Friday, March 08, 2024

Marching Right Along...

 Since my last post, I do confess, I've been more contented and less disappointed -- and that's a blessing!

Some of that has to do with sunnier weather -- despite another couple of snowstorms and days of bitter cold.  The sunshine lifts my spirits, while the stormy days give me time to do what I love to do indoors, broken up only by shovelling work-outs.

The good news weather-wise is that -- at last! -- it's warming up, so that I can resume my regular afternoon walks. The county has ploughed the streets and sidewalks of our wee hamlet, so I can march along (ahem!) at a good pace, too.

And when I'm inside, well -- the stitching and quilting continues!

This week I sent another three quilt tops and two more hand-knit hats off to A. in Leduc, who tells me that now that the Ukrainian refugees have arrived, the volunteer quilter is busy quilting, and assorted other household items are being gathered and distributed.  

In addition to the "Scrappy Starburst" top and the "Scrap Happy Stars" top I posted about earlier, I finished the string pinwheel top and added it to the package:

Shown 1/2-size - folded on the ironing board!

It measures about 57" square.

And I included the two hats I was still working on at the end of February:

"LOSY" (Left-Over Sock Yarn) hat
Designer: Barb Engelking

"Mash-It-Up" hat 
Designer: Babs Ausherman

Of the two, the "Mash-it-Up" was more fun for me, and I think I'll make more of them -- maybe even one for myself! 😉

When the WIPGO numbers for March were called, I got these "picks" to work on: first, my "oldest cross-stitch WIP"; and second, "something that's more than 50% finished" (knit or stitch).   

Aside from my full coverage piece -- the cats in paper bags, which I worked on in January -- I have one that's at least as old: "Benjamin's Sampler" from "Simply Stephie":

The copyright date on it is 1994 (!) and it had an original selling price of $7.00 (!).  It's a hand-written chart, and the instructions are rather "mixed" as to clarity.  The stickers on the plastic envelope in which I've kept it shows that I bought it several years later -- for $1.00 (!) from The Purple Needle, an LYS in Calgary, back when it was closing its doors.  I finished quite a lot of it before I set it aside -- completing the text except for the back-stitching of the letters.

But there are gaps in the work, and those gaps were the clue as to why I stopped working on it, for that's where the "Re-weaving" and "hemstitch" sections are.  I did the first one right at the top (under the row of fish), but after that...nothing.  

As far as WIPGO goes, I've yet to do anything more on it.  I'm undecided.  Part of me wants to finish everything that's not cut work and then go back to see if I can do it -- risking ruining the entire piece if I screw it up -- and part of me wants to forge ahead and take the risk now.  

Whaddya think, Gentle Readers?  What would you do?

Blessedly, I've another cross-stitch project to take my mind off "Benjamin's Sampler" -- and that's the "Arabesque Wedding Sampler" from the Wishing Thorn.  Yes, it's a new start -- but it's the project for which I'd ordered the thread that took several weeks to arrive.  Seeing as it's for the 50th wedding anniversary of some dear friends -- which is May 24 -- I've got to make it my focus for the time being.  "Benjamin" has waited at least 20 years; he can wait a bit longer to be finished!

I started "Arabesque" on Feb. 27 and here's where I am as of last evening:

I'm working it on 36-count "Grey" (formerly "Confederate Grey") from Weeks Dye Works, using the called-for DMC plus 1 silk -- the variegated thread in the motif on the left and some of the border above -- Caron "Waterlilies" in colour #077, "Royal Jewels" (the thread that took so long to come in).  It's a tiny piece -- I'm stitching it with 1 strand of floss over 2 fabric threads -- but it's dense and a bit complex.  There will be beads and Kreinik Very Fine Braid #4 in antique gold -- I'll add those after the main stitching is finished.  I'm loving every stitch, and not missing "Benjamin" one little bit! LOL!

As for "something that's 50% or more finished" -- for that I've resumed a knitting WIP, a little "advent" shawl designed in 2019, which I started in November 2021.  Alas, I've taken no progress photos -- but it's a 154-row pattern and I've now finished row 110, so I'm about 2/3 of the way along.  I'm making it from a set of six minis that I was given as a gift for Xmas 2019.  In the photo you can see my wee start, back in 2021.

It's a pretty simple knit, so I do a few rows here and there, but my main focus is another pair of socks, promised to a friend last fall -- for her daughter (a gift, not a commission).  The young woman who'll get these works in agriculture, both ranching with her mom and doing some sort of ranch/farming inspection work, so when I made her mom a pair of wool/alpaca blend socks, I promised I'd make her daughter a pair too.  These ones are simple ribbed socks, out of the same yarn but in an 'old gold' colour-way:

Yarn: Estelle Yarns Highland Alpaca Fine

A lovely, simple, mindless knit that's completely relaxing!

That's pretty much how life's been rolling along these days, at least in my little corner of the world.  Given all the turmoil swirling Out There in the Wild, I'm thankful to have creative routines to keep me from being overwhelmed with things I can't control.

So I'll close off this post with my usual link to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  This week she's talking about Organizing Your Studio...and the use of peg-boards to do so.  I 💕 peg-boards and have three small ones in my studio -- one for my embroidery floss and hoops, one for my knitting needles and one for assorted other supplies. In her post, Nina-Marie shows the results of some of her research into studio organization -- and how peg-boards enables small spaces to be used more effectively.

Studio re-org can be a chore -- but it can also be energizing, so I hope you find something in her post that will boost your spirits and give you ideas to use in your own space.

Till next time, Gentle Readers, thanks for stopping by.  A bientot!

1 comment:

Kate said...

Hem stitching, I remember doing that in 4H. Launching into it and doing it when one is a fearless 15 year old, is very different than when one is a more careful, knowing what might go wrong. I still have the piece, complete with the scorch mark on the back. The scorch mark is how I found out that my "linen" was actually a blend. Sad really, because the hem stitching is nearly perfect otherwise.
Enjoy whichever project you pick.