This weekend the last part on this SAL (stitch-a-long) was released. Normally Patty releases her pattern updates on Friday, but delayed till today.
That was fine with me. It is not like I don’t have enough other things to work on.
I was caught up, but for a small portion of the frame to the outside of the lighthouse.
The final part added a pair of seagulls.
1054 stitches later, I could claim I was done!
stitched on light blue Aida (sorry about the lighting) with Sulky instead of DMC. Main colors substituted included 1001 (Parchment) for the gulls and lighthouse, 4055 for the frame and little blue beach house,
My first DONE of February (and likely the only one).
Otherwise, I started a simple blanket in a half-log cabin pattern and just switch directions about every 12 rows/6 ridges of garter or when I get bored. It is a great project for Zoom conversations and meetings..
It is for when you have gotten as far as you possibly can on a piece with the current amount of pattern than you have. The classical use is for a section of a SAL (stitch-a-long) where the parts are released at regular intervals. There are those individuals who arduously keep up with the clues and have their stitching current to the most recent release. There are those who mutter along for a while, then fall behind, never to catch up. In neither group are those wait till the whole project has been released, then jump on board.
But for me – this gives me an expression which expresses that the particular project is not exactly a WIP (work in progress) because there is absolutely NOTHING else I can accomplish till the next portion of the pattern is released.
The following – for example – count as FFNs –
From CloudsFactory – there is no Planet B. A year long SAL delivered the first of each month.
Wonders of the Solar System – releases on the 15th
Dreaming Girl started 1 Feb and releases every two weeks.
But for now, they are FFNs
In contrast – the following are NOT FFNs –
In all cases, I finished the segment for the month well before the next portion of the pattern was released. BUT, all of these SALs have frames involved. The frames were released prior to the start of the year. To be FFN = I would have to have everything stitched that was available so far.
And I pretty much prefer to stitch frames as I go. There are several reasons, perhaps the biggest being that stitching a frame is a significant investment of time and materials without knowing whether or not I am actually going to like the pattern. By not starting the frame ahead of time, I can decided not to play. Now that I am committed, I will work on the frames both as I go and in any extra stitching time that I have.
Clear as mud – right?
The designers love musicals, so I should not be surprised. They released the frame for this particular piece well prior to the 1 Feb start. The frame is simple, but a freaking lot of stitches.
The portion of the frame that you see (the black marquis with the yellow spotlights) was stitched prior to this week. I had a few other things to complete first, so didn’t get the “B” started till yesterday morning. Thankfully,, it loads into PatternKeeper. I groaned on discovering that there was a measly (!) 2330 stitches in this section. Frankly, that is actually a bit much for a SAL that releases every couple of weeks.
But by late this afternoon, I managed the 1169 stitches that remained after yesterday.
I had no clue, but Jill identified the “can you hear the people sing” and Graeme nailed the musical. French flag rounds out a portion of the clues.
Probably aren’t necessary – I could cut floss with just about any sharp tool. But they are definitely an indulgence. Unlike kitchen shears which can cut just about anything successfully (not discussing poultry shears here) or fabric scissors which also come in a great variety with different material targets – embroidery scissors need only have relatively sharp edges and a pointed end.
Usually small, I have discovered that there is a huge variety of scissors ranging from the cheap to the incredibly and indulgently expensive. Now, I like shiny as well as the next person – but give me a choice between half a dozen to a dozen pairs or one pair costing more than 100$US and I am going opt for the variety.
Instead I go for the cute pairs –
These were just the three that came quickly to hand. I have a few more…
I mentioned last month that I was “participating” in a number of mystery cross-stitch-a-longs. Each SAL is released in segments on a regular (for it) basis. The most common interval is once a month. A few are every other week. The rare pattern gets released on a weekly basis – but this type of SAL is usually a short term project of no more than six components.
Not that you wanted to know any of that – but to avoid personal confusion, I print out a calendar each month I can write down the dates that patterns will be released. Allegedly, this will let me plan what I will stitch, when. In reality, I am likely to go with whatever shows up first, which ever looks the more interesting, or which ever is going to be the hardest to catch up on if I fall behind.
I may just have bitten off too much, but we will see.
Anyway – today is Wednesday, 3 Feb and I have completed my first three pattern segments for the month.
- First up is a 12 month SAL by TinyModernist called Zodiac. There is a rather large and complicated frame which was available, and I could have stitched ahead of time (Dec) but I didn’t since I was finishing up December projects. In January, I decided that “frame as you go” was good enough. That meant that the 1200 stitches of the fish required completion of the two circles on the right hand side. If I stay ahead of things this month, I will fill in a bit more of the decorations around the frame. This pattern segments are published monthly.
2. Second up is Dreaming Girl by Barbara Ana. This is an every two week pattern drop. Unfortunately, this pattern is not compatible with PatternKeeper, so I have no clue as to how many stitches were in this first part, but I have the feeling that it is over ½ of the total.
3. And I finally was able to pick up fabric for the Wonders of the Solar System by Climbing Goat Designs (no, I couldn’t possibly make this up). The first planet – Mars, was released the 15th of last month which means that I will see the next planet up in less than two weeks. Pattern Keeper compatible – 827 stitches to the Red Planet.From here, I have a start (for the third time) on this year’s Linens and Threads Mystery SAL and a number of others in the queue. Progress will be made….
When you get to the other side of Marin from where we live, it gets interesting from a geological perspective. I will insert some pictures of Indian Rock (huge rock formation) probably next week since I don’t have any good ones from today. But back to the terrain. There are a lot of huge chucks of rock. As in protruding from the ground in front of people’s houses taking out a large chunk of their front garden. Large enough to obstruct the view from main floor windows.
I don’t think today that the city would even permit to build in this area, but the first half of the last century, I don’t think any one was quite as fussy.
The residents of one house have a sense of humor. What do you do when you have a huge outcropping in your front yard?
why, you place a statue of a golden bear. Not a small one nor light weight being solid metal and bolted on.
In case you need to see something that has not changed in spite of the pandemic – it looks like the falcon pair at UCBerkeley has returned to their tower and are getting ready to settle in for another year.
Here are the links for the various live cams…
Grinnell just watching…
I started out thinking today was going to be pretty much of a loss. Not in terms of family, but in the realm of getting progress on any of my cross stitch projects.
There was the 0500 broadcast from WHO re: Neglected Tropical Diseases (leprosy among others) and the next in a series of occupational medicine broadcasts re: the construction industry at 0900. From there I made a mad dash over to the Eldest’s house (meeting up with the youngest for errand running) in order to make the 1100-1200 & 1200-1300 schedule. Even tho all were not “Zoom” since Cisco’s Webinex was in the mix – I was totally & completed zoomed out.
So anyway – Maus wanted to cruise the thrift (charity) stores for some household items and used furniture. Over the next few hours, we stopped at four (or was it five?) Goodwill locations, a consignment furniture store, and Out of the Closet. She made out like a bandit. Found some picture frames, candle sticks, a most excellent tea kettle, serving bowls, and a couple of vases.
I purchased one picture frame at a Goodwill – then found this lovely thing –
Obviously (grin) it is a jewelry cabinet – a top that lifts up for precious storage on top, four draws with dividers inside, two draws below.
Now, I don’t have jewelry. But I have floss, beads, and lots of notions. This lovely little cabinet is going to replace a number of cheap, plastic containers and look elegant in doing so. Price? $25US. After it airs out a bit, I will move it to a place of honor in my sewing room.
After all, the Bay Area has had enough disasters this year without going and hunting for me.
Need I go on?
Well, yesterday – Tuesday 26 January 2021 to be precise, we just added torrential rain to our growing list of disbelief. It rained and rained. Plus the wind blew, rather important as this tale proceeds. This morning – we woke to the following on our back deck:
Just so you know, that second picture was taken after I hauled this huge branch off the deck and tossed it over the edge.
We have cleared the cars off the parking pad (which involved heading to Dani’s work and getting her keys) and are now waiting for PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) because an additional branch or three has taken the power line which runs along our property line down. So far, we haven’t lost power, I think this line mostly supports the two houses just south of ours and up another one of the typical long, twisty driveways.
and it is almost time for yet another Zoom session (YAZS?)
Oh, duh. YES! and was scheduled for 0800 this morning.
I was up early for a conference originating out of Geneva. It turned out to be worth a lot less that the time involved so I was on the road with coffee from Peet’s in hand by 0630. Traffic wasn’t particular friendly going in as the marine layer (aka FOG) was blanketing the Bay Bridge, slowing everyone down to a crawl.
I finally managed to wend my way to the parking garage, get checked in through the outdoor screening process and hiked up the stairs to the first floor (the one above street level for those not familiar with the European norm of floor naming).
There were no signs. None. Not a one. I finally found someone at 0755 at the medical clinic who could point me in the correct direction. Not Building 200 – Building 1. And outside the auditorium for check in.
Ok, I can do that, arriving just as the clock rolled to 0800 and got in line. And waited, and waited. About 15 minutes later, one of the staff came out to apologize for the delay, citing personnel turn over due to illness. Ok, if someone is sick, I really don’t want them administering shots.
As it turns out, the line was a mix of employees returning for shot #2, employees showing up for shot #1 and about 5% veterans mixed in just for good measure. The actual process went quickly, I hardly felt the needle going in. The immunization was recorded in both my electronic medical record and on a card placed in my hot little hand. As soon as my 15 minutes was up, I headed out the door, through the city and back across the Bay Bridge.
I even made a stop at Acme Bakery as a reward for myself since there wasn’t a line.
By evening I had the expected sore arm.
Unfortunately, I think my color choice on the one character is a bit dark. I could restitch him, but probably won’t. As you can also see, I managed to extend a portion of the frame.
While I am thinking about it – the original program in the US was on Nintendo in 1987. If you want the background – probably about the best short vid is here on Youtube.
That fun game with blocks fall from above which had to be slotted such that you filled up layers. In most games, the layers disappeared as you filled them up with the goal being to survive for ever (as the blocks fell faster and faster) or to complete so many lines at each level…
As I started looking into the history of the game (the reasons why should be evident shortly) I was also looking at what colors were normally used in the blocks. I branched from there out to other 8-bit games of that era (meaning early 80s through mid 90s). There are seven different shapes, originally grey scale which morphed into distinct colors. Standardization of the colors did not exist for the first 15+ years of the game.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because PixelPrime decided to release a SAL based on the old 8-bit games. I was a bit floored at the size of the initial frame (17k stitches as computed by PatternKeeper).
Rather than stitch the whole frame – I decided to stitch each portion as that month’s segment was released. As it turned out -the first section started in the lower right corner. The fabric is 14 ct Aida, the thread is Sulky.
Release dates on SALs (you remember – Stitch-a-long) can vary.
There is the ever popular first of the month. There is the alternative every-other-Thursday. Or Friday. Or every three days. Or the 15th, the 25th, the…. you get the idea. For someone participating in one or two SALs, keeping track is not an issue. I have more than two, so printed a calendar in order to be able to track what is due when. This is important for a couple of reasons: the first is that I don’t like getting behind; second being that, while some designers mail out their patterns, others don’t; third is that the list seems less intimidating when spread out.
So today – I am going to mention two SALs (which both came out actually on the 31st)-
1. Besides the sea – by FourBoysAndAnNLGirl (Etsy here). Patty designs clear, easy to stitch designs. This is a five part plus frame lasting about six weeks (give or take). The first part, a cute lobster, wound up being a bit fatter on my fabric than initially planned. I looked at him, decided I would leave him fat rather than frog and restitch. The fabric is 14 ct White Aida, the threads are Sulky 12wt
leaving me only a portion of one creepy critter and a pink bellied bird to complete.
I could clean and organize. – Right.
That leaves me with free time in which I can read, listen to audiobooks, write things, sew, knit, cross-stitch, spin, or more than one of the above.
Oh yes, then there are several other things on my plate (why do all of these ideas come to me after I have gotten part-way down my list?). Including guest lecturing in a couple of UCBerkeley’s courses, continuing education on line, performing research (volunteer status) for a couple of organizations…
Which takes me right back to the idea of hobbies & crafts. Last year I started a reasonable size full-coverage cross-stitch as a project for the new year. Only 76K+ stitches, I finished it in June along with working on the occasional other random project.
This year, I want a bit more variety so I decided to sign up for a few mystery SALs.
SAL stands for Stitch-a-long. The idea is that the pattern is released in sections (rather than all at once) over the course of time which can vary from weekly to monthly. The shortest SALsThen have 4-6 segments, the longest is 25 (on a q2 week basis).
Since I am not going anywhere in the near future, I don’t have travel to write about. I don’t play on Facebook or Instagram so I am not posting pictures of anything in those social media locations ether. I originally started this blog in 2007 and mostly posted about knitting and a bit of our life in Heidelberg. After retiring from the military, my posts became more about traveling and knitting. Since moving to California, my interesting in knitting has fallen by the wayside. After all, there is a real limit to my need for woolen knitted garments. I have a world supply of scarves and shawls if anyone would need one.
And now I am back around to cross stitch. Over the next several weeks, I will introduce projects, give you more opinions that you care to read and perhaps summarize what I finished last year.
2020 has been a challenge for all of us.
It really doesn’t matter if you live in one of those rare areas which has either been not much affected by the spread of SARS-COV2 or had a sensible government which managed to pretty much keep things under control.
There has been much discussion especially in the US about “personal freedom.”
It seems strange to me. I served in the military for 33+ years. The key word there is served. I find it very hard to understand why anyone would choose to risk the health of others just to make a point. I find it on the same level as walking around with a loaded weapon and pointing it at random people….
What each of us does affects those around us.
I know too many who have buried a family member, dead from COVID-19, this year to take anything lightly.
Please stay safe and let us get through the next several months with the least loss of life possible so that all may have a future.
You can be so accustomed to having something in a particular place that you just don’t see it anymore. Or, if you “see” it, the significance doesn’t register.
So it was with the 19 month calendar hanging on the wall in our kitchen.
Traditionally, I have liked having a physical calendar hanging on the wall. This particular location is in among the car/house/shed/whatever keys for this location and several others. Thus it is in front of everyone’s eyes multiple times a week, if not every day. With this many people living in a household, it forms a “obligation at a glance” for anything that might affect others in the household.
What? Oh, let us say medical appointments, travel, baseball games, or invitations.
And now we come to 2020. The medical appointments have slacken off to the point where just using our phone calendars work for George and I. There aren’t any baseball games or soccer matches. Travel? What is that? A trip down the hill for take-a-away? Invitations are a thing of the past, conferences are on-line.
All of which explains why this lovely, cheerful calendar is claiming that we are in August. Certainly there is nothing of import noted on the calendar. I took it down. I haven’t purchased a new one for this coming year. By the time I might need one, they all should be on sale…..
In keeping with long standing tradition – the monkey frieze is decorated for the holiday. Otherwise, there isn’t much house decoration, lights, or action along the route from our house to the Package Sending station that is across the street from my local Peet’s. I had two packages to toss in the mail and had no interest in standing inside the official post office in line with rude people for however long it took. Instead, I could grab a coffee and wait outside in pleasant, cooperative, and socially respectful company. When my turn came, it was all of three minutes to handover, verify, and pay for the packages.
Which just left me the trudge back up the hill….
which was managed without four footed help