theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 30, 2011

From Susan — When Forces Align

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 10:36 am

You can’t plan a day like that!  Yesterday was so unexpectedly fun and special! 

My knitting peeps and I had decided to attend a special event at StevenBe’s Yarn Garage Workshop in south Minneapolis on Saturday.  StevenBe is wonderful: he is warm, generous in all ways, inclusive, talented and creative.  You may have seen him in knitting magazines as well.

Steven is wearing a handknit creation knit with bulky cotton and videotape

His workshop used to be a firehouse and is now an eclectic melange of knitting and gifts and all kinds of yarn.  It overwhelms the brain!

Jacket festooned with dozens of buttons: almost too heavy to lift!

We shopped, we laughed, we noshed.  I ran into many old and dear friends and Guild members.  Ellen DeSilva, aka TwinSetEllen, mentioned her special project Warm Hats, Not Hot Heads — check it out on her blog.   We had a great time and did not want it to end.  So, off we went!

Next stop: Borealis in St. Paul.   I must admit, it seemed a little tame after StevenBe’s!  But we loved it just the same.  We saw a T-shirt that I would have bought if they had my size.  White shirt, black letters that said,

“I was born to knit.  I am forced to work.”  And another:

“K1, YO, k2tog, P1…If you understand this, we need to talk”

Then off to The Yarnery.   We had a blast there, too, finding yarn and patterns everywhere along the way.  Then to lunch at Cafe Latte — wow.  So much fun.

What did I buy — some C-R-A-Z-Y yarn at StevenBe’s! Linie 282 Zico Yarn in black:

You use it to make this crazy scarf.  I bought it in black for my oldest daughter and finished it last night:

The color of the sweater it’s on is washed out, but the scarf itself looks pretty true.  Just a fun scarf and very fashion forward like my daughter!

I also bought a skein of Fiesta La Boheme in Peacock to make another Moebius Cowl.  I love mine and get so many compliments, and this color is stunning:

We headed home happy as clams.  I love my peeps and we enjoyed a thoroughly fun and productive day!

PS: Check out this article about Steven in the Pioneer Press!  Thanks, Readers!

January 29, 2011

From Susan — Damson Update

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:09 pm

Several of you asked me about the modifications I made to my Damson Shawlette to produce the beautiful mesh insertions.  I did not come up with the idea — it was the work of Linda Butkis.  She has since written up the chart and it is available as a free pattern adaptation.  You still need to purchase the original pattern, but this designer-approved version is available to all.

January 28, 2011

From Susan — Where Did My 61 Yards Go??

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:12 am

There is a great little pattern I found on Ravelry called 198 Yards of Heaven.  It was designed specifically to use one skein of worsted yarn and still end up with something.  Especially nice for luxury yarns that are too expensive to buy in quantity.  I was in luck because I owned one such skein: ArtYarns Silk Rhapsody in Cappucino.  Lovely yarn consisting of handpainted silk held with a Kidsilk Haze mohair.   It is the same yarn that Sally and I used for Sally’s Topsy Turvy Moebius.  It is bunny-belly soft.  I was very confident that I had enough yarn, because each skein has 260 yards and the pattern is called “198 Yards of Heaven” for a reason!

I had one yard left (?!?). 

I made no adjustments to the pattern and my finished shawlette was the exact same size as the pattern stated: 44 x 21 inches.  What gives?  Where’s my 61 yards?  Don’t know.  I even weighed my finished shawlette to see if I was short sheeted, but it was 100 grams.

It is lovely.

January 25, 2011

From Susan — Another Day

Filed under: One Day Hat — lv2knit @ 12:56 am

Let me rekniterate* — literally!  When you like something, repeat!

If you take this (see this post for pattern links):

and add it to this:

You get this:

The pink One Day Baby Hat was made using Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple Silk, Color Hope.  I used the stitch count for the larger size, but with the smaller gauge I ended up with a small sized hat.  This pattern is very easy to adapt to different gauges.  It is lighter weight and soft as silk (duh…).

It’s cold outside, work is tough, my car is in the shop, but, hey…I’ve got my knitting to keep me warm, busy, and happy!

*–verb (used with object), -at·ed, -at·ing. to knit again repeatedly

In response to the question about stitch count: 72 is correct.  The pattern is a multiple of 8, not 10.

January 21, 2011

From Susan — Frozen Tundra

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:37 am

Minus.  Twenty.  Three.  Degrees.  Freezing   It is my day off, and I still had to go out so I could take my daughter to school.

January 20, 2011

From Sally: Look Ma — Warm Hands

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 7:13 pm

Last night, I washed and blocked the sweater I gave my son for Christmas. (He had a long Christmas break, and just left for the west coast this afternoon.) I wouldn’t ordinarily wash and block a sweater so soon after finishing it, but in this case it was a necessity.  He has worn it virtually every waking hour since I gave it to him.   I’m not exaggerating. Nor am I complaining. It’s wonderful to see someone get so much use out of a hand knit garment.

That’s why I was perfectly happy to knit him a new pair of gloves after he lost one of his on this trip. He went down to my stash and chose a skein of Austermann Step Sock Yarn, and this was the result:

He says he likes them, and I believe him.  Here is a quick little photo I took with an iPhone while we were sitting together at the airport.

Gloves and newly washed sweater.  It may not surprise you that a second sweater for him is already on the needles — more on that project when there’s a bit more to show and tell.

PS From Susan — I love the gloves.  I also want to thank Surly for taking the time to give our blog a makeover!  I think it looks much better and our patterns are easier to find.  There are a few more changes to come, but I like what she has done so far.

January 17, 2011

From Susan — Thinking of You

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:58 pm

Like most knitters, when a life event strikes, I often think of what I can knit for the person. If a baby is born or expected, don’t we all rattle different ideas through our heads: hat, blankie, booties??

One of my favorite people recently received a life-changing diagnosis and had to undergo surgery. Her prognosis is good and she is recovering nicely…but she gave us quite a scare. This dear friend, I’ll call her DF, is a knitting peep and my “Harry Potter” movie companion, and very special to a lot of people for a lot of reasons.

So when I heard about DF’s diagnosis, I knew I needed to knit her something. Something she would love and that would show her how much I care about her.  I decided on a Damson shawlette.  I had made one before and LOVED knitting it and wearing it, so I hoped she would love it as well.  I tried about 3 different yarns from my stash — all high end, gorgeous yarns, but too variegated to look right.  Off to the store I went.  I chose Malabrigo Sock in Boticelli Red (a very rusty, brick red).  The yarn is butter soft and more tonal than variegated, which I am drawn to more and more these days — too much color variation can look disastrous!

I used the same modification as on my Damson: inserting an open-work mesh into the plain sections.   

She loved it — she is very knit worthy!!  And with every stitch I knit in love and good wishes.

January 12, 2011

From Sally — Sleeping Baby’s Castle Blanket Pattern Now Available!

Filed under: Sleeping Baby's Castle Blanket,Updates — surly @ 1:05 pm

Last summer, I designed a baby blanket for Fibre Space in Alexandria.  When I showed the finished design here, many of you liked the pattern and wanted to knit it.  I am happy to announce that it is now available for purchase.

Close up of the central castle panel:

Shown in cream:

Susan’s version:

The green blanket was knit out of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted; the cream blanket was made with Cascade’s 220 Superwash.   Susan’s was knit out of Plymouth’s Worsted Merino Superwash.

Quick facts about the pattern:

Size: Approximately 32 by 40 inches after blocking.

Gauge: 18 stitches and 28 rows over four inches.

Yarn Requirements: You will need approximately 1100 yards of worsted weight yarn. (Each of my blankets used slightly less than that, but I prefer to give a quantity that allows for gauge differences as well as swatching.)

Instructions: Provided in both chart and row-by-row format.  Two versions of the pattern are included; the bonus version omits the central castle panel.

Cost: $5.00

How to Purchase:

Sleeping Baby’s Castle is available through Ravelry .  Whether or not you are a Ravelry member, you can purchase the pattern by clicking the link below.  You will be taken directly to a purchase page; after purchase, you will receive a link to download the PDF of the pattern.

Edited to add: A couple of readers have asked about the difficulty level of this pattern.  That’s hard for me to answer because perceived difficulty is so variable.  On Ravelry, there are about 9 or 10 Castle Blankets that weren’t knitted by me or by Susan.  (The design was initially available as a kit at a local yarn store, Fibre Space, and those projects were knit from the kits sold there.)

I can’t  know what the level of expertise of each of those knitters was, but the average difficulty rating given by them was between easy and medium.  I don’t know if that helps.  The pattern has a lot of repetition, and is very pictorial, so my sense is that it looks more complicated than it is.  But each knitter is different.

January 10, 2011

From Susan — Happy Birthday!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:44 am

Yesterday we celebrated a milestone birthday for my oldest daughter: 21!!  This pic isn’t the best (she is even more gorgeous in person!), but I don’t have any from yesterday to share yet.   It was a wonderful day and we are so terribly proud of her and the wonderful woman she has become.  Happy Birthday to my dear, sweet, lovely Laura!

Here she is as a baby with my hubby in his “Tom Selleck” phase!

January 6, 2011

From Sally — If It Was Worth Knitting Once. . .

Filed under: Surly's Ginevra — surly @ 4:57 pm

Just a few weeks ago, I bragged that my son had told me his friends loved the gloves I knit for him a couple of years ago. I should have knocked on wood.  Alas, I did not.  Just before Christmas, he lost one of them and now all he has is a sad little survivor. I imagine its twin somewhere on the side of the road, wet and dirty, hoping to be found. I hope it knows it was loved. ;-{

So, of course I am knitting him a new pair before he heads back to college. I set him loose in my stash, where he picked out some Austermann Step Sock yarn. Here is how the first glove looks. I’ve just finished the thumb gusset. The Austermann has longer and less “jazzy” color changes, but he says he likes it so far.

Le sigh.

My other knitting project is for me (don’t act surprised). I was quite taken by Ginevra’s Pullover from the winter issue of Interweave Knits.

It’s knit using two different weights of Malabrigo: Twist and Lace weight. (Just as Susan and I used two weights of yarn in the same color for our Roslin Hoodie.) I chose Damask, a deep dusky pink.

The body is knit from the top down, and then the drapey collar is worked separately and sewn in. I’m just past the waist.

Those more sensitive readers who think Lucy is a bit of an exhibitionist because of her habitual lack of pants and undergarments may want to avert their eyes from the pictures that follow; she looks like even more of a hussy than usual.

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