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

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Miffy has a head! And Moose is 6!

"Miffy" has a head! Carole said she looked into the pattern information and found out that Miffy is a character from a Dutch children's book written by Dick Bruna and then later she became a main character in an animated TV series.  Apparently, she's very famous in The Netherlands.
Carole started the body last night. This is the neck opening which will be attached to the base of the head. I can't wait to see her finished.
I'm winging my way through my own design for a chubby puppy. The body is finished and now I'm working on floppy ears and a snout. By next week he might have a face and name.
I finished a cowl for myself. It's the Zuzu's Petals cowl.
I used Karin's Periwinkle Sheep worsted weight merino in the color "Shields of Garnet". It is a beautifully rich tonal red and looks pretty close to this photo below.
This past weekend Poppop and I helped Moose celebrate his sixth birthday. We played Laser Tag and some light games at Wonderland Castle in Pennsylvania, not far from where he lives. Moose and his brother raced all over the place.
Leo didn't care that he didn't put tokens into the games. He enjoyed "driving" anyway!
Moose loved his blue hedgehog I made for him and is looking forward to his trip to Fort Ticonderoga this summer to learn more about the American Revolution.
Sunday, between church and lunch, we had a few minutes to play at the playground. Can you tell by the expression on Leo's face that he was having the time of his life?
You could hear the giggles miles away!
We continued Moose's birthday celebration with lunch at Nifty Fifties in his neighborhood. If you look closely you'll notice that Leo is holding his "drumsticks" correctly to play a cool rhythm.
Mom and Dad tried to get Moose to smile but he's at that age when crazy faces are more fun.
The food here was delicious...crispy fries, tasty burgers, and the best shakes around. But the best part was getting to spend more time with my babies.
One more funny face before we have to go back home.
It was a busy weekend filled with giggles and hugs and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This is your brain on knitting

I came across an article the other day that explained your brain on crafts. It said that when your mid brain is engaged by repetitive movements involved in many crafts such as knitting, the temporal lobe is unable to focus on worry or stress. It further explains that studies have proven crafting can decrease heart rate and blood pressure, improve sleep, (I don't know about that one. Many a night I have stayed awake thinking about what yarn to use for a particular pattern.) help with problem solving, depression and other health issues. So knitting is a good thing, as Martha would say!
Last Thursday at knit night my friend Cathy was showing us a collection of fingerless mitts she made to keep in a collection for emergency Christmas gifts. Her Cafe au Lait mitts called out to me and made me knit them! I used Karin's Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors II sock yarn in Audrey Hepburn red. The lattice pattern is very easy to knit and I whipped these up in two days. The original pattern called for DK weight yarn but I used fingering weight so I adjusted the pattern accordingly. I love the way they turned out and will be wearing them with my Catkin Shawl.
I started a few things this week. I think "Startitis" has struck again. I can't stand to work on only one project at a time!
This is the Aspen cowl free on Ravelry using Manos del Uraguay yarn. It's a very soft merino.
I have a friend who loves purple so I designed this scarf for her and already have about 8 to 10 inches knitted. The yarn is Valley Yarns Charlemont, a merino, mulberry silk and nylon blend. Sooo soft!
I had a skein in worsted weight that has been calling my name for weeks now and I finally weakened enough to start a Zuzu's Petals cowl for myself. The yarn is another Periwinkle Sheep called Shields of Garnet red.
Last week you saw the beginnings of Carole's kitty. Well, here is Sammy! Isn't he adorable?! Carole named him after a co-worker's son because the light brown was the color of his hair when he was four years old and his smile reminded her of his namesake. He's so cute!
Next up is Miffy the bunny. Carole has her head knitted already and she's looking real cute.
Beth finished the body of her doll and by the end of the evening she had hair. Next week she'll probably be fully dressed with a face and then Beth will name her. Don't you just love her little Mary Jane shoes?
Beth brought in Myrna the Monkey. She's a sock monkey of many colors! We laughed and joked about her "healthy" biceps. 
We are loving making all these animals!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Critters Everywhere!

Did I tell you the recipients of our new knitting project? There is an organization in East Greenbush, New York called The Bus Stop Club. They support the siblings of seriously ill children. Sometimes the healthy kids in a family might be feeling a little neglected if all the energies of that family are being focused on helping the sick child get healthy again. The Bus Stop Club has get togethers and support programs to help allay those feelings.
So we Chicks are bringing some new friends to share with the Bus Stop Club. "Harley" the Hog, hedgehog that is, was a free pattern on Ravelry. His back is all curlicues. And he is a bit mischievous.
You never know where he will hide!
His cousin, Henrietta Hedgehog, isn't sure if she is a hedgehog or an armadillo. You tell me.
There are some older children being helped by this organization too. Since they might not be impressed by stuffed animals (Shhh! Don't tell them I said that! They think they're real!) we'll be sneaking in some more practical items too. 
Kathleen brought a whole barnyard of friends with her this week. 
And in addition to the critters she made a lovely soft hat....
this beautiful shell stitch scarf and...
this pretty pink scarf.
Since Kathleen doesn't enjoy knitting in the round with double pointed needles, she has decided to concentrate her efforts on scarves, hats, and shawls while the rest of us juggle the DP's. 
Barbara took notes to make a kitty and sitting right beside her is another of her lovely hats.
Carole started one of the plump kittens last night and by the end of the evening...
she was almost finished. She'll have him stuffed and he'll have a face by next week I'm sure.
Dorah worked on a stegosaurus tonight which will look like this. It was hard to see what he'll look like because it was in pieces and all curled up. Come back next week to see her progress.
I had a vision of what I wanted a sheep to look like so I started knitting bobbles and eventually he looked like this.
Now I have a dilemma. I finished this chubby guy last night but I'm not sure what to call him. Should he be "Sheldon the Sheep" or "Baaaaahhh-ry"?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Delivery Day

Beth and I delivered our hand knitted goodies to the LaSalle School for Boys in Albany today.
Ed McNamara, on our left, and Bill Wolff, on our right, were very grateful and so full of compliments for our handiwork. It's a good feeling to know we are helping in some small way.
This evening it was just Carole, Beth and me and Carole finished that sweet little sweater you've been seeing the last couple of weeks. That's one lucky little baby girl who will be wearing this soft, warm sign of love.
 Our next recipient is the Bus Stop Club which supports the siblings of sick children. We decided they might need cheering up so we're making toys.
Carole's next project is the beginning of a toy kitty.
And here are our first three! I worked over the weekend and created these little guys. The one on the far left is "Peaches" named after my ginger cat I had when I was a teenager. "Big Jake" in the center has a big pompom tail and loves to be hugged. On the right is "Charlie" the pure bred calico. I know what you're thinking...she's lost it! Well, maybe, but I'm having fun making these little guys and giving them a name and back story.
Beth started a little doll tonight. This is her head. She'll be wearing a cute little jumper and Mary Jane Shoes. I can't wait to see her finished.
And at the rate Beth is knitting, that shouldn't be too far off. She finished the head by the end of the evening and had it stuffed already. I think we're going to have a ton of fun knitting these toys.
I want to thank my Chicks for making this another successful delivery day. As I have said many times before, I couldn't do this without you ladies. God bless you all!