SAL Update for “Pandora’s Box” with beads

There isn’t too much progress to report on the “Pandora’s Box” blackwork sampler, although there is some to see and talk about. Mostly, time has been devoted to beads because the next square to work on needed beads incorporated into its all-over stitch pattern. This also meant decisions needed to be made. I hadn’t planned on what color beads I was going to use for the project because I wanted to wait and see how different ones would look. The pattern calls for Mill Hill “Old Gold.” In the end, I opted for a more brightly sparkling gold bead from my stash.

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To see what other SAL participants have been up to, you can visit their blogs here:

 

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Staycation

I have absolutely no work until mid-August! It’s so nice to be on vacation. Traveling to Madrid this summer is making me grateful to just stay home while on vacation. I don’t care about beaches, piña coladas, nothing.

With all this free time I’ve been working on my craft projects a lot more. This first photo looks like an almost FO. It almost is. All it needs is some washing, ironing, and sewing into a throw pillow. That won’t be happening for a long time. I need to get two more dragons done and decide how I want to sew the throw pillows up first. However, we can celebrate how all the back stitching and embellishments are done on this “Dragon of the Mountains.”

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Yesterday I made some progress on my “Celtic Wheel,” a cross stitch project I haven’t even looked at since February or so.

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Also, I decided to cast on a Trillian, a pattern by Martina Behm. I’m using my Done Roving sock yarn from my last visit to the USA. Done Roving is small yarn company from Maine, my home state. 🙂

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Crabs brandishing watermelon slices

The biscornu saga continues. I’ve acquired some new patterns, including Barbara Ana’s “Summer Biscornu.” It features crabs waving watermelon slices around. I had doubts about buying this one — mostly because I hate seagulls. Where I’m from, we call them “rats with wings.” I’ve made pretend they aren’t “dirty birds” and that seems to be working.

Anecdote: I grew up in southern Maine, on the coast. Down the street from our house was a diner called “The Seagull Diner.” We locals used to call it “The Dirty Bird.” These days, the diner is gone. I think the whole time that place was open for business no member of my family — or I — ate anything from there. When we didn’t have a phone we used the pay phone there, though. So, a diner only useful for its phone booth in the times predating cellular service.

Anyway, the crabs are really funny, which also makes me forget about the seagulls. I’m enjoying the new lugana fabric I’ve acquired. It makes stitching so much easier because it’s very stiff.

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This is “biscornu conveyor belt” number 3. The first two are filled with winter and spring biscornus and waiting to be ironed, cut and sewn together.

So far I have one spring, two winter, and almost half of a summer biscornu. My goal is to make two of each of the spring, winter, and summer ones so I can keep one of each and give the others away. I already have the autumn biscornu for my own collection so I’ll make just one of those to give away.

I bought two other biscornu patterns by Tiny Modernist: The “Butterfly Biscornu” and “Cassette Biscornu.” These will also be made as gifts for others. I already bought the thread for them so I suppose I’m as enthusiastic as usual.

Four claws and most of a tail

My Chinese dragon is coming along well. I got the fourth claw and part of the tail done in time for a WIP Wednesday photo. Also, I got a lot of the border done, too.

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My only problem is that I’m running out of Kreinik gold thread. I’ve ordered more, but it won’t arrive in a very long time, sadly enough! Before I stitch on my other dragons I’m going to buy more Kreinik thread for those, too. I didn’t notice until I started this one that the Kreinik thread is used all around the borders. Yeah, those are some pricey borders. I suppose I could substitute, but I like the colors the designer chose so it’s going to be Kreinik for all three dragons. I just won’t think about how much money I spent on the thread!

WIP times three on Thursday

Yet again the stars did not align between work schedule and hobby schedule to allow me to post on Wednesday about my works in progress. So, just before Spanish lunch time, I can report on my progress.

I really want to get my Thanksgiving decorations done soon. I thought I would tire of my cornucopia in favor of the biscornu, but this has not been the case. They have each received equal time.

To the left we can see my cornucopia and to the right my pinwheel biscornu. The biscornu would be more done than it is if I hadn’t messed up and had to restitch the blue pinwheel.

My “Widsith” sock now has a complete heel and the beginnings of a foot.

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And that’s all for today!

WIP Wednesday: “St. Enda”

What a coincidence that today is All Souls Day and I have a Saint of my own hanging off my knitting needles! I may not be religious, but somehow I’ve managed to live a parallel life on this day after Halloween. I know! Halloween is over! Total bummer!

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I’m making a lot of progress on this Celtic saint. As you can see, I’ve got the front done and now I’m 2/3 of the way up the back. You can also observe that on the front I didn’t bind off my remaining stitches, I just left them “live.” I’m not following the directions, which instruct the knitter to bind it all off. My reason is simple: when I knit the sleeves I shall simply knit the saddle onto the shoulders. Yes, I’m an evil genius who wishes to sew as little as possible. I suppose some people take great pleasure in sewing saddles onto shoulders. I do not.

I’ve also very cleverly put garter stitch selvage edges on my pieces. I’ll do the same on the sleeves. This way, I can mattress stitch the body together very easily and also crochet the sleeves to the body. I’ll more than likely mattress stitch the sleeves together, though, so they match the body seams.

A lot of people think that crocheted seams are too bulky. This is simply not true. Mattress stitch, actually, can leave more bulk than a slip-stitched seam. I’ve experimented a lot with crocheting my knits together and I’ve discovered that if you’ve got a textured stitch pattern, like on this sweater here, a garter stitch selvage that is slip stitched together on the wrong side blends in very well. It’s far less annoying than doing that silly “fake grafting” thing on bound-off edges. It looks neat and professional, without all the “take the tapestry needle this way, then around, then that way, try fudging a little, rip it out and try again” nonsense.

The cold weather is approaching. As a matter of fact, we are almost on the verge of turning the heat on. The temperature is wicked cold in the morning, rises to room temperature or slightly less by noon, and then drops quickly back to wicked cold at sunset. Needless to say, I was very happy and content to watch Stranger Things, season two on Sunday, knitting a cowl and hiding under my bulky crochet afghan.

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I snapped the photo with my iPhone on Sunday afternoon just in case I wanted to document this WIP on the blog. You can’t see my legs because they’re under my afghan. When I finish this cowl I’ll still have plenty of purple Cascade 220 Super Wash Quatro to make a scarf for a Christmas gift. So, a long time ago I bought a ton of purple yarn, that’s for sure! I got a cardigan for myself out of it and now I’m going to knock some Christmas gifts out of it, too! By the way, the cowl is still a WIP. I started it and stopped knitting on it on Sunday.

 

Purple cardigan on a WIP Wednesday

I’ve been knitting away at my purple top-down cardigan. I’m almost done with the body and then I can get going on the sleeves.

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I haven’t knit stockinette stitch flat in years. Wow, is it boring! I really made a push on it over the weekend to try and get it all over with. I almost made it to the bottom, but not quite. I wanted a sort of plain cardigan and I’m getting one, it’s just I have to make a real effort not to yawn while knitting and purling back and forth.