Monday, October 21, 2013

A Lot of Stitching Going On

First, on my way to the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway, I stitched on this little Halloween project which will eventually be a small "goodie" bag for a grandchild's special Halloween treat.

The retreat was taught by Thea of Victoria Sampler, one of my  favorite instructors.  She is a clever woman possessed of great personal charm and an endearing sense of self-deprecating humour.  She is also a phenomenal instructor and a gifted designer.  I have taken two classes with her prior to this one and have thoroughly enjoyed them.

Once classes started, I began the pre-work that I didn't have time to do prior to the retreat.  It went slowly, since I unstitched very nearly as much as I stitched.  This project was only my second hardanger piece and my Kloster blocks looked wonky as often as not.  Hence the frequent unstitching!  It didn't help help that I was allergic to something in the Connecticut air: leaf mold, pollen, something.   The resulting sinus pressure and headaches made precise stitching somewhat problematic.  Things improved when I switched out the magnifier I had been using [the one on the stem of my Brite Lite stitching lamp] for a simple pair of clip-ons for my eyeglasses.  The "better" magnifier had been reflecting the glare of the neon ceiling  fixtures into my eyes, making my headache worse.  As soon as I switched, things got much more comfortable and my stitching improved dramatically.  Even so, I didn't get very much done on the project.  I kept pausing to watch the instructional videos that Thea had made, not wanting to miss any details even though I was so far behind every one else.

The retreat was the first serious spate of stitching I had managed in about two weeks.  It was wonderful to feel a needle in my hand again.  The discipline of doing the Kloster blocks must have blown away all the mental fog that lingered from my recent glucose numbers spike.  The Celtic knot border on my TW stocking that had been giving me fits just two weeks ago, was clarity itself when I picked it up on Friday evening after class for a change of pace.  Considering the number of quarter stitches in this small strip of bordering, I am very pleased with the single hour's progress across the bottom of the border.

While at the retreat, I availed myself of the opportunity to shop Chris' Collection.  Chris will be retiring in November and closing up shop.  She had set up shop in one of the motel rooms and had put everything on sale for 50% off.  I resisted the urge to buy charts though there were many attractive ones on display.  I went straight to the Glorianna and bought $290 worth of silk [33 skeins] for a mere $145 ...
... and then bought a pair of Gingher scissors for $20 marked down from $40 and an adorable tiny little "airplane-friendly" pair of scissors for $5.75 marked down from $11.50.  Needless to say, I was delighted with my haul.  

There were the usual goodie bags and door prizes.  I loved my door prizes: a lovely stitchable phone case and a Glory Bee chart that announced that people who didn't believe in Santa anymore got underwear for Christmas gifts.  The motto was much more succinct and clever than that but I can't remember the exact wording as I type.  The goodie bags contained some lovely charts that I'll be offering as giveaways because I know I'll never stitch them.  Very pretty but just not my style.  The only chart I'll be keeping from the goodie bag is the Just Nan Needle Flitters: they will be fun to stitch as gifts for stitching buddies.  But more on that on another post.

As usual, the meals were lovely; the company fantastic, and the entire weekend a complete pleasure.  Sue's retreats are always a delight and I recommend them highly.

10 comments:

kimstitch3 said...

wow, what a blessing. Glad you enjoyed yourself

Julie said...

Lovely bargain stash you bought.

Linda said...

Glad you had a wonderful time at your retreat and you have been well enough to stitch again.

Linda said...

WOW!! That floss is gorgeous. Sounds like you had a fun time. Glad your stitching mojo is back.

Linda

Dani - tkdchick said...

I'm jealous sounds like a great time!

Look at all those scrummy silks! Eeek!

Vickie said...

Aaahh! So jealous of the silks and scissors.

Nataly K said...

Completely jealous of the silks. Love the Victoria Sampler project sure wish I was at that retreat!

Anna van Schurman said...

what a haul! gorgeous threads

Maggee said...

It sounds like you had a great time at the retreat! It is a good thing that you found out about the glare from your magnifier! Don't want your eyes to be damaged! Beautiful stitching starts and the border on the stocking is really coming together! Cute Halloween piece so far... Hugs!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What a great weekend. You are so lucky in the States having all these events to attend.

Those threads are amazing! I don't think I would want to unwind them, I'd just keep them and fondle them...

The stocking top is looking good so far.