theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 24, 2015

From Susan — Good Grades

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:40 am

Grades as in “gradient.”  Grades as in school.  Add the two together and you get my latest FO: Song of the Sea!!  My youngest daughter just started back to school (YAY!) and I wanted to reward her good efforts.  She loves cowls, which she calls infinity scarves, so she and I rummaged through my stash for yarn.  Well darn it if the lil dickens doesn’t have fabulous taste…talk about the good news, bad news!  She selected my Miss Babs Yummy Two Toes Gradient Set in color Orion.  Uh, I wanted that!!  Oh, well.

Sally had made Song of the Sea in another Miss Babs yarn we purchased together last fall.  I loved how hers turned out.  I knit the thing rather quickly and before blocking asked Jena to show me one of her infinity scarves so I could compare length.  The one I had knit was 20 inches too short!!!  TWENTY INCHES.  It was 40-something instead of 60!!!!!

I blocked that thing to within an inch of its life with chains and pulleys, and got it to 62 inches.  It did snap back about 6 inches, so now it is 56 inches.  The colors are stunning and I think it turned out:

Song of the Sea, The Long and Short of It

Jena loved it.  Loved.  It.  That’s the good news! 😉

PS – the designer of this cowl just released a pattern for a shawl version and actually mentions the identical yarn that I used — it is called Siren Song and has the same stitch patterns.

January 16, 2015

From Sally — Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 2:28 pm

Winter’s here and I needed a new hat. Luckily for me, I apparently had planned ahead (ooh, that’s a potentially very bad pun that I hadn’t even intended). When Susan and I were at Rhinebeck, I purchased yarn, pattern, and buttons for Scotty designed by Anne Hanson.

The yarn is Anne’s Better Breakfast Fingering in the Muesli colorway, which is a brownish gray or a grayish brown depending upon the light. What’s wonderful about this yarn, a blend of merino and alpaca, is that the alpaca has been “dehaired.” The result is extreme softness. It feels wonderful.

The only modification I made in knitting was to add an i-cord knot on the top as a finishing touch.

January 11, 2015

From Susan — Ground Hog Day

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 3:54 pm

I do live in my own version of that great movie — I have made this darn shawl so many times that I feel I am reliving the same knitting over and over!  In this case, it really is a complete redo!  Daughter Laura lost her black Sweet Dreams and demanded asked for another.  Since her birthday was Friday, I thought I should comply. 🙂

I have sought to eliminate the “hump” on these crescent shawls and was very close with my last one (since edited with my new instructions!).  Maybe 80% there.  So with this one, I went even further and I think I solved it.

The problem is with the garter tab cast on.  It is typically way too short.  You could just lengthen the garter strip, but then the top edge of the shawl would not look like the rest of the edges.  For this shawl, I used a 49-stitch garter tab instead of the 7-stitch in the original pattern, which is described in detail on my Ravelry project page.  98% hump free!!

My goal is to come up with a similar cast on for non-BooKnits shawls — regular “k2, YO” type shawls.  When I do, you will read about it here!

PS – Just to clarify, Dear Readers.  I am still using a garter tab cast on — it just happens to be super long.  The purpose of the extra length is essentially to cut off the center top of the shawl where the hump is and start the shawl itself below the hump.  The red line in the diagram shows the original garter tab cast on; the aqua dotted line is where I start the shawl.

January 4, 2015

From Susan — Both Last and First

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 4:32 pm

My last FO of 2014 is the first to be blogged about in 2015!  I finished my Roosevelt Cardigan at the end of December, amidst the merriment and hubbub of the holidays.

It was a satisfying knit, with really nice yarn purchased at Rhinebeck this past October. I used Harrisville WATERshed, in color Penstock. I love it. Love, love, love it. It is wooly wool with rich tonal qualities that felt great to knit.  A perfect substitute for Shelter (spun at the same mill) or Jamieson’s Shetland Heather Aran (a yarn by any other name, and I mean ANY other name — it has had many!!).

This sweater started out as Rowe…and part of me wishes I had finished this elaborate, cabled coat.  But, it had “issues” (for the way I wanted it) and I did not feel like fixing the issues.  So, I embarked on a different design.  Roosevelt has many projects on Ravelry that were beautifully completed.

Roosevelt Cardigan

The show-stopping feature of this design is the pocket treatment:

I bound off the back neck with I-cord so the strong line at the fronts would continue around the back neck:

Then I edged the shawl collar with I-cord to add weight to the collar and match the strong lines throughout.

My thinking was to create an over-sized boyfriend sweater, but alas, I do not seem able to carry off the part of the cute girlfriend!  However, it is a very wearable sweater out of beautiful yarn, that fits as I expected.  Yay!!

PS — Several of you have asked about the collar and if it is deeper than the original.

It may be: the way I did the collar was to only do my short row wraps in the “p2” sts of the k2, p2 rib, which was every 4 sts.  This changed the number of short rows (the original had more short rows), by 5 = 10 rows of knitting.  After the shawl collar short rows were completed, I continued the ribbing for 3 inches instead of 2.  This would have deepened the collar at the same time, but probably back to the original width.  I bound off with I-cord which also added a small amount of width.

January 2, 2015

From Susan — The Other Susan

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:55 am

I love that my friend Susan (The Other Susan) had a crafty side to her years ago.  It has since waned, but she did make needlepoint stockings for her kids when they were small.  Both are now in their thirties and this particular stocking had seen better days.  She asked me if I could do some repairs.  The original kit came with a felt back which had become a mere shard with age and abuse.

I bought some waleless corduroy in a matching red, and a Christmasy print for a lining.   However, the needlepoint was way too stiff to seam in a normal way, so I thought I would try bias tape.

I made my own tape using the method I described earlier this year.  I thought it would be harder with the corduroy but it worked pretty well because the fabric was so thin.  It was a bit difficult to sew around the stocking, but it looks okay from the right side – the back is a little funky!

Could not resist adding a pom pom 😉 !!

I tapped into the most self indulgent gift that Santa ever dropped at my door: my new tower of threads!!  Santa thought that it went perfectly with my new sewing machine, and I guess I have to agree.  It seems like complete and absolute overkill, but I will ALWAYS have the thread of my dreams without a trip to the store.

I am reminded of the part in The Trouble with Angels (a true classic from my youth!!), where the Mother Superior tells Rachel she can “keep the box of lovely threads” after winning the sewing contest (with lots of help).  I wish I could have found the right clip!  This ends just before the scene I am referring to – you see the $10 bill tucked into the winning dress.

January 1, 2015

From Both of Us — Ring it In!!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 12:46 am

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Be safe, healthy and happy in 2015!

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