Thursday, 31 July 2008

Bargello Challenge

I did do a few rows of knitting last night, but I also started working on this bargello challenge from Stitchin Fingers.

The pattern is called Curly M. I just used what I had in my stash. Despite the colour in the picture which is really off, the yarns are in yellow, rust and green. They are hand dyed, but I have had them so long, I can't remember from where I got them. I think it was from a craft fair I attended many years ago.

It makes for quite a stunning pattern. I just have to decide what I am going to do with this piece. I may use it for a card, but I'll put it to one side and decide at a later date.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Backstitch all day

Once the cross stitching is complete, it always feels as if the project is finished, but of course it hardly ever is. There is then the dreaded back stitch.
There is nothing wrong with back stitch in itself, but it just seems to take so long on a cross stitch project. It is always so tempting not to do it, but the results make it all worthwhile.
This is the project completed and the back stitch has certainly added perceptive to the stitching and the already bright colour really stand out. All in all, a day well spent.
The rest of the evening will be spent making D's jumper grow.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

TAST-Feather Stitch

After last weeks more complicated block, it was back to a more simple one this week. I added the antique lace on the one seam then added four buttons to it. D thought it look like a shirt.
I used the printed stems on the fabric as an outline of the feather stitch on this block, using variagated thread. It reminds me of coral.
I used the plain cream perle to feather stitch the other seams.
And this is the view of the whole block.

I also had a chance to do some knitting and D's jumper has grown about 6 inches. D is delighted.

I'm torn as to what I am going to do tomorrow, I can't make up my mind. J wants me to do the back stitch on the Clarice Cliffe, so it's either that or the last flower in the Summer Stitching Challenge. I think I'll sleep on it.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Been busy

I didn't get much time to do my knitting or sewing today. The boys and I went for a walk in the woods for a couple of hours and then I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon. Walking up the hill in the sun wasn't as much fun as walking in the woods! I even fell asleep on the settee-not sure that 5 hours sleep is quite enough.

Here is what I have managed to do. At least D's jumper has grown a little today, and any progress is good.

Got a few things to sort out this week. I need to find a cross stitch card to do for a swap I'm participating in on Stitchin Fingers cross stitch group. I know I have a few in my stash so I need to do a search. Won't be able to reveal too many details until after it has arrived at it's destination.

I also want to find the iron on embroidery patterns I have inherited that belonged to my great grandmother. I have always been planning to use them and I have got "the urge"!

My targets for this week is to do TAST, the back stitch on Clarice Cliffe, my cross stich card swap, and the last flower in the Yahoo Hand Embroidery Groups summer stitching challenge. In between, D's jumper will slowly grow. Let's see how it goes.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

A Reunion and a finish-almost

It was back to cross stitching today. The boys were out most of the day, so I could concentrate on what I was doing.

It was almost too warm this afternoon for stitching, so I decided to go out in the garage and sort out my embroidery frames and stands. This is when I became reunited with my Opus Floor Stand-and what a difference it made.

With the stiching in the frame, it meant I could stitch using both hands. That certainly made for quicker progress.

I was absolutely determined the cross stitching was going to be completed tonight before going to bed.

Here it is

I owe D a cuddle tomorrow for letting me do this. Wonder if it will be before or after the backstitching.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Herringbone Stitch

I got up with every intention of doing housework, but I soon decided it was too nice a day to spend cleaning. Even with all the doors and windows open, it was really warm. I did some of the cleaning, then I decided to get on and do some sewing.

I did my CQ patch and caught up on one of the TAST stitches I missed. I did the first week's stitch which was herringbone stitch.

As usual, D had drawn out the pattern. This one was a bit more complex than the others. I think he is trying to see how many pieces he can fit onto one piece.

Here is the pattern he drew....

And here it is pieced together, pictured upside down, lol.

This is the finished block.

Here you can see some of the details of the block. This section I covered the whole patch with herringbone stitch ans then fixed a button in the centre.

On one of the seams, I wove a satin lace through the stiches. The other seam, the herringbone stich is holding the beaded tape in place.

This seam has two rows of herringbone stitch overlapping. You can't really see it from the photo, but the first row was using a varigated perle cotton, then over stitced with a plain cream perle.
You can see the varigated thread a bit more clearly on this photo.
Here you can see the herringbone stitch couching down the different ribbons. The buttons at the end of the seams just finished of the end of the ribbons. Extra buttons were stitched on for added interest-and the boys wanted them added!
Once the CQ block was finished, I did a bit of cross stitch and finished the area to the left of the tree. There is now just the bit between the black tree trunk and the purple bushes to be stitched. The end is getting closer.

By this evening, my hands needed a break from stitching, and as D had been asking, I made a start on his jumper. It's easy to knit and watch TV with the boys.

The yarn is self patterning and very subtle. It goes from brown to a coppery colour. Although it is 100% acrylic, it is very soft. I am using a Sirdar pattern number 4130, a pattern I have used before.

Friday, 25 July 2008


The boys are into some of the old sci fi programmes. Think they like laughing at the special effects, or lack of them. One they like to watch is UFO, which whenever I see it, I have Unfinished Objects running through my mind.

Two of them were finished today.

The scarf that I was doing yesterday has become a cowl. It wasn't the length that I liked for a scarf, but makes an excellent cowl.

The other thing I finished was the jumper for my friends daughter.

I had to crochet around the collar edge. It's not perfect, but for a non crocheter, I am happy. I did adapt the back opening. It was supposed to be croceted, but I didn't think I was up to it, so I knitted it instead.

Just the buttons to buy and sew on.

Then it was back to the cross stitch, but this still remains unfinished. I am pleased to have finished stitching the tree and almost filling in the left corner.

There's always tomorrow, once the cleaning is done of course. Now the boys are back, it just has to be done.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Unable to Stitch

The boys and I had a fantastic time at the cinema seeing Mamma Mia! and it was a unanimous decision to get this on DVD when it comes out.

This was followed by a trip round Hobbycraft and I got some threads and bits and pieces for my stitching projects. All will be revealed in due time.

Not sure if it was the screaming kids in Pizza Hut or the heat, but by the time I got home, I had a thumping headache which hasn't really gone away today. This meant that I was not able to stitch.

I hate sitting not doing anything, so the knitting needles came out and I began a scarf, just plain garter stitch.

This project is D's idea. I had a couple of balls of the Firefly yarn left and D suggested that I make a scarf, so here it is. I just cast on 50 stitches and shall just continue knitting until I run out of wool.

Hopefully I shall finish it tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Yesterday's Bargains and Today's Stitching

As promised here are the pictures of my bargains that I bought yesterday.

I have two patterns to use with this Foxy. This was D's choice a couple of weeks ago. I can't wait to knit with it.

I have a pattern for a top to use with this one. Hopefully it might encourage the sun to come out.

Well, this is where I managed to get to last night with the Clarice Cliffe cross stitch.
Today was a catch up day on the Take a Stich on Tuesday, and although I missed the first four weeks and am going to do one of the stitches this week, I am waiting until later in the week. I wanted to try and get this cross stitch finished.
I have been stitching like mad and have managed to complete the green trees. Weyhey, no more green, or at least not for a day or two.

Tomorrow we are of to see Mamma Mia! so won't be able to spend much time stitching, but we are also visiting Hobbycraft. The boys want to make some Shrek themed notebook covers and we need some supplies, and you know mum, she will need something too.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Clarice Cliffe Update

Without really noticing progress has been made. I have just been doing the odd stitch when I have finished other projects and haven't had the time to start anything new. This is where I had got to when I picked this up to start stitching yesterday.

Now I am on this half of the piece, it is as if the end in sight. By the end of the day I had got here.

We were out most of the day today so didn't get much time to stitch. I did manage to do a bit more tonight but the light has gone to be able to take a decent picture.

I had to go and get a crochet hook today, but ended up getting more than I had bargained for, but it was a bargain. I managed to pick up some packs of yarn for £3.99. I'll take some photos and show you tomorrow.

Think my list of things to do has just grown!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Freestanding Firesscreen

Well, the boys are back sometime today, but I am unsure as to time. It's going to be a "make the most of the time left" day.

First up this morning was to complete the firescreen. It had dried overnight so I was able to restretch it over the backing board. I thought I would give you a close up of some of the flowers before it was reframed.

I love the style of Jacobean stitching and I think I have a pattern for a bell pull that matches this. I think I will have to do some searching to see if I can find it.

The restretched stitching was now ready to put back into the repaired firescreen frame.

As you can see, it can now stand on it's own two feet. Sat on the opposite side of the room looking at it, it seems bigger now, it's standing proud. It just feels like a newly finished piece, definitely well worth the effort of taking it out and fixing. A very satisfying day's work. I wonder if the boys will notice the difference?

Hopefully, later on today, I shall have some good progress to show on the cross stitch. I am hoping the boys will be back after the grand prix so I can enjoy watching it whilst I'm stitching.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

An Award

Zetor has done me the honour of awarding me this. I was really surprised by the words she used in her blog as I do not think that what I do is anything exceptional. I am truly honoured.

I would like to honour the following people. These have blogs that I try to follow on a daily basis.

Cherly's Chatelaine for her wonderful craftwork and the beautiful photos she shares of her surroundings.
Manx Girl She stitches some beautiful quilts
Carolina Arts for her beautiful wildlife photography and crafts
Folk Art at Old Crow Farm for the way she shares her rug making skills, it has been a pleasure to watch this design from the beginning.

Day 10 - Firescreen

This was my project for today. This is a firescreen that I stiched some time ago. It was mainly long stitch in a Jacobean style. Highlight stitches were added when completed in floss.

I followed the pattern and the recommended frame was bought, but as you can see, it didn't fit the aperture. However, at the time, there was so much else going on, I didn't have the time to make the necessary adjustments.

So today was the day. As you can see from these photos, the bottom joints were damaged when we moved. For the last six months this firescreen has only managed to keep erect as it had support behind!

The back was removed from the firescreen and the stitching taken out and removed from the backing board.

The damaged joints were taken apart, re-glued and then put back together again using v nails.

I then waxed the frame. This is before..

And after..

The next thing was top tackle the stitching. I was very fortunate that I still had yarn left over from this project and, not only had I kept it, I knew where to find it.

I added an extra border on the top and bottom of the piece and extended the rows on either side.

Then it was time for a bath. The bath was just the right width to keep the piece flat and give it a gentle wash.

It is now ready for drying and restretching.
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The frame is lying flat with the joints weighted until they are completely dry and the stitching is drying, so I am going to have to wait until tomorrow to be able to put everything back together. I am looking forward to seeing this firescreen just as it should be seen.

There is plently of time left of today left, so I am going to turn my attention to the Clarice Cliffe cross stitch.

It has been a quiet week and I have accomplished a lot of what I had wanted to do. There are two things outstanding waiting for supplies-the childs jumper and the needlepoint, the firescreen will be completed tomorrow which leaves D's jumper not even started and the Clarice Cliffe cross stitch still to complete.

I am looking forward to the boys coming back tomorrow, but I shall make the best of the time I have left with my cross stitch. Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend too.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Day 9-Another Jumper

As there was enough of the chunky yarn left, I have decided to do a jumper for my friend's daughter. I used the Chunky Snuggly pattern no c3551.

I managed to get this done last night before I went to bed

Today I have manage to knit all the componant parts but I am now at a standstill. There is a crocheted border on the collar and I haven't got a crochet needle the right size. I was sure I had a thick one somewhere.

So this is another project to be put on hold until next week. I won't be able to get anywhere to buy a crochet needle at least until Monday.

For the rest of the evening, I think I may do some cross stitch, or I may even get an early night. The cats very kindly woke me up at 5 o'clock this morning!

Tomorrow I will see what I can do to remedy the firescreen.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Day 8- Part 2-Summer Stitching Challenge

The next flower in the series that I have chosen to do is the marigold and as I enjoyed it so much, I have used crayon tinting again. I always loved colouring in, so maybe this is my second childhood.

So first of all I coloured in the flower and leaves

Then using the ironing on top of some kitchen paper, I fixed the crayon

Now it was time to chose the threads. I chose DMC threads 742 orange yellow,742 orange and 3346 green.

The small petals at the top of the flower I stitched using lazy daisy stitches. This is a stitch I haven't used for a very long time. The larger petals were outlined in split stitch and the highlight lines done in backstitch.
For the stems and leaves, the outlines were stitched using stem stitch and the veins I used split stitch.

I have one more in the series to stich, but that is something for next week.

Now I still have time to do something else. Time to have a cuppa and decide what to do next.

Day 8-TAST complete

Another project completed, though this didn't take too long. I only had two sections to complete.

As you can see, I decided to keep the button line simple.

I added the two glass buttons to this section to help hold the long stitches down. In future, unless the piece is going to be framed, I will limit the length of the stitches. You live and learn.

I have 2 and a half days before the boys return. Here's how I am doing on the to-do wish list.

2 crazy patchwork squares for Take a Stich Tuesdays-both completed
2 flowers from the Summer Stitching Challenge-one completed
Finish the Firefly cowl neck top-Done
A cardigan or jumper for a friend's daughter who will be four next week-have yarn and pattern-one completed, going to do a second
Make a start on a jumper for D-have yarn and pattern
Finish the Clarice Cliffe cross stich
Repair and adjust fire Screen
Stitchin Fingers Needlepoint-WIP, waiting for supplies

I think I am going to do another flower from the Summer Stitching Challenge now.