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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oh, Mr. UPS Man...



Here is Dylan standing beneath a kimono that he made in art class. We had a good time yesterday. He is a great kid.
I sent off the hat yesterday. It was so light that it didn't cost much to send. I'm hoping they send me a picture of Claire in the hat when they get it.
So now back to what I was doing before all this hat stuff. I am still working on the big medallion on Vierlande Winders Keeper. Slow but sure progress.
I had to take out the apple on my June retreat piece. It was two threads too high. ARGH Taking out roccoco stitches on 34 count is challenging in itself. Mostly I cut threads. Now the handles of the basket don't match and I will have to fix those. But the basket is mostly done and I like it. One of the apples is ugly but I think I'll leave it. I like the darker green that I used on top part of the basket.
My goal today: order frames. I have to measure everything and order a couple of frames and mats from American Frame.
I am getting a kit in the mail today. Hurrah! (Like I need another kit!) It has some very sweet smalls to stitch. Can't wait.
A

Monday, February 27, 2012

Last Hat




I am done with hats! I am happy with my third hat and hope to send it off today. (The one on the right is the third one.) I'm glad I stuck with it and tried a third one. Now I really hope it fits.
I worked a bit on Vierlande Winders Keeper. I finished up the little parts and now it is just that big medallion I am working on. I saw on A Gentleman Stitcher's blog that he has his Dutch one all stitched and it looks very nice.
I stitched on my June retreat piece. Don't tell - there are a couple of mistakes in it. I think I'll put the year in the box at the bottom. I think this piece is going to be encased in organza when it is finished, at least that is what the picture looks like. Again, I am changing the green inside that basket so that it is different than the green of the basket. Why can't I just leave things alone? I guess I feel compelled to fix things.
I enjoyed watching the Oscars last night. Just a regular day with Dylan. I want to ask him if he would be interested in painting a birdhouse. I think that would be fun to do.
My bathrooms are clean and I am ready for another week.
A

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pink Hat 3





Third time is a charm. Theoretically. I have only the petals left to knit for my third go-round with the Pink Hat. I think it is going to turn out like I want. Then what do I do with the other two? I have no idea. I want to get the hat sent off to Claire before she out grows it!
I went through a lot of alphabets looking for one that was only 7 stitches high and had lower case letters. I found one that was what I was looking for and graphed out my name and "her work". It stitched up nicely. So now there are only three more things I want to change. On the other side is "wrought on month/day/year (in Roman numerals)". I want to change that to "To thine own self be true". Then on the top and bottom of the design are names, the designers daughters, I think. I want to put something else in there but I'm still trying to figure out what. Maybe flowers.
The Vierlande Winders Keeper main piece is so close to being done. I have a big medallion and the border and corner and it is done. I love how it looks.
I am auditioning frames and mat colors for framing Claire's birth announcement. I like this maroon color. This frame is just okay. There isn't a lot to choose from in the catalog. This one won't detract from the main attraction - the stitching.
I love that the sun is shining today. I'm looking forward to watching the Oscars tonight.
A

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pink Hat Two






Well, I made another Pink Hat. I used different yarn and added a couple rows to the petals. I put them side by side to re-evaluate. I like the first hat better because it has more contrast. The darker pink yarn is a much better choice. I like the second hat's smaller stem and longer petals. The second hat is a bit stretchier. The hat was easier to make the second time around. In conclusion, I'd like to try one last time and use the original yarn but with the changes I made in the second hat.
We are getting lots of lake-effect snow. Pilates will have to survive without me today.
I worked on Vierlande Winders Keeper. I love the little crown motif. I can see the end of the tunnel now. It is hard to keep working on it because my pre-stitching for the June retreat came in the mail yesterday. I started one of the kits. It is worked on 35 count. That's the smallest count I've worked on. But it is going fine. Although I want to change it a bit. Do I dare? I wanted the little bird to be blue. So I made him blue. Now I don't like the personalization font. I want a different alphabet.
I washed Claire's birth announcement. I have lessened the fold marks and the blotchiness. I have to press it to see how much better it looks. None of the colors ran. They were rather muted colors anyway. I let it just dry on a towel. That heart button at the bottom doesn't look centered, I think I'll take it off and resew it a little to the left.

A

Friday, February 24, 2012

Snow






We were predicted to have 6 to 10 inches of snow but luckily it turned out to be only about 5. It looks sort of Christmas-y. I chickened out of going to exercise today because of the snow.
Son#1 wanted to know how big the Pink Hat was and said to put it on one of my dolls. So I did. It is cute! But I still want to try it again. I have most of the body of the Pink Hat knitted in a different yarn. It will be interesting to compare the two when it is done and see which one I like best.
I finished the third corner of Vierlande Winders Keepers. There is a big medallion nearby and I am almost done with that too. I really like how it looks. One more corner to go and the main piece will be done. All the rest will be easier and smaller.
I tried ironing the birth announcement. I am not happy with how it looks. The overdyed fabric looks stripey and I couldn't get all the folds out. I have had this kit for a long time and the folds are hard to press out. I am thinking of (horrors!) washing it to get rid of the folds and maybe lessen the stripes in the fabric. I risk some of the threads fading. But I am going to try it anyway. I have washed things before that are not supposed to be washed with no problems. So I will keep my fingers crossed that this works out.
I have gotten back into Cutting For Stone and am over half way through.
I have been tempted. My BFF is very persuasive! I am thinking of going to a Stitching Retreat with the Needlework Guild of Minnesota that looks interesting. I filled out the registration. Let's see if I have the gumption to write the check! It is in August.
Son#2 suggested we might like to frame the birth announcement they sent out where he is holding a 4 day old Claire. I love the photo so I dug around in my stash to find a mat and frame. I love how this looks. Now I have to find a place to hang it that we can see it often. DH suggested the kitchen. We'll see.
A

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Done Done






I had some computer issues yesterday. A bad scan file in my pictures prevented me from uploading any photos. What is a good post without pictures? We spent over an hour today trying to resolve what the problem was. At first we thought it was my Camedia program. Then maybe using a Canon camera with Olympus software. It looks like a bad scan totally messed my pictures up. Hopefully, I can work around that problem.
I finished the pink hat. It is cute but it is time to evaluate. It looks a little small. I can't really find if it is too small until I send it and see how it fits on Claire. It is a little rough. The yarn catches on things like rough hands. I'm not so fond of the yarn. I'd use different yarn next time. I would not have the white go up quite so far on the stem. The stem might look cute longer and curled over (like in the photo in the book) and in a lighter color. The hat went together pretty well for this novice knitter. I think I could do it better next time. I bought some new yarn and am tempted to try again.
I finished Claire's birth announcement as well. I thought it should have hearts on it somewhere. I like how it turned out. It isn't too huge and will be a nice size when it is framed. I'll have to order a frame and mat.
I have a very good start on the Ort bag/box thingie. I know it will get more difficult since I need to stitch it four times. It could get tedious. I also got down to the corner on Vierlande Winders Keeper. I have one stitch in that should not be there. How to fix it without making a ton of work for myself? Or should I just leave it?
In the back of my mind are a few things I have been ignoring. The Shepherd's Bush afghan. Winter's Cottage. I heard that the pre-stitching kits for the Merry Cox workshops have been sent. Yeah!
A

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Pink Hat




I got my books yesterday. I was very excited to start the flower hat. The first part was to use the long tail method to cast on stitches. Luckily this book has diagrams of how to do that. I had seen a youtube video when I was contemplating knitting socks but I had forgotten how. After a few tries, I got it. Then after the first round of knitting I realized that the needles I had wouldn't do. They were 29 inchers and the pattern calls for 16 inchers. So I ran right out and got the right size. So finally I was able to start. It was a nice break to knit instead of stitch. I got up to the point where I have to decrease and switch to three double pointed needles. I just spent a half an hour looking for some. Surely I had some somewhere. Yep. I found them. Is is possible? Could I finish this hat today? We'll see.
I got pizzas yesterday for Dylan and me. His school is just a revelation on kids at risk. As I was walking in, I saw one kid beating on another. They looked to be kindergarten age. Then as I was walking down the hall, another kindergartener was chanting "b i * c h" over and over. Did he know what he was spelling or just repeating what he had heard? Then Dylan asks me to guess how old he is on Facebook. Good Heavens. 23. Oh my. We had fun with Snap Circuits.
I want to do at least a little bit today on the birth announcement and Vierlande Winders Keeper. It's great to have the rest of the day to work with.
A

Monday, February 20, 2012

Busy Monday



I have cleaned the bathrooms, made chili and curled my hair so far today. I am thinking of getting a Personal Pan Pizza for me and for Dylan. Yum.
I didn't get very much done yesterday. I worked on the Vierlande Winders Keeper. I finished the second page of charts and went on to the third. I started some small pieces that are backstitched around the edge and just have a small motif in the center and are octagon shaped. I saw on Days of a Sampler Lover blog that she has her Winders Keeper all stitched. Some people are really fast stitchers.
I'm looking forward to being able to start the little flower hat when my books come today. I know we don't get mail but UPS says it will deliver my package so I guess they don't have President's Day off. Son#2 says President's Day is mostly celebrated on the east and west coasts.
I love a new week full of possibilities.
A

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday



I finished "Death Comes to Pemberley". I wasn't able to guess the twist which is a good thing. I may go back now and see if I can get into "Cutting for Stone". I'm feeling guilty about all the books I have piled up to read especially since I have more books coming on Monday. I tell myself I should take a little while every day to read. But sometimes reading puts me to sleep or I am intense on completely some stitching instead.
Ideas for Claire's birth sampler have been rattling around in my head. Yesterday I went through some other Shepherd's Bush kits that I have stuck in a drawer looking for some more rows to put on the sampler. I looked at some other charts too. Drawn Thread's Perennial Garden and Victoria Sampler's Birds of a Feather. I like the lacy bottom edging on Birds of a feather and want to put that at the bottom of Claire's birth announcement. I would have loved to put January's flower on too but the scale is too large, maybe I can alter it a bit.
I am almost done with the second page of charts for Vierlande Winders Keeper. Yeah! Today I want to finish that page and work my way down to the bottom left corner.
I slightly altered the graph of the vine of Linda's Ort box and stitched some of it. Vines and flowers always look sweet. I'm not really into this yet.
I'm looking forward to video chatting with Claire and son#2 tonight. She is 6 weeks old today.
A

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Inching Along




I finished the corner and another motif on Vierlande Winders Keeper. I discovered that on each side the border has a center that is one stitch longer so I had to reverse stitch a bit to fix it. I am about half done with the largest piece. Good progress.
I did a couple of small rows on Claire's birth announcement. I still deciding how much more to add. Maybe a large something at the bottom to give it weight and have it look done.
I tried to start Linda's Ort Bag by Victoria Sampler. The vine at the top is so badly designed and impossible to follow late at night. I am going to scan the design and fix it so that it is readable and so that each stitch goes over only two linen threads. With the flowers and the lazy daisy leaves charted on the vine, you can't see exactly where the vine is. But a little graphing will fix it. It doesn't need to be that hard.
I went to pilates this morning. I haven't been in forever. This is the first week this year that I have hit all my exercise classes. It feels good to get back to normal. I forgot that the rug rats are playing basketball on Saturday mornings at the Y. I think there will be a few more weeks of that craziness.
I should be getting three packages this coming week. I love mail. Books, kit, baskets and a chart. The best kind of mail.
A

Friday, February 17, 2012

I Must be Nuts




I went to the LNS yesterday to look at the book with the sweet baby flower hat. Yep, it was the one I saw on Barnes & Noble and since I have a gift card, I ordered it. While I was there I was looking for the yarn the sample was stitched with. I got it. I must be crazy. To make that little hat I paid 38 dollars for the yarn. I ordered the 18 dollar book. Then I stopped by Michael's and got the size 7 circular needles needed to stitch it - six dollars. I am a very basic knitter. But the book has pictures and directions on how to do all of the stitches. It really looks pretty simple. It is totally nutty to spend that much money on a baby hat though.
I finished Better a small fish than an empty dish. Yeah! Done!
Then I put in the boats on Claire's birth announcement and I like them. I'm working on the vine now.
I only got a small motif done on Vierlande Winders Keeper. Today I want to finish the upper right corner.
I am thinking of starting Linda's Ort Bag by Victoria Sampler.
I am almost needing to take a day off from stitching. I never thought I would say that. Maybe I'll spend a day finishing stuff off or reading.
A

Thursday, February 16, 2012

In the Corner



I reached the corner of the Vierlande Winders Keeper. I am at the far edge of the second page of charts. It is nice to see that I have a fair amount stitched and it encourages me to go farther. I like that all the corners are different designs. I saw on a blog someone who is stitching on another Winders Keeper and it looks so different from mine as it has several colors instead of just one. It was fun to see how far they are along. I forget when the second part of this comes out. March, I think. It will be fun to get to the little pieces. They will go really fast.
I didn't work on Claire's birth announcement. Sometimes things have to rattle around in my brain for a while before I am ready to proceed especially if I am making it up as I go along. I think I want to do a little pink boat on either side of the 2012.
I saw the cutest little hat shaped like a flower in our LNS. It was knitted. I think I'll go back and look at it again as I would like to make it. Claire looks so sweet in a hat. The design comes out of a book and the book is probably more than I want to pay for just one design. But it is so cute....
Ordering online from a restaurant is still an iffy process. I have tried it from two different restaurants. Sometimes the order goes through and sometimes it doesn't. I ordered online last night. I don't think the order went through. I had to sit and wait and I got some stuff I didn't order as well as the wrong soup. But the food was good even though it was salty and way more fatty that we like. I got rack of lamb. I love lamb but rarely have it. They cooked it nicely too. I had half of it left over. Restaurants give you way more than you can eat.
The rain last night melted a lot of the snow. What a crazy warm winter we are having!
A

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

It's a Date



My progress in stitching seems slow. I graphed out the birth date for Claire's birth announcement. I wanted to put that she was born on a Sunday but I wasn't sure how that would look. I got it all stitched and only had to restitch "Sunday" so that it was centered. Decisions, decisions. Now I have to decide what more rows to put in the sampler so that it will look done. I like the little boats but do they look too boyish and how can I pink them up? I know I want to do the flower and vines row.
I worked a little on Better a small fish. I could finish this up if I worked diligently today. But I'd rather alternate between designs so I don't get bored.
I want to get to the far corner of Vierlande Winders Keeper today.
One of our Christmas presents was a nice Brownie Mix. I know, kinda wierd. But it was the perfect dessert to bake for Valentine's Day. We have a gift card to a restaurant that we want to use tonight. Yeah! No cooking!
A

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day






I forgot to show you the finished Shepherd's Bush pin cushion. I don't really like the scrunched up ribbon edge but it is done. It was a pain to sew on. But it does feel good to have something completely done.
I have been frogging the Vierlande Winders Keeper. Two of the motifs were one thread over from where they should be. Darn! It does make a difference as the pocket sets on top and needs to match the motifs. So all the mistakes are out and I am restitching them. ARGH.
I got some more done on Claire's birth announcement. I am leaving out a few rows that don't turn me on. Like the needle weaving. I love the row of fish so I think I'll do that next and then put the birth date on.
It feels like things are getting back to normal after a crazy January and our trip.
DH got me some lovely flowers for Valentine's Day.
I more or less decided on an Ipad 3 for my anniversary.

A

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back to Monday




I love the beginning of a new week. I'm in the midst of bathroom cleaning but wanted to post while DH is at the store. I got Claire's name stitched on her birth announcement and it looks good (not off center!).
I got this applique design when I was at Eddie's Quilting Bee. They had it made up in the shop and it was so cute. They did it in bolder colors of wool and the the bird stood out way more and was darling. I don't do much applique but this looked so sweet all made up.
I stitched a couple of motifs on the Vierlande Winders Keeper. I worked on it while watching the Grammy Awards last night so I hope I don't go back and find errors today. I didn't read or work on Better a small fish. Maybe this afternoon.
I have a mango and kiwi to cut up with Dylan today. I don't know if he will try them. I am taking the smoothie making machine again. I'm making some heart cookies in honor of Valentine's Day for him (and me!). I got him a light up ball and yoyo at the Intel Museum. I can give those to him today.
Back to bathrooms...
A

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Birth Announcement






DH reminded me that I often stitch a birth announcement for a new baby and was I going to do that for Claire? Of course! I have been trying to decide what design to go with. I saw one framed by Rensel Studio that I thought was lovely but it was for a boy. Someone had taken Shepherd's Bush's kit of Sailor Collar and added the baby's name and date. I have that kit in a drawer somewhere. I took it out and thought with just a few "pink" changes and omitting the boy and boats I could make it a birth announcement for Claire. So I started it. I get so disgusted with Shepherd's Bush charts as they are nothing but a list of Step 1, Step 2 etc. I spent last night looking for just the right alphabet for her name. I have a favorite alphabet from a very old copy of Cross Stitch and Country Crafts. I made a couple copies of it and cut them up to see if it would fit and how it looked. I didn't want to graph the whole thing out so this was the easy way. I hope I have the count and centering correct. I usually mess it up somehow. It's a talent I have. I really like it so far.
I did a bit of finishing on the Shepherd's Bush pincushion. I just have the scrunched up ribbon edging to sew on with beads and it will be done.
I worked on Vierlande Winders Keeper some. I got the first angel motif done.
I decided not to try to drive over to the Kindred Spirits Sampler Guild meeting that is today. I'd love to go but the weather scares me. Five hours of driving is not my idea of fun anyway.
I didn't get to reading yesterday. I am going to read some today. Really.
A