Friday, 20 September 2019

IHSW Starts Here

IHSW or International Hermit and Stitch Weekend always starts on the third Friday of the month.  It's a chance to lock yourself away and focus on your stitching for the weekend.  You can take part on your blog or via the Facebook page.  Links at the bottom of this post.

By lucky chance I am not working at all this weekend so there should be plenty of stitching time to be had.  I'll be focusing on my Discworld Mappe as well as putting in a few rows on my Mirabilia new start and hopefully some FFO'ing too.  Rather than saving it all until the day before Rachel's FFO Gallery post.

This is the part of Discworld I will be working on this weekend:

The first task is to finish the paper note then stitch some border and start the flying eyeball on the edge of the piece.   Then probably back to the mainland to get some land filled in.
Here's the whole piece so far:

Here's how my Mirabilia looks:

stitched on random 28 count hand-dyed evenweave

This is the chart released by Nora Corbett to celebrate her 25th Anniversary of Mirabilia designs.  I'm just adding a length or two of DMC 310 whenever possible.

I had a small finish last night, the second in the Jessica Savage series in Cross Stitcher magazine.  The current issue is number 349 dated October 2019:

stitched one over one on 25 count blue evenweave

Here are the first two in the series together:

Finally, here's the link to the Facebook group if you want to join us over there - IHSW on Facebook or you can wait until Monday and link up here.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

September Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

2019 GG

Welcome to the September Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  The link-up date continues to be the 15th and I will keep the link-up open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time if you are late posting.

The format remains exactly the same, there is a list of rules on the main sign-up page if you want to check what is required but basically anything connected to the word "gift" is allowed, whether it was a gift TO you or is a gift FROM you.

My main project for Gifted Gorgeousness has been my Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs, which will be a gift for my son.  This is where I left off last GG post:

This is where it was at the end of August:

Here is the portions I have been working on this week:

That will be a piece of paper pinned to the map with the credits to the author and artist.

It's a bit boring to stitch so I did some lettering too:

On the Discworld Widdershins is one of the four basic directions , and the opposite of turnwise. By going widdershins, you go against the turning direction of the Disc, in other words anti-clockwise.

Widdershins (sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) is a word which (usually) means counterclockwise. However, in certain circumstances it can be used to refer to a direction which is against the light, i.e. where you are unable to see your shadow. It is cognate with the German language widersinnig, i.e., "against" + "sense". The term "widdershins" was especially common in Lowland Scots, and was known in Scottish Gaelic as tuathal, which uses the same root as tuath meaning "north", the opposite of widdershins is deiseil or sunwise. In the southern hemisphere, the sun goes anti-clockwise, but in the northern hemisphere, it goes clockwise, which is where the term "sunwise" originates from. Because the sun played a highly important role in primitive religion, to go against it was considered very bad luck for sun-venerating traditions.

It was considered unlucky in former times in Britain to travel in an anticlockwise (because anti sun wise) direction around a church and a number of folk myths make reference to this superstition, e.g. Childe Rowland, where the protagonist and his sister are transported to Elfland after his sister runs widdershins round a church. There is also a reference to this in Dorothy Sayers's novels The Nine Tailors and Clouds of Witness ("True, O King, and as this isn't a church, there's no harm in going round it widdershins").

Source: L-Space

I have a gifted finish with my Summer Project - Just Nan's Summer Night.  This is stitched on gifted fabric:

stitched on 28 count Jobelan in Dragon Shades from Polstitches

And this new start is also stitched on fabric gifted by the same person  - Mouse!  This is another of my "19 in '19" and I was hankering after a new start this week so I chose this fairly small project.  The plan is to stitch a length or two of black each day.

stitched on random 28 count hand-dyed evenweave

This is what it will look like completed:

This is the chart released by Nora Corbett to celebrate her 25th Anniversary of Mirabilia designs.  By using hand-dyed fabric I am hoping to avoid stitching all the background!

Now it is your turn to show us your Gifted Gorgeousness for the month.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field and NOT the words "September Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.



Finally, once again I am a little bit behind in reading blogs but I will be visiting all the link-ups over this week and catch up on non-GG posts at the same time!

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for September

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This new SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finished pieces instead of just storing them under the bed.  We will all be linking up on Rachel's blog on or after the 10th of each month (10 Hour Stitcher - 10th of the month).

This is what I was supposed to be showing as my FFO this month; The Sweetheart Tree Holly 'n' Hardanger:

I had a circular polystyrene shape which was the perfect size.  I cut the original fabric into a circle and drew a circle a bit bigger than the polystyrene shape.  Then I used sewing cotton to make a running stitch all the way around the pencil circle.  Place the fabric over the shape, pull the cotton drawstring, adjust it a little bit, smooth out wrinkles, pull a little bit tighter, adjust again, pull tighter, get the Large Boy to hold it while I knotted the cotton thread and call it done.

Whip stitch a piece of circular felt to the back and cover the edge with a ribbon.  That's where the problem started.  All my ribbons were too wide or too narrow.  The only piece that was the right size was the wrong colour.  So it's off to the Haberdashery to find the perfect width of ribbon.

At least I will have an FFO'd Ornament for next month!

But I still needed something for this post.  Luckily I have had a bit of a finishing flurry over the last few days so I had another project ready and waiting to be framed.  I just had to hope I had the right frame in my stash.  My luck held!

Back at the start of the Summer Holiday I completed my 10-a-Day project which was a Just Nan design called Summer Typography.  I decided that rather than start the next 10-a-Day design I would have a slightly more challenging Summer Stitch.  A sampler in six weeks.  The Random Number Generator chose Summer Night by Just Nan and I divided it up into 42 segments with a row of speciality stitches or colour per day. 

Here's the daily progress pictures:

You can really see the difference in lighting conditions each day with the change in the fabric!

The first 36 days were spent doing the DMC stitching and the final few days adding beads and ribbon.  I couldn't get the Soie Tressage recommended but did get some narrow sparkly silver ribbon which was perfect.

stitched on 28 count Jobelan in Dragon Shades from Polstitches

Trying to capture the beads and the ribbon sparkle

You wanted lots of photos?

The Final Fully Finished Framed piece:


All the postcards have been sent out in the Summer Postcard Blog Hop. Thanks to everyone who sent a card in and who posted their card on their blog.  The links go direct to the posts so you can catch up with any you missed!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

The People Chose Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

Regular followers will be aware that for over 3 years now I have run a themed SAL on the first Saturday of each month.  First we spent 26 months doing The Alphabet Club and then 12 months of the Zodiac.  Now I have decided to listen to the People and post about your choice of theme.  Each month I ask for suggestions on the blog and then make a poll in the IHSW Facebook Group from those suggestions.

September - Bees
October - Cats
November - Autumnal Colours

Bees are very popular in stitching designs, they are probably our favourite insect (ladybirds being a close second) and they work well with floral and garden designs as well as bee-ing very pun-friendly.   They are quite Bee-utiful too.

The largest design I have stitched with bees was a present for a friend who gave me the kit when she swapped stitching for a career in crochet.  (Seriously, find out more here - Rosina Plane).  Anyway, she gave me a box of stash with the fee being I would stitch Gathering Honey for her.  It took me a little longer than anticipated but I got it to her for her 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs

Close-up of the bees:

Just Nan is fond of a bee and here are two of her designs - Beehive Violets at the top and Big Bee, Little Bee at the bottom (although both my bees are the same size).

This is a sweet little one I stitched back in 1999 from a needlework magazine.  There was a series of smalls designed to teach you how to do speciality stitches.

That's it for designs I have stitched myself but here is some inspiration.  

Nora Corbett has recently released this pair of Bees; Miss Honey Bee and Miss Queen Bee:

The Primitive Hare has a number of bee patterns as well as beehive printed fabric to stitch them on! 

Beth Twist from Heartstring Samplery also loves bees.  She even has a couple of hives and some of her YouTube videos have film of her showing them and explaining how to look after them.

I love her little fob series, these would look cute in Vicki's cubby I thought.

Now it's over to you. All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Bees, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog. Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog. I look forward to seeing what you all post.



Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll.  Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll.  Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Blue, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!

Friday, 6 September 2019

Happy Dance for My Lovely Sewing Tools

Warning  - Photo Heavy!

This is what I wrote back in October 2011:

The new SAL is from the fantastic Gift of Stitching online magazine.  I found this magazine a while back via various blogs.  They were offering 3 issues for $3 which was too good to resist so I signed up.  The magazine pops into your email box at the beginning of each month full of tempting designs.  They are very keen on part works (encourages people to keep buying each issue!) which is great because it makes the larger designs easier to stitch.

I saw a post on Kathy's Blog A Stitcher's Heirlooms about her indecision regarding which project to start next.  I said I wanted to start My Lovely Sewing Tools myself and we went from there.  If you'd like to join us pop over to Kathy's Blog and let her know.  We're also posting our progress on FB if you're a member.  Just search for Gift of Stitching and their page comes up.

I decided to use the DMC conversion as I don't have any Valdani threads.  They are £2.29 each from SewandSo which isn't the most expensive thread but I am supposed to be on a stash diet until Christmas!  I used my Willow Fabrics' voucher to treat myself to some 40count Newcastle linen.  The service was great, I had a glitch on the computer so phoned up the old-fashioned way, had a nice chat with the lady about the project and my fabric duly arrived, nicely packaged and labelled.  It was £13something for a FQ plus P&P so not the cheapest but not bad, and the service was good.

Here is my progress after one evening.  I've started in the middle as I always do.  This is actually Part 3c of the chart.  The charts start at the top left of the piece but I like to start in the middle.  I've used an anonymous variegated thread for the darkest red.  The label is long gone but it came from my now closed LNS.  One strand is about the same as 2 strands of DMC so where the chart calls for one strand I will use the DMC 315 they recommend.

Badly scanned image

So many changes since then, I no longer scan my work for one thing.

19th October, 2011 I wrote - I have also discovered something new to me - size 28 needles.  I kept seeing reference to size 28s so got a pack - aren't they amazing!!   I love them.  And you can use the thread down to the last mm as they're so short.

28th October, 2011:

11th November, 2011 with Madame Muriel the Travelling Granny:

15th March, 2012 (slight break there):

21st April, 2012 as my monthly TUSAL post:

25th April, 2012:

And that was it!  The last of the regular posts.  I did stitch on the border for my Longest Days SALs but other than that it languished rolled up in a tube along with my other UFOs.  Until this year when I decided to make it one of my "19 in '19".  I'd thought I didn't have much more to do but as ever, it took longer than I thought!

May 2019:

June 2019:

July 2019:

End of August 2019:

And now:

Close-ups of the main sections:

One of the things that took the longest was going back to the beginning after I had finished the border and checking I had included everything.  Some things were intentionally left until the end (the beads in the centre of every flower) and some things were not (there is an extra spool in the model that wasn't on the chart so I added it).

I made a few changes apart from using the DMC conversion.  I used a mixture of one strand and two to create texture.  I added the beads in the border, the flower centres and the heads of all the little pins.  Those pin heads are on of my favourite things.  I added charms and buttons according to what I had which would fit.  This is 40 count so I needed tiny things.


This part was charted for a brass heart charm, a key, a flower charm and a button:

This part was charted for a crown but I really wanted these scissors to be near the S:

This part was charted for the scissors but I had the yarn charm so I wanted that to be near the Y.  It was a little bit big so I frogged the row of stitched under the herringbone and put it there.  Then added a button where the original charm had been:

This is another favourite part.  My original idea was to add the needle I had been using but as I mentioned above, I use 28 petites and it looked too tiny.  So I added a 24 needle I used on a different project.  The chart showed a stitched needle not a real one.

Cute buttons from the local haberdashery, chosen by my friend's daughter with the instructions "they must be under 8mm"

All the spools were satin stitched:

Adorable tiny over one stitches on 40 count and a sweet little tassel:

Finally, the whole piece once again!

  What is your favourite part of the design?