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.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Last night I started stitching the leaves on the tree on Eve.

You create them by wrapping a loop of gimp around the needle as it comes through the linen, then couching the base of the loop with the thread in the needle.  This sounds like no problem at all, but it was giving me fits last night when I wanted to change direction to go around the shape.

In another of my remarkable headslap moments, I realized life would be easier if I stitched a tiny tacking stitch after every few stitches, especially when I wanted to change direction. Of course, I thought about doing this right at bedtime, and as I am still a wage slave, I couldn't stay up half the night finishing the leaves.

And, then, driving home from work this afternoon, my stitcher's ADD kicked in and I decided that I want to do something else tonight. I'm not sure quite what, but something different. I also decided that I would be happier working the loops--and the rows of metal thread that surround the cartouches on front and back--when I have natural light--which means week-ends.

Meanwhile, my work project is slowly progressing. The framework that divides the various motifs is done.

I'm still having fun with my foray into crewel. I just need to decide which motif I want to work on next.

But now I'm going to go play in the stash and see what strikes my fancy for tonight.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Planting a Tree

Last night I couched down the gimp that creates the trunk and limbs of the tree on Eve.

Today's plan was to add the leaves and quite possibly wind the snake around the trunk.

However, after spending a few more hours than usual sitting over the frame stand yesterday, my neck, shoulders, and back told me in no uncertain terms that I would not be sitting over a frame stand today.

So I puttered around the house and looked at stuff on Pinterest and Facebook and caught up on reading blogs and did a little bit of housework. Finally I decided I could probably stitch if I didn't bend over the frame stand, so I pulled out the next little sampler kit and started on its border.

If you look at this picture, you'll see a needle sticking in the border.

If you look very closely, you'll see that most of the stitches below it have been clipped so they can be removed.

I got off by one linen thread and was almost through with the whole outer border when I discovered the mistake.

I think I should have continued to putter.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Growing a Spine

Today I finished the second grassy knoll and embellished the spine section of Eve in the Garden.

It doesn't look like much for a whole afternoon of stitching, but setting in those metal threads was not a speedy process. One, in particular, had a tendency to snag on everything, including air.  The air, I might add, sometimes turned blue in the process.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Grassy Knoll

The first of the two grassy knolls is stitched on Eve in the Garden.

This is actually a raised stitch which is worked over a rod--or, in the 21st century, a very small sock needle. Obviously, after you work the stitches, you carefully slide the needle out, which ruffles up the stitches just a wee bit, but makes them look grassier--if that's a word.

It does help if you know where the needle is. It came with the original kit. But one of the problems with letting things age in ones stash is that sometimes things go walkabout, and my needle did. Luckily I also knit socks on occasion, and I have a plethora of knitting needles of all types and sizes, so I was able to find the right size.

I just have to remember to put that needle back with the pair of socks I'm working on when I get through planting grass. Otherwise, in three or four years when I have another mad desire to make the rest of the sock, I'll be in trouble on that front.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Happy Day

The background for Eve in the Garden is done!!

And I have the band for the EGA Group Correspondence Course finished!

And I haven't had to sleep in a chair for two nights--so my back is much improved!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The results of being a klutz

Wednesday evening I returned home from my ANG meeting, having enjoyed myself tremendously as I usually do at that gathering.

Somehow I either tripped over my own two feet or the first step to our front stoop and very nearly did a face plant on the bricks. This would probably have resulted in broken glasses, broken nose, broken teeth, and potentially a broken jaw. Instead, I managed to grab the rail along the steps and avert major disaster.

I thought.

Instead, I wrenched my back. I didn't realize this--I thought my arm and shoulder bore the brunt--until about three in the morning when my back started to spasm. Muscle relaxers and major pain meds made life somewhat bearable, but very loopy. Having to alternate sleeping in bed and in a chair also made me a little drowsy as well as loopy. So I was home from work for a couple of days.

Despite loopiness and drowsiness, I thought I could work on Eve's background. And I did. I am not going to look too closely as the workmanship on this, however,

About another inch and I can start the fun stuff.

Today, though, I'm going to see if I can work on the next band on Isabella, the correspondence course from EGA. I think I can get by with the OTC stuff instead of the hard-core meds, and that will mean that I won't be embarrassed to turn it in.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

More work in progress

My little lunchtime crewel piece is moving along. In fact, I have finished one of the motifs completely.

I have to admit, I've very pleased with this one, especially the shading on the leaves. And I'm really looking forward to working on the big flower in the center.

Now if I can just get over feeling discombobulated and out of sorts so I can stitch when I get home . . . DST is still kicking me in the posterior!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Snow and Soup and Stitching

It actually did snow today! It lasted most of the morning, turned the tree limbs into spun sugar and created a hush that no other event can--then it stopped and the sun came out and it all melted away.

For those who deal with lots of snow every winter, this may seem ideal. For those of us who don't see the white stuff very often, it just wasn't quite enough--although I'm afraid the cold snap that is accompanying the weather front is going to kill all the blooms and blossoms.

Anyway, I had made soup and cornbread yesterday, so we had a good snowy weather lunch, and I had already decided that I was going to stitch all day.

And that means that this got finished:

Four Silver Needles
David McCaskill design

Now I need to decide what to work on next.  I guess I could pull another project out of one of the vacation totes since that seems to be working well. Then again,  Eve has been neglected for two weeks and her background isn't going to stitch itself.

Or I could try to go to bed a little early since I have to get up even earlier. Yes, it's time for my annual Daylight Savings Time rant.  I really, really hate feeling jet-lagged for the next two weeks without the benefit of traveling anywhere and having fun to compensate for it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

After Vacation

When you arrive home from a vacation, you may be too tired (or lazy) to unpack all the tote bags of projects you took with you.

So you have a little project that you pulled out when you last blogged.

When you arrive home from work, where you find that your desk exploded during your absence, you may be too tired (or lazy) to drag the big frame stand over to work on what you'd planned to do.

So you pick up that same little project you pulled out when you last blogged.

When you're too tired (or lazy) to stitch more than an hour or so after work, it's nice to have a small project that at least looks as if you're getting something done.

So you continue to stab at that little project every night.

And when you were too tired (or lazy) to take the big bag of fiberfill upstairs after the last time you needed fiberfill before you went on vacation, you might get that little project completely stitched and finish-finished.

Spring Showers Sampler Accent
#4 in Events in Stitches
Periwinkle Promises

I was so excited to get this finished. I actually pulled another project out of one of the vacation tote bags and worked on it last night. I haven't unpacked any of the vacation tote bags, but I did pull something out.

Four Silver Needles
Stitcher's Christmas
David McCaskill

My plan is to work on this today, in between doing the usual laundry/housework/week-end cooking. There is a big pot of vegetable beef soup simmering on the stove as we speak, since we are predicted to get a whopping inch or less of snow overnight. Given that the last big snow event that was predicted turned into a No-Show-Snow, I'm not expecting anything more than rain--but it will be nice to have soup anyway. This  winter has been so mild, this is the first time I've made this particular recipe.

There is an ulterior motive. This pot of soup will provide a few meals next week, so I'll have more time to stitch.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Moving back to reality

After a week in Williamsburg, stitching away every day, we're back home again. The washer is chugging away, Dearly Beloved has headed to the grocery store to restock, and I'm trying to get over feeling as if I blinked and it was over.

We spent the morning of the last day in Williamsburg's textile department, getting a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the treasures in their storage areas. We were allowed to take pictures for our own use but cannot publish them--which I totally understand and agree with--but it is lovely having a chance to enjoy things rarely seen.

Then in the afternoon, I worked on yet another project. This is the start on the Fourth Day of a Stitcher's Christmas, Four Silver Needles.

I also had a small project I was working on in the room in the evenings, since I felt as though I needed to spend a little time with Dearly Beloved.

This is the next Accent mini-project from Periwinkle Promises, Spring Showers:

I bogged down in the "raindrops" that make up the border. Each one seemed to take forever--and I still have to do some highlights in backstitch. Then I get to do the good stuff in the middle, so that's keeping me motivated to forge on.

Meanwhile, Baby Girl had a glorious time wandering around the Historic District and taking advantage of the programming. We are already in discussion about next year.

And I'm wondering if I can complete all the projects I took with me this year by next year's event.

Even though Eve's background is calling to me again.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Days Three and Four

I really did plan to blog every day, but the group went out to dinner together last night. My dinner was excellent (go to the Blue Talon if you visit Williamsburg) and I was barely able to totter back to my room as a result. (And I even brought a doggie bag back to Dearly Beloved, and he had enough for a full meal.)

Anyway, I'm still working on a different project every day.

Yesterday was Rebekah French:

Today was Sally Munro:

I did not get very far. For one thing, rice stitch takes me forever. Some people hate Queen stitch. I kinda like Queen stitches. I get just a tad bored with rice stitches and Smyrna crosses. Luckily I have a lot of Queen stitches in this pieces. Unfortunately, the whole border is rice stitch.

We also had two lectures this afternoon.

One of our group has been collecting textiles for 50 years, and she brought a very small number of her vast collection for us to view. We were asked not to post photos online, but just let me say, they were indeed drool-worthy. There is an embroidered strawberry on one of her silk pinballs that literally made my heart go pitty-pat.

Our other lecturer was Katherine Duiguid, who is a professor at NC State and who has done fascinating research on color and how texture and material alter our perception of it. That color wheel we all learned about? Forget it! Katherine is also teaching some of her embroidered designs in venues throughout the country, and she is a delight to listen to.

To add to the pleasure of the day, Baby Girl drove up today and joined us for the last little bit of the vacation.

I just wish it didn't have to end . . .