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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

So Cool!

This is the front of the next-to-last band of Mary Atwood:

And this is the way it looks on the back with a different reversible cross stitch:

Is that not ridiculously cool?

I know, I know. I have reached the pinnacle of Needlework Nerd-vana to be so excited about this, but I just think this is loads of fun.  Oh, wow, really a needlework nerd!

I will admit that I had problems with this stitch on an earlier alphabet band. Apparently either the stars or my brain cells aligned, but this time it worked out.

And I did something else that I don't usually do. In all of the classes I've taken that involved 17th century sampler techniques, I've been told that you should end your threads on the front of the work. And I don't, mainly because I always feel like there's a little fuzzy end of thread sticking up on the front, sort of like a cowlick. On this band, I did end the threads on the front because I didn't want to mess up the little open boxes on the back.

There is only one more band to do, and I'll have another finish for the year.  I've been trying to decide what I want to do next. I think I'm going to see if I can get another sampler off a set of scroll bars

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another one (almost) bites the dust

I am sooooooooo close to getting this band done!

If I buckle down after the dinner dishes are stashed, and the closing ceremonies for the Olympics are not too compelling, I could possibly finish this tonight.

And that will leave only two big bands to stitch and I'll have another finish for the year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

No longer straying

I have been restless for several days. So restless, in fact, that  (gasp) I betrayed Mary Atwood Sunday evening and put a few stitches in another sampler.

The other sampler was alluring for several reasons, and I almost became completely faithless, thinking I would just put Mary A aside for a bit.

Then I was putting the charts and threads back into their box when my eye caught the framework for the next band. And suddenly, I saw the most logical, easiest, and best pathway to work the diagonal reversible cross. Fearing that this brilliant discovery would vanish from my feeble brain if I didn't do a stitch or two, I took Mary A out of her pillowcase, threaded up a needle, and got the framework started.

And now that I've started, I may as well finish this band. And that leaves only two major bands and I'll have another finish. I believe I'm going back to Mary A.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Now it's really done . . .

I thought I had finished the last band.  I hadn't.

There's a running stitch that gallops through the channel between motifs. I had forgotten about it.

It's always a very good thing to re-read the directions before moving on.

This is the only needlework that has been accomplished by me this week-end. I visited with Baby Girl.  We had sushi and the Olympics Friday night, and then a long, leisurely breakfast for lunch (at the point at which we got ourselves out and about, it was too late even for brunch), a movie, and more Olympics Saturday. I drove home this morning and have spent the afternoon trying to do all the stuff I usually do on week-ends in a very few hours. Dearly Beloved is stir frying something for dinner--and then I may go to bed.  Monday morning is going to come way too soon.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Over the Wall

I made it over the wall and finished the band.

I'm not sure why I had problems working on this. It's the easiest band to stitch thus far within the reversible section of the sampler.

I'm starting to see the finish line coming--only three more major bands. However, I'm going to Baby Girl's tomorrow and I'm not sure how many needles will be threaded.  There are always some kind of shenanigans--maybe low key, but shenanigans anyway--and I may not have a chance to stitch.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hitting the Wall

 This is where I was when I decided I. Could. Not. Stitch. Another. Reversible. Cross.

Not one more.

Done, through, over it.

So I took the night off, and spent some time thinking about what I'd like to work on next instead of this, and pulled a couple of other samplers that have hit The Middles and that I'd like to finish.

Then tonight I plopped into the wing chair and decided maybe I could do another reversible cross or two. We'll see . . .

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Vining and Twining

Because we have spent the day glued to the Olympics, I got a good bit stitched on the next band of Mary Atwood.

I had thought I might get more done, but we found the equitation and fencing events. In earlier days, Dearly Beloved competed in dressage, cross country, and jumping, and he can still read a horse better than most--so he had much to say.

He was also a fencer. In fact, he and The Big Kid used to swashbuckle up and down the sidewalk in front of our abode, much to the delight of the neighborhood kids and probably to the dismay of their mothers. As a result, I had additional commentary on that event as I stitched.

I just realized, looking at the picture, that I missed a sprig that needs to be added before I forget it entirely. That's what I'll do, while hoping the gymnastics starts earlier than bedtime. I think I need to remember to plan vacations around the Olympics in the future. Not that I'll actually attend in person, but I can certainly watch the coverage.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Olympic Stitching

I had a vision of my own Olympic challenge. I had decided I was going to do my very best to finish Mary Atwood by the end of the closing ceremony.

After all, I just finished another band:

I only have four more bands to stitch. That seems doable, doesn't it?

Then I realized that, while the Olympics are on, I spend more time holding my needle than pushing it in and out of the linen.

I think my new goal is to finish Mary Atwood after the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

As suspected . . .

I figured that the next band would be more complicated than the ones I've been stitching, just from looking at the chart. And it is. Not only are the motifs larger, this one uses two colors. It's slow going. I'm having to decide how to add the little sprigs here and there and keep the whole thing reversible.

If this doesn't create new neural pathways in my rapidly aging brain, I don't know what will!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Much to my amazement

I finished this band in only two nights.

What with all the reversibility and changing the type and direction of the stitches, I figured it would take a week. It didn't.

Believe me, I'm not feeling at all over-confident about working the rest of the sampler. As usual with 17th century samplers, the bands get larger and more complicated as you near the end. I fully expect that there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth before much longer.

Monday, August 1, 2016


Last night I was trying to decide what to work on next, and Betsy Morgan's design "For Lois" was very tempting. Very tempting.

But the thrill of getting another incomplete sampler completed was very alluring, and Mary Atwood was sitting right by the wing chair, clearing her throat in a very lady-like way to attract my attention.

So I picked her up and discovered why I had abandoned her many months ago.

I had made a mistake.

So I fixed it.

And started working on the rest of the band.

I'm having to make some adjustments. Going from "regular" cross stitch with two strands of floss over two threads  of linen to reversible cross stitch with one strand of silk over three threads of linen is taking some effort. Going from working over two threads on 28 count linen to going over three threads on 40 count is taking additional magnification.

I discovered I needed that extra boost to the vision when I realized that the dividing band that you see there is one thread to the right of where it should be. And that the one thread was at the very beginning of the row.

If you think I'm going to rip out that entire row . . . well, I thought about it. In fact, I almost did it. But then I realized that only you and I will know, and I can live with that.