Sunday, January 8, 2017

My (Belated) 2016 Review, Part Two

Hello again! Thank you for all the lovely comments on my previous post. I really enjoy seeing everyone's progress at the end of the year, and I think it's fun to see just how much stitching we all got done. :)

This post is dedicated to all the new starts I had last year. I think there were 19 in all, but it's possible I've lost track of something (though I hope not!). I did a lot of shopping in 2016, and found a few designers that I had been completely oblivious to and now adore. I admit I have been easily enabled through Flosstube and Facebook, but these projects are so much fun! It's like Pokemon, but it's Stitchimon -- gotta stitch 'em all! :)

So let's get to it!

I didn't have my traditional New Year's start last year as I was still recovering from surgery. So my first start of the year was a bit impulsive, and I never managed to really fit it into my rotation. But here is Climbing the Dragon Gate by Stephanie Law, chart by Heaven and Earth Designs, began February 7 and starting on page 1. It's on 25ct Lugana, using tent stitch:
I am still in love with all those greens, even though green is not my favorite color. We'll see if I can at least finish that page this year.

Something new last year was my developing love of samplers. I don't know why I like them so much, but show me a chart with an alphabet, some trees, a little house or little people, and a meandering vine with flowers, and I'll probably buy it. Bonus if it has an interesting verse. This one is the Three Things Sampler by Moira Blackburn, began February 19 on 18ct Aida:

For a few years, Kansas City hosted an awesome artist's convention, called Spectrum. I was lucky enough to attend the three years it came here, and saw so much art I was dazzled. One of the artists I adored from the get go was Omar Rayyan. So when HAED began charting his work, I knew it was only a matter of time before I chose one to stitch. I picked Crystals and Crows max color version, began April 8 on 18ct Aida, and finished page 1:

Another sort of impulsive start was Blood, by Melanie Delon, another HAED. I'd been wanting to start this for a long time, but kept waiting for the right moment. I finally got fed up with waiting and just threw some stitches at her, beginning on April 24. I'm tent stitching her on Pewter 25ct Lugana. This is another simple (if boring) background with only three colors at the moment, so I actually finished page 1 in early December:

And of course, I had to celebrate my birthday with a new start! This is another HAED called Ginger Nova by Gracjana Zielinska. I was very disappointed with my progress on her -- only halfway through page 1! But she is a joy to stitch, so I intend to make it up to her at some point. This was started May 28 on 25ct Lugana:

My mother was kind enough to buy me a special birthday present last year (after I whined and begged enough). This is a kit by Riolis, a Russian company that has some really nice designs. As I adore almost anything Rococo, I fell in love with this kit instantly. It's a bit large as far as kits go, and uses lots of blended colors. I only really sampled the stitching (starting in the center just above her shoulder) so I don't count it as a true start, but it has been started, so I'll include it here. This was begun on June 4 on the included 16ct Aida:

That little sampling of Riolis made me curious about their other kits, which use wool instead of floss. That led to the purchase of French Lavender, and its subsequent start on June 8. I must say, that wool is very nice stuff, and a pleasure to work with. It gives excellent coverage on the included 14ct Aida, without being bulky. This kit hasn't made it high into my rotation, but I like to pull it out now and again:

I found this R2D2 Silhouette on Etsy and thought it was a pretty cool, very simple pattern that I could work on in my spare time (ha!) or keep as a travel project. All that black is a bit tedious, but it's also kind of relaxing to just sit and stitch without having to think too much. I started this on June 15 on 18ct Aida:

As Abi at Bellastitch would say, I had to "drink the kool-aid" on this one. The design is just too cool! When I saw it, I kind of ransacked my stash and started it on the first fabric that it would fit on, even before I had the chart. That may have been a bit precipitate, as I'm not really crazy about the thread I chose. It's a Threadworx variegated cotton I had on hand, and it's really thin. But I do like the color, so I haven't quite been able to decide if I want to restart or just go with it. But here is Death by Cross Stitch, from Long Dog Samplers, began on July 3 on 20ct Aida:

The Frosty Forest series from Country Cottage Needleworks is just too cute! How could I not start it? I'm doing all 9 on the same fabric in a 3x3 grid. This first one is in the middle of the top row, began on July 16. It's stitched on Wichelt 32ct Belfast in Touch of Gray:

I love this design by Stitchery Stitch on Etsy. It's simply called Paris, and represents the city in geometric blocks of color. The color palette is packed with jewel tones and brights, which I don't get to stitch with very often. This was started on July 23 on 18ct Aida:

Another cool Etsy find is my Geometric Bunny from Velvet Pony Design. This became my travel project for the year and has accompanied my to many waiting rooms since starting on July 26. I've stitched from about the brows to just above the nose, on 16ct Aida:

And who can resist the Disney princesses? Not me, apparently. This is another Etsy find, from Neni Design, and I bought a bunch on their 10 for $10 sale. Ariel is my favorite, so I started her on July 31 on 16ct Aida, though she only saw 3 hours of stitching:

Sampler Game Board by The Drawn Thread is one of my absolute favorites. I love those tiny houses! Each one is unique and feels like a tiny finish. I began this on August 7 on 32ct Platinum Belfast:

He Holds Tomorrow by My Big Toe Designs was stitched as a birthday present for a friend, and was my second finish for the year. This was also the first time I framed a piece with foam core and pins. I think it turned out pretty well. This was stitched on 32ct White Lugana. I started on August 15, and it took 12 mornings to stitch:

Cats in Winter is another Riolis kit, and it's pretty tiny, just 5x5. It's part of a series of cats in their various seasons, and they're all rather cute. It was an impulse buy from Everything Cross Stitch when they had it on clearance for $5, and I've only stitched on it once. The included 16ct Aida is a bit small for the wool, but not too bad. I started this on August 18:

I sort of "discovered" Prairie Schooler designs last year and splurged on quite a few charts. Red Riding Hood is my first of their designs, and I think I'm hooked. I started this on August 21 on 32ct Antique White Lugana:

I also stitched my first Lizzie Kate design last year. This is Big Girl Panties, my third finish for the year, and another gift for a friend (though I'm late in getting it to her). The chart has a companion piece that I may stitch for another friend sometime in the future. This is on 32ct Ivory Lugana. I started on October 11 and it took 11 mornings to stitch:

My last start of 2016 came about through restlessness and chance. I was attempting a bit of stash organizing, figuring out which patterns to stitch next and which fabric to pair with them, and ran across a bunch of Rosewood Manor charts. RM has become a favorite designer, and I stash their charts whenever there's sale. When I discovered I had all the supplies for Quaker Compass, I just sat down and started stitching. This one is on 32ct Platinum Belfast, began October 16 (forgive the q-snap wrinkles!):

So that's it for my 2016 review! Hope you've enjoyed all the pretty pictures. :) It's kind of staggering to see just how many wips I have now. I'm hoping I don't end up with a wip for every day of the year -- that would be too overwhelming. Yet part of me dreams of starting everything in my stash (or at least a good chunk of it) and just stitching on whatever strikes my fancy. The other part of me -- the progress oriented side -- thinks that is too absurd and I should focus more on finishing. So starting a bunch of smaller wips was kind of my compromise. (Did I mention I'm a Gemini?)

I've got lots more starts planned for 2017, in addition to working on all of my current wips. Sounds like a challenge! Hopefully I can make a Goals post soon, at least to keep myself straight. In the meantime, happy stitching everyone!


  1. Ha I had the exact same thoughts! I want to stitch everything but I need some finishes so I started doing the Nora Corbett Bewitching Pixies. They're small enough to finish in a week or two. (I'm an Aries though ;))

    All of your projects are beautiful! Have fun stitching them!

  2. So nice to see all of your pieces and the work that has been done on them. It is so difficult deciding whether to see each piece grow slowly or choosing to focus on one and see a lot of progress.

    Good luck with all of your pieces, the detail is stunning in them all.

  3. Oh how much I enjoyed seeing all your new starts and I am looking forward to see some more in 2017 =)
    I also have so many things I want to start, I starte to worry that I won't have time to stitch on everything and by then end of the year I will feel sorry for not working on something. Maybe I just have to get used to having a lot of WIPs and need to get some structure, I have 3 new starts plannes and already feel like adding another 5 or so :D