First, I'd just like to say thank you to everyone who let me know I was not being selfish in speaking to my parents about dinner at their house. Just to let you know, I spoke to my mother about it, and she has always understood. We've come to an arrangement. If we're invited for dinner and my father makes anything that has onions in it, then she will personally call and order me a panzerotti from my favourite pizza place (which I miss so much now living an hour away!), and if my dad doesn't like it he can sulk all he wants. After a couple visits, she's pretty sure he'll get the idea. So it's a win win. I still get to visit every few weeks, if my needs are not met, I get the bonus of my favourite panzerotti thrown in. Can't say that's a bad deal.
Second, you'll have to excuse my rambling today. I've got loads of things popping into my head as I type and will probably be all over the place in my posts!
Excitement is growing. February fast approaches, and with that comes the release of My Mother's Garden II. If you haven't read my previous rambling about it (because there have been quite a few rambles!) I'll explain. This design will be the next mystery design in The Gift of Stitching Magazine, and will run for six consecutive issues. I'm not going to spoil the mystery, but I will say it's big. :)
February also means Nashville, where Daffodil will be making it's debut. Daffodil, Forget Me Not and Hearts Entwined will all be making a visit to the show, the models will be on display in the European Cross Stitch suite. :) Man, I wish I got to travel as much as my needlework does!
And a little off topic... February also brings my baby's birthday. My baby will be turning 18 this year. :') As this milestone in my son's life approaches, I'm full of mixed emotions. My son will be an adult. Okay, well he'll legally be an adult. Metally... well... not so much. lol He's come so far in the past year. He's decided on a career and is actively pursuing it, he's buckled down at school (though he's decided and I agree that he'll return for one more semester of high school next year to boost his chances at getting the college he wants), he's gotten himself a job, and he's mostly dumped the attitude. He stood up to his alcoholic, absentee, on again, off again father and told him how he feels - and btw, the jubilation I felt when he did that was very difficult to contain, but I really didn't want his father hearing me hoot and holler in the background when he did so. He's grown up a lot in the past year, there's no denying it. And there's no denying how proud I am of him.
Okay, soppy crap out of the way now before the tears start streaming again. lol
A little announcement for those of you reading in the Southern Ontario area (or anywhere I suppose if you want to pay shipping) - if you are looking for the March 2011 issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework, containing the reprint of the American Sampler by Sandy Orten - Brenda at Country Accents in Brantford has just ordered it in. If you would like one set aside, call or drop her an email. I know a lot of places are selling out fast.
And something I read on a message board prompts this next comment. A tutorial of sorts....
Silk threads and fraying. Why do certain brands fray badly, etc. etc. If you're having this problem with the silk you're using, (or cotton for that matter) there are simple and effective ways to overcome it. First, check the needles you're using. If you're using John James or DMC - get rid of them. They almost always have burrs in the eyes which will catch on the thread and cause it to fray. Look into getting some Bohins or Piecemakers. The eyes of these are much, much smoother as well as slightly larger, which will lessen the friction on the thread. They're a little pricier, but not much. Plus they don't break and they take a lot longer to tarnish, so the price evens out as you can use them much longer. Second, check the size of needle you are using. The needle should be large enough to open up the hole in the fabric so the thread glides through effortlessly. If you're finding a lot of drag against the fabric, try going to a larger needle. I tend to use a 28 needle for 40 count plus, a 26 needle for 32-36 count and a 24 needle for 28 count (unless I'm stitching over one). It makes a great deal of difference in making the thread behave better. This also applies to different thicknesses of threads - for perles and metallics, definitely stick with larger needles - it will save you a lot of aggravation. These two simple things will make a world of difference. A couple other things you can try, though I don't find I need to if I use the right needle - dampen the thread before stitching. A slightly damp washcloth or sponge does the trick. However, wait for the thread to dry before using it especially with overdyed threads!! There is always the chance it will bleed onto your fabric. Use short lengths. I don't go terribly short - I pretty much always use an 18" strand. That seems to work fine. I wouldn't recommend going longer. And finally, I hear recommendations for Thread Heaven a fair bit. I won't endorse it as I've never used it personally. I should probably try it on a test piece to see the result. I don't want to take the chance that it will ruin the work or leave a residue on the thread. If anyone has any feedback on the stuff, I'd love to know before I test it out.
Oh, and on the subject of thread - and Nashville for that matter - I'm also excited about all the new colours coming out! Will have to update my thread collections again. Oh darn. More stash. Good thing I've got new designs to sell to pay for it. :D
And onto stitching A.D.D. It is inevitable with me, as I near the end of a project, I always, always stall. I don't know why. It's not that I've lost my stitching mojo, because I daydream about all the things I want to stitch - just not the project I'm trying to finish. And it's not that I don't want to finish it, because I really do. In fact, I'd be stitching right now, but was up for the diversion of blogging. In the past few days I actually find myself looking for things to do other than stitch - which is strange, I know. I do this every single time. WHY????? I'm bloody well almost there, and if I could just concentrate on it for a couple more days it would be done. Finished. Over. Finite. Then I wouldn't have to daydream I could just stitch something else. Honestly, if it wasn't a model, I'd have switched already. Maybe that's the problem - I know I HAVE to finish it. Not because I want to, but because it's necessary. Hmmm.... food for thought.
And finally, way off the topic of stitching. I've discovered a terrible diversion and time waster that I've fallen head over heels in love with. Cityville on Facebook. Anyone tried it? I can't stop myself. I'm addicted and I fully admit it. ARGH!
Okay. Now I have to stitch. After I check my city of course.