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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hats, Hats, Hats

Twenty-five chemo caps were delivered to the American Cancer Society in Loudonville, New York today. There were toques, berets, and cloches. And the yarns were soft and cuddly. Now it's on to the next project. We'll have to brainstorm to decide what that should be, but we have some good ideas floating around. Check us out later to see what that is.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm ba-aaack! sort of....

I feel like I've been away for so long! I'm sorry but I had this sinus thing that knocked the tar out of me and this is the first day since Saturday that I've felt well enough to sit at the computer. I didn't even feel like knitting! Now you know I was really sick.
Anyway, the long weekend of Dec. 4th through the 8th my Sweetie and I took a few days away for some sunshine to chase away the winter blues. Unlike most people who want to get away at the end of winter, I need the sunshine early when the days get shorter. So I mustered up all my courage and said yes to a trip to Bonita Springs, Florida on the west coast, just above Naples. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Bonita Springs, which is actually in Estero, whatever.... It was so weird to see Christmas decorations hanging from palm trees in 78 degree weather. But hey! I wasn't going to criticize! I soaked up as much sun as I could.

I sat at the poolside each morning by 9AM and listened to Christmas carols being piped through the gardens. It felt great to soak up some rays. Don't worry, I wore my #30 sunblock.
Ron even caught up on some of his reading. He's not a beach or pool person so he didn't even bring swim trunks. Can you imagine that?!
We took a day trip to Sanibel and Captiva Islands and visited the Ding National Wildlife Preserve where I was able to capture Mother Nature at her finest. I never saw so many exotic birds: egrets, pelicans, osprey, kingfishers, red egrets (which by the reaction of the professional photographer standing beside me at the time, was a big honkin' deal!)
Yes, it was a lovely trip and now I'm looking forward to a White Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Time Out

Due to illness, I won't be posting until I can sit up straight without fainting.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blankets of Gratitude for our Veterans

The Chicks worked very hard on our most recent project which was 11 blankets for the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, New York. The varieties were colorful and exciting.
Barbara and I delivered them today to the lovely ladies below. On the left is Karen Covey, the volunteer manager and on the right is Doris Atanasio, volunteer.
Each blanket was made with love and prayers for God's blessing on it's recipient.
Now it's back to the needles for more chemo caps!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Interview with the artist

Here is Kathleen with one of her knitted gems.

And here is the Blue Ribbon Winner!
If you look a couple of posts back you will see the one about Kathleen winning a blue ribbon for her hooked rug at the Newtown Hooked Rug Show in Connecticut. I asked her about the work that went into making one of these beauties and was surprised at the answer. It was quite the undertaking, not at all like going to the craft store and choosing a canvas and the cut pieces of wool in the colors you need.

Kathleen took lessons from Anna Walsh of Delmar, New York back in the 1950's while she was also raising five young children. She took advantage of afternoon nap time to work on at least five different Currier and Ives still life designs. She said someone would draw the design outline in black on burlap and then the canvas had to be tied with old nylon stockings onto a wooden frame, which Kathleen's husband, Tom, made for her. Then the real work began. Kathleen took old clothing and cooked it on the stovetop in Tide detergent to remove all the color. She said the whole house would smell like cooked laundry! Then she had to use a special kind of dye and make the color swatches she knew she would need to color, shade and highlight the subject of her hooked painting. Those swatches became the pallet to which Kathleen referred when dyeing for the actual rug. When she finished dyeing the fabric , she then had to run it through a device with cutting wheels of different widths to get the desired width strips for hooking. It took Kathleen about three months to complete her Blue Ribbon Masterpiece.

Before her husband retired, he had one of her art pieces hanging on the wall of his office. Her children and her sister have some also. One time, Kathleen's daughter, Pat, was browsing through an estate sale and found a print of one of the rugs Kathleen had hooked. So as a surprise gift to her, Pat had it framed and Kathleen still has it with the rug.

We should have known that Kathleen would win a Blue Ribbon. She won first prize for an art project all the way back in 5th grade while growing up in Kansas. Kathleen we would love you even if you didn't win a Blue Ribbon. That just puts the icing on the cake!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I am thankful for Mother Earth,

for my freedom,
for my family,
and friends,

for babies, especially my Moose!

and food to nourish,

And last but certainly not least! MY CHICKS!!!

I wish you a loving and wonderful Thanksgiving and pray the warmth of the season lasts all year through! Bless you all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

We have a Blue Ribbon Winner!

On October 4, 2008 our own Kathleen Corrigan won a first prize Blue Ribbon for her Currier and Ives Floral hooked rug which she made in the 1950's as a stay-at-home mother, raising five young children! Way to go Kathleen!!!

Her daughter, Pat, holding the microphone, entered the rug on her behalf, in the 7th Annual Newtown Hooked Rug Show in Connecticut. Not only did she win the "favorite entry" category, but her rug will be featured on the 2009 postcard for next year's show.

And here is the Blue Ribbon winner up close.... MAGNIFICENT!

Here is Kathleen with her very first attempt at knitting an entrelac afghan. We are all so very proud and honored to have you as one of our Chicks!

Again, let me say....WAY TO GO KATHLEEN!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blankets, Hats, and a Scarf

The Chicks have been busy as bees. We are working on our lap robes for our local VA hospital and have seven finished so far. We are also well on our way to a good collection of chemo caps for our December project. Photos will be posted when the inventory is complete.
As far as my personal knitting is concerned, I finished my Noro Striped Scarf using Widsom Yarns, Poems which I purchased at
I substituted the Noro yarn with the Poems because it is a more consistent ply and doesn't have the "splinters" that is more common in Noro yarns. And since I'm allergic to wool (YIKES! What a terrible thing for a knitter!) I have to use a softer fiber and wear it over a turtleneck or coat collar. I'm very happy with the final product and looking forward to making a matching beret when the yarn arrives at my lys.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Remember the first time?

Do you remember the first time your child went "trick or treating"?
And they thought you were supposed to eat ALL the candy that night?

Don't worry. My daughter is a very good mommy. She wouldn't let Moose eat all his candy at once. But it sure made a cute picture!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Current Projects and a Celebrity Visit

I finished my lapghan for the project "Blankets of Gratitude" for our local VA hospital. It is made of Red Heart 100% acrylic because it has to be durable enough to go through vigorous washing, but when it was done it felt a little like recycled soda bottles instead of a cozy lap robe. So I put it through a hot wash and dry and now it's nice and soft, worthy of a good cuddle. The guidelines requested bright cheery colors. I sure hope I didn't go overboard!

The holiday project the Chicks will be working on is chemo caps which will be donated to the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. My first three caps are done. From top to bottom:
Kos yarn, a viscose/polyester blend
Louisa Harding yarn, Kimono Angora
Laines du Nord Dolly Maxi, a very soft merino
I squeezed in a little project for myself called the Noro Striped Scarf from
Since I don't like the debris which is common in Noro yarns I decided to use something from Wisdom Yarns called Poems, which I bought from Robena at
It is knit in a 1x1 ribbing, changing colors of yarn every two rows, but carrying the unused color up the side creating a nice slipped stitch edge.

Then who should show up in my email but Sonny and Cher! Halloween will be fun for Moose this year since he's old enough to participate. If you look closely you'll see "Sonny's" moustache got a little smudged.

I hope everyone out there has a fun Halloween! And save some chocolate for me!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eighty, count them, eighty knitted items!

The Chicks have been hard at work knitting and crocheting 80 sweaters, shawls, socks, hats, mitts, vests, and scarves to sell at Locust Knolls Craft Fair. All our proceeds will be donated to the Heifer International Organization to end world hunger.
We've been working on this project since mid July to build an inventory.
The assortment of hand knitted goods are beautiful.
And here at the foot of the Helderberg Mountains is the site of the artisans' craft fair.
This little barn is filled with all kinds of goodies which would make good holiday gifts.
Adrienne made this baby layette set.

On display for sale are hand made cards, pottery, flowered wreaths,
framed photos, baskets, dolls,

quilts, pots,

and jewelry.

If you find yourself in the Albany, NY area, drive out to the intersection of Rt 85A and Picard Road in New Scotland and treat yourself. The show and sale continues through Sunday, Oct. 26.

You might even get most of your holiday shopping done in one spot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good Morning!

This was my greeting at 6:45 AM when I opened the door to get the morning paper today.

What's that old saying?...Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors' warning.
I don't care. It's still beautiful!
Have a great day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feel the Fiber, Smell the Fiber, BE the Fiber...

It was a glorious day at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York. The air was crisp and cold, the sunshine was warm. Elaine, her friend Jill, and I arrived at 8:45AM before the all traffic jams.
We pushed on, head first, into the wonderful world of colors and textures.
Elaine and Jill were absolutely giddy with delight at the prospect of all the selections.
My first purchase was a cute little angular scarf pattern. I was trying to start out with some restraint. HA! That didn't last long!
We saw cuddly soft baby alpacas...
regal llamas....
the sweetest little sheep...
cutest little lambs....
and the most beautiful colors of all were from Mother Nature herself.
We stopped in to say hi to Karin as she worked the Sliver Moon booth. She's on the left advising a customer on some yarn selections.
The rovings were dyed with breathtaking colors. If I were a spinner I could easily be tempted.
Some of the ready made garments were spectacular too.
I was sidetracked watching the spinners working their delicate craft.
And saw a mother/daughter team trying out some modern looking wheels. Start them young!
The live entertainment by a Peruvian Pipe band was a perfect compliment to the excitement in the air.
We stopped for lunch of delicious pot pies and lamb sandwiches. But this wasn't it! LOL! Someone was dyeing wool with all natural ingredients.
The talent overflowed everywhere as can be seen here in these hand felted blossoms.
Handmade baskets were everywhere too. I had a hard time walking away from this booth.
We stopped for a moment to admire the babbling brook, which even at the end of the growing season still looked beautiful and inviting.
And I have no words appropriate to give justice to the beauty of this gossamer lace shawl.
By 12:30PM we had seen all there was to see, touched all the fiber our hands could handle, and admired some of the most beautiful handmade sweaters, shawls and scarves that fellow knitters wore to the celebration. It was time to go home, although the pull was strong to stay a little while longer. There is something special about the art of creating. It brings the best out in people. And the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck is the best!