Almost there

Look! I finished my first sock! It was so satisfying, I immediately cast the second sock onto the needles and am sure already that they will be fraternal twins. OK by me – I made a sock!!  Margo, your comments on my last two posts made my day – I can’t wait until I’m as proficient at socks as you.

IMG_1711It’s so close to the end of June and our time up North that I can hardly wait. I’m packing, working, teaching, grocery shopping, and prepping all of the things that need to happen before we can leave. John will be heading up again this weekend to do a big clean up of the building materials and scaffolding that he’s been using for his work on the ceiling and walls. He’s doing a beautiful job.

IMG_1722

I chose the frame last week for my William Morris tapestry. We will be eating beans on toast for the next month but hopefully my family will agree that their sacrifice was necessary….

IMG_1700

Stitching has also continued on my Frosty Forest SAL by Cottage Country Needleworks and I managed to finish up the third of nine designs, the Snowman’s cottage.

IMG_1720

French knots….. sigh. Not my favourite, but they do make cute little eyes and wonky buttons.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Finally finished, Knitting, Needlepoint | 12 Comments

Update

Hello!

The busiest time of every year for me is coming to a sweet close. My students are finishing up their Conservatory exams and my children are wrapping up at school and also with their extra curricular activities.

I’ve been preparing for my move to the cottage over the last week – all of the linens for the beds went up yesterday with John who has been working like a madman on long weekends to drywall and paint the ceiling, board the walls and trim out the windows. Living in it over the last 5 years, I’m not sure I’ll know what to do when I arrive at the end of the month to a mostly finished interior! He’s a handy, handsome guy, that husband of mine. To say that I’m looking forward to my time off the grid is an understatement. I need to learn how to drive the boat this summer. It’s a long story, but yes – I live on an island for two months and I don’t know how to drive a boat. After 20+ years, the time has come.

Stitching and knitting continue – it will be nice when I have more time to update my progress on here more regularly. It’s handy for me to have a record of what is going on and helps to keep me motivated to finish up those languishing projects! My first sock is almost complete – a last class tonight to learn how to finish up the toe. I may or may not still have two inches to knit before that can happen. Ahem.

I’ve brought a project out from the depths of the stash to try and make a dent in the stitching – a Glendon Place dessert series design, “Tiramisu”. I love her designs  – I can’t wait to add the beads! It’s covered in beads once the stitching is complete.

IMG_1663

Posted in Cross Stitch, Life | 4 Comments

Frosty Forest mini finish

IMG_1619

I finished the second of 9 small designs for the CCN Frosty Forest SAL that I’m participating in. I took this photo a few days ago, and am now half finished the third design. They are adorable. I’d love to have the project finished and turned into a special holiday pillow for the couch while my kids are still at home and can remember it being part of the celebration along with the nutcrackers that I bring out. I’m not an over the top Christmas decorator, even though my most favourite stitches are usually Christmas related – a few giant poinsettias and a sparkly (white light) tree with a mish mash of ornaments make me very happy indeed. So I think this addition will please the kids (OK and me as well)

IMG_1645

Oh, I do love this face. We walked Nicholas to school this morning and it makes her so happy to greet all of the children that we meet. Sweet, sweet girl.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Life | 6 Comments

yarn along day

I’ve started a new book – Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and am really liking it so far – vivid characters and good story writing that makes me wonder what will happen next.

IMG_1602

Last Friday, I took the plunge and am finally learning how to knit socks. This has been on my to do list for a while, and a few weeks ago I happened to meet a lovely knitting teacher (kindred spirit) who agreed to come over and teach myself and a few friends how to do it. I’m hooked. In return, I may have supplied her with some new cross stitch designers to tempt her to grow her stitching stash…. .

On the stitching front, I’m almost finished the second design in the Frosty Forest series by CCN, and if you’ll excuse the poor photo, you can see it has some sweet deer to help keep the racoon in the first design company.

IMG_1595

I hope to finish it up tonight.

Joining with Ginny’s yarn along this week.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting, yarn along | 5 Comments

It only took 11 years.

IMG_1574

70,620 stitches and 11 years later I have finally finished one of my most anticipated projects. I loved the process and I love the finished stitch. I’m sure that John is somewhere having a small panic attack if he reads these next words…… I can’t wait to choose the perfect enormous frame for it. No glass, no mat board – just stretched properly and a beautiful wood frame.

Sigh.

OK – back to paperwork, then I’m tossing the WIP pile again to find the next thing to finish up.

Posted in Finally finished, Needlepoint, The Maker's Year | 4 Comments

Switching gears – who’s in?

So, this morning I spent an hour (an HOUR!) looking for a WIP to join in with some folks over on Instagram who are working on a Glendon Place dessert design. I have one in progress and would love to get some progress happening on it. Do you think I could find it? Well – long story short, I did eventually find it in a drawer, rolled up within another large piece of fabric for safe keeping. Sigh.

So – I’ve made a decision. The remainder of this year will be spent on finishing up long languishing projects and taming the stash. Who’s in? No new starts for this girl. I have many that are so close, I just didn’t have the attention span to finish them before being completely distracted with something shiny and new. Leave me a comment so I know I have some of you along for the ride. Leave a link to your blogs in the comment so we can all ooooh and ahhhh over how amazingly disciplined we will be with our finishing.

So – to start with, I finished the stitching on Plum Street Samplers “Beans” design and I LOVE it! I plan to turn this into a pillow. Next year. It’s going into the finished stitching pile that I pull out now and the to remind myself that I can actually do it.

IMG_1555

Then, this weekend I guess I started my last new start for 2016 – a Nancy’s Needle design – I’ll add in more details later, I’m trying to be quick about posting this morning. I adore this piece – the colours make me very happy.

IMG_1551

So – come on, join me for the rest of 2016 and let’s clean out the WIP pile.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Finally finished, Needlepoint | 6 Comments

Happy Friday!

It’s a concert weekend here for my community orchestra and I’ll be playing on Mother’s Day.

Bit of a funny story – a lady called the “box office” (our treasurer’s house) and asked what time the brunch started before our concert, which is at 3pm. Our treasurer’s husband had answered the phone and he said, “Well, the piece by Max Bruch will be starting at 3pm, I’m afraid if you’re looking for a Mother’s Day brunch, you’re on your own!”

Stitching has been slow, but I’ve made some progress on my Plum Street Sampler “Beans” design. Since this photo, I’ve finished the lettering and have half of the next lady complete. It’s a fun, quick stitch!

IMG_1522

Posted in Cross Stitch, Life | 2 Comments

best laid plans

I really would like to be posting more often, but this time of year is just so crazy that a whole week has passed since my last post and it feels like it was only yesterday. Both kids have birthdays, as does my mum and in between parties, presents and lots of cake – this is also the busiest time of my teaching season. Kiwanis festival, a studio recital and RCM exam preparation have kept us hopping. I can’t complain – I am lucky to have the students I do, and my family are happy and healthy. I may however, be eyeing the calendar and looking forward with anticipation to the end of June when I will return to my off the grid home for a summer rest.

Keeping my hands busy with knitting or stitching helps greatly to allow me to reset each day – a few minutes all to myself. It has become a “must have” for this introvert so that I don’t melt into a weeping puddle on the floor.

I’ve cast on the Colour Affection shawl, but there’s not really enough progress to show – I had some difficulty with the cast on and subsequent massive amount of increases that made it buckle and not look neat and tidy. I’ll talk more about my fixes when I have a picture to share, but I will say – it took 4 times to get something that to me, still isn’t perfect but will have to do.

Here’s my Less is More shawl – since this photo I’ve added another few inches – a great, mindless project.

IMG_1503

Here’s to another yarn along with Ginny! I’m sure I’ll blink and it’ll be next Wednesday again.

 

Posted in Knitting, Needlepoint | 2 Comments

blanket success

Well, we travelled to Montreal last weekend in order to visit our cousins and gift the baby blanket. It was a hit! The mum loved it and we had a lovely visit. She was lucky enough to get a day pass from the hospital the day that we arrived and so after she was treated to a bit of pampering at a salon (much deserved after 2 months in hospital on bed rest…) we slowly made our way to a coffee shop and had a delicious latte. Montreal does hipster coffee well and I enjoyed it thoroughly! (this one is minus a few slurps since I couldn’t resist…) She and her husband celebrated Passover with her family while the family and I hung out at their apartment (right around the corner from the St-Viateur bagel shop!) and then back to the hospital she went. I think she will be there for the remainder (end of June, can you imagine) and I’m so very glad that we went for a visit.

IMG_1483

The hospital was close to…….. a yarn shop. Big surprise, right? Do you all do this? I need souvenir yarn. I remember my special trips with a special skein from a far away place and it makes me very happy. Espace Tricot did not disappoint. The sales staff were really lovely and the space is gorgeous.

IMG_1482

So my special skein was a brilliant pink skein from Tanis Fibre Arts who is appropriately French Canadian and it will be joining these two similar weights yarns to start a Colour Affection shawl which I hope to cast on later today.

IMG_1512

Sine I’ll be joining in with Ginny’s yarn along today, I should also let you know what I’m reading. I’m still finishing up listening to E.Gaskell’s North and South which I hope to finish today or tomorrow, and my bedtime reading is Sue Monk Kidd’s – The Invention of Wings, which is amazing so far.

Posted in Knitting, Life, yarn along | 12 Comments

ready to go!

IMG_1472

I finished it! (with a day to spare..) I’ll be giving it to John’s cousin tomorrow and I think it’ll be just right for a sweet little baby to snuggle down in. John remembered that our own daughter had a very similar blanket made by her aunt and we have fond memories of seeing teeny little fingers playing with the lacy holes. Now that this is finished – look out WIPs! I’m coming for you, and I have no intention whatsoever of being monogamous……….

In case it’s useful to anyone, I tried out a new bind off for this since I’ve never been quite satisfied with my tried and true cast off on garter stitch. I used instead an Icelandic bind off and it was just right. Neat and tidy, it didn’t cause any flaring and was just the right tension to match the long tail cast on. Here’s a link to my Revelry page with all of the other blanket details. Have a great weekend and watch this space for some long anticipated stitching next week. Maybe. Maybe some quilting…. or EPP, or ooooooo crochet? I’ve been meaning to learn how to knit socks and my loom is still sitting gloomily alone in the corner.

The anticipation and the choosing is half of the fun 🙂

Posted in Finally finished, Knitting, The Maker's Year | 5 Comments