I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hey Blog Buddies,

First of all, thanks so much for all your kind comments on my last post.  I enjoyed reading every one of them!

As most regular readers of this blog know, I attended the annual Nordic Needle stitching retreat last week with my partner in crime, Joyce.  The weather was much better than last year (a high of 78F on the trip up there!), and they had the same great variety of classes and extracurricular activities that we all have come to expect.

We took two classes.  The first was needle painting and we stitched Trish Burr's Little Bee Eater:

We needed a whole bunch of colors for that cute little bird!
Each person taking the class received
a blue-green "nest" (in the upper middle of the above photo)
 which was needle felted by our teacher,
to be used for our orts. 

This is my progress so far.
His claws consist of three bullion knots.
Joyce has already finished her knots
but unfortunately I didn't get a photo.
Doing the long-and-short stitch is a lot more fun that I remembered.

Our other class was a little canvaswork box.
 Each side of the box has a Jean Hilton-esque motif.
The background "icing" is done with Arctic Rays
which goes along with the theme of the retreat: "Oh So Sweet."

Here is where I'm at.
The cupcake needle minder was a gift from our teacher.

Of course there was lots of food,
a bookmark exchange,
a tea towel exchange,
a stash exchange and 
a Christmas ornament exchange.
Despite my best intentions,
I did not get around to making anything
for any of the exchanges.
I did get photos of a couple of tea towels...

Almost every one was stitched in a different technique.

One night there was a a little demo on decorating fabric
with Sharpie markers and alcohol (!)
and everyone had a chance to purchase
an inexpensive scarf and create their own art...

We had a free day, so we took a little trip
to Dakota Fiber Mills, just south of Fargo, to see
Chris and her menagerie of animals.

This is Bert, one of two yaks living there.

 She has quite a few alpaca.
They are just the cutest critters!

She even has a camel (Abraham).
Chris was a bit upset with Abraham
because he had just gone for a roll in the mud
and of course his fur (hair?) would somehow have to be cleaned!
Her dog is in the lower right corner of the photo.
She has sheep and goats, too! 

She hires someone to shear the sheep
(Abraham's hair is combed, not shorn).
Then she spins the fur and hair into roving...

...and skeins of yarn...

I purchased a big skein of sock yarn...
It's 70% alpaca, 20% wool and 10% mohair.
This should motivate me to sign up for that sock class
that I've been thinking about for the past year!

No retreat report would be complete without
photos of new stash. 
Here are some of the freebies given away at the retreat...

And here is what I purchased at "The Shop."
I didn't go crazy--you see there's only one new chart.
The portable magnifier/light works well--
I've already used it!

All too soon, it was time for us to head home.

It's always nice to be missed!

Hope you enjoyed the Retreat.
Thanks for visiting!


cucki said...

Wow retreat sound so much fun
Your stitching is so beautiful
Big hugs xx

Anonymous said...

You had a wonderful retreat weekend and love all the things you are working on!

Izzybeads by Laney said...

Wow those are some freebies!! I love that book I might see if I can find it here in the UK my mother is an avid embroiderer and that would make a nice gift.

Love the animals and that spun wool/hair.

Anne said...

What an amazing retreat Pat! The little bird is darling as is the nest too. The little sweet box is beautiful. Loads of different stitches there! You picked a lot of wonderful kits to make! I love those photos of the alpaca and camel! So cute! Their wool looks wonderful to work with. Great inspiration to knit up some socks!!

Anne said...

I enjoyed seeing your new blog and all the fun you had in Fargo!!!

Prairie Queen said...

Pat, the Fargo trip sounds great. I would have loved the trip to the Alpaca farm.
We need to get together soon. I need a little more tutoring, but I am managing to post several times a week. No one reads it though, LOL

Carol said...

Oh, I'm in love with that little bird you're needle painting, Pat--he is just adorable! Looks like a wonderful retreat and I enjoyed seeing that amazing variety of animals--so comical looking :) Glad you enjoyed yourself, but it's always good to go home again, isn't it?

Julie said...

The little bird is adorable, what an amazing retreat.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Your needlepainted bird is amazing! I've seen other people try this and it's not as easy as it looks at all.

The retreat sounds like great fun too.

geeky Heather said...

You are making me want to do this retreat!! Your bird and box are both looking great. Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Claudette497 said...

It looks like a blast! I'm excited to see those projects get finished; the bird especially looks amazing.

Sheryl S. said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time. The little birdie is lovely.

Wendy said...

it sounds fab, and you got some great booty from it! The canvas work box is interesting, I've never made anything like that before

Wendy said...

it sounds fab, and you got some great booty from it! The canvas work box is interesting, I've never made anything like that before

Chris said...

It looks like a great time in Fargo! The class pieces look amazing! Such great new stash too.