The Yarn Store Summer

okay, so it has been a while, and all the usual excuses apply.  Busy, busy, busy!  We have been here and there this summer, and I have made a point of dragging DH and DD to every yarn store we could find, where ever we were!  While in Calgary, we drove out to Custom Woolen Mills near Carstairs.  If you plan on going, please follow the directions at the website – let’s just say that Google Maps lead us on a merry little back road way that was very scenic!  A gravel road around a prairie slough was a little more than I had anticipated – lol!  The Mill itself is amazing, if you like 100 year old machinery and a real down home, welcoming atmosphere.  We did a quick self tour of the working mill, made friends with the barn cats, chatted with some of the workers, watched a lady making socks on vintage sock knitting machines, and, oh yes, bought wool!  I found some lovely singles and sock weights, and a prize skein of wool with alpaca (the brown one) in the sale bin.


If you are planning a road trip, be sure to check out the guided tours offered on Fridays :)

Let’s Hear It For The Ladies

Way back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a wonderful cross stitch designer named Terrence Nolan – he published under the Dimple Designs/Pangaea label.  Terrence designed and stitched a wonderful array of ladybugs, butterflies and beetles, birds, mermaids, and Russian Imperial eggs.  Unfortunately for the stitching world, Terrence walked away from designing sometime in the later 2000s – the latest design I have seen was from 2006.  His insect and egg patterns are now out of print and hard to find, which means they go for big bucks on ebay!  Such a shame that he could not benefit from his continuing popularity.

My January 1st start was Let’s Hear It For The Ladies, which was a collaboration between Terrence and Claudia of Dutch Treat.  She produced the Anne cloth table topper, and the border design, and Terrence provided the ladybug charts.   Look how nicely it turned out!

IMG_5637 IMG_5638 IMG_5639 IMG_5640 IMG_5641

I made a number of changes, including stitching the lady bugs with 2 strands of floss and filling in the quarter stitches – all for better coverage.  I left out the gold motifs that Claudia had included in the central and corner squares for a simpler look, and changed the gold in the outer borders to the red perle for a bit more color.  I subbed the Watercolour fiber color to one I had on hand, and used only 2 skeins (the pattern called for 3). 

I am looking forward to my next Dimples project – just need to make up my mind!



A Long Time Coming

Way back in 2010, I was involved in a Round Robin Stitching Project with a lovely group of stitching friends.  You know how it works – I stitch on everyone else’s piece, they all stitch on mine, and every one ends up with a lovely finished project and a wonderful keepsake.  I chose to have everyone stitch their initials from the Carriage Samplings House Alphabet series, with the idea of turning it into an alphabet book (I copied the finishing idea from a wonderful stitcher in England named Karen V. – with her kind permission).  By 2012 all my pages were home, and I finished up all the little letters that still needed stitching, and last year, I got started on putting all my pages together, as a practice piece for finishing Cheryl’s book project.  Once I finished Cheryl’s book, mine sat, patiently waiting…… waiting….. waiting.

Something finally clicked this week, so I have been stitching pages together… one a day, until today, when they are suddenly, happily, all done!  I just finished threading the ribbon thru – so here it is, my Letters From Friends:


IMG_5597 IMG_5598 IMG_5599 IMG_5600

Now I need to pick out another project that needs finishing, given that I have some momentum going!

It’s a Birthday Day

Our lovely daughter turns 16 today – and no, I am not going to embarrass her with naked baby pics, or teenager pics, but I will say that it has been an amazing thing to watch her grow into the young woman she is today.  Who knew it would be so much fun??

I have been busy with hand work, of course, and have these to show for my efforts:

IMG_5512 Hands of Blue by Lucy Hague – a fun knit that I ended up doing 3 times for 2 fingerless mitts!  My fault, not the pattern!  Knit with Paton’s Classic Wool in denim.

IMG_5511 And this little mitten ornament is from Dickens Mittens by The Cross Eyed Cricket.  I added some back stitching around the chains and used the #4 braid that I had on hand, but I think it captures Marley’s Ghost quite well.

IMG_5527 And these are the first socks of 2015 – Tomar Cable Socks by Impeccable Knits in Cascade Yarns Sporty Stripes.  This was a test knit for Luise – look for the pattern to be published later this year.

And now I must go bake a birthday cake – Blackout Chocolate Cake is on the menu today!

Do you have

any of these charts that I am searching for?  I would love to purchase or trade for these items:

121124i99j9pn9v0ho99p9  Dimples Designs Wee Beasties 12

images Dimples Designs Secret Life of Snow 6

10407375_910965172263520_3244128767729194051_n Dimples Designs Young Professor Fizzby

Mini-Ladybugs-1-150x150 MiniLadybugs2-150x150  Dimples Designs Mini-Ladybugs 1 and 2

bugs3 bugs4 bugs5 bugs6 bugs7 Dimples Designs Mini- Jewel Scarab, Mini-Scarab Duet, Mini Ladybug Duet, Yellow Ladybug Duet, and Red Ladybug Duet

7053566 The Prairie School Christmas Trees book 82

644383_10152862790665409_4950093872289494974_n Heritage Crafts The Gatekeepers by Sue Hills

il_570xN.673801948_rhcf The Primitive Needle Salem Remembered

09-2460 The Primitive Needle Witches Hollow


Leave a comment if you can help!


The Last Update for 2014!

and that is, of course, the christmas ornaments that I paint each year for my kids, and a few special others:

IMG_5375 IMG_5376 These wood pieces jumped up, clamoring – pick us, pick us!  And if you notice, the holly leaves are in the shape and place of a bow tie, because……. bow ties are cool!

And this removable heart snowman was for my brother and SIL – who receive a painted wood piece each christmas.  Yes, they do have quite the collection now :)


And that ends the crafty update for 2014!  How do you measure your year?

Stitching 2014

I must admit that there was not much stitching going on this past year.  I started out with a little set of hedgehog ornaments, and then fizzled out during the summer months.  But things picked up in the fall when I started Dimples Designs Shall We Dance – I have wanted to stitch this piece forever, and am so glad that I finally picked it up!  I subbed beads for the stitched ‘fairy dust’ that swirls around the fairy and hummer, as the stitches did not show against the colored fabric.  I am delighted with how it turned out – my first finish of 2015, done Jan. 2nd.

IMG_5465 IMG_5466 IMG_5467 IMG_5468 IMG_5471 IMG_5472


I was lucky enough to borrow a chart in the fall – this one is from BH&G Holiday Crafts Fall 1998 – and so made short work of stitching Cats and Moon – on black cashel, no less!

IMG_5312 IMG_5313 IMG_5314

The pattern called for the word BOO to be written up both sides – I think I will design a spooky grey tree instead.  So this one is done, but not yet done as we go into 2015.

I rushed to get a few more ornaments done for my own collection and for the kids before Christmas arrived, and here are the results:

IMG_5398 IMG_5428

And that is the total of stitching for 2014.  My goal for the coming year is to stitch a bit every day – so far, so good!

Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 110 other followers