October 29, 2007

New Seasonal Projects

I have picked up a few seasonal projects during my latest LNS expeditions. This is "Winter Cardinal," by Something in Common. It's a small (but beautifully charted and photographed) project, and I'm happy to note that it has a correspondingly small price--$4.00 (and psst--ABCstitch.com has it on sale for $3.60). It'd be a perfect Christmas ornament.

This is "Shades of Brown" by Prairie Grove Peddler. It looks like a fairly quick stitch. It calls for 28 count Country Wheaten Linen, one skein of Crescent colors, and some DMC.

Another wintery/Christmas-y item: Ice Boating by Stoney Creek. I picked it up on ebay. I'm a nut for folk art, and this appealed to me, especially because of the dark sky and stars (or are they snowflakes?). It reminds me of my childhood home in Vermont. We lived in a big white clapboard house a block from a picture-perfect village green. Across the street was a baseball field/park which the fire department used to hose down with water so that there was a perfect skating rink which was then totally safe for even little children to skate on alone--when I was five, I had double-runner ice skates, and I'd chop around on them. When I got worn out, Mom and Dad would load me and my little sister on the sled and they'd skate along, drawing the sled. Afterwards, there would be hot drinks around the bonfire that someone built on the edge of the "rink."

Since I'm walking down Memory Lane, here's a real estate picture for a house currently for sale on the street where we lived (I don't think it was our house; I'll have to ask my parents what our street number was, but the style and size are similar). We rented the upstairs portion, and another family rented downstairs. I'll note that this particular house is listed for $399,900--an unbelievable price to me, as $500K in this area buys you a two-bedroom, 1200 square foot condominium in Arlington. Of course, that's apples to oranges, but if I could find a job in Vermont(there's the rub), I'd go back there in a minute, even if I had to roll my stuff up the interstate in a wheelbarrow, which, given the cost of maintaining one of these things, would be about all I could afford for transportation. I'm not a romantic particularly, and I'm remember the long, bleak winters and the problems of heating these old heaps, but I've grown weary of Metropolitan DC in a lot of ways.

Aaaand here's some progress on Whale Hunting. Actually, I have been stitching quite a lot, what with Whale Hunting, the Cross Eyed Cricket summer sampler, and Carol's Neighborhood RR. I'm sort of in one of those good stitching grooves these days. Edited twice: once, to add the Vermont picture, and the second time to comment--gee, the Vermont house would be right at home in the Whale Hunting scene, wouldn't it? Probably not a coincidence--I'm sure our childhood homes inform our taste and preference (and might explain my recent infatuation with 50s-era furniture).

October 07, 2007

Sunday Samplers

I didn't have school yesterday, although I do have a take-home midterm, so we headed north to the thick of Northern Virginia for a little stash building expedition and to go out to lunch at a decent Chinese restaurant (something sadly lacking in our area, although for whatever reason, we have about 4 good Thai places). I hadn't been to In Stitches in Alexandria for several months, and I was mindful of all that inventory going unexamined and unpurchased by me. I always see great stuff there that I haven't even seen on the net, which is remarkable, considering how much time I spend online trolling the needlework sites. In fact, these days I feel a little jaded, don't you? Ho hum, another XYZ Sampler. Seen that. Oh, gee, another [name a designer]--a variation on the last 18 she's done. I particularly like In Stitches' deep selection, especially remarkable considering it's also a fabulous framer and a purveyor of knitting yarns and needlepoint canvases. But lookie here--something I hadn't run into in my travels online or IRL:
This is Janet Gibson's Scottish Swan Sampler, a historic reproduction sampler by Hope's Dwelling Place by Whimsey & Wit.

And this is Colonial Seasons by Tristan Brooks Designs (www.tristanbrooks.com). I'm thinking of stitching all four designs on a single panel, although they're designed to be ornaments.

[edited later to add that both are available online--for whatever reason, I haven't seen them, perhaps because their designers haven't been hugely prolific so that their designs haven't saturated the market? In any case, you can get Colonia Seasons from Criss Cross Row's site, and the Scottish Swan Sampler from Homespunsamplar's website]
I bought some other things too, which I'll show you later. And by the way, if you are a fan of Au Fils Des Reves' little French designs, snap up whatever kit or chart you might see; they have ceased business. I don't imagine those charts will fetch on ebay what the Goode Huswife's old charts do since they're less well known, but it's a shame to see them pass out of existence. Their things are sweet and quintessentially French.
And here's a little tease for Carol--remember you said in your RR instructions that you'd like to get a peek at your RR from time to time? LOL--it's sitting there next to the only cat in the house who's too lazy to get up and go lie on it, by the way, although you can be sure that after taking this picture from the catwalk, I ran back downstairs and put it safely away again. I found just the chart for its newest block at In Stitches, and I'll be showing further hints as I go.

I spent some time today stitching on Summer Something-or-Other, which is appropriate, since today it was 90 degrees.

The Chinese food was great, by the way: fresh Chinese leek dumplings, pickled cabbage and sauteed shrimp for appetizers, and then Peking duck for two. There's a new Afghan restaurant in 7 Corners that we'll try next time--which will necessitate another stop at In Stitches, I'd say.