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

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Chicks celebrate 8 years!

Today we Chicks celebrated 8 years of knitting together. I can't believe we've been knitting together that long! I tallied up an approximate total of items we knitted and donated and I've counted over 1,600 items. Since I count pairs of socks or mittens as one, you can be sure it's well over.
 We started the festivities with a pot luck dinner of deliciousness!
There were crackers and hummus, little meat rollups with cream cheese and horseradish, a tossed salad with crispy fresh vegies, Moroccan chicken, and quinoa about which there was much discussion on how to pronounce "keen-wah". Ha!
 We knew the food was good because there was lots of chewing and not much talking until we were done.
 Then came the desserts. There was a delicious lemon cake, raspberry bars, and a pretty fruit tart. Don't tell anyone but I think we all had a bit of each!
 I look forward to these dinners every year to give my Chicks a big hug and thank them for their hard work and dedication all year long. These wonderful ladies are a blessing in my life and I'm grateful to call them my friends.
Seated, left to right: Maureen, Liz, and Kathleen
Standing, left to right: Jody (me), Beth, Dorah, Carole
(Barbara couldn't make it tonight)
We had a good time talking and laughing and planning for next year's donations. 
Thank you again Chicks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

FO's Galore!

The Chicks have a bunch of FO's (that's finished objects to the non-knitters out there) to show you this week. We start off with a reversible hat from Beth. On the one side it has smooth furrows of knitting. But when you flip it inside out....
 you can see the ridges that were invisible on the other side. This makes a good hat for man or woman.
This little hat is for Beth's grand nephew. She designed it herself after searching on the internet and in knitting books for a "boy" motif to knit into the hat. 
 And remember way back, I think it might have been in June? Beth showed us her finished Monkey Blanket. Well, now it is really finished.
 She used a quilting technique of pinning the backing in a grid pattern all over her knitting so she could sew a fleece backing to the blanket. It was warm before because of the beautiful wool she used, but now it's sure to be extra toasty with all that fluffy, soft fleece!
 I knitted a cowl last week from a free Ravelry pattern called New Bittersweet Cowl. Here it is being blocked.
 I love how blocking a finished knit brings out the best in the pattern.
 This cowl is long enough to wear doubled around your neck.
 We are all starting new projects for our homeless female veterans in the area. Liz was checking out her pattern for another striped scarf. 
And Kathleen started a pretty blue scarf.
Barbara's hat is growing quickly. It will probably be finished soon.
Carole started another hat too.
All the evening ladies are working on hats! That pattern on the table is the one Dorah will be making.
I'm the only odd one out. I started the Amsterdam Lace Scarf, another free Ravelry pattern. I'm using a discontiued yarn from Periwinkle Sheep called Terra Cotta.
And one last but not least FO from Dorah. She finished her cowl. It started out as a scarf but after many weeks of knitting and knitting and not feeling like she was making progress, we all agreed that the width would make a perfect cowl. And so a new project was born! The colors are very cheery and the fiber is so soft.
Next week we Chicks will gather to celebrate our 8 years together. I can't wait. Tune in again to see some pics of our celebration.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another donation ready to go

This week we wrapped up our current project to the Capital City Rescue Mission store called Blessingdale's. It is located in the heart of Albany, New York and serves many of the poor and homeless of the area.
There were many labels attached and items organized by both the afternoon and evening ladies.
 In addition to our logo label, we attach labels with washing instructions and a prayer.
 Our collection included 9 baby and toddler sweaters, an adult size vest,
 15 scarves,
 8 cowls, 9 hats, 4 pairs of mittens, 2 sets of matching hat and scarf, 8 sets of matching hat and mittens, 7 pairs of slippers, and 1 shawlette for a grand total of 64 (really more if you count pairs separately).
 Do you remember the two yarns Liz brought home last week? Here is the result of blending those two beautiful colors! A perfect marriage of two yarns!
 Kathleen started another ribbed hat too. These will go into inventory for our repeat donation to the Homeless Female Veterans. We first donated to the Guardian House in the late fall of 2011 and we all agreed it would be a good idea to honor these brave women again.
 Maureen and Dorah finished up labeling the items we didn't get to in the afternoon.
 And finally, after almost a year of work, I finished a sweater for my son. Ordinarily it wouldn't take me that long to make a sweater, but Andrew wasn't always a cooperative subject. I wanted to be sure the finished sweater would be to his liking and so it required many try on sessions for which he wasn't always available. Then this summer I spent most of my days praying for healing from a serious back injury which left me unable to knit. But HALLELUJAH! The sweater is complete and it fits!
More importantly, he loves it! I posted a photo on Facebook when I finished it and was surprised at all the "likes" I got from HIS friends! I just hope no one asks me to make another, LOL!
I used this pattern even though it looks nothing like the original. I tapered the body to fit Drew's European physique and instead of garter stitch sleeve and body edging, I knitted 2X2 ribbing. When it came time to knit the hoodie Drew came up with the idea of leaving it off and making a laced front. I liked those ideas and ran with them and I'm very pleased with the result. I might even make one for myself someday....just not too soon. That's a lot of stockinette!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A few free patterns this week

The afternoon Chicks started new projects this week. 
 But first let me show you their finished items. Barbara brought us the matching hat and scarf and pink scarf.
 Kathleen made another cute child's cardigan from her favorite pattern. She used Encore Tweed from Plymouth Yarns.
 Her hat and matching mittens were made using an unknown yarn which was donated to her from our local seniors group.
 Liz picked out two yarns to make a Noro striped scarf but not using Noro yarns. You can use any weight yarn for this free pattern as long as you use the appropriate size needle.
 Kathleen's next project is a Mistake Stitch Scarf. If you use a worsted weight yarn, a good size needle would be a size 8. Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 1 extra, for example:
 Cast on 39 stitches.
K2, p2, repeat to last 3 stitches, k2, p1.
Repeat this row. That's it!
Sew in ends, wash gently by hand, block and let air dry.

 Barbara started another hat.
 The evening group started with Beth showing us the lovely bamboo and cotton scarf/shawlette she made for herself for those cool summer evenings or when she needs a little something in the A/C. The pattern is Pleiades which can be purchased at .
 Carole worked on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's One Row Scarf, a free pattern for Ravelry members. This will be a good scarf for either a man or woman.
 And Beth started a hat.
 I know this is the cowl that Carole finished...
 but I think I zoned out a second so I'm not sure if she made this cowl too. I think she did.
 Finally, I'm almost finished with a Baby Surprise Jacket. Yes this will be a cardigan. That Elizabeth Zimmermann was a genius! How can this amoeba looking thing become a sweater?
 Clever folding, that how! I have to finish the I-cord edging, sew the shoulder seams, lengthen the sleeves a few rows to add on solid green cuffs, and then add a collar and it will be done. I'm thinking of using a zipper to close this one instead of buttons. It will look more like a little coat.
Well, I have to go knit a few more rows so I can get this sweater finished in time for delivery. Next week we label everything. Have a good week!