Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 2017 Smalls SAL Check-in

No idea what the Smalls SAL is all about? Click the graphic above to learn more (and see lovely smalls from others!)

This is going to be a replay of a finish from Focus Finish February...I finished this soutache embroidery snowflake ornament.
I can't wait to work on the other two in the series; they are much "fancier". I didn't know how this one would turn out since this was my first foray into soutache. Now that I have conquered one, I'm sure I can do the others!

I really thought I was going to have a different small finished for February ("there's ages between the Theme-Tas-Stitch check-in and the end of the month!"). Hahahahaha.... Hopefully these pieces will turn into a March small finish.
Hmmm...looks like somebody got the lens cap shadow in the shot again. "Somebody" really should take some photography classes. Or just pay more attention!!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Finished Object Friday: Mikkey

It's time for another trip in the Wayback Machine to an old finished knitting project!

The final Loopy Academy project for Freshman Year, Semester Two was to create something using slipped stitches.

Mikkey Cowl Ravelry project link

I knit this GIANT, SUPER WARM cowl using three strands of worsted weight yarn held together! Last Winter I used it a few times, but it hasn't been cold enough this Winter to use it! It is REALLY warm, since the slipped stitches mean it's essentially six strands thick, AND it can be worn as two layers.

Since it's a slipped stitch pattern, the "wrong side" is completely different and just as interesting!

I cannot say enough good things about this pattern. The directions were so clear, and there are a TON of pictures throughout (closeups and overall views). You can knit it in whatever weight you want. She even teaches you how to triple-strand yarn as you go, which is brilliant. I've bought two more patterns from this designer since I got this one. The second one I have finished (ah...yeah...still need to take pictures of that) was just as brilliant as this one! Now, that is not to say these patterns aren't complicated...they are. But her directions are so great!

This cowl is also ingenious because most cowls require you to twist them if you want to double them, sometimes resulting in a very uncomfortable bulge behind your neck. Mikkey has a slot-and-strap system that means it is always a two-layer cowl. I made the "medium" option, so you can have it longer, but this picture shows the inner layer as small (i.e., as cozy around your neck!) as it can go, and the outer layer as long as it can go.

And finally, for really windy days....

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Theme-Tas-Stitch Focus Finish February

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It is with great excitement (although also great lateness) that I post my first Theme-Tas-Stitch post of the year! What is Theme-Tas-Stitch, you ask? Kerry was inspired by the Theme-a-licious SAL I used to run and asked to continue the theme-ing tradition. I gladly said yes, because if there's one thing I like better than a themed SAL, it's one I'm not responsible for running! =)

This month's theme was Focus Finish, and I had grand plans, let me tell you...Grand Plans. I had a whole list! However, I forgot that Loopy Academy starts up again this month and I'd be casting on and knitting like crazy. So I modified my list to include one old WIP I wanted to work on (Curios by Kathy Rees) and a list of small things I thought I could finish. I finished one. =)

This is the soutache embroidery snowflake I started last month:
I forgot to include something for scale. It's pretty small; about 3 inches (7.5cm) in diameter. I can't wait to try making one of the other two in the kit; they are much "fancier".

Another small thing on my list was this pair of socks. They were so close to being finished, and I was all ready to Kitchener stitch the toes this past weekend. When I went to get my yarn needles, they were gone! I looked "everywhere" twice, but to no avail!
I finally gave up and took this picture to show I missed the finish line by a toe (bad pun!) Of course, I found the needles TODAY.

So that was the "Finish" part, now for the "Focus" part. This is how far I got on Curios:
I love that zig-zag motif in the center! It's my favorite so far. By the way, thank you for all the good suggestions on my squirrel canvas. I'm still mulling that over. Carol suggested I find out if there is a stitch guide available. Unfortunately, I have no idea who the designer is, and I don't know if the friend that gave it to me does, either, because she got it from a "de-stash" group. I do have a couple of canvas books, so I will pore through those.

Next month's Theme-Tas-Stitch theme is March Madness!! You all know this is one of my favorites...I looked back in the blog, and the first March Madness I recorded was 2008, but I referred to loving it "last year", so that means 2007. That was even before Theme-a-licious, when I was just doing themes with my "local" stitch group ("local" is in quotes because some of them were in Florida =).

Ahhh...meeeeeeemories, like the corners of my miiiiiiind.... *ahem* Sorry for that song break. Anyway, March Madness means stitching on something different every day I stitch. I may not be able to do that this year, but I'll do my best. And you know what ELSE March Madness means??

The return of the SCOD!!
(Sparkly Compote of Decree, where I draw a slip of paper to tell me what WIP to work on.)

Stitching themes are back!! I managed to finish one thing this month, but I guarantee it'll be worse next month. ;)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness February

As usual, I am late with my Gifted Gorgeousness post! What is Gifted Gorgeousness, you may ask? It's the brainchild of the lovely and talented Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, who invites us to celebrate gifts we've been given that we are stitching on (or gifts we're stitching for others). If you're up for seeing more eye candy, click on the graphic above and visit Jo's link up post!

First, I have to share some tulips my wonderful spouse brought me a couple weeks ago to cheer up a gray Winter day.
Tulips are my favorite; it won't be long before the Atlanta Botanical Garden is overrun with them and I can't wait!!

Now for actual stitching...I spent a fun afternoon trying to pick threads for this beautiful squirrel canvas that a good friend gave me for Christmas.
I've done counted canvas before, but this whole painted canvas thing is new to me (she keeps telling me she's trying to bring me over to "the dark side"). So I was kind of clueless on what kind of threads I should be picking, but between the employees and a couple friends, there was plenty of help...and plenty of opinions. ;) But it seems to me that was the easy part, since now I have to figure out what stitch to use for all the areas. I'm most puzzled by the metallic gold outlines of the squirrel. I don't want to just tent stitch them...bo-ring. Any canvas aficionados have any suggestions? I got Caron Snow in a metallic gold for those.

Now I will shoehorn in an old online class piece (the "gift of knowledge" from the instructor) that I've been working on. She had another class I wanted to sign up for, so I gave myself until the deadline to see if I could get at least half of this one done. I didn't...so I was a good girl and didn't sign up for the new class. This one is a lot of fun, though, so I'm not disappointed!!

Have you worked on anything this month that has been gifted to you or is going to be gifted to someone?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Finished Object Friday: Litchfield Hat

Wow, I actually found a finished object photo that is so old, it's from Loopy Academy, Freshman Year, SEMESTER ONE!! It didn't get posted because I finished it about an hour and a half before the deadline! That's why the picture is so terrible, too. The hat pattern calls for a brim. And though I usually look better in hats with a brim, I did not like the way this brim turned out when I finally knit it, so I'm going to frog it at some point.... The problem is that I love my rose hat so much that I just always wear that....

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sadness and Random Crafting

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Thank you for your commiserations on the Super Bowl. Before the game, I did some "old school" crafting with Shrinky Dinks.
I ended up with some earrings that I wore to work on Monday, which was gray and rainy as the sky wept for the Falcons. We're still proud of them, though, and hope the Brotherhood will Rise Up again next year!

I attempted to stitch on Curios during the game...
but since I spent all except the first quarter and the beginning of the third quarter standing up or pacing, I didn't get a lot done!

I tried something new last week...embroidery on felt. This is completely Amy's fault (I get in a lot of trouble following her blog), as she showed a "maid-a-milking" she was working on, and of course, I had to go check it out, since I love 12 Days of Christmas ornaments!
Here's a link to the designer's blog, in case you want to be enabled, too. =) Her pattern instructions are GREAT; the only tiny complaint I have is that she doesn't give you the felt color names/DMC numbers that she used for each ornament in the directions. However, she is very responsive to questions; I asked one on her blog and she answered that day!

I found this picture and had to post it because so many of you complimented my color choices on my Butterfly Wing shawl.
I replied to most of you that my pajamas had subliminally influenced my color choices...this is the moment when I was knitting and looked down and realized I'm not so brilliant after all!!

The Falcons may have lost the Super Bowl, but they're still winners to us! And after all, we get to live in beautiful Atlanta with the League Most Valuable Player instead of having to live in frigid Boston with a guy who doesn't know how to handle his balls.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Finished Object Friday: Poetry Shawl

This week, let's get in the Wayback Machine and visit another project from my Cookie A Sock Club days. We got this lovely burgundy/plum yarn with cashmere in it, and it was so soft and luscious that I decided it needed to be around my neck instead of on my feet. So rather than one of the sock patterns that came with the yarn, I knit a shawlette instead.
It is actually a rather small shawl, more like a kerchief.

Here's a closeup of the details. It was a lot of fun to knit, but I haven't worn it that much.

That same month in the club, we also got the recipe for these cookies. I can't remember what they were called, but they had a layer of bourbon caramel and a layer of creamy frosting sandwiched between deep, dark chocolate cookies!
I think I need to track down that recipe and make them again!!!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rise Up!

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Last weekend, we sent the Falcons off to Houston in style...

Today, we are ready to cheer, with Falcons Spirit Cake!

And just so there's some stitching content here, here's a shot of my progress on Prancer. We last left him here:
And now he is here:
But Heather, I hear you saying, that is just a stocking! Where is the deer? Where??? He's hiding behind there somewhere....

For those of you who 1) aren't from the USA or 2) couldn't care less about football, my home team is in the Super Bowl!! And, there is a stitching picture at the bottom of the post for you. =) There is much excitement and nail-biting here. And hopefully there will be much celebration later!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Groundhog Day!!

I am certain that no matter what Punxsatawney Phil does, our local groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, will not see his shadow. We're kind of already having an early Spring...it was 70 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, and on Sunday when we went to the Botanical Garden, the daffodils were already blooming!! We usually have one last hurrah of Winter towards the end of the month or the beginning of March, so we'll see....

Thank you all so much for your kind comments on my snowman. You're all more than welcome to "steal" my idea...I'm sure I saw something similar elsewhere and stole it myself! =) Hmmm, I guess I should put poor Mr. Snowman away soon now that it's so warm....

You see this finish isn't nearly so inspired; if I had all the time in the world I would have made him into a cube, with cute fluffy ribbons and everything, but I just sewed him to a piece of cardstock with invisible thread and then mounted that on a bright yellow and that on a blue. No tape touching the stitching. =) I managed to cut the cardstock, but I'm so klutzy I usually make my hubby cut everything. He did make a little stand for me, but if you look closely at the top, you can see that I've already dropped it and dented the thing. *sigh*...should have made that cube!

Old Geek-outs