Thursday, 6 November 2014

November WIPocalypse Favourite and Least Favourite Things


WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi of Measi's Musings.

The main focus of my WIPocalypse this year is my "14 in '14" a list of 14 projects I wanted to complete in 2014.  In the last month I have worked on three of the list.  Here is the current stitching status of each one:

1. Joan Elliott - Green Goddess
Ohmygosh I actually stitched on her!!  That bright green in the left hand moth.

7. The Little Stitcher - 12 Days of Christmas

and the BIG One, the Big Happy Dance:

12. A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc

This has been an ongoing project since December 2013.  I stitch it each evening while I am supervising the Small Boy in his bath.  Some nights I get a whole length of thread in, sometimes two, sometimes a few stitches and he wants out.  But slow and steady has done it!

27th December 2013

16th January 2014

14th February 2014

16th March 2014

15th April 2014

14th May 2014

13th June 2014

12th July 2014

10th August 2014

9th September 2014

8th October 2014

6th November 2014

Here is a close-up of the wreath that delayed the finish.  Although it looks OK in the scanned photos in real life the greens just did not stand out enough against the blue fabric.  So I frogged and stitched in lighter greens.

I won the chart in a giveaway by Kathy Ellen of A Stitcher's Heirlooms quite some time ago! It has been lovely stitching on it each day and thinking of our friendship across the miles.  And now the chart will be travelling on to Kaye in Australia as I promised it to her once I finally finished it.

Now I have a gap in my rotation, this was such a success I have decided to choose another monochrome design to work on each evening.  It is also on my 14 and will be on my 15 in '15 next year.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Thine is the Trick and the Treat by Prairie Moon:

March 2014

I have stitched at least a quarter of this one so it should be slightly quicker than Noel Blanc.  Maybe eight months?

Measi also gives us a topic to discuss:
What are your favourite and least favourite materials to use in your stitching?

My favourite fabric is evenweave, with my favourite count being 32 count.  I like stitching on Murano for picture designs.  For samplers I enjoy linen, again in 32 count or higher.  I am a big fan of hand-dyed fabrics, the majority of which I get from Dawn at Crafty Kitten or Kate at Sparklies.  They are both lovely people and sell the most gorgeous fabrics.  Dawn's tend to be more subtle and muted whereas Kate's are more variegated and brighter!  Both will mail internationally so please check out their websites if you haven't already done so.

Thread-wise I am a DMC fan, for price, availability and consistency in colour and quality they can't be beaten.  I have used silks and while I like them I am not totally convinced they are worth the extra expense!

My least favourite items would be a tie between hard aida and bobbins!  I know these are both contentious subjects but honestly - life is too short to bobbinate!!  DMC comes in the perfect skein already so you can just pull out one length or two.  Why spend valuable hours unravelling it and putting it on a bobbin?  And don't get me started on the horrible cheap hard aida they supply in some kits.  I actually got a friction burn from one piece where it rubbed against my wrist!

I don't use many tools. I stitch in hand so no hoops or frames.  I railroad my stitches so I don't use a special laying tool.  I would rather like a Star DeTailer thingy to hook in the last mm of the thread but they are expensive to import so I do without.  Nice sharp scissors are a must and I do like gold plated needles too (size 28 petite).  I use Flossaway bags to store my threads and make thread sorters out of cornflake packets, although I have a craving for the Primitive Hare witch and ghost!  An ORTs tin and a stitching project bag and I'm good to go!


Finally, the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop ends at midnight tonight and the winner will be announced this weekend (probably Sunday) when I will also post details on the next hop - The Advent Calendar.  I am also contemplating a year long SAL on the theme Gifted Gloriousness.  So think on that until then!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jo

What a lot of beautiful stitching.
I enjoyed reading the things you don't like!

Vickie said...

Noel Blanc is fantastic!! Congrats!
YES!!! Life IS too short to bobbinate!

Kate said...

Your Noel is beautiful!

Caitlin D said...

Love the finish and the start on the Prairie Moon design.
I agree with you on the aida. Although I haven't really had a chance to stitch on much else (unfortunately). I hope to remedy that soon.

Jacquie Morris said...

WOW!! Goodness your Noel Blanc is much work, but oh so worth it. Its stunning.
Your Halloween trick or treat blog hop was a lot of fun.. but then again anything you organize is!
Ooooh a year long SAL... ooooh!! Interesting indeed!
Smiles :)

Heather Bybee said...

Ooo advent calendar sounds fun! Those are some beautiful designs :)

Linda said...

Lovely stitching Jo. Congrats again on the lovely finish of Noel.


rosey175 said...

Yay Noel looks amazing! :D The new one looks like a lot of fun as well; is it going to have random color in it too?

I'll agree to disagree on the bobbins lol! I love boxes of easy-to-see rainbows!

I've been eyeballing the star detailer thing for some time now; I've heard good things about it. I'm usually stuffing the needle through and rethreading because I refuse to start a new length for a few random stitches.

Preeti said...

Congrats on the big lovely finish !! This is one of my favourites whenever you posted about it :)
I usually hem/sew the edges and soak the aida . And then iron it out. It becomes softer because I also stitch in hands -no hoops etc. Although the instructions say not to wash but I don't bother about it. All I see is we just need to stop fraying if soaked. I find counting difficult on linen.
Are those hand dyed linen colorfast?

Thoeria said...

Noel looks amazing!!Really great stitching :)
Let's the past few years I have tried Stitchbows...floss away bags....and am now onto bobbins :) As long as the storage method works for you then Floss Away! :D

Lili said...

Just beautiful your Noel Blanc!
Congrats!! Lovely new "big" piece!!


cucki said...

Beautiful stitching
Hugs and smiles x

Anna van Schurman said...

Congratulations on your lovely finish and on getting back to Green Goddess.

Mii Stitch said...

Congratulations on your lovely finish from A Mon Ami Pierre! It simply looks stunning... and just in time for the fast approaching Festivities :)

Suz said...

I really love those progress pics.
Great job!

Susan said...

Congratulations on a beautiful finish. You are really moving along on the advent pieces. It was nice to see Green Goddess again. Until you get your detailer an easy replacement is to thread a needle with a loop of thread, run it under the threads and catch the end that you want to bury in the loop. As you pull the looped thread through the tail will also get pulled through and buried.

Steph said...

That is such a stunning finish! I look forward to watching the Prairie Moon stitch grow.
Yeurgh! Yes! Some aida is horrible and sharp on the edge!
Happy stitching

EvalinaMaria said...

Well don dear Jo, congratulations. I think I'll join you in 2015 WIPocalypse by doing 15 in '15.

Kaisievic said...

Oh Jo, a big stitchy hug from me! Congratulations on finishing Noel Blanc and before Christmas, too! I just love it and I cannot wait for the chart to arrive, thank you. It will be on my Super Duper UCJC list.

Margaret said...

Congratulations on your Christmas finish. You sure have a lot on the go but you accomplish much.

Christine said...

I LOVE the white Christmas piece, it's gorgeous!
I have to agree with you about scratchy aida, I hate the stuff. Actually I pretty much hate all aida...

Katie said...

Beautiful stitching and gorgeous finish!!! Congrats!! Love your new start too. I enjoyed reading more about your likes and dislikes.

Jan Jones said...

All your stitching looks so lovely, and a big round of applause for all the progress you've made. Thank goodness I'm not the only one on the comment list who likes to bobbinate. Ha Ha.

Anne S said...

always :) It's so true that an odd stitch here and there is one step closer to a finish, and that eventually the finish will happen. Your Christmas finish is stunning :D

The Crafty Princess said...

CONGRATULATIONS STUNNER!!! Beautiful finish. I like the lighter green for the wreath too. Love the new bath time project, now that it's getting colder (well in your neck of the woods anyway - I'm melting down under) perhaps your little man will stay in the bath longer and you will get this stitched quicker :D
xox Alicia