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

Thursday, July 23, 2015

An oldie but goodie!

This week has presented itself with some personal challenges which require my immediate attention. I've decided to post an oldie but goodie to keep in mind when knitting, or crafting of any sort. I hope to be back in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, keep those needles clicking!

Someone once asked me how could I invest all the time and energy into knitting a garment and then just give it away, never knowing who will get it, how they will wear it, and the most worrisome in her mind, how will they take care of it!? Well, I came across this website that talks about yoga and knitting and how to apply some applications to both. It offered the following guidelines for a healthy lifestyle which could also pertain to knitting.

Peacefulness toward self and others. Be gentle with your own hands and body, not knitting so frenectically as to injure yourself. Encourage others to do the same. Another aspect is not to get too competitive, with others obviously, but also with yourself. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a project that's not a challenge once in a while. Try not to get pulled into flame wars on your favorite net forum, no matter how strongly you feel about the topic or personalities involved, and certainly don't start them.

Truthfulness. Give credit where it's due, don't pretend you invented things you picked up in your readings, even if the sources are unknown to your audience. Be honest in any reviews that you share, don't let personality issues with the source overwhelm the things that you should be talking about, whether positively or negatively. Teach things fully and completely, putting in every detail to help others' success.

Honesty, or more exactly non-covetousness. Respect the spirit of copyrights: don't distribute others' designs as if they were your own. Take time and at least put in a significant amount of effort if you're going to re-do someone else's idea, acknowledge them in the write-up. (I did up there) Stores that sell designs they copied for free from the net fall squarely into the category that should be working on this concept. On the other hand, many struggling small stores have theft rates that rival Wal-Mart!

Moderation. Listen to your body and work within reasonable limits. Especially don't push too hard to finish a project, make softer deadlines for yourself if you must have any. If there is a deadline, make sure you realistically evaluate how much work the project will take, allowing extra time for unplanned events, and downshift to an easier one if necessary. Try not to let yourself get guilt-tripped into making presents for everyone, especially near-strangers like your co-worker's neighbor's new baby!

Detachment. Cultivate modesty about your skill and/or productivity. Teach others your tricks fully and completely when they ask, especially if you expect the same in return. Truly let go of finished presents, not using them as leverage for pulling strings, not criticizing how they're used or not or how they're washed. Remember the process is itself enjoyable, no matter how much you love the finished product.

And I would like to add my own personal rule: if it's not fun, don't do it! Just be careful not to say that in front of your teenagers. It's come back to bite me in the butt a couple of times! LOL!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


It's often been said of me that I would forget my head if it wasn't attached. Well, today I lived up to my reputation by not taking any photographs of our work in progress. In my defense, we had the driveway sealed yesterday so that meant our usual routine was interrupted. My Chicks could not enter the house the usual way and so we knitted in a different room, the living room instead of the family room. I even said to myself after the afternoon ladies left (and I gave myself a thorough scolding) "Don't forget to put the camera in the living room so you can take pictures tonight." 
Ummm...well...I forgot!
Cinzia finished weaving the ends on her brown scarf and added a lovely red cowl that she started a couple of weeks ago. Liz added a few more inches to her Noro Striped scarf and I picked up the white bouclé scarf after finishing my beige Mistake Stitch scarf. Elena added two more pairs of fingerless mitts in a bright royal blue yarn. This evening Maureen worked out the kinks on the slouchy hat that was off a stitch last week and Dorah added length to her scarf. So it was business as usual.
Next week my grandsons are coming to visit so the Chicks get a week off. Moose will be attending his annual golf classes so maybe there will be a few photos of the boys to show off...
if I don't forget!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A quiet day of knitting

This week was quiet. The afternoon ladies had conflicts so we didn't meet until the 7PM group. And then there were conflicts of schedule that kept two Chicks away tonight too. But Dorah and Maureen kept me company.
I didn't get much knitting accomplished on my Mistake Stitch scarf because I was trying to knit more blocks on the sock blanket I'm knitting for my son. There are over 350 blocks on it so far and it's not even to the half way mark yet. I'm making it to fit a double bed and then I'm going to knit an i-cord edge all around. I started this last June and work on it every so often. I've been trying to knit at least a block every couple of days but sometimes life gets in the way. You know how that goes!
 Dorah swore she would never knit another Noro Stripe Scarf but here she goes. I don't know why she doesn't like it. She's doing a great job!
 Maureen started the evening working on her slouchy hat but had to put it aside when she discovered her stitch count was off. Uh-oh! That's not good! So she picked up the shawl she's making for herself which she said has to be finished for a September occasion. Knit faster Maureen!
 My sister came to visit from Connecticut but like the rest of us, she doesn't like having her photograph taken. But those are her hands holding up the project she's been knitting for the past two years. She would much rather be out taking photographs of nature. She's very good at that pastime.
Someday she'll finish this and then we can add it to the inventory.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Filling the inventory

When last we met Cinzia was working on her short rows scarf. She was planning on alternating a solid brown yarn with this variegated but after a few segments she decided she didn't like the way the two fibers didn't mesh well together. The variegated yarn is very organic and raw while the brown yarn was plied differently and gave off a sheen that didn't seem to look right against the other. We all agreed that she made the right choice to not use the brown. 
So now the brown yarn is becoming the Palindrome Reversible Cables Scarf. This is one of those patterns that will amaze you even as you knit it because you can't figure out how on earth those cables can look the same on both sides! It takes me forever to knit one because I keep stopping to turn it over and over and marvel at the "reversibility" of it.
 Liz has made progress on her Noro Striped scarf. That's the same brown yarn Cinzia is using on her Palindrome. I guess we had many skeins of it! 
Elaine misplaced her lovely Mistake Stitch Scarf and just recently found it again so she's finishing it up.
She did however, finish a bulky weight cabled hat. Beautiful stitchwork!
 And I haven't made much progress on my version of the Mistake Stitch Scarf. I was away all last week taking care of the grands so I didn't have much knitting time on my hands.
 The evening group is still working on all the scarves and hats that were highlighted the last time I posted on the blog. 
 Beth had a surprise for us though. Many weeks ago she and Carole talked about the scarves they were making using their favorite baseball teams' colors; two colors designate away wins and losses and two designate home wins and losses. Well, look at how well Beth's Pittsburgh team is doing! Those wide bands of stockinette stitch are the wins. She knitted the losses in garter stitch which is bumpy because losses are bumpy afterall.
And then last week when I was visiting my daughter and grandsons I caught them in a quiet moment when Moose was reading to his little brother. There aren't many moments of tranquility with two little boys, so I had to catch this on camera to remember how they can be still for a minute or two!
They'll be all grown up before you know it. Gotta catch these precious times while I can.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Scarves everywhere

Yay! Barbara finished her Mistake Stitch Scarf! She didn't really take all that long but it always seems to take forever when you're in the middle of it. Now she has to weave the ends and it's ready for inventory.
Liz took her striped scarf home last week to get it started and she's off and running now. Last week we were just talking too much and she had a heck of a time with it. 
 Cinzia had to weave in ends on her finished Wingspan and then she added it to the inventory.
 Now she's working on a wavy scarf using short rows and Noro Kureyon and a solid wool, the name escapes me right now.
 Sofia joined us this week and will be a frequent visitor over the summer while school is out. She finished her baby hat and made the perfect little pompom for it.
 Now her DP's are flying through another project. And to think she is a beginner knitter!
 Thank you's go out to Gaye Holton for donating two lovely afghans to our inventory. She lives at a local assisted living facility and we love being the recipients of her handiworks.
 Carole blocked her Cabin Fever jacket and it looks beautiful. We were saying it looks like something little Prince George should be wearing. Her stitch definition on this is perfect.
 Maureen's slouchy hat grew many inches tonight.
 This is what it will look like when finished. Lovely cables!
 Nothing exciting to see here, just my two scarves. I was so bored with beige and white that last night I started....
 a pattern called Tubularity by Martina Behm. It is constructed on the bias as a long tube which you can wear like a cowl over your head or you can flatten the tube and wrap it around your neck like a scarf or shawl.
 These are some of the yarn remnants I've chosen to use for it. There will be bands of these colors on the bias along the scarf.
I'm looking forward to seeing this finished...who knows when?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Starting over

Everyone started new projects today.
 Liz started a Noro Striped Scarf... 3 times. It was one of those days where talking and knitting don't mix. Once she got home to a quiet house she started it again and was off and running.
  Cinzia started a Wingspan with a solid and a gradient yarn. This is going to
            be spectacular.           
 Elaine started a hat. The ribbing is 1X1 but the knit stitches are knit through the back loop giving it a more defined, almost raised stitch.     

 I blocked my Cathedral Scarf which I made for myself. I used Karin's yarn called The Rising of the Moon.
Elaine finished her baby blanket which will go into storage for the next baby donations since we dropped off our latest donation earlier. This is the reverse side and it looks as nice as...
      the front side. The yarn is a machine washable, soft acrylic.
 I started a Mistake Stitch scarf since I finished the scarf I showed you last week. I shouldn't have chosen to knit two beige scarves in a row though. I need something colorful now!
 Dorah started this scarf last week as the Reversible Stripes Scarf which has vertical stripes on one side and horizontal stripes on the other. But after many starts and stops she opted to make a simple Noro Stripe Scarf instead. You know my motto, if it's not fun, don't do it!
 Carole started a Palindrome after seeing mine and feeling inspired. Since the yarn and needle are a lighter weight than what I used she added another cable to widen it.
 Maureen decided to start her slouchy hat over again too. Her original choice of yarn was too light weight for gauge so she switched to a worsted weight and now it's on track again.
We Chicks are hoping to make these items to leave around town next fall as the season turns cold so anyone who needs the warmth can grab what they need when they see it. Now we just have to find a good place to stash the items.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Time to donate!

It's time to take inventory and photograph our donation. So many cute little baby clothes! 
There were 26 sweaters of all styles. Some had matching hats too! Those two blocks on either side are holding sweaters that haven't yet dried from their blocking.
 There were 3 lovely crocheted blankets and...
 30 hats, 3 pairs of booties, and 9 pairs of mittens. These items will go to Albany Medical Center to be distributed wherever they are needed.
 Barbara made us all laugh because she couldn't let us see her Mistake Stitch scarf again this week. She was quick with that pillow. Kathleen brought us a finished red hat and blue scarf, sitting at her side on the couch cushion. Now she's working on a Mistake Stitch scarf with the green and red variegated yarn. She started a linen stitch scarf with it but it didn't go well and the yarn was not cooperating. So then Kathleen decided on a Feather and Fan scarf but the busy-ness of the colors in the yarn did not allow the pretty stitch pattern to show up. Frogged again! Now she is going back to the "Tried and True" Mistake Stitch scarf and it looks great. 
Liz added rows to her hat and Elaine continued on her blanket for a future donation when we give baby items again. 
 The multi-talented Cinzia added some crochet rows to a sweet little baby top and now it just needs some buttons.
 Carole tried something new to her, knitting both sleeves of a sweater at the same time on one needle using the Magic Loop method. This is a great idea to insure that all your decreases occur at the same spot on both sleeves and they end up being the exact same length. If you have a flexible long circular needle you should give it a try. I'm sure you'll like the results. Plus both sleeves are finished in one fell swoop!
 Beth started a Mistake Stitch scarf too using a very colorful yarn that has lots of texture. This is going to be a cheerful garment!
 Maureen started a slouchy hat with some of the yarn from our California Yarn Angel and 
 I picked up stitches on a scarf she sent us so it can be finished and added to the inventory.
 Then Dorah picked out two lovely yarns from the same supply and she started a Reversible Stripes scarf. Horizontal stripes on the front and...
 vertical stripes on the back! A.MAZE.ING! We still can't figure out how that works!
It's always fun when knitting befuddles us!