Sunday, March 18, 2018

That Finished Feeling

Hello Friends,

I've been quite busy since my last update.  Most of my time has been taken up with work and travel.  I spent two weeks in Cincinnati, OH.  Unfortunately, my schedule was pretty intense and I didn't get to visit any yarn shops.  But I took my sweater with me and managed to get it finished.  Don't you just love that finished feeling; that moment when you've bound off and just exhale.

Finally got it home and into a Soak bath.  This sweater has been all over the world and it needs a good washing.  The yarn is superwash, so it could have endured a run in the washing machine, but I do so love the smell of Soak.  My favorite scent is Lacey.

Superwash yarns tend to grow when blocked.  After washing, the sweater grazed the top of my knees.  20 minutes in the dryer on low brought it back to a reasonable size, but still damp enough to block out a bit. I'm hoping to get the split hem to lay straighter.  Fingers crossed.

I really like the ribbing.

And this is what it looks like.  Not the most exciting thing I've knit, but it'll do.

I knit part of one sleeve in the contrast color.  I also knit an extra round of ribbing on the sleeves and sweater bottom.  The pattern calls for an i-cord loop at the pocket, which hooks onto a button.  Well, I didn't have a button in the hotel, and since I really wanted to be done with this sweater, I omitted the cord.

New to me in this project:
O-Wool Yarn.  I enjoyed this yarn very much.
Split hem.  Not a fan;  my hips are too wide and I don't think the split hem is flattering on me.
Pockets.  Knitting a pocket was fairly easy.  I knit a stockinette flap for a few inches (pocket lining) using the stitches I had previously placed on a holder.  Then I tucked the flap inside the sweater and used a whip stitch to attach the lining to the sweater itself.  There are also videos on Youtube that discuss afterthought pockets and knitting pockets on an angle.  I'm looking forward to trying both of these techniques. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Life Happens

Hello Friends.

Life has taken me down many different paths since my last update.  One of my personal goals for 2014 was to learn to knit.  Since this blog was originally set up to focus on my love of cross-stitch, I didn't share that experience with you.  Silly me, because knitting quickly became a passion.  Socks, sweaters, shawls, piles of yarn and fiber; be still my heart.  My life took a major detour from needle and thread.

Then in 2016, my mom wanted to make a quilt.  And I found myself dumped into a whole other world.  Fabric, measuring tools, rotary cutters, sewing machines????   Err... how did this happen?  Do I really need a 3rd stash in this house?  Do I even have space for a 3rd stash in this house?  It has been quite a challenge trying to find time to juggle the three crafts I love.  In 2018, my goal is to find balance.  I adore the quilting,  I relish the knitting, and I find peace in the stitching.  My return to this space is about documenting my stitch life, connecting with like minds, and holding myself to be productive, rotate projects, and FINISH the things I embark upon.  I hope you will continue to watch this space. 

 XStitch WIPs

Windswept HEAD
Chart by Michelle Sayetta
Artwork by Rebecca Sinz

88 colors.  Lots of blues, grays, creams and greens.  I think this chart uses just about every "blue" that DMC makes.  My fabric is a 25ct. Lugana, and I'm doing 2 over 1 tent stitches.  I worked on her for about 2 hours last night.  I really have to get a picture taken outside, so that you can see how vibrant these colors are.  I've named her Cleo and I've already picked out a spot on the wall for her.

French Country Kitchen
Chatelaine Designs

A true labor of love.  One of the things I love most about Martina Rosenberg's work is her amazing use of color and texture.  When you see a finished object designed by her, you are looking at a piece of art.  Of course this means learning a whole heap of new stitches and techniques when I start one of her patterns.  But it's so worth it.  Chatelaine designs have made me a better stitcher.  They are exacting, challenging, intriguing, and heart wrenchingly beautiful.  French Country Kitchen was a mystery project from years ago.  I am FAR from finished, but still in love with it.

Knit WIPs

by Casapinka

I'm knitting this shawl with Three Irish Girls (Cavan Fingering) in the Carey colorway.  The loops are knit with Malabrigo (Sock) in the Diana colorway.  It's my first time using Three Irish Girls.  The yarn is beautiful, but it's a single ply, which I'm not too crazy about.  I went through three different needles and finally settled on Chiaogoo Red Lace's, but it's not a perfect pairing.  I have to be super conscious not to split the yarn when knitting, which makes it difficult to get into a steady rhythm.  It's particularly frustrating because the pattern is easy to memorize.  I do like the way it's knitting up, though.

Tidal Comfort
by Debra Parcella

I saw a couple of these sweaters knit up in the Tidal Yarns booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool last year and they were gorgeous.  I was head over heels about their yarn, but too close to my self-imposed spending limit to buy a sweater quantity of it.  I did buy a pattern.  I'm using O-Wool (O-Wash Worsted) in the Appalachian Stone and Barn Owl colorways.  O-Wool has become my new favorite worsted weight.    It's a joy to knit with and I want it in ALL the colors.  Seriously, you've gotta try this yarn.

But back to the sweater.  This sweater is meant to to be an everyday, throw on when it's chilly kind of garment and it's knit up quickly.  After finishing the body and trying it on, it fell to short om my hips.  The sweater splits where the color change happens, and I want it the back half to hang slightly over my bum, with the front half hitting the top of my thighs.  I also decided to contrast the colors on one of the sleeves.  I ordered more yarn and then finished the sleeve.  I ripped the back half out, knit an additional 3 inches, knit the ribbing and bound off.  I tried it on. I was happy.  WHY DIDN'T I STOP THERE? It was after 10pm. I was tired, but riding that "job well done" wave.  I ripped back the front half and set it on the needles, all ready to pick up this morning, and I went to bed quite pleased with myself.  Yeah well, didn't I rip out the wrong side? Yup, sure did.  I'd ripped back the side I had JUST fixed.  There is no more tequila in this house, so the sweater is going into a time-out.     

Quilt WIP

Take Flight
by Missouri Star Quilt Co.

I don't have a written pattern for this quilt.  I came across a video by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. and was inspired.  All my geese are cut out, but I only have these 3 sets sewn together so far.  I love the colors.  Delicious pinks, ruby reds, sunshine yellows, golden oranges, chocolaty browns.  If I could just stop gazing at the color combos, maybe I could get this thing sewn up quicker.  Gotta make sure I don't lose my points when I assemble these.  See that bottom strip?  My seam is too wide.  I'm using Boundless Batiks by Craftsy from their Fireside and Sunrise collections.  I purchased the white fabric at Joann Fabrics.

That's what I have going on right now.  Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Better late than never

My TUSAL jar has lots of blue ORTS from Windswept with bit of reds and greens from Cherries nestled on the bottom.

Some progress...

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Wishes

Wishing you a joyful year full of prosperity, good health, and cheer!

What little stitch time I've eeked out this holiday season, has been spent on Windswept.

Here is my progress.

The fabric's marbling is so pretty, that I decided to forgo most of the background (sky) and jump right to the mermaid.

I'm having trouble putting her down.   Lots of confetti in this, but parking helps.  I'm using tent stitches, 2 over 1.  The fabric is 25ct. Lugana and I'm very pleased with the coverage.  The blues are more vibrant in person.

Until we meet again...

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Progress & Happy Dancing

I'm amazed to find this year winding down already.  2013 brought about major change in my life,  Some heartbreaking, some inspirational, some downright depressing, and some joyful, but all very necessary.  As I sit here watching the first snow of the season blanket my garden, I am thankful.

Here's what I've been working on:

I misplaced one of the colors needed to finish that last side of gate, and so started working the corners. Here the chart called for Petite Silk Lame Braid.  I enjoyed stitching with it.  PSL has a subtle metallic shine,  Nothing as obvious as Petite Treasure Braid, but enough shine to make the corners of your mouth lift a little.  Very nice!

I'd wanted to have Partridge framed and on the mantelpiece in time for the holiday season.  Didn't quite work out that way...

Have made good progress on Tribal Elephant.

And lastly a FINISH.  

Summer Fruit 4 - Cherries by Chatelaine Designs.  This is my first time stitching on black linen.  Even with the great tips I gleaned from the forums and friends, I still found working on black less of a challenge and more of a hassle.  It also made me less confident about the placement of those stitches which were new to me (scotch stitches in the leaves; woven stitches in the cherries, and queen stitches at the base of the cherries).  I'm satisfied with the overall outcome, but plan on staying away from black fabric in the future. I'll leave that headache for you more experienced (and patient) stitchers out there.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Part 1? All done!

French Country has beads.  Many stitchers wait until the very end to add beads, but this piece has over 2,000 and I don't want to become overwhelmed and discouraged with endless beading at the finish line.  So I’ll bead as I go. 

I made a small start on Part 2 only to discover that I’m missing a color.  How did that happen?  Checked my stash tracker and sure enough, Thistle Patch – Gloriana #213 has a big “Need to Buy” next to it.  Well, didn't that just take the wind right out of my sail?  My LNS doesn't have the color in stock, so I had to order it online.  

Since we're halfway through 2013, I figured it was about time to pull out Partridge in a Pear Tree and put in a few stitches.  I lost all interest in this project once the holidays had passed, but I do want to have it done for Christmas this year.  The colors on this chart are vibrant and really pop on the fabric.  It's being stitched on 28 count linen in Vintage Country Mocha. 

When holding it up, it's hard to see that the design on the flower pot is a snowflake.  This picture makes me feel much better about having stitched it correctly. 

Wherever you are in the world, hope all is well, and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Slowly but surely...

French Country Kitchen Garden is coming along so slowly.   Part 7 was released earlier this month, but I’m still plugging away at Part 1.  I keep reminding myself that stitching is not a race.  Here is my labor of love.

I’m working on back stitching and beading this weekend.  The flowers on the bottom were all  charted yellow (Dinky Dyes 144), but I needed variety, so I mixed it up a little.  I used DMC 4100 for the spiky flowers and DMC 351 for the smaller Jessica stitches.  The larger Jessica stitches I kept yellow (DMC 3820).  And speaking of those dratted Jessica’s… .

By the time figured out what I was doing wrong, I was thoroughly in hate with them.  The trick is to turn the fabric to get the placement correct.  Eventually, I’ll go back and fix the funny looking ones, but for now, they will stay as stitched.

The weather has been holding and my garden has been calling me.  Sitting outdoors with a magnifier, however, is not feasible.  So my Feather Fairy has gotten a bit of attention.  

I've taken most of those sickly greens out and selected these golden yellows as replacement in her feather skirt.  

The chart calls for Krenik #4 Metallic Braid in colors #014 & #198.  I exchanged Krenik #014 with Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid #250.  PTB glides through fabric so smoothly; each stitch is like cutting through soft butter.  The Krenik, on the other hand, is rough and snags the fabric.  Threading a needle with it is an exercise in patience (three cheers for Thread Heaven).  But the effect can’t be beat.  It looks a little like crushed opals.  I wish I took better pictures. 

That's all for now. Thanks for looking. 

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!