Thursday, May 31, 2007


How many needles do you use during a project? Have you ever loaded up a needle for every color? Do you use a new needle for every project or recycle your favorite needle?

Depends on the size of the project. If it's big, I'll wear the finish off the needle and use another one. And another one. And another one. (That's another issue. And another question. How fast can you wear the finish off a needle?) But I've never threaded up multiple needles with different colors. So it's usually one needle for the fibers, maybe a beading needle, and occassionally I use two needles for couching.

I just realized yesterday as a I completed a row on Agnes Scott that I had 2 needles in this piece - the My Favorite Needle that I was working with and a size 28 stuck in the margins. (I like my needles small.) I took the extra needle out and put it away. Not sure why it was there to begin with. But I have moved down to the bottom part of Agnes Scott and will begin the section with the house today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Soon To Be

a parent of 2 high school graduates! Yes. And I let myself get roped into volunteering for the all-night grad party. But not doing anything difficult. Just requires my participation the morning of graduation and at 3:30 a.m....good thing I'm frequently awake then anyway. DS is unfortunately home sick again today. The awful cough that I brought home from NH is now in his possession. He wants to go to school so badly because it's his last week interning. Frustration abounds.

On Monday afternoon, I realized that my mint has thrived and is ready for use. (Yes. I planted this in a pot, not in the ground. I'm not that stupid.) So with muddler in hand I made the best mint juleps. Forget Bianco vermouth on the rocks with a twist - this is my new summer drink. I see my Trader Vic's book has about a dozen julep recipes. Some experimenting may be in order. My original intent for the mint was mojitos, but I like bourbon better than rum anyway.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Before the End

DS's internship on Capitol Hill is ending next week. So yesterday we all went to have him give us a private tour. That was fun!

It's almost graduation time. And soon the second one will be out of the house and it will just be me, DH, and the two cats. Oh whatever will we do? (Note to DD: do not dwell on that question.)

Outside the flipping darn tiger mosquitos are making a comeback. I thought because I hadn't seen them yet that maybe they all got killed by the last frost. But no. And once again, it's spray pesticide on yourself or stay indoors even during the day. For those of you who do not have these mosquitos, rejoice. For those of you who do, my sympathies.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Aggie - that would be Agnes Scott's new nickname. I took her to yesterday morning's stitch-in. Explained where I had screwed up previously and got advice. Fellow stitchers agreed with what I was contemplating for fixing my little error. Just part of one thread to frog. Easy. But I was having such difficulty counting on the left motif - where one page meets the other page - that when I finished the vase, I moved to another section.

I should have - cut and pasted these pages together and taken some scans to make some whole images. By now I should realize that I have a problem matching pages up. Especially on something that is symetrical except when it's not. Which is often. Careful counting is needed on this project. The part where the four pages meet in the middle - that's where I could have realized my error early on, but if you don't match up the pages to check if your count is correct both vertically and horizontally, there is no opportunity for correction.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just to Comment on

Anna's comment. I love French knots. Never had a problem with them. Did candlewicking in the early 80s. Thought it was fun! Did a minature on silk with a couple hundred French knots with a single strand of silk thread wrapped once around the needle to fill in a tree. Was fun!

Queen stitch, one the other hand. I have not always enjoyed it. Maybe I just need to get into a groove. I think it is so beautiful when it is done. And the queen stitch on the Agnes Scott may really annoy because of the constant color changes.

I could just be thinking of this incorrectly. Maybe I just need to adjust my attitude.

But in my last EGA chapter, one evening we took a poll. Which stitch do you dislike the most? One person hated backstitching. Everyone else was evenly divided between French knots and the queen stitch. Anna, you are definitely in a minority liking both of them!

Now I Can See

Worked some more yesterday on Agnes Scott and now I can see how my mistake in the row above has impacted this row. I know I must have done some compensation in that row, but have absolutely no memory of this event. Which I why I wasn't looking for it in the row below. My problem came when I lined up my middle motif to the row above, instead of going off the motif to the right. It's not that bad, but I think I may frog just a tiny bit and make a slight adjustment so it doesn't appear to be out of balance. Must remember this problem when I move down to the next row.

I've seriously been thinking that maybe I should just stop and go back and do all the queen stitches - I'm facing a bunch of queen stitched flowers beside the house and I'm starting to dread it.

But first - it's off to my EGA meeting today. Won't bring Agnes Scott as I won't have that much time to work on something. But she's definitely headed to the stitch=in tomorrow morning.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ah Rain Delays

Geez. I kept checking and checking. I finally settled on watching something else while stitching. Then DH informs me it's the 4th inning. Oh well.

I did get the middle motif in this row finished. And started the one of the left after working some of the border. I think my needle was flying pretty darn fast yesterday. The totally sad part was realizing that I am only a little over halfway finished on Agnes Scott. Oh. There's lots of stitching to do. And some interesting counting as things move over one thread - yuck.

Cat was extremely funny this morning. DH packed last night for a short trip to Ohio. This morning after he left, Elvis was zooming around the house meowing. Now he's all shagged out and collapsed on the floor in front of the window. I think a squirrel could walk right up to him now and he wouldn't care.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Agnes Scott Redux

Oh. There is a mistake somewhere. After about 4 hours of work, I realized that the center motif on my current row doesn't match up with the motif to its right. I am one stitch out of whack. I count and count and count and count. I think spent an hour trying to figure out where I'm off. I never found it. Decided to proceed. And will fudge the left side motif if I must. There is room for this kind of error. I fear the problem lies in the row above which is where I centered my central motif. No way am I frogging 20-30 hours of work. Not happening. I will live with it and make it work.

I will add that up until now, I have frogged any mistakes I have found. I have even backed out stitches where my tension somehow got pulled too tight.

But this is too much. I nearly drove myself crazy looking for the problem.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Sopranos

Sunday night I was in FL and missed my date with the Sopranos. Due to a rainout last night in Boston, I was able to catch up on the show I missed.

They killed off Christopher?!? and not by gunshot? I really thought we'd see Chris and Paulie go at it and knock each other off. I guess that would be too predictable?

Definitely time for this show to end.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Time for a Big Push

Poor Agnes Scott. She has been languishing there in her flannel pillowcase with the yellow and blue stars. I think I heard her sniffling in my sleep. But no more crying. She came out of deep sleep yesterday and I'm planning a serious push on working on her for the next few weeks. I've got a goal of finishing the current row and working the border as far down the sides as I can before going to San Diego in June. There is one tiny side project that will accompany this push:

Calico Crossroads "Flower Fun" -

My mother, who was insisting that only an orange tabby cat would do, ended up with a sweet little furball black cat. There goes that tabby cat piece I stitched for her. Guess I'll keep it. But this Flower Fun piece is too perfect. Within a minute of a bouquet of flowers entering my mother's house, that cat was on the table threatening to tear the bouquet apart. I'd never seen such well-developed flower radar. I picked up a more purple overdyed to use and will pull a piece of fabric today. But this means I'll need to search for fabric to make this into a little pillow. Somehow none of those orangy fabrics will work.

And I'll keep my Norwegian ornie kit in my purse for those odd moments when I'm stuck waiting somewhere. Can I stitch in a traffic jam????

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stitch N Pitch Redux

Here's what I found this morning about Stitch N Pitch at RFK.

From the end of Dan Steinberg's Washington Post Sportsblog:

I even saw at least one man with knitting tools in hand. But mostly, the needle artists up in the 500 level on this particular night were women, and they loved what they were doing.

"It's cheaper than therapy," explained Donna XXXX of Reston, who was cross-stitching a Norwegian ornament that she planned to use on her Christmas tree. "It takes your blood pressure down."

"She just got me into it, and she's right about the blood pressure thing; it really calms you down," agreed daughter Rachel, who was cross-stitching a tree that spelled out the word "Dream."

In between Rachel and Donna was the family dad, David XXXX, who, stick in the mud that he is, was just sitting there watching the ball game. He said he doesn't cross-stitch. I asked how he controls his blood pressure.

"I smoke cigars," he said.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Am Back!

Life will now return to semi-normal. Had a great time in NH. Got to meet some RCTN folks IRL. That was exciting. Shared stories and laughs and stitching. I really, really should try to attend Celebrations one of these days. It's just that given a choice between hanging with my sis or Celebrations, my sister wins.

Picked up DD at school and made the nice, long trek home all the while suffering a tremendous cold. Came home and couldn't sleep because of said cold. Flew to FL with DD on Saturday morning where the smoke and ash from the Georgia/FL border was making everyone miserable. I'm coughing like a dying consumptive. What fun.

But we did accomplish our objective. Which was to totally surprise my mother on her 70th birthday. When she turned around and saw us, it didn't register who she was seeing. I wish there was video.

Flew home yesterday. DD and I are both half-dead from lack of sleep and breathing problems. But we attended the Stitch N Pitch game at RFK. Nats vs. Braves. And the hometeam had a lovely no-hitter going which was exciting. Had to settle for a 2-1 win. But how great was it sit in the stands surrounded by (mostly) women who were knitting, crocheting, and doing various types of needlework. The media was swarming all over us asking questions for both print, TV, and online publication. If anything I said pops up online, I'll be sure to link it here.

I'm officially taking today off. Not worrying about anything except watering the plants.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Off to Celebrations

Yes. I did show remarkable restraint at the Keepsake shops. But today I'm meeting some friends at Celebrations of Needlework in Nashua for some shopping. This will be my big no restraint moment. Ah beautiful tax-free New Hampshire.

Last evening my MIL took my sister and I to see Joey and Maria's Italian Comedy Wedding. Oh my. Quite by accident we were sitting at the same table as my aunt and uncle which in itself was too funny. The food was amazingly good. But the show itself keeps you laughing too hard to enjoy it. Particular kudos to the grandmother. Though the drunk bridesmaid earned a special place in my heart for singling out my sister. Loved it.

Of course yesterday we did some more shopping. And I made copies of my college graduation photos - I didn't have any of these. Nice pics of me and my then fiancee. I bought more Red Sox stuff. Considering that Bob's had everything from boxers to tape measures, umbrellas, and baby bottles, I think I was reasonable.

Friday, May 04, 2007


Got to DD in Worcester just fine. The only real idiots I encountered were between Worcester and NH. I'm doing 78 and being passed like I'm standing still by people weaving in and out of traffic. Just a little bit scary. But made it and the only accident of the day was when I opened the back of the CR-V in the in-laws garage and a jar of spaghetti sauce and jam fell out and broke. Clean-up on Aisle 1. Okay. Good packing. Did I mention I've got spaghetti sauce all over one of my favorite shirts? I forsee a good long soak in Oxyclean.

Sis and I drove all over yesterday. Made it to Keepsake Quilting/Keepsake Needleworks/Patternworks in Center Harbor. Overwhelming seeing all the fabric. I bought one little Sudbury House pincushion kit, one fat quarter, and hummingbird socks for my mother. We then went hiking at the Loon Preservation Center. A little muddy and wet, but it was good. Drove all over. No luck at antique shops. Had haddock and native shrimp for dinner.

I'm meeting up with some online friends tomorrow at Celebration of Needlework in Nashua. I'll do some shopping there!