Given that I was offered slave labor by one of my daughters late this morning, I could hardly procrastinate any further on cleaning/organizing in the garage.
The end count was three huge boxes completely emptied. A pile of clothes to be charity donated. A large number of lose items folded and packed. Contents of previously unknown two boxes identified. A very large duffle bag with various family treasures packed by Maus (and taken home by her). The dear girl also claimed two completed cross stitches as “hers” and will do the finishing. A third will make an ideal present for a friend of hers – so that went out the door as well.
There is now a nice, clear, open space at the front of the middle section of the garage which can be turned into a metal stamping area by Daughter #2 who needs some place to pound other than her kitchen counter. One of the old sheepskins is now decorating the floor and will make a great and comfortable nesting location for which ever of her dogs needs to accompany her.
Back to the thing –
It was in the sleeve pocket of one of my uniform shirts. I am forgetting the exact name – I was issued three that last tour in Afghanistan. They were designed as essentially a long sleeve pullover which could be comfortably worn under kevlar. I think I remember someone calling them “tanker’s shirts” but I could be wrong. The zippered sleeve pocket was great, and not to be confused with the various other velcro closure pouches and pockets. It has a standard port as well as a location for a micro chip (not that I think I have a reader for anything that small anymore) and a regular port for ear buds. (Yes, my dears – this was long before blue tooth…
I am going to charge it and see what happens. If nothing else – I could find a card and load one of the dozens of audio books I found in the garage still sealed in our original household goods shipment boxes.
Not a lot has been accomplished today. I managed another two blocks on the Tetris upper border. Otherwise –
the outline for the first tree in Caroline Mannings – Tree Hugger SAL. The fabric is 18 Aida Shale by Picture this Plus using the called for DMC.
Tree Hugger #1
I need to add the Owl on the upper portion and fill in the entire tree…Only about 600 stitches more…
And I have almost a thousand stitches to go yet in the bottom section.
But I will say that it is shaping and up and actually a fairly rapid stitch as there are huge whacks of color.
Aster’s Amazing Adventure
is actually the official name of this stitch-a-long but I am likely to continue to call it the Space SAL (which is not the same as the Solar System SAL – just saying…)
There are only four colors of DMC pink – 961, 962, 963 & 3354. The fabric is 16 ct opalescent Aida which I ordered from DoveStitch but is actually Fabric Flair (if I am remembering correctly). I still need to add a dark navy stitch along the outside. And after all of this, I may change my mind completely once I see the section of the actual SAL.
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!
Beside the Sea
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..
and I just picked up another new acronym. FFN = finished for now. It is perfect. Not for just any old piece of stitching or knitting; not when you are bored or frustrated. That is not the point of this little gem.
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 –
Part 1 – there is no Planet B
Wonders of the Solar System – part 1 – Mars
Dreaming Girl – Part 1
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 –
Animal Crossing – Nooklings
Besides the Sea
FairyTales – Little Red Riding Hood
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.
Is what I am going to assume in this particular stitch-a-long.
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.
Started on 4 Feb
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.
From Les Mis
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 –
like this small cat
the adorable owl
or a fancy version of the traditional stork
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.
Planet 1 – Mars
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….
On Tuesday mornings, I have been meeting one of my neighbors for coffee and a walk. The coffee is picked up from Peet’s and we have been hiking around various streets and neighborhoods here in the Berkeley Hills. The variety of houses is just amazing. Many of the streets are winding and, as you might have guessed from the name – it can be pretty hilly. Not as in up and down but as in UP or DOWN.
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?
actually, not doing a dumpster dive
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.