And the Socks That Rock Lightweight prize goes to...

....sciencejock! You win the skein of Socks That Rock Lightweight in Fleur de couleur. Send me email (marie_novicki at and let me know whether you've changed your address since last year. I'll send it out as soon as I can. Congrats!!

The quick weekend report: I finished the back-stitching on the mermaid and started the beading; I worked on Anasazi (needlepoint), which has been languishing in the UFO stack; and I decided that the Japanese short row technique didn't work for me either.

The longer report...

The Mediterranean Mermaid is in the home stretch! I finished the back-stitching on Saturday--the crown was a P.I.T.A. and I had to rip it out twice. I hope that it will show up better after I've added the beads. I gave the project a bath, ironed out most of the wrinkles, and hung it to dry overnight. Here's what she looked like just before the bath:

Mediterranean Mermaid, as of 1/18/14

I started beading her tail on Sunday. The pattern calls for invisible thread for the beads that are not directly on the mermaid. I'd forgotten how awful it was to hand stitch with invisible thread! It really is can't see to thread the needle! It doesn't stay in the needle and you can't knot it onto the needle because you won't be able to get it through the beads. I may walk over to Joann at lunchtime and see whether they have an invisible thread that has a little more weight to it. The one I'm using is very light, perfect for machine quilting, but not for this. I might look at the silk threads to see whether they have a pale gray or blue that might work.

Anasazi is progressing again. I finally got past those four corners that were supposed to be filled with French knots in 4 or 5  shades of teal. I filled them with basket-weave stitches using the variegated floss used elsewhere in the project.  I'll take an updated picture soon.

As for the short rows, I tried the Japanese method (safety pin) and the yarn variant, the M1 method, the YO method, and the traditional wrap&turn. I hated all of them. I can see them all, with the YO being the worst of the bunch.  So, I frogged the whole thing and started again, using W&T and trying the Cat Bordhi method of dealing with the wraps. I haven't gotten very far yet, so I can't tell whether this is better. However, I'm just going to go with it.

Sometimes, that's all you can do...