Cross Stitch · Knit · New Start · Reading

New Year New Start(s): A Recap

Oh, hi there! Yes, it is indeed the 19th of January and here I am babbling on about New Year New Starts. It’s still timely-ish… Nonetheless, let’s talk about the things I started on New Year’s Day.

First, let me set the scene for you. It’s New Year’s Eve. My husband is practically coughing up a lung – poor thing rarely gets sick, but when he does, it’s as if he’s making up for lost time. I’m on the edge of ill myself and fighting to keep my eyes open circa 9:00PM EST. Boy, getting older sure has some fabulous perks. I was never the “go out and party till the sun comes up because it’s NYE” kind of person, but I do at least catch the ball drop in Times Square. 2017 was fixing to end with a crash, i.e. me crashing into bed well early. But I persevered. The allure of a 2018 New Year New Start was too much to pass up. As such, a pot of coffee was brewed at 9:05PM EST and I stopped stitching, for fear of dozing off, needle in hand. With great drama, I proclaimed “I’ll not stitch until next year!”

Okay, enough pomp and circumstance. At 11:59, I headed into the living room. Hubby was somewhere between awake and asleep on the sofa, watching the last few moments of the Times Square festivities. I roused him, we counted down along with seemingly all of the east coast United States: “5…. 4…. 3…. 2…. 1…… Happy New Year!” Quick peck on the cheek (because I didn’t want any further exposure to whatever plague had rendered him a pile of sniffles, coughs, and pouty-faces) and I was off to put in at least a few stitches on my new year, new start.

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 11.46.42 AM

  • Hortus Venenum, aka Poison Garden by Chatelaine, the late great Martina Rosenberg
  • Found on the website: Chatelaine Designs
  • Fabric is 28 count Antique White Cashel linen from Zweigart
  • Stitch count is 348 x 348
  • Using all of the called for threads, including silks from various dyers, several thread lines from Rainbow Gallery, and DMCs. The kit (minus DMC threads, of course) was put together by European Cross Stitch and was a gift from my husband and in-laws.

And a few stitches was really all I could manage (see below). Over the new week, though, I made steady progress. My goal was to complete the center of the design. I did not quite reach that goal (see aforementioned illness and know that it persisted far too long in my house), but I made great strides. Naturally, I fell head over heels in love. Martina’s design-style is absolutely unmatched, and her knowledge of color and colorplay will never be outdone.

Click for larger; hover over the images for rough time stamps

But that was not the end of my New Year New Start. Oh, no. Stitching is not my only interest, as many of you well know. I also read two or three pages of a book to kick off this year of reading, and casted-on two new knitting projects: a sock and a cowl-ette.

The book is The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (link to GoodReads). I have since very recently finished this book and will save my thoughts for a semi-review.

The first knit is my “first” sock. I attempted to knit socks last year, but after a disastrous result, I had to rip those out entirely and start afresh this new year’s day. I’m knitting it/them out of Sweet George Tough Love Sock in the “Westwind” colorway, following a loose general vanilla sock recipe. I’m much further along on this first sock by this point, but, again, will save further discussion once I finish the pair. The project bag is a bulldog drawstring sock bag from Zoe’s Bag Boutique on Etsy. I was being cheeky with the bag pairing: Sweet Georgia Bulldogs as I decided to cheer for that team in the College Football Playoff and subsequent Championship. Sorry, UGA, for not being able to make the difference and help you part the Tide.

My final new year new start for 2018 was the Rochambeau Cowlette by Carina Spencer. Anne of Wooly Wonka Fiber (blog; YT Channel) is hosting a Wooly-Wonka-Palooza this year, which is not only fun to say, but a challenge worth participating (Ravelry group here). The prompt for January is grey and/or lace. Me being me, I decided to tackle both in one project and then attempt to finish it within the month. The jury is still out on whether that is an achievable goal, but in due time. I am knitting this using Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering (385 yards fingering MCN 75/20/5) in the “Kindred Spirits” colorway, which was a December 2015 Classics subscription skein. The bag is a Little House on the Prairie inspired bag from Little Skein in the Big Wool from several years ago. I’m unofficially calling this my “Ann With An ‘E'” project. The host for the challenge, the mastermind behind Little Skein, and Anne of Green Gables which led to the inspiration for the colorway of the yarn all have that titular detail in common.

I don’t always match project bags to the projects inside, but every now and again, I find myself inspired and capable of doing so.

That’s enough of a ramble from me for your Friday. I hope to be back really soon with a page finish and details on a start I made back in December (of last year!! *grins*)

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