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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What a gorgeous day!

The air was as dry as can be and the temps held at 80 degrees so knitting on the deck today was ideal! I wish it could be like this all year. No, wait... I like winter and the freezing cold so I can wear all my warm knits. I just wish the nice weather would last a little longer. We have had a very hot and humid summer so days like today are a real gift.
Liz opened our afternoon session with a few FO's. Her first was a cowl with a "design element". I wouldn't let her say mistake because she repeated the design at both edges so they would match. Hence, design element. This is a very soft wool cowl and will be nice and warm around someone's neck.
 Another design element came about when Liz realized she wouldn't have enough yarn to make a 60 inch long scarf. Plan B: add a button and make it a cowl. And since it is lacey, there's no need to make buttonholes so one can wear it buttoned to any length that is comfortable.
A preemie hat to add to the inventory too.
 Elaine finished two hats and the third is about ready to start the crown shaping. That's the blue one on the right.
 My Noro Stripe Scarf is almost to the halfway mark. I'm loving the play of colors against the solid teal yarn.
 Poor Carole! She remembered to bring her baby sweater but forgot her pattern!
 This is going to be really cute.
So she wouldn't sit twiddling her thumbs, Carole pulled out the cardigan that she's making for herself with Periwinkle Sheep yarn. It's going to be a beauty!
Beth finished her cowl and had enough yarn left over to make another one so she cast those stitches onto her needles right away.
Maureen added the buttons to her finished baby sweater.
Look at those cute little duckies!
Beth finished a scarf for herself called Saltwater Reverie.
She used Periwinkle Sheep yarn, a merino and silk blend. The sheen and drape on this scarf is beautiful!
The pattern is a combination of yarnovers and knitting 2 stitches together...
with changing number of rows between the eyelets to make it look like different lace.
I searched through our stash and found a Madelinetosh Merino yarn to make a....
Nurmilintu scarf. I love this! I can't wait to make another one. It was very easy to knit, only the lace sections needed a little concentrating. And even then there was a resting row of only purl stitches.
I threw in a quickly knitted pair of booties just so I could say I finished something quickly. 
Sometimes I need a quickie to lift my knitting spirits!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Thank you for 11 years Chicks!

Who knew way back in August of 2005 that a crazy dream of mine would last 11 years? Tonight I had the opportunity to celebrate and thank the wonderful ladies who make up my Chicks with Sticks for all their hard work and dedication to my dream. Liz and Beth brought some pretty flowers to brighten up the party.
 And what would a party be without delicious food?! Liz and Dorah prepped their green salad and quinoa/corn salad, respectively. So refreshing and tasty!
 Maureen, Beth, and Barbara caught up with each other while...
 Carole, Cinzia, Elaine, and Sofia sampled appetizers of delicious gazpacho, guacamole, and chips. Maureen made a really tasty zucchini quiche sort of dish and I made a pasta Caprese salad on a stick with olives and salami in between the ingredients.
 I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such a nice group of friends! And we were all thinking about and missing our friend and most prolific knitter, Kathleen. 
Left to right standing: Sofia, Liz, Barbara, Carole, me
Left to right seated: Elaine, Dorah, Beth, Maureen, Cinzia, Elena
 I couldn't do it without you ladies! Thanks for another successful year!

And just for fun, I finished a Nurmilintu scarf this afternoon. It needs a serious blocking to open up those lace sections.
Well, now that the kitchen is cleaned up and dishes put away it's time to get back to my knitting.
Have a great week and I'll see you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Look who turned 5! And the Chicks were busy this week

I can't believe we celebrated my youngest grandson's 5th birthday already! We took him and his Mom and big brother to Sesame Place yesterday. The air was thick with excitement. Or was that the humidity? The temperatures were in the 90's! We couldn't wait to get into the water rides.
Leo decided he wanted to ride the roller coaster (or hole-er-coaster as he called it) before we hit the water park. We all tried to discourage him since it looked pretty scary. But he wouldn't be deterred! Look at the expresion on his face! Such anticipation and excitement!
When it was over he did a little dance and yelled, "That was sooooo lotta fun!"
When it was time for the parade he watched with such glee as his favorite characters danced down the street.
Elmo was his favorite of all favorites and he waved directly at Leo!
Super Grover took time out from his busy day for a quick photo op. It was a long hot day but we all had a very good time celebrating with Leo.
Now to show you what the Chicks have been up to. Liz finished a bunch of hats. This little pink and green number is just big enough for a preemie baby.
And the curly cues finish the top of this one nicely.
This one reminds me of a little snowball.
And this one is warm and cozy.
Liz completed a nice matched set too.
Dorah added some inches to the yoke of her baby sweater this week.
And Carole started a baby cardigan.
It's a free pattern on Ravelry.
Maureen finished one sleeve and is almost done with the second.
We'll be labeling these and our other items soon for delivery.
Next week we celebrate our 11th anniversary with a pot luck dinner.
Come back and check it out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt!

One would think that after all my years of knitting I would have learned to trust my gut instincts and listen to my yarn. I had a lovely slow-changing variegated yarn that was filled with lovely autumn colors of browns, golds, oranges, and beige. I wanted to knit the ZickZack scarf but needed another slow changing yarn to pair with the autumn yarn. I found a yarn that included beige and brown and green but also had orchids, pinks, and yellows. Red Flag #1, orchids and pinks! But I chose to ignore the nudges I was feeling and went ahead and bought it. Then I cast on for the ZickZack scarf and noticed right away I was making glaring stupid mistakes that were testing my patience. 
Red Flag #2, dumb mistakes! So I changed the pattern to a different chevron pattern and made nice neat I-cord edging as I knitted along. About 12 inches into the scarf I realized I no longer had the same number of stitches on the last chevron as were on the first chevron. Red Flag #3, SOMETHING IS GOING HORRIBLY WRONG!!! But still! I soldiered on after frogging back to the original mistake and worked to fix everything. I guess you could call me stubborn but I wasn't going to let this yarn beat me! You knitters understand, right? Right?!? Well, I finally realized after another round of mistakes that the knitting goddesses were trying to tell me to stop using the autumn yarn! Duh! After diving into my stash I found this lovely teal single ply fingering weight that pairs beautifully with the orchids and pinks and VOILA! I am finally on the right path and have even discovered a renewed energy in my knitting which had been lacking for the last few weeks. Do you think I've learned my lesson? I doubt it! LOL! But I love how this scarf is coming along. It's the Noro Stripe Scarf free pattern on Ravelry.
 Beth finished her little football hat which also taught her how to crochet and embroider the stitches to mimic the seam on the football. Isn't it darling?! She used Plymouth Encore to make it machine washable.
 Maureen picked up the sleeve stitches for her baby sweater so it won't be long before she's finished.
 Carole knitted the finishing rows on her cowl. She admitted that she was totally bored with the garter stitch edging but the design section she found entertaining. Looks great!
Well, I should get back to my knitting. Let's see if I listen to the whispers of guidance.
Probably not! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Deck time!

 Cinzia and I enjoyed a quiet afternoon on the deck today. I worked on a cowl and she worked on finishing up her vest.
 She performed a 3 needle bindoff and didn't like the appearance of it from the right side so I think she wound up grafting the shoulders using the kitchener stitch. Now it needs to be edged with border stitches. It looks really nice and will be even nicer after it's blocked.
 We broke our own rules and talked politics tonight. Luckily, we don't get into heated arguments. We are adults after all! 
 Dorah showed us her new pattern for a shawl she claims she'll never wear. She wants to keep them so when she's gone her kids will scratch their heads and wonder why she made so many shawls and scarves that she never wore! LOL!
 Beth showed us the progress she made on her scarf. And...
 went on to add length to her cowl.
 I started a Noro Striped Scarf with yarn that I frogged four times. The knitting goddesses were trying to tell me it didn't want to be a chevron scarf and I finally listened to them and started this one instead.
I'm thinking I might have to frog this too since I'm not sure it's wide enough. The Chicks all thought it was too narrow too. Ok! I'll cast on again!