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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

RIP Kathleen Corrigan

Ten years ago my phone rang and a timid voice asked, "Can I join your knitting group?" Kathleen went on to say that she had lost her husband not too long ago and she was tired of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, that it was time to get on with life and do something for someone else. My decision to take a chance on saying yes to an absolute stranger was the best decision I could have made. Kathleen was not only an asset to The Chicks with Sticks, she was a shining example of who I want to be when I grow up, which I told her many times.

Kathleen was always the first to show up on Tuesday afternoons and always arrived with a big smile and a bag filled with sweaters, hats, or mittens. She was a prolific knitter and could out knit any one of us on any given day. She used to joke that her family didn't need any more knitted items and our group opened up a whole new world of people for whom she could knit. If a new technique or pattern came to our attention, Kathleen was the first in line to want to learn it and mastered some pretty complicated stitches in short order. Her willingness to try something new was contagious and her optimism set an example for us all. While it might have taken us weeks to finish a baby sweater, Kathleen would open "Show and Tell" with a whole matching set for a newborn or toddler.

And Kathleen was humble. When the time came for us to make a delivery, I had to coax her to join us. I was so happy on the occasions that she did join in so she could experience the warmth and gratitude we felt when we gave away those things over which we toiled.

I am going to miss Kathleen more than I can say but I know the angels are going to have a fabulous knitter to show them the ropes or should I say yarns? I wish the people who received her hand knits could have known the great lady who made them. I know I for one am so very grateful I said yes the day she called.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Decisions have to be made

Sometimes even the easiest of projects can stump an experienced knitter. I gave up making the Gaptastic Cowl once a long time ago because I couldn't keep the seed stitch aligned without going into 1X1 ribbing. It was very frustrating. Well, Elaine is faced with the same problem with her Mistake Stitch Scarf. We get to talking and before you know it there is a stitch out of place. So yesterday Elaine and I talked it over and I convinced her to rip the stitching back to a place where the colors repeat in pattern and the mistake is gone and then bind off, sew a seam, and VOILA! You have a cowl instead! I love it when a plan works out!
 My Mistake Rib Cowl is at the end rows and later on you'll see it finished. This was a little trickier knitting in the round but I managed to catch my goofs before I knitted too far along.
 Dorah's friend Susan donated a couple of big bags of yarn in large enough quantities to actually make a sweater that's larger than newborn size. It's always fun to see what other knitters collect for their stash and wonder how hard it was for them to part with it. Thank you Susan for your generosity.
 Carole's Hitchhiker Scarf looks great and doesn't even need blocking. The russet colored yarn is so pretty too.
 And Dorah liked Elaine's idea of turning the scarf into a cowl so she's going to do the same thing with her scarf and then it will be ready to go into this round of inventory.
 Cinzia has been working on Tuesdays and we miss her but I caught up with her last Wednesday. She had two scarves to drop off. This pretty yarn was supposed to be a large Boomerang Scarf but Cinzia went off on a fling and turned it into a new design. That happens a lot when we talk and knit! It turned out great though.
 And her blue scarf was an experiment with combining a novelty yarn with a smooth worsted weight. Cinzia was going to work the boucle yarn zig zagging all the way through the length of the blue wool but soon found out it would run out long before the blue was long enough so on to Plan B...finish the scarf as plain blue, sew a loop at the end, and fish the decorative end through the loop. 
What a great result!
 And here is my cowl I showed you earlier ready to go into inventory. I have enough of that yarn left over that I could probably make another whole cowl but I need to take a break from the quiet color to knit something cheerier.
 Carole finished her Mistake Stitch Scarf too. It's a great generic pattern if you don't know who will be using it.
 Nestled among the skeins of yarn from Dorah's friend were two finished projects, this lovely lace scarf and...
 a soft alpaca cowl. It's doubled over here but it is big enough to bring up and over your head for protection against the cold. Very nice!
Well, back to the needles! I have a couple of projects that I've been avoiding either out of boredom or a lack of passion for the pattern but I am determined to finish them. Someday you'll see them here. I'm just not promising soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Just us 3

Barbara and Elaine joined me this afternoon for a full two hours of knitting bliss. Elaine worked on her striped Mistake Stitch Scarf and Barbara started one with a DK weight lovely variegated brown yarn from Periwinkle Sheep. We chatted about the lack of snow and what to do with our "good china" now that we don't entertain like we used to. LOL!
My Mistake Stitch Cowl grew in depth by a couple of inches. The yarn is alpaca and there is plenty of it so I will have to make a choice on how long I want to knit this cowl. I have a feeling I'm going to have some yarn left over for another project.
 I finished blocking a Minty Bricks scarf. It is a simple pattern with just enough going on to keep me from getting bored.
 And I feel honored that the pattern designer asked if he could use my photo on his pattern page to show off a finished scarf.
The evening group has the night off. Well, they had conflicts with tonight's knit-in but we'll be back next week. Have a knitty filled week and I'll see you next Tuesday.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Bridal Afghan and Cruise to the Carribbean

I had to wait to post pictures of this beautiful afghan made by Beth for her daughter. The wedding is next month and while Gretchen saw the blocks from one time to another she did not see it assembled and so I had to wait until after the bridal shower to show all of you. Well, here it is in all its glory!
 The stitchwork is magnificent! And each block is different.
 This center block is my favorite with its miniature Aran sweater. This is a real work of art and an heirloom to be sure.
 In case you missed the Chicks and me last week it was because my hubby and I took a well-deserved cruise to Key West, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Great Stirrup Cay aboard the NCL Spirit out of Port Canaveral, Florida. We made friends with some great couples and had some high spirited games of Trivia several times a day.
Our first port of call was Key West, Florida. We were told we couldn't take photos because it is a military post. So I took a picture of hubby anxiously waiting to get to Blue Heaven for brunch. He had blueberry pancakes and key lime pie, which he thoroughly enjoyed.
 The only evening that we were available to take sunset photos happen to be the only evening that was cloudy as we left port in Key West.
At port in Grand Cayman we had to board a tender to get to dry land. We weren't the only ship in port that day so the village was hopping. 
We stopped at a little vegan restaurant called "Bread and Chocolate" for their famous french toast of the same name. There was a heaping scoop of Nutella squashed between those huge layers of whole grain bread, topped with coconut ice cream and bananas and strawberries.
Our ship was the one in the middle, small for what they have sailing these days (only about 1,900 passengers as compared to The Breakaway we sailed last year with 4,500!)
That's the aft of The Getaway, another NCL ship (one of those behemoths) that got the good dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. 
This was the dumpy lovely dock where we disembarked. Not too keen on wanting to see Jamaica, Ron and I decided to stay on board and enjoy the games and sun from a comfortable spot.
Besides, $10 plus 12% tax per person was a bit much to charge for a taxi ride of 1/2 mile only to be mobbed by merchants selling junk.
We had a relaxing time and even found some brief moments to speedwalk the jogging deck.
After all, we couldn't let all those calories settle on the hips!