Thursday, December 30, 2010


I wanted to post my list for Crazy Challenge – I am modifying it a bit further to be my “Crazy Challenge for completing 11 in 2011. It is a collection of new starts and WIP’s. It’s a mix of all the things I love to do – stitching on both canvas and linen, hooking and knitting.  I would like to be able to figure out how to pin this to the sidebar like Vonna and some of the others have done.  I'll work on that.


Spanish Mystery Sampler by Shakespeare’s Peddler - NYE/NYD new start – 2011 SAL with the Attic

Elizabeth J Mears by Queenstown Samplers - 2011 SAL on the With my Needle & Pen newsletter group

Garden Glade by CHS  WIP started in 2010 - hibernating for a few months now soon to return to rotation.

Where the Hart Lives by Scarlet Letter WIP started in 2009 - supposed to be for my folks anniversary in 2010 - oh well - it didn't happen - however I am determined to finish this one so it made the list.


Medieval Melody by Katie Puckett KISS Rug Studio – a huge oriental/floral rug designed for me which I will start at rug camp in January

 Blue Basket Antique by Edyth O'Neill – my oldest rug WIP – a 3’ x 5’ started in 2001 – I think 10 years is long enough to devote and this beauty needs to be finished and on my floor.  I am on the border now so this is attainable in 2011.

Merrie Halloween by Spruce Ridge Studios - A Not Forgotten Farm adaptation  – started in October 2009 –  She is sooooo close to being finished - She will be hanging Halloween 2011.


ANG ( Am Needlepoint Guild)  – SOTM (stitch of the Month) – new SAL by Ro Pace  for 2011 on 24 ct congress cloth. It is a mystery which grows as the year progresses.  ANG offered one in 2010 that many of the local ANG chapter members stitched and it was a neat project so this time I am jumping in.

Autumn House by Melissa Shirley - WIP that I had a ball stitching and using stashed fibers in the fall of 2010 - it should be an easy finish for 2011 *IF* I continue to work on it.


Sweet Little Nothing - a beret by French designer Marie Adeline Boyer - this is a new start to go with a beautiful new wool/cashmere coat my mom gave me for Christmas.  It will also be a KAL for the 1st Quarter of 2011 with online shop The Loopy Ewe and I think I have settled on the yarn and will get it ordered next week.

Debbie Bliss Cowl - WIP using  exquisite hand dyed yarn by Dream in Color - this was a special colorway offered only to select yarn shops. 

I've had a list on my desk for days now - adding, deleting, adding deleting projects as they come to me and as I think about how realistic it will be to finish them in 2011. I knew my list of SAL projects was growing for 2011.  There will be much more knitting started and hopefully finished in 2011 than what is on  my challenge list.  Knitting is so zen to me - I can knit when I am too tired to even think - Simple needlepoint also can be very relaxing for me - the canvas is easier to see than linen and I usually am not following a chart - maybe a stitch pattern but not a chart like linen work.

  I still adore samplers and I always dream of being like my stitching idols Margaret, Siobhan, Deb, Laurie and so many others that I hold in high esteem but I know I will never ever be like them.  It's just a dream world I like to go to and wile away the hours - choosing charts, linens and pretty silks.  In my dreams - I too finish huge impressive samplers and have whole walls filled with my workes.

I think the new year is great for people who do goals, lists and resolutions - to get a fresh perspective on their life and get rejuvenated.  For me - I prefer to just aspire to do the best I can do - to be blessed with good health, continued employment and be surrounded by family and friends.

On this Eve of the New Years Eve - I wish for all my friends in blog land all the things that make you most happy.  I appreciate your support of my blog and your comments.  Peace my friends and many happy stitches in the New Year ~ ~ ~

Friday, December 24, 2010


A beautiful Christmas Eve Day here in NE FL.  The sun is shining brightly and it is cool and crisp.

I almost always work on Christmas Eve so that others who have children can be off.  Jody and I will spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my folks.  We always go out to dinner on Christmas Eve - that has been a tradition in our family for over a decade now.  We go to a great seafood place in a small town near Gainesville - not too far from my folks place.  Then we ride thru the little towns on the way home looking at christmas lights and listening to Kenny G CD's - AHHHH - the holiday music - that is what I miss most when Christmas is over.

Here is a shot of the beautiful Christmas tree I look at every day at work.  I would say it is about 9 ft tall and sure has been fragrant.  We also have live garlands up the stairway and over the entry way.  My boss does most of the decorating every year for Christmas and we also have beautiful red poinsettias filling the foyer.

Speaking of poinsettias - here is a shot of my meager effort in the stitching dept.  I love this BRD - Poinsettias and Pines - I changed the fabric to Sugar and Spice glittery linen from Australia and I love it however I had a dilemma when I started stitching the snowflakes - EEEECKKKK - they disappeared and did not show up at all - I changed the silk out to a pale silvery gray which barely shows up - Oh well - fortunately there are not that many of these snowflakes on this piece

The other thing I have been focusing on this past week is these fingerless mitts for Jody.  I finished the first one last night - I will go ahead and give him the one for Christmas and it will be a hoot - he will think it is amusing that he only got one mitt - sorta like the hat I made him 2 years ago that had a hole in the crown because I needed the extra yarn to finish a hat for my dad.
 I love how it came out and for those knitters out there - the pattern is Dashing which was printed in but you can find it on Ravelry also. It is the male version of Fetching which was also a very popular Knitty mitt pattern - I plan to make a pair for me in the new year.
  I am using some stashed Malabrigo Worsted weight yarn in Marron - which is a very odd color - looks brown until you put it next to brown - it has a rusty look but no orange - also maroonish - anyway a pretty semi solid color.  I will get on the 2nd mitt over the holiday weekend and should have it done by NYD I hope.

the close up shows the cable patterning and the color a little better.  It looks pinky but is not pink at all.

I did lots of blog reading yesterday and see that many of you are doing the Crazy Challenge - maybe that's not the official name but that is what sticks in my head.  I wish you all luck and lots of fun but I could not handle anything like that.  I also don't make goals or resolutions - just a personal thing - I don't like looking back on the previous year and being reminded of everything I did not do or accomplish - rather to focus on what I did accomplish (if anything notable LOL) 

One thing I am rather disappointed about is that I did not finish my big Antique Blue Basket rug.  Early last year - that is something I thought for sure I would do.  As a matter of fact - I have NO rug finishes for 2010 and that does not make me happy.  My Merrie Halloween is so close to being finished - not in a week but I could still finish her for the January exhibit if I really hooked a lot in the next few weeks.  I'm not going to stress out about it but I am wishing I had done more hooking in 2010.

Just wanted to pop in with a last minute Christmas wish for all my friends in blog land - Wishing you peace and all the things your heart desires for a memorable holiday.
Merry Christmas to all ~ ~ ~

Friday, December 17, 2010


This is a rather funny story.  I have a DF Anne Marie who has completed/assisted/knitted about 6 of these very colorful funky Crayon Box jackets.  We all took a class together at the LNS about 5 or more years ago.  She completed hers - mine lingered - she did one for her mom - mine sunk farther down in the UFO pile - she completed another one for a friend - mine hadn't been seen in several years - she offered to complete mine.   YIPPEE!  what an offer - the hunt was on - however in the midst of all this -  I moved from my lifelong home 20 miles away to another county - it tooks months to get my stash moved mainly because I was sorting as I went along - anyway - I did finally find the CB jacket stash I had kitted up. 

Anne Marie tweaked my colors - pared down my too vast selection of color and textures and came up with a great color plan.  Somewhere in the midst of all this planning - my mom was present and wanted to get her name in the pot for a CB jacket of her own.  At that point - unbeknownst to my mom - I pulled yarn from stash and purchased more yarn and Anne Marie and I developed a color plan for my mom's jacket.  This whole process has been over the course of a couple of years - you know how life gets in the way of frivoulous projects - anyway - every time we get together with Anne Marie - she is always working on my jacket and my mom ALWAYS chastisizes me "saying - are we ever going to get my yarn?"  Then another friend got in line for a jacket and brought a huge tote bag full of yarn - my poor mom was dreadfully upset - "see now someone else is getting ahead of me on this jacket thing"  AHHHHHH- this was sorta fun concealing this big secret from her and all my good friends were in on the secret.  Once in a while my mom will accompany me in a yarn shop and she is always saying - "can we look at yarn for my jacket?"   My answer would always be " Oh I don't like their yarn in here"    HUMPFFFF - when did I EVER MEET A YARN SHOP that didn't have yarn I wanted to buy???????????  too funny.

So - our rug guild holiday luncheon was this past Sunday - I knew AM was going to present Mom's jacket to her.  What I didn't know was that she had somehow screwed up the cuff bind off and wanted me to unbind it so she could fix it - all this while my mom was in the room - EGADS - this was going to be tricky - well I picked an oppportune time and moved over to AM's table and proceeded to unknit that bind off - once that was completed - AM took her knitting bag and moved to the handicap stall in the bathroom and finished that cuff LOL - TOOO FUNNY.

Here are a few shot of Mom and AM - bear in mind that the jacket has not been blocked and will fit much better once that has occured. For those knitters out there - the base yarn is Noro kureyon - all the trim is Debblie Bliss Soho and there are probably between 5 and 10 other yarns in this design. AM has gotten very good at putting together the color scheme and textures.

These are not the greatest pictures in the world but it will give you an idea of the color and the amount of work that went into knitting this jacket.  It is mosiac knitting - you create the square and then pick up and add on another square.  Quilters would probably accel at this process but for some reason I did not like knitting this because I fussed around too much with what colors went where and then maybe that texture should not go there - AACCCKKK - it was too much fussy work for me but AM seems to love it and does an awesome job.
The Azalea Sampler Guild meets tomorrow for our holiday party - there will be sweets and snacks shared by all the members.  I hope to take some photos of the WIP's tomorrow.

One week till Christmas - can that be possible !!!!!!  I am still shopping on line but I think I've done the last of that today.  Whatever else is left to purchase will have to be done in person.  I love to shop but with limited funds to spend for gifts - that is the *NOT* fun part.  Thankfully my family is small and I don't exchange with many friends any more since the economic crunch has strangled everyone to some degree.

I hope you all have time to put in a few happy stitches throughout this sometimes stressful week before Christmas.  I hope to get back to blogland before the holiday but just in case I don't or you don't - I wish all of you the merriest of Christmases and may all your dreams come true.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Every now and then - you  make a plan - the plan goes off without a hitch and you have yourself ONE FINE DAY !  I am pleased to say that is the kind of day I had yesterday.  I wanted to attend a class being held in Savannah at the French Knot needlework shop I have been raving about for the past 2 posts - it was to learn two methods of ornament finishing for canvas work.  I had been daudling along with my seahorse since last year - not really motivated to work on it except at doctor appts or when I needed a small portable project however when I heard this shop owner was giving a finishing class I was on a mission to complete the seahorse and take the class. 

I arranged a business trip to Savannah which allowed me to be there the day before - so I attended the weekly stitch in on Tuesday night - It was fun to be with different people and even though I didn't know anyone - it was still fun.  Then I had a lovely dinner with a business associate at the coolest place - Circa 1875 - It is named as such because the building has been around since 1875 - it was a great place - loved the food and atmosphere and I will definitely be back again.

My class started at 9am - everyone was encouraged to rummage thru the shop owners private stash of trims bobbles, ribbons and fabrics. I chose a lovely silk in turquoise for the backing. Since I am going to display my seahorse year round - I did not want it to be all decked out like a frilly christmas ornament so my finishing was a little more understated than some of the other class participants. However it came out exactly as I anticipated.  I did put that gaudy crystal bobble on the end of it just for effect and figured it would pick up the light.  I went with a simple vintage gold trim just to cover the seam.

 Here is the back of the ornament - you can see I think I did a pretty dang good job of filling all those creavices with batting. 
Here is the side showing a close up of the trim.  Now I see why shops charge seemingly outrageous prices for finishing.  This was a LOT of work.  It took me about 4 solid hours and would have taken longer if I was fumbling around with it at home.  The shopowner has everything we needed ready and set up - glue guns, pins, needles, threads, scissors, sewing machines, - everything - I was just thrilled !

I was close to finishing my ornament and a couple of ladies went home to finish.  I was determined I was going home with a completed ornament so I took a break for lunch. I walked two blocks to one of my favorite lunch spots in the historic area - the Gryphon Tearoom.  It is housed in an old pharmacy and lots of the original stained glass is still intact along with wooden drawers - where different things were stored the old soda counter and many other original features.  Here is a photo of the lovely stained glass ceiling.  I tried to get a photo of the SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) out the window where I was sitting but it was too gray outside and it did not come out. 

It was actually a lot of fun to be out walking by myself in Savannah.  I had an opportunity to wear some of my knitted accessories and I was not cold a bit even though it was in the 40's with a stiff breeze blowing.  I'm sure some of you are scoffing but hey - way down here in the deep south - 40's during mid day is very cold and unusal for us. 

Don't have much more to report - next post I hope to have a WIP photo of a beautiful cowl I started knitting over the weekend and maybe some photos of stash acquisitions from recent shopping binges.  I've been having a little "merry christmas to me fever" and we're not even officially in the 12 days of Christmas yet.

Here's hoping you are having some fun of your own .  thanks for your comments - I always enjoy hearing from you. 

Friday, December 03, 2010


I wish I had more progress photos to share with you but I don't seem to be get getting much done these days.

My Autumn House needlepoint canvas has been sitting since I finished the fields - I am stymied about what to do about those wheat stacks or corn bundles or whatever they are.  I should start experimenting with stitches.

I did finish my seahorse - I am taking an ornament finishing class next week at the French Knot so I'll show it again when it is "finished" - this will hang next to my mermaid rug so it is not a christmas tree ornament but something I will display year round.
For anyone interested in the fibers - this was my first purchase of Vineyard silk - that was used on the entire seahorse except for the gold which is krenik braid and the backround is Frosty Rays - which I might add is the biggest pain to work with.  The backround is a simple wave pattern which would be more obvious in person or with a better camera.
Here is a closer shot so you can see more detail. Obviously I had to draw in my own oval shape and I went a little too big with it initially but those big black lines won't show.
It's amazing how much fun I've been having with NP this fall.  I did start this seahorse well over a year ago - and put it down.  It was only in the last couple of weeks that I picked it up and decided to finish that backround and take this class.

This past week I also picked up an old knitting project that was probably half done.  A beautiful tri-color wrap using a very fine gauge Rowan wool.  I had misplaced the mag with the pattern in the move but a shop in Scotland was clearing out a lot of their old Rowan mags so the owner helped me pinpoint the issue I was missing and I ordered from Scotland.  It arrived and I was able to pick up the garment and just keep going right where I left off - that was a big SIGH of relief - sometimes I am lost when I let things sit for years and can't pick it up again or I have completely lost interest and I am finding that re-purposing the yarn is a real AHHHH moment.  Gives the lovely yarn a chance to come alive again in a new project.  So next time I'll try to show some other WIP's. 

This is the time of the year rug hooking really kicks into gear.  I would dearly love to finish Merry Halloween for the annual exhibit here in January.  that is not going to happen unless I spent some serious time with my hook and frame.  It's possible at this point but that goal is slipping away day by day and as Christmas approaches there will be more and more to do and less and less time to do it.  I vow to hook at least 4 hours on Merry this weekend!  Pinky swear OK?

We got the tree up last night - a Frasier Fur and it is a beauty.  About 7.5 ft - the lights are up and we'll finish putting on the ornaments this weekend.  I can assure you my BBD "Noel" ornament that I finished myself will be the first one up on the tree in a place of prominence where I can see it every day.

I hope you are all having a great start to the holiday season with many happy times to look forward to this month.  Don't forget that Jesus is the reason for the season and keep him in your busy every day life.
Be Merry and Enjoy ! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I have been trying to eek out a blog post for a couple of weeks now. I take a bunch of photos of nothing important and then time slips away and I don't get the post done (sigh) - Now Thanksgiving is upon us and I am still struggling to do a post. I am still in the office and there is NOTHING going on so I thought I could maybe whip out a post and wish all my friends in the US a happy turkey day !

My folks will be coming up tonight and will spend a couple of nights with us. It will just be the 4 of us but we'll enjoy preparing and eating our meal just as if we had 12 at our table. We've always had a very small group for holidays since I am an only child and have no children. Anyway - I am working from home Friday so I almost have a 4 day to look forward to . Saturday is sampler guild and that is a fun afternoon to visit with friends and get some serious stitching done in between eating snacks, drinking coffee and chatting about eating too much over the holiday LOL.

OK - I just have to say I HATE whatever change blogger made to posting photos - it is SOOO much harder now to manipulate the photos - makes me dread having to do it which means I seem to be posting less and we all know that these posts are all about the photos. SO ........... without further ado - I am going to show you some great photos from my trip last weekend to Sweet Savannah - that was almost my blog post title but since I ran right into turkey time - that won out for a title.

Last weekend Jody and I went to Savannah - I had some business to take care of so it was a mix of work and pleasure but pleasures abound in Sweet Savannah.

We had a marvelous dinner on Friday night in the historic area at Local 11 Ten which is housed in an old 50's bank building. It was a very posh expensive restaurant but the food was excellent and we actually had a friendly accomodating server. I find that many times in this type of trendy restaurant - the server somehow didn't get the message that "he was serving" - it's like they are doing a favor by visiting your table and dropping off some food. there is no semblance of "service" to be had by this type of "server" I just get tired of this type of attitude and I'm sure you can all relate. Anyway this was a very pleasant experience.
Saturday - we putzed around and enjoyed our room at the Residence Inn - I actually slept fairly well and we already knew we were heading straight to Soho Cafe down town.  I've featured them before so I won't bore you again but here is Jody perusing their artwork.

 Can't you just see this portrait in one of those huge victorian mansions.
  We had a lovely lunch - I think we both had the crabcake sandwich which is really done right here at Soho.  I am picky about crabcakes and not everyone does them or Shrimp and Grits well but this place does for sure.

In the next block down from Soho is one of my fave yarn shops in the whole world - Wild Fibre
I had already prepped Jody for a visit to a new needlepoint shop and did not elude to a visit to any more local haunts.  He knows how I can spend hours and mucho bucks in any yarn shop but I did manage a quick perusal and got a chance to say hi to the gals that own the shop.  I knew they were a participating shop for Yarns on Stage - these are a collection of limited edition sock yarns from wonderful companies both mainstream and indie dyers.  I was under pressure to grab something quick and  hit  the local needlepoint shop before Jody ran out of patience.  He was running a bit thin since our lunch required over a 30 min wait.  His personal limit is 15 but I got an extension because "hey it's sweet savannah" !  Anyway here is the beautiful skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Sweet Pea - have no idea what I will do with it - there is enough yardage for a small shawlette - so we'll see what I can find to do with it.
So now - the real treat of this post - There is a marvelous new needlepoint shop in the historic district - The French Knot -

 What a fantastic shop !!!!!!!  Everything about this shop exudes elegance and taste.  It was rather difficult to find on Whitaker Street which is one way with no street parking.  I got good advice from the owner of Wild Fibre to park on Jones and walk the 1/2 block to the shop which is actually facing an alley off Whitaker.  Anyway - it was definitely worth taking the time to find.

You can read about Audrey the owner on her website so I won't belabor those who are not interested in needlepoint.

Threads anyone?
Oh my goodness - her walls of threads were just awesome - she had several brands of silk such as Planet Earth that I had been wanting to see.  I like the fact they were arranged in color families - and the canvas selection was no less stunning.

She had all these gorgeous built in cabinets all around the perimeter of the shop.  All filled with awesome finished items and artfully displayed accessories and canvases.

Such a beautiful place.  I can't wait to go back and am already schedule to take her ornament finishing class next month.  I only have to get the ornament completed LOL

Here are some gorgeous threads I pulled for my Autumn House canvas.  Audrey had some great suggestions for fibers to finish up my stitching adventure on that canvas.

Well friends - that concludes my pre-turkey day visit with you - hope you enjoyed your tour of the French Knot.  Wishing you the best of holidays with you and yours.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


This post is all about our adventure to A Stitchers Dream in Mt Dora.  I arranged for our sampler guild to attend a class Karen the shop owner was teaching on simple ornament finishing.  We had great participation from our group - 8 members from the NE FL group attended.  We got up at the butt crack of dawn and headed down thru the Ocala National forest for a day of fun food and friends.  We met at Starbucks - got all "fueled" up on caffeine and headed off.  It was a beautiful cool day -   
I think there were 11 people in the class.  Karen did a great job of helping and providing suggestions for each person's ornament. 

We broke for lunch and headed to downtown Mt Dora for a lovely leisurely lunch at the Garden Gate Tearoom.  Everyone throughly enjoyed their selection and we decided on the next trip down (there will definitely be a next trip) that we will do the high tea instead of lunch.

 My DM Jane was the only one who finished her ornament in class - doesn't she look proud !
Here is a close up of the Prairie Schooler ornament from the JCS Halloween issue several years ago.  She used Watercolors for the twisted cord edging and stitched with the recommended DMC colors on aida.
Humble beginnings on my BBD ornament - this one is from the Joyeux Noel book from last year. There are so many things in that book I want to stitch.

I am SOOO proud of my finish - I am "finishing" challenged for sure and this was the first ornament I have ever finished.  However I screwed up big time and therefore had to get creative with the trim.  I cut the linen too short to properly fold over and anchor down - therefore I eneded up having to lace my linen to the plastic canvas which Karen recommends for simple finishing like this.  It worked out OK except a narrow edging would not cover up my huge pulled stitches.  Anyway - true confessions on my blog - You can see those big stitches I had to use to " lace" the linen to the plastic canvas in the photo above.

A close up shot  - I send out big hugs and good karma to DF Teresa who dug into her magic box and found this lovely gauzey wide ribbon that worked perfectly for this little piece.  I converted the colors in this ornament to Belle Soie. I used PTP Dill linen called for in the book - not sure of the count.  I am SOOO pleased with my first ornament finish and I definitely gained the confidence to try this method again.
Here is DF Ellen hard at work on her ornament.

DF Kerrie holding up her ornament from the newest JCS Christmas issue - the ornament is by Milady's Needle. I was hoping to show the finished ornaments from our whole group.  Maybe some of them will send me photos so I can post them and share them with you all.
I did take a few other photos but for some reason - if you make any wrong moves at all with importing these photos - you can't do anything but start all over - AAACKKKK - I find this so annoying so I just had to leave off a couple of shots of the whole table full of class participants.

While I had the Joyeux Noel book out - I decided to start the little Merry Christmas pin pillow - I think I was just itchy to start something new since I finished something .

Until we meet again - I hope ornaments abound around your place too !

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Happy November !  I fully intended to get a post out for Happy Halloween but that did not happen.  Before Halloween 2010 becomes a distant memory - I wanted to show you my Salem House from Liberty Hill.  I was SOOOO excited to get this about a week before Halloween so I could display and enjoy it.  I have it sitting on my antique sewing table.  It is one of my favorite LH pieces so far.  My number one fave is my personalized primitive Angel work box - I should show that one some time.  The top comes off this house and stores your goodies - I'm sure it would also store a small project if you wanted to use it as a work box of sorts.  The tiny house scissor adornment is just darling and the church thread minder is so pretty.  The pumpkin thread winder is from another LH set but it looked good there with the Salem House items.  All sides of the house are painted - It is a great piece.
The next "house" is an updated shot of my Autumn House.  I am still loving working on this although coming up with the stitches for different areas is a challenge.  I think I already said but I am using a mix of fibers - wool/wool blends/silk/cotton and even silk chenille in this piece. 

This is a closer shot of the right side of the canvas - this house and surrounding fields are finished except for the two fields to the left of the house - they are repeats of fields already stitched so I guess the challenge was not there to come up with something different for them.
Here is a close up of the left side of the canvas.  I was so excited to get in my one lone sheepy.  He is stitched with Thread Gatherer silk chenille - boy was that a bear to work with. It was shredding like crazy but produced a fuzzy looking sheep. That odd thing by the house is a windmill and the field behind it was a pain to plow and plant. I used a Valdani perle and that was my first experience with it - it is a nice fiber but that diagonal romanian almost put me "under the dirt"  Doesn't look too bad in the photo but it was a bit messy trying to compensate.  The apple trees look a bit funky but hey - it's folky right?? I'm still stuck on what to do with those wheat sheaths or hay stacks. My plan is to finish planting the fields and complete the hedgerow all the while I am pondering those stacks and how to stitch them.  I need a few more threads but am so thrilled I have pulled 90% of the threads used so far from stash.
This odd looking thing is my Boneyards shawlette - for my knitting friends - it is a Steven West design and available for free on Ravelry.  He used a Rowanspun Tweed in a DK weight and I knew I had Rowan tweed in my stash - I was just surprised I had BLUE -  the photo is washed out - too much light on the subject I guess because it is a pretty blue - navy and should be great with jeans - it is a rustic tweed yarn from my vast stash - something from the Rowan vault. 

This yummy creature is the beginning of a ruffled scarf.  Pattern by Fiesta and the yarn is Fiesta Boomerang which was also in my stash!  Do we see a trend here LOL. This pattern uses the dreaded short row shaping but actually it is going pretty well.
I'm going to wish I had one of these new knits ready to wear this weekend.  We are expecting our first temps in the upper 30's - we'll see if they hit or miss the mark with that.  I'm SO READY! I'm sick to death of wearing summer clothes in NOVEMBER for heaven sake.  I am still wearing sandals too.  I'm ready for hand knit socks and cozy scarves.  Winter in Florida is short but sweet for any knitter.

I have an exciting event this weekend - I have arranged for our sampler guild to attend a class down in Mt Dora.  It is a class on ornament finishing so we'll come home with 1 or 2 finished ornaments.  I am finishing challenged for sure so this will be fun to do a simple finishing technique and maybe it will give me and some of the other members a boost in confidence or motivation to continue and do some simple finishing of our own.  We have a big group of about 8 going and will meet a couple of our central florida members for class and lunch at the wonderful Garden Gate tearoom.  You may remember seeing the Mt Dora report from a class 3 of us took there this summer.  We're packing up 2 car loads of friends - we'll brave our first cold snap of the season with Starbucks in hand. 

One other thing I'd like to mention - when you have time - pop over to my DF Kris' new blog - She is a great knitter and stitcher and I have been encouraging her for months to make her entry into blogland.  She is a lurker and reader of lots of blogs - so please stop by and become a follower and welcome her to blogland. 

So friends - I'll be back real soon with some photos of that excursion and until then - thanks for stopping by my blog and I love hearing your comments.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I've been visiting an old friend lately. NEEDLEPOINT - I learned to do NP before I learned to knit as a young child of about 8 or 10. I did a huge amount of NP in the 90's and early 2000's - that was before I became enchanted with samplers. There were several reasons needlepoint got pushed aside in my preferences. One of which was samplers but then came the new addiction - traditional wool rug hooking. I've been hooking for almost 12 years now and in the beginning years of hooking - I was still buying a lot of NP and taking a lot of classes. Well something had to go and with the loss of two shopowners who were dear friends and were such great mentors for me with NP - I just let it slip farther and farther from my sight. Not to say that I don't have enough painted canvases and class kits to last the rest of my life and also not to say that I did not continue to buy canvases - I do and I did ! However I would see them, love them, purchase them and roll them up and put them away. I have a tremendous stock pile of lovely things which have never even been started. All this came to light when I moved 2 years ago and started digging into my vast stash of needlework related items.

Anyway - I have been a member of a local ANG chapter for a number of years - that group is 95% canvas workers - I have become less active in that group since moving 2 years ago because it is farther away from my new home and because NP was not my main focus these days. So - I decided I would join the EGA chapter which does meet very close to my house and guess what - they are about 95 % canvas workers as well - So - every month I would drag out my little flavor of the month/in progress/basketweave project and go and stitch with them. Most of them are working on a lovely group project called Crazy Dreams which has lots of stitches and colors and fibers - all are different and all beautiful. So one day - I thought to myself - Hey - that looks like fun - I have hundreds of dollars of NP stitch books on my shelf - I know what I'm doing - I know what I like - I know color - I have a vast stash of threads on hand - Why don't I find a canvas I really like and get busy. Here is what I found:

This is a canvas I purchased out of a trunk show that DF Jill from the Azalea House had a couple of years ago. I purchased a bunch of Gloriana Lorikeet wools for it and had all those stored with the canvas.

So - I have been obsessed with this canvas ever since I decided I could do it - I could do it !

Here is a close up of the house and the growing trees and fields surrounding it.

I am really pleased with the stitches I have chosen for the things I have stitched so far.  I've never done a scene like this and previously - I did not do much stitch planning on painted canvases - But I must admit - I am having a great deal of fun searching for just the right thread and stitch for a particular spot on the canvas - one of the real challenges is that all these spaces are very small - the canvas is only 10 X 10 on 18ct which does help a little with doing finite details.  How long this obession will last - one never knows but I'm having a hard time wrapping it up at night to get in the bed. Last night was 12:30 and I just had to finish that smoke billowing from the chimney - I found a thread I just simply had to try.  I'm having so much fun perusing long stashed threads and rummaging thru other kitted projects long left idle looking for threads that might be good on this canvas.  I'm sure once Halloween is over - the allure of this Autumn House will be over but who knows - fall scenes and pumpkins are good for a while and guess what - I have a great Turkey canvas I got on a rug hooking trip to Fredericksburg TX about 5 years ago.  He might be my next conquest !

I had a new shawl project to show you but the photo part of blogger is acting up and I just don't have the patience to do this all over again for the 3rd time today. 

So I will bid farewell - wish you all a good week and hope I get back here again soon .  Thanks for all your comments -

Monday, October 04, 2010


My Halloween things are put out - the calendar says October 4th but the thermometer in my car said 89 when I went to the bank a little bit ago - WHEW - Come on Mom Nature - give us a break !  I'm so ready for fall - how about you?

I wanted to show you a darling pin pillow I got in the mail last week.  It was stitched by DF Henri for me last year but I didn't have time to get the finishing done for the fall season.  Nancy (lovelyinchocolate) did the beautiful finishing on this sweet little piece.  It was in one of the JCS Halloween ornament issues - 2009 I'm pretty positive.  It was stitched on the called for Havana WDW linen with the called for threads.  Henri did a lovely job on the stitching and I used fabric I purchased last fall at the Olde Green Cupboard - our beloved quilt shop that closed in the spring.  Fabric and other purchases always jog my memory of fun times there at the cupboard with dear friends - stitching, hooking and just laughing and having a good ole time.
Look at the cute rusty pins with buttons and beads Nancy put for special touches.  So creative!
Here is the little display of my veggie gourds in a Longaberger basket with the little pillow propped up on the side
I think I've shown this rug before but it was my very first hooked rug that I finished some years ago - I still love the primitive look and it is special because it was my first !  Also in the photo is a cute Halloween guy that my mom bought for me recently.
This will be a short post but I also wanted to show my progress on Garden Glade by CHS - It is a chart I've had in my stash since it was brand new back in 2005 but Jean at the Attic had it as her SOM for September and I succumbed to the lovely Bluegrass linen by Lakeside she was using in her rendition.  I did not realize this was an adaptation of a sampler in the American Folk Art Museum.  Makes me love it all the more.  I received Jean's Belle Soie conversion but I wanted to use a red that was more like what Kathy selected with her NPI choice.  I came up with Gloriana Schoolhouse Red from my stash of silks.  I also changed the color of the big giant leaves to Gloriana Olive Grove - Can't believe I'm actually making color changes - WHEEEE - amazing - I always feel compelled to stick to the colors the designer selected when doing a repro - I know everyone has their own opinion about how to stitch repro's but that is my personal preference - so anyway - I am enjoying this immensely as you can see from my progress in one week.  For me this is amazing and last week - I hardly knit at all.  GG had all my attention.  Some of you would laugh at this amount of progress but remember I work full time and such as last week when I worked a full day on Sunday and till 8pm on Monday.  the most I ever get to stitch on a work night is 2 hrs.
Sad this photo is so crummy - it is actually so beautiful - the colors I mean.

So friends - until we meet again - I'll be awaiting autumn !

Monday, September 27, 2010


I can't believe how long I've been trying to make a blog post.  I have been SO busy since I returned from vacation.  this trend actually started while I was on vacation and I had to cut short our last day to make a quick (not really since it was a 12 hr drive) trip back home to attend to a network issue.  Since I have been just trying to keep my head above water since returning from vacation - I don't have much "new stuff" to report on.

I did go to a great yarn shop while on vacation.  Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows how much I LOVE visiting yarn/needlework shops when I travel.  Well - I found a new shop in Maryville Tennessee before I left when I was researching whether there were any new shops that had popped up since I was in that area last year.  So I found The Knitting Nest owned by Antje Gillingham who is actually a famous sock knitter and has written two wonderful books on the subject.  Knitting Circles Around Socks and Knitting More Circles Around Socks is book number 2.  Sorry to say she was sold out of both books when I visited there.  To say this shop was beautiful is such an understatement.  It was gorgeous!  The floors were reclaimed barnwood - there was exposed brick on several walls and the back of her shop had an open balcony which had nice views of downtown Maryville.  Come and take a tour with me - I  have lots of photos to share with you.

Here is the charming downtown street and the beautiful brick exterior of the Knitting Nest.

Once inside - oh my goodness - what a wonderful layout on this shop - the space was gorgeous!

Here is a table full of Malabrigo

I'm not sure I even made it to this wall

  Such lovely colors and I loved the presentation.Here is my non-knitting mother making a purchase LOL and Jody and my dad were patient husbands just wandering around and pretending to be interested.

The shop was divided into areas of interest and this is the "sock " area - all her sock books and sock yarns were in this area.  There was a baby/children's area and so forth.  Yes I did find many things I wanted but I settled on a new Rowan book and yarn to do a lovely transitional jacket.  I have already started it so I will show a progress photo on that one soon.

I don't have a lot of other vacation photos to show you - I did not take tons of photos - since we vacation in this area of the Smokey Mountains every year - I just don't do a lot of photos any more.  We did however visit a new place - my folks knew of a great steak/bbq joint in Dandridge - it is a darling little town - so quaint - wish we had arrived sooner so we could have walked the streets and gone in some of the antique and gift shops.  As it were - my mom and I quickly hit one gift/antique shop which was housed in the upstairs back of the 100+ year old store where Smoky's Steaks and BBQ is located.  We got there a little early and were able to nab a seat on the porch which overlooked the downtown street and an interesting cemetery with graves dating back to the civil war.  I could have spent more time looking but darkness was catching us and I'm WAY too much a believer in ghosts to be walking around a place like that at dusk LOL. 
Here is another shot of the quaint downtown street - Oh - I want to live in a place like this !

Vacation 2010 is just a sweet memory now - seems like ages ago that we were sitting on that porch enjoying a blissful conversation and meal with my dear folks.

I have one last photo to show you of a shawlette that I made for DF Carol's upcoming birthday next month.  I am astounded with myself that I actually gave poor Carol her birthday gift in advance of her special day.  Every single year Carol gets her birthday present somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas but this year I wanted her to have this to enjoy on her annual pilgrimage home to NY state.  For the knitters out there - it started out to be Multnomah - a very popular pattern which has a feather and fan lace border - well - I did not like the way it was going and after putting in about 10 or 12 rows - I ended up pulling it all out and making it a MultMara shawlette.  Mara is one of my favorite patterns and I pictured one I completed in my last post for another friend.  Not only that - I have already started knitting another beautiful Mara for myself.  So here is Carols - it is knit with Dream in Color Classy which is a hand dyed yarn.  Color:  Chinatown Autumn I think it was called.

I hope this finds all of my friends in blog land enjoying fine fall weather.  Apparently Mother Nature forget to send any fall feelings way down south.  We are STILL having temps in the upper 80's - at least we might slip into the upper 60's at night.  No matter what - it is still better than 110 heat index that we had a month ago.
Thanks for visiting my blog and I appreciate your comments.