WIPocalypse October

Belatedly adding my update for October, although it’s the first WIP update I’ve made for quite some time. I’ve gone crazy stitching quite a bit since my return home – it’s helped me to take my mind off Dad’s passing and Mum coping on her own. So without further ado, here are my WIP updates and some other finishes.

Just Cross Stitch ornament SAL

I managed to finish all the remaining ornaments for a 12-month long ornament challenge using the 2018 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue – I used my two wild cards to change out two of the ornaments where I didn’t like one or didn’t have all the required threads and nothing to substitute with. The ornies I finished in October were:

Works in Progress / UFOs

I dragged out a few older WIPs/UFOs that were in my to-do-list for the year but that I hadn’t touched yet … I’ve failed my goals this year miserably, but at least I’ve managed some progress on a few projects for the year, even if it’s really small progress …

New starts

When I first came home I decided to start a new canvaswork project – I managed great progress until my fingers got too sore to keep yanking the threads through the canvas, so it’s been put into time out for a while, and I’ll probably pick it up again in 2020 to finish it off, if not before.

‘Lahaina Breezes’ by Laura J Perin

After I finished my JCS ornie SAL challenge, I decided to pick up a quick project that’s been kitted up for years – and finished it in a couple of days.

‘Under the Sea’ by Elizabeth’s Designs

Question of the Month: Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time?

It depends on my mood at the time, to be honest – I work well with a rotation when I’m in the mood, it helps me to progress through projects quickly as long as I have them all set up together ready for me to work through the order of projects without having to hunt for items, or frames, or threads etc. I’ve been doing a screaming rotation of sorts for a while now – just stitching on what I feel like stitching on and not counting the hours at all. I’d like to get back to a formal rotation again, but I think I’ll wait until the new year for that.

WIPocalypse – March 2019

Yet again progress on my WIPs has been very minimal during March. Mainly due to feeling unwell for so long, and when I returned to work I just didn’t have any energy for stitching at the end of the day. I did manage to get a tiny bit of stitching done during the month, though, on an older WIP so at least I have something to post this month! 😉

This is the free chart we received at the 2018 Mirabilia Retreat on the Central Coast. I’m not entirely sure I like how the date appears so I decided to start my stitching session with unpicking the existing stitches. I’ve decided to stitch both sides at the same time and in the same stitching order, so the wings are going to turn out (hopefully) relatively symmetrical. Here’s the progress I’ve made so far, but I’m ready for a change, so I think it’ll be rotated out with something else in April.

Question of the month:

What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?

Truthfully I haven’t really been looking for new designers or artisans, I’m a bit stuck in my ways and happy with the ones I already know – that’s not to say I don’t see the odd design that someone is stitching in one of the Facebook groups and might have a quick glance at their Etsy shop etc if I like what I see. I have to say, though, I haven’t found any so far that I’d add a “favourite” tag to. My favourite fabric dyer still remains as countrystitch.com, and my favourite designer this year is probably Needle Delights Originals (Kathy Rees) because I’ve bought a truckload of her canvaswork designs this year and kitted them up.

A lack of crafty updates

Sadly I became quite sick in early February with some virus that has had me nauseous and wanting to be physically ill on and off for six weeks. Sadly that meant a few weeks of annual leave were spent laid up in bed or on the sofa apartment-bound. This all coincided with the final visit from my Mum, which sadly meant no fun road trips for us on this trip, and our all travel plans had to be cancelled. On the positive, though, we had plenty of girlie one-on-one time at home watching TV and movies and just generally chatting. Mum has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and these types of days will gradually become less and less, and she’s no longer able to travel on her own. It breaks my heart to see her memories disappearing, but I try to stay positive and just respond the same way for the 5th time I’ve heard the same story on any given day – I still treasure the conversations and the laughter that we always have 🙂

As for crafts, my gigantic plans for the year became scuppered very early on, and I’m very behind with blogging and crafting. I did eventually manage a bit of stitching while I was on ‘holiday’ though once the nausea started to wear off, and this has been the result so far …

Dimensions: Stacked Tea Cups

This kit was a gift from a dear friend in the US, and I’ve been itching to stitch it ever since it arrived. I decided the colours were exactly what I wanted to work on and made a start on it before Mum arrived for our holiday. This was also my chosen project for “New start January” in an Aussie Facebook group called JK’s Groupies. Eventually I managed to finish it during my recuperation. I really need to take a better photo in daylight without all those ugly shadows! I also want to stitch this one more time but on a 36ct linen next time with DMC – I’d love to see the comparison, because I hated stitching on that awful cardboard-like Aida and I have more Dimensions kits to stitch up.

“Stacked Tea Cups” by Dimensions
Stitched on 18ct white Aida (hideous kit fabric)
with kit threads

Started 12 January 2019 – Finished 15 February 2019

Elizabeth’s Designs: Ladybug

This was a WIP from 2018, and all I had to do was to stitch on the ladybird charm … five minutes later and it was all finished! 🙂

“Ladybug” by Elizabeth’s Designs
Stitched on 32ct natural Belfast linen (I think)
with recommended threads
Started ? 2018 – Finished 15 February 2019

Keslyn’s: Santa’s Hat & Boots

Next was the April Christmas ornament in a Facebook JCS Christmas Ornament SAL. I really struggled with this one initially because of my ‘fuzzy head’, but I persevered and managed to finish it eventually – but oh boy it wasn’t much fun, and it took me a fair few days to complete it!

“Santa’s Hat and Boots” by Keslyn’s
(from the 2018 JCS Christmas Ornament issue)
Stitched one-over-one on 28ct white Lugana
with recommended DMC threads
but I attached small bells instead of the ‘Bead Landing Sticky Gems’

Laura J Perin: Flying Geese

After I finished all that over-one stitching, I started a new canvaswork project – Flying Geese by Laura J Perin. I thought the larger threads and canvas would be easier for my head to manage. It’s been a bit slow going, but hopefully this will be finished over the next couple of months.

WIPocalypse – November 2018

2018 WIPocalypse

What can I say … another three months have gone by, and I’ve only just managed to pick up my needle and do a bit of stitching! My foray into the world of crochet has taken over my crafting world for the last few months, and I’ve been engrossed in learning more and more … but I just realised the end of the year is almost upon us, and I started to feel a bit guilty for leaving my stitching WIPs neglected for so long.

I decided to drag out my Egyptian Garden Mandala and given it a bit of love over the last week.  The colours are starting to look a lot bolder, and I’m totally in love with the bright cobalt blue silk that’s starting to make a statement in those edge borders and flowers.  I’m still hating that fabric with a passion, and if I wasn’t so far along with the project I’d seriously consider starting it again – it’s a real labour of love, that’s for sure … emphasis on the word LABOUR … and I can’t wait to get it finished so I never have to drag my needle through that horrible fabric ever again.  It does look really stunning, though, so that’s what’s keeping me going!

Now on to the monthly questions – the current one, plus the last two I missed …


25 November – What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year?

I can’t say I’ve really learnt any new stitches this year … but as I mentioned earlier I have learnt how to crochet, and that journey has meant an awful lot of learning of new stitches and techniques.  It’s actually been quite invigorating to learn something new, and it’s given me a confidence boost to start tackling other techniques in my stitching wishlist in 2019.

28 October – Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time?

To be honest it depends on my mood – I actually love doing a rotation when I’m in the right frame of mind, and it really helps me to get a lot more stitching done.  Every now and then, though, I just want to stitch on something that is calling my name … so I often dither between the two.

30 September – How do you keep your stitching stash organized?

I keep my kits and patterns kitted up with fabric in large file boxes in groups of project size (eg Large/BAP, Medium, Small, Ornaments etc). My threads are kept in flossaway bags on metal rings and then in larger file boxes in their groups (eg silks together, overdyed floss together, DMC floss together, pearl cottons and other specialty fibres together). My charts are generally in ring binders. My works in progress are in tubs on their scroll bars or Qsnaps along with their chart and threads in project envelopes.

WIPocalypse – August 2018

2015 WIPocalypseI managed to avoid a lot of my other crafts for a while this month, and got a bit more progress under my belt for my cross stitch WIPs. Reviewing my year’s goals last month lit a bit of a fire under me, I think, and got me to focus on ticking off a few more items if I could.

The first thing I did was to find three smaller, older WIPs and finished them all off … that means one more  done on my list!

“Starry Snowman” ornament by Homespun Elegance
from 1998 JCS Christmas Ornament issue
Stitched on 28ct Cashel linen (colour putty??)
with recommended DMC threads

Sue Hillis Design-Spool Ornament

“Spool Ornament” by Sue Hillis Design
from 2007 JCS Christmas Ornament issue
Stitched on 28ct antique white Cashel linen
with recommended DMC threads
All I needed to do was to add the buttons and it was finished!

A small Hardanger design I did myself

After I did that wee burst of quick finishes, I decided to go back to Mill Hill’s Three Kings and put some serious progress into this one over one weekend.  I intend continuing on this one now until the two kings are fully finished – I only have a couple more stitches to do on the right-hand king before starting the back-stitching and then the beading. It’s not the easiest fabric to stitch on at night, so it’s more of a weekend project while I have a bit of daylight to work with.

How it looked when I started (ie where I finished during the last session):

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And how it looks now … I can’t wait to start adding the beads to this and seeing this piece really come to life!!

Mill Hill-Three Kings

Now on to the monthly question, and review of the year’s goal progress to date – it’s been fun ticking a few items off the list finally. I can’t see me reaching many of these goals by the end of the year, but I’ve made more progress this year on goals that I ever have I think … it’s been fun!

26 August – Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish?
I think it’s more the process of stitching than the finishes themselves, but in saying that I do love to see the final stitches go into something as well, especially if it’s been a tedious project that I’d kind of fallen out of love with. It’s still all about the ‘process’, though, in the end.

WIPocalypse – July 2018

2015 WIPocalypseOops, I totally forgot to post my July WIPocalypse update. Time for a quick catch-up before the August WIPocalypse is due!!

While I’ve been really busy stitching during the month, there hasn’t been a great deal of progress done on my actual WIPs, so not too much to share.  I managed a bunch of canvaswork new starts (and finishes) during the last month (see my previous blog post), and a bunch of crochet (my latest learning craze) … cross-stitch, sadly, has been taking a bit of a back seat.

I did, however, manage to do a wee bit more work on Quaker Diamonds … enough to complete the entire bottom section of the chart, and managing to tick one more item off on my goals list for the year, woohoo! This is how it looked at the end of my last WIPocalypse post:

Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor 24Jun2018

And how it looked at the end of June:

36137367_10155595879048148_9189221021012459520_n (1)

After I finished the bottom section, I moved on to spend a few hours on Mill Hill’s Three Kings.  Not a lot of progress was done, because it’s difficult to stitch at night, but it’s getting closer and closer to finishing off the middle king, and getting ready to do some beading very very soon.

How it looked when I started:

38864916_10155701076138148_5643280924624814080_n

And how it looks now:

38932016_10155701063623148_8244335736380194816_n

Now on to the monthly question, and review of the year’s goal progress to date – it’s been fun ticking a few items off the list finally. I can’t see me reaching many of these goals by the end of the year, but I’ve made more progress this year on goals that I ever have I think … it’s been fun!

Half-year recap: How are you doing with your goals so far this year?

Cross stitch and embroidery

  1. √ Starfish by Mill Hill – DONE √
  2. √ Red by Mirabilia (in a blue conversion) – DONE √
  3. √ Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor – 20 hours (ie two rotation slots) or two larger motifs completed – DONE √
  4. Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread (X not touched yet)
  5. Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine (X not touched yet)
  6. Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches (X not touched yet)
  7. When Witches Go Riding by The Prairie Schooler (X not touched yet)
  8. Three Kings by Mill Hill/Jim Shore – finish two of the three kings in the centre (X in progress)
  9. Progress on three other UFOs/WIPs, yet to be decided (X not touched yet)

Other needlework WIPs:

  1. √ Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff – DONE √
  2. Hearts & Berries by Marg Low (X not touched yet)
  3. Make a Christmas Wish by Marg Low (X not touched yet)
  4. Travel Cord Buddy by Michelle Marvig (X not touched yet)
  5. Stumpwork (X not touched yet)

New starts:

  1. √ Start (and hopefully finish) at least two canvaswork projects – DONE √: 1) Earth Spirit by Northern Pine Designs; 2) Holiday Square by Laura J Perin
  2. Start a new HAED (X not touched yet)
  3. Choose a project (or two) that has specialty stitches – eg hardanger, band sampler (X in progress)

Crochet

My goals here are much loftier than the cross stitch goals – but probably important to keep the impetus up while I’m learning so that the lessons I learn are more ingrained into my brain cells!

  1. √ Finish my striped blanket – DONE √
  2. Make at least one (hopefully different) granny square or other blanket square every week (X not touched yet – will not complete)
  3. √ Complete at least three months crochet projects from “Crate Crochet” – DONE √
  4. √ Make a coffee cup cuff – DONE √
  5. Small granny square pincushion (X not touched yet)
  6. Make a shawl (X not touched yet)
  7. Start an Atlanticus (mandala) blanket (X not touched yet)
  8. Restart my Spice of Life blanket (X not touched yet)

Quilting

  1. Make some small pincushions (X not touched yet)
  2. A very simple goal here of starting a queen-sized bed patchwork quilt for myself (X not touched yet)
  3. Maybe start my Piece and Plenty quilt (X not touched yet)
  4. Maybe start my The Blue Collection quilt (but highly unlikely) (X not touched yet)

 

WIPocalypse – June 2018

2018 WIPocalypseAnother month of very little stitching, but a fair bit of crochet happening. Now I have more crafts on the go, I’m struggling a bit to give each of them air time – perhaps I need a rotation that includes all my crafts, not just cross stitch? Hmmm…

This month I’ve managed to do a wee bit more work on Quaker Diamonds. I’d like to finish the bottom section of the design before I move on to something else, but in all honesty I’m finding this one a real chore to stitch, so I think I’m going to have to mix it up with something else inbetween – either doing actual finishing of some of my finished pieces or working through some smaller kitted up projects for a bit of variety. I do love the finished look of this one though, even though it’s a PITA to stitch 😉

This is how it looked in the last WIPocalypse post:

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And how it looks now:

Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor 24Jun2018

 

24 June – Tell us what you think the ideal stitching retreat would include.
For me the ideal one is where I’m learning something new, so having some sort of classes are a must. Also having a general room available for stitching or chatting throughout the entire retreat would be great (ie not just available during the day). Obviously having a retail section is also really loved, especially for items that are harder to find locally. Affordable accommodation at the same venue is definitely preferred too.