At long last, winter is over, and spring is here! And, while it might not feel like spring in my neighborhood today as the last gasps of winter roar outside.
Inside, spring is beginning on my canvas, and my mind is just buzzing with the possibilities!
Happy Vernal Equinox, everyone!
Sometimes Monday’s are for endings…
Today is the 89th and final day of winter and I will complete my last bit of stitching in Winter later today.
I knit like the wind this weekend and today will bring me to the end of the first skein in my Clauranach.
And, it is the end of March Madness for 48 basketball teams, some quite unexpectedly.
Here is to a brief but spectacular Monday! Or, one that ends quickly and without drama!
December 31st, I completed my last stitching, in the last month of my year long project. I have to confess, it was most bittersweet. I felt both an incredible sense of accomplishment coupled with an intense melancholy at the ending of this epic project.
Yesterday morning I began the process of steaming each sampler, readying them for assembly in their final destination of 3 separate wall-hangings.
I apologize in advance for this photo heavy post, but here is my Year of Stitching in review:
Which brings me to this year’s project… I began this on the first day of winter, December 21, and my idea was to do a square each day. But, it was lacking… so much. In my review of last years pieces, I was reminded how much I like the puzzle-like quality of some of the pieces best of all. BUT, rather than take out the stitching I had started, my idea will be to work this in by stitching around it. The past two days have seen this addition, and what better than two days of crazy clear blue skies and sunshine! After yesterday’s running stitches, I felt a sense of ease and rightness come over me and I knew I was on the right path. The other thing I am going to give myself some leeway on this year will be the option to stitch for longer than 15-20 minutes. This also feels very good and really just makes sense to me. After all, I am much more comfortable with the stitching process than I was at this time last year. So, less fussing and more stitching.
As always, if you want to start your own year long stitching project, I would be happy to help you get started! Just leave a comment and I will help you begin!
I have been contemplating books for the Read Harder challenge. The categories are most interesting… some are easy for me to fill in a book or two or three, while others will require more research! I have been enjoying doing this research tremendously until I got derailed yesterday…
The mail person brought the most amazing package all the way from Salt Lake City! I wish you all could have seen the look on my face when I opened the package to discover these treasures! And, yes, there might have even been a tear or two shed as such an amazing gift! Dear Margene, you are truly one in a million! I cannot tell you how much these books mean to me and I have been pouring over them this ever since! They are truly wonders that are filled with such incredible inspiration! Why they even have practical application that is MOST APPRECIATED!
Now I can barely wait to begin my new stitching project on Thursday!! It will almost feel like Margene is sitting with me as I begin this new project – for truly, Margene, you are such an inspiration, and I am thrilled to take this journey with you and do so with profound thanks and so much love!
On Friday, I shared an idea I had for this year’s stitching and over the weekend I swatched a bit with less than stellar results.
So, I spun a bit more to see if I could improve the “thready-ness” of the yarn.
I stitched with more tightly plied yarn. I stitched with less tightly plied yarn. I stitched with singles. And, even though my results were not wonderful, I am sharing what I learned here.
- Dressmaker Linen is not suitable for yarn stitching. It is abrasive to the fibers and I had problems with breakage in the yarns. I also needed a needle that could pierce the fabric, but the needles I have on hand might not have had a big enough eye, which also caused more abrasion to the yarn.
- Plied wool yarn is very difficult to stitch with in linen fabric. I had issues with the plies wanted to be untwisted. I had issues with one of the plies breaking. I had issues with stitches laying how I wanted them to lay.
- Singles wool yarn is too fragile to withstand the stitching process in dressmaker linen with a needle.
- I did like some of the results I got with Pygora singles I tried, but it did not want to be stitched in satin stitch at all.
I admit that I am surprised by my results, but I am unbelievably happy that I am finding out these problems through swatching and not as I am beginning my new project. And, I am really happy that I have a bag filled with Pearle Cotton staring at me while I spend the next few days pondering how this changes my idea, if at all. But then, I texted with my friend Beth, and she gave me lots of advice but this made my head spin: “I would go to the internet and see if people use wool for the same stitches as cotton. By the end I would have tried 400 million fabrics and 200 million wools…”
Okay, so seriously? I don’t have that much testing drive in me! But, I did go to the internet and found some fun things on Pinterest, like this and this! Which led me to Judy’s Journal…I could be heading down the couching rabbit hole but, for today I am not going to think about this anymore. I have a bit of wrapping to finish up for things that need to be shipped out before Christmas and a quick trip to Costco.
Have a good Monday!