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

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Keep on knitting and the grands celebrate Memorial Day

We start this week with more of Kathleen's creations. Hats are the perfect project for the ends of yarn leftover from larger items.
 As I promised last week, here is the Baby Surprise jacket Kathleen finished off with buttons from Nana's button box. She added a cute little hat to complete the ensemble.
 Another little set in a unisex blue.
 Kathleen loves this top-down cardigan pattern. 
 When you can't find four matching buttons just mix and match.
 Liz made progress on her feather and fan.
 Barbara started a shawl with a bulky weight yarn and large needles. This shouldn't take too long.
 Carole knitted the shoulders of her heather green pullover using the 3 needle technique.
 By evening's end she was picking up stitches to knit the neckline. It's hard to see but the sleeve edges have a darling little cable defining the armhole edges.
 Beth knitted a cowl for herself with yarn that she bought on her vacation in the southwest recently. The colors are gorgeous!
 And she knitted more on her pullover. This was taken early in the evening so it was even longer by night's end.
 Maureen worked on a slipped stitch baby blanket.
 My favorite little boys brought their mom and dad for a visit this weekend.
We took a ride over to Cummington, Massachusetts for the Mass Sheep and Wool Festival. Moose took a class in making a felted treasure pouch. He was very particular about the colors he chose. They had to be "Superhero Avengers" colors.
 I think the part he liked best was wetting the fibers.
 He worked the felting process for a few minutes but then passed the chore on to his mom and me.
 Moose is always so busy so this is the best pic I was able to catch of his finished pouch. It actually turned out quite durably felted. Who knew a smooth rock could produce such a neat pouch?!
 Monday was parade day. I think these two guys were a little excited!
 Poppop taught Moose how to respect the flag when it passed by.
 Leo helped Dad find the marching bands in the program.
And Moose proudly waved the American flag as the bands marched by.
Moose renamed the parade "The Candy Parade" since he collected more this day than on Halloween!
It was a warm day and we happened to pass a lemonade stand on our way back to the car so naturally we stopped for some refreshments. Moose was asked to autograph the stand. What a cute idea!
All in all everyone had a great day honoring those who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Show and Tell

There was a non-knitting show and tell this week. Barbara is going to be a first-time grandma this June and she has already made a beautiful quilt top for her new grandbaby. Liz and I were admiring it while Barb told us how she was planning on finishing it.
She picked the perfect fabrics and did a superb job of piecing them together. I can't wait to see it completely quilted.
Barbara also finished a baby cardigan and hunted through our button boxes for the right ones to sew on the band. It should be ready for inventory by next week.
Liz picked out some variegated cotton yarns from our stash last week and began this feather and fan pattern for a stroller or carseat blanket, just right for those cool days that don't require a heavy wool coverlet.
Carole borrowed a book from the library and is working on this cute little pullover with the yarn she picked up a few weeks ago.
The heather green yarn is going to be great for this pattern.
Beth showed us her Zuzu's Petals cowl she knitted for her sister. The pattern is available for sale on Ravelry, if you're a member. It's free to join and there are so many patterns available for free as well as for sale.
For her donation knitting Beth worked on this pullover.
The bright green yarn is so cheerful. It's sure to brighten a munchkin's day!
Over last weekend I made the next two cowls from free patterns I found on Ravelry. I had the yarn and was limited to 150 yards, so I hunted through the patterns and found Totally Biased. It is started with a provisional cast on edge....
and then the last row is kitchener stitched to the cast on edge, making the cowl fully reversible and utterly seamless. Thanks go to Gretchen Mashmann for donating this darling yarn to the Chicks. 
Another Zuzu's Petals just flew off my needles last weekend so this will go into inventory for St. Catherine's Center for Children also.
This blue scarf was an improvisation of mine inspired by a lace stitch I found in one of my books. The pattern is four rows long and easily memorized. The keyhole slot was made by separating every other stitch to two separate needles of the same size and knitting a 1 X 1 ribbing for whatever length you wish on each of the needles separately, and then re-setting the stitches on a single needle in their original order. You then continue to knit the pattern to desired length and bind off. That keyhole keeps the scarf in place on the windiest of days.
This project is one I've been knitting for myself since March. Every now and then I pick it up out of hibernation and add a few elements. It's a hoodie sweatshirt pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple and I hope to finish it before next winter so I'll get some use out of it before the cold sets in again.
The nice weather has been calling to me so I had the chance to sit on the deck and knit. It helps me not to feel so guilty about working on projects as opposed to, let's say, cleaning or cooking! LOL! Well, I console myself with the thought that it's all going to a worthy cause. Right?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not every yarn is perfect!

Were you ever pulled in by a pretty yarn that called out to you in the store? You purchase said yarn thinking it would make such a cute baby hat and it's so soft. Perfect for the pattern you have in mind. Well, that happened to Liz this week and after knitting a few inches with this pastel chenille she decided to frog it and start over with another yarn. I learned the hard way too, that those soft chenille yarns can be the wrong choice for some projects. I doggedly knitted a whole scarf, all the way through thinking it will get better, when I finally gave up and realized it would just not work. But I'm hard-headed and didn't want to give in to the yarn. I learned that lesson, eventually!
 Kathleen dove into the button boxes to find some buttons for her latest Baby Surprise Jacket. We'll get a closer look next week when it has its buttons.
 Beth finished the shawl and it is a work of art. And so drapey and soft! It will make someone very cozy.
 Carole started a toddler pullover with a nice heather green yarn.
By next week I should have a lace scarf ready for it's closeup. But for now I need to get back to it so I can finish knitting and blocking it. Have a good week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Baby Animals and Knitting

Did I hear someone say we're going to see some baby animals?
 YAY! I love baby animals!
 Come on! Hop in so we can get going!
 Poppop and I will sit here in the sunshine while you take Moose for a horseback ride.
 And here he is waiting so patiently for the horse to come around for his next rider.
 Moose really loved riding the "bigger" horse this time.
 Giving him treats is fun but kind of scary when you see the size of his teeth.
 This year Moose dropped only one baby duck but he held him gently before the release!
 I think Moose's favorite animal was the teeny tiny baby bunny. He was being so sweet to the bunny. I love seeing Moose's gentle side.
 The baby goat was all wiggly and squiggly but Moose held on to him.
 When we got home Moose and his Dad played a quick game of croquet before dinner. Let me just say Moose is not a very gracious winner. His victory dance would rival any salsa Victor Cruz could think up.
 Ok! Now on to some knitting. This week the Chicks will be delivering to the New York Oncology and Hematology center in Albany.
  We have collected 12 chemo hats, 11 shawls, 11 pairs of fingerless mitts, 13 scarves and 1 cowl.
  Barbara started a baby hooded sweater for our next project.
 Liz already finished a few scarves and hats.
 The colors of Liz's scarf pooled a perfect zig zag pattern.
 Maureen started a baby blanket in a sweet yellow, washable, acrylic yarn.
 Carole worked on her Hitchhiker Shawl, a pattern she found on Ravelry. It's a great design for hand painted yarns.
 My own design is just finished after sitting in hibernation for two years. It started out as a "waiting room" project but I didn't have many opportunities to wait.
 So I decided to just pick it up and finish it. It's a basic triangular shawl with "make one" increases and a ruffle with picot bind off.
 Last Saturday I helped Karin with her backyard yarn sale and found out about this pattern from my friend Iryth. The cowl is called "Zuzu's Petals" and I found a perfect yarn at the sale to complete it.
 I started this Sunday night and finished it Monday night. It might have taken a total of 6 to 8 hours to knit. It's going to be my mother's Mother's Day gift.
Speaking of which, Happy Mother's Day to all those who celebrate. Hope you have a great weekend.