Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gifts, Gifting and Floral Gifts -

Well here it is my first post of 2011 and my first attempt at cross stitch on linen.  I am doing the finishing around the flowers etc., and finding some mistakes which I will unravel and fix asap.

Floral Gift
 32 Count Belfast Linen
DMC Colours 3012 ( Attic Tea), 347 (Poison apple),3021 (Tortoise Shell),
3866 (Vanilla Pudding)
I can't believe I have come this close to finishing this piece.  When I started I just couldn't see the "holes" in the linen or the "count".  Now I do have a bit of challenge with my eye sight and I am very bad for doing things in dim light, so this has taught me a few things about that. There are two red stitches at the top left which are bigger (can't believe I am fessing up to this and not correcting) because the linen has a bit of a bump there with no holes (LOL- you gotta laugh at this).  Now I am thinking... make a hole with your needle lady that is more cosmetically acceptable. I am so used to doing "exactly" as I am told even though I know better (put that one in the resolutions).  I went out to purchase a new magnifying glass during this project as I do need something stronger.  I found out I had something stronger...the one I was using .  So I need stronger than that.  I am using a 2 or 2.5.  there are no markings on it to tell me the strength. The one I bought was 2.5 and it seems to be the same strength.  What strength is everyone else using? Can anyone point me in the direction of a 3 or 3.5.  Mary Maxim and Michael's does not stock anything stronger. I will post the finished piece and may do another for the practice on linen.  Thank you all for the support and encouragement I have had on this project. Much appreciated.

Next Project - Linen Stitch Scarf
By Churchmouse Classics
This is another first although I did the "Rose" sweater on circular needles I did hate the issue with making sure the stitches did not get smaller or in my case almost disappear.  You can understand this if you read my blog entitled "My Life in Knitting Years". Tight stitches remind me of the awful school projects that I truly must have failed...don't ever remember getting the project marked like I do now, I am grading everything I do...keeper or bin, that is the question? Anyway, the scarf is knitted on circular needles with 450 stitches (so knitted long ways) in a linen stitch.  I was truly inspired with Katie Davies Welsh blanket and blanket she is working on now (her blog "needled" check it out) that this little kit just jumped out at me and said " here I am".  I bought it at the Needle Emporium in Ancast and when I got home and read the pattern and I almost froze to the chair, 450 stitches on a circular needle.  Well like every other challenge that little voice in my mind said "suck it up Maggie and get on with it".  I will.  Of course when I read that it had been created by Mimi Hepler I thought it was meant to be ( got to get some comfort out of this) as that is my GD's nickname in the family " Mimi" started by her brother who is 13 months older and couldn't say Esme. Esme is her Sunday name, her name at school etc., but when she walks through that door she is Mimi. My Mimi!!
My Favourite Bags!!
Mine is the green one

We all have favourite things let's share
 (within reason) in 2011
 On Boxing Day we had invited some friends over.  It was a late invite as our schedule is not always very clear until we get closer to the date. So it was the week before that I was planning for it.  These guests are not those that you would have a gift under the tree for or would be expected to bring anything though they were generous with their chocolates and wine anyway.  But dear friends that we wanted to catch up with and if one or 24 showed up it did not matter.  It was an opportunity to see those we felt were special all year round, no pressure. I picked up one of my favourite things the fold up shopping bag that is environmentally friendly and very handy to have on you for a giveaway. I had been in the store picking up these bags ( picture above) when a women stopped me ( I had 12 of them all different colours and patterns) and asked if they were good value...I couldn't stop telling her how good they were. I even went into my very small purse that hangs around my shoulder and pulled out my green one a gift to me two Christmases ago.  I carry it everywhere with me and when I decide to pick up a few groceries on the way is right there to take the purchases or amalgamate my shopping bags.  So no doubt I went on and on about them...they are one of my favourite things and like Oprah I wanted to share them, too bad it wasn't a trip to Australia, but we all have to start small, right! Everyone received a gift wrapped bag on their way out.  I hope they enjoy them as much as I do.
Christmas gifts 2010
 I received some very beautiful and thoughtful gifts.  One is on my feet...a pair of sheepskin slippers and I love them.  Gift certificates for DH's and my favourite restuarant. I received the Vincente Wolf designer book Crossing Boundaries.  If you watched the T.V. marathon on W of "Selling New York" during the holidays you would have seen Vincente restyling a room for a client and there on the coffee table he laid down "Crossing Boundaries". As I was sitting there reading it at the time I thought it was surely a sign...maybe I would meet this designer one day or maybe I would never aspire to his greatness...I am okay with both. 
My GD Brutus ( AKA Bruttie B)

I received a knitting book on Pet Projects and there are some lovely items in there for your favourite doggie.  Mine's is Bruttie B and he is in for a wee treat.  He is a city dog and a bit of a fashionista anyway.  When he came to visit at Christmas he had three outfits with him and received another one for Christmas.  He had a leather jacket, a Santa outfit, a little red suit and he received a sleeveless tee shirt from our trip to Hilton Head from the Salty Dog Cafe.

Gift to Self
Yes I know.  Something I would frown on in the old days but here I am .  I had written down a couple of titles that I would like and this was one I did not get.  I am very interested in Tony Duqette's fabulous life and the era he lived in as far as design goes.  He was a flamboyant character and lived the Hollywood life.  That dying breed of Hollywood that was untouchable and mysterious to the common folks.  I know I will enjoy reading this one.

What are your favourite things?
What did Santa bring that you absolutely loved?

I am loving the linen cross stitch, reading the books I lwanted, listening to the clock ticking and feeling the warmth of the a simpler and beautiful life.


Starry-eyed stitcher said...

Well, I've had a close look at your cross stitch and it looks wonderful to me. I stick strictly to the natural holes in linen, even if they are a bit bigger or smaller, its just how linen is.
That scarf looks amazing, it looks woven rather than knitted - is that the linen stitch? And the colours are beautiful. Your gifts are lovely and so appropriate to you. Love Irene xxx

Maggie O said...

Thanks for words of support on the cross stitch Irene it has kept me plugging along and look how it turned out. I am pleased so far. I meant to mention in the blog the texture of the scarf appears woven which is what attracted me to it and it is "linen" stitch. I have started to cast on and I am taking this very seriously.