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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave!

We had another one of those tangled balls of yarn where you get halfway through a knitting project and try to pull some yarn with which to work and then you're stuck in your tracks by a tangle. This one took Barbara, Liz...
Elaine and Kathleen altogether to untangle while I slowly rolled the ball into a usable cake. It was like an old fashion quilting bee with everyone working together. Lots of laughing and lots of fun.
Barbara is on the decrease side of her fuzzy baby blanket. It should be done soon.

Liz found a thick and thin yarn in her stash and asked for ideas for its use.

Kathleen was checking out new patterns for inspiration.

And Elaine's wheels were turning with ideas.

I finished the sweater and hat set I knitted for Maureen's friend's raffle for the "Caring Together" charity to raise funds for cancer research.
I love the little ladybug buttons sitting among the leaves.
Our last Chick interview is me. Can you believe you caught me without my knitting? That doesn't happen very often!
Interviewer: At what age did you learn to knit?

Jody: I learned about 8 or 9 but didn't seriously knit until about 14.

Interviewer: Who taught you to knit?

Jody: My grandmother taught me to cast on and crochet at age 8 or 9. I spent hours just casting on stitches and thought I was really knitting. When I was 14 I watched my mother knit and the craze was popular again in the early 60's so she taught me to make an afghan.

Interviewer: What was the first item you completed and for whom did you make it?

Jody: The first thing I finished was that afghan my mom taught. It was orange and brown and it was for the family room at my home. That thing went through the wash so many times it finally disintegrated!

Interviewer: What was your favorite item knitted?

Jody: I've made so many things I like that it's hard to pick a favorite. I like the finished knitted lace projects, even if they are intense. But I also loved making the Irish Fisherman sweaters for my children when they were little.

Interviewer: What was your most challenging project?

Jody: I'd have to say the wedding gift afghan that my family convinced me to keep. After watching me work on it for 120 hours and over 110,000 stitches they thought the recipients would never appreciate the time and work that went into it and they loved it so we kept it and gave the couple a check instead! LOL!

Interviewer: What took you the longest to make?

Jody: When I was in high school I asked my mother to help me make myself a sweater. Every time I made a mistake she would make me rip it out to the beginning and start over. That sweater, which I still have, took me four years to finish.

Interviewer: What do you like to knit now?

Jody: Baby clothes for their speed to finish, lace for it's beauty and delicacy, and self patterning sock yarns to marvel at the developing designs.

Interviewer: What is your favorite fiber to knit?

Jody: It depends on the project. I like superwash wool for clothes for my grandson and items which will be donated so they can be handled less carefully than say, a delicate wool or silk. But I love baby alpaca for scarves and shawls.

Interviewer: Where is your favorite place to knit?

Jody: By the fireplace, in my cozy rocker on a cold winter day or on the screened-in deck on a comfortable summer day listening to the birds and the fountain bubbling nearby.

Interviewer: Where is the most unusual place you ever knitted?

Jody: I like to knit while riding my exercise bicycle to take away the boredom of riding!

So there you have it! All the Chicks have told you about their knitting habits and faves. Now share with us some of your preferences. Where do you like to knit? What fibers are your favorites? What do you like to knit? Just leave your answers in the comments sections so everyone can see.

Keep those needles clicking!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy ___th Birthday to me!

This past Wednesday, June 23, I celebrated my....(if you think I'm going to tell you which one you're crazy!) birthday. DH wanted to throw me another surprise party, as he has in the past for the big landmark days, but I said ENOUGH! My friends know how to count. We don't have to remind them. LOL! All I wanted to do was go away for an overnight vacation. We decided to go to the Finger Lakes wine country. We stopped to sightsee along the way.
The area is riddled with gorges and waterfalls. This was our first stop.
It was a hot day so we decided against the long walk down to the bottom of the gorge. Who am I kidding!? We wouldn't have made it down there and back in hot weather or otherwise! LOL!
We arrived midafternoon in Hector, NY to our B&B at the Chateau Lafayette Reneau. It sat right on the shores of Seneca Lake and looking out over the vineyard made me feel like I was in France, even though I've never been there.
The countryside was beautiful. We sampled some delicious wines and brought home a few of our favorites.
I had to take this photo in the gardens at the vineyard because it's the grandaddy version of the little rosebush I have from my Grandpa.
The next morning we had our coffee on the deck overlooking the lake and planned our day.
First stop was just down the road from where we stayed, Hector Falls, just a few miles away from Watkins Glen.
A bit past Watkins Glen was Montour and another set of waterfalls.
I just kept thinking where does all this water come from? Why doesn't it run out? Thank God it doesn't! We wouldn't be able to appreciate this beauty if it did!
On our ride back to Ithaca we passed this home by the side of the road and I just had to take a photo of it. It reminded me of a gingerbread house.
Once back in Ithaca we stopped to see the falls there and were not disappointed. A little worried yes, but not disappointed.
The power of these falls is amazing. You can't hear yourself think as you approach them. The people at the bottom of the photo are dwarfed by the enormity of the falls.
On our way home we stopped near Cazenovia to see the Chittenango Falls. These falls held a different perspective for us since we viewed them from the top. Can you see the rainbow?
We took the scenic route home, driving all the way back toward Albany along Route 20, stopping occasionally to photograph the Adirondacks way out in the distance.
It was a lovely vacation and I felt like I was away from home for a month.
Sometimes those are the best vacations of all. Thank you Sweetie for a great birthday trip!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Another Nice Day and Evening on the Deck

Elaine is almost finished with her cute blue baby sweater. Seams need to be sewn and buttons applied and it will be ready for our inventory. Kathleen finished the scalloped detail baby sweater we saw last week. Good Grief! She's a quick knitter!

Liz's feather and fan afghan is coming along, slowly but surely. It's such a pretty stitch and she knits it so evenly.

I picked up an entrelac afghan to make for my granddaughter to be. I spoke with Amanda, my daughter, this morning and she said the midwife examined her right in the middle of a contraction and she didn't even feel it. I better knit faster! Eliana might not wait until July 31st! Maureen is picking up on a pink and white baby sweater that sat in hibernation while she finished the blue sailboat afghan.

One of Cate's friends is expecting soon so she is making a pink, heart embossed baby blanket and Joyce is working on one of her favorites, the 8 hour baby blanket.

And look who stopped by to say hello! Ali and her sweet baby Ellie. Ellie had a good time playing with Nana Joyce and then shook hands with everyone when it was time to go home.

Karen "The Crochet Queen" is in our spotlight this week. It amazes me how quickly she can crank out a project and she boggles my mind with all the stitches she knows.
Interviewer: Karen, at what age did you learn to knit?
Karen: I learned to both knit and crochet at 13.
Interviewer: Who taught you?
Karen: My mother and grandmother taught me and my three sisters to knit and crochet but it stuck with only two of us.
Interviewer: What was the first item you completed and for whom did you make it?
Karen: Way back in the 1960's I crocheted a brown, tan and orange afghan for myself. It took 8 years to finish!
Interviewer: What was your favorite item you made?
Karen: I made a white crocheted christening dress ensemble to tuck away for any future grandchildren I might have.
Interviewer: What was your most challenging project?
Karen: There is this baby afghan that I crocheted and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I also find the feather and fan pattern a challenge.
Interviewer: What took you the longest to make?
Karen: There was this purple, lilac and pink queen size afghan that I worked on for 10 years and finally threw it out because I put it in a plastic bag and it grew worms. YUK!
Interviewer: What do you like to make now?
Karen: I like to crochet blankets and I can make them much faster now. For the longest time I crocheted only the ripple stitch or shell stitch designs, but now I know more stitches.
Interviewer: What is your favorite fiber to crochet?
Karen: I use only acrylic.
Interviewer: Where is your favorite place to crochet?
Karen: Sitting on my couch with music or the TV in the background for noise and at Jody's of course!
Interviewer: Where is the most unusual place you ever crocheted?
Karen: I take my work with me all the's waiting rooms, vacations, retreats, but I can't think of anywhere that is unusual.
Thanks Karen for some insight into your world of crochet. Next week will be our last!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Weekend Visit With Moose

My daughter called and asked if we could join the family at the dentist's office so Moose could have a filling. She asked if I specifically would accompany him in the operatory so he would feel more confident. My experience as a dental assistant and oral surgeon's assistant seemed to make me the natural choice. But Moose decided Poppop would be the one to sit with him through the procedure. I think Poppop was a bit terrified but he didn't let it show and didn't want to disappoint Moose so off they went hand in hand to see his dentist. I snuck in to see how things were going only to see AND HEAR Moose yelling to the dentist and her assistants "Take your hands off me, YOU POOPS!!!" Poppop said they strapped him to the papoose board and gave him some nitrous to subdue him before they gave him the local. But he managed to get an arm loose and smacked the dentist right in the kisser! Dr. Rosentrater, wherever you are, YOU ARE A SAINT!!! When all was finished and they came back to the waiting room we asked how it went. Poppop said, "In spite of the hitting, spitting, biting, screaming, and flailing, it went quite well!" We were all laughing so hard to see Moose with his little cotton roll sticking out of his mouth like a cigar that we almost missed getting the photo. Well, here's the picture and if you ask Moose, it wasn't so bad afterall! Kids! That's why we get grey hair!!!
Woody was a bribe to get him to go in the first place but he couldn't open the gift until after his work was done.
Saturday morning we all got up bright and early so Moose could take us all to his Farmer's Market. He introduced me to Miss Betsy who always saves him a brownie. She's his favorite person there. Oh, and that's Amanda's pregnant belly blocking the left side of the shot. The doctor said she is due July 31 but she seems to have dropped over the weekend. We'll see.....
It sure is a good brownie.
And what goes better with a brownie than homemade apple cider? Moose knows how to get his own sample.
He made a new friend at the market too. The dog's owner was sure Moose would be afraid of such a large dog until we explained the encounter Moose already had with Mrs. Hiller's St. Bernard a few weeks back.
Saturday afternoon Moose went to his first swimming lesson alone. Up until now Mommy always accompanied him into the pool and assisted the swim coach. But now he's old enough to go by himself.
He was so anxious to get into the water! And he had a ball!
After swimming and lunch we took Moose and Woody to see "Toy Story 3". We thought some parts of it were a little too scary for a three year old but afterward Moose told me it was the best movie EVER! When he called me today he said he "loveded" it!
I think Woody is Moose's new best friend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Small Gathering and Getting to Know Liz

We had a small gathering today on the deck in the sunshine. It was a beautiful day so many of the Chicks took the opportunity to catch up on things they couldn't do during the recent rains.
Sheila and Liz worked on their checkerboard scarf and feather and fan afghan, respectively and caught up on the the news from their recent vacations. Sheila enjoyed a drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Skyline Drive and Liz toured Ireland. Both had a wonderful time.
Maureen and I were the only two for the evening session. She finished knitting the body of the sailboats and ropes afghan and is now working on the edging. This is turning out beautifully!
The subject of this week's interview is Liz.
Interviewer: At what age did you learn to knit?
Liz: I was about 18 years old and I thought it would be a better habit to develop than smoking!
Interviewer: Who taught you to knit?
Liz: My college friend taught me.
Interviewer: What was the first item you completed and for whom did you make it?
Liz: The first thing I made was a pair of socks for my husband Walt. But I don't think he ever wore them.
Interviewer: What was your favorite item knitted?
Liz: I made myself a Williamsburg Blue sweater. It was a 100% wool cardigan.
Interviewer: What was your most challenging project?
Liz: There's no doubt about that, it was the Baby Surprise Jacket (Jody speaking: incidentally, Liz's BSJ was the first to sell at a charity craft sale in which we participated to raise funds to buy livestock for Heifer International).
Interviewer: What took you the longest to make?
Liz: I think the Baby Surprise Jacket which took about a month.
Interviewer: What do you like to knit now?
Liz: Baby hats and blankets.
Interviewer: What is your favorite fiber to knit?
Liz: I would say Canadiana or Encore or any wool blend.
Interviewer: Where is your favorite place to knit?
Liz: My family room in front of the TV.
Interviewer: Where is the most unusual place you ever knitted?
Liz: At my granddaughter's piano recital and my daughter asked if I could knit more
quietly! LOL!
Thanks to another talented Chick for letting us get to know her a little better. Just two more Chicks to interview and then you'll know all of us. How about leaving a comment to let us know where you like to knit?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Fisherman Afghan Finished and Getting to Know Judy

Barbara and Liz and the rest of us Chicks are just flabberghasted by the beauty of Kathleen's Irish Fisherman Afghan. This is the afghan she has been making since the 1970's for wedding gifts, going off to college gifts, new home gifts, etc. She has made so many of these gorgeous afghans that she has the pattern memorized.

But Kathleen is telling us she is done making this afghan. She doesn't want to make it anymore. But again I repeat, she has the pattern memorized! Can you believe that?!

She does beautiful work and even the fringe is beautiful! What a lucky couple who will be receiving this gift!

Kathleen's next project is this cute baby sweater from
She has already knitted a good portion of the top in this top down cardigan and has the sleeve stitches on holders.

Liz took a few minutes to check out my new knitting book which has the cutest leaf and lace patterned sweaters with matching hats and blankets.
Karin stopped by for a quick visit while recovering from her surgery. She looked great. She and Barbara were discussing the golf club covers Barbara made.

The big driver cover is done with it's fuzzy head.
Karen finished another crocheted baby blanket and has to work in all the ends.
This crochet stitch almost looks knitted.
I finished a long sleeved sweater version of my daughter's baby shrug pattern which is for sale on Ravelry.
I searched through my stash and found these cute bunny buttons which I bought way back in the 1980's. I'm sure glad I finally found a good use for them.
Maureen finished the last panel of the sailboat afghan and is ready to assemble the panels. I started a baby sweater and hat set to give to Maureen for a friend of hers to raffle for charity. The pattern is from the aforementioned book Liz was checking out.
Judy is in the spotlight this week. She has a real flair for pairing yarns and patterns beautifully together.
Interviewer: At what age did you learn to knit?
Judy: I was about 24.
Interviewer: Who taught you to knit?
Judy: I taught myself and I think it shows.
Interviewer: What was the first item you completed and for whom did you make it?
Judy: I knitted a sweater for my boyfriend who later became my husband.
Interviewer: What was your favorite item knitted?
Judy: I made a little white baby sweater with rose bud trim and made 6 or 7 more for gifts.
Interviewer: What took you the longest to knit?
Judy: I made myself a heavily cabled sweater which took way too long to knit and was way too big when it was finished.
Interviewer: What do you like to knit now?
Judy: Sweaters
Interviewer: What is your favorite fiber to knit?
Judy: I like worsted weight wool.
Interviewer: Where is your favorite place to knit?
Judy: I like to knit while watching sports on TV or in my favorite chair in the living room late in the afternoon as the sun sets.
It's raining and damp today so I think I might throw on one of my warm afghans and cuddle up with my knitting. Keep those needles clicking!