knitting


Wow, it’s been a while since I put a lovely post out in the blogosphere… I have stitched a bit, had a wonderful holiday break from work in December, and have been back to the daily routine for a while now, like the rest of you.  I started a new piece on New Year’s Day… didn’t really need to (does ANYONE need to?) because I have soooo  many WIP’s.  But, I couldn’t help myself.  I started “Holy Moses” by Silver Creek Samplers over one on 28 count antique ivory linen using the DMC with a few cotton overdyes.  I was only able to work on it two nights in January, but I’ve made some progress lately.  It is slow-going though, and I’ve reverted to a couple of the WIPs listed below for some variety.

And, I spent a great portion of my holiday break enjoying time with family, playing on my new Wii (love that thing), and watching movies that I’ve never seen before, that I’ve always wanted to watch.  For instance, I finally watched “A Man for All Seasons”.  Loved it.  I also saw “Miss Potter”.  Loved it.  I’ve been really busy with work, and I’m teaching a class this semester as well, so that keeps me on campus six days a week.  But, I’ve tried to take at least a few hours a week to stitch and watch a movie.  And, now the Olympics are on!  I’m excited to see all the athletes compete, but I’m especially excited to see the women’s skeleton races.  Noelle Pikus-Pace is from my neck of the woods.  I’ve only been able to spend a bit of time with her, many years ago when I was a YW camp leader.  She joined us on a day hike, which was very eventful.  And, she came over to our part of the camp for our week-long camping event.  She was a lot of fun to have there, and based on what I learned of her personality then, I’m not surprised that she likes to throw herself on a little board and glide FAST down an ice-covered track! 

I also did a bit of organizing and tossing out over the holiday and since.  Can you believe it!  I can see part of the floor in my home office.  And the parts I can’t see are only stacked half as high as they were.  I purchased two new cabinets that will occupy part of the space, and hold….. drum roll please…. STASH.  Stitching and now knitting, some quilting fabric, some other projects, art supplies for finishing.  And, as the King of Siam would say in “The King and I”: Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

So, there is more organization and clearing out in my future.  The Deseret Industries is my friend (our local charity shop) because they like my clutter, especially when I get a hankering to clear some of it out!

So, here are some 2010 stitching and other goals that I am already working to accomplish:

– Track the projects I have (COUNT the WIPS – ouch!).

– Clean out the stash a bit!

– Complete 1/2 of Holy Moses by Dec 31.

– Stitch each LHN ornament as I receive it (I’ve finished the first one, and am half-way through the second… so I’m a bit behind on this one already!)

– Finish stitching on: LDD’s All Our Troubles, BBD’s ‘Tis the Season and Quaker House, and DT’s The Riddle.

-Frame, finish, or giveaway all completed pieces!

– Lose twenty pounds and keep it off (I’m already over half-way there!).

– Plant another big garden, probably expanding this year.

– Finish a few household projects that need that final touch before they’re really finished. (I got behind a few years ago when I was doing so much homework!)

– Get my genealogy files organized and start verifying information we have in our records.

Since I made these goals in January, and it’s now the middle of February (can you believe it?), I’ll report that I’m doing okay on most of them.  Here are some photos of some WIPS, and two ornaments I finished for friends for Christmas.  They turned out so cute, I was sorely tempted to keep them and buy my friends something!  I sttiched these Prairie Schooler bits from the chart “Let It Snow”, using DMC and Mocha Belfast linen, with a great backing fabric from the Roman Holiday fabric collection, which was a plaid brown, red and white (you can barely see it in the second pic), with a mini pom pom trim I found that looked perfect, if I do say so myself.  They almost looked vintage.

Edited this post to show this great plaid fabric!

And, here’s the WIPs:

BBD Quaker House

BBD ‘Tis the Season

 I did have an opportunity last weekend and this weekend to do a bit of shopping.  Of course a portion was dedicated to a bit of stash enhancement.  I picked up some items from The Craft Center.  I couldn’t resist the BBD July stocking chart.  I eventually hope to stitch all of them, but this one was calling my name that day, and I picked up a great BBD Loose Feather chart, with the linen and threads.  They also had some charts on clearance for $2.  Wow.  I didn’t have the Prairie Schooler chart, and the DT chart came with the thread.  Couldn’t resist that deal!  Then, we went to two knitting shops in the Salt Lake City area.  First, The Wool Cabin, where I picked up the Noro yarns and some turbo needles in sizes I didn’t have.  And, then Black Sheep Wool, where I picked up the Mission Falls wool and the Rowan yarn (green) for some headbands for the nieces. 

Yarn Stash Enhancement!

This past Saturday, I found some steal-deals on some shoes (the sensible, ugly kind… for that’s the only kind I wear) and picked up four pairs of pants at $10 each!  Do any of you love Keens?  I’ve discovered that my feet really love them.  I love bargains especially when they help to increase what I can wear to work.  Okay, the pants are mostly casual corduroys, which won’t necessarily work when I have lots of meetings, but they’ll do on less busy days and Fridays and they’ll stretch the life of the other items I do have.  And, the best thing about the 13 pounds I’ve lost is that I have found more to wear in my closet!  Bonus!

That’s it for today friends.  Stay safe and happy.

I couldn’t resist.  I’ve actually just done a little bit, last night, and tonight.  Here is my progress so far:

TTS Start

This was just taken under my Ott light.  I’ll try again next time under sunlight.  The colors really look great, and I’m having fun with this one.  I’ve also been working more on my first sock… Wahoo!  It’s not perfect.  I’ve learned a little bit, and yippee, I’ve turned the heel!  I actually did it.  I am now working on the gusset.  I am using Lorna’s Laces “Simply the Blues”, which was a February 2009 limited edition color from Jimmy Beans Wool.  I probably should have started out with a yarn that was cheaper, but I just couldn’t resist the colors.  In fact, I learned to knit mainly to do socks!  So, I’ve got a sock yarn stash that pre-dates my first knit and purl. ;0)

My first sock!

I am using a pattern by Knitting Pure & Simple called “Beginner’s Lightweight Socks”, and had some help from Ann Budd when I got a bit confused trying to pick up the stitches after turning the heel for my first time, on my own.

And, here’s something I’ve been working on the past few weeks.  It goes fast, but I’m still not sure I’m going to finish this month.  Oh well, I couldn’t have framed it in time anyway.  But, it’s really a fun stitch.  And, a bit mindless, which is nice especially since I’ve been working on my Mary Busby repro, on 40 count, and now TTS is on 40 count.  It’s nice to switch back to 32 count once in a while.  But, I sure love those high-count linens!

eek!

eek!

Wow, two posts in one day.  But, I saw the responses on Legacy to the conversion for TTS, and I thought I’d take the time to post a progress pic.  Have a great week everyone, and make time for creativity!

I’m going to be in Portland, Oregon for a few days at a conference.  I’m going to miss my mom’s birthday, but we celebrated Friday and yesterday.  We went to Chile’s… but I just have to say, I’m not that impressed anymore.  It seemed everything on the menu was a spin off of something else on the menu.  Or maybe I just need some good old cold cereal for a change!  We did run up to Salt Lake yesterday to grab some threads I needed for the Lizzie Kate Boo! flip-its project that I’m starting for mom.  My friend also needed some charms and buttons to finish a few ornaments. She’s been stitching up a storm.  I’ll have to get some pics of her finishes and post those.

I’m almost done with “Lo, How a Rose” by Brightneedle.  I’ll have to snap a pic when it’s completed.  It’s too late to get good lighting.  I have put some stitches in LHN’s “Hearts of America”, Blackbird Designs’ “My Quaker House”, and my “Mary Busby” reproduction sampler in the past few weeks. I have also started my first sock!  Knitting it, that is.  It’s been fun so far, and I’m looking forward to mastering this, so that I can knit them up quickly!  I’m a sock fiend, so I’m probably more excited about these things than anyone should be…  I know, you’re just enamored with the whole idea too, right?

I’ve also been in a cleaning frenzy.  Well, as much of a cleaning frenzy as I get into.  It’s been so hot, but I love the fact that we have central air.  We can just sit in our icebox of a house and really get things done.  The garden has suffered just a bit.  I’ve watered and pulled a few obvious weeds here and there, but no serious work.  We did pick our first batch of green beans.  We got a gallon freezer bag full.  Anyway, back to the cleaning bit.  I am determined to de-clutter each of my rooms here in the basement of chez Busby before snow falls.  I figure that’s a reasonable goal (even though I’m including our laundry/storage room, which is totally UNREASONABLE in itself).  I still have tons of work to keep up with in the garden and yard, but while the heat is prohibitive for my lily-white (read that WIMPY) complexion, I’ve been sorting.  I know, “sorting” really isn’t cleaning.  But, it’s the precursor to cleaning.  And, I’ll think a lot about the “sorting” while I’m away.  So, really, I’m making a lot of mental progress.  And, I spent about six hours in my bedroom yesterday “sorting”.  You DON’T want to know what I found in there.  Sometimes I think I must be channeling my inner teenager.  Okay, it wasn’t really that bad, just dusty.  It’s a wonder I don’t have asthma or something.  And, I found the missing half of one of my favorite pair of shoes.  Wouldn’t you know it was in the closet!  I now have a healthy pile of items for Deseret Industries, I actually dusted some shelves, and all of my laundry, except for my pile of sweaters, is clean.  Not put away, but clean!  So there.  I’m calling the mission a success.  And, when the whole basement is ship-shape, I’ll tackle the upstairs.  That will take some planning, because there’s another person up there who thinks she runs the place.  Hi mom… 🙂

Well, enough of my exciting life.  I need to finish packing and sorting the remaining piles of paper in my family room.  Whew…  come to think of it, I’m really looking forward to having someone else clean my room and make my bed for a few days.  A good few days in a hotel, with at least one room service event, can change my whole view of the world.  It may be just what I need to face the rest of the basement and the upcoming harvest season…

Hope you have a great week wherever you are, and that you take time to be creative.

I was able to meet with the Swan board on Monday  night, and I think we can get the website up and running in the next few weeks.  While I was there, Lynn surprised me with one of my wish list items, the Prairie Schooler chart “December”.  What a fun and thoughtful surprise!  It’s always fun to see some of the Swans.  I hope to be able to attend more meetings after the semester is over.

I decided that I needed to make the most of my trip up to Salt Lake so I returned to The Wool Cabin before grabbing a bite to eat and heading to the meeting.  While there, I hunted around for something fun to make for my sister’s birthday, that would be quick.  There was a funky hat with ear flaps they had stitched up in Malabrigo worsted.  I’m a knitting newbie, so I hadn’t heard of this yarn yet.  They didn’t have many colors to choose from, but I found that they did have one that was a variegated aqua, purple, pink and the colors in between.  I picked that up, and I finished it last night!  However, I stitched the medium hat, and I think it might be a bit small for my sister’s head!  Oh well, my niece will love it.  I’m still getting used to knitting patterns and figuring out just how large/small I need to make something.

But, I have decided that I must add some more of the Malabrigo to my stash.  I”m on the hunt to find shops that carry it.  There aren’t many.   I can say that I really love The Wool Cabin.  I’ve been there twice now, and this is the first store that has offered to wind my yarn for me.  They have a nice open feel to the store, with lots of samples, and free patterns for simple things like hats.  They have a nice selection of books, but I really like that they carry tons of Cascade 220 in lots of colors.  Their yarn selection is very good and they have what I want to buy.  I’m not having to substitute like I sometimes have to do at Heindelman’s.

After looking again at the fun felted bags at The Wool Cabin, I’ve decided that I must use the left-over Cascade 220 that I’ll have from the niece’s matching hats to try out a felting project.

Because I’ve been knitting, I haven’t stitched on “Lo, How a Rose” this week.  But, I did start a new sampler for my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary.  It will be late, because I just found out they’re celebrating 50 years.  But it’s the sampler in Fine Lines isses Fall 2001 and Winter 2002 by Lauren Sauer.  I’ve picked out NPS colors that are deeper and richer, and switched the coral to more of a carnation pink range of colors.  And, I’m stitching it on 36 count maple sugar by Lakeside Linens.  I had that in my stash.

Now if I could just knit or stitch while I did homework.  If anyone has that figured out, will you let me know?  I suppose I ought to be responsible and stay on top of things.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so it’s easier.

Sorry no pics.  I still can’t get a good one of “Lo” and didn’t remember to try on the weekend when I’m home during daylight.

No, not the Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update”. Although that would be funny. It has been a busy week back at work. I spent the first two days in training all day, while trying to double-task and triple-task, because the new semester started on Wednesday. There are always lots of things to do just before the semester starts, but especially when everyone is coming off of a holiday. It’s pretty amazing that our enrollments have increased so much again this semester, especially in light of recent and looming budget cuts. If you live in Utah, write your legislators. Especially if you value education, both higher ed and K-12!

Okay, off of my soap box and onto some progress pics. First, I have pulled out Mouline Rouge again. I just love this piece, but haven’t made much progress since I first started. So, I have vowed that I will stitch on it once per week, and I have been able to stitch a portion of another motif, which is the motif you see on the far right. I am using Gloriana Rosewood silk, and R&R Park City Blend linen. The colors on these pictures aren’t great, but you get the idea.

Mouline Rouge Progress Pic

Mouline Rouge Progress Pic

Second, I have been knitting.  I have a pic of one of the hats I’ve completed.  These are for my nieces, and were intended for Christmas.  I finished one for my nephew Riley, which was red and gray, and I hear he is wearing and loving it.  The pic below shows all of the colors I will be using for the four total hats.  I will use each color as the main color for one hat, and the remaining three for the stripes.

Lime flap cap

Lime flap cap

I have nearly finished “Naughty or Nice” by Lavendar Wings and I have a pic of that.  I also have LHN’s “Heart of America” and La-D-Da’s “All Our Troubles” in the mix.  I am stitching “All Our Troubles” with the Weeks Dye Works colors called for, on 40 count Meadow Rue.  I really like how it’s turning out. I’ll get pics of those pieces for next time.

Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice?

And, I’m working on an exchange item, which should be fun. Homework has started though, and there are other things to be done around the house as well.  One thing I surely need to do is to get more firewood in from the woodpile.  Our 18″ of accumulated snow in the yard is melting fairly quickly now, so I don’t lose little Chloe when I take her out to do her business.  We did have a nice snow ball fight the other night though.  How do you have a snowball fight with a Schnauzer?  You gently toss big snowballs on them, so that they break apart, and they run around and around in circles.  I’d better leave you now, so that I can get back to stitching and knitting asap!

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas holiday!  I was able to finish my nephew’s hat, which was actually my first complete knitting finish.  He loves it, and so I’m happy.  I owe four nieces similar hats.  I’ve finished one and have three more to go.  They are quick knits, but I will probably not finish them all for a couple of weeks.  I wish they were done, because it’s so stinking cold here in Utah, and I know that they’d be wearing them if they had them!

I have set up the serger and sewing machine and have been able to make a minke blanket for my mom and serging lots of linen.  I found a great deal at the Craft Center. They had some linen odd and end packages for five bucks each.  I bought two, and came away with some pretty nice pieces for ornaments and small projects.

Of course, the hats and the blanket, as well as some other items were to have been finished for Christmas.  Thankfully, my family and friends accept IOU’s, which is what most of them got this year.  School, work, and everything else were just too much, and I determined to follow my motto: “If it’s not done by now, it’s not going to get done in time, so just chill!”  I’ve learned that when I have too much on my to do list, it’s nice to know that everything doesn’t HAVE to be done.  Just the important things.  And that’s what I focused on this year.  I still have neighbor gifts to deliver and I’ve decided that they will be delivered in January.  I’m going to adjust the note on them, and just enjoy the leisurely deliveries… after this cold snap though!

I am back to work tomorrow after almost two weeks off.  I think this was the most relaxing two weeks I’ve had in a long time.  And, while my to do list was hardly touched, I did take care of the things that matter most.  So, I wish all of you a happy stitching year, and hope that you and your loved ones are safe, healthy and happy.  I’ll post pictures of some of my stitching and other progress in a few days.

Well, today was the first day of my last fall semester… being an undergrad.  Crazy.  I have two classes this semester, one of which I’m helping the instructor teach.  I went to my Advanced Linux Administration class tonight.  Found out the instructor is someone I knew at a former job.  Weird. Anyway, it should be okay, but I have to admit, I’m not going to administer Linux for real anytime soon, so it’s not really applicable to my life.

I did find out about a cool tool that perhaps others are already aware of.  It is TiddlyWiki.  You can find out more at http://www.tiddlywiki.org/wiki/Main_Page .  Basically, it’s a personal wiki, in one html file.  I can have some crazy fun with this.  I’m going to use it to create a personal wiki for each of my classes.  And, I think I’m going to try to use it to keep notes on my scripture study.  Could be really fun!

I haven’t stitched much lately.  I go in spurts.  But, when I was in Ogden on my mom’s birthday, I stopped in at Shepherd’s Bush.  I picked up their latest chart, “She Tends”.  I knew I had the fabric at home, and while they’ve presented four vignettes to be stitched separately in the chart, I could tell that those four had originally been designed in one linear form.  I thought I’d like them better stitched as one piece.  So, I’ve stitched most of the charts already.  Here is a progress pic:

Shepherd's Bush - She Tends;

She Tends WIP

It’s been fun to work on, as I’ve had a little time here and there.  But, now that school is back on, and work is still crazy, my stitching time is at a bare minimum.
I did decide to sign up for a beginning knitting class at http://www.blacksheepwoolco.com in Salt Lake for two Saturdays in September.  I can knit a very rudimentary dish cloth, but not much more than that.  I’ve wanted to learn and hone my skills for a while, because there are projects I could just take with me.  Of course, I should wait until next year to do this, but when I saw the class, I just decided it would be a present to myself!
And, I’ve added a few new bicycling accessories.  I’ve been trying to ride a few days a week, so that I can begin to strengthen my legs and get back into better shape.  As the fall weather is beginning soon, I’ll really enjoy that, and when it’s winter, I’ll use my stationary recumbent bike.
So, that’s it for now.  It’s been an interesting and busy life recently!