theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 31, 2017

From Sally — Bzzzzzzzz

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 1:57 pm

Susan and I seem to have a gray and yellow thing going on.  I finally — after a long hiatus — just finished my Breathing Space by Veera Välimäki which I’ve affectionately nicknamed Killer Bee.  I knit it out of Miss Babs Yummy 2-ply in a dark gray called Pewter and Madelinetosh Pashmina in Candlewick.

The Candlewick was a Christmas gift from my son and so I only had one skein.  It wasn’t enough; I did have to find another one.  The second skein was brighter and less ochre.  I preferred the darker skein but what do you do?  You can see the brighter yellow near the hem and on the lower part of the sleeves.

The two yarns were somewhat of a mismatch.  The Miss Babs is thinner with a springy, tight twist.  I hated how the sweater looked while I was knitting it — loose, sloppy.  A disaster!  I should have used two more similar yarns but once I got to a certain place I didn’t want to start over.  And never have I had so much trouble picking up sleeve stitches.  I was so discouraged that I threw it in a corner and ignored it for months.

I drove myself crazy trying to eliminate the jogs caused by the stripes (which is complicated by the short rows being done at the same time).  I tried many methods and wasn’t completely sold on any of them.  In a burst of frustration, I split the sleeves and knit them flat.  It’s the only way I made myself finish knitting this.

I’m so glad I made myself finish it, however.  Now I wonder why I was so unhappy!

It fits perfectly and once blocked, the fabric has a lovely drape.   It is very wearable.  My husband LOVES it.  He’s rarely so enthusiastic about something I’ve knit unless it’s for him.  Not the best photos.  It looks cuter on but I have no way to get a photo so you’ll have to use your imaginations.

January 25, 2017

From Susan — It’s About Leapin’ Time!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:42 pm

Man, I have been slogging away on this sweater for what seems like forever.  It is the Leap Year Cardigan by Suvi Simola.  It was a lot of knitting, and re-knitting.  Sally bought me the yarn last year on my birthday, so I really wanted to make good on such a wonderful and generous gift.  The yarn is Cumbria Fingering from the Fibre Company (60% Merino, 30% Masham, 10% Mohair, 328 yards/100 grams) in Hadrian’s Wall (charcoal) and Buttermere (acid yellow).  The mohair and masham made me keep thinking that my sweater was full of dog hair, but I think it was just part of the yarn!

So, it’s done and cute and it fits.  But that is the end of the story.  It was a long road to get here.  The pattern had “issues.”  When you look at the pattern’s main picture, you can see that the shoulders fit funny:

Several people mentioned that the sweater feels like it is falling off the shoulders toward the back.  I started the sweater and the front raglan line went across the top of my shoulders, almost in the position of a shoulder seam!  I almost threw in the towel…but Sally had given me the yarn and I liked the design.

Basically I reworked the cardigan by lowering the position of the front raglans.  In the original pattern, the front raglan line originates at the point of the color change from yellow to gray.  I lengthened my collar a bit in the revised version, so it would have been back even farther on my first go around.

All my mods are written out HERE to help others!!

This picture is the original attempt – shown on top of a raglan sweater that fits me well.   See where the raglan is (red marker) compared to the blue sweater underneath??

This is the final result:

The other major mod was to the collar.  I did not want the visible lines along the center back neck.

I believe the lines are there to mask the change in knitting direction.  However, by simply knitting the collar in one piece, the change in knitting direction occurs where the MC starts and is virtually invisible — see right side of the sweater below (left side of picture) where the gray starts.  I think it is much less noticeable than having the lines in the back, but some may like them as a design feature.

Several people added little pockets at the hemline and I thought they were cute!  Not sure how practical mine are!!

I am really pleased with the final outcome and glad to put it to rest.  Thanks, Surly!!! 🙂

PS:  I do like the yarn quite a bit!  Nancy thought this would be cute with a denim shirt.  I bought some fabric already to make a shirt in anticipation of finishing the sweater!  It is not matchy matchy, but I think it goes well!  Now, I just have to do the sewing!  😉

January 24, 2017

From Both of Us — And the Winner is…

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 9:48 pm

Marie!  Yay, Marie!!  We finally connected and she was thrilled to win Drop-Dead Easy Knits (now only $13 on Amazon!)!

And you may already be a wiener only if your name is Marie… 😉

January 18, 2017

From Sally — Meow

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 9:27 am

Sometimes Susan and I like to work on ambitious projects.  Sometimes we don’t.  As I mentioned recently, I saw this cute and free pattern on Ravelry and decided I needed a pair.  Immediately.  I rummaged through my stash et voila!  Kitty cat socks.  Meow.

I used Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in Pewter (one of the colors for my Breathing Space which is finished except for one sleeve) and Shibui Staccato in Ash.  The pattern is written as a toe up sock with a short row heel.  I’ve found that I get a better fit with a more typical gusset heel so I knit these top down.

My daughter has now requested a pair in pink and gray.  I liked that idea so I’m going to knit myself a second pair.  Her colors are the deeper, brighter ones.  But don’t worry.  I do have more ambitious projects on my needles!

January 16, 2017

From Both of Us — Brief Update

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 8:57 am

We did select the book winner yesterday and contacted her via Ravelry.  We are waiting to hear back from her before announcing the winner.  MT, check your Rav message box!! 😉

1/17/2017: Still waiting… 🙁

1/18/2017: STILL waiting… 🙁  🙁

January 12, 2017

From Both of Us — Reminder!

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 8:49 am

Have you joined our Ravelry Group yet??  Over 450 members so far!!  It would be amazing to get to 500 by the time we do the book drawing.  The group has already proven to be expensive (yarn may have been purchased, projects may have been queued…).  Sally just started a thread called “Show off” (share your favorite/most beautiful FOs) and that could be very dangerous to us all!! 😉

PS – We are over 500.  Yay!!

January 7, 2017

From Susan — Plaid Squared

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:14 pm

Yep, plaid x plaid equals Plaid Squared (click the link to get to the Ravelry pattern page)!!

This concept has been simmering around in my brain for years: could you knit entrelac in such a way as to make it look like Buffalo Plaid?  The primary key is to start with colors where A + B = C.  But, I always got stuck when I started on the math of it all!  I forced my way through that hurdle and the rest was easy 😉 .  Uh, not really!

The Flat Bag (shades of gray), The Deeper Bag (red & black), The Small Notions Bag (red & black, with zipper closure)

The fun part of doing this was figuring out the puzzle.  I came up with a new approach to doing entrelac that eliminates the “pick up as to purl” step when doing right leaning squares, as well as the need to do decreases as you work each square.  This makes the knitting a little faster.  I also designed the bags so that the entrelac wraps around the bottom in a continuous way which looks better, versus starting with triangles.

Anyway, THAT is over with!  I am hoping the market for felted entrelac bag patterns is HUGE!! 😉

PS to Diana — the link at the top of the post will take you right to Ravelry!

PPS to Mary: I did think about holding two strands of yarn together (AA, AB, BB).  For the pattern, I wanted to keep it simple.  I would worry that the area where the two colors were held together might felt in a blotchy way (the colors not looking even throughout).  There are some marled yarns out there but the color choices are limited.

PPS to KMKAT: The pictures were taken around the Gaviidae skyways.  One or two were in Gaviidae itself because that’s where my model works!! 🙂

January 5, 2017

From Sally — Riverine

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 12:05 pm

Yes, I just finished another project using Shibui yarns.  I can’t help it.  I love them.  Riverine was designed by Theresa Gaffey for Wearwithall Designs, which is part of The Yarnery — my favorite yarn store in Minnesota.

Riverine uses one skein each of Shibui’s Pebble, Cima, and Silk Cloud.  I used the color Imperial which showed a distinct lack of imagination on my part because that was the color used in one of The Yarnery’s samples.  I loved it though and it’s a color I didn’t already have.  (A feat in itself considering the size of my Shibui stash.)

Riverine is a great mindless knitting project once you get going.  Perfect TV or travel knitting and easy to make changes to if you’re so inclined.  (That is, you can easily alter the number of rows of the various yarns to suit your mood.)  I chose to follow the pattern fairly closely. My finished scarf is about 14 inches wide and 76 inches long.

I might even make another!  I could probably go find the yarn down in the yarn room.

The color is most true in the last photograph.

From the sublime to the ridiculous: I saw these adorable footlets on Ravelry and had to start a pair for fun. It’s even a free pattern! Susan’s knitting a pair as well and my daughter has already requested them in gray and pink. Meow.

In case anyone else gets tempted, we’ve started a mini-KAL in our Ravelry Group. We’re really enjoying getting to know many of you over there. Please stop by if you haven’t already!

January 1, 2017

From Both of Us — Happy New Year and Happy New Venture

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 10:06 am

We’d like to announce an exciting new adventure for The Rainey Sisters and (we hope) for our readers.  For the new year, we are launching our own group on Ravelry:   The Rainey Sisters.

No, we’re not abandoning the blog!  However, blogging can be a bit one-sided and we don’t always post as frequently as we could or should.  We hope our new Ravelry group will be a place for more casual conversation and dialogue.  We want you to ask questions, post about your own projects, discuss patterns and yarns, and share tips and techniques.

We frequently hold off posting here until a project is finished — in our group, we’ll post more informal updates about what we’re working on.  We see the group as our home away from home and we’d like to invite you to come on in to knit and chat together.

To celebrate the launch, we are having a special give-away!!  All members of our new Ravelry group will be eligible to win – except for Susan and Sally 🙁

The prize is a wonderful book called Drop-Dead Easy Knits.  Susan received a copy to peruse prior to our giveaway (you may recall that we ran into the authors when Little Darcy Went to Washington!).  The book is W O N D E R F U L – 29 fabulous designs.  Drop-Dead Easy does NOT mean boring or plain.  Here is a stunning shawl:

Abide by Kirsten Kapur

Want simple, quick and stylish”??  try this cowl made with two skeins of Malabrigo Rasta:

Portillo Cowl by Gale Zucker

Who doesn’t adore a cute toy?

Bear in a Bunny Suit by Susan B. Anderson

And simple can mean elegant, classy and gorgeous!

Keynote Pullover by Mary Lou Egan

All you need to do to enter is scoot on over to Ravelry and join our group.  The winner will be announced on January 15, 2017.

PS (January 2) — We are thrilled with the response from our readers!  Over 275 members so far!!  You rock!!!

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