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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last day on the deck

               This was our last week for knitting outside. As you can see I had to bring all my plants indoors because the nights have already been down to 55 degrees. And I had to make hot tea for everyone to sip to stay warm on this chilly, cloudy afternoon. We all sported sweaters to ward off the chill. Pretty soon I'll have the fireplace going!         
We start today's show and tell with Cinzia's scarf called ZickZack Scarf. The original pattern calls for fingering weight yarn but as long as you adjust the size of the needle appropriate for the weight of the yarn you can make the change. Cinzia needed to try 3 different needle sizes until she found one that would give her a drapey fabric with her worsted weight yarn. Too small a needle will make the fabric stiff and dense and for a scarf you need the fabric to wrap comfortably around the neck. This size seems just right.
Liz asked Cinzia if she would like to crochet an edge on a baby sweater she knitted last year. Try as she might, Liz didn't like the end result of picking up stitches for the button band and having a smooth edge. I have the same problem sometimes so when I see a pattern that says to pick up stitches for a band I usually try to slip the first stitch of the row so the edge has a chain stitch look. Then I can pick up a stitch for every corresponding stitch and the end result is usually smoother.
Liz finished another cowl and put the finishing touches on it this afternoon.
Barbara started a hat and has lots of brown yarn so she'll be adding a scarf or mittens to make it a set.
Beth finished an Argyle Christmas stocking. It's a gift for someone special. I was baffled at the construction because she said she knitted it flat and seamed it at the end. I thought argyle had to be knitted in the round but when Beth explained that she knitted it in the Intarsia style then it started to make sense. It turned out beautifully! She has one more to make for her other someone special which she said she'll knit in opposite coloring on the heel and toe.
Maureen is still working on the never ending Mistake Stitch scarf. Hang in there Maureen!
Beth brought us all a recipe to use up our fall apples and Carole was adding some last minute notes to her copy here. I missed taking a picture of her current project. Next week we'll probably see the finished product.
A couple of days ago I started the Totally Biased cowl. It's one of my favorite quick knits using a bulky weight yarn. This time however, I used two yarns twisted together which equaled a bulky weight.
By the end of the evening it was finished. The cowl starts with a provisional cast on and then the live stitches from both ends are grafted together.
It is truly an infinity scarf. You can't find where it was grafted together.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sitting outside on a beautiful day

Hallelujah! We sat on the deck yesterday! The Chicks and I were trying to recall when the last time was that we sat outside to knit and I think it was the day the TV news reporter came to interview us for a spot on her show. That was in either June or July. We have had so much heat and humidity that it was more comfortable to sit inside with the AC.
 Even though Kathleen couldn't be with us, she sent in some finished sets with Liz. They are related through marriage. Kathleen's son is married to Liz's daughter so they get to see each other often. Thank you Kathleen for sending in your knitting. We love you and miss you!
 The Wham Bam Thank You Lamb cowl was a quickie Liz knitted up using a bulky weight wool. It's a free pattern on Ravelry.
 She liked it so much she decided to cast on for another one right away with the second skein of that pretty blue wool from Crystal Palace.
 It took me about two and a half weeks to knit my Mistake Stitch Scarf but I finally finished it. I used Paton's Classic Wool so it will be nice and warm. The skein has 200 yards and I used 2 skeins until there was no yarn left. It made a nice looooong scarf.
 Elaine is almost finished with her cowl for which she used a boucle tweed. Pretty yarn with a bit of sparkle.
 Even though my hat looks like it has a way to go, I finished it this morning and added it to the inventory. I used Paton's Classic Wool for this too.
 The evening group was so happy to be outside too! I don't think that we sat outdoors at all this year. Last night was a lovely, cool evening with no humidity. But we could feel a touch of fall in the air.
 Carole showed us her finished hat and...
 Lovely cowl. This is a free pattern from the great Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and it goes like this:
Cast on a multiple of 4 plus 2. 
Row 1: K2, Ktbl, P1
Repeat for every row for as long as you desire.
(Ktbl= knit through the back loop)
 Beth finished the thumbs on her mittens to add to the inventory. Shhhh...don't tell anyone but she accidentally used two different sized needles. You can't even tell, but we all had a good laugh over it and our own mistakes that we've all made.
 Now she has cast on for a cowl that is knit in the round on 95 stitches, K3, P3 for as deep as you like and then bind off. There is no need to put a marker at the beginning of the round as it changes with each round. When finished it has a lovely spiral design.
 Maureen was asking how much longer does her Mistake Stitch Scarf need to be. Our collective answer was "For as long as you have the patience to knit!" I have a feeling she's binding off as we speak. 
 I started a ZickZack Scarf with two colors that really don't look like they should go together but all the others I've seen knitted up have crazy combos too so we'll see how it goes.
And to show you the progress I've made on the Sock Blanket for my son, my husband is a bit over 6 feet tall and there are 484 squares so far and I still have at least a third more to knit. At 30 minutes per square, I've been knitting on this for 242 hours so far. When the blocks are finished I still have to knit an I-cord all around the edge.
I better stop talking and get back to knitting!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Too hot for words

We had a slow start to our knitting day. I think it's because we are having a heat wave and the temps were in the 90's with very high humidity today. Summer is officially over now that Labor Day has come and gone but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. She didn't cooperate with us much this year. We had very little opportunity to knit on the outdoor deck this year. We decided it was much more comfortable to stay indoors with the A/C.
 Liz and Elaine were checking out patterns on the iPad. Elaine found a nice seed stitch cowl pattern to use up a variegated white with blue accent boucle yarn. The yarn has a heavy texture and with the seed stitch it's looking very nice.
 Elaine finished her tweed scarf and we added it to the inventory.
 Liz added fringe to her Palindrome scarf this afternoon. She took it home with her to tidy up the ends and next week it will go into inventory with....
 this hat that she made this past week. This is the same green yarn as the Palindrome scarf but it looks different because of the lighting conditions when I took the photo.
Liz also added a sweet bias knit mohair scarf.
 I'm still plugging away at my Mistake Stitch man's scarf. I started the second skein of yarn today so maybe another week or so and I will have it finished.
 Carole is working on a lovely hat with this pretty variegated yarn. The variety of colors will make it versatile for any wardrobe.
 Dorah chose this Manos del Uraguay yarn to start a Mistake Stitch scarf too.
 It's a great stitch for warmth since it creates a cushy, thermal fabric when knitted.
 Here is Dorah's Noro Stripe scarf all done and ready for the inventory.
 The pink yarn changes color every so slightly throughout the scarf to give it a nice shading. It almost looks like two different scarves depending on which side you see.
If you wondered where Kathleen has been these last few months, she is on sick leave. She could really use your prayers. We miss her terribly and wish her well. God bless you Kathleen!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Yesterday our father was laid to rest in a beautiful ceremony at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, New York. It is a beautiful cemetery and the service touched our hearts. The 21 gun salute and playing of TAPS brought tears to everyone's eyes. I heard more than a few sniffles when I was presented the American Flag in honor of my Dad.
 We decided to donate Dad's flag to the cemetery to adorn the Avenue of Flags. We think he would have liked this gesture. I am overwhelmed with the passing of my Dad but I'm glad we were able to give him such an honorable send off.  We will keep the three spent shell casings, one from each of the three volleys, which represent Duty, Honor, Country. I think my Dad knows how proud we are of him.
 This week with the Chicks was nothing but scarves on needles. My Mistake Stitch scarf is getting a bit longer. It would be much longer if I didn't spend so much time working on other projects too. I guess I don't have much of an attention span. 
 Elaine's tweed scarf is growing steadily in spite of what she thinks. I think gremlins come in at night and rip out our progress while we sleep. They seem to take forever to grow!
 Liz's Palindrome finally gave her enough grief and she bound off the stitches. Next step, maybe some fringe.
 Now she is casting on for a hat.
 Liz slipped in a finished cowl when no one was looking.
 We haven't seen Cinzia's Reversible Stripes scarf in a while. She was bored with it so it sat in the bottom of her knitting basket until she felt inspired to pick it up again. None of us has ever done anything like that, have we? She said sarcastically!!!
 And Dorah added a lot of length to her Noro Striped scarf. The colors are a nice compliment to each other and the scarf is gender neutral.
 As is Maureen's Mistake Stitch scarf. We've been trying to concentrate on items that men can use too. It's easy to find interesting patterns to knit for a woman or child but men's items can sometimes as much fun to knit. Sorry guys!
 Elena started this crocheted scarf just tonight and look how long it is already! Nice bright colors too.
 Carole is knitting a pattern that she found on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog. You must cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 then knit the following pattern for every row until your desired length:
K2, K one stitch through the back loop, P1. Bind off when you're satisfied with the length and add fringe if you like.
 Sofia finished her boot cuff and....
 started the second one tonight. She's been using a chopstick for a cable needle. Necessity is the mother of invention after all!