Oct 14, 2011

Trying something new

Hello everyone.  I made the mistake of digging my thumb into a bunch of black walnut husks to break them open.   Was at my annual neck condition evaluation (no surgery yet!) and found out I inflamed a tendon.  Long story short, a brace, a few days, and some relief, I decided to try using a frame to help with Lucy.  My inherited frames were all donated and Goodwill no longer has them.  I kept one of K's Creations' 16" lap stands along with some do-dads that look like something a dentist would use to hold your mouth open.  I really didn't think it would work because of the bulk of fabric on the side and bottom, but wanted to try.   I've been a scooper since the beginning.  In and out one motion do it quick stitch.  Is it any wonder my stitches have no uniformity or even tension?  I know that using this method, especially on 27-30 count, I am all over the place.  But once again, liking a more primitive/early style to my stitched pieces is conducive to stitching wonkiness.
When I tried the frame last night, I had a really difficult time using my left hand to steer the needle into the proper hole.  It just wasn't working.  Getting a comfortable angle to alleviate neck discomfort was another.  I machine stitched the edges to the scrolls but with the edge bulk, it couldn't possibly be rolled evenly or produce any tension.  But I can see why you would get a nicer stitch and develop a rhythm. I think I would like to make an effort to try this  method.  I looked at other stands and think K's Z-frame would work better for me but I'm not purchasing anything until I know I can adjust to this method, and see an improvement.  Otherwise, wonky will be fine.  Another thing I noticed and didn't care for was being able to see through the 28 count while held in the scrolls, which made it hard to see the linen threads clearly.   I'm seeing how the 28 count in a lighter weight linen can make stitches uneven regardless of your best effort.  Too much room in those holes!  The vast majority of my inventory is 28 or 30 and after all the color experiments and dryer, they all (except that belligerent Amber) seem to be tighter or thicker.
Just looking at this mess is probably making some of you cringe!
For smaller projects such as Santa and pincushions, I will still stitch in hand.  I wouldn't want to hold a hoop, so having a frame or hoop in a stand with a medium sized project will be the learning experience.  I plan on starting another Santa or maybe a pincushion to give me a break when I tire of holding Lucy.  Right now, she is attached to the top scroll and letting her bottom hang out.  Hmmm.  My hand is better and I'll probably go back to the office clips soon.

The woodpecker is still ravaging the house.  I called the county Extension office and was told the bird is looking for a roost or shelter for winter.  He is making perfect large holes through all the wood until he reaches the shiny soft insulation, which he can't drill.  So he starts another hole.   He recommended I sit outside with a garden hose and squirt him when he lands on the house.  Oh my.  If those cops see that wacky red-booted wild woman sitting in a rocker squirting birds, the stories will never end.
And I have a new visitor....Junior!  Mama brought him this morning and he is a clone of his dad.  White toes on the front paws, white boots up to the main joint on back legs, solid black face, white bib.  He is trying to follow his dad everywhere and mama keeps dragging him back.  I can't get dad lured into a carrier so I will have to resort to a large raccoon trap for his de-balling capture.  Sorry guys.
I don't have any photos of fall colors since half the trees were bare a month ago and the others are mostly brown.  Did I happen to mention that I hate Fall?  My maples in the front yard turn a beautiful red and they are just starting.  I will be able to watch the transformation while outside sitting in my rocker squirting a bird.  I should probably take some stitching with me - should be good light.  Have a great weekend, enjoy this $#@& season that you all seem to love, and thanks for visiting!

10 comments:

Margaret said...

Hmmm. Your injury sounds painful for sure. I can't use a frame. Just can't. I love the freedom of stitching in hand. Won't give it up. :D Interesting about the woodpecker. I sure hope he stops soon. And the little kitten. Oh dear. Anyway, your stitching looks nice. Good luck figuring out the frames.

Rebecca said...

So sorry to hear about your holding challenges. Several years ago I had to have right hand surgery due to a severed nerve and had my hand in a case for a month. Not one to use a scroll device, it was the only method that I could use to keep stitching with my left hand. It was slow going in the beginning but I got pretty good with it in the end. Keep plugging away and you will see improvement. Your right though it does add that primitive look.
Keep stitching and enjoy.

Rebecca said...

So sorry to hear about your holding challenges. Several years ago I had to have right hand surgery due to a severed nerve and had my hand in a case for a month. Not one to use a scroll device, it was the only method that I could use to keep stitching with my left hand. It was slow going in the beginning but I got pretty good with it in the end. Keep plugging away and you will see improvement. Your right though it does add that primitive look.
Keep stitching and enjoy.

Glenna said...

Ouch on the walnut husk adventures, and I so like the vision of the bird squirting deballer. But my oh my, you're going to have to take that thing off the frame--it's giving me a conniption. I'm a scooper too--speeds up the process--I'm not so young anymore and all that poking and stabbing takes too long.

Penny said...

Hope you are pain free soon. I think your stitching is looking nice. As long as I have been stitching, I don't know how to be a scooper ~ maybe if I did I would be faster. Junior sure is cute. Glad you are having dad de-balled, because as cute as Junior is you don't want a bunch of Juniors. :)

Bertie said...

Oh horrible to have an injury on your hand, we stitchers have to be so careful!! wishing you a speedy recovery. The stitching is lovely:)
I do love woodpeckers, but not in the house lol.
Your little kitten is gorgeous!

Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

Marly, so sorry about your boo boo. Ugh, the hands hurt because the nerves are so close to the surface. I wouldn't struggle right now, let it heal. That damn woodpecker, they tell you he's looking for a home like they're real estate agents trying to place a client somewhere. Hose my foot, this is getting to be a real problem for you. I hope you find a solution fast, I just can't think of one.
Warm Regards,
Susan

Sherry said...

Nothing worse than neck pain! I would be lost without my frame! I admire those who don't need one. That is impossible for me. I do love our woodpeckers but sometimes they pound away on our gutters waking us up with a start! I want to get a house for them at Duncraft.com when possible. Lucy is just perfect! I don't see anything wrong with her!

The Evening Stitcher said...

Marly...I still use a hoop...tried one of those frames and the snap frame, but just couldn't do it either. I would love to be a "scooper", but my stitches come out horribly wrong..so...I still use the hoop. I think that's why it takes me so darn long to stitch.

Hope your hand heals so you can get back to normal. That woodpecker sounds extremely persistent..must really love your house!

Joy said...

I hope you're feeling better by now Marly. I have never been able to use a hoop or frame. Even Lucy was rolled in my hand while stitching.

I wouldn't worry about your stitching being uniform...it's a reproduction. Just pretend your a little girl doing your best;)

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