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 !