Sunday, September 25, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching - September 25, 2022

Fall has arrived in Kansas.   The summer heat wave broke this week with some much needed rain; we can use more as we are still verging on drought conditions.  But at least the temps have moderated.  The oak trees in front of my house are full of acorns and all the neighborhood squirrels are busy hoarding away food for the winter.   This leads to some very upset squirrels who call those trees home - they try to chase off the interlopers with much chattering and tail flipping.

Like the squirrels, I am putting food away for the winter; I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and garden this week - the tomatoes are coming in for preserving in good amounts.   My Roma variety is getting dehydrated to make tomato power for sauces and canned in homemade Mariana sauce, and my cherry variety is going into the freezer to be canned later or just used from frozen.   I will be making applesauce and apple butter soon, too.  Freezing grated zucchini/courgette in amounts to use in quick breads (2 cups for my favorite version of zucchini bread), and there is a batch of banana muffins in the oven as I write this.   I have breakfast sorted for the next couple of weeks!

There was some crafting time as well.   I hit the center of the lace border on the green shawl.   When I started on the lace, I had 60 grams of yarn left.  When I weighed the remaining yarn at the halfway point, there was 33 grams left, so I will not be playing yarn chicken on this project after all!  

And I got to seven hours on the Plaza Sewing Bag.  I have 'sketched in' all the remaining elements to see if everything will work out.

poor lopsided, partially headless horse LOL

As I mentioned last week, I relocated the 'street light' motif to the 'foreground' to see if it would be more proportional and I really like the way it looks.   I'm going to go ahead and finish it off except for the globes, which are stitched in metallic thread, so will go in at the last.  I'll get on that after I check out the rest of the SSS crew (link to current round up).

head of the horse is about halfway up the pole, which makes sense


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching - September 18, 2022

 Things went better this week - I can't say A LOT better - there was still frogging happening to my knitting project.  But it was the "sampling to get to final design" kind of frogging.  I chose a lace for the perpendicular edging and adjusted the stitch count on the last garter row, ran a life line, then weighed my yarn.   I have 4.3 grams per repeat.   My first stab was the lace as charted, but it was obvious by  15 rows in (about a quarter of the way through the first repeat) that my chosen pattern was using up yarn at a crazy fast pace.   So I ripped it back.   This is why I put in a life line!   A life line is a second yarn - strong and smooth - that runs through the loops of an entire row and holds the stitches in knitting if you drop a stitch, or if you pull out the needle on accident / have a cable come loose, or like me - you may want to deliberately frog back without unknitting every individual stitch.

The pale green is the lifeline - it's 8/2 orlon (the size of #8 perle)

I fussed around with the pattern a bit, slimming it down from four sets of yarn over holes to two and then dropping out some extra depth and lost 5 stitches for every one of the 56 rows of a repeat.   The third try got me down to 4.0 grams per repeat.   

I will keep weighing my yarn after each repeat to be sure I stay on track, but I should hopefully have enough yarn with 3 or 4 grams left over.  Hopefully my math is right!  If not, I'm not sure what I'll do - discontinued yarn and all.

First repeat in its final form.  Pretty isn't it?

I won't be able to tell for sure until I block it, but it looks like it might 'ruffle' just a bit, which will be nice.  This color is so hard to photograph - it's coming across much greyer than in real life - at least on my monitor.   Overall, I am happy with this change.  The simpler geometric lace is a better fit for this textured yarn than the more pictorial leaf lace of the original pattern.

I also got to almost five hours on the Plaza Sewing Bag.   I finished off the Access Commodities building/Clock Tower.  I think it turned out very pretty.   I especially like the 'tile' on the second floor roof line - it's done in short vertical stripes using an over-dyed silk (Silk N Color "Halloween Confetti").  I deliberately manipulated the brighter colors in the sequence to mirror the two sides.

All of these buildings are along the far side of the street, becoming the 'background'.   In the center foreground is a horse and carriage.   There is one motif here on the right edge that has always bothered me.   It's a lamp post and as charted, the motif is almost as tall as the clock tower, which is the tallest building on our street.   In real life, the antique lamp posts are NOT three stories tall!   So I'm going to move it to the 'near' side of the street, where I hope it will reinforce the perspective a bit more and be much more proportional.  I think what I will do is outline the post, then do the horse and carriage.   And only if it all works out will I go back and fill in the post with the verdigris green. 

The gaps in the baseline of the buildings will be where the top edge of the horse and carriage overlap.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this "foreground" area will work out - after I check in with the SSS crew (link to current roundup).

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching - September 11, 2022

It feels like the entirety of the English speaking world is in mourning - either for the anniversary of 9/11 terror attacks or for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.  Or both.   My condolences to my friends from the Commonwealth.  

And I have not had a good week with the crafting either. 

I did finish off my Victoria Sampler quilt block (Number 6 of 9) - link to finished project page.   And I also got the border done on my #bbdweekendSAL project - link to changeover post.  

But then things started to go downhill. I have been having issues with the pattern for the green shawl.  Once it hit the lace area, the numbers in the pattern didn't work out correctly and there are variances between the charted and written out instructions.  Between all of that and the fact that I was running out of yarn, I decided to frog back to the garter stitch area and just do a plain garter stitch crescent all the way to the edge and do some type of lacy bind off.  Just have to decide what type of lacy bind off - a small sideways garter lace is currently the front runner, but I need to crunch the numbers first.

It's always frustrating when your knitting project is four inches/10 cm shorter in one fell swoop!

Needlework clicked over to the Plaza Sewing Bag and there was frogging there too (sigh).   I had mentioned that I wasn't all that crazy about the lettering on the "Counting Cottage" building.  It was very crowded looking and awkward, plus the shop has been closed for very nearly 15 years. (ETA:  I checked - 20 years!  They closed in 2003.)  So away it went and the company that produced the linen was charted out and substituted.   Also finished the lettering on the "clock tower" building and started the fill in for the bottom part of that building. 

Here's hoping the next week will be better on all fronts.   (Linking up to the SSS crew).

Thursday, September 8, 2022

FINISHED NEEDLEWORK: "BCS #1-5" by Victoria Sampler, 2022 Rotation #4, Slot 2 (modern) complete

 Slot number two this round is another one of the Victoria Sampler ornaments.   This is a Level One kit featuring Algerian Eye stitch, so lots and lots of eyelets.   Even though it's a 'beginner' kit and a stitch I have known how to do for decades, I did learn something.   The long borders of eyelets are done in a stitch sequence that does one half left to right and the top half coming back right to left for a nearly identical appearance front and back - very slick.

I have now done six of these little kits and have three to go.  BTW, this counted as my July WIPGO slots.  August hit two '5 hours on current project' slots, so I am FINALLY caught up.

Monday, September 5, 2022

Blackbird Weekend SAL - September 2022

 Since we had a three day weekend, the monthly Blackbird Weekend stretched into Monday.   And the border is completed.   Always good when you get that last little section and everything lines up!   This one was basically a very symmetrical, regular pattern, so not as much of a concern as some are. (Other than the flower in the lower right, each 'arch' and corner are exactly the same.   Easy peasy.)

I am working on "Beyond My Heart", which is from the original Loose Feathers Series - Number 32.  The cover photo of this project is shaded heavily to yellow, so I was a bit surprised that it's actually subtle neutrals instead of the spring look I was expecting.  The muted color pallet IS more in the BBD design style.  But I do wish designers would be careful with the cover photos.  I'd rather have an accurate representation of the finished piece than something 'artistic'.    Cameras and monitors lie sometimes, though.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching - September 4, 2022

 It's a long weekend here in the US, with a Monday holiday for Labor Day.  I do have some family things today and tomorrow plus laundry MUST be done.  I'm hoping for some crafting time, though.  

This week, being the end of the month/first of the month was very busy at work.  But I was able to work on the new project in my "modern" slot of the needlework rotation.   This is another of the Victoria Sampler "Beyond Cross Stitch" ornaments that will be going into the Christmas wall quilt.   It's one of the Level One kits that have no cutwork or drawn thread, so it's going fast.   Just the carol title, a double running pine branch, some tiny cardinals over one plus a birdhouse charm and some beads before it will be done.

Knitting got some love this week as well.   I'm about halfway through the lace section on the green worsted weight shawl.   This is row 17 of 32.  You can just about see the base of the leaf shape starting to appear.  This yarn is not optimal for lace - smoother yarns work better than textured yarns.  In general, lace looks terrible before it's blocked, though, so I'm hopeful that blocking it hard will help.  Even if it still looks 'rustic', the delightful hand of the fabric will make up for it.  I do wish this yarn had not been discontinued; the merino and cashmere blend is lush.

And last, but not least, it's the first full weekend of the month - when the normal needlework rotation is interrupted by the Blackbird SAL weekend!   Yesterday I got the rest of the border outline done on "Beyond My Heart" and it matched up!   Always a good thing.  Starting in on the corner flourishes and the Evergreen 'dots' that make up the rest of the border.

I'm going to continue on with the BBD piece today and probably tomorrow. After I check in the SSS crew, of course. (link to current roundup)

PS:  This post could have been subtitled "all of the edges".  Did you notice that all three projects (plus the current quilt) are on the BORDERS?

Wednesday, August 31, 2022


 August 2022 (links to my Ravelry page which has details on yarn, pattern, modifications, etc)

Stardust Hat