WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 3-11-15

This week seems to have been my cross stitch week. For a long time, I was crocheting most of the time, but now I seem to have my cross stitch mojo back. Stitching all those beautiful Mirabilias definitely helps – that, and I’m looking forward to Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, NH at the end of April. I finally finished starting the rest of my 15 Miras in 15 Days list. I made decent progress on all of them, but am particularly happy with Woodland Fairy, probably because I backstitched her face so that she seems a bit more real. Above are my most recent photos (in order) of Mermaids of the Deep Blue (not sure of fabric), Christmas Wishes (on 32ct Dyeing4U 32ct Gold Dust lugana), Amethyst Fairy (on 32ct Ray of Light linen, and Woodland Fairy (stitched on 32ct Misty Blue linen).

Most of these I started this past week, but I started Mermaids of the Deep Blue back in January, so I actually have a comparison photo. I find it really helps me to see my progress when I put them next to each other. To be honest, I would have had more done on this one if I hadn’t been off on the skin of the arms of the second mermaid and had to take some of it out. Still I’m happy with my progress. (The second photo is a more accurate color portrayal, as the first one is a bit grey.)

First photo, 1-16-15

First photo, 1-16-15 (several days of work)

Second photo, 3-11-15

Second photo, 3-11-15

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WIPocalypse – March 2015

March WIPocalypse

March question: If money – and time – were not limiters, what projects would be on your stitching bucket list?

Since money would be not object, I would have the space and proper equipment to work on larger projects. I’d also have the money to buy the canvas and wool for a needlepoint rug – and the time to make it. I’ve always wanted to make one, but can’t imagine how long it would take me and how expensive it would be to stitch and then finish. Then there is no way I would allow anyone to actually walk on it, so I would need the wall space to hang it. I have seen some gorgeous rugs on display at some shops, but – for once – I’m being realistic about my time and money.

Projects to start in 2015 – progress since 2/10/15

Stitching on 32ct. Belfast Misty Blue

Stitching on 32ct. Belfast Misty Blue

Cross Stitch
2001 Mirabilia Cherub – started
Blossom Harvest – started
Mermaid of Atlantis – started
Queen Mermaid – started
South Seas Mermaid Woodland Fairy – started
Touching the Autumn Sky – started
Amethyst Fairy – started
Enchanted Dreamer  Christmas Wishes – started

 

Crochet
10 infinity scarves for gifts or to sell – not started
Temperature scarf – ongoing
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – restarted with new colors and yarn, only block 1 is finished
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 2/10/15

Cross Stitch
Garden Verses (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10
Angel of the New Dawn (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10
Sleeping Beauty (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10
Mermaids of the Deep Blue (Mirabilia) – not a stitch since 2/10
Quaker Diamonds (Rosewood Manor) – not a stitch since 2/10

Using Planet Earth silk, Threadworx 6-ply cotton, Kreinik, and Rainbow Gallery threads

Using Planet Earth silk, Threadworx 6-ply cotton, Kreinik, and Rainbow Gallery threads

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 – some progress
St. Basil’s – some progress
Santa stocking – not a stitch

 

 

Uses Caron Simply Soft

Uses Caron Simply Soft

Crochet
Tim’s afghan – not a stitch
Temperature scarf – nothing in the last week, but progress before that
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – restarted with new colors and yarn, only block 1 is finished
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

Other projects (there will always be some!)
Three charity scarves – finished in February
Four more charity scarves — finished in Feburary
Receiving blanket for charity – started
prayer shawl for charity – started
Fairie Treasures – no progress since 2/10

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 3-4-15

I’ve been getting a lot more done on my needlepoint projects this week, though I started one that I had no intention of beginning for quite some time. Funny how that happens. Long story short, I couldn’t find my threads for my St. Basil’s canvas, so I started another canvas that is similar. Then, I found my hiding place for my threads — a “safe place” I had obviously forgotten — so, I also worked on that one. I also started crocheting a shawl and a new Mirabilia.

StBasil_full_3-2-15 StBasil_detail_3-2-15I’m using all Planet Earth silks for St. Basil’s, except for the two Kreinik gold braids I’m using for decoration on the buildings. If you needlepoint and haven’t used Planet Earth threads, I highly suggest you give them a try. They have stranded silk, as well as other types of threads. I usually use the single ply, which is ideal for 13ct canvas, and would probably work well for 14ct canvas. I bought all the colors when I originally bought the canvas, though I will probably need to purchase more black, blue, and tan for the borders and sky. Buying all those colors in silk cost a pretty penny, but the threads are so gorgeous and easy to work with that it was worth it. I normally use lots of different stitches, but with all the detailed colors in this one, I decided it made more sense to work in basketweave, with a little texture in the sky using the Byzantine stitch.

Russian_full_3-2-15 Russian_detail1_3-2-15

I’m also using Planet Earth silk for the other canvas that I just call “Russian.” I think it’s a more whimsical take on St. Basil’s, but I’ll confuse them if I call them the same thing. I’m debating whether or not to stitch the “clouds” that look like waves. I bought Rainbow Gallery Flair in two shades of blue and in white to stitch it, but I’m not sure if it will add to the design or take away from it. It adds a flair of whimsy, but I could also stitch the entire sky in navy without the light colors showing through. Either way, I’m not stitching the stars in the sky but will instead use some beads for stars. Some of the building tops will also use Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays ribbon. For example, that’s what I used on the green part of the yellow and green turret. Right now, I’m just playing around with various stitches, but I like it a lot so far.

Mermaid of Atantis 3-4-15

As part of my 15 Miras in 15 project, I started Mermaid of Atlantis on 32ct Lagoon Belfast from Picture This Plus. My Kreinks and Caron Waterlillies are on order, so her hair looks a little strange at the moment. Since I mentioned how much I like Planet Earth silks earlier, I feel I should also say how great it is to stitch with Waterlilies – it’s like buttah! Originally, this was a challenge to start/continue with 15 Mirabilias the first 15 days of January. Well, that ship has sailed, but I’ve decided to keep to the basic idea and keep them going or start them all sometime in 2015. A few are on my WIPocalypse list to finish this year so that I actually make some progress and am not just starting projects (which I tend to do).

blue shawl 3-4-15I also started crocheting a shawl for a gift, using some beautiful yarn I bought at Loop a few weeks ago. This is Berroco Modern Cotton in Bluebird. It’s 60 percent cotton and 40 percent rayon, so it has a nice sheen to it and is a nice lightweight worsted yarn. That was my first time in that shop, which is down on South Street, and it was a great time. A good friend took me, as she is a regular there. The people working there were very helpful, and I will definitely be returning. As for the yarn, I love the color and drape of it, but it’s a bit more slippery than I’m used to — rayon gets me again! I feel like my tension is all over the place on this one and I may take it out and start over. It took me a while to get a feel for the yarn and the areas between the shells, so I think if I start over it will look better. It will be a gift for someone I care about very much, so I want it to look as good as possible. (And now that I got away from it for a day and see the photo, there is something funky going on in that third row. Yeah, it’s comin’ out!)

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 2-18-15

It’s a long story, but starting this week I’m only working 10 hours a week. Of course, I am looking for full-time work and have some other irons in the fire, but I can use this (hopefully short) time to catch up on some stitching, as well as some other projects around the house. However, for my first week of working less, I sure seem to be busy. Funny how that works.

Emerald Mermaid comparison 2-18-15Queen Mermaid comparison 2-18-152001 Mirabilia cherub comparison 2-18-15Since last Wednesday, I started more of my Mirabilias slated for 15 Miras in 15 Days. I usually don’t take pictures of projects I have just started because they just look like weird blobs of color, but I will do so for the blog. I think it will also help me see when I’m making progress. I’m stitching Emerald Mermaid on Desert Island 32ct. Lugana from Sugar Maple Fabrics, Queen Mermaid on Aquarius 32ct. Lugana from Sugar Maple Fabrics and the 2001 Mirabilia Cherub on mystery fabric that looks like white 32ct. Lugana. (I believe Sugar Maple Fabrics is no longer in business, but please correct me if I’m wrong about that and I will add a link.)

I made more progress on my temperature scarf, which has some different colors this week due to the extremely cold temperatures we’ve been experiencing. I may make another one of these next year, using the same colors and temperature ranges, but basing the color I use on the lowest temperature of the day, rather than the highest.

receiving blanket 2-18-15I also made some progress on a receiving blanket I’m making for a charity group I recently joined. Based in West Philadelphia, they make all sorts of projects, depending on the need of organizations – hats, scarves, blankets, etc. They recently made scarves and hats for my employer, the Pennsylvania Prison Society, to give to returning citizens. A friend of mine invited me to join them, and I’m so glad she did. The blanket is stitched with Red Heart Soft in a small granny stripe pattern.

charity scarves 2-18-15

I finally finished off a few more scarves for my women’s group at church. All of these were in some form of progress: The two cream and brown ones just needed the tails sewn in; the wine-colored scarf was half done, so I finished it; and the black and grey scarf I found in a bag – I had forgotten all about it – and only needed a few more rows added to it. In case you are interested, the cream and brown scarves were made by using two colors at once (Knit Picks Brava Worsted); they are both worked in double crochet, one stitched vertically and the other stitched horizontally. The wine-colored scarf is one I featured a while back on the blog, using wine Knit Picks Brava Worsted. The grey and black scarf is half-double crochet, and I changed yarns every two rows (Red Heart Worsted).

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m already behind on Moogly’s CAL. I keep saying I will start that second block, but I keep finding something else to do. She’s already posted block #3, and will soon post #4. I have to be careful to not let this bother me too much, as I’m a bit of a perfectionist sometimes turn my hobbies into something I feel obligated to work on, which does not help my anxiety levels that have been raised a bit lately. It’s amazing, the things we allow to bother us, isn’t it?

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 1-28-15

For those of you who don’t know, WIP stands for Work In Progress. I have a ton of WIPs and tend to add more and more until I get in a mood where I must actually finish some of them. Since I have so many WIPS, I’m only going to show the ones I’ve worked on since last Wednesday. If I posted about every project I have going, your Internet connection might crash.

temp scarf 1-27-15Originally I thought I’d work on my temperature scarf on a daily basis, but that isn’t happening. I tend to stitch all my rows for the week over the weekend. So, I last worked on it this last Sunday. I just look up the temperatures from the last week and go from there.

CAL2015_01

I posted this a few days ago, but will repeat it for WIP Wednesday. It’s my first block of Moogly’s 2015 CAL. I haven’t started the second block yet, but will probably work on it over the upcoming weekend. It will be more square when I block it. Each square will have the variegated yarn in the center, and I will use two of the three solid colors in each square. The next one will use the solid teal.

prayer shawlThis is a prayer shawl I’m making for my women’s group at church. It’s really a long and wide scarf, using a simple V-stitch without the chain between the double crochets. I’m using Dark Country Blue Caron Simply Soft yarn. I’m using the same yarn brand for my temperature scarf and have used it for other projects with no problems, but I’m finding that it separates easily when hooking in the spaces between stitches. I hook into the actual stitches in the other projects, and it doesn’t seem to get caught as easily. I’ll keep going, as I have a lot of this particular color and should use it up, and it will be a nice gift for someone in need. Good lesson though, to understand which yarns work best for which types of projects.

I have been working on several Mirabilias for the 15 Miras in 15 Days project, some which I started this January and some which were already in progress. I’m not going to get them all in by the end of January like I’d hoped, but by mid-February I should have them all going. Over the past week, I’ve worked on (in order) Touching the Autumn Sky, Fairie Treasures, and Sleeping Beauty. I’ve been working on and off on Sleeping Beauty for-ev-er, and slowly making progress. The other three look a little strange right now because I had to go out and get some more floss. The part of Touching the Autumn Sky I started is where her arms are hanging onto the swing, though right now it looks like some strangely-colored version of the Statue of Liberty. Fairie Treasures actually resembles what she’s supposed to look like, so that’s good.

TouchingTheAutumnSky1 FairieTreasures1 Sleeping Beauty

Looking back through my projects here, can you tell that I tend to go for purples, blues and greens? All my stitching projects are on a color of blue fabric, and my crochet projects are using blues purples and greens. I have said many times that I think almost any cross stitch project would look good on some shade of blue, and I guess that is the color I tend to go for first.

New Year, New Projects (and a lot of old ones)

Ginger

Don’t let this picture deceive you; Ginger is an adorable holy terror, lol.

Happy New Year, a few days late! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas (if you celebrate), and a great New Year’s Day. I spent Christmas with my parents and crazy one-year-old Jack Russell/Red Heeler, and New Year’s at my friend’s home as my partner Tim was working. Good times all around.

I have already started planning my projects for the upcoming year. I have some new ones, of course, but am also working on finishing some older projects. I have the feeling I’m not the only in in this predicament. Now that I’ve recently expanded my needlework skills, I find it difficult to decide on what to work on. I think I need to come up with a plan to work on one craft each week. It isn’t spontaneous, but spontaneity got me into this, lol.

Temperature-Scarf

One project for the new year – and I’m already behind because I need to purchase the yarn – is the Temperature Scarf. The great thing about this is choosing the colors and the temperatures for each color. Depending on where you live, and the amount of colors you want in the scarf, you will want to choose a large temperature range for each color or a small one. I want to use several colors and in the Northeast it can get very cold in the winter and very hot in the summer (depending on the year), so my temperature range is from zero to 107. Frankly, it doesn’t usually get down to zero above 100 here, but I wanted to cover my bases. Here’s what I’m using, once I buy the yarn. I’m going to make mine colorful, but it could also be very pretty in several shades of the same color. The colors in parentheses are the color names from the Caron Simply Soft line I will be using. I’m also going to make it simple, just using single crochet. I figure that 365 rows could be a pretty long scarf, so I better keep the height of the stitch small.

0-11 – dark purple (purple)
12-23 – med purple (lavender)
24-35 – med blue (country blue)
36-47 – light blue (lt. country blue)
48-59 – green (green)
60-71 – light green (limelight)
72-83 – yellow (lemonade)
84-95 – orange (orange)
96-107 – red (harvest red)

There is also a Sky Scarf. The pattern is for knitting, but the basic idea can also work for crochet. I won’t be working on that this year but it’s another interesting option. It’s similar to the Temperature Scarf except it’s based on if it’s sunny, cloudy, raining, snowing — you get the idea. I’m sure there are other “journaling” scarves we could create; There already is a Mood Scarf (that could be dangerous!), and maybe you could create an exercise scarf (based on how many minutes you moved that day), TV or movie scarf (different colors for your favorite show that day), etc. I’m really making these up as I go along, but the options are endless.

2015-Afghan-CAL-Main-GraphicAnother project I’m looking forward to is Tamara’s 2015 Afghan Crochet Along on her Moogly blog. I heard last year’s was a lot of fun and it’s something new for me. Every two weeks she’ll share a new free afghan block crochet pattern for a 12-inch block. By the end, you’ll have blocks for an afghan that is about 4×6. I think some people use it to make two small blankets. You choose your colors and then follow along. Seems like a great way to end up with an afghan at the end of the year. Some people piece the blocks together as they go, but I think I want to see all the blocks at the end to decide how I want to place them.

1116141535 (1)

This week I started my Mirabilia 15 in 15 by working a little on my Angel of the New Dawn. I haven’t made a lot of progress on her this week, and this photo is from before this week, but will stitch more tomorrow. I am not starting one each day the first 15 days of the year, but will start or stitch on 15 over the course of January. The idea is to finish them all by the end of the year. I don’t know if any of us will be able do to that, but I think it will help me to make progress on some that have been languishing a bit.

What new projects are you starting this year, and what old projects are on your goals list for finishing? I love to see what other people are working on. 🙂

Cross Stitch 15 Miras in 15 Days, Angel of the New Dawn

Mirabilia collage

I’m working on getting my WIPs gathered so that I can make some sort of loose schedule for finishing some projects. It was so much easier when all I did was cross stitch, but I love that I have expanded my horizons a bit over the past five years or so and now also have fun needlepointing and crocheting, and sometimes embroidering. I’m starting to incorporate a little ribbon embroidery into some needlepoint, and my technique is slowly getting better.

1116141535 (1)This week I will be working more on my Angel of the New Dawn from Mirabilia. She’s been an WIP for years, and I do work on her a little here and there. I love the subtle colors in this one. Then again, I don’t think I’ve ever met a Mirabilia I didn’t like – and you can tell that by looking at my stash. My photo isn’t the best ever, but you can see where I am with it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am taking part in the 15 in 15 Days starting in January 2015. The purpose of this is to start 15 Mirabilias in the first 15 days of January, with the goal of finishing them by the end of the year. I’m trying to be somewhat realistic (though my version of reality tends to be a bit more optimistic than it should be), so some of them are WIPs. To be honest, I doubt I will be able to finish them all, but I’m going to see where I end up. I’m also planning to start them all in January, not necessarily one every day for the first 15 days. With work and other commitments, I don’t get to stitch every day, as much as I’d like to.

I also chose designs for which I already had fabric. As much as I love buying fabric, things are a bit tight at the moment and it just makes sense to use what I already have. I always say that I buy craft items on sale so that I have them when finances are tight, so I need to stick to that.

So, here’s my list (seen in the photo collage at the top of the page):

1. Garden Verses (WIP)
2. Angel of the New Dawn (WIP)
3. Sleeping Beauty (WIP)
4. Rose Celebration (WIP)
5. Spring Queen (WIP)
6. Fairie Treasures (WIP)
7. Mermaids of the Deep Blue
8. 2001 Mirabilia Cherub
9. Blossom Harvest
10. Mermaid of Atlantis
11. Queen Mermaid
12. South Seas Mermaid
13. Touching the Autumn Sky
14. Amethyst Fairy
15. Enchanted Dreamer

I’d love to hear from anyone who is also a big Mirabilia fan. I find Nora’s designs use color in a very interesting way. Sometimes I pick the colors and think, “How the heck is THAT going to work?” I just go with it and trust the process, and when the project is done that color fits right in. I don’t know how she does that.