Sunday, June 30, 2019

June Wrap Up

Hi all! I should really be packing right now, but what the heck! I've got a few tidbits to share, and I'd better do so before I forget everything. I'm moving in a week and still have lots to pack, but I have to keep stitching or the stress will overwhelm me. Plus work is starting to get hectic again, so there's gonna be lots of overtime in my near future. Better stitch while I can!

So, I had a bit of startitis this month, even though I did so well up until last month. But I went shopping with my overtime money again and bought a bunch of kits, which made me go and fondle all the kits I already own and haven't started yet, which led to my first start. I'm sure you've seen this a millions times, but I still think it's beautiful. This is Chickadees and Lilacs from Dimensions:
I've been wanting to start this for at least 3 years now, and almost did while I was doing the year of starts, but something else always came up and this got pushed aside. No more! I worked on this for 6 days and made a fair bit of progress thanks to all those tent stitches. I've also decided I can't start in the middle of projects anymore. It's like there's too many options of which way to stitch. So I started in the bottom right corner, something new for me, and I'm really loving it. It just makes my brain happy. :)

My second start was one of my new purchases, but I've literally been drooling over this one for a couple years. I found it for a good price on ebay and snatched it up, and started it two days later. This one is Hollyhocks by Riolis:
Again, I started at the bottom. It's been a long time since I've stitched on black aida, so that takes some getting used to, but I love how the colors look on the black. This is only 3 hours work, but you can see the first leaf taking shape. The lighter color is actually a blend, and this kit is very specific about how the stitches are worked. For this one, it's two strands of the same darker green you see for the bottom leg of the stitch, then one strand of a lighter green for the top leg. I generally work in rows, doing all the bottom legs then crossing for each row, so I had to adjust the way I stitch while working the blend. But I really like the effect.

As proof that I don't only work on my new starts, here's some progress on my 12 Days of Christmas by Jim Shore:
I finished all the stitching for 3 French Hens, but again, there will be a ton of beads, which is why it still looks unfinished. I thought this one would take a lot longer than it did, but it was actually easy stitching. Hopefully I'll have this back out in July to get a start on 4 Calling Birds.

I've also been focusing on Quaker Compass by Rosewood Manor for about a week. I'll probably keep working on it for another week, but here's a bit of progress to show:
My goal is to finish the bottom left quadrant this year, but there's still a lot left to do. The stitching does go pretty quick though, even if it's a lot of stop and start stitching with the tiny motifs. I wish I could take a better picture to show how those colors look in real life. I love the muted palette. Those gray greens are very soft and warm. :)

I think that's all for now. I didn't get my columns finished on Luna this month, but I'm not too far behind. My rotation is still off, but I'm still stitching, so that's all that matters, right? Hope everyone is making fantastic progress on all your projects. Until next time! :)

Sunday, June 2, 2019

April/May Catch Up

Hi stitchers! It seems I've fallen off the blogging train again. Haven't been posting on Facebook or Instagram either. I blame too much overtime plus trying to find a new apartment. Every spare moment I've had goes to stitching, not posting.

We had three weeks of mandatory overtime at work, minimum of 15 hours extra each week. And you know, once it stops being voluntary, it stops being fun and starts to kill you. But I think I've recovered now. :)

My stitching really suffered for about a month, but I've stitched almost every day, and I've hit a few milestones. First, I'll share a finish on a cute little project from Little House Needleworks. This is Stitcher's Prayer, stitched on 32ct Raw Belfast, finished May 25th:
Forgive the crappy lighting, it's been a struggle. I really like how this turned out. I don't have any immediate plans for it, but perhaps I'll frame it once I find my new place. It could be a good start to a new stitchy wall. :)

I also managed to keep up with Luna, and now have half of page 15 done:
I've kind of started a new way of stitching on this one. Instead of stitching down one column, I'm stitching two at a time. And instead of stitching each color within a full block, I'm doing two rows at a time, using parking. It sounds fiddly, but with only a few colors, it's super easy and goes fast. I don't even have to mark my pattern anymore. I don't think I'll stitch this way with high confetti areas, but it's awesome on the background.

I've been trying to keep up with my Elizabeth Oliver sampler by Moira Blackburn. I'm trying to finish at least a row every year, but I kind of fell behind with the first section. I think I can catch up though, since the next two sections are all text, and that goes pretty quick. Here's the full image, which is hard to photograph properly:
It seems odd that I can't stitch the blue border yet, as it has to be stitched in the same direction all around. But I am loving all the little motifs so far.

The last thing I want to share is a new start. Yes, it finally happened. May 13th, I started Eliza Knight by Hands Across the Sea Samplers. This is my second HATS start, and my second Eliza, but I just couldn't resist this one. I can't say what I like exactly; I don't even like green that much. But the sampler is very symmetrical, and has a lot of flowers and trees and little motifs. Overall, I just love the look of this one. So with my first bit of overtime money, I treated myself to the fabric and fiber kit from Sassy Jacks. The fabric is 45ct Woven Sedge with Au Ver a Soie silks, and I must say, the silk is definitely worth it! Here's my progress so far, starting in the bottom left corner:
I've stitched on this one every day since I started. I really don't want to quit. My May rotation schedule has been completely ignored, and I think June's is out the widow as well. I don't know how long I'll keep going, but I'm just gonna roll with it.

Here's a couple of close ups, though the lighting is still terrible:
 That branch the parrot is sitting on contains my first over 1 stitches ever. They came out a little sloppy since the thread is really too big for the fabric, but I'm okay with it. (At a distance, they look fine.) I think the large trees at the bottom are what really sold this pattern for me. They're like three trees in one. First the checkerboard, then the dark green oval, then the black triangle. I really love how it comes together. And the trunk is actually stitched 1 thread off to make it perfectly centered. That was a little daunting to stitch, especially since the threads are so close, but the fact that it's centered just makes it sing for me. :)

The fabric is actually not the best. I'm stitching Eliza Bell Cox on 46ct Zweigart linen which seems easy, but this 45ct Woven Sedge is extremely dense. I have to use my magnifier, and even then I can't always see the threads. (It's only a 5x though.) It's not so bad I want to restart, but sometimes I have to count very carefully with the tip of my needle and hope I'm not messing up.

So here's something interesting. Sassy Jacks actually sent me the pattern with my fabric and fiber kit, even though it wasn't part of the kit. That means I have two Eliza Knight patterns. Which means I'm willing to pass along the extra to anyone willing to attempt this beast, free of charge. I know most of you either like really small things or really big things, but if you're interested, just leave a comment or send me an email. And I don't mind sending international. :)

Well, that's all for now. I've got to get back to stitching. Until next time!

Sunday, April 7, 2019

4 Mini Finishes

Well hello there! I didn't expect to be away for so long, but it's been overtime every week since early March, plus cleaning up my mother's house in preparation for selling it, and getting my stuff cleaned out since I'm moving soon. March was a busy month for me! But overtime is over (for now) so I should get back into the swing of things.

I didn't do a ton of stitching last month, but I did get four mini finishes done since I've last updated. First off was a page finish on Blood page 4, and a small start on page 5:
It's interesting how the sky is so gradually getting lighter. And I'm more than halfway across the row! :)

I also finished the Snowgirl's Cottage on Frosty Forest:
I used DMC 800 for the house, which was a bit of a disappointment for me since my Morning Glory was so pale and plain. But I think it turned out nice. I forgot to take a pic of the whole thing though, so you'll have to wait til I finish the next block.

Next, I finished page 15 on Moon Indigo, the first page on row 3:
The sky here is getting more uniform, so hopefully I'll be able to keep up my pace with her as I start packing things up to move. I'm not actually moving until July, but I'm trying to downsize the amount of stuff I have, which is pretty challenging. Right now I've got a ton of boxes sitting where I usually stitch on Luna, so they'll have to be dealt with before I can make more progress.

Last is my project from last week. Since I've put Blood away for the year, I'll be working on Jinn, which is far more colorful (and confetti heavy):
I only got in 3 days last week since I've just been worn out from working. But it was enough to finish off page 2. I had hoped to finish another page this year, but that might not happen. Also, I'm trying to decide if I want to skip down to the next row or continue across. Hmm...

Well, that's all for now. I'll try to post more than once a month, but only if I have good progress. It just seems like so much is happening this year! But at least it's Spring and getting warmer. :) Hope you all are enjoying the season! Until next time!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

February Wrap Up

Well, February wasn't the best stitchy month for me, but I did reach a major goal, so it wasn't a total loss. I think February always throws me off because it's such a short month, and this year I was sick, plus there's been so much snow! Earlier this week, we had ice in the morning, which caused a lot of havoc, but I chose to stay home and stitch. :)

I haven't updated in two weeks, so here's what I was working on two weeks ago, my French Lavender kit by Riolis:
Please ignore the hoop marks. :) I worked on this for 6 days because I just couldn't put it away. I was tempted to keep going on this one, but I think I'll stick to my rotation for now. I was so happy to finally get the bottom of the basket done. I even backstitched it! The only bad thing is that I didn't notice one of the symbols in the leaves was supposed to be done in half stitch, and I did full crosses. I was debating just leaving it, but I think I'll restitch it after all. I like the textured effect it gives. And I'll have to take better pictures next time so you can see better. (Sorry!)

Luna did not get much attention in February, so I only managed a column and a half:
I'm still hoping to finish this page in March, so I'm still on track. It just feels like I'm going really slow on her lately.

This week I also worked on Stars by The Drawn Thread and managed a finish!
I got a lot done the day of the ice storm, so I just had to keep going to the end. The vines at the bottom were supposed to have buttons attached, but I didn't want to do that, so I stitched some red flowers instead. On the left, those are Leviathan stitches, which is a variation of the stitch used on the vine at the top. On the right, I did tiny Jessica stitches using a diagram I found on Google. Those were really easy and just add a little something different. So here's the full view:
I wish I knew how to get a better picture, but my phone just doesn't like to cooperate. But you get the idea. I'll have to custom frame this one, so it will be a while, but I'm so happy to have this done. This brings my wip count down to 67? I think? :)

That's all for now, I guess. I might start updating every 2 or 3 weeks now, just because I've got so much going on. We're really behind at work, so there should be a lot of overtime in my future. Hopefully I can keep up with stitching though. (Fingers crossed!) So, until next time! Happy stitching!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Catching Up

Well, February has been a little disappointing so far. I've been kind of sick over the last two weeks, first with a three day migraine, then with a 7 day cold, which I'm still getting over, but I'm mostly well again. Just haven't been doing as much stitching as I would like.

I missed last week's update because I wasn't feeling up to it, and all I had to show was a few more rows on Blood:
I feel like I should be stitching faster on this, but again, I was sick, so I should probably go easy on myself. This will be out again the first week in March, so hopefully I'll have a page finish next time around.

Last week, I worked on my Frosty Forest, but I don't feel like I got a lot done:
I was very happy to get a start on the house though. Those stones look very nice to me. Unfortunately, my Morning Glory, which is used to stitch the house, is both disappointingly pale and unvariegated, so I'll probably end up stitching with DMC. It really is a shame though; that house was one of my favorite elements of the whole design. Ah well.

I think that's all I have for this time. We're having a pretty wet winter here in KC. I think it's snowed about every three days, several inches at a time. Then we get one or two nice days, enough to melt the snow before it snows again. And yesterday was my mother's wedding. She is very happy; I'm just happy it's over. :)

I guess I should try to get more stitching done now. Until next time!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

January Wrap Up

Hi all! January was kind of a crazy month for me, and I can't believe it's already over. I had a really good stitchy month though, mostly because I was off for quite a while with the government shutdown. :) I worked on 16 different projects and managed some good progress on a few, so here are a couple I haven't shown so far.

First, I'll share my weekly project from last week. It was Stars by The Drawn Thread, which I'm hoping to finish this year. I think I'll manage it, but it is taking a bit longer than I'd hoped. The good news is, I've reached the bottom of the chart:
The leaves really slowed me down since I stitch most of them one at a time. But the tree is officially done! I still have to stitch in more stars among the branches, but I was too anxious to get to that house this time around. That little house did stitch up rather quickly. Just have the windows and door to finish up, then three more houses, then done! Hopefully that will happen in early March. :)

And of course I worked on Luna, and managed 2 1/2 columns:
I'm hoping to do another 2 1/2 columns this month, even though it's a short month. That way, I can get to page 16 in March. I'm really anxious to get to her wings, so it's spurring me on!

I also worked on Kabuki this month, and met my goal without too much fuss. She looks really wierd right now, but page 6 is now complete:
I'm hoping to pull her out again this summer and at least finish the right side of her face. Then we can see those ruby lips!

Now for my special project. Does anyone remember the Chatelaine I started in 2017? I kept meaning to pull it out last year, but something always came up and I didn't think I could give it the concentration I needed to for all those specialty stitches. So on New Years Eve, I felt determined to get some stitches in for 2018, and I finally pulled her out. It was really daunting at first, but I think that was because I thought it should be difficult, but it actually wasn't too bad. So I kept working on her occasionally in January, and I've made some decent progress:
I added a bunch of petit treasure braid; all those dark green Algerian eyelets; light green diamond eyelets; brown ray stitches; and of course, those pink Jessica stitches in the center, my first ever. I'll say this about Jessica stitches: they aren't difficult if you can see your fabric clearly and have a long enough thread. I also counted my stitches along with the diagram, so I knew exactly where my needle should be with each stitch. And they took me about 20 minutes each.

If you're wondering, this one is called Medieval Cloister Herbularius, and someday will look like this:
My goal this year is to finish off part one and start part two. All I have left for part one is the backstitching around the leaves in the center, and a cross stitch border that outlines part two, so that should be easy. I'd love to finish part two this year, but that might be too ambitious...

Guess it was a long one this time, but I do feel like I made some good progress. Hopefully I can squeeze in a lot of stitching for February too. Wishing you all some great stitching. Until next time!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

French Lavender

Just a quick update today on French Lavender, my kit from Riolis. I only got 4 days of stitching on this, but there is some visible progress:
My original plan was to finish off the basket this week, but after the first day, I really wanted to stitch with some color. So, I've started some of the leaves on the right side of the basket, and it was hard not to keep going up that side. But I really want that basket done! I should have it done next time though, and I'll probably do the backstitching there, too. I also started the shadow underneath, and I think it adds a little depth.

See? Short and sweet. Not all my posts are rambly. :) Next week I'll be working on Stars. Until next time!