gauge: 31 sts/4 inches.  Another knitting mystery.   I also had to cut off and re-work the ribbing so it would not cinch in so much.  I bought some dark blue to go with the pale gray to make a hat for my younger daughter in her school colors.

The other hat I made from the book is the one from the cover, called Quincy:

Quincy Manos by you.
Quincy in Manos Del Uruguay, Color Prairie

It has a really fun and unusual construction, and when you put it on, you never want to take it off.  It is SO comfortable!  The criss-cross can go anywhere on your head, however you want to wear it.   My DD (the elder) even liked it and wants one for this winter.  I have a feeling I’ll be making a few of these!

August 19, 2009

From Susan — More Hats!

Filed under: Hats — lv2knit @ 6:37 pm

Sally mentioned being in the mood to make hats, and I think there must be something in the air!  I’ve been noticing a lot of cute hat patterns lately:

First, the recent Vogue Knitting (Hi, Trisha!) included a very nice array of hats.  I decided to try Lace Beret #13:

I really liked the use of a Japanese-inspired lace pattern.  I started out with pale gray Fresco from Classic Elite and loved the hat….but thought it might lack stitch definition.  So, I started again with Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca and Silk in a copper color:

Lace Tam 13 by you.

Lace Tam 13 001 by you.

The yarn is a little heavier than that called for, so I made the smaller size, with a slightly larger needle to yield a large beret. I got it done and then asked my knitting peeps which hat they preferred — they all said the gray one.  So, I finished the gray one:

Lace Tam Number 13 Vogue 004 by you.

It has a softer look to it and is fuzzier.  Honestly, I do not think I could choose between them.  The gray hat is in a finer yarn (more like the pattern), so I knitted it to a smaller gauge.  There are 9 pattern repeats in the gray and only 8 in the copper. 

I absolutely love the Fresco yarn.  I LOVE it!!  So, I started another hat in Fresco…more about that in a day or so.  With our knitting in slow mo, we can’t show everything in one day!  Stay tuned for more hats!!

PS: when I have polled people with the finished hats, they are split pretty much 50-50 on which one they like best.

August 18, 2009

From Susan — Mark Your Calendar

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:24 pm

Yarnover 2010 is shaping up to be a stellar event!!

2010 Yarnover postcard by you.

August 14, 2009

From Sally — Hats Off

Filed under: Kauni Tam — surly @ 2:45 pm

It’s August in Washington, the month when all knitters’ thoughts turn to hats. What?

For some reason, I’ve been in the mood to knit hats lately. I’ve been working on several — picking them up and then putting them down next to all of my other unfinished projects. Today, however, I finally finished one.

I had the idea of using some of the yarn for my unfinished Kauni Damask sweater (which I still hope to get back to once I decide what I want to do at the neck) to knit a fair isle hat. There is a Selbuvotter mittern pattern I’ve always liked, so I adapted the pattern for a tam. I narrowed and lengthened the main design, removed a few design elements (which made it look like an angry face if you glanced at it wrong), and hoped for the best.

I’m fairly pleased. It’s the first hat I’ve designed and it actually fits. Now, the next problem was how to photograph it. There is something about the color changes that makes the hat look best when you can see most or all of the pattern. (That may be due to the color combination near the ribbing, which is the combination I like the best. That’s why I started with it, but I should perhaps have saved it for the crown. Live and learn. I ain’t reknitting it.)

The other photography issue is the need for a model. I don’t have a Lucy equivalent for hats. The only potential model in the house is my seventeen-year-old son. He refused the job for some reason. Hmmmmm. Not sure it would look too great on my golden retriever. Ther was only one other possibility. Someone quiet, cooperative, and unable to run fast.

So there you have it in all its glory.

August 7, 2009

From Susan — Is It Good News or Bad News?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:11 pm

Do any of you remember this Vogue Knitting cover?

Vogue Spr 02 Cover by you.

It is notable for its glaring mistake.  I bring this up not to diss the designer, because it is a lovely and beautifully knit design.  However, it does illustrate that we are all fallible.  At the time, none of us could believe that no one caught the mistake before it got to the cover.  Not the knitter, the editor, the photographer, the proofer, the layout artist…no one.

Still can’t find the mistake?  Click here.

The magazine is 7 years old — why not let a sleeping booboo lie??  Last night at my knitting group, someone asked me to hold up the project I’m working on.  Mary gasped, “There’s a mistake, right in the middle.”  She then proceeded to apologize for ten minutes for finding the mistake.  Mary, it is MY mistake, not yours!!  And I was very grateful that she found it!  Do I want to end up like the cover of Vogue (like you’ll ever have something on the cover of Vogue, Bubba!) and have my mistake hanging out there for all to see, or would I rather find out now and fix it?

I rushed home and fixed it…case closed.  And thanks, Mary!!

August 2, 2009

From Susan — Teaching and Learning

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:01 am

Even though I don’t make a lot of $$ teaching knitting classes, I really love to do it.  I am, by title, an educator in my “real” job, but to be honest, I feel more like one in my knitting classes.

Yesterday and today I am teaching a series of short classes on basic finishing techniques at my LYS.  I really enjoy these classes because they take you right to the heart of knitting and what I enjoy about knitting: honing your skills, learning from others, and connecting with knitters.  Yesterday’s crew included some of my favorite people, so it was fun.

One of the things I say in all of my classes is that I am sharing MY way of doing things and if they took the same class from someone else, they would probably hear something different…maybe even completely contradictory.  By taking classes from different people, you gather tools for your own personal knitting toolkit.  You may take one thing from person A, another from B, and another from C.  Lessons learned that feel right to you and work for you.  I try not to be dictatorial: “You have to do this in this exact way, or else!”  I don’t approach my own knitting that way so why would I impose it on others — and the policing of everyone else’s knitting would be exhausting!

Yesterday we were discussing some technique, and one of the knitters said, “[insert very famous name here] said she never does that.”  So we discussed the pros and cons and why she might do it one way and I choose to do it another.  Like I said, we all have our own approach to things. 

So back I go today to immerse myself in dialogue about knitting, technique, and learning from all of those around me.  Another good day!!

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