Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Projects

I can never seem to find the time to post, but I have been busy.

Last November, I began stitching A Crossed Wing Christmas.

This is a deceptively large sampler, with lots of 3/4, and blended stitches. I think it will be very pretty when it is finished, but it is a slow-go.
I got to the point where I just couldn't look at any more snow and ice after the winter we had, and I put it aside for a while.
This where it was when I left off:

It is a little hard to see the details on the light blue linen. There is a lot of snow, as well as the many birds of course, and some apples, pine cones and an orange.
I will get back to it in a few months.

Next, I picked The Sarah Elizabeth Brooke Sampler.

Sarah Elizabeth Brooke 1842 Sampler
I have had my eye on this one for quite a while!

The linen is 40 count, and I am using the suggested Belle Soie silk threads.
I am currently working on this one, and have made some more progress. I will post a new photo soon.
Those bricks are taking forever! I feel like I am actually building the house brick by brick!

In between these projects, I knitted a pair of socks for Martha, my mother-in-law. Unfortunately I neglected to get a photo. I hope they fit, but I suspect they might have been a bit large. It is always hard to knit socks for someone else.

Also, I completed 2 other projects! Because they are secret, I cannot post the photos just yet, but I will in a few months.

I am spending a lot of time in the garden these days. I got a late start and didn't get my seeds going. Next year, no matter how cold it is, I am resolving to start my plants from seed! The nurseries and farms around here are all disappearing to make room for more developments. It is a shame to see them go. The result is to pay higher and higher prices for plants from the remaining nurseries, or be satisfied with the paltry selection of plants from the big box stores. Not great alternatives!

As soon as it stops raining, I am going to take photos of my garden. I will come back to post them along with my progress on Sarah Elizabeth.

Enjoy the Spring everyone!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I have been busy.

I haven't been blogging, but I promise you, I have been very busy.
The dreaded kitchen cabinets still have me in their hold! At this rate, I will be lucky to finish them sometime this summer!

I finished up the year with my hand-painted socks. I was on a roll. I was determined to refine my sock-knitting skills. The first pair, I knitted the traditional way on 4 double point needles. This time I wanted to try knitting them on a circular needle.

I was lucky enough to score a free box of yarn. Most of it was leftovers from other projects, but I did find some purple yarn that caught me eye. It was only a lace weight, so I had to double it up to get to a sock weight.

Last time the socks came out too big, so I made them smaller.

My purple socks from mystery yarn

The yarn was not so good, but atleast they look like socks! The circular needle was a little tricky at first, but I got used to it.

Keith saw me knitting all these socks, and said "Where are my socks?"

Well, I was hoping to refine my skills a little more before giving anyone a present, but what the heck.

I set out to knit him some socks. The green wool is a very nice, super-washed merino.

I found out that knitting socks for men takes a lot longer than knitting socks for me.

Thank goodness they turned out ok. Of course I still didn't know if they would fit. They seemed very big to me.

They were a St. Valentine's Day surprise.

He says he likes them! Yay!

We need lots of warm socks this winter! It's cold here!

2014 Finishes

Better late than never!

I didn't have that many finishes in 2014.

There was the hat and scarf set I made for Keith:

The Birdkeeper:

Celtic Heart:

The Knox Family Sampler -The Scarlet Letter. (This one took a really long time to finish).

Autumn Harvest

Down Jinglepot Road:

Socks for me:

Long Overdue Update

The Fall and the holidays came and went in a flash!

I really was getting some things done, but I have also been working on re-doing my kitchen. I have taken on the difficult task of painting my old oak cabinets. Normally I do not believe in painting woodwork like oak, but these were from the 80's, and had seen better days.
I decided to paint them white. What a job! I am still not even half way through!

I finished Autumn Harvest.

Autumn Harvest - Chessie & Me, 32ct linen, Weeks and GAST threads

I love Chessie & Me designs. They always have a little cat in them.

Next, I worked on my 2014 Christmas Ornament. This year's was Down Jinglepot Road from the 2014 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Issue.

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to finish it into an ornament, but here is the stitched piece.

Down Jinglepot Road
This photo didn't come out that well, but it depicts an old red truck going down a bumpy dirt road with a Christmas tree in the back. When Keith and I were first married we had an old red truck. We went everywhere in it! When we cut our Christmas trees, it is always in a place like this.
On top of everything else, the rooster on it reminds me of our dear departed Walter!

To finish out the year, I finally finished the socks that I bought in a kit from Maine Woods Fiber. I have had this for a while. The yarn is hand-painted merino wool.

I actually made 3 socks. They came out way too big for me. I re-knitted the larger one. Truth be told, the other one also needs to be re-done, but I just don't feel like doing it. After finishing one sock, you really don't feel like doing the second one, let alone doing a fourth one! You can see that one is bigger than the other.

Socks are hard!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Knox Family Sampler is finished!

At long last, the endless sampler is finally finished! Yay!

Here she is:

The Knox Family Sampler - The Scarlet Letter - DMC on 36ct linen

Here is an additional view:

It is hard to see the detail in these photos. There is a variety of stitches used here, long-legged cross stitch, backstitch, zig-zags, and wheatear stitch. The grass is done in a satin stitch. The lettering at the bottom, similar to the top, is stitched one-over-one. My favorite part is the illuminated letters.

The chart states that it is an "ambitious sampler". I would definitely agree with that! I am very glad that it is finally finished!

I wasn't sure what I wanted to work on next, but I needed a little change of pace. I always love the colors of my favorite season, so I decided on Autumn Harvest, a Chessie & Me design from Linda Lautenschlager. I have had this in my stash for ages,

I love that her designs always have a cat in them! The chart called for it to be stitched with one thread, but I decided to make it bolder, and use two over two. I am stitching it on 32ct linen, using Sampler Threads and DMC.

This is what I have so far:

This one should be finished in a much shorter time!

Enjoy the lovely autumn, or the lovely spring if you are down under!

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.

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.

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.