Sunday, May 17, 2009

Life before knitting

Hi all! I'm back and it's actually been less than a month since I last posted! I'll wait while y'all recover from the shock :)

Thank you all for the lovely compliments on Mom's Lace and Ribs Tee! She's really happy with it too, she's already worn it three times! (which is more than I can say for some of my other handknits!)

I also got so many nice compliments/inquires on my cross stitch sampler that I thought it would be cool to show y'all evidence of my crafting life BK (before knitting, hehe)

Actually, I learned to knit 30+ years ago when I was 8 and kept it up pretty much til I moved to Florida in 1989...because there were no LYS (and no Internet!!) back then I had no access to any decent non-K-Mart, one step up from being a Hefty Bag ack-ryllic, so there was no knitting here at Chez FKD!

Of course, being a true knitter at I did have a stash, albeit a puny, well-traveled one but if I used that yarn, it would be gone (I have since used most of it but I do have a sweater's worth of Tahki Soho Bulky Tweed that I actually bought when I was in high school!)

So being of a crafty nature, I lept full force into my other favorite craft - counted cross stitch!

I learned when my BFF came home on college breaks as she went to DukeUniversity in North Carolina and counted cross stitch was mostly a "Southern" craft back then...she learned and then taught me and would send me kits and fabric from NC. Plus those were the pre-Internet days where if you wanted something that wasn't locally available, you actually looked thru a catalog and "mail ordered" it!

When I finished college, I moved to Virgina (2 towns away from said BFF) and really got into the craft. Even tho I was actually knitting back then, in fact I was teaching knitting in my LYS I was completely smitten with cross stitch. I loved that you started with a totally blank canvas and you created the picture from nothing! Plus I loved all the beautiful colors of the shiny DMC floss and the intricacy of the patterns.

So I give you some of my work over the years.....(click to embiggen as always!)

I've always lived near the ocean and had a fascination for the sea and beautiful tropic fish. This is one of the first pieces I ever created and resides at my front doorway:

Keeping with the sea creature theme as well as my lifelong enjoyment and fascination with Koi, here are the pieces that adorn my hallway:

The crab and the fruits are cross stitch, the koi fish kites are needlepoint done with cotton floss.

Here's another sea-flavored it any shock that I was born in Florida and grew up in a town named Oceanside? :)

As well as being obsessed with the sea, hehe, I LOVED doing cross stitch samplers!
I love the intricacy and all the different personal touches the original designer would add as most of the samplers I've done have been reproductions of antique samplers. These samplers were used by the young girls of their time to learn their ABC's and hone their "womanly skills" of sewing and stitching!

Here's my first sampler:

It's a Danish sampler worked on cream colored linen. You can see I completed it in 1981 while I was in college and it was one of the kits I ordered before I moved down south.

This sampler was also a kit. It's called a Freisland Sampler because it is in the style found in the Freisland region of northern Holland.

This is also done on cream colored linen. Just looking at this reminds me of how much fun they are to make! I didn't date this one but I believe it was completed in the early '80's too.

Both these samplers reside in my boudoir :)

Here's another peek at the sampler in my living room that my Mom was posing in front of.

This is a modern day sampler (not an antique reproduction) and was SO FUN to make!! It took me two years to complete because what looks like "simple" cross stitch is actually many different, complex crewel and embroidery stitches combined with cross stitch stitches. Each one of those flowers on the border took me about two hours EACH to complete! I finished this one in 1988.

Last but not least, this is a bell pull that hangs on my bedroom wall. A bell pull was used in Victorian times to summon the servants but no matter how much I ring the bell, none of "the servants" ever show up, dagnabit! Heheh...

This is a special fabric called Teramo which is a thicker linen with decoratively woven panels alternating with standard cross stitch panels.

It's a bell pull that represents the four seasons and it's one of my very favorite pieces!

Here's a close up of Spring.....

And Winter:

Hope y'all like my virtual cross stitch tour! That's more than you've heard from me in the rest of 2009 combined I think, hehe....

I just can't help it, I do so much yakking over at Sock Knitters Anonymous (we're almost at 7300 members now!!!!) that I'm all typed out when it comes to blogging....but I do miss it (and my blog friends!) so I don't think I'll ever leave it completely. Besides, where else can I share my very favorite project who resides in my boudoir and anywhere else he pleases?

Happy Sunday! :)