February 19, 2012

WIP 18: Revisiting the Product of My Needle Sampler

Hi, all! It's been a busy week, but I've been chugging along on my various samplers, and I spent all of today stitching away on four designs--Sarah Hatton, Dorothy Walpole, Snowy St. Nick and a new design toward the end of this post. WIP is The Product of My Needle Sampler by The Scarlet Letter. It's an original design by them, meaning it's not a true reproduction, although it looks a lot like one. The colors are especially nice in it, but I started it years ago and disliked the 32 count fabric I used, and the fact that I was using only one strand of the AVAS, which means all the filled in black didn't have quite enough coverage. I am not fond of skimpiness, so I put it away. I'd gotten pretty far along, but I decided to restart it on 40 count fabric, using a piece of older Lakeside from my stash (probably Examplar). I didn't have to buy any new fibers and the spool of silver metallic cord was still in the project bag. Here's the new start, which I'm much happier about:

The old sampler on 32 count. Not bad, but it irked me.

And the design, which was copyrighted in 1988, although it's still available on the SL website (for $7! A bargain, truly!)

I worked at the shop yesterday, and a bunch of brand-new JBW designs arrived. I snatched up two of them. For JBWs, they're pretty large (this one is 76 W x 207 H). This is "The Rabbit Alphabet," which is charted for 28 Linen in Antique White, using Crescent Colors in House Wine, WDW in Camellia or DMC in #3731 (the consensus in the shop is that the DMC is too bright). Personally, I think it'd be especially nice stitched on a piece of Cashel in "Baby Lotion."

I started this on a piece of Porelain Lakeside 40 ct from my stash, but I think I'll go back to the shop and get the Baby Lotion fabric, since the design calls from 10 1/4" buttons, 6 3/8" buttons and one 1/2" button, so the scale will be off. I'm using Silk 'n Colors in Raspberry Parfait.

I picked up this little design as well: "Rose Motif Sampler." I'm showing the WDW I'm going to stitch it with--Crape Myrtle--which is very variegated. I think I'll stitch it on Baby Lotion also.

Here's Pink, approving of the pink rabbits on the pink fabric.

Happy week ahead--back next Sunday with yet another WIP.

February 10, 2012


Happy day, all! It wasn't so long ago that I was occupying a cubicle and counting down the hours until I could rush home on a Friday afternoon and stitch. Now that I'm not gainfully employed (hopefully briefly), you'd think I'd stitch all day long, and while I'd love to, my joblessness makes me feel apologetic for depleting our finances, and in a puritanish way, I don't feel free to enjoy my day completely, so at least the house is getting super clean, and the meals have been less scatter-shot and more nutritious (I'm missing the days of the bowl of cereal and an English muffin for dinner, although lemon chicken and steamed spinach with a touch of balsamic vinegar and a drift of parmesan is nice in its own way) and the library books are even being returned on time. But at least I can stitch half the night now that I'm not getting up at 4:30 a.m. to dress and commute.

I had not forgotten that I started Houses of Hawk Run Hollow some years back--it debuted on my then-new blog in July 2006--so I wasn't surprised when I ran across it. I was surprised at how badly I wanted to take up the needle on it again, though. So I had a little stitching session last night with it, and it's back in the rotation (calling my stitching approach a rotation is like referring to a tornado as a rotation, of course). I love the fabric--40 count, luxuriously rich Lakeside in Maritime whtie--and I love the colors. Some of the AVAS were scattered to the winds (took up residence in other project bags) when I disbanded it because of a major counting mistake that I made on the far left-hand block. I miscounted the blue-green area: it should be 9 rows deep, but it's 8 rows deep, so when I started the bird heads, their feet enter the gold dividing row. Grrr. I can shorten the birds' legs, I can eliminate the birds' feet, I can allow the feet to protrude into the gold row, I can move the bird bodies up one row (a major stitching pain) or I can frog the entire block. For now, I haven't decided what to do, although I'm leaning toward having footless birds. In the meantime, I'm stitching my very favorite block, below the offending block. Thanks to all of you who weighed in on whether it's worth it to continue on yesterday's project, for which I feel no particular love, even though it's a pretty design. I've decided to repurpose the fabric. I put it away long enough to decide I didn't care enough to continue stitching on it.

Counting error: see the bird feet of the right-hand bird entering the gold line?

There's a mistake in this block as well, in the fence, but I compensated for it, and it looks ok, so I moved on. I'm curious how many of you have either completed this design or have started it and have it in your stash.

Pink says he thinks there should be more bunny pictures and less stitching: "Your blog is a snooze."

See you Sunday. Happy weekend!

February 09, 2012

WIP 16: Roses de Mai, and a Continuation

Hi, all! The week is getting away from me, so I thought I'd post WIP 16: Roses de Mai by Reflets de Soie. I love the colors in this--the blues and pinks on Lakeside Magnolia--but I'm on the fence about continuing. I don't remember if it is an historical reproduction, but to my eye it seems a bit too contemporary for my taste.

And I'm not loving the large area of working with thread the same color as the fabric, a small area started here. A lot of it is over-one. Hmmmmm--what to do. The thing is, I've had this piece of Magnolia for quite a while, so it is the more substantial linen, and I can think of a bunch of projects I could do on it instead of this one. Sometimes at Stitch Night, someone will point to the excess fabric hanging over the edge of the q-snap, showing a piece of an abandoned project, and laugh. For now, I'll keep working on it, as it really is a pretty stitch, and when I get a larger section of the cream-on-cream completed, I can re-evaluate.

Here's the chart:

I do not feel any conflict at all about my progress on Dorothy Walpole. I love everything about it. Here's a close-up of the top, which shows the rows of alphabets and dividing lines marching to the right-hand border.

And a view of the entire project as it stands today. I highly recommend it, and I know a number of stitchers are working on this, including Marjo, who just started it. What a nice antidote to all that snow in Alaska!

Here's Elvis, sending a bunny nose bump your way to carry you through the week.

See you in a few days with another WIP (I've got a ways to go on those yet).

February 04, 2012

WIP 15: Snowy Saint Nick, and a Finish!

Greetings! I finished something today, and I'm a bit stiff and sore from sitting so long on my butt to do so. Also, I lost the light as I stitched--it's a gloomy day out--so this photo doesn't truly represent the fabric color, which is more green than this shows. But I'm done! It's No. 288, "Dickens' Mittens-The Last Word" by the Cricket Collection. I stitched it with DMC over 32 count (two strands over two threads) Lakeside in Pear. I changed a couple of things: instead of 3865, winter white DMC, I used B5200, the super white. I like the white to really pop. I substituted Bayberry GAST on the words (instead of using 3768) because I think the variegation made it more interesting. Otherwise, I mostly stuck with the recommended fibers, including the bronze Kreinik #4 braid. I did not stitch "Scrooge" on the sign on the building, as it wouldn't lie flat and it looked dumb. I put it in and took it out twice.

I started in January 2009 and ended today, February 4, 2012. Only three years--practically a snap of the finger in my stitching world.

Here's a closeup of the little wreath with its red french knots.

I love Christmas designs, and I am working on several. Here's one: Snowy St. Nick by Dimensions. I'm stitching it on 34 count white Legacy linen using the called for DMC and Kreinik Floss. I stuck close to the recommended fabric count because there's some beading, and I don't want the beads to be out of whack scale-wise.

Here's the chart photo. I love elaborate Santas and would think about leaving him up all year. Although I stitch primarily repro samplers, I do enjoy projects like this. I've got more than one Santa in the pipeline.

I went upstairs for some supplies and happened to look down from the catwalk to see that someone's head was sticking out of the blue bag that I use to store my DMC baggies.

Chester's having a nice colorful snooze.

See you soon with another WIP. Tomorrow I work at the shop for the Superbowl Sale--come visit!

February 03, 2012

WIP 14: "Nuttin' Else" aka Cotton Kills*

* But only if you're wearing wet hiking clothes that are cotton instead of wool and you die of hypothermia. Although my HAED project, which I'm stitching in 87 colors of DMC, may yet kill me.

Happy Friday! This is not the HAED project, but it's a similar idea. Lots of colors of DMC, lots of confetti stitches, and an amazingly lifelike picture is emerging. It's tiny--about two inches by two inches when complete. It's "Nuttin' Else" by Blackberry Lane Designs, the same designer who created the rose and rosebud projects that I finished into Christmas ornaments. I will probably finish this guy as an ornament also, or perhaps a cupboard hanger. I'm stitchin him with one strand of floss over two on 45 count Legacy Linen in ivory. Using 45 count slows me down, because I'm forced to stab the needle instead of scoop--it's woven more tightly. It's a nice break from Sarah McPhail though!

Here's the cover of the design. I started it a few years ago and set it aside because I kept losing my place among all the confetti stitches. I hate having to search the chart to see where I left off and not being able to figure it out easily, but that's just a matter of impatience. I use a highlighter, which helps a little.

Peaches: "I am not the HAED project either but I am amazingly lifelike."

Bye! See you soon with another WIP.