Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Long overdue update!

I am still breathing! Still here. I apologize for the long absence.

I am among those to have found this to have been an incredibly short summer! I love the cooler temps we have had, but I do hate the now, noticeably dwindling daylight.

Although I have been working on The Knox Family Sampler exclusively, I don't feel like I have made good progress. I think this is the longest it has ever taken for me to complete a sampler.

I finally finished the large letters. The filigree work took quite a while.


Between stitching the letters, I tried to extend the borders a bit. Next, I started on the houses. The first house was brick. There is a straight stitch around each brick which did slow things down.


The next house was smaller and pink. The stitching was quicker on this one.



Then I started on the first tree. I am currently filling in the foliage on this one. The stitch used is a wheat-ear stitch.



This is where I left off. It does seem like this sampler has taken a very long time. Of course one of the things we did this summer was to binge-watch 24, all nine days!
Watching Jack does not lend itself to quiet, careful stitching!

It was hard to get a good photo of the entire sampler so far. This is the best one I could find.



I really hope to finish this one up soon!

I have been busy in the garden, but it hasn't been such a good year. The tomatoes have been very small, and we had no luck at all with the squash or bok choy. Atleast we had a good crop of string beans and peas!

We did have some trouble with the chickens this year. We have a red fox of all things! I have been told they are rare in these parts. Lucky us! Unfortunately he managed to kill 6 of our chickens before we fortified the chicken yard fencing. It is very hard to free-range chickens around here between the hawk, raccoons, foxes, and the like! We let them out every afternoon for several hours, but only when someone is here to keep an eye on them. The worst, the absolute worst, was Bev! She was a mother hen who stayed to protect her 4 chicks. The other chickens ran away, but she stayed. Of course he got her and carried her off screaming! The chicks were very small, and in the following days, we lost 2 of them. The other 2 however, are now thriving! we always forget how violent nature can be. I know the fox probably had kits somewhere, but I sure wish she had picked on some squirrels, and left my hens alone!

Not to be forgotten is my August TUSAL!



Hope everyone is having a nice summer!
Back soon.
Erica


Thursday, May 1, 2014

My camera is back!

Yay! I finally got my camera back from Nikon, and I can post again!

I have been working almost exclusively on The Knox Family sampler. It is a very slow painstaking process on this one, and it seems like I will never be finished.

The beginning rows of alphabet all use the same two colors, and it does get a bit monotonous.

Some of the dividers between the alphabets are interesting. It is hard to see the detail, but here is a slice.


The entire inner border is done in a straight stitch in dark gold.
The first dividing band is done in dark gold cross stitch.
The second band is done in a back stitch using medium green.
The third dividing band is done in a zig-zag fashion with alternating straight stitches of green on the upswing, and dark gold on the down swing.
The fourth dividing band is done in a Long Legged Cross Stitch.
The fifth dividing band is done in Old Fashioned Cross Stitch.

Finally I got to the point where I can work with pink!
Next come the large illuminated letters. Each one takes quite a while to complete.


First the letter is stitched, then the filigree work is completed.

This is where it stands so far.

 

(Donna, I totally agree with you about the colors. That is why I was drawn to this sampler was for the lovely muted shades. The linen colors goes perfectly with them).

I also did a little bit of work on Winter Watchers.
I finished the male cardinal.

I also finished the branch, and completed a few rows with the background gray, Here is how it looks now.


I will only be working on this once in a while, in between projects. I have to fill in all the gray, then do all the little white French knot snowflakes. That will take some time. I was thinking of making it into a pillow when it is finished.

Last but not least is my April TUSAL, just a few days late.


Although I get quite frustrated with the slow progress of the Knox sampler, I feel like it will be worth the trouble when it is finished, atleast I hope so!

I think my next project though will be an easy one!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My little contribution to The Scarlet Letter Year Quilt

Last year a group of us collaborated on a surprise quilt for Nicola, for hosting The Scarlet Letter Challenge.

Each of us stitched a 6" square from one of the designs found on a Scarlet Letter sampler.

I chose my funny looking little sheep (?)  from The Harriot Boardman Sampler.


This was embroidered free-style. It is impossible to stitch it the same way twice!

48 squares were collected from stitchers from 9 countries, Australia, Canada, France, Scotland, Spain, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and in the United States, 21 different states!  44 different Scarlet Letter samplers were represented.

 Earlier this month, the quilt was presented to Nicola in London. I really wish I could have been there to see her surprise in person, but it was just not in the budget!



Here is a wonderful video of the quilt:



I received a lovely thank you email from Nicola, I think she really loved the quilt!
It was such a pleasure to take part in this group effort.

Long overdue post . . .


It has been over a month since I posted. I wish I could say this was because I was off in some exotic locale, but unfortunately it has been something much more mundane. I have had a lot of camera troubles. First my Nikon broke, then the card reader I was using for my little camera broke.
Frustrating!

I have some updates on the Knox Family Sampler. These photos were taken three weeks ago, so I am a bit father along now. I will post another photo just as soon as I can,


This shows the first row of letters and initials. It is stitched one over one.

Also, during this time I worked on a old WIP needlepoint called  Winter Watch.



This photo shows the female cardinal completed.


Sorry, for some reason I don't seem to be able to rotate it.



Since this was taken, I have finished the male cardinal as well
 Photos to follow.

I decided to bite the bullet and send the camera back to Nikon to be fixed, so hopefully I will have more to show soon.



Friday, February 21, 2014

I finished the upper border of the Knox Family sample!


This took me quite a while, but here it is:


Not the best photo. I am still mourning the loss of my Nikon, and I am still learning to use my little camera.
This sampler is a little deceptive when you look at it. It is actually wider than it is long. I had to be careful with the linen when I started it.

Most of the border is done in cross stitch using two strands of DMC, except for the little tendrils that are done in a straight stitch using only one strand.



Next, I will do the inner border which is a gold line done in a straight stitch.

Will be back soon with an update.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day !

Just in time, The Celtic Heart is finished.



The Celtic Heart - M Designs
Gentle Arts over-dyed threads on 32 ct linen

I also chose my next sampler from The Scarlet Letter. I love the soft, muted colors.

The Knox Family Sampler - The Scarlet Letter

I made a small start.


I am stitching with DMC on 36 count linen.

Hope all of you are surviving the snow if you are in the Northeast or Central US!

I am thinking of getting a dog sled!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Finish, a Start, and a TUSAL


I finished up S. Wood. She is a pretty little thing.

S. Wood - The Scarlet Letter
Au ver a soie on 32 count tea-dyed linen

Next, I started Celtic Heart, a little project for Valentines Day. I have had this in my stash for ages.


I am using Gentle Art over-dyed threads in Cranberry on 40 count antique linen.
It is a treat to be able to stitch over two threads again! The 40 count is a little tough on the eyes, but it is still better than one over one.

This was the first photo:


Then, I took this one last night.


It's coming along, but it is a bit slow. There is no apparent pattern to the stitches, so you really have to pay close attention to the chart. Atleast the heart came together. YAY! Always good when the ends meet! Now I just have two other borders to match!

Last but not least is my TUSAL, the second one this month.


The threads are all from S. Wood and the Birdkeeper.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Birdkeeper is finished, and I have a new start


Here she is with all her feathered friends:

The Birdkeeper - The Goode Huswife
Stitched on 35 ct tea-dyed linen with DMC

Next, I started the S. Wood sampler from The Scarlet Letter.

S.Wood sampler - The Scarlet Letter

This is a miniature sampler that dates from about 1820.
I am stitching it on 32 count tea-dyed  linen, using Au ver a soie. Even though it is a miniature, this is a tough one because it is all stitched one-over-one. Very tough on the eyes!

I finished up the upper border. The gold border is made up of three rows, a light gold row, a dark gold row, and another light gold. The visibility here is not great! I am going to start the verse tonight, and skip back and forth to the border, doing it a little at a time. It is easier on my eyes that way.

This is what I have so far:


We are in the middle of yet another raging blizzard here tonight.

Hope you are all safe and warm tonight wherever you are!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Knitted Hat and Progress on The Birdkeeper

I have another finish for 2014.

I finished up the hat that matches the self-striping scarf I made for Keith.


It is a very basic, easy free pattern, that I found here.

Here is the finished set:


I also made some progress on my bird girl. She is actually finished, but I will be a while longer in the trees!


I always under-estimate how long it takes to stitch a tree, any tree, in any pattern. They always look so easy!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Playing Catch-up, and the 1st TUSAL of 2014

Here it is, still in the early days of January, and I am already playing catch-up!

Here is my TUSAL jar the way it looked on Jan 1st.:


I always dump out all the orts on Dec 31st and keep them in a bag. On or around the first day in Spring, I scatter them about outside for the birds to use them for their nest-building.

New Years day I finished up Keith's scarf. It was an easy knit.
Here is my reluctant model:




For my next stitch, I wanted to pick something light-hearted. This one has always made me smile.


I had to make a few color changes here because the suggested colors did not show well on my linen.

I am working on her hat. This is what I have so far:


I will also be continuing with the Scarlet Letter Challenge for 2014. I have several charts in my stash. I need to pick one out today and get it kitted up.

Last but not least, I want to thank everyone for their well wishes for Keith. He is doing very well now in his recovery after surgery, and is starting to get his energy back.

Back soon.
Erica

2013 Finishes

There were only 9 finishes in 2013.

Here they are:

Freelove Hazard - The Scarlet Letter

My Beloved - The Scarlet Letter


Harriot Boardman - The Scarlet Letter

Art Nouveau Needlepoint - Lee

Mary Hart - The Scarlet Letter

Mary Baker - The Scarlet Letter

American Sampler Quilt

Autumn in New York - Primrose Needleworks

Mary Eaton - The Scarlet Letter

The Cardinal Sampler - Patricia Andrle

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season!

Our holidays were a bit subdued this year, Keith had surgery on December 21st, so we were mostly preoccupied with that.
The surgery went well, and he is now slowly recovering.

I did finish the Cardinal Sampler, my final finish of 2013.

The Cardinal Sampler - Patricia Andrle
32 ct antique linen, DMC, and metallic threads

I combined some metallic thread with the DMC for the border and illuminated initial to give it a little sparkle.
It didn't show up too well, but you can see a little of the shine in this close-up.


I want to get it framed for next Christmas!

My next project had to be something really simple. I decided to knit Keith a scarf. I worked on this in the waiting room during his surgery. It had to be a really mindless pattern because I was totally mindless that day!
I picked a "self striping" yarn that I saw on ebay. It is a "slow stripe", and is just suited for things like scarves.
I am knitting the scarf longways so the pattern is more subtle.
The pattern is really easy. First knit in a garter stitch for 4 rows, then purl 2 rows, knit 2 rows all the way across. Finish with 4 rows of garter stitch.
I believe the color is called "Sherwood Forest". The colors. greens, browns, grays, are favorites of Keith's. I hope he will like it.


I have a ways to go, so I doubt that is will be finished in 2013. I was also thinking about knitting a matching hat.

When I get a chance, I will be back to re-cap the 2013 finishes.

Hope everyone has a very Happy, Healthy New Year!