Little Mysteries


This band sampler by Jana P. Kerr was originally published in 2006 as a series in Needle Arts, the official publication for the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. It is our ongoing chapter project currently. Consisting of 15 lessons it covers a variety of stitches in small sections, creating a sampler about a meter long. Thus far some traditional monogramming stitches, black work, bargello and cross-stitch have made an appearance. The next lessons will include some pattern darning, which is new to me, along with a bit of drawn thread. The balance between brainless progress and needing time without kids to make certain I’m getting something right is something I haven’t encountered in a pattern before. That probably makes this a piece that is exactly the correct instructional level for me, not that I haven’ picked up entirely new techniques and enjoyed those challenges, but this gives me more background information on familiar techniques and allows me to try new things while also giving me a chance to revisit some techniques I love, but don’t often do.

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Real Life Icy Roses


This is the part of the post where I explain what has been keeping me away etc.  It boils down to this: real life was taking precedence, getting time, availability, lighting etc… Well, you get the point, lets get on with the interesting part instead.  In honor of real life I give you this incredibly accurate picture of A and me-me trying to accomplish something and to understand her and her being very three.  She loved the idea of being in the pictures (demanded she be in them), but couldn’t wait to jump up to see them on the camera or be still.

This cozy floral is French terry, which makes Icy Roses a much warmer version of my “TNT” Appleton. Is this still TNT even though it’s my first size14E/F? Following Jenny Rushmore’s tip for more coverage-up a size, down a cup, paid off. The fit is fantastic. So much so, that I’ve even prepped the Turner pattern in the same size, though perhaps I should have gone back to the 12 G/H. The muslin will tell. Having made lots of Appletons (See them here, here, here, here, here and here) the construction was easy peasy and took just a few hours and needed no special tricks. It’s such a great feeling to just cut something out and sew it up that I’m tempted to try the Concord again, but I have some tees and burning questions. Would a grey ribbed sweater knit Appleton look too much like a robe to be worn in public? Would it finally be too many Appletons? The Turner is up next, to give my sweater knit another option and hopefully give me another easy wardrobe building option.  TNT’s you will yet be mine.

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Game Day Teaser

SF TC teaser

Looking for another project to keep my hands busy, but my mind not too occupied while gaming led to another vintage find becoming a WIP.  Not much progress this session as we were mid-battle and I was starting a new character.  Still choosing colors and making design decisions is a big step and a few stitches are in place.  This ended up going in an unexpected direction color-wise.  I’m hopeful, but things may change.  Thus a cowardly start with white.  This is an unusually heavy linen.  Heavier than any of the other vintage items I have and is well suited to four strands of floss for coverage. I wish we gamed more often.  It’s fun to double up on hobbies.

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Prairie Schooler Book 83 second post

A chicken appeared in the window.  It seemed to really want in.  Curious, I went to see what was up.  Just outside the picture window lay our back porch, surrounded by a fenced in play area for the kids.  Across that area rushed a fox.  The cheeky fellow was chasing our chickens right past the house.  Grabbing a broom that stood next to the steps, I followed.  He ran back past me, across the drive and by the barn.  Pausing to see if I was following and stopping to snatch a chicken.  I chased him across the bridge over the creek and it was a stand-off…fox with his chicken and me with my broom.  Until I decided that it just wouldn’t be his chicken, dead or not, and swatted him with a broom, causing I’m to drop the chicken, who flew for the barn, and dash off a ways.  Heading back in, I saw him circling around, and got O to help me round up hiding hens.  That is what I did instead of stitching.

In the middle of the night the phone rang.  Short version: hoopla with state troopers, emts, and neighbors, while they fetched the driver from a vehicle that had been driving through the fields and then into the woods, where it got stuck.  My husband dealt with that, while I remained on call.  Instead of sleeping, I stitched.   It all works out in the end.

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Super Blue Blood Moon Total Eclipse


The super blue blood moon total eclipse is an actual thing that will be happening on January 31, 2008.  For more info check out this guide , which has info as lots of useful links.  We are looking forward to it, even if we end up having to watch it online.  (Since, I’ve lived here we’ve yet to have a meteor shower that wasn’t covered by clouds.)


One might wonder how this could make me think of grapes, but it did.  Just before Christmas, I finished a long term project.  This vintage linen grapevine tablecloth, which I have wanted to use on my table for the last two autumnal equinoxes.  It’ll have to wait until next fall, but I can unveil it here on the day of another astronomical event-the super blue blood moon total eclipse.

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Finally a Use for Milk

You learn something new every day.  At my last spinning gathering I learned that you can spin fiber created from milk protein.  Creating these fibers is an industrial process using a multi-stage chemical process, but is also green as the process (according to the internet) doesn’t release any pollutants.    Cool beans, right?  The casein proteins have historically been used in paints to create paints that take dyes well and create colors that hold up well over time.

How did I find out?  Another spinner had been gifted some milk to spin and generously offered to let everyone else try some too.   With just a tester amount didn’t spin it immediately, but waited to try it on my favorite drop spindle, which would give me the greatest degree of control.  It spun with relative ease and was very easy to attach a new bit of fiber too.  The finished single is not as strong as other fibers I’ve spun, but it retains the beautiful sheen and soft feel of the fiber.  I can’t drink/eat milk anymore so it’s entertaining to think of spinning it instead.  It did make my nose itch, though that could have been a coincidence, but it might be worth it for such a soft, shiny yarn.  The picture above of the sample (about 4″ in length) doesn’t do it justice, because it rode around in my bag for a day before being rescued.  Originally it was all smooth and still shinier than it appears in the picture.

I’m so lucky to be included in such a knowledgeable and generous group of spinners/weavers.  It’s a little intimidating, but also thrilling to be learning and to have new fiber friends to play with.

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Prairie Schooler Winter Samplers (Book No. 83)


Winter Sampler Correction in Progress

A strong start with me doing the entire 2nd band in the wrong color.  Here it’s nearly removed.

This simple sampler jumped out at me when I saw it online last year. It’s winter without being Christmas. My supply of fall stitcheries is numerous, but all other seasons find meagre stitchings in my home. I’m not particularly enamored of many of the fall pieces I created when I was younger, but the kids enjoy them. Some of my favorite recent pieces (How Does Your Garden Grow, Meadow Medley, Bluebird, Quaker Bellpull) aren’t fall, but they are still exceptions.

Winter Sampler Post Correction
After correcting the second band

The neutrals in these samplers reflect the stark colors of leafless trees against a background of snow that typifies this time of year here in the northeastern US, calling me to bring those colors and images into my home to contrast hot tea drunk while stitching or spinning in front of the fire.

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