Monday, October 31, 2011

October Achievements & November Goals

Goals for October:
1. Get the last two UFORRs out. Done.
2. Finish Celtic Spring Done!
3. Start something Halloween. Started and finished Halloween is a Hoot.

Unplanned things:
1. Started and finished Shepherd's Purse

Goals for November:
1. Stitch at least two Christmas ornaments
2. Work on Sleepy Hollow (yes, after Halloween)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Not Going Crazy

Friday night I was all gung-ho to stitch the next part of The Great Escape but it didn't show up. I decided that I was confused about which week it was and mourned my dying memory.

Imagine my surprise when it showed up today! I am vindicated!

Here is an overexposed and atrocious photo in celebration.

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee, DMC 317, 318, 413, 414

Straight stitch is dead easy. But the counting? There was so much frogging and I'm still not sure if that left eyebrow is in the right place. On the other hand I can always redo once the eyes are stitched in...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Out of Season

Last night I took two hours to finish off Celtic Spring.

I left out the border and letters. I also decided to do the scrollwork in her dress in purple since I think the gold just fades right into the light purple. Admittedly I may have picked a too-dark purple...

I love how shiny her cloak edge is!

What else? My now almost habitual switching of beads. Charted she has 2 purples and 2 golds; I just used once each. And I went with all purple beads in the dress and all gold in the cloak. I think the photos make the purple stand out, but in actuality they blend right in.

TitleCeltic Spring
DesignerLavender & Lace
Start dateDecember 26, 2010
Finish dateOctober 27, 2011
Total time66 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossDMC as charted
Kreinik 26, 28V
MH 252, 2011, 2055

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Mishmash of Items

Starting off with mail from Kati.

You know how they say that some people can flog a dead horse? My guidance counsellor once told me that I could flog a dead horse and then keep flogging it until it became a skeleton and still keep going. Why bring up this point? Because CP still sucks. This took a week to travel across 3 provinces. And my mail from the US is over a month late. Hilariously the government letter arrived and a duplicate arrived the next day. *Heads back towards that accursed horse*

So after admiring the charts I headed to my stash to see if I had any suitable fabric for Fine China. I was two seconds from pulling open my fabric drawer when I noticed three of my WIPs stare at me accusingly (one very close to a finish). I couldn't handle the guilt. I've managed not to start anything by avoiding my stitching area. This has the unfortunate side effect of preventing me from adding the ~100 beads necessary to finish off Celtic Spring...

Onto the second item on the agenda: this month's TUSAL.

The gold is from Celtic Spring, who as I've mentioned is waiting for beads. And there aren't that many beads either.

Item three is that my letter from my penpal arrived. I'm crafting my response back. (Ok, I've pulled out a piece of paper.)

Final item: I've decided to make some ornaments for Christmas. I'm not sure why since I don't celebrate Christmas and I've never had a tree and I don't plan on having one and I have no idea where to hang them. But I'm going to make them. I've already got Cool Christmas, and I'm thinking that I'll make things easy by picking some quick finishes. This way if this Christmas mania leaves me there's still a chance I'll have finished the designs.

So far I've scrounged up Daffycat's Reindeer Trio, some of Teresa Wentzler's freebies, Log Cabin Needlework's Noel, gazette94's Noel and Dragon Dream's Christmyth series.

Does anyone have any other small could-be-finished-quickly designs? And despite having several "Noel" I'd prefer secular ones. And this sudden desire to have several small finishes has nothing to do with the fact that it's almost November and I have half the number of finishes I had last year!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trouble Ahead?

I tackled part three of The Great Escape . And since people unanimously demanded biweekly pictures that's what'll happen. Along with my babbling about the stitches :D

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee, DMC 317, 414

Two completely new stitches this time: Sorbello (third "band") and Cretan Catch (bottom "band"). When I glanced at the instructions I thought that the Sorbello stitch would be more difficult but it turned out to be easier than the Cretan Catch. I think the Sorbello stitch is very pretty. I'll have to remember it for future use. I'm apathetic about Cretan Catch

So I may be about to hit a snag with my grey owl. There aren't that many grey DMCs. I'm aiming for an owl with maybe 4 or 5 greys. That's two up there and I'm not sure there's sufficient contrast. (Admittedly this photo is taken in atrocious light.) I'm going to let it sit until the entire owl is done and hopefully it will look cohesive.

In unrelated news I'm wondering what's going on with my mail. The government swears it sent me a letter two weeks ago and I haven't received it and I'm waiting for some mail from the US that was mailed a month ago! Curse you Canada Post! (I think CP's sloth can be added as a certainty along with Death and Taxes)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

This post has been in draft mode since the 8th. It got updated every other day but I never took a picture, so I never published the post. I was about to this morning when I realized that I could hold off and just show a finish this evening.

This is Shepherd's Bush's Shepherd's Purse (Talk about lots of apostrophes!). I stitched it as a wallhanging and therefore have flipped two of the bands upside down and moved the letters. I can't decide what to do about the button. In the original it's used to tie the purse closed, but I'm not sure it works for a wallhanging. Any comments/suggestions?

See that band under J-R? Swedish Weaving. I hate that band. And that blue Satin band? It wasn't symmetrical. Very obviously not symmetrical, so I had to frog it. Grr....

Let me take a moment to grumble a little. The threads arrived in one hank. There was Deep Raspberry, Deep Rose, Light Rose, Deep Lavender and Lavender. It took me about 10 minutes in the sun to differentiate the lavenders from the roses. But Deep Raspberry vs Deep Rose? It's a toss up. I just ended up picked one. And then Deep Green and Brown. Not something you'd think I'd have problems with. Except they looked exactly the same to me! I guess I was more irritated because I'd just opened up a Maia kit with had all the colours already in the thread sorter. Really for the cash I'm forking over for a kit is it unreasonable to expect things to come ready to stitch?

And sometimes the instructions referred to purples when it meant lavender. Is it too much to ask for someone to proofread? (Maybe I have an older kit and the newer ones are better?)

Once I started stitching though, all was well. This is a pretty quick piece with crosses and specialty stitches. I think the sheep are kinda weird. Admittedly I've never seen a sheep close up in real life (in a car when I'm driving through deserted countryside, yes) and I don't understand the love the stitching world has for them. Anyone care to enlighten me?

TitleShepherd's Purse
DesignerShepherd's Bush
Start dateOctober 8, 2011
F hoursdateOctober 15, 2011
Total time16.25 hours
Fabric28 ct Putty Cashel
FlossAs provided in the kit

Friday, October 7, 2011


I just got around to part two of The Great Escape .

The Great Escape
28ct white Jubilee

It involves two stitches. The Feather Stitch (middle vertical), which I have done before and is ridiculously easy, and the Basque Stitch (lower right and left), which I have never done before and is also easy!

I got a bit confused because the chart had the feather stitch start in a different place than the instructions, but after squinting at the model I went back and fixed it.

So a quick question: parts come out every two weeks and I plan on stitching them the weekend they come out before the next one comes out. Now should I post pictures every time or should I save them up for one a month? There are 18 parts...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Toddle On

Rachel's To the Beach (pretty bad picture here since I can't find one online) by Janlynn wraps up the last UFORR.

As it arrived:

As it goes out:

I had a bit of an issue with this one. A few hours in I realized that certain places weren't matching up and then I figured out that a stitch had been off. And I had picked that stitch to start from. Grrrrr.

So to wrap up: Would I do another UFORR? You bet. It's an excellent chance to work on designs I'd never otherwise touch. And sometimes you get sucked into adding to your stash anyway. Plus you can't beat having someone else get you over the block on whatever piece you're stuck on. And there's none of the stress of a trying to come up with a layout like in a themed RR.

Cons? Well, you really have to be able to keep up. The ones I've done have 6 weeks (post takes up some of that time). But if you lose your mojo it just sucks. And you may end up working on something you don't care for. I've been lucky, all the ones I've worked on are interesting in some way. Also depending on how tight finances are the postal costs can add up. If it's a well run RR then the mail will be tracked and depending on where you're mailing to it may get expensive.

So why am I not participating in another one? Have you seen my WIP list? And my next up/short list? I need to get some of my oldies out of the way.

An excellent place to go is the TWRoundRobin board, which runs both UFORRs and themed RRs throughout the year. But think about it several times because it is a serious long-term(ish) commitment.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An Experiment

I'm thinking of stitching something over one on 32 count. But since I wasn't too sure I decided to try out a small design as a test.

TitleHalloween is a Hoot
DesignerHeart in Hand
Start dateOctober 2, 2011
F hoursdateOctober 2, 2011
Total time2.75 hours
Fabric32 ct Laurel linen
Floss Random DMC from stash
Other notesHalf crosses in two strands over one

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Snooze On

Continuing my work on UFORRs, this is Tali's Sleeping Beauty by Mirabilia.

As it arrived:

As it goes out

She's rather massive and has far more white than you'd suspect from the model. As a rule I tend to pick a colour/area and follow it through. I know some folks like to go page by page. So for her I decided to stop where the working copy cut off (about halfway through the blanket). It didn't work. Apparently I'm incapable of stopping at a page's end, I just have to follow a line of colour and finish it off.

As pretty as she is, this Mira is one that's never called to me. Her sleeping position looks awkward, and I think she looks a bit pregnant (shades of the Perreault version there!). Also my first Disney movie was Sleeping Beauty, so I expect her to be a singing blonde named Aurora.

On the other hand I've never seen Disney's Cinderella, so I'm fine with Mira's version. She's actually on the list...