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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Warm Woolies and There's A New Girl In Town

The Fair Isle sweater is finished! This is the one that I had to design a section which would use some other yarn so I wouldn't run out of the red wool. Well, as it turns out, I did a pretty good job of saving yarn!

I had a whole skein of red that I didn't even touch! Kathleen is going to use it for mittens. I'm really happy with how the "jogless stripe technique" worked out at the back too. You can't even see where each round is continued. Knitting stripes in the round, for those of you who haven't tried it yet, leaves a little blip when you change colors. It's because the rounds are spiraling up the work so the first round ends where the second round begins, thus leaving a blip in the way the colors align. But if you knit the first stitch of the second round of the new color into the stitch below of the old color it will run smoothly across the garment.

Here, this video will help: Barbara and Kathleen brought in some finished mittens and sweaters.
Here's the one Kathleen made using a contrasting yarn for an accent. Turned out really nice!
And thanks go to Kathleen's daughter, Margaret, from Vermont, who helped out by knitting this cute little vest for us. It's reversible so you can wear the basket weave light blue side or the navy and stripes side. It's folded so you can see both sides.
Karin is plugging away at the baby sweater....
And Beth finished those mittens she started last week.
Here is a sock Beth made using Karin's hand dyed yarns. This pair will be traveling to the Sock Summit in July.
There's a new girl in town. Her name is Geraldine. My son visited the NY Botanical Gardens Orchid Show over the weekend and fell in love with this gorgeous cymbidium but he just could not justify paying $125.00 for a plant! So he stopped at Trader Joe's in Scarsdale, NY on his way home and bought the same one for $22!!!!
Isn't she gorgeous?!
I sure hope my orchids don't get jealous! This little striped Normandy hasn't bloomed since the mid 1990's. But I had to be patient. I knew she would pull through for me someday.
And she didn't let me down!
Now there's this little one I got in Florida in 2003...if only she would blossom. I can't remember what she looks like!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What Have We Here? And Partying With Moose

The afternoon ladies didn't get to see our new stash of sock yarn last week since it was an evening delivery, so the first thing we did was check it out for ideas.
The lovely colors had names like "Tourmaline" and "Sapphire" which made them all the more luscious.
Barbara showed us her finished baby hat and...
Sheila finished her Pelerine! She is now embarking on a pair of flat knitted mittens. We're proud of you Sheila!
Karin burned her thumb and has a terrible blister right where she guides the yarn up the needle, but it didn't seem to hinder her too much last night. Hope the thumb feels better today, Karin!
Beth found a pretty blue tweed yarn in her stash and is whipping up a pair of mittens for
A for A.
By the way, notice the beautiful sweater she is wearing. She made it! Isn't it gorgeous? I think she said the pattern is called "Rhinebeck".
This weekend DH and I helped Moose celebrate his 4th birthday.
His very talented mommy, my daughter, pulled out all the stops for his party. The cake looked so cute we hated to cut it. It's a good thing we did though. It was delicious!
There were five, four year old boys and one two year old invited to help Moose kick up his heels. And there were activities everywhere. Daddy Phil played football with some of the boys.
And then helped organize the "Pin the Football on the Player" game. Everybody won!
There was an obstacle course set up on the floor which Poppop tried to initiate....
But have you ever tried to herd cats? It's much easier than organizing four year old boys!
There was a football pinata which had everyone diving for goodies.
And then it was time to open gifts. Aunt Pam wanted to get a close look while Moose took the opportunity to take a breather.
Moose loved all his gifts. Notice the poor mom behind him. That should say it all!
It looks like this gift was a favorite!
Another favorite of his were the cupcakes Mommy made for his preschool party celebration. It just happened to be "Moose Day" on Moose's birthday. How appropriate was that?!
Yep! My Moose is getting to be quite a big boy now that he's four.
I'm glad I had the chance to help him mark the occasion!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Look at what's happening!

This morning I went for my first outdoor walk since last fall and as I rounded the corner I could see my neighbors irises sprouting! To quote the Pointer Sisters, "I'M SO EXCITED!"
Forty-five minutes later as I approached my yard from the other direction I could see my daylilies are sprouting too!
And the snow is melting from my front entry (it faces north so it takes forever). Could real spring weather be in our near future?
Last night I stayed up until 11:30 to finish the snowflakes on the pullover I'm making to donate. This is my first try at designing and knitting a Fair Isle pattern. It was fun to say I did it, but I don't think I want to try it again. I get too impatient and want to just hurry up and get through it. Too much chart reading!
Now I can say, "Been there, done that!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We Never Get Tired of Knitting

Kathleen's two-tone Gansey Sweater is looking great. She is almost finished with the back, or is it the front?
Elaine offered to hold up one of the pieces so you could see how nice it looks. This is going to be very nice when is it fully assembled.
Beth was so generous to donate 10 skeins of sock yarn from which we will make baby sweaters, hats and socks. Thank you so much Beth!
Last Thursday I was knitting with my friends at our local Panera and one of them is almost finished with the pattern I designed called "Flirtatious" (available for sale here or you can email me, it's listed on the right side there, if you scroll down far enough).
Dorah is using Karin's hand dyed yarn with a touch of cashmere ( It is the most luscious yarn! And Dorah is doing a beautiful job.

I will be sure to get a photo of the finished shawl to show you.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Good Cup of Tea, Iced or Hot?

First things first, we have to warm Karin and the rest of us with a good hot cup of tea before we can get our fingers flying with those knitting needles.
Kathleen started another Gansy pullover which I'm sure you'll see finished next week. She's just that fast!
Here is the cute little lace cardigan from a couple of weeks ago. Such a lovely lacey pattern. But like me, Kathleen likes to knit top-down one piece garments which do not require assembling after the pieces are knit. So she thinks this might be the one and only of this pattern. Kathleen used a soft cotton yarn which makes a nice spring weight garment. Now all we need is spring!
Elaine is casting on for a lacy cardigan also. Look at those hands move!
Barb is working on a pair of gentleman's mittens to send to Afghans for Afghanistan project.
And even though our calendar says it's March we had yet ANOTHER storm, this one more ice than snow. It left behind the most beautiful "diamonds" twinkling in the trees.
Everything was encased in a layer of ice, which was not good news for the power line technicians.
But good news for camera buffs everywhere.
Hopefully we won't be dealing with this much longer.
And this weekend we get to turn our clocks ahead one hour so the daylight will last a little longer. That should help with everyone's cabin fever.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Annual Orchid Show at New York Botanical Gardens

Yesterday was a great day to go to The Bronx for the annual orchid show at the New York Botanical Gardens. After a delicious lunch on Arthur Avenue, known for some of the best Italian food around New York, DH, DS, and I headed over to the gardens to oooooo and aaaahhhh at some of our favorite flowers. The entrance belies the beauty that waits ahead.
A short walk away from the entrance is the Enid Haupt Conservatory, a busy place yesterday.
The excitement was building in my head as we neared the entrance.
And we were immediately greeted with a spectacular display made to look like the stage of a famous Broadway theater. The "drapes" were made using garden hoses.
Everywhere I turned I was greeted with orchids.
Just go ahead and enjoy. I'll catch up with you later.....

Orchids overhead everywhere!

All these Cattleya corsage orchids filled the air with a wonderful perfume that immediately brought me back to my childhood Easter celebrations when my Dad would buy corsages for my Mom, sister, and me to wear to church.
We walked through all the permanent garden displays that made you feel like you were in a tropical rain forest or.....
resting by a placid pond or...
Looking for exoctic species under the canopy.
If you didn't look up to discover the ceiling and fans you wouldn't know you were in The Bronx.
One of my favorite spots is in the desert landscape.
Even those prickly little devils show off their beautiful side.
But don't get too close.
I was perfectly giddy after my walk through all those blossoms.
The orchid show runs now through April 25th, 2011. If you are in the metropolitan New York area be sure to take a side trip to visit some of the most beautiful displays you will ever see.
It well worth the trip.