March 31, 2009

Thanks for all of your tips!

As a result of all your wonderful tips and advice for working with the dreaded Kreinik thread, I buckled down and worked on getting some of the stitching out of the way on Sunday. It was a perfect day for stitching as the weather was cold and rainy so I had a great excuse for staying in doors. And I'm really happy with the progress I made!

I ended up going with one thread only and very short lengths. It was kind of a pain to have to rethread the needle so often but it was worth it. I was also careful to keep dropping my needle every few stitches to let the thread unwind so it didn't crimp up a lot and that really seemed to work well.

Thanks to all your great advice, I no longer dread having to work with metallic threads. Thank you everyone!

March 29, 2009

Busy Week = Not A Lot of Progress

Between a very stressful week at work and lots of reading for my current class, I did not make a lot of progress this week. I did manage a few stitches in my Peace ornament and The Gilded Cage.

I also cast on for the 2nd sock in the pair I'm knitting for a friend and yesterday I managed to finish the 2nd panel of my Alexandre piece but I did not try to start the third panel. Instead I picked up the sock and knit a bit on that.

Today I'm going to work a little on my Halloween Fairy - it's rainy and damp and my homework is done so I'm looking forward to making some stitching progress today. Hope your weather is fair where ever you are!

March 22, 2009

So close....

Yesterday was my day to work on my Alexandre piece and I came quite close to finishing it. I almost pushed on and completed the rest of the border but I was really tired and afraid I'd make a mistake so I stopped where I was. I should definitely finish this up next Saturday.

March 20, 2009

Thank you kind stitchers!

Many thanks to all of your tips for working with Kreinik - I'm going to dig out my Thread Heaven - I think I still have a container and try that and test stitching with only one strand and see how that looks - stay tuned! I really appreciate you all taking the time to leave a tip.

I've got some progress pics to show of two of the new projects I started this week. First up is the ornament I picked from last year's JCS ornie issue. I am starting with Peace by Knotted Tree Needleart. It was hard to get a decent progress photo. I'm stitching it over one on a light grey 28 count evenweave I had in my stash with the called for Crescent Colors threads.

Next up is my progress on The Gilded Cage by CHS. I'm stitching this on the recommended 40ct R&R Antique Cotton which I luckily had in my stash and the NPI silks called for. This is really going to be pretty I think.

And last night my class got out early so I sat down and finished off my Spunky Electic sock. I'm going to cast on for the other one this weekend as I'd like to get the pair completed and be on to something new!

March 19, 2009

Cranky over Kreinik

Here is my Halloween Fairy progress after working on her on Sunday. I'm now down to the Kreinik and beading part and I think progress will slow a fair amount as I'm struggling with the Kreinik.

Which brings me to my plea for your tips and techniques for working with this fussy fiber. I'm using short lengths as suggested however they are kinking a lot. Do you use two strands together or one strand crossing over each leg of the stitch twice? I am also finding it hard to straighten the thread after unwinding it from the spool which is contributing to the kinking part. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

I did manage to put a few of the metallic stitches in but I'm not pleased with how they look. I was able to substitute out two of the colors with a Petite Treasure braid which I find easier to work with so maybe I will switch to stitching those sections first.

March 17, 2009

Rotation Tryout

In an effort not to bore both myself and you, I've decided to try out a project rotation to add some variety to my stitching. I don't have a great history with a rotation however, anything is usually worth another try. Here's my plan:

Monday will be for knitting or crocheting
Tuesday will be for stitching ornaments
Wednesday will be for a new project - CHS The Gilded Cage
Thursday will be for knitting or crocheting
Friday will be a HIH heart kit for my sister
Saturday will be Alexandre SAL day as usual
Sunday will be for my Halloween Fairy

Here is my progress on my Alexander piece after stitching on it Saturday. I have a floral motif on the left and right to complete and a small one below the end of the alphabet and the rest of the border and this panel will be done. I've been considering jumping to some of the accessories that go along with this project vs. starting another full panel but I still haven't decided what I will do. I probably have two more Saturday's of stitching on this before I make up my mind.

My thanks to all of you who have been stopping by - I really appreciate your comments and encouragement. Class starts back up on Thursday but I hope to keep posting and reading blogs as I am able. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is working on - it's so inspiring!

March 14, 2009

A great end to a vacation week

It's back to work for me on Monday but for one last hurrah before that, my friend Nancy and I got together on Friday and took a trip out to ABC Stitch Therapy in Grantham, NH. We met in Manchester and then drove out to visit ABC. They were in their new location which is just down the road from where they used to be. It's a really great space with lots of natural light, room and tons and tons of stash!

They have a truly incredible selection of fibers and threads and a really nice variety of charts and other stitching related items. We got there around 11am and before we knew it, it was after 1:00pm. As you can see from the photos, I did a bit of stash enhancement - mainly fibers. I made a list of projects I would like to stitch this year and then the threads I needed to complete them. I bought NPI silks, Weeks, GAST and a bunch of Crescent Colors cottons. I also couldn't resist the three new stocking booklets from BBD and The Primitive Needle's Cape Cod Girls.

Nancy brought along some of her wonderful quilting and gifted me with this gorgeous tote bag she made. Isn't it great? The fabric colors are so vibrant and she did a great job sewing it. I will be using this either to carry materials for my class or as a second project tote.

We had our own mini show and tell over lunch of projects we're working on - she's got some great new charts and projects coming so be sure to check back to her blog often - she's promised to update it!

March 12, 2009

She's got legs!

As you can see, I've made some great progress on my Halloween Fairy project this week - the luxury of free time during vacation! I am trying to decide if I will start the pumpkins that are to the left of her feet or pick up my Kreinik and start the wording for Trick or Treat. I do not enjoy working with Kreinik so my inclination is to finish the DMC work on the pumpkins. The pumpkins will add a welcome addition of colors other than brown so that's probably what I'll end up starting.

March 11, 2009

Saturday Stitching

I went to visit my sister this weekend and brought along my Alexandre SAL piece not really expecting to have time to stitch at all. However, I had a little bit of time to myself on Saturday afternoon so I picked up the piece and made some decent progress.

I'm on vacation this week and am in the process of painting my kitchen cupboards. What in the world was I thinking????? As of 9:30 this morning, the framework is done - primed and coated twice and the doors backs have the first coat of white on them as do the drawers. Once they dry I will flip them over and do the fronts and then the project will be done. What a tedious process! And of course now that they are changed, the wall color is next but not this week! I'm off to make some more progress on my Halloween Fairy - she's really coming along nicely!

March 6, 2009

Fair Progress

Last night was my last class for the Spring I term and I got out of class early so I picked up my Halloween Fairy and stitched on her till almost 11pm which is late for me - I hope there aren't a lot of errors! She's really coming along I think. I'm working on getting most of the regular DMC stitching done before switching to the Kreinik and beading. Once her skirt is done, it should go pretty fast because most of the solid stitching will done. I'm a bit apprehensive on working with the Kreinik - metallic threads are not my favorites and this has quite a bit. But it will be worth the effort because they really make the piece sparkle. I hope to put more time into this today as I have a few days off.

March 4, 2009

- 11 Degrees

Someone needs to tell Mother Nature that spring will be here on the 20th because I don't think she's gotten the message yet. It was -11 when I went out to get in my car this morning. We have had such a cold winter this year - a very good year for hand knit wool socks. The sock above is in progress for a friend of mine and I think she'll be able to wear them this year if I get them finished within the next two weeks as planned. This is some yarn from my stash by a spinner called Spunky Eclectic. It's sport weight so the pattern I'm knitting called for size 4 dpns which seem huge to me. I'm not super jazzed about the yarn - I love the hand dyed colorway but the yarn itself does not have that tight twist and springiness that I so love in Blue Moon sock yarn. But I promised myself I was going to knit down some of my sock yarn stash before I bought anything else so I will persevere.

This is actually my second pair of socks for 2009 which isn't bad I think. The photo below is the pair I finished for my sister using Blue Moon Flower Power which was part of my 2007 Sock Club stash. She requested a butterfly pattern from Fiber Trends and was quite happy with them. I think I will end up ordering another skein of this yarn as the colors are fantastic.

I stitched a little bit on my Halloween Fairy this morning but it's not enough to show any real progress. I hope to get a little more done over the next two days so I can post an updated photo.

I hope you are keeping warm wherever you are! And please someone, call Mother Nature will you? I need warm weather.

March 2, 2009

UFO Sunday

I didn't make much progress on my UFO stitching yesterday. The photo on the left is where I started and the one on the right is where I ended yesterday evening. By the time I sat down to stitch, my eyes were too tired to do much over one stitching. I am however going to keep this project envelope in my stitching bag rather than put it away until the first Sunday in April. I think for now I will alternate between this and my Halloween fairy depending on my mood. There is also a new project kitted up in that bag that I'm trying to resist so we'll see how that goes!

My thanks to everyone who has been stopping by and commenting. It feels good to be back in the blogging and stitching world and I'm going to do my best to keep my blog updated and visit more of your wonderful pages. The projects you are working on are so inspiring!

March 1, 2009

SAL Alexendre Progress

I made some pleasing progress on my SAL project yesterday. I finished the little bar in the middle and a row of the 2nd alphabet. I also completed more of the right side of the border. I really enjoy working on this project and it's quite hard to zip it back into its plastic project envelope at the end of the day. I hope to get more time with this piece next Saturday.

This is how it looks so far... I wish my camera took better pictures as these don't really show the true colors of the fabric but I'm still very happy with my choice of variegated DMC instead of the SnC I was originally planning to use.