theraineysisters knitting and so much more

March 28, 2010

From Susan — The Quest

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:32 am

Haven’t we all set our sights on the holy grail at some point in our knitting lives (Lyra)?  Adrienne Martini describes her journey in a new book called Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously

I have not read it yet, but I do know a bit about the plot: She writes about knitting Mary Tudor from Alice Starmore’s classic, Tudor Roses [now out of print]:

The cover sweater IS Mary Tudor.  Sally made this sweater years ago, but I could not find a picture of it here or on Ravelry…maybe she’ll add one (?).  It’s fun to find out about knitting books that are not just about patterns!

ETA by Sally:

Yes, I knit Mary Tudor. It was, if I remember correctly, my second or third fair isle project. I still love it. Tudor Roses itself is one of my all-time favorite knitting books — beautiful projects, wonderful photography, and even some history. Here are a few not so wonderfully photographed pictures of my own Mary Tudor.

March 25, 2010

From Susan — It’s Not Too Late…

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:02 pm

…to add some whimsy to your Easter this year!  I made these Easter-themed cuties last Christmas.  Why?  I have no idea!  But, my great niece did not realize how weird it was to receive Easter eggs at Christmas and loved them.

Here are the chicks back in their eggs:

These are my rendition of the Egg-to-Bluebird pattern in Itty-Bitty Toys:

They take minimal amounts of worsted weight yarn (I used Cascade 220) and a small amount of stuffing.  A friend of mine substituted a small amount of orange felt for the beak and it was super cute and a lot easier.  I blocked the egg parts on plastic Easter eggs that are READILY available this time of year!

There is still time — and since I gave mine away, I may need to make one or two more for our Easter baskets.

PS: The first two commenters asked about the shawl on which the peeps are resting, so here is the information:

Pattern: Swallowtail by Evelyn Clark — yes, the pattern that almost everyone has made, including Surly just weeks ago!
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in color Solis

March 24, 2010

And the winners are . . .

Filed under: Back Story — Both Sisters @ 5:55 pm

First, thank you again for all of your kind comments. We truly appreciated hearing from all of you. And now, what you’ve all been waiting for — Nora, the envelope, please.

Well, actually, we didn’t use an envelope. Or even a hat. We used this:

In order to maintain a semblance of impartiality, the lovely Nora drew numbers (corresponding to post numbers with any duplicates removed).

The winner of Dancing Leaf Farm’s Bling Bling is post 145 aka Katie.

The winner of the Nora Cash Iroha is post 56 aka PA.

And, last but not least, the winner of the Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair is post 243 aka Carol.

Emails have been sent to the winners. Based on your enthusiastic response, we’re already dreaming up ideas for next year’s prizes.

Keep reading!

From Susan — Wow

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:41 am

I learned a valuable lesson these past couple of days:

1- if you want comments on your blog, offer prizes
2- if you need an ego boost, bribery really does work!

Thanks to everyone who commented!  It was really fun to read your comments and very gratifying.  I feel quite inspired!

Sally and Nora will be figuring out the official winners — all of our readers are winners, of course — and making the announcement later.  Merci!!

March 20, 2010

From Susan and Sally — Happy Bloggiversary to Us!!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 12:09 pm

Yes, it has been four years already!  Hard to believe!  We have enjoyed sharing our knitting lives with you…and a small bit of our personal lives as well.

Here is an excerpt from our very first post:

Sally and I share many interests, but knitting is our passion.  We decided to share a blog because, as I said to her, it’s like having a garage sale — I don’t have enough to do one of my own.

If you check in now and then, you will find that Sally and I knit about 75% of the same projects.  Fortunately for Sally, she has to knit a lot less than me because she is 5’5″ and I am 5’11”.  It is unfair, but cannot be helped.

Still true and still unfair!!

In honor of this very special occasion, we are going to have a contest…the prizes are YARN (surprise!).  There are three fabulous prizes and all you need to do is leave a comment.  Nora, Sally’s lovely daughter, is visiting her at the moment and will draw the winning names as an impartial observer.

How to Win:

1- leave a comment by Tuesday, March 23rd, 10 pm EST
2- have name randomly drawn by Nora
3- be contacted via email for mailing information

It’s as simple as that!

Fabulous Prizes:

Six skeins of Dancing Leaf Farm’s Bling Bling. Each skein weighs approximately 80 grams and contains 100 yards. (No fiber content listed on skein.)

Six skeins of Noro’s Cash Irona in color number 42. Fiber is 40% silk, 30% lambswool, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon. 40 grams and 91 meters per skein.

Nine skeins of Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair in Elderberry. 70% wool and 30% mohair. Each skein weighs two ounces and contains 140 yards.

Let the contest begin!!

March 19, 2010

From Susan — Looking Ahead

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:11 pm

I am still a) waiting for my camera and, b) slaving away on my boring Tea Leaves Cardigan…but, of course anticipating my next project.  I am thinking about a design from this book:

The pattern that called my name from the beginning is The Fan:

Sally and I both love this design.  Its size is deceiving: it takes a LOT of yarn!!  It involves acres of garter stitch.  But, it is beautiful.  In Ravelry, all of the finished projects are gorgeous.   The yarn called for is Isager’s own line of very expensive and slightly hard to come by yarns.  We are looking at Kidlin from Louet:

Kidlin by Louet, Color Woodland

The gauge is dead on and it mimics the original, where two very lightweight yarns are held together.  I have loved this color (Woodland, color 41) — for years and finally pulled the trigger and bought it (at The Yarnery).  I am inspired to start it but I think I must finish Tea Leaves first, or never will.  I hope my inspiration does not wane before then!  That has been known to happen on far too many occasions!

Last evening I was reunited with my knitting peeps at our weekly Thursdays at Four knitting group, which I had missed the last two times.   Great to see the gang!!  They inspire and re-energize me!

March 16, 2010

From Susan — Just Saying “Hi”

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 8:20 pm

This isn’t the really official post from our trip (my camera is still in transit and I have a few pics to share).  Just thought I would stop by and say hello to all of you.

I’m feeling pretty happy right now.  I just loaded some new stuff onto my computer. Our new computer came with Windows 7…my old printer was not compatible with Windows 7.  So, I bought a new printer when I bought the computer.  It looks beautiful.  Far more beautiful than my old one.  But, it does not scan worth a $%^^%$#&&. 

I used my old scanner a LOT for the blog.  I got great close ups and really true color.  The new one sucks!  They are both HPs (which is why I thought the new one would work!), but the old one was far nicer.  I was very disappointed, but found out from HP that I could get a disk to upgrade the old printer to Windows 7 — yay!!  So, today I set up the new printer to be wireless and set up the old printer to work with Windows 7. 

Here is the difference between the scanned images:

Left: old scanner                                    Right: new scanner

This is about the best picture I’ve gotten from the new one and it just doesn’t meet the high standards of our readers!!

The other thing I did today was set up my new camera.  I haven’t really gotten to the point of posting pictures, but I’m on the verge!  My old camera had 5 megapixels and the new has 12.  It, too, is a Canon Powershot.  I knew it would be easier to use since I’m used to it.

I’m quite the techie…at least for one day!

March 15, 2010

From Susan — On the Road

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 12:34 am

Hi, everyone!!  This is a very quick note from Surly’s house!  We have had a fun and very tiring trip…both in the car and in the air.  We will definitely post a few more details in a day or so and may provide some pictures: if I get my camera back!  I took some pictures at a very nice knitting store and LEFT IT THERE!  I hope they find it and send it back.  I can’t call them until tomorrow, so I’ll have to wait to see.  I had just ordered a new camera anyway, and it arrived at home while I was gone, so I do have a camera in any case.

Clay Aiken put on an awesome show — he has a spectacular voice and I am looking forward to seeing the program on PBS.

March 11, 2010

Do You Feel a Disturbance in the Force?

Filed under: Back Story — Both Sisters @ 8:45 am

Tectonic plates are shifting. The jet stream is moving.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast
. (W.H. Auden)

Yes, it’s that time again: a Rainey Sisters road trip. In a few hours, Susan will be winging her way to Washington, DC. From there, we travel to Raleigh for a weekend of talking, knitting, watching movies, and attending the taping of a PBS special starring Sally’s guilty pleasure. (Clay Aiken.)

If we can, we’ll post from the road.

March 7, 2010

From Sally — Blue or Blah?

Filed under: Sally's Damson — surly @ 3:17 pm

I’m still in my “blue period.” After not finishing my Ravelympics project on time (more on that another day), I turned to a quick gift for my neighbor. She’s in her eighties, and one of her presents was a tennis racket. She wanted it and she will definitely use it. I want to be Natalie when I grow up.

Anyway, I decided to make her a Damson shawl — just something to throw over her shoulders or wear almost as a large scarf. I dug around in my stash and found some lovely silk I’d bought at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival a few years ago: Cascade Silk Worsted from Tess Designer Yarns. In blue.

It’s a simple project and it worked up relatively quickly. The yarn was lovely to work with (although it’s fairly soft and I worry it will pill). But I’m not completely pleased with the project. Natalie is very petite, and because I chose a heavier yarn this Damson is a bit larger than it should be. I’m a little worried that the size will be awkward — not quite big enough to be a full shawl, not quite small enough to wear easily as a scarf. I will still probably go ahead and give it to her, but I have doubts.

To answer a question: the last photograph is probably the most accurate in terms of color.

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