Sunday, August 26, 2007

My first sock and my second Sumptuous Surfaces piece

I caught up with reading all of the Sumptuous Surfaces lessons this weekend and stitched my second piece. This one is more colorful and is an abstract design. It represents a lightening bolt in a rain storm. I have had lots of opportunities to watch both lightening and rain recently and I thought that it would be good way to experiment with layered stitching and beading. I used some shiny pearlized stone beads, silver bugle beads, and two sizes of seed beads. Some of the pearlized beads reflected the flash when I took the picture.

I finished my first knitted sock. I used the Rainbow Ripple pattern that is available free from Opal Yarns. The sock fits my size 8.5 (US) foot perfectly. Now I just need to knit the other sock so that I can wear them.

I also finished my first knitted dish cloth. It is really a lace sample knitted in Bernat's organic cotton but you can't tell. If I look very closely, I can see the strawberry pattern but it does not photograph well. I think I will try one more with a different lace pattern and if that one is still too hard to see, I will try larger needles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Playing with threads

I am not the only one at my house who is working with threads. We have a very industrious spider who has taken up residence outside the sliding glass door. I took this photograph of the spider and her web this morning -- she is getting fat eating all of the bugs that are attracted to the lights in our house. Every evening she makes a new web making the spider the most ambitious stitcher in the house.

I have been doing some needlework. I have made progress on my rainbow ripple sock and finished part 4 of Chatelaine's Elizabethan Sweetbag but I have made the most progress on my monochrome piece for the sumptuous surfaces class. I used some agate chip beads to cover the book with and combined them with bullion stitches in one of the variegated colors of DMC pearl cotton. I also used the same pearl cotton in seed stitch on the inside of the coffee cup. I like the texture from the stones. It contrasts well with the pulled stitches. Right now the border is empty, I have not decided whether I should leave it that way or not. Now that it is covered with the stones, the book is a much less defined object. It could be a treasure chest or just a pile of things sitting near the coffee cup.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Heirloom tomatoes and more socks

Today's CSA share included heirloom tomatoes -- they look interesting and taste very good. All of the tomatoes from the grocery store taste the same but each one of these has its own unique look, texture and taste. The Tomato Jubilee is in a couple of weeks -- then I can go and pick all the tomatoes I want.

I have been experimenting some more with combinations of the Take a Stitch Tuesday stitches. My cast on stitches are improving but I do not think it will ever become a favorite stitch. I used crested chain, scroll stitch, french knots, straight stitch, wagon wheel and detached chain or lazy daisy stitch on this piece.

I have been doing more knitting than stitching and have been busy for the past week. Friday, I went to Stitches Midwest and took a class in lace knitting. I learned about Orenburg Lace and how it is made. I also did some shopping and bought a ball of Opal sock yarn and have been knitting the rainbow ripple sock in the picture. I also went to the family night for the football program. Saturday I spent at a Church Leadership Retreat and at the Chicago Sky Game. Sunday, I went to the Lake Michigan Sampler Guild Meeting and saw Margriet Hogue's slides of antique samplers in European museum collections. This weekend is not going to be as busy.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I embroidered this owl tonight using some of the recent Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge stitches. I sketched it ahead of time but the stitching is free hand using pieces of thread from my stash. I need to finish my monochrome piece for the Sumptuous Surfaces class but I needed a break. I will post a photo update sometime over the weekend.
I am accumulating enough of these small embroidered pieces that I am thinking about what to do with them -- maybe I will start putting together some crazy quilt blocks that can be used in larger pieces or as pillows.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Take a Stitch Tuesday

I have been trying to catch up on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge. Here is a stitching sample that contains buttonhole wheel, cast on stitch, and crested chain. I need more practice with the cast on stitch but I think that the rest came out reasonably well. I sketched an owl this morning that I also plan to stitch using these same stitches -- I will post my progess later.

I am continuing to read books by Chicago or Illinois authors. I finished Driving Blind by Ray Bradbury. I read many of his books and stories when I was younger. I still remember one story that I believe he wrote -- in it men are living on the moon. They have found life there in the form of some kind of animal and have the ability to turn into the animals and go out on the moon surface. One man makes the transformation and discovers how marvelous it feels to be free on the surface in the animal's body. He never returns to the space station. My next Chicago book is Because of the Rain by Daniel Buckman.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Pinkeep Exchanges

I came back from Texas to find my lovely pinkeep exchange waiting for me on the dining room table along with the package that I should have sent before I left. Here are pictures of both of them. The lovely purple heart and the brittercup designs pattern came to me, the Ewe and Eye and Friends flower basket and the JBW designs heart are on their way to their new owner.
A stitching update will be coming. I have been reading more -- I finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy and have been reading Women in Love by DH Lawrence. In a last attempt to finish reading 5 books by Illinois authors or about Illinois by the end of the week for the library summer book club I picked up some books that looked short and interesting yesterday. I am 2/3 of the way done with a book of short stories by Ray Bradbury. I will see how far I get by Friday.