Good Day Sunshine

I woke up at 8:50 this morning. This is early for me since my sleeping pattern is still that of a student, what with being unemployed and all. It’s very sunny today and is definitely helping my mood.

I should get on working on the theme for my site, but all I want to do is watch my bookbinding DVDs and work on Peacock Tapestry. I pulled it out on Saturday after not touching it for the last 8 months, only to realize the reason I had put it away in the first place was because I am out of some of the colours and can’t stand leaving a section not done. It’s bugging me right this moment, but I’m going to do my best to ignore the feeling and see if there are any more colours I need before going to the store.

What You're Doing

Or, what I’ve been doing.

Things haven’t been too busy but I’ve been enjoying the chance to read again and not spend so much time on the computer. I realize once school starts up in September I’m probably going to be chained to my laptop again.

I’m trying to learn to actually use Photoshop, rather than putting up with my usual tactic of fumbling around until I get something presentable. I’m also teaching myself to type using Dvorak to help with my repetitive strain. I’ve pretty much got it down but find it hard to stick to because I’m so slow at it compared to Qwerty. Oh well. If I put stickers or something on my keyboard, or rearrange the keys, I’m sure I’d be faster at it since when I forget where a letter is I can just look instead of having to stop and think about it.

Look! A cute ducky!

cute ducky

That was taken before Convocation, when me and Dean were wandering the park looking for good places to take pictures of the gown for my grandma. I’m sure she’s glad she made me promise that I’d go to this one [since I skipped out on my highschool graduation] because not many people in my family make it through to university, let alone graduate. Now that I’ve had a couple weeks to get over it, I’m kinda glad I went too. Not for the usual reasons, but so I’ll have an idea of what to expect when I graduate from Western. At least that’s one convocation that I’ll be glad to go to!

Still, I really like the pretty purple frame for my degree. It’s much better than Dean’s with his boring brown thing. Mine’s so bright and cheerful. I think it better represents the spirit of the school. Not just because it’s the school colours. The whole experience at school was so much fun. The other frame is so austere looking. It kinda creeps me out. I keep saying mine is better than Dean’s. Eventually it turns into us joking that I chose the one I did because I’m an artsy-fartsy philosophy major and he’s an important and valued business student. Ha! I still say we win because there are more people getting BAs at Laurier than BBAs. So there!

See? Mine’s so nice:


While waiting for the spinning wheel to get back I didn’t feel like knitting much, so I started working on Peacock Tapestry again and I’ve now finished another page. For as much as I still love this piece after all these years, I must admit I’m going to be very excited when I’m finally finished the leaves on those trees. So much green! Even the pears don’t provide much distraction from the overwhelming green of it all.

This is the section of the trees that I just finished. You can see where the page ends.

peacock tapestry detail

This is what I have so far:

peacock tapestry whole

Since Kitty actually stayed off it this time, I’ve got something else. Kitty raspberries!

kitty razz

In other cross-stitch news I received my needleroll from Hania this month:


It’s so beautiful! I love it so much. Especially because it’s something I never would have thought to make for myself, and yet it’s so pretty.

I also made her one. Mine’s something of a colour-overload, but in a good way I think. The original pattern was so monotone that I couldn’t stand it and went in the complete opposite direction.

topiary needleroll

As if there isn’t enough random stuff in this post, have some cute piggies!


Here It Goes Again

Okay, so I lied about the wheel being fixed before. When I tried to use it the wheel was wobbly and not spinning properly. The instructions sent with the repair kit said to tighten the bolt holding the wheel to the base until the wheel runs true. I tried that. Instead of the bolt tightening it broke and made my wheel not just sort-of useless, but completely useless.

Needless to say, rather than making things worse I contacted the manufacturer and sent it back for them to fix properly. I could have just asked for a new bolt but this way means it gets fixed right the first time.

I checked my UPS tracking, it arrived back at the factory yesterday so sometime soon I should have my wheel back and working as it should be. When that happens, I’ll definitely be posting pictures of what I spin. I’ll also be dyeing and spinning some of my own stuff, since I ordered a bunch of assorted fibre last month that is just sitting in the box in the corner waiting to be loved.

I’ve made some really good progress in Peacock Tapestry and almost completely finished the section I was on. I can’t really work by the page because it’s an evil evil pattern and is too complicated to cooperate.

I’m participating in a needleroll exchange and I finished and mailed that on Monday. I have pictures and they are awesome but I can’t post them until my receiver gets it. No spoiling the surprise!

Things are good

I’ve got a new spindle that is very beautiful and well-balanced which is helping immensely to improve my technique.

I’ve got the money for a spinning wheel and just need to get ahold of the not-so-local yarn store that sells them so I can go pick one up.

I’m making some progress on several of the pairs of socks that I started for myself last year.

I’ve started a pair of socks for Dean that is coming along swimmingly.

I’m working on Peacock Tapestry again.

I got a haircut that looks nothing like any haircut I’ve ever had before.

no hair

PT Update

It’s coming along good. I have all the leaves done in the section I’m working on. I’m starting the pears this morning, and should have those done shortly. After that I need to do the filler-colours between the leaves. Once that is done I shall take the promised progress pic for you all.

Edit: The promised update.

Peacock Tapestry Update

Rebel Against Crafts

Yesterday I started working on the Tapestry again. I’ve been stubbornly ignoring it because a few weeks ago I got a big tangle at the back and I knew I’d have to cut that mess out and start that spot over. After all that work in that area I was not looking forward to taking it out, so I refused to work on the thing at all. It’s all better now. It took about 20 minutes of careful cutting and untangling to get everything back to normal but it was well worth it. The whole snarl looked much worse than it actually was and I lost much less work than I thought I would.

For those of you that are asking why I couldn’t just leave the tangle there, since everything looked good from the front: needlework is a strange thing, your reputation depends on the back of your work looking as good as the front, so a knot or a tangle is a huge no-no. Sure, no one would know once the thing is finished and framed, but I would know and the framer would know and that would drive me nuts every time I looked at the thing.

Once I get some notable progress I’ll take pictures so you guys can see the pretties. Maybe I’ll take pictures of the back too. 😉

For now I’m going to go work on it some more. There’s lots of thunder outside making me happy. Storms rock!

Ah, Progress

To give my left hand I break, I started working on the Peacock Tapestry again. Thanks to the floor stand I got for Christmas, I can work on it without using my hand at all. I don’t need to hold the pattern because it’s on the laptop, and I organized all the floss into one of those plastic organizer boxes.

It’s looking really good. I’ve changed tactics. Rather than working one colour at a time over the whole piece, I’m doing six. I was going to try parking threads and going by rows, but that kind of technique doesn’t work with TW designs. There are too many distinct areas and the colours don’t really flow from one place to the next. Working multiple colours is working wonders though. I’ve already found three spots that I missed when doing the colours separately. This makes it so much easier to see everything in relation to the rest of the design. I’m having fun watching it develop.

There is one obvious drawback to this. I can’t work on it in class or in the Concourse anymore. At least, not without taking the whole stand with me. 😉

Even More Progress

It finally looks like I’m getting the cross-stitch done. I’m not even close, but I decided to start filling in bits of the peacock so that the main areas of the design at least all have something in them. It’s coming along nicely. I’ve managed to lose some floss at some point though, since I didn’t have enough for a couple of the colours that I wanted to do.

The Majora’s Mask one had pretty much been put on hold the last couple weeks, though it’s going to make a come-back now that the sweater is out of the way. After Friday I’ll have a couple weeks to pretty much go craft-crazy.

Craft Update

The Peacock Tapestry is getting some much-needed attention lately. I’m finding it a lot more relaxing to work on than my knitting at the moment. I suspect that I’m getting frustrated with knitting lately because I’m just finishing up pairs of socks and anyone who has knit socks can tell you how trying it is to overcome SSS. Even so, I am finishing them, albeit slowly.

While in Waterloo to check messages and pick stuff up I finally ordered the yarn for my sweater from Cloth & Clay. I changed the colour scheme though, so I’m hoping it works out. The main body of the sweater will be royal violet what seems a light shade of gray [many of the darker colours are unavailable until the fall shipment, and since I want to be wearing the sweater then, the violet was replaced], with the sleeves and bottom in a mauve/lavender-type shade. The accent stripe is a pale peach or so. I looked up the colours online, since none of the places around here actually keep that particular yarn in stock, so the exact shades are a guess. I don’t mind too much. Experimenting is fun. I just hope they have all the yarn that I want and that it doesn’t get too expensive. Some places had this stuff listed for $10 a ball, and I’m ordering 11 of them, so at the very least I think I can say it will cost $100. I highly expect it will be worth it. A handmade kid merino hooded-sweatshirt for the winter? I can’t see why it wouldn’t be.

I am going to have to remember to make a copy of the pattern, since I’m doing it from the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch book that I bought for my mom. I know she’s wanted the book for a while, so I hope that she uses it, or that my sister does. It’s got some great advice and is a great resource.

At least I doubt that I’ll get anymore yarn until next year, between the sweater and the stash I have of Bernat Sox yarn. I love that it was on sale for $1 a ball. There’s maybe 20 of them here and whatever remains of the stash that I have in Waterloo. I’ll be making socks blissfully all winter long. It’s acrylic and nylon yarn, so it’s not the warmest stuff, but it does the job and it’s cheap enough for me not to feel guilty. I justify the sweater since I’m planning on making it last for years to come, and I get to make it myself. The alternative would be spending that money on another WLU sweatshirt, but since I have three already and I’ll probably want a Western one when I get there, it’s better not to take that route.

I’m making some more dishcloths, this time for the Cambridge house. All the ones I can find are falling apart or close to it. At least I know the knitted cotton ones last for years and hold up well. They get to stay after the summer, a useful gift.

I can see myself using up some of my mom’s stash while I am visiting to make a bag for carrying these projects around in. Maybe to make a purse that isn’t slightly larger than a wallet. I know that’s just asking for trouble, since it makes it very easy to carry around tons of stuff I’ll never use, but considering I’ve had positively tiny purses my entire life I’m not entirely worried about that.

Peacock Tapestry/Embroidery

I’m finally getting some real progress done on my cross-stitch. In the last couple days I’ve done most of the burgundy in the border, and when I get that done will be back to working on the main part. I’m not sure where I’m going to start with that, but I’m going to do one area at a time instead of doing one entire colour all over the piece. Doing that takes too long and makes it more likely I’ll make mistakes.

My next plan is to embroider the leaf motif of my sheets onto my duvet cover, possibly onto the blue pillowcases too, since that would tie everything together quite nicely and be a small project which won’t take too much time.

I’ve knitted the back pocket for the iPod cozy, but I have yet to attempt putting it all together. That should be done soon too, with pictures.