theraineysisters knitting and so much more

October 30, 2009

From Susan and Sally — Couldn’t Wait til Sunday

Filed under: Topsy Turvy,Topsy Turvy pattern — Both Sisters @ 2:13 pm

The Topsy Turvy Moebius pattern is ready NOW!!  Yay!  There is a link on the right side column where we keep the links to all of our free patterns.  Please enjoy this small gift from The Rainey Sisters!!

From Susan — Boo Hat

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:19 am

I crack my own self up!   I just finished a Marsan Watch Cap for my nephew as part of my Christmas knitting and decided to block it.  It looked just like a lil midnight blue ghost, so I decided to add googly eyes and make it so.  Cheesy!!  I mean, really cheesy!!

The original pattern called for 80 or 88 sts.  A friend of mine made one in the yarn called for and it turned out very small…tiny, tiny, tiny.  I was using slightly smaller yarn so I added sts: 104 total.  Not enough!  I started over: 112 sts (32 more than the original pattern!!).  Still not enough, but I finished it anyway.  The yarn I used is the same as Sally is using for Nora’s Christmas sweater (remember the sexy sweater corset??).  It is Berroco Vintage Wool, in Dark Denim (50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon; 100 gms, 217 yards, 1 skein). 

The colors shown on the website are not very accurate.  This blue is almost black.  It is a gorgeous deep navy.  I LOVED working with this yarn.  It is soft but has tremendous stitch definition.  I would highly recommend it in place of Cascade 220 when you are worried about how the recipient will care for the finished item as it is washable. 

Topsy Turvy
A number of you have asked (hounded us??  )  about Surly’s Topsy Turvy pattern.  We are making a promise to you, our readers: the pattern will be available as a free download by this Sunday.  It will be out in time to do a bit of gift knitting for the holidays.  It is our gift to you as loyal friends and readers, so stop back on Sunday for the pattern.

October 25, 2009

From Sally — Blanket Excuse

Filed under: Knitting Tips,Tweed Baby Blanket — surly @ 12:56 pm

I’m supposed to be doing many things: writing up the Topsy Turvy Moebius Pattern (coming soon), working on my Christmas knitting (is it really almost November?), writing, making my son work on his college essays, cleaning, etc. Instead, I got distracted and knit something that wasn’t on “the list.”

A couple of years ago, some friends had their first baby and I knit them a wonderful fair isle baby blanket. They’re expecting again in early December, and I wasn’t planning on knitting something for the second baby but then I started — as a middle child — to feel a bit guilty. Didn’t this baby deserve a blanket all her own? I didn’t have time to knit one as complicated as the one I’d done the first time, so I made a quick little Tweed Baby Blanket, designed by Jared Flood.

I know they’re expecting a girl, so I hunted in my stash and found two colors of Rowan’s Cash Cotton: purple and pink. Soooo girlie. But those were my daughter’s favorite colors until about the age of five or six, so I figured I couldn’t go too wrong.

Here’s the finished product.

As I often do, I made a slight change to the pattern. This change was necessitated by my crappy knitting. Really. I had finished the blanket and picked up stitches all around it for the border. My pick up was horrible. Truly horrible. See:

Look at that edge. Ghastly. I think the problem was that in order to get the proper drape for the blanket, I used a 7 U.S. needle. That’s fine, but it made the edge floppy. Usually, when I pick up along garter stitch, I pick up in the “nubs,” but that didn’t quite work here because of how many stitches I needed to pick up. I tried to pretend I could live with it, but I couldn’t. I would have been embarrassed to gift this blanket with that sloppy looking edge.

To correct the problem, I picked up my stitches in the blanket fabric. That give me a very nice, firm defined edge. However, doing that kind of pick up means that the pick up is not at all attractive on the wrong side of the blanket. Although this blanket isn’t completely reversible, I wanted it to look nice on both sides.

I purled my first row to better mimic the border’s lace pattern and to disguise the pick up. Then, after knitting two or three rows in stockinette, I took a new ball of yarn and a new needle and picked up all the way around again in the purl bump of my pick up on the wrong side of the blanket.

If you look carefully at those pictures, you can see that I picked up by going from the top of the stitch into the bottom (the opposite of what I would usually do) so that it would look as if I had purled a row. That way, it matched the right side. I then purled several rounds to create stockinette stitch. I now had two stockinette facings surrounding the edge of the blanket.

On the next row, I knit the two facings together by putting the needle through one stitch from each facing and then knitting them as one stitch.

This is how it looked when I completed that row:

And here is the wrong side of the completed border.

It’s a nice easy way to create a finished facing. It would work well on a sweater knit in fine yarn.

October 21, 2009

From Susan — TTTriple Set!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:45 pm

I won a prize!  A really nice prize.  🙂  And all I did was read the Twin Set blog and comment on their bloggiversary.  Job well done, I must say.  I received several lovely yarns, a pattern, and a Twin Set pin.  My favorite yarn is the skein attached to the Twin Set pin: it is called Cheeky Monkey in color Leisure Suit!  The gray alpaca is super soft and perfect for gloves.  The blue yarn (on top) is a great unknown and looks like sock yarn.  Thanks, Ellen and Jan!!

October 18, 2009

From Susan — It’s a Twofer

Filed under: Glovelets,Topsy Turvy — lv2knit @ 11:43 am

Yep, today you’re getting two FOs for the price of one!!  They are small FO’s but what do you expect when there is a sale like this going on?

First, I finished Sally’s Topsy Turvy:

Topsy Turvy Front Soft fold by you.
Topsy Turvy with Soft Fold in Front

Topsy Turvy Front with Sharp Fold by you.
Topsy Turvy with Regular Fold

Topsy Turvy 011 by you.
From the Back

I really like it!  It took two complete skeins of Artyarns Rhapsody (I do not see my color on their web page; I had about 2 gms left!!) and I’m not sure how well the scallops will hold after wearing it, but I like it a lot!  It stays on your shoulders quite nicely, unlike shawls that need adjusting.

Second FO: another pair of Fetching Glovelets:

fetching Glovelets in Silk by you.

These were made at the request of eldest daughter to be given to a friend for her birthday.  When my kids ASK for knitting, they get knitting!  Period.  I had this hand dyed, 100% silk in my stash (no label so I can’t give more details) and DD thought the color was perfect.

So, a two for one sale at The Rainey Sisters blog!! 😉

October 16, 2009

From Susan — New Player in Town

Filed under: Topsy Turvy — lv2knit @ 6:56 pm

First of all, thank you for the very kind words about my Aeolian Shawl.  Some of you went WAY overboard, and I loved it!

Today I checked out a new yarn shop in my area: Shepherd’s Choice in Anoka, MN.   It is a very nice shop — it does not try to be all things to all knitters.  I would call it more of a specialty or niche shop.  They carry all of the varieties and colors of all the Blue Sky Alpacas yarn.  And that, my friends, is worth the trip!  Wow.  Wow.  BSA yarn is fantastic.  They also carry most, if not all, of their patterns and had a lot of shop samples. 

In their own words:

Shepherd’s Choice is a yarn shop located in historic downtown Anoka, Minnesota. We offer exquisite and exclusive yarns for hand-knitters and crocheters.

Shepherd’s Choice also offers a line of natural products that are hand-crafted in small batches using the most environmentally “friendly” ingredients possible [soaps, lotions, essential oils]. Only high quality vegetable oils, pure essential oils, herbs and spices make these products truly luxuriant. Synthetic fragrances, colors, and preservatives have no place in Shepherd’s Choice products.

Over 10% of all profits are given to charities intent on relieving hunger and promoting education around the world. Use love to create a just, peaceful, stable world.

I will definitely be going back!!

My current project is a Topsy Turvy Moebius using Surly’s homegrown pattern.  It will be done TODAY (if it kills me).  Sally has been out of town of late and therefore hasn’t had time to put the finishing touches on the pattern, but it will be forthcoming.  It is a really nice pattern, if I can plug Sally’s work!!

Since I have no pictures, I’ll include this:

BHG by you.
Click on picture to enlarge

This picture, from the October Better Homes and Gardens, caught my eye.  First, because there is knitting in it and it’s not a knitting magazine!  Second, because the scarf looks like my Merci Scarf (and I do not mean to imply they used my “pattern,” which is really just a seed rib), and third, because the knitting is so – dare I say it? – full of boo boos.  I just wanted to say to the magazine, “Oh, Hon.  Go back and fix your mistakes.  The pattern is all messed up.  Please, rip it out!!”  Must. Avert. Eyes.

But they do show knitting and they do show beautiful, beautiful yarn, so I’m not complaining!!  Really.

Kay said, “Must have been a new knitter. If that’s the case, I think it’s a pretty good scarf.”  And I agree!  It IS a pretty scarf!  I just can’t help myself!  I see mistakes*!  Aaaaarrrrgggggggggghhhhhh!!  I need medication… 🙁

*Unfortunately, I tend to miss my own mistakes and must rely on the kindness of others to point them out!!

October 12, 2009

From Susan — from 3 to 983

Filed under: Susan's Aeolian Shawl — lv2knit @ 7:18 pm

You start with 3 [sts] and end with 983.  And there is a wild ride in between!  I am talking about the Aeolian Shawl (free pattern from Knitty) which is my latest FO.  I started this at the end of August and finished it over a week ago, but could not bring myself to block it.  It has a strange shape (like a Cylon raider) and I thought it would be a complete PITA to pin out. 

It was not as bad as I expected because I just eyeballed it and let it do its own thing.  Here is my Cylon Raider being blocked:

Aeolian Blocking by you.
Aeolian Shawl

Aeolian Blocking by you.

If you know this shawl, you’ll see that I changed the center back point: I did not like the plain “tail” so I continued the floral motif all around the border (much harder than it sounds!).  And, do you see the beads?  The hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of beads (~2500??!!??)?  All placed one by one onto the appropriate stitch using the crochet hook method?

Beads by you.

The shawl being modelled by Lettie:

Aeolian 014 by you.

Compare to the shriveled, pre-blocked shawl:

Vesterheim 004 by you.

Project Notes:

Grade: A
Pattern: the Aeolian Shawl
Size Made: Largest version (there are three sizes given)
Yarn: Baruffa Cashwool (1460 yds/100 gms, 100% extra fine merino, color: Eggplant 26809) — the yarn was a lovely gift, thanks to “RH” (mwah!!)
Beads: Japanese Size 8 (~2500)
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) Addi Lace

I loved making this shawl.  It was well written and very creatively done.  The only errors were of my own making (though none made it through to the end product that I am aware of — fingers XXX’d).  I would never make this again UNLESS I were to knit a bead-free version!  The beads slow you down to a crawl.  There are also a lot of nupps, which do not bother me, but do bother some other knitters.   I love the complexity of the design and the visual impact.  The beads give my shawl some heft, which I think is nice because the yarn is SO lightweight.  All in all, I am extremely pleased.  Thank you, Knitty!

PS — it snowed again today 🙁

PPS — I was asked why I did not pre-string the beads onto the yarn.  Generally, I prefer to pre-string beads because it is faster in the long run, BUT they do not knit into the project the same way (see picture below).  Placing the beads as you go was the method chosen by the designer.  Also, for a project of this size, the yarn would completely disintegrate if you had to push 2500 beads along cobweb laceweight for 1100 yards.  But, as I said, it sure did take a long time to add those beads!!

October 10, 2009

From Susan — The Theater of Seasons that is Minnesota

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:06 am

Did I mention it is the theater of the absurd??

October in Minnesota by you.
October Morning in Minnesota


More on the Yarn Harlot’s Lace Cowl

JOY by you.

GinkgoKnits asked about the yarn I used.  I would have mentioned the details but I was too lazy to go dig it out!  It is from Just Our Yarns and is called Myne.  It is micro-thin 100% cashmere (I held it double to make the cowl).  Sally is the one who originally bought it so I was 100% sure she would like the color 🙂 .  On their site, they warn that each color is unique, so purchase all you will need because the color varies, even within the same lot.  Sally thought they said, “Buy all of it you can get your hands on.”  😉  She ended up with so much, she gave me several skeins.  Enough to make many cowls, or a shawl or…you get the idea!

October 8, 2009

From Susan — FINALLY!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:47 am

It’s about time, Steph!  I made this cowl for Surly for her birthday last February, but could not share it on the blog because Stephanie (aka Yarn Harlot) had not shared the pattern yet.  She allowed me to be an unofficial test knitter because I begged.  Just.  Plain.  Begged.  Pathetically.  It is a stunningly beautiful lace cowl knit in cashmere.  Here is my version (now Sally’s):

Lace Cowl by you.
Pretty Thing Lace Cowl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in stash cashmere

The pattern is available on Ravelry.  I love it, Sally wears it.  Go make one!!

Does my head look gone by you.

October 5, 2009

From Susan — Let the Blood Bath Begin!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:38 pm

I am not a football fan.  I am not a Vikings fan* (though I live in Minnesota).  But even I am going to watch tonight’s game!!    XXXXX XXXXX Hoping we win!

*Surly is a huge Vikings fan!

PS: Woo Hoo!  Great game! 

PPS: Now the Twins just won a twelve-inning nail biter to become the Central Division Champs!!  Again, I’m not much of a sports fan, but I can sure appreciate an exciting game!

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