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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Enjoying outdoor knitting

It must be summer because Sofia was able to join us today. During the school year her schedule is so busy she has no time left for knitting. It was good to see her and catch up with her.
She was able to finish the sleeve of her little jacket. One down, one to go!
She has done such a nice job!
Cinzia finished the jacket portion of her Mitered Baby Jacket and now has to knit on the applied I-cord edging in a bright orange yarn. I can't wait to see it finished. It will be beautiful.
Liz tried her hand at the Magic Loop technique and after a few stops and starts has decided it's not for her. She enjoys knitting with DP's so she'll stick with what works for her.
Elaine is still working on her baby blanket. It will be done soon.
Margaret started a hat this week because she finished.... 
a nice warm earwarmer/headband.
And Maureen worked on her hat too.
I finished a cowl using the slip stitch design from a pattern called Copenhagen Calling.
Now I'm using the left over yarn to make a hat to match.
This is my Copenhagen Calling Cowl which needs a thorough blocking but I won't need it for a few months from now so I have time. Besides I can't block and dry anything while...
Joules the kitty is visiting. My son dropped her off last week so he could go on vacation here...
This is Hallstatt, Austria. He and friends are touring Austria to visit the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Vienna, salt mines in Salzburg, and here. It's like a picture postcard.
We really do live in a beautiful world!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Soft yarns and hillbilly contraptions

Debbie is working on her baby sack to give the owls eyes. She started with a soft gray yarn and it looks pretty nice. By next week maybe they will all be able to see.
 Liz worked on a cowl using two strands of worsted weight yarn held together to achieve a bulky weight look. This is a great way to bust through a bunch of yarn in a short time.
 And Elaine rounded the corner on her baby blanket. You can't see it here but that giant ball of yarn doesn't look any smaller. I think gremlins break in at night and spin more yarn to add to it!
 Barbara was looking for inspiration for this incredibly soft cashmere, merino, and microfiber blend yarn. I think she was leaning toward a baby hat.
 My "Close to You" scarf in Periwinkle Sheep Wink, colorway Ghost of Molly, is slow going because I have other projects on which I'm working too.
By closing time tonight it has shown some progress. 
 Barbara contributed two FO's today. This Ribbed Hat was knitted with the Aran weight of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. I wish you could feel it through your computer. It is so soft!
 And her Mistake Stitch Scarf was knitted with Berroco Vintage, a machine washable yarn.
 Dorah's wool hat with the baby cables made good progress this week. It's a nice peaceful green.
 And Maureen started her Zoe hat last week and has made progress into the ribbing.
 Now don't laugh but I made a DIY air conditioner for my screened in deck! It was so hot and humid today and we've had so few opportunities to sit outside so far this year that I needed to do something to make it more comfortable out there. I was browsing through Youtube (it's amazing what you can learn) and fell upon what they call a "Swamp Cooler". Awful name! I had the styrofoam cooler in the basement and a trip to Lowes and Bed Bath and Beyond got me the other two things I needed for about $11. A sharp knife was the only tool I needed and a bag of ice and VOILA! I made a makeshift air conditioner for outside! Go ahead and giggle and snort but until the ice melted it actually did make the air more comfortable. Next time I'm going to freeze a large brick of ice so it will last longer.
You can always tell when I've had a sleepless night. You never know what kind of contraption I'll build next from a Youtube video! LOL!
Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It finally happened!

Well, it's finally happened! After almost 12 years of working with The Chicks with Sticks I met someone who received a gift of ours. I was getting into my car (which has the Chicks with Sticks sign on the door) in the Glenmont Shopping Center and a woman called across to me, "Hey! I know you!" After seeing the confused look in my eyes she explained that a few years ago her children were recipients of one of our donations to The Bus Stop Club, an organization which gives support and provides activities to siblings of chronically ill children. Her oldest child has autism so her two younger children participated in the club at a time when we Chicks donated hand made stuffed animals and trendy items for teens. I thanked her for letting me know we made a difference in their lives. That's why we do this after all!
 And so now we continue to make items for our HATAS donation this fall.
Elaine has reached the midpoint on her baby blanket and will now start the decrease portion. We laughed at the size of the ball of yarn beside her. It doesn't even look like she made a dent in the quantity! She thinks there is enough to make 3 more afghans!
 Liz spent a few minutes untangling her yarn from 2 different projects. She regrets having put them both in the same bag, exclaiming she zigged when she should have zagged.
 Beth finished the little set for her grandson. It's so cute!!! I love the elephants.
And she finished the socks she's been working on for the last few weeks. She used a size 6 needle and worsted weight yarn so they are thick and dense, the best for warding off the cold. And the yarn is superwash so they can go in the machine and dryer.
Margaret and Dorah both started a headband and hat, respectively.
Dorah started over with the hat she worked on last week. This time her baby cables are looking perfect.
And Margaret's Christmas Headband is flying off her needles.
Margaret finished her slouchy hat. It's so soft and fits the head perfectly. 
Very styling!
As is Maureen's finished hat. She wove in the ends just in time for a photo. It's a free pattern on Ravelry.
I made an adult hat and had too much yarn left over to throw away but not enough for another adult size so... baby hat it is!
We had to knit indoors this week because it rained AGAIN! Dorah is building an ark and I think I'm growing gills and webbed fingers! I'm hoping to see sunshine soon though. I wonder if I'll recognize what it is...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Liz was busy this week!

Liz started us off this week with a bunch of FO's. This cowl needed a bit of decoration so she added buttons.
 They are the cutest little clothespins from a sweater that was worn out from which she rescued the buttons. That's recycling for you!
 One of her granddaughters is going to Michigan to college next year and she wanted to make her a scarf in the school colors. So here is a Mistake Stitch Scarf in the deep green to which she might add white stripes and white fringe.
 Liz started a cowl with this pretty blue yarn, using two strands together in a seed stitch pattern. This will help her bust through the stash!
 Liz added two more items to the inventory today... a pretty, light green scarf and...
 a dark green cowl that is long enough to wrap three times for a good warm snuggle.
 Elaine is still plugging away at her blanket but it doesn't look like that ball of yarn has shrunk at all! 
 Barbara didn't want me to show you her hat again since she feels like she's been knitting it forever. But she actually started the decreasing crown portion today.
 Cinzia's Mitered Baby Jacket has sleeves now and she picked out a bright orange yarn to compliment it when she knits the I-cord edging.
 Maureen had to get creative because she was running out of yarn quickly. Plan B, add another band of dark gray to stretch out the use of the light gray.
 Dorah was knitting along on her hat and suddenly ripped it off the needle and frogged it! She had made a few too many annoying little mistakes that were starting to add up to one big one. So rather than trying to ignore it, she felt it was better to rip it out and start over. Meanwhile, Margaret was just saying that it felt like it was taking her forever to finish her hat. With spring comes her many other activities and knitting takes a back seat to enjoying the outdoors, weather permitting. But around here lately has been gloomy most days and the rain! OY! I feel like I'm growing flippers and gills!
 Carole's High Woods Hat takes some concentration to follow the pattern but it's coming along nicely.
 And I've just started the decreasing portion of my Ribbed Watchman's Hat. The yarn has a nice depth to the color, not just flat navy blue.
I need to finish it so I can get back to the baby jacket I started last week.
If only I could knit in my sleep...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tranquility knitting outside

The weather cooperated this week and we had both afternoon and evening knitting groups convene on the deck. And luckily, after last Thursday's thunderstorms (which caused a huge tree to fall across our property) the noisy chain saws, wood chippers, and blowers were finished before we knitted. 

This hat was an experiment in beating to the finish before I ran out of yarn. Most hats start at the cuff edge but since I didn't know if there would be enough yarn, I started at the top center of it and knit until there was just enough to bind off. It looks like I made it by the skin of my teeth! It's a simple 2X2 ribbed hat that started with 8 stitches and grew from there.
This cowl started out as a hat but after a few squares I decided to turn it into a cowl. The squares are knitted from the outside in to the center. After the first square is completed, stitches for one side of the second square are picked up along one edge of the first square, then the remaining stitches are cast on and connected in the round and knit to the center. You continue to make squares in this manner until just before you knit the last square because the first side and the third side stitches are picked up from the edges of the first  square and last square to connect it into a circle. 
 Then I picked up stitches all along the edge in black yarn and knitted the top and bottom edges. I like how it sets off the colors of the squares.
 Debbie made a cute little newborn sack using an acrylic and wool blend yarn that is incredibly soft. All that is left to do is embroider eyes on the owls. Surprising what a few cables can create!
Now she is concentrating on finishing up a pair of fingerless mitts.
Cinzia finished a sweet little sweater vest.
The only task left was to sew the buttons. These bright green ones are perfect.
And she finished a cute little sweater for a boy too.
Liz continued working on her scarf. She mentioned how important it is to keep count of your rows or it might change the side on which the stockinette portion shows. I can't tell you how many times I've goofed because I was engrossed in conversation. That's why you should always have a project that is strictly for knitting in the company of friends who also knit.
Margaret's Easy Knit Slouchy Beanie is almost finished. The green yarn is a good choice for either gender to wear too.
Carole finished a "Last Minute Cowl" with no missteps this time. Last week we spoke about how easy it is to mess up this SO simple pattern. Again, when gabbing and knitting it can sometimes be difficult to count to 3! But she did a great job!
Beth added a pair of baby socks to the inventory. Aren't they adorable ?!?!
Maureen's Cool Slips #22 hat is looking good. The colors are a nice combo. It can work for either gender.
Beth was commenting on how long it seems to be taking to make these worsted weight socks. Imagine how much longer it would feel is she were using fingering weight! They are going to be warm!
Carole started another hat called High Woods Hat. Can't wait to see the pattern!
After knitting the gray hat I needed a little color to perk things up so I started a baby sweater that starts like those amoeba shapes and miraculously turns into a sweater with a few folds.
It was noted that most of my projects are fine yarn on teeny tiny needles. I don't know why that is! Any ideas? Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!