October 31, 2010

Rhode Island

I like Rhode Island. I fly into TF Green Airport (so much easier than Logan in Boston) when I go to the Cape. Or I drive up 95 through Rhode Island. I always know I'm home when I see the VW-sized New England Pest Control bug perched on a rooftop from the highway near Providence.

(Photo borrowed from NE Pest Control.)

How can you fault a state that has a craggy, gorgeous coastline, the "cottages" of Newport, Narragansett Beer, the Rhode Island Reds (quick, tell me what sport, plus I think it was HAD the Rhode Island Reds) and the beautiful, classic Rhode Island samplers? (Also, for some reason, a large number of drivers who zoom along in the left lane and then cut across four lanes of traffic to take an exit. Really, I see it every time I drive through Providence. Why is that, RI readers, if there are any of you?) Here's a reproduction Rhode Island sampler, recently released by The Scarlet Letter. I dropped by In Stitches on Saturday, on the way back from taking our old-lady cat, Yazziebear, to the vet (a wonderful vet recommended by none other than Sampler Girl) (Thank you so much, Tanya--we love our new vet). I dropped by In Stitches since I had drive right by practically. Before I had even spun the "new charts" rack, Patricia said, "Have you seen the new Scarlet Letter?" I had, on SL's website. But I hadn't seen the large photo, so when I got it in my hands, I was sunk. (Thanks, Patricia--I get into so much more trouble with your help!) After kitting it up, I rushed home and started it. Behold, Elizabeth Sheffield:

Here's the interesting thing about stitching Elizabeth. You know that feeling you get when you want to see how the design's going to turn out, so you stitch "just one more color before bed" and before you know it, it's 3:00 a.m.? And that's WITH a photo of the project. This project's photo is of the original, antique sampler, with all its uneven-ness, some fading of the colors, and the slightly less than perfection that marks the original historic sampler. So it's extra enjoyable to stitch this and see the sampler emerge. I'm working on it on 40 count Lakeside Meadow Rue, which is a good bit darker than most of the linen I work with. I'm using AVAS, although it's also charted for DMC. The colors are a little off in this photo, because I shot it late in the afternoon as the light was going.

The "strawberry row" (the blue flower blob) is done over one, as is one of the alphabets and the people (but not the house) and some of the flowers that make up the border. The colors are incredibly vivid. I can't wait to get to the people--they should be fun to stitch.

Liz Sheffield is not my first Rhode Island sampler. Remember this? It's a reproduction by Vermillion Stitchery (now closed). I'm stalled on it because I was doing the conversion from cotton to silk on the fly, and ran into some difficulties coordinating and matching colors, so I set it aside. They share some design elements and characteristics, but I'd be pleased to hang them both.

And for the bunny folks, I wanted to share this photo to commemorate Tocktoberfest. Says Pink, "Trick or treat. Smell my feet!"

Happy week ahead, and happy Halloween!

October 24, 2010

Mary Western 1820

Hi, all. Just a quick one tonight as I'm embroiled in some knotty homework. Now that the online needlework show has revealed this sampler, I can show you what I'm working on: Mary Western 1820 by Samplers Revisited. I was lucky enough to wander in to In Stitches when Patty Yergey, the designer, stopped by with the model and some charts. I can tell you that the real-life sampler is so much prettier than even this photograph of the project.

I stitching it on the recommended Lakeside in Maritime White, although I'm using 40 count, rather than the 36 count suggested, worked with NPI (although it's also charted for DMC). It's a large sampler! I've counted 68 of the little pink fan-flowers in the border (sweet peas?); so far I've stitched 8 of them.

Off we head to last-minute chores and then to bed. Happy week ahead, says Peaches.

October 17, 2010

Satin Stitches

I used to think I didn't like satin stitches before undertaking this project. I can't show you the whole picture until next week when it's released at the online needlework show, but it is a sweet design.

I made some progress this week on A Parrot, a Leopard, a Lion. Only, because I haven't fleshed out the parrot, it should be called "A Scrawny Chicken and Some Endless Foliage." I am uncomfortably reminded by this image that Thanksgiving is a little under six weeks away. Urk.

How I regret not buying more Birds of a Feather charts while they were still designing. Now we're left with what we can scratch up from ebay. I got this chart this week. Does anyone have any idea of how many designs they might have done? (So I can take a second mortgage on the house to get them all.) Cue Joni Mitchell, singing "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..." Is it any wonder that we stitchers are such chart hoarders? "A Bird in the Hand," charted for DMC and WDW on 32 count linen.

Here's a sweet little group to wish you a merry Sunday and a happy new week.

October 10, 2010

10-10-55 - 10-10-10

I was born on 10/10/55, and today--10/10/10--I turned 55. Perhaps I should go out and purchase some lottery tickets, but the gas station that sells them is about three miles away, but that would have involved putting away my stitching. I didn't even want to go out to eat; BF was not really surprised that I preferred to stay home and make my own birthday dinner (baked ziti, raw veggies with my killer homemade blue cheese dressing and apple crisp).

Yesterday my sister treated me to a birthday lunch and gave me a generous gift certificate to In Stitches, and my parents sent me yarn and a pattern book (my mom knits, so she chooses wonderful knitting stuff). All in all, a wonderful birthday weekend. Chester and Yazziebear contemplate the balloon that my sister's BF brought me along with a nice bouquet of flowers:

I can't show you everything I stitched, since I put in a lot of time this week on the sampler that has not yet been unveiled by Samplers Revisited. I worked on this Christmas ornament, which is by Birds of a Feather. I'm stitching it on a scrap of 40 ct. Lakeside from my stash using the called-for GAST threads. I am going to frog that particular gold Kreinik--it's too brassy, I think. I'll use a different gold.

I had "homework" for my fair isle hat class which meets again on Tuesday, so I have made progress on that project as well. Two interesting things about fair isle knitting: there are never more than two colors in a row, even if there are lots of different colors in the design (yes, there are things you knit with multiple colors in a row, but those are not fair isle--those are intarsia); and if you can read a counted cross stitch pattern, you can read a knitting pattern! With circular needles, you start on the botton right and read left, repeating until the end of the number of stitches on your needle. Easy! If you knit and have been hesitant about trying fair isle, go for it! Next I'm doing the whale watch hat, which will be more time-consuming because of the fingering yarn, but will not be more difficult. This hat is a snowflake pattern by the instructor. I'm knitting it in two colors of Mission Falls 1824 merino superwash.

Peaches, grooming Pink's ears during morning snuggle time.

Happy week ahead!

October 03, 2010


Yesterday I went to In Stitches and had a blast buying the things they brought back from Market. But first, this is what I stitched on this week: "A Parrot, a Leopard, a Lion," by Scarlet Letter.

I had such fun meeting people yesterday: a dear reader from Spotsylvania who has 132 samplers! I've encouraged her to start a blog so she can share with us; she was holding two beautiful needlepoint projects that she had completed--a tiny stocking and a New Orleans-style mask--such beautiful work. I'm so sorry that I didn't take my camera! I also met Stitching Cats who was also shopping! And the designer of Catharine McNeal, Patty Yergey of Samplers Revisited, was there with a framed model of a brand-new sampler, "Mary Western 1820." I can't show you the sampler, because it's under wraps until the online show at the end of October. But here's a sneak peek from her site. Having seen the model, I predict it will fly off the shelves: it's a happy and adorable reproduction done up in glorious colors of pink and rose and amethyst and blue and yellow. You can see a butterfly in her little peek, but my favorites which you cannot see are two little blue and yellow striped birds. And the charming verse is over two in pink.

I picked up this little sampler, called "Paradis Perdu," by "a mon ami Pierre (Dessin)." If you like A&E's, you're going to love this one. Notice Eve's typically French bikini panties--no granny panties for her in this project! Call In Stitches if you want one--there were a couple left on the rack as of yesterday a.m. (703-360-4600).

I liked this and kitted it up--here's the floss toss.

Porcupine Collection is re-releasing their old charts, and In Stitches had several of those also. I got Mary Slatter and Jane Ballard. This is Jane:

And here is the chart spread out on the coffee table next to a Scarlet Letter chart booklet of Catharine Metcalfe to give you an idea of the size of the project. It's charted for DMC, as are the other Porcupine Collection charts. I did a conversion to silks in my stash.
There were other things that I got, and there's still a list of things that I want to acquire--someday (I saw some brilliant red fabric I regret not picking up). I think next year I'll take the week off after market, visit the store on the first day and then stitch the rest of my vacation. As it is, I hate the idea of heading to work tomorrow. I'm off to do some stitching with what's left of the day. Wonder if BF will mind having cereal for dinner....

Pink: "This is what I would do with your charts. You have hardly noticed me all weekend!"

Happy week ahead!