Not red, chestnut

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I got a new cross-stitch kit for my birthday. Don’t you think it looks just like Green Gable? It triggers the imagination and I might have to watch the movies while making this. Or listen to the audio book. Or both, this might take a while but it’s beautiful!

Crafts Fair

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Yesterday I was at a crafts fair. It was my first time and I had a really good time. Since I’m not only bicraftual but probably quadrucraftual or something, there was a lot of things there for me, beads, bobbin lace, sewing, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, yarn… Oh, the yarn! I’ve found at least two new interesting Swedish dyers that I will be looking into. It’s probably a good thing I haven’t really been introduced to quilting yet or I would never have been able to leave.

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I had a great strategy though. I had good shoes which is probably essential.

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We left our jackets in the car so we didn’t have to carry them around with us.

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We made sure to have each other’s phone numbers and picked a meeting place and a time.

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If I would change anything for next year I would point a homebase where someone could gard all the bags that accumulate. There is a lot of people and the more bags you carry, it harder to move around and squeeze in between some very determined cross-stitch shoppers blocking the way.

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We didn’t feel obliged to walk around together all the time so no one would have to feel like they didn’t get to do or see all that they wanted and no one had to feel like they had to hurry somewhere. Also we didn’t risk losing each other in the crowd and then spending many hours looking for each other. It was a great plan.

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Also, I would carry a water bottle. The air is dry and I was really thirsty.

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I actaully managed to stay away from the scrapbooking booths. I’m pretty proud of that.

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I did manage to see some tatting though. I’ve always wondered how they do that.

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The bobbin lace section was interesting.

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I surprised myself by getting material for a entire new project.

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I also got to see a lace I’ve made on display. Not that I’ve made that particular lace, but I’ve used that pattern. Also, look at the lace below “my” lace. It’s beautiful!

It was a great fair and I can’t wait till next year.

Neither sweaty nor sticky

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This is a lovely summer. It’s warm and sunny and just lovely. The only tiny problem with that is that it’s too warm to knit sometimes. The hands are sweaty and the wool gets sticky and it’s not pleasant at all. Luckily I am a lady with many crafts in my repertoire. I just switch to something else. Today, since I was going to be out all day and didn’t want to bring a bobbin lace pillow, I chose a small cross-stitch kit and left and when I got back I had made a flower. There are a few more flowers before this is done but I’d say it’s good progress and – most importantly – it was neither sweaty nor sticky.

What I need

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I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed the absolute lacking of knitting in this knitting blog lately. Why is that, you might wonder. I wonder too. All day at work I look forward to get home and knit and by the time knitting can be a reality, I just simply don’t know what to do. I just sit there, looking at a sad excuse for a knitting in progress, and feel absolutely nothing. No temptation, no joy, no inspiration.

I think that with the challenging weeks that passed in May and a pollen allergy season just around the corner, I simply can’t knit. I need fast amusement, like a game on the iPad which only gives you five tries and then you have to wait 30 minutes to go again once, and 2,5 hours to go another five times. Two minutes and the first go is done, ten minutes and I have to wait to go again. It’s fast and it doesn’t require much of me.

Then we have the really slow amusement. Cross-stitch. Cross-stitching takes forever if you make big things (which I do), which is a good thing. I have no pressure on finishing soon. I’m happy just to see that I’ve filled a part of the fabric that was empty before (obviosuly it’s most rewarding when you are sewing with a color that contrasts with the fabric), it shows progress and that’s all I’m asking for. Just a few stitches is enough to show that, even on a huge picture.

Just a few stitches is never enough to show progress in knitting. Knitting is fast enough that I think I should do much more than I can right now in the time available, I want to see progress, of course, I want to finish and start something new. In cross-stitch, if I get bored with one color, I change to another one. If I get tired of making the big blue part on the upper right corner, I can always change to a small red part in the lower left corner. I can switch between making long rows in one color and making just a few stitches in multiple colors. The variety is endless and at the same time I can see progress when no progress has really been made.

Knitting doesn’t work this way and there is nothing wrong with that, I will always love knitting but I usually knit for other people and even if I knit for myself there is pressure to finish before another urging project and fast approaching birthday comes up.

Cross-stitch is entirely for me and I think that is what I need right now. Something slow and amusing, that gives me time to think but requires so much concentration that I can’t think too much of other things. There is no pressure, just a few more stitches each day and I know it will take a long time before I finish. But that’s okay.

A history lesson

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I’m sort of between a rock and a hard place. I have an exam in less than three weeks and it just hit me the other day that I’m quite behind on studying for it (this always happen to me during spring, there is just too much else to do that is more intereting than studying). This needs to be prioritized but the weaving in of ends needs attention too, especially since nephew is born and he needs his Aunt Ina Sweaters (it’s a concept) right now (before he outgrows them, he is a baby, babies grow. Fast!). Also, my bobbin lace has been neglected for too long and I think we got a homework last time but I can’t remember what it was, something about different colored yarn/thread on the bobbins but I can’t recall how many pairs of bobbins were needed. And, I discussed cross-stitch today with a co-worker and now I’m dying to get some cross-stitching done. It sure is May (that’s another concept).

The thing is, I’ve spent the better part of the evening reading and writing about Polish history and I just don’t want to start weaving in ends now in the few precious moments I have left before it’s time to go to bed and another workday will deprive me of knitting time. What I want to do is knit, knit on my new little striped thingie from yesterday. And, since I am the one in charge of my knitting, not the other way around, and since knitting is supposed to be fun and not a chore, I’m going to knit. Because I’m worth it! (Seriously, I really did a good job with that Polish history. My teacher will be impressed. At least she should be. I’m very impressed myself, both for the insights

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I provide and the fact that I actually finished it tonight so I can move on the next history lesson tomorrow. Yep, totally knit time for Ina now.)

Across the linen ocean

It is still very warm even if we did have some rain in the evening. It wasn’t much though. Instead, since it was too warm to do much else, the crafts studio on the veranda has contiuned.

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Rein-deer in Evening Sun has contiuned to progress and is coming along very nicely.

With even warmer weather today I didn’t even try to take out my knitting and started to prepare to do some cross stitch instead. A few months ago I found a very pretty cross stitch picture in a magazine and I got it as a gift from my mum. It is a huge flower bouquet with flowers in every color and also some bugs: butterflies and ladybugs and bees and so.

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As mum said today, we must have forgotten to look at the size of the finished picture because when I took out the linen fabric to start by mark the middle of the fabric and sew around the edges to stop it from unravel, it turned out the whole thing is huge! And by huge I mean monstrous.

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The thing is 140 x 140 cm big (55″ x 55″) and I thought it would take me forever just to mark the middle. It didn’t though but it’s kind of hard to handle.

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Since you usually start a cross stich in the middle it means I have 70 cm (27½”) of fabric to get around in all directions from where I start. That’s a lot. Not to mention when I need to turn it to weave in the end of my thread.

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I did get started though and even though this picture will take a long time to finish, I think it will be worth it.

Paradoxes

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It’s really weird. I very much enjoy cross stitching. I have plenty of finished pictures, plenty of unfinished pictures and plenty of unstarted kits. I usually cross stitch in the summer, it’s not as warm and sticky as wool can be when it’s really warm weather. It’s soon cross stitch weather and I’m feeling it. I have sweaters I want to make but there are pictures I want to embroider. Luckily I go on summer vacation soon so that will give me some more time.

Now to the weird part. I love doing cross stitch but I find it kind of boring to weave in ends when knitting. Why? And, the most tedious of it all is to sew lace, or whatever it might be, onto fabric. It’s slow and finicking (and I am usually good at finicky stuff) and I guess that’s where the problem is. I happened to inherit, among other things, my dad’s meticulousness. I dislike re-doing things and if I do it right the first time, I don’t have to, but that means that I’m so meticolus that it takes a long, long time to do it in the first placec.

Aparentely there are boring and not boring sewing. It’s the same paradox as in that it’s fun to knit but it’s terrible to have to unravel something and re-knit it. Maybe it’s the novelty that’s fun, the new previously non-knit thing or the picture-making sewing.

So yeah, I have some tedious sewing to do. Fortunately the attaching of lace is much easier to carry with you than the actual lace making. Another little paradox.