Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The best ever neck tie, or THE BEST EVER NECK TIE?

hooch is such a ladies' man.

Yes- look closely- yes, that IS  tie with silhouettes of naked ladies. YES IT IS.
Thrift stores are the best :D

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thiiiiiis close.

My late MIL, who started this piece, must have miscounted in a few spots, because the "frame" is off. She stitched six too many red rows, and filled them in by just adding more rows of red, three on each side of the design.
She was an uneven three off on the columns, which might be WHY she put it down and never finished it. But I digress.
These extra six rows-coupled with the really thick, almost double sided way she made her stiches-made me a little nervous there was only about two strands of red left. One "badge" and one cross were completed with this red, so I figured it was important to keep those consistent with both sides of the pattern.
After filling in the added-on rows, I just had the cross left... I was so close...

And I ran out with, what, five stiches left? Not even five whole stiches. Five half stiches.
This isn't knitting. There's no gauge swatch to unravel, no tinking back and knitting tighter or decreasing sooner or pretending you totally meant to make it a 3/4 sleeve sweater, not a full length.

There is only madness and trying to match to a new skein.

Line by line.

I gridded the project roughly with black floss. In counted cross stitch, I minimize the counting!
However, I kept piercing through the floss. It didn't bother me to have to move the floss out of the way, but piercing through out would make it a bear to remove.
Off we went to the local sporting and outdoor goods store. I picked out some fishing line- it was the most fluorescent pink-orange and flexible like normal thread. Some kind of "bonded braid" used in ice fishing. Splurged a little because I liked the texture and color.
Oh, me.
Of course it was a terrible choice. It STAINED.
Seriously! A plastic fishing line! I had pulled out my first line a few times when I noticed bright neon pink-orange pin pricks on my white Aida. WHAAAAAT??
After a small and rather understandable freak out, I pulled out an unused Aida-banded hand towel, ran the offending thread through it a few times until it left marks, then left it to soak. I think it came out... But the hand towel is pale yellow, and ended up being soaked multiple times, then dunked in diluted bleach, then washed in the machine twice... because it had some dark mystery stains which, hmph, have NOT come out all the way.
I've decided to live with the faint remaining stains-after all, it's a towel, it's no good to me if it never gets used.
I couldn't live with the neon pinpricks in my white Aida heirloom, though, so off to another store for bright red stiff plastic monofilament. It works. No stain, easy to stitch around, very cheap ($4 for 1000 yards vs $8.50 for 50 yards of staining), but, as predicted, it's annoying to work with.
This isn't the project for "traditional Celtic with pops of neon", but I've still got the bonded line- I haven't written off that idea.

Coming along.

Admittedly I'm quite a bit further than this but pictures and posting have a bit of a lag time.
I'm filling in the gold bars of the knotwork with just half cross stiches for now... to give me an outline to fill in, then I'll go back and finish the gold. It's the easiest color in the pattern to follow, hopefully it means fewer miscounts.

This project, precious and frustrating... I suppose that's true of a lot of family members, right? Fitting :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A stitch at a time

I inherited a huge* amount of cross stitch stuff from Alex's mom. I'm hoping to finish and frame any of the things she started and send out pieces to the family.
Unfortunately, it was unexpected and I have pretty much no notes, so a lot of it is quite confusing.
I have threads of all sorts, with various labels. I have half finished pieces with no floss, pattern, or purpose.
But I'm still looking forward to it all! I've even put aside the socks I was knitting (though I still carry them everywhere to sneak a few stiches here and there- I don't like to transport embroidery).
The first thing I picked out... well to be honest the first thing I picked up just needed me to finish the last lines- but not being able to pick a color, I set it back down.
The second choice seemed a good choice: I had the pattern, what looked like the original thread, and she had started much of it.

I spent about an hour untangling that original thread, and it didn't even match up- the front illustration is very blue, but it's all greens. One very thick skein of green doesn't seem to have a place in this, and I can't tell if it's variegated or if it's sun bleached!
Of course, as soon as I was a few stiches in, I notice that there's so many errors- it's one of those Celtic knotwork things with a big thick border... so the miscounts aren't easy to fudge. When everything is symmetrical with big lines, I can't just stretch the pattern out here and there.
It's been great fun so far, though. Nice for sitting inside in these cold days in front of the big screen :)

*seriously huge to me. I thought it was a small box so I set aside things I'd like or friends might. The rest went to charity. I think there was two unfinished items. Some hours later we found a large Rubbermaid bin, a medium bin, a handful of small boxes, and bags of needlepoint stuff. Much of it was given away to stitch-happy friends and family.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I present unto to you... a bunny!

I forgot to mention we've inherited three bunnies! This one is the fluffiest one!
They survived a trip of several states, bouncing around in a crowded pickup truck (which kept their water bottles dribbling), sharing house and hotel room with curious dogs... tomorrow they go to the bunny vet and we start building then a hutch. They'll get a few weeks to heal as needed, introductions start, and hopefully they can all be housed together in the hutch.

Friday, January 16, 2015

First finished project of the new year

I'm actually in the middle of two other projects, but when something caught Alex's eye, we bought crochet hooks online and headed to Joann's the next day! When we were there, we decided to pick up the yarn for the Jayne hat I've been promising Alex. I wanted to make it out of quality wool, but the selection at my small Joann meant we settled for acrylic. It didn't take long at all, though the giant pom pom I made has already been ripped apart by Mishka the dog!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I've made hand cut chenille before.

I think?

I remember a piece made with layers and layers of recycled t-shirts, which I had meant to make into a throw pillow but it was so stiff it became a bath rug. It had a great texture!
That didn't fray,  obviously, it was jersey knits.
I was trying to make a piece to put on the back of a cute taggie blanket for my friend's on-the-way baby, just for some cool texture,  but taking it out of the wash, this chenille doesn't work out at all. Admittedly it still feels kinda neat, but I was going for the orderly fuzz of clipped chenille, not this linty thready Jackson Pollock mess.
I was worried this wouldn't work because my flannel was pre washed, but I think it was more important that I didn't see and cut the channels on the bias- I'm confident that would result in much much less loose-thread-vomit than what you see here.
I used up all my large flannel scraps,  though,  so I'm thinking of alternatives. Joann's has recently gotten Minky (called "soft and comfy") in prints, and I also have small bits of interesting fabrics in my stash- no decisions yet.

Friday, July 11, 2014

A nerd house with a bird house

Looking for a quick project,  I pulled some hand towels or if the linen closet and gussied one up. I would have made two, but I decided the other towel was written down enough that it wasn't really deserving as it wouldn't last much longer.
My machine is still skipping stitches here and there but overall I think this will hold up okay! It was scrap fabric and a towel that I probably got at Goodwill anyways.
The fabric is a scrap of Star Wars quilting cotton that I had made pajama pants out of! Is it ok to match your house on this level?  :D