Sunday, June 10, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - June 10, 2018

Sorry about missing the link up last week; I was sick - just a stomach bug, but enough that I pretty much just lazed around sleeping most of the day.  Because of that and the busy part of the month at work, there's less crafting than you would think for being two weeks to report. 

I did finish the English Paper Piecing section of "It was the 80s".   I needed it to be 6 x 18 inches finished.   Six inches is just at the tips of the top and bottom hexagons, and 18 inches is about a half inch on each side of the vertical end hexi.  I will cut it down when I assemble everything in case I need to 'fudge' a bit.  


The next handwork on that quilt will be to do the applique part of the Honeybee block.   Right now, it's a floating 9 patch.
On the shawl knitting, I'm beginning round 10 of the border.  This is almost the top of the first of the filler motifs and you can start to see the diamond border a bit more clearly.   Each horizontal row of diamonds has a different filler motif.   The first and last filler are in half diamonds, so they are much smaller and less complex than the fillers for the full diamonds.   The first full diamond will take me past the top of Chart 1 (of 3).  Picture next week after this first motif is finished.

And I have a good start on the new needlework piece.  The top band of hardanger is the largest band in the sampler and probably one of the more time consuming ones.   This afternoon, I will be cutting for the openwork!  Cutwork is not very scary after you've done it for a few times, but there's always the chance of something going wrong.

So that's it for me this week.  Next weekend will not be productive; I will be at a church retreat all day Saturday, but hopefully the weekdays will be OK for crafting. Speaking of productive, the folks over at the Slow Sunday linkup at Kathy's blog are putting me to shame. Stop by and see what they have done.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Needlework Rotation: Progress on Dutch Beauty and a New Modern Sampler

Dutch Beauty at the start of this round:

And at the end of this round it is here:


I finished off the border on Page N/14, did the right hand tulip motif and the small bits on each side of the top of that section on Page M/13, finished off the grass and flowers along the base line on Page L/12, got the base of the rose bowl motif done, AND finished off the 'grass' on page K/11.   It was bothering me that the base of the 'grass' was all half crosses and that I didn't have a confirmed count on the center.  Luckily, all was well.  That rose bowl is a huge motif that spans the left side of Page M/13 and the right half of L/12.   It will probably take at least one full rotation to complete; so that will be the focus next time this comes up.

And now for something new.  With the finish on the last of the Silver Needle Camp projects from the fall of 2017, I am out of UFO bin projects in the 'modern' category!!   When I go to camp this fall, the projects that I don't finish while I am there will re-populate the bin, but hopefully not for long.

When I re-boot the rotation each time, I decide what order I want to work the projects in.   So don't worry, Millennium will be coming around again.  It's just that it and Dutch Beauty are both all cross stitch and the last four modern projects have been, too.    I've been feeling a nagging itch to stitch something with specialty stitches and maybe some cutwork.

So out of the projects that I pulled from the stash recently as potential projects for the modern slot, I've picked a Victoria Sampler project. There is a series of four "Elements" designs from VS that were originally published back in the late 1990s. I did the first of them ("Water") as a online class with Thea, the designer. The only problem is that the fabric from the kit for that class is a noticeably different dyelot than the same fabric for the other three that I purchased locally. So I bought a fourth piece of linen and will re-do it. I have leftover floss and perle cotton and bought a second bead/specialty floss packet; so that is kitted up. I have the second design in the series (Fire) and fourth (Earth) kitted up in the stash, too, and the third one (Air) I have the chart/fabric and some possible floss colors. (I'm going to be changing colors on that one from baby blue/pink to yellows.)   "Fire" is up next.  For a long time this chart was out of print, but it has been re-released (link is to VS website).  

The basic format of all four of these small samplers is a band of hardanger as the focal at the top, then several bands of specialty stitches, drawn thread work, beading and bling, and ending off with a band of bargello at the bottom.  They aren't very large - about 8 inches long and maybe three and a half inches wide on 28 count.  I'm using Cashel Linen for the ground fabric.

lots of 'bling'


I still need to get the linen set up on the frame for the first one. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - May 27,2018

Honoring our fallen heroes this Memorial Day weekend (for those of you outside the US, it's our "Remembrance Day" tomorrow).

And on a happier note, company holiday tomorrow.   And the yard work is all caught up, so I'll be inside enjoying the air conditioning.   Hard to believe that just six weeks ago, I came out of church into snow.  Today it was coming out into almost 90 degree F (31 C) muggy heat.   We have skipped right over spring and gone directly from winter to summer here in Kansas. 

I got a bit more done on Dutch Beauty this week.   Here she is at nine hours.
I'm going to finish off that blue vase/bowl there in the center before I put it away for this rotation.   There's a big bunch of roses that will fill up that page; those will take me at least a full rotation.  And I know from earlier this year that the carnation/sunflower/arbor will take another rotation.  So I don't know if I will get all of the center row of this sampler done in 2018.  But on the other hand, I'm working on it consistently and it's coming along.   And there will be a new project next week!!!   Looking forward to that.  

On the lace shawl front.   I'm working on row 6 of the border charts.   The first two motifs are well established, though the diamond one (on the left) doesn't look like much yet.  That's a much better pace than I thought I would be able to do, but I'm sure I'll have to slow down as the rows get longer.   The row of YO, K2T is the first round of the border set up after all the stitches are picked up and a count/adjust round is finished.
Plugging along on the applique for "It was the 80s".   I'm well into the second half of the hexi block.  It's my current 'tote bag/travel' project, so it gets worked on in 'found moments'.  

Hope everyone in the Slow Stitching Sunday group is having a safe and productive weekend.  Please head by the link party on Kathy's blog to see what we are all working on.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - May 20, 2018

Pentecost Sunday.   Today is bittersweet; our head priest is retiring, and today is his last Sunday.   I love this guy.   I'm happy for him, but I will miss him so much.   And I am concerned about his replacement.   Unlike the Roman Catholic church, Anglican parishes do the 'interview' thing and call a priest with the approval of the bishop.   We had a priest a couple of times back that looked great on paper, interviewed well (according to a friend on the vestry search committee) and was a total jerk and disaster in reality.   So I worry.

Also bells play for the last time before we break for the summer.   I miss playing, but it's nice to have my Wednesdays a bit less busy.

Good week for crafting this week.  I introduced my 'new' knitting project (which is actually my oldest knitting UFO), a lace shawl.  The only problem is that it's going to be very hard to see progress on it.   First of all, it's all crowded on a circular needle, just going round and round.  And second of all, unblocked lace looks horrible; I've heard it described as "ramen noodles".   I think you all will be very bored with this project.   But isn't it going to be pretty!

You all may just get this type of 'stretched out quasi blocked' picture every now and then, but usually just a row count.  And since this is an 'at home, when I'm rested, and under magnification and excellent lighting' type of project, there may be other knitting every now and then.  The photo above is the big center square.   I've picked up all the way around it for the borders and have done the 8 rounds for the set up for the border.  I'm now on Chart 1 of 3 of the border; there are 136 border rounds.  I have set myself a goal of one side a day on work days and two sides on the weekends.   Ever increasing rounds - adding four stitches every round (actually 8 every other round).   Karla does CRAZY projects strikes again LOL.

I'm half way around on the hexagon section applique.  It's been my travel project; each hexi 'side' is just 3/4 inch, so it's easy to sneak one in, even on a busy day.

On Dutch Beauty, good progress.  Here it is at 6 hours.   This motif is going quickly due to the fact that it's just a couple of colors and very easy counting.   Getting the tulip flower done is this afternoon's stitching.
Linking up at Kathy's. Thank you for dropping by and do swing by the link party and see what the other SSStitchers are doing.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Old Knitting UFO - The Unst Bridal Shawl

With the start of summer, I switch my knitting from hearty hats and toasty socks to fine and frothy lace.  

Here's my oldest knitting UFO, which I only work on in the hot times when I can't stand to have a lap full of wool.

This is the Unst Bridal Shawl.   Designed by master Shetland lace knitter Sharon Miller (link to Sharon's Etsy store).  I started it in 2010.   Here's what it will look like when it's done (photo copyright Sharon Miller)
Isn't it beautiful!   And believe it or not, this is one of her 'easy' shawls !!!!!! 

Shetland knitted lace is patterned every row.   It's on very fine needles - size 2 and down.  (This one is on US 2 needles - it's 'easy', remember LOL).   And the yarn is very fine spun wool or wool/silk, wool/cashmere blends.   The yarn is about the thickness of two strands of DMC embroidery floss - seriously.  Here's my wool (Grignasco Merino/Silk 2 ply) on top, and two strands of floss on the bottom.

And this isn't the finest lace yarn in the stash!  I eventually want to tackle the 'Princess Shawl' and also the "Queen Susan" (not designed by Sharon, but by one of her students.  I got to help test knit that one.)  I hope that one of those will be a "ring" shawl - a full size (6 foot by 6 foot approximately) piece of knitting that can pass through a wedding ring.
For lace knitters these types of shawls are the 'masterpiece' type of projects - like goldwork for embroiders or a Baltimore Album for quilters - expensive, long term, 'only work on it when you are well rested' type projects.

I have the center panel finished and have picked up around the outside for the diamond border.  


Doesn't look like much, right?  That's the thing about lace - especially fine lace.  The stitches all collapse together and it looks like a bowl of ramen noodles.  
A hint of things to come.....

But when it's blocked, stretched wet under tension, it opens up, flattens out and becomes glorious.


I don't know how I'm going to report on this for Slow Sunday Stitching because it will look basically the same for the entire summer.   Maybe by chart rows?   Oh didn't I mention, the border is three huge pages of charts about the size of two sheets of legal paper end to end each.   And then there's a sideways knitted on border that only binds off one stitch for every two rows.   But we are a LONG way from there!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - May 13, 2018

I will admit, not a lot of crafting around here this week.   The yardwork is in full swing and yesterday was my grandson's birthday party.   I came home and totally collapsed afterwards.  

But I did (finally) finish the socks. 

And I made pretty good progress on Dutch Beauty.   I am well into the tulip motif at 3.5 hours.   BTW, I think the young stitcher of the original piece must have been Roman Catholic.   The little motif between the tulip and the columbine vase looks like a monstrance.   These are liturgical vessels used to display the Eucharistic Host for veneration.  

We actually do this in the Episcopal Church, too.  Mostly in High Church parishes on Maundy Thursday - the date of the original Last Supper on the night before the crucifixion.  But in my parish, we don't have a special vessel for it.   Instead there's just the ordinary ciborium, which is covered dish on a tall base (the easier to hold on to it) which holds the hosts before they are consecrated when the bread and wine is brought from the back of the church to the front by parishioners during the offertory.   (Thus endeth the lesson in fancy liturgical hardware and language LOL.)


The hexagon applique is just barely started.   Like the Grandmother Flower Garden sets for "Aunt Lottie's Garden", there really won't be anything to see until the end.   So no picture of that.

Bells play today, a couple of two choir pieces.   We generally do at least one week with both choirs at the end of each year.   It's a lot of fun and pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.  We luckily have two sets of bells, but both these pieces have one choir on bells and one on chimes.   It's a lovely effect.

Thanks for stopping by.  Next week there will be a new knitting project!!!   And swing by Kathy's to see what the rest of the SSS crew is up to.