Thursday, January 31, 2013

We have had really awful weather the last two weeks.  I'm still driving a loaner Impala.  I miss my car and I really could have used it this last week.  Monday we had about 4 inches of snow.  The Impala really doesn't like snow.  Tuesday we had ice.  The Impala doesn't like ice.  Yesterday, we had 5 1/2 more inches of snow.  The Impala doesn't like snow any better on Wednesday as it did on Monday.  The snow blower broke a belt so we have a pile of snow in the driveway.  I seriously doubt the Impala will be able to bust through the bottom of the driveway.  Bob says it will.  I sure hope he is willing to give up his Jeep and shovel out the Impala and drive that tomorrow.  Otherwise, he can take me to and from work.  

The back of the sweater looks great.  I checked my gauge to make sure it was right.  I always check gauge. The width is short 4 inches.  I'm sure the directions didn't take that into consideration.  I have to rip it all out and go up a few sizes in needles.  There really isn't a good way to check the gauge.  I will just have to try and once I get the second cable twist, check the size then.  
 I am nearly done with PS January.
 I have a few more trees at the bottom, a couple more snowflakes, then the border and I'm done.  I did get my first LHN Sheep Virtue.  I should have taken a picture.  You use DMC floss to stitch them.

Got my names in the basket for the drawing tomorrow.  I won't be sending out the package until Tuesday since I work until 5 pm tomorrow and  Monday and the Post Office will be closed.  
Since I don't work on Thursdays, and the snow blower was kaput, I had to shovel some paths for Buster, the fourteen pound Shih Tzu.  This afternoon I started watching The Men Who Built America on the History Channel.  It is about the Tycooms who built America:  Vanderbilt, Rockafellar, Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Edison and Ford.  If you get a chance, I highly recommend watching it.  It is fascinating.  Beats most of the other stuff on TV right now.  And there are no aliens in it....LOL

Welcome new followers.  Since the Grow Your Blog Party, I have gotten 23 new followers.  It is very exciting.  I love all the wonderful comments.  Thanks for stopping

Keep on Stitching

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nothing too Exciting...Just Some Updates.

Welcome new members!  Thanks for joining.  And thanks for every one who has been a follower for a while.  Thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments.   

It has been an interesting week.  It has been very cold the early part of the week.  The end of the week brought three more inches of snow.  Doesn't sound like much but, since my Escape is in the body shop after the deer ran into it, I'm driving an Impala and have to get use to driving a plain old car.  I can't wait to get mine back.  I miss my heated seats.  It is snowing again and we may get a few more inches tonight with Winter Storm Luna.  

I tried my hand my hand at and Ebay auction for a Mary Beale design.  I originally saw a picture of the pattern on Edgar's blog:   Blacksheep's Bit of the Web entry: Basket WIP's.  He was so kind to direct me to the title, designer and that it was available on Ebay.  I placed a few bids but $60 was definately pushing the limit.  I think it is a very cool pattern but, not anything I can't live without.  I may have to see about getting rid of some patterns I have done and will never do again.  Amazing how much some of things go for.    I have a hard time parting with things so, it probably won't happen.  

A little update on PS January.  I have been dividing my time between it and the sweater.  I am over half way done.  I just need to do the sledders, "January" and the border.  Not sure what I'm going to start next.  So many patterns, so little time.  

 I think the little fox is quite handsome.

 The sweater pattern is good one.  Just enough going on to not be boring but, not too much to get confusing. There is a little eyelet in the cables.  The odd rows are always the same.  The pattern is only 24 rows so it isn't overwhelming.
 It is working up pretty fast.  It will be a very warm sweater.  I don't think I will have it done in time for her to really enjoy it.  She may have to wait until next year to really get the full benefit.

Working on getting all the income tax things together.  It was a heavy health care year.  Maybe we will be able to itemize.  My luck....probably not.  

Thanks again for stopping.  Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend.  Back to the old grind tomorrow.  
Keep on Stitching.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Have Been Running in Circles

It has been riotous day!  Katy's ride called to let her know they were going back to school a day earlier.  It is a good thing because tomorrow I would be at work.  I wanted to make her some gluten-free cookies before she left.  Good thing I made the dough before things started happening.  So hang on to your it goes.  Buster had to be at the groomers at 9.  Came home, baked the cookies.  Just finished  at 1010 when my mom called.  Her car wouldn't start and she was going to come here to see Katy before her dentist appointment to have a tooth glued in.  I ran down to her house to pick her up, stopped at the groomers to see if Buster was done, another 15 minutes, came home saw Katy, dropped mom off at the dentist, got back in the car, went back to the groomers, picked up Buster, dropped him off, went back to the dentist to get mom and she was done, came back home because it was 1230 and Katy was leaving at 1. After Katy left, I took mom home via the grocery store.  I came home and took a well earned nap.  

Buster after the cone and before the groomer,   He was stinky, shaggy and starting to matt.   

Buster after the groomer and a clean sweater
He really looks fabulous but, he really hates to have his picture taken.  He will turn away or close his eyes.
 Making progress on the Prairie Schooler.  Cruising right along.  
 I started the sweater for Katy. This is the ribbing.  The edge curls slightly.  There are 103 stitches on, I have the pattern establish so why is the count off.  If I have checked it once, I checked it 20 times and I'm not exaggerating either.  I have checked it so many times, my eyes are crossed.

 Katy made some very cute beaded stitch markers and I appropriated them.  She had made me some many years ago when she was a little girl.  I can't use them because the wire hooks on the yarn.  I don't want to have her re-wire them because they are perfect.
 Mom's neighbor got her car started, the cookies turned out great and the dog is happily sleeping on the pillow on the couch.

Welcome all the new members!  Good to see my reliable followers.  I am so glad you have joined me.  I appreciate all the wonderful comments.  Happy Friday!  Yeah for the weekend!!  I also cleaned today, vacuuming all the glitter in Katy's wake.

Keep on Stitching

Sunday, January 20, 2013

WOW! I Think I Have a Blog Hangover

I have looked at nearly all the blogs at the blog party.  I have started following several.  I have no idea how many more I am following but, I bet it is close to twenty.  The interesting thing is it was like a whole new world.  The blogs I started following when I first embarked on this adventure, was how I found more blogs.  So, all the blogs I have been following are the blogs that everyone in my blog world are following.  (I hope that makes some sense.)  I am now following completely unknown and new worlds.  It is like having a whole different set of friends.   It seems like I have been looking at so much bloggy stuff I have a blog hangover.  It has been really fun.  

I have acquired about 10 new followers to my blog.  Welcome to all of you.  I am so glad you have decided to visit.  I have enjoyed all the wonder comments.  Thanks so much!!

I had a little bit of time to stitch.  I am nearly done with the little picture in the corner.  Pardon the winkles but, that's what happens when you are "hoopless".  
 We really are in the midst of January.  Tomorrow, the high is only going to be -1.  Brrr!!!!  I made sure I had a clean pair of cordoroy pants to wear to work tomorrow.  It got to 6 today but, I didn't have to leave the house today.  Got all the errands done yesterday while it was still in the 30's.
 Only about two more days and Buster's stitches come out and we can 86 the cone.  In case you didn't notice he does have his own blog.  It is on my left side bar, called Totally Buster.  He needs a little help with typing. When a guy doesn't have thumbs, a guy can't use the space bar.

Years ago, I knitted a sweater. ( I have made several sweaters over the years...not so much recently).  I think I wore it about twice and decided I didn't like it.  So I took it all apart and washed the wool. It is Nature Spun wool and hand washable.   I had it wound into hanks and in a bag in my craft closet in the basement.  It was there for the last 10 years or so.  Amazingly, it didn't smell musty.  Katy found a picture on Pintrest of a fisherman sweater and wants one.  The yarn should work and there is an amazing amount of the yarn.  The original sweater was intensely cabled and called for 1600 yards of yarn.  The one I plan to make calls for the same amount so, I should be good.  I just need to measure her before she goes back so it will fit.  I don't think I will be able to get it done this winter.  You never know.
Thanks for stopping by.  I am always really glad to hear from you.  It makes my day.  Hope you have had a good weekend and not too hung over from the blog party.

Keep on Stitching

Friday, January 18, 2013

The More the Merrier - Grow the Blog Party

Hi Everybody

I'm Monica, The Hoopless Stitcher.  I named my blog that since I don't use a hoop, Q-snap or scroll when I cross stitch.  I use to, then I tried it without the extra thing to hold...and the weight.  I found I did very well with out it, thank you very much.  I started blogging July 14, 2011.  I think I started for a couple of reasons.  My daughter started a blog.  She isn't as prolific as me. I thought this could be fun.  I have a set of boy-girl twins and they started college just after I started blogging.  I guess I started for something to do.  I have found it very entertaining.  I love hearing from my gang.  I have met some really great people online who have been wonderfully encouraging and supportive.  But, hey, the more the merrier.

I primarily blog about cross stitching, knitting, shopping for stash, cooking and a few other things.  I have blogged some interesting recipes such as bear stroganoff.  I also blog about my dog, Buster and his cone of shame...for now.  He does not like to have his picture taken.  And right now you don't want to get in the "cone zone."

 He really does prefer his sweaters.

I have also found some really fun blogs along the way.  I'm hoping to find more blogs to follow.  I love seeing what other people are doing and what they are interested in.

So, to make this a little more interesting, I have a drawing. This was the gift I made for my stitching group this Christmas and I have one left.  It is from a With Thy Needle and Thread design.  It is a wooden box with a hinged top  to keep your essentials in:  a pincushion on the inside of the box top. a needle keep and a scissor fob.  These are hand made, hand painted, hand there are imperfections.  You know only God is perfect.

If you want a chance to win, send me a comment with your name and email addy.  You don't need to be a follower but, if you are I will enter your name twice in the drawing.  Anybody can enter.  Anybody can win.  You don't have to have a blog. The winner will be drawn and posted on February 1, 2013.

Thanks for stopping and I look forward to hearing from you.

Keep on Stitching

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Prairie Schooler January Update

OH BOY, Its cold here.  I don't think the temperature got above 10 degrees.  It is going to be even colder on Monday.  I love wool sweaters when the weather gets this cold.  Try and find good wool sweaters these days. I remember back in the '70's and '80's it was very easy to find reasonably priced Shetland Sweaters.  Lamenting the good ole days.  Note:  Google Shetland Sweaters.  Can't find very much on LLBean or Lands End. I don't like the ones that are too heavy either....I sure am picky.

Have been happily working on Prairie Schooler January.  I think it is moving along famously.  Don't know why I decided to do January and not February especially since we are over half way through the month.  
 I really love these patterns.  I have done several months and have the full set.  I like to interchange them in the frames.  I don't have enough wall space to hand everything.
Buster has been doing well with the cone of shame and not fighting it, thankfully.  There is another issue.  Shih Tzu's can get kind of stinky.    I think it is alot of times the discharge from their eyes.  We regularly wash his face but, currently can't.   His hair is a little long so I think food stays in his beard more especially since he can't rub and go outside, roll around in the snow and generally get cleaned up.  I think the cone just amplifies the stink.  He is even more stinky than usual.  To add insult to injury, his stitches will come out on Tuesday and Thursday he will go to the groomers.    I would just give him a bath at home but, like a mentioned earlier his hair is pretty long and would just mat up.  He does really like his groomer so that isn't an issue.

Incase you hadn't noticed, I will be participating in a blog growing event.  Let me tell you, I have a stellar giveaway planned.  I think it is pretty stellar, so stop back on Saturday to check it out.

Hope you are warm and dry.  Thanks for stopping.  Your comments make the blogging much more fulfilling.

Keep on Stitching

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Finishing is Done

I started working on finishing all these Christmas things on Tuesday but, just ran out of steam.  I had picked up some fabric a month ago at a quilt store.  It is really awesome fabric.  Civil War reproduction material that is very nice muted colors.  As you can tell, there are stars too.  I love stars.  
I Believe in Santa was done on fabric overdyed by Lori at Notfogotten Farm.  My husband says, "It's dirty."  I told him, "Yeah, and I bought it that way."  The backing fabric was a deep red pretty much matching the red floss.  
I really didn't do too much to doll it up more.  I think I just liked it plain.  
 I finished this JCS LHN piece pretty much like it was done in the catalog.  It was hard finding felt that was close in color.  I couldn't find a navy blue felt.  I checked at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and Michaels.  Then I was digging around in my craft closet in the basement looking for more interfacing and found some old felt in a bag I used to make some little snow people years ago.  It matched even better than what I had bought to finish it.  

Another view a little closer up.  I had the buttons from my MIL rescued tins.  They were perfect.  The ric rac was hand dyed since I couldn't find the kind used on the model in the magazine.  I could have ordered it but, I figured it would be fine if I dyed it.  I dyed more which you will see in a few pictures down.  
 This is a pattern from Notforgotten Farm on that "dirty" fabric.  I had another color of the stars a bit more reddish and it really matched the piece quite well.  I don't know that I finished it exactly like the pattern but it worked out really well.  I did do a door pocket.  I lined the inside and used pretty heavy interfacing.  I am surprised the sewing machine needle went through the whole thing.
I was going to use some ribbon to make the hanger but, it was too red and not really rust.  I had picked up some homespun plaids when I was at JoAnn Fabrics a month or so ago just to have available for finishing.  I thought if I striped it, it would be more rustic and a better match.  I sewed it on the side of the pocket with wooden buttons.  I really like how this turned out.  
I didn't have a before picture of this little guy.  I used the same fabric as the other house.  There is some continuity and the colors in the two pieces were very similar.  They will look better in a basket when it is on display next year.  
The little basket looks very cute.

 Did companion pieces for the BBD sewing box I made for Katy.  I got this fabric at the Quilt store too.  I often buy backing fabric at quilt stores since there is such a variety and gorgeous colors.  I usually only need to buy a little bit.  It goes a long way.
 I finished the pincushion as it was finished in the book.  It really wasn't that hard.  I used a light fusible interfacing and then stitched the ric rac on the finished (right) side then added the backing and stitched over the  same seam, turned it right side out and filled with lizard litter/crushed walnut shells.  I am especially pleased with how it turned out.

 Here is the trio.  I will be adding a little felt to the inside of the needle book as I stitch a little seam up the middle so it folds well.

I used a little hand dyed chenille around the scissor fob to pretty it up just a little.  

 That was how I spend Saturday afternoon.  I am really pleased with how they turned out and glad they are all finished.  I have a few things in the basement that really need to be framed.

Hope you are having a productive weekend.  We finished watching Season 1 of Downton Abby on streaming Netflix.  We called the local video store and they had Season 2.  Bob has been enjoying it, "Its like watching a train wreck."  We have the first two DVD's and they will call when the third one comes back.  We have been DVR'ing the new season to watch when we are done with Season 2.  I love the scenery and costumes.

Thanks for all the great comments.  Buster is doing just fine with the cone of shame.  It is slowing him down a little bit but otherwise he isn't fighting it.  He is bumping into the back of one's legs all the time.    His stitches come out January 22.

Keep on Stitching

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.....I had intentions of finishing things off but, life gets in the way.  Buster had a small growth on his lower left eyelid and he had it removed today along with having his teeth cleaned.  Shih Tzu's have bad teeth.  We wanted to get little things taken care of before they become big things.  
 He did very well.  He went in at 7:45 and was home by 2 pm but, very dopey.  He has the smaller cone of shame to keep him from rubbing his eye.  He will need to keep this one for 2 weeks.  I don't think he will be very happy.  I didn't want the growth to get bigger and it was growing, and then make him go blind.  That would be very bad.  The growth is being tested and we should have the results in a few days.  I like this dog too much to have anything happen to him.  We all still miss the big dog way too much!
 Since, the mouse episode, he seems to prefer sweaters.  I'm thinking it may be a security thing.  Since we did all this today along with Walmart and taking down the Christmas decorations, by the time he got home, we were both ready for a nap.  I really had plans to finish things today but, it just wasn't happening.  I did get some things done on Tuesday after work.  I still have all the machine work to do.  There is always the weekend...heavy sigh!
I really figured that I would be finishing With Thy Needle and Thread - Strawberry Hill.  I decided to start Prairie Schooler January instead.  I was ready for  a PS fix.  Love, LOVE, LOVE, Prairie Schooler!
Hopefully, this weekend, I will get those things done.  I really want to.  I did also get a new sock started on the ole needles.

Thanks for stopping and all the lovely comments.  I hope you have been having a good week and will have a super weekend.
Keep on Stitching

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm Just Not Moving Fast Enough

I just have not been moving fast enough and getting things I want to get done.  I really thought by now I would have done the machine work to finish things off.  Nope.  Not happening.  I really want to get the hand work done so I can do a bunch of the machine work.  I have been working on the companion pieces for the box I made Katy.  They are from the BBD book A Stitcher's Journey.  I do highly recommend this book. 
This is going to be a pincushion 
 This will be a scissor fob.  I did the initial on the box over one.  This is over two.
 This will be a needle book.  I did them all in the thread recommended.
The last ornament I did was by Primitive Hare.  I did it on hand dyed fabric from Notforgotten Farm.  The red thread is from Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe called Best Cranberry, GAST Shaker White, Piney Woods. Dark Chocolate and Cresent Colors Roasted Chestnut.  Other than the Best Cranberry, these are colors used in the other ornaments I did, for continuity reasons.  

I think by my next post, I will have done the machine work and maybe totally finish them.  I girl can be optimistic!

Have been looking at other blogs plans for the year.  I guess I'm not much of a planner.  I do for the most part get things done and don't have loads of WIP.  I really only have one WIP left from last year and that is the Strawberry Hill project.  I do plan on completing that possibly next...if I don't get my automatic shipping of the LHS Sheep virtues.  I am very excited about those.  Contemplated getting the Blue Ribbon Mystery Sampler first but decided I wasn't too sure about it. I wasn't really keen about the fabric.  I know I could change the fabric.  I guess it looks like a pretty steep investment and I'm not sure I will like the pattern.  I will wait until it isn't a mystery anymore.  I am awfully excited to start the Stacy Nash pattern that Katy got me for Christmas along with all the supplies.  What a brilliant girl!!

Finally, I have been bitten by the Downton Abbey craze.  I started watching season I on Netflix.  I hope they will be adding season 2.  I am DVR-ing the start of the new season.  I think my husband is intrigued too.

Thanks for the great comments.  The boxes appeared to be a hit.  I am so glad you have all stopped by to check things out.  I love hearing from you all.
Keep on Stitching

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Finally, The Stitching Groups Christmas Present

I can finally show you what the Stitching Group got for Christmas.  We have the Christmas Party on January 2, this year.  It is usually so crazy at the holidays we usually decide to wait until after Christmas to do it.  This year's pattern was the Valentine Sampler from With Thy Needle and Thread. It was suppose to be mounted on a Whitman Sampler Heart box.  Paint just doesn't stick to those boxes.  They probably really need a coat of gesso to prime them.  I had all the stitching done quite early in the year but, with the box issue things changed.  I had to buy some more boxes in October. 
 With that, I couldn't do a heart on top and it needed something more so I stitched another top to use as a pincushion on the inside.  The top is edged in chenille.
 The Briwax always gives the paint job a whole different dimension and sheen.  They almost look antiqued.
 I glued the seem tape to the inside of the top and tied in the pincushion.
 It looks pretty good with the table cloth as a background.
 There is some scrapbooking paper for the lining of the bottom of the box.
The pattern had additional pieces.  These are the needle cases.  
 I also did a scissor fob and ordered a pair of scissors for everyone, including me.  These are hare scissors.
 I have stork scissors.  I thought the hares were awfully cute.
 I forgot to take a picture of the needle threaders that has everyone's initial on.
  Everything fits snuggly in the box.  I think it is a perfect addition to where one chooses to stitch.

Hope everyone had a fun New Years.  We had a good day. We were able to get a replacement part for the oven.  I was able to roast the cornish game hens.  I did a lot of cooking.  Buster enjoyed his peach pancake today for his New Years treat.  I didn't get the stitching done I wanted to.  The finishing will probably have to wait until the weekend.  Alas, one more Christmas post.  It's okay, still the season until the decorations come down.   Since we put them up late, we keep them up later.  

Thanks for stopping.  Welcome new members.  Thanks for all the wonderful comments.  I wish everyone has a happy and healthy New Year.

Keep on Stitching