Stitching

Zombody Loves Ewe Socks

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I finally finished a pair of socks!

I feel like these took me so long, my left hand gets super grouchy if I knit a ton so I have to take days off which is totally a bummer. Nothing makes me happier than a pair of plain socks on my needles, I like being able to work on them with friends or in the car and not have to do a whole lot of thinking!

The yarn is Zombody Loves Ewe by Desert Vista Dye Works it was a Valentine’s Day present from Chop. I liked working with it because I’m such a sucker for a speckled yarn, the decayed bits cracked me up!

I truly love knitting the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, it fits so well and is really fun to knit. I know I sound like a broken record but if you haven’t tried this heel yet, give it a try! It’s super satisfying.

Naturally I’m already plotting a new pair of socks. I saw this braid of fiber a few months ago and pretty much died. I loved the colors so much but I’m absolutely not a spinner! I tried in college and just failed at it. I’ll just live vicariously through you guys. I fell over when I saw that Mutant Flamingo was now available as sock yarn! I literally texted Ashleigh and did a little dance of excitement. Can you see the little speckles?! It’s so cute, plus I’m a sucker for anything zombie/mutant themed. Also: cat label!!! <3

My knitting time is also slim because I’ve been cross stitching so much and to be honest, I’m addicted! I’ve been enjoying my afternoons just cross stitching and listening to music. I feel pretty lucky that people seem to enjoy stitching our patterns, it just makes us design more and work harder. When I go a few days without stitching I start to miss it! I’ve started becoming border line obnoxious to Ashleigh, I text her cross stitch work in progress photos about a million times per day. It just doesn’t get old!

I took a few photos of a new project we dropped off to be framed, I’m going to share them later on this week. Cross stitch is surprisingly tricky to take photos of! One of the projects is on this hand dyed green fabric that is so hard to capture, it’s really unique. I think I love indie dyed linen just as much as I love indie dyed yarn. We recently contacted two different thread manufacturers to hopefully work with later on this year. Both are really beautiful and smaller companies who I think if you like to stitch, you’ll like to use their thread!

Are you guys familiar with Welcome to Night Vale? It’s a very spooky pod cast that is presented like a community broadcast and it.is.weird. In the very best way! Chop & I have been listening in the evenings and sometimes we just look at each other and go “WHAT THE WHAT!!!!!” It’s very dry and twin peaks like. I’ve also started reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown which is also spooky and strange. I read The Darkest Minds this weekend and I was kind of let down. I loved Liam (darlin’) but I couldn’t muster any feelings towards Ruby.

:):)

Follow Your Arrow & Cross Stitching

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Hi!

Happy Tuesday!

This weekend I finished my Follow Your Arrow Shawl.

And I have so many feelings!!! (I’m waving my hands around like a maniac- be thankful you can’t see that.)

Ok, first off. What an incredibly enjoyable knit. I literally didn’t want it to end. So, so, so much fun! I dragged this shawl with me everywhere. I’m currently wearing it as a lap blanket while I write this.

Second off. I can’t figure out how to wear it! Ha! Typically I wear triangular shawls with the point forward, like a kerchief. This is a different shape and when I wear it that way, it looks as if I’m wearing a bib. Not the best look.  I tried to wear it traditionally, with the narrow ends around my shoulders and I look as if I’m pretended to be a super hero. Oh dear! I also ADORED knitting with these colors but wearing them…oh boy. I don’t know if I can wear that much hot pink near my face without looking like a clown! ;)

It honestly doesn’t matter though because I adored knitting it. And it matches my compound bow. Once I figure out how to comfortably wear it, I’ll take more photos & do a big blog post with details.

I started working on cross stitching a new pattern that we are planning to release this spring and it’s cuuuuute! For some reason it reminds me of a cross between The Great Gatsby & Downton Abbey. I made a new little Hoop Travel Bag to carry it around in. Porkchop bought me a fat quarter bundle of Catnap for Christmas, I keep trying to sew stuff with it but it’s very rare for me to own an entire line of fabric at once so I sort of want to use it all in one quilt but finally I decided CAT BAG!!!!

Last week Ashleigh & I received the sweetest surprise from Rachelle of The Cottage Needle! She had Sugarloaf, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s official mascot, turning into a knitting needle gauge and a thread minder! EEK!!! Adorable right?! I am so into cute notions and this is like a little dream come true! I asked her if she could order more and she can if you like him too!

On Friday Porkchop is taking me to Stitches West, I’m pretty excited, I’ve never been before. I’m hoping to find a skein or two of some yarn to turn into special socks. Is anyone else going?!

See you later January!

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I definitely didn’t mean to leave everyone for practically the whole month of January.

I was working through some health stuff last fall, it’s something that has been bothering me for years and I finally decided to get a second opinion. Which turned into twice a week dr’s appointments (lots of knitting time!) and all was going ok-ish until the past few weeks when everything sort of imploded. I’m always trying to look on the bright side of things because there is always someone out there who has it a lot worse than you, but I’ll admit I’m feeling not myself lately! Major GrumpChop Status!

On the bright side, hanging out on the couch has given me a LOT of knitting and stitching time!

I decided to make my own personal yarn club this year, I filled up a Buffy bag with yarns I reallllly want to knit with in 2014. So far I’ve made one pair of socks and cast on for a second. I’m making toe up Monkey socks with Miss Babs Northumbria Deep Sea Jelly Fish! I’ve been keeping this project in my purse and haven’t really been knitting on it during the evenings becauseeeee….

My 2014 big knitting goal was to knit another shawl! I picked two colors: Madelinetosh Sock in Pop Rocks & Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Winter Woods. A few days later Ysolda started sign ups for Follow Your Arrow and I was totally in. I absolutely LOVE where this shawl is going. It’s funny because I don’t ever wear bright colors but knitting this is pure joy. I find it really comforting and relaxing. Each clue has been very achievable, it takes me about two afternoons of knitting. I’d consider myself an advanced beginner in terms of knitting skill level. I’ll admit that every Monday morning I look at the spoilers before I pick my clue, lol. The European folks usually have a few photos up by the time I have lunch. It is really hard to pick though but I keep leaning towards the girl-y lace-y options. Again, not very like me but it’s totally a blast!

In the afternoons I’ve been cross stitching too. I’m working on my Once Upon a Time Sampler. I’m excited for you guys to see February. I think my favorite month is November, I’ve been debating turning that one into a zip pouch or something. I stitched up a little  owl Valentine’s Day pattern too. I’ll have more details on it once we release it :):)

I saw a few people had questions about framing. We have our projects professionally framed. I’m still working on the best way to take photos of finished projects for the pattern covers and how to pick mats that look nice with frames! Sometimes we go to a local framing shop, other times we go to Michaels. Both times (in Chico, CA) we’ve had good experiences. The only thing I recommend is be patient. Maybe have a snack before you go in. ;) Lately I tend to get incredibly overwhelmed very fast and just pick ANYTHING to get out of the store and had my most favorite project, 12 Days of Christmas, framed with a horrid red mat! What on earth was I thinking?! I need to go back and get it switched out. That being said, framing is expensive.

I framed myself above little owl project myself this afternoon because it fit in this frame nicely, it came with the double mats already. I got it at Michaels-abuy one, get one free deal and since I stitched it on perforated paper, I just popped it into the frame and held it to the backing with acid free archival tape. I think it was around $34.00 for two frames, both with double mats. One is wood, one is white. There are all sorts of ways to frame projects yourself, some people use framing fabric adhesive and tape their projects around mat board, there are also mat pins and lacing as options. I’m waiting for a few books from amazon and the library about finishing your cross stitch, once I have more details I’ll report back.

I am not sure why my blog hates firefox, it’s the browser I use! I’ll have Chop look at it this weekend and see if we can get the comments fixed. When in doubt, you can always email me at: thefrostedpumpkinstitchery at gmail dot com :):):)

<3

Coastal Cranberry

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Do you have someone in your life who is just incredibly full of life, absolutely hilarious and just a privilege to know just because you know that just having them in the world makes it *that* much better? Last Wednesday I said goodbye to my friend Judy and I sort of feel like the world is a little dimmer without her in it. My friend Brenda Lou blogged about her and it sums her up perfectly, the pictures she posted are so amazingly Judy. She also spoke at her service and I’m so glad she did. <3<3<3<3

Chop & I don’t visit Eureka very often, it’s a really emotional place for me. It’s where I learned how to quilt and met amazing friends. It’s where Chop & I decided to get married. It’s where I went to college and then dropped out. It’s where I learned I need the sunshine more than I ever realized. It’s where I learned that there are some things I just can’t see on a daily basis. Going there always sort of stirs up all these emotions in me.

Seeing my friends was absolutely fantastic, Judy *loved* tea parties so after her service the quilting ladies threw a tea party in her honor. They all wore pearls, long gloves, fancy dresses and prepared little sandwiches, it was incredible. I wore a cat dress. And a sweater. Because I forgot how dang cold it is on the coast!

After the tea party we walked around Old Town, my friend Katie suggested two shops: Yarn & North Coast Knittery. If there was ever a time for retail therapy, this was it. I got a skein of Madelinetosh Sock in Black Velvet and a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Cranberry Ice. As I was looking at them I realized I must have had cranberry sauce on the brain because both skeins are different, yet the same! Isn’t it funny how our minds gravitate towards a color but in different variations?!

We had a great dinner out with my friends Liz & Larissa, followed by ice cream in Arcata. This trip was so much food! SO MUCH! But one place, omg. Larissa mentioned a new ice cream shop in Eureka called Living the Dream and holy smokes! The flavors! THE FLAVORS!!!!! Avocado gelato! Siracha! Miso!Tomato Basil Sorbet (I had this one! amazing!) Humboldt Smokehouse Bacon (Chop had that one!).

It was so, so, so nice to see my friends, I can’t say that enough. Even though I “see” them daily on facebook, it’s so different than when I’d sew with them twice a week. I miss having that sense of belonging for sure. They welcomed me into their group, taught me literally EVERYTHING about quilting, encouraged me and just are great people.

On our way home we took something Chop & I refer to as “the owl drive”. Ironically here in Gridley we also have an “owl drive”, the one here we see barn owls & great horned owls. The coastal version we’d see short eared owls. We used to drive out there and sit up high on this cliff over looking the ocean and just talk. I’d mostly cry (it was truly a rough time in my life) and he’d hold onto me. I tend to do my best thinking in the car, surrounded by nature. I think it makes me feel small and helps put things into perspective, does that make sense? This time the drive was quiet, I thought about how drastically my life had changed in four years, about my friend Judy, about my husband. It was a good drive. We went down on the beach and walked in the sand.

I worked a little bit on my Cameo, it’s the perfect car knitting, very relaxing. I haven’t worked on it since then because we are gearing up to launch our two new clubs: The 12 Days of Christmas & Christmas on Gingerbread Lane! It feels so good to just sit on the couch and stitch away. Also! New albums came out on Tuesday that I’ve been looking forward too! I can’t stop listening to The Magpie and the Dandelion and Let’s Be Still, I think I love Let’s Be Still more right now but that could change. Also, last winter one of my friends burned me a mixed cd and it had a few Bon Iver songs on it, so I also got For Emma, Forever Ago. I think of the bunch, that’s the best for cross stitching too. But it’s been out for a million years ago clearly, I’m the last to know. ;) (also, these are amazon affiliate links! But remember, I only link to things I actually buy and like.)

I’m going to go back to stitching now, I’m in the process of finishing this project by Friday. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with it yet, I thought about having it framed but people in our Stitch-a-Long Group have been posting the cutest wall hangings and pillows from their projects so I might do that. :)

Sock Sack pattern winner and a little review of Doodle Stitching- Embroidery & Beyond!

(bottom photo from Beth Sweet)

I can’t believe it’s already May! When did that happen? I feel like this year is FLYING by!

Lately I’ve been doing a bunch of cross stitching. Like, more than normal. I think right now I’m averaging 5-8 hrs per day because we have a ton of new patterns coming out (don’t forget that I co-own a cross stitch pattern company with my bff!). And then I sneak in a few hours of embroidery on the weekends.

I have this dream that when we buy a house next fall (yes! next fall is our goal! o m g!) my kitchen is going to be filled with hand embroidered linens. I want a ton of feed sack towels and then a bunch of indie silk screened ones too. It’s kind of become an obsession. I feel like I’m squirreling away all these handmade treasures for the future in little boxes.

A few months ago Beth from Lark contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in a copy of Aimee Ray’s new book, Doodle Stitching- Embroidery & Beyond. I said YES! Full disclosure: normally I don’t say yes because I’m not really the advertising sort but I said yes because I really enjoyed Aimee’s first book- Doodle Stitching! 

This book takes off where that one stops- it shows you different sorts of stitches from cross stitch to crewel, sashiko & cut work. It’s pretty neat! My favorite project in the book is called Canvas Cuckoo Clock- it’s literally a clock that you embroider! It’s super cute, I already traced the design onto a tea towel.

I think it’s a pretty cute book, I don’t really love the look of cut work & stump work but she presents them in an easy to understand and fun way! This book is definitely geared towards someone who wants to broaden their handwork repertoire and I like that! But there are also clear and concise directions with illustrations on how to do basic stitches as well.

If you’d like to win a copy of the book and embroidery floss, just leave me a comment! This is the last giveaway for a while, I have some books I read in March/April, plus a quilt to share with you! I’ll pick a winner on Sunday!!!

PS: The winner of the sock sack pattern is EMMA L! Emma, can you email me so I can forward your info along to Ramona?! thank you! I loved reading all your comments- I added so much stuff to my ravelry favorites which is great because I had to frog a pair of Hermoine socks…noooo! :( :)

Weekend Plans

Hey!

TGIF! TGIF! TGIF!!!!

I’m looking forward to this weekend. I don’t have anything giant planned but there is something about a Friday that makes me super excited. My only plan so far is to visit Kittle’s & look at shot guns. I heard a rumor of an early birthday gift. Not something that I normally do on a weekends but it’ll be fun. My dream right now is to own this. ;)

I got something fun in the mail, new sock yarn and new knitting needles. I saw this review of carbon needles, I wanted to give them a try in the future. I ordered the needles and the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool on Wednesday with my JBWBucks and I was super excited that they came this morning. That’s speedy! The yarn is called Colinette Jitterbug in Paintbox, doesn’t it remind you of one of those sprinkle birthday cakes with all the bits of colored sugar inside? I sort of want to make one now! (ps: this cookbook has my favorite sprinkle cake recipe: Milk)

Isn’t that donkey knitting bag incredible? I received the most amazing pink themed package from the sweetest blog reader (Beth) who sent me things so perfect that I almost died. It was like she was in my brain. I only got a cell phone photo of the treats but I think I need to do a blog post of all the presents I’ve received lately because I have incredibly kind and generous friends. I need to figure out some things I can sew as thank you gifts. Any ideas?!

I’ve been cross stitching non stop but I’m still not any neater or faster, haha! I’ve been listening to The Discovery of Witches for the zillionth time and working on Woodland Sampler! That’s a pretty big sneak peek for April. I’ve also been working on Springtime Sampler for a few hours each morning. I’m thankful for the library’s selection of audiobooks for sure!

Actually, has anyone read Iced? I’ve recently been re-reading the Faefever series from start to finish and I’d purchased Iced when it first came out but I forgot how annoying I found Dani and only got a chapter in. Now I’m not sure if I should give it a second chance?! What did you think of it?

I found a new little storage bin at Target for my cross stitch supplies. Every Wednesday Ashleigh & I take a small business class, then afterwards sit at a local coffee shop & cross stitch. I’d been using a little gingerbread man tin I got from JoAnns but it kept exploding open in my bag. This plastic one has a lid that clamps in place. Not too shabby for $2.99! I right now carry floss for Springtime Sampler and Woodland Sampler, plus needles, scissors, highlighter tape, yada yada yada. It’s thinner than my gingerbread man tin too! If you cross stitch or craft on the go, check out Target for these. They came in gray, aqua and green. But they aren’t on Target.com :( I’d love to finish stitching week 2 of Springtime Sampler this weekend and April’s Woodland sampler this weekend!

I sadly lost my Smashbook this fall. I have no idea where it went. In February I got a new one, I went with hot pink this time. I’m hoping to add some things I’ve been collecting to it soon. Agnes sent me some Studio Calico wood veneer stars that are quite possibly the cutest things ever. Also: I love glue.

Do you notice anything pretty in these photos? A new quilt! Now I have my finished Farmer’s Wife, a scrap quilt (who’s name I can’t decide. Shoofly? Churn Dash? IDK) and now this quilt to show you! It’s not bound yet and I probably won’t bind it for a little bit, I managed to make the fun of binding a scrap quilt last over a week so I’m hoping to do the same with this one. Lindsay quilted for it and omggg. I took it out of the box and seriously almost died. I posted a photo on instagram but it doesn’t do her quilting job justice. She basically took a boring quilt and made it SING. It has this shiny pink thread that I can’t stop looking at. The wool batting is making it look extra sweet. I know, I know, all my quilts are starting to look the same. Lots of pink and neutrals. I don’t even care. As soon as I pulled it out of the box my second thought was…I WANT ANOTHER PINK QUILT FOR HER TO QUILT FOR ME. It’s an obsession.

Soooo what are you doing this weekend? Hanging out at home? Wearing leggings as pants? Eating candy? Cross stitching a new Ireland pattern? Drinking green beer? Reading a book? Gardening?!

Long Weekend Projects

I started a little embroidery yesterday for a friend who’s having a baby. I’m super slow at embroidering so I figured I’d get a head start! I’m using this pattern, because mama-to-be is a Kurt Hasley fan. I don’t know if it’s going to be a boy or girl yet so I picked some constellation scraps for the background. Stars are gender neutral right?! ;) I super love iron on patterns, I’m the absolute worst at tracing and for some reason the whole “iron it and it’s magically on your fabric” is really magical to me. I’m a nerd. ;)

Porkchop made me a little scrap thread holder! It’s a piece of 4″ x 6″ wood that he wrapped fabric around and stapled down. Then he hammered a few nails in it and we sprayed it with a bit of glitter spray. I love it so much, I tend to just leave little piles of floss everywhere and now I have them all together with me!

I finished my Donut Quilt on Sunday night, it was the best weekend of sewing, relaxing and watching t.v. Those are the best kinds of weekends to me.

Also! Voting ended in our poll for the next patterns! We’ll be doing Japan, Australia and Ireland! Ashleigh is already designing and I’ve ordered new linen/evenweave for us this morning. I can’t wait to start stitching them and sharing sneak peeks! I was begging everyone I knew to vote for Japan, Ireland and Russia, but sadly Russia didn’t win! But once these patterns are done, we’ll have another round of voting! :):)

I hope you had a nice long weekend :)

DIY Glitter Linen

Raise your hand if you love glitter!

Meee!!! I loooove glitter. Fierce. And I also love cross stitch. Combine the two and you get pure radness!

You can buy commercial glitter linen from sources like dovestitch.com but if you are like me and want the most glitter for your buck, try this!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Krylon Glitter Spray or Krylon Glitter Blast. I can only vouch for these two sprays, different brands may vary. I picked Glitter Blast in Diamond Dust & Glitter Spray in a Multicolor. The multicolor has bits of red, blue, silver, gold and green. I went with Krylon because these are acid free. I purchased these at Michael’s with a coupon. The small can is $5.99 and the large is $7.99 without a coupon. You could get a LOT of glitter linen out of each can. And they had a ton of colors, gold, silver, pink, green, etc.
  • Linen Scraps. Please try this project on scraps first, I’d hate for you to buy expensive linen and have it not work out!.
  • Either newspaper or paper bags. Or your front steps. Just a place to spray your fabric outside.

 

You really want to work on this project outside, it’s spray paint and it stinks.

I simply laid down my fabric and using even strokes, covered the fabric with the spray paint. Easy right?

Here are a few tips:

  • Let the fabric sit 24-48 hrs before you try to stitch on it. Not because it’s wet but because the fumes are crazy.
  • The fabric will be SUPER stiff. I found I liked it, but if you don’t want super stiff fabric, you probably don’t want to try this project.
  • I completed an entire project with minimal glitter shedding. Occasionally I’d look down and see a piece of glitter or two on my hands but it didn’t fall everywhere.
  • The fibers of the linen can be stuck together, meaning it’s a little easy to miscount but a few stitches in I figured it out.
  •  It WILL darken your fabric considerably. In the photo of the spray paint cans, the linen on the left has been glittered, the right hasn’t.

 

Here in this photo shows the original linen rolled up and then the glittered linens below it! Exact same one, Charles Craft Irish Linen Tea Dyed! See how light it is compared to the glittered ones?! Neat!

Look how awesome glitter floss looks with glitter linen?! This is Cosmo’s White (silver!) and it’s super dreamy looking. I’m working on a project today with this sparkle floss and I can’t wait!

See how nice the stitches pop?! This has been ironed on low with a dish towel between the iron and the linen. It is FLAT. Crisp even! Imagine the cutest bookmark ever and this could be it. Sometimes my regular projects I have to starch in order to get the crinkles out but this fabric is so stiff that the crinkles just fell out. Amazing!

Anyways, I hope you give it a try! Ashleigh & I will be releasing a line of brand new Valentine’s Day patterns on Friday, if you haven’t had a chance get, come visit us on facebook! We aren’t spammy (that’s just not our nature!), we share tips & tricks and post photos of things other folks have made from our patterns :)

Satisfaction in Mending

I love to mend.

I sometimes wish I had a time turner like Hermoine so I could occasionally  constantly punch my 18-24 year old self in the face.

Oh that torn garment? No biggie, I’ll just throw it out and buy charge a new one. Embarrassing behavior that when I mull over it becomes horrifying.

I was grabbing my winter sweaters and saw a favorite old  wool J.Crew number had some holes in it. I almost started to cry. It’s the perfect thinness that is great for layering, it has 3/4 length sleeves and is WARM. After realizing that I definitely can’t afford a new one, I sat down with myself and thought “self, you are a dummy. fix it.” It wasn’t just the finances of it, I really didn’t WANT a new one because this one is just perfectly cozy!

20 minutes later: glitter mending. cute sweater that isn’t falling apart. 20 minutes of day dreaming, relaxing and watching thread sparkle.

I’m not pro at mending by any stretch, I recently repaired my favorite set of sheets that became snagged in the dryer by embroidering a teeny peach over a hole. I guess I feel like mending can either be a chore or something cute. I’m going with cute. Always cute. And when in doubt: add glitter.

I used Cosmo embroidery floss and their sparkle floss. It’s SO smooth to stitch with, little to no snags and it’s more puffy than standard metallic floss. Also, not itchy!

Here are some inspiring mending links:

I secretly want a darning egg. And more glitter floss. I’d love to put patchwork elbow pads on a worn out sweater, how cute would that be?!

August Aurifil BOM

August’s Aurifil Block of the Month is BARI’S!!!

Bari’s pretty rad, I got to meet her at Sewing Summit last year and she’s pretty hilarious!

She has a really neat blog called We Love French Knots that is all about hand stitching, full of tutorials and neat links. Her main blog is here & she just finished all these really neat projects from her new line of fabric, LillyBelle! I’m totally out of the fabric loop and somehow missed this line (maybe I’m living under a rock?!), it’s BEAUTIFUL! I have my eye on some of these prints, especially the navy and mustard ones, just really pretty! And I really love Art Gallery’s base cloth, it’s quite nice!

She’s designed a cute block with a lily on it! Awesome!

If you stitch up Bari’s or any of the other Aurifil Designer’s Blocks, be sure to add them to the flickr group (which is BURSTING with cute stuff!) and if they pick your block, you can win thread! best!!!

I recently used the 12 wt cotton in my sewing machine for some free motion quilting, you can read about it here, so even if you don’t do a lot of hand work, it’s really versitile for both!

:):)