Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Welcomed Surprise

A Rainbow of Stitches: Embroidery and Cross-Stitch Basics Plus More Than 1,000 Motifs and 80 Project IdeasI don't buy many knitting/sewing/embroidery books these days.  Most seem to be much like those that came before.  Aprons, one-skein projects, quick gifts, baby gifts and more aprons.  Not that I don't appreciate the work and creativity that goes into writing and publishing craft books - I just don't need to own them when I have a rather larger collection already.

And then every once in a while I come across a book that completely surprises me.  The book pictured at the left is just that!  I actually found it in the craft section, not sewing or embroidery.  I initially figured it was more of the same until I opened it and realized that the projects are arranged by color and include both drawings for embroidery and cross-stitch charts!  And, these motifs are modern, lovely and fun.  The projects are whimsical and useful though no sewing instruction are included.  But I can find basic instruction for most of the finished projects in one of the many books that I already own.

So of course, I had to take this one home with me.  And for the last few hours I have been turning the pages while thinking about my next project.  A cross-stitch sampler perhaps or maybe just a simply embellished pillow.  The designs have an aesthetic that seem classic, as though you once saw them on your grandmother's bed or maybe on one of her dishtowels.  That's what made the book jump out at me - the longing for something from the past and an opportunity to make it new again.

After this post, I plan to pull out my collection of DMC thread and that fine Irish linen I've been saving for a few years.  For this project I want instant gratification so I'll probably start with a simple cross-stitched sachet.  A heart.  In pink, of course.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's been too long

It's not that I haven't been knitting or sewing, it's just that I haven't been writing about it.  Of course, I do spend a lot of time over here and my new professional experiences are taking up much of my time but knitting will always be my first love.

In fact, I've finished a few projects recently and picked up a few UFO's including a shawl from Two Old Bags and a pair of socks that need to be darned.  The shawl I started when I was pregnant with Lucy nearly 7 years ago.  I bought the yarn at my first visit to Maryland Sheep and Wool literally wrangling it out of the hands of another knitter....  But, my focus shifted to my pregnancy and then to Lucy and then to knitting and sewing for Lucy and then to maybe making another baby, nursing my husband through an illness, losing a pregnancy, starting a new job in Philly, leaving that job and then entering an entirely new profession.  But, despite all of the ups and downs, that shawl has been waiting patiently for me to return.  And so I have and can't believe how quickly the pattern has come back to me.

I'm hoping to be over here more but without the pressure to create and publish photos and witticisms.  This is a place to document my musings on creating needlework not just for those who are here now but for those who will be here many years after I am gone.

Be well.