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

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

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 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.

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?

February WIPocalypse – Part Two

FebWIPocalypse collage

 

Now for the nitty-gritty of WIPocalypse: all those projects I vowed to work on this year. As I said in my earlier post, I don’t make timelines to finish most projects, but there are a few I’ve been working on for a while that I should be able to finish this year without putting myself out too much. I do like to have a few goals, just don’t want to put so much pressure on myself that I don’t enjoy the journey.

So, let’s see what progress I’ve made, given I haven’t been paying attention to the list I made in January, lol.

Projects to start in 2015 – progress since 1/5/15

Cross Stitch
2001 Mirabilia Cherub – not started
Blossom Harvest – Forgot I had already started, and have made more progress
Mermaid of Atlantis – not started
Queen Mermaid – not started
South Seas Mermaid – not started
Touching the Autumn Sky – started
Amethyst Fairy – not started
Enchanted Dreamer – not started

Crochet
10 infinity scarves for gifts or to sell
Temperature scarf
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan
special project I need to finish with a friend in February

Projects to finish in 2015 – progress since 1/5/15

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

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
St. Basil’s
Santa stocking

Crochet
Tim’s afghan – not a stitch
Temperature scarf – going to catch up on this by the end of the week
Moogly’s 2015 Crochet-Along afghan – finished first block, starting second block this week – really!
Baby blanket (soooo close, can finish it in a night or two) – finished, but gave it away before I got a final picture

Other projects (there will always be some!)
Three charity scarves – finished
Receiving blanket for charity – started
prayer shawl for charity – started
Fairie Treasures – made a little progress
Mermaids of the Deep Blue – made a little progress

 

 

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.

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

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.