theraineysisters knitting and so much more

September 29, 2009

From Sally — Topsy Turvy

Filed under: Topsy Turvy — Tags: — surly @ 11:10 am

Last May, I bought some gorgeous yarn: two skeins of Rhapsody from Artyarns. It’s a wonderful combination of silk and mohair (a strand of unplied silk and a strand of Kidsilk Haze or its identical twin) in an acid chartreuse green. Here is a photo Susan took of me eyeing the yarn before I admitted I to myself that I was taking it home.

I couldn’t quite figure out what to make with it as I only had about 500 yards. Then, two weeks ago, a knitting friend (Hi Phyllis!) reminded me of the moebius I knit a few years ago out of pale pink Kidsilk Haze and suggested that as a good use for my Rhapsody. (You can just see my pink moebius in the lower right hand corner of this photo of my stash of pink yarn.)

I didn’t want to use the same pattern (which is a good thing since I couldn’t find mine anyway). I decided to make up my own because I hadn’t been feeling frustrated enough lately. It’s tricky making up a moebius pattern because the knitting grows from the center out and the pattern in effect reverses itself. I did a lot of experimenting and ripping out, but I do like the results. It fits me better than Lucy; her shoulders aren’t quite broad enough to let it hang right. If I were to knit this same pattern again with this yarn, I might make it a little bit smaller in circumference. It did turn out larger than I expected, even after swatching, blocking, measuring. Le sigh. But I do LOVE the color of this yarn, and that’s the most important part of this particular project. I named it Topsy Turvy because the blocks pull in different directions and the pattern reverses itself.

September 26, 2009

From Susan — SABLE

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:30 am

SABLE = Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy…here is one way you might outlive your stash!!

And, if you haven’t seen the baby dancing, here it is.  2CUTE4Words

September 25, 2009

From Susan — 50 Hats

Filed under: Wrapped in Care — lv2knit @ 10:08 am

Yogurtandgranola on Ravelry has offered up this challenge:

“My friend and I are collecting hats for the Simpson Housing Shelter to give as gifts on Christmas Eve. Details below, ALL knitters are welcome and encouraged to participate. Please contact me [Yogurtandgranola ] with questions. Thank you!

The Details:

  1. Knit a hat for a man. Any weight yarn. Any pattern. Knit something that you would feel comfortable giving to a man in your life whom you love (husband/partner, dad, brother, friend, etc.). Complicated or simple, it’s totally up to you.
  2. Mail your hat to: 50 Hats for Christmas First Universalist Church ATTN: Catherine/UU Stitchers 3400 Dupont Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA

Deadline: Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remember: Minnesota winters are COLD (how could we forget?). Being homeless in this state is a tragic thing (being homeless anywhere is a tragic thing) so having a warm hat to pull over your ears will go a long way towards keeping a person’s spirits up and feet moving in the right direction. To that end, wool yarn is definitely recommended.

The goal is 50 hats for Christmas. Think we can do it?

Thanks, Knitters. I knew you’d agree. 🙂

(And when we surpass 50–since we’re well on our way–we’ll partner with other shelters to share the love. So just keep ‘em coming!)”

Can we help them out?  50 hats in ~two months seems more than doable.  Let’s start knitting!!  Keep it simple and warm! 

If you have a great hat pattern, please share the link.

Thanks, all!

PS: Check out the view from our window this morning:

Fox 003 by you.

Little Foxy here is very interested in the tree full of sparrows!

September 22, 2009

From Sally — Where Did This Come From?

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 10:59 am

On Saturday evening, I was invited to a casual birthday party for a dear friend. That afternoon, I rooted through my closet looking for something to wear. It was a beautiful day, but it was a bit cool and we were going to be out in the country where the temperatures would be lower than in DC. So I wanted a sweater.

Looking for something else — although I am not sure what — I stumbled across something stuffed into the back of a shelf. It was one of those “I finished this but I’m not sure I’m happy with it” projects. I’d never worn it. The ends weren’t even woven in — a sure sign of failure. It was a cardigan designed by Martin Storey, called Plaza. The original design has these intriguing crocheted corkscrews dangling all over the deep shawl collar:

I actually made them, put them on, and then removed them. They were lovely in the design’s photo but on me: not so much. Anyway, out of curiosity and desperation I tried the sweater on. Hey. This doesn’t look so bad, I thought. I asked my husband; he liked it.

Well, it was a casual party among friends. Why not? I wore it and got lots of compliments on it. So although it may not be my favorite sweater, I’m putting it into the rotation. And here it is:

September 18, 2009

From Susan — New Yarn!

Filed under: Dale of Norway 10903 — lv2knit @ 11:13 am

I am so excited — my yarn arrived for this:

10903 by you.
Dale of Norway 10903

My husband looked at the picture and, after a very pregnant pause, said, “That’s a ‘different’ sweater.”  In Minnesota, that means ugly.  Okay, dear, then you don’t have to wear it.  He said the same thing when I showed him the yarn for Henry the VIII.  It was going to be for him, but when I got that reaction, I made it for myself and called her Henrietta!

Here is the yarn kind of laid out like it will be in the pattern:

Dale of Norway Daletta Yarn by you.
Daletta by Dale of Norway

I purchased the yarn from two sources, but I would like to highlight one of them here: Mary Ann Stephens, known as twostrands on Ravelry (who also moderates a group by the same name), is fantastic to work with.  So sweet and accommodating.  When I told her I wasn’t sure about the blue, she put together photos and some yarn samples for me to decide on the color.  She is also notable for her designs — two of which are in the public eye at the moment: Amaryllis Mittens (mentioned in Yarn Harlot’s mitten hunt and now available as a Ravelry download), as well as the Sleepy Monkey Baby Blanket from the Spring 2009 Twist Collective. 

Coincidentally, my knitting peep, Kim, just finished said blanket last night — at least she SAID she was going to complete the very last few sts of i-cord bind off when she got home 😉 .  Small knitting worlds collide.  Mary Ann handles everything Dale, so if you need patterns, yarn, tutorials on Norwegian steeking, help with project questions — she will do it all! 

Anyway, I love the yarn and hope to get to it soon, but as you know I am sewing up a storm and have a deadline.  It is unnerving to have a deadline with such dire consequences: if I don’t get it finished, I’ll be naked.  If I don’t get it right, I’ll look stupid.  No pressure!

September 16, 2009

From Susan — Dear MKG

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:31 am

Dear MKG,

Thank you for a wonderful evening!  I completely enjoyed tonight’s program: people brought their knitting entries from the Minnesota State Fair and shared the judge’s comments, back stories, etc.  The meeting lasted until 10 pm because so many people had brought items.  I am constantly amazed at the quality and complexity of the knitting and humbled to win any ribbons at all! 

Did any of you see this dress?  Victoria shared the link in a comment, and I was blown away!  Drew looks absolutely stunning and the dress is amazing.  The bodice looks like a tattoo!   Is crochet sexy?  You bet, but who could create this??

September 13, 2009

From Susan — Getting my Mojo Back

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:22 pm

Ahhh, fall is in the air and I am loving it!  Well, it is actually really hot today, but still.  The Vikings are playing football and school has started, so that constitutes fall for me.

I am cobbling together the yarn to make Dale of Norway 10903 (catchy name, huh).   I linked to WendyKnits blog because that is where I saw this pattern many years ago.  I have loved it ever since and had it in my “I’ll get to that one someday” queue.  Well, that day has arrived.  The yarn hasn’t!  I am going to make it as a cardigan and have changed the blue to one that is a bit darker.  Now I will wait patiently for my yarn and dabble in other things.  I.  Will.  Wait.  Patiently.

In the meantime I am trying to get my SewJo back (sewing mojo ).  I have an event to attend in 2 weeks.  It is a gala.  Old ladies in prom dresses.  I do not own a prom dress and never did.  I am not the evening gown type.  So what does a dud wear to a gala?  I am going to wear a dressy suit.  I bought some drop dead gorgeous gold/brown/black brocade for the jacket and some silky black for a longish dress to go underneath.

My Fabric by you.
Of course, the beauty cannot be captured — elusive as a butterfly!

I have done the cutting and now must start the sewing.  Woo Hoo!!

PS: in response to Julie — Dale of Norway 10903 does not have an official name.  Wendy (of WendyKnits) named it Frida to give it a name.  But if everyone calls it Frida because Wendy named it, then I guess it has a name!

September 7, 2009

From Susan — Stalker and Stalkee

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:52 pm

 This guy looks nice enough, doesn’t he?  Would you suspect him of being a stalker?  

State Fair Turkeys and BSA Stalker 011 by you.

The other day after work, I went screaming into the Target parking lot, exited my car, and this very nice looking man said, “I was following you.”  My first reaction was to flip my hair back and say, “But of course you were.” 

Actually, my first reaction was one of stunned silence.  But it seems he was only interested in my license plate — his wife owns Blue Sky Alpacas Yarn!  He was surprised to spot a yarnee so blatantly adverstising her passion!  He took a picture of my plate and it ended up on Twist Your Stitches.  I love Blue Sky Alpacas yarn, have used it frequently and recently, and also just made a sweater from their pattern.   And, yes, I know my car is filthy!!

I took HIS picture because I fortuitously had my camera in the car.  I had been stalking my own prey!  There is a posse of turkeys that inhabits the nature area near my home.  Almost every morning I see them gathered in a particular spot along the roadside.  So, I brought my camera along to capture them.  This particular morning, however, they were not in their usual spot, but in a yard right by my house.  Screech!!!!  I slammed on the brakes and jumped out to get my shot. 

State Fair Turkeys and BSA Stalker 007 by you.

Turkeys Cropped 2 by you.

They are so huge and so um, unattractive (?) in a beautiful sort of way. 

I also have been doing a little knitting.  I stumbled upon the Log Cabin Dishcloth pattern and made one up — nice pattern, quick knit, but mine looks a bit wonky:

Hope you are having a great Labor Day celebrating the end of summer.

September 2, 2009

From Sally — Does this Corset Make Me Look Fat?

Filed under: Vivian Cardigan — surly @ 12:00 pm

That’s what Lucy is wondering. I’ve been working on Vivian, which is a Christmas gift for my very slim daughter. Lucy can barely squeeze into it and she’s a little miffed.

I’ve finished the body up to the armholes. Now it’s on a holder until I complete the sleeves. I had almost finished the first sleeve, but decided that it was a bit too tight. (I’m using a finer yarn than called for and monkeying around with the pattern to get the right fit.) So I ripped back and started my increases much earlier than the pattern calls for; I’ll probably end up with more stitches than I’m supposed to and I’ll need to devise some (I hope clever) way of getting rid of them as I work the yoke.

The color is not particularly true in these photos, but c’est la vie.

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