Friday, April 24, 2009

It Rained Green

Spring rains made everything green - seemingly overnight. After the brown decay of winter, 2 or 3 days of rain washed everything clean. It rained so hard at times it was a bit like Mother Nature took charge with a power washer.

Spring Cleaning!

It's a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly see everything so green it makes your eyes hurt. But happily looking forward to the gardening season about to begin.

I have one and only one flower in bloom.
A daffodil right outside the kitchen window.
There's an angel in waiting next to it.
Reminding me to be patient.

I finished my hardanger bookmark!
Made the first tentative cut along an outer edge and then got swept up in knitting for Sock Madness again - pattern came out late Monday afternoon but we were away for the day. The pattern corrections worked out during the test knit were mistakenly missing from the file sent to contestants. Luckily someone was usually standing by on Ravelry - willing to set things straight as best they could.

I tried not to let myself knit for too long at a time but the last day I JUST WANT TO BE DONE mode took over and I may have overdone it. My wrist & arm still ache. Got Asprin?

The bookmark cutting waited until I felt braver.
Cut it completely out Thursday night and clipped the threads as close as I dared. Trimmed it again this morning, but never having actually seen anything cut out, I'm only guessing it's done right.

It's really done!!

Round 3 socks for Sock Madness have been finished in time to move on to the next round. I've never gotten past Round 4. Part of it's luck of the draw in who you're paired up with. This year I seem to be luckier - our group is slower to finish up each round. Maybe I can beat my personal best this year?

Friday, April 17, 2009


*Buttonhole or Blanket Stitch
"formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent"

I was reading the Nordic Needle newsletter and came across this bookmark collection project underway for Reading Literacy.
Nordic Needle has taken it a couple of steps further:
For every hand stitched bookmark you send to them before May 7th you'll be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate.
They're also doing a Bookmark Challenge contest - due May 3oth.

So I decided my next Hardanger (with color) project would be a bookmark.
I can't seem to visualize by designing on paper yet and so it became another design-as-I-go trial.
And error.

I'll probably keep this one and try again for a more kid friendly donation.
I wanted it to be narrower but forgot the buttonhole stitch all the way around would be necessary. Until I had already done what I thought would be the outer edge. Adding the buttonhole border means doing about a bazillion more eyelets before needle weaving can begin.

I'm almost ready to cut. I'm using 1 strand of matching DMC floss for the eyelets & woven bars. It's a little like sewing with a strand of hair. But it matches the size 5 DMC variegated Perle Cotton. Need to talk ACMoore into carrying the pretty balls of size 8 & 12 perle cotton. Black, White & Ecru are all we can get without ordering online.
Come on... we need the pretty, pretty colors!

*Besides not being able to "see" the first time around trying Hardanger, the buttonhole/blanket stitch is what pushed me over the edge in giving up on it.
It's coming easier but I can't say I like it much better yet.
And I've never cut the outside edge away yet.
I'm a little afraid.

I almost forgot:
The front of the Needlecase do-over is finished!
Well. Except for the buttonhole edge or hem or whatever they call to do for finishing it.
(Free Pattern here)

I jumped to something else first.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Interruption or Intervention

First, to finished things

I finished my hardanger practice piece April 2nd!!
I'm thinking it will become a page in a fabric book of sampled needlework.

I hope to continue exploring different techniques for each page. Giving me a perfectly reasonable excuse for jumping from one thing to another as the mood strikes!

Sock Madness - round 2 got underway Saturday. The pattern was delivered by email at about 9:30 in the morning and we were told it would need 2 contrasting colors.

I was afraid it was going to be stripes.
I should have been more afraid, as it turned out to be stranded knitting. I'm ridiculously slow at stranded knitting and when the highlight of a chart is getting to do several sets of 4 stitches in a row of the same color!! ...seriously. Slow.

Steph dubbed them Cinderella Socks as she squeezed them onto her foot for the official & mandatory "feet must be in the socks" photo. The girls were both on campus until after 6. I finished them around 1:45 but couldn't convince them 2 of their feet needed to get home immediately. The madness!

Finding someone they'll fit should be interesting. They are very tight.
As I believe I've mentioned: I do knit quite tight.
And they're very long in proportion to width.

And now for the needed intervention round 2 of Sock Madness provided. Concentrating on knitting socks for 4 days made me put aside the colossal mistake I had just made with a pair of scissors that morning.
I was happily stitching away on a piece with some much desired color when I seem to have gone mad with a pair of scissors. I foolishly cut across 3 of 4 columns of threads before realizing 24 of them were not intended for cutting.
I had not yet pulled many of the longest threads, and I thought by cutting them in half I could pull from both directions. They would come out easier.

Major structural damage has occurred! It will take more time to try and fix that I intend to devote to it. I believe I'll let the flames of the wood stove destroy all evidence of my stupidity and try again.

Like it never happened but for the lesson learned.
Careful with those scissors! (And no shortcuts.)

Humbled by Hardanger