Sunday, 13 October 2019

Dark 13 in Dark October

October in the stitching world is Dark October where we stitch our spookiest stitches.  Last year I had a selection of smalls and this year I am focusing on two large projects and one daily stitch.

The daily stitch is Mystic Sampler by the Primitive Needle.  I am stitching a portion each day, approx 20 x 20 squares on the chart.  Here are the first 12 days:

And here is Day 13:

stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer by Under the Sea Fabrics

These snaps are taken using my iPad and the colours are not true at all.  To give you a better idea, here's the project I stitched on the other half of this piece of fabric:
The Goode Huswif - Books of Spells

It's because I take the photos sitting beside my large kitchen window in full daylight.  The thread colours are pretty accurate, I am using my own DMC conversion.

I've been using the Tiny Decisions app to choose my project some days and some days I have just stitched what I felt like.  The first project to get chosen by the App was my spooky conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet.  I've been adding various motifs throughout the year and the recent issue of Cross Stitcher magazine had an awesome Hallowe'en sampler with some perfect birds and animals to add.

stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano by Sparklies

So far I have a wonderful over one raven and what will become an owl.  I think I need a couple more ghosts and then I can say it's finally done!

The other project is one of Nora Corbett's Bewitching Pixies.  This is Raven as she was at the start of the month:

And here she is now:

stitched on 32 count Nebula Belfast by Crafty Kitten

I've been stitching in three shades of purple all month.  The charted purples are 333, 3746 and 156.  But 156 is rather a blue purple and it just didn't look right.  You can see it in the top two folds of the cloak - the lightest shade.

So I tried 155 which is slightly more purpley and it looks much better.  So now I have to frog out the top two panels.  The difference is more striking in real life.

Of course I decided to make life just a little bit harder by stitching the skin over 1.  It's a bit blurry in the photos but looks good in person.

We've still got plenty of time this month and with half term holiday looming it would be nice to think I could get a finish on this one too.

Finally, there will be a Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop as usual this year. I am sure you all know how it works but for those who need a reminder - here's a link to last year's

If you want to take part, just leave a comment here or email me if you are a "no reply" person. I need an email address for you to take part in this hop.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for October

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This 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).

Last month I showed you an "Almost Fully Finished" piece and now I am happy to show you the Fully Finished version:

The Sweetheart Tree - Holly and Hardanger
From Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special 2005
stitched on 32 count linen

I added a bow and ribbon loop on top

then used red drawing pins to hold the ribbon in place around the edge:

I also got around to framing the final in the Just Nan Typography series, this is Summer Typography:

The raw wood frames I used for the first three are no longer available but they had a white wood one which I painted pink.  Here are the other three designs in the series:

Awesome Autumn completed 2013

Winter Wonder completed 2015

Splendid Spring completed 2016

Super Summer completed 2019

Finally, there will be a Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop as usual this year. I am sure you all know how it works but for those who need a reminder - here's a link to last year's

If you want to take part, just leave a comment here or email me if you are a "no reply" person. I need an email address for you to take part in this hop.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

The People Chose Cats

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.

October - Cats
November - Autumnal Colours
December - TBA
(I put the poll up late so I am letting it run another week)

I have really been looking forward to this one.  I am definitely a cat-person, we owned both dogs and cats when I was little but since I was five it has always been cats (and small rodents).  We do not currently have a cat but our garden is shared territory for a number of neighbouring cats so there is always one to see.  I tried to grow my own one year, quite successfully as you can see:

The third piece I stitched was a row of cats.  I had made two small samplers and was looking around for the next project when I saw this kit:

stitched on 14 count black aida

I love the artwork of Lesley Anne Ivory and the next cat kit I bought was one of her designs:

Margaret Sherry is well-known for her cute cats:

Lynn B from Happiness is Cross Stitch has a huge range of cat freebies, this is just one:

The biggest Cat project I have stitched was in 2013.  There was a cute JBW Alphabet Cat in the Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Special which I stitched in black on orange fabric.  Then I hit on the idea of stitching one for each month in seasonal colours.

You may be able to tell that the final three have not been fully finished...  There's a couple of projects for Rachel's FFO Gallery!

Here's the largest single cat project, again on black aida.  I just love the effect of the white fur against the black fabric:

A lot of my Hallowe'en stitching has little black cats in it, so here's one last one from Jaunty Fox:

Now it's over to you. All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Cats, 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!

Monday, 30 September 2019

September Stitch from Stash and Pie

Starting with Pie as usual:

As I mentioned in my last post, I got to 14 days on Discworld and decided to keep going until the end of the month  with it.  I reached a good finishing point this afternoon.

Here's where I was last month:

And here's where I am now:

I worked on the piece of paper and the flying eyeball for IHSW:

And then moved down to the landmass and a lot of backstitching mountains; The Rammerock and The Blade Mountains:

Great Outdoors
First introduced as a concept in The Compleat Discworld Atlas, the Great Outdoors fleshes out a hitherto great big void on the old Discworld Mapp running from the Rammerock Mountains and NoThingfjord rimward out to the sea widdershins of Kythia. It covers some two thousand miles of open space, and is described as a patchwork haven of many disparate refugee groups fleeing from trouble or persecution elsewhere on the Disc; possibly a place to bring your tired and huddling masses who are yearning to breathe free, sundry wretched refuse of assorted teeming shores, and those who are generally homeless and tempest-tost. Or who have simply had it up to here with the storied pomp of ancient lands and all the grief it's capable of causing.

The religious, ethnic and linguistic groupings are many and varied, ranging from The Very, Very, Very Plain Omnians of the Slaked Plains to refugees from Borogravia who fled over the border to excape Nugganism and conscription into the endless wars. They settled along the line of the New Kneck River, which apparently does not move much, a point in its favour. Dwarfs and humans from NoThingfjord fled here and set up the nearest thing to a capital city, New Nothing, to escape interminable and compulsory Sagas. Apparently ferocious natives live here too, who don't go a bundle on incursions from palefaces.

There is no government as known elsewhere and no common currency: a complex trading and barter system takes its place. The people are described as linked by a common deep paranoia, mistrust of authority and slowness to accept strangers. Hmm.

Idiosyncratic religious groups. Refugees fleeing persecution. Economic migrants. A hardy self-reliant people with a paranoid streak and a distrust of excessive government. Hmm. What was it that was said many years ago about no part of the Discworld resembling any part of North America, by express command... somewhere in here there must be a settlement called Power Cable...

Source: L-Space

This copy of the Cover Page shows how many pages and partial pages I have stitched and how far I have to go:

I've got about six full pages and nine half pages to go, but a lot of those pages are full coverage and the two figures are going to take a long while too.

You've already seen both My Lovely Sewing Tools and Summer Night a couple of times so I won't show them again.  Or the still unfinished Dragon Dreams Ornament.  But I do have Stash to show you.  I've been doing Stitch From Stash every year since it began except one (I had a big Birthday that year and wanted to splurge).  I always keep to my budget except for one month - September.  But luckily Birthday money is excluded from the calculations so I actually have a zero spend to be entered.  But here I can show you some of what I bought.

Chromatic Alchemy £18.00
Plum St Sampler Fox Few £8.00
CCN Main Street x 6 £28.50
HoD Scary Apothecaryx3 £14.25
Crafty Kitten £17.95
Total £86.70
The Chromatic Alchemy fabric is for the Scary Apothecary series and the Crafty Kitten fabric is for a Mirabilia I plan to start next year.  I don't have either of the fabrics yet, there is usually a 4-6 week wait but I'm not in a hurry.

The charts all came from Peakside Needlecraft.  Great prices and fast service.  I ordered at 2.30pm and got the despatch email by 3.15pm.  They arrived the next day.

This is what I bought:

I bought three of the Scary Apothecary for my friend and three for me last time.  Now I have the final three and we will swap once we have stitched the ones we own.  The Plum Street Samplers is adorable.  I have seen several of the animal piles and not been interested but this one was irresistible.

I bought three of Main Street previously and Vickie sent me the Gazebo.  So now I have the final six.  I have a cunning plan to do a conversion for these.

Finally, there will be a Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop as usual this year. I am sure you all know how it works but for those who need a reminder - here's a link to last year's

If you want to take part, just leave a comment here or email me if you are a "no reply" person. I need an email address for you to take part in this hop.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

September WIPocalypse Finishing Style and TUSAL

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.  

Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "19 in '19" for this year.  You can find the full list here.

This month I stitched on four of my list and had two finishes:

1. Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

The Mappe is posing with my TUSAL jar for September

2. . My Lovely Sewing Tools by Marie Suarez

stitched on 40 count White linen

3. Summer Night by Just Nan 

stitched on 28 count Jobelan in Dragon Shades from Polstitches

4. 25th Anniversary Cameo by Mirabilia

stitched on random 28 count hand-dyed evenweave

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

September – What finishing style have you never tried but would love to do?

I have tried a lot of different finishing techniques over the years, from frames to pillows, scrapbooks to exploding books but one thing I have never made is a biscornu.  Possibly because I am not sure what I would do with one - they look like dust catchers to me!  But I have a chart for a Just Nan one so maybe that will be my first!

One thing I really want to make is something I saw on the Needlework Galleria FB page.  They called it a "StitchTangle" and it was a flexible stitched piece you could rotate to make four different pictures appear.  They used a tree in changing seasons as the piece.  I've not seen it since and the video clip I saved no longer exists.

The correct name is Hexagonal Kaleidocycle or hexaflexagon and you can see one in action here - - hexagonal-kaleidocycle

The lovely people at Galleria replied to my message and told me the design is called Turn, Turn, Turn and is by Noteworthy Needle - the video is here.

Finally, there will be a Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop as usual this year.  I am sure you all know how it works but for those who need a reminder - here's a link to last year's

If you want to take part, just leave a comment here or email me if you are a "no reply" person.  I need an email address for you to take part in this hop.

Friday, 27 September 2019

September Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

For this SAL I should be showing the monthly project for the Christmas Ornie Blog. Unfortunately I haven't quite finished it yet!

I did complete the second Word in the Jessica Savage series from Cross Stitcher magazine.  This one is Accept from issue

stitched over 1 on 25 count blue evenweave

I finished another Just Nan small - Butterfly Welcome:

stitched on 28 count Colonial Blue evenweave

I will try get that one FFO'd for Rachel's SAL on the 10th October

The next Just Nan in line was a Christmas one - Christmas Friends:

stitched on 28 count beige evenweave

I did a little bit more on that and then felt the need for a new start!  This is one from my "19 in '19" list - Nora Corbett's 25th Anniversary Cameo:

stitched on random 28 count hand-dyed evenweave

That seems to be the lot for Smalls this month.  

Finally, I have already stitched my 14 days for my Discworld Mappe but I'm going to carry on with it for the last 3 days of the month as I won't be stitching it next month.  Why not?  Because it's Dark October!  Michelle Cozyegg and her friend Emily Eclectic Possessions started this a few years back.  The idea is that you stitch dark and spooky stuff all October.  Last year I used the Tiny Decisions App to choose my project for each day and stitched 6 different designs with 3 finishes.  This year I plan to focus on Nora Corbett's Raven and my Enchanted Alphabet conversion.  Add in a daily stitch on Primitive Needle's Mystic Sampler and maybe a Just Nan Mouse or two.  If you're on Facebook I have added a daily event to the Hallowe'en Cross Stitching group - 

Monday, 23 September 2019

September IHSW

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.

Here's where I was on Friday morning:

Here's the part I worked on this weekend:

I completed the piece of paper with the dedication, added some more border and land and then stitched the flying eyeball which is adorable and so much fun to stitch.

The rest of this week will be given over to the mainland.

I also stitched a few rows on the Mirabilia 25th Anniversary Cameo.  Here's where that was on Friday:

And here she is now:

stitched on random 28 count hand-dyed evenweave

I'm also making slow but steady progress on my evening piece.  This is the project I stitch while The Small Boy is in the bath.  The current project is The Queen of Hearts by Mrs Peggotty.  Here's where she was last IHSW:

stitched on 22 count white hardanger

And here is where she is now:

A few people have said that they don't do Facebook and asked if I could host a link-up for them, so here it is! Just add your name and the link to your actual IHSW post, not just your blog home page.



Finally, the next IHSW will be 18th - 20th October so make sure you note the date in your diary or come and join us in the Facebook Group - IHSW on Facebook. If you don't do Facebook then you can check in here.