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.

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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.

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I hope to finish it up tonight.

Joining with Ginny’s yarn along this week.

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It only took 11 years.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ready to go!

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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

Wednesday yarn along

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve participated in Ginny’s yarn along, most likely because I am still working on the white baby blanket that is growing slowly and looks almost exactly the same as it did a few weeks ago, just slightly longer. The baby that this is for may perhaps be born early, the mum is in a hospital on bed rest for the duration as her water broke at 23 weeks (5 weeks ago)and she went into labour. They were able to halt the labour and the baby is doing very well indeed, but could indeed still decide to make an early entrance.

I’m still listening to North and South on Craftlit, and am now starting a new Ondaatje for my night time reading.

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Oscar is quite pleased to have provided some ambiance to my photo today.

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a love affair with coffee

I drink a lot of coffee. It’s my preferred beverage and I like it in many different forms. Americano, latte, short espresso, mocha etc.  It’s rare for me to not have a cup at hand. So it doesn’t surprise me that I am drawn to stitching pieces that have a caffeine theme. My latest is Plum Street Samplers, “Beans, Beans”. It’s a refreshingly quick stitch and I hope to finish it up in the next few weeks.

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I don’t think I have enough of the brown thread – it’s a CC “Dark Chocolate” to finish the design and will need to toss the stash and see if I can make do with what I can find. I think it’s a pretty close match to DMC 3371 but I haven’t had the nerve to check yet. I’m still half hoping to eek out what I have and play “thread chicken”.

 

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A mini finish

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I finished the stitching on the first Frosty Forest design by CCN. I had joined a SAL on Instagram which I figured would galvanize me into getting this project done this year. We began on March 15 and will do one design a month which should have the whole panel complete before Christmas. I’m thinking I’ll turn it into a wall hanging or a pillow design. There are buttons to be added, but I’ll save those for the finishing. I am using the threads as charted as well as the linen called for (very unusual for me to not have SOME sort of substitution….)

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This right here is my son’s very first real tie. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find a tie for a small boy? Almost impossible – this was the only one I could find in a gigantic mall after scouring all of the possible shops. Fortunately, it’s perfect. He and my husband are in England at the moment for the memorial service for my MIL. Some of her ashes will be left in a small grave in Mells, near Somerset where her parents and sister are buried. John will be delivering a eulogy at the service and having read it, I suspect there will be nary a dry eye. It’s a touching, perfectly written tribute to his mum.

My daughter – my lovely, brilliant daughter just bought her very first grown up little black dress to wear to her first semi-formal at the high school and looks so grown up and gorgeous I could barely stand it. These children – how fast they grow and change. My heart. phew….

Posted in Cross Stitch, Finally finished, Life | 4 Comments