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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall is here!

We had to knit indoors this week since the fall air was a little too damp and nippy to sit out on the deck. Elaine and Liz were working on shawls for our next donation. We are looking to donate scarves for both men and women and some shawls to a local chemotherapy center. I'm still on the search to find one that will accept them.
Karen picked up an afghan that's been in hiding for eight years! I know that sometimes we put things away because of boredom or frustration, so I sympathize with you Karen.
Kathleen started a triangular shawl too. We're hoping to use up some of our stash to make room in my house for more yarn. LOL!

I finished this Lazy Day Shawl and now it needs a good blocking to open up the stitches. I used a beautiful handpainted merino wool from Peru called Chirapa from the Mirasol company. I bought it at WEBS ( ) I had a weak moment and couldn't resist it. The pattern is offered for free on Ravelry or on Mary Keenan's website. She designed this lovely little shawl and it was a quick knit, taking me only eleven days to knit.

This will be donated with our other shawls and scarves.
At our evening session Maureen and I sampled a drink that my son created and felt like we were at the seashore. It was refreshing and slightly sweet. But we had to concentrate on our knitting so we didn't have much. Maureen liked her chullo cap so much she decided to make one for her daughter and I'm working on another shawl to add to our inventory.
Last weekend I went to Connecticut to visit my family and we took a ride to Westport and found a cute little yarn store called "Knitting Central" on the Post Road East. My sister bought three skeins of Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace Yarns so I could make her a Christmas present. The pattern, also free, is the Bird's Nest Smoke Ring from .

The pattern is easy but requires really paying attention. And you can never start Christmas gifts too early!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Moose goes to school!

For those of you who know my grandson, Moose, he received a gift of a backpack from his neighbor and has been bugging his mom to go to school. Since he is only two years old, she thought she would give a try at home schooling while he is so excited at the thought. One of their first assignments was a field trip to their local orchard and petting zoo.

The local playground helps support their phys. ed. class.

If you would like to get a closer look at what Moose is learning you can check it out at

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Day in the Country

Today was one of those glorious end of the summer days where the sun warms your heart as well as your face.

Ron and I invited Maureen to take a ride out to Cooperstown for a little field trip. Can you believe we didn't even look for a yarn store?!
Our first stop was at Fly Creek Orchards. First we listened to a little country music....

Then we checked out the tractors. We were supposed to vote for our favorite.

This was it! Although, I don't know which one won. We didn't hang around long enough to find out.

The duck pond at the orchard

Lunch was at the center of town at the Tunnecliffe Tavern.
Here's the Baseball Hall of Fame

We took a ride down to see the Otesaga Lake
It seemed as though everyone had the same idea to go sailing.
On the way out of town we stopped for a tour of the Ommegang Brewery, a Belgian style brewery where they make ales. They have a linear style of production where the raw products come into the building to the right and work their way all the way to the left through the different processes of brewing.

These are the vats where the grains and water start their process.

This is the machine that applies the labels to the bottles.

After the fermenting and bottling, the cases of ale are stored in a warming room to finish the fermenting process. This room stays a toasty temperature between 75 and 85 degrees.
Out behind the building we surrounded the fire pit to sample five different ales. It's a good thing they served it in small cups! See the tank to the far left that looks like a cow? This tank if filled with the spent grains after the first step of production and the local farmers are invited to take as much as they need to feed their livestock and fertilize their fields as a means of recycling. It's free to the farmers and the brewery doesn't have to pay to haul it off somewhere.
The tavern inside the brewery
We had a great day and even came home with a few bottles of our favorite flavors.
But remember friends don't let friends knit drunk!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Beautiful Day!

The sun was shining brightly as Elaine and I delivered the ponchos and hats and mittens to St. Margaret's Center today. We were met by Mary Grace Pietracola, a lovely woman with a clearly loving, generous soul. She was as excited as a child on Christmas morning as she sorted through the various items.
Our logo tags are attached to all items we make and on the back of the tag we include this prayer:
May the Light of God surround you,
The Love of God enfold you,
The Power of God protect you,
And the Presence of God watch over you.
As Mary Grace read this aloud, Elaine and I felt it's meaning so much more than ever before.

We took a tour of the day room and two of the residents offered to model a poncho for photos. Nurse Angela helped Maria Loomis with her new "Loretta Lynn Poncho".

Nicholas Rothbort, another resident, was excited to try out the Pittsburgh Steelers poncho. He is from Pennsylvania and he giggled with delight when he saw the bright yellow fleece that Barbara made with her sewing skills.
Elaine and I came away with a renewed sense of fulfillment that God worked through the hands of The Chicks once again. We knew we were doing something good with the gifts God gave us. And it warmed our hearts to see the dedicated staff at work at the center. God bless all of you.
And God bless you Chicks for all your time and efforts on making this wonderful donation. I'm so grateful to have you as my friends!

On another note, I finished my baby alpaca stole from the half price, sidewalk sale yarn from Manchester, VT. Of the 675 yards, I used all but 2 yards to make this cable and lace stole.
The finished, blocked size measures 17 inches by 72 inches.
Just the right size to wrap cozily around my shoulders.
I'm not wishing for cold weather to come too soon, but I'll be prepared when it does.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A quiet day on the deck today resulted in lots of helmet liner knitting. And finally! A Tuesday where no one in the neighborhood felt compelled to mow their lawn just as we sat down to knit.
All we could hear was the gentle clicking of our needles, a trickling fountain, and a little Latin beat background music.
We've completed the donation project for St. Margaret's Center for the Disabled and we'll be making that delivery next week.
We have collected fourteen ponchos, four pairs of mittens, and four hats.
That was a lot of summertime knitting!
Thank you, Chicks! You did a wonderful job for St. Margaret's!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wrapping up projects and starting new ones

The afternoon Chicks have started our next project, helmet liners to send to active duty military personnel. Liz and Kathleen are discussing gauge swatches and what needles to use. Liz started her swatch and Kathleen is working on her second helmet. They are both using a soft brown wool from Dale of Norway.
Barbara worked the first six inches of neckline and is picking up stitches for the cap portion.
Cascade wool is her yarn of choice.
Here are the three "Wooly Pulleys" that we've finished so far. The center one was made by Kathleen with the brown yarn. The black and grey helmet liners were knitted with Cascade 220 Superwashed wool.
Karen popped in right before we finished up for the day to show us her first knitted afghan. It's going to be a gift and we wanted to see it before she presented it. Karen is the "Crochet Queen" and we've all been encouraging her to get back to knitting. I think she proved our point that she can do a beautiful job!

The pattern is a favorite of ours, the Feather and Fan and Karen used an acrylic yarn.
Judy is wrapping up the poncho project and we'll be making delivery to St. Margaret's this month.
Maureen is nearing the decreasing portion of her helmet liner. These patterns worked up very quickly and with no complications. If you would like to make some of your own to donate, this pattern and patterns for a neck gator, scarf, and neck cooler are available at

I'm all out of yarn to make some more helmet liners. I think I'll take a run up to the store and pick up enough to make a few more.

In the meantime, keep those needles clicking!