Halloween Cat by Satsuma Street
This is my latest cross stitch project – this is what it is meant to look like …
I am working on 25 count Dublin linen from Zweitgart – in the natural colourway. At first I thought I would do one over one (one strand of thread over one strand of the fabric), but it was just too small for me, so I am doing two over two. It is easy and the pattern is delightful to do – big chunks of colour and once you’re started it is easy to move from place to place.
Satsuma Street do fabulous, bright and colourful designs – check out her Etsy store (you can download the designs as pdfs).
I started this in December (first post here) – I was using it as a kind of hand therapy after I broke hand. I enjoyed it – there were some downs (terrible counting errors), but I learned heaps – rail roading, the loop method to start and the diagonal pin stitch. This is the first time I have used linen (32 count Belfast) and I know I won’t be returning to Aida.
I was thinking I could make smalls using some of the motifs – the star, or the flowers at the bottom.
So now it is full-steam ahead on my Modern Folk Sampler stitch along – if you think about how a new section gets released each month I am on about January the 5th! Or I could work on my Quaker Lady.
I decided I needed to be able to stitch two-handed and I didn’t want a frame and a stand and I am not a huge fan of Q-Snaps I find they hurt my fingers getting the plastic bit on and off.
I decided to try a hoop – a two layer hoop to be precise.
This is the stitch ezi hoop from here – I believe it is made in Australia.
I have used it once and so far I have liked it. I can rotate the top hoop so I can weave my ends into the back and I am sure once I get better at using two hands I will speed up.
In the above image I am working on My Lady’s Quaker from Jardin Prive. I love this chart – my progress is slow, but it is about the journey not the destination.
I have also ordered this hoop, which in retrospect might not be as good, because you cannot rotate the top hoop. However, it might pack up smaller and that has to be a good thing. That’s not due to arrive for a while, so I will see how I get on with my stitch ezi hoop. I can attach one of those peg book lights – one like this and it works really well.
Cross Stitch Progress
I have been working (slowly) on my Live Simply sampler and I have started work on my My Lady’s Quaker from here – it is big (for me) 160 stitches by 160 and so I shall be working on it for a long time.
I have continued on my sock and hope to have it finished by the end of the month – my aim is a pair of socks a month. There is a lot going on in the next month, so I might not get there, but then I am going to knit Winter Rose Socks – I have this yarn in mind – in colour 2170.
There is not enough time to stitch and knit all of the things… I suspect this is a nice problem to have.
Project Bags and a Sock
I have been rotating through my various crafting activities; knitting, sewing/quilting and embroidery.
I decided I needed to make project bags for my various projects – the image top right is my first attempt. It is great – my Live Simply cross stitch fits inside with the chart and my box of floss. However, my A4 pages (in a plastic slip) don’t fit easily inside, so I decided the next one needs to be 2.5cm bigger in both length and width. I have started another one (top left image). Check out the fabric, it’s sheep knitting! The front and the back are quilted and it is fully lined (no raw edges).
I finished one of my after thought heel socks – this is not my favourite technique and I will revert back to normal heels for my next sock (which is going to be Winter Rose Socks – I have joined the hand made sock society and they are going to send me a new pattern bimonthly.)
Progress on my Sampler
I have made some progress on this – after a disasterous counting error, which involved much ripping. I am very slow, but it is all about the process rather than the end point.
I have been using the diagonal pin stitch to start, which has been a revelation (no weaving in ends – well at least at the start).
I bought myself a new light with a magnifier (this one). I thought it was like my other light and was charged using a USB cable, but no it has batteries – 4 AAs. It has made a difference but I find it a bit tricky to orient myself, my hands and the light.
I have been watching flosstube and wanting all of the charts they mention, but I already have two on the go and the cost of shipping the charts from the US is prohibitively expensive (I need downloadable PDFs, but I appreciate that it is easier to pirate these than paper charts).
Live Simply – Cross Stitch Progress
I have continued to work may way through my Craftsy class – I now know how to do the pin stitch on linen (brilliant – why didn’t I know that?)
Once I get going, I find this quite easy. I am thinking 32 count Belfast Linen might be my thing. I tried to buy more at Spotlight today, but I had to buy the whole 10m role – that’s $880 – so I said ‘no thanks’ to that and I will buy more from the Crewel Gobelin.
Second Christmas Sock
I am still knitting the second sock – I have reached the toe decreases.
I did a much better job on the gusset this time. I found this article on avoiding holes and it was fabulous (no holes!).
The yarn and the needles have both been great – yarn from passionedflower (on Etsy) and the needles are the new Addi ones.
Christmas Sock and Live Simply Cross Stitch Progress
It’s a new year! Happy New Year everyone. I don’t have any resolutions for this year (I never stick to them anyway), nor do I have any crafting goals (they don’t happen either), but I do have a word/theme – Simplify. I hope to finish a few things and not buy anything more (because I am finding my collection of yarn, fabric, embroidery supplies and books over-whelming and anxiety inducing).
I wanted to make a Christmas sock – I didn’t get the idea until a week before Christmas, so it was quite hard to find yarn (or yarn that had some chance of getting to me in time). I bought peppermint pie from passioned flower on Etsy. Great service and the yarn is beautiful – I will definitely be purchasing more for next Christmas (maybe in October?). I am just knitting a plain-vanilla sock – I contemplated attempting an after thought heel, but I wanted something easy that I could knit while sitting by the pool, watching TV etc.
You might notice in the above image that I am using Addi Crasy Trio needles – they’re fabulous. I don’t really like magic loop and when I use dpns I get ladders at the jump between needles, but these are brilliant.
I have also been working on my Live Simply cross stitch. This is the project from the Craftsy class. This is the first time I have used linen (32 count Belfast) and I love it. I prefer the way this looks to Aida. One thing I am struggling with is stitching path – I want to have as few jumps as possible (and I am not even that keen on weaving through the back of other threads to get to the next spot). It is a bit like the network Travelling Salesman Problem. Is there any technique or method I could use?
The start of my Live Simply cross stitch
My supplies arrived from the Crewel Gobelin – great service, I will definitely use them again – so I have started working on the chart from my Craftsy course.
This is the first time I have worked on linen (32 count Belfast) and although I haven’t done much, I really like it. I am using a Gloriana silk (Bellagio) – so nice. So two firsts – linen and silk!
I am rail-roading and stitching in the hand. I am quite slow, but I am sure that with practice I will get faster and besides, for me, cross stitch is all about the journey and not the end point.
Machine Embroidery Library Books
Anne Green Gables Sampler
My splint is off – I still have some tendon issues, but my hand is pretty much back to normal.
I am making my girls book bags (or project bags). The machine embroidery designs are from Designs by Juju super easy to use – I used two sheets of light to medium weight tearaway stabiliser. There was a bit of puckering, which I made worse by interfacing and then steam ironing – oops!
I have Super Cute Paper Piecing by Charise Randell – beautiful book and it has instructions for making a zipper pouch and I used the instructions to make the bag (I love how the zip is inserted with the tabs at the end). At first I used my zipper foot, but found my quarter inch walking foot was much better (so that’s what I will use from now on).
And then I am crossing stitching again – I have been motivated by watching various floss tubes) – the second picture is my progress on my Anne of Green Gables sampler (I bought this on my ‘pilgrimage’ to Prince Edward Island). In the black friday/cyber monday sale I bought a cross stitch class from Craftsy. I have watched the first two classes, but am now waiting on supplies (from here) so I can finish my homework. I have learnt some stuff already though – the loop method for starting, start in the upper left corner (I have always started in the middle), railroading to get the stitches to lie flat.