In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Last Gathering

It is official, this is the last Gathering of Embroiderers.  Enrollment has been going down, and, as Jeannine said, we all have more projects to do than time to do them.

I am sad. I have had some of the best (and most challenging) classes here from some of the best (and most challenging and most fun) teachers. I'm going to miss that.

Of course, now maybe I could spend a few days in Februaries to come finishing up some of those projects from Februaries past.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What else did I forget?

Dearly Beloved and I are in Williamsburg. I'm here for Jeannine's Gathering of Embroiderers. He's here to wander around the historic district, take naps, and go out to dinner.

We have been unpacking and I have discovered, much to my dismay, that the camera, spare battery, battery charger, and cord are all very carefully stashed in their carry case, which is sitting on the drop leaf table by the wing chair. At home. Not here.

I have just frantically checked my stitching bag and (whew!) it appears that the necessary supplies, including scissors, needles, and magnifier, are all present and accounted for.

So, there won't be class pictures at all and no project pictures until we're home again.

I just hope the camera is all I forgot . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I have reasons to be happy on this sunny Sunday morning.

The dread Band Six of Ann Scutt is finally, finally, FINALLY stitched. With the exception of the blue strawberries (seems like she would have saved her precious bit of red thread for the strawberries . . .) I think I stitched every single motif and section of the band at least twice if not three times. As I said before, if there was a way to miscount or misread the  chart, I did it. But it's done!!!

And the white silk I need to finish Martha Edlin has arrived.

But, that may not mean I immediately jump back into Martha-stitching--because this week Dearly Beloved and I leave for Williamsburg. He goes for relaxation, I go for Jeannine's Gathering of Embroiderers, where I am taking classes from Barbara Jackson and Catherine Theron. And that means that I need to think about packing. I soooooooo look forward to this event every year.

Which leads me to another reason I'm happy. The registration for Just Cross Stitch's Christmas in Williamsburg has opened and I am registered, so I have another happy event to anticipate. I'm signed up for classes with Jackie du Plessis and Joanne Harvey.

And speaking of Jackie--yet another reason to be happy. The online lessons for Rhapsody in Blue, her newest class for Shining Needle, start tomorrow.

What a lovely way to start a week!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This week

My schedule for the past week has been as follows:

  • Come home from work
  • Do the stuff you have to do when you come home from work
  • Dinner
  • Do the stuff you have to do after dinner
  • Shower
  • Settle down with magnification and Ann Scutt
  • Stitch for about 45 or so minutes
  • Realize something is wrong
  • Spend anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes figuring out what I did wrong
  • Use technical terms for about 5 minutes (remember, "technical term" is the socially acceptable phrase for inappropriate language)
  • Rip things out for 15 or 20 minutes
  • Restitch and stitch further for about 45 minutes or so. 
  • With luck, get slightly farther on the chart than I was before I realized something was wrong
  • Go to bed so I can start the whole thing over the next day

If there has been a way to misread a chart or miscount stitches, I have found it. On occasion, I have found the same wrong way twice.  It has been quite frustrating.

A friend asked me why I didn't put Ann Scutt away for awhile and stitch on something else. It isn't like I don't have umpty-leven other projects available.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am determined to get this band finished. I am also obstinate, stubborn, and some might say pig-headed. This will not defeat me.

At least, not yet.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Screeching to a crashing halt

Yesterday I stitched the reversible cross stitch alphabet, the whole thing. I was able to do this only because I, once again, with grace and skill, managed to injure myself. I turned or twisted or somehow maneuvered my foot in a way feet are not supposed to turn, twist, or maneuver. This meant I needed to keep my foot elevated to see if the swelling would go down. So, gosh, golly, gee, that meant I could stitch all day instead of battling battalions of dust bunnies.

Late last night, I discovered that I do not have enough of the white Soie de Paris to go any farther.

Panic ensued.

A midnight raid on the stash room did not turn up another spool. An early morning raid in other areas where I might possibly have a spool hidden away resulted in nothing good. (I do have three spools of Creme, but that is not Blanc.)

Therefore, Martha has been put away until the postal service can get another spool of Blanc to me.

Yes, I know that I could go ahead and work around the lack of white silk. However, as you may have picked up, I am just a wee bit OCD about the way I approach my needlework. I am a methodical stitcher who is most comfortable working all the way through each step before I go to another. It makes me a pretty decent pilot stitcher but means that I am acutely uncomfortable jumping around in the same project.

Fortunately, in this case, it's a good thing that I am not OCD about jumping from one project to another, since this means I won't be frozen without stitching until the silk arrives. Ann Scutt is coming out to play today.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Today is the day to honor broken and used needles. Mine are not broken--I don't usually break them although I can bend a beading needle into the most unusual shape--but, due to my somewhat (ahem) acidic nature, I tend to wear the finish off instead. These are the needles you see above, their use fulfilled.

I understand that in the traditional Japanese ritual, the needles are ceremonially buried. I have been thinking about this, off and on all day.

And it occurred to me, probably because I hit that milestone birthday last year, that the greatest honor is to continue to feel wanted and needed, that even if you're not the shiniest needle in the book, you are still important. Therefore, my needles are staying with their friends in my needlebook.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Final Floral Band

And the final floral band on Martha Edlin is finally done. On to the alphabets . . .

Saturday, February 2, 2013

All of Martha . . . so far . . .

This is all of Martha up to the last floral band, which needs two and a half flowers to be complete.

This also includes Baby Girl's elbow and feet.

Baby Girl is a little over five feet tall. So now you know how big Martha is. And I still have three alphabets and the spot section and the attribution in the center of the spot section.

Dare I say that I may be finished by the end of February?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Running Away from Home

I ran away from home for the week-end.  Baby Girl has a performance she wants me to attend tomorrow, so I took my lunch hour at the end of the day so I could leave work early, braved the interstate, and arrived not too much worse for wear.

Not too much worse for wear?  HA!  It is not even ten o'clock on a Friday night and I am ready to crawl into bed. We didn't even make it through our take-out from the really good Chinese place here--we both almost went facedown into our bowls of soup, so the rest of our dinner is now lunch for tomorrow.

Martha travelled with me but she is hiding out in the tote bag. I think she is quite aware that, should I thread a needle tonight, I will be picking out tomorrow.  Consequently, there are no progress pictures.

Tomorrow, though, I hope to cajole Baby Girl into holding Martha up so I can take a picture of her entirety to this point. Baby Girl and the linen for Martha are about the same length, and I've been asked for an overview. Of Martha, not Baby Girl.