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

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!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chicks knit and I visit the beach

Barbara has become our official model for all finished projects. Thanks Barb! Here is Elaine's finished Gaptastic Cowl. Looks good!
Elaine finished a beige alpaca hat (on her lap) and she started another Gaptastic Cowl in brown. We are so happy to have Elaine back again.
 Now Barbara is modeling Kathleen's finished Amsterdam Lace Shawl. It's an adaptable pattern which you can knit in any weight yarn and any size so here Kathleen made it bandana size. It's a very memorizable pattern that easy to knit.
 Kathleen's fingers were busy as usual so she added another pair of mittens to our inventory.
 And here she is working on another cowl. We're going to have many warm necks this winter!
Liz finished her version of the Cushy Cowl. She used a super bulky yarn which gave it nice body but it's a killer on the hands and wrists to knit so her next project will be a softer and lighter weight yarn.
 Barbara found a pretty heathered green yarn which will become a hat and matching fingerless mitts.
 And Cinzia started a Nymphalidea Scarf. After she knitted this far into the project she noticed a dropped stitch and offered to rip it back to fix it. Instead I suggested she just thread a needle with the same yarn and weave it back into itself so she doesn't lose knitting time. You'll never notice it within the colors and pattern. And if I can avoid ripping it out I'll find a way to make it work.
 Our evening group worked on cowls and scarves too.
 Carole's Cushy Cowl is almost done...
 And Maureen did the bind off on hers tonight.
 Beth is almost done with her scarf.
 But I still have quite a way to go on my striped scarf.
 Last week I finished my Cushy Cowl. I have 4 other projects on needles which need to be finished. Maybe by next week I'll have a completed project to show you.
 DH and I took a very short vacation to Williamsburg, VA to visit the historical sites; Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg Village. I learned a lot from very entertaining park rangers. We had great weather until Sunday when we went to Dewey Beach in Delaware on our way home. We were told there was a storm out at sea and it caused the waves to be powerful.
 There's DH watching the clouds roll by.
 To say it was windy was an understatement! But the water was very warm and there were people swimming and body surfing all along the beach. 
By 4PM the dark rain clouds were replaced with pretty puffy clouds and blue sky started showing through.
 We were back at the beach by 8:45AM on Monday and the morning was glorious!
 As you can see it was beautiful on the sand. I really didn't want to leave.
 I met all sorts of creatures both small and ...
 friendly. That's Diesel. He truly enjoyed his romp on the beach.
But all too soon it was time to say goodbye to the sand and surf.
So now I have my photos to remind me how much I love the ocean. It's where I really feel at home.