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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A good yarn is worth your time

Last time we met I finished a scarf using two tones of violet. Kathleen was kind enough to knit a hat to match the scarf so we can donate an ensemble. The yarns are machine washable, one is Plymouth Encore and the other is Berroco. 
 In addition to the hat she made a cowl using the Feather and Fan Stitch. It's the same cowl that Liz tried out last week and ended up frogging it in favor of a mistake stitch scarf. This looks pretty and the buttons look like shells. This yarn is also a wool and acrylic blend making it machine washable.
 Or maybe tortoise shell.
 Now Kathleen is working on a no-purl ribbed scarf. The heather blue yarn is beautiful! For people who don't like to purl, this is supposed to be the same stitch as a mistake stitch scarf but without the purling. Frankly, it might as well have purling because you still have to bring the yarn in front of the needle to slip a stitch. But it's pretty just the same and warm!
 Liz finished the Liberty Wool Mistake Stitch Scarf. This was the yarn she used to make the above cowl Kathleen knitted but the yarn didn't like the pattern and refused to cooperate. On to Plan B!
 Liz had some pretty sock yarn but didn't want to spend weeks knitting on small needles so...
she combined it with a worsted weight solid yarn and...
 look at the pretty results! That's two birds with one stone! A good way to use up lots of yarn on one project is to combine the strands together and make a totally different look.
 Liz decided after all the donation knitting that she would like to make something for herself. This is the cowl she has chosen and...
 this is the yarn. The pretty periwinkle blue is Berroco Comfort Chunky.
 Dorah brought in her Eden Prairie for us to see. It's beautiful Dorah! And she finished it in time to wear to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival at the Duchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY this weekend. This annual festival is a tradition for many knitters and other fiber artists. If you are in the area and have the time it's worth a stop. But take you time, you don't want to miss anything!
 Here's Dorah's hat showing progress. I love her markers!
Maureen is still working on her cowl but it will be done soon. It's a pretty deep red but the color here looks too burgundy. One of these days I'll figure out how to get the color right.
 I finished the Boomerang Scarf. It can be knitted using any weight yarn with the appropriate sized needle. I used Zauberball sock weight with a size 4 needle. The slow changing colors of the yarn make an interesting pattern.
 Now I'm working on a Chevron Tube Cowl, which is a free pattern. The yarns are Berroco Vintage in worsted weight and a size 10 needle. At the halfway point the pattern changes to wide purple stripes and narrow green stripes and then the ends are grafted together with the Kitchener Stitch.
 Kathleen knitted this cute little poncho quite a while back and is just getting to donate it now. The yarn is a pretty pink cotton but is very warm. And it's one size fits almost all!
Just two more weeks and we'll be done with this project and ready to donate everything. Now comes the time when we put our heads together to find another group for whom we can knit. Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One more nice day on the deck

This week's Show and Tell begins with Barbara's ensemble which she knitted with Cascade 220. The original pattern was for the spiraled fingerless mitts. Barb enjoyed making them so much that she decided to adapt the pattern to make a matching hat. And now she is working on a scarf too.
 Liz started using this lovely Liberty Wool to make a cowl with a Feather and Fan stitch but the yarn had other ideas and refused to cooperate. I know you know what I mean! Sometimes the yarn decides what it wants to become and this one certainly had objections to Feather and Fan! So Liz decided to make a simple 1x1 ribbed scarf and it showcases this yarn perfectly. Apparently, the yarn agrees!
 Elaine finished her Gaptastic Cowl, a simple seed stitch infinity scarf. It can be worn as a single wrap or wrapped twice around the neck for a closer, cozier fit.
 I finished the Nymphalidea for which I used Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock Yarn for the pink/purple lace segments. I'm actually surprised at myself for being able to memorize the pattern. It took a good five repeats or so but considering there are 28 repeats, it saved a lot of time to memorize it.
 I just realized I didn't show you my Lucky Horseshoe Cowl which I finished weeks ago. It's a free pattern on Ravelry for which I used a 100% cashmere yarn. Soooo soft!!!
 Totally Biased is totally finished! This is the perfect cowl for a quick knit when you need a gift in a pinch.
 Elaine started a hat which will have a beautiful cabled pattern. We decided the yarn is Plymouth Encore because it had no label so we had to make an educated guess.
 Cinzia is finishing up a crocheted scarf using a Malabrigo pastel yarn. That company dyes the prettiest colors!
 Carole's Totally Biased Cowl in Berroco Jasper was almost finished tonight. I think she just has to graft the live stitches together so it will be an endless ring of color.
 Dorah's Sanibel Cowl was completed tonight and added to the inventory. The neutral color will be a lovely addition to someone's wardrobe.
We were surprised by a visit from Beth's daughter, Gretchen. I knit with her once a month at our local Panera Knit Night and I haven't seen her in months so it was nice to be able to catch up on our knitting together. She worked on her Miss Winkle shawlette, a pattern for purchase on Ravelry. It has the cutest loopy edge.
 And Beth showed us her finished sailboat baby blanket she made for a friend who is expecting.
 The sailboat motifs are garter stitch against a stockinette background. Very cute!
 Tonight she started the companion to this lovely cabled mitten. The long cuff will be nice to keep the wind away.
 We've got four large bags of items so far and we'll be wrapping up this quarter's knitting project soon. Only a few more weeks before delivery to the homeless women veterans. I hope we beat the cold weather!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Feeling fall-ish

Fall has arrived in the Capital District of New York. The view out my family room window fills me with awe every time I see the crimson leaves on this tree. My knitting chair sits right in line with these spectacular colors.
Last Saturday was the first fiber festival of the season held at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The scenery on Route 40 on the ride up was breathtaking. The Adirondacks Mountains were clearly visible in the distance.
The farm markets were overflowing with their fall bounty.
 The colors beckoned me to photograph them.
 I almost forgot to shop for some produce because of all the distractions. I did, however, find the sweetest corn on the cob for dinner!
 The residence where my father lives has a feature called "Resident of the Month" and he was chosen for October which coincided with...
 a visit from our Congressman Paul Tonko. He attended a ceremony to recognize the veterans who live at Ingersoll Place and to give special recognition to my father for his service during the Battle of the Bulge and securing the Ludendorff Bridge in Remagen, Germany.
 My Dad, humble as he is, kept asking me why all the fuss. Through tear filled eyes I hugged him and told him because we are so proud of him!
 I'm so happy we got to honor my Dad! He is a very special man and now he knows how special!
 On to our knitting! Last week I neglected to show you some of our FO's. Maureen finished binding off the stitches of her Last Minute Cowl and I forgot to post her picture. Here she is in all her glory.
 Carole's Sanibel Cowl drapes beautifully on the neck. It's a good pattern for tonal dyed yarns, especially hand dyed, since it has a minimal lace pattern. Sometimes a busy lace and multi-colored yarn conflict with each other. I learned that the hard way. From now on I stick with a solid or tonal yarn for intricate lace work to properly show off both and save those crazy printed yarns for stockinette!
 Another Carole FO is her Saroyan Scarf. She used a yarn that has a touch cashmere and angora fibers so it floats like a cloud and feels so soft to the skin.
 I finished my Dream Stripes Shawl after 19 months in hibernation!
 You know how sometimes you just get bored with a project? Well, that's what happened with this one. I was tired of knitting stripes and put it down for a minute to pick up something more challenging and BAM! Over a year went by before I felt ambitious enough to pick it back up again. I feel relief knowing it's done now and can be donated.
Another FO of mine is the Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood. I started out using these yarns for a Staci Perry Barber Pole Cowl but found the yarns to be too close in color and kept making mistakes. It was time for plan B and this worked out much better.
 Elaine asked our opinions on how wide to knit her Gaptastic Cowl and was relieved to know we all thought it was wide enough to bind off. Those are a lot of seed stitches to knit!
 Kathleen finished her Amsterdam Lace Shawl. Since she had only enough DK weight yarn for a small scarflette I guess we shouldn't call it a shawl. But that's the great thing about this pattern. You can knit it any size for any need.
 And Kathleen added another warm hat to the inventory. We can never have too many hats!
 Liz finished another Cushy Cowl, a very quick and easy cowl pattern by our friend, Karin Maag-Tanchak. It does not require much yarn and can be knit in a variety of yarn weights, as long as you use the appropriate needle. A word of warning, when you knit this pattern, it looks a bit wonky during the first inch or two. You must knit at least two or three pattern repeats before you start to see the diamond shapes. Then everything falls beautifully into place.
 We took advantage of the warmth and sunshine and sat outside yesterday since there probably won't be many more opportunities for outside knitting this year.
 Cinzia brought some library books for us to browse through for new knitting patterns.
 Kathleen plugged away at her Reversible Stripes Scarf. The greens look great together.
 Carole worked on her Totally Biased Cowl. Does the yarn look familiar? Maybe not, but it's the Jasper yarn from Berroco that Beth used last year. We thought it was all gone but alas! There is more. LOL!
 Speaking of Beth, she finished her Mistake Stitch Scarf. The pattern stitch makes a nice thermal fabric that is sure to keep the chill away.
 Dorah's Sanibel Cowl is almost finished. Just a few more rows and she'll be binding off those stitches.
 And Maureen is back to work full time so she doesn't have as much free time to finish her lovely cowl. But I'm sure it will be beautiful.
 Beth started a pair of mittens last night. They are always a quick knit. Unfortunately, I can't link you to the pattern since I don't know which one she's using. I'll check for next week's post.
We're finally getting a bit of much needed rain around here. So now it really feels like fall. I guess I'll have to hang up the flip flops until next year!