Category Archives: Embroidery

Magnolia and Socks

Hello to you my friends.  I hope you had a wonderful mid July weekend.  (It’s hard to believe it is indeed mid July already!–WOW!)  We are enjoying lots of heat and sunshine here in northern Illinois.  It truly feels like summertime here.  I am enjoying it even though it is super hot.

First I’d like to talk about Magnolia; it occurred to me last week that I never introduced the new addition to my Warm Heart Bears collection.  She arrived about a month ago, and is a panda bear named Magnolia.  I had a panda bear when I was a baby and I loved her so much.  Below is a screenshot from a photo book I made that shows me with my panda (and grandpa).

baby me with my panda and grandpa

When I saw that Warm Heart Bears had a panda bear (which was still available 🙂 ) I knew she had to come and join my duo.  And now that I have three of Carolyn’s creations I have a collection.  (I once read that 3 makes a ‘collection’. 😮 )  If you’d like can read about Claudette the giraffe and Ivy’s arrival.  I love my little animal collection!  These three bring a smile to my face every day.  Aren’t they adorable together?… and they all get along swimmingly.

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Carolyn’s packaging and goodies are so much fun to open.

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Now for the socks part of this post…

A while back I got it into my head to try dyeing a skein of self striping yarn.  It sounded so nice and simple–not having to weave in ends every time I changed colors.  I wanted 6 stripes–each stripe being 8 rows.  It involved figuring out the yardage for one row (28″) then multiplying that number times the total rows in the repeat (48 rows).  Forty-eight rows times 28″ came to 112 feet or just over 37 yards.

Now I had to turn the original skein into a 37 yard loop!  To make a loop this large I had to head outside.  I had 4 stools arranged on the driveway at points to make a 37 yard loop and walked around and around with the yarn… ’til it was all wound into a GIANT loop.  As I was doing this the yarn blew and stretched between the chairs.  It was crazy.  I wasn’t sure it would work, but I already had time invested in this project, so I kept on.  After winding the yarn, I put figure eight ties on the gigantic skein every yard or so–lots and lots of figure eights to tie.

The dyeing involved dividing the loop into six equal sections and dyeing each one singly.  When that was done I thought I was home free.  Nope!  This mess, and it looked like a mess, needed to be wound into a ball.  I think I spent 3 hours untangling and winding, maybe it even took longer…  I should have brought the stools outside again instead of draping the loop up and down over a bunch of hangers.

The end result is beautiful though, and it was fun knitting with yarn that kept changing color, but… NEVER AGAIN, ugh.  I wish I took photos of the process just to show you the craziness, but I was not in a photo taking state-of-mind, sorry.

Now on to the fun… and calm part of my story.  Below is one sock in progress.  I used an old quilt I made my daughter as inspiration for the colors.  As always (and the only way I know how to knit socks) I used Susan B. Anderson’s Blueprint (Craftsy) class, “My First Toe-Up Socks”.  I love how they turned out.

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For the next pair of socks I plan to knit, I purchased someone else’s hand dyed yarn.  I think I deserve to let someone else do the ‘work’ this time, don’t you?  We found this skein of Spun Right Round at our local yarn store, Fiddlehead Yarns.  Doesn’t it look fun?  It’s called “Rumble in Brighton”.

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By the way, am I the only one who winds their yarn by hand into balls?  I have yet to purchase a yarn swift and ball winder.

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I hope you have a beautiful week!  Thank you so much for visiting with me today. ❤

A New Dress for Alice

Happy Monday, friends!  July is well underway and summer weather has finally arrived here in northern Illinois.  I’m not sure what took it so long this year, but nevertheless, I am happy it has arrived.

My Little Darling, Alice, has a new dress for these beautiful summer days.  This buttery soft sweater dress is knit with Aunt Lydia’s bamboo crochet thread.  The bamboo fiber makes for a very soft dress with lots of drape–not stiff in the least.

I embroidered a few free form floral motifs on the front of the dress–nothing too measured and precise.  I kept the look free flowing and made up the composition as I went.  Free and easy is perfect for this relaxing time of year.

Here’s a photo I previously posted when I started the embroidery–outside on the most perfect weather day.  I got almost all of it done that day, and finished it up this weekend.

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Isn’t Alice beautiful?  She is painted by Nelly Valentino.  I love her brown eyes and warm coloring.

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I have decided to keep this dress for my Little Darlings’ closet.  They get to keep so few things that I make…  (Thank you for understanding.)

I hope you all have a great week with beautiful summer (or fall) weather.  Thanks so much for visiting with me today, my friends.

 

 

Summer is Here!

Happy Summertime my friends!  It doesn’t quite feel like summer yet, but our calendar says it is.  We still continue to have lots of sunless and rainy days.  Now that summer has begun I hope the weather improves.  Today looks promising, finger crossed…

Tuesday was a perfect day to be outside–no wind, no rain, some sun (not too bright), and warm temps.  Since posting pictures of color inspiration for my yellow Little Darling sweater dress I have been struggling to find genuine desire to actually do the work.  The weather on Tuesday was exactly what I needed; it was a pleasure to work outside.  I didn’t finish the dress, but it’s almost there.

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An organic farm near us sets up their stand on Friday afternoons.  Last Friday they had put together these peony bouquets mixed with lupines and a white allium.  The peonies smelled wonderful!  The entire bouquet lasted a week, and is still giving us a bit of magic–the smaller peony buds have started to open.

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Yesterday my husband and I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens… yes, again.  I wanted to see the roses in their first bloom… and they were blooming like crazy.  There were roses, roses everywhere–all varieties and all colors.

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The English Walled Garden was as peaceful and beautiful as always.

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The fountains, which had not been going the last time we visited, were now serenading us and adding to the sights and sounds here.

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This hydrangea was growing around the tree you can see in the photo above.  I thought it was interesting.

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After walking through a few of the gardens we had lunch in the cafe.  I ordered an Ancient Grains Bowl; garbanzo beans, quinoa, cranberries, broccoli,  farro (I think), fresh spinach, and poppyseed dressing made up this yummy bowl.

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Well, the day still looks promising here in northern Illinois.  That’ll mean two days in a row of relatively sunny weather–must be a new record for 2019!

I hope the sun is shining where you are.  Enjoy your day!  Thank you for stopping by.