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

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Day Visit and Kicking Off the New Project

This weekend was filled with hugs and kisses from my two favorite little boys. Since it rained most of the time we didn't get to do much until the sun finally came out on Monday in time for the Memorial Day Parade. Moose learned how to honor our veterans and our flag.
Leo was a bit overwhelmed by the loud music but seemed to enjoy the rest of the parade.
I hated to let them go home. Now that Leo is starting to talk we have more fun than ever. 

The Chicks have some finished items for our next donation already.
I finished the ripple scarf and blocked it yesterday.
 It measures 8" X 60" which gives it a good two turns around the neck.
Kathleen started a pair of colorful child size mittens today. I think she has enough yarn to make a matching scarf too.
She finished the cardigan I showed you two weeks ago. She used a soft cotton yarn and searched through her button bin for just the right button.
The color is perfect!
To that she added two hats and matching mittens. There is another hat hiding under the green hat too.
Liz finished the top down pullover which turned out nice and soft.
Carole started a cowl with Cascade 220, a great superwashed wool yarn.
Maureen started a baby sweater worked seamlessly from the bottom up. The hem edge has a pretty loopy design.
So we are well on our way to filling the supply for The Capital City Rescue Mission.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Yarn Menagerie

Well, here they are! All 29 of the critters we've been knitting for the last three months. There is Baaahhh-ry front and center, and Miffy on the floor in her pretty orange dress. Sammy is hiding behind Baaahhh-ry and Big Jake is beside him. The Cinderella mice are on the left side of the sheep. I wonder what names the children will give them. We had a good time making our little critters and we'll be sending them off to their new homes with prayers of love attached.
In addition to all the animals, we also knitted cowls, headbands, scarves, hats, mittens, sweaters. In all, our grand total was 65 items. They will all be going to a sibling support group called
The Bus Stop Club in East Greenbush, New York.
Carole and Maureen helped attach labels...
And then everybody went into a bag. It looks like Big Jake is trying to escape!
Barbara finished her hat from last week and is planning on a mistake scarf too.
I made some progress on my ripple scarf. At least I had to start the second ball of yarn. It's slow going but then sometimes I'm too impatient with a project. When I look back to the date I started something I'm almost always amazed that it really didn't take as long to knit as I imagined it did.
Our upcoming project is for the Capital City Rescue Mission. We'll be making all sorts of warm winter clothing to be delivered at the beginning of September. Be prepared to see scarves and hats and sweaters when we should be thinking cool thoughts. But we want to be sure the clients have time to select what they need before the weather turns cold. 
We'll just have to drink lots of iced tea!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sometimes we get bored!

Barbara completed her mitten and hat set with a cheerful yellow yarn. These will be added to the collection for The Bus Stop Club along with the animals we've been making.
And now she is moving on to a warm winter man's hat in a deep, rich, forest green.
Here is Kathleen's finished cowl I showed you in progress last week.
She whipped one up in brown too.
Kathleen made this peachy sweater too. It's the same pattern Liz is working on in the mint green. She is still laboring over picking up those darn stitches for the button band. In the meantime, Kathleen started another peach cardigan, this time with a bright white button band. You can see it on the cushion beside the solid cardigan.
This looks like it will fit a toddler or preschooler. The yarn is very soft too.
Liz was not happy with this pattern. I'm sure she will not be knitting the button bands separately ever again!
Carole is almost finished with the cabled headband. Plymouth Encore yarn was a good choice for this one.
I finished the cowl from last week. It was supposed to be a poncho but I couldn't tolerate all those rows of garter stitch so luckily, it works beautifully as a cowl.
Last night Maureen, Carole, Dorah, and I were complaining  discussing how we all feel a sense of ennui with our knitting lately. Maybe because we are all knitting scarves which seem to take forever or maybe it's spring fever. I don't know about them, but I feel a serious case of startitis coming on! I guess I'll just have to put this ripple scarf aside while I follow doctor's orders and take the cure.
Since I finished the cowl, I started Sectores last night.
I like a high contrast color story and chose these two yarns for my scarf.
I started the second color section this afternoon.
This should stave off boredom for the time being. What do you do when you get bored with your knitting project?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Knitting and Passions

It was our first day on the deck today! There was a light breeze coaxing a soft tune from the wind chimes and the sun warmed us just enough. It was perfect for knitting!

Liz finished the body of a mint green baby cardigan and now she has to pick up stitches to knit the button bands. We discussed how much we dislike picking up stitches and ways to get around it. Next time Liz will add stitches to either side of the front of the sweater and knit them in garter stitch to add the button bands on while knitting the body of the sweater.
She is almost finished with a child's pullover top-down sweater too. It's the only way she and I will knit sweaters. We both hate to sew pieces together!
Kathleen finished her reversible striped scarf. She knows she had a misplaced stitch somewhere in there but even she can't find it anymore. I reminded her it's ok to leave it. Only God is perfect!
She whipped up a quick toddler's hat too. Using a self striping yarn turned out to be a good idea for this horizontally ribbed pattern. It was made using stockinette and reversed stockinette to make bubble-like ridges up the hat. Very cute!
Kathleen's next project is this cowl....
using two strands of worsted weight yarn to substitute for bulky weight.
Liz added two more kitties to the animal farm we have growing around here.
And Beth finished her "Don't call me Dumbo" elephant. She used Sirdar acrylic/nylon blend yarn so he's nice and cuddly.
Carole is almost finished with her baby sweater. This photo doesn't do justice to the pretty deep teal color of the yarn.
I don't remember what we were talking about but it made Beth flip her glasses!
I've adjusted my feelings for this poncho I'm knitting. Rather than get involved with days and days of endless rounds of garter stitch, I've decided to make this a dickie instead and then I can get on to knit something else too.
Dorah's Gaptastic cowl grows slowly but steadily each week.
I'm so happy to have knitting friends who are as passionate about two sticks and string as I am.

Speaking of passion, I was thinking about how truly blessed I have been in my lifetime to always have had a passion. As a child, like most little girls, my passion was all about dolls and playing. My mother fed that passion by making clothes for my Madame Alexander Doll, Ginny, and later for my Barbie. I could spend hours dressing and changing outfits for them according to "where they were going". As I made it into my teen years I had a passion for singing and dancing. I joined a choir when I was 10 and sang with choirs pretty much until about 2003. Now I sing in the shower mostly. When I was old enough to start thinking about a career, I knew I wanted to help people. After fives years of orthodonture and seeing the dentist's office almost weekly for part of that time, I decided to study to become an assistant and spent some years working in oral surgery, where I could see some immediate results from the care I offered to my patients. 

Then came marriage and children. My husband and children were and still are a great passion for me. I love having a family and now have Phil, Moose, and Leo to include in my passionate circle. But as life moves on I had to include new passions along with the old. When my children grew older and didn't need me around as much I decided to work part time outside the home and I turned an old hobby into a job. I worked for a local jewelry store for almost eight years. I specialized in repairing and restringing necklaces. At first I thought it was just a job, but when I saw the grandmas bringing in their treasured strands of pearls to be refreshed so they could pass them on to their daughters and granddaughters, I realized I was doing something important for them. It wasn't just a job. I was helping to hand down memories of a loved one. I felt honored to have been a part of the process. 

And now my passion guessed it! Knitting! I've always been crafty all my life with all sorts of handiwork...quilting, sewing, cross stitching, needlepoint, pottery throwing. You name it, I've probably tried it. But knitting has always stuck with me through thick and thin. And now I get to knit all the time and donate to those who might not have all that they need. I feel so blessed that God gave me the talents to create warm clothing from two sticks and some string and blessed to have had so many passions in my life. What is your passion?