Unlike many of you who consider their stitching year to run from January 1 to December 31 my stitching year runs from the last Saturday of July to the last Friday of July before that Saturday. I know this seems a bit odd to you but it really makes sense. My stitching year revolves largely around what I will be entering in the Iowa State Fair competition each summer. As items have to be dropped off the last Saturday of July for competition, my last day to finish anything is the last Friday of July before that Saturday. I actually start looking for inspiration for Christmas gifts and Fair entries during the Fair. I check out blogs, look at newsletters, go through my stash and WIP during the month of August. This year I'm taking the advice of my friend, Laura who volunteers at Fabrics and Threads during the Fair and have printed out the list of all classes I can enter projects. She recommends as I finish an item Fair worthy that I mark it off that list so that the next thing I stitch I will pick something that will fit another class. Smart idea as sometimes I end up with 2 or 3 items done but unfortunately they all fit the same class and you can only enter 1 item per class. I am
pleased embarrassed surprised to say that for the first time ever I picked up a piece from the framer during the Fair that is an entry for next year's Fair. It was a fluke really as it was a design the shop owner knew I would love - which I did - and stitched it up quickly. She found the perfect molding to make a frame in her back room and it turned out so FABULOUS that it has to be an entry for next year! I'm moving right along on my 2nd finish for the 2014 Fair as I write.
As you noticed from the post title, it appears this year is going to be a year to finish the unfinished. This is a picture of the baby afghan I started for my dear friend, Margo's first grandchild. We lived in the same gated community while stationed in the Air Force in WA and her little girl has grown into a lovely young woman who is going to be a mom for the first time. I started crocheting this back in the winter or spring (so long ago I can't remember) but set myself a goal to finish it before we left for vacation and get it mailed to Canada before August ran out. I hunkered down yesterday and crocheted the last skein and a half of yarn and finished it just shortly after 10:00 pm last night. As we do not know the baby's gender I chose a baby yarn in white with specks of blue, pink, yellow and green throughout. I chose a ripple pattern and the finished size is 41" x 48". I like to make my afghans big enough to wrap a baby in during the winter and so when they grow into toddlers they can still use the afghan as do many of my midwest crocheting friends.
I'm currently working on another unfinished project (my 2nd 2014 Fair project) that I'm looking forward to transferring to my finish pile. I started this one years ago (2008) and kept running into it this past year while looking for other things. It was just begging to be finished so have been working on it the past couple of weeks. This is Live, Laugh, Love by LaDDa. I've changed all 3 thread colors. It was charted for Gloriana Silk or DMC but I opted for overdyed threads. For GS Charcoal I'm using CC Blackbird; for GS Slate Green I'm using CC Camouflage; for GS Red Clay I'm using GA Weathered Barn. I'm still trying to decide if I'm stitching it on a piece of Lakeside Linen (I'm pretty sure it is) and if it is I'm thinking it is 32 count. The more I stitch it the more I like it. I think the alphabet used really adds to the design's overall look.
I've also pulled out a piece I started more year's ago that I care to remember. I started it on a piece of fabric that I'm pretty sure is Cashel and I HATE STITCHING ON CASHEL. I'm sure that is why I've not made any progress on it. Keith and I took a little trip to Stitch n Frame last Saturday afternoon and I've chosen an entirely new fabric to stitch it on. I'm hoping to put the first stitches into it sometime this weekend to see if I think this fabric will work. A totally different fabric which will give it an entirely different look than what the designer did. I know the floss toss looks great on the fabric so am keeping my fingers crossed that it will look as good stitched.
On the reading front I'm still plugging my way through Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson. In the meantime I picked up Shattered by Karen Robards and have to say it was a pretty good mystery for me as I did not guess who did the crime. I usually do once all the characters are introduced so this makes 2 in my lifetime that I have not figured out once the cast of characters was introduced. I read the thing in 3 days time. I realized book club for the 2013-2014 year starts next month so am starting Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal which is our September discussion. I've decided I will take October's selection with me on vacation which is The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock (think Downtown Abby). I think it sounds like the perfect thing for evenings at the hotel after a long day of walking.
Tonight is date night a night early. Bill and I are going to see Two Guns tonight which has been on our to see list for awhile. Last date night (last Friday) was spent at the Fair. We ended up sitting down at the Bill Riley stage and watched a free show with a hypnotist. Funny - I'm talking serious belly laughs for an entire hour. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard for that long.