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

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Celebrating Five Years!

Last night was The Chicks' celebration of five years of knitting together.

The afternoon knitters mingled with the evening knitters. Elaine and Joyce caught up on their granddaughters activities and found out the kids live right around the corner from each other.
And we had the opportunity to welcome two new knitters to the evening group. Cathy O'neill and Beth Mashmann were warmly welcomed and we can't wait for them to attend regularly.
Dinner started with seafood dip and Parmesan-Spinach balls...
And main entrees were a delicious array of salads and roasted sausage and potatoes. Desserts were sweet and plentiful and don't tell anyone but I tried a little of each. LOL!
There was great conversation
in between the compliments on the meal.
The new ladies fit right into the group.
Not everyone was able to attend, but those who did had a good time.
I want to thank all the Chicks for five wonderful years of knitting and fellowship. And did I mention that in those five years we've managed to knit and donate over 1,000 items?! Way to go Ladies! I'm looking forward to the next five years and another 1,000! I love you all and feel blessed to count you among my friends. God bless you Chicks!
P.S. Thanks to my son, Andrew for playing photographer for the evening.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Autumn! Time for Fiber Festivals and Balloon Festivals

Yesterday was a beautiful, warm summer, I mean fall day. The temperatures were in the low 80's so you can see why I would make that mistake. A perfect day to ride up to Greenwich, New York for the 2nd annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.
It was held on the Washington County Fairgrounds and I could smell the wool fumes as soon as I exited the car. They called to me to come and touch and buy.
There were beautiful fibers to spin....

and blend....
and even cocoons to spin your own silk.
Of course there was yarn everywhere too.
I made sure I visited my friend Karin's booth ( ) to scoop up some of her lovely Periwinkle Sheep sock yarn to make a prayer shawl for a friend. There's my hubby behind her waiting to pay. He's a keeper!
I love to visit the animals who so graciously let us shear their coats. What a regal fellow this llama is. He stood so proudly.
And who can resist those darling angora bunnies?
My son will be disappointed that I didn't bring this little fellow home.
However, I am just allergic enough that I can't knit with angora. What a shame! Their fiber is so soft and warm.
But I'm not allergic to alpaca. Isn't he a cutie?!
This fat guy was too lazy to even look up at the camera. He's not really fat, it's all wool!
My favorite was this gentle giant.
He just laid there staring at me as if to say, "Who are you staring at?"
There were all kinds of demonstrations everywhere. Here a spinner works her magic.
And here's another with a slightly different technique. She is using a drop spindle instead of a spinning wheel.
There was also a hooker! Rug hooker, that is.
She did a beautiful job!
My great-grandmother was a weaver so I especially like to watch the magic that happens when the fabric appears.
Of course, you could purchase already made garments too.
And there were all kinds of tools. These hand blown glass handled crochet hooks were beautiful.
Since it was a fiber festival there was more than just knitting. There were a whole array of felted items for sale as well.
These bowls were especially colorful and cleverly designed.
And just in time for Halloween were these hand felted masks. I wouldn't want to meet any of these on a dark night!
At that same booth there was an opportunity to felt your own flowers using bubble wrap and warm soapy water.
After a goodly amount of time spent agitating the plastic sheet you get these beautiful flowers.
Now if you know where the fairgrounds are, you'll know that you are only a few hundred yards away from the best homemade ice cream in the area. And we never pass up the opportunity to stop in for a taste.... or three. LOL!
Ooops! You caught me red-handed! I couldn't decide between the pumpkin, Miller's Mudslide, or Hugh's Chocolate Overload so I had a little of each. Bad girl! Well, I'm not going to have dessert for at least until......Tuesday! That's when the Chicks will be celebrating our fifth anniversary.
After the fiber festival we drove over to Glens Falls for the annual Balloon Festival. Due to the bumper to bumper traffic, it took us about an hour and a half to drive two miles to the location where the festival takes place, passing homes along the way where families were all set up with their picnics to enjoy the balloons flying by. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at the entrance we found out that due to unpredictable high winds the race had been cancelled. All those poor families who were waiting were going to be so disappointed. I did manage to see one balloon before it completely deflated.
So instead Ron and I took the long country back roads homeward and watched the subtle change of colors of the trees in the distance.
It was a lovely day and now I look forward to the cooling temperatures when I get to wear my warm woolies again.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Many FO's this week

We've been having fun with baby projects and Elaine added to our inventory with this soft diagonal baby blanket and a cute pink cap.
Kathleen is in the homestretch of yet another Gansey sweater. It's her favorite pattern, as you can tell by how quickly she whips through one a week or so.
Liz finished her block pattern baby blanket which will be added to the inventory also.
And Maureen finished the Pelerine, a shoulder shawl pattern by the great Elizabeth Zimmermann.
This will be added to the inventory for our local nursing home.
Another item for the nursing home is also another Elizabeth Zimmermann design called the Ribwarmer. This is what you saw on my needles last week and it took me just a week to finish it. Since it is all garter stitch and some short row knitting it was a very fast project to complete, to say the least. My only stumble was trying to figure out how to lay it out and what edges to seam together.
I "raveled" a knitter in Ireland who made the same ribwarmer and through the magic of email, she was able to walk me through the steps and VOILA! It was finished! Thank you so much for your help, Lindy!
I decided it needed a little help keeping closed so I knitted a little frog closure which I found here:
This was so much fun to knit I may have to go through my stash and find another 400 yards of yarn to make some more. Hmmm...I think I have some raspberry Encore just waiting to be used somewhere......

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finally! We sat outside on the deck! And Moose's first day of preschool

We finally had a good weather day and were able to knit outside this week.
Some of us were feeling like knitting small and some of us like to punish ourselves. LOL! We are currently working on two different projects. Baby items up to 18 months size will be donated to our local maternity center. That's the small end. The punishment side is making lap robes and shoulder warmers for our local nursing home. We all jump into these projects feeling so positive, but about halfway through rows and rows and rows of either plain garter stitch or stockinette stitch, it sometimes feels like a poke in the eye with one of our needles would be a lot more fun. But then we remember why we're knitting these items and it gets us back on track.
Liz was feeling feisty this week and showed off her baby blanket that she's making for our current baby project. The simple yet pretty block pattern holds one's attention to keep from being boring, while not requiring it completely.
Kathleen finished the navy blue shoulder shawl, an Elizabeth Zimmermann Pelerine, first in the row on the table. We were trying to decide on closures for the neckline. I made the black, yellow, and green one in the back and the mauve and purple one in the middle. The black one will have a button and loop closure. I'm thinking the same for the mauve and purple one too.
In this close up you can see the cute little baby bonnet Kathleen contributed also.
Elaine and Barb caught up on the week's events...
And Kathleen and Liz caught up on their mutual grandchildren's activities, while they worked on the Gansey sweater and baby blanket, respectively.
I've started the Elizabeth Zimmermann Rib Warmer with a navy tweed acrylic blend. There's not much to see yet. Maybe next week it will be large enough to show up.
Maureen is almost finished with her Pelerine. The colors don't show up very well here but it is the prettiest combination of a soft sage green with autumn stripes.
Then Karin stopped by to present me with my prayer shawl which was knitted by many of my knitting friends as a healing gift to me after losing my precious granddaughter, Eliana. I love it!!! Karin handdyed the yarn and named it Eliana. It's the prettiest pinky-mauve! And I love the size of it.
It's big enough for three! And these same lovely ladies made a matching shawl for my daughter, Amanda, to show her how much she is loved. Thank you to all my friends who knitted these wonderful gifts. Amanda and I will treasure them forever and think of you all every time we use them.
Last week I spent with my Moose in Pennsylvania. We had a great time all week and topped it off with a visit to the farmer's market and some cool "lemolade", as Moose calls it.
And a big milestone in Moose's life, he started preschool this week. He was so anxious to attend that he made his mommy leave the house too early and the school wasn't open yet.
He couldn't wait to use his new Toy Story 3 backpack and lunchbox. And reports from Mom are all positive. He has made new friends and tired himself out sufficiently to get to bed on time.
I can't believe my baby is already attending preschool. Have fun Moose! DeeDee loves you!