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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Too chilly to knit outside

Spring is finally here and we Chicks were planning on knitting outside today but it was still just a little too chilly and shady. But it felt so good to see sunshine.
Elaine started the day with the hat she started last week. She commented that she hadn't gotten very far with her knitting but I reminded her slow and steady wins the race, except we're not racing, we're knitting! So take your time and enjoy the process.
Debbie mentioned she wanted to try making cables, something she had never knitted before. That's pretty darn good cabling for someone who never knitted cables! This summer I'm going to teach the Chicks how to knit using Magic Loop so we can put our DP's into cold storage. Then Debbie can zip through her hat knitting. Like me, she's not crazy about double pointed needles. 
 Debbie's other project is a cute little baby sweater, also very well done for someone who keeps telling me she's not a very good knitter. Can't prove it by this!
 Last Wednesday I saw a pattern called Copenhagen Calling that a knit night friend had made. I was so inspired I decided to buy the pattern and make one for donation. Luckily, I had some DK weight yarn which is exactly what it called for. So startitis struck, BIG TIME, and I had to cast on and start it immediately! I think I might have to make one for me in my colors. 
 Carole finished her Rambled hat. The top is so clever, turning into a square.
 And it's kind of slouchy from the side.
Dorah's hat is almost to the decreasing portion. Another couple of weeks and it should be done. 
 And Margaret's purple and green project is coming along nicely. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask what it was!
 Carole is using up leftovers from other projects and will be striping this hat.
 And Beth is almost finished with her second mitten. Then it will be on to the thumbs!
 I admired the pattern for this hat but since it was written in Polish I couldn't figure out how to make it. That is, until I noticed that the designer had recorded a Youtube video tutorial from which I could learn the pattern by watching her knit it. For those of you out there who might possibly read Polish, the pattern is called Czapka and it's a free pattern on Ravely.
I liked it so much that I immediately cast on for another in a bright, sour apple green. It should be done by next week so I can show you. In the meantime, keep those needles clicking!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It feels like spring

The temperature hit a high of 88 today so the Chicks were busy as bees
 I finished the second Zoe hat. It's a great, quick knit if you substitute right twist and left twist for the cabling stitches. Sometimes using a cable needle to twist the stitches is a bit fussy and wastes time.
 Barbara brought in the hat she made for herself which goes well with her winter coat. Her cables are beautiful and for these you would definitely need a cable needle!
 Then she started another hat for our inventory.
 Elaine was so inspired, she started a hat too and was casting on at top speed until she hit a little knot. Drat! Those knots!
 Cinzia is just about finished with her little sweater. She'll go diving into her button stash to finish it off.
 She did finish her Workday Scarf for this project. Not sure what the yarn is but it is soft and warm!
 By 3PM Barbara and Elaine had knitted quite a bit of their 2X2 ribbed hats.
 My evening Chicks started off with Beth's Show and Tell of the Close to You Scarf that she made for herself while she was wintering down south. The yarn is called Squishy and it surely is!
 Last week I showed you the mitten she made and here is its mate, along with a shortie sock.
Carole's Rambled hat has grown quite a bit since last week but she was afraid it was too large. We assured her that the ribbed section looks fine so it might be a slouchy hat. Sometimes you can never tell from a photo how the finished item is supposed to fit. That's why the dreaded gauge swatch is so important.
Margaret has started a tote bag which she will felt when it's finished. The gray yarn is Lopi and the green is Cascade 220 both of which will felt nicely. 
 Her hat from last week went into inventory tonight. Great stitch definition!
 Last week Karin and I made our annual trek to the New York Botanical Gardens for their annual orchid show which had the theme of Thailand this year. The weather was beautiful on Wednesday.

Then on Saturday my husband and I took our son to visit before the show ended on Sunday.
The reason it was ending earlier than in years past was because the garden is preparing for a special exhibit of Dale Chihuly art glass. The pieces we saw were spectacular!
This giant campfire will be lit up at night.
So will this huge dandelion puff.
Inside the library at the garden were more pieces. The work is breathtaking as are the colors.
This one would make a gorgeous Christmas tree!
But the real reason we visited was to see the growing things.
Even desert flowers are beautiful.
Orchids were everywhere throughout the conservatory.
There was a small replica of a spirit house where daily offerings were made to the guardian spirits to ensure good fortune and keep them in a giving mood.
The cymbidium orchids were especially beautiful this year. And to think that all the plants are grown in their greenhouses and they get them all to bloom at precisely the right time! I wish I could do that with my orchids!
Some of the cherry trees were in blossom...
As were some of the daffodils. A few weeks ago the East Coast had that freaky snowstorm so some of the flowers are a bit behind and a little worse for wear.
Not too many of the magnolias had blossomed yet and some even show frost damage,
As we approached the library there was a sign that asked tourists to stay quiet because in the eaves of the building a great horned owl was sitting on her nest of eggs. Can you see her dark eyes staring down at me? Look slightly right of center and there she is peeking down.
Another Chihuly piece floated in the fountain.
One last look at the orchids and...
Then it was time to go.
We spent at least 5 hours at the garden. I hope it was enough to carry us over until next year!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

It must be spring, the snowbirds are migrating home

One of our snowbirds made it back from North Carolina. We've missed Beth (on the right) since October! It's good to have her back in the flock! I know Carole was happy to have her "couch buddy" back as she worked on her Rambled hat.
 Margaret searched through the stash for a bulky yarn and wound it up so she could get started right away. Can you believe this is the only table in my whole house that's the right size to clamp the ball winder!? It's a good thing we're limber!
By the evening's end she had already knitted a good 3 inches of her basket weave hat.
 While Beth was spending her winter in warmer weather she found a yarn store and took a few classes and bought some local yarn. These mitts she made for a friend.
 I know she told me the name of this pattern....It's beautiful but I can't remember what it's called!
 She took a class at the store to learn the Brioche stitch too. It makes a very nice cowl/neck warmer.
 And her Winter Honey shawl was started before she left last fall. It's all cables. Beautiful!
Beth said this was hand dyed by a fiber artist in North Carolina. I think she called it Cupcake. I have a good memory, it's just short!
 Beth made a design decision to knit the thumb with the same design as the hand portion. Nice job!
 The Zoe hat has to be the most enjoyable hat I've ever knitted! I finished it in 3 days!
 As a matter of fact, I liked it so much that I cast on to start another one right away. This Cascade 220 yarn is called "Cerise". Pretty pink!
 Margaret finished her headband/earwarmer. Nice cables Margaret!
 And Dorah's 2X2 ribbed hat is growing longer. This is also Cascade 220 yarn which will be cozy and warm.
We make our delivery to Romero Oncology this week so hopefully I'll have pictures next week to show you. In the meantime, keep those needles clicking!