I started a needlepoint project this month: Little Blue Book Bag from Freda’s Fancy Stitching. I’m enjoying working on this; it’s got a ton of different stitches which means that it’s never going to be boring. This is the first time I’ve used stretcher bars; it took me a few tries to get the canvas taut and I still don’t think it’s as taut as it should be.
This is the Interlaced Heron bookmark from Celtic Needlepoint by Alice Starmore. I picked this book up at one of the big library book sales and am glad I did; there are several designs I’d like to work in it. It called for 22-mesh single thread canvas; I didn’t feel like tracking that down, so I worked it in half cross stitch on some 22-count fabric I had. It’s charted for Kreinik Soie d’Alger silk floss with DMC equivalents; I used the DMC equivalents except for the gold. It called for DMC 3046, which wasn’t a very bright gold, so I substituted DMC 728. I looked up the Kreinik color (2212) and probably would have wanted to substitute something else for that if I’d gone that route.
I kind of wish I’d gone for more strands or full cross stitches or something for the background; I’m not entirely happy with the coverage. I ended up scanning the chart which gave me something to mark (I was OK until I hit the first neck) and which also gave me more ability to distinguish between the different colors on the chart. It’s a color chart, and there are three very close colors on the chart (the two reds and the orange). I used a flash picture for the first wing and the scan for the second. I worked this in hand and it ended up a little warped, but I don’t care enough to do anything about it; it’s just a bookmark.
I only finished eight projects this year (seven cross-stitch and one needlepoint): five bookmarks (one needlepoint), one card, one planet (55×55 stitches), and one larger piece (163×163 stitches). I currently have no idea where some of the bookmarks are; I need to check my library books before I return them.
The one needlepoint bookmark was Fireworks. I really enjoyed working on this, and I think I should do more needlepoint.
I completed this Water Garden for a birthday card for my sister; it only took me a year to finish.
I completed Neptune; someday, I will have all of the planets (assuming that he continues designing them; he has Mercury, Venus, and Uranus to go).
The one larger piece I completed was Geometric Dreams No. 1. I am happy I finished something larger than a bookmark, but I still need to wash it, iron it, and turn it into a pillow.
This is a needlepoint bookmark from Beautiful Stitches. The model was done in fall colors and called “Autumn Fireworks”; the variegated color was dyed by the designer, so I couldn’t match it if I wanted. It called for 24 count congress cloth, which I’d never used before and which was very easy to use. I used DMC 900, 727, and 972 as my solid colors and DMC 51 as my variegated color. I had some of DMC 51 around from the Cirque des Cercles attempt and because it had the most distinct colors of any of the variegated floss that I had on hand (the rest were shades of the same color and I decided not to look for the satin floss that I think I have). I wasn’t sure if I’d like DMC 51 in this because it changed colors more slowly than the model’s variegated color, but I like the effect even though it’s hard to tell that some of the smaller motifs use it.
This worked up much faster than I expected because I had serious problems with a number of the elements through failure of counting, misplacing elements, and misunderstanding the instructions. There was one stitch that I had to look up on the internet for instructions because the provided ones did not make sense to me. I had the worst problems with the top section; I had all those problems there. Misplacing and/or miscounting the outer elements caused the center elements to be misplaced, and the outer elements were discovered to be out of place when the center elements were correctly placed (I started counting from the cross-stitch outline instead of the outer elements). I also failed in keeping the thread tension even so it’s kind of wavy in places. Despite the problems that I had, I really enjoyed working on it and am happy with the way it turned out; it was a nice change from cross-stitching.
I worked on a few smaller things this month: two for bookmarks, one for a Christmas card, and one just because I wanted to do it. I completely forgot about doing a WIP post until today; I think the only thing I’ve worked on in the last few days is the Klimt silhouette.
I started one of the Klimt Silhouettes from Jill Oxton’s Cross Stitch and Bead Weaving #96; I am disappointed that issue 97 will be the last one. I’m doing this on 14-count plastic canvas; I probably should have used three strands, but I used two. It’s worked up very quickly; I will probably finish it in the next few days.
In addition to finishing two projects this month (a small bookmark and Geometric Dreams No.1), I worked on an ongoing project and started something new. The ongoing project is part of the water garden from Oriental Cross Stitch Favourites (Spring 2012); it’s intended for a birthday card for my sister. I started it last year, but did not finish it in time. I need to make a push to finish it; her birthday’s at the end of October. I have most of the lower part finished; the upper part is just a few branches, but there is a ton of backstitching (every color has its own backstitching):
After I finished Geometric Dreams No. 1, I decided that I needed a complete change and started this needlepoint project from Beautiful Stitches. I’m a little intimidated by it because it has a lot of different stitches and techniques. It’s on 24 count Congress cloth, which I hadn’t heard of before but which is easy to work with. It calls for one variegated color and three coordinating solid colors; I chose to use DMC 51 for the variegated floss and DMC 900, 727, and 972 for the solid colors. The number of strands used depends on the stitch; on what I’ve done so far, the outer border is four, the variegated part is three, and the cross stitch is two over two. I’m not entirely happy with DMC 51’s rate of change; it seems a little slow for this. After I started, I remembered that I did have some more variegated floss with multiple colors, but it’s satin and I do not like working with satin floss. If I decide these colors don’t really work for me, I may go to the satin floss anyway. I’m going to get all the colors on there and DMC 51 all the way to its darkest point before I decide for sure.
I worked on eight unfinished projects this year: six cross-stitch, one needlepoint project, and one latch hook. Out of the cross-stitch projects, one was a picture, four were for cards, and one was a bookmark.
My main work in progress for the year was Alphonse Mucha’s Moon:
I failed to finish several cards this year; I had one for my sister’s birthday (and planned on one for my other sister, but didn’t even start it when I realized I wouldn’t finish the first one). I also had three different starts for Christmas cards and kept giving up on them when I thought I wouldn’t have enough time to finish them.
I started a bookmark from a chart that came with a pack of satin floss, but didn’t get very far with it; I like the way satin floss looks, but I don’t like working with it very much. I’m not even sure where it is right now.
I worked a tiny bit on the Bokhara needlepoint pillow; the outside is the most tedious part and I’m finding it hard to get motivated to work on it.
I think I did one row on the Floral D’Vine latch hook:
This is The Moon by Alphonse Mucha from Miniature Set 11 at The Art of Stitching. I’ve hit an annoying part; the flowers in her hair are confetti stitching and in that part, I think I’m spending more time beginning and ending threads instead of stitching. I’m approaching five squares (a page) across and four down (out of eleven across and fifteen plus four stitches down). It’s going to take a while.