theraineysisters knitting and so much more

November 29, 2009

From Susan — Which Came First…?

Filed under: Completed Projects — lv2knit @ 12:32 pm

…the cardinal or the egg?  In this case, the egg!  This is another of the cute toys from Itty-Bitty Toys (Susan B. Anderson).  This was the last toy in the book, but one of the cutest!  I made it for my great-niece (if she can pry it away from me!).

Here is what you see at first:

Cute lil egg in rustic “nest”

Turn the egg inside out and voila:

Out pops the baby bird!

This is clever!  The original pattern has a bluebird, but I had red yarn in stash so I made a cardinal.  I added the little “faux-hawk” and a tail.  I made my nest out of bulkier Lopi yarn, so I cast on 48 sts instead of 60 and it is the perfect size.  This project was far less putsy than the Santa and takes almost no yarn!

Pattern: Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, Too from Itty-Bitty Toys
Grade: A
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Red and Natural; Lopi Bulky in Dark Brown
Needles: US 3 or 4 dpns (?) — can’t remember!
Changes: very few, though next time I will sew the head and wings to the body before joining the egg to the body

PS — Ann said, “Alright… that might be the cutest thing ever.  I’m a sucker for the nesting toys that hide something else.  You know, like those Russian Dolls?  Oooo, maybe someone will make a pattern for those too….”

Well, they’re in there, too! 

Matryoshka Nesting Russian Dolls

November 27, 2009

From Susan — Turkey Hangover!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:15 pm

My, I ate a lot yesterday!  Oh, well. It is the tradition we have grown to love.  My beloved FIL did all of the cooking (with daughter Mary’s help) but said he just couldn’t do it any more.  It really is hard to see him get older and unable to do what he enjoys. 

Today I did something I NEVER do: I woke up at 4:30 am and ran out to Target to buy a $3 toaster (page 21)!  My husband thought I was crazy…hey, crazy smart!  I did indeed snag me a $3 toaster that I plan on taking to work.  I did not want to spend a lot (check) because I knew it was not an appropriate charge for reimbursement (check).  So, I marched into Target with hundreds of other idiots bargain hunters who were there for much more interesting items.

On the gift-knitting front — I have opted for much smaller scale projects than Surly.  Here you see the latest of my recent FOs, knit for my niece (sister to the Marsan Watchcap recipient):

The pattern is Baby Fan Mitts by Morgan Wolf (free Ravelry download).  I loved the feather and fan lace and the fact that the right and left glovelets are identical.  I also liked what Morgan said about the sizing:

“The gloves measure 6.5 inches (16 cm) around and 6.5 inches (16 cm) from cuff to top. Thanks to the stretchiness of the lace, they are comfortable for hands up to 8 inches so they fit women’s size medium to large. Adjustments to size can be made by adjusting yarn and needle size.”

Not being sure of Tara’s size, I like the idea that they stretch to fit just about anyone.  They do fit me very well and would certainly fit someone with smaller hands.  I do not think mine would stretch to 8″ though because my bind off is too tight.  If Tara’s hands ARE larger than mine, I will need to redo the bind off.

The only change I made was to the decreases — Morgan has all of the decreases worked as “k2tog.”  I changed the two at the end of the pattern repeat to SSK for symmetry. 

Project Summary

Grade: A

Pattern: Baby Fan Mitts by Morgan Wolf

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Suri Alpaca and Silk (80% Suri Alpaca, 20% Silk; 109 yards per 50 grams, 2 skeins)

Color: Deep Velvet #2015

Needles: US Size 3 dpns

November 26, 2009

From Both of Us — Happy Thanksgiving!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 2:16 am

We are so happy this year to be spending the day with our families — unfortunately not everyone together in the same place, but all of us with someone!  Susan’s husband works crazy shifts and this is the first holiday in a very long time that he will be able to spend the day with his father and siblings, of course with Susan and daughters in tow.  Our dad is visiting Sally (if she can get him out of the Air and Space Museum 😉 ), and Nora is home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Sally has another special visitor and may share a photo!  Brother Barry is with his kids and his wife’s side of the family.   So together but separate are we.

Hope all of you are sharing this holiday with someone you love.

ETA from Sally: Yep — my Little Assistant is visiting for the holiday. It’s really good to see him.

November 23, 2009

From Sally — A Camisole and a Blindfold

Filed under: Vivian Cardigan — surly @ 10:23 am

That sounds a bit kinky, doesn’t it?

I’m almost finished with Vivian, the sweater I am knitting for my daughter for Christmas. She’s home for Thanksgiving, and I’m a little nervous about the fit because I’ve made changes to the pattern and I am not using the called for yarn. A fitting would make me feel better, but I don’t want her to see the sweater. That’s where the blindfold comes in.

Here are some really poor photos of Vivian in progress. I took these yesterday without looking at them, and they’re just not great photos. Lucy, my model, has no arms and therefore the sleeves (which are narrow) look odd. I’ve slipped the sweater on and it looks much better on a real live body. (Hey — maybe I can take some pictures while my daughter is blindfolded! Hee.) Also, the hood doesn’t look like a hood yet. Instead, it looks like a collar on steroids. I’d retake the pictures, but because my daughter is home I don’t want to risk her walking in on me.

So here are some not great photos of a sweater that really is pretty in person.

November 20, 2009

From Susan and Sally — We Love Our Pets!

Filed under: Free Patterns from The Rainey Sisters — lv2knit @ 1:33 pm

From Susan:

I think all of us with pets love them and think of them as family.  I had several comments and questions about the small version of the Santa Christmas stocking that was made for our dog: is there a pattern?  How did I make it?  So, I decided to write up the changes that I made to the original Bernat Stocking and offer it here as a free pattern.

Santa Stocking for Dog or Cat

It is also linked under our Free Patterns section on the right hand side of the blog and may not be perfect!  I made the original for my dog, who is now going on 10 years old, so cut me a little slack.  Feel free to embellish it like crazy!!

The charted letters in this stocking are smaller than those in the original pattern.  They are the size I used for Nathaniel’s stocking.

From Sally:

Thor the Wonder Puppy has his own stocking, too. Here’s what I did to personalize his.

PS (12:35 pm central time) — I made one small correction to the pattern — there may be more!!

November 19, 2009

From Susan — Even MORE Santas!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:48 am

It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and it’s been “all Santas, all the time” chez moi!  Last week we had a comment on our blog from my cousin, Bonnie.  Her mom, my Aunt Ceil, was the person who knitted their family Christmas stockings.  Unfortunately for many reasons, Aunt Ceil died before Bonnie’s son was born.  He is now 3 and no family stocking.  The stockings carry a lot of emotional weight in our family: you aren’t really a part of the family until you have ‘the’ stocking with your name on it.  Bonnie wrote asking for the pattern.  It is now available as a free Ravelry pdf download, so I sent her the pattern and told her that many shops have knitters who will knit on commission and that because she has the original pattern and a sample stocking, they would have no problem reproducing the stocking.

I clicked “send” on the email last Thursday morning, and then off I drove to work.  Well before I got there, I realized what a king-sized %^^&&^% I was by not offering to make the stocking myself!  Because, I realized, the most inportant ingredient in the stocking is the love that is knit into every stitch by someone who cares about the new arrival.  So, I quickly emailed her and offered to make the stocking.  All I asked for was reimbursement for the materials. 

So, last Thursday, I collected the materials for the stocking and got it mailed on Saturday. 

I used Cascade 220, real angora and US 7 needles.  I usually use Size 6 needles, but I wanted Nathaniel’s stocking to more closely match the gauge of his family’s stockings.  The stockings have to be absolutely identical, so I cannot do any pattern adapting!  Do you know what that means to me?  It was strangely calming to know I did not have to think about anything…just do what it says, Susan!!

Here are my family’s stockings:

And hanging by the Santa mantel:

Bonnie received her stocking and loved it.  I loved making it.  And now I don’t feel like such a a king-sized %^^&&^% !! 😉

PS to June:
June said, “I noticed in your group pic that one stocking is smaller than the others – is it for the family dog? (I saw the bone…?) Does the dog feel short-shrifted on Christmas morning? LOL.” 

It’s true!  That short stocking is for our dog Molly.  Santa replaces the felt bone with a chew bone every Christmas.  I don’t think she feels short changed because she is too busy with her new bonie!!

November 16, 2009

From Susan — Ho-Ho-Ho

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 2:09 pm

Oh my, but I do get obsessed!  I just could not settle down until I made my lil Beanbag Santa from Susan B. Anderson’s Itty-Bitty Toys.  Here is the picture from the book (note that it is spiral bound which makes it very easy to keep open):

And here is my lil Santa:

I love him!  He was very putsy to make — lots of little pieces, stuffing with poly beads, adding features to the face and thumbs to the mittens…but I think he’s pretty darn cute!

I did make a few design changes.  I had angora on hand and used Misti Alpaca Worsted for the red and black (I had them in my stash) on Size 2 dpns.  The belt buckle is gold silk — also from stash.  To achieve the rosy cheeks, I dipped a Q-Tip in red food coloring.  He is truly a beanbag and sits quite well.  I used the Poly Beads described in the book.  But Santa still needs his toy bag!! Maybe that’s next.

I was raving on and on to my husband about all the cute toys in the book and he said, “You’re not going to fill up the whole house with these things, are you?” 

You got a problem with that??!!??

I’ve fallen and I can’t giddyup!

November 14, 2009

From Susan — An Itty-Bitty Post

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:25 pm

Wow!  I just got back from Shepherd’s Choice in Anoka, Minnesota where I had the privilege of meeting Susan B. Anderson and seeing all of the darling toys in her new book Itty-Bitty Toys.  Things were really hoppin’ at SC.  I ran into several people I know — it felt like an “EVENT.”

Here are a couple of the cute toys — and this really does not do the book justice!

There were so many things that I absolutely LOVED: The Princess and the Pea, Beanbag Santa, Sock Monkey (not a sock monkey, but a monkey made from sock yarn!).

Honestly, I fell in love!  There are so many things I want to make from this book — where to start?  I decided to start with the Santa Beanbag so I can put it on my mantel and there may be more in my future 😉 !  Five of the patterns flip inside out to reveal another doll.  Very, very cute.

Here I am with the lovely (much prettier in person) Susan B. Anderson.  She is holding my Elefantes because she is the creator of that well-loved design. 

Susan Squared

Now, I must knit!

November 9, 2009

From Both of Us — Just a Little Edit

Filed under: Topsy Turvy pattern — Both Sisters @ 10:55 pm

One of our readers expressed a bit of difficulty with the Topsy Turvy Moebius pattern.  We realized that the pattern could use some additional clarity, so we revised it. 

The change relates to the stitch count needed to shorten or lengthen the moebius.  As the pattern is written, each half of the moebius = 216 sts, which is a multiple of 16 sts + 8.  The two halves together = 432 sts, which is a multiple of 16 sts.  To adjust the length of the moebius, you need to add or subtract a multiple of 16 sts from the original total of 216, making sure that each half remains a multiple of 16 + 8.  Stitch counts that work are: 248, 232, 216, 200, 184, 168, etc.

There wasn’t an error in our directions, but we realized that it was a little murky. We hope this did not cause any problems for all of you knitters out there!!

November 6, 2009

From Susan — The Long and Winding Road

Filed under: Dale of Norway 10903 — lv2knit @ 10:21 am

Every [knitting] journey begins with a single [stitch] step and this looks to be a very, very, very L.O.N.G. journey indeed!!  Perhaps this is why I have been putting off the first step [stitch]??!!??

It will be a long journey from the above to this:

Dale of Norway 10903 in Daletta

I am using the yarn called for (Daletta) and started this project on US 1 knitting needles.  The pattern calls for Size 2, changing to 3s after the bottom band.  I typically knit tighter than most so I was very surprised to have to go down a needle size to get close to Gauge.  I say ‘close’ because we all know how elusive and fickle The Gauge can be.   I am also making size medium.  Yes, laugh.  I have not been a medium since I exited stage left from the womb.  However, Dale must have a unique sense of style because their “medium” is everyone else’s XL or XXL.  I feel so petite!!

The sweater has a very traditional style: boxy, drop shoulders, etc.  I thumb my nose at all of you with your perfect figures and your skin-tight, shapely knitting!  I will continue to dwell in the past like other old farts who can’t get past the era of their youth!  Take that!!

And I am sure you will all be as sick of this sweater as I am by the time it is finished!

Shameless Self Promotion
I don’t usually advertise my knitting classes here…mostly because we have readers from all over the place who could not possibly be interested…BUT, I am going to make an exception.  I will be teaching a class on the Quincy hat at The Yarnery in St. Paul.  It is a last minute add on to the schedule (it starts November 15!), offered now to give people a chance to finish the hat for holiday gifting. 

The Quincy (featured in Made in Brooklyn by Jared Flood, and available as a pdf download) is a fairly easy project to make but it has some tricky elements, such as provisional cast on, built in i-cord, and grafting both garter stitch and stockinette.  I helped a few Ravelers at Knit Out with their Quincies and thought others might be stumped by the construction.  If you would like to learn more, click here.

We will now return to our regular programming!

Chloe writes, “Let’s see: a RT ticket to Minneapolis, plus overnight lodging would be about $300, plus the cost of the class (not yet known) would probably boost it to around $400.00 plus meals (dollar menu at MickyD’s) plus yarn would make a $500 dollar hat – and I would do it, too, if I had that extra cash, because I love that hat and would love to take a class with you — do you suppose you could visit Sally and teach a class near her — much closer to my home turf. Please!!!!”

My reply, “Let’s see: a RT ticket to Washington, DC would be about $300, plus expenses unless I can fully leech off Surly, subtract what I make an hour teaching – no way would anyone pay me enough to make up for the cost!!!!!!!  I don’t think any yarn shop could afford to pay me $60/hour to teach a hat class!!!”

But thanks for the thought, Chloe!!!

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress