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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day visit with the grands and knitting galore

Our daughter and grandsons continued their annual tradition of visiting from Pennsylvania to watch our Memorial Day Parade. They don't need an excuse to visit but they love the bands and fire trucks. What little boys don't?
I love that we don't even need to prompt Moose to salute when the flag goes by.
I think their real favorite part is when the people marching throw candy to the crowds of viewers on their route. Leo needed some time to warm up to the idea but he got the gist of it after a few Tootsie Pops were confiscated by the kids on the neighboring blanket! After the parade, we went home for a picnic of turkey burgers and fruit salad. They left mid afternoon for what should have been a 5 hour drive back home but didn't arrive until almost 7 hours later. Oh, the joys of holiday travel!
On to a visit with my Chicks. We talked about our vegetable gardens, or the lack thereof! Barbara has decided to plant her tomatoes in pots on the deck this year and I've given up altogether. We don't get the minimum required amount of sun to sustain a tomato plant so I don't bother anymore. I did get two pots of hanging begonias and petunias to put out in the yard and a beautiful pink and white fuschia to hang on the deck. That spikey plant between Barbara and Elaine is a pineapple my son started from the discarded top of a fresh one from the grocery store. It's been growing for a few years now and just this year has taken off and grown very tall. Check out Youtube for instructions on how to start one.
Sophia came with her mom Cinzia today. Because we had so little snow this year her school didn't use up the snow days allotted for the weather and all the students had the day off. It was good to see her again. We miss her when she's busy with school activities. She picked out some yellow yarn to make a cardigan which Cinzia is preparing for winding.
Barb and Elaine worked on their hats while...
Sophia cast on for her sweater, Cinzia worked the sleeves on her cardi, and I added a few more inches to my scarf.
My evening Chicks arrived before the sun went down. Maureen finished her baby hat...
and started another one for our inventory.
Beth made the cuff last week on her Apple Pie hat from Tin Can Knits. This week she worked on all those little cables. This is going to be a gorgeous hat!
Carole picked a pretty soft green yarn to make a baby cardigan. It's one of those top down pattern which does not need assembling when it's finished. I love those kind of patterns.
Dorah finished the never-ending scarf!!! She got 3 cheers from the crowd!
Now she has to put sleeves on this cute little baby sweater.
After that the next task will be to find some buttons. I can't wait to see what she'll choose!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Finishing up and a side trip

We're finishing up some of our projects this week. Liz knitted most of this little sweater before she went to Florida. It just needed button bands which Cinzia finished for her. Now that Liz is back for the summer she added the buttons to it. Sitting beside her is the scarf called Speed Bumps which she is working on now.
Elaine finished her baby blanket and it went right into our inventory.
She started a hat this afternoon. The variegated yarn will make an interesting pattern.
Cinzia finished a little jumper dress and put cute pink buttons on it. She's going to get a satin ribbon to put into the waistband eyelets and give it a good blocking before we put it into inventory.
Carole made herself a Cameo scarf with this pretty blue and gray yarn. We each need to make a little something for ourselves now and then. We deserve the rewards too!
Beth finished the beautifully cabled hat. She insists there are mistakes but darned if we could find them!
Maureen's baby hat is almost finished. We discussed how aggravating it is to try to follow directions that are poorly written. This hat pattern said, "I ran out of yarn before I finished so just knit until it's done." WHAT?!?! What kind of directions are those?!?!
Carole knitted this hat before and enjoyed it so much she decided to make it again. It's called
 Declan's Hat. It's a free pattern on Ravelry.
Beth's hat starts with a provisional cast on and then she'll go back and pick up the live stitches so the band will be double thick, nice and warm around the ears.
Four of us are either currently knitting or have finished the Minty Bricks scarf. We each are using different size needles. The one on the left I knitted with fingering weight yarn and a size 5 needle. The one on the right Beth knitted with a size 2 needle. There is a big difference in the size of the bricks when you change the gauge.
I currently have two scarves on needles. What can I say? I get antsy knitting only one project.  The one on the left is a Purl Soho pattern called Jasmine Scarf. The scarf on the right is a pattern I disected and reassembled into a variation of another pattern. They will both need to be blocked to show the pattern neatly.
Last week Ron and I went on a little trip to the Hamptons with our good friends Connie and Al who are from Pennsylvania. We stayed at a beautiful B&B in Southampton. Our first morning there we had an outdoor breakfast.
Kim and Chris Allen run A Butler's Manor where we stayed. They do a superb job of making you feel like family. And our every need was met before we even knew we needed it!
The house is a gorgeous 100+ year old home with beautifully appointed rooms. Our hosts couldn't have been more welcoming. And their cooking was beyond delicious!

Our indoor breakfasts were served formally in this beautiful dining room. We shared the inn with 6 lovely ladies from Australia and we all had a great time.
The gardens beyond our breakfast area were exquisite and not everything was even in bloom yet.
What is it about sea air that makes azaleas bloom so beautifully?
There were all kinds of sweet spring blossoms showing their pretty petals everywhere.
The entrance to the pool deck was so inviting but the 65 degree water wasn't! We'll have to wait until summer weather warms it up a bit.
After breakfast we went sightseeing for celebrities' homes and think we found the homes of Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Speilberg, Ina Garten, and Martha Stewart. It's amazing how rich people live! 
The beaches were beautiful and since it was pre-season, no one was on them. It will be a different story after this weekend I'm sure.
We drove out to Montauk Lighthouse and found out it was commissioned by George Washington. The beach plums were blossoming everywhere.
Another morning we ferried over to Shelter Island to hike through Mashomack Nature Preserve.
Ron spotted a swan in the lake.
I was surprised there were no egrets!
Our last day on the island was spent touring through Old Westbury gardens. See that glass enclosed room on the right? Wouldn't it be a great knitting room for my Chicks?!?!
John Phipps, one of the heirs to the Carnegie Steel fortune, built the home and gardens for his wife, Margarita Grace whose father was of the W.R. Grace Shipping fortunes. 
The flowers and landscaping were breathtaking!
It was a great way to end a vacation with good friends.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

First Nice Day of Deck Season

Spring might actually be on its way since the Chicks knitted on the deck today! We were so excited to see Liz back from her winter sabbatical too! Winters are way too long without her.
 She arrived with a goodie bag filled with items she knitted while performing her snowbird duties.
 First up are the sweet baby hats she knitted. The Christmas tree hats on the right are so cute!
 To that she added scarves, cowls, and hats.
 And now she is working on a baby blanket using our favorite standby pattern from way back when. It's free from Ravelry or Lion Brand yarns.
 Barbara started a hat today and...
 Elaine added a few more inches to her blanket.
 Carole's yarn was talking to her last week. It said, "I don't want to be this hat. Make that other one we like so much." So she frogged back to the ribbing and made this lovely cabled cap.
 Maureen is working on a hat also. This one starts where others usually end. It's called "Start in the Center" appropriately enough.
 I finished my Minty Bricks and blocked it this weekend. Dorah, Carole, and I compared notes because they are making the same scarf but Carole is using a size 3 needle and Dorah is using a size 4 and I made mine with a size 5. When next we meet we'll have to get Beth to compare hers to ours because she is using a size 2. Then we can see the difference a needle size makes.
 I showed you this little cutie last week when it was blocking. I found buttons in my Nana's button box and they match the color exactly so the leaves stand out.
 With the hat it makes such a sweet newborn set.
 I had some Berroco Comfort yarn and it called to me to become a baby blanket so here it is finally finished. It measures about 36" X 30", just right to be a cozy blankie.
Next week I'll show you the scarf I'm making now. It needs to be a little longer so you can see the great pattern being created. In the meantime, keep those needles clicking!