Friday, September 30, 2011

September Achievements & October Goals

September was very very good to me. Here's hoping that October will be equally or even more awesome!

Goals for September:
1. Dye some fabric. Yes, actually. I just keep forgetting to post a picture.
2. Work on Sapphire. Done and finished!

Unplanned things:
1. Finished Spring Blossom Biscornu
2. Finished Tree of Stitches
3. Started The Great Escape

Goals for October:
1. Get the last two UFORRs out
2. Finish Celtic Spring
3. Start something Halloween

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TUSAL September

Almost missed today. I can't believe that it's almost the end of the month!

Blue from Tree of Stitches and white from Spring Blossoms Biscornu.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Longish Post With Lots of Pictures (And Some Whining)

Exactly what the title says so you may either want to skip my inane ramblings and look at the pictures or grab something to drink ;D

The topic of discussion the last stages of finishing Tree of Stitches and the woes I encountered. So yes, I've finished it! *Dances in relief*

Tree of Stitches
28ct white Jubilee, CW Bermuda Reef, WDW Peony, MH 42010

All new stitches this time:

Fancy cross which is a Herringbone Square over a Leviathan. I love it! It's so pretty and I did it with one strand to make it look a bit more delicate.
Tied Windmill. Another stitch that I like! Abi mentioned that there might be a need to "nudge-and-stitch" to get the middle cross, but I had no such issues.
Leaf stitch. After the last two stitches this was kinda boring but easy. No falling leaves just because.

One look at the overall tree, and I decided that my Jerusalem stitches didn't fit in with the rest since they looked too thin. So frog and redo in two strands and the whole tree looks pretty full.

Now is the bit where I whine. A lot. I knew straight off that Horace the Rabbit and his flower were not making an appearance, but I wasn't too sure about Lester the Owl. So I gave him a try.

Snag 1: I couldn't get a decent Knit Stitch, which is what makes up his body. Several tries and I gave up. Then I dug up my various dictionaries of stitches to try and find a replacement. I tried Ceylon stitch, blanket filling and finally settled on the Triangle stitch.

And yes, he's yellow. I thought it would fit in with the otherworldly theme I was going for.

A step back and I found snag two: My eye kept being drawn to the owl. I've always planned on having the tree being the focus so that wasn't good. I still like the owl. He's just so cute. But sadly he was ruining my plans for this design. So I frogged him and his branch.

Next was trying to randomly fill the space with the surrounding stitches while not making it too crowded. I'm actually very very pleased with what I managed.

And then it was beading. Now I'm rather odd in that I enjoy beading. I find it very soothing, and in a project where the placement is more of a guideline? It was sheer joy. I went with tiny clear beads since I wanted a raindrop effect.

So what's next? I have two packages crawling their way to me. Whichever arrives first will be my next start. Until they arrive I'm off to put hours into a UFORR.

One last look:

TitleTree of Stitches
DesignerAbi Gurden
Start dateAugust 6, 2011
Finish dateSeptember 25, 2011
Total time23.5 hours
Fabric28 ct White Jubilee
Floss Caron Waterlilies Bermuda Reef, Weeks Dye Works Peony, MH 42010

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rapid Growth

Having finished off two WIPs (and started something new) I tentatively have my eyes set on finishing Tree of Stitches (so that I can start two more things).

Tree of Stitches
28ct white Jubilee, Caron Waterlilies Bermuda Reef, Weeks Dye Works Peony

Continuing my stitch by stitch ramblings from last time:

Cushion stitch. I've done this before and I love it. It's such a dimensional stitch. I stitched it with 2 strands to make it extra high.

And then the Jerusalem stitch. This was completely new to me, and I didn't like it. And after the joy of the cushion stitch I just hated it even more. This was where I stalled. Eventually I managed to drag myself to finish it off. At two strands it was too thick and at one it's too thin. Let's chalk this stitch as one I'll be avoiding in the future.

Four new stitches in this picture. Going clockwise starting from below the Jerusalem stitch. There's one called a Floral stitch. It puts me in mind of kloster blocks from hardanger. I was really tempted to add some sort of modified eyelet for the center, but since I was stitching the "petals" in two strands it would have been too thick and I was too lazy to go to the trouble.

Then the Norwich stitch (bottom right). Where has this been all my life? It's such a lovely stitch! I love it! I changed it a tiny bit to look more symmetrical.

Star stitch. This reminded me of the Jerusalem stitch. A "+" bracketed by something else, but I found this much easier going and therefore I like it a lot more.

And ending with a Rhodes square. I've done a fair bit of these before and I love the way they stitch up!

Tree of Stitches is still available over at the Yahoo Group Stitch Specialists. I'm not sure when it'll be taken down but I'm betting pretty soon since The Great Escape has already started running. So if anyone is planning on grabbing it I would suggest hurrying. You can always just hoard it for the future. *glances at Castles in the Air, the 2010 AAN Christmas Tree and others...*

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Not Really A WIP

The Great Escape is the new SAL from Abi Gurden of The Stitch Specialists.

And since it's only a small part every two weeks (which doesn't really take very long) it's not a proper WIP...

Not really...

Is anyone buying this?

I finished two things so I deserve a reward?

Whatever justification I come up with, the reality is that I've started it. I have dismal luck with ongoing SALs. I lose interest at around the halfway point and then wait for about six months after the end to finish. Maybe I'll have better luck this time.

Initially this was going to be a white owl on a dark background (Hedwig!) However this requires that I have a piece of dark fabric of suitable size that is not earmarked for some other project.

Second option: try to make it look like a sketch, so greys on white.

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee

Part 1 is the Montenegrin stitch in DMC 317. It's incredibly dense and kinda odd, but still easy. It's much more interesting very close up than afar.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Needles on FIYAH!

And since I had to use a beading needle the plural (s) applies.

As part of IHSW (which I have been participating in for ages but not promoting. oops) I finished The Sweetheart Tree's Spring Blossoms Biscornu late last night.

I initially put it away because the backstitch was annoying but when I picked it up I was in the zone and just raced through it!

And in what may become a trend, I made changes. The flowers are supposed to be outlined in grey but my attempts came out revolting so no outlining. And the provided beads are tiny. Now I'm all for the 40000 series for anything that has blocks of beads (I'm looking at you, certain Mira charts) but for isolated beads they were just too tiny and disappeared completely. So out came the bead stash and I replaced everything.

And then I couldn't find three of the paillettes so I had to improvise. And finally (whew) instead of using all three colours in the beaded border I used two.

Both sides are the same except the flowers are pink vs white. I actually prefer the white side. I also interfaced the stitching to see if it make a difference during assembly. I don't think it made much of a difference until I was stuffing the biscornu and I couldn't really tell how full it was. I think I may have overstuffed.

TitleSpring Blossoms Biscornu
DesignerThe Sweetheart Tree
Start dateJuly 31, 2011
Finish dateSeptember 17, 2011
Total time16.75
Fabric32 ct White Belfast & 32 ct Angel Blush Belfast
Floss Floss as charted
MH 2004, 2022, 40479, 42010, 60479

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happiness Is

Having your mojo come back with a vengeance and driving you to a lovely finish!

I fell for Sapphire when she first came out. I've already mentioned how I don't know anyone with a September birthday and that I don't like the May fairy. But the May birthstone is an emerald and there's enough green in Sapphire that I'm going to claim her as my "May" fairy.

I left off the wings since I don't care for them. I had to very slightly modify her left shoulder to compensate. And I left the vines/trailing frond things until the end and decided that she looks just fine without them.

I didn't like the coverage of the original Kreiniks. The "L" line is kinda thin. So I just dug through my stash and replaced two of them with thicker ones. I didn't have the required orange in any thickness so I randomly grabbed one. In the interest of being cheap frugal, I chose not to buy the Caron Waterlilies. Instead I stared hard at my computer screen trying to figure out what DMC the 175 looks like. It's only there in the cage base. The rest of the cage base is in 930, and the model makes the 175 look a little darker than the 930. So I went with 930+310 as a replacement for 175. (I have no idea how others do this sort of thing, so I thought I'd mention my way).

I was also under the impression that I had all the required beads. This was not so. I had half a pack of the green ones, so I used them for the isolates in the kimono. I also had the same colour in a smaller size, so that ended up in the sleeves. Every other bead was chosen by eyeballing online pictures and my bead stash. I ended up with two purples in the dress, although I don't think it's at all noticeable. I originally went with the ones in the "flowers" which didn't look good in the purple border, so I had to pick a different purple for that. I'm not sure they're any good either, but I don't have any other purples and I am disinclined to head to the LNS.

One of the results of changing the beads and the metallics was that I had issues with the hair. The contrast between the red+purple and the orange+yellow looks fine in the model, but my changes made them too strange. So I ended up switching the purple beads in her headpiece with red ones, and the yellow beads in the orange fronds with orange beads. This left a bunch of purple beads in her hair. I just replaced those with one of the browns from her hair. And I quite like the result. I think there's a slight difference between the original's face and mine, but I like mine, so it's all good!

TitleSeptember's Sapphire Fairy
Start dateMay 20, 2011
Finish dateSeptember 14, 2011
Total time61.5 hours
Fabric32 ct Waterlily Jobelan
Floss DMC as charted
DMC 931+310 instead of Caron Waterlilies 175
Kreinik 026, 003HL, 152V
MH 252, 2011, 2031, 2033, 3053, 18014, 42031

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Head's (Not Quite) Up

Hey Joysze! Enjoy~

September's Sapphire Fairy
32 ct Waterlily Jobelan

Friday, September 2, 2011


My second UFORR arrived home yesterday.

Palm is a Dimensions kit that I started when my stash was not at hand. Big thanks to the ladies who worked on this: arthenice, Theialin, MissStitchy, Rachel, Frog, Rahenna, pds and Measi.

I sent this out:

And the magic of the UFORR returned this:

14 ct Khaki Aida

Isn't that just incredible? I have a feeling this will feature during the 2012 Wipocalypse.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August Achievements & September Goals

I usually review goals on the last day of the month. Would you believe that I didn't realize that yesterday was the last day of August?

Goals for August:
1. Finish and send out Denise's winnings. Denise, I'm sorry, but this is just not happening
2. Stitch on both UFO RRs. Possibly? I'll be honest, I'm getting confused so let's say yes.
3. Finish Spring Blossoms Biscornu. No.
4. Finish off at least 2 of my in-progress bags. No.

Goals for September:
1. Dye some fabric.
2. Work on Sapphire

Let's try and set goals that have a chance of being achieved.