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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Scarves and shawls and slippers, oh my!

A few finished items went into inventory this week. Barbara did a beautiful job of knitting and blocking this lovely cabled wrap. I think she told me it was a free pattern on the Lion Brand site. Her stitch definition and tension was perfect.
 Last week you saw "Audrey" laying around and blocking. This week she is working hard at keeping me warm. This is something I knitted for myself but I have a scarf and a cowl on the needles for donation, so don't look at me that way! LOL!
 Kathleen is working on a shawl using a colorful acrylic and she will be adding some rows of solid colors too. I can't wait to see it next week.
 Barbara is working on a chenille scarf using the Mistake Stitch. It's really pretty and very soft.
 Kathleen made the matching hat and scarf with the promise of a pair of matching mittens to come next. Nice job, Kathleen!
And Liz dropped off a pair of warm, cozy slipper socks.
 Beth and Carole hunted through a new batch of yarn that was donated to us. It was one of those "Being at the right place at the right time" experiences. I went to Trumpet Hill Yarn Store on Sunday to look for a button and decided to sit and knit awhile. A very sweet lady named Patty came in and started asking about where could she find a group to whom she could donate some yarn that was given to her by her friend Monique. Robena looked at me and the rest is history. Thank you Patty and Monique, if you're reading this. The yarn is beautiful and we all have ideas swimming in our heads for what we will make with it.
 Beth finished a Sock Monkey she made for a relative's birthday. Isn't he cute?!!!
 And this double knitted, two sided scarf. It's beautiful!
 Carole finished this lovely Holden shawlette. You might remember seeing her binding it off last week.
 The bind off row consisted of many, many, many picots in the row. She was glad was that was finished!

I visited my chiropractor today and there is a plaque on the wall in his office that I see every time I visit. It puts into words what I feel in my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you.
This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
Life is no "brief candle" to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations....George Bernard Shaw

Take your splendid torch and shine it everywhere!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Miss Audrey makes her debut

On September 2, 2012 I started what I had hoped would be a challenging project. Be careful what you wish for! Sometimes it comes true.
 The beginning section was easy enough and I was enjoying the colors I chose for my shawl, Periwinkle Sheep "Audrey Hepburn" Red and Malabrigo Black, both a merino wool in fingering weight on size 4 needles. That's tiny for those of you who don't knit. By September 7th  I was ready to abandon the written pattern for the charts. By September 8th I was ready to be institutionalized! It seems my short term memory was compromised and I didn't trust it to go past two stitches without forgetting the order.
 All that made it a very intense knit and at one point I commented that I would rather poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick than ever knit another Catkin!
 But all that changed by September 13th when I started chart two A, B, and C. It looked quite intimidating but was rather easy to follow as long as I had a hefty supply of post-it notes to outline the row being knitted. I actually ran out of the red yarn on September 14th but Karin came to my rescue, having found the last skein in the same dye lot!
 I was on a roll last night and didn't want to stop so I kept on knitting into the wee hours of the morning. By 3:15AM on September 18th I had bound off the very last stitch! Hence my knickname "The Midnight Knitter". This morning Audrey took a dunk and now she is blocking.
 I have to say that once I got past that chart one I began to enjoy the experience again.
 Some knitters want to get to their destination as quickly as possible and some enjoy the journey. I am of the latter group. And what a journey this was!
Miss Audrey requires eight small buttons and as luck would have it, there happened to be eight pearl buttons in my button box that I had saved from clothing purchased years ago. Now I'm thinking of other colorways that would work for another! But not for a long while. Hmph! I remember saying something about burning this pattern when I was finished. Maybe not....
 This afternoon the Chicks were introduced to Audrey as she lay basking and drying. They were impressed!
 This weekend my cousin, Mania, from Connecticut came for a visit and gifted the Chicks with some knitted items and yarn. We all loved the rainbow blanket she made. Hey Mania! Can you share the pattern?!
 It was a free-for-all sorting through the selections.
 The ideas were filling our heads left and right.
 Kathleen called "dibs" on a colorful variegated yarn. Thank you Mania for all the yarn and finished items!
 Then we got down to work on our current projects. Liz is knitting this sweet top-down seamless sweater....
 only making it a solid mint green. So sweet!
 Kathleen finished a diagonal baby blanket and added it to inventory.
 She is working on a scarf now which will have fringed ends.
Barb finished the garter edge on the end of this lovely cabled wrap and will block it for next week.
I have a new orchid to show too. Mania's daughter and son-in-law brought it on their visit. Isn't she a beauty? She is loving being in the company of the Chicks.
Now that Audrey is finished I'll have to think of a new project. Lots of ideas floating in my head!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Making our delivery

Liz and I delivered five bags of knitted goods to St. Catherine's Center for Children in Albany today.
Joanne Gambino-Morehouse is the Director of Development and our liaison for the group.
She couldn't wait to dig into the bags to see what we made.
 I think she likes purple. We learned about how the center started out as an orphanage and maternity hospital. We saw some wonderful photographs on the walls of the early years. One had a very old car with the cutest kids piled all over it and a nun watching over them wearing the old fashioned habit with
 the "Flying Nun" style headpiece. The license plate on the car was from 1928! Our meeting the Director of Community Relations, Brian Bell, and Bill Gettman, the Executive Director, rounded out a very pleasant experience all around. They made us feel good that we took the time to help.
 This evening we knitted to replenish our inventory. Carole worked on a shawl called "Holden Shawlette" free for Ravelry members. I think she mentioned that she was using a Trekking Sock yarn.
 Dorah, our new member on the far right, was working on a brightly striped pair of socks for her daughter. And Maureen started a cute baby blanket with crescent moons and stars on it.
 Karin joined us to work on a "Wingspan" shawl, another freebie pattern on Ravelry.
I'm working on a shawl for myself called "Catkin" , a pattern which you can buy on Ravelry. Now, I don't know if I've mentioned this before but I hate knitting from charts. No, hate isn't a strong enough word. I ABHOR knitting from charts. I block off all but the row I'm reading with multiple post it notes and still have trouble following the blocks, no matter their size (I think it might have something to do with my astigmatism). Well, not only does Catkin have a chart, it has FOUR, yes I said FOUR! charts! But this is a challenge I won't let defeat me! It's a beautiful shawl and I'm using Karin's beautiful "Audrey Hepburn" red yarn with a Malabrigo black, both fingering weight. And I can't wait to finish it so I can wear it to the Sheep and Wool Festivals coming up this fall. But following those charts is knocking the stuffing out of me. I can knit only 2 or 3 rows at a time in absolute silence. And heaven help the husband who decides to talk to me in the middle of a row!!!
Well, I'm going to go to bed and get a good night's sleep so I'll be well rested tomorrow for another attack on that Catkin. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy 7th Anniversary Chicks!!!

Yes, it's been 7 years since the first time we Chicks met to knit and enjoy each other's company. And tonight we added some good food to the mix. We had a small turnout this year because of vacations but those who did attend ate well and we all laughed well too.

From left to right: Barbara, Liz, Kathleen, Beth
 Left to right: Carole, Liz and Beth
 Beth, Kathleen, and Barbara discussed who our next recipient should be.
 And in the center is our newest member, Dorah! We're so glad to have her in our flock! Welcome Dorah, we're excited to be able to add your knitting talents to the mix. 
 Thank you to all my Chicks for another wonderful year together. I appreciate all the time and talent you ladies donate to our cause. God bless you all!

I finished a bit of knitting this weekend. It's called "Fagus" which refers to a type of Beech tree. I used one skein of Periwinkle Sheep "Sophisticated" and had a small ball of yarn left. This scarf/shawlette is 16 1/2 leaves along the edge, just enough to keep my neck warm. Yes, I made it for myself. 
 I haven't made myself something in a long time and since it didn't take long to make, I'll be making some more for donations.
Thanks again Chicks for all the knitting and fun we shared!