11th Blogiversary

Eleven years ago today I began this blog1. Back then it had a different name (Reflections in the Pond), dealt with a different subject, was hosted at a different URL, and used a different blogging platform (Movable Type). But, even after all those changes, this is essentially still the same blog. The majority of my posts from over the years can still be found in the archive, although some of them were migrated over to my other website.


Life was a bit different eleven years ago: I had just got engaged; I lived in London, ON; I worked at EB Games; I didn’t knit, crochet or sew; I played a lot of video games. So much of that would change. We didn’t actually get married for a couple of years, but we were soon to moved to Toronto, where I eventually ended up doing research and analysis for a large telecom company. We had a son a few years after that, and then I became a stay-at-home mom and took up knitting and a few other crafts. Somewhere in there, this blog migrated from being about my life to being about my crafts.

Enchanted Dreamer by Mirabillia - Completed in 2003 and made into a pillow

Enchanted Dreamer by Mirabillia – Completed in 2003 and made into a pillow

I’m actually surprised that this is my 11th blogiversary. I thought it had been only 10 years. And, to be honest, I wanted to use this occasion as sort of demarcation line to step things up a bit around here. But, it seems I’m a year ahead (or behind?) of myself. And, I’m also mired in everything that goes along with moving from one city to another. So, my blogiversary giveaway will be delayed for two months, until September 21st or there about. Also, come this fall, you will see some different types of posts. I’ll be doing some reviews, talking about techniques, and a few other surprises.

Egyptian Sampler by Teresa Wentzler - Started in 2003, and still not done!

Egyptian Sampler by Teresa Wentzler – Started in 2003, and still not done!

Hopefully you will all still enjoy my posts. I’m going to continue to share my stitching and other projects. With luck, I will have even more to share once my lovely new craft room is set up.

I actually started writing posts in November 2002, but they were off-line and added to the blog only after it was set-up online.

10 Comments | Posted in My Life, Site News | Tagged

Flashback – 1998

A few days ago I shared some stitching pictures from back in 1996. Now, I’m sure I did some stitching in 1997 (I was well known for working on little ornament kits during university lectures), but I couldn’t find any pictures. The next year I have any images for is 1998. I’ve pulled out a few of my favourite projects to share.



Back then I was still dating my high school boyfriend (thankfully, not for much longer). I stitched this really great Spitfire design for him. And, since I am petty, I made sure I got it back after we broke up. It now hangs in my dad’s bedroom. :P If I remember right, it was the largest design I had actually finished. (I’m pretty sure I was working on several other big designs at the time.) To be honest, I still really like it because it is a really well designed piece.

Heather and Harebell, Textile Heritage Collection, 1998

Heather and Harebell, Textile Heritage Collection, 1998

This is also the first year that I know for sure that I went to the Creativ Festival. Back then it was called the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival, and there were a lot of needlework vendors there. It was during that visit (probably for the fall show) that I purchased the kit for the Heather and Harebell Pouch. While I may share a name with the shrub on this little pouch, the main reason I bought the kit was because I loved the little leaf bead. And, all these years later, this pouch still floats around in one of my dresser drawers. (Okay, to be honest, I may have gone to the Festival and bought the kit in 1997 and not stitched it right away, but I’m pretty sure I did stitch this up quickly.)

Cat Shadow Box, Designs for the Needle, 1998

Cat Shadow Box, Designs for the Needle, 1998

Here’s one last little oddity from back in 1998. This is a kit that I picked up at a small craft shop near my aunt’s house. It was stitched in three pieces, and then assembled by wrapping the finished pieces around cardboard, and then everything is glued (!) into the frame. It is actually a cute technique that I think could be improved upon to produce some really lovely designs.

Do you have any project pictures back in 1998? What do you think you were stitching all those years ago?


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Flashback – 1996

I have been far too quiet lately, and I apologize for that. Our moving date is about a month away, and I know that things aren’t going to get better until September. So, rather than let my blog languish, I thought I would share some of my old finishes. (Thank you to whomever suggested this in my comments a few weeks go. I’m sorry that I couldn’t find your name again.)

I’ve only been able to find pictures dating back to 1996. That was the year I graduated high school/started university. I also met my husband that year, although we didn’t begin dating until about five years later. Stitching wasn’t my main hobby back then. Instead, I spent a lot of time playing video games. (I love rpgs! Back then I was probably playing some JRPGs on my Playstation and Ultima 7 on my computer.)

January Banner, Cross Stitcher magazine, 1996

January Banner, Cross Stitcher magazine, 1996

1996 was also the year that I started buying cross stitch magazines. The U.S. Cross Stitcher magazine was the first one I discovered, and they were running a series of monthly banners. I thought I would stitch them for myself and store them in my hope chest.

February Banner, Cross Stitcher magazine, 1996

February Banner, Cross Stitcher magazine, 1996

I never got beyond stitching these two because I soon discovered more complicated designs. I’m pretty sure I was already branching out because I had added some blending filament to some of the white areas on the February banner. Unfortunately, I don’t have any more pictures from back then, so I have no idea what else I was working on. I think I had already discovered Teresa Wentzler by this point.

What were you stitching back in 1996? Did you also read Cross Stitcher (U.S.) magazine? Do you remember the banner series?

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For the past couple of years I’ve been experiencing pain in my elbow, arm and fingers. Some times it is so bad I can hardly stand it, but it is most often a dull ache that I can ignore. After ultrasounds, xrays and several doctor visits, I’ve been told that it is a problem with my ulnar nerve. That is a nerve that runs from the front of the shoulder attachment area (just above your boob) all the way down your arm to your two smallest fingers, passing through your elbow. Guess where I have been having pain. Yep, all along where that nerve runs. (Believe me, I was very happy to find out those “chest pains” were just a tweaked nerve.)

So, on the plus side, I don’t have arthritis or anything particularly nasty. On the negative side, I’m on a doctor-imposed break from knitting so we can see if this problem clears itself. If not, I may have something called Ulnar Nerve Entrapment, which is like carpal tunnel syndrome, but in your elbow.


Unique Sheep Green Sheep Cotton Bamboo Fingering

Unique Sheep Green Sheep Cotton Bamboo Fingering

I’m also not able to knit with fabulous yarn like the one above. It is Unique Sheep Green Sheep Cotton Bamboo Fingering in colourway Enfys (Welsh for rainbow), and one day it will become the shawl Now in a Minute. My husband gave it to me for my birthday back in May, and it has been taunting me with its loveliness ever since. I can’t wait until I can cast on it with.

Now you know why my posts have dropped off a little bit–less knitting, and even a bit less cross stitch since that involves my elbow a bit too. Hopefully my crafting will be back to normal soon, but then we have to start packing move!

7 Comments | Posted in Knitting, My Life |

Needlework News

It is time for another edition of Needlework news, my round-up of interesting knitting, crochet and needlework news stories from around the world.

  • Teaching Traditional Indian Embroidery  – The Hindu (an English-language Indian daily newspaper) shared the story of Sheela Patil, an India housewife who took up embroidery to keep herself busy while her children were in school. (Does that sound familiar to anyone? ;) ) Now she teaches other women kasuti, kundan and other forms of embroidery, as well as producing pieces for sale. Be sure to click through to see a very pretty teaching sampler.
  • Knitting Stock Art – BuzzFeed has put together a humourous collection of knitting stock art. You’ve got to really wonder what some of these photographers think knitting actually is.
  • A Really Old WIP – Stitchers on the island of Alderney have taken upon themselves to finish the Bayeux Tapestry. Historians believe that the tapestry originally ended with the coronation of William the Conqueror, but that particular part was missing. So, a group of stitchers picked period-matching materials and created four new panels. If you happen to be near the Bayeux Tapestry Museum in Normandy, be sure to stop in and see the new panels before August 31st. And let me know all about it!
  • Smart Yarn – Yen Chen Chang, a Royal College of Art student, has created a series of cool machines that are controlled with conductive yarn. The yarn has been knit or crocheted into various shapes, and then hooked up to an Arduino that measures any change in conductivity. The result: a light that turns on when you stretch a tube of knitting, or an orange juicer that makes you a drink when you squeeze a ball. Very cool. Check out the video below.

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Which Stitch Results

So, did you have a chance to vote in my “Which Stitch Do You Stitch?”? If not, please head over here and add your vote.

Which stitch do you stitch?

Which stitch do you stitch?

As I am writing this post, it looks like approximately 70% of you stitch like the bottom row and 30% of you stitch like the top row. And, for those of you who are curious, I stitch like the bottom row. ;)


There were a lot of theories about why we stitch the way we do. Some people suggested it was regional, some suggested it had to do with handiness or if we were self-taught or learned from a friend. In my case, I was self-taught, and I don’t remember looking at a book for directions. I knew I was supposed to make Xs that all went in the same direction, and so I did. The oldest project I could find was from 1996, and my Xs were made the same then as they are today.

I do have a habit of doing things a little bit backwards. My dad is left-handed and he taught me to use tools, and so I sometimes do things with my right hand, but in a sort of awkward left-handed way. It is hard to explain, but if you have ever seen me fumbling around trying to do a simple task you would understand what I mean. My husband is also left-handed (although, he is really functionally ambidextrous) so my confusion continues.

So, in light of some of these suggestions, let’s ask a few more questions. First, how do you stitch and are you left-handed or right-handed? (Top row and bottom row refer to the picture at the top of this post.)

How do you stitch, and with which hand?

View Results

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Also, please let me know how you stitch and how you learned.

How do you stitch, and how did you learn?

View Results

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Thank you. More graphs and analysis to come, promise. ;)

9 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged ,

Happy Canada Day!

Happy 147th Canada Day! May your BBQ be tasty, your health care free, and your fireworks dry.


And Happy Tuesday to anyone not lucky enough to be Canadian. ;) How about celebrating along with us by watching some fun videos about Canada?

2 Comments | Posted in The Outside World |