Monday, December 31, 2007


Is the world spinning faster? Do the weeks and months just fly by for everyone or am I the only one spinning out of control?

2007 in some ways was a very good year. No major illnesses, injuries or accidents in my immediate family for which I am so thankful for.

I remember being so lost and upset last year at this time because of the announcement that my boss was leaving. He was my work rock and I remember feeling lost and desperate however a year has passed and the building is still standing and I am still functioning very well in my position so I guess time does heal all wounds.

Wish I had some progress photos to show but I am happy to say I finished my monkey rug a week ago. What a relief to have another fairly large rug completed. Something to show in the upcoming Ocean rug exhibit. With another camp in just a little over 2 weeks - I am thankful to be starting a rather smallish runner that I picked up from a Texas designer this fall at the ATHA national seminar. The Angel Sampler is by Bea Brock and it is very folk art-y - antique-y and primitive. It should be a challenge to hook all those faces and get the effect I am hoping for and I am excited to be taking Diane Stoffel again this year. She is the teacher who color planned and dyed the wool for my beloved mermaid rug. My next big focus rug to finish is the Antique Blue Basket by Edyth O'Neill also in Texas. The interior motif is complete and about 2/3 of the interior backround is complete but I have the entire border to hook on this 3 X 5 beauty. I expect it will take me most of the coming year to get it completed.

I don't make new years resolutions because I never keep them and then I am disappointed in myself. Much better for me to just say I will try to do something or hope to get something accomplished.

My knitting world is all aglow right now with some recent new starts. A beautiful shawl from the Winter 07 VK is already in progress on the needles in the lovely Colinette Cadenza colorway Mist. I know - it is not a "melody" color but it is very pretty and I needed a change. I have many other knitting projects in various stages of completion. I just finished my first magic loop sock - toe up which I liked doing very much -I thought the short row heel was a bear but I am game to get that 2nd sock cast on as the 1st one fits me so well. Thanks to my mentor Corrina for sticking by me and encouraging me on the magic loop technique.

My stitching world is filled with many WIP's and even more UFOs - I hope to get into organizing my stash in early 2008 and seeing what I can sell,give or throw away. Some of my friends are organizing and downsizing their stash like crazy women so it makes me feel like I am missing something - there must be some hidden pleasure in ditching this stuff -

Also have a needlepoint workshop in early 2008 with a national teacher from California. David McCaskill is coming to teach a 2 day workshop for our local ANG guild - I am working on an existing McCaskill project that I started several years ago at a fave shop downstate but of course never finished. Instead of starting a new project - I am very proud of myself that I resisted the urge and decided to work on a UFO instead.

Well that about wraps up my thoughts on 2007 and my plans for early 2008.

Happy New Year all ~ ~ ~

Monday, November 12, 2007



This is about as close as we get in North Florida to fall - I travel a lot to Auburn Alabama and last week when I was there I actually saw fall leaves on the trees. It was beautiful! Usually in mid October it starts cooling down here and gone are the oppressively hot humid summer days.

What have I been doing since I posted in June - Wasn't that just a month or two ago????? EGADS! NOT - I can't believe how fast the time is flying by.

My blog is predominately about my love and pursuit of needlework bliss. I fully intended to write a trip blog about my September visit to the ATHA rug hooking national in New Orleans with 3 of my friends. Well - Sept came and went and no trip log - oh well - we did have a nice time at the national - took 2 classes and bought 2 cool new rug canvases and a few toys from the Spruce Ridge booth in the boutique. They had some awesome rug hooks made from exotic woods along with scissor point protectors and magnets to hold your scissors on the hooking surface. I believe everything I bought was burled cedar or some exotic beautiful cedar. Love the new hook and YES I am able to hook with it! Got a great canvas from a Texas designer named Bea Brock - I had met Bea two years prior on a trip to Texas with my friend Karen. She does interesting designs and I bought her Angel Sampler in a runner size along with a 2 X 2 rug for my mom which is adapted from an antique quilt pattern. New Orleans was still somewhat deserted - lots of businesses and restaurants are still closed down. We ate several meals out - Emeril's NOLA, brunch at Brennans', a cajun place which was just a block from the Marriott and very good. Had a great class with Susan Quicksall of Holly Hill designs and a class with Judy Quintman from NC. All in all we had a very nice trip.

I am still trying to finish up my monkey rug - maybe I can put up a WIP photo sometime soon. It is coming along nicely - just have a small amount of back round left and 2 sides of the border.

In my stitching world - I have been focusing for the past several months on a class piece that I was doing with the Dixie EGA chapter in Columbus Ga - Jane Timmers of Fancy Work was down to teach her Charleston Sewing Box class - awesome project - just lovely work from Jane. I did attend one day of the two day class - I got my drawstring (twisted cord) and 2 tassels made - and that was with Jane sitting right by my side helping me! YEP - I am "finishing" challenged - I am well aware now that I need to leave the fine finishing to someone who can do it well. I am going to finish up the blasted little necessary bag on my own but the actual box insert and scissor case and pinkeep - I am sending to a pro!

My other stitching focuses are Faith Hope and Love by Workbasket - my DF Teresa took some WIP photos for me but I have not been able to get them from my home PC to my work PC so I can upload to my blog and the stitching boards I belong to - one day I'll get it done!

In my needlepoint world - I am mainly focusing on a Lee canvas which is to be an insert for one of the Lee tote bags. Very nice little piece done in silks and metallics. Hope to have that finished in the next few months so I can actually use this tote bag to tote my WIP's in!!!!

And the knitting project update - lions and tigers and bears OH MY! ( yep I watched the Wizard of OZ over the weekend) that is the usual state of my knitting world focus - Fall is the worst time of the year for me and my knitting - I get so excited about new yarns - new patterns - I just can't focus too much. I have gone back to my Blue Sky cardi and am finishing up the first front on that one. Also just became reacquainted with my Colinette Cadenza cardi and am also finishing one front. Our LYS (Knit Witz) has 2 knit nights every week and an occasional midnight knitting. I chose the Cadenza cardi for my focus piece for those nights in recent weeks. Kathe just received a lovely shipment of Cadenza and I'm sure it has flown off the shelves. I would love to have more Cadenza but instead bought more Jitterbug from the same shipment and the accompanying book for which I am in love with the cover Swing jacket. I am doing the Copperbeach colorway of which my friend Corrina said "it's a Melody color for sure" My other main knitting focuses are a lovely pullover in Rowan 4ply tweed called Lava by Brandon Mably - it was in a winter mag from last season. Colorwork is very tedious but I do try to devote at least one night a week on this project. Also in the bag are a simple shawl using the new lace weight Malibrigo in a lucious color called Hummingbird and a wonderful shawl in Sea Silk - can't remember the name of the pattern but I got it at my fave LYS Knit Witz.

Well - turkey day is upon us - my mom and I have finalized our menu. The bird is bought so we just need to tweek things and we'll be ready! I am hoping for a 4 day that weekend but haven't gotten the word from my boss yet.

Hope well all have a sweet november with many happy memories!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


WHOOO HOOO I can't wait till tomorrow when I board the plane for Arizona. I am attending ASG (A Stitchers Gathering) in Scottsdale. Rae Iverson of Moss Creek Designs puts on these events 2 times a year. I will have a class with 3 national teachers one of which is Rae. The others are Ann Pettit from Brightneedle and Betsy Morgan Willing Hands. I am also going on an excursion to Sedona that was arranged by the Iverson's. While I have been to this area of the country before it was 15 years ago and I am anxious to return there. Friday morning we have plans to visit a great local shop called the Attic in Mesa. Now I don't need a thing - if I never bought another piece of linen, chart, canvas or ball of yarn in MY LIFE - I would never use up what I have stashed. Oh well - what difference does that make???? I wouldn't miss the Attic for the world! I have also snooped out a great yarn shop in Mesa - Fiber Factory purported to be "the best in the west" - we'll see if I make it there.

Quick run down of my current WIP's -

Stitching: Just started Martina Dey's Quaker Sal - beautiful contemporary sampler using traditional quaker motifs. I am using 36ct antique white edinborough with two colors Crescent Colors Belle Soie Silks - elegant eggplant and plush plum - ooh la la - it is beautiful - finished my first motif in eggplant and am dying to get the plum in the linen!

Elizabeth McMachen - repro from a sampler in the collection of the Maryland Historical Society - I did this class with Kathy Staples and Kathy Lesieur in Baltimore in April when I attended the Maryland Sampler Symposium. It is lovely in AVAS silks and 30ct Legacy linen. It has a huge rose and rosebud border and a funky folky basket with eccentric flowers in the middle. It has taken a back seat to my new quaker but I will probably haul it to Arizona with me.

Martha Brady an Ackworth Quaker by Needleprints is now in the works. It was my Memorial Day start. It is worked on 34ct Legacy linen overdyed by Lakeside in vintage bisque with the called for AVAS. We'll see how that goes - I love stitching with AVAS but i'm afraid Miss Martha may take a back seat to the new quaker lovely.

Knitting projects - oh my!

I spent some time this weekend preparing my plane projects - I simply could not fly that far without plane(plain) knitting. I have a beautiful Rowan garment - the Wraparound Jacket worked in the colors suggested in Rowan #40 in 4ply wool. I have passed the first armhole and am about at the 55cm point. This jacket is an unusual construction in that it is worked sideways so it will be straight stockinette for eons. Perfect for plane(plain) knitting.

I have a cool and brightly colored Colinette jacket in Prism Jamboree that I may also take - It is from an Interweave Mag earlier this year. It is not appropriate plane knitting b/c it is worked on huge 10.5 needles - straights not circulars and I always fear dropping my needle and having it roll down the aisle and being stuck not able to knit for the duration of the flight - EGAD - not acceptable - so all plane (plain) projects are on circulars! The colors remind of the mexico - so I might drag it along -

Rug hooking projects - and there are many - but my main focus is to finish the monkey/fruit rug. You can see a WIP photo elsewhere on the blog. it is coming along and I need to get another WIP photo soon.

Better sign off here - I have a long night of haggling over what to take to a place where it was 107 degrees today! EEEEKKKK - I sure wasn't prepared for that!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spring has sprung!

March already?? - It is already unseasonably warm here in North Florida and all the spring flowers, trees and bushes are in bloom. Pollen is so heavy you have to rake it off your car. This is the first year of my life that I have had trouble with my eyes - oh well - middle age has struck I guess!

Had a rug hooking workshop the first of March with Bev Conway from Vermont. Started a canvas out of her repertoire - A fall scene called Pumpkin Patch which has a scarecrow as the focal point. I enjoyed spending time with my friends but the weather was crummy - rained the entire weekend until it was time to go home. Have another rug hooking workshop next weekend in Sebring FL - quite far south where all the foliage is very tropical. I go to this location 3 times a year for 3 day camps and it is glorious. Hook as late as you want - sleep as late as you want - it is just a great time to be had at an old family owned hotel called Inn on the Lakes. I am starting a minature oriental rug with Vivily Powers. I am trying to get a grip on the concept of oriental rugs so that I can return to my huge oriental and do a nice job on it. Hoping Vivily, a long term teacher and someone I have taken before and respect very much can help me drill home that concept.

Am knitting a lot too - Have almost finished one sock out of the new Colinette Jitterbug and close to finishing the back of my colinette cadenza cardigan. Gorgeous yarn - Another midnight knitting at our LYS to look forward to next month.

Stitching - hummm - I am working on a new Long Dog design called St Reatham - gorgeous gigantic sampler - am using Gloriana silk floss in a color called Victorian Garden - hope to get a WIP photo soon. Needlepoint update - am just starting a lovely canvas that I got in the fall at my fave needlepoint shop The Black Sheep in Winter Park Fl - Sadly the owner wanted to retire and has sold the shop but at least it will remain open on the avenue and I hope to visit it soon to see what changes the new owner makes. I plan to keep in touch with the former owner - we have become good friends over the 15+ years I have shopped and taken classes with her. I have an exciting workshop this month with the local ANG guild and a national teacher Carole Lake. 4 of us are also doing a more advanced correspondence course with Carole which we will kick off with an informal meet and greet and dinner during the time she will be in north florida. Lots of exciting things planned for the next several months before the 2nd phase of my project starts up again in Auburn Alabama. Have to have all the fun I can before that gets going and draining the life out of me. Speaking of work - I have just about adjusted to my former boss being gone. My new boss is really kind and has been making some positive changes around here and bless his heart he is getting me a really expensive and ergonomically correct executive chair from Relax the Back store. YIPPEE - I am sooooo excited about that!

Monday, February 05, 2007


Well at long last the Mermaid rug is finished!!!!!!!

I am very proud of the end result and was also very pleased she was awarded Best in the Wide cut category at the "Off the Ocean" rug hooking conference. There were people there from all over the US so I was very pleased at her recognition among all these great rug hookers. I am plotting which rug (s) will be my focus for 2007 and hopefully I will have another big finish for this year. My Edyth O Niell "antique blue basket" is probably at least 1/2 completed as well as the "fruit compote and monkey" - those will probably be my focus rugs for 2007. I started a big oriental in January and have picked out a fall themed rug for an upcoming March workshop. Just a fun piece with a scarecrow and pumpkin patch - nothing as taxing as the oriental!

I finished a lovely knitted hat made out of Blue Sky Hand Dyed Bulky - neat yarn but much too heavy for Florida - I don't prefer to knit on large needles so I would not select that for a garment however I am making a lovely cardigan out of the Blue Sky Hand Dyed Worsted weight and it is just yummy.

Our LYS had midnight knitting this past weekend - fun for all who attended. Our shop owner has ordered some neat sock yarn from Colinette called Jitterbug - I am just a collector of sock yarn - never finished but one pair in my life and they were so huge my SO (significant other) inherited them. The Jitterbug was SOOOO cool - it even enticed me to take out the size 2 DP's and cast on the "simple sock" which was included on the ball band. I purchased "Bright Charcoal" which is one of my fave Colinette colorways - YEP - I am a bonfide Colinette junkie from way back -

Not much to report on my sampler and needlepoint projects. I have a needlepoint workshop next month with Carole Lake sponsored by the local ANG chapter and we are also starting a correspondence course with Carole on a more difficult charted design. I am itching to start a new Quaker sampler called Ann Trump from the Ackworth collection but I am using extreme restraint in the matter as I am just not getting much stitching done these days.

Took advantage of only one Super Bowl sale yesterday and ordered a lovely new Rowan sweater from Whippletree in Vermont - I have been participating in their Super bowl sales for many years now - Can't wait to see what this yummy selection of yarns looks like.