Tuesday, March 30, 2010


My needlework isn't limited to cross stitch. I found a great pattern on Ravelry and have become just a bit obsessed with the idea of crocheting with perle cotton. Since my collection of DMC perle cotton is limited to the few skeins I've purchased here and there for random Shepherds Bush projects and maybe a Sekas design or two back in the 90s, my palette was not very varied and since I wasn't sure I'd even be able to crochet with the teeny, tiny 1.80mm hook I decided to cheap out and purchase a bulk package of inexpensive(cheap) perle cotton at JoAnn's. It was going to cost quite a bit more to purchase all colors I wanted in the DMC at $1.49 a skein so the bulk perle was good for experimental purposes.

It took a little practice to get used to the small hook and the slippery thread but I love it! I got a little jammed up yesterday afternoon when I tried to work my way through the process of connecting the hexes, so I set my little hexes aside for the night. Maybe today the instructions will make sense. The pattern is quite thorough so I'm sure it's me not the pattern.

This is what I'm hoping to turn my hexes into:

Through the Loops!: Pincushions

I didn't link directly to the pattern info on Ravelry since not everyone is a member of Ravelry. The above link shows what I'm hoping to make and then I linked to Ravelry in the first paragraph.

I've made some progress on A Haunting Mermaid. Every week I think I'm going to finish and another week passes and it remains a WIP. But that's ok because I am making progress and is there really a rush? I'm not on a deadline, I'm stitching for myself. I have to remind myself constantly to enjoy the process.

The beautiful spring weather down here on the Redneck Riviera makes me feel guilty about wanting to stay inside and stitch. I've moved my stitching spot to the front porch and also the backyard for a little while everyday. The sun feels so good and lifts my spirits but not nearly as much as needle and thread slipping through fabric. As much as I enjoy the sun I do believe I could survive 10 months of winter as long as I had my stitching. Now remove stitching from the equation and I'd go flippin' nuts.

Have you all seen this:

Carriage House Samplings & Mo Jewelry: A Very Big Announcement

I am so very sad.

The Mom Saga

Last week my mother was admited to the hospital and is being treated for two chronic and debilitating conditions. While she's trying to get better it looks like her COPD is just getting worse. Going on home right now isn't an option and once she is released from the hospital she'll be going to rehab for 20 days to learn how to breathe again. Once she's released from rehab I'll be going back home to Tennessee to stay with her for a while. I'm hoping they can really get a handle on her problem but I'm pretty sure smoking for 50 years has left her lungs in pretty bad shape, although my Mamaw was diagnosed with emphyzema and the woman never smoked a day in her life. The doctors said it could have been caused the type of kerosene her father used in their house when she was a kid or the fact that she was around smokers most of her adult life. She wasn't diagnosed until she was 78 years old.

And to show what a stupid obsessive stitcher I am, I've been sorting WIP that I can easily take to my mother's and work on since there isn't much to do where she lives and I'd go insane without a project or two or twenty. Having time to plot a stitching strategy is a good and a bad thing. I have several projects that I know are going unless I finish them before having to go back home, fat chance of that happening, and one or two projects I hope to get all kitted up between now and when I might have to leave.

Trust me when I say there is absolutely nothing to do where she lives except "visit" and my mother isn't going to be up to visiting that much which, unfortunately, is another aspect of her health issues. Being pretty much a shut in for the last couple of months accept for the occaisional trip to the Piggly Wiggly and a daily run to the post office has left her depressed. She has no hobbies except for her "stories" (General Hospital, One Life to Live and All My Children). While there are those that believe I have no life because stitching seems boring or they just don't understand it, at least I'm using my mind, keeping busy, and I always have the hope of that new start just right there within my reach. I can't imagine living like my mother with no hobby, nothing to stimulate my brain or creativity, just endless hours of waiting to take my next pill or hoping someone will knock on the door for a visit.

I'm planning on taking a few stamped embroidery pieces with me that my mother might like to attempt if I'm there to show her how to do it. I think she might like that more than cross stitch.

I've been doing some spring cleaning and trying to get my house in order in case I have to go home sooner than expected. I had really hoped to get through the 14 yr old's school year but I think with a bit of planning everyone will get along just fine and not even realize I'm gone.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

This Is Only A Test

Just seeing if I can blog from my Blackberry, just in case it's my only connection to the internet one day. Since I have serious issues commenting from the old Blackberry I've been testing it's www limits.

No real stitching updates, life has kind of gone off the tracks but I'm hoping to get my balance back very soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's Up?

Spring is popping up all around me, a little late for North West Florida, usually we're getting this nice weather mid-February but I'm not going to complain. My basil and cilantro are a sprouting a sure sign of spring.

I've been managing a bit of stitching:

Black'd Skie
Primitive Needle
40ct Vintage Pear
Pure Palette Silks
Above you can see my little bit of progress on PN's Black'd Skie. I'm using the Pure Palette Silks and I love them. I'm being completely, totally honest and I am not one that automatically uses silk. I've used some that have left me, oh let's say, underwhelmed, but these Pure Palette Silks are nice to work with, don't shred or fuzz up like some, and have a great shimmer to them. I've only used Cauldron and Envy so far but the experience has been very satisfying and I am not a paid endorser for Pure Palette. This is just my opinion. (I think I read somewhere that bloggers are supposed to let people know if they are a company mouth piece so I'm letting you know, I'm not, I am just a user of the aforementioned product.) My Silk N Colours and Pure Palette Swamp Thing were backordered so I'm just taking my time and enjoying the stitching.
Notice the readers? Purchased at the Dollar Tree and they are 1.5 magnification and have rocked my world. I should have bought a pair when I was stitching with the PTP Swamp linen but who knew something this simple could change my whole stitching perception?
A Haunting Mermaid
Carriage House Samplings
32ct linen(not sure what color)
Above you see my progress on Carriage House Samplings A Haunting Mermaid. I can't believe I waited so long to start this piece. I've had her kitted since the chart was released in 2005 but I got all hung up on whether or not I should do the beaded swag border or just stitch the keys along the top. As you can see, I finally decided the beaded swag was not in my future so I went in search of pictures on the world wide web to see what I could find and strangely enough I only found one completed Haunting Mermaid and one in progress. Since this is such a cool design I couldn't believe more people haven't stitched it and maybe they have and just aren't on the internet. But I did like the look of the stitched top band so I was very happy to finally put in some first stitches.

Single Crochet Background
Orange cross stitches
Sugar & Cream Cotton
Kenny chart created here(// knitPro web app)
I became a bit obsessed with Tunisian crochet a few weeks ago after seeing this:
and since I have no afghan hook and no Tunisian crochet skill and I'm trying not to buy anything at the moment I thought I might just try crocheting a foundation fabric using single crochet and then cross stitching over it. I'm not impressed. So I'm going to order a Tunisian Crochet book and couple of hooks and see what magic I can create.
The Frogging of Rachael Holmes:

Rachael Holmes
Heartstring Samplery
32ct linen(dyed by moi)
A potpourri of threads
I decided that my error on Rachael needed to be frogged so I took an hour or two the other day and frogged the vine in this band and started over. I'm hoping that I don't have to frog the flowers but I do believe that's being a little too optimistic.

Busting the Stash Afghan:
Pokey Dots Throw
Red Heart Website
Stash Yarn
I saw this pattern on the back of the new issue of Crochet Today and decided since I have a ton, a lot, a major big time stash of Red Heart acrylic that I should use it up and this afghan seemed like a good project. I'm using a soft white for the outside round of my squares and I'm happy with the look for now.

Am I the only that thinks if the cross stitch magazines could modern up their covers a bit like Crochet Today they might expand their readership to a younger group of stitchers? Comparing the covers of various knitting/crochet magazines to current issues of cross stitch magazines, the cross stitch magazines seem hopelessly stuck in the 1980s? Is there no way to rock the cover the of a cross stitch magazine?
Opinions? Ideas? Leave it alone and let me stitch already?