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

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Listen to your inner voice!

Have you ever started a project without a pattern and right from the start you knew something just wasn't quite right? I planned on making a man's scarf using a Cascade 220 denim colored wool and wanted a reversible, warm stitch that had some interest to it. I finally decided on a Brioche stitch and cast on what I thought was a reasonable number of stitches. Too narrow! Ok! Start again! Knit a few inches...too wide! Alrighty then! Start one more time with fewer stitches. I knit happily along for 6 inches or so, all the while thinking to myself that maybe this is still a little bit too wide. Nah! It's for a man! Men need manly sized scarves! Against my better judgement I knitted blithely along to a good 12 or 13 inches long and looked back, admiringly at my work to see a blip in a row a couple of inches back. Hmmm.... I'll just tink back and fix it. NOT! Well, I did tink back without a problem but after knitting back to my original length there was now a HUGE blip across the whole row! It was the Knitting Goddesses telling me to forget this project and make something else with this yarn. So the whole week's worth of knitting was frogged and I cast on for a Mistake Stitch Scarf. When am I going to learn to listen to my inner voice?!!!

This week Carole put the finishing touches on her Bridger Cowl. The last few rows were finished before evening's end and now it just needs a gentle blocking.
 Carole and I both bookmarked the same cowl for another project and since I was feeling bored with my current projects and was itching with startitis, we both cast on for this Olivia Cowl, a freebie on
 This cowl starts with provisional cast on. Carole's favorite method casts the stitches directly on to your knitting needle. I have mastered the first two methods in this video and find that by casting the stitches directly on to an extra circular needle, I can graft the stitches at the end of the project without then having to stop to pick up the stitches from the crochet chain.
No, we are not having a race! LOL! But this is how much knitting Carole and I accomplished last night. The top cowl in green is Carole's and the bottom one is mine. You can see the two different methods of provisional cast on we used.
 I worked a bit last night after Carole left and a bit more this morning. I think I'm really going to like this cowl!
 Now I need to go back to my fingering weight reversible stripes scarf and finish it off before...
startitis strikes again!
And a quick look at my two favorite little boys who came to visit me this weekend. We took Moose and Leo to the MiSci Museum in Schenectady, NY for their temporary exhibit on butterflies. I have an unnatural fear of butterflies which stems from a childhood nightmare but I mustered up my courage and accompanied them to the museum. Much to my delight, neither of the boys wanted to see the butterflies but did offer to stop for a cute photo op.
I'll take these butterflies anytime!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Everything is white outside but inside....

 I love these frigid cold days when the sun shines so brightly that it casts sharp shadows of the bare trees against the pure white snow-covered hills. I love to wrap myself in my hand knitted scarves and hats and venture out to see the beauty in the cold.
But I know not everyone shares my sentiments. This is for all my friends who are sick of winter. My orchids brighten the inside just as the sun brightens the outside.

I hope this helped to brighten your day.
Carole and I had a few finished pieces to show you this week. I completed the fingering weight scarf with the keyhole. It is knitted with The Great Adirondack Yarn Company (the multi-colored) sock weight yarn and my friend's hand dyed yarn, Periwinkle Sheep- Mallards by the Boathouse (the dark green). The pattern is my own.
I was inspired by two different patterns to make this ear warmer. I adapted a headband pattern and then googled a crochet flower tutorial on YouTube for the adornment. It's a great way to use up those leftover balls of yarn in your stash.
My linen stitch cowl is finished too. I knitted this flat with I-cord edges and then grafted the live ends together to make it seamless. I have some of this yarn left so I'm going to have to find a solid yarn to work with it to make another scarf.
Here is my go-to pattern for a very quick knit. It's called Totally Biased and it's free on It calls for a bulky weight yarn and I think looks great if the colors are variegated. This is also knitted flat and grafted together to make it seamless. This was such a quick knit that I finished it in two days of knitting.
Carole's headband-ear warmer looks so warm and cozy! Her stitch definition is beautiful and really shows off that big cable nicely. Turban'd is a free pattern on too. It doesn't take a lot of yarn so here is another use for those leftover bits of yarn that you don't know what to make.
Her next project is this lovely cowl called The Bridger Cowl, another free pattern.
The front has a pointy bandana style contour.
You can see it better from the back. I can't wait to try this one too.
But first I have to finish this Reversible Stripes Scarf, using the leftover yarn from the keyhole scarf I showed you earlier in this post.
Whether you are snowed under or enjoying warm weather, I hope my orchids helped to lift your spirits. I'm going to sneak out for another brisk walk before I settle down to finish this scarf.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ripples and Ridges and Ribbing , Oh My!

The afternoon Chicks, Barbara, Kathleen, and me, were the only knitters today. Our evening group was otherwise occupied. But I'm sure wherever they were they were knitting, right ladies? LOL!

When Barbara started her work this afternoon she was almost done with a dorm slipper.
 By closing time she was finished and only had to seam the bottom sole and up the back. She used a sturdy acrylic yarn which will withstand lots of machine washing.
 This hat matches the scarf Kathleen brought in last week, you know, the pretty lacy scarf. The doubled brim will keep ears nice and warm.
Kathleen also brought in a finished cowl she made using a bulky yarn from Tahki Yarns. It's a lovely tweed.  
 I finished a scarf this week called Chinook. It used to be a free pattern on Ravelry but now is a purchase. I used Aslan Trends Invernal yarn. It's an angora and merino blend with a touch of nylon. Verrrry soft! Also very fluffy. You can tell by my red itchy eyes!
 After searching through my stitch pattern books I found a ripple stitch I liked to make a scarf using some stash yarn. I started it with the colorful yarn on the right, The Great Adirondack Yarn Company sock yarn. After a few inches I realized you couldn't really see the ripples so I knew I needed a contrasting yarn to highlight the pattern. Back into the stash I dove and pulled out the perfect Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors II sock yarn called Mallards by the Boathouse. I think it's a perfect blend of colors.
I love it when an idea works!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Catching up

It's been a few weeks since the afternoon Chicks have knitted together so we have a bunch of warm woolies from Kathleen. That's the Baby Sophisticate Sweater top and center, a free pattern on Ravelry. 
 Kathleen used a Noro yarn for this Crocodile Stitch crocheted cowl. The Noro yarns have long, slow color changes which make it a perfect yarn for this type of stitch. There is no need to change yarn colors since the yarn does it for you.
 This seed stitch cowl was made with Baby Alpaca Grande yarn. It feels like a cloud.
 This yarn is a variegated pastel, so pretty.
And my favorite lace stitch, fern lace. It's only four rows to the pattern and easy to memorize.
 Barbara whipped up a warm hat using a 2X2 ribbing. Having that nice wide, folded brim makes it especially warm over the ears.
 Another Fern Lace project is this 100% cashmere cowl I made for a friend. It was knitted flat on a provisional cast on with I-cord edges and then kitchener stitched together to make it an infinity ring.
 Carol's Turban(d) headband is almost finished. This photo was taken early in the evening. By the time we were calling it a day she was almost finished and ready to kitchener the ends to make a seamless headband. I like this so much I just might make one too. It's a great stash buster project since it doesn't require much yarn.
 Dorah just had to weave in the loose ends on her Honeycomb Cowl. This quick knit is deceptively easy, using slipped stitches to achieve the honeycomb technique.
 Dorah's next project is a ribbed watchcap...
 in a nice heathered rose color.
 Carole showed us her next project too. Look at those great cables!
 She is making this one for her daughter in a nice navy blue.
 I found this "Socks That Rock" yarn in our stash and thought a linen stitch would help break up color pooling. 
This is going to be a long infinity scarf, started on a provisional cast on, with I-cord edging, and kitchener stitch finish to make it seamless. 
I love these colors! And since we are in the middle of yet another major snowstorm, it's a day brightener to work with such cheerful colors. 
What are you knitting to cheer up your winter blues?