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 – 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 – February 2018

2018 WIPocalypseAfter making the decision to try to finish stitching the blue conversion of Mirabilia’s Red in time for this month’s Mirabilia retreat, I really pulled out all the stops and smoke was coming from my needle! I managed to do it, but only just, and oh my goodness I was shattered at the end of it all!

I have to say, though, I’m so incredibly proud of her – she’s one of my favourite Mirabilia finishes (the other one is Enchanted Mermaid) – and I was very pleased to see that she took 3rd place in the unframed category voting at the retreat! Here she is in all her beautiful glory (albeit a bit wrinkled from the journey to the retreat):

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“Red” by Mirabilia – using Beverly’s blue conversion
Stitched on 32ct Haven by Picture This Plus
with Beverly’s choice of threads and beads (with a couple of small bead changes by me)
Started 30 April 2017 – Finished 4 February 2018

I then sat in a stitching funk for a week or two before deciding to finally put the finishing touches into this very, very old work in progress.  This has been a gradual work in progress over so many years it’s not funny!  It finally got stalled again last year when I couldn’t find my gold paillettes – I managed to find a supplier in the US and bought a few vials ready for any future projects.  This is probably the most challenging canvaswork project I’ve ever attempted, but it’s now done and dusted and in the finished pile.  I don’t ever want to use metallic cord for drawn thread ever again in this lifetime, but gee I’m proud of this one!

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“Flight of the Bumblebees” by Ruth Schmuff
Stitched on recommended congress cloth
with all recommended threads and embellishments
Started 1 January 2007 – Finished 17 February 2018

28 February – Gadgets!  Show us your favourite stitching gadgets!
Oh my goodness, I have so many stitching tools that I love, I’m finding it hard to decide what to post. I guess the two things that I just can’t live without are my lap and floor stands and my OTT-lites.  I also find Thread Heaven invaluable for using metallic threads in canvaswork so I get less tangles.  I could go on and on … 😉

Oops, I just realised I never posted my first WIP finish for the year – I managed to put the final stitches into Mill Hill’s Starfish back on 10 January, so that’s another WIP crossed off the list this year!!

“Starfish” by Mill Hill (kit)
Stitched on 28ct Cashel linen by Countrystitch ~ colour xxx
with kit threads and beads

 

WIPocalypse November 2017

Wow, where did the time fly? It certainly wasn’t spent doing cross stitching, I know that much!! Not much stitching to share for the last three months I’ve been AWOL, at least for my WIPs anyway.  The only WIP updates I have are to the following, and even the progress here is pretty minimal.

First up there was Roswood Manor’s ‘Quaker Diamonds’ in early September – before and after:

Then there was Mirabilia’s ‘Red’ (in blue) later in September – before and after:

And lucky last I managed a few hours on Mill Hill’s ‘Starfish’ kit a week or two ago:

The rest of the time has been spent unexpectedly moving apartments as the owner of the apartment I’d been living in for almost 11 years decided to sell. In the middle of moving I also had a stitching retreat to attend, so I decided to still go to one day of the weekend retreat anyway – partly because I’d paid for some kits and and prepaid all the costs and accommodation … but partly because I thought I deserved the break. My mum flew over to help me pack/move, but sadly her early signs of dementia made that add a bit more stress to the proceedings and actually slowed things down – it was fantastic having her company, though, in saying that. Anyway, I’m all moved in now, and only about 20 boxes left yet to unpack (!). Most of the stitching stash has been unpacked now, so at least I’m free to go back to picking up the odd WIP or two when I feel like it.

After moving I couldn’t find my XS stash for ages, but the good thing is that I had the retreat projects handy and ready to go. As soon as I’d returned home from taking Mum back to NZ, I gave myself a week off from unpacking and had a week full of doing some wonderful ‘new-to-me’ crafts. It was really awesome, and just what the doctor ordered. There was so much to post about, I’ll make a separate post for these projects – mind you, they’ve now become WIPs, so a couple of them may reappear again in the future as non-XS WIPs for WIPocalypse …

Anyhoo, to finish off the post, here are the outstanding questions:

September 24 – Which floss (or color of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?
I adore Gloriana silks, and about six months ago signed up with a floss stash program where I’m sent four skeins every month with no postage costs. If I could choose them all to be BLUE skeins I’d be in seventh heaven, but having an envelope each month with luscious-feeling silks in any colour has been heavenly in itself. Obviously anything blue is something I’m always wanting … and every time I go to find a blue silk or floss I still never have just the ‘right’ shade to use …

October 29 – How did you begin stitching?
I used to try different crafts out all the time when I was in my ‘teens. At some point I decided to try cross stitch, and bought a small kit on aida to make for our office receptionist’s retirement gift. It’s the only craft I’ve continued to do year after year, while all the other crafts have fallen by the wayside over the years.

November 26 – What finishing style have you never tried but would love to do?
I have so many ‘smalls’ that I’d like to try finishing the list would be endless … I can’t truthfully think of just one that stands out above all others, though.

 

WIPocalypse September 2017

Thanks to my rotation ticking along swimmingly, I’ve had another month with relatively good progress on my WIPs 🙂

First up is where my latest start finished up at the end of my rotation slot – this is Mill Hill’s Starfish, which was technically a new start last month, but I guess has migrated into the WIP definition now … Here’s how it looked like at the end of August’s WIPocalypse, and how it looked at the end of the rotation slot:

Next up was my “Large/BAP” rotation slot, so I dragged out an older WIP to get a bit of love. This is Rosewood Manor’s Quaker Diamonds, and what it looked like before and after 10 hours of work on it.  Lots of colour changes in this one, but it’s quite enjoyable to stitch on the whole – at least it looks like some decent progress was made anyway!

And now for the question of the month:

Which floss (or color of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?

That’s a no-brainer for me … anything blue! Every shade and deviation possible!! And whenever I stitch I never seem to have just the ‘right’ shade of blue … but it doesn’t matter, just flicking through my blue silk stash in particular gives me joy. As for threads themselves, Gloriana and Belle Soie silks are probably my ultimate favourites to stitch with, followed by Au Ver a Soie d’alger, and Rainbow Gallery Splendor silks.

A small finish Ahoy, and starfish overload

On Sunday I managed a new start, which also ended up being a new finish – gotta love those small projects and a good audiobook to keep the momentum going all day! 😉

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“Square.ology sandcastle.frame Ahoy” by Hands on Design

Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed linen by Countrystitch ~ colour Blue Ice
(the photo looks grey, but it’s actually a delightful pale blue!!)
with recommended threads – the felt star and button came with the chart

Next up is yet another new start – I only got one hour’s stitching into this one on Sunday night, and another 40 mins last night, but I have a feeling it’s going to be another quick one to stitch up as it’s nice and blocky on the whole! Hmmmm just realised it’s another starfish – there seems to be a theme happening this week! 😀

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