theraineysisters knitting and so much more

August 31, 2013

From Susan — Oops!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:24 pm

Remember how last week I was saying that the state fair people had displayed Inggun wrong side out?  How could they??  It is so obvious!!  Well, I did the same thing in yesterday’s post re: Trillian!

Here are the two faces of Trillian side by side (the “right side” is on the left in the following picture):

It’s one of the things knitters comment on when they see Trillian — the cute edging!!  Oh well!!!

So, another shot of it set up correctly:

What is that saying about casting stones…..?


August 30, 2013

From Susan — Ingenius

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:05 pm

Have you ever bought yarn that you looked at later and thought, “What the %$%%^ was I thinking??”  I bought some sock yarn called Purl Diver Adorn Sock from A Good Yarn in Sarasota Florida.  Bright.  Real bright.  Too bright.  You need retina reattachment surgery after just looking at it!

Anyway, while at knitting camp this summer, I saw a pattern worked up in yarns that made Purl Diver look blah.  And the pattern worked well in these over-the-top yarns.  The pattern is a one-skein shawlette called Trillian, and it is ingenious, fun, and very easy to knit…just repeat two rows until you are almost done.   It is equally nice in lovely, tame colors!!

Trillian in Adorn Sock, color Purl Diver

It is long and skinny and you work it until you have ~10% of your yarn left and then you work some finishing rows.  This means you shouldn’t run out of yarn!

This shows the cute corner:

I think this is a great pattern for any of those skeins of sock yarn you may have floating around that seemed great in the skein and then a bit “too much” when given a second glance!!  Or that lovely sock yarn you want people to be able to SEE! 🙂

August 26, 2013

From Susan — KOM

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:18 am

Matt Cooke is King of the Mountains!  Matt, you thrilled us with your skill and your perseverance (and those crazy legs!!)!  We are so proud of you!!

Matt and Nora Cooke – picture taken after Stage 5 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado

August 23, 2013

From Susan — Countdown: 3-2-1-1-1-1

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:08 pm

Yesterday was the first day of the Minnesota State Fair.  My annual routine is to head to the Fair with knitting peep, Kim, where we await the opening of the Creative Activities Bldg doors at 9 am in anticipation, eager to see how we did with our entries.  Not this year.

A work snafu brought on by some incompetent boob (okay, it was me Emoji) meant that I had to work.  Not only WORK, but get to work by 6 am Emoji!!  Kim decided she might as well go to work, too, so we met up at about 4:30.  Some of my other friends came along (including “The Other Susan”), so it was quite a fun afternoon-evening, although I was already crispy fried like a nice calamari.

Kim and I agreed to enter the building as “results virgins” and not look up the results on line ahead of time – we both kept our promise.  It is always a challenge to find everything and this year was no different, especially since I could not remember what I entered!  Really sad, I know.  Kim had entered four items and I entered seven.  Finally found them all.  Here is an overview:

I entered:

Moose River Cowl – 1st
Burr Cardigan – 1st
Inggun – 1st
Icicle Hat – 1st
Lyra Shawl – 2nd
Sock Monkey Project Bag – 3rd (yay – recognition for a Sock Monkey!!)
Pueblo Stole (entered as scarf) – nada

The Moose River Cowl was a last minute throw in – I expected to get nothing for it, but it won a blue!  I was shocked.  My High Country Pueblo stole was a lot of work and came up short — you really never know what will win!  Honestly, there are so many wonderful knitters in Minnesota and fabulous entries, it is truly an honor to win any ribbons.

It took me a while to realize it, but my Inggun vest was displayed wrong side out.  Kind of weird because it is highly cabled around the neck so it seemed pretty obvious which was the right side.  They did change it upon request.  I got to step into the display area to assist!   It is fixed in the picture above.

Lyra came in second to the sweepstakes grand champion: a large, traditional, Shetland-style shawl that is simple and elegant, in cobweb laceweight.  Not a surprise!  I was thrilled to get 2nd.  I was also thrilled that my Sock Monkey Project Bag received a ribbon – you rock, Lil Sock Monkey, you rock!! Emoji

Kim did EXTREMELY well!!  She received 1-2-3-3 place ribbons.  I do not have a picture of her linen-stitch scarf, but here are the rest.  Can you tell she has a new grandson to knit for? Emoji

Romper in sockweight, Monkey Hat, Bubbles Baby Blanket

Kim’s mom also entered for the first time and won several ribbons this year!  Yay!!

By the time we left the fair, I was afraid I would not be able to get my sorry [edited to maintain PG rating] off the Sky Ride, but I did and got home after a long and action-packed day.  Whew!

Matt Cooke Update: Matt is 4 for 4 as King of the Mountain.  One more mountain stage to go tomorrow — it is likely that if he simply finishes the race he will win overall King of the Mountain, in the toughest race in the US.  We could not be prouder of Matt!  You go, Cookie (aka “Hotpants” 😉 )!!  We love you!


August 20, 2013

From Sally — Oceans, Mountains, a Witch, and a King

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 11:42 am

I just returned from a few days in Ogunquit, Maine. (I’d gone up with a friend to catch Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Oguinquit Playhouse.) It’s been years since I’d had a chance to go up to the New England coast, and it was just as beautiful as I remembered, despite a bit of fog.

I brought with me my latest finished object: Havsfrun, a stole designed by Anna Dalvi. Havsfrun is based on a medieval Swedish ballad about a sea witch who loves a mortal. The shawl depicts the water of the sea witch’s realm, which part around her lands and fields.

I knit mine out of yarn that I had purchased at this spring’s Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Nona, from Spirit Trail Fiber works, is a heavy lace weight yarn that is 50% merino, 25% cashmere, and 25% silk. Yes, it’s a darn shame to knit with. My color — Woad — was a limited edition blue with little touches of dark and light and occasional glimpses of green. Perfect for a sea witch, but hard to capture in photographs. First, I took some artsy shots in Maine.

Here are some more “traditional” shots that show the pattern a little better.

The pattern was a fun, quick, and easy knit and I love the shawl and the yarn.

So that takes care of the Oceans and Witch portion of the post. Where are the Mountains and the King? As many of you know, my son-in-law, Matthew Cooke, is a pro cyclist. He rides for the Jamis Hagens Berman team. Yesterday was the first day of the USA Pro Challenge, aka the Tour of Colorado. This is one of the premier races in North America and includes all of the top riders from the Tour de France. Matt went out on a break and swept up all of the points for the King of the Mountain jersey. We couldn’t be more proud, and we are rooting for him to keep it. (Of course, I don’t know if that’s the team’s strategy for him!) Personally, I think he looks great in polka dots.

PS from Susan — We are thrilled for Matt as he got the ‘KOM hat trick’ for his 3rd King of the Mountain ride today!!  Please help us cheer him on so he gets the overall King of the Mountain award for this thrilling race!!

August 15, 2013

From Susan — Meet and Greet

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:26 pm

I’ve been off the last few days, just relaxing — not really a vacation, but more like a taste of retirement!!  And now back to work so I can afford to retire some day…

Jeremy from StevenBe’s  hosted a luncheon last Monday with notable author and knitter, Debbie Macomber.  Yes, that Debbie Macomber!  She has written a zillion books and has had some work made into movies, and recently the Hallmark Channel series, Cedar Cove starring Andie McDowell.

Debbie is completely accessible and down-to-earth.  She seemed like anyone you would hang out with in your favorite knitting store or knitting group.  Except that she is world famous and probably could buy and sell us all!

She chatted about her early years and the role that knitting played in building her confidence and self esteem.  Her prolific writing career began after she started her family.  She now owns a knitting store in addition to her writing.  She keeps it upbeat in both her stories and her approach to life.  I have only read a couple of her books, but I really enjoyed meeting her!!

August 10, 2013

From Susan — ‘Wrapped in Care’ Program Needs More Shawls

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:33 am

Many of you have donated generously in the past to this wonderful program.  I work with Pastor Dee Moore on the project and she recently contacted me saying that even though infant loss has been reduced (yay!!), they are running very low on shawls.

In case you have not heard about Wrapped in Care, here is some information from the brochure (see links to the right for flyers if you would like to share them with a knitting group or prayer shawl knitting circle):

What is this program about?
The Birth Center of United Hospital and the Newborn Intensive Care Units of Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota have initiated a shawl project as part of their bereavement support program for women who suffer the death of an infant.

This program will allow mothers to be wrapped in the warmth of shawls during a very traumatic and painful time.  In addition, if the mother is not discharged yet, they can also provide a far more beautiful background than a hospital gown for pictures that will be treasured for a lifetime.  [They really do use the shawls as a backdrop for the final pictures they have of their baby.]

What can I do?
Share a very special and generous gift by knitting a shawl for the program.  Hand-knit items are a treasure.

If you do not have time to knit a shawl, financial contributions are also welcome.  (See contact information below).  Sorry, but we are unable to accept yarn donations.

What kind of shawl is needed?
The shawls can be of different sizes, shapes and colors.  Prayer shawl patterns work well.  Please follow these criteria when selecting yarns:

–          Soft yarn, easy – care fibers preferred (please include care instructions if possible)

–          Yarns that are one color in soft hues without a pattern or variegation work best for photographs


Where do I send my finished shawl?
Mail your shawl or monetary contribution to:
Checks should be made payable to “Perinatal Loss Cart Fund”

Rev. Dee Moore, C/O Wrapped in Care
Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota
GardenView Building,Suite503
345 North Smith Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102

If you can dedicate some of your very precious knitting time to this program, it will mean a great deal to someone who will cherish it!

Reply to Heidi:

There is a link to some patterns on the right hand side of the blog which I added below — but they are pretty boring!  Any prayer shawl type pattern will do.  I did a Ravelry search of free shawl patterns using worsted yarn and ended up choosing Tethys.  I am not sure your skill level or the type of knitting that you enjoy, but there are tons of patterns that will work.

Rule of thumb: easy care, not variegated yarn.  I am using Caron Simply Soft and will “steam block” it to block it permanently.

Wrapped in Care Free Patterns

August 5, 2013

From Susan — But for One Little Problem

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 1:36 pm

Last spring my knitting peeps and I participated in a knitting shop hop.  One of our stops was Needlework Unlimited.  They were hosting a trunk show by a designer that I had never heard of before: Bente Geil or Geilsk on Ravelry.  She is Danish and many of her patterns are in German.  A sweater was on display that I fell in love with called Dydsmønster…whatever the heck that means!!

Bente Geil’s Dydsmønster

It wasn’t yet available so I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Until my birthday.  Then I rushed over and bought her Geilsk Tweed yarn and the pattern – in English!!  I started it right away and have been working on it quite regularly ever since…but it is a slow knit (32 sts and 34 rows per 10 cm).

I think I would be done with it by now but for one little problem.  Yes.  That pesky little problem called “did you read the pattern?”  I thought I read the pattern, but therein lies the problem.  I missed one very small and very important sentence: Continue 8 row repeat 6 times.

When  I joined the body and split off the sleeves,  I missed that one little sentence.  As you can tell from the picture, the bottom flares out quite a bit – in actuality, you almost double the stitch count by adding two sts per cable section every 16 rows.  Because I failed to do the straight away section, I started my flare right after the underarms.

So instead of the sweater shown above, I got this:

The bright red is what I knitted – the dark underneath shows what it was supposed to be.  It was a lot of extra knitting.  A lot of WASTED knitting, because I had to rip it all out back to the underarm.  Thousands and thousands of sts and hours and hours of knitting.  But I’m not bitter.  Emoji  I kept thinking there was something wrong and I should have trusted my instincts, but every time I looked for that all-important sentence, it eluded me!!!

Despite it all, I plunged forward yet again.  I really like the design and the fit.  So I am far from done, but still enjoying it.

It looks much better on a person with arms (sorry, Lettie!).  I just love the bold raglan shaping:

The triangular wedges are on the fronts, the shoulders, and the back.  I have several inches to go on the body but decided to take a break and work on the sleeves.

You can see how nicely the cables flow, even though the direction of the knitting under the arms is reversed.  I added the cabling right under the arm where the sleeve starts, which was not in the pattern.

I hope when it gets done it is cute and fits because it sure is a lot of work.  This designer is very talented and there are a few more of her designs that I like.  Her yarn and patterns are available at Needlework Unlimited so you do not have to order from overseas.

Replay to Laila:

Thank you for commenting and giving us a definition of dydsmønster!  Actually, the cables are not true cables — they are worse!  You make elongated sts on the WS row and then pull the last 4 sts over the 1st 4 one by one on the RS row.  They take longer to make than regular cables if you cable without a cable needle.  Also, they do not rip back as easily!!  Emoji


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