Thursday, March 31, 2011

Easter Sampler Parts 4 & 5

This little sampler is working up so fast and easy and it is so cute. Each section is a delight to stitch. I can't wait until Saturday to get the next part...
Above is part 4 - aren't those butterflies adorable!

Part 5 is the vine and the flower in the lower left. So very springlike - like the weather we are having now. Parts 1 through 5. Each time I put this down, I just can't wait for the next pattern.
Now....I seem to be struggling with the Romantique Sampler. So very much stitching. It's very lovely and I am glad to be a part of that SAL, but I fear that I will not be able to keep up. I am only about one fifth of the way through pattern 6 and I need to be done by next Friday. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Finally I am weaving!!! There is a story about this. About a month ago I bought this loom for a great price $250 (at least I thought it was a great deal). Anyway, I brought it home and since I didn't know anything about looms or weaving, I thought it was great. I went about finding someone to show me how to warp it and how to weave. There are a couple of places near me that do this sort of thing, but both those places could not accommodate my schedule. Not that I am so very busy, but I do have a Kinder who gets out of school at 11:45 on most days. I searched around and found a dealer of this particular loom in Berkeley (about an hour away). She would give me private lessons on my loom on the one day that I have some extra time, and she was very reasonably priced. We started talking about my loom and I discovered that there were many pieces missing. It was actually inoperable the way I got it. I was so BUMMED - I couldn't believe that the woman who had sold it to me would do that. She seemed so nice and told me everything was there. I called her and for a week or so kept stalling about where the pieces were and now does not call me. Anyway, there is a VERY GOOD ending to this story. I have a very handy husband who took a look at the loom and proceeded to make the missing pieces. Can you believe that!!
Firstly, it needed bottom heddle bars - those were made. Then we needed warp sticks - approx. 20 of them - those were made. Then I needed tie sticks and lease sticks - those were made. With all the "important" pieces made, I trecked up to Berkeley for my first lesson on how to dress the loom and warp the loom.
It took 5 hours to get the loom in shape and get the warp threads on the warp beam. We had to retie the whole loom. The ties on the beams were completely wrong and the cords for the levers and upper heddle bar were so old they were breaking. We replaced all this, but it was not easy. Since the old cording that was used was much thinnner than the newer, stronger cording it was extremely difficult to get it through the little holes in the top of the levers. Some drilling had to happen. And it was done!! I didn't have time to stay and learn how to finish warping and then to learn how to weave so I made an appointment and went home.
My homework from the first lesson was to thread all the yarn through the heddles in a specific order and then thread them through the reed. I eagerly did all that and went yesterday for my second lesson. WOW!! Most of the prep work was done so finishing up the warp went pretty easily and then I - GOT - TO - WEAVE!! How exciting!!
I am weaving a sampler so that I can get a good feel for weaving and for some different patterns and textures. I am a bit farther than this picture shows and am loving every bit of it!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hula Hoop Weaving

I still subscribe to Family Fun Magazine. They have great craft, game, recipe ideas and I still just love to look through a good magazine. We got our March issue and in it was an article on weaving with a Hula Hoop. Oldest daughter had been looking at the magazine while having a snack one day and decided that she just HAD to try it out.
She cut up all her (and some of her siblings) old soccer uniforms and started weaving. Our hula hoop is much smaller than the one called for, but it worked like charm!
Here is the first one completed!
And now she can't stop - she has used up the uniforms and is now cutting up shirts and sweaters that her siblings have grown out of and no one else wants. She is talking about somehow attaching them all and making a small rug for her room!! How great is that! A regular chip off the old block.
This is a close up of one of the little woven circles. This is made of soccer and basketball uniforms. I must say I think this is pretty neat.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I am having so much fun with the Easter Sampler from novalee02. Sign ups for this one are now closed, but I hope she does more of these in the future. They are cute and easy!
Part 3
Parts 1 through 3
Isn't it cute!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's Back!!

It's kind of funny how things change as time passes. This blog started out as a way to share my knitting. There was almost exclusively knitting content with a little family stuff thrown in along the way. My family is my life and all this other crafting stuff is really just an outlet for me. A way for me to relax and to sometimes challenge myself, but on my own terms and in the time I decide to allot to it. Anyway, I lost my knitting mojo for these past few months. I think it might have something to do with all the holiday knitting I did. Six blankets - 5 of them fully cover twin beds and the sixth one is queen size - kind of did me in. I did not have any desire to really knit anymore. So....this space turned into a cross stitch space - I love cross stitch and it was the first handcraft besides sewing that I learned.

Well...enter the 2011 Kalendar KAL. It is right up my alley. A lace shawl and it is a mystery - the clues will be released one at a time - I simply love these KAL's. They are so much fun!! The first two clues have been released already with the third one coming on the 21st of this month. This totally renewed my knitting mojo!! I went right up to Uncommon Threads and bought the right amount of lace weight yarn. Isn't that such a great color?!! It is so soft too. Then I immediately tried to cast on.....
This is clue one complete. It took me HOURS and many, many tried to get this cast on circularly. I tried to cast on the regular way I usually do with hats - No Go - I just couldn't keep everything straight. After I tried that method a few times, I decided that maybe I didn't want to do the square shawl, maybe I just wanted to do the triangular one. I cast on for that and completed clue one - well, I have done triangular shawls and rectangular shawls, but not one that is square and I knew that I just had to make this one square. I promptly ripped out all my work and tried again my way to cast on - No Way. It Was Not Going To Work At All! Then I tried to crochet a circle like the tip on NeverFrog Blog but that didn't work for me either - I tried that a few times. Then I tried fleegle's way - I tried this many times - not working. I was so very frustrated - Why Couldn't I do This????? Then I tried the picture tutorial of Emily Ocker's Cast On - I was simply shocked. It Worked!!! I felt great!! And clue one was completed in no time.
I just completed clue 2 and couldn't be happier. Well, I guess I'd be happier if I had clue 3 to work on now, but I can wait. And I learned something new! I am pretty jazzed.
Katie the Kangaroo - the March 1st Dishcloth from the Monthly Dishcloth Yahoo Group.
And lest you think I am shirking my fishing duties, here are 17 more fish. I have definitely slowed way down from completing one a day and now am just making one every two or three days, but I am still plugging away at them. This brings the total up to 85 - only 5 more and I am half way done with the knitting.

Monday, March 14, 2011

OakHaven Designs SAL

This little guy is so cute!! These stitch up so quickly they almost stitch themselves :o)
The March section
This is the January section. I finally decided to outline him because I was tired of only seeing his eyes and feet. The fabric I chose is not dark enough for the white thread to show up on.
All three sections before January was outlined
After January was outlined. He really does stand out much better, but I am not sure about all the other outlining.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Well, I got really, really lucky. Carole at novalee02 did indeed take pity on me and sent me section 2 of her oh, so cute, Easter Sampler.
I stitched it up this morning while I was sitting with sick kids. Isn't it pretty??
Here is both section 1 and section 2 together. I am in love with it!
This next piece is the start of the Star Sampler by Lady Periphaeria. I have two sections, but am still working on section one. This will be put down tomorrow as the next two sections of the Romantique Sampler are due out.
What is the best thing when you are sick? Your big brother!
By the way, big brother is now sick :o(

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Last week I saw the most adorable start to a new SAL on DJ's blog Tickled Pink in Stitches. I clicked on over using the link she provided and quickly downloaded the instructions for this SAL.
It's an Easter Sampler SAL and is the cutest ever! Unfortunately, registration is now closed as of March 7th and I didn't even realize I needed to register. I knew I needed to send in a picture of the first step before I would be able to receive the second step. I sent in my picture this morning (that's when I finished it) and sent an email with the photo - hopefully the designer will take pity on me and let me join and finish this. Here - can you see that my fingers are crossed!
I decided to join in on the TUSAL (Totally Useless Stitch A Long) over at Daffycat. It looks like fun to post a picture of your clippings every month and see them grow - and change color with the projects that are being worked on. I also have instructions somewhere around here on how to use these threads to make some decorative paper.....we'll see if that ever happens :o) For right now, it's just fun to drop the little bits of thread (and sometimes yarn) into the jar and look at it. I find it quite pretty!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tree of Stitches and Something NEW!

The Tree of Stitches from The Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group. This little piece comprises a bunch of firsts for me. I know the basic cross stitch, but there are two other stitches in this that I had never tried. It is the first time I am working on Linen - it is 28 count and I am working over 2 threads - also a first for me, working over two threads. It is the first time I am using anything other than DMC cotton. These threads are hand dyed and I bought them at a needle work shop. It was the first time I had been in a real needle work shop - EGAD I cannot say enough about this shop. It was.....amazing! So many beautiful canvases, fabrics to stitch on, threads, magazines and I am sure much more. I was so overwhelmed I simply could not take it all in. The woman who helped me was so very nice. She helped me pick out my fabric and my threads - Whew!! I don't think I would have been able to do it on my own - too many choices :o)
This picture comprises the first four installments. I have been looking at all the other trees in our group and they are all very lovely and all different. I have a few issues with my own though. Firstly, I am not sure I like the way the hand dyed thread I chose for the trunk of the tree looks striped. I was picturing in my head a more motled you know any striped trees out there?
This picture really shows where I ran into trouble. I loved the french knots and think those are ok. I also really liked the smyrna stitches - those were pretty fun. Then came the eyelets - I have struggled mightily with these. They are not exactly in the right places - I had trouble seeing where to place the stitches. The linen is giving my trouble too - the threads are not an even thickness and I found it hard to count and figure out where to place other design elements like the branch at the top. It is woefully out of place as are the eyelets right underneath it. I have decided to wait for the next part of this design to see if I need to take them out or if I can capitalize on my mistake and call it a design element. All in all I am having great fun with this. I love to try new things and I know with practice all these little challenges I am running into will clear themselves up, but as usual I am impatient with myself!
Look what followed me home!
A new to me Glimakra Victoria 4 harness loom!
She has been sitting in someone's storage for the last 35 years and I have to figure out how to set her up, but isn't she LOVELY!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I have lots of updates and fun things going on around here :o) I have been kind of in a funk lately and happily am pulling out of it. So without further ado......

I present sections 3 & 4 of the Romantique Sampler
Here is "most" of it in all it's glory. You can see how close I went to the edge of the fabric. It is the same on the other side so I will need to watch it very carefully for fraying.
Here is the February part of the OakHaven Designs SAL. These are so much fun to do!! I just got the third part yesterday and can't wait to begin. There are other things I need to do first, but I will start working on this soon.
January and February together - aren't they sweet!! I realize even more now, since seeing this photo, that the January owl needs to be outlined.
The February Mid-Month Dishcloth. I really like the pattern but now matter what I did, I simply could not get a better photo. Take it from me that the texture is really nice.