Friday, 10 January 2014

First Happy Dance of the Year!

My first start of the year is my first finish too!  Just Nan's Lady Scarlet's Christmas:

Stitched on 28 count platinum linen using the recommended threads except for the blue stockings and the reds in the lettering, the berries and the ladybirds.  I also stitched the mice and the ladybirds over 1.  And I made the Gingerbread Men smile.

I also have the triple series of Lady Scarlet's Journey to stitch so I'm not sure how to finish this one yet.  I have this nice red tuck in my stash which I won in Kath's Giveaway so I popped it in there for the time being:

I looked up how to make these and it's not too difficult, you just need to be able sew a neat line!  I might have a go at making one with some Christmas fabric as this one is just a tiny bit too small.

So having finished one, I have to start one!!  As most of you know I have been assisting Nicola with her Scarlet Letter Year Challenge.  The Challenge officially ends on 20th February 2014 but we will be continuing with the blogs and the stitching because it's such a great group of stitchers.  Anyway, there will be a Grand Prize Draw on the 20th for everyone who has completed a Scarlet Letter Sampler during the year.  So how embarassing would it be if all I have to show is one large outlined band and a bit of blue? 

So when I won Elizabeth Burrows in the Advent Giveaways I knew I must try my best to stitch her!  The Scarlet Letter website says this about her "This small early eighteenth century English alphabet sampler is actually more challenging than it appears at first glance."

Here is my progress after two days of stitching:

It's an interesting chart.  It looks lopsided on paper but that's because some of the rows are stitched over two and some over 3, like this row.  Have you ever stitched over 3?  It's like waltzing - 1,2,3 - 1,2,3 stitch, 1,2,3 - 1,2,3 stitch.  I'm using some of the 35 count linen Nicola sent me so the over 3 works out to about 11 or 12 per inch.  I'm also using some Olde Willow Linen Threads I won in giveaway by Riona.  The red and blue are a very good match, the green is darker and there is a yellow instead of the charted pink but it will give the same effect of a much paler colour.  Perfect!  Stitching with linen threads is very different to silks or even cotton but it does make me feel more in touch with Elizabeth, I'm sure she didn't have DMC or Thread Heaven in 1725!

Here's the finished picture from the SL website:

Elizabeth Burrows

The 1725 on the frame refers to the date Elizabeth stitched her sampler, but this is the really exciting bit - in the bottom row it says 179, this is because Elizabeth also includes her year of birth 1709 but rather than use all four digits she uses 179 as that was how the year was pronounced then (Seventeen Nine, rather than Seventeen Oh Nine).  Now anyone who has my email address may recognise those numbers, they are my date of birth which I incorporated into my email addy!!  So it seems most serendipitous that this sampler chose to come to me to stitch her!  We are made for each other!

Finally it's just over a month to Valentine's Day so it must be time to launch the 
Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop
It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day.  It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart. Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox.   It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year.  It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February.  Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading
 Secret Stitching Sweetheart. 
There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself  in their comments as their
Secret Stitching Sweetheart. 

Does that make sense to everyone?  I hope so!

If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment on this post, I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.


  1. I love Lady Scarlet's Christmas! I stitched that one a couple of years ago and it is still one of my faves. I also have Lady Scarlet's Journey barely started...maybe I'll pull that one out to finish this year too. We can push each other along!

  2. What a great sampler Jo. I know you'll get her done.


  3. YEA JO!!! Congrats on your first finish of 2014

  4. Very nice sampler Jo, but GASP!!! You left out the PINK?! ;)
    You can count me in for the Secret Sweetheart Stitching!

  5. Lady Scarlet's Christmas is fabulous!!!!

  6. Congratulations on the finish! I am about to pull out Lady Scarlet's Journey to work on...all I remember is that I'm somewhere in the second part.

    Good luck on finishing the sampler...looks totally doable...even whilst "dancing". =)

    Please sign me up for the blog hop!

  7. Well done on your first finish Jo xx

  8. Congrats on your first finish - it's so very pretty! And nice new start. Love the 179 coincidence :-)

  9. Looks lovely :) congrats on your first finish!!!

  10. Lady Scarlett's Christmas is lovely. I do think there is a joke in there somewhere - How do make a gingerbread man smile? - just can't quite find it.
    Don't talk to me about stitching over three, that is the reason Elizabeth Burrows languishes at the very bottom-most bottom of my UFO pile. I just couldn't get the hang of it.
    I'm up for the secret sweetheart hop.

  11. Your Just Nan's finish looks great.I also like your new sampler start, it will be a fun stitch!

  12. Lovely finish!
    Very pretty start!!

  13. Lady Scarelets Christmas looks wonderful Jo, of course gingerbread men have to smile!

    Not sure I could do the over 3 stitching, i'd be frogging more than stitching I think ... good luck with it, it does look a nice design though.

  14. Congratulations on finishing Lady Scarlett, she's lovely. This reminds me that I stitched her several years ago and she is still waiting to be finished.

    Great new start on Elizabeth

  15. Congrats on the finish, it's lovely! The little mice are so sweet :D Loved the Elizabeth story, what a great coincidence!

  16. Great Scarlett finish!! Love how it turned out. :D

  17. Wow a finish already. You are a star. It's a cute lil piece.

    Over 3!! I struggle with over 2.

    Alicia xo

  18. Lovely finish! You are clever with using the key as a holder. Sign me up for your blog hop please

  19. Lovely finish! You are clever with using the key as a holder. Sign me up for your blog hop please

  20. Oh great, Lady Scarlett's Christmas reminds me of Lady Scarlett's Journey which I stitched a long time ago. It was a real fun stitch. Great that you finsihed this lovely piece.
    Nice progress on your sampler.

  21. Please add my name to the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop. Congrats on your first finish!

  22. Sorry Jo - please include me in the Sweetheart Blog Hop thank you xx

  23. I'd love to join in, Jo. I'll send you an email right away!

  24. Lady Scarlet's Christmas is just gorgeous - I love it!

  25. I want to join in the Valentine fun, please add me to the list.

  26. Please count me in, Jo, because of the initial heart swap I do each year I have heaps of heart stitching. what fun!


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