Your greatness is not what you have, it's what you give.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The goods were delivered today

Some of the Chicks and I delivered our baby clothes to the Community Maternity Services today. We had a lovely visit with Anne Marie Couser, the Executive Director. She pulled items from the bags and ooohed and aaahed over each one. She made us feel special with her compliments. It's so nice to make things for people who really appreciate them. It helps to make us feel like we're really making a difference in someone's life. 
(left to right: Cinzia, Anne Marie, Liz, and Elaine. I'm hiding in the back)
The evening Chicks started some new projects and continued on those in progress. Carole started the Conifer hat.
She found a skein of Plymouth Encore in this lovely green and cast on the required number of stitches. She's well on her way to a warm hat.
Dorah found a nice Arucania yarn to start her Mistake Stitch scarf, a favorite standard for all of us. It's one of those patterns that is hard to mess up so it's a good one for conversation or TV watching.
Maureen doesn't have too much left to knit on her Last Minute Cowl. I love the brightly colored yarn!
I've made some progress on my Miss Winkle too.
Those loops look like they would be difficult to knit but the pattern is very clearly written and this is becoming one of my favorite knits.
I finished blocking my Nurmilintu and didn't notice until it was pinned out that it has little hearts in the lace. The yarn is Queensland Sugar Cane yarn. No, it doesn't taste sweet! Ask my goofy son!
When I made the first one it was with a yarn that was variegated, almost tonal so it was too busy to see the lace design. But this solid red really highlights the lace.
That's why it's so important to study the yarn to make sure it is appropriate for the pattern you'll be knitting.
There's nothing worse than knitting for several weeks on a garment only to dislike the finished product. Believe me, experience is the best teacher!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It still feels like summer!

We started the day winding up some cakes of yarn. None of my tables are the right size to clamp the ball winder so I have to improvise. Today I attached it to the armrest of the deck chair. Sometimes I clamp it to the leg of the coffee table. Hey! Whatever works!
 Cinzia finished the sweater vest and was looking for opinions on a button.
 Dark or...
light?
 We all liked the one that looked like wood. And look at how beautifully this sweater blocked!
 Cinzia added a cowl to the inventory too. She was intending to make a long scarf but ran out of yarn way too soon. Plan B! Make it a cowl! That's the great thing about knitting. There's always something you can create if you just use a little imagination.
 Elaine is whipping up a Mistake Stitch scarf with a warm wool of navy blue.
 And Liz's angora scarf is coming along nicely. She will definitely have enough yarn to make a hat to match.
 Carole had to stop knitting on this little baby sweater until she can find more yarn. She might have to resort to pastel stripes somewhere since there is no more of this color and she needs enough to finish the sleeves.
 Maureen's cowl looks so nice and bright. It's a quick easy knit, great for having a conversation.
 I finished the Noro Stripe scarf and couldn't resist starting something new...
 Miss Winkle (using Periwinkle Sheep Sock Dream in Memories of Summer) is an asymmetrical triangle scarf. The yarn is a blend of superwash merino and 10% cashmere. It will be a softee! I've been eyeing this pattern for a couple of years now and finally decided to purchase it. I don't usually like to buy patterns because I don't want to suddenly find out I hate it and already laid out good money for it. But this one's a keeper!
I see many more in my future!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Making labels

There was a full house of busy bees this afternoon. We labeled everything so we could inventory a donation to Community Maternity. Sofia (second from the left) told us a funny story about someone she saw while she was lifeguarding at the pool. She noticed a woman bouncing up and down in the pool and thought nothing of it but then noticed she was leaning her elbows out of the pool. On second look she could see the woman was knitting! In the pool!  Making a sweater! WITH CABLES!!! We all laughed and wondered how she avoided wetting the wool or dropping everything into the water. Some knitters just can't waste a second of time! 
We knitted 39 items this time around including hats, sweaters, booties, vests, blankets, and a cute little dress.
 Cinzia made a bunch of baby hats like this one. So cute! I'll have to get the pattern from her.
 And Liz's scarf has gotten much longer since last we met. The yarn is a blend of merino, nylon, and rabbit angora. Not only is it soft, it has a fuzzy halo that makes the fabric luscious!
 Barbara is working on another Present cowl. This is a quick and easy pattern if you need a gift in a hurry. This will go into the inventory for our yarn bombing.
 Elaine cast on for a Mistake Stitch Scarf in a nice denim blue.
Maureen started a Last Minute Cowl just like the one Beth made a few weeks back.
And here is the second one Beth started with the same pattern.
And Carole's baby sweater has grown quite a bit since last week but she is wondering if there'll be enough yarn. She might have to throw in some contrasting stripes.
Time to design a new element!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What a gorgeous day!

The air was as dry as can be and the temps held at 80 degrees so knitting on the deck today was ideal! I wish it could be like this all year. No, wait... I like winter and the freezing cold so I can wear all my warm knits. I just wish the nice weather would last a little longer. We have had a very hot and humid summer so days like today are a real gift.
Liz opened our afternoon session with a few FO's. Her first was a cowl with a "design element". I wouldn't let her say mistake because she repeated the design at both edges so they would match. Hence, design element. This is a very soft wool cowl and will be nice and warm around someone's neck.
 Another design element came about when Liz realized she wouldn't have enough yarn to make a 60 inch long scarf. Plan B: add a button and make it a cowl. And since it is lacey, there's no need to make buttonholes so one can wear it buttoned to any length that is comfortable.
A preemie hat to add to the inventory too.
 Elaine finished two hats and the third is about ready to start the crown shaping. That's the blue one on the right.
 My Noro Stripe Scarf is almost to the halfway mark. I'm loving the play of colors against the solid teal yarn.
 Poor Carole! She remembered to bring her baby sweater but forgot her pattern!
 This is going to be really cute.
So she wouldn't sit twiddling her thumbs, Carole pulled out the cardigan that she's making for herself with Periwinkle Sheep yarn. It's going to be a beauty!
Beth finished her cowl and had enough yarn left over to make another one so she cast those stitches onto her needles right away.
Maureen added the buttons to her finished baby sweater.
Look at those cute little duckies!
Beth finished a scarf for herself called Saltwater Reverie.
She used Periwinkle Sheep yarn, a merino and silk blend. The sheen and drape on this scarf is beautiful!
The pattern is a combination of yarnovers and knitting 2 stitches together...
with changing number of rows between the eyelets to make it look like different lace.
I searched through our stash and found a Madelinetosh Merino yarn to make a....
Nurmilintu scarf. I love this! I can't wait to make another one. It was very easy to knit, only the lace sections needed a little concentrating. And even then there was a resting row of only purl stitches.
I threw in a quickly knitted pair of booties just so I could say I finished something quickly. 
Sometimes I need a quickie to lift my knitting spirits!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thank you for 11 years Chicks!

Who knew way back in August of 2005 that a crazy dream of mine would last 11 years? Tonight I had the opportunity to celebrate and thank the wonderful ladies who make up my Chicks with Sticks for all their hard work and dedication to my dream. Liz and Beth brought some pretty flowers to brighten up the party.
 And what would a party be without delicious food?! Liz and Dorah prepped their green salad and quinoa/corn salad, respectively. So refreshing and tasty!
 Maureen, Beth, and Barbara caught up with each other while...
 Carole, Cinzia, Elaine, and Sofia sampled appetizers of delicious gazpacho, guacamole, and chips. Maureen made a really tasty zucchini quiche sort of dish and I made a pasta Caprese salad on a stick with olives and salami in between the ingredients.
 I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such a nice group of friends! And we were all thinking about and missing our friend and most prolific knitter, Kathleen. 
Left to right standing: Sofia, Liz, Barbara, Carole, me
Left to right seated: Elaine, Dorah, Beth, Maureen, Cinzia, Elena
 I couldn't do it without you ladies! Thanks for another successful year!

And just for fun, I finished a Nurmilintu scarf this afternoon. It needs a serious blocking to open up those lace sections.
Well, now that the kitchen is cleaned up and dishes put away it's time to get back to my knitting.
Have a great week and I'll see you next Tuesday.