Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slipping away...

The days have been slipping by this month! Maybe it’s the record breaking temperatures we’ve had. The calendar says March, but the trees are budding and the lawns are greening so it feels more like May!
I’ve been working on two main projects these last couple of weeks.

First is my Whale Hunting by Finger Work. The grass is done in several shades of green in both Weeks and Gentle Art. It is done with a single strand, over two and in a tent stitch. The designer suggested doing random stitches and not just going back and forth or up and down. My strategy has been to do the outline of the color I’m using and then to stitch in oblong patches, working my way around the area and then back to where I started. So far I’m seeing nice coloring in the grass.

I do need to work around the whale spouting so I decided to start stitching the spouts so I would have less counting and skipping to do with the grass stitches.

The Z frame allows you to move the frame to just the right spot for you.
I’ve been stitching with my K’s Creations Z lap frame I recently purchased. This is actually my second frame. I had to return the first one because it was missing a drilled hole. So far I really like it. The clamp holds on to my Q-Snap frame nicely. When I need to end or start a thread I just flip it over and then flip it back and tighten the knob.

Flipped to start/end a thread
There are some "lap" frames that you sit on. This one rests right in your lap. It’s very comfortable and I like that I have both hands free to stitch. The only negative about the frame is that for the price it could have been finished better. The staining is pretty light and the edges aren’t as smooth as I would expect, but all in all I’m happy with it and would buy another one should anything happen to this one.

I’ve also been working on my tote bag for the knitting class I am taking. I finished the first project, a scarf, which was just basic knit stitch. I have the pieces of my tote bag knitted and now need to learn how to get them all closed and attached so the tote can be felted. I did learn that I was casting on incorrectly and I also think I have finally learned how to purl correctly!

It doesn’t look like much now, but trust me, next week it will be a tote bag!

Monday, March 12, 2012

On to Spring!

Remember that snow I told you about? Well, it has pretty much melted away. We’ve had temps in the 50s and 60s and are expecting 70s by week’s end! But, this is March so snow could still happen.

I had one finish this last week, my Lady's Trimkeep by Plum Street Samplers from the Attic Sampler Symposium. I filled it with crushed walnut shells. They give it some weight, don’t have an odor and are pretty inexpensive. They are easy to find at your local pet supply store. Look in the bird section for litter. Get that look off your face! Seriously, look for the bird litter. The crushed walnut shells come in two sizes. I purchased a 7 pound bag for under $12, including tax. That will fill a LOT of pincushions!! 

I really like the colors of the trim pieces. It was a fast stitch and easy to finish.
I also worked a little on my Mary Wigham and Elizabeth Talledo/Finger Work's Whale Hunting, but not enough to show any real progress. Instead, I decided to show you a few pictures of my “feather” tree decorations. In the spring I hang the cross stitch carrots I made a couple of years ago. They are from the Cricket Collection. I also hang the hand painted eggs I purchased in Germany a number of years ago. They were quite expensive but I decided to splurge as I hadn’t seen anything like them in the US. They are made from real eggs that have been blown out. I bought 6 of them and was given a half dozen egg carton for them. I keep waiting for one of them to break, but so far, so good!

Last year a friend sent me a link for embroidering on blown out egg shells. I thought I might try it this year but now that I am looking at all of the many projects I’m working on I may have to skip it. Here’s the link in case you would like to try it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Touch of Winter

Now that it is March we are finally getting a little taste of winter! We had a big storm roll through dumping, depending upon where you live in the state, anywhere from lots of rain and slush to a foot of snow. In our neck of the woods we had about 7.5 inches of the white stuff, but not before we had several hours of rain, sleet and slush.

I suppose then it was quite appropriate for me to finally get a winter cold. I have been battling it for the last week or so. I am usually able to take my Cold-Eze when I feel one coming on and avoid it altogether, but this one got away from me. I am finally starting to feel somewhat human again and realizing just how much I haven’t accomplished in the last week!

I did manage to get just a bit more stitched on my Mary Wigham sampler before the cold struck.

As I started to feel well enough to focus on stitching, but not clear headed enough for that one over one sampler, I worked on one of the outreach projects our EGA chapter is currently doing. I stitched up four Soldier Kissing Pillows. I still need to sew and stuff them. You can read the story here, but be aware that if you want more info they don’t seem to answer their emails on any kind of a regular basis.

I also decided it was about time to prewash all of the fabrics I purchased to make a quilt for the grandbaby to be. Because the baby will come to us through adoption we have no idea how much notice we’ll have of the arrival. I love the fabrics and realize I purchased way more than I need, but this way I will have some options to play around with.