This is 99 by Ink Circles. I didn’t work on it too much this month (I only did two bottles and part of a third (bottle 53)), but I’m moving it to my primary project; my sister offered to get it framed (once I finish it) as a birthday present.
I restarted Vintage by Tauriel on Etsy; this was my third try this time (I’d previously started it last year, but it didn’t work out). This time, I had a bead in the wrong place on row three (I was on row five when I noticed it) and on the second try, I had too short of a tail to knot and end. Now that I’ve got a good start on it, I’m enjoying working on it.
Someone on the 123stitch.com message board posted that their Hobby Lobby had most of their kits and some other stuff on clearance 75% off; I checked the one nearest and they did have a lot of their stuff on clearance (the other two did not). The kits are all things that I’d had my eye on for a while, though the Christmas cards are the only ones I have definite plans to do in the near future. The one on the bottom left is Thea Gouverneur’s Dahlia; it was $20 less there than at the other stores, so I got it a little bit cheaper than I should have.
I only worked on one continuing progress this month: Little Blue Book Bag from Freda’s Fancy Stitching. I seem to have decided to push through on this to try to finish at least the central parts of the sides; I’m not sure if I’ll continue on to do the border and finish it as a bag. I forgot to post at the end of February, so this contains a couple of days of March progress as well. And, as I continued, I noticed that two sections of the bargello/straight stitch patterns are the same (the front had one each of those type of patterns); the picture on her website has a different pattern in the two-square vertical section on the right, so that’s coming out and being replaced.
I worked on four things this month: one each of cross-stitch, needlepoint, blackwork, and beading (peyote stitch). I reached the halfway point on the cross-stitch and halfway minus the border on the needlepoint and decided to do a bookmark to relax.
This is 99 by Ink Circles; I reached bottle 50 this month, so I’m very slightly over halfway finished.
The needlepoint project I’ve been working on is is Little Blue Book Bag from Freda’s Fancy Stitching. This is the front of the bag; it will eventually get a border (that’s one of the last steps). I’ve enjoyed working on this, though I’ve found some mistakes in the chart. I’m not happy with one section (the two square vertical section near the top right); it switches from vertical to horizontal stitches and is very clear in the picture with the chart that that’s what’s happening, but it doesn’t show up like that for me. I can count on the picture and see that I’m going over the same number of threads, so I don’t know what’s going on with it. I may redo it over three threads instead of two and see if that looks better.
This is the bookmark I’ve just started; it’s the Celtic blackwork bookmark from Needlework Tips and Techniques. I’m working it on 14-count black Aida with DMC E940 (glow in the dark) for no real reason (I had it and had been wanting to use it for something). I’m using two strands for the cross-stitch border, three strands for the cross-stitches in the triangles, two strands for the diagonals, and one strand for the rest; I didn’t like the coverage on the triangles with fewer strands. The glow in the dark floss is a little difficult to work with; it’s six strand floss, but each strand is two-ply and I’m having problems with the strands separating.
This is the Chinese dragon from Josie Fabre’s Etsy shop, which is currently empty. It’s complete except for firmly attaching the loop and attaching the toggle on the other end. I finished the two triangles for the toggle; I think it’s supposed to be 3-D and not just two flat triangles, but am not sure how to achieve that.
I think I also tried square stitch for one of my loom projects and made it through a few beads on the second row. I don’t know if I have the patience for that, though it might get easier once I have a few rows in to make a base. For me at least the first few rows of peyote stitch are a little difficult, but once those first few rows are done it’s much easier (and more fun).
I only have five projects that I worked on in 2017 that I didn’t finish: three beading (one waiting for beads, one going back to eventually, one not sure), one blackwork (abandoned for now), one cross-stitch (currently working on), and one needlepoint (currently working on).
The needlepoint project I’m currently working on is Little Blue Book Bag from Freda’s Fancy Stitching; I am enjoying working on this.
The cross-stitch project I’m currently working on is 99 by Ink Circles; I was hoping to get halfway through, but didn’t quite make it. I made it through 46 bottles out of 99.
The beading projects I worked on were Vintage by Tauriel on Etsy (not pictured because I can’t find it), Chinese Dragon from Josie Fabre, and a modified version of Boxed In from Beadholden Designs. I made it about 3/4″ on Vintage and realized I’d made a mistake that would bother me and that I needed to treat the beads with Krylon because the finish on some was already rubbing off. I ran out of silver beads for Chinese Dragon; I have some in the mail, but it’s too cold to treat them outside and I don’t want to do that inside so I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it. Boxed In was the first attempt I’ve made at loom beading; I made it farther than is pictured (and am too lazy to take a picture). My loom is short, so I had to take it off before I continued and discovered I hadn’t warped it correctly. I might experiment with the loom to see what method of warping works for me before trying it again; I may try to do it with square stitch.
This is Mahjong by Seba Designs. I got very frustrated with this so I put it aside for now; I had a hard time picking thread for it and I kept on making mistakes. I love the design, so I will probably go back to it at some point.
I worked on three things this month: one cross-stitch, one needlepoint, and one beaded bracelet. I would have finished the bracelet, but I ran out of one color of beads.
The cross-stitch project is 99 by Ink Circles; I was hoping to get halfway through, but I didn’t make it. Halfway through would be bottle six on the fifth row and I only made it to bottle two on that row.
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.