Progress Report

Since my last post, I emailed Scarlett Letter and ordered the au ver a soie for Mary Burgess from Wyndham Needleworks.  It appears that my silks shipped yesterday so they should be appearing in my mailbox shortly.  As I hadn’t heard back from SL, I followed up a phone call.  She wasn’t sure what it was I wanted, so she hadn’t gotten back to me.  I thought it was clear that I wanted a new piece of fabric, but in any event, that was finally made clear and she is shipping out a new piece today!  SL also said if I run out of silks to let her know, so it is a happy resolution, even though she told me that my 19″ square piece should have given me 1.25″ of margins for my piece.  I had given myself 2.5″ at the top, which I thought was thin at best.  A way long time ago, I worked for a needlework shop in Connecticut (18 years ago!) and our practice then was to give 3″ on all sides for a piece that would be framed without a mat and 6″ on all sides for a piece to be matted.  But that’s just my opinion, and now I know going forward to measure my linen beforehand and not just assume that what comes in the kit will be adequate.  I have never (in my 25 years of needlework) not had a large enough piece of fabric.  Has anyone else run into this?

So, while I am impatiently waiting for linens and silks to arrive in the mail, I have been knitting

on an afghan my library knitting group started well over a year ago.  It was my grand idea that we knit this and raffle it off to benefit the library so we all did 4″ squares, although some came in at 4.5″ 5, or even 6″ square.  Then I seamed them up and it looked like crap, so I stuffed it all in a bag and hoped no one would remember, but of course someone did and as our big annual fundraiser is in May, wouldn’t it be a great idea to finish it up?  Oy.  I dragged it back out, cut it apart and decided piece the squares together in blocks of four and knit a border and sashing like a quilt.  How do I get myself into these things?  This is what it looks like now.  I’m going to hand it off to the group to weave in the ends. : )

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ann Smith

Because I am dumb stubborn pig-headed persistent, I spent a few more hours yesterday going back through those totes, completely emptying and refilling them because the threads for Mary Burgess MUST be in there somewhere, right?  Wrong.  I did find several kits with AVAS in them and tried to poach, but could only find 2 colors and if I took them out, what would I do when I wanted to stitch THOSE?  So I’m just going to buy the missing colors and get on with it.

And then I came across this:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I had forgotten all about Ann Smith, but I do have her threads and directions!  In fact, I thought her threads were Mary Burgess’.  But I digress.  I was very excited to find this until I remembered why it ended up in a box and off the scroll rods.  See down in the bottom right corner?  That is about an inch away from the end of the fabric.  And there is still the entire bottom border (similar to the top border) to be stitched.  The fabric is too short.  I had put a lot of work into her already, but thankfully not the entire middle section, a large part of which is over 1.  See original here. So my dilemma at the time (and today) was whether to omit the bottom border and delete and save what I had done so far, or contact Scarlet Letter in an attempt to get a replacement and start all over.  I think if I kept what I have, I would always look at it and think it would have looked better with the bottom border.  What do you think?

Mary Burgess

Hello!  Thanks for stopping by my revived blog!  It’s so encouraging to see comments from old friends!

I had every intention of working on Abigail Brown by Examplarery and ran out and bought new scroll rods and some new Velcro tape (what do you think of Velcro tape, by the way?) and got it all set up and going but I stopped fairly quickly.  I was not enjoying the weave of the linen or dmc threads.  This is my first foray back into sampler stitching in years and it wasn’t cutting it.  I wanted the feel of dense, smooth linen under my hands and smooth silk sliding through my fingers.  Last night, while putting something away, I found the cover of Mary Burgess.

Isn’t she beautiful?  I remember how badly I wanted this kit from Essamplaire and I’m pretty sure my friend, Lisa, bought her for me as a gift and maybe even one for herself? Lisa – is that right?  At Sampler Gathering?

I have no idea why only the cover page was stuck in a drawer, but I immediately set out trying to find the parts.  I found the linen rolled up in a basket, already attached to scroll rods, I had gotten in the blue row at the top, as well as the first line of salmon montenegrin:

After a few hours spent digging through four large totes of my stitching stash, I found the charts and threads!!!  They weren’t even in the same tote!  So I got it all set up in my stand:

This finally all happened at almost midnight and I sat down and wanted to just thread a needle and get in one length of silk before bed.  Aren’t these silks lovely?

Yeah, too bad they don’t go with this project.  I was staring at them wondering what was wrong, when I realized there was black silk here, yet there isn’t any in the project and after looking at the list, I realized they don’t belong to Mary at all.  So I spent some more time digging and came up with these!

Equally lovely and just as equally not belonging to Mary Burgess.  Sigh.  SOMEWHERE there is a bag of silks that belongs to my Mary, but I have no idea where.  I’m going to poach what I can out of these two and then order whatever else I don’t have.  This sampler is being stitched, no matter what!    And I’ve decided to buy much smaller totes and organize my stash.  I’ve sold off a lot of it over the past 6 years, but even if I stitched every day for the rest of my life, I don’t think I could finish what is in my stash.  And after pouring over it last night for several hours, I wonder how on earth I could have shoved it all away in a closet and not picked up needle and thread for so long!  It’s like falling in love all over again.

Starting over

So, apparently I haven’t read my own latest post of over a year ago on how to blog.  It might have helped. 😉   I did move on January 1, 2010 and moved again a month and a half ago!  For the past two years, I have been back in the town I grew up in and I love it.  For the past four years or so, I have been knitting non-stop and haven’t had much stitching to show, but since moving into the new place, I have a strong desire to stitch.  I dragged out Abigail Brown by The Examplarery but I am not in love with the linen, so I have spent more time looking at it than stitching.  I think I’m going to put that one back in the WIP pile and start something else.  I did pick up a small piece by Little House Needleworks and have done a little on that, but I want a big sampler that I can use my lovely Gazelle for. 

So there’s a little stitching done and a blog post, to boot!  I’ll try to post something else tomorrow!

How to Blog

Step 1:  Request username and password, because it’s been so long, you can’t remember it.

Step 2:  Log in.

Step 3:  Type.

WOW.  That was pretty hard.  I wonder if I can do it again tomorrow?  Maybe not tomorrow, because it’s moving day!  Wish me luck.

An Abundance of Bs

Two B charts on Seascape finished!  Blueberries and blackberries from my garden.  And bees in the hydrangea bush.



Rain, Rain, Go Away

Honestly.  It’s been raining here in Southern Maine for weeks.  We’re building an ark in the backyard, just in case.  The pool has been neon green from the algae.  And yesterday, we had a peek of sunshine.  Just enough to mow the knee-high grass and dump a bunch of chemicals in the pool.  To remind us of what summer looked like about a month ago, here are some photos from The Knitting Experience Cafe Christmas in July party, held at my house.

WIP Wrestling

There is a new event happening on Ravelry – Ravelympics. The challenge is to finish knitting something before the conclusion of the Olympics. Start time to be the opening ceremonies in Beijing on 8/8/08 at 8 pm. There are events such as: Itsy Bitsy Bikini Breaststroke, the Cable Steeplechase, the Bag-n-Tote Backstroke, etc. I am entered in the Shawl Relay where I hope to start and finish my Seascape Shawl from Knitty. It was a KAL with my group from the shop, but after frogging two or three times (I lost count), I gave it up. Hopefully a deadline will help to motivate me because I know it will be worth the effort. I’m doing a heavier version in Summer by Spunky Eclectic, a dk weight with a lovely sheen and drape.

One of the more popular events in the Ravelympics is the WIPs Wrestling. I have been doing my own mini-version lately. I finished the Soleil tank (see previous post) and the following:

Herringbone Lace Socks from Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd in Cascade Fixation

Azure Socks by Debbie Barnhill for Knitty.com in Artyarns Ultramerino4. This yarn was fantastic to work with and the color gradations and fabulous. The pattern was perfectly written and a joy to stitch!

I also finished the button band on my Sprout and completed my Blizzard Stole – pictures to be taken when the sun comes back out.

Now my WIPs have all be completed! So I need to cast on for something NOW. This morning I wound some Arucania Ranco. Yes, I put my yarn on a pedestal. Isn’t is gorgeous? I’m either going to do the Master Coriolis by Cat Bordhi or the River Rapids Socks by Sockbug.

Field Trip

Max and I recently went on a field trip to Longwoods Alpaca Farm in Cumberland, ME.  We had such a nice time!  There was supposed to be a picnic lunch as well, but the weather did not permit.  The owner’s friend was also there to give a spinning demonstration on her Ladybug, but Max was not too interested in that.  I think he knows it leads to knitting, and this was about HIM.  And dumb me didn’t even think to ask if they had yarn for sale.  Duh.


Yay!  We survived Max’s 1 week vacation from pre-school.  We spent 4 days in Mass., visiting Nana, Grandma, and everyone else we could think of.  We visited the fabulous Look Park in Florence, Mass. We went on the train, the bumper boats (but not the pedal boats), the water spray park, the playground and visited the zoo!  AND we went 2 days in a row.

Here are Max and Nana, running barefoot through the grass after an excellent breakfast at Sylvester’s in Northampton.

Here is Nana modeling the Moutonne (Soleil) tank that I made for her.  Well, I made it for me, but because I didn’t know at the time that bust size is not the same as bra size, it was too small for me.  But it’s perfect on her, so it was meant to be!

I even made it to Webs (twice)!  On Thursday, we headed for home and stopped in North Hampton, NH to visit Yankee Cross Stitch and I picked up a thing or two.  Now to find time for some stitching!

On Friday, we had our neighbors over for a celebration of the 4th.  I have no idea of what we did on Saturday.  But yesterday we spent the entire day out by the pool.  And my friend Madeline and her 3 yo son Sammy visited us as well.  It was a perfect end to a great week!