Saturday, 25 March 2017

Page 2 of Meeting on the Turret Stairs



Closeup.

I'm super pleased with how well this is stitching up. I thought the detail might be compromised with being a mini, but so far this is not the case. I'm expecting the detail on the knight's tunic is where the biggest different will be seen, but so far I'm pleased as punch over this.   It has been a lot more confetti, and as a result, it really slows me down.  Plus, I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the pre-gridded Aida or Ziegert.  I find the fabric is so stiff, plus it's a little sharp. I really have to remember to cut smaller pieces of thread, as sometimes (quite often, actually) I'll pull the thread through, only to find it's snapped. Also, I find my hand feels more tired after stitching on it.  Perhaps it's having to pull the needle through the stiffer fabric, but I definitely suffer more needle fatigue with Aida/Ziegert than Lugana or Pearl.  For me, 25 count is just a bit too small, so if I want to work with pre-grid fabric, I'm left with Aida or Ziegert as my choice.  On an interesting side note, I found a whole bunch of 18 ct. pre-grid Aida that I had in my stash.  Who knew?!  So, even though it's not my favourite, I will end up using it, because I hate waste.  

I'm back working on Wind Moon.  How much faster she is, which is good, because it's page 2 of 65.  *headdesk*  I'm almost considering doing two pages of her to one page of Turret Stairs, I don't know, I'll just play it by ear.  It won't make stitching her up any faster, it will just seem like I am.  And that's almost as good, isn't it?





Thursday, 9 March 2017

New Project. I Can't Believe What I've Just Committed To.


Firstly, thank you all so much for your wonderful comments about Adrift.  I still can't quite believe that she is done. I'm saving up to have her framed and hopefully should have enough saved to take her in for April.  It's so exciting! One of the ladies that I stitch with wants to come with me and help me pick a frame and matting.

So, I have been sitting on this one for a while, and it's time I added her to the roster.  I have a few by Nene Thomas in my stash, but she is calling the loudest to be stitched.  So my new project is:

Wind Moon.


I thought Adrift was a giant with 35 stitched pages.  Oh no, it appears Adrift was merely the appetizer.  Wind Moon weighs in at a whopping 65 stitched pages.  Suffice to say this will be a multiple year project.  I'll just try to do mini's and smaller projects to avoid getting burned out.

That being said, here is page 1 of 65.

7040 stitches which equals just under 2% of the project.  My husband says I am a glutton for punishment.  There isn't actually horrendous confetti in this, aside from bits and pieces here and there, so apart from it being 65 pages in size, I think it won't be an arduous project.

I've got three of the big Moon fairies by Nene Thomas, and the goal is to stitch them and hang them as a trio.  No promises, we'll have to see how this one goes first.

So there you have it, the big unveil.  

I'm now back to my little mini, Meeting on the Turret Stairs.  




Saturday, 25 February 2017

It's Red Wine Time, because Adrift is Complete!






This is page 33, 34 and 35.  I got to the end of 33 and I was in such a groove that I thought I should just blaze ahead and finish her.  So I did.  I think the end result is stunning.  Maybe this is me being partial, because she's mine, but I just think she is so pretty. 

I think I may also be the first one to complete this pattern.  At least I haven't seen any completed pieces in the Facebook communities.  So for anyone considering stitching her, I can attest that she stitches up beautifully. 

It was a little dicey, though.  I ran out of 3371 last night after the craft store closed, so I had to send out an emergency SOS to my friend, Rika, who lives nearby. Luckily she had one on that that I could have.  (whew, thanks, Riks).  And even then, I finished this with the tiniest amount of thread left.

So now I'm drinking a big glass of red wine in celebration. (Although maybe it should be white, so I can rest my fingers against the chill of the glass - my fingers are aching!)  But I do have to say, I felt a little sad putting in the last stitch.  Journey's ends are always a little bittersweet.

This is the biggest project I've ever done.  She came in at a whopping 229,600 stitches. 

I will get her all washed and ironed and then she is off to the framers.  I will, of course, post a photo when she is framed and hung.  


So I have moved her status bar to black and listed her as complete.  Back to Meeting on the Turret Stairs, and I will unveil my next project with my next update. I don't want to take any attention away from Adrift. 

Thanks for everyone's lovely words of encouragement with her. She was a long, long labour of love, started in January 2014 and finished tonight. 

Enjoy!


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Mini) Page 1


Page one of the mini has been completed. I was worried that she would lose too much of her detail, but I'm happy to say this isn't the case.  I'm extremely happy with the outcome. 

Well I am back from my cruise and am happy to say that I did get a bit of stitching done. There was a group of knitters/stitchers (although I was the only stitcher this cruise) who met on days we were at sea.  It was nice to sit with a group of ladies and see all of their projects.  Although there was one morning where people were coming up to me and saying I was famous and had been highlighted on the ships daily show that morning. As I had tied one on pretty hard at the pub the night before in a good old fashioned sing-a-long, my first thought ran to that, in a not so good, oh my god, what are they saying I did kind of way. But it turns out some sneaky camera person had filmed me with my magnifier glasses and my iPad that has my .pdf, stitching with the knitting ladies and mentioned it.  
I was both relieved and a little proud of that.  That day I had a few stitching ladies come down to ask me about the iPad and how to upload projects to it.  So it was nice to both meet new people and show them some of my tricks. 

I also had a nice little stitching nook out on our balcony.  Pina Colada, great view, audio book, and my stitching. Is this not the very description of paradise? 




But alas, I have returned home to snow, and the plague that I'm sure I caught off the person sitting next to me on the plane.  There is a winter storm blowing in and I'm going to just snuggle under a blanket and alternate between stitching and napping.






Monday, 16 January 2017

Snow Stocking is Complete!

So, because my Lowry had not yet arrived, I thought I'd just keep going on Snow.  I finished the last 2 pages over the weekend, the first of the two being 2782 stitches, and the second page being 997 stitches. 

She is done! Now all I need to do is purchase some fabric and get her sewn, which I will ask my friend to do, as she did such a beautiful job when she sewed the Treasure Dragon stocking, AND the Yule Fairy stocking.  I plan on finding a grey satin fabric for her back, and if I can find piping with some silver in it, perfect, but I think I may have to be happy with plain old white.  I'll be sure to post photo's when she is all sewn..

This was a pretty fast stitch. I started her in March, 2016, and finished today, January 2017.

And now for the big announcement for my next project - although you may have guessed, as I've already got a photo and a status bar up, but the next project will be Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Mini) by Fredrick William Burton.
I have a real thing for Medieval things, and if given the chance to do my life over, I probably would have moved to England to become a historian, with my specialty being the War of the Roses. As soon as I saw this pattern, my pupils dilated, I'm sure of it.

I've never done a mini before, so I'm interested to see what, if any, detail is lost.  If it turns out well, then the goal is to do a mini and a regular size and toggle between the two.  (Just wait and see what I have on deck for the replacement of Adrift. She's everso pretty!)

Oh, and my Lowry came! Oh my god, I love that stand!  It's brilliant!  A little easier to maneuver than the K's Creation and I find I don't need to tighten as hard to get the Q-snap to stay.  This company was brilliant and the stand came on Thursday last week.  So super quick shipping too!

Well, that's it. I'm officially announcemented out.  I hope to have Adrift finished some time in February.

I'll see you all after my cruise. 



Saturday, 7 January 2017

First Page Finish of 2017, Snow (Partial) Pg 8

As I mentioned in the heading, this is a partial page, of 2583 stitches. First page of 2017.
 
This is where I usually switch it over to Adrift, but since my stand is still broken, and my new stand hasn't yet arrived, I might just continue on with Snow, as she is considerably lighter and with the help of a couple of strong hair bands, I can rig it on to my broken stand in a way that works better than Cross Stitch Yoga did.  I'm not so sure this would work with Adrift, which is a shame, because I want to stitch her so bad, I almost feel itchy! 

I have decided to kit up my next project tomorrow, as I'm going on a cruise in 15 days, and I don't want to carry Adrift with me, although stitching a mermaid in the Caribbean seems oddly fitting.  I'm not sure with Snow that there will be enough work still to do on her to warrant taking with me.  So I will kit up my next project and take that.

The only fly in the ointment is I haven't quite decided which project to kit up.  It's down to three projects.  Two of them I have had for ages, and are both discontinued, and I have been dying to start both of them, and the third is one I found years ago and just recently commissioned into a mini. 

Decisions, decisions!  I suppose I won't really know myself until tomorrow when I actually flip a coin. 

I will let you know which pattern I kitted up, and which project I decided to work on with my next update - which will be hopefully before I leave. 

I do have a bit of good news for those of you who have a Lowry stand and missed out on the corner clamp.  I wrote to the manufacturers, who had discontinued the corner clamp a while back, but with Omanik and Millenium and Q-Snap frames becoming so popular,  they were found to work really well, but acquiring one was hard to do.  Well the manufacturers say they have received several requests as of late, so they are going to re-release them. I'm not sure if this is a one time release, or if it is going to stay on their list of things that can be ordered, but for those of you who felt like you had missed out, this is a great opportunity to get one for your very own.  This is good news indeed, and I'm very excited at this announcement.

I hope your 2017 has been good so far. 




Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Last Update of 2016. Page 33 of Adrift.


Adrift Page 33 is complete. I stitched through adversity to get this done before the New Year.  Adversity, you ask? Why yes, adversity.  To be more specific, my stand broke.  It broke Christmas Day.  The bolt that keeps the Q-Snap tightly held, so I can stitch, stripped, rendering it a challenge to stitch the last 3 columns of a really bloody heavy piece.  After a complete and total meltdown, which may or may not have included several words not fit for this blog, my solution was to shove it into the stand anyway, and then balance the bottom on a tin box, which was balanced on my lap.  It kinda, sorta worked as long as I sat veeeeery still and did.not.move.  Because the tiniest move would send Adrift tumbling out of the stand and onto the cat, who was trying to sleep peacefully on the rest of my legs. He eventually left in a huff, after Adrift fell on him about 10 times or so.   But on the plus side, I think I've invented a new thing - Cross Stitch Yoga.  It challenges you to sit as still as you can while stitching 7000 stitches.  And because I had a blanket on my legs, after a while it became Hot Cross Stitch Yoga. It's a thing, I tell you!  I'll probably end up famous because of it, and you can all say you knew me when...

Back on planet reality, I ended up going to Sew and Sew Uk and just buying a Lowry.  I have to say, it was a pretty good price, too!  I was expecting to really pay through the nose, but they were having a Christmas sale, and because I was a brand new customer, I got another discount.  So I ended up paying 77 pound sterling for the frame AND shipping, which, translated to Canadian funds, is $127. Not too shabby!  My current stand, a K's Creation, the owner has offered to replace the broken piece if I send it back, or just buy a new piece for $50 usd plus shipping.  I might still do that, and have a second frame on standby in case something happens to the Lowry.   Like me stripping the screw.
It will also be a frame that I can loan to guests who come and stitch.  

Now, back to Adrift, in the bottom picture, that line you see is just from the Q-Snap, it won't be permanent.  I hurriedly took a photo as soon as I was done because I was boiling from Hot Cross Stitch Yoga, and dead tired.  So I took a photo, packed it away and went to bed.  I know many people are worried that Q-Snaps will damage their work, but it won't.  Not permanently.

So, I think we can all agree that 2016 was a pretty crappy year, the one thing that I did get done was a mountain of stitching.  On this, the last day of the year my stitch tally stands as such:
Adrift: 13 page finishes
Snow Stocking: 8 page finishes
Winter Hat Owl: 6 page finishes. 
Giving me a grand total of 27 HaED Finishes.  Then there was the little Thing 1 and Thing 2 bibs that I made for my co-worker.  She had boys, by the way.

So even though 2016 was not the year we will look back on with "undiluted pleasure" to quote the Queen, I can at least look at this year and think to myself that I will never beat this record.  So the year isn't a complete loss.

I wish all of my kindreds who read this little blog a Happy New Year.  May your needles stay shiny and sharp, may your scissors never be confiscated by security at the airport, and may you stitch, stitch, stitch.

I'll see you all in 2017, or at Hot Cross Stitch Yoga.