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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Knitting and Tinking

I told you Kathleen would have the hat to match the sweater ready this week! Plus she had enough yarn and time to make another hat. And she thinks there is still enough yarn left to make another hat!!! God bless you Kathleen. You are amazing!

 Oh, and Kathleen made this hat too. She was testing the size on Cinzia. We were trying to figure out why she gets gauge perfectly but the hat turns out a bit poufy, even though that's not the way it looks in the photograph. After much discussion, Kathleen decided to rip back to the last set of design stitches and begin the decreases sooner making less volume in the crown portion.
 Elaine's hat is finished and...

 she started the Present Cowl using Cascade 220 worsted weight yarn in a nice heathered blue color. Barbara started a Cabin Fever Buttons Cardigan for a child. She is using Cascade 220 in a soft powder blue. The Present Cowl is a free pattern on Ravelry and the Cabin Fever Cardigan is a purchased pattern.

Cinzia's scarf is taking shape but that boucle yarn is taking it's toll on her fingers. On to Plan B. Instead of carrying the boucle all the way through to the other end, she has decided to make two zigs and two zags on one end and then knit plain blue to the other end and repeat the zig zags again. This way she will be assured of having enough boucle to finish the pattern too.

 Maureen is making a last minute Christmas gift for her husband, a pair of warm slipper socks.
And Carole made pretty headband/earwarmers for her daughters. This one is a continuous band to slip on but...
 this one will have a button hole on one end so you don't have to mess your hair when you put it on.
Remember last week I showed you Carole's dilemma with a misplaced stitch? Well, this week she decided that she needed to tink back to the mistake and correct it. It was just driving her batty to see it sticking out and mocking her. I can't blame her. I probably would have done the same.
But she did have a finished cowl to add to our inventory. This was our friend Karin's pattern.
I have 15 more blocks to knit on a sock blanket that I'm making for my son for Christmas and then I have to knit the I-cord ALL AROUND THE EDGES! Wish me luck. It might be days before I come up for air again!
In the meantime, let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hey! He's not a Chick!

My husband has been retired since July and try as I might, he won't let me teach him to knit. I know he would find it fascinating because he has a very mathematical brain so I think he would enjoy that aspect of knitting. We keep telling him that if he wants to sit with us he has to knit! LOL!
 Our show and tell today starts with Cinzia's Reversible Stripes Scarf which is a free pattern on Ravelry. She's been working on this for quite some time because, like me, she has certain projects that she knits only when she is waiting for something like appointments or sporting events. Well, it's finally finished so now she'll have to find another "Waiting" project.
 She also added a cheerfully bright ribbed cap.
Now Cinzia is working on a Wingspan for our next collection. The colors of this yarn are really pretty and they change throughout the knitting. I can't wait to see what color comes up next.
Kathleen has been working on all these mittens during her summer hiatus and now...
 She has also added these warm fuzzy slippers...
 a lovely brioche stitch scarf and ribbed hat...
 two more hats and...
 her favorite cardigan sweater. There was enough yarn left to make a matching hat. You'll see that finished next week I'm sure.
 Add to Kathleen's collection two more cowls. These are both made using the brioche stitch. This is a single wrap and...
 this is long enough to wrap twice around the neck.
 Carole was faced with a dilemma tonight. She didn't discover until she was well past the place where she accidentally left the dark yarn in front when it was carried up to the next row. Her question to us was what should she do. My first thought was "Oh no! Don't frog it!" The wheels started turning to come up with an easy fix that wouldn't show. My thought was to duplicate stitch the lighter colored yarn over the dark strand to see if it can be camouflaged. Carole said she would think about it. But if she's like me she will probably rip it back and re-knit it.
 Now she is working on a personal project for herself. It's called Rectangly. It is a double knitted hat which means two colors knitted at the same time to produce a dark on light pattern on one side and a light on dark reversed image on the other. I can't wait to see her progress.
 Maureen took some time to work on a Christmas gift for someone in her family. Cute slippers!
 I didn't have the heart to bore you with yet another picture of my orange and green chevron striped scarf so here is another shot of the Hitchhiker scarf instead. I've made some progress, believe it or not. This time of year my donation knitting falls short of my usual progress in favor of Christmas knitting. Even so I don't think I'm going to make my deadline.
 And here's Dorah with her lovely Mistake Stitch Scarf...still! LOL!
My Christmas knitting awaits! Off I go!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

For my readers who would like to help

I've been receiving comments and emails from readers expressing their desire to help with the yarn bombing project. I would like to answer each of you personally but when a comment is left on the page there is no way for me to answer you directly unless you leave me your email address, which I suggest you don't do in a public forum. 
 The Chicks' yarn bombing project has been closed for this year as we are already knitting for our next recipient. It takes us a good three or four months of knitting time to prepare for our usual donations and since we spent about five and a half months on the yarn bombing, we have had to move on. However, if you want to help, many local yarn stores collect hats, scarves, and mittens at this time of year to distribute to the needy.
If you would like to help with next year's yarn bombing, keep watch for my announcement next spring about what to knit and where to send it. Or you could just leave your knitted items where you think someone in need will find it. Don't forget to attach a note of explanation so people will know it's free for the taking.
God bless you all for wanting to help.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Post yarn bombing, take a breath

Do you remember this from last week's yarn bombing? The Chicks and I wrapped various locations throughout downtown Albany with warm clothing for anyone who needed them to take something. This was how Lewis Swyer looked at 1PM on Tuesday afternoon last week.
 This was how he looked at 11:30 the next morning. Ten minutes after I arrived home after our distribution, my phone rang. It was a reporter from our local Time Warner television station who had heard about our project and she wanted to interview me about our work. You can see her wonderful report here:
Wednesday morning my email was filled with notes from three more stations and a radio station out of Utica who also wanted to do stories on the Chicks. 
I was honored to have so much attention showered on my Chicks and hope the press coverage will inspire others to give of their time and talents.
 Now I can slow down and get back to my normal routine. Cinzia and Elaine joined me this afternoon. Cinzia saw a demonstration of this stitch on the Create Channel show 
Knit and Crochet Now. She was inspired to make this lovely scarf.
 Next week she is going to hunt through the stash to find more yarn to start another. The stitch is called The Indian Cross Stitch or Cross 6.
 Elaine started the decreasing portion of her hat and then...
 worked on a slipper sock for her granddaughter. She is using two strands of yarn, a great stash busting project when you need bulky weight yarn but don't have any.
 Yes, I'm still working on this scarf. It's getting longer but there is still yarn in the skein to use up.
 Dorah has a sweater she's making for her daughter but reached a point where the instructions didn't make any sense. So together we figured it out and now...
 It's a sweater body with sleeves! This pattern is knitted in the round from the bottom up (as opposed to top down) so the construction is a little different. The sleeves have to be knitted up to the beginning of the armhole and then the live stitches from the sleeves are added to the needle with the live stitches of the body. Top down sweaters incorporate the sleeves along with the body. Both techniques are fascinating.
 Last week Beth told us about an audiobook she was listening to and so this week she read an excerpt from it. We all had a good laugh! 
 Carole's Honeycomb cowl is larger than last week. Maybe it will be done by next week. I love the colors!
 And this week Beth's hat does look like the photo on the pattern. Some patterns need a few inches knitted before they look like something. A thorough blocking will enhance the stitches.
 Maureen's hat is almost done too. Everyone is nearing the end of their projects.
Time to pick out new patterns!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yarn bombing all around town

Today was Yarn Bombing Day in Albany, New York. We Chicks have been preparing for this since June. We scattered 108 items in parks and bus stops around downtown. At Academy Park the late Lewis Swyer, a beloved philanthropist and business man, looked cold until we covered him in scarves and a hat. 
 Down on Broadway Barbara and I made sure the late Mayor Whelan and his faithful Golden Retriever were properly garbed against the cold and wind.
 That ought to keep them toasty warm!
 The globe behind the Mayor was a great place to hang scarves.
 Carole scouted out some good spots to leave our warm woolies.
 She made sure they were securely attached so they wouldn't blow away.
 Passersby checked us out as we tied our goods to the benches but were reluctant to see what we were doing. That's okay, they can take what they need after we leave.
Then they can see the tags which read, "I am not lost. If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm and remind you that someone cares."

 The tree in the little park on North Pearl Street was a perfect place to hang the mittens. Can you see them behind Barbara and me?
 It was a wonderful experience and the glow stayed with us even in the cold.
Back home, Cinzia brought us the hat she started last week. The boucle yarn worked out beautifully for the brim.
Her daughter, Sophia, finished a pair of boot toppers with pretty cables.
Beth worked on Christmas stocking stuffers. She made teeny weeny mittens and stockings.
The patterns were from her book from which she gets her ideas for her beautiful Christmas stockings.
Here are some of the collection. Aren't they precious?!
Maureen better knit quickly. Soon it will be tax prep season and we will not see her for the first quarter of the year. That's the life of an accountant!
And Dorah is still working on her scarf. I told you they take forever! She commented tonight that her next project is going to be a small hat. LOL!
Well, it's been a busy day and this is the third time I've written this post due to my computer having hiccups. So I'm going to turn in so I can start fresh in the morning on our next project.
I wish you all a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!