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

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Too muggy to knit outside

The "Chicks of the Evening" met yesterday. Afternoon ladies had the day off. But they'll be back on duty next week.
Carole's Sunnyside Cardigan is finished, buttons and all! It's so cute. Makes me wish I had a little baby to knit for. What am I saying?! I have lots of babies to knit for, I just don't know them!
 Carole started a new project last night but I'm not sure I remember what it is. I think she said she would be making a hat. That's the problem with having more than one conversation going at the same time. Knitting I can handle, talking, not so much!
 Maureen was down to the decreases nearing the end of a baby hat and she finished it so quickly she had to go home and look for something else to knit. Good thing she lives right across the street from me.
 I put some pretty skeins of yarn out on the table for inspiration and Carole and Cinzia checked them out. Carole was hooked. I can't wait to see what she knits.
 And there is Sofia between Dorah and me. I guess we didn't scare her last week. I'm so happy to have another generation interested in carrying on the knitting skills!
 Dorah is nearing the end of her Brickless scarf/shawl. Such a pretty yarn too! Do you think I can remember what it's called? Mrs. something or other...
Sofia's bootie is growing nicely. I'm so proud of how easily she picked up new techniques. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished pair.
I have one more sleeve to go on my Simple Baby Pullover using Cascade 220 yarn. I went to the Farmer's Market in Delmar last Saturday to get beets, basil, and tomatoes and came home with a lovely yarn bowl instead. That's it to the left of the sweater. It's the loveliest deep teal glaze with a slot for yarn on one side and two small holes on the other for what I can only assume is for two color knitting.
 I'm slowly making progress on my son's sock blanket. It's going to be wide enough for a full/queen size bed. Each square takes about 25 minutes to knit, once I decide what yarn to use. I try to be careful not to use the same yarn too close to each other. When it's done I'll attach a black i-cord edging to give it a clean finish.
 I took the lazy way out on my Sectores Scarf. It was supposed to be knitted until I ran out of yarn
which would have made it very long but I grew tired of it quickly so I decided to make a shoulder shawl instead. I used Poems Sock Yarn that has a long, slow color change. I didn't even notice until I took this photo that I started and ended with exactly the same amount of pink yarn! I love when patterns work out that way! Serendipity!!! This will go into inventory for a future donation.
Next week I think we will be labeling all the items to be donated. Check back then for our final tally.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A new little chick

Yesterday Liz came to knitting armed with a boatload of FO's! She knitted three different sizes of this darling sweater from a free Ravelry pattern. The blog page offers different versions and sizes based on the same basic recipe. There are also links to other patterns, including a matching hat.
 Her finished hoodie looks so cute too. I love the picot bind off edging. It's a very easy technique that involves YO's and sewing the hem back. You have to make sure you have an even number of stitches then proceed to knit a row of K2tog, YO, (you decide how many stitches you want to knit between the eyelets) ending with K2tog. Then knit a few more rows of stockinette and bind off. Fold the fabric back along the YO row and sew the selvedge to the sweater. Alternately, you could pick up and knit a stitch from the row with a stitch on the needle, sort of like a 3 needle bind off. That's if your sweater is a top down construction. If you knit it from the hem up, make a provisional cast on, knit to the depth of the hem and do a row of K2tog, Yo, (again, you decide how many stitches in between eyelets) ending with K2tog, then fold back, wrong sides together, and knit the stitch on the needle together with a live stitch from your provisional cast on. Make sure you start by picking up the first stitch of the provisional cast on or your hem will be all wonky. Or you could just look it up on YouTube! That's how I brush up on all my knitting techniques.
 Two sweet preemie hats.
 Kathleen also added another pair of  mittens from her favorite knitting pattern.
 Now Kathleen is getting a jump on the next donation project by working on a scarf for the Homeless Female Veterans Home in Saratoga County.
 Carole is wrapping up the last sleeve of her Sunnyside Cardigan. The self-striping sock yarn makes a cheerful garment.
 Maureen finished her Cabin Fever Cardi and has started a hat to go with it.
 Cinzia finished her blanket and just has to block it. I thought I took a group photo of last night's gathering to show you her daughter, Sofia, who will be joining us for the summer. She is a high school student and quite a good knitter already and she just started serious knitting last year! I apologize for somehow losing that photo but.... 
 Here is a picture of the booties she already started last night. She's doing a great job for a new knitter! I'm so happy to see another generation taking on the skills of knitting!!!
Welcome to our flock Sofia!
 Speaking of booties, here are the ruby slippers I made for some friends who are expecting their first child soon.
 I loved this little pattern so much that...
 I just had to make more of these sweet little shoes! The first pair took about six hours to make. These periwinkle blue ones took five. Maybe if I make another pair I can cut it down to four!
 Finally, let me wish my DH a happy anniversary! 
37 years!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

They say it's my birthday!

Have I ever told you how much I love my Chicks? My husband recently had major complications following what was supposed to be an overnight surgical procedure and he had to spend 9 extra days hospitalized after an 3AM visit to the ER. He is recovering at home now and while at times he's very frustrated, he is showing signs of improvement. While he was hospitalized, I quietly celebrated my birthday with dinner for one, making my new favorite dish, a pesto pizza on a portabello mushroom. To make up for it my Chicks gave me this darling T-shirt which reads
"I Don't Do Mornings!"
Do they know me well or what?!!! LOL!
I love the fuzzy slippers and sleep mask on her head! Thank you ladies for thinking of me!
 I did a lot of knitting while sitting vigil by my DH's bedside. I worked on a different version of the Saartje booties. The original pattern calls for lots of ends and seams to be worked but some genius reinvented the pattern to make it completely seamless and knitted in the round. It didn't take me long to make the first one and I'm half way through the second already. It's a stealth gift for a friend so shhhh, don't say anything.
 I also finished a bonnet and booties to go with a baby blanket I finished a few weeks ago. These booties were knitted Magic Loop method using a size 2 needle.
 Kathleen finished the leaf blanket using Plymouth Encore wool and acrylic blend yarn.
 It's a perfect baby size blanket.
 Cinzia is making the same pattern and also using Plymouth Encore but different colors.
 And here is her finished baby cardigan. The pattern calls for snaps instead of buttonholes so I think Cinzia is going to sew dummy buttons on the front.
 Oops! I almost forgot to show you Kathleen's other finished hoodie. Another beautifully grafted Kitchener stitch at the top of the hood portion.
 Carole's Sunnyside cardigan is almost finished too. She was smack dab in the center of the back of the sweater, all smooth stockinette stitch and she encountered a huge knot in the yarn where the color abruptly changed from pink to green with no transition. DARN! We hate when that happens! She had to tink back a row and start the new strand of yarn at the buttonband edge so she can skillfully disguise the knot. 
 Beth finished her Flax baby sweater, another Plymouth Encore project.
 There's a closeup of that interesting touch to the shoulder.
 Dorah finished up the body of her little pullover. Up next, picking up the sleeve stitches and finishing it off.
We are having a slam bang thunderstorm right now. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to go knit something.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cuteness everywhere!

Kathleen started off Show and Tell with her not-quite-finished hoodie. She spent the afternoon picking up stitches around the neckline to knit the hood portion. The yarn is a self-striping, washable blend of acrylic and nylon and has a bit of shine to it.
 Adding to the inventory was another little bonnet from Kathleen and lastly....
 another darling pullover. 
 Liz put the finishing touches on this sweet little sweater...
 and then moved on to another color of the same sweater.
 Cinzia picked out a baby blanket pattern and worked up a gauge swatch. Bless her heart! You all know how I feel about those!
 In spite of sundown, it was pretty steamy and hot on the deck by evening time so we all opted to stay in with the AC.
Carole finished blocking the cute little set she had been knitting.
 The lace is such a pretty touch and the flower buttons are so cute!
 Next up on Carole's list is a colorful version of Sunnyside. We talked about how great a resource Ravelry is to handcrafters. Carole knew how much yarn she had and what weight it was so she just googled the particulars and came up with a pattern appropriate for her requirements.
 Maureen and Dorah worked on their sweaters too. Maureen wasn't able to make much progress since last week but Dorah's sweater looks bigger.
 It's just about ready for the ribbing and bind off and then on to the sleeves.
I finished blocking my eyelet baby blanket and it improved the appearance tremendously.
There was enough yarn left over to make a baby hat too. It's knitted with size 2 needles so I'm finding I need to rest my hands more often. 
Those tiny needles make my fingers cramp if I knit too long. I guess I'll just have to do more "Hand Yoga"!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Keeping babies in style

Barbara's project this week is a sweet pair of baby mittens. As you can see, they will have a safety cord attached to slip through the sleeves of a jacket so they don't get lost. I think I could use one of those. Or maybe the little elastic clips that connect to the cuff of your jacket. Do any of you remember having those when you were a kid? Or am I just showing my age?!
Barbara is using a colorful tweedy yarn. I'm sure she'll be finished by next week.
Liz put the finishing touches on her pink girly hoodie by sewing the picot hem.
Then she started a baby cardigan from a free pattern she found while surfing the net.
As you can see in the pattern photo, it is knit seamlessly from the top down, using a circular yoke with a little lace patterning.
Kathleen finished the Baby Sophisticate cardigan. I love how it reminds me of a professor's cardigan. All it needs is elbow patches and a pipe full of chocolate tobacco! LOL!
I doubt that a professor would wear such "stylin'" buttons though!
Adding to our inventory were three more bonnets that Kathleen just whipped up during the week.
And she's already on to another pullover, using a washable acrylic yarn.
Cinzia (our newest Chick) started another stylish cardigan from a book she borrowed from the library. Sorry I didn't get the name of it. It is knit in an unusual way.
It is cast on from the bottom back edge...
Then at the designated spot more stitches are cast on to make sleeves. The pattern then instructs the knitter to continue up and over the shoulders and down the front. Pretty ingenious, if I say so myself!
My Sunnyside is finished. And I love the cables...
not to mention the cute buttons I found in my stash! It took the last five buttons I had. I'm so glad too. I hate it when I'm left with one sorry button.
Maureen's cardigan made it to the row where she had to put the sleeve stitches on holders so she can continue on down the body. This is our favorite Cabin Fever Cardigan pattern.
Here is Beth's Flax pullover I told you about last week. That bright, sunny yellow will look great on a happy baby. It's from Plymouth called Encore, another washable yarn blend.
And this wonky mess is the before picture of an eyelet baby blanket I finished last night. It's knit from the center out, first on double pointed needles and then switching to circulars when it's big enough. I purchased the pattern from Staci Perry on Ravelry. It's called Eyelet Baby Blanket, oddly enough!
I'm hoping to find time this week to block it so you can see how pretty it really is. So I guess I had better get a move on! See you next week.