Monday, April 12, 2021

Big Finish #3

 Hello lovely people! I'm finally back for an update, and I've got some good progress to share.

March was a pretty hectic month for me, and my stitching was all over the place trying to meet the challenge in FCF (which I did, by the way). I kinda wish I had stuck to my planned rotation, but it was also nice to touch on so many of the projects I did, even if for just one day. Most of those projects are scheduled to be worked on again, so I'll share pics when I get to them.

In the meantime, I finally managed a huge finish I've been working toward for quite some time. Yup, I finished Elizabeth Oliver:

I haven't added up my total time and stitches yet, but she did take me 162 days to stitch. This was the second sampler I ever started, and there's a lot I would do differently if I were starting her now. For starters, I'd have stitched her on a higher count to make her smaller (she's 22.5" x 25" on 32ct). And I would have changed some of the colors, particularly the yellow and pinky brown. (Fun fact: 407 is my least favorite DMC color.) She does have some blended colors, and I love the way they look, but a variegated thread might've been just as nice.

Overall, I'm thrilled with how she turned out, and I actually took her to the framer's the same day I finished her. It's still kind of surreal though. I finished her on April 10th, but I could've finished her a bit sooner. Unfortunately, when projects I love are nearing a finish, I actually find I don't want to work on them, probably because I don't want to let them go. And also, I let myself get totally distracted by a new start.

So I have finally caved in and started the Modern Folk Embroidery sal. I really thought I could resist, but I've been seeing it everywhere and the fomo is real. So I spent a couple days trying to pick out some colors and just started:

I think my palette could use a little tweaking, but I was way too impatient for that. The purple isn't as light as I had pictured in my head, and the brown isn't as dark, but it's the only brown that wasn't too dark or didn't clash with the purple. And of course there's more than 2 colors there. I just couldn't decide! So I'm using a handful with two darks, two lights and a mid tone.

This arrangement was purely happenstance as I was sorting colors. They ended up in a pile, and I went with it. So it's DMC 30, 31, 32, 779, and 451. The fabric is 40ct Latte by XJuDesigns. And if you haven't noticed, it's an uneven weave, and I actually kind of like it. I counted it out, and it's 41 threads in width, but 44 threads in height. So my octagons will be a bit squished.

My focus piece for April is Luna and I've already managed to finish off page 20 (and yes, her hair is finally complete!):

I've got a good start on page 21 now, so a row finish is in my near future. :)

Lastly, here's my Temperature Library for March:

Had a warm start (highest was 77) but mostly 50s and 60s. The painting on the shelf adds a really nice touch, doesn't it?

Ok, I think I'm mostly caught up now. Hope you all are enjoying the changing seasons. Until next time!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Finish #2

 I made a big push the last few days, so I was able to finish Wonders of Space today! So happy with how this turned out:

I made a few adaptations to leave out the words that were charted, and I think it looks pretty good. She's got another version of this chart where each square is a solid block, but I rather like the speckled look. It should fit nicely into an 8x8 frame, so hopefully that will happen soon. If you're wondering, this is from Climbing Goat Designs on Etsy. She has another stitch along for this year, but I'm happy with this one. :)

I've been stitching other projects as well, but they're still a bit haphazard as I'm still working on the History challenge in Full Coverage Fanatics. But I did manage 3 days on Crystals & Crows and added about 350 stitches:

I'm kind of struggling with this one a little bit. I love it, I want to stitch more on it, but my progress is just so horribly slow. I don't know if I need to adapt my stitching method again -- though honestly, I do like this one best -- or if I should just go back to my 18ct version. I'll persevere with this one a while longer, but sometimes it's hard for me to enjoy a piece when I'm constantly questioning my methods. I guess I just need to have patience.

I'm almost done with my History challenge (just 5 to go!) so I should have the random bits done this week. I still need to get in my stitches for the counting portion though. I'm also planning to switch my focus piece to Elizabeth Oliver until she's finished. I still can't believe I'm almost done with her! I guess that's all for now. I gotta get to stitching! :)

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Going with the Flow

 I had a plan for March. I had a handful of wips to work and focus on. But then along came the March History Sprints in Full Coverage Fanatics, and I got all swept up in the challenge. So while part of me is a bit upset that goals and plans have been pushed back, the other part of me is saying, Hey, this is fun! And wasn't that the ultimate goal for this year? To enjoy my wips and go with the flow? So I'm trying. It's still hard to be flexible. But I've managed to take on the challenge, rearrange my mindset and adapt my current stitching to some larger goals. So that's success right? I'll take it!

So the History Sprints basically gives you 20 dates for March with historical events. The challenge is to either stitch on a piece for the same number of stitches as the year, or to match a prompt based on the day's historical fact. Because I have so many wips, I'm attempting to do both, sort of. I've picked one date and one wip to match the number of stitches, and for every other date, I'll match the prompt with a small stitching goal. Simple enough, right?

My goal for the prompts is to stitch on each wip for at least 30 minutes, which is very doable, but it still takes over my evening stitching. I've stitched on 7 different wips so far and matched 9 of the prompts, so I'm about halfway there. I'm not going to show all those tiny bits of progress here, but I do want to share one wip that I started at the end of last year and haven't shown here yet.

This one is called Summer Breeze by The Cross Stitch Studio. I was enabled to visit them through Flosstube, and I would highly encourage you to check them out. Many of their charts are quite large (this one is 869x649) but they do have some smaller charts as well, all full coverage. I started this on December 20th, and it's 2x1 tent stitch on 25ct Lugana:

I'm not really big on beach themed stuff, but I really adore this image. Something about the color palette and those big clouds makes it seem really calming to me. I don't have any definitive goals for this one, but I at least want to get that first page done. It'll be a while before I get to those clouds though.

I am still doing a focus project for the month. This time I'm back to my Wonders of Space SAL that I was so enamored with last year. I was working in block 6, the Andromeda Galaxy, when I put it down last June. I think I was really stressed at the time, and the confetti and I were not getting along. But I've made some good progress this week and got 2 blocks done:

I've had to make some adjustments to this chart, which might be part of why I put this away for so long. The SAL version was charted with words that cut across some of the images. It's nice and all, but I just didn't care for that version. So I've filled in some gaps to make it a nice 3x3 square. I only have 2 blocks left, so I should have this done pretty soon. :)

That's all for now. Next week I'll keep sprinting and hope for a finish. I still have a lot of stitching to do! Hope you all are staying on track with your goals. Happy stitching!

Monday, March 1, 2021

Hi's and Lo's

 I didn't do quite as much stitching last week as I would have liked, but honestly, isn't that always the case? I did try my best to get some good progress on my current Frosty Forest block (which I started last February) but it was much more work intensive than I anticipated. So instead of finishing off this block and getting a good start on the next, I didn't even manage to complete the one:

In all honesty, this project started to drag me down after a few days, and I found myself not wanting to work on it. Nothing against the project, but it's on that very stiff Wichelt, and it after typing all day for work, it was a bit hard on my hands. I had been really looking forward to stitching the house (love stitching houses!) but stitching that variegated thread one stitch at a time is not my favorite, but I liked the effect too much to stitch in rows. Plus, I found my thread a bit tangly, so I used my trolley needle for most of the house. It looks much nicer, but slows me way down. So I hope I can find more time for this one later this year and finish off a couple blocks. That house needs to be done!

I've also put a few more days into Elizabeth Oliver to meet my goal for the month:

I am so happy to have most of that green block done, and I've got her name in! That makes her officially official in my mind, and she's in the home stretch. I'm really hoping to finish her in March, or at least early April. Fingers crossed!

When I didn't want to work on Frosty Forest, I turned to my Temperature Library instead and surprised myself by catching up:

I added 4 colors for that very cold week we had (a new color every 3 degrees) and chose a really pale purple down to the very dark gray-purple for our 0 day. That way it's easy for me to spot. Then a week later we hit 69, so I got to stitch my first yellow. I really thought about trying to mark the days when it snowed, but my official weather station doesn't record trace amounts, and I haven't been keeping track. But next time I do a temperature chart, I may find a way to indicate some weather.

So that's all I worked on last week. My March plans are a bit all over the place, and I have a crazy notion I'll be participating in the Full Coverage Fanatics challenge for History Sprints. It involves switching to different projects almost every day to match a prompt, so we'll see how that goes. I'm kind of excited to try though. Guess that's all for now. Happy stitching!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

First Finish of the Year

 You guys! I finished Ann!

I'm so happy to have her done. She's a fairly small sampler, but she was still a lot of work. All told, I counted 8,283 stitches. It took me 40.8 hours to stitch, stretched out over 39 days.

Just to recap, the chart is Ann Barson Loughbro 1837 by Plum Street. I stitched mine on 40ct Light Examplar by Lakeside Linens with the called for threads, mostly Classic Colorworks with one GAST. The chart does not offer a DMC conversion, but it does include an alternate palette to match what the original looks like now, which is also on the cover of the chart. My favorite color was, of course, Manor Red, which was used to stitch the verse.

I also spent 4 days on Luna last week, and got in about 1600 stitches. I've reached the edge of the moon, and I'm almost done with the last bits of her hair. (Not to judge, but seems to me she could use a good trim. Guess there aren't many salons up on the moon.)

As I'm working on these two columns, I'm also working on 2 different pages. So technically, I've already started the last page on this row. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I can reach that milestone. :)

I guess I'll keep it short this week. I've put a few more stitches into Favorite Bird (the big brown one) but nothing worth showing yet. I did add some colors to my Temperature Library, so I need to catch up on that. But next week, I'll be bringing out Frosty Forest for some much needed progress. Hope you all are meeting all of your stitchy goals. Until next time!

Monday, February 15, 2021

It's So Cold!

 Currently here in KC, it is -5 degrees and snowing. The high for today is 0, maybe. I don't think it's been this cold here in my lifetime, although I could be wrong. It doesn't feel like it though. I had to replace my car battery last week, and I'm hoping the new one will be ok. At least my apartment is fairly warm, and the pipes haven't frozen, thank goodness!

I didn't have the best stitchy week, but I think I had a minor cold for a while. Just a couple days of bleh and drippy nose and being very tired, but I think I'm better now. My weekly projects did suffer a bit, but I managed a little progress.

I'm still working on Ann Barson everyday. I'm not sick of her yet, but I wish I could hurry up and finish her. I did get in a page finish though, so just one more page to go:

I debated about stitching that bit of border in gold or to keep it white, but I thought, since I've stitched all of Ann's other "mistakes," I'd keep it consistent. It is a bit quirky, and I think I like it. She really did struggle with that central basket though. It's not at all symmetrical, and because it's on the page divide, I actually had to frog twice to restitch it as charted. I do wonder how Ann would feel about me restitching her mistakes. Would you cringe if someone meticulously reproduced your errors? Or would you feel vindicated, because it's just a cool hobby we do for fun? And it still looks nice. :)

Beth ended up a bit neglected this week, as I just couldn't rouse myself to stitch in the evenings. I'm blaming my cold for that. But I did get three sessions with her, and managed to stitch in the year and her age:

That green box is quite enormous. I've still got the outer color to do along the top, and then I'll let myself stitch her name. I'm kind of daunted by that, as it makes it officially hers somehow. I suppose it's been a long journey with this one, and I'm grateful to Ms. Oliver for letting me share it with her.

I spent the weekend with one of my full coverage beauties, Secluded Blue. I'm actually doing the WipGo challenge of Facebook, and her number was drawn this month, which made me very happy. I spent 5 hours working on her and managed 700 stitches:

My WipGo board is a mix of yearly goals and indulgences -- those projects that I love but might not pick up without prompting because they aren't my priority. I don't know if I'll make all my bingo's, but I'm really glad to have an excuse to spend time with my non focus pieces.

I guess that's all for now. I need to pull a few more colors for my Temperature Library, since I wasn't expecting another polar vortex. I hope you are all much warmer than I am, wherever you are. Happy stitching!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Switching Gears

 Hi all! I didn't think I'd have much to share after just one week, but I guess I was wrong. Last month, I worked almost exclusively on full coverage projects, so this month I'm focusing on a few samplers and other designs.

I kicked off the month with a new start, because how could I not start something on 2-1-21? I had originally planned to start Amethyst by Carolyn Manning, as it ties in well with February (it's the gemstone for the month) but I couldn't wait, and started that last year. So, in search of something else purple, I settled on Purple Passion by The Silver Lining. They have tons of fabulous charts for flowers, but I'm partial to purple and irises.

It's suggested to stitch this chart over 1 on 28ct, which I almost did, but in the end I went with 32ct Taupe Lugana over 2. My mother actually bought this for me a few years ago, but I was so intimidated by all the confetti (and backstitch!), it's taken me this long to start it. One of the things I love about this chart is that it's charted for both DMC and Anchor to get all the purples possible. I'm really impressed with the purple hues Anchor has to offer, and I love how this is stitching up, even if I'm stitching it really slowly. This is about 5.5 hours of work.

My focus project for this month is Ann Barson Loughbro by Plum Street. My goal is to finish her this month:

When I pulled this out last year, it felt like I had lost the love for this piece, though I don't know why. I love the verse, but stitching on her felt like a chore. So I was kind of dreading pulling her out again. But the love is back! I'm really enjoying this now, and I feel really motivated to finish, probably because I've decided to reward myself with more of Grand Vierlande if I get her done before the month is over. :)

Last, for posterity's sake, here is my Temperature Library with the January shelf all done:

I'm already excited to continue with the February shelf as it has the first of the few knickknacks that are scattered about. Also, we're in for a deep freeze this week, so I'll probably get to use my coldest colors. I may even need to add a color if it gets below 10 for a high. We'll see.

I guess that's all for this week. Next week I'll be working on Elizabeth Oliver, as I really want to get her done by the end of March. Hope you all are enduring (or enjoying) the weather wherever you are. Happy stitching!