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

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

We have a guest

Joules is on vacation with us for the next two and a half weeks. I'm going to have to do a lot more cleaning as she isn't aware that cats are not allowed on the table. 
 Debbie and Janna practiced the magic loop, two at a time, toe up socks with me while Liz worked on her DP's to make a pair of  mittens. It's taking stops and start overs but they are getting the hang of it.
 Liz's Dorm Slippers made it into the inventory today. A sturdy acrylic yarn makes a hard wearing slipper.
 Joules had to be reminded that cats can't knit. After I shooed her off the table, the insult was too much for her and she left us alone for the remainder of the evening.
 This gave us undivided time to devote to new techniques. Carole's socks are coming along nicely. They are the same size but because the yarn is striped differently, it makes them look uneven. But as a wise woman once said (cough,cough Beth, cough, cough) you can't see it from a galloping horse. And socks go inside shoes, right, so who cares?!
 Dorah's socks look like socks this week. She finished the increase rows and is working her way up to the heel. Soon she'll add waste yarn for the afterthought heel.
 And Maureen has mastered the technique. These are her second pair of toe up, two at a time, magic loop.
She finished the pair she started last week. After viewing Youtube videos, she was able to master the heel and kitchener stitch. Looks great!
Margaret was struggling with the two at a time so we decided to master one sock on magic loop until she wraps her brain around the steps. After many starts, she changed her needle to one with a less bendy-twisty cable and had much better luck. It's not easy to learn something new when you have to wrestle with the cable.
My socks are growing too. Another inch or two and I'll knit the waste yarn to hold the heel stitches until I'm ready to knit them.
I'm very proud of my Chicks for their willingness to try new things. And also for their persistence when it doesn't work out on the first, second, or twelfth try! As I remind them, it's okay to make mistakes. That's how you learn.
Let me thank my former Chick, Beth Mashmann, for gifting us with these funny labels to attach to our work. A friend of hers makes them so if you would like your own collection go to
badbettyknits.com
Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Delivery Day and MORE YARN!!!

Maureen, Carole, and I delivered our baby clothes to Community Maternity Services today. They were met with ooohhhs and aaahhhs with each item that was pulled from the bags. Two babies are expected this month alone so the clothing arrived just in time for the new arrivals. Speaking of arrivals...
 Many thanks go out to our yarny godmother, Laura, for the beautiful yarns she donated to our group last week! Our heads are swimming with ideas.
 Carole found some gorgeous superwash merino while Margaret made thoughtful selections.
 Here Dorah and Maureen talked about what this lovely yarn would become.
 Then we retired to the kitchen to work on week two of magic loop-two at a time-top down socks. We had to frog out some stitches but the Chicks are getting the hang of it.
The afternoon Chicks had the day off because of conflicts of schedules so after our delivery Carole, Maureen, and I treated ourselves to a nice lunch. Now that our outside deck painting has been completed, future knit sessions will be held al fresco, weather permitting.
And be sure to come back to visit next week as Joules the kitty will be visiting for a couple of weeks. She will surely make an appearance with the Chicks in the coming entries.
Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Wrapping up and learning new things

Janna, Liz, and Barbara helped me label the items which will be donated to Community Maternity Services. 
 There were 24 stuffed animals of all breeds. There were fish, raccoons, hedgehogs, cats, owls, bears, and two bunnies. It was quite a menagerie!
 We collected 9 pairs of socks and booties and a pair of mittens on a string.
 And look at all those hats! 55 hats!!!
 We knitted 5 vests and 16 sweaters.
 And 6 blankets were knitted and added to the donation, along with 1 bib. That brought our total to 127 items! WAY TO GO CHICKS!
 A few last minute additions to the inventory were this sweet little bolero sweater from Liz with vintage buttons. They were on a card with a price of under $1 so you know they were old.
 Her baby hat made it into this donation too.
 And Janna had to knit furiously to finish her Dexter vest to have it included in this donation.
 My evening Chicks helped me count and photograph all the items so they were a big help too. Then we started a KAL where I taught them how to knit two at a time, toe up, magic loop socks. It is so satisfying to me to watch their faces light up when they learn something new. Dorah will deny it if asked, but she said it was actually fun to learn a new technique. They will have to practice the steps a few times for it to feel natural but they are well on their way to conquering another milestone in their knitting skills.
And I am so proud of them for accepting the challenge and trying their hand at something new. I tell my students not to be afraid to try something new. Your brain will love it!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Finished Objects

This week's episode starts off with FO's from my Chicks. Janna finished the Dexter vest I showed you last week and added a hat to match. There was more of this yarn so she is planning on making another set.
 Debbie finished the mate to the socks and added a little buddy, both with acrylic, machine washable yarns.
Maureen finished her colorful hat which goes with.... 
 this sweet newborn size Baby Eyelet cardigan. The eyelets serve two purposes, one for decoration and the other for buttonholes.
 Carole showed us her Gryer Shawl for which she used Periwinkle Sheep DK Merino yarns. It is beautiful!
 The yarn is so soft and squishy and she doesn't even have to block it. This was a project just for her. Every now and then we need to treat ourselves to something special and this shawl certainly fits the bill.
Debbie cast on stitches for a purple hat. 
 And Barbara K. is halfway down the two sleeves at once, magic loop style on her Buttons cardigan.
 I'm almost ready to insert the contrasting yarn for the afterthought heel on my toddler socks, also knit two at a time on magic loop.
 Maureen actually finished this Ombre baby hat after I took photos for the evening so it's already in the inventory.
 Carole is about 2/3 of the way through on her baby blanket. She was planning on making it about 20 inches square but when she picked it up it had stretched to about 30 inches! It's going to be lovely.
 Barbara B. worked on squares for a blanket. I can't wait to see it finished.
 And Dorah's baby hat with Plymouth Encore yarn is coming along nicely.
 I am having my family room painted so we had to gather in the living room today. It's a more intimate setting but the lighting is better in the larger room. 
Hopefully, we'll be back in the family room in a couple of weeks. But it was nice to have a change of scenery.
Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Spring is here but still too cold to knit outside

I opened all the windows today to make it seem as though we were knitting on the deck today but then it got so chilly I had to close them again. I keep hearing that spring is coming but aside from all the rain last week, I don't see evidence of it. I just know we're going to jump into hot summer weather with two feet!

Debbie brought us her finished cardigan and matching hat and one sock. She had the second one on needles this afternoon so it will be done soon. The yarn is Martha Stewart acrylic blend and is very soft and machine washable. We talked about doing a group KAL (that's knit-a-long for those who don't know) to learn how to knit two socks at once on magic loop from the toe up using Judy's magic cast on and an afterthought heel (all the videos I could find have you knit the waste yarn across the heel stitches and then slip all those stitches back to the left needle. Instead, I just purl back across those waste yarn stitches and then use my working yarn to continue the sock. It makes it much easier to see the two rows of stitches to pick up later to make the heel). It's the only way I make socks since I learned the technique and I don't need a pattern either. I'm going to line up the Youtube tutorials for the Chicks so they can acquaint themselves with the techniques before we go live.
 Liz checked out her pattern for the baby sweater she was working on because the yarn is running out quickly and she feared there wouldn't be enough left to finish the bodice of the sweater. This is where gauge is so important. She thought the sweater looked bigger than it was supposed to be and since we don't have anymore of that yarn Plan B must go into effect...changing the cardigan into a shrug.
 Here is her progress so far. The sleeves are done and the skirt of the sweater has been started.
 Janna's Dexter vest looks like it's done but the last few inches to be knitted are hiding in the back. I'm sure it will be finished by next week.
 I ran out of portable small projects to take along so I started a pair of baby socks. Magic loop, two at a time, toe up as I said before. A plain vanilla recipe with fancy self patterning yarn does the trick!
 During the week I finished my Baby Sophisticate sweater and added a matching hat.
 And just by luck I had only 4 buttons left to complete the project!
I had a meeting tonight so the evening Chicks had a night off but they will be back to work next week. Now I'm off to knit and Netflix. I'm sure I can find a good British murder mystery show I haven't watched yet!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rain, rain, go away

If you live in the Northeast you know what dreary weather we have had lately. If it doesn't stop raining soon I fear I might have to build an ark! I'm afraid it's all my fault too because last week I decided to put away all the winter clothes and reacquaint myself with the spring and summer wardrobe. It happens every year no matter when I switch the clothes! Oh well, soon it will be 90 degrees and we'll all be complaining about the heat and humidity.
The Chicks have a few more FO's to add to inventory this week. Carole used a soft acrylic to make a celery green baby hat. 
 And tonight Maureen bound off the last stitches on her colorful hat. Once the ends are woven it will be added to inventory too.
 I made a little ballerina bear over the weekend. I love her pigeon toes!
 And the last bits of sock yarn were just enough to finish this top knot hat.
 Janna's Dexter vest is coming along nicely. It starts at the bottom front and then splits at the V-neck where you knit each shoulder separately, then put all the stitches back on the needle to knit down the back. The only sewing to be done are the two side seams.
 Elaine's blanket looks pretty in the soft celadon green
 Liz worked on her All-in-one Baby Top.
 We're looking at the neckline upside down here where it started.
 Barbara has almost completed the body of her Buttons cardigan and will be picking up stitches for the sleeves soon.
 I started a Baby Sophisticate last week and finished the body this afternoon. Tonight I tried to knit the shawl collar but it required short rows and lots of counting which doesn't mix well with conversation.
I worked on a boring scarf instead. One must always have a simple project on needles for just such an occasion. Maybe next week I can show you the sleeves in progress.
Have a great week and hopefully the weather will clear soon otherwise I might be growing webbed fingers and toes soon! Yikes!