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 - Row 2 of 136.  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 seriously will look 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.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - May 6, 2018

No finishes this week, but a fair bit of progress for it being a busy work week.  

First up, I got the EPP part of the panel for "It was the 80's" quilt done.   I still need to pull out the papers and get it appliqued down to background fabric so it can be inserted into the final top.   I think plain muslin or an off-white solid for the background.

The back - still have to remove all the papers before applique

And one of my pair of socks has a finished toe!   On to the second sock's toe.  

And last, but certainly not least, about an hour in on Dutch Beauty.   I got all of the buds on the vine along the right hand side completed, which is a page finish on Page N/14.   Probably the quickest page finish ever, though since they are only four or eight stitches each, there was a LOT of starting and ending threads in that section.    As I noted last week, the 'columbine vase' was done by one of my trade partners when this piece was out on a 'UFO Round Robin' a while back.

Also did the little motif in the upper right corner of page M/13.  And now I'm on to the right hand tulip, starting with the forcing vase.   It's so strange that I have seen bulb forcing vases in almost exactly that same shape in the garden shops recently.   Classic design!    Just barely started on that, so I'll show it next week when it's more than a 'blob'.
Please swing by Kathy's blog and see what the other Slow Sunday Stitchers are up to.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Slow Stitching Sunday - April 29, 2018

Good morning, all.   The only big news this week is that I got the Plum Street Samplers Scarecrow finished and Finishing Finished, too. 

It's cute.   And will be nice in the late summer, early fall.   There's rather a decorating 'gap' there between the Fourth of July and Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas where there's really not a holiday to have as a 'theme'.

Not much knitting this week.  There's still about 10 rounds to the start of the toes on Sock #2 yet to do. 

And I got just a little bit more done on the hexi fill in for "It was the 80s" .   And more neutrals are prepped.

The finish on the Plum Street piece means that Rotation #2 for 2018 is finished.   Time to reboot with rotation #3.   That means that next week you will see Dutch Beauty again for the first time in a couple of months.    Just to refresh your memory, here's where I'll pick back up:

DB's back on deck - over to the far right to fill in missing 'buds' on the vine.

Looking at the upcoming work week, it's going to be another week of focusing on the office instead of the 'studio' (aka the dining room). Hopefully the rest of the 'Slow Sunday Stitching Gang' will have a better crafting week!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

FINISHED: Plum Street Samplers 'Scarecrow' Open Triangle

This is a cute fall d├ęcor piece.  Needlework is extracted from Plum Street Samplers "Cinnamon Stars" chart.   Stitched with Sampler Threads Limited Edited Perle Cotton 5 on 18 count Rustic Linen (over 2).    Buttons from "Just Another Button Co."

Finished as a "open triangle".   This piece and the finishing supplies and instructions were one of the classes at the Silver Needle Camp - fall 2017.