Thursday, September 22, 2016

Spring Blossoms in Autumn Time - Blossoming Spring Progress


Hey everyone, hope you are all well this fine day. I took a small break from Elegance during the week, as I was pretty tired after work and all that back stitching requires very close attention. I still wanted to work on a cross stitch project so I decided to pick up Blossoming Spring. This is a chart from The Ultimate Forest Friends Cross Stitch Collection and I absolutely love it. You can see my last progress post on this piece here. I adore cherry blossom trees, and dream of having them in my own garden one day, but until then this will have to take their place.

Blossoming Spring Cross Stitch Work in Progress, WIP, Sheila Hudson, The Ultimate Forest Friends Collection, Cherry Blossom
Blossoming Spring - Sheila Hudson from The Ultimate Forest Friends Cross Stitch Collection
Despite the fact that the stitches in this project tend to wander around all over the place it can be quite relaxing to work on. The trick is to do it in sections, filling in each colour as I go along in a particular cluster of blossoms. It becomes much easier to then base subsequent colours on the stitches already in place, provided they are correct of course.

However as I was working away happily on the grass I realised that I had made a mistake and will have to frog some of it to re stitch it right. It’s not a big mistake and won’t take long to fix but it meant that I couldn’t go any further on the grass without rectifying the problem. As I wanted a nice relaxed stitching session I decided to leave it for now and come back to it when my concentration was better.

Blossoming Spring Cross Stitch Work in Progress, WIP, Sheila Hudson, The Ultimate Forest Friends Collection, Cherry Blossom
Blossoming Spring Cross Stitch Progress Close Up
I didn’t feel too bad about picking this up instead of Elegance as I had managed my daily 20-30 minutes on her, so I allowed myself this little change. Also making some progress on another WIP, rather than another new start soothed my conscience!

What is your favourite plant or tree? I would love to know, so drop a comment below.

Bye for Now!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Elegance of the Orient: The Saga Continues

Hey everyone, hope you are all having a fine day today. Elegance has been getting almost daily attention since my last post on her, here if you missed it. Most days I might only manage to get in 20-30 minutes but it has been slowly coming together. I'm still making a ridiculous number of mistakes on the blossoms so I keep having to stitch, rip and restitch them but I will get there eventually.

Dimensions Gold, Elegance of the Orient, Cross Stitch, work in progress, WIP, pulltheotherthread, Oriental cross stitch

By far the most difficult piece of the back stitching was the raspberry coloured plaid pattern in the underskirt. I had to do this in sections in order to keep the possibility of mistakes to a minimum. This made working on it easier but it still took quite a bit of time and I had to frog sections more than once! However I have yet to do the metallic back stitching in the shawl or yellow/pink skirt so I may end up wishing for plaid stitching when I get around to those.

Dimensions Gold, Elegance of the Orient, Cross Stitch, work in progress, WIP, pulltheotherthread, Oriental cross stitch
Close up of Plaid Back Stitching - Elegance of the Orient

In order to keep on track with this project I broke down all the sections that are left to do and put them on a to-do list. Now I work through each small section and once it's finished I get to tick it off as complete. For example, in the picture below the blossoms to the left of the bird were one item, once they were complete I ticked that off and moved to the next. This is helping to keep me motivated, as each item is a finish of sorts.

Dimensions Gold, Elegance of the Orient, Cross Stitch, work in progress, WIP, pulltheotherthread, Oriental cross stitch
Close Up - Elegance of the Orient

I would like to thank everyone who left feedback on whether I should change the incorrect threads on the top kimono flower, mentioned in my previous post on this. The overwhelming consensus was that I should leave it alone, which is what I did. You can definitely tell with the back stitching that it is different to the bottom one but I don't think it looks bad so I'm happy with that solution.
That's all from me today, happy crafting.

Bye for now!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hand Spun Merino Roving in Lemon Popsicle - Delicious!

Hey there everyone. Today I'm taking a break from cross stitching posts to bring you some spinning I have been doing. I recently managed to find some beautiful merino rovings from a company called woolyknit, link here, at very reasonable prices so I picked up a few different colours and made a start on spinning up one called Lemon Popsicle.

Hand spun yarn, drop spindle, drop spindling, spinning, roving woolyknit
Partial Spun 50g Merino Roving from Woolyknits in Lemon Popsicle

When I first started spinning I knew there was no way that I could justify the expense of a wheel when I wasn't even sure I would like it as a hobby. While I now really enjoy it, it did take a while. This is one of those things that takes practise, however once I spent some time with my drop spindle I eventually became better but I'm still learning.

Hand spun yarn, drop spindle, drop spindling, spinning, roving woolyknit
Full 50g Merino Roving from Woolyknit in Lemon Popsicle

One of the big problems I have with spinning on a drop spindle is that I stand while using them, as that is how they work. This can get quite tiring after a while, as I'm sure you can imagine, so I tend to do a short period, then rest, then another short period. The second problem I have is that realistically I can only manage to get about 50g of roving spun before the weight on the spindle makes it too difficult to manage. I'm sure there are more experienced spinners out there laughing at that right now but that is what I have found to be the case for me. If you have any tips or tricks please do let me know. Now that I know this is something I have fun doing I will be looking to invest in a spinning wheel in the future but the spindles are still great for their portability and space saving.

Full Drop Spindle of Single Yarn with Woolyknit Roving Stash

I got about 233yrds of single yarn out of this 50g piece of roving. The plan is to ply it on the spindle, which can be tricky but is doable. I have no idea what I will do with it once it's done though. I really like how it has turned out so far and love the blend of colours. I'm excited to see how it looks once plied. In the above pictures you can see some of the other colour rovings I bought, some aren't included here.

I will post this again once it is plied together. Are there any other spinners out there reading? I would love to hear you thoughts. Anyone who thinks they would like to give spinning a go to see what it like? Please do leave a comment below on what you guys think of this.

Bye for now!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Never Posted this HAED Stitching Milestone!!

Every so often on lunch in work, I have a look at the WIP pictures from my blog. When I'm having an especially difficult or stressful day, I find it helps me to rebalance a bit. So while doing just that, I discovered, to my horror and shame, that my progress on QS Clara hadn't been updated! Not only that, but it was a page finish that I had neglected to share with anyone. If you're interested the last post on this project can be found HERE
HAED QS Clara Heaven and Earth Designs Heaven & Earth Designs cross stitch work in progress WIP detailed stitching
HAED - QS Clara - Hannah Lynn Disney

While I was away from the blog world I did occasionally pick up a project or two, hence the new start on Fizzy Moon. During one of these creative bouts I worked a bit on Clara and I'm really surprised that I didn't immediately hope back on my blog just to shout out loud that I had finished the last of the full pages!!

That's right folks, I have only three partial pages, two large and one small, left to fill in and she will finally be done. After finishing the last full page, I was a little tired of hair confetti so I moved to her glove, which had some larger blocks of stitching. Once the block colours were in, I filled in the rest of the glove to the black outline, which had some confetti but wasn't too taxing. Also I love filling around colour blocks, it feels like a little mini completion.
HAED QS Clara Heaven and Earth Designs Heaven & Earth Designs cross stitch work in progress WIP detailed stitching
HAED - QS Clara by Hannah Lynn Disney WIP

This project is a bit too large to fit into my small Q Snaps so I had to stop a little short of the bottom. In order to have the frame over the stitching for as short a time as possible, I plan to stitch as much as I can then fill in the last lines across the bottom.  I will continue with this page before I move across to the next rather than hoping around all over the place.

I'm not too sure when you will see Clara again as I am really eager to try and finish Elegance, so she is a focus for the moment, but who knows, maybe I will take a bit of time to put in a few more stitches if I can't stand to do anymore back stitching.

Thanks to everyone for your amazing comments and thoughts on the colour error in Elegance. Everyone said the same thing, leave it alone so that is exactly what I have decided to do. Once I have put in the backstitching I can see how it looks, if it is completely off then I may have to rethink but for now that's the plan.

Bye for Now!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Crawling Out of the Woodwork - Elegance of the Orient

Good News Everyone! Elegance of the Orient has finally seen the light of day and gotten some long overdue attention. It's so strange that I am having such trouble with this project, when there is so little left to be done. I guess part of the problem is that I'm not the biggest fan of back stitching and there is a lot of it in this piece. This is how she looked last time I posted, a shameful 11 months ago! I honestly did not realise how neglected she was until I looked back.

Dimensions Gold Elegance of the Orient Cross Stitch Work in Progress Oriental lady kimono WIP
Dimensions Gold - Elegance of the Orient Progress

Well here she is, I finally managed to finish off the bird, a dove I'm guessing, and made some progress on the outline of her shawl and kimono. The cherry blossoms on the trees are surprisingly fiddly, as they are only half stitches and it can be difficult to anchor the thread ends. Also their placement is awkward to get right as they aren't close to the majority of the design. So I have been working on backstitching in the branches to each set of blossoms in order to make sure they are correctly placed.

Error in the branches highlighted with a black box outline

Here is where I confess all to you dear readers, I made an error in the placement of one of the branches, highlighted above. When I first discovered it I figured that I would just leave it alone and work around it but when I picked it back up again I knew that I just wouldn't be able ignore it. It's a very small fix, so I will be ripping out those offensive stitches and re-doing it correctly. I'm also pretty sure that I have done the first bit of the Raspberry coloured cording incorrectly, so that will have to be re-done.

Dimensions Gold Elegance of the Orient Cross Stitch Work in Progress Oriental lady kimono WIP
Dimensions Gold - Elegance of the Orient Cross Stitch Progress Close up

Believe it or not those are not the only mistakes in this, no wonder I'm having trouble finishing it. I discovered a long time ago that I had mixed up two of the pinks when I was sorting the threads. Luckily I discovered my error before it went too far but one of the pinks in the top rose on her kimono is wrong. I had always planned to rip them out and re-stitch them correctly before I backstitched that flower but I'm just not sure if I will. If I don't then the two flowers won't match but if I do it's going to take time as I'm not entirely sure which pink it is that's wrong. Fixing it will require lots of comparing and checking with the correctly stitched flower. I would love to hear what you guys think, rip it or leave it? 

Well that's all for now. I hope you have enjoyed seeing Elegance again after her long hiatus. Hopefully I will manage lots more progress on her and she will soon become a finish instead of a UFO.

Bye for Now!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fizzy Moon Finished!

Hey guys, well here I am again already and guess what....I have a finish for you all. Yes indeed I managed to get the last of the cross stitching in the flowers on Fizzy Moon completed and finished off the back stitching. He has now been ironed and photographed, so without further ado, here he is in all his cuteness.

Fizzy Moon Cross Stitch Finish, Fizzy Moon Teddy, Handmade, Hand Stitched, Cross Stitch Project, The World of Cross Stitching
Fizzy Moon Cross Stitch Finish, The World of Cross Stitching Issue 168

I am really happy with this project, the fabric just complements the piece so well and I love those beautiful purples. This was one of those occasions when I picked the chart and looking through my fabrics saw this and knew it would just be perfect. I so enjoy when that happens, all the elements just come together so easily, if only they all happened that way.

Fizzy Moon Cross Stitch Finish, Fizzy Moon Teddy, Handmade, Hand Stitched, Cross Stitch Project, The World of Cross Stitching
Fizzy Moon Cross Stitch Finsih - Close Up

I did initially have a small bit of trouble with the 2 white French knots in his eyes. It always takes me a few tries with these to remember the trick to them but once I get the first one, the rest are relatively simple. The back stitching on this, while time consuming, wasn't too troublesome due to the fabric being evenweave but I would not recommend anyone try a Fizzy Moon on Aida unless you have endless patience and fingertips like steel.

Now that this little guy is all done, he has been added to the rest of my completed pieces waiting to be used for.....something. I have no idea what it will be made into but I look forward to putting my creative brain to work on thinking something up for him. I have now moved onto Elegance of the Orient, the last post on which you can find HERE, way too long ago. I am eager to try and get this project finished as there is only the outline, detailing and some of the background blossoms left. If I can stick with it even for short periods every day I would think that I could finish it up pretty quickly.

Well that's all from me today, hope everyone is having a relaxing, creative weekend. See you guys soon.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

I'm Back and Fizzy Moon is Joining Me

Well it's finally here, an actual craft related post from me. Again I am sorry for being away from my blog for so long but thank you everyone who has stuck with me. While I have been away I haven't been crafting much but I did start a new medium sized cross stitch piece and have made good progress on it. So here it is, Fizzy Moon from The world of Cross Stitching Issue 168

Fizzy Moon with Flowers Cross Stitch, World of Cross Stitching Magazine, Work in Progress
Fizzy Moon Cross Stitch - World of Cross Stitching Issue 168

I adore this chart, this little ted is just so cute and has been a pleasure to stitch, even with all that back stitching. I decided to stitch this on a piece of hand dyed 28ct evenweave fabric from a polstitches grab bag and I just love the colours. The only difficulty I encountered was that the fabric frayed so badly, by the time I had edged it the piece was quite small, so I will have to be careful when I decide how to finish this.

Fizzy Moon with Flowers Cross Stitch, World of Cross Stitching Magazine, Work in Progress
Fizzy Moon Stitched on 28ct Evenweave hand dyed by Polstitches

So my little Fizzy Moon is pretty close to the finish, I just need to finish cross stitching the flowers and put in the last of the back stitching, hopefully it won't take too long.

I am so happy to be back on my blog again and I will be making special effort to make sure that I am posting regularly. I look forward to catching up with all of my amazing readers. Bye for now.