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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

We had a visitor today

Kathleen's daughter, Margaret, came down from Vermont for a visit and brought one of her beautiful quilts to show us. Kathleen has told us about the great work Margaret does with her quilting talents, so we finally got to see for ourselves up close and personal. What a stunner it was too!
 Margaret has a long arm sewing machine so she can do the quilting without scrunching up the whole thing on a regulation size sewing machine. This quilt was a mystery pattern where the leader gives you the color palette and the pieces are distributed at a scheduled time so you don't know what the finished quilt will look like until it's done. It is beautiful!
 Like her sisters Pat and Kathy, Margaret fit right into the flock with the Chicks. We had fun talking with her about her fiber art hobbies.
 While she visited she started a hat which she will donate when it's finished. At the rate she's knitting, that should be sometime tomorrow afternoon!
Meanwhile, Kathleen brought two pairs of mittens,
and a sweet lace baby sweater, plus...
her own finished spiral hat (see pattern link above).
Elaine added a jaunty little flower to her little girl's hat and...
she started a pretty striped scarf after last week's stash hunt. It could work as a set with the hat.
Barbara's Cabin Fever Buttons Cardigan Jacket is showing progress. She was bored with the stockinette stitch so she decided to knit this one all in garter stitch.
On to our evening knitters...Beth is back from her winter break and returned with two finished hats.
She was mulling over whether or not to put the pompoms on top but we all decided the hats looked finished without one. She wasn't going to argue!
Dorah started the one row scarf pattern from The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. She decided to break up the pattern a bit by striping it with wide bands of color. She likes this pattern so much it just might be her go-to pattern from now on.
Beth started a new hat tonight using a Plymouth Encore yarn. I didn't catch the pattern. Sorry!
And Maureen is almost finished with her hat. We won't be seeing her now until after April 15. Tax season is upon us! We'll miss you Maureen!
The Mistake Stitch Scarf I'm knitting is almost done. I'm about halfway through the second ball of yarn. I think there is another skein in the stash so I might be adding a hat to match.
And because I cannot resist the siren call of a new yarn and pattern, I had to start this pretty little gem. It's called Minty Bricks and it's a very easily memorized pattern. It seems to be knitting up quickly too. I'm using a Periwinkle Sheep Yarn but sorry, I don't know the colorway.
And remember the sock blankie for my son? I delivered it to him on Sunday and he placed it on the bed so I could see it in action. It fits! I held my breath because originally he said he wanted it for a full size bed but after I was halfway through it he changed his mind and wanted it for a queen size bed. It's a good thing I decided to add a few blocks to either side.
We had a long talk with his kitty, Joules. She understands she is NOT allowed anywhere near it.
Besides I bought her a cozy bed of her own!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Finishing up some projects

We jokingly call Cinzia "Mrs. Finish-it". She offered to finish a sweater for one of the Chicks last year and now the reputation has stuck and everyone goes to her for her finishing skills. When one of the residents at the local assisted living needed help finishing a baby sweater I asked Cinzia if she wouldn't mind. It needed to have the bottom part of the body finished and the sleeves and she graciously offered to do it. So here it is all ready to go back to it's orginal knitter.
And while Liz spends the winter in Florida, Cinzia finished the button band on a little cardigan for her which will go into our inventory after it gets its buttons.
Drum roll please! Dorah finished her scarf this week! She gave me permission to show a photo of the final finished project.
And I finished the sock blanket I started on June 11, 2014 to give to my son for his birthday. It has sailed through numerous gifting holidays until I finally finished it last week. When he puts it on his bed I'll get a better photo but I couldn't wait to show you. Here are the particulars on it:
578 blocks
511 stitches per block
30 minutes to knit one block
2,265 stitches in the I-cord
31.5 hours to knit I-cord
289 hours to knit all the blocks
total number of stitches knitted 297,623
total hours knitting and blocking 321
I jokingly said if I got paid $15 an hour, this would come to $4,815! And that's not counting yarn!
I'm tired just thinking about it!
During the week I finished a few more things. My Hitchhiker for donation was knitted using a Jojoland yarn but I lost the label so I can't tell you which one.
I snuck in a personal project called Chinook. This yarn is lovely with a little gold sparkle thread through it.
Barbara started a kid's cardi, our favorite pattern.
Depending on the buttons, this nice blue yarn could be for a boy or girl.
Elaine arrived with a bag filled with finished objects, a nice burgundy hat, two pairs of slippers, and a warm cowl called Present.
Now she is working on a pink hat using a worsted weight Cascade 220.
Geri, our "Crochet Queen" has a baby blanket on the hook. The variegated yarn gives her lots of color with little trouble.
I started a Mistake Stitch Scarf a few days ago and I am almost ready to start the second ball of yarn. I think it is Berroco Comfort, a soft acrylic and nylon blend.
Carole's hat has lovely cables. She is knitting it using the Magic Loop method. I think some of the Chicks are interested in learning this method so I might be conducting a lesson soon.
And Maureen is using Cascade 220 also to make a ribbed man's hat.
She has only a couple of more weeks to finish it before her accounting duties take over and we'll miss her until April 15 comes around.
That's all for now. Next week there'll be more finished items to show you. Tune in and check it out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Back in the saddle again!

The afternoon ladies had conflicts today so I met with my evening Chicks only this week. We had news to catch up from over the holidays and then we got down to the business of knitting. Our first pet peeve of the evening was about pattern designers who give instructions, vaguely at best, and then say something like, "just continue to follow the pattern while increasing/decreasing (whatever applies)". We all agreed that is the lazy way to go and causes much confusion to those knitters who might not feel as confident in their skills as they should. I've seen many a competent knitter crumble before such flimsy instructions. 

Our first project up is one from Carole's needles which she brought to show us. It's a double knitted, fully reversible hat she is making for herself called Rectangly. It is knitted with contrasting colored yarns and the patterns are mirror images in opposing colors on each side. It seems a bit of magic and there is a ton of chart following, if you like that sort of thing. And it brings up the second pet peeve of the evening, you have to pull the stitches tightly with every knit so the tension is equal on both sides. Carole said after a while she has to rest her hands because they fatigue quickly from all that tugging. But it seems worth it to me as she is making a beautiful hat!
 My personal pet peeve, number 3, I guess, is I don't like to knit from a chart. I saw this pattern for free on Ravelry and thought it's a smallish hat, how hard could it be? I've done Fair Isle knitting before but I designed it myself and made the pattern up as I went along. I wasn't following a chart, at least not on paper.
This pattern is kicking my butt! I can knit only a row at a time and then I need to take a rest. I know, what a wimp! But I just don't like charts! I'm going to finish this hat, take a photo for posterity, say "Been there, done that!" and never knit it again! LOL!
Dorah didn't want me to take another photo of her never-ending scarf but look! It's nearing the end!
Maureen started a 2X2 ribbed hat that works up very quickly. Our donation inventory seems to be overwhelmingly stocked in pretty feminine knits so we have to force ourselves to make good, basic, manly stuff. This pattern easily fits the bill.
Do you remember Carole's cowl that had the one stitch out of place on the right side? Well, she ran a lifeline a row behind the mistake and frogged the whole thing down to the last good row, picked up the stitches, and finished knitting away until it was perfect again. Good job Carole!
This scarf was knitted using Cascade Tangier. The pattern is ZickZack Scarf and is free on Ravelry. The original pattern called for fingering weight yarn and small needles but when I saw this Silk and Cotton blend, worsted weight yarn in the sale bin at the store it screamed at me to use it for the ZickZack. The colors make waves of dark and light and interplay with each other so it looks like the scarf is moving. I called it Peas and Carrots for obvious reasons. That shading is not a photography trick, that is how it really looks in person. The lights lined up perfectly in both skeins as did the darks.
Every now and then I get really lucky with how my plans work!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year! It's a rough start.

Sorry for the long absence. My dear daughter and her sweet boys were supposed to travel from their home in Pennsylvania to our house for Christmas but a virulent virus had all three of them in no condition to travel. So the day after Christmas my husband and I drove to their rescue and while the hubby went home a week ago, I stayed here in PA to help at the "infirmary". After an 11PM to 5AM visit to the ER, a visit to the pediatrician, and many trips back and forth getting water and checking temps, I think I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Moose went to school for the first time today since before Christmas and immediately upon returning home he went to sleep. I sure hope he doesn't relapse! I'm more than happy to help out as long as my daughter doesn't mind. The only problem is I haven't knitted more than a couple of inches on my scarf since well before the holidays. Well, it can keep. My babies are more important!