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

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tranquility knitting outside

The weather cooperated this week and we had both afternoon and evening knitting groups convene on the deck. And luckily, after last Thursday's thunderstorms (which caused a huge tree to fall across our property) the noisy chain saws, wood chippers, and blowers were finished before we knitted. 

This hat was an experiment in beating to the finish before I ran out of yarn. Most hats start at the cuff edge but since I didn't know if there would be enough yarn, I started at the top center of it and knit until there was just enough to bind off. It looks like I made it by the skin of my teeth! It's a simple 2X2 ribbed hat that started with 8 stitches and grew from there.
This cowl started out as a hat but after a few squares I decided to turn it into a cowl. The squares are knitted from the outside in to the center. After the first square is completed, stitches for one side of the second square are picked up along one edge of the first square, then the remaining stitches are cast on and connected in the round and knit to the center. You continue to make squares in this manner until just before you knit the last square because the first side and the third side stitches are picked up from the edges of the first  square and last square to connect it into a circle. 
 Then I picked up stitches all along the edge in black yarn and knitted the top and bottom edges. I like how it sets off the colors of the squares.
 Debbie made a cute little newborn sack using an acrylic and wool blend yarn that is incredibly soft. All that is left to do is embroider eyes on the owls. Surprising what a few cables can create!
Now she is concentrating on finishing up a pair of fingerless mitts.
Cinzia finished a sweet little sweater vest.
The only task left was to sew the buttons. These bright green ones are perfect.
And she finished a cute little sweater for a boy too.
Liz continued working on her scarf. She mentioned how important it is to keep count of your rows or it might change the side on which the stockinette portion shows. I can't tell you how many times I've goofed because I was engrossed in conversation. That's why you should always have a project that is strictly for knitting in the company of friends who also knit.
Margaret's Easy Knit Slouchy Beanie is almost finished. The green yarn is a good choice for either gender to wear too.
Carole finished a "Last Minute Cowl" with no missteps this time. Last week we spoke about how easy it is to mess up this SO simple pattern. Again, when gabbing and knitting it can sometimes be difficult to count to 3! But she did a great job!
Beth added a pair of baby socks to the inventory. Aren't they adorable ?!?!
Maureen's Cool Slips #22 hat is looking good. The colors are a nice combo. It can work for either gender.
Beth was commenting on how long it seems to be taking to make these worsted weight socks. Imagine how much longer it would feel is she were using fingering weight! They are going to be warm!
Carole started another hat called High Woods Hat. Can't wait to see the pattern!
After knitting the gray hat I needed a little color to perk things up so I started a baby sweater that starts like those amoeba shapes and miraculously turns into a sweater with a few folds.
It was noted that most of my projects are fine yarn on teeny tiny needles. I don't know why that is! Any ideas? Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Don't make a sound

As I tidied up the deck and scrubbed yellow pollen off all surfaces, I noticed a robin sitting on the fence with a worm in its mouth. Sure enough! The nest I had been watching was filled with three baby robins and the mama had arrived to feed them. But as soon as she saw me through the screen she took off leaving the babies stretching for food that wasn't there. I managed to get one clear photo and if you look closely at the nest, to the far right side, you'll see two pointy things facing upward. That's one of the babies with its mouth wide open begging for that worm. 
 It was so tranquil on the deck today. The afternoon group worked busily on hats, scarves, and cowls while listening to soft music and the gentle sounds of water falling. 
 And complaining about Time Warner, now called Spectrum, and how they always manage to fix a computer service problem which winds up costing more money! We have become so dependent on these computers that it puts a real crimp in our day when they don't work!
 We had a full house this evening with hats flying off needles everywhere!
 Dorah's hat was just being cast on.
 Margaret's hat was at about midway through.
 Beth worked on a second sock.
Then she showed us the darling sweater she is knitting for her grandson. It's adorable! And the buttons will be elephants too!
Carole neared the end of her hat and by evening's end...
she was done. She has enough yarn left to make another one too.
Maureen's Cool Slips hat is just about halfway done too.
I would show you my project except I frogged it. I was working on two at a time mittens on magic loop and the whole while something kept nagging at me. There were gaps where the increases were supposed to be and gaps in the middle at the decreasing line. So about 3 inches into the cuffs I decided to listen to my gut and rip them out in favor of a new pattern. Maybe next week I will have decided what they really should be. In the meantime, I have plenty of other projects on needles to keep me occupied.
Keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hats, hats, and more hats

The Chicks worked on many hats this week. Cinzia's child size hat was a bit quirky. Normally, stockinette stitch curls if you don't start with ribbing or garter stitch. This one is curiously flat. We can't figure out why it's not rolling! I guess it doesn't matter since it looks nice anyway. Love the red!
 Elaine finished her 2X2 ribbed hat this week and added it to the inventory.
 She decided she needed an easy project this week so she started one of our standby diagonal baby blankets. We couldn't believe the size of the skein of yarn! Check it out....
 It looks like she's got a pet sitting at her feet! We all had a good laugh! Then I was reminded of a Youtube video of a woman holding her angora rabbit on her lap as she spun his fur right off his coat. He just sat there bouncing up and down as her feet work the spinning wheel. It seemed as though he was enjoying the ride. And it doesn't hurt him because it's the layer of coat that he is shedding so it comes right off.
 Debbie made progress on her cabled mitts that she started last week. She learned the magic loop technique to make these and is flying through them. Great job Debbie!
 Liz's Mistake Stitch scarf is much longer than it was last week. At one point she had to rip back a few stitches because... wait for it... she made a mistake! LOL!
 I am working on modular squares, worked from the outside in with 25 stitches on each needle. Each corner has and ssk and a k2tog to decrease to the center, every other row. When I have enough squares to fit around the neck I think I will work along the long sides in black yarn and turn it into a cowl. Or a hat... or a cowl... we'll see how I feel when I get to that part.
 Dorah finished her Emiliana scarf and it's beautiful! She used Periwinkle Sheep yarns in Hot Mama (pink) and I think the black is Witch's Cauldron. It's beautiful!
 Especially the mosaic section.
 She worked on her 2X2 ribbed hat until...
 it was finished. This will go into inventory too.
 Remember the hat Carole started last week? Here it is with the seed stitch chevron band. I like the ribbing with the Ktbl twist (knit through the back loop of stitch). 
It makes the ribbing stand out nicely.
 This is another hat she finished that was added to inventory tonight too.
 Maureen put the finishing touches on her blanket.
 Margaret started a hat too. 
 This is the one she worked on last week and is now in the inventory too. Wow! We had a lot of hats this week!
 And I finished the cowl I started last week. This is one of those really simple patterns which requires one to count to 3. Sounds so easy, right?
I ripped it back an inch or so only once! I guess I'm getting better at counting to 3!
See you next week. In the meantime, keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Welcome home Liz and Maureen!

Liz is back in town after a long winter in Florida. She brought a huge bag filled with warm goodies for our inventory. 
 She worked on hats and shawls and...
 scarves, and cowls. This one is called "Last Minute Cowl" (it inspired me to start one you'll see it below). The pattern is for sale on Ravelry.
Liz brought a whole bunch of colorful items.
She showed us a stash buster project for which she used this novelty yarn knitted together with a worsted weight solid color.
It turned out so nice! She is making this for a friend. Who knew it would take a plain yarn and make it so "blingy"?!?!
Now Liz is making a Mistake Stitch Scarf, a good old standby pattern.
Debbie finished her cabled hat and it looks great! The stitch definition is perfect.
After watching some Youtube videos on how to knit Magic Loop, she is teaching herself how to make mittens with this new-to-her technique.
Carole finished her striped hat and had enough yarn left for...
another hat in just the tan color. She showed us the pattern which she found in a library book. I can't wait to see it completed.
Beth's adult size sock looks gigantic next to the sweet little baby sock she made. It's hard to remember how tiny baby feet are.
Margaret decided to make a hat with a Cascade yarn that is supposed to mimic hand painted yarn.
And tonight was Maureen's first night back after tax season. It was good to have her back in the flock! She had to work on a blanket for her personal stash but got some ideas for future knit projects.
Liz inspired me with her Last Minute Cowl so I cast on for one. It's quick and easy, if you can count to 3. I've been known to have problems in that department in the past so we'll see how it goes.
A few years ago I bought some mawata silk at one of the fiber festivals after seeing a post by the Yarn Harlot in which she showed a pair of mittens she made just by drafting a hankie and knitting with it. This is what it looks like before you separate the layers of silk.
After pulling one single layer and drafting it as though it were to be spun into yarn, I knit it into a...
cowl. I finished knitting it last night but it need buttons. You would not believe how light the finished fabric is! And how warm! AND SOFT! But because it's basically worm spit, like a spider web, it catches on EVERYTHING! So I have to be sure to cover my hands in moisturizer before I attempt to knit it.
I bought a new toy, a Turkish spindle so I could learn how to spin the silk but first I'll practice on some woolen fiber that was hanging around my yarn basket. 
It's fun to spin but to be honest with you, I'd much rather get right to business and knit!
Keep those needles clicking and I'll see you next week!