Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! (And happy Monday to the rest of you!)

turkey

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Reading Designs

I’m guessing most of you have already seen this year’s Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. And, like I say most years, I’m a bit disappointed. I think I just need to accept the fact that the kind of designs I enjoy doing really aren’t in style right now. But, as always, there are some designs in it I really love. Country Cottage Needleworks’ Give Joy is pretty, as is Tempting Tangles Christmas Stockings 2014. And, of course, I think the ornament from Dragon Dreams is very cute, even if it isn’t very Christmas-y.

The Best Gift of All, designed by Dragon Dreams (from the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue, 2014)

The Best Gift of All, designed by Dragon Dreams (from the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue, 2014)

Seeing this design put me in mind of a class I took from Jennifer Aikman-Smith at the Creativ Festival in 2012. And, since I have most (but not all) of my craft supplies back, I dug out You Add Magic and got to stitching.

You Add Magic, designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams (WIP)

You Add Magic, designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams (WIP)

I haven’t made too much progress, but it is already starting to shape up nicely. It is a fairly small design, so it should go quickly. Once it is done, I will hang it in my son’s bedroom, near his bookshelf, as a reminder of our shared love of books.

As for the ornament from this year’s ornament issue. If I get my chests of floss back in time (yep, they are still MIA), I think I will stitch it up for his teacher.

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Dye Lot Socks

We all know dye lots are important. Sure, DMC has stayed fairly consistent throughout the years (for most colours, anyway), but fancy threads like Gloriana or even Crescent Colours (aka Classic Colorworks) can change drastically between dyelots. And, the same is true in yarn. Which brings me to these socks.

Diamond Shreddies - no foot

Diamond Shreddies – no foot

You may remember that I finished one of them and then ran out of yarn partway down the foot on the second. No problem, since I was sure I had a second ball of the same dye lot packed away. Well, my yarn has returned and there is no second ball. In fact, I traded away that second ball 4 years ago. Yeah…

On the bright side, this yarn, On Your Toes Bamboo, is still made and the colourway, Dusk, is still available. Yay! So, I found a shop with a good price (and a free shipping coupon!) and ordered another skein.

I have to admit that when I was opening the package I was hoping the dyelots would match. I mean, it had only been 4 years, and the shop I ordered from, loveknitting.com, didn’t even exist back then. But, you know, hope springs eternal. No go, though.

Two shades of grey

Two shades of grey

Still, I’m hoping the yarn is close enough. The new ball is darker for sure, but I think that the join point of the two yarns will be high enough on my foot that it will be mostly covered by my jeans.

Now I just need to convince myself to finish the socks since I am so worried they are going to look awful.

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September SALs

Yep, still behind. I’ve been busy getting (what feels like) a million things done that blog posting had to be delayed for a little while. But, thanks to my Power of Moms lists and folders, I’m caught up and ready to move forward!

Stitch from Stash 2014 buttonFirst up is my check in for September’s Stitch from Stash. I spent $26.45, which included Just Nan’s Miss Witchy Mouse (who was missing her tail!) and a hard copy of the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. (I have a digital subscription, but I like having hard copies of the special issues.)

I’m planning to take October as my “free” month, and have so far pre-ordered two charts. So, yeah, I haven’t taken advantage of it, really. Although, the Creativ Festival is at the end of the month. :) But, then again, I doubt there will be many cross stitch vendors.

tusalI missed the TUSAL check-in for September as well. It was the same day as the Smalls Check-in. Oops! (BTW, if you haven’t done your Smalls check-in for September, it is still open!) My little ort container for the month looked like this:

September's orts

September’s orts

And my big jar is looking nice too.

Big ort jar

Big ort jar

I will most likely skip WIPocalpyse and Turtle Trot check-ins through to the end of the year since I’m not really following along right now.

And, staying on the subject of SALs, have you voted on what you’d like to do with me next year? Shall we continue the Smalls SAL, go back to ornaments, or work on finishing? Please vote in the poll below. I’ll be closing it on October 31st. (If you have already voted, you shouldn’t be able to select another option. You will see the results instead.)

What would you like to do for a SAL in 2015?

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Little Wooden Butterfly

I’m pretty sure at some point not too long ago I said I didn’t like stitching on wood. But, well, when I saw the cover kit on the August 2014 issue of The Cross Stitcher… well.

Butterfly, designed by Angela Poole, The Cross Stitcher

Butterfly, designed by Angela Poole, The Cross Stitcher

This time things went much better. I didn’t run out of floss (which is amazing in cover kits!), the wooden piece was a little nicer, and I didn’t have to fight my ends to get them buried.

Butterfly wing

Butterfly wing

The piece is intended to be worn as a necklace, hence the two larger holes in the tops of the wings. I’m not sure if that is what I will use it for though, since it isn’t something I would wear. But, I have been contemplating finishing it with black felt on the back and giving it as a gift to a friend’s daughter. I think she would like it. Unfortunately, attaching the felt can’t happen until I have my scissors back. (Yes, my in-laws still have some of my craft supplies. Mainly tools for all my crafts and cross stitch fabric.)

Have you stitched on wood? Did you enjoy it? How did you use the finished piece, and was it durable? I’ve been eyeing some blanks at Red Gate Stitchery

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Smalls SAL – September Check-In

Welcome to the last Wednesday of September, stitchers! You’ve now made it through nine months of stitching smalls, and there are only three months left to go. I bet you are feeling pretty productive. I know I am.

Fire Dragon, designed by Teresa Wentzler

Fire Dragon, designed by Teresa Wentzler

This month I stitched Fire Dragon by Teresa Wentzler. It is the companion piece to Water Dragon by Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams, and was taught as a class at the fall 2009 Creativ Festival.

Fire Dragon (designed by Teresa Wentzler) and Water Dragon (designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith)

Fire Dragon (designed by Teresa Wentzler) and Water Dragon (designed by Jennifer Aikman-Smith)

Now that we are rounding the home stretch, I’ve been thinking about what to do next year. We’ve done ornaments and we’ve done smalls. And, if you are like me, you have a lot of little designs sitting around waiting to be finished. So, I thought I would ask all of you what you would like to do for a SAL next year.

What would you like to do for a SAL in 2015?

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Back to this month. ;) What did you stitch? Let me know by filling out the form below. Don’t forget, for every month you finish something and leave your link you get an entry into the end of the year draw. I’m still not 100% sure what the prize will consist of, but I promise it will be something stitchy.

October Check-In: The next check-in will take place on October 29th.

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Cowl Complication

It is amazing how much of a difference moving just 30 minutes north makes. The morning temperatures are about 2-3°C colder up here than in the city, and it sure makes a difference in the morning. Poor little man hates the cold, so the walk to school at 8am isn’t very pleasant for him.* And, since my in-laws still have all our winter gear, I decided to whip up a quick cowl that matches his fall jacket.

Chunky Cowl for little man

Chunky Cowl for little man

The pattern is Chunky Moebius Cowl from Planet June, and the yarn is Bernat Satin in Teal and Sunset. I’ve used the pattern before and made some good notes. But… I didn’t follow them.

Oh, I did a chain of 42 last time? Ah, 36 looks good. I’ll go with that. Yeah. No. So, the cowl is very difficult to get over the little man’s head. It fits well enough once he struggles into it, but he hates putting it on. Thankfully this week is looking like it will be warm. And hopefully I can get my act together and crochet a larger one before it gets cool again.

The lesson here: if you made good project notes for something that turned out well, follow them the next time.

* It has been chilly in the mornings on a couple of days, but still over 20°C in the afternoon. Later summer/early fall weather is very changeable around here.

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