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. ;)

10 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 |

TUSAL – June Check-In

Late, late, late. Just like always. The little man finished up school on Friday, and I feel like everything has been a whirlwind since then. If things keep going at this pace, summer will be over before you know it! Anyway, on to this month’s Total Useless SAL (TUSAL) picture!

TUSAL - June 2014 ort collection

TUSAL – June 2014 ort collection

The colours for this month come from Lily of the Valley Fairy and from Child’s Heart.


If you’d like to learn more about the Total Usless Stitch Along, check out It’s Daffy Cat.

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Smalls SAL – June Check-In

It is the last Wednesday of the month, which means it is check-in time for the Smalls SAL!


I stitched another Teresa Wentzler design this month: Child’s Heart from the June 1990 issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine.

Child's Heart, designed by Teresa Wentzler

Child’s Heart, designed by Teresa Wentzler

The colours are very bright, and I think they are meant to bring to mind a rainbow (although, green is missing). And, while the rocking horse itself is very Teresa to me, the rest of the design isn’t something that would come to mind when thinking of her style. But, as I understand it, back in those days she designed on commission for Just Cross Stitch, producing pieces that fit tight requirements, whether or not they were her style.

Mencius, Chinese philosopher (image via Wikimedia Commons)

Mencius, Chinese philosopher (image via Wikimedia Commons)

The quote in this design comes from Mencius, who, despite his Greek sounding name, was actually a Chinese philosopher from approximately 372 – 289 BCE. Although I had never heard of him, when I asked my Chinese husband if he knew who Mencius was, his answer was an uncharacteristic “Hell, yeah.” So, apparently he is well-known by some people. ;) In fact, his dad gave us a copy of The Sayings of Mencius just last month. I, of course, forgot about that. This particular edition translates this quote as “An important man is one who has not lost his childlike heart-and-mind.” (The Sayings of Mencius, 4B12) I think the version in the stitched design rolls off the tongue a little easier.

So, on to you! What did you stitch this month? Please leave a your link in the form below, and don’t forget to visit some of the other participants. And, remember, for every month you leave your link, you get one entry into the end of the year draw. If you drop out of the SAL at any time, or miss a couple of months, all your previous entries still count.

Next month: July 30th will be our next check-in date. So, summer may be here, but keep stitching!

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