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

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

There was a visitor today plus some vacation pictures

Elaine's granddaughter came to visit today and although she is a pretty good knitter for a 7 year old (her grandma is a great teacher!) she couldn't put her iPad down long enough to loop a few stitches. But Liz and Elaine got right down to work.
 Liz finished a cute little baby hat that is an open tube on both ends but an I-cord runs through one of the ends to close it up. I'm sure if you knit one of large enough circumference you could make a combination cowl/hat the same way.
This is Liz's revised current project. It started out as a poncho but after seeing how long it was going to take to knit endless rows of stockinette to make it big enough to wear, she moved on to Plan B and is now making a cowl instead. I think that's an excellent idea Liz! 
 Elaine finished up the decreasing rows on her baby hat and just has to weave in the ends.
I finished my Minty Bricks scarf using Periwinkle Sheep Gradient yarn. It needs to be blocked but I wanted to show you how pretty it looks.
My husband's cousins have been inviting us to visit them in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for many years now but I always hated to have to go through the TSA nonsense at airports. I don't know about you but I don't like strangers putting their hands in places they don't belong! Now that I have TSA Pre-check, traveling has been more pleasant. So we finally took them up on their offer and headed out to Colorado last Tuesday. The drive through Denver was amazing. Look at those snow capped mountain tops!
We drove through real "Cowboy Country" and wound our way to a higher and higher elevation.
Which meant the view over the guardrails was going farther and farther down! Have I ever mentioned that I'm terrified of heights when someone else is in control?! It's a miracle I have any fingernails left!
Luckily, the views were so beautiful I couldn't resist looking.
I was very happy to be on the inside lane along here!
We stopped along the side of the road and saw real sagebrush! Who knew it was really blue!?!
The scenery was just breathtaking!
And our weather was perfect.
Then we finally arrived in Steamboat Springs and our first full day we hiked to Fish Creek Falls with the cousins and Crispy, their perfectly behaved pup.
This was our view west from the deck and our bedroom and...
Every morning we were greeted by the shrill calls of the hummingbirds who came right up to us on the deck feeders. Each evening they returned for their dinner. I couldn't believe how close they came to me! At one point he was so close that the breeze created from his wings actually moved the hair on my forehead!

Another view of the rapids below Fish Creek Falls.
Mother Nature really impressed me!
And I even walked across that bridge which is at the base of the falls.
Someone capturing the beauty of the falls in oils.
Isn't that AWESOME!?!
We walked down to the falls but now it was time to walk back up. Now I'm not saying I'm an Olympic quality athlete but I can walk 4 miles in under an hour (and for my age that's an accomplishment!) and the elevation was whipping my butt! There's something to be said for how the thin air affects you!
Back in town we visited the center where the flags of all the Steamboat Springs Olympic athletes hang. This was just a small representation of all the flags there. I couldn't fit them all in the picture!
Another day we hiked through a portion of Hahn's Peak. Crispy went for her daily swim to retrieve her tennis ball and we enjoyed the scenery. Can you see all those gray trees? They are pines which have been devastated over the last 10 years by the Pine Beetle. Acres and acres of pines have been affected but I'm told it's on the downswing now and in the process of recovery.
More beauty at Hahn's Peak.
The gardens sported all kinds of beautiful flowers. These are cultivated Lupines which are much bulkier than the wild ones out in nature.

And here's Crispy giving me her best "Please hug me" look. I am allergic to dogs and cats (it's their saliva not the dander) and was afraid if I had to take allergy pills I'd sleep all through Colorado. It practically made me cry not to wrap my arms around her and hug. She is such a well behaved dog. The ONLY time she barked was when she was told to say hi or goodbye! One evening as I sat by the setting sun Crispy walked casually past me and snuck a kiss on the top of my foot! LOL! Quickly I ran for the soap and water. I hope she wasn't insulted! LOL!
I think this was another part of Fish Creek Park when we went out looking for wildlife. When my husband walked here a few years ago he and the cousins spotted a huge moose and quickly turned the other way! I'm glad the only wildlife I got to see was Crispy!
There is the evidence of the Pine Beetle making the tree try to push it out by oozing sap.
What am I doing at the end of the line and so far from everybody?! Taking photos of course! It's a good thing we didn't see any bears or moose! I might have been an appetizer!!!
On my birthday last Thursday we went to the Yampa Valley Botanic Gardens for an outdoor concert from a classical quartet. It was a wonderful way to spend my birthday doing what I love among the beauty of nature.
Just wander through and I'll meet you at the other side....

Back home Crispy waited for her hummer friends to arrive for their nightly ritual.
All too soon it was time for us to return to Denver for the flight home. We went back via a different route which took us up, up, up to elevations I couldn't dream were possible on foot.
Yes that is snow at the base of this sign!
See if you can spot the four curves we drove to get up there. They get smaller as you look farther away. I still can't believe I was there!
Many thanks to Cousin Richie and Linda for making wonderful memories and helping me celebrate my birthday in God's Country!
And I'm ever so thankful we didn't see any bears!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

If my head wasn't attached....

As the evening group was leaving I realized I forgot to take photos of their progress. Carole is working on the cute little green pullover, starting the ribbing at the bottom edge. And Maureen is adding inches to her baby hat. I started a new cowl which uses the Bramble Stitch and stockinette stitch. It will be knitted flat, starting with a provisional cast on and then will be grafted together to make it endless.
My afternoon ladies were Liz, Cinzia, and Sophia. Liz started a poncho with this colorful yarn and has a long way to go.
 In the meantime, she is working on a baby hat with this cheerfully bright yarn. As she knits the colors align into a spiral up the hat. Looks cute!
She added a chenille baby blanket and...
 a scarf called Speed Bumps, a free pattern on Ravelry.
 Cinzia finished a Cabin Fever cardigan and added...
 bright green buttons. They look so cute on the purple sweater.
Some lucky little kid is going to be stylin' this autumn!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

All about gauge

Here are 5 versions of the Minty Bricks scarf/shawlette, a free pattern on Ravelry. From bottom to top: the pink was knitted with a size 4 needle, the green with a 2, the blue with a 4, the purple with a 3 and the pale blue with a 5. Each one is a different size partly due to the needle size which was used and partly due to the knitter's tension. 
 When knitting a scarf it might not matter too much if your gauge is off a bit from the pattern details.
 But if you are making a garment which has to fit nicely, gauge is critical to sizes and shaping. So as much as it is a pain in the neck to knit a gauge swatch, it is essential if you want a garment to fit properly.
 My scarves are taking so long to knit that I felt like throwing in a quick knit just so I could feel like I accomplished something. This little hat is a variation on the adult size hat I knitted years ago. I redesigned it a bit by eliminating the earflaps and edging it with a reverse single crochet. By using self striping sock yarn, the hat practically designs itself. 
 Carole finished her lovely cabled hat called Declan. The yarn is a hefty warm wool and with the double folded band, it will be cozy over the ears.
 Beth's Apple Pie hat is nearing the end. The name got us to talking about food and our favorite (and not so favorite) comfort foods from when we were kids. Some of our memories were of warm tasty Sauerbraten, a German pot roast. Then there was the tuna noodle casserole that almost no one liked. All in all we agreed that our parents or grandparents were good cooks and made happy food memories among others.
 Maureen's baby hat is growing. It starts at the top unlike most hats that start at the cuff.
 The baby sweater on Dorah's needles has a sleeve. All she needs to do is the cuff and the other sleeve and then it goes into inventory.
 And Carole's baby pullover has shoulders and button placket. We all agreed this is one of our favorite patterns. A Simple Baby Pullover is free on Ravelry.
If you haven't applied for your free membership to Ravelry you're missing out on a great resource for all you fiber fixes. Check it out! I know I am not disappointed with my experience.