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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cute little baby clothes!

Last week I showed you the beginnings of Barbara's baby mittens. Well here they are! They are so cute! And they're about a minute big!
 Barb's new project is this cute baby hat using a Cascade 220 DK weight yarn.
 Kathleen brought in another Cabin Fever Cardigan with a matching hat. I think by now she has made so many of these little jackets that she has the pattern memorized!
 She has already started another one in a beautiful coral color.
And has even found some cute buttons in the "communal button box" for it.
 We have a new Chick in the flock! That's Cinzia on the right knitting the same hat as Barbara is knitting. We are so happy she has decided to join our afternoon group. Welcome Cinzia!
Beth finished her Brickless shawl and we'll be putting it in storage until we finish our baby project. This scarf or shawl is an interesting pattern. There are three different wedges of stitching giving it a lacy and ridged appearance.
 Carol modeled the different ways it can be worn.
 This way was our favorite, all cuddled up around the neck on a cold winter's day.
Beth finished another Martina Boehm scarf/shawl called Miss Winkle. She used Periwinkle Sheep yarn for it. Isn't that a lovely springy green?!
And look at that curly cue edging! So clever and unique.
It's another one of those scarves that cuddle up around the neck.
Now she is moving on to a baby cardigan using Opal sock yarn.  The pattern is called Wynkyn and it's one of those great top down sweaters so there is no sewing required! My favorite kind of knitting!
And remember I told you last week that Carole would probably have the body of her sweater finished? Tonight she knitted 2" of the sleeve already.
The hoodie I worked on last week is done now too. It needs a thorough blocking though. The bottom hem keeps curling up and driving me crazy!
That's all we have to show you this week. I'd say it was quite a lot though. I am so lucky to have such dedicated ladies who are willing to devote so much time to helping out. God bless you Chicks!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Well, there's eight hours of my life I'll never get back!

Have I ever told you how much I hate knitting gauge swatches? I know they are essential, even mandatory if you want a garment to fit you properly but I never get it right the first time. I decided to knit this for myself even though I said I don't like knitting sweaters for me. But I saw it on a friend and fell in love with it. I even broke down and bought the pattern! I'm frugal when it comes to purchasing patterns that I might never knit. I would rather put the free ones in my Ravelry library and never knit them than actually pay cold hard cash and have it sit in my binder and mock me every time I walk past it. But this cardi was so precious and I saw this beautiful red alpaca, silk, merino blend yarn the perfect weight, according to the pattern. Who could resist? I ignored the tiny voice inside which screamed at me, "The last time you knit yourself a sweater you wound up giving it away!" Granted, I gave it to my daughter because it looked beautiful on her. On me, not so much! I also ignored the fact that the neckline of the sweater I gave to her was exactly the same as the pattern I just bought. Another red flag. So this past weekend I decided it was time to bite the bullet and make that swatch so I could have a pretty red cardi waiting for me next fall. I took out my size 7 needles and cast on a whole bunch of stitches, more than what I needed for a swatch. And then I spent 4 hours on Saturday and 4 more on Sunday knitting stockinette swatches. When the size 7 needles did not produce the correct amount of stitches in 4 inches I tried all others hoping that eventually I would get gauge. Not even close. How on earth can I knit with size 6's to 10's and not get gauge?!!! I was always too far over the 4" requirement! I've said it before and I'll say it again. I need to listen to my knitting goddesses when they whisper to me. This time they screamed at me, "FORGET THAT STUPID SWEATER!!!" 
Okay, I'm over my rant now. Thank you for listening!
Anywaaaaayyyy.... We chicks are into the baby knitting! It's so much fun to make baby clothes! Kathleen finished one already, no surprise here. This sweet leafy cardi is a washable synthetic mohair. Moms will appreciate that.
 Barbara is stashbusting with baby mittens.
 Her first pair will be this soft lavender color.
 I love this little hoodie for which I did not get gauge (who is surprised here? not me!) but it's ok because I don't really know who will be wearing it so I don't have to make it an exact size. That's the great thing about charity knitting...it's going to fit SOMEBODY.
 I chose this colorful yarn which is a merino and mohair blend.
 Dorah started this baby cardigan last week and already it has grown. By the time we went home last night she was all ready to put the sleeve stitches on holders.
 And Carole's baby pullover is down to the bottom ribbing. Sleeves next week probably.
We haven't chosen a recipient yet for these baby clothes but we still have time. For now we will just enjoy the journey and worry about the destination later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

An Even 100!

This Mistake Stitch Scarf is Kathleen's creation using Noro Kureyon Yarn. The pattern is very simple ribbing offset by one stitch to make the warm, almost thermal stitch fabric. You must cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 1. Then every row is knitted the same, K2, P2, ending the row with a K1. I like to slip the first stitch purlwise with the yarn in front to give a neat, smooth edge. This is a favorite pattern of ours when we need a quick and easy scarf. It makes a nice cozy fabric too.
 Last week's vest is finished already. It turned out great Kathleen! It has lots of positive ease too so it will fit a variety of sizes due to the stretchiness of the fabric.
 And look who is back from her winter retreat! Barbara came back just in time to help us label the items going out soon.
 And here they are. All 100 pieces!
 We knitted 14 scarves, 19 hats, 16 pairs of mittens and fingerless mitts, 3 vests...
 7 pairs of slippers, 5 shawls/scarves, 7 headband/earwarmers, 1 cardigan, and 28 cowls! Thank you Chicks for all the wonderful knitting!
Tonight we learned from Beth how her Brickless Shawl is constructed. The pattern alternates lace sections with ribbed and garter stitch sections to make a very nice pattern.
Now it's time for me to pack everything into bags to deliver. I'll keep you posted as to our delivery date. Have a great week and keep those needles clicking!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Moose is 7? How can that be? And knitting, of course!

 Last Saturday I helped Moose, my favorite big boy grandson, celebrate his 7th birthday. I can't believe he's 7 already! He is growing up so fast.
He was awarded "Celebrity of the Month" in his class at school. He is in first grade but also second grade, so his teacher, Mrs. Malinowski, commended him on his superb juggling skills between subjects. We are all so proud of him!
 Uncle Drew paid a rare visit to Pennsylvania too so he had some serious catching up time with his nephew.
 And some serious playtime with his other nephew, Leo, as Poppop joined in the game.
Dinnertime and celebration time with my favorite little boys. What could be better than that?!
 On Tuesday the Chicks and I got back to business with our knitting. Kathleen's daughter did have the perfect buttons for her cardigan from last week's post. 
 Now Kathleen is working on a sweater vest, a pattern from her archives.
 The back is almost finished. She is using a heathered yarn from Plymouth Encore.
 Kathleen's Chinook scarf from last week is finished too. She blocked it when she finished knitting and it made a world of difference. If you don't believe in blocking you should read this from Stephanie Pearl McPhee.
 
 My Olivia Cowl is ready to go into inventory. I used Cascade 220 yarn because it shows the stitch definition so nicely.
 I'm still working on a linen stitch infinity scarf. I think this is a Malabrigo yarn. It is a very soft single ply yarn and the colors are a great picker-upper.
 I am also working on a stealth project about which I can't say much other than I knitted both mittens at the same time on two sets of needles. Having only one set of size 6 DP's, I had to use 2 size 6 circs to knit the other mitten. By knitting them simultaneously I can assure they are both the exact same length and gauge. This is also a good way to avoid sockitis, or mittenitis in this case. That's when you knit one sock, or mitten, and then you suddenly realize you have to do it all over again and you don't really want to. I tried the Magic Loop method but I hate fiddling with the long cables.
 And here they are, exactly the same! Some day I'll tell you about the time I made three baby 
socks, no two the same size.
 This is the second time I made Foolproof using the last of the baby alpaca yarns I used in the first one I made months ago.
 The directions say it starts without casting on and finishes without binding off! I wasn't sure how that was done but if you want to know you'll have to try one yourself. It was a really fun pattern to knit and one that was good for TV knitting but still interesting enough to hold my attention.
 Carole added another hat to the inventory this week. Look at those beautiful cables!
 Now she is working on a baby sweater...
 in a pretty soft pink.
 Beth wore her newest creation. 
 I had a heck of a time getting a good photo of it though. It's really pretty!
 Now she is working on Brickless to add to our donations.
We should be wrapping up these projects soon and then we're all going to make baby clothes!