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

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Shopping's Done, Time to Work and Interview with a Chick Part 5

We had fun this week comparing notes on last Saturday's field trip to WEBS. Karin and Kathleen are talking about wrapping up their current projects so they can dive into the new stuff!
Barbara started a gauge swatch with her new yarn to make a cardigan. Sheila will be making a baby hat using double pointed needles for the first time.
Karin's neighbor, Linda, had lots of prep work before she could start another hat.
Joyce is working on one of four baby afghans that she wants to make for the upcoming arrivals of newborns this summer.
Judy chose a baby hat and Maureen picked up the baby sweater she started before tax season swallowed up her free time.
I finished a donation shawl using a free pattern from Ravelry
It sort of looks like a sting ray! LOL!
The construction of it makes it sit nicely on the shoulders without slipping.
Our interview is with Barbara this week. She jumped right into knitting after years of making other handcrafts, including quilting.
Interviewer: At what age did you learn to knit?
Barbara: My grandmother tried to teach me when I was 7 years old but the stitches were so tight on the needle I couldn't move the yarn.
Interviewer: Who taught you to knit?
Barbara: Jody taught me when I joined the group five years ago, although I remember making a scarf for a boyfriend when I was in college. I still have the knitting needles but I don't remember the pattern or how I made it.
Interviewer: What was the first item you completed and for whom did you make it?
Barbara: The first thing I finished was a diagonal baby blanket in Homespun yarn by Lion Brand. It was the first thing I donated too.
Interviewer: What was your favorite item knitted?
Barbara: I loved making those "Infinity Scarves". I used chunky yarn and big needles so they knitted up quickly. I made a blue one for my sister, a marble grey and blonde for my son's girlfriend, and a cream colored one for me.
Interviewer: What was your most challenging project?
Barbara: The Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. I keep thinking I might like to make it again.
Interviewer: What took you the longest to knit?
Barbara: I made a short sleeved coral cardigan sweater - TWICE! I didn't like it the first time I made it and Elaine suggested ripping it out and starting over. It would just have sat around otherwise. I made an alpaca lace shawl with some beautiful yarn my son bought for me. It had blues and greens with a hint of purple. He gave me one skein and I liked it so much I called the store and bought two more so I could make a good sized shawl. But I had to be absolutely ALONE to make it so I could count the lace pattern.
Interviewer: What do you like to knit now?
Barbara: I like baby sweaters because they are quick and fun to knit. I like to imagine what cute baby will wear them.
Interviewer: What is your favorite fiber to knit?
Barbara: I like the acrylic/wool blend yarn from Plymouth called Encore. I like the feel of it and knowing it's easy care and won't shrink in the wash.
Interviewer:Where is your favorite place to knit?
Barbara: I have a comfortable tub chair in my living room that sits right next to the window.
Interviewer: Where is the most unusual place you ever knitted?
Barbara: Poolside in Destin, Florida on vacation.
Where is your favorite place to knit? Leave your answers in the comments section so everyone can see. Keep those needles clicking!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful spring day to take our annual field trip to WEBS in Northampton, Mass. for the BIG spring sale.
Everyone arrived at my house promptly at 8:45AM and we carpooled from there.
We were delayed at the toll booths not 20 minutes away from the store. Come on people! Don't you know we're on a mission?!
Ahhhh! The mecca of the fiber world! We finally arrived at WEBS around 10:30.
Does it look like we're in a hurry? Can't wait to get our hands on that yarn!!!
Some "corn" yarns caught Elaine's eye at the front of the store. Such wonderful colors.
Barbara headed straight back to the warehouse where you could see nothing but yarns for miles and miles and miles....
Kathleen checked out the superwashed wools for a favorite afghan pattern that she makes for newlyweds.
Pat, Kathleen's daughter, came all the way up from Pawling just to join us. This was her very first trip to WEBS and we warned her it was overwhelming! I don't think she quite imagined how overwhelming it would be!
Karin found some gorgeous blue yarn to make a sweater for herself.
This was Sheila's first trip to WEBS too, but she stuck to her shopping list which helped to ease the anxiety of having so much from which to choose.
What did you pick? Oh I love that color? What are you going to make with that one?
Wouldn't these three together make a nice fall colored afghan?
The two hours we spent yarn shopping flew by in the wink of an eye. We made many wise and beautiful yarn purchases.
We were so hungry by this time that we headed over to Hadley a few miles away to have lunch at Whole Foods. There was a whole bounty of wonderful foods on the buffet to fill our plates.
When we got back to the parking lot this car was next to ours, covered in game boards with magnetic playing pieces, figurines on the dashboard, a doll arm sticking out of the roof, and sayings written on almost every square inch.
Karin noticed a plastic box glued to the trunk that was filled with sidewalk chalk with an invitation to "Leave Your Mark". So we did! The Chicks with Sticks are now a part of that car! LOL!
Our last stop of the day was at Trader Joe's in Hadley to stock up on all kinds of goodies. Of course we had to bring back some yummy chocolate to sustain us for the ride home.
All in all I would have to say it was a very successful day for the Chicks. Now we'll have to think about where our next field trip should be.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

My grandson was here with his mommy for a short visit last week and since the weather was so nice we decided to take Moose for a walk through Five Rivers Environmental Center, our local wildlife park, to see if we could find a real moose! LOL! We started out on the easy trail that is handicap-accessible so Moose could walk around by himself. He was our "trail guide".
This way Mommy and DeeDee! Notice his backpack "George". We wouldn't want to let him get too far ahead.
In the field house are some animals that were found injured in the wild and could no longer survive in the natural world, so they live inside now. Moose and a new friend were checking out Aries the owl. An accident caused him to lose a wing. Moose was fascinated by the fish swimming in his dinner bowl and the dead freeze-dried mouse sitting on the dinnerplate.
There were snakes and snapping turtles and painted turtles. Moose didn't know where to look first.
Moose was having fun examining all the items on the "Please Touch Table" when he came across an antler which he so willingly showed me how it was worn.
Oh! This is the way it goes!
It was such a long day at Five Rivers that Moose couldn't even walk back to the car by himself. He almost fell asleep on my back.
When we got home Uncle Drew gave him a belated birthday gift.
It's a Thomas the Train set! My favorite!
Moose didn't waste any time writing a nice thank you note to Uncle Drew. Moose is back home now and he calls me regularly to tell me about his swim lessons and his basketball lessons.
This week with the Chicks started out with show and tell. Kathleen finished another Guernsey sweater which she is showing to Barbara and Sheila.
Karin, of Perwinkle Sheep ( made a baby hat and finished the one on the needles during our afternoon session.
Maureen is back among the living after the last few months of tax season. She is finally getting to work on the Chulo hat she started sometime around January.
Joyce is working on a pinwheel baby blanket from the 8 hour blanket book from Plymouth.
Speaking of Joyce, she is the subject of this week's interview. Joyce is a retired kindergarten teacher with a very bubbly personality. She keeps the evening group in stitches,literally and figuratively.
Interviewer: At what age did you learn to knit?
Joyce: I was 57 years old, it was shortly before I joined the Chicks.
Interviewer: Who taught you to knit?
Joyce: My daughter, Alli, gave me a Christmas gift of lessons through Joann's Fabric Store with Pat Comiskey. After that I took classes at my local high school through the continuing education courses.
Iterviewer: What was the first item you completed and for whom did you make it?
Joyce: I made a scarf for Alli using the eyelash novelty yarns.
Interviewer: What was your favorite item to knit?
Joyce: That had to be the 8 hour blanket from Plymouth that I made for my granddaughter, Ellie. I used my favorite cream color Encore and a square block pattern.
Interviewer: What was your most challenging project?
Joyce: THOSE D*#!%N RED MITTENS using "Knitting for Dummies"!
Interviewer: What took you the longest to knit?
Joyce: THOSE D*#!%N RED MITTENS! They took a good 2 or 3 months!
Interviewer: What do you like to knit now?
Joyce: My favorite items to knit would be the Feather and Fan blanket and the Blocks blanket from the 8 hour blankets book.
Interviewer: What is your favorite fiber to knit?
Joyce: I love baby alpaca and most natural fibers. My favorite colors to knit are the creams and whites, soft pastels. The most recent blanket I'm knitting is yarn I purchased online thinking I was getting the soft celery green, but as you can see in the photo above, it is bright lime! It's almost putting me over the edge!
Interviewer: Where is your favorite place to knit?
Joyce: I knit when I'm anxious, so I would have to say in a doctor's waiting room or some other stress inducing environment.
Interviewer: Where is the most unusual place you ever knitted?
Joyce: In the hospital.
That was a small glimpse into Joyce's knitting life. Thanks Joyce. We Chicks look forward to a long relationship with you.
This weekend the Chicks are going on a field trip to WEBS ( the knitting mecca of the Northeast. We can't wait! There will be photos coming soon. Until then, keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Making a delivery followed by a celebration lunch

We Chicks made our delivery this morning to the USCRI which has been helping refugees begin new lives in the Capital Region since 2005. Families arrive here having fled war and persecution, sometimes with just one suitcaseful of items for several people.
Jen, on the far left, invited clients to start shopping.

We saw firsthand our knitted goods being selected to be put to good use.

There was a gentleman who had just become a new father so we were thrilled to see the big smile on his face as he shopped for his precious newborn.

His new baby will be properly dressed for our cool spring weather.

The director, Jill, came to help clients select items. It felt like Christmas!

Yaser, on the far right, also helped his clients choose much needed garments.

A shy newcomer to our country is flanked by two warm and generous members of USCRI.

Ruslan, who also works at the center, was having as much fun as his clients checking out the goods.

It was a great day and we all felt the "warm fuzzies" from the experience of being able to help those in need.

But all the excitement made us hungry so we were off to a delicious lunch at the Albany Pump Station to celebrate breaking the 1,000 count. Today's donation came to a final count of 103 items.
That means that since we Chicks started knitting together almost five years ago we have donated 1,007 items. Thank you Chicks for your generosity and dedication. And thank you God for blessing us with the talents so that we may help those in need.