April WIPocalypse – Stitching progress

I have been mostly crocheting and cross stitching lately, not getting far on my needlepoint projects. I’ve made a lot of progress on some charity projects, which is a good thing. I’m looking forward to going to Celebration of Needlepoint at the end of the month where I will start a project not on the list – Northern Expressions’ Twisted Bank Sampler.

 

Projects to start in 2015 – progress since 3/7/15

Woodland Fairy 4-4-15

Woodland Fairy by Mirabilia on 32ct. Misty Blue linen

Cross Stitch
2001 Mirabilia Cherub – none
Blossom Harvest – none
Mermaid of Atlantis – none
Queen Mermaid – none
Woodland Fairy – several hours
Touching the Autumn Sky – none
Amethyst Fairy – a few hours
Christmas Wishes – a few hours

 

Crochet
10 infinity scarves for gifts or to sell – not started
Temperature scarf – ongoing (but no recent progress)
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – restarted with new colors and yarn, only block 1 is finished (but no progress this month)
special project I need to finish with a friend in February – FINISHED! It was a rainbow stole a friend of mine and I at church stitched for our pastor’s first commitment ceremony.

 

Projects to finish in 2015 – progress since 3/7/15

Garden Verses - 4-4-15

Garden Verses by Mirabilia on light blue linen

Cross Stitch
Garden Verses (Mirabilia) – several hours
Angel of the New Dawn (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10
Sleeping Beauty (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10 (OMG, this one’s taking for-ev-er!)
Mermaids of the Deep Blue (Mirabilia) – a few hours
Quaker Diamonds (Rosewood Manor) – several hours

Needlepoint (I don’t remember designers at the moment) – haven’t stitched on any needlepoint projects
Geisha Cats (picture at top, just need to finish the ribbon embroidery and beading in “hair”)
Chinese Dragon – none
St. Basil’s – none
Santa stocking – none

Crochet
Tim’s afghan – not a stitch
Temperature scarf – ongoing, but no recent progress
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – restarted with new colors and yarn, only block 1 is finished (no recent progress)
Baby blanket (soooo close, can finish it in a night or two) – finished in February, but gave it away before I got a final picture

Mo shawl 4-4-15

WIP – shawl for my sister using Berroco Modern Cotton (color – Bluebird)

Other projects (there will always be some!)
Three charity scarves – finished in February
Four more charity scarves — finished in Feburary
Receiving blanket for charity – finished in March
prayer shawl for charity – finished
prayer shawl for charity 2 – started
prayer squares for charity – 27 stitched in March-early April
Chain stitch infinity scarf for a friend – finished
Fairie Treasures – no progress since 2/10
shawl for my sister – made some progress after starting over using different design

Crochet – Keyhole Ripple Stitch

prayer shawl - keyhole ripple stitchI’ve tried a few ripple stitches, but this is my favorite because I don’t have to worry about increases and decreases. I also like the look of the “keyhole,” as it adds a little airiness to project. I quickly finished this prayer shawl using the Keyhole Ripple Stitch, a solid yarn and a variegated yarn. I plan on using this a lot in the future, and I think it would also make pretty scarves using various types of yarn.

NSAD-Keyhole-Ripple-Stitch-EX

I found easy instructions at New Stitch A Day. The blog provides a plethora of crochet and knitting tutorials and allows fellow bloggers to share them. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend it.

Throw Back Thursday

Christmas Elegance

This was the second Mirabilia I finished, and I think she’s my favorite of them all, though “favorite” tends to be a moving target when it comes to Mirabilia designs. I just love the colors in this one, the beads, the metallics – everything. 🙂 When I stitched her, it was the most beadwork I had done on one project. I believe she is stitched on 32ct Misty Blue Wichelt linen. I have since discovered I prefer Zweigart to Wichelt, but I have stitched a few Mirabilias on this color and like the end result.

Throw Back Thursday

Why Hoard Gold

Isn’t that a precious face? I stitched Dragon Dreams’ “Why Hoard Gold?” several years ago. One day, I will actually get her framed. I believe she is out of print (please correct me if I’m wrong on that), but you can Google her and find her at a few online shops. She was a lot of fun to stitch, even though part of the pattern called for rayon floss. Stitching with rayon floss drives me crazy – the stuff is so darn slippery! – but it really gives a nice shiny effect to part of her without being metallic. I actually love stitching with most metallics, but in this piece the gold really needed to stand out and probably wouldn’t have if there were more metallics used.

And when I finally get her framed or finished as a wall hanging, she will go on MY wall. 🙂

Throw Back Thursday

Ewephoria

This is a piece I made a few years ago. It was for a class I was teaching about stitching on linen at Rittenhouse Needlepint. The finishers there made it into a cute little hanging pillow, about six inches wide. They have it hanging in the shop as a cross stitch sample. I may make it again for myself, it’s so darn cute! I thought that it was a good time to post a reminder of spring, as so many of you are inundated with snow and ice at the moment.

Ewe-phoria is a free chart from Mosey ‘n Me, and is still available online if you want to download it. This chart may not appeal to everyone, as it has symbols but not a color scheme. I loved picking my colors from threads I already had in my stash. I don’t remember exactly what I used, but I know it was a combination of Gentle Arts Sampler Threads and Weeks Dye Works threads. You can see that there is a subtle variegation in the threads. I just chose a piece of fabric that I had in my stash, but I think the pink gives a nice spring/Easter feel.

She was a very fun and quick piece to stitch.

Throw Back Thursday – Joan Elliott angels

TBT collage 2-12-15

I came across a picture of Joan Elliott’s Christmas Angel, which I stitched for my sister several years ago. Before then, I had stitched Joan’s Angel of Night for my grandmother and Angel of Love for my mother, deciding I would stitch one for each woman in our family. (Luckily, it’s a small family, lol.) One of my current WIPs is Joan’s Autumn Angel, which I’m stitching for my sister-in-law. I thought the red hair was perfect, as she is a redhead. Once that is finished, I will stitch the final angel in the series – Angel of Summer, I believe –  for myself. As I mentioned in a previous post, my grandmother died a few years back, so my mom currently has both Angel of Night and Angel of Love in her home. I also have her Angel of Cross Stitch pattern, which I may stitch some day. Funny how I mentioned before that I’m not a big stitcher of angels. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

Throw Back Thursday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was looking through some of my old photos on Photobucket and saw my finished Lady of the Flag. It’s another one of those pieces for which I have a very specific framing idea in mind, so until I figure out exactly how I want it done, it is sitting in a drawer. When I first started her, I didn’t realize how huge she is — that dress is a whole lot of yellows, tans, gold, and beads! But she was so worth it. I love the drape of the flag, the shadow effect is wonderful. Nora Corbett created her as a memorial to 9/11/01, and she is a beautiful tribute. I don’t know if this is by design or by coincidence, but I see the three roses as representing each site of terrorist attacks on that day: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA.

My idea is to have her framed within a large mat that has cut-outs for quotes that I will either print on acid-free paper or stitch on similar fabric. The paper will probably be easier to frame, cost less, and take less time. The quotes will be about freedom and justice, but not the “eye-for-an-eye” justice. I don’t want her to have anything to do with war, nor do I want her to be a “We’re #1!” type of angel, but more about the basic ideals America was based on regarding life, liberty, and happiness. While we have never  lived up to that ideal – heck at the time only white men with land could vote – I do believe it is something that most Americans strive for. The sticky wicket is that we all see different ways of making it happen, hence the conflict. This isn’t a political blog, so I won’t go on about that, but you can understand why this has been at the back of my mind for quite some time, yet I haven’t quite found the perfect way to do it.

WIP Wednesday (on Thursday)

WIP Wednesday 2-5-15

 

Whew, been busy this past week. Last weekend I was involved with a lot of things going on at church — good things. My church (Princeton Presbyterian in Springfield, PA) is part of the community-wide Souper Bowl of Caring, playing the role of a drop-off point for food going to Chester Eastside Ministries. We brought in over 3600 items, if I remember correctly. Actually we brought in more than that, but some of the food we couldn’t use because of expiration dates. And we couldn’t give them the raspberry schnapps someone gave us. 🙂 Sunday I was at our service, then our annual meeting, then helped a few other ladies go through the freezer and the cupboard to get rid of old stuff and reorganize a bit. That took longer than originally planned, but once we got started we just kept going. The past few days I’ve been a bit under the weather. Nothing major, but after looking at a computer screen all day at work, the last thing my eyes and brain wanted to do was to think much more at night and look at a computer. So, I fell behind, but am getting caught up now.

scarves 2-5-15Because I’ve been busy and headachy, I haven’t been doing much stitching since last Wednesday. However, I did finish three scarves for the women’s circle at church. We need to make some more for the pile we are giving to Connect By Night for their homeless clients. The black one is a basic V-stitch, made from extra bulky yarn. It isn’t very long, but because it’s so bulky it’s practically a carpet and should keep someone warm. (Note to self: in the future, it is probably better to use more open stitches with such bulky yarn.) The other two were just something I made up: half-double crochet with a chain in between, skipping one stitch below. The borders use double crochet in each space, with a chain between each double crochet — except for the top and bottom where I stitched two double crochets in each space and did not chain, except for the one chain on each corner. I’m pretty happy with the result, though next time I may do the opposite — double crochet the scarf and half-double the border.

So, that’s really all I’ve worked on over the past week. I plan to get caught up on my temperature scarf for next week, and get in some more Mirabilia stitching. Though this was supposed to be my WIPocalypse post, that will be happening next week when I’m feeling more up to tackling it. Now I need to go check others’ WIPS and see all the beautiful projects others are creating. It’s always a dangerous thing to do, as you all are quite the enablers.

Throw Back Thursday – Angel of Love

Angel of LoveIt’s that time again! I’m going to share a little story behind my stitching Lavender & Lace’s “Angel of Love.” She is also known as the “Computer Chip Angel” (or something similar) because the intricate beadwork and use of metallics reminds many of the inside of a computer. If you click the photo of the close-up (below), you can see the details.)

I started this angel several years ago, and finished it in 2006 or 2007. The picture, obviously, is before it was framed, and there’s a reason I don’t have a picture of her framed — I will get to that. I am not a big stitcher of angels, but I saw this one as a challenge and enjoyed it. I don’t care for stitching angel wings, as all those shades of white and grey get on my nerves pretty quickly. So, I would stitch a small section of the wings, then move on to other parts of the angel. I did that often enough that the wings weren’t too bad and I didn’t stick myself with them at the end.

Angel of Love detail

Well, after I was done stitching her, I didn’t know what to do with her. I think she’s beautiful, but neither Tim nor I are really into angels and I wanted to spend my framing money on my mermaids and other items. At about this time, my 93-year-old grandmother became ill and went into Hospice in Naples, NY. It was a lovely house, and my grandmother had a small room to herself with some items she brought from home. The people who worked and volunteered there were incredible. When my grandmother passed, I decided I would add “In memory of Eleanor Bogue, 1913-2007” at the bottom and donate it to the Hospice house for decoration. I talked with my parents and they paid to have it framed. They delivered it, since they live in that area and I’m a good five hours away. So, that’s why I don’t have a picture of it framed, as I never saw it framed — though I was assured it looked great.

So, you never know what may happen to something you stitch that may not fit into your decor. I was so happy to have stitched her and met the challenge I set for myself, and even happier to donate it to Hospice. I hope that it helps people with fatal illnesses feel just a little better, and also that it comforts those who work there.

Have you ever stitched a piece “just because,” then struggled to find a home for it afterward?

My fun Christmas stocking

So, this is the first needlepoint stocking I’ve finished for myself. I stitched one last year for a customer, but don’t think I will do that very often. This one is smaller than the average stocking, which made it a little more manageable. It’s a Ruth Schmuff design, and I just love her whimsical ideas. This cat just looks so annoyed about this little bird on his head, and since he’s all tied up there’s not a darn thing he can do about it.

It was a relatively simple stocking, which is why I liked it so much — lots of room for creativity! I brought it to the advanced stocking class Stephen Janick was teaching some time back at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. That’s where I got the idea for the background that looks like snowflakes and the bottom of the sock that is a laid brick stitch. Then I used Turkey stitch for the fringe on the scarf and hat.

The background uses two different colors of #12 Kreinik Braid, blue Vineyard Silk, and a very dark blue #4 Kreinik Braid, just to give it a little extra sparkle that doesn’t compete with the largeness of the #12 braid. It’s a composite stitch where I laid the small dark Kreinik across on the diagonal, than couched them down with Mosaic stitches in the Vineyard silk, then filled in the spaces with the large snowflakes. (It drove me crazy that these “snowflakes” had 8 sides and not 6, but I decided that the effect was more important and let it go.) At first I used the lighter blue to represent snow, then I used less of that color as the snow was falling, using more of the dark blue to reflect the feel of a starry night.

The bird is just Basketweave and Continental stitched with Wisper to give it a little bit of a fuzzy appearance. The cat was stitched in Caron Impressions, using Kreink #12 Braid for the eyes and Petite Velvet for the inside of the ears. I used Basketweave for the scarf, stitching with red and green shades of Vineyard Mernino Wool. It’s a little tight for 18 mesh, but not too bad and I love how it looks. I also used that same Merino Wool for the Turkey stitch.

The bottom part of the stocking was painted as stripes, and I loved the contrast with the top of the stocking. I laid long strands of the dark blue Kreinik #4 braid across the stocking on every line, then couched them with a small over-2 Brick stitch using two shades of Vineyard Silk. I really like the effect — there is some shine to it but it’s not too much. There’s so much glitter at the top part of the stocking that I wanted a calmer effect at the bottom.