Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back

Continuing a fine tradition of looking back at the year! 2010, 2011, 2012 (on hiatus), 2013, 2014

This year's finishes:

And a look at numbers:
Total finishes: 19
New starts: 21
Pieces started and finished in 2015: 18
WIPs at the start of the year: 7
WIPs at the end of the year: 9
WIPs that didn't see a single stitch this year: 4
Oldest WIPs: From 2009

Fastest finish: 2.75 hours (Mill Hill Mandolin)
Most time consuming piece: 91.5 (Celtic Autumn)
Pieces that took 10 hours or less: 16
Pieces that took between 10 & 50 hours: 1
Pieces that took between 51 & 100 hours: 1
Total hours stitched in 2015(approximately): 499.5

Previous years
2010: 825
2011: 635.5
2012: 687
2013: 731.5
2014: 646
2015: 499.5

I had some general goals for 2015 and succeeded 50% so I'll call it a day.
General Goals for 2015:
1. Finish Celtic Autumn. Done.
2. Finish at least one page of Autumn Winds. Yes.
3. Start and finish one of the following: Cirque des Cadeaux, Cinderella or Tradewinds. No. I've done a huge chunk of Cinderella but no finish yet.
4. Finish-finish at least 6 smalls. No. I never even took things out of the finish drawer.

All in all, not a very good year (both stitching and in other matters). I finished a lot of smalls (yay Smalls SAL), but I didn't finish anything big. I put a lot of it down to reading and playing video games. I also had multiple days where I didn't put in a single stitch. I just don't have any time to all the things I want to do. When will my prince come and take me away to my life of idle luxury?

General Goals for 2016:
1. Finish Cinderella
2. Finish Mediterranean Mermaid
3. Start and finish either Cirque des Cadeux or Cirque des Coeurs
4. Finish the rest of the Hearts of Canada

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The State of The Dress

There really isn't much to post in the way of interesting pictures, since all I'm doing is plodding on with Cinderella's skirt.

Here's a truly terrible picture on the current situation.

32 ct Charcoal Lugana

I'm trying to pick next year's new start and right now it's a toss up between Joan Elliot's Fire Goddess and Teresa Wentzler's Peacock Tapestry. On one hand Fire Goddess is a lot less complicated and I'm likely to actually finish it. On the other hand Peacock Tapestry is something like a white whale for me, so it would be nice to stitch it...

Or maybe I'll wake up January 1st and start something completely different lol

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Skirt Skirt Skirt

I'm on the quarter of the skirt. And then it's the bodice and Cindy herself. Cross my fingers my recent streak of plenty of time to stitch continues XD

32 ct Charcoal Lugana

Monday, November 30, 2015

November Achievements & December Goals

Goals for November:
1. Start and finish a Heart. I almost forgot but managed to whip out Heart of PEI last Thursday.
2. Finish Boo Club. Done.

I kept them short and sweet this month and finished them off :)

Goals for December:
1. Start and finish a Heart.
2. Finish-finish some wallhangings.
3. Pipe Dream: Finish Cinderella.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pink Flowers

The conversion I'm using for Cinderella doesn't convert the flowers from the original. I thought about changing them so that they would stand out but it seemed like too much work lol

So I went ahead and stitched them. They're very sparkly and subtle. I like them. But they took so long to stitch. All the starts and stops, and Kreinik always takes longer to stitch. I was so used to the giant blocks of pink and white that it was an unpleasant shock.

32 ct Charcoal Lugana

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Break A Slate, Carrots

So it turns out that yesterday was the last Wednesday of the month, aka Smalls SAL day, and that there isn't another Wednesday in November like I thought. Oops.
So I sat down, put on a good audiobook, and whipped out this month's Heart. This one is Prince Edward Island, usually called PEI. It's the smallest province and famous for being the home of Anne Shirley/Blythe aka Anne of Green Gables, the famous redhead.

Pictured are the Lady's Slipper, the Blue Jay, and the Red Oak, the national flower, bird and tree respectively. At the bottom is a lighthouse of which PEI has a surprising number.

The specialty stitch is the Herringbone Leaf and makes up the trees under the bird. It was an odd stitch. It's a departure from the bands of the other Hearts. I was thrown off.

TitleHeart of Prince Edward Island
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateNovember 26, 2015
Finish dateNovember 26, 2015
Total time4.75 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Endless Dress

Yes, I'm back with more Cinderella. I've decided to make a serious push to finishing this before the end of the year (except that I think I'm still waiting for some beads from when I ordered them at my LNS back in May(?). Mediterranean Mermaid has beads in that order as well. Every time I say I'll never order from her again, and every time I do it in the hope that it'll be different this time.)

Eyeballing it, I'd say I'm about done a third of the dress.

32 ct Charcoal Lugana

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Late Halloween

It was Friday the Thirteenth yesterday, so this is sort of acceptable.

I remembered to change the white when I was stitching the ghost, but I forgot to go back and stitch over the cobweb.

I did French Knots instead of using the buttons since this is over 1 on 25 ct and the buttons are way too big.

Now it's back to Cinderella since I'm hoping to finish her before the end of the year.

Also, I'm a bit more active on Instagram (since it's literally take a picture and post, as opposed to Blogger's take a picture, transfer it, edit, come up with a post etc). I'll still be posting here at least once a week, but more up-to-date pictures there. I'm therapy_by_thread there too.

TitleBoo Club
Start dateAugust 13, 2015
Finish dateNovember 10, 2015
Total time47 hours
Fabric25 ct white lugana
FlossDMC as charted, 414 for the ghost

Saturday, November 7, 2015

So Close

I was hoping to have Boo Club finished by today, but I wasn't able to stitch as much as I'd hoped today. Tomorrow doesn't look good either. But the finish is close. I can almost taste it XD

Boo Club - Lizzie*Kate
25ct white Lugana

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Achievements & November Goals

Goals for October:
1. Finish Boo Club for Halloween. No. I only got about 5 hours in.
2. Finish Cables and Columns, since I want to wear it this winter. Finished it off last night. It still needs to be washed and blocked and I'm not sure how to do that since I don't have anything suitable I could pin it on. Maybe I'll just wear it as is.

Unexpectedly This Month:
Not so much "unexpectedly" as much as "I forgot to put on the goals last month": Finish a Heart.

Goals for October:
1. Start and finish a Heart.
2. Finish Boo Club.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SFS & Smalls

Month: October
Spent: $10.77
Carryover: 70.41

Yet another DMC run. It would be easier to stitch to my budget if I didn't keep running out of thread. I have enough patterns and fabric to last for several years and not much desire to buy any new charts, but floss. I just keep running out.

This month's finish for the Smalls SAL is Heart of British Columbia, which I just squeaked in.

TitleHeart of British Columbia
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateOctober 24, 2015
Finish dateOctober 27, 2015
Total time5.5 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Setting Aside Boo Club

Real life has been kicking me in the face and I have so little time for crafting. I was hoping to finish both Boo Club and my scarf by the end of this month, but I don't think I'm going to be able to do both. And since it's already started to get cold I'm going to focus on the scarf.

Boo Club will join my regular Halloween tradition of being finished just after :)

This is what it looks like as I set it aside:

Boo Club - Lizzie*Kate
25ct white Lugana

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Almost Halfway

I'm almost done one ball of yarn on Cables and Columns, one more to go. I'm not sure it I'll use all of the second one. I'll probably just stop once I think it's long enoug.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Smalls & Goals

This month's finish for the Smalls SAL is Heart of Manitoba.

Do the individual parts of Boo Club count as their own finishes? Because technically I had to play six times for the whole design so two parts are one pattern, right?

This month's review:

Goals for September:
1. Start and finish two Heart. I stitched one, but I completely forgot I was planning on stitching another!
2. Finish at least 6 of 12 Boo Club sections. Done.
3. 10 hours of Cables and Columns. 8 hours. But considering how many times I had to frog, it was probably 5 hours of actual progress :(

Goals for October:
1. Finish Boo Club for Halloween.
2. Finish Cables and Columns, since I want to wear it this winter.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stitch From Stash - September

Month: September
Spent: $12.14
Carryover: 56.18

More DMC. I'm always surprised at how fast some of the colours get used and how others linger on forever. I think I've replaced maybe two out of all the 36xx, 37xx and 38xx series, whereas I go through multiple skeins of 898 and 3371 a month!

I finally reached Venetian Opulence's frame. I just realized that while there won't be any problems finishing off the bottom part, counting up to the top is going to be tricky. I just know I'm going to miscount the sides :(

Venetian Opulence - Mirabilia
32 ct Ivory

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Flat and White

Hot off the press!

Manitoba is the first of the non-original provinces. The creation of Manitoba involved a lot of drama. A quick timeline: originally the French explored the area and intermarried with the First Nation people (their descendents are the Metis). Great Britain won the area after the Seven Years War, and it eventually became part of the Northwest Territories. The concerns of the Metis were ignored, so a Metis leader, Louis Riel created a local government. The prime minister John A MacDonald (our first one, famously a drunkard who doodled on Important Documents) quickly introduced the Manitoba Act. There was more drama, Riel was pursued by the army, he fled into exile, he returned to lead another rebellion but failed and was executed for treason. The third Monday of February is now Louis Riel Day, a provincial holiday!

Manitoba is a prairie province and the butt of many jokes about its endless flatness and fields of wheat and canola, the terrible winters and lack of anything to do anywhere in the province excepting hunting and fishing.

Shown here are the Prairie Crocus, the Great Grey Owl and the White Spruce. The specialty stitch is the Overlapping Oblong Cross Stitch and it looks like a braid. It was weird to stitch and I was convinced that I was counting wrong the entire time even though I wasn't.

TitleHeart of Manitoba
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateSeptember 13, 2015
Finish dateSeptember 15, 2015
Total time5.5 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Getting Spookier

I'm listening to an absolutely wonderful audiobook right now and Boo Club is getting all the benefit :)

Boo Club - Lizzie*Kate
25ct white Lugana

I'm undecided on whether the cobwebs are too faint. You can see them a little better in person, but maybe I should frog and stitch them in a light grey?

Those spiders were a pain. The legs all had to be stitched by piercing threads; not fun.

Monday, August 31, 2015

August Achievements & September Goals

Goals for August:
1. Start and finish the next Heart. Heart of New Brunswick! Done and done.
2. 10 hours of Cinderella. Not even a minute
3. Start Boo Club. Yes. Two parts done and a third started.

Unexpectedly This Month:
1. Started Venetian Opulence

Goals for September:
1. Start and finish two Heart.
2. Finish at least 6 of 12 Boo Club sections.
3. 10 hours of Cables and Columns

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Maritimes Again

This month's Small is Heart of New Brunswick, which I apparently forgot to post! While Canada as a nation is officially bilingual (English and French), New Brunswick is the only province that is officially bilingual.

Canada being bilingual means that any government service must be provided in both French and English; how good the service is in the non-majority language varies depending on the area. What makes all the other provinces different from New Brunswick (since they all technically offer both languages) is beyond me. I never paid that much attention in Civics class :)

On the individual level, Canadians are proud of "being" bilingual, but for practical purposes most of us don't speak both the official languages. I think it's something like 20% of the population speaks both English and French. Personally, I took my mandatory high school French, one course in university, spent one month in Quebec and can currently say hello, ask how are you and say goodbye. Use it or lose it, and I definitely haven't used it XD

This design has the Purple Violet, the Black-Capped Chickadee and Balsam Fir (flower, bird, tree). The specialty stitch is the Scotch Stitch

TitleHeart of New Brunswick
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateAugust 4, 2015
Finish dateAugust 9, 2015
Total time5 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Monday, August 24, 2015

Stitch From Stash - August

Month: August
Spent: $6.68
Carryover: 43.32

It was ~7 dollars worth of DMC, none of which are in Boo Club, which is chugging along. The first thing I did when I started the border was realize it wasn't symmetrical. That would have irked me forever, so it was changed asap!

Boo Club - Lizzie*Kate
25ct white Lugana

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

So Much Brown

For something that's a giant purple dress with a red sash, Venetian Opulence sure has a lot of brown!

Venetian Opulence - Mirabilia
25 ct Ivory Lugana

Putting this away to work on Boo Club, though. I can't believe it's almost September already!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Restraint. Willpower. Self-Control. What're Those?

After starting Boo Club yesterday I started something completely different today.

I have no one to blame but myself. Cinderella's pale pinks have been a little boring, so why not go for the bright rich colours of Venetian Opulence?

Venetian Opulence - Mirabilia
25 ct Ivory Lugana

Someone stop me. I'm afraid of what's going to happen this weekend!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

78 Days To Go

Until Halloween, that is!

Unlike previous years, where I started my Halloween project a week before and finished in December, this time I will have a Halloween finish by Halloween! So it has been stated!

This is Lizzie*Kate's Boo Club. I remember how it seemed like every other blogger was stitching this a few years ago. The bandwagon is long gone, but it's my turn now.

Boo Club - Lizzie*Kate
25 ct White Lugana

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Small Start

This month's Heart is crawling along as I'm utterly distracted by my books. I finish one, pick up another thinking I'll just read a chapter and then ignore everything to finish it. On one hand this is great since I haven't gotten lost in my books like this in years and it's such a wonderful feeling. On the other hand, the laundry is piling up :D

Heart of New Brunswick - The Victoria Sampler
32 ct White Lugana

Friday, July 31, 2015

July Achievements and August Goals

Goals for July:
1. Start and finish the next Heart. Heart of Nova Scotia is done.
2. 10 hours of Autumn Winds. Yes. And I'm almost done this year's goal of one page.
3. 10 hours of Cinderella. 4 hours.

Goals for August:
1. Start and finish the next Heart.
2. 10 hours of Cinderella.
3. Start Boo Club.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Smalls

This month's Small SAL piece was Heart of Nova Scotia. Strangely, I thought I had another Heart finished as well, but apparently that was just in my dreams.

Heart of Nova Scotia - The Victoria Sampler
32 ct White Lugana

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stitch From Stash - July

Month: July
Spent: 0

I can't believe it's already the second half of the year! Time flies so fast that it's ridiculous.

Nothing much going on this month. I've just been plodding away at Autumn Winds and am almost done the first page.

Autumn Winds
25ct white Lugana

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Winds of Progress.

I was looking at my recent progress pictures and thinking that I really haven't done any stitching worth showing and preparing to post anyway when I realized that I haven't posted a picture of Autumn Winds in ages.

My last picture of her was back in March,

Autumn Winds
25ct white Lugana

And now she looks like this:

Autumn Winds
25ct white Lugana
I've only got the rest of this column and another entire column to have one page finished! Not bad for something that was languishing in the UFO pile until I restarted her.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Twists Everywhere

It's so hot and sticky this summer. I haven't wanted to do anything other than lie in the dark and drink ice tea.

In between wallowing I've been knitting a scarf, because of course I would. This one is Cables and Columns. The pattern is pretty simple, an eight row repeat, and it didn't take me long at all to memorize it.

I actually knitted about 6 inches worth but it was very tight so I frogged it and restarted. The only problem I'm having is that one of the cabls looks flat and isn't as nice looking as the other. I'm not sure if it's even out after I wash and block it, or if that will just stay. I don't think it'll be noticeable unless someone is staring very closely though.

The lifelines have been a life saver. I actually had to go back 7 rows at one point and I was so glad I had them. Admittedly I started using them after I noticed a mistake about 2 cable twists prior. It's pretty visible if you look for it lol

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ocean Playground

Nova Scotia is one of Canada's Maritime provinces and its licence plates call it Canada's Ocean Playground.

It's the second smallest province by size and its name means New Scotland in Latin. It's mostly known for excellent seafood, perpetually terrible rainy weather and a long history of shipbuilding.

Pictured are the provincial flower, the mayflower and the provincial bird, the osprey. At the bottom is the Bluenose, a famous fishing schooner from the province. It is also on our ten cent coin.

The specialty stitch is the Quodlibet, which I had never even heard of, but was pretty easy to stitch.

TitleHeart of Nova Scotia
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateJuly 3, 2015
Finish dateJuly 6, 2015
Total time5.75 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Sunday, July 5, 2015

En Français

I just realized that I forgot to post this last month!

Quebec is one of the other original provinces of Canada. It's the only one with a majority French-speaking population. This is because originally Canada was colonized by the British and the French; when the British defeated the French in the Seven Years War they were worried that the French-speaking population would support the US colonies that were quarrelling with Britain, so they let the French colonists keep their language and culture. So Quebec is majority French. The current day politics between Quebec and the rest of Canada, and within Quebec itself, are complicated and people can get pretty hotheaded about it.

Pictured are the provincial flower, the blue flag iris and the provincial bird, the snowy owl. At the bottom is the fleur-de-lis, which is the first symbol that comes to most Canadian minds when you say Quebec.

The specialty stitch is the French Stitch. I struggled with the instructions and the Internet wasn't helpful since I kept getting directed to French Knots and French Seams. I think I figured it out, but if not at least it looks alright XD

TitleHeart of Quebec
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateJune 24, 2015
Finish dateJune 27, 2015
Total time6.5 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Achievements & July Goals

Goals for June:
1. Finish the last Mill Hill ornie. Done! They're all cut out and waiting for their ribbons/hanging method.
2. Finish Mediterranean Mermaid. Everything that can be done is done. I'm waiting for my LNS to get some beads. So I guess I'll be done something in October?
3. 10 hours of Autumn Winds. 6 hours.

Unexpectedly This Month:
1. Started and finished Heart of Canada.
2. Started and finished Heart of Ontario.
3. Started and finished Heart of Quebec.

Goals for July:
1. Start and finish the next Heart.
2. 10 hours of Autumn Winds.
3. 10 hours of Cinderella.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Stitch From Stash - June

Month: June
Spent: 0

Carryover: 100.85

Part A of this year's SFS went well for me. I held to the budget pretty well. With the exception of May, where I used the birthday exception, most of my expenses went towards finishing and other non-stitchy but crafty things. I hope that the second half of the year continues to have minimal stash purchasing and lots of stash usage :D

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June Smalls

This month I finished off the last of the Harmonic Holidays series. They've all been cut out and only need to have the drumsticks and bow attached and then have a cord attached.
I also started the Hearts of Canada series and finished off Canada and Ontario. I wasn't planning on stitching Ontario but I was enjoying Canada so much that I started the next one :D

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Most Populous Province

I haven't felt like really sitting down to stitch over the last few days, so I've decided to continue with the Hearts of Canada series. They're small and full of motifs that I feel like I've accomplished something every time I sit down.

Ontario is one of the original provinces formed when three British colonies became the Dominion of Canada in 1867. It's not the biggest province or territory but about 40% of Canadians live there.

Pictured are the provincial flower, the trillium; the provincial bird, the loon and the provincial tree, the white pine.

The specialty stitch is the Tied Herringbone with I hadn't done before but was very easy.

TitleHeart of Ontario
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateJune 19, 2015
Finish dateJune 21, 2015
Total time4.75 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Thursday, June 18, 2015

O Canada

Unlike my usual habit, I finished Heart of Canada by The Victoria Sampler well before Canada Day. It's a cute finish and stitched up very quick. I had barely any time to stitch this week so it took longer than it should have.

I struggled a little with the sheaf stitches since you have to bring the needles up from behind the middle stitch and wrap it around and then put it back in the same hole. I kept piercing the threads. By the time I got the hang of it I was done.

Not much in the way of changes: I filled in the white in the flag since it looked a bit odd to me to have the fabric visible for just that part.

TitleHeart of Canada
DesignerThe Victoria Sampler
Start dateJune 14, 2015
Finish dateJune 18, 2015
Total time6 hours
Fabric32 ct white lugana
FlossAs charted

Saturday, June 13, 2015

So Close I Can Almost See The Finish

Mediterranean Mermaid is on break while I wait for beads.

I apparently used the giant white beads near the vase for a different project and there wasn't enough for this one. And one type of fancy bead is still on order at my LNS, so a couple of those things trailing from her side fins aren't stitched. I'm not happy because my needles were on fire (except for Trumpet I haven't put a needle to anything else since I started), and I don't want to stop. Oh well. C'est la vie.

Mediterranean Mermaid
32 ct Summersky Lugana

She is so ridiculously full of beads. Some of the beads flowing from the vase aren't in the exact right place because counting them is a nightmare. But hey, they look good and "flow" properly so I'm calling that part done :D

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Trumpet Call

Celebrate with me! I've finished the last of the Harmonic Holiday series. Here is Trumpet, fresh off the needle and not yet cut out.
I had to leave the greenery on the upper left off since I ran out of beads and I'm not buying another pack for ten beads. It sort of defeats the purpose of using up leftover beads if you end up with more beads than you start out with XD

In other news: I've joined Instagram. I'm therapy_by_thread there too. I found a couple of people so far, but I have no idea where everyone is. Come find me!

So far it's just a picture of Mediterranean Mermaid right before I started to add the beads (yes, I'm at that point already!) I took a short break to finish off the Mill Hill series, but I expect to have MM finished by the end of the week.

DesignerMill Hill
Start dateJune 4, 2015
Finish dateJune 6, 2015
Total time3 hours
Fabric14 ct white perforated paper
FlossAs charted
BeadsMH 2001, 2011, 2055, 3043

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May Achievements and June Goals

Goals for May:
1. Finish a Mill Hill ornie. Violin is finished.
2. Start something big. I started Mediterranean Mermaid and haven't put her down.
3. 20 hours of Autumn Winds. Not a single stitch.
4. 20 hours of Cinderella. 3 hours at the start of the month before I started MM.

Goals for June:
1. Finish the last Mill Hill ornie.
2. Finish Mediterranean Mermaid.
3. 10 hours of Autumn Winds.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Voila! Violin!

I didn't post this yesterday because I had the faint hope that I would have time to cut it before the end of the night. Alas, no. I still haven't cut it out, so here it is in all it's finished but not finish-finished glory.

This month was the violin. Like the mandolin, I couched the "strings" instead of backstitching them. The one of the bow was nerve-wracking because I wanted it to be tight but not so tight that it was bending the paper. But it came out well, so it's all good.
Next month is the last of this series: Trumpet

DesignerMill Hill
Start dateMay 5, 2015
Finish dateMay 9, 2015
Total time5.5 hours
Fabric14 ct white perforated paper
FlossAs charted
BeadsMH 330, 2011, 2022, 2055, 3043