TAST: feather stitch

You’ve read about my idea for this here, right? Ok! See all completed TAST posts here.

Last week’s TAST is the feather stitch. I did not get to it early, so I finished it today. Just in time, too, since Sharon always posts TAST on my Monday since she’s about as far away in the time zone as possible in Australia!

Front and back, per the usual here:

Also as usual, I consulted mostly Sharon’s Pintangle Stitch Dictionary page (and previous participant’s comments) and Mary’s NeedlenThread page. I also use a couple of books and internet searches. What I noticed with the feather stitch, is that it really can look radically different depending on what you do with it. It might be the most versatile one we’ve done yet!

In this section, I did a single-sided (or straight) feather stitch, followed by a knotted one, then a straight-sided in two variations (open and closed), an inverted option, an up-and-down option, and finally a triangle design.

Here, I did a crossed straight-sided pattern in the blue and yellow, and then plaited it oppositely with green and yellow (do you see the difference?). Then I made a band design reminiscent of up-side-down hearts followed by two standard feather stitches inset into each other. I finished this side with a Spanish knotted feather stitch and a line with sequins.  I don’t like the spacing over here, but it is what it is.

In the yellow, I experimented with the feather stitch as a fill stitch. And for the motif, I made a feather (so meta!). I did it by layering stitches using variegated thread, first three strands of floss followed by two. About midway with this, I realized that a straight-sided feather stitch isn’t all that different from a fly stitch, and that maybe this is a glaring mistake? Maybe it shouldn’t be included on this week’s TAST? Well, anyway, I left it as is because I liked it. But also because I know stitches sometimes go by many names so maybe that can simply explain the confusion. Tomaytoes tomahtoes?

And of course, the title piece. Once again, I had forgotten to include space for the example stitch so it is squeezed in there. Silly me! But my stem stitch is getting better, which is great because this week’s TAST is, dun dun dun, the stem stitch!

100 Day Project: Days 21-25

I fell off the bandwagon with this set. I didn’t do a single one on the day of – I blame the kitty drama and extra hours at the office! I know that the whole philosophical point of the 100 Day Project is to simply Do ___ each day, but the way I look at it is that there’ll of course be a habit-forming learning curve and, also, as long as I catch up, the practice is getting done. Not ideal, but no harm, no foul!

21.  About monthly, Boy runs an RPG campaign, designed by him and two others and the rest of us act as play-testers and generally just have a good time together with yummy food.

22. I was quite happy to get the quilt top put together! I had begun fearing I may become so behind I wouldn’t finish it in time. I have it scheduled to quilt this week and then all I’ll have left to do is binding. I think I’m good!

23. I don’t really care about the iPhone brand specifically and I hardly use it to its full capacity (I don’t even check email on it and have most of its notifications turned off). But, this day found me chatting with my friend from Peru, and I was just happy I have that possibility. It’s pretty neat to have knowledge of the world pre-cell phones and then seeing how they’ve evolved (and pretty scary to see addicts and usage by young children).

24. I’m no photographer and never will be, but since I inherited Boy’s old one, I know my blog has gained an advantage. I do need to work on taking photographs of drawings though. My house is  as bright as a candle-lit cave in the winter so that’s part of the problem, I know. The other part? I just don’t like taking photos!!

25. This is the day we took Maya down to Purdue to fix her breathing woes. While they did not return her as good as new like we hoped, she is better and at least now has a diagnosis: nasopharyngeal stenosis (that was complicated by a snot rocket). It means her airway between the nose and throat is shrinking in size and that’s gotta get fixed! I’m super glad Purdue is within driving distance and knows what they are doing.

100 Day Project: Days 16-20

I’m noticing that I revert to quick sketches more often than careful studies. That’s not ideally what I wanted with this project when I started it (I wanted to see a development in realistic drawings), but logically it makes sense. I was over ambitious, I think, to believe I could do it all, and all at once – proportions, shading, blending, and so on. It is fatiguing. So, working on sketches actually is fine – once it takes less energy to sketch something proportionally, then I can spend more energy with the other components rather than getting bored and rushing through – which is what most of my criticisms are!

16. One of my new year changes is to write more letters. I shipped the first off on day 16!

17. I struggled with having no routine after my “early and temporary retirement” so I decided to spend the money and buy a planner. I’ve used planners off and on with varying success – mostly when I was a student to try to balance everything with homework requirements. I think it is something that you need practice with; I know for me I’ve gotten better using planners with more use (I use to think I wasted my money when I hardly used them!). This planner is great – it lets you set annual, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. I especially like the “This Week’s Top Three” and the “To-Do” column with boxes for each day (I always drew in my own boxes before so this was a fabulous change!). I’m not perfect at sticking to it, but it does help me stay intentional with my time. And, since it often feels like every day is a Saturday, it helps remind me that that simply isn’t true in the world of event scheduling!

18. I was on a reading hiatus for a bit, then I trudged through Glen Cook’s Black Company (I didn’t care for it). Then I tried Brian Jacques’s Red Wall (I think I missed the age time for that), and put it down to try Robert Jordan’s Conan the Magnificent (I was curious about a 1980’s fantasy book and it definitely shows its cultural age!). That wasn’t good either, but it was a believable world, at least. Order of events (mostly) made sense. The quality of writing was there, even if the story was pretty dumb in parts. So, I decided to finally try Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. I began Eye of the World many moons ago, I believe right after grad school when my mind was still mush. I got to page 47 (found a sticky note bookmark) before I gave up. But, so far, I am finally excited to read again, yay!

19. As I earlier stated, Boy makes me food all the time. He use to hate mushrooms. And now its something he sautés all the time! YUM.

20. Lately, I’ve been working at Boy’s office quite a bit to help him catch up with some extra work. I do a lot of random things around there – getting mail or making a bank run, Quickbooks, simple hardware things, basic webpage builds, and still learning FreeBSD. (My favorite thing to do there is make a food run;) But I chose to draw it because I am super proud of him to have built a company that pays for our lifestyle – especially with me not working currently. Running a company isn’t a piece of cake, and his stress levels sometimes show the work it takes, but he loves what he does and you can’t ask for anything more.