theraineysisters knitting and so much more

December 31, 2009

From Both of Us — Ring in the New Year!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 10:08 pm

Over the years, our readers occasionally ask why we use what seems, to some, to be a “dated” photograph. We take our readers concerns to heart, so we wanted to show you a truly dated photograph by way of contrast.

 All together now:


Yes, we were blonde, we were cute — what happened?

December 27, 2009

From Susan — Merry Christmas to Me, Happy New Year to You

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:08 pm

I hope you have had a wonderful holiday so far!  Thank you all for the kind wishes, even from Tokyo!

My time off has been great so far — very relaxing and much time spent with family.  My holiday dinner party went very well.  The highlight of the preparations was when DH and I attempted to set up the tables to serve 16 people.  I had an idea of how to arrange the two tables, but it did not work, so that meant moving the tables around.  It took SEVERAL tries to get them to fit and allow room for chairs and people.  Our large dining room table cannot be easily lifted because of the way it is designed, so my DH crawled under it, lifted it onto his back, and crawled around the dining room on all fours like a turtle every time we tried a new arrangement!!  Geez, it was funny!  Next year we will know how to place them the first time around.

Here is the Christmas present I bought myself — always appreciated and EXACTLY what I wanted!

Perhaps you recognize the Elizabeth Zimmerman Green Sweater pattern and original Briggs and Little Sportweight wool in Fir Green (100% wool, 430 yds/113 gms)!!  Woo Hoo!  The yarn is a single ply, very wooly wool with lots of reminders that this came from outdoor sheep, in a beautiful shade of green.  A friend of mine received her shipment and did not think it was very nice, but I really like it.  I like the fact that it is the original yarn and carries the weight of tradition with it.

I also continue to do some holiday knitting…our Christmas with John’s side of the family was postponed due to weather so that allowed a few more days and opportunities to make some small gifts.  I designed a VERY BASIC hat pattern called the One Day Hat for this purpose and have been cranking out a few of these hats.  The pattern has joined our free patterns section on the right upper corner of the blog!

The yarn is called Katia Azteca (50% wool, 50% acrylic, 197 yds/100 gms, color #11; US Size 8 needles).  One skein made two hats, though your yardage may vary!!  I will add it to Ravelry*!

* THAT was traumatic!  I don’t add patterns frequently enough to remember how to do it, so I loaded it twice — very embarrassing.

PS: I found a small error in the decreases on the large size (pdf has been corrected):

Large Size, Rnd 5: (k 8, k2 tog) x 8

December 25, 2009

From Both of Us — Merry Christmas!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 4:17 am

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

December 23, 2009

From Susan — Mini-Update

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:46 am

Thank you for all of the well wishes for Sterling.  His surgery went far better than expected.  He is young and so they think he will heal very well and may not need rehab!  He MAY even get home by Christmas!

My family dinner went well — a few glitches, but that’s to be expected.  My niece LOVED the little chicks!  She kept sending them back into their shells and bringing them out again.

PS — I got my cousin Marti to sign up on Ravelry — yay!!

From Sally — a further update. He’s home!

December 21, 2009

From Susan — Tick Tock

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:32 am

I am a bit frantic today.  My family Christmas is going to be at my house — tomorrow!!  Yes, E.A.R.L.Y.  That means I have been running around like a Christmas clucker with my head cut off.  I am really looking forward to it because I decided to invite the girl friends and boy friends, and my extended family…but, my house is rarely “guest ready” and with Christmas, there is also decorating, gift shopping/wrapping, and all sorts of added stuff to do.

I have finished MOST of my holiday knitting, but not all.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it done…I may have under estimated the time required and over estimated my knitting speed! 

I made the little Cardinal and had planned to give him to my great niece.  I am so bad.  I can’t part with him!  So, I made her a baby chick:

Well, actually TWO baby chicks — my youngest daughter insisted that Erika would prefer pink, so I made a “sister” for the yellow peep-ette.  But, I also wondered how (when in “egg” mode) you would be able to tell them apart — here is my solution:

The dyed pink chick would be in an Easter egg, right?  I know it’s nowhere near Easter time, but I could not resist.

The Saga of Surly
Sally wanted to post today as well, but fate intervened.  As many of you know, the East coast has been hit with record-breaking snow. 

Sally’s daughter and boyfriend are home for Christmas and decided to go out and enjoy some family fun in the snow.  Off they went with brother Sterling and Thor the wonder dog to go sledding.  On the first run, Sterling broke his leg very badly.  He suffered a spiral fracture of both the tibia and fibula of his right shin.  He was of course at the bottom of the hill, far from the road, and had to be dragged up the hill to where the ambulance could pick him up — thank goodness an EMT was also there sledding and helped them.  The road had not been plowed, so the emergency vehicle could barely get to him.  Sally has been walking to and from the hospital because it is easier than trying to drive.  Sterling will have surgery today to place a rod from his knee to his ankle and will need weeks of rehab to be able to walk normally again.

Here are some of Sally’s snow pictures:

My heart goes out to Surly and Sterling.  Good luck, Stir-Stir!!

December 17, 2009

From Sally — ‘Twas a week before Christmas

Filed under: Open Cable Cardigan — surly @ 11:12 am

and all through the house
are unfinished projects
I need to get soused.

Wait. That’s not how the poem goes. Alrighty then. Here is my Christmas knitting update.

1. Vivian cardigan (for my daughter).

The zipper is in. *Waves gratefully to zipper queen.* It’s completely finished except for grafting the underarms and weaving in a few ends. Here are a couple of photos. They don’t do it justice because it doesn’t hang right on Lucy (it’s that no arm thing she’s got going on) and the shot I took of the hood while I was wearing it — well, you can tell from that description why it’s a not great photo.

2. Throw/Blanket (for my son).

Not much progress here; I’ve been too busy concentrating on sweaters. The blanket takes 12 skeins of yarn and I am on the eighth skein. This project requires zero finishing, though, so once I finish the knitting I will be finished.

I can’t show photographs because this is a pattern that has not yet been released to the general public.

3. Open Cable Cardigan (for my husband).

How wrong the whisperers were! It’s all finished except for the button bands and blocking. (I plan to block it once before knitting the bands; it will look much better. I hope.) Oh — and I need to find buttons, which requires a trip to the store. That’s a bit discouraging. But even if I can’t get the buttons before Christmas, it will at least look like a sweater instead of an idea and a bunch of skeins of yarn.

December 12, 2009

From Susan — Earth Mothers Gone Wild

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:57 pm

This is a tale from my long and sordid past.  When I was a mere twenty-something, I fancied myself to be quite the crafter.  I dabbled in everything: tatting, embroidery, crewel, knitting, and it was the hey day of my sewing years.

The other day I was reading Yarn Harlot and had a total flash back — the post was about loom weaving.  OMG!  I remembered that I own a loom!!  I have owned a loom for decades, but have never even taken the bloomin’ thing out of the box:

You can see that the box has suffered many moves over the years and yet the loom itself is brand new…untouched as it were.

Why has it not been removed from the box, you might ask?  This:

“Owners of Natural Erica Looms should apply a finish before assembly.”  Okay, then, buh bye!!  I shut that box so fast it would make your head spin and I have not opened it since!!  The thought of sanding and varnishing and whatever else just turned me completely off from weaving.  They are out of production but available here and there —  someone else bought “my” loom at a garage sale for $5!!! 

My fantasy about weaving was that I would knit a sweater and then weave fabric to make a matching skirt ala Harris Tweed.  Oh, well.  Maybe I’ll get it out someday and actually put it together, but for now, back in the box, Erica (“No, no, not the box!!”).

December 11, 2009

From Susan — My Socks ARE Knocked Off

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:37 am

Last evening I had so much fun!  My knitting group started an annual holiday tradition several years ago.  Mary — knitting peep and wonderful hostess! — has our Thursdays at Four group to her home and does all of the cooking.  This year, yummy spaghetti with all of the trimmings!  We then sit, chat, laugh, and have a gift exchange.  It is really one of the highlights of my holiday season. 

Mary presented me with an additional surprise:

It is a book with a ton of hilarious pictures of sock monkeys in different garb and circumstances.  I laughed  until I cried  ! 

Thanks to all of you for a wonderful evening!!

December 8, 2009

From Susan — All This Has Happened Before….

Filed under: Topsy Turvy,Topsy Turvy pattern,Updates — lv2knit @ 9:13 pm

The title is a shout out to Battle Star Galactica (Go, Cylons — woo hoo!).  Anyway, all these glovelets have happened before and will happen again…

I have been knitting up massive quantities of glovelets.  Most are being made with my new favorite glovelet pattern: Baby Fan Mitts.   Here is a picture of the most recent pair, with two more pairs to go (black just does not photograph well!):

Baby Fan Mitts using Misti Alpaca Worsted, US Sz 3 dpns

I have a new pattern to add to my repertoire for glovelets.  I wanted to make a pair with stash worsted weight yarn, so my old standby “Fetching Glovelets” came to mind.  I could not bring myself to make another pair — at least not right now.  But as luck would have it, I stumbled upon a free pattern designed by good friend and loyal reader, Twinset Ellen.  The pattern is called “Handed Yes, Fingered No: Mitts That Fit” and is free on the blog she shares with her twin sister, Jan. 

Sublime Yarns Cashmere Merino Silk Aran — 75% merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere (color Clipper, 2 skeins, 188 yards, US Sz 5 dpns)

They are a very quick knit, nicely written pattern, and fit very well.  The pattern calls for two colors that stripe throughout.  I used a solid color, so mine looked a little plain.  I crocheted a simple edging to jazz them up a bit.

On a completely unrelated note, the other day I got an email from a Los Angeles knitting store called Knit Culture.  They said they had just made our Topsy Turvy Moebius and were going to do a class on it!   What can I say — this was exciting news!!

Now, stop reading and start knitting!

Special Note from Kendyl:
“On an only slightly related note- Lt. (or Captain) Starbuck aka Katee Sackhoff wandered into my open house (I’m a Realtor in CA) a few weeks ago.  I did not behave well- as in “cool”.  Pretty surreal to have a character you are somewhat obsessed with walk right into you.”

I am so envious!!  Starbuck is one of my favorite characters — I ? her!!  In the new BSG, Starbuck remained a hard drinking, cigar smoking, fighter pilot — the only thing they changed was the gender!!

December 5, 2009

From Susan — Road Trip!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:25 pm

Last Monday I met up with some fun knitting peeps at a LYS near my work.  Beth mentioned the new knitting store in Mahtomedi called Lila and Claudine’s and, hey, I’m in!!  We all decided to head to Mahtomedi on Friday to check it out.  It was well worth the trip. 

When you enter the building, you need to go downstairs to the huge shop (because of the stairs, it is not “accessible”):

The elaborate decorating on the stairs gives you an inkling of things to come!  Here are some pictures that give you an idea of this fun and whimsical shop…

Wow, right?  It is a kaleidoscope of color and fun.  It took me at least 20 minutes to notice the yarn — and they do have a very impressive inventory.  Truth be told, it is a gift shop as much as a knitting store, but there is plenty for all.  Sisters Polly and Kirsten own the store, which is named for their grandmothers.  They are both warm, welcoming and VERY helpful.  They encourage knitters to stop and knit a while!

I did buy a little bit of yarn because they had some things I had not seen elsewhere.  I’ll show it as I knit it up — it is mostly for some more small Christmas projects.   We ate down the street at a little Italian deli called Roma’s that boasts a fine menu and a woodfire pizza oven.  Mahtomedi is northeast of St. Paul, but it only took about 30-40 minutes for me to get there.

To wrap it up, here is a picture of either Lila or Claudine!

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