Thursday, January 15, 2015

Roughly Week Two of 2015

Now that I have reached a new part of the Books Reading Books chart and the colors have changed, there is considerably more confetti stitching. I am thinking that a page a week is too optimistic.  I seem to be able to do about 100 stitches an hour when the confetti is heavy.  I am sure there is an easier way with all the thread changes, but I find I get very confused if I try to have too many thread colors going at one time.    I am definitely making progress and still hope to finish this by the end of the summer.  I am enjoying the fact that there are no fractional stitches, no blended threads and no back stitching.  Started on Page 3 today.  Should be interesting to see how long it takes.  I do love seeing the design take shape.

I have also made considerable progress on the Celtic Welcome Friends project.  The 14 count seems really large!  I would not say I am half way finished, but would like to finish this by the end of January.   I have another gift project to go in its place so I need to get it done.  I am very pleased with how this is coming along.   I am thinking I am going to add some beading to it.  Not quite sure, but there are some places where some little beads would be appropriate I think.

Part 3 of the Lizzie Kate Things Unseen sampler arrived this week.  I am going to slow down on this project I think.  I  moved it to a bigger frame so I can stitch with both hands.  The jury is still out on the Qsnap. 

I am enjoying this project but am looking forward to completing it for some reason.  I have never been fond of samplers so that may be the issue here. 

I am wanting to do a quick finish so I kitted up Teaching is a Work of Heart by Lizzie Kate.    I have some waiting room time coming up so I made this a traveling piece since it is small (3 x 5 or so).  I will be doing it on a 28 count evenweave in Mushroom from my stash and using the Weeks Dye Works threads that are recommended.  I should have used DMC from my stash, but it is only 6 colors so not too bad. 

I added two more things (both kits) to my 2015 box.  One of from Lenarte and is called Quartet of Penguins.  It is only about 3 x 5 or so and is one white linen.  Should be really quick.  Will probably start it as another traveling project since it is small.  The other is a kit by Glendon Place and Dinky Dyes.  It is a learning piece that teaches how to sequence a fiber with 5 distinct colors (the words on the kit, not my words.....we will see how well I learn it).  It will also be my first experience with silk threads and some more basic help with using variegated thread.  All in preparation for my Chatelaine that I am anxious to start.

And speaking of Chatelaine.  I make minimal progress on the Christmas Tree Mandala so I am not going to post it.   I did a little outline stitching while waiting at the dentist office....not enough to write about.

I got frustrated with the Biscornu from Riolos so it is in the "probably never be finished" pile. 

I did make a small start on another Biscornu using the thread that I dyed myself that I will share next week. 

Thanks for visiting. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More Adventures in Dying

 Yesterday I was cleaning out some stash items and ran across a pattern I got from somewhere called "Black Hat Lady Green Eyes".  It came with 14 count white aida so I decided first, that I would change the fabric out for some 22 count white aida that I had, then decided I would dye it.

It came out pretty well I think.

I then decided that I would dye the original 14 count fabric with the left over dye and it came out more pastel. 

Now I think I am going to use the original 14 count fabric that is a lighter green and save the 22 count green fabric for something else.
This pattern is from Design Works crafts.  I believe it came in a grab bag that I ordered many years ago.  It comes with some beads.  Not sure why it was unpackaged.  Perhaps I considered it at one time and then set it aside.  At any rate, it will end up being quite a large project so I am thinking of just doing the face and hand portion and cutting the arm short. 
And then I got the bright idea to try some floss.  I have a large spool of DMC blanc, so what the hey.

It was interesting, and I am not sure I would do it again, but maybe doing the Tree of Stitches project will be perfect for these odd variations.
Perhaps it is just me, but the white floss off the spool does not have the same texture as a skein of blanc DMC.  It seems stiffer somehow.  Even prior to dying it. 
Nothing else to report until I do an update in a few days. 
Thanks for visiting


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 Week One

I made two new starts on the first day of 2015.

First is the Lizzie Kate Mystery Sample, Things Unseen.  It is going well, but I have to confess that I am not really comfortable with the QSnap.  I like them OK for working on Linen, especially since the linen projects that I have done recently are small.  But I like to stitch with both hands and it is hard to do with them.  So, I whip out my Christmas Present (the Qsnap holder for my Lowery Stand) and will see how that works with these.   I do find that I like the grime guards I got from EBay to hold all the extra fabric. 

 I am also enjoying working with the Weeks Dye Works threads on this project.  The very subtle variations in the threads make it interesting and force me to do one completed stitch at a time.  I also found that gridding was difficult on this linen.  I put in some vertical lines to kind of help me out but I did not do them in blocks like I usually do. 
I am anxious to get the first two parts done so I will be caught up when the third and final part of the project is released.  No idea when that will be, but I am still quite a bit behind so am not too worried about it.  I have to say, for for someone who has never been a fan of samplers I am enjoying this quite a bit.
Speaking of Weeks Dye Works, these are the first non-DMC threads I have used.  I have just ordered the threads I need for planned projects and am not really planning on keeping a stash of them.  I have no organization for them yet, and have not even put them into my inventory program.  Once some of the projects that call for them are finished and I have (hopefully) some threads left over I will figure out how to store them.  

Because I am planning to do a large Chatelaine Mandala this year I thought I would try one of the smaller ones.  This is a Christmas Tree Mandala from Chatelaine from 2004.   It is on the dreaded 6x6 Qsnap so holding it is not easy.  Also, it has LOTS of single strand black line work.  I hope I keep working on it, but I may check for another freebie that does not have as much black work on it.  Then again, it is good for me to work on something different.    I saw a post somewhere that had about a half a dozen small Mandalas someone had done and it was incredibly beautiful.   I am resisting the urge to add a mini Mandala from Chatelaine because I want to stick to my commitment NOT to order anything new this year. 

 I also updated my Cross X program with all the projects that are kitted up and started. So now I have 11, yes 11 projects, that are in progress.  I am not sure that I will keep working on some of these.  My tastes and interests have changed since I have been going on line and seeing all the beautiful pieces that are out there.

Am working on my Books Reading Books project as often as I can.  I am well into the second page.  I am thinking I will shoot for doing one page a week. That is about 5000 stitches a page.  At that rate I should finish it in approximately 31 weeks assuming I can do about 700 stitches a day.  Giving myself extra time that puts me finishing in August 2015.  I think that will be a good goal.   Photo is blurry, but you get the idea.

Finally, we are several days into the year and I have stuck with my resolution not to purchase any more "stuff" for stitching.   I did order some Mo's threads on the 30th and got them in the mail this week.  They are interesting.  It is inspiring me to attempt to dye threads as well as fabrics.  It also may inspire me to re-start the Tree of Stitches using the Mo's threads. 

I am going to attempt to post once a week.  My plans are pretty ambitious for this year and I am hoping that I will have progress to report on a weekly basis.  At the least, I am hoping for a finish of some kind every month. 

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 2, 2015

End of the year Update

I have had a few finishes and some starts that were scheduled to be in 2015, but I got anxious and started them early.  I just needed some smallish projects during this busy time of year.

This is a tiny ornament size piece that was fast to stitch.   More practice on linen for me.  It is from Twisted Threads.  There was actually enough fabric from 123 Stitch to do the thing a couple of times.  Sweet.  This was also my first project using Weeks Dye Works threads.  I like them, and the variegations look much better in the photo than I can see in person. 

And in keeping with my resolution to actually finish my finishes, here is the finished product.   Since it is only 3 x 3 I got a little canvas and easel at Walmart.  I laced it and covered the back with felt which gave me a place to put my initial and date.

 And speaking of linen, I did not post the finished yellow rose from Thea Gouvernour.  It was not bad either.  There are a couple of places where it is off, but I can't even tell where it is anymore.

So, all in all I am feeling pretty good about linen and evenweave fabrics.  I think I will prefer evenweave simply because, as the name implies, it is more even than linen and is easier to count.  I have not attempted to grid on it so far.  I am going to switch out the fabric on the Thomas Kinkaid Tinkerbell (5x7) that I am going to do.  In checking the pattern, there are a ton of half and quarter stitches, so I am going with a 28 count evenweave.  It will probably come out bigger than 5x7, but I wanted to do some framing this year so what the heck!

Made some progress on Books Reading Books.  Am into the second page.  Still enjoying it, but still not able to get the hang of parking.  The colors are so close I just cannot seem to make it work for me yet. 

Pulled out Bay Dunes to finish it now that I am headed into the new year.  Would love to finish it before New Year's Day, is beginning to frustrate me for some reason. 

I started on the kitted Biscornu but I am not too happy with it.  I am not sure there will be enough fabric for the bottom and the top, and somehow I am a row off.  I will probably finish it, but I have found I am not fond of stitching with a hoop.  Makes it harder for me to stitch with both hands and always taking it on and off the hoop is a little annoying to me.  Probably why I like the larger projects.

I also broke down and started another project.  It has been kitted up for months and I just felt the need to start something new.  So far so good.  It will be a gift this year.  I switched out the white Aida for this fabric because I had the fabric and I thought it might be a little more masculine.  I also switched out the threads from the kit for DMC.  I have supplemented kits before, but this is the first time I have done a total replacement.  Seems like a waste to me.  Not sure what I will do with the kit threads.
And here is my Christmas Present.  I know it looks funny, but it is a QSnap holder that goes on my Lowery stand.  Have not used it yet as I am just working on a 6x6 hoop.  But I am ready for a larger project.  Perhaps the Chatelaine I have planned for this year. 
And last but not lease, I have been doing some work on Tree of Stitches so that I can learn the specialty stitches for the Chatelaine.  I am not too happy with it.  I am better with some stitches and not so good with others.  Not sure if I will finish it or start over.  I began using random threads that I had left over and the colors are, well, just terrible. 
 Did not get this posted before the end of the year, but that is the update anyway. 
Thanks for visiting.
Hope your New Year is fantastic.