theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 29, 2012

From Susan — Truly Classic

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:47 pm


When I first saw this book, I thought, “What a nice assortment of classic designs.” Upon closer review, I realized that there is more here than meets the eye.

Wearwithall is the collective effort of The Yarnery’s talented staff. The book provides some basic patterns as the starting point for your creative touches. They give you ideas and direction, but of course you control the results. Very nicely done!

This beautiful cardigan is knit in Kidsilk Haze, so c’mon!! What’s not to like!! I saw it in person at Yarnover — simple and quite fetching!!

Womens Cardi

There are socks, hats, kids’ designs, items for the home…all the essentials that we love to knit and gift.

May 23, 2012

From Susan — Have Faith

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:49 am

Optimism (n.)
1. the tendency to expect the best and see the best in all things
2. hopefulness; confidence

Do knitters possess a higher degree of optimism than other people? I think we have to…or else we would never start a project!

One of the several things on my needles right now was born not only of my tendency to view a project’s potential through rose-colored glasses, but also of my frugality. I bought yarn from Webs on sale — it cannot be returned. You may remember this yarn as the orange bulky that did not work for my Taiga Vest. The same designer also must have had a surplus of this yarn because she designed another vest out of the same color as she used in HER Taiga and called it Vintage Mood.

I thought it was cute, and I had the exact yarn called for in a generous quantity. The design itself is unusual and here is where my optimism comes in: will this crazy, twisted around, origami of a vest work?? I think it will (?). Here is what I have so far:

Vest 2

You start across the back with a provisional cast on. Then you work up the back and over the shoulders, with the garter sts edges forming the armholes. You convert to ribbing for the shawl collar. At that point, you fold the thing in half and pick up sts and work the lower body from the top down in ribbing (some people substituted stockinette, which I kind of wish I had done).

I tried it on and it fits and is pretty darn cute…BUT, there is a huge “hump” at the back neck, like there should have been some shaping somewhere along the line (after I started this, I noticed that others on Ravelry have mentioned this problem). This will require some machine sewing and surgery to correct. Again, I am pretty optimistic that I can fix it 🙂 . I will wait until it is blocked before I do anything — I don’t want to “over correct.”

Would someone please hand over my rose-colored glasses?

May 16, 2012

From Both of Us — The Lemming Sisters

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 5:04 pm

Like lemmings plunging off a cliff, we both joined the latest Ravelry craze: Color Affection.

Susan’s Color Affection
I understand the appeal of the shawl, but not the magnitude of the appeal. In any case, I still purchased yarn for the project at Yarnover. I got caught up in the beauty of the Grinning Gargoyle’s wares and the joy of pairing three colors together (can you pair three things?). I used Grinning Gargoyle’s Seda Sock in light gray, darker gray, and a soft, “cedar” green.

The knitting is simple garter, with some short rows thrown in. I opted for the “k1, YO, k1” option that most knitters have used to mitigate the very tight edge that occurs.

I decided to do a 2-stitch i-cord bind off (after seeing a project on Ravelry) and it turned out quite nice. The blocking helped get rid of the shawl’s inevitable hump…hope it’s gone for good!

Color Affection deck

Color Affection 013

Color Affection 011


Sally’s Color Affection

My son attends Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and when I’m in Portland I always stop at Knit Purl, a lovely shop with an interesting selection of yarns. (They are the home of Shibui.) Unfortunately for my wallet, I am on their email list and periodically receive offers I just can’t refuse. They emailed that they had a new shipment of Madelinetosh Pashmina, and that’s when I took the plunge off the Color Affection cliff. I used Silver Fox, Logwood, and Charcoal. My colors look somewhat similar to Susan’s, but the difference is the lavender that glides into purple. The color reminded me of two of my favorite flowers: lilacs (which I can’t get to grow in DC) and wisteria (which I have in abundance right now).

PS from Susan — Pat asked how we blocked our shawls. I can’t speak for Sally, but I did not use any wires or guide thread to block mine — just a pin on each end to make the points pointy! My shawl was quite damp and I just shaped it to the desired shape. It was kind of difficult because the garter ridges were very moveable (like an accordian). I just made sure the stripes ran parallel to each other. Plus, I made sure the hump (at the cast on area) was flattened out. This additional blocking photo may show it better.


PS2: Pat asked if my Color Affection was blocked on a piece of styrofoam — indeed it is! I show the process in this post…but glossed over my ridiculous trip to the car when the styrofoam had me nearly airborne!!

May 12, 2012

From Susan — Just a LIT-tle Yarn!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 5:02 pm

As you are well aware, I just got back from a couple of knitting excursions. Credit cards were used. Yarn was purchased.

Here is a sampling:

Yarn Purchases 2

The well informed among you will recognize two skeins of Madelinetosh Light in the upper left of the photo: the blue is called Worn Denim, the green is called Grove. I love Tosh Light, what else can I say? I wanted to get 4 of the Worn Denim, but Stephen Be only had 3, so I got the green for (perhaps?) a two-color shawl.

The gold laceweight in the upper right is from MS&W, Spirit Trails: Yarn is Decima in color “Vintage.” 550 yards of merino and silk per skein. Lovely. No idea what to do with this…another shawl, but how many can I stack up? My house is already lousy with shawls!!

The ball that is wound is a boucle that I also purchased at MS&W, from Tintagel Farms: Yarn is a mohair, silk and wool blend in color Bayberry; 250 yards per 5 oz. It called my name. Very loudly. And I don’t really know why! It has already been tapped to make another Easy Missoni Mobius Cowl. I can’t get enough of them, plus I was teaching the Cat Bordhi cast on today, so I needed a sample. That’s my story, anyway!! The color is knitting up absolutely beautifully and is reminiscent of something deep in my reptilian brain. Someday that memory may pop to the surface.

Last and not least is an ethereal color called “Sugar Plum” in an 80/20 bamboo and nylon mix that positively glistens. It is from Sun Valley Fibers (purchased at Yarnover). I have a shawl in mind for this (hangs head in shameful resignation). The picture captured the color pretty well, which is amazing.

Sally and I also are making the same projects (in different yarns) which will be revealed shortly. And I will be again hanging my head in embarrassment over the type of project it is. 😉

May 8, 2012

From Susan — I’m Ba-a-a-a-a-a-c-k!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:00 pm

I am back to the Cities and back to work! Nice to return to the loving arms of my family, but all of the hub-bub has left me exhausted.

Sally and I had a great time at Maryland Sheep and Wool — the weather was fine and the yarn plentiful. Unfortunately we did not get any pictures. We ran into Astrid, a long-time reader and friend with her husband. Astrid is a wonderful knitter — we share a lot of projects in common.

ETA: Astrid sent me this picture!

MSW with Astrid

We also ran into another reader at an inopportune moment. Both Sally and I were covered in food: I was dusted head to toe in apple strudel crumbs, with gobs of apple filling all over my hands and face…Sally was dipped in chocolate ice cream. What a delectable sight!

No Sheep and Wool pics, but here is a photo from Yarnover. Sally and I are posing with the real Lila and Claudine (we’re the ones in the back 😉 !)

Lila and Claudine

May 4, 2012

From Both of Us — On Location

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 2:40 pm

We are sitting here quietly in anticipation of Saturday, wallets ready. 😉

Last weekend was a total blur. Sally arrived on Friday afternoon and we were immediately catapulted into the maelstrom that is Yarnover preparation. We then attended the Friday night teachers’ dinner — great fun.

Up and out early on Saturday to get to the venue early to set up. The 40 vendors were there rushing to set up…most made it on time! The day went really well. It felt more organized this year — we are learning.

We also dined with the teachers on Saturday night — sitting with Nancy Bush, Beth Brown Reinsel and Romi Hill. Yes, we are shameless namedroppers. Sally wore her Crown Prince Shawl from Nancy Bush’s book on Estonian knitting and Susan wore her Fiori di Sole designed by Romi Hill. Yes, we are shameless suck ups!!

We didn’t buy much ::cough, cough:: (Susan was throwing money at vendors as they were unpacking!!). Yarn purchases will be revealed. Let’s be honest: it was a feeding frenzy worthy of “Jaws!”

The last couple of days in DC have been spent relaxing and knitting and eating. Today we have been getting organized for tomorrow at MD Sheep and Wool. Plotting our strategy and options. Just like marathon runners, we must leave nothing to chance! 😉

Sorry about no pictures, but at least you know we are still alive!

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