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Showing posts from January, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge: Week Five

Finished reading Prairie Girl and thoroughly enjoyed this one!  I loved all of the historical notes and tidbits, photos, drawings and generally in depth footnotes.

I take back what I originally said about I Shall Be Near To You (week #32) topic.  The first half was a bit of a tough go, but I'm glad I perservered and read this one through to the end.  The author really found the main character's voice in the second half of the book.  Not an easy read - this one made me cry, which doesn't happen very often - but the last 3 chapters were beautifully written and pulled this one together for me.  Recommended for historical fiction/Civil War buffs.  If you do decide to pick up a copy to read, zip to the back and read the 2-page author's note about the actual historical person she based this story on.  It doesn't really give away the story, and I felt like I would have enjoyed the first half a bit more knowing a back story on it. (See last week's post for a bit of a …

Stitching Thursday: January 26, 2017

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Here's my progress on various and sundry things this past week:

I put about 900+ stitches into my Decorating the Wreath by Heaven and Earth Designs.  It now looks like this:


I watched a really helpful tutorial on YouTube by Pam of Pam's Crafty Corner about working a single color of thread cross-country per page, and the lightbulb went off for me, so I'm going to try working the remainder of the page in this fashion.  It seems to speed up the stitching (or at least it appears that way), since you aren't changing out colors and starting/stopping threads as much this way.  I figure it's worth a try to see if I can make some more focused progress on this piece.

I'm also thinking of switching up my rotation going forward in February, and making this my focus for a finish piece by working on it during Fri/Sat/Sun of every week, and then keeping the other 3 projects I've got going on a weekly rotation for the other 4 days.  It will mean those other projects won…

WIP Wednesday: January 25, 2017

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An overview of what I'm currently working on:

Sekret Knitting:
Just about done the shawl sample I'm taking to Stitches West.  Worked up using a new speckled dye colorway and a tonal solid, this is a fairly easy elongated crescent-shaped shawl that I'll have as a featured kit in the booth.
I have (I think) 2 more rows of increases to do for the cabled sweater I'm working on for a Filament magazine issue.  I'm working this one up in a yummy merino/cashmere/silk DK weight from Shalimar Yarns in the Water's Edge colorway.   On deck is the sample for the March Sweater club, which will be knit up in my Freya DK (100% BFL yarn). I've got no personal knitting on the go right now, as I'm mostly just attempting to get thru the deadline knitting that I've got queued up for the next 2 months.  Once I get the shawl finished up, I'll cast on for a hat/mittens set that's for the same Filament magazine issue since those are a fairly easy project (comparatively …

2017 Reading Challenge: Week 4

I'm still reading my way through Prairie Girl (and loving every tidbit of every note!), but hoping to finish that up this week.  I've just finished the chapter on The Long Winter (1880-1881) and it makes you appreciate your local grocery store, even if they do run out of milk and TP during winter storms occasionally!

I've also been reading I Shall Be Near to You by Erin McCabe, for week #32: A book with a long title.  The author drew from a group of existant historical documents of American women who dressed as men (for one reason or another) and went off to fight in the Civil War.  The book is fiction, so it's a mashup of several of the stories she researched.  The main character leaves her family to follow her young, newly-wed husband off to war, and they've marched from New York to Virginia to fight.  (They are fighting for the Union.)  Rosetta (aka Ross) is a strong female character, but so far the book is a little....adrift?  She's also more than a little …

Stitching Thursday: January 19, 2017

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This week, I've been working on my Decorating the Wreath/Heaven and Earth Designs project.  I'm going to be switching up my weekly rotation a bit, as I've decided to participate in Terry/Stitching Petunia's challenge #2, and will be working on this full-coverage project a bit every week.  I calculated that I would need to work about 325 sts every week from now until the end of 2017 in order to have this project finished (which I really want to have happen!), so I'm going to put this in at the beginning of every week's rotation and try to stick to that.  I'll then work on whatever other project I have earmarked for rotation that week for the remaining days.

So... Decorating the Wreath now looks like this, and I'll be focusing on it for the rest of this week - thru Saturday.



Last week, I finished up the 2 clues that were released for the Tempting Tangles Welcome SAL, so that is caught up until the next clue releases in another week.  I'm loving the th…

2017 Reading Challenge: Week 3

I finished up Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce, for week #2: A book with at least 2 perspectives. While I can't say this was a book I was in love with, it's a book that I will be thinking about in the future and would recommend for thoughtful reading.  While the vehicle to move the story along is the old fairy tale about maidens being whisked off by the "people under the hill" during May Day, it's really an exploration of what is reality?  And whose reality is right?  I found this one well-written, and despite the fact the store unfolds from multiple view-points, it was easily followed and not disjointed at all.

Right now, I'm getting my history geek buttons pushed with Laura Ingalls Wilder's annotated biography, Prairie Girl, for week 17 - a book with illustrations.  This is exactly the kind of history book a like - lots of little details, photos of the people described, maps, handwritten diary entries and letters.  I'm having a hard time putt…

Spinning Friday: January 13, 2017

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TGIF!  I've got some spinning to share this Friday with y'all. 
This is the December 2016 club fiber from Wooly Wonka Fibers, a blend of dyed merino and a slate-gray sparkle.


I spun this up into singles, and then plied them to get a 2-ply yarn.  (Can you see the sparkly bits in the finished yarn?  Love em!)

Project Specs:
Roving: Custom Blended Merino/Sparkle roving from Wooly Wonka Fibers Handspinner's Club, December 2016.Yarn: 2-ply, 339 yards/4 oz of light sportweight. 

Stitching Thursday: January 12, 2017

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Last week, my New Start for the New Year piece, Village of Hawk Run Hollow was up in my rotation to be worked on.  I started this New Year's Eve, and worked on it pretty steadily for the first week of the year, to get me to this point on block 1.


My plan was to try to stitch up one block a month from this piece (there are 12) over the year, but this is one of the simpler blocks and I wasn't able to finish it, even with a lot of focused attention, in a week, so I may have to rethink the plan for this.

This week for my rotation, I opted to work on my 2 SALs - Lakeside Needlecraft's Under the Sea and Tempting Tangles Welcome mystery SAL.  Under the Sea started on January 2nd, so I had the pattern downloaded and ready to go.  This month's motif is a little octopus chasing a fish.



I'm using the called-for DMCs, except I substituted a handpainted cotton from Colour and Cotton for the lightest green, and for the backstitching color.  I also added a blending filament in …

2017 Reading Challenge: Week 2

I finished Daughter of the Forest this week.  I loved this book.  A retelling of a fairy tale combined with Celtic legend and historical fiction - I was delighted I finally picked this one up and read it.  Highly recommended if you like any of the above types of books.

This week, I'm reading Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce, for week #2: A book with at least 2 perspectives. The premise of this book is that the main character, Tara, gets spirited away by the fairies (only don't call them that; they don't like it), and spends 6 months with them in their realm.... only to return home to find she's missed 20 years.  Her parents and brother have all aged, but she still looks 16. Is she telling the truth?  Or is she some poor misguided soul with some mental health issues?  The book is written from Tara's perspective, as well as her brother's, her analyst's, her nephew's, and her old boyfriend.  Joyce weaves the tale of Tara's time away intertwined …

Stitching Thursday: January 5, 2017

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Trying to stick with my 2017 goal of reviving the blog a bit, I'm kicking off a new set of posts: Stitching Thursday, with details on the stitching projects I've got going right now.

I've set up a weekly rotation schedule that seems to be working fairly well for me - I spend a week (Sunday thru Saturday) working on a specific piece and then switch off to a different one.  I'm focusing on 4 projects per month (or close to that anyway) and a week seems to be a good amount of time.  I stay motivated and focused and get a fair amount done, but I don't get bored or burned out on any one thing.

Right now I've got the following going:

The Village of Hawk Run Hollow
Pattern by Carriage House Samplings.Fabric is a 22-count Hardanger from Picture This Plus in the Legacy colorway.Called-for threads from DMC.
This was a new start on January 1, 2017 and I'm planning on working on a block (there are 12 in total) a month.  This is block 1 so far and what I'm working on…

2017 Reading Challenge (and Happy New Year!)

I thought I'd check in with a reading post to kick off the New Year. (And a very Happy New Year to you all!)

I tried.  I really tried to finish A Cornish Maid for week #4.  I just couldn't.  It wasn't a bad book, per se, but man-o-man it was S.L.O.W.  I was halfway thru it and there was virtually no plot advancement.  So I ditched it.  I'll pick something else for that week.

In the meantime, however, I read The Secrets of Wishtide, which is a new-to-me author (for week #22), by Kate Saunders.  A fun, entertaining read - a mid-19th century historical mystery.  I enjoyed this one and was suitably impressed the author actually did a lot of research (the suet pudding receipt is worth the price of admission by itself), and didn't just toss the characters into corsets and called it "historical".  An engaging heroine and supporting cast of characters, reminiscent of a bit of Jane Austen vibe.  If you are in the market for a lite read, and enjoy that sort of book…