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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Warm heads, warm hearts

We finished lots of hats and scarves this week. First up is the Carlsbad Hat, free from Ravelry. I didn't have a large enough mannequin head for blocking but when it's worn on a real head it looks good, no curling or puckering. I couldn't tell you what yarn I used other than it is a fingering weight. I hate it when labels go MIA.
 Barbara was able to join us this week. Boy! We sure do miss her. She finished a spiral ribbed hat to add to our inventory. It was made with a cotton blend yarn so it will be a comfortable wearing fiber.
 Cinzia's ZickZack scarf which was featured last week is now finished. It is nice and wide so it can bunch up all warm and cuddly around the neck.
 I saw a pattern for sale for this cowl and decided to try my hand at deciphering the stitches before I shelled out the money and sure enough! I was able to knit the basket weave lace and made rolled edges with straight stockinette stitches so it would curl and look a bit like an I-cord edge.
 Cinzia started a triangular shawl. She looks at a picture of knitting and just knits it without a pattern! 
 My evening group worked diligently on their projects.
 Dorah finished the scarf and had yarn left to start some fingerless mitts. Seamless knitting in the round will short cut the knitting time and save sewing seams at the end.
 Carole's Mistake Stitch Hat was finished up tonight.
 The original pattern called for worsted weight yarn but she adapted it for bulky weight. It is nice and warm but not heavy.
 Margaret started the Bankhead Hat tonight. The ribbing is knitted through the back loop giving the stitch a nice feature.
 And such a pretty lilac colored yarn too!
 I dipped into my UFO bag and came out with these squares which I started some time ago with the plan on making a chullo hat, the kind with the earflaps. But somewhere along the line I lost inspiration and decided to make it into a cowl. I'll continue the squares until it is large enough to fit over the head and then I think I'll knit garter bands of black yarn on the top and bottom edges to make the colors pop!
 Carole started the Nurmilintu shawl with this gorgeous, energetic, blue yarn from Periwinkle Sheep. It almost vibrates it is so lovely.
 Dorah made this lovely infinity scarf for her daughter. It takes 3 colors of DK weight yarn which are blended using 2 strands at a time so you can change colors gradually. It's so young and fashionable.
 And last but not least is Margaret's cowl that she started last week. The thick wooly yarn is so cozy and warm.
I have at least 5 different projects on needles right now, hoping to stave off startitis. What do you have in progress? And do you have more than one project on needles at a time?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

I am in a much better mood this week! Last week I was mourning the debacle that was my silver Emiliana shawl ruined from bleeding dyes. This week I have a beautifully restored shawl which was rescued by the inimitable, incomparable, unrivaled Karin MT of Periwinkle Sheep! She over dyed the whole shawl with this beautiful pink to cover the stains that were left from the black dye not staying where it was supposed to be. I think I like this version even more than the original colors. Thank you Karin! You're a lifesaver!
 I finally finished the Miss Winkle scarf/shawlette I started last October. This was one of those projects I schlepped everywhere when I had to wait for appointments or long car rides. So it probably took longer than it should have to knit. But it's done now and will go into my personal inventory in case I need a gift someday. The color is Rhinebeck 2016 from Periwinkle Sheep.
 And just for good measure I quickly knitted up a 2X2 ribbed cap. I had this yarn laying around with a half torn label which I think was a superwash merino wool.
 Elaine brought us some finished hats too. Her little flower adornments are darling.
 And the Berroco yarn is so soft. It feels like a cloud blended with marshmallows!
Cinzia worked on her scarf while Debbie learned how to perform the Mattress Stitch to sew up her fingerless mitts.
The mitts look great as does...
Cinzia's scarf! It's a larger version of the Zick Zack scarf, free pattern on Ravelry.
Elaine casted on (cast on?) for a new hat using a soft minty green worsted weight yarn. She was thinking spring today. Hmmm...funny thing is I still see 2 feet of snow outside. 
Wishful thinking can't hurt anything!
Dorah tried on her never ending scarf and was delighted when we all proclaimed it long enough already! She has enough yarn left over to throw together a pair of fingerless mitts to match.
Carole finished her Mistake Stitch Cowl tonight.
And Margaret finished that hat we saw last week.
She immediately casted on for another hat.
I dove into the stash and found this pretty turquoise cotton/bamboo blend from Universal Yarns called Bamboo Pop to make the Workday Scarf. The yarn has a graceful drape and the pattern is stupid easy! It's a great TV or conversation knitting project which is straight knitting for 7 rows and 1 row of a few yarnovers. You can't get any easier than that!
I'm so happy the sun finally came out today so I could see my afternoon ladies. Winter last year was so mild with so little snow that I had forgotten what normal winters are like in the great Northeast. The last two Tuesdays were icy and snowy during the day but today was glorious and sunny. Just the way I like my winters. Cold but bright! Just right for knitting!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Be warned!

 This week I'm in a nasty mood! I spent the last 18 days knitting furiously on this lovely shawl called "Emiliana". I used Periwinkle Sheep Wink in the colorway "Ghost of Molly" (it's the silver color) and the black is Cascade Heritage Sock yarn. It is a very easy pattern and I was entertained while knitting the mosaic section.
Then this happened.....
 I put it in the bath to soak so I could block it and the black yarn ran into the silver grey leaving purple splotches in it's wake!!!
  It's not like this is the first time I've ever blocked anything either. My Ravelry page alone has over 400 projects and those are just the ones I took the time to photograph and log.  I am heartbroken! I needed time to mourn all the work lost. My talented friend, Karin, said she would give it a go to try to remove the stains so keep your fingers crossed. It's not like I couldn't make another one. But all that work! And it's a lovely shawl. I just don't want to donate something that isn't perfect.
 On to a happier note. Last week I finally tired of knitting dreary brown yarn so I made an executive decision and turned the scarf into a keyhole scarf. I love the way it turned out. And now even in a good stiff wind, it won't blow away.
 I finished the Miss Winkle for donation too. And...
 the cowl I knitted using Knit Picks Preciosa and Lang Mille Colori Baby gradient. I always have multiple projects on needles at the same time. Remember the ADD thing last week? Now I have 3 items finished and ready to go into inventory. That really picked my spirits up!
 Margaret finished her silk hat with the spirals. It is so soft and the silk fiber will be warm while still being lightweight.
 Carole showed us the lovely headband she's making for her daughter. 
She does great work with those cables.
 And her cowl has grown since last we met.
 Margaret's second project is this hat...
 in nice neutral greys and black.
 Dorah didn't want me to show you her never-ending scarf but I had to! It's longer and we're ever so grateful that the weather turned to rain in time for Dorah to join us. She lives 30 minutes north and the 2 degrees difference is a big deal when you have to drive in the winter weather!
 I started a pair of fingerless mitts called "Align Mitts" using a sparkly yarn in purple.
I'm using the Magic Loop method of knitting both at the same time so I won't have to remember adjustments I make to the pattern. What I do to one mitt, I do immediately to the other. I'm so happy I gave in and learned this technique!
The afternoon ladies again had conflicts and weather issues with which to deal today. This weather just has to improve! I miss my afternoon crew! Well, when we meet again I'm sure they'll have lots of finished knitting projects to show me. Hint, hint...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I don't have ADD Oh look! Pretty yarn!

Margaret's hat of two colors of silk yarn has grown in length since last Tuesday. She's at the decreasing portion now and she thinks there is something strange with the way it looks. The spiral walks around the hat and then suddenly stops when the decreases start. Carole and I looked it over but we think it's just a feature of going from the spiral stitch to the decreasing crown. We think it will look fine when it's finished. Sometimes that happens with a pattern but I know how she feels. You don't want to finish knitting only to find out it's either wrong or doesn't look right. But I think this will work out just fine.
Carole started a Mistake Stitch cowl and the stitch definition is gorgeous! Perfect for this stitch!
But like me, she was easily bored with the project and decided to switch to her hat she started last week. We joked that we have knitting ADD because we couldn't possibly knit through to the end of a single project. Gotta have multiple patterns going all at once. I use the excuse that it keeps my brain young and elastic because it forces me to memorize multiple patterns when I knit from one project to another. Yeah! That sounds like a good reason! LOL!
So here is my One Row Scarf which is nearly at the halfway mark but knitting the brown yarn on gloomy winter days makes me want to pull my hair out. So on to...
the Miss Winkle shawlette that I started weeks ago. Some days it feels like I'll never finish a project but then all of a sudden I'll have two or three items finished within days of each other. 
Today I blocked my striped cowl which has a Knit Picks solid and a Mini Mochi gradient. The pattern is one I made up. Cast on enough stitches to fit over your head, join in the round, knit 1X1 ribbing for about an inch, then knit every row for as long as desired, ending with another inch (or whatever you knitted at the beginning) of 1X1 ribbing, and bind off. To avoid a color jog at the beginning of the round when you change colors watch this.
We had to cancel our afternoon group because of slippery roads and sloppy snow so I couldn't show you their progress but next week I'm hoping the weather will improve and we can get together again.
Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

UFO sighting!

I have a case of "Startitis". There's no fighting it. You just have to give in and cast on when it hits. It doesn't matter that I have other UFO's (unfinished objects) on needles. When inspiration hits, you must get started on a new project. I was inspired to make this man's scarf after seeing Staci Perry's newest Facebook post of the scarf she knitted using a lovely gray hand spun yarn. The pattern is from Stephanie Pearl McPhee of the Yarn Harlot fame. It's a one row pattern and very easy to memorize which is why I like it so much. The yarn is from Berroco, a blend of acrylic and nylon so it's very soft and machine washable and dryable.
 I'm still plugging away on the Miss Winkle scarf too.
 The colors are a pretty blend of golds and aquas. 
 And five more rows will finish off this cowl I started months ago. It doesn't look like much here because it needs a thorough blocking to even out the stitching. The merino fiber is very soft so it will be a cozy hug around someone's neck.
 Barbara brought us a bunch of FO's (finished objects). The lacy cap is really pretty in pink!
 This spiral cap came from one of those One Skein Wonders books. 
 Here it is again in a solid color. It's amazing how different a project can look just by changing the yarn.
 Cinzia brought us a surprise today. Sofia had a snow day off from school so she joined us.
 It was so good to see her and catch up on all her activities. And she was excited to be able to find the time to work on the baby sweater she started over the summer. Once school starts she doesn't have the time to knit.
 Since Barb finished all those hats she went stash diving and picked out a pretty variegated yarn for another hat.
 And Cinzia wove in the ends of her cowl so it could be added to the inventory.
 These hands belong to our new Chick, Margaret. She picked out some silk yarns to make a very soft chemo cap. 
 Now that tax season has begun Maureen added her last hat for a while. She'll be up to her ears in numbers and won't have time for much of anything else. This intricate looking pattern is called Hat #21 Cool Slips B, free on Ravelry. Maureen said it's very easy to knit, it just looks difficult. Those zig zag lines are formed with slipped stitches.
 Carole worked on her Joline knit hat and....
 finished it before evening's end.
 One more picture before I go. Barbara's granddaughter loved the hat and scarf she made for her. The teal is Berroco Vintage and the violet is Cascade 220. And the model is adorable!
That's all for this week. I need to make some of those UFO's turn into FO's so I better get going. 
Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!