Cross Stitch Ramblings


Missions Accomplished

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The clarinet player is finished. (The above thumbnail is rubbish - please click on it to see properly) I don't know why I called her the flute player in my last entry, I clearly wasn't paying any attention to the instrument she was playing! It might actually be some old fashioned clarinet-style instrument, the chart instructions just call it the 'instrument', what a copout! Anyway ..... I am pleased with this figure. On the previous 2 I wasn't happy about how the faces came out, the features are made up of just a couple of backstitches and can't really be seen, but this one actually looks like a face! I was really enjoying stitching CS and found it hard to put down.

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I've done more than my target of 6 blocks on LWLF, about 12 blocks I think. It doesn't look a lot different in the picture to the previous one but a lot of the hat, which is mostly white, is now done. Progress is quite fast now I've mastered stitching in blocks. Its so much easier, I don't know why I didn't think of doing that before.

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The third mission, Mini Cottages, is not yet completed. When I was stitching this before I was missing a few key thread colours so had to leave gaps, which was very frustrating, now I have them in stock its flowing along nicely, although I have the dullest bits, the background, yet to tackle. I can't wait to finish this, more because I want to get it out of the way more than anything. I do like it, but its not a fun stitch.

My latest ebay purchase, the chart for Legends of the Spellcasters, by Teresa Wentzler and 2 other people, arrived today. I do actually prefer this one to Legends of the Dragons, although it seems much less popular. Another one to add to the ever-growing list!


Back from Lanzarote

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I'm back from my holiday. I got very little stitching done while I was away because Lady with Lilac Flower was proving so difficult! I stitched a bit but found I was going wrong. The chart is difficult to follow 1, because its not marked out in a grid like most charts are, and 2, the design is just one whole mass of stitches, not clearly defined separate sections like some designs are. I had taken one of the flower fairy kits with me as a spare but had forgotten to swap the aida in it for another fabric so kinda gave up. Towards the end of the holiday I decided to draw a grid on the chart myself and stitch in square blocks of 100, which is proving much easier, although it does mean more starts and finishes, I don't keep losing my place and since the bit I'm on at the moment is almost-white thread on almost-white fabric which is so hard to see, I don't think I could have cracked it otherwise. I did about 400 stitches on it in the end.

Since I've been back I've been avidly stitching on CS again. Much more fun! I've almost finished the next minstrel, the flute player. Hopefully I'll get the backstitch done on her tomorrow.

While I was away I had the Mirabilia chart Fairy Flora arrive, an ebay bargain, and the next monthly batch of fabric from Tandem Cottage. I got a fairly big piece of lavender minster linen, not sure what I'm going to use that for, maybe a flower fairy; a big piece of pink 'countrystyle jobelan' which they describe as light apricot, but to me its pale pink, no idea what I'm going to use this for, I may try & sell it, I'm not so keen on pastels; lastly a small piece of oatmeal coloured brittney which they say is lemon, but certainly isn't to my eyes! This one is the best colour piece in the pack, its a pity its a small piece. Its a silly thing, but I feel a bit insulted by the accompanying letter in every pack which tells me what the equivalent aida count is to the fabric they send me. I mean, if I'm buying evenweave fabric every month surely I'm a reasonably experienced stitcher who knows such things???? I'm a tad over sensitive, I know......

Missions for the rest of April.....

1. Finish the flute player on CS.
2. Finish the Michael Powell mini cottages.
3. Do at least 5 more blocks on LWLF.

Celtic Christmas is on hold until May.


Harpist Finished

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Two figures done .... 3 to go. I had hoped to finish all 3 minstrels before I go on holiday but that was a bit unrealistic. I may get a bit more of the flute player done. I've been working on the Castle Sampler about 6 months now. My first TW took probably about 2/3 years, the second one more than 10! It would be really nice to get this one completed inside a year.

Stitching Bloggers Question
What is your next speciality stitch?
I'm not intimidated by speciality stitches any more since I mastered french knots. The Castle Sampler has a diamond eyelet in the border, that will be my next one.

New Stitching Goodies
A late birthday present arrived at the weekend. Lanarte's 'Ballet Dancer' I haven't seen this one around much. Either its rare or its unpopular! I don't care .... I like it. Also, two Flower fairy kits, Primrose and Lily of the Valley. A year ago all I wanted to stitch was Flower fairies, but now not so much. I do still like them, but there are more in my stash than there are of anything else and I can't see me getting through them this side of retirement! I plan to embark on the Rose Fairy within the next couple of months, that one is my favourite so it should help re-ignite my passion for them.

I go away on Thursday for a week so there are unlikely to be any more updates until the weekend afterwards. Don't forget me! Lady with Lilac Flower is coming with me as my travel project so hopefully there will have been some serious progess on that next time I write.


The splash of red paint grows

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Here is Celtic christmas as she has finished up tonight. She still looks like a splash of red paint, but now she's a splash of red paint with a bit of gold thread running through her. I've done some of the beading on her, decided to do it as I went along instead of leaving it 'til the end as I was getting a bit confused over which squares needed crosses in them and which needed to be left empty for beads, so thats another stitching skill mastered! Weird needle, the beading needle, long and bendy with an annoying tiny eye. Strange. Despite the fact she looks like a splash of red paint and will do until I do the head I'm determined to finish the skirt before I move onto the other parts of the design, although perhaps the next time I do one like this I'll do the head first so at least it has an identity.

Celtic Christmas has been on-the-go for about 10 days now but from tomorrow she goes back in the drawer & the Castle Sampler is coming back out as I really want to get some work done on that before I go on holiday (next Thursday).

Some new ebay acquistions.... The Legends of the Dragons chart (a collaberation of three designers including Teresa Wentzler), and TW's Lily Maiden. Lily Maiden looks quite small for a TW, will probably still take me a good 6 months to stitch though! The threads I bought through ebay still haven't all turned up, but there is another package sitting at the post office with no stamp on, I'm not expecting anything else so it has to be them. This is the second time in the past few months I've had to pay postage on receipt of ebay purchase because the seller has failed to pay enough/pay anything at all. Its more irritating having to go to the post office and collect than actually pay the postage for them because it takes such a long time. Valuable time I could be getting on with my stitching!!!


Stitching Bloggers Question

How has your stitching evolved since you first started stitching?

I don't often answer the questions - but I only have useless answers for them! But for what its worth ....

I can't really say it has evolved, not really. I kind of jumped in at the deep end when I first started cross stitch. My first 3 projects were a trilogy of cottages. I can't remember what order I stitched them in! Ok they're not the most impressive of finished works, but they were fiddly, with lots of fractionals and frequent colour changes and backstitch, and they are on evenweave. I didn't know what aida was at the time. I just bought the kits and followed the intructions. No doubt the backs look terrible, and one of them has all the stitches done the other way round, just because I fancied a change!

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What I'm stitching nowadays, about 14ish years later, isn't really any further down the evolutionary scale than these were. I am a lot more aware of what is around in the stitching world than I was back then, the internet has to be credited for that one!

What I have learned, is how to do french knots, although I have yet to do any other types of speciality stitches in my work (coming soon .... the Castle Sampler uses diamond eyelets and one-over-one), or beading (the whole reason for starting on Celtic Christmas). I have used metallic threads on a few projects but not to the extent some of the L&L's and Mirabilias and TW's in my stash do so that is another area largely unexplored.

There you go .... as promised .... useless answer!