Friday, October 13, 2006

Here's the culprit!



Okay, actually the culprit is MEEEE, but...

Those of you who've been here since the beginning know that I've been racing to complete an Advent calendar for my grandgirlies, and it's competed with my scarce knitting time, as I'm in the throes of a deadline (book, that is.)

But--yay!--I finished last night! Okay, I still have to get the rod and put the cord on, but...









So that I have proof I haven't just been slacking in the evenings, here are some photos of it. The dog didn't eat my homework, after all, huh--I really *have* been working!

15 Comments:

Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Jean, the best I can do is "WOW!" With another "WOW!!!!" thrown in for good measure. I'm afraid to ask the thread count.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Thank you so much, BB. This was 14 count linen, MUCH easier than some I've done (32 count...lawsamercy, thought I'd have to give up writing because I'd be blind! But, oh, with a Mirabilia pattern, they look like paintings, they're so subtle and intricate...not a bad way to go blind if you gotta.)

This, at least, I could work without a magnifying glass, and the little charms are done on plastic mesh, so they were much easier still. Hope the little girls have fun with this!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Jean, that is just beautiful! I'm a sucker for Advent calendars. We have this old wooden one with little compartments that I load up with tiny tree ornaments every year. Then I open the doors (since my teenagers have largely lost interest) and hang them on a miniature tree. It makes me happy.

Your grandgirlies are going to be ecstatic!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Like Barbara said . . .

WOW! and WOW!

10:40 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Jean, so the background is Aida or some such and the adorable little charms are plastic mesh? I'm more in awe now than I was before.

Counted cross is like knitting lace to me: way beyond the limits of my abilities and patience. Both require artistry and precision which clearly you possess in abundance.

I loved Advent calendars too, Nancy. I remember those faintly parchment-y rectangles (weren't they usually made in Germany?) with the gentle glitter on the snow and those wonderful little windows that I couldn't wait to open because the more open windows the closer we were to . . . SANTA CLAUS!

10:56 AM  
Blogger georg said...

The trouble with counted cross stitch is I have to count- I'd rather do something a wee more free form. :) Very impressive. I assume you put a plastic thing up for every number... where do they wait their turn? Or do they come off the count down and go onto the border in some way?

11:31 AM  
Blogger kshotz said...

Wowza! The grandkids will LOVE this! How fun! How meaningful!
What a terrific project--bravo for you!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Thanks, gang!

Yes, BB, the background is natural Aida fiddlers cloth.

Georg, LOL...I'm totally with you. For several years now, I've been doing really elaborate cross-stitch, most of it in minuscule stitches, and the results have been gorgeous, if I do say so myself--but I have no pictures of any of it because I gave all of it as gifts (and stupidly didn't photograph any of them.)

But last year, I decided that I just wanted something I could sit and do without thinking much, so I "retired" from cs and picked up knitting again after an absence of years and years. Made scarves for everyone I know, a couple of shawls, and countless dishcloths.

And hooked up with my beloved BB...who has now led me down the primrose path, luring me into ::sob:: socks, which make me have to think, dang it!

In all seriousness, on the sock issue, I think I'm just going to have to go to the LYS when I get time (it's miles away) and sit down with them and throw myself on their mercy. It's the problem with how I learn, I think--no matter how well-written directions are, they make sense to me after I've seen it done, not before. It's what I had to do with an I-cord (I'm embarrassed to admit this) which now seems humiliatingly simple, once I watched it done, when before then, I just did not get it.

Me and directions have never been friends, and what that means that I'm a writer and obviously can't read...I do not know. But I DO know that I'm so glad, socks and all, that BB's primrose path led me to all these lovely new friends!

Jean
P.S. Georg, good question. I'm not even sure if the charms should be added on to cover days or taken off...and I'm still pondering whether to put a strip of velcro (not what the pattern called for but much sturdier than these little bows and floss loops) on the back to hold the ones not in use.

I think I'll defer to my daughter and let her figure it out! How's that for a dandy copout?!?!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

One more note on the sock issue. Last night, after I finished this, I decided to try a pair of BB's spiral socks on #4s (but I will be going to LYS ASAP for Addis, as what I picked up at Hobby Lobby is clearly inferior, now that I've tried your beloved Addis, BB.)

Still had to think, dadgum it, and I had to rip out three rows because (my face is red) I didn't read the directions right...but this time it was because I was all caught up in McDreamy and company and barely scanned when I should have waited for a commercial. (And I had to miss the last few minutes. He gave Meredith up, right? But then what happened? What did she say? Though I admit to finding Meredith less and less sympathetic and the whole dating two men too reminiscent of Stephanie Plum's eternal and tiresome inability to decide. But this is a new twist!)

1:07 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

That is one gorgeous Advent calendar, Jean. My grandmother was an embroiderer and I still have almost all the dresser scarves she made through the years. To my mind, they're beautiful treasures - not just the patterns but the memory of her. Alas, the pillowcases just flat wore out but I always loved using them.

Your grandgirlies are lucky to have someone who makes such special things for them.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Thank you, Fran. But I'm the luckiest--I get to have those sweeties in my life!

One of the most fun things I've begun doing is writing books for them. I use a combination of digital photos of them, adapted to fit the scene, and my own illustrations (the photos are better!) It's a whole different way of writing, but it's almost like playing, too. And they really love reading stories about themselves (and their cat, who just happens to talk when he's in fictionland...rather a smart-aleck sort, I discovered. Now when I'm with him, I keep expecting to have a chat.;))

9:25 PM  
Blogger Jamie Denton said...

Jean, the calendar is beautiful! I'm in awe.

I'm a long time cross-stitcher myself, but I haven't been able to do much of it since chemo. I did try one project, a small one, too, but ended up tearing out as many stitches as I put down. I got so disgusted, haven't tried CS since. And now, well, there's all these knitting projects occupying my (koff-koff) free time.

10:55 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Well, Jamie...as you know better than any of us, I think, life is too short to do stuff that makes us miserable. CS can produce some gorgeous stuff (how I wish I'd taken pictures of some of the things I've made) but it takes so much attention to do the beautiful stuff, and it's hard on the neck and eyes...

Knitting is better (she says, full of herself for understanding turning a heel!)

Of course, I swore I was retired, but then there was the calendar and there's still this one ornament I have to make to match two others...but then, I SWEAR I'm done with CS for a good long while!!!!

I'm just so glad you're here with us, Jamie. You have really been through it, kiddo.

12:26 AM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

Jean - I love the calendar. I used to do cross stitch years ago. This makes me think it might be fun to try it again.

As far as knitting goes, BB is a champion enabler. And she's sneaky about it, too. No pressure, she says. Just look at the pretty colors and the nice soft yarn. You don't have to do anything with it. And next thing you know, you're knitting when you should be writing books and you're throwing out family heirlooms to make room for the yarn!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

LOL, Dallas...she really is a sneaky little demon, isn't she? There she was yesterday, sick as a dog, and she's still doing the "psst...c'mere, little girl, look what I got" with yet another knitting tangent I Do Not Need To See!

But we do love you, BB--feeling better, I hope?

10:20 PM  

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