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

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WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday 2-25-15

 

New yarn for CAL

New yarn for CAL

CAL  square #1

CAL square #1

I’ve only been working on a few projects since last Wednesday. Much of my craft time went to Moogly’s CAL. As usual, I am unable to leave well enough alone, and restarted it. I stitched the first two blocks (she’s up to #4), and got stuck on the third block. I was going to move onto the fourth block and come back to #3, then I realized that I just wasn’t very happy with the bulkiness of the squares. I think next year I may go with a DK yarn, but since I was in a hurry to replace my yarn for this one, I went to Michael’s and – lo, and behold! – Caron Simply Soft was on sale. That pretty much clinched it, since Caron Simply Soft is a tad thinner than the worsted I was originally using. I also changed the colors and how I’m stitching them: Each square will have a variegated center with one color for the rest. I think that will be easier for me, as this is my first blanket made of elaborate (for me) squares.

So, I have finished the first block and will eventually get caught up on the rest. I will use the old yarn for some pretty scarves, as I really do like the color combinations. I’m using a similar combination for my new one, as you’ll see. I only bought one skein each of the old yarn, which is good. I’ll continue buying the Caron as needed.

Chinese dragon - full - 2-24-15

Almost a picture of the full canvas. The side borders are identical, so you get the idea.

Chinese dragon - closeup dragon - 2-24-15

Detail of the small amount of dragon I’ve stitched using various metallics. I love it!

Chinese dragon - border - 2-24-15

Detail of the border, stitched in Planet Earth silk. It’s mostly basketweave but I’ve used a few special stitches to give it a little added interest.

Other than that, I worked one night on my needlepoint Chinese Dragon. I haven’t worked on him in quite some time and forgot he beautiful he is. I’m looking forward to seeing him stitched in all his metallic glory. I took a few pictures so that you can see the whole project and some detail. I’m using Planet Earth silk for the border, Threadworx cotton floss for the inside background, and Kreinik, Threadworx, and Rainbow Gallery threads for the actual dragon. I don’t want the background to have too much of that stripey look you can sometimes get when working with variegated floss. So, using four strands at a time, I reverse two strands when I separate the strands, and skip around in one area just a little to give it more of a natural look.

Blossom Harvest 2-24-15

Second day on Blossom Harvest

 

Finally, I got a little time in on Blossom Harvest last night. I finished her face, except for the backstitching of her lips and a little of her hair because I don’t have those colors at the moment, and that always helps me to move on to the rest. I know other people are the opposite, preferring to stitch the face last, but there’s something about those pretty faces that inspire me to (eventually) finish the designs. The fabric I’m using is a little more blue than it appears in the picture. I’m looking forward to finishing the stitching so that I can add the big beads to her hair and get rid of those holes.

This is the first time in years that I’ve been able to do a little in all three of my main hobbies, mainly because my job hours are so low. So, while I hate having to look for work and not having much money, it’s given me more time for my hobbies. I’m very thankful for the part-time job I have that keeps me working in my field of choice.

Spring Scarves – Free Patterns

Spring scarves collage

Much of the country is dealing with ice and record lows as I write this. Except for Sunday, which was gorgeous here in the Philadelphia area, I have become used to wearing a thin scarf under my heavy winter scarf under my coat but over my t-shirt and hoodie, as well as two pairs of gloves. However, I know spring will come around again and I am looking forward to it — not summer so much, with its humidity, but I always welcome the warmer but not obnoxious temperatures of spring. In honor of that hope, I have found some pretty spring scarves you can make for those days that still have a little chill in the air but you can see the flowers blooming.

spring scarf - spring fling infinity

Spring Fling Infinity Scarf from My Merry Messy Life

The Spring Fling Infinity Scarf from Sara at My Merry Messy Life looks like a quick stitch that you could make in plenty of time for warmer weather. It’s a great way to keep your neck warmer while not having to worry about ends of the scarf hanging down and getting in your way. It uses 230 ounces of worsted yarn. The pattern calls for variegated yarn (which I prefer), but it would look lovely in a solid color or in stripes of solid colors as a stash-busting project. I think Red Heart Boutique’s Unforgettable would work nicely if you decide to go the variegated route.

green-sheen-scarf

Green Sheen Scarf from Caron.

If you’re looking for a lacier scarf that is a bit more intermediate in difficulty, the Green Sheen Scarf may be your answer. Of course, you don’t have to use green yarn, but whatever color you like. The scarf is a free design from Caron and is available at Fave Crafts for free. The pattern is older and calls for Caron Spa yarn, which is no longer available, but any DK-weight yarn will work. Personally, this color green doesn’t work well for me (looks horrible with my coloring), but any color would look wonderful for this pattern. Knit Picks has some beautiful colors in Diadem, for example. The combination of alpaca and silk gives this yarn a beautiful sheen.

Dainty Shells Scarf

Dainty Shells Scarf from All Free Crochet

Another scarf that uses thinner yarn is the Dainty Shells Scarf, available at All Free Crochet. This is an easy scarf that uses sport weight yarn, so it’s even lighter than the Green Sheen Scarf. There’s that green again, which I know is a very popular spring color, but I think I’d use a subtle variegated yarn for this. Keep in mind I’m a big fan of variegated yarn, so I’m a bit biased. I performed a quick search over at Yarn.com and found a few variegated sport-weight yarns made from different materials that could work, depending on your preference and budget. There’s also some gorgeous Highland Wool blend sport-weight yarn at Knit Picks that could work.

journey scarf

Journey Scarf from Kim Guzman

Finally, here’s the Journey Scarf. Originally featured on Caron’s website as a free design, it is now available as a free pdf download on Kim Guzman’s website. This is one for which I’d use a solid color, as a variegated yarn may take away from the design, but to each her or her own. This also calls for Caron’s Spa yarn, so instead you can choose any DK-weight yarn. Caron’s Simply Soft Light is nice, but it has more of a twisted/braided look than other DK yarns. Some people like that, some people don’t.

Hope you like the few spring scarves that I’ve shared. If you Google “free crochet spring scarf” you will find a ton! Also I mentioned some yarn here, but I’m not affiliated with any particular retailer or yarn-maker, just noted a few that I like. There is so much yarn out there, made from a plethora of materials and available at different price points, that I’m sure you will find just the right one for you.

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.

Colors for Temperature Scarf and Moogly CAL

Finally got to the store today and picked my yarn for the temperature scarf and Moogly’s CAL. I ended up going in a different direction than I thought I might for the CAL colors, but that often happens.

temp scarf colorsI changed the colors a little from what I originally planned for the temperature scarf, as I didn’t want to order anything, just go straight to the store and use what they had in stock. The colors to the left are what I’m using, and I think it will make for a bright and colorful scarf. I just finished stitching the first eleven days (below). I like how it’s looking so far, definitely has a wintery look. The green was for the two days that were warm before it dipped down again.

 

temp scarf 1-11-15

CALFinal

As for the CAL, I haven’t started the first block but I have finally chosen the colors. They are all from the Impeccable line from Loops & Threads: solids are Teal, Amethyst, and Lavender; ombre is Luxury. I think I’ll use at least a little of the ombre in each square and then one or two of the other colors at most. That should help bring all the colors together well when I finish all the squares and stitch them together.

Have any of you started the Moogly CAL, yet? I’d love to see your progress. I’m hoping to hunker down next weekend at the latest to work on that first square