Cross Stitch Ramblings



I have finished two more number blocks, 1 and 7, a little piglet and a honey pot and a couple of bees. The end is in sight. It is my intention to have this finished by the end of January. The baby is due some time between 13th & 19th Feb. Mum-to-be thinks she'll be having it early because she's so enormous, but I dunno. I've heard first babies are usually late, certainly was the case with me. So who knows.

I found someone selling this kit on ebay for £20. Quite a lot. I wouldn't have paid that for it. I have no idea how much I did pay. I probably bought it from one of those mail order clubs. They used to have some good kits back then, nowadays they have very little I would want.

I bought a cross stitch book from a charity shop on Monday. Its full of designs of Victorian children, no backstitch. I quite like several of them, well I must like them or I wouldn't have bought the book! Some of them may be useful for cards in the future, although I can't imagine myself actually doing them. Still, its a nice book.

I also bought the chart for TW's 'English Cottage Sampler' - yet another ebay bargain.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks. Despite the fact I need absolutely nothing for my hobby all I want is stitching stuff. I probably won't get any though, since the local town where most of the family live is extremely poor on stitching supply shops. I think I need to drum the web address into their heads!

I need to lose weight. I've devised a plan today. For every week that I stick to the diet I buy myself a stitching treat. Maybe a piece of fabric or beads or speciality threads for one of my stashed charts. I need to go through the stash and work out what I need, I also want to replace the aida in most of the stashed kits with some evenweave, but I'm still looking out for ebay bargains for these, since most of them are just plain white material. The plan is to reward myself for effort. Attainment, I know will go hand in hand with effort. If I stop overeating I lose weight, but there are those weeks when the weight loss isn't what I'd like it to be despite my best effort, which is why I am intending to reward myself for the effort, rather than the achievement.

Now that I've written all this in this blog, I've got to do this now ..... haven't I?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Some progress

I finished that bottle, and two more number blocks, and about 3 quarters of the Eeyore character. The thread keeps on knotting, its taking me forever! I'm not being quite so careful about not leaving knots at the back of my work as I usually am. With this one it sometimes can't be avoided.
I kept going wrong on the number blocks, with both of the I positioned the number incorrectly. With number 0 - it was one thread too low. That would have noticed so I unpicked it and did it again. Couldn't believe when I started working on the shading for number 4 I had also positioned that wrong - this time one thread to the left. What is the matter with me??? With this one I decided I would leave it and improvise with the shading - its one of the blocks that is one thread too short anyway so if I'm going to do it wrong, why not do it in style!
To sound a bit more positive, I am now officially 50% through it, and I have only been working on it about 3 weeks although it feels a lot longer!


Sewing versus Stitching

I usually correct my husband whenever he refers to my hobby as sewing, to stitching. Sewing, as far as I am concerned, is attaching pieces of material together using thread, not creating a design on a single piece of cloth by use of the thread only. He said 'cross stitching' doesn't roll of the tongue naturally like 'sewing' does, and he would find it easier to say 'embroidering'. I said embroidering is a more acruate description of what it is and I would prefer to hear that rather than sewing.

Have not done any stitching at all. I seem to be finding it too difficult. I started on a little bottle towards the bottom of the design yesterday, but am not sure whether to unpick it. I can't decide whether some of the stitches should be whole or quarter stitches. I feel as if I want to do something really easy and uncomplicated, which, technically speaking, 'Numbers' is. The Castle Sampler is completely out of the window in this frame of mind. I gave myself an electric shock today by touching a live wire and am still in shock of a kind so maybe I need to be gentle on myself. Hopefully I'll be fully functioning again tomorrow!



I spent most of Sunday stitching and finally gave up a little way into the backstitch on Christopher Robin. I finished that yesterday and two more bugs so all of the bugs on the right hand side are now done. Its taking a lot longer than it should because of the thread keep on knotting. Most annoying.
Have only done a tiny bit today because of headache. Need sleep now....


Numbers and Castles

The TW pattern booket arrived promptly yesterday. It contains some stunning designs. Apart from the two I already have, there are up to seven more that I might potentially stitch one day. My favourite is probably Rapunzel, or maybe the Carousel. The only one I wouldn't like to stitch is Pegasus, because for me it contains too much green. Its nice to look at but I wouldn't like to stitch that much green. 'Companions' was very green intensive which was one of the reasons why I found it such hard work!

The Castle Sampler chart that it in the booklet presented me with a dilemma. There are 50 odd different shades of thread, I had numbered them 1-50 odd on the instruction sheet and labelled them on the sorting cards with these numbers, not the actual DMC shade numbers. The chart in the book has the colours in a different order which would have meant me having to go through and colour match the whole lot. Not much fun. So I rifled around behind the drawer in which I keep current stitching projects and found there was some paper there. Pulled it out with a palette knife, and lo- amongst all of it was the missing instruction sheet. Fantastic! So I now have a booket I didn't need - still it is beautiful. Also I have just won from ebay a chart for TW's English Cottage Sampler. I have enough TW charts & kits to keep me going for the rest of my life!

I bought a magazine yesterday - have not been buying Cross Stitch magazines much lately I don't think there's a lot in them. But I like the Snow Princess in Cross Stitcher. Don't know if I'll ever get round to stitching it though! It says it takes 100 hours - I'm sort of half tempted to give it a go and time myself - to determine whether I'm a fast, slow or average stitcher. Magazine also includes an unnecessarily complicated mini kit of Eeyore's head. I wish they'd give us the whole of these characters, instead of just the head! Might stitch it one day, or it might get buried at the bottom of the box. Why do magazines always assume everyone stitches on aida and finds evenweave very difficult? I can't work out what is so hard about stitching on evenweave .... I prefer it. Ok moan over...!

The only work I've done is on 'Numbers'. I forgot to write the other day that I had also finished the Spider. I have now also done the balloon, which was row after row of the same colour, pleased to have finished that! And three of the flying bugs (one if definitely a bee, the other two may be dragonflies or butterflies, not sure. Its now approaching half way done - maybe 40%. I don't really want to keep it so would really like to give it to my friend for her baby's room .... so must get on stitching!


More Numbers

I've finished two more number blocks, thats 4 done now, and the 1st of three Piglets. Now that its a good way in I feel inclined to continue with Numbers until its finished, although I am really noticing the time it is taking up. Piglet must have been about 3 hours. My friend's baby is due in about a month so maybe.

I won the Castle Sampler chart which was on ebay so I should get that within the next few days, so I can get on with that. It comes in a booklet which also includes 9 other TW charts, one of which is The Castle, which I've already done. I may well be very tempted to add one or more of the other ones to the 'to do' list. Hmmmmmmmmm.



Ever since I started on 'Numbers' I've not worked on anything else.
Its not so easy as I was making out!
Because there's large patches of the same colour it requires accruate counting. I've done the outlines of all the blocks, but the third row down is one row short. And it DOES matter!! I'm having to adapt the shading on the block to accommodate the missing row. Hopefully it won't show. Unpicking it all and re-doing it is not an option, I'm not enamoured enough of the design to go that far.
I've finished block number 9, and block 5, which is one of the 'cropped' ones (doesn't look too disasterous). Also one of the Winnie the Poohs (there are 3) which was reasonably easy, and Tigger, who was hard. There are no fractionals on the blocks but the characters are loaded with them, especially Tigger who had twice as many because of his stripes. Who's idea was it to provide aida with a pattern that requires bags of fractionals? Its such a pain keep on having to swap needles. I never used to do that. 'The Castle' I remember was full of fractionals and I stitched it on aida and forced the tapestry needle through the fabric. I'm sure you're not supposed to do that. Wh this oneI ended up doing all the whole stitches first and then the fractionals.
And the thread is a nightmare! I was convinced at first it was cheap old thread, but no, it is genuine DMC, or so the kit says. I know even DMC knots and breaks sometimes but not with the regularity this stuff is. Maybe its something to do with the fabric (18 count I think), maybe its because its single strand, maybe its because the kit's been knocking around in the cupboard for so many years. Who knows.....

Having finished Tigger it was time to swap back to The Castle Sampler, but I have lost part of the chart. I have the chart itself but not the key. No idea where its gone. Much sorting out of papers has been going on since last it was out so I can only conclude its been binned. BAD NEWS!!! I have to buy another copy of the chart, and I don't want to leave it too long or it may prove difficult to get back into the design. Always out for a bargain I have a bid in for a second hand one on ebay. If I don't get it I'll probably end up paying full price because I'm very frustrated and impatient.

In my frustration I was tempted to start on something else, but am not in the mood for thread-sorting, and so many of the kits have aida in which I want to swap for something else. I have all sorts of odd bits of evenweave in the box. The box needs a serious good sort out.....

So 'Numbers' went back in the frame, and I am now working on number 8. Can't post pics at the moment because of swanky new computer, which doesn't have dodgy file size reducing software in it, plus camera batteries are flat and charger is missing (why does everything go missing in this house???). I really need to find a better way of posting pics but I don't want to download anything from the internet because the previous pc was totally wrecked by internet use, I want to keep this one posh and new and swanky like it is! But I will work out a good way of posting pics eventually....


Winnie the Pooh numbers

I started a new project. The Winnie the Pooh numbers one - its a kiddie one. Ten building blocks with numbers 0-9 and various WTP characters climbing all over them.

I started it because I needed a change from the Castle Sampler. Plus my husband was watching some a film in the living room which I didn't want to watch and I wanted to stitch. The Castle Sampler with all the stitching paraphanalia that goes along with it (photo-stitch album thingy to hold the threads, needle organiser, 3 bits of paper), is not easily movable so I got 'the box' down and grabbed the first kit in there. Pretty much randomly, although this kit is one of the ones I've had knocking around for years so kind of deserves to get done, if that makes any sense.

Its a complete contrast to the CS, as simplistic as that one is complicated. Lots of backstitch. The outline of all the blocks is backstitch with backstitch shading so I started on that. Only the actual numbers themselves and the characters are cross stitch and I really need the blocks done first otherwise I'll miscount and all the cross stitching will be in the wrong places. Unusual. I've never started off a project with backstitch before. I'm kind of hooked, I did 3 blocks yesterday and 6 today. I don't know why really, but I'm itching to get started on the shading. Don't know what I'm going to do with this one. My friend is due to have a baby next month but I doubt it'll be ready in time for that, its pretty big. Maybe by the time I've finished it someone else will be having a baby!


Happy New Year!

I went at the Castle itself all guns blazing and finished it within a few days. It was looking more and more effective with each little bit finished so I was feeling suitably motivated. I'm now onto the sky-effect bits surrounding it which are not nearly so much fun. All half stitches and all different colours all over the place. Still, the effect it gives is worth it.
I visited the Coats Needlecraft bargain basement on New Years Eve and they've added a load more kits to their sale. They seem to have lots of things I've never seen anywhere else, not on the web, nowhere. Apart from a few Lanarte floral designs I didn't like anything enough to want to stitch it, and the Lanarte ones were still too expensive. I will probably keep visiting to see if they reduce them to a price ridiculously low enough to induce me to buy!