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

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Look who turned 5! And the Chicks were busy this week

I can't believe we celebrated my youngest grandson's 5th birthday already! We took him and his Mom and big brother to Sesame Place yesterday. The air was thick with excitement. Or was that the humidity? The temperatures were in the 90's! We couldn't wait to get into the water rides.
Leo decided he wanted to ride the roller coaster (or hole-er-coaster as he called it) before we hit the water park. We all tried to discourage him since it looked pretty scary. But he wouldn't be deterred! Look at the expresion on his face! Such anticipation and excitement!
When it was over he did a little dance and yelled, "That was sooooo lotta fun!"
When it was time for the parade he watched with such glee as his favorite characters danced down the street.
Elmo was his favorite of all favorites and he waved directly at Leo!
Super Grover took time out from his busy day for a quick photo op. It was a long hot day but we all had a very good time celebrating with Leo.
Now to show you what the Chicks have been up to. Liz finished a bunch of hats. This little pink and green number is just big enough for a preemie baby.
And the curly cues finish the top of this one nicely.
This one reminds me of a little snowball.
And this one is warm and cozy.
Liz completed a nice matched set too.
Dorah added some inches to the yoke of her baby sweater this week.
And Carole started a baby cardigan.
It's a free pattern on Ravelry.
Maureen finished one sleeve and is almost done with the second.
We'll be labeling these and our other items soon for delivery.
Next week we celebrate our 11th anniversary with a pot luck dinner.
Come back and check it out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!

One would think that after all my years of knitting I would have learned to trust my gut instincts and listen to my yarn. I had a lovely slow-changing variegated yarn that was filled with lovely autumn colors of browns, golds, oranges, and beige. I wanted to knit the ZickZack scarf but needed another slow changing yarn to pair with the autumn yarn. I found a yarn that included beige and brown and green but also had orchids, pinks, and yellows. Red Flag #1, orchids and pinks! But I chose to ignore the nudges I was feeling and went ahead and bought it. Then I cast on for the ZickZack scarf and noticed right away I was making glaring stupid mistakes that were testing my patience. 
Red Flag #2, dumb mistakes! So I changed the pattern to a different chevron pattern and made nice neat I-cord edging as I knitted along. About 12 inches into the scarf I realized I no longer had the same number of stitches on the last chevron as were on the first chevron. Red Flag #3, SOMETHING IS GOING HORRIBLY WRONG!!! But still! I soldiered on after frogging back to the original mistake and worked to fix everything. I guess you could call me stubborn but I wasn't going to let this yarn beat me! You knitters understand, right? Right?!? Well, I finally realized after another round of mistakes that the knitting goddesses were trying to tell me to stop using the autumn yarn! Duh! After diving into my stash I found this lovely teal single ply fingering weight that pairs beautifully with the orchids and pinks and VOILA! I am finally on the right path and have even discovered a renewed energy in my knitting which had been lacking for the last few weeks. Do you think I've learned my lesson? I doubt it! LOL! But I love how this scarf is coming along. It's the Noro Stripe Scarf free pattern on Ravelry.
 Beth finished her little football hat which also taught her how to crochet and embroider the stitches to mimic the seam on the football. Isn't it darling?! She used Plymouth Encore to make it machine washable.
 Maureen picked up the sleeve stitches for her baby sweater so it won't be long before she's finished.
 Carole knitted the finishing rows on her cowl. She admitted that she was totally bored with the garter stitch edging but the design section she found entertaining. Looks great!
Well, I should get back to my knitting. Let's see if I listen to the whispers of guidance.
Probably not! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Deck time!

 Cinzia and I enjoyed a quiet afternoon on the deck today. I worked on a cowl and she worked on finishing up her vest.
 She performed a 3 needle bindoff and didn't like the appearance of it from the right side so I think she wound up grafting the shoulders using the kitchener stitch. Now it needs to be edged with border stitches. It looks really nice and will be even nicer after it's blocked.
 We broke our own rules and talked politics tonight. Luckily, we don't get into heated arguments. We are adults after all! 
 Dorah showed us her new pattern for a shawl she claims she'll never wear. She wants to keep them so when she's gone her kids will scratch their heads and wonder why she made so many shawls and scarves that she never wore! LOL!
 Beth showed us the progress she made on her scarf. And...
 went on to add length to her cowl.
 I started a Noro Striped Scarf with yarn that I frogged four times. The knitting goddesses were trying to tell me it didn't want to be a chevron scarf and I finally listened to them and started this one instead.
I'm thinking I might have to frog this too since I'm not sure it's wide enough. The Chicks all thought it was too narrow too. Ok! I'll cast on again!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Too hot to sit outside!

Cinzia and Barbara started the afternoon off with show and tell. Cinzia has the skill to look at a finished knit and she can figure out how to make it without a pattern. So she was examining Barbara's cowl and working out the pattern in her head. She'll probably make one, one of these days.
 Barb finished a warm ribbed hat that stretches to fit any size head... a good item when you don't know someone's exact size!
 She also finished her "Present Cowl" that I showed you last week and...
 the cowl that Cinzia was admiring.
 Up next is another Present with a beautiful deep teal yarn from Berroco Vintage.
 Dorah's knitting sported a cute set of sheep stitch markers. I would show you more but she dropped some stitches and had to start all over again. I hate when that happens to me!
 Beth finished an infinity scarf which will go into her personal inventory. 
 Then she showed us her latest personal knit using Periwinkle Sheep yarn. This is going to be a beauty when it's blocked.
 You can buy this pattern on Ravelry.
 Maureen's baby sweater is showing progress as she put the sleeve stitches on holders already.
 I finished the "O Sailor" Cardigan and had yarn left. I hate to waste yarn so I had to do something with it and  I started a top down hat to match. It needs a ribbed edge and it will be good to go. Oh! And I need buttons for the sweater. I see a shopping trip in my future.
I finished the Tubularity scarf/cowl. It took me a year and a month because I kept putting it in time out. I'm still not sure I like it. But then I don't have to wear it.
It can be a cowl or...
 a hood or....
 a shawl or scarf. I still have to sew buttons on it so the point can be buttoned in place. It was an excellent pattern for using up small amounts of sock yarn but if I ever make it again I won't make it as long as the pattern suggests.
I'm going to have to enclose photos to show how to wear it or no one will know what to do with it! LOL!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

I have to have AC!!!

I have visitors this week! My daughter and the grands are here so Moose can take his annual golf clinic lessons. Of course we'll be squeezing in some swim time and maybe a movie or two. Wouldn't you know that on Saturday our AC went on the fritz and we had to have the whole shebang replaced. I was holding my breath because I thought their visit would be awful if we had the 90 degree weather that is predicted and no AC! So when the salesman came to take measurements and give us an estimate he asked if I needed the installation done right away. I told him no there's no hurry as long as my grandsons could stay with him at his air conditioned home! Guess what! The installers were here this morning at 8:30! It's amazing what a little incentive will do for an appointment schedule! Then it turned out that today was a beautiful day with breezes and cool air so they went for a nice long walk so I could knit with my Chicks.
 Elaine finished a cute little baby hat with an acrylic/washable yarn. The curly cue on top is adorable!
 Liz is making a hat using the same yarn from her cowl of last week. She is using two strands together for a bulky knit. That's one way to use up yarn quickly.
 My baby cardigan is almost finished. Just after I took this photo I started the I-cord edging on the sleeves. Then I have to pick up stitches all around the body edges and I-cord knit those too. I'm going to hunt for some cute buttons next week.
 Maureen finished her baby hat and moved on to....
a top down baby sweater. Can't wait to see it finished.
Carole is headed for the home stretch with her cowl. It will be long enough to wear doubled around the neck for a nice, warm, cuddle.
Beth and Cinzia were consulting the iPad for some knitting info. What would we do without the internet?
Dorah attached the buttons to her little cardigan and added it to the inventory.
Cinzia made progress on her vest.
And Sofia worked her way down past the sleeve openings of her top down cardigan and is working on the stockinette body stitches. That dark orange is the collar and the body will be the yellow. This is going to be one cute jacket!
Beth is making her cowl using Plymouth Encore, a good all-purpose acrylic and wool blend yarn that is machine washable.
Well, my grandsons have worn me out and it's past my bedtime. See you next week!