Happy New Year!

What a holiday season we had! The end of 2016 was full of family and wonderful food and a lovely week of having John home with us.

I finished and gifted the Scalene shawl to my SIL and it was a hit! She loved it and I felt that it had been worth every stitch. (that was a lot of garter stitch!)

While she was with us, we did some sewing – she is incredible. I always learn so much from her. A box bag and a new to us, wedge style bag were produced. I am figuring out a few new things with my sewing machine so will hopefully have a few tricks up my sleeve to show her when we get together again.

I began a new project during the break which is a tradition that I hope to continue as a treat for myself, a large scale stitching design by Carriage House Samplings, “Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow”. It is a perfect storm of a project – I’m loving the fabric, thread and the pattern so stitching it is very satisfying. Isn’t it going to be gorgeous??

Lastly, on New Year’s Eve, I dragged out my oldest UFO knitting project and finished it up. I began this blanket 14 years ago shortly after my MIL taught me how to knit. I used an inexpensive acrylic and the lace pattern has many errors throughout. I remember when my daughter was three, she was having a playdate with another little girl – I looked into the living room and this child had found my knitting and had dragged it out of the bag across the room, tearing the live stitches out of a section of the middle where I had been working. (Don’t worry, she’s still alive and breathing) I fixed it and knit a few more repeats and then for some reason – the pattern went missing. I was sick of working on it so I did not try very hard to find it. Fast forward many years and I started to wonder what the heck to do with it. I didn’t want to just throw it out, but without the pattern it would’ve taken more time than I wanted to decipher how to continue. So, I took a good look at it and decided it was good enough as is to be used by my children on our couch, knit a few rows of garter and bound it off. Then I picked up stitches along the cast on, and knit a garter border to match. Done. 14 years later, and good enough, the kids really liked it!

I’m sure Eddie will like it as well 😉

Posted in Cross Stitch, Finally finished, Knitting, Life | 2 Comments

Find the craft (just like find Waldo)

This is mostly a post for myself, today. I just wanted to document a few really wonderful things that happened.

I have a new visitor to my front yard every few days. He/she appreciates me providing a lunch opportunity by way of the small sparrows who eat at my feeder. What an amazing creature, this Cooper’s hawk.

That photo was taken last week, right before this happened:

But that certainly made it a happy occasion when we went to cut down our Christmas tree for the holidays and snapped a silly picture!

I especially like this picture where it shows my daughters’ lovely, very expensive, orthodontist straightened teeth. She better keep wearing that retainer at night….

And see? I snuck in some knitwear there! That’s my Noro striped scarf that I knit last year – I wear it all the time. Much easier than trying to find that tiny little Waldo fellow.

Posted in Life | 4 Comments

The best month of the year!

My most favourite month of all is December. How about you? The smells, the lights, the decorations – all of it makes me feel great joy. Many years ago my husband who knows my joy, coined the term “Carriemas”, not because the holidays are all about me – just that my enthusiam can be hard to contain 😉

Christmas knitting continues:

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Scalene is being knit for my very deserving SIL, who doesn’t read my blog so I;m not worried about spoilers. It is literally miles of garter stitch so has been a nice relaxing knit after the initial trouble with a garter tab cast on. I think you all know me well enough by now though to know that I am completely unable to be faithful to a project so there was also a fair bit of stitching….:

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on Little House Needleworks, “12 Days of Christmas” and also I may have been browsing the internet for ideas to make my niece some play-food…..

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I did not make these and the image came up without credit – if you know who’s work it is, could you point me in the right direction. Isn’t it incredible?

Teaching is busy this month preparing for our holiday concert at a local retirement residence. The students are excited and my very own son will be participating for the first time ever. My FIL returns home soon from overseas, and Christmas family plans are underway.

Oh December, I do love you.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting, Life | 2 Comments

Change it?

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I think the top right light purple is too light, and I need to take it out and choose a shade darker. Agree? This is the Twisted Band Sampler from Northern Expressions Needlework. I have a bit more completed since this photo, almost to the top right where the design comes to.

I spent the a few days last week with my parents as my mother has injured her back very badly. My capable father is handling things beautifully but sometimes its nice for the caretaker to have a break as well. We all had a lovely visit and I’m hopeful that mum is over the worst. The weather on Friday was simply glorious. 20degrees C and the sun was shining. Everywhere you went, people were so happy. I think we all felt we’d been given a marvellous gift. After all, we are Canadian and trust me, we know what comes next.

This was Sunday:

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Posted in Cross Stitch, Life | 4 Comments

Hello!

Well, October happened, didn’t it? We were busy, as are most families with kids, but it was a great month. The weather was spectacular! For once it feels as though we’ve had a proper fall and not just leaped from summer into winter.

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Our golden is really starting to show her age lately and I need to make a consistent effort to take her for more short walk to keep her limbs and joints in shape. Who am I kidding? I need it just as badly as her.

Stitching is a constant in my life, I’m a happier person and much nicer to be around (John knows full well…) when I make time every day to put a few stitches or rounds into something. These are two recent favourites, Northern Expression’s “Shades of Wine” and Nancy’s Needle design “Starry Skies”, a canvas piece that I have trouble putting down.

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Until Christmas though, they are going to have to take a back seat to my Christmas knitting. Which, as you can see…..

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hasn’t been going to plan. Eventually this will be a Scalene shawl for my SIL. Don’t worry, she never reads my blog and I made her unfollow me on Instagram until after the holidays 😉

I’ve missed this space, I hope to find my rhythm again with a more regular posting. I hope you are all well and enjoying time with friends and family. xo

Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting, Life | 5 Comments

That time of year

This past week has not gone as planned. A rash of illness has plagued our house culminating with both John and I coming down with the stomach flu yesterday. I am at least out of bed today, but feel a bit woozy and in need of more rest. It is that time of year however, and is to be expected when the little ones bring it home. I also work with children and these things just happen.

On a happier note, I’ve had a very successful crafting week! I was able to finally complete my September Pillow, and I just love it. It’s found a home on our couch and looks just right. Squishy and cable-y goodness, it was a great pattern to knit. Details are on my Revelry link if you’re interested.

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I’ve begun a new large scale cross stitch project, “His Eye is on the Sparrow” by Heartstring Samplery. This will be a stitch along project with a few friends on Instagram. I really debated on this sampler what to do with the verse. It is an Adam and Eve sampler, but I am not religious and I struggled with stitching something that wasn’t really me. I do however, love the tradition and history of stitching this style of sampler like many women and girls before me. So – since it’s Adam and Eve, I’ve chosen an Oscar Wilde quote to stitch where the verse is: “I can resist anything except temptation.” For me, it fits. To give some credit where it’s due, it was John’s idea to change the words – he listened to me go on and on about not knowing what to do and suggested choosing something secular. He also came with me to buy the fabric and was a very good sport the whole time. That’s true love.

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Lastly, while at my LNS – just my most favourite place in the whole wide world, my coffee piece was finished being framed and was on display!

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What a great crafting week, it almost makes up for having the flu. Almost.

 

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

A quilt for the smallest

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I began sewing a quilt as you go “stack and whack” style (isn’t that a horrible name?) flannel blanket for Nicholas last October. As is the norm with me, other projects caught my eye and it was tucked away into the closet. I intended it to be a surprise so wouldn’t work on it while he was around. Last weekend, the stars aligned and John took the children to the cottage for the weekend and I stayed home and hosted my sister-in-law who was taking an instructional swim coaching course at our local aquatic centre. She is a serious maker. I can do many different types of craft, but compared to me – Kathy is an olympic level crafter. I learn so much from her and I think that we inspire each other to complete things, improve our skill and have a pretty good time doing it. She helped remind me of the different steps needed to bind a quilt and off I went. By Sunday it was done and on his bed. You know how you build something up in your head so much that it can never live up to the hype? When they arrived home I needed to take Sarah to an oboe lesson so I told Nicholas not to go in his room, that I had a surprise for him and he should wait until I got home. I was so excited to give him the quilt, he had been asking for a blanket and I just knew he was going to love it. Well – telling him there was a surprise and making him wait was a huge mistake and I’m sure some of you have already guessed my error. He thought there was Lego waiting for him in his room. He tried really hard, but I could tell that he was disappointed. :whomp whomp: He does keep telling me that he likes it and has been sleeping under it for days AND the project is done and out of my closet so all in all, it’s a win.

On the stitching front, I had a small finish with the Little House Needleworks Frosty Forest #4 of 9. I’m still working away on my Ink Circles Cirque des Cirques and would love to finish that before Thanksgiving. In Canada, that’s coming very soon…..! This weekend I will also sit down and finally craft an actual letter to Margie in Australia. I won’t wait any longer to find the perfect stationary or worry about my penmanship – time to embrace the now. Is there someone you’ve been meaning to write? Keep me company this weekend and send an actual letter!

When John is away, Oscar curls up in his spot and keeps me company. I stitched the binding on the quilt, he quietly purred and snored with the occasional yawn. It was a good day.

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”
― James Herriot, James Herriot’s Cat Stories

Posted in Fabric, Finally finished, Life | 5 Comments

Oh those Gilmore Girls

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Is this just not the greatest show to watch while crafting? I’m ridiculously excited for the Netflix revival on Nov. 25 and have already made Sarah promise that she will set aside that Friday night to watch all 6 hours and eat Gilmore style snacks. I would prefer to spread out the pleasure (it took me two years to watch all of the first season of Outlander) but I just can’t take the chance that someone or something in the land of internet will spoil it for me. I’m not team Dean or anything like that, This is just where I am in the series, whilst re-watching the entire thing in preparation. Also, Miss Patty? She’s awesome.

There. Thanks for letting me share 😉

Posted in Life | 4 Comments

Working on the old WIPs

Well hello!

This Ink Circles design didn’t get a single stitch put into it last year. In fact, when I unrolled it last Friday I was shocked at how much stitching was actually already complete! I’m about to start an A&E sampler stitch along with a few fellow crazy stitchers on Instagram and I figured that I really should try to finish up an older huge WIP before starting another. If I knuckle down, I might just do it. This is Cirques des Cirques by Ink Circles and this is the bottom left corner – or page 4 of the design. Pages 1-3 are complete and just that one motive where you can see the circle outline is what remains of page 4. I am using the most beautiful variegated silk thread from a woman who no longer dyes thread, and I bought it so long ago the price per skein was $2.75CDN. Let me tell you, silk thread is no longer anywhere near that price. So really, I was thinking ahead by thus padding my stash those many years ago. I’m saving money now!

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Oh my heart, this dog. He was very ill last weekend, and I was quite concerned, as we really have no idea at all how old he really is. He seems to be OK now, and it’s anyones guess what caused the 24 hour “extravaganza” but oh, I’m glad it’s (fingers crossed) over. He is even more attached to me now than just a few months ago and the photo below is a pretty accurate image of where I see him when I look down, just change the room.

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I hope you all are having a happy Tuesday and make time for a few stitches today.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Life | 2 Comments

A birthday gift

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This was supposed to be the beginning of a Mirkfallon shawl. For my sister-in-law’s birthday I ordered yarn and bought the pattern to make matching shawls (hers will be grey and gorgeous). It looks fine in the photo, but in reality, I just wasn’t quite happy with the gauge. It felt just a little loose. Since it’s 8 skeins and not a small project, I want the drape to be just so, and I want to love it – so rip rip rip. I’ll be starting again on Thursday afternoon after a bit of work in the morning.  I found a needle that I think will work tucked away in my drawer. I’m pretty sure it’s a 2.5mm, but I can’t find my needle gauge to double check. I’ll just fly by the seat of my pants, rather than wasting time scouring the house for the silly thing – more knitting time!

Purple seems to be my colour lately – I’m completely drawn to it in any shade, bright or muted. I chose some stash threads to begin a stitch along piece by Northern Expressions Needleworks that is being hosted by my local shop – the “Twisted Band Sampler” in shades of (you guessed it) purple.

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I love the butterflies.

Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting, Life | 9 Comments