While it may already be February, I have just completed stitching for the January Smalls SAL Challenge run by Stitching Lotus (see link on right). And I got it in just under the wire! The design is “All You Need is Love,” a freebie from The Drawn Thread. The original design called for Gloriana Silk Threads, which I have found nearly impossible to find here in Southern California. So, I just went with the silk threads I currently have in my collection and threw in some DMC embroidery floss and perle cotton just for kicks.
The ultimate result isn’t quite the color combination I would have chosen (too bright, too loud) if I had gone by my preferences instead of what was available in my silk thread collection, but I’m happy enough with the result. Once finished-finished, this will make a fine gift for my nieces; this will make four years in a row that I’ve stitched them a heart-themed design for Valentine’s Day. Here’s a little peak at the others:
Antique Hearts in the Sun
Valentine’s Gift 2017
Now that I think about it, my nieces (E. and L.) would probably prefer the brighter color combo (why do I keep wanting to call it a “color flavor combo”?). It’s much more vibrant.
I’ve already picked out my Smalls SAL design for February, a pretty little blackwork biscornu with an acorn design. Stay tuned for all the cross stitch excitement!
THANK YOU to all the women and men who marched today for those of us who aren’t quite up to it just yet. I promise I will join you next year and march my little heart out. In the meantime, I will keep churning out pussy hats for the revolution. Vive la chatte!
And I also pledge to pass on my fighting spirit to the next generation, starting with my two amazing, feisty, talented, unstoppable nieces.
First let me offer apologies for not keeping up with the blog as well as I should. A combination of a stressful semester teaching and a general pessimism about the state of my academic career left me with, simultaneously, too much to do and too little motivation to work on the blog. Again, many apologies to my dwindling number of faithful readers. Your support and interest in my assorted ramblings matter a great deal to me.
Second, let me offer apologies to those of you who are checking in from the 2015 Smalls SAL Challenge. I’ve not been participating very consistently (or at all) so far this year, but I’m hoping this month will turn things around. Here’s this month’s entry, “Winston the Snowman” by The Trilogy:
I’ve had this chart and the button charms for almost twenty years now (yikes!), along with the chart and charms for the companion piece, “Cromwell the Snowman.” I plan on stitching his buddy Cromwell later this year as part of the Smalls SAL. I switched the color of his jacket (Weeks Dye Works “Lancaster Red”) with the color of his mittens (Gentle Art “Tarnished Gold”); you can see the called-for color combination here. For some reason I can’t explain, I just preferred a red jacket to the mustard color. The other threads called for are WDW “Deep Sea,” “Onyx,” and “Whitewash,” and Gentle Art “Nutmeg” and “Old Blue Paint.” Any bets on how long it will take me to finish-finish this?
Speaking of finish-finishing, here’s the small I stitched for February that I never got around to posting (bad Kate!); it’s “Antique Hearts” by Charland Designs (another chart, this time with charm and threads, that I purchased twenty years ago (double yikes!):
I stitched this ornament as a Valentine’s Day gift for my two nieces, Ella and Lauren (hence the initials on the back), and finished it in typical pillow-style, which is practically the only style I know. This is the first time I added beads along the seam and I lucked out finding the matching white ribbon in my stash. It came out pretty well, if I do say so myself, and the girls liked it, which is what counts the most.
I hope to be back on track soon with the blog, which should be a lot easier now that the semester is over. I hope you will all stay with me — I have some exciting new plans for the future! Happy stitching to all!
Giveaway: If you would like the pattern for “Antique Hearts” with some of the leftover hand-dyed floss, leave a message below and I will send it to you along with another complementary pattern from Charland Designs.
Where does all the time go? I can’t believe it’s September already, which means I’m two months behind in my half-year update, although I suppose that’s really right on schedule since I didn’t even post my year’s goals until the beginning of April. You’ll just have to take my word for it that I’m great about meeting goals in other parts of my life. I’m really very organized. Seriously. Anyway…
Update on Knitting WIPs and Goals for 2014
So, let’s see what I’ve gotten done since April’s reckoning. The progress bars in the right-hand sidebar will let you know how far along I am with my current projects. Here’s the list of knitting projects, some finished, some still in progress:
Baby Bobbi Bear and assorted outfits (a belated gift for my niece’s second birthday) update: Baby Bobbi Bear was completed on 4/5/14 and the sweaters were completed on 6/29/14. Pictures and more details are below this bulleted list.
Winter Lace Afghan (a belated wedding gift — are you sensing a theme here?) update: completed 5/16/14!
Breast Cancer Ribbin’ Scarf (seriously, all this needs is some kitchenering. Is that a verb?)
Felted Sashiko Cover (this is a little something I’m working on as a freebie pattern to accompany the sashiko-style cross stitch I’m designing for Wordsmith Designs — see below)
Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts (you know, because it’s so cold here in Los Angeles in springtime)update: completed 5/22/14!
Swedish Thora (a belated gift for my beautiful and patient Aunt Janet — there’s a point where gifts become so belated, there’s no point in rushing anymore. Sigh.)
And here’s Baby Bobbi Bear in all his glory:
Baby Bobbi Bear, Nappin’
Baby Bobbi Bear, Chillin’
Baby Bobbi Bear Close-up
Baby Bobbi Bear, Maxin’ and Relaxin’
And here are his fabulous sweaters:
Mauve Sweater with Green Crocheted Heart
Orange Sweater with Crocheted Daisy
Blue Sweater with White Crocheted Star
Baby Bobbi Bear with all his Sweaters and his Scarf
Ivory Sweater with Crocheted Cherries
There’s more info about all the yarns I used and the various crochet patterns on my Ravelry site (it would take too long to list them all here). The scarf is a simple 10-stitch 2 X 2 rib knitted with self-striping Adriafil Knitcol (color 46) on size 5 needles. Pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.
Last April, I also stated “plans to make some Easter knits for the girls, including the Fiesta Tea Set by Annie Modesitt (knitted with Tahki Cotton Classic in yummyFiestawarecolors like lemongrass, peacock, plum, scarlet, shamrock, sunflower and tangerine).” Update: Done and done! Finished sometime in late June or early July. Here are some photos:
Tea Cup and Saucer, Shamrock
Tea Cup and Saucer, Scarlet
Tea Cup and Saucer, Tangerine
Tea Cup and Saucer, Sunflower
Creamer, Sugar Bowl and Pitcher
Sugar Bowl and Lid, Peacock
Fiesta Tea Set
And here’s a picture of my niece Ella playing with her new tea set:
These were not part of my goals, but I also started a pair of the “The Wallpaper Had It Coming (Again)” mittens as part of a Sherlock-related challenge with the West Hollywood (WeHo) Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group, and the Spring Kerchief by Sachiko Uemura. I’m about halfway through the first glove, but I’ve only just cast on for the kerchief.
Needlework WIPs and Goals for 2014
As of April my current cross stitch WIPs were as follows (oldest to newest):
“Ewe and Eye Needlecase” by Maureen Appleton/Heart’s Content
“Celtic Band Samplar” by Homespun Samplar
“Union Jack,” an original design of the Union Jack flag which I will be “releasing” as aWordsmith Designsfreebie soonupdate: completed 04/06/14!
Since I’m being brutally honest, I will admit that I haven’t completed a single stitch on the Needlecase or the “Celtic Band Samplar.” They’ve been on hiatus for a few years now.
I had four other cross stitch goals for 2014:
A set of fourShepherd’s Bush Christmas Stockingsfor my brother, sister-in-law and The Two Most Adorable Nieces in the World.™ Update: I’m happy to say I’m making terrific progress with these, and will have photos soon.
The Mirabilia “In a Garden” series. Update: I’ve barely started the “Summer” version. Seriously, only a few stitches completed, and it’s “due” September 21st. My stitching time lately has gone to the Christmas stockings; I’d like to have those completed by the beginning of October so they can be finished professionally before Christmas.
The2014 Smalls Stitch-Along(the handy-dandy icon is in the right-hand sidebar). Update: I completed my smalls for April, May, June, and August, and I’m still working on July. Here’s the gallery so far:
August Smalls Challenge
July Smalls Challenge, in progress
May Smalls Challenge
Bonus May Smalls Challenge
April Smalls Challenge
June Smalls Challenge
Goals for Wordsmith Designs
ForWordsmith Designs, my first three design priorities for release are (in this order):
A sashiko-based design that I don’t want to go into too much detail about right now
A Celtic alphabet design that’s already designed and stitched but still needs some “polishing”
A design called “Memento Mori” and that’s all the detail you’ll get for now
A design called “A Rose is a Rose” and that’s all the detail you’ll get for now
Update: I haven’t met any of my designing goals for Wordsmith Designs. I’ve done some work on the sashiko design, but it still needs a lot more work.
an update of my (very basic) Michael Nesmith hat pattern, one that is more historically accurate and includes the four-button variation Nesmith wore sometimes
a scarf and cowl with a breast cancer ribbon-style cable pattern (I’m debating whether to charge a nominal fee so the proceeds could go to breast cancer research)
a small cabled heart design based on a Christmas ornament that IKEA was selling a couple years ago
Update: Apparently, design-work is not my top priority, which is sad because it’s a way of generating at least some income. As I stated in April: “I would love to have the breast cancer ribbon-style scarf completed by October, which the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” That seems like a goal that could still be met. Stay tuned.
Check back on December 31st! And wish me good luck and good motivation!