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.
Little Houses Progress
I went to the Perth Writers Festival on the weekend and one thing really stuck with me – it is OK to get started on something and then decided it is not really working and to start something else.
I was at a session called New York Dames and Natasha Lester (author of A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald) said she was 85 000 words into her third novel and decided to write a different novel.
I have this thing about finishing what I started, but what really happens is that I finish nothing – I procrastinate on the thing I should be finishing and won’t start anything new.
However, Natasha has inspired me to pack in the Little House (for now at least) and to work on blackwork.
I know another new project – does anything ever get finished around here?
I found this project in the Christmas edition of the Family Circle magazine. I thought it might be something that the girls would like to do. You can find the project sheet here.
I have purchased supplies (I have no idea if my plastic canvas is the right size, but it was all I could find), wound the DMC thread onto the cards and now I am ready to go.
I have done a practice stitch out of my sampler.
Here is the finished version …
My sewing machine had a bit of a moment at one point – the bobbin and top threads got all tangled, there was a horrible noise and it ground to a halt, however, I am happy with the final results. I think more stabilisation and a nicer fabric and it will be fine.
We have been away at Rottnest. Miss P went on camp and we decided to go too. It is such a relaxing place to go – no cars, nothing to do but read books and knit. I’ve made progress on Miss P’s cardigan (the yarn is Jo Sharp Desert Aran Cotton).
Sunrise over the salt lake
Sunset from our cottage
On the way to the look out
Salt Lake – a different one
Progress on Miss P’s Cardigan
Blackwork Sampler in Progress
I like grids, lines and crosses and I have always loved the look of Blackwork – I love how something so simple can be effective.
I have been inspired by this book to make my own blackwork sampler (using machine embroidery). I didn’t want to copy that one exactly, so I have used different fills. There are a number of blackwork resources on the web (simply search for blackwork embroidery). I found this one, which lead me to this page on 16th Century fill in patterns.
This is still quite experimental – I think it might end up being too small and the jump threads might test my sanity.
I’m using the Cross Stitch module of Embird, which is super easy to use and it comes with some built in blackwork fills (but I have decided to make my own).
I am wondering what kind of stabiliser I need? There are a lot of stitches and I suspect I need a sturdy stabiliser to stop it puckering.
I’ve dug out a birth sampler I started 7 years ago and not finished. I’m about halfway through and I find the very slowness of it quite relaxing and meditative.