Friday, September 8, 2017

Stitching my first nerd-love pattern

Am I allowed to use the term, "nerd girl"? I am sure that there are millions of girls out there just tossing out this phrase, and far be it for me to jump on the bandwagon...but what to say otherwise? Geek Girl is just as trendy, Nostalgia Nerd is a bit wordy, though it is actually pretty accurate and I am fairly certain no one is using it yet.

Lemme check...

Dang it, it IS being used.

Oh well, Nerd Girl for now I suppose. I'll have to think on what else to call it some more...regardless, my first, fully realized, getting-my-literary-childhood-geek-on pattern was a blast to do. I had fun playing with the pattern design, with stitching it up, with being SEEN stitching it up (so I could excitedly bore the pants off of anyone who asked about the project) and even with snapping photos of my progress every day or so just to dweeb out over the images on my phone.

Like I said, I'm a lets deal with it and move on, okay?

Now, less we forget what it is that I am talking about, maybe a tiny little refresher might be in order.  You see, I am a big Trixie Belden fan, and have been for nearly 40 years .. close enough that the actual count really isn't an issue. I can place the blame squarely on my paternal Grandmother (THANK YOU GRANDMA!) who gave me a copy of book #18 Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper not too long after it first came out in 1977. She found it at a yard sale, and thought it might be something I would like (we both loved to read).

There was no big fanfare about it...our family showed up one day to visit and she handed it over saying, "here, I thought you might like this."  No angels sang, no marching band with twirling batons ablaze marked the moment, but still, a love was born that day.

Zip ahead a few decades and here I am, with a newly-printed pattern in my hot little hands and all my skeins organized and ready to go. I could almost hear faintly in the back of my mind, "Houston, preparing for lift-off in 5...4... 3... 2... 1....." 

I'm sure that I haven't quite nearly enough explained how much I love this piece of my childhood (and adulthood, I'm not ashamed to say I still read my Trixie books, in fact, I still have all 34 of the Trixie titles Golden Publishing put out at that time. How many kids can claim to still own an entire series of books from their childhood that their mother didn't make them save? I even still have that very copy that started it all, though I have a duplicate copy to read now so I don't wear out my old one as quickly).

Again, I head off into tangents (and run-on alliterative sentences!)...sorry Houston...where were we on that countdown?

Ah yes...BLAST OFF!

My first few stitches were momentarily confusing (what's with the pale lavender? Did Trixie have a shadow under her eyes that I hadn't remembered?) Still, with each new stitch the excitement grew. My husband sweetly oohed and aahed every time he saw me stitching, but he truly was happy that I was cross stitching again after such a long break (hand of the joys my health tosses at me from time to time).

Only a few days in it was recognizable (to me anyway) what the finished piece would be...everything but those few pale purple stitches...those, I admit, were really bothering me. Sadly, I couldn't deal with them yet as they were securing my foundation stitches...I would have to wait until I had a lot more stitches laid down before I could even think of ripping them out... which I eventually did. It turns out the program read Trixie's blue eyes as a purple and plotted accordingly. I didn't notice when I was buying my embroidery thread, as the pattern had a thin, blue line around one edge of the oval frame, so I saw blue thread and thought "oh, that's for her eyes."

Nope. Thank goodness it was a problem easily corrected later on....wait...more on that in a moment.

In these first few shots you can see her face is quickly taking shape

Even more so, just going by the photos, the stitches are just flying by!

Wow, that orange is BRIGHT, but its definitely my girl coming through the stitches.


Ugh! That purple is driving me nuts...time for those stitches to GO!

Try to always keep your seam ripper/embroidery scissors don't want to be a doofus like me and risk ruining all your hard work by using tools like a screwdriver and a full-size, wickedly sharp pair of Gingher scissors! Please note: in any other situation, I cannot praise Gingher's scissors highly enough! They are well worth investing in for your fabric and thread cutting needs! 
(not that they need me to sing their praises...they know how amazing they are!)  

Whew, glad THAT's over.


Pretty new blues and I love how the colors make her eyes pop!


Now to finish up on the hair and that background

As far as the original pattern was concerned, this was complete, but that cut-off bottom edge looks very sloppy. Unfortunately, the original image that I used had the rest cut off.

And, voila, she is complete! I love how PC Stitch's program allows me to add additional stitches onto the pattern...and, thankfully, for this project it wasn't too hard to continue the shirt, based off the illustration on the back of the book jacket. 

So what happens now.  Well, as much as I loved doing this piece, I eventually decided before I was finished that I would stitch it again, but this time on a creamy yellow fabric, rather than the black.  The black is lovely, but, if you'll look back at the original book cover, the books were printed with a golden shade of yellow backdrop.  I think stitching on yellow would just feel more true to the look and feel of the books.  

So what about this one? Hmmm...I really don't have any followers as of yet, so offering it as a giveaway would be rather pointless.  I'll probably put it up for sale in my Etsy shop or offer it in one of the Trixie groups I am a member of on Facebook.  That way someone who likes the piece, but doesn't have the time (I won't say inclination, because how could someone not love cross stitch???) will be able to add it to their collection.

Or maybe I WILL save it for a about a decade when I manage to pay off some people to follow me ;D

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