theraineysisters knitting and so much more

May 29, 2016

From Sally — Spring Awakening

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 4:13 pm

It’s shawl season.  Not that there’s a particular season for shawls, but periodically — out of boredom, frustration with fit, yarn lust — I get into the mood to knit nothing but shawls.  I’ve knit three of them in the last few weeks.  The first was Waiting for Rain. This is the second, which I finished a couple of weeks ago. I’ll about post my third one (also finished!) next time.

This shawl is Newfoundland, designed by Anne-Lise Maigaard. If you aren’t familiar with her patterns, she has designed a number of lovely shawls, several of which are in my queue. I liked the shallow crescent shape of Newfoundland as well as the “squared off” ends. It’s knit from the bottom up so you cast on all the stitches at once. (In other words, it starts off slowly.)

The yarn I used is Cashsilk Lace from Sweet Georgia Yarns (55% silk, 45% cashmere; 400 yards in a 50 gram skein). The color, Seagrass, was a custom dye for Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon. I purchased it to make a Forest Path stole, but the color changes that are so subtle in the skein did not look good in that pattern. Forest Path is built from entrelac blocks and the color became too blocky. It worked well for Newfoundland, though. I did put in the beads (there are very few of them in the pattern) but I think they sort of disappear in most light.

In a surprise turn of events, I also tackled a sewing project. I rarely sew. Rarely means that the last time I sewed something it was a poodle skirt for my now 30 year-old daughter’s 8th grade play. I bought myself a brand new sewing machine months ago and hadn’t taken it out of the box. When Susan was here for the Sheep & Wool Festival, I got inspired and bought some fabric. Here is the top I made. It ain’t couture, but it fits!

ETA: The sewing pattern I used is called the Wiksten Tank. It can be a dress or a top; I changed the length to be sort of in between so I’d have a summer tunic.

May 19, 2016

From Susan — Sincerest Form of Flattery

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:46 am

I loved Sally’s Waiting for Rain shawl – it is so unique and the color so stunning.  So I decided that I wanted one, too!

While out visiting the “Surly One” we made a quick stop at Fibre Space.  They were carrying a special order of “big wheels” in a variety of yarns.  Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Big Wheels carry a whopping ~800 yards at a $48 price.  I chose Quill, which has an overall gray cast with hints of brown and blue.  Very pretty.  Just not as pretty as Sally’s Sedge green 🙁 .

Susan’s Waiting for Rain, Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, Color Quill

It is done.  I really like it — love the size and the shape for wearability.  Not yet convinced about the color!!

PS to Janet from Susan — Jean Moss Knitting Tour

Wasn’t that just a wonderful experience??  It was a highlight of Sally’s and my knitting life to dine with Alice that evening before her class!  I probably am the one who mentioned the author – it was Monica Ferris.  She did come to my knitting group several times, but I doubt that she wrote about me per se.  She did use the unusual name of a fellow knitter as one of her characters, and also tapped into our expertise for general knitting knowledge!!  She has not appeared in years but is welcome back any time!!

May 15, 2016

From Susan — Heard ya!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 6:58 pm

Several people have asked if I could enlarge the Crescent Swallowtail.  I always do what I am told 🙂 so I did write up some notes on how to make the crescent larger.  I think the math is good, but you know knitters can’t count (just ask anyone who has cast on 397 sts and see if they can come up with the same number twice!!).

Enlarging the Crescent Swallowtail 5-15-2016

PLEASE let me know if you find any glaring errors or suggestions.  I will (as with the crescent pattern) keep my Ravelry page updated.  After people have made some bigger Swallowtails and I feel the information is solid, I will add the notes pages to the regular pattern so everything is in one place.

There are now two Crescent Swallowtails on Ravelry that were knit by people other than moi — yay!!  Now let’s get some bigger ones out there.

PS – I cannot give you yarn estimates.  I can only share the yardages I used when knitting my shawls.  The good news is that as others knit this version of the Swallowtail, more information will become available.  Thanks, all!!

PS to Deborah:  My first shawls were triangles as that was the prevailing shape at the time.   The problem with them is that as you make the shawl wider to increase the width between points (to fit better), the back just keeps getting longer and longer without adding “value”.  With crescents, the length is being added to the endpoints, making them easier to wear because they are long enough to tie in the front, or wrap around the neck.  Their gentle curve hugs the shoulders.  If they are really long and narrow they can be worn like a scarf.  Very versatile and easy to wear!

May 9, 2016

From Sally — Chance of Showers

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 6:42 pm

The weather in the Washington, DC area has been pretty miserable lately.  We’ve had 13 straight days of rain and there’s more in the forecast. Lots more. Oy. Susan flew in for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. We had fun, even though it was a bit of a Maryland Sheep & Mud Festival. We’ll clue you in on our (modest) purchases as they are knit up. Susan did get this shot of a cute little lamb that had just had a bottle and was falling asleep.

My latest project couldn’t have been more appropriately named: Waiting for Rain designed by Sylvia Bo Bilvia.

Waiting for Rain inserts short row lace panels into an otherwise ordinary garter stitch crescent shawl. It’s lovely in its simplicity. The construction is ingenious. The knitting is easy. What’s not to like?

I knit mine out of Entice, a fingering weight blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon from Hazel Knits. The color is Sedge.

I love the color. I also noticed it went perfectly in my Library. So perfectly that I went back to Fibre Space in Alexandria, Virginia and bought a couple of “big wheel” skeins of Cadence, a worsted weight superwash merino. (The big wheels hold a generous 600 yards each.) I plan to knit a nice sized throw to keep me warm this winter.

P.S. Let me add one little note. I wore my new shawl when I picked Susan up from the airport. As we were driving home, I glanced down and saw a mistake. What??!!?? I hadn’t seen it while I was knitting. I hadn’t seen it when it was blocked. But suddenly there it was — a stitch that I had screwed up so it looked like there was a small spot of stockinette in the midst of the garter. Aargh.

The mistake was near the bind off, but at the “wrong” end. I could easily fix it, but I’d have to rip out the tedious bind off. My other choice (besides ignoring it, which is NOT a Rainey Sister option) was to cut the yarn at the point of the mistake, drop back, fix it, and then ladder back to the bind off. I could do it. I’ve done worse. But luckily for me, Dr. Susan was in the house. I had a mild case of the vapors while she got out the scissors. A few minutes later, all was well. Thanks, Sis!

PS from Susan — Sally (and hubby) were great hosts and I had such a fun weekend despite the rain.  I liked Sally’s shawl so much I bought yarn for one of my own.  It seemed like a fast knit, but that is not the case!  My return flight had “issues” and was delayed almost three hours.  🙁  You never want to see men digging around in your plane’s engine…

PS2 to NewJerseyLaura:  I did not do a duplicate stitch because I did not want ends woven into the body of the shawl.  I cut the bind off (which was heading from right to left) where the arrow is pointing.  I unraveled the picot to the right of the arrow.  I picked out the sts to the picot to the left of the arrow.  I dropped down to the mistake, fixed it and laddered up.  Then I spliced in more yarn and bound off, starting with the picot I had unravelled and ending at picot #2 — where I did my best to mimic the path of the yarn I had cut.   There were two ends to weave in, and I wove them into picot #2.  Picot #2 is now a little fatty, but in the scheme of things, far less noticeable!!

May 3, 2016

From Susan — Oops

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 9:30 pm

Mistakes were made.  Mathematical issues revealed.   Fingers were pointed.  Tears were shed.

Crescent Swallowtail Corrected.

Unfortunately, probably not the last of it.  🙁

PS — Karen asked about the dimensions and I should have included this before.

My original triangular shawl (which has “snapped back” and should be reblocked!) is 50 inches across the top, 21 inches deep at the center spine and 32 inches along the side (angular) edges.

Light Blue Crescent: 48″ at the top edge, 84″ at the outside edge, 11-1/2″ deep
Orange Crescent: 52″ at the top edge, 88″ at the outside edge, 13-1/2″ deep
Dark Blue Crescent: 54″ at the top edge, 90″ at the outside edge, 12-1/2″ deep

The difference in sizes relates to yarn weight.  Some sock yarns are heavier than others.  My original Swallowtail took much more yarn than any of these, but is smaller because I knit it tighter all the way through (never switching needles), and the depth at the spine takes up all the yarn.  Triangular shawls get longer and longer at the center spine and just not that wide at the top.

One of my goals is to write up some notes about making the shawl larger.  I want to make a bigger version in a gorgeous raspberry from my newly enhanced  stash, and I will definitely share my experience!!

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