Stitching and Life in the Company of Pets

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fourth finish - Follow Your Heart

Well it is January 31st and I've just managed to squeak a fourth finish in for the month. So far this year I'm doing really well. I've finished Gingerbread Cottage, Cherries, a knitted dishcloth, and now

Follow Your Heart
SanMan Originals
28 ct Antique White Monaco

I love the colors in this one. While I did consider keeping this for myself, it will be fun for Valentine's Day, it actually will be going to my DD (she doesn't read my blog so I'm safe posting the picture). I forgot to keep my camera charged, so I scanned it in making it look a little flatter than it normally would. Now I just need to pick up some other treats to create a Valentine's goodie package to send her.

She's still with the Circus and still enjoying it. The route this year will take them seveal places she's always wanted to see: Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, Nevada, New York, New York, and several cities in California. The only stop they have that I might be able to get to in order to see her this year is in Hershey, Pennsylvania. It would take me a day to drive there, and another to drive back, but I have driven it before so would know where I'm going. In addition, Hershey has fun stuff for me to do while she's working, so I could be going to the underground caverns, Amish village, Hershey Park, etc.. when I was on my own. Between that and my stitching, there would be plenty to keep me busy when the shows are on. Then I could spend time with her when she's not working. Don't know if it would work with my schedule at work, but would be fun if it can.

Haven't gotten a picture yet of the framed Acorns, Strawberries, and Cherries. When I get the camera charged up I'll post that sometime this weekend. Now, I'm off to sleep. It's been a long day and we are under a winter storm warning, could get up to 12 inches of show. Between that and the winds, which they are saying will make visability very poor, the trip to work tomorrow does not sound fun. Maybe I could do a snow day and stay home and stitch. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

2 finishes and a PIF

I've had quite a good week. My first finish this week was

Little House Needleworks
32ct Belfast Linen

I haven't had a chance to frame this yet, but I did lay it out in the three opening frame that I found earlier with Acorns and Strawberries and I really like how it works. The cut outs in the mat are perfect for their small square size. I'm hoping to have it framed this weekend as would really like to get it hung up.

My second finish this past week was another dishcloth

The pattern is called Stacked Barrels. I love the color, and am pretty happy with how it turned out. My transition from a knit stitch to a purl stitch still needs work though. The tension doesn't stay very well when I go back and forth and in several places the purl looks quite loose when it falls after a knit. Also, I think I grip the needles and yarn to tight most of the time. I keep trying to pull the yarn tighter so that I don't end up with that loose stitch, but the result is after a fairly short time my hands start to cramp (even the backs of my hands and fingers don't feel so great). I may try my next cloth on a smaller needle (the two I've done so far were on 7's and I used plastic needles) to see if I can get the tension I want without making my hands cramp up so much.

The last item I have is a PIF of a kind. Recently another blogger listed a bunch of patterns she had in her stash that she'd decided she wouldn't use, so was giving them away. I now have four lovely SanMan patterns on their way to me. These are originals not copies, as we're both following copyright laws. In the same spirit of giving some orphan stash a good new home, I have about 20 different leaflets/books/or patterns that I know I won't use, so...they are up for grabs. If you'd like one or several, let me know and they are yours free.

Rather than type out all the titles I put a picture of each in my webshots album under Free Stash My Webshots Album
As they are spoken for, I'll take their picture down, so what you see will be what is still available.

Hope you find something that you like, all stash needs a good home. :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Framing and a new start

I finally got out to look at frames for Gingerbread Cottage, and think I really lucked out. I found not only a frame, but a stock double cut mat at JoAnns, and I had coupons too. The coloring is much better in real life, as I couldn't get as good a picture as I'd have liked. This shows the frame pretty well, but the coloring on the stitching is off. My last entry had a picture much closer to how it really looks. The lettering especially in this one gets lost, but at least overall you can see how it finished up. I hadn't thought about the mat color combination of green and pink until I saw it and thought I'd just try it next to Gingerbread Cottage, just to see how it looked. I was surprised how much I liked it. The pink seems to bring out the lettering, and the green goes well with the trees and ivy. I managed to frame it for about $18, which I think was an excellent deal. I'm glad I got it done when I did, as it is now up and can be enjoyed. It's only January, and there is a fair bit of winter left, so I'll be able to enjoy it for awhile.

However, with finishing Gingerbread Cottage I needed another small project to work on. While at JoAnns I also found a lovely three aperture frame. It is off white and came with a double mat already. The coloring will go perfect with the two Little House Designs I finished earlier, Strawberries and Acorns. However, I needed a third design for the third opening so I started Cherries, another of the Little House Needleworks Threadpacks. The original design was on white, but since Strawberries and Acorns were both on this kind of cream linen, I wanted Cherries on it as well so that it would match. All the original floss colors worked except for one, the top of the pie. The original color was almost exactly the color of the fabric. On white fabric this would be fine, however on this fabric it didn't show up at all. The top of the pie is now in Little House Brown instead of the Perfect Piecrust originally charted. As with all the threadpacks, this is another really fun stitch. It's also moving along quickly enough that I should have a second finish this month. In addition, since I already have the frame, it should be finished off and hung quickly too.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

First finish for 2008

Well I have my first finish for 2008
Gingerbread Cottage
Designed by Country Cottage Needleworks
Done on 28ct Vintage Country Mocha Linen

It was actually finished a couple nights ago, after staying up way to late working on it. However, it was just so close to being done, and it was such a fun stitch, I couldn't wait to see it completed. The original design had a border on it as well, but I decided to leave that off. I don't really like doing borders, and as I'm planning on framing this with a mat I don't think it will need one.
I haven't yet decided if I'm going to start a new project, or give some time to one (or more) of my WIP's for a while. There is another WIP in my stash that has been calling out for some stitching time (in addition to Dragons and Mice that I had in my last post), Snow Ho Ho by Waxing Moon.

I think I started him in late 2006, so he's been around for a bit. He's on 28ct denim blue jobelan, which even though it is a darker fabric isn't to bad to stitch on. While it is past Christmas, it is still winter so he's season appropriate, lol. Athough at this point we don't have any of the snow left from before. This is what he'll look like when he's done, so I do have a good start on him.
The weather has been so strange lately. Today was colder, but the last two days have been around 60 degrees. I can't believe that almost a foot of snow melted in two days. Then the last two days we've had lots of rain, and even a thunderstorm, very strange weather for January.
However, even if I focus on one or more of my WIP's, I still need to have a smaller project for quick pick-ups and working on the go, which I don't have at the moment, so....I think I need to go stash diving, always a fun past time. :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goals and WIP's

I've never had a knitted dishcloth before, but I'm loving using the one I just finished, I wish I'd discovered them sooner. The feel of the sugar and cream yarn when I was knitting wasn't as nice as other yarns I'd felt, so I wondered how I'd like it. However, it really feels nice when washing the dishes. The patterns in the booklet I have are really easy to follow even with my little experience, and there are quite a few designs, so I should have enough to keep busy for a while. One thing I may look at though is an easy design (not a animal or flower pattern) to use for a second one with the yarn I just finished the frog with. That would let me use the last of the cream speckled yarn (I have plenty for a second cloth) and probably have it show a little better. Maybe a block or rib type pattern? Any suggestions on an easy one that might look good with that yarn from those of you who knit?

Hopefully the goals I set are general enough I can do them with just a little pushing of myself. While I'd like to have one more finish than in 2007, I'm only targeting including two larger size ones in the mix. In 2007 I had 4 that I would consider larger, so I'm adding 1 more finish (any size) but losing 2 larger finishes. Gingerbread House is now about 3/4 done, and I'd consider that a larger size (at least for me). Hopefully by Jan 15 (the SAL ending date), or at the latest Jan. 30, I'll have it done and only need one other larger finish for the year. Here's my current progress on Gingerbread Cottage by Country Cottage Needleworks.

So far the only change I've made is I stitched the cupcakes on the side in the slightly darker brown rather than the lighter brown the body of the house is done in. Since they are smaller I thought the lighter brown might not show very well. I like the way it made them "pop" a little more, and transitions a little from the light brown of the house to the darker brown of the Gingerbread Men. I'm not quite sure on the wording yet though. The letters seem to be getting a little lost. I'll wait until I get the borders in on the top and bottom to see if it stands out better then, but I may need to change that to a slightly darker color.

The bigger challenge will probably be pushing myself to work on Flower Dragons

and Trick or Treat Mice by Lori Birmingham

I do have a decent start on Trick or Treat it just never gets worked on (even thought ahead to do the backstitching as I went since is a good size piece, figured it I didn't it would never get done). I took it to stitch camp one year several years ago and worked on it almost exclusively all weekend. Even when I started getting a nasty headache I kept at it. Being on the black aida didn't help, and by the end of the weekend I had a really nasty migraine. I think the memory of feeling so ill the last time I worked on it influences my wanting to pick it up again. That is one of the reasons I moved it from the scroll frame to the Q'snaps, hoping to change the memory and association a bit.

Hope you all had a fun and safe New Year's Eve. I had a quiet one, and as you can see watched it snow. We got about 8 inches. Less than many places, but still enough to be messy. However, at the moment it is still looking fresh and clean and pretty.

And as you can see, Jaz is enjoying having new fluffy snow to play in

We'll I'm off now to try and shovel out (the drawback to all that pretty new snow). However, at least it isn't to terribly cold at the moment, and I don't have to work until tomorrow so I didn't have to drive in it.