Friday, November 12, 2010


I had a package waiting at home after work one night this week. That is always exciting, especially when C is around. (It came in a Toy Story box too, which made it even more interesting.) Inside was this lovely temari from Nettie, for a GITS (Great International Temari Swap). I like the colors, and I love the beads. Thank you so much Nettie! Yours should be going out this week.


I accidentally signed up for a Martha Stewart magazine through JoAnn's this fall, and I got 2 issues. C was reading over my shoulder last night, and had a couple of comments. One comment was "there isn't a lot of sewing in this magazine, grandma!" She was right, most of the activities were crafty or cooking, not stitching. She did like looks of the Noah's Ark tree, but she didn't think we should make the ornaments out of cookies, she thought felt would be easier.

Does anyone have animal outlines, for felt ornaments for a Noah Christmas tree? (And I'm not even the one who is wrapped the tightest around her little finger!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some Numbers and a Dilemma

I stopped off yesterday afternoon and got a skein of 311, to see if that was the right blue color for my sampler. Unfortunately, that is not right either. Now I am thinking the blue that is already stitched may have faded over the 2 years my piece sat waiting for me to get back to it.

So now I don't know what to do. Any advice?

I'm tempted to just go ahead and use the 336, and let there be a difference in the color. I am going to check one more thing first though, I am going to check to see if I may have used an Anchor color. I don't know my Anchor colors very well, but it is possible. There is only one spot where it will be glaringly obvious, the middle of the letter "P" on the alphabet running vertically along the left side. The rest of the blues will be separated by other embroidery and white space.

Now for the numbers. There are 13 alphabets on the sampler. Now I haven't counted the letters in each alphabet. Many of them are French, and old, so letters would be left out. In several alphabets, I know there are additional letters, used if the name or initials have double letters or use an "A." It is too obvious if an alphabet starts with a letter other than "a" so that one usually gets doubled up. For example, on the alphabet I am working on now, the sequence is

A B D E F G A C H J K... etc.


In this example, "A" is repeated, and there is no "I."

So when I say there are 338 letters of the alphabet, you know that is an estimate. The same holds true for the sets of numbers. There are 10 different number fonts, so you would guess there are 100 numbers, but most of the sets have at least 1 number repeated, mostly to document birthdays. Plus the Roman Numeral set has like 30 characters (like).

I have 3 alphabets completely stitched, and 3 sets of numbers, and a good start on 4 additional alphabets. I calculate I have 154 letters or numbers stitched, plus a goodly number of the motifs, which seem to be clustered towards the top of the sampler. That gives me 35% completed, better than I expected. Since I picked it up, I have stitched ACFHJK and half of one of the sets of numbers.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Stitching and Perfectionism

I received a kit to make a tassel from my secret stitcher this past Tuesday. It called for a mini Tatool, a frame to make tassels on. Well, I knew I had a tatool, but when I found it discovered it was not a mini, but a full-sized one. So, I adjusted the pattern, added a different metallic thread and more beads from my stash, and made a tassel twice as big as the directions called for.


I learned several things.
1) When you are not going to cut the loops on a tassel, it does make a difference if your loops criss-cross each other on the loom. The tassel is nice and drapey, but the loops are all tangled on the bottom.
2) I should have followed the directions and used tape on my loose ends. There are several extra loops that do not add any beauty to the tassel.
3) Making tassels is fun! I think I will be doing this again!

Still no progress on stitching the temari I am working on. I do believe I know why I am dragging my feet on this one, though. Believe it or not, it is perfectionism! Me! Who knew.

I'm not happy any more just throwing stitches on to a ball, to see what they look like. I want them to turn out gorgeous, and I just don't have the skills to do that with this pattern. Of course, if I don't get busy and practice, I will never develop the skills either, so I'm between a rock and a hard place. I am going to have to follow the advice of and set my timer for 15 minutes, and just do it. I can do anything for 15 minutes! And if it doesn't turn out gorgeous, oh well, I will have to try again.

While procrastinating, I pulled out a UFO that I started in 2007. It is a personalized sampler from Nouveau Encore that I have been in love with since I got it. At one point I had even put away all the fibers, but then had pulled them out again. Evidently, when I pulled them out, I forgot I had adjusted one of the blues, so I stitched some with the wrong color. That will have to come out. There are 12 pages of pattern, and I am done with 4, so I am at least 1/3 of the way done. The main problem is that it will be boring for you while I stitch this, because I will have nothing exciting to talk about, unless I get down to counting letters. There are at least 10 different alphabets: 87 letters down, at least 173 to go!

This pattern is what I have instead of the French Alphabet Sampler. That one cost over $200, (for the pattern!) and you had to submit your order at an exact time to be accepted, and then it would take months to get the final copy. I decided that was too many hoops to jump through, even though I loved the pattern. The last orders were accepted in September of 2009, so I'm not sure it's even available any more.

One additional incentive for me: if I ever get this done, I can start on one of my Chatelaine patterns. The Holland Tulip Mandala has been calling to me for a long time. Of course, once I get done with my current temari, the temari obsession may take over again!

Who knows what may happen!?