Archive for February, 2011

Day 24 The fall

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Day 24:  Monday, February 14, 2011.

This is the first day that I haven’t done any stitching.

I took my son to the doctor this afternoon, and on the way home stopped to fill up my car with gas.  Stupidly, I stepped over the gas hose (when the nozzle was in the gas tank of the car), and tripped.  I fell hard, hitting the back of my right thigh on the concrete block the gas pump sits on, twisting my right knee, hitting my right shoulder, and finally hitting my head on the pavement.  I had my sunglasses on, and they were driven into my head above my right eye, earning me a nice cut which of course bled profusely.

As you can imagine, this fall has really slowed me down this week.  I’ve been to the doctor and gotten a CT scan (which was clear), but I’m still hurting pretty good and spending a lot of time in bed sleeping.

But, on the bright side, Monday was the only day that I haven’t done any stitching at all.  I’m working away on Rabbit, mostly.

Days 17 & 18

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Days 17 & 18:  Monday & Tuesday, February 7 & 8, 2011.

More plodding away on Raspberry Lemonade.

That’s our kitty Frank, there, helping me out with the photography.  You know, ’cause cats are just oh so helpful when it comes to projects involving string!

There is progress being made, but it’s slow, and I’ve been really tired and grumpy the last couple of days.  I’ve had a bad case of the winter blahs, and my normal reaction to such a mood is to Start a New Project! (on the theory that nothing cheers one up like having a new project!), but I have forbidden myself any starting of new projects while so many old projects remain unfinished.  Bleh.  So I was good girl and worked away on the ol’ Lemonade.

A close-up:

And a close-up of Frank:

Awww.  Isn’t him sweet?!

Day 16 Super Bowl Sunday

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Day 16:  Sunday, February 6, 2011.

Today I worked on some knitting while watching the Super Bowl with my family. 

This is a baby blanket in the Knit One Below column pattern.  I bought the book Knit One Below soon after it came out, and just fell in love with this column stitch and the possibilities for it.  I started making baby blankets in this stitch, and so far this is my sixth one.  (Three finished, and three in progress.)

This particular blanket uses a cotton/wool sock yarn for the striping columns, and a cotton/acrylic blend for the solid orange columns.  I try to stick to machine-washable yarns when making baby things; I feel it’s not fair to expect parents of an infant or very young child to hand-wash anything.  I know I certainly wasn’t up to hand-washing anything when H was a baby. 

I’ve really enjoyed making these little blankets, and really feel that I’ve only touched the tip of the design iceberg here–there are so many possibilities with this stitch.  As I look at this, I find myself thinking about making one with two different but coordinating self-striping or handpainted yarns.  I have one in progress in which I’m making a checkerboard pattern with blue and orange, and the possibilities for design there are almost endless.

Another interesting idea:  I also bought Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch not long after getting fascinated by k1below stitch patterns, and realized that it is essentially a variation on the brioche technique–really just another way to accomplish knitting brioche.  Nancy Marchant has come up with some truly intriguing brioche stitch patterns; it would be interesting to see if they could be accomplished using the k1below stich technique instead of the yo brioche technique.

Days 11 & 12

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Days 11 & 12:  Tuesday & Wednesday, February 1 & 2, 2011.

We got hit hard this week by the “Midwest Blizzard,” so I’ve had a great deal of stitching time these past few days.  I couldn’t get to work Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday because of the snow and ice, and my son and I have been hanging out at home not doing much of anything but watching movies on Netflix, eating, and (in my case, at least) stitching.

I switched to working on Rabbit after getting a little weary of Zen Duck, and have gotten quite a bit accomplished. 

The light color is complete on the first page of the chart, and now I am filling in the dark color.

This is soothing work after Zen Duck, with all its many color changes and confetti.  There’s something very satisfying about working in two colors.  It allows me to concentrate more on the physical act of stitching rather than on reading a chart and keeping track of colors.  That might seem boring, I know, but I actually love the physicality of stitching, be it cross-stitch or knitting.  This two-color chart is the equivalent of garter stitch in knitting; it allows the process to take over and the mind to wander.  I can give myself up to the power of the stitch, over and over and over.

Days 7-10

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Days 7-10:  January 28-31, 2011

I picked up another cross stitch project that I’ve been working on for awhile:  Zen Duck.  This is a chart from Heaven and Earth Designs, and it is beautiful, although maddeningly slow-going.  It has 90 colors in the chart, and lots of “confetti” as cross-stitchers say.  (One or two stitches of a color here and there, as opposed to large blocks of color.)

But I do love the way he stitches up:

You can’t see his hat in this photo, because it is rolled up in the frame, but that, along with his face, is the part that I have completed.

HAED recommends that their designs be stitched over one on 25-count linen, but I am stitching this on 22-count aida, and that is small enough for me right now.

A couple close-ups:

I find I can stitch on this chart for a few days, and then I begin to get a little frustrated and have to turn to something a bit simpler for relief.

Day Six

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Day six:  Thursday, January 27, 2011.

A bit of progress on Raspberry Lemonade: