Well, as the title suggests, I have been doing a lot of reading this week instead of stitching on Blossoming Love (I've finished about 1/3 of page 2). I finished Shades of Midnight by Lara Adrian and started Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian but am having trouble getting into the story. Luckily, I received my library card this week and am able to access the Overdrive online library system to "check out" books to my Sony Pocket Reader. I downloaded my first book Thursday night, Storm of Shadows by Christina Dodd, and finished it yesterday morning. The reading experience on the Pocket is like reading a normal book but better. It is so much easier to curl up on the couch with the reader and hold it comfortably. I've read complaints about the page turns being slightly delayed, but I had no problems with this whatsoever. The online library system is awesome and it is so easy to download the book you want, turn it back in, and check out another book. I've already started another book, Shadow Music by Julie Garwood. Maybe the novelty of the Pocket is what has me so interested in reading right now, but I'm looking forward to a long summer of catching up on my reading!
I completed the first page of Blossoming Love this week and started the second page. I am really enjoying this project but probably will not be able to work on it much over the next few weeks as the semester comes to an end and all class assignments are due at once.
Here is a close-up of the first page (I really love the colors so far):
Here is my progress on the second page as of this morning when I set it aside to work on a research project:
It is a rainy, dreary day here and I'd love nothing more than to just stay home and work on Blossoming Love, but I have an exam this afternoon and will have to drive to campus. Hopefully, the rain slacks off around time for me to leave. *fingers crossed*
Here is my progress on the first page of the chart which is all background. The second page looks like it has the beginnings of the girl's hair at the bottom of the page so it will be fun to see the detail. This page is going much quicker than I anticipated, especially since I have only been able to work on this for an hour or so a day. I originally planned to take this project along with me to work on during my lunch break but that is not possible with my current storage system described below. So, once I can purchase the other colors needed for this HAED, I think I'll start a Quick Stitch (QS) (maybe Coral Addiction since it looks like it uses some of the same colors as Blossoming Love) on 18 or 22 count Aida that will be my travel project.
My current storage system for my HAED is a 12" x 12" scrapbook craft box. It closes securely so I don't have to worry about the cats getting in it and it's really easy to just pull out my q-snap and chart to get a few stitches in whenever I have a minute. I tried using a 2.5 gallon Ziploc bag but it was a PITA to pull the work out with the 11" x 11" q-snap.
I'm hoping to finish the first page this week and purchase the other colors this weekend. I also wanted to add that gridding has really helped me to keep my place with this project. However, I have started pulling the gridding away from the areas I'm stitching in as I get close to the gridlines. It works for me and it prevents the sewing thread that I'm using for gridding from being stitched into the worked area.
Currently reading: Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian & Dark Victory by Brena Joyce.
I'm getting a little tired of the series by Brenda Joyce so I think I'm going to put it away for a while and read another series for a while. I'm still trying to get through these two series so I can start using my new Sony Pocket!
All of my supplies for Blossoming Love arrived Thursday. I gridded the fabric in 10 x 10 blocks and anxiously started stitching. It took a while to get comfortable with the 25 count fabric but it does not bother me now. So far I'm loving the colors that I'm working with and I'm glad I chose this project as my first HAED. I took the picture this morning so it does not show where I've completed the first column of the first page. I am going to try to post weekly updates on this project but can't promise anything as April is going to be a busy month.
I finally finished all the backstitching and the cords for Oriental Butterfly. This project took much longer than I anticipated, but I didn't expect to catch the knitting bug either. :o) I am very pleased with how this turned out and think that it will look stunning framed. Michaels has a 12" x 12" floating frame with a black border that I'd love to try with this. It will be a while before this get frames, however, since I spent all my hobby money gathering supplies to start my first HAED, mentioned below.
Close up of the butterfly detail:
Overall view of the finished piece:
I chose Blossoming Love by Selina Fenech as my first HAED chart to stitch. All the pinks/peaches and browns are gorgeous and will look lovely in my craft room/office someday. This will be stitched on white 25 count lugana fabric. I just ordered the fabric online yesterday so I will not know if I will stitch one strand of floss or two strands of floss over one thread of fabric until I can do some test stitches when the fabric arrives. Until then, I am going to work on hubby's afghan. I have 34 rows left to finish and, at 30 minutes per row, it may get finished in time for next winter! LOL! The overall size will be approximately 4' x 6'.
I decided to make floss cards for Blossoming Love so that finding the right color will not be so tedious. The idea came from the Dimension's Oriental Butterfly kit as it came with a strip of cardstock with pre-punched holes to organize floss. I'm hoping that this method helps me stay organized with my first HAED since it contains 90 colors (Oriental Butterfly only had around 30 colors). I used 5" x 8" blank index cards and made places for 20 colors per card. I'll let you know how well this works after I'm able to get started.
I finished my Clapotis scarf about two weeks ago. Towards the end of knitting this scarf I discovered that I could read and knit this at the same time since it is such an easy pattern. It is a very beautiful pattern and this is now my favorite scarf. The yarn was 100% wool sock yarn so it is incredibly warm but also very light.
As the title suggests, I am on spring break this week. I had every intention of working on beaded jewelry (b-day presents) and reading a couple of books, but suddenly had the urge to finish my Oriental Butterfly WIP that I have not worked on since November. I've finished all the cross stitches on the scroll and butterfly and the Chinese symbols along the left side of the design, as well as the backstitching to these areas. These symbols seem to be taking me forever (I do not like backstitching!), so I'm not really enjoying them and am ready to finally finish this project.
I purchased my first Heaven and Earth Design (HAED) chart this week. It is called Blossoming Love and I love all of the pinks/peaches and browns in this piece. This will be my largest project ever (if you don't include my husband's crocheted afghan...ugh!!!) and will be 16" x 23" on 25 count fabric with 90 colors. I purchased all but one color that I need to complete the first page, but I'm hoping to place an online order for that last color, the fabric if I can ever decide which one to purchase, and possibly a larger q-snap as mine is only 6" x 6". I cannot wait to start this project and look forward to working on it.
I did work on some beaded jewelry this past week to try out my new jewelry making tools that I received at Christmas. I'm still not very good at going into Michaels and picking out beads that will look good together, so I purchased a kit with all the beads, wire, and fixings. The eye pins and head pins from the kit keep breaking, so I'm a little discouraged with this right now. I have until the end of the month to finish and have completed one bracelet and one pair of earrings; the kit makes two complete sets consisting of earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace.
Hubby and I watched Alice in Wonderland in 3-D yesterday and it was awesome. Not too sure I'm convinced of this whole 3-D movement as I was constantly having to readjust the glasses to get the screen to focus correctly, but overall it was a fun experience. Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter was, of course, my favorite character!
Hopefully, I'll have some pictures to post of the finished Oriental Butterfly this weekend.
Here is my list of books read in 2010 so far: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Phantom in the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Whispered Lies by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Dark Seduction by Brenda Joyce
Currently Reading: Dark Rival by Brenda Joyce
My goal for 2010 is to read a book every week (depending on my class schedule, of course!) and not take more than two weeks per book maximum. I'm already doing pretty well considering that I normally only read about two or three books during the semester. The only problem with this is that I'm not getting much knitting done...oh well, I'm still recovering from Christmas knitting!
I started the year with major knitting aspirations for this year. There is a 10 Shawls in 2010 knit-a-long group on Ravelry that inspired me to set a similar goal for myself. My goal is 10 shawls and here are some of my selections: Swallowtail Shawl, Clapotis, Frost Diamonds, Citron, Aeolian, Haruni, Woodland Shawl, Traveling Woman, Saroyan, and Bitteroot. So far, I have completed Swallowtail (pictures below) and have started Clapotis (over half way finished), Frost Diamonds, and Woodland.
Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark using Knit Picks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace Yarn in Shallows on US 4 Addi Lace needles. This was the most challenging lace project I've attempted to date and I really loved knitting this shawl. I substituted beads in place of the nupps but plan to do nupps next time.
Citron by Hilary Smith Callis using Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Pacific using US 6 Zephyr needles. Finished this on New Year's Eve and love the simplicity of this design. I plan to make another one using variegated yarn.
Leaf Lace Scarf by Janet D. Russell using Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Bordeaux using US 4 Harmony needles. This was a Christmas/B-day gift for my best friend and she loved it. In fact she was hoping that I would give her a scarf! I didn't realize when making this that wool yarn required such TLC so I also gave her a bottle of wool wash and care instructions. After seeing her wearing her scarf, I can't wait to make one for me too!
Clapotis by Kate Gilbert using Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn on US 6 needles. This has become my knitting project during my lunch hour at work. I'm around half way finished and am hoping that it will be long enough when finished.
Frost Diamonds by Stephanie Japel using Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Atlantic on US 4 Addi Lace needles. This pattern actually calls for a heavier weight yarn, but I wanted to see it in lace weight and make a shawlette. I have finished the first chart and have started the second chart but the Clapotis has held my interest more lately for some reason, maybe because I'm closer to finishing it.
My other goals for this year are to try a cross stitch design by Heaven and Earth Design, specifically the All Hallows Eve free chart , and also read all of the books on my "I'll read someday" shelf of the bookshelf. The reading goal is partially a result of my considering the purchase of an ebook reader. I'm debating between a Kindle 2 or a Nook but cannot decide just yet. There are features of both that I really like but the newness of the Nook makes me nervous. Hopefully, over the next few months more updates will come out to fix the Nook's bugs and this will give me time to read through my thirty or so books that I have left as I read that many have had difficulties putting their readers down to pick up "dead tree" books.
Books read in 2010:
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Born of Fire by Sherrilyn Kenyon (currently reading)
I recently married my high school sweetheart and we have two fur babies, Buddy and June. I am a full-time college student working towards a five year degree in accounting and work part-time. I enjoy knitting, reading paranormal romance novels, cross stitching, photography, and just hanging out with my husband.