sIf I had a few more snow days God only knows how much I could get done....stitching that is...no housework. Yesterday I finished the Pine Mountion, "Best Thing to hold onto" and started one of the hornbooks from Priscilla's Pocket. Since that is over one, and it was night, well I decided to only do a few of the letters and move on to something new. After all, new is so much fun. I came across the Lovebird pin cushion from JABCO and since I finished the Lovebird framed piece a couple of weeks ago I decided to get the pin cushion finished so he could sit with his partner. If you haven't seen one of these kits, they come complete with everything, including the wool roving for stuffing the pin cushion. I just opened the kit up, and as always I looked at the directions first and that's usually about the time I fold the directions back up and put the kit back in my stash. It's a whole lot of directions on the page, but...and this is a big but...if you take it one step at a time they are really very easy to get through. So this time instead of putting the kit back, I proceeded and finished "lovebird" last night. I think he really turned out ...well beautiful. I did make a minor change. JABCO instructs to close the beak and stuff it. But I like his mouth open (it won't surprise you to hear this, but I was actually thinking of finding a fake worm to hang out of it....but I decided to edit myself). I also finished a chore...and I do mean a chore for me....doing duplicate stitch on a knitted throw for a woman who came in to get instructions for doing the duplicate stitch. Sara asked if I could help her since I knew how to do it and Sara hasn't had to do any yet. So I came over to Salty Yarns quite willingly. But the minute I started speaking with the woman I knew I had a problem. She asked if I would just do it for her, and I said, "No, I'm sorry but I don't have the time for that but I'll show you how to do it." Please keep in mind that the woman had never been in our shop before, had been in the shops in the area where she purchased her supplies, but nothing from us. Anyway, I began showing her how to do the stitch and she just couldn't do it well enough. She would do something that to her looked like the duplicate stitch, but mercy, it was driving me crazy. Then she put gum in her mouth and I thought I'd lose my what little mind I have left. It was getting close to 4:00, which as you know is our closing time and I just couldn't see her ever getting this done correctly. Now, in the 1 1/2 hours she was in the shop she was talking, also to her credit, she was constantly saying "I'm going to pay you" no matter how many times I said, I wouldn't accept payment for showing her how to do something. She said, "I will certainly pay you since I've paid everyone else." She paid someone $70.00 to chart the letters she wanted and to weave the yarn ends into the lap robe, which isn't that huge, so I just didn't feel it was proper to take any money. The main problem was they charted a shadow alphabet for counted cross stitch, which can't be done in duplicate stitch. I just felt she had been taken advantage of so I ended up bringing the darn thing home and redoing the lettering (I had tried to use just the block lettering on her chart in the shop and got 3 done, but wasn't happy with them), so I googled a duplicate stitch alphabet, pulled out what had been done and redid the whole thing. So that was another finish for the day, even though it wasn't for me. I think next time I should take a sample swatch and show people how to duplicate stitch on that, so that I force them to learn. Fortunately for Sara, her knitting pupil is doing beautifully and after Sara taught her to knit and purl she's now knitting a sweater. Sara will now be the one who also shows how to do the duplicate stitch...I can promise you one thing...she will not end up taking it home to finish it for anyone. It's funny that this happened because while on the way to Nashville we stopped in our usual shops....a couple of knitting shops..one in Franklin, Tennessee and they asked if we would discuss policies of the shop with them. One of their questions was, "what do you say when someone comes in and asks for help but didn't purchase anything from the store?" ( I guess we are not alone.) I can't help but feel we must help those who can't do it...but I also want to know if that person sees that it's not right to ask help from a store where they have purchased nothing at all, at any time. If this woman had been a customer of ours it wouldn't seem so outrageous to me, but to never have been a customer at all....well, how does she expect independent stores to stay open just providing free help? Enough said on this subject. To the right you see another finish. Yes she did offer to pay, but I'm not comfortable charging for help. Oh, well...the traumas of a shop owner. On to other finishes. I'm really getting the hang of the JABCO kits. This is a pinkeep from JABCO. I thought it was so cute. We have a couple of diehard sheep collectors. Debbie and Cynthia are always on the lookout for sheepish designs. Anyway, I do have a tip on the JABCO kits. I noticed on both the Lovebird pin cushion as well as this pinkeep, they always put the pieces together and then instruct you to do the attaching of buttons, stitching of design whatever after you've put pieces together. That makes it almost impossible to hide knots in thread, etc. (yes I said knots). But if you attach the buttons or whatever first, it makes things a lot easier. For instance on the pinkeep they have you attach the body of the sheep to the green wool and then sew on the head and the bell. But if you assemble the sheeps body, head and bell and then attach to the green, it works a lot easier. Another thing, don't get intimidated by all the wordage (new word?) you see when you first take out the directions. It's so much easier to ignore that and just start at step one. I had taken out the directions on this piece a couple of times and then just put it back in a bag because it was too much. But in reality, last night it only took a couple of hours from start to finish. And it's so cute. I showed you the back because it's one of the large round decorative buttons from JABCO...there is so little stitching on this piece ....just attaching the sheep body to the green. The ribbon is holding the front to the back and the wool inbetween. Fast and easy folks.
7 hours ago