OK, I shouldn't brag but it's been so LONG!
On to the other side --- this is where it is as of today:
I finished a little 2x2 square designed by Michael Powell. It's meant to be one side of a scissor keep but I think I'll make it into an ornament instead and stitch the other side as another ornament.
OK, I shouldn't brag but it's been so LONG!
Two strands of Anchor floss over one --- in an 18 ct (I think) canvas. A bear to frog so there is one mistake I simply fudged around. Luckily, Powell designs are wonky enough to make fudging invisible!
On to the other side --- this is where it is as of today:
It would have been further but after stitching three rows in white, I realized it was SUPPOSED to be a blended white/blue thread and that could NOT be fudged around! So... I carefully frogged for half an hour, trying to save as much of the flow as possible.! ARRGH! Here's hoping I can substitute DMC on the other two charts in the kit because I suspect I will run out of what was supplied VERY soon!
We are supposed to "Recap [our] accomplishments for the year! ([our] finishes, [our] final before/after photos, etc.)" What Can I say?
So let's start with finished: Zero, nada, zilch, none. Since I started the New Year with a non-functioning left hand and only managed to make it back to nearly-full function in February, I only stitched for a small bit when finding that my had strength wasn't sufficient for prolonged stitching (since I hand-hold everything --- frames or no --- and gripping a hoop, Q-snap or frame with the left hand while stitching with the left meant my left hand began to tire, she adn then cramp within an hour So...NO FINISHES
Final before and after photos:
Before for "Love Is...", designer Xs and Os
After for "Love-Is...", reported on February 26, 2017
SO that's where I stand going into 2018.
See you in a week!
This month's question is Which floss (or color of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?
I'm not sure how to answer this one as I don't really stash floss for color reasons. I BUY floss for color reasons --- that is, I NEED that color for a project and it isn't in my stash.
OK, I said I had a stash of floss and that is true but it does come back to my reason for buying. I do have a habit of wanting EVERY color in a floss type (e.g Anchor, Gentle Arts, Dinkie Dyes, etc.) but have failed miserably on that EXCEPT for DMC, where I am pretty close to having every color in most every floss type (cotton, linen, rayon, metallic, etc.) - I bought a complete range (from Herrschners) back when we lived in China (the 1990s), mainly because there was no place one could buy embroidery floss there (odd given the tradition of embroidery there but it appears not to be a hobby so there are no craft stores, needlework shops, etc --- or at least there weren't when we lived there), and I have added to it (and replenished it when needed) ever since. I do have a potential "surplus" of black (310) because it is the most often used for backstitch, and it is ALWAYS used for Blackwork and I was, at one time, doing two or three blackwork projects at a time!
Now, as for a color I absolutely adore... I never actually think of that in terms of floss. My favorite color is orange but I don't think I have associated that with stitchery in any way.
So, I guess my true answer to this question is there is no color that I absolutely adore and was to stash constantly!
And while I did find a source for the stretcher frames I need for three needlepoint kits I bought last October (would you believe, Hobby Lobby is no longer selling them?), I have yet to get out my needle and fabric and floss and start those new kits, or work on my WIPs... Lack of motivation (and possibly inertia) is the main problem here...
This month's question is: "What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?"
OK, The only stitch blogs I really follow (if getting digests each week or month is the same as following) are:
The one "group" I belong to is a closed Facebook group called Cross Stitch Crazy which is limited to members of Yuku's (pretty inactive at present) Cross Stitch Crazy Board which, in turn is a descendant of the old iVillage forum "Cross Stitch Crazy" (now totally lost in the ether thanks to NBC-Universal's mismanagement). I am registered as a follower of the "WIPocalypse SAL" Facebook group although I don't really "follow" it that closely. I do "follow" (very loosely) a couple of other Facebook groups, like "Take a Stitch Tuesday" and "Ink Circles Mandala Stitchers", but only in that the occasional notification from them appears on my newsfeed.
And to be honest, I had no clue what a "flosstube" was until I just looked it up! No, I don't follow any flosstubes!
Now, as for my WIPocalypse progress in March --- nil, none, zero. I didn't even pick it up today when I decided to see if I had indeed done nothing since my last check-in! I don't WANT to stitch while my hand still aches when holding the Q-snaps (and no, I WILL NOT use a frame --- I HATE frames). And the piece I am working on, "Love Is..." really isn't calling to me, nor are any other pieces in my WIP/UFO pile. My stitching mojo was practically done in by that arm break and I don't know if it will ever recover.
But we live in hope... there is a trip or two in my near future where I may take my traveling needlepoint. No frame, no Q-snaps --- it's being stitched in hand. We shall see if that rekindles the stitching flame.
The question for this month is: "What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?" Well, I'm not sure I have a favorite stitch other than the cross stitch. In fact, I'm not even sure any more that the cross stitch is my "favorite" but... the stitch I use as often as the cross stitch is backstitch, although I'm pretty sure I'm not doing it correctly when I do blackwork. As for how-to, here is the best link I can provide for regular backstitching and here is how to do it (aka the Holbein) in blackwork.
This was another stitch-free month, except for 50 minutes last night trying again to work on "Love is..." I managed to get six letters in backstitch and French knots stitched when I found out that I had stitched the last two one stitch off! AAACK! Frogging backstitch with French knots is NOT fun, I wasted an entire strand of floss in doing this, and now I have some restitching to do to cover the stitched-out linen where the old stitches were.
Still, the left wrist held up better than the last time I tried and I think I will be stitching some more, although taxes take priority this afternoon.
First check-in for 2017 and not a very happy one, I fear. I tried to stitch on "Love Is..." an Xs and Os design, in mid-January after being given the "all clear" from my orthodpod and my occupational therapist that I could continue on doing my hand exercises on my own. But I failed miserably in being able to hold my q-snap frame for more than a few minutes at a time. Maybe it didn't help that the word I chose to stitch was chock full of French knots (which I hate, especially on linen) but then...
All I got done in one hour was the one word: "record" and I gave up:
I haven't stitched since. My hand is still stiff and I can barely make a fist with it in the morning. And if I use it TOO much, the thumb and wrist start to ache something fierce. I am getting stronger (I can curl a two-pound weight now) but I still am having issues. I hope to get back to stitching soon because, if nothing else, I MISS IT!
This month's question for discussion: What SAL’s are you participating in this year?
As for SALs I am participating in, I am committed to WIPocalypse as a SAL and have promised a stitching buddy to do a private SAL with her on "Cardinal Points" (A Long Dog Sampler). I've also downloaded the first band in a monthly mystery sampler from Linen and Threads. And of course, one of my long-term WIPs is the Elizabeth Almond blackwork SAL "Save the Stitches".
SALS won't be my primary focus, however. Because I have this list (from the first WIPocalypse post this year) of 12 WIPs to work on. Maybe I can tackle some of the machine sewing on that list to whittle that list down.
SALS may also take a hit from new starts. Assuming my hand returns to near normal before the year is out, that is... I have a serious case of "start-itis" lurking in the wings. There are a chart and two mini-kits arrived this week from Michael Powell (more of his Greek scenes). Add to that three needlepoint kits that I ordered last summer before the wrist fiasco... All six have color, LOTS of BRIGHT tropical color, and I really need some of that after this winter and all the monochromatic reds, blues, blacks and neutrals in the embroidery pieces in my WIP pile.
Today we are to “ Introduce [ourselves], [our] projects, and any goals [we] have for the year!”
OK, well, I’m Carol, a retired environmental scientist and community college instructor, who took up stitching in graduate school (in Florida). I started with crewel, began needlepoint when a friend asked me to complete an eyeglass case she had bought, and moved on to cross-stitch while living and working in San Francisco (needlepoint and crewel were too awkward to work on when traveling and I was flying a lot back then; cross-stitch kits were MUCH more portable, at least until I started on BAPs!). I’ve been a cross-stitcher ever since, pretty much limited to white or antique white evenweave and DMC but occasionally branching out to overdyeds (in both fabric and threads). I have taken online needlepoint and freehand stitching classes, and participated in “Take A Stitch Tuesday” for three years. I also do blackwork, which I really love (odd considering how much I dislike backstitching in cross-stitch!).
Other needlecraft that I do are quilting (or at least piecing) and knitting. I joined a quilt guild about 6 years ago and soon became their webmaster… but I haven’t progressed much in the quilting realm, although I did participate in several years of the online Crazy Quilt Journal Project. As a sideline to that, I also participated in several years of the Bead Journal Project, playing with adding beads to fabric, especially to the crazy quilt blocks I was making. I started knitting as an undergraduate (was taught by a roommate my Senior year!) and have knitted off and on (mostly off of late - there is one afghan UFO on my needles that I really need to consider a WIP... ooops) ever since.
Last year was not a successful year for me in stitchery. we were on the road in the south for five weeks in the first three months of the year and when returning, it was hard to get back in the stitchery swing-of-things. Then I broke my wrist in mid-October and have been one-handed ever since. So I’d guess that 2016 was my worst completion year ever! I want to remedy that in 2017 so I decalre this year to be a starting-over, "Get It Done" year.
I have a number of unfinished project: some UFOs, two projects interrupted by the broken wrist, two traveling pieces, and some crazy quilts and beaded pieces that need to be “finish-finished” (I’m not even going to count all the needlepoint and cross-stitch pieces - or that afghan - that have accumulated over the past three decades and need to be framed or turned into pillows or ornaments or…. ). Here is a list of the pieces (and links to where you can see their last progress report on this blog) that I think I will work on getting done this year:
1. “Love Is” by X’s & Ohs (by Jo Gatenby). It was meant to be a Christmas gift to a niece who was married last April and was only half done when I broke my wrist. I would LOVE to have it finished before their first aniversary...
2. “Save the Stitches” by Elizabeth Almond, a blackwork piece that I was half-way through at the beginning of 2016 and haven’t touched since…
3. “Palm Tree Elegance”, a needlepoint kit that is my traveling piece. I last touched it in Louisville, KY in July and it is probably 1/3 done. No road trips planned for this year, though, so it may well sit in it’s bag for all of 2017, untouched.
4. A small cross-stitched piece of Biltmore House that I bought when we were in Asheville, NC back in 2014. It has stalled out since a major frogging back in July of 2014.
5. My 2015 Crazy Quilt/Bead Journal blocks which need to be assembled into a top, backed and bound.
6. My “Take a Stitch Tuesday” journal of stitches (2012, 2013 and 2014) which needs to be assembled into a book…
7. My 2014 Crazy Quilt Journal Project, nine blocks of which are assembled. The remaining three need to be attached and the quilt backed, tied and bound.
8. My 2013 Crazy Quilt Journal Project which needs to be backed, tied and bound.
9. My 2013 Bead Journal Project which needs to be backed, tied and bound (and maybe have the sashing redone as it is a tad wonky!…)
10. A “Chinese Coins” quilt top which needs to be backed, quilted (AAARGH!) and bound…
11. My 2012 Color Palette/Crazy Quilt/Bead Journal Project which needs a hanging sleeve and label
12. My 2011 Bead Journal Project which needs to be assembled into a small book (I have the cover started...).
And, as if this weren't enough (remember, I left out a lot of the longstanding UFOS in my stash), there is the most overwhelming project of all — my craft space! It is a DISASTER! It needs to be totally reorganized and (gasp!) purged. There are threads that need to go back into their respective storage containers; beads, buttons and ribbons likewise. And this doesn’t even begin to account for the growing pile of papercrafting supplies that are over-running my space. I fear that this could mean I won’t get started stitching until well into 2017 but if I don’t start NOW, it won’t get done. I know me… I hate organizing (as my chaotic office can testify — it’s been in disorder since we moved in here in 2003!) and I really have issues with purging! But it has to be done, sooner rather than later, and it is something I can do one-handed… I know, one step at a time, or in this case, one cabinet or table or pile at a time…
So there you have it. My projects and my (probably unattainable) goals for the year…
P.S. I forgot! I have one kitted up Long Dog sampler on order and I have started downloading the patterns for a 12-part mystery band sampler. Both are SALs on a Facebook group I belong to. WHAT was I thinking?
Checking in here WAY late, but I forgot to check on the full moon date!
Anyway, the final question for 2016 in WIPocalypse is: "Recap your accomplishments for the year! (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc)."
So here goes. No photos --- I'll provide links instead.
My finishes in 2016 were scant becasue I was working toward finishing two massively BAP/WIPS.
My wrist is recovering, slowly, but I don't think I'm up to hand stitching or holding my Q-Snaps with my left hand quite yet. Still, I have hopes that that wedding sampler will make it to my niece before her first anniversary... "Palm Tree Elegance" may not have much opportunity for stitching since we don't have any road trips planned for this coming year. As for "Save the Stitches" - well, it may languish a bit more because I am being tempted by others to do a SAL on the Long Dog sample "Cardinal Points". The chart, 18ct fabric and threads are on order so we shall see if I am up to it...
I was not stitching much in these three weeks, and when I did get back in the
“mood”, I got stopped in my tracks with a broken arm! I’m scheduled for surgery on October 25 and have follow-up on November 4 so I suspect I won’t be stitching much in the coming weeks either.
This is as far as I had gotten on “Love Is…”:
I have had to drop out of an ornament swap and clearly stitching on this sampler, “save at the Stitches” or any other stitchery is out of the question for a while. I can “type” one-handed if I am slow and carefully check my spelling so I may post even with no progress.
See you on the “other side” of surgery!
This month’s theme question is “What online stitching communities do you enjoy?”
Well, I do belong to a number of online communities and some of them are stitching-related.
I am still enrolled in the Cross Stitch Crazy forum, a closed group which is now more active in private Facebook group. I am active on the Facebook page, not in the Yuku forum any more. Having been a member of this group since the days when it was tTHE most active group on the late lamented iVillage, I feel that I know most of the people in it and feel most comfortable there.
I am enrolled in, but inactive in, The Stitcher’s Village. I receive the newsletter and read it through but rarely participate in the forums and do not post in the galleries. I used to but as the format changed over the years, keeping up with it became more trouble than it was worth to me.
I am enrolled in six needlework groups on Stitching’ Fingers. I receive occasional notifications, usually from the crash quilting group, but again, rarely post. It also went though a “reformatting” a few years ago and I find it hard to follow threads the way they are formatting, have found and even harder to participate for that reason. (The last I heard from Stitching Fingers was in September and the moderator/sponsor was bowing out and saying the site might close by December if no-one else came forward.)
I am also a member of Craft Bubble 2, a successor to Craft Bubble which went under some years ago. This UK-based site covers all sorts of crafting but does have a needlework section in the current version. Again, the change in format has pretty much put me off and I rarely visit.
I know that I am still considered enrolled in a few others but since I never go there, I can’t remember the forum names, and in the event I do get an email notification, I can’t remember my user names or my passwords so I can’t get in without a big hassle.
I am no longer active in the Quilt Journal Project or the Bead Journal Project (which has also moved to a closed Facebook group). I decided to opt out of their challenges this past year to recharge and rethink my interest in these needlecraft Primarily, they were just a place to post progress on the yearly challenges and not really a community, per se, in the way that Cross Stitch Crazy was/is.
I do subscribe to a large number of newsletters, thanks in part to having been a member on the now defunct iVillage.com, where I was a community leader on a cross-stitch forum. Most are from online and redbrick shops and that is how I keep up with what is new in the field.
And I subscribe to a number of blogs written by other stitchers as well. While I don’t always comment, it feels to me like more of a “community” feel on a blog these days than on forums. Guess I have evolved form the days when I preferred forums to blogs! ;-)
Basically, I find that online stitchery communities have less to do with stitching and more to do with
a) public galleries of one’s work and/or
b) small talk about all things going on in the lives of people I do not know, or do not know well.
Simply said: a lot of time for little return on the investment, in my opinion. And based on the lack of recent activity on some of these forums, I think others must feel the same way.
Last WIPocalypse, I was:
Here is where the wedding sampler, “Love Is…”, now stands. Not quite halfway…
This coming month, I will continue to plug away as the wedding sampler but I make no promises!
Born in New Jersey, I grew up in Southeastern Ohio. Attended university at Bowling Green State University (B.Sci in biological science, 1964), University of Southern California (M. Sci in biological science, 1967) and University of Florida (Ph. D in zoology, 1971).
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* 2012 Color Palette Challenge
* 2012 WIPocaplypse
* 2012 Bead Journal Project
* Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012
* Crazy Quilt Journal Project Challenge 2013
* Crazy Quilt Journal Project Challenge
* Cross Stitch Crazy
* Cross Stitch Crazy forum
* On Beads and Needles
* Black Swamp Quilter's Guild
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