theraineysisters knitting and so much more

June 30, 2010

From Susan — Sisters, Sisters

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:10 am

Twinsetjan commented on my last post:

“Yay for knitting warriors!!  Twinsetellen got me into the next level of knitting while I was stationed in Iraq.  She sent me a sock pattern, yarn and dpns and told me to just figure it out.  (Up till then I’d been a very basic knitter!)  Knitting in an up-armored HMWVV is one of my favorite memories.”

I love reading Ellen and Jan’s blog because we share so much in common (and they happen to be very interesting people): two knitting sisters, one in Minnesota, one in or near our nation’s capitol.  I really like their blog format of writing a letter to the other in way of an update.

Ellen was certainly instrumental in advancing Jan’s knitting to the next level!!  Surly did (and still does)  the same for me.  Years ago, she got kind of pushy and told me I HAD to branch out beyond knitting in one color.  She dragged me downtown to Ram Wools yarn shop (yes, it used to be located in Minneapolis, right downtown in kind of the warehouse district).  My daughter was 3 at the time, so I figured if I made something for her, it would be easier.  This pattern is an Annabel Fox design from an old Rowan pattern book (Rowan Children #1), and is called the Bill and Ben Cardigan.

That same day I bought some sale yarn in apricot and after completing the above, I tackled another intarsia design from the same book and designer, called Magic Dragon:

The rest is history…once I started using more than one color, I never looked back!  I guess I have to thank Sally for pushing me beyond my perceived limits and expanding my knitting world.

June 27, 2010

From Susan — Knit-O-Rama

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:36 pm

I certainly enjoyed myself at Eat-O-Rama -er- Knit-O-Rama!  What a great day — kudos to the fabulous planning committee. 

Let me get the important part out of the way first: the food.  The event was held at The Northland Inn in Brooklyn Park.  I live in Brooklyn Park and have attended many events there. 

Our Room

Outside our room was the snack kiosk.  In the morning, it was stocked with a continental breakfast: pastries, juice, coffee, hard boiled eggs, bagels, fruit, yogurt, etc.  Wonderful.   For lunch, we had the pleasure of sampling their famous buffet: salads, hot entrees, made-to-order grill (I had walleye!), specialty desserts…yum!  After that, we returned to our meeting room and discovered that the breakfast kiosk had been replaced with afternoon snacks: cheese & crackers, bars & cookies, pretzels, gummy bears, malted milk balls, and assorted sodas.  Okay.  I was in heaven!!  Clearly, I could live there and be happy for life!

The Program
A few months ago, an article appeared in the StarTribune about an American soldier in Iraq who was himself a knitter and taught his fellow soldiers how to knit.  Many of us implored the Guild to arrange for him to speak to our group.  Staff Sargent John Sorich IV was the keynote presenter at Knit-O-Rama.

Staff Sargent John Sorich IV

It was more than amazing.  John started out by describing the role his platoon (? right word ?) played in Iraq building bridges for use by both the military and the civilian population.   He talked about the unbearable heat, the emotional toll, and the sense of accomplishment.  After that, he talked about knitting — he learned here in the States and brought his yarn and needles with him.  Despite a bit of ribbing (pun intended!) from his peers, he eventually convinced a few of his buddies to give it a try to help stave off the boredom of their non-working hours.  Several of them really enjoyed it.  He had pictures and video of their knitting group and brought FOs to share.

The curved item in the upper right of the last picture is the ammo magazine cover he knitted from parachute cord, using pencils for knitting needles to get gauge!  You’ll note that all of his FOs are knit in “army green” using vintage patterns from a WWII knitting book.  I believe he said the color is Cascade 220 # 9547.   He said his current project is his first sweater, in (you guessed it) #9547 using one of the vintage sweater patterns!!

John was a great speaker, humble and very interesting.  It was wonderful hearing his story and we were all very grateful that he shared it with us.

Next was the Ugliest Knitting contest — very few entries!!  I think most of us rip out or discard our failures (or gift them….!!), so not many people had anything to show.

Rox Richardson and I were next up for Stump Ask the Expert.  

Susan and Rox

Rox is well known on Ravelry for answering technical knitting questions.  She writes for the Ravelry Newsletter and has a group devoted to her called Rox Rocks with over 550 members.  We answered questions from the audience for about an hour.  Last on the agenda was yours truly, discussing how to enter items in the Minnesota State Fair.

All in all, I think everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did.  I sure hope the Guild offers more of these events in the future.

June 26, 2010

From Susan — In the Neck of Time

Filed under: Alexandria — lv2knit @ 9:06 am

Oh, that is bad, even for us!!  I am finally seeing some progress on this crazy sweater!   I decided to do the neckline right away, instead of at the end as written.  I am so glad I did because it was problematic for me — I will say no more 😉 .

Here it is, unblocked as yet, on Lettie.  Lettie thinks it is too small. 

I am inclined to agree with Lettie — after all, she has nothing to gain by lying!  BUT, two things: I am trying to lose some weight via WeightWatchers, and I may be able to gain a bit of width with wetblocking.  XXXXXXXX Crossing all fingers and toes!!!

The back:

Here, I had it on the trash heap and now I will have a sweater.  I am pretty pleased with that turn of events!

Today is going to be fun and exciting:  I am involved in a Minnesota Knitters Guild event called Knit-O-Rama.   It is kind of an education day versus knitting workshops.  There will be a few speakers (of which I am one) and some fun activities, including The Ugliest Knitting contest.  I will report back!!

June 24, 2010

From Susan — Fun Facts

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:54 am

From Chloe:

“I read somewhere a supposition by a knitter that the reason Middle Ages knitted stockings etc., looked so evenly stitched was the mere passage of time, the element that allowed every knitted item – eventually! – to block out evenly.   I have always thought it useful to hold that thought!”

I had heard that, too, about an Egyptian form of knitting…after thousands of years it looked like a machine had made it!  Egads!  Can we wait that long??!!??

June 21, 2010

From Susan — Finally!

Filed under: Alexandria — lv2knit @ 11:03 pm

Do Ya Feel Lucky?

I finally got to where I was before my little rant!  Yay!  The right side will never be the same.  I am such a maroon — when I “fixed” it the other day, I offset the seam stitch by one!  So my count was off and I could not figure it out for the longest time.  Once I found the problem, I dropped the two involved sts down and re-laddered them and they really do look awful, but I am hoping that blocking helps.  Some projects just do not seem “lucky.” 

I love the sweater and I love the yarn!!  I am done with my stealth project, so I can devote time to getting this finished and then I am off to the next!  I am thinking of making the Greta Swagger Jacket from Swing Swagger Drape

I made my Boxes Vest from this book — it would feel like I got my money’s worth if I made two projects from the same book.  Woo Hoo!

Boxes Vest

June 18, 2010

From Susan — I Think I’ve Recovered!

Filed under: Alexandria — lv2knit @ 8:46 am

Thank you, dear readers, for being so gentle with me.  Jean-Marie, Nancy, and Connie each received the pattern as a gift via Ravelry (I love Ravelry!). 

As for the sweater, I had started to rip it out, got angry and bored, and threw it down in a fit of pique.  That is the good news.  I had only ripped out about 5 inches.  The reason I was ripping it out is because I had attempted to “move” the faux seam to what I thought was the correct position and had laddered down several sts.  It did not work.  At all.  That is also the good news — if it HAD worked, the sts would now be in the wrong place!  

But, I was able to re-ladder the sts into their original positions…they will never look quite as good as they did before, but the sweater is salvageable — yay!

So, now I am back in business and all is right with the world.  🙂

June 17, 2010

From Susan — Oh……Never Mind

Filed under: Alexandria — lv2knit @ 4:11 pm

Man, when I blow it, I really do a bang up job!  My stupidity is irrefutable and clearly documented in my previous post (which has been removed to stop the spread of inaccurate information).  I feel really bad about the negative comments I made about Connie Chinchio’s Alexandria Cardigan and indicating that there was something “off kilter” about the design.  The only thing off kilter was me:  it was my misinterpretation of the pattern — not the pattern itself — that is to blame.  I hope that Ms. Chinchio accepts my sincere apologies for any distress I have caused her.  I am really sorry and even sorrier for being caught with my ignorance showing!

File:Roseanne Roseannadanna.PNG
Never Mind!

To quote myself (from March 25, 2006 — one of my first posts):

“I had not really thought about the fact that by chronicling my knitting progress in such a public manner, my mistakes will be on ready display.  

To quote Sally,

From now on, I will read directions. Really. I will.”

To show my sincerity, the first three commenters to this post (and please do not be TOO hard on me) will receive a free copy of the Alexandria Cardigan Pattern, courtesy of moi.

June 15, 2010

From Sally — Wishing My Sister a Happy Birthday!

Filed under: Back Story,Counterpane Blouse — surly @ 9:24 am


Yes, my big sister celebrates her birthday today!  Susan has always been my guardian angel and protector, my confidante, my best friend, and my favorite knitter.

Please join me in wishing her the happiest of birthdays. I wish we were off on some fabulous knitting jaunt together today, but we aren’t, Blanche.

As for knitting, I have had very little time to knit lately, and the time I have had has been devoted to my stealth knitting. I have managed to pick up my Counterpane Blouse here and there. This is a simple, quick knit. I should have finished it by now, but I haven’t. I like what I’ve got so far, and once it’s washed and blocked so that the yarn softens and the stitches even out, I think I’ll be happy with it. Here are some not-so-great progress shots.

PS From Susan — Thanks for the lovely birthday wishes (and on the right day!!).  I received this card from Dad:


Uh, thanks?!?

The Counterpane is looking great.  I’ll update people on my Alexandria fiasco soon.

June 8, 2010

From Susan — First Blush

Filed under: Alexandria — lv2knit @ 8:04 pm

Well, as I said, I voted on Alexandria

It seemed like more of a summer sweater and therefore more timely, though with the yarn I’ve chosen, it is really a winter wear.   The knitting is going extremely slowly…partly because I had to grapple with size and gauge for a while.  Don’t we all? 

So far, I am slogging along.  The fronts and back are knitted together so that always makes it seem slower.  What I really am looking forward to are the sleeves:  you pick up around the armhole and knit around using short rows, before knitting the sleeves from the top down in the round.  It’s a technique I have not yet tried.

PS: Sally and I received a message from Betsy Hershberg, the designer of the beaded necklaces we just made:

“I am the designer of this necklace and I’m so glad you both enjoyed knitting it!  And you both did a fabulous job – both with the knitting AND the picture taking.  Just wanted to let you know that the kits are now available (as of 6/8/10) on the Just Our Yarn website:  I admit that we didn’t anticipate the immediate popularity of the kit, but lots of gorgeous color ways are now available online. There is also a direct link to the kit on my website at  Thanks so much for the great post!  Much appreciated.”

Thanks, Betsy!!!

June 6, 2010

From Susan — As Seen On….

Filed under: Surrounded — lv2knit @ 12:44 pm

KnitPicks email!   My Surrounded Afghan and Laprobe Pattern was featured in their weekly email alert.  It was a nice surpise to see it.

Bonnie told me about it (I’m not on their email list ), so thanks, Bonnie, for letting me know.  It definitely resulted in a slight bump in sales, which had trickled to  v-e-r-y   s-l-o-w   after the initial release!! 

Now I can go buy a latte and a muffin! 

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