Thursday, August 08, 2019

AUUUUGGGGGGUSSTTT

August is a great month in many parts of the country.  A friend from Wisconsin said it was finally beautiful there.  I don't think I would ever term August in the deep south as "beautiful"  It's rainy, sweltering or there are threats of hurricanes brewing all around  us.  Hate to start a blog post with pessimism so there you know what August is like for me - let's move on !

I have a very few things to show.  As all my long term blog followers know - I do a virtual knitting camp every summer with a shop in Colorado called The Loopy Ewe.  It's my 8th or 9th year - so while I am tied up all summer knitting - I am also producing some great items for myself or for gifts, so that is a YAY!  I also try and make it a rule if it fits with the shop requirements that I use new to me yarns.  I have found some favorites by doing this and I have also found some I would not purchase again.

This month - I used a new to me yarn weight - the dyer Blue Moon is one I've used before in their 2 lighter weight yarns but I used their worsted weight for this baby afghan for a DF's first grand child.
the color is Coral Sky and it shows more vivid than it really is.  It is a Tin Can Knits pattern called Waffles.  Easy 4 row repeat and the size is easily adjustable.  I have gifted it already and the grandmother was thrilled. 

In late July we had Jennifer Riefenberg a national needlepoint teacher come and do a class for duClay Chapter our local EGA guild.  The project was a counted canvas piece called Bloom.  WHAT FUN!
The photo on the left is her chart cover.  The one on the right is my progress by the end of the 2nd day. 

 Here's a bigger photo - WOW - it was a super fun project and I learned so much from Jennifer.  If you ever get to take a class from her - you should !  She had a easy way about her, the class had challenges but she made it easy to maneuver thru even the complex layered stitches.  A plethora of colors and threads were used.  FUN FUN!!!!!
 Next is 6 Fat Men - a Lizzie Kate design of 6 snowmen patterns on one piece of linen.  Interesting to note that this piece of 28ct Antique Cotton by R&R was the very first piece of hand dyed linen I ever purchased.  It sat in stash for years and years.  I remember my friend the shop owner saying - WELL - I will order this for you but you have to take the whole 1/2 yard piece and it is EXPENSIVE!!!  That is so funny - I think it was about $35 for that 1/2 yard of linen - imagine that!  linen truly is an investment - if you store it properly - it will be around forever for your future pleasure.  I've now finished 1/2 of the designs and a couple of friends in my EGA chapter are just starting this as a SAL among friends.  I love the bright colors.  I leave this bag at work and when I am stuck doing long boring system work - I sometimes pop in a few stitches here and there and I don't even need my special stitching glasses.
 


Everyone says how hard to believe how fast time is going by.  we'll wake up one day and it will be full on fall !  I have to say I'm always ready for fall.  We have at least another couple of months of pool season depending on how much rainy windy weather we get in September.  I know parents and grandparents are usually glad to see this time of the year coming to get the kiddos back in a routine of school.

thanks for coming by my blog and I appreciate your comments.  Hope all your stitches are happy ones!

Friday, July 05, 2019

JUNE BUT ALAS IT'S JULY !

Hi Friends

What little I have to show is from June.

As my long time followers know - every summer I do Camp Loopy - A virtual knitting camp with a small group of friends.  This is with The Loopy Ewe a great online and brick and mortar shop in Colorado.  This is my 9th year of participating WOW !  can it be true.  This year is Space Camp and it's been fun to chatter with my fellow space camp friends making up corny terminology taken from Star Trek episodes and so forth.

Last month I showed you my beautiful yarn choice.  Shell Beach was the colorway by Qing Fibres dyed in England.  Here is the finished shawl - Drops of Joy by Woolenberry.  The odd thing is that I was unable to finish the whole bottom border of the shawl - a pretty fishnet feature.  I wrote the designer mentioning that maybe she needed to change her yardage requirements.  I even dropped a  needle size but still had to bind off because I was out of yarn. 

 A closer version so you can see the two rows of fishnet lace and more about the color of the yarn.  It does look like beautiful shells.  it's still a very usable size but it was just a puzzle as to why I ran so short on yarn.
 The other shawl in progress I dont' think I've ever shown in a monthly club from Jimmy Beans Wool. this is a Sunshower a design  by Ambah in Australia.  You get one color a month and you had two color scheme choices in the beginning.  I've never done a monthly like this before and so far it's been manageable to keep up with every month.  I just added the Harvest gold colorway but my Camp Loopy knitting really takes precedence over everything else. 

It's a really easy relaxing pattern but it's getting big quick.  The yarn is a favorite - Madelinetosh Merino Light - so far I have 6 colors there so I guess I am halfway thru.  There are little eyelets sprinkled around - the rest is mindless garter knitting.

I started feeling bad about how much rug hooking I have piled around and I wanted to work on something easy like filling background.  I have this wonderful Uncle Sam hat -  a Polly Minick pattern.  I did this in a class with Polly some years ago.  I didn't realize I had so much background left to do.  The background is Polly's signature 4 different navy type colors, one hand dyed by Jeanne Benjamin and the other three are overdyes of textures.  Hooked in a 6 cut for any rug hooking fans out there and YES Lauren - I know - If I was hooking is in ginormous 10 cut or whatever - I would be finished by now LOL ! 

 This is a closer shot of the rug.  I did get some background filled in the few hours I was in the mood to sit under wool in sweltering down south humidity.  It's a fair sized runner but will be fun when done.  A few of the colors are from my stash or actually most are I think.  I have several more Polly canvases I would love to get to in my lifetime.
well friends - where does the time go - June is gone with the wind and July is upon us already.  I hope summer brings all the things you love and love doing.  Thanks for commenting and reading my blog.  I am seeing a few people come back to blogging and it's great to see. 

Friday, May 31, 2019

MUSINGS IN MAY

May has come and gone - well it's gone at midnight tonight and my long time blog followers know what that means - CAMP LOOPY starts June 1st - This will be the 8th or 9th consecutive year I've participated in Camp Loopy with The Loopy Ewe which started out some years ago as an online shop.  They have grown, moved to Colorado and now have a brick and mortar as well and added quilting fabric.  They run this virtual camp every summer and it's a great way to get 3 projects completed - get a discount on yarn and maybe have a few Christmas or birthday gifts set

aside.  For some reason I failed to take a photo when the yarn arrived so I am swiping a photo of my June yarn off the Loopy website.  This is Shellbeach - A Qing Fibres yarn dyed in London.  I always try and use "new to me" yarns for camp projects.  The requirement for June's challenge was to use a pattern published in 2019 so I went for one of my favorite designers Janina of Woolenberry's new design Drops of Joy.  Yarns this busy can be tricky to work with but it looked so summery to me, I couldn't resist !

I mentioned in my last post I was on my way to the Sun Region EGA seminar in Orlando the first weekend in May.  I was so busy - I was Facilities Chair - I didn't have much time for photo taking.  I also didn't take a class because of this reason.  I also had very little stitching time but I did have fun with friends.  The other big surprise was my roomy and DF Carol R and I won BIG !  our chapter duClay EGA donated not one but TWO big boxes of stitched items for the opportunity drawings.  I was so proud of our members who planned and stitched so many special "travel" related pieces to donate for our travel boxes.  I never win anything but for Carol and I both to win duClay's boxes it was just so special.  An amazing array of items in my box, a project bag and a whole bunch of stitched smalls made by some awesome ladies.

Next on the travel log was a trip to "heavenly Hiawassee" - in mountains of North Ga. just a few miles from the NC border.  We rented the same condo on Lake Chatuge that we shared last year with my folks.  On the way up  - we love to visit the Coleman House B&B  They serve a wonderful lunch buffet 6 days a week, closed Saturdays. 

Here is my DH and my dad exiting the big wraparound porch into the side garden.

that brick structure behind me was their smokehouse - every country plantation home had a smokehouse of their own.  Also surrounding the house are wonderful gardens.  I particularly love the oak leaf hydrangea. Theirs were just stunning and that is the blossom behind my head.

Here is a side view of the smokehouse -the lovely Queen Ann in the background and that huge Oak Leaf Hydrangea that was almost bigger than the smokehouse.  I always wish we had time to sit on the big porch and take a few stitches.  Many many years ago - some of our sampler guild (now defunct) and our rug hooking friends had a retreat at this B&B and I have such fond memories every time I step on that porch of lovely days gone by.

Here is my wonderful step dad who is more like a father to me.  We were pleased to celebrate his 81st birthday while on this trip.  Never without a smile on his face, he is an awesome stitcher too.  He has been working on Scarlet Letters Eleanor Parr for many months and is closing in on a finish.  He's done many Mirabilias too, those are his favorites to work - he's not particularly crazy about samplers.

here is the view of the lakefront from the lower deck.  Lake Chatuge spreads for miles around the Hiawassee and Young Harris area.  There are many fingers and coves and this condo is on the eastern most portion of the lake.  It's right in the middle of town but seems so quiet back on this cove.

A lovely sunset shot, we sure hated to say goodbye.
 
Coming home to hateful HOT NE FL was not fun.  record highs all week near or over 100 degrees. WAY too early in the summer to be this hot.  However - I sure send prayers for all those who have been devastated by tornados and floods in the Midwest and Texas.  I am also very apprehensive about an active hurricane season predicted for 2019.  So much sickness and sadness on this earth, I guess that's why we all find such solace and peace in our hand work.  whether it be knitting, needlework, hooking, quilting or whatever keeps your hands busy and your prayers going for us all - keep at it - we definitely ALL need prayers.  I love to hear from you all - please do leave a comment for me.
Until we meet again - I hope June is joyous for you and yours.



Wednesday, May 01, 2019

MAY DAY AND APRIL IS A WRAP

Happy May Day everyone !   For the past week I kept thinking every day I needed to do a blog post or I wouldn't have an entry for April.  I wanted to do a post for April - it's been a great month !  My birthday is in April, Easter is in April this year, Spring has sprung !  A delightful time of the year in the deep south.

Here are some beautiful flowers to share for your May Day.  These were a lovely surprise gift from a DF for my birthday.  They lasted well into the second week and looked lovely for Easter.

 This is a gorgeous shawl kit my DH ordered all the way from Stephen and Penelope shop in Amsterdam.  This is a photo from their website - NO - I have not already cranked out the shawl in the photo but that is the shawl which is so apropos for me !  Café Knitting is the pattern and was included with the kit.  I fell in love with the colors and the  yarn is the lovely La Bien Aimee from France.  Not readily available in the US - all the  more reason I wanted it.  It came with a pretty little S&P bag too.  The yarn is still tucked in there.  I'm trying to finish up another big Westknits (Stephen West) pattern called Fading Waves.  Camp Loopy is looming on the horizon and in 1 month - I will be embroiled in knitting for that challenge.  If I don't finish Fading Waves - it will be fall before I finish and likely fall before I start Café Knitting.  oh well - what is life without our next project !
my mom's beautiful table scape for Easter dessert.  She did that creative centerpiece herself.  She's such a sweetie - she had those plastic eggs all around the house and my DH , dad and myself all got to pick 3 eggs each.  She had stashed money in each egg, not a lot mind you but it was fun and so thoughtful of her.  That's my dear mom, always thinking of others especially her family.

 Here is my contribution to the Easter dessert table - a lovely and delish carrot cake from a new bakery near my office.  They did a birthday cake for me too but I failed to get a photo of that.  This was one of the best carrot cakes I've ever had.
Just so my friends and faithful blog readers don't think I have completely abandoned my stitching - here is a finish.  He leapt across the finish line last night just before bunny season was over at midnight.  I will be sending him to Faye/Carolina Stitcher in he near future for her to work her magic and make him into something pretty.  She did the model finishing for the designer - I believe it was Heart in Hand but not positive.  I refined his head some - I thought it was too retriever looking for my taste and I added some silk ribbon carrot tops and a turkey tufted tail with wool.


I hope those of you who have been experiencing the endless winter have been seeing some signs of Spring.  It's already shot up to the upper 80's here in the deep south - fortunately it's still cooling down into the 60's at night and there are gentle breezes and low humidity.  I'll take it while I can.

Going to the Sun Region EGA seminar this weekend.  I'm not taking a class but will be working on several projects in the stitching lounge with friends.  Hope to be back soon with a report on that and another exciting trip in May.  Until then - happy handwork to you !

Friday, March 29, 2019

FONDNESS FOR FLAGLER

Happy end of March friends !

Another month has flown by and I planned to come back and visit sooner.  Oh well, I'm here now and I have a couple of fun trips to report on.

Virtually NO finishes occurred in the month plus I have been away from blogland.  A couple of little cuties did get finished and this candy square pincushion by Betsy Morgan.  It was taught by DF Loretta in our duClay EGA chapter with permission from Betsy .  It was first published in Inspirations magazine and there are 4 or 5 other patterns.  This one is bargello but there is also  blackwork, assisi etc.  Would love to fill this bowl with them.

 Next is this little Shepherds Bush Travel Trifle.  This is Ciao!  Italy - it will be added to the duClay opportunity basket to benefit the upcoming Sun Region EGA seminar in Orlando in May.  It was expertly finished into a little cupboard hanger by DF Patricia.
Had a fun weekend last weekend going to Tampa with same DF Patricia.  We were busy with our region EGA board meeting held at the Marriott Westshore.  Look at our spot to stitch by the indoor/outdoor pool and yes there were plenty of people in that pool !!!

 This was a lovely tranquil moment before all the shrieking kids entered the pool.  EGADS - I can only take that for a short time.  Typical comment by an old bag with no kids !!!!
 Last month DF Carol and I attended a lovely Textile Symposium in St Augustine at the forever opulent Flagler College.  The symposium focused on Indigo production in the antebellum south and they assembled an awesome panel of speakers.  It was an amazing weekend.  Here are a few photos if you've never been there or ever seen or heard of it.
Flagler College was built in the late 1800's by Henry Flagler, railroad magnet.  It was built as a hotel for mostly northern guests escaping the cold winters. 

 These photos are taken outside the front entrance.
 Here is DF Carol, she knows a lot about Flagler so she was touring me around a bit.
The grand courtyard fountain.  So gorgous!

A lot of this area is dorm rooms for the students.

The college is open for public tours.  Look at that magnificent relief over the door.   The woodwork inside the grand foyer is simply amazing.

They also have a fabulous collection of Tiffany windows especially in the student cafeteria.  Look at this breathtaking ceiling.  So old world............

Another amazing relief, I know I've used that adjective a lot but there is no other word to describe the beauty of Flagler.  Old world opulence and workmanship.  Across the street is the Lightner Museum another hotel built by Flagler.  it is open to the public and is another wonderful example of old world craftsmanship and awesome details and construction techniques.  There was a huge indoor pool that took up almost the whole lower level of the hotel and now is a collection of shops and a restaurant.
 
St Augustine is less than an hour from my house but anytime I go there it's like going on a vacation.  Lovely beaches, beautiful bayfront , historic buildings, fantastic restaurants.  I have such a fondness for St Augustine, my grandmothers sister settled there with her husband and had 4 sons and their legacy is still present in my many cousins in that area.  If you have never been there - do plan a visit to Florida's First Coast. 
 
I know many of you are still experiencing winter conditions - I hope spring is coming for you !

Thursday, February 07, 2019

FICKLE FEBRUARY

Good day blog friends !

I say "fickle" because we've had the coldest weather this winter in February and now back to record highs again.  I know I know - it is Florida and many of my northern and Midwestern friends would scoff at my complaining after the record bearing winter you've had to suffer with.  Well I always seem to start my blog with weather reports but I really wanted to report on Off the Ocean rug camp.

This was the 20th year of OTO.  It started off in 1999 as On the Ocean and was held at Atlantic Beach.  As it turns out there are 2 teachers and 2 students who have attended all 20 of these rug camps.  My DF Annie T, teachers Sibyl Osika and Diane Stoffel and the director Katie Puckett.  Katie's mom Judy Colley who is now suffering with Alzheimers started this camp and they co-directed up until about 5 years ago.  Such a sad and horrific disease.

So I once again was in Diane's class.  I saw this rug on Facebook and you could order the paper pattern thru Etsy.  I'm sorry - I don't remember the name of the designer.  I'm afraid camp didn't  go too well for me this year.  It started on Friday night and that went well, Saturday was good but by Sunday I wasn't feeling quite right.  I thought I had a sinus problem because my face was hurting, also my jaw in that area.  By Monday I was hurting more and decided OH SHOOT - maybe it's that tooth the dentist said 2 years ago I needed a root canal.  Called the dentist office and no answer.  Monday night was hateful - didn't sleep much and was taking motrin for the pain and swelling but by Tues that wasn't even touching the pain.  Got a dental appt. for Wed. so I went over to class on Tues (yes thankfully it's a local camp for me) and I tried real hard to work and focus but I was just in so much pain I packed up all my stuff and I was out of there. 

So here is the very cool Alice in Wonderland rug and her falling down the rabbit hole.  When I left camp I had very little done - actually I got more done than I would have thought considering how I was feeling.  This rug is wool all dyed by Diane.  It is mostly in a 4 cut for my rug hooking friends and there is quite a bit of 3 for small detail.  The rug is 24" X 36" on linen backing.

I'm sorry I didn't stick around for our class "thrown down" - It would have been nice to have photos of the class progress.  I also didn't get any photos of the exhibit.  Just wasn't feeling up to par.

 So for the past two Sundays I have worked a few hours on Alice.  I finished her dress, sash, skirt and started the leggings.  I also worked on the checkerboard under her dress.  I am hoping to keep working on Alice on Sundays as much as I can.  I am very pleased with the white rabbit too. 
 Next up is a beautiful piece of needlepoint I have been working on for years on end.  It's mostly in basketweave and tent but the blue background is a decorative stitch and yes I am working in hand.  To me , it's relaxing to hold work in your hand.  This was another piece I hoped to keep out and keep working on but there are so many old WIP's that I love and want to finish one day.  So so many and I am knitting more all the time and stitching less.  Not because I don't love to stitch but because after coming home from work - almost never before 7pm and then not getting in my chair till around 9 - my eyes are just so tired from being on the PC all day and then I have a bad habit of picking up my Ipad and running thru all the wonderful projects on FB.  bad bad.  I am trying to limit my time on FB - even my DH is noticing that I am not "crafting" any more as he calls it.
 This is a beautiful finish for 2019 - this is Alchemy by Woolenberry - Janina Kallio from Finland.   I have mentioned before how much I love her designs and how perfect they are for Florida weather.  This one is a little heavier and quite large.  The gray is moss stitch in a sport weight yarn called Shalimar Enzo - a gorgeous 80/10/10 blend of merino/nylon/cashmere and the green is by Blue Moon and is all superwash merino I believe in a stitch she calls a star stitch I believe.
 Last up is my current most loved WIP is Fading Waves by Steven West.  Yarn a "fade" set by Madelinetosh in Merino light.  I don't know why everything is gray all the sudden. I've never been a gray/black/neutral person but there is lots of flecks of turquoise and pink in this colorway.  This is quite a large shawl but I am rocking on and have about twice as much of the dark gray as shown in the photo.  The shawl grows as you go along so it's getting bigger and the short row shaping makes the color shift.
I wish I had a bunch of cross stitch finishes to show but I don't.  This is the time of year I just keep starting new projects.  You know they say "everything is all anew in January"  the year is young and all that jazz!  Anyway - I'm a believer in those words apparently evidenced by the pile of stuff by my chair that I have started in the past 6 weeks.

Thanks for commenting on my blog - I appreciate them all.  my best to everyone and I hope your new year is shaping up just the way you hoped it would.

Friday, December 21, 2018

MERRY MERRY

I'm LATE  I'm LATE said the white rabbit to Alice.

I guess Alice is on my mind because I have chosen an Alice in Wonderland rug canvas for my project for my 20th YES TWENTITH OFF THE OCEAN rug camp coming up next month in January.

For now let's focus on the fast approaching Christmas holiday.  Doesn't it just fly by friends.  All the music, merriment - over in a flash.  I am dragging and clawing every minute of every day to S L O W things down.  Isn't working ...............

I'm happy to show you a few things I finished up in December.  This was my duClay EGA Christmas exchange gift.  It is With Thy Needle Berry Days at Thistle Down Farm.  It is stitched on 36ct PTP Ancient linen with the called for threads.  Yes folks I did the finishing myself - I sanded the box - painted the box with a coat of buttermilk paint and then a strawberry colored paint, I sanded the box again according to instructions to make it look aged and then put a coat of wax on it.

 This was before I put the wool liner in the drawer.  This is a wooden box not a paper mache box.  I hope the recipient was happy.  I almost backed out at the last minute on giving it away.  It was really a lot of work but I thought it turned out wonderfully.
 Next up is another finish I did myself.  This is another small piece in the Hats Bats and Boots club with The Needlepointer.  They are great fun.  I have other ideas about a permanent use for this and the future club pieces I still have left to stitch.
 What about this adorable evil black squirrel.  Scary II is the design by Plum St Samplers.  Dear friend Devon over at Devon's Quiet Corner did the finishing for me .  WOW - what a super job Devon did on my finish.  It was stitched on the called for R&R Winter Brew with the threads from the kit.  The wool was from my rug hooking stash.
 Isn't it absolutely perfect !  take a hop over to Devon's blog and see all her amazing finishes. 
 Another club piece from The Needlepointer - These little hearts are so easy to do and I have 2 more in the series to stitch - they will become part of my future Alice in Wonderland vignette.  All my pieces or almost all my pieces live in my fantasy world where I have wonderful futures for them all.
I did the finishing myself - that black ribbon doesn't show very well but it's ruched ribbon all around the edge.  Mounted on a metal stand.
 Last finish for 2018 is another tree in the Fanciful Forest club also from The Needlepointer.  I deviated from their recommended background.  I just wanted something different and I love the background I found by Brenda Hart.  I am going to take a leap into trying to finish these trees, the forest is piling up on me and I have been gathering my courage with these small pieces I have been finishing.  I think I might be ready to fly
 
Well dear friends - I hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season however you celebrate.  I wish you lots of time to spend however you wish thru the holiday season.  If I don't make it back here again - 2018 has been a year full of blessings, tragedies for many, losses and joys. 
Please leave me a comment - I do read them all - Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night