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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

There will be warm necks this year!

Elaine made great strides with her Gaptastic Cowl since last week. She'll be binding off stitches soon. It's a free pattern from Ravelry so if you are not a member yet, I suggest you join soon. It's free and has so much to offer fiber artists.
 Liz finished her slouchy hat and it has a drawstring so girls with long ponytails can feed their hair through the top of the hat and close it with the I-cord drawstring.
 She also finished the blue cowl on which she was working last week. This would be good for a non-gender specific knit and it turned out great.
 Kathleen made two Cushy Cowls.
 This blue one looks cozy and 
 This one will be too!
 Kathleen turned some Periwinkle Sheep yarn into a stretchy hat. She demonstrated how it looked so small but it really stretched large enough to fit an adult.
 Cinzia used a Malabrigo yarn to make another short rows scarf that meanders through the colors.
 Now she is working on a Reversible Stripes Scarf with vertical stripes on one side and...
 horizontal stripes on the other.
 Carole's Sanibel Cowl is just about finished. She'll have it blocked and ready next week.
 And Beth is back from 2 weeks in California, touring Yosemite National Park and Napa Valley for a wine tasting tour. From the stories she told us it was a good vacation with lots of hiking and good food and wine. She even had time to knit a few stitches on her scarf.
 Dorah is also knitting the Sanibel Cowl with a Periwinkle Sheep Yarn. We talked about the randomness of the stockinette portions of the cowl and how it might drive a person a bit whacky if they had OCD.
 Dorah added 3 pairs of socks to our inventory. These self patterning yarns add so much interest to a good vanilla sock pattern.
 I had some cashmere left from the cowl I made and couldn't bring myself to tossing it out so I turned it into a headband to match the cowl.
 And after seeing Barbara's Cushy Cowl I felt compelled to make one. It was a quick knit that took only 3 days to complete. I have another one on needles as we speak and will be binding off the stitches as soon as I'm done here.
 Now, what will my next knitting project be?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Howdy Stranger!

For those of you who have followed The Chicks since way back when, you may recognize Elaine (sitting on the far left) as one of our original members. She came back for a visit today and you can tell by the expression on Kathleen's face it was a surprise for all! {{{I knew, but I kept it a secret}}} It was nice catching up with her and having another knitter in the flock. I hope she will feel inspired to start knitting again and rejoin the group!
 She did bring us two sweet hats to add to our inventory.
 Barbara got back on track with her Mistake Stitch Scarf and finished it beautifully along with...
a lofty, soft cowl. She told us it was a very easy pattern. That remains to be seen with the way I've been knitting lately. More on that later. 
 Barbara started another hat using Manos Maxima yarn. It's such a creamy red and soft yarn.
 Another scarflette finished too.
 Tied with the point in the front makes a nice bandana cowl.
Kathleen is making the same pattern with a different weight yarn. It's called the Amsterdam Lace Scarf  and can be knit in any weight yarn as long as you use the needle appropriate for the yarn. It can look like a tight knit pattern or a wide open lace, depending on how you block it.
 And Kathleen also finished the variegated gray vest she worked on last week.
 Liz is working on this slouchy hat.
 It's almost finished.
 Cinzia added a cute crocheted flower to her hat and again without using a pattern. Sheer genius!
 Maureen's cowl looks great. The variegated yarn shows off the knit 3, purl 3 pattern knitted in the round better in person.
 This is the Sanibel Cowl that Carole is knitting with the yarn from last week's cowl that she had to frog.
 This cowl is working up much more easily than the other one.
Remember the hat Dorah was knitting last week? This is it! We started recounting our experiences with so-called "easy patterns" and all the problems we encountered with them. We've decided that none of us can multi-task anymore. Remembering when our children were little and we could carry on 2 conversations at once while cooking dinner made us melancholy. We laughed about how Maureen made a beautiful buttonhole in a sweater but was called away by some distraction and when she returned to her knitting was horrified to see a big hole in her knitting which she proceeded to repair, only to discover 12 rows later when she was making another buttonhole that uh-oh! that hole wasn't a mistake! Bummer! 
 This is the Barber Pole Cowl designed and knitted by the lovely Staci Perry of in the photograph. I was knitting this last week, operative word here is "was".
 It is a very easy pattern knitted in the round to create a double thick cowl, but leave it to me to mess it up! I had knitted about 8 inches when I discovered 3 different blips in my knitting. The stripes were moving in crazy directions because I got off track. So I tinked back about 2 inches to start in a spot that was following the pattern. But again there were blips. Darn! Frog the whole thing! So now it's a straight forward striped scarf. 
I think I need to use 2 yarns that have a sharper contrast to each other next time I try the Barber Pole. So even as experienced as we all are, mistakes are made and corrected or sometimes ripped out and on to something totally different. Besides, it feels good to rrrriiiipppp it out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A full house

We had a full house this afternoon and a visitor too. Sophia's sister, Elena, joined her and her mother, Cinzia. Elena is a crocheter and will be making a cowl without a pattern! I love that we have a new generation carrying on our tradition of fiber crafting.
 Kathleen finished her heather blue vest and continues to knit on the variegated grey vest.
 Barbara has two projects on needles. This one is going to be a cowl knitted in the round. And the yarn is nice and soft to cuddle around the neck.
She is almost done knitting on her Mistake Stitch Scarf. Oddly enough, we talked so much today that she made a mistake on it. We all laughed together at the irony of it all!
 Sophia's first mitten needs a thumb and she cast on for another this afternoon.
 Here Elena is crocheting a test gauge swatch to see how she wants to knit the cowl.
 Last week I showed you Liz's cowl before she found buttons for it.
 After hunting through Kathleen's button collection she found three lovely wood buttons to add a splash of flair.
Cinzia made this lovely short-row scarf using Baby Alpaca Grande yarn from Plymouth. It is as soft as a cloud and will be so soft next to the skin.
 Tonight Carole was my only knitter. We had a quiet evening and we each took turns repairing mistakes. Sometimes we just can't talk and knit at the same time. But this lovely silk blend yarn will become...
this cowl called Last Minute Cowl, a free pattern on Ravelry.
 I finished Sweet Lil' Scarfette, another freebie on Ravelry. I had one skein of fingering weight yarn, about 200 yards and the directions said to knit 32" before the ending point. As I neared the end of the ball of yarn I started to panic and prayed my way through the last rounds of knitting, hoping I wouldn't run out before I reached the end. After blocking the scarf is a whopping 41" long!
 Here is my finished Nymphalidea. The yarns are from Periwinkle Sheep. The dark blue is called "She Speaks" and the light blue is "Un Identified Blue". I love this scarf and can't wait to wear it.
 It has a non-traditional shape and can be worn as a scarf, a shawl, or a cowl. It's going to go well with my jeans. 
Now all we need is cooler weather!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WARNING: Our Yarn Fairy Godmother paid us a visit

We are now set for a long time! We sorted 9 more bags of a yarn donation and the afternoon ladies oohhed and aahhed their way through all kinds of beautiful fibers. Liz was setting up for her winter knitting and Barbara became dizzy with ideas.
Barbara was telling me that this skein was calling my name.
 Kathleen left with an armful. No doubt she will knit it all in a few weeks!
 My evening ladies were taken by surprise too. DH stood watch in case anyone swooned and needed resuscitation. LOL!
It was like Christmas morning. 
 Look at this one! Feel this one! I'm taking this one!
 Now for some show and tell. One of Kathleen's daughters is a master quilter and made this lovely lap robe for her. Since we all appreciate any kind of fiber art, Kathleen knew we would love this. The colors are beautiful.
 Margaret's skills are perfect. Look at those corners!
 The center star has Kathleen's and her late husband's name embroidered in the points.
 And that pinwheel is all stitching. The fabric selections are a gorgeous array of patterns and colors. Beautiful work!
 Back to our knitting. Kathleen continues to knit on a sweater vest using Cascade 220 Heather blue. But those huge sections of stockinette get kind of boring so...
she is working on another sweater vest using a soft merino yarn with a subtle color change.
 In between those sweaters she also finished a pair of "Dorm Boots" with a sturdy acrylic yarn. They will really stand up to a rough wearing.
 Liz added a lace scarf to our inventory and...
 a nice warm Mistake Stitch Scarf and...
 a lovely cowl, which needs a large wooden button to add the finishing touch.
 This week Liz will be working on a slouchy hat to go with the purple scarf.
 I finished the hat to match my DD's design for the Parallelogram Cowl. By sheer dumb luck, I had exactly the right number of buttons and spaced them out just right.
 Barbara's Dorm Boots practically glow in the dark! No need for a nightlight. LOL! I love their cheerfulness.
 Barbara's current project is a Mistake Stitch Scarf using some of our newest yarn. Pretty colors!
 Carole has only five more leaves to knit on her scarf. She's glad it's almost finished. Those long scarves get to all of us. We feel all excited and inspired when we start them and then about three quarters of the way through, we can't wait to be finished. But it's such a great feeling to bind off that last stitch!
 Maureen finished the leafy slouch hat.
 Such a cute pattern and a beautiful color!
Now Maureen is finishing up this very textured cowl. I can't wait to see it completed.
 Dorah started this lovely hat tonight.
By night's end she had quite a lot done.
A great big thank you to our Yarn Fairy Godmother. She knows it will be put to good use and we really appreciate every beautiful fiber! Now I have to figure out where I'm going to store all of it. We joked tonight that we are sure we're all going to live long, healthy lives because we can't die until it's all knitted! LOL!