theraineysisters knitting and so much more

January 31, 2018

From the Two of Us: New Pattern Launch and It’s F R E E

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 9:11 am

In 2008, we released our free Sweetheart Glovelets pattern. To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have reimagined the original pattern — and it’s still free! Beads create a whimsical heart design, and bring color, sparkle, and fun to your knitting.  You still have plenty of time to finish a pair of these to wear on Valentine’s Day!!

Sweetheart Beaded Glovelets

These cuties are FREE  *  FREE  *  FREE  *


January 27, 2018

From Sally — Fields of Gold

Filed under: Updates — surly @ 3:44 pm

I recently finished my first truly  “Colorado” sweater — one knit with yarn purchased here.  It is a design that has been popular on Ravelry of late:  Isabell Kraemer’s Humulus.  I hate to be a copycat, but I loved the original, which was done in gray and gold.  I looked at several different color combinations, but kept coming back to those colors.

The yarn I used is Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool in Pewter and Autumn Gold.  Autumn Gold is a soft color.  I debated between it and a brighter shade.  I tried all the tricks to determine if there was enough contrast between my two yarns, even taking photos and converting them into black and white.  The patterning in gold immediately disappeared.  Even so, I decided to stay with it.  The whole time I worked on this Ie worried the design was too subtle because of the lack of contrast.  I decided I love it for its subtlety. It reminds me of a faded Persian carpet.  And the color pops more when being worn than it does in photographs.

I made two very minor alterations to the pattern.

  1. I did a cable cast on in the gold for a touch of color at the neck.
  2. I added a small rabbit hole pocket for another slash of color in the body.

I also lengthened the sweater by a couple of inches.  To keep the ribbing from drawing in, I increased the number of stitches by about 10% before knitting the ribbing.

This is an incredibly comfortable and flattering sweater.  I absolutely love the yarn, which is incredibly soft — soft enough to be worn right against the skin.   The photographs don’t do it justice.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any modeling shots at the moment.

ETA:  Below, Chris asked how I did the pocket.  I was planning to provide details in the Tip of the Week discussion thread of our Rainey Sisters group on Ravelry tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

The gold patterning on the yoke made me think of Fields of Gold.  I’m sharing this haunting version by one of my favorite singers, Eva Cassidy.  Gone way too soon and way too young.


January 16, 2018

From Susan — It’s The Weekend-er!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 7:48 pm

It’s not The Weekend, but it IS The Weekender!!  I just finished my sweater and I am pretty happy about it.  I used some cast off yarn (pun intended??) of Surly’s: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Soot.  It was like knitting with dark gray dryer lint.  But the results are pretty okay.  I started this on December 20 and finished a couple of days ago.  It felt like forever, but considering that some holiday knitting fell in there, that’s not too bad.

I was worried that the sleeve pick up would look wonky, since you are picking up stockinette sleeves on reverse stockinette.  It worked fine!  The sweater kept to size when wet blocked, which surprised me.  I hoped to get another inch or so in length, but couldn’t get there!

You know I hate modelling, but this is for the people who will request it. 😉

Surly saw the designer at Vogue Knitting Live! in New York City.  She said, “I see a woman wearing what looks like that sweater you’re working on — she’s surrounded by lots of people.”  I asked, “Is she blond??”  Yes.  GET A PICTURE!! 

Andrea Mowry at Vogue Knitting Live!

My husband loves the finished sweater and insists that it would look good on him.  Could be!!

Addendum: On December 24, I posted a picture on Instagram of a BooKnits Shawl being blocked and my definition of “knitworthy.”
DEFINITION: knitworthy
One who demonstrates that they value the time, effort, and love that goes into making a hand-knit gift. As in, “Laura is extremely knitworthy. She wears her Boo Knits Sweet Dreams shawl every day and brings it home periodically for blocking.” Knitworthy.

Here is the shawl again, 3 weeks later, being re-blocked!  Laura went to a “club.”  When she left, her shawl was not with her jacket so she went back in to get it and saw a drunk woman dancing with the shawl somehow stuck on her shoe!!  Ack!  On the filthy dance floor, which for some reason was covered in hair.  🙁 🙁 🙁  She said to the woman, “Hey, that’s my scarf.”  The woman insisted that no, it was her scarf!  Laura told her that her mom made it and don’t you notice it has no labels???

So back to mom it goes…

PS to Julie: The short rows are at the top right before you switch back to ribbing.  It makes the sweater curve over the shoulders.  Andrea described W&T short rows but mine looked terrible.  My go to SR’s are Japanese, but I couldn’t figure out how to resolve them on reverse stockinette.  I am not the huge fan of German short rows that many are, but sometimes they work best!

January 7, 2018

From Both of Us — Knitting Tip of the Week

Filed under: Updates — Both Sisters @ 10:29 am

Today we started a new feature on our Ravelry Group, The Rainey Sisters, called Knitting Tip of the Week (catchy title!!).  Each weekend we will share a tip that has helped us in our 100+ years of  combined knitting experience.  Wow.  We are old!  😉  These will be the little things that make knitting life easier, some of which we have shared on the blog over the years.

January 5, 2018

From Susan — Some Gloxie PSs!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:34 pm

Several people had questions about my last post…

A couple of more “PSs” — The source I buy my patterns from now (for far less than $76!!) is Doilyhead.  Her patterns are crisp, sharp copies — very easy to read.  Unfortunately we just missed her half price sale!  Darn it!

Chloe asked me how long Gloxie took in terms of hours.  I did not track the hours, but I did finish it in just over two weeks.  I was on a deadline as I decided to knit Gloxie in July for the state fair in August.  Lyra took months because I was completely intimidated by my first Niebling!!  My other Nieblings took months because I worked on other things at the same time.  My favorite to knit by far was Lotus Flower.  It was a joy to knit, quite intuitive, and I think a perfect “starter Niebling.”  The pattern from Doilyhead is $8.

Lotus Flower is the doily you see as a back drop for many of my pictures.  I recently replaced it on my table with this one to change things up a bit:

Frosted Ferns is very popular because it is a free pattern – you have to dig for the pdf with the charted pattern.  There are several variations to the outer border.  I keep this one out on my living room coffee table.

Niebling’s charting is unusual but easy to follow once you understand it.  It really is just knitting after all, and there is a Ravelry group dedicated to Herbert Niebling where people answer questions.  I recommend browsing through the “Show your Niebling” pictures to see which ones you like – there are many small doilies to get started.   However, don’t fall in love until you know what the pattern source is!  Not every design is readily available, or start from Doilyhead’s blog to find one you like.

People are also converting Niebling doilies into shawls.  I made a half Lyra into a shawl:

It is a way to knit less and get a lot of visual bang for the buck!  Not everyone wants to adorn their entire house in doilies!  🙁

January 3, 2018

From Susan — A New Home for Gloxie

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 11:53 am

Last year — almost exactly a year ago — I did a presentation for the Minnesota Knitters Guild on Herbert Niebling.  I talked about his background and his lace legacy.  I also brought all of my Niebling doilies as props.  One of the audience members was a curator for the Minnesota Historical Society.  She asked if I would ever consider donating one of my Nieblings for their permanent collection.

What a huge honor to be asked!  She said that only a doily that won a sweepstakes would be considered and that they would like to have the ribbons associated with the doily.  I immediately thought of my small Gloxineaflora because it looks so delicate and vintage.

Alas, I decided I could not part with it!!

So, I decided to knit another, but certainly not in size 30 thread and 000’s needles!!  That is why I made a second Gloxie – I wanted to donate something that I knew I could give up!

Thank goodness it won a sweepstakes, or I would be back to square one!  I received word yesterday that the MHS review board had accepted my donation, so now it is theirs to keep and do with as they wish.  I doubt it will ever be publicly displayed, but it will appear in their on-line archive after about 6 months and anyone who cares to can request a viewing in their textile collection.

Bye, Big Gloxie!!

The Artist’s Statement I submitted:

The first time I saw a Herbert Niebling doily – his famous ‘Lyra’ — was on a knitting blog in 2007. I felt like I had been struck by a thunderbolt! I couldn’t believe anything like it was possible. I had to have my own Lyra, even though it was well beyond my knitting skills.

Herbert Niebling (December 20, 1903 – May 15, 1966, Germany) was an avid gardener who transformed his love of flowers into elaborate, almost three-dimensional, lace creations. Over the span of four decades he created hundreds of ornate designs. A Niebling doily represents the pinnacle of lace knitting and is the goal of many a serious knitter. When I discovered Niebling, his patterns were quite scarce. They were only available in their original German publications, which were long out of print. Occasionally one would surface on Ebay, and as luck would have it, a Lyra pattern became available. I won the bid for $76 and was over the moon! Now, many Niebling patterns are readily available in English in high-quality digital format, for under $10! This renewed interest and improved access can be attributed to Ravelry — an online knitting and crocheting community. This popular forum gives knitters an opportunity to share their gorgeous projects and inspire others. I have since had the privilege of knitting several Niebling doilies, including Lyra, Lotus Flower, Frosted Ferns, Doily with Cables, and Gloxiniaeflora.

The joy and satisfaction of seeing a finished Niebling on my blocking board is indescribable!

PS to Betty:  It didn’t seem all that generous — it was very fun to knit!

January 1, 2018

From Susan — Bling in the New Year!!

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 12:18 pm

Oh, I am so sorry about that title!!  😉

For Christmas, I made my older daughter a pair of beaded wristlets and the younger daughter a pair of Baby Fan Mitts – both in black Woolfolk Tynd.  I have made MANY pairs of Baby Fans.  It is my “go to” pattern for fingerless gloves.  BUT, the wristlets I made for Laura are from a relatively new pattern called Time 2 Sparkle!  I saw them and thought of Laura immediately.  She loves black and gold.  And I love the very vintage, almost “Downton Abbey,” look of them.

I did not realize that the pattern called for two colors of beads.  You need to pre-string the beads in a precise order, something like: 8a, 2b, 1a, 1b, 3a, 1b, etc. for 500 beads…per wristlet!!  Oh, hell, no!!  It would take HOURS!!!!!  Instead I used single color gold beads on a hank and strung them like this:

The 500 beads equaled about 40 inches, which took maybe 5 minutes to string.  I spent more time chasing the loose beads that got away because I didn’t secure the other end of the thread!!

The wristlets start out as a square:

Then you seam all but the last two inches at the top:

This makes the top wider to go over the hand:

I love them!  I went out and bought more beads so I can make a pair for me, but what I might do is shorten them and make a bracelet instead.  Not sure yet what I’ll do!!  These would have been in my “nine for 2017” but I did not get the pictures with Laura until yesterday!

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