Saturday, May 21, 2016

Starting Somewhere and Ending Elsewhere

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I originally started this post as a Gifted Gorgeousness post, but somewhere along the way I lost steam (and my shoehorn), so this is going to be more like a pre-IHSW post. I have fallen sadly behind in stitching Curios (a Kathy Rees mystery "class")...part 2 was released at the beginning of the month, but I am still only on section 4 of 6 in part 1!
That blank square is supposed to be blank, or I'd be even further behind!

The reason I have stalled so much is because I have two upcoming deadlines. The first is the end of Loopy Academy Sophomore Semester Two, so I am desperately trying to finish the last project (twisted stitches, with self-imposed Fair Isle):
I have made it past the "Fair Isle" (that's in quotes because I was knitting with three colors at once on some rounds...and I think Fair Isle is only technically two colors at once). I'm now on to the more relaxing twisted stitches. I know what you're thinking...that doesn't look very relaxing! Well, I've done plenty of cables in the past (I loved the way they looked and learned to do them almost immediately after learning to knit), and I cable without a cable needle, so I'm in much more comfortable territory now.

The other deadline I have coming up is for A Stitchers' Gathering (hosted by Moss Creek Designs). The project is inspired by Downton Abbey; we are doing the pre-stitching for Lady Violet's Parasol, which will be a needlebook. We're assembling it in class; for now I am stitching bitty fiddly violets, pulled thread and endless chain stitch. This is one panel (there are eight!!! =O )
I did finish the nameplate (omigosh, I dated it, so I have to finish it now!!) and the finial top.
But my violets on the finial top look funky because I was looking at the wrong diagram for the buttonhole bar violets like a chucklehead and made way more trouble for myself than I needed to! If I get everything else done, I may redo them. The main hurdle with this project is that my extreme closeup vision means I can only comfortably stitch on this without my contacts in...so no stitching in front of the TV at night. It's kind of relegated to my day off!

I think I can get all this done!!

JiffNotes
Stitching deadlines always make it seem like I am stitching much slower....

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Of Gifts and Gorgeousness


For more information on this stunning and serendipitous SAL, please click on the graphic!

Well, I kind of disappeared there again, didn't I? I think what happens is that a "deadline" comes up...for instance, I was taken completely by surprise that the Alphabet Club's "first Saturday of the month" was the SECOND of this month...I am unprepared, and so I delay while I try to think of what to post, and many other posts go into some mystical queue behind the post I "need" to write, where they languish! So I am going to try to not beat myself up if I miss a SAL post and just soldier on!

So anyway...the lovely and talented Jo at Serendipitous Stitching has invited us to share our projects we are working on that have been gifted to us, that we are gifting to others, or that we can in any way possible shoehorn into the category of gifting!!

What's great about having a birthday at the end of a month (mine was at the end of February) is that you can usually claim the next month as a birthday month as well (and if you're really doing well, the month after that as well). In March, my DF Jean gave me a lovely birthday package:
Look at the little squirrel paper clips!! My journal is now covered with them. I immediately went to Ravelry to find the perfect thing to knit with that extraordinarily gorgeous yarn, and I think Pamuya will fit the bill! You might think I would have picked a plainer pattern, but I get bored if something is too plain (too much stockinette or garter stitch). And how about that blinged-out squirrel magnet!! He is already in action on my Curios, a mystery class with Kathy Rees (we don't know what the project will look like once it's finished):
This is just the first part of the first lesson. I am woefully behind! This is the project that is using all those gorgeous threads I showed you in my last GG post.

And now my gift of knowledge to you for this month...you might remember the two-colored hat that was in progress last month. (I have finished it, but it hasn't had its glamour shot yet!) I want to make a pair of mittens in the same colors. Now, the hat was a mosaic pattern, where you only need to hold/knit with one color of yarn at a time. The mittens I want to make, though, are done in a Fair Isle pattern, where you must hold two colors at once. I watched the most brilliant and clear video of how to do this! There's your gift of knowledge. ;) I picked a(nother) hat pattern for my final Loopy Academy project this semester that has a small band of Fair Isle on it so I could practice but not be in over my head. So, this is happening...
I will not describe the fits and starts I went through with this, from trying to wrestle my clumsy hands into holding yarn in a way I could live with, to discovering I had made a mistake close to the beginning of the first round and needing to rip back, not once...not twice...but THREE TIMES!! And then when I finally had knit it correctly, realizing that I had skipped the increase row before that completely. *cries a little* I am on my way now, though. My tension is terrible, and it looks pretty bad (I picked the best part to photograph, of course ;), but it's getting done. The very observant of you may have noticed, though, that this is NOT actually Fair Isle...some of those bands have THREE colors in them. So, I quickly moved from learning to hold two yarns to three...good thing I had bought a yarn guide ages ago, or I never could have managed it.

My final "gift" of the month is a preview of what is coming to the Atlanta Botanical Garden next week!
A very "gifted" artist, Dale Chihuly, who makes large glass art pieces, will be setting up art around the Garden! (Or, to be more accurate, his team will be setting them up.) I can't wait to see the whole show; as members of the Garden, we get to get a first glimpse of the sculptures all lit up at night as well!

That's it for me for the month! If you'd like to see more Gifted Gorgeousness, go back to the top of the post and click the graphic!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2016


If you've hopped over here from Jo's for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop, hello and welcome! If you haven't, you might be wondering what is going on. Well, you're missing the fun, so please click the link above and join in!

You are here for a letter...it can be found right after the fairy who is getting ready for Easter...
Long-time readers may recognize her; she is an oldie but a goodie! =) I had something new I was stitching for this year, but I swear that I lost a day somewhere!! Oh, well, I will be prepared for next year.

And now for the letter...
In Kase you Kan't see it, the letter celebrating the resurrection of the King of Kings this year is K! =)

Now hop to it and find the rest of the letters! For easy hopping, your next blog is here! I hope you have a blessed Good Friday and a remarkable Easter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

'Tis the Season...

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...for tulips!

Every year the Atlanta Botanical Garden plants hundreds and hundreds of bulbs. Once you've tired of ogling orchids during the February premiere of Orchid Daze and see the daffodils fire the warning salvo that Spring is on the way, it's time to start stalking the Garden for tulips! We actually went the Saturday before my birthday (in mid-February), and the daffodils were already up, with even a couple of tulips peeking out of the soil. I whispered to them all that they needed to stay down for another couple of weeks, as there was sure to be another cold snap (and of course I was right).

We finally made it back last week, and some of the tulips were already blown and gone, but most of them were still in prime condition...
Not as many unique color combinations as in past years, but I will never, ever complain about pink tulips!!
Since we were there for a member evening, we also got to see a glorious sunset peeking through the trees.
I wish this photo had truly captured the deep lavender that was in the sky. It was glorious!

March is also when all the lovely new things come in from the Nashville needlework market. I tried to be restrained (hahahahaha)...here is what I ended up with from Needlecraft Corner...
The little scissors fob was a birthday gift from Drema...she is so great...a couple times I've called her up when I didn't like a color here or there and her substitutions have always been great.

I did not get the pincushion meant to go with the "BUZZ" pins, because I already have a bee pincushion in mind for them, but I obviously had to get them because my college mascot is named Buzz! =)

I used to be so averse to getting kits (I think because they used to have poor-quality floss rather than DMC, and often did not contain enough!) However, now these limited edition kits contain so many cute and hard-to-find little bits and bobs, I would rather get a kit in some cases! Here's what came with these designs...
I have some Eiffel Tower scissors already, though they are much bigger than the ones pictured here. I'm hoping there is enough of those cute pink fabrics to allow me to make the pocket big enough for my scissors...if not, well, c'est la vie!

JiffNotes
Spring is Springing and stash is stashing...

Monday, March 21, 2016

IHSW and a Desperately Important Thing

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Wondering what this is all about? Click the image!

The new season of Daredevil dropped on Netflix on Friday, and we managed to slam through the whole thing over the weekend! I don't know if that helped or hindered my stitching...you would think that much TV time would have helped, but this show is very suspenseful and not great to stitch to! It's a fantastic series, but INCREDIBLY graphically violent, so be forewarned! I'm still not "caught up" on April from The Snowflower Diaries...
I thought I was going to be able to take the day off on Thursday, but I had too many meetings scheduled, so I'm taking off next Wednesday and Thursday instead. I had vacation days that carried over from last year, and if I don't use them by March 31st, I will "lose" them!!

And now for the Desperately Important Thing (not really). You all know about Easter Eggs, right? No, not colored chicken eggs, but the little hidden gems that are sometimes put in DVDs/BluRays/computer games/etc. I saw a great one pop up on Twitter that I had to share. Go to Vogue UK, wait until the page is done loading, then using your keyboard, enter the Konami code: Up arrow, Up arrow, Down arrow, Down arrow, Left arrow, Right arrow, Left arrow, Right arrow, b, a...then keep hitting a for as long as you are amused. =D This also works on Wired UK, although with less variety. Sadly, the sites on this side of the pond do not have the same embedded awesomeness!

JiffNotes
I came, I bit my nails, I stitched, I wasted a lot of time with velociraptors.

Old Geek-outs