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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Floral Rondel on hold again

Last week I mentioned that I had received the extra silk sent to me by Judy Souliotis for Floral Rondel. I was concerned because it seemed a bit lighter. That was confirmed when I started stitching with it:The new spool starts at the downward pointing arrow and continues to the left. It was strange - this spool seemed a bit more peach than pink. I looked at the two spools - full and empty. They've got different numbers! Yup. No wonder they looked different! They're different colors entirely!

I went back to the instructions to see what color was called for. Aha! The original instructions called for color A, but the kits had B substituted. When Judy very kindly sent me the replacement, she sent A. Since she's already been so kind, I'm not hassling her for color B. (And if any of you know her, PLEASE do not do so, either.)

Instead, I'm trying to buy color B, but I'm hitting a bit of a roadblock. It's listed on the color list on Access Commodities website, but I can't find it on the lists at any online shop. I'm working with one shopowner who is trying to order it from Access for me. If this doesn't work, one blog reader has offered to trade her spool from the class kit with me. Thanks, Kate!

As for that little bit of stitching with the new color? I've taken it out. It just looked odd.

Erin update: Our little girl has been having reading lessons at Grandma & Grandpa's. See?

And this picture just makes me laugh. It looks like she's terrified of her own feet!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Good news and bad news

First, the bad news, from the TNNA market this past weekend: Lee's Needle Arts is closing after 40 years in the business. Theresa Lee has decided to retire. Good for her, bad for the needlepoint world. Lee's has brought us wonderful leather goods and beautiful canvases to enhance them. You can see many of the company's designs here and here. If you've always wanted some of these lovelies, get them now! Farewell Ms. Lee! Please enjoy your well-earned retirement.

But there's good news out on the web today, too! The catalog for next January's Callaway Gardens School of Needle Arts is up. I've never been to Callaway, but I've heard wonderful things about this relaxing stitchy getaway. I won't be able to go in the next few years either, but it's so much fun to read the course descriptions and drool over the lovely pieces. I'd have a really difficult time choosing which class to take. At first glance, I'm enamored of four or five of them. Have fun window shopping!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Band 1 and extra thread

I'm doing a mini happy dance because I've finished the first band of Hannah Thornbush. It doesn't look like much, but it's a victory because I actually remembered to consistently stitch over three threads of linen instead of the usual two. Hopefully having the first band done correctly will help make spacing the remaining bands easier.
The other news is that I received more of the light pink Soie Ovale needed for my Floral Rondel. It's not obvious in the picture, but this spool seems a tiny bit lighter than the previous spool. I may need to overstitch some of the existing satin stitches so this color will blend in rather than having an abrupt transition. I'll try it first to see if the difference is obvious.
We'll see if my hands function well enough for me to finish this piece over the weekend. I have an appointment with a neurologist on June 24th. At that time, I'll have a nerve conduction study done to see exactly where the nerves are being pinched. Then the doctor can determine how to treat the problem.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hannah Thornbush begins

Though the instructions for the first two bands for Hannah Thornbush were posted last Monday, I didn't actually put the first stitches in until Thursday.

Part of the delay was due to a dilemma about mounting this on my scroll rods. The rods don't have the old twill tape on them - just velcro, which means I needed to put the corresponding velcro hooks on my fabric. I'm going to need to cut off the first (and last) half-inch when I'm done to get rid of the adhesive from the velcro tape. I usually take this into account when I have my fabric cut, and allow for a 4" margin at top and bottom. This is one of the pitfalls of a kit. I can't predetermine the fabric margin.

Ok, so what do the instructions say? The first line says to start stitching 2-1/4" from the top of the fabric. If I used the velcro, I'd have less than a 2" margin at top and bottom!

I didn't like this scenario. So, I decided to make extensions on to my ground fabric. I found a piece of Aida cloth that I knew I wouldn't use for anything else. After tacking it to my linen with a line herringbone stitch in a sturdy linen thread, I had an extra 6" margin at the top and bottom. I put the velcro on the Aida, and when I'm done I'll just cut out the tacking stitches, so my linen will still have its full margin. This photo shows the join, as well as my start on band 1.

Some comments were posted to the class list about the difficulty of framing with such a small margin. The teacher/designer (Margriet Hogue of The Essamplaire) wrote back that she'll be providing instructions for hemstitching the border of the sampler. The hemstitched sampler can then be mounted for framing, and a large fabric border won't be needed. I'll decide when I get there if that's what I want to do.

Last week I promised a picture of the kit contents. The colors are lovely. The silks are all either loose Soie d'Alger or Soie de Paris spools. I've never used Soie de Paris before. It's a bit thinner and has much more shine than most other stranded silks. It almost feels like rayon, but it seems to handle a bit better.

Erin update: Our 4-month pediatrics appointment was last week. She's up to 12.5 pounds, and 22.5" long. Relative to other (non-preemie) 4 month olds, she's in the 15th percentile for height, 30th for weight, and 50th (i.e. average) for head circumference. She's catching up! Just two months ago, she was at 5th, 10th, and 25th percentile for those same metrics.

Her hip procedure is scheduled for July 2, first thing in the morning. We're praying for a first-time fix!

Our most recent pictures are from her christening this past Sunday. You finally get to see what I look like!