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

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Joules the kitty get presents from Santa too.
She loves the toys I knit for her!
They are just the right size for attacking and carrying around the house.
In fact, that's how she lost her first toy I knitted for her. This one is a little fatter so maybe it won't fit under the furniture.
My hopes and prayers for peace and happiness to everyone...
Now and always! Sending love!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas is 5 days away!

Some of us are making the last ditch effort to finish Christmas gifts in time so we didn't all knit donation items today. Barbara found a yarn called "Team Spirit" and is making a scarf for a family member whose favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers (at least I think that's what she said. I'm not a big sports fan). We all thought it was a bumble bee! LOL! Anyway, the yarn comes in slow color changes so you don't have to tie and knot new colors. It just happens, like magic!
 Debbie pulled up her sleeves and readied herself to dive into her hat pattern.
 There was a bit of tinking and slipping stitches but she's back on track and working along.
 Cinzia finished a slouchy hat which was inspired by the Spiral Hat pattern. The yarn has some angora in it so it's really soft.
 Then she pulled out the mermaid tail she's crocheting for a friend's daughter, which has to be done before Christmas. 
 The whole body of the tail is crocheted in Crocodile Stitch. It uses a BOATLOAD of yarn! But it's going to be epic! I wish I could see the expression on the little girl's face when she sees this on Christmas morning.
 Yes, we were a busy bunch today.
Tonight's group was just as busy once we were finished looking at photos of Beth's new grandson. Oh what a cutie pie! And his cheeks!!! Kissably cute is an understatement!
Carole picked up on her Minty Bricks with a lovely variegated blue fingering weight yarn.
And Beth worked on a Hitchhiker with an older edition of Periwinkle Sheep Rhinebeck color.
Dorah finished the first mitten with another Periwinkle Sheep yarn.
I might have to buy this pattern after seeing....
how cozy Beth's shawlette is.
Last week I told you about the shawl I wanted to make for myself to wear to a Christmas Eve party. Well, I'm about 1/3 of the way through and not sure it will be done in time. It has to have time to block too so it might become next year's shawl. As the Chicks reminded me, it's not like I don't have others to wear! LOL!
Since my shawl requires rigid concentration, I put it aside to work on a Miss Winkle that I started in October. The mohair blend yarn has a nice halo and fuzziness that softens it.
Cinzia's daughters made each of us a Christmas star for our decorations using an origami technique. They are such talented girls. So on that note...
Let me wish you all a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
See you next year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Working with a deadline

Debbie knit like the wind today to finish the scarf to go with the set for the Adopt-a-family I mentioned last week. It's the second thing she has completed since she learned how to knit and she did a darn good job!
Here is the completed set for the little boy in the family that will go to the same family as last week's lilac set for the little girl. The hat is a 2X2 rib watchman's cap, the scarf is Mistake Stitch, and the mittens are from Claudia Krisinski. The yarn is Plymouth Encore so it is machine washable and dryable. Great for little kids.
Elaine worked on her Squarshy hat. And no, I did not misspell it. That's what the designer calls it. And be forewarned...she's a bit of a rebel with her description and language. I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of Cinzia's hat too. Time got away from me and I forgot until after she had left. I'll get one next week when I'm sure it will be finished.
Dorah didn't want to show her scarf again since it looks the same as last time only longer. LOL!
Carole's hat is to the point where she'll be decreasing for the crown now.
And Maureen started the kitties on her Fair Isle hat.
She has some intense chart following to read but she loves it.
This is not my work but a photo of what I'll be knitting between now and Christmas Eve. I went to my friend, Karin's studio open house on Saturday and couldn't resist buying a deep, royal, almost garnet/burgundy silk blend yarn. It took my breath away and I immediately pictured the shawl below. So naturally, being the kook that I am, I added undo stress on myself by thinking it would be perfect to wear to a Christmas Eve party!
Sooooo, gotta run! I got some knitting to do!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Getting into the holiday spirit

Just before the afternoon ladies arrived I made sure the tea was ready and the Christmas carols were playing quietly in the background.
 When they did arrive they hit the ground running! Debbie, Barbara, and Elaine are working on the project I mentioned last week, the Adopt-a-family program at my son's place of business. Barbara donated the red Plymouth Encore Worsted Weight yarn so Elaine could get started on the hat, of which she had knitted a good 3 or 4 inches by the time our knitting session was over. Debbie is new to knitting but in spite of that she also knitted a few inches on her Mistake Stitch scarf for the 9 year old boy. Barbara opted to wait until she got home to start the two-at-a-time, magic loop mittens. That takes a little concentration to get started and with all the chatting we do, there would have been too many distractions. And we had a visitor this week. My neighbor, newly retired Jan, came to brush up on her knitting skills. That's her on the far left.
I had the yarn for the little girl of the Adopt-a-family program and finished the Scallo-pie scarf and added mittens and hat designed by me. I used magic loop for the mittens so they would be the exact same size with the scallops starting at the exact same row. And I found a crochet video on Youtube to make the flower for the hat. I like it so much that I might make it again with the leftover yarn.
Dorah is working on a scarf for our next donor, The Romero Chemo Center in Latham, NY. The yarn is a very nice mottled blue and denim color. It will be a good generic scarf for either gender.
Carol's hat is coming along nicely. The ribbing looks like she knit the knit stitches through the back loop so it has a nicely defined edge.
And look at Maureen's fingers flying along on her hat! You can see a bit of the chart over her left hand where the kitties will be knitted into the crown of the hat. It's going to be a cutie.
Speaking of kitties, remember the mouse I made for my grandkitty, Joules? Well.....
I'm told she loves it so much she doesn't play with any of her other toys. She loved it to the point that  it lost an eye! Look at that pitiful expression on her face. It's almost as though she feels remorse. LOL! Yeah, sure. She's saying, "Give me back my mouse!"
I guess Santa will just have to make her another one for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two holidays down, on to the next

The time from Halloween to Christmas seems to go by faster and faster every year! We just put the summer clothes away yesterday, didn't we? I had a houseful of family for Thanksgiving this year. There is so much for which I am grateful, not the least of whom are my Chicks. My son texted me this morning to find out if I could make two sets of hat, mittens, and scarf for a needy family of a nine year old boy and two year old girl. My Chicks, God bless them, stepped right up to the plate and we've got it covered. Barbara said she had enough red yarn to make the boy's ensemble so she, Debbie, and Elaine are going to make his set and I dove into my stash and found a periwinkle blue and soft pink superwash wool I had stashed away for a baby sweater (which I never made) and I've knitted the Scallo-pie scarf for the little girl up to the point where I want to start the scallops in the pink. I'll need some quiet along time to tackle the instructions though.
Barbara and Debbie worked on their chemo donations projects until they can get the red yarn. Barbara is working on a scarf to match a lovely spiral hat she made. Sorry that I forgot to get a photo!
Elaine casted on for a soft pink chunky knit hat. We'll see more of it next week I'm sure.
Cinzia liked Barbara's spiral hat so much she decided to start one in the lovely burgundy angora blend yarn. The pattern is free on Ravelry.
Cinzia made a beautiful cowl out of some donated yarn. It must be merino wool because it is so soft.
Elaine added to our inventory too. This hat...
and a hat and scarf set went into storage for our next delivery a few months from now.
Carole actually finished her Handbrake cowl before she left tonight. It's lovely. And it didn't even need blocking!
Maureen finished her Lotus hat too! Look at that stitch definition! Just beautiful Maureen!
This will be her next project. She will make it with black yarn and gray kitties.
Here is the start. Can't wait to see it finished!
I better get back to my knitting. I have until the 18th to finish the set and I still haven't finished my own Christmas knitting! I just wish I could knit in my sleep!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

News coverage of Yarn Bombing Day

The Chicks made the local news yesterday as we decorated downtown Albany, NY with warm woolies, free for the taking. I hope the gesture becomes contagious and spreads to other communities.

Now more than ever we need to spread love and tolerance into every corner of our country!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rain, rain, go away!

Today was Yarn Bombing Day in downtown Albany, NY. Just before we were to leave the house, the skies opened up and the rain pelted down. I asked Mother Nature if she could rethink this weather pattern but she had other ideas.
We had nine bags filled with hats, scarves, cowls, and a few pairs of mittens too.
We had to squeeze them into the car trunk and could barely close the top! There were almost 400 items for us to distribute on a cold, rainy day. 
 Carole, Barbara, Cinzia, Debbie and I went in all different directions scattering our hand knits throughout Academy Park, in the bus kiosks on State Street and Pearl Street, and in the Greyhound Bus Station. 
 Barbara, Cinzia, and Carole had to get back to work and home so Debbie and I finished off the last few items.
 There was one bag left which we dropped off at the City Mission before we left for home.
But first we stopped off at Cider Belly Donuts for some hot spiced apple cider and a donut for a reward for wandering in the cold and rain.
In an hour and a half all the hats and scarves which were in the above bus stops were gone!
Someone will be warm tonight! 
Now we will take a couple of weeks off to enjoy Thanksgiving with our families. We are truly blessed and I am especially blessed to have such wonderful knitters I can call my friends. 
Thank you Chicks for all that you do and for facing the crummy weather today in order to make someone else's day a little warmer and brighter.