Stitch from Stash – August 2015

Oh dear… It is time for the Stitch from Stash check-in… Stitch from Stash 2015 B

Actually, I did okay with regards to cross stitch stash.

Month: August 2015
Spent: $11.35
Earned: $0 (not tracking)

I bought four skeins of floss that I needed to stitch up some Just Nan designs that I have had hanging around for ages, and then I bought the 2013 New Colours pack for myself. (I’ve given away three or four, but I’ve never kept one for myself! I figured it was about time.)

August stash purchases

August stash purchases

Now, as for the rest of my craft spending… Well, it was a rough month. I picked up some supplies for machine embroidery (thread, patterns, and stabilizer), hand embroidery (linen, a hoop, and a heat transfer pen), sewing (thread), knitting (buttons for a vest), and jewellery making (beads and charms so my mom can make me a couple of things). I haven’t totalled it all up, but I know that it is bad. :( There is always next month, right?

4 Comments | Posted in Crafts, Cross Stitch | Tagged ,

Smalls SAL – August 2015 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! The last Wednesday of the month is here. Yay! I love getting to share my small and getting to see all of yours.2015SmallsSALWe’ve had a pretty strange month way up here. There were days (like yesterday and today) where it is very clear that fall is just around the corner, and other days (like last week) where it is so hot that there isn’t anything to do but sit inside and enjoy the air conditioning. I’m sure it is no surprise that I enjoy the cool days. I spend the end of August examining the trees for signs of fall, and I rejoice when I see that the sumac has started to turn. So, of course, I decided to focus on fall-themed smalls again this month.

Wendy's Cat and Haunted Zone

Wendy’s Cat and Haunted Zone

These are both from this year’s Mill Hill Autumn Treasures series: Wendy’s Cat and Haunted Zone. I made the cord with the help of my little man (when, oh when will school start again?!) and leftover floss from the kits.

So, what did you stitch this month? Does your stitching still reflect the warm weather (or cold, depending on where you are)? Have you started stitching for Christmas already? Maybe back-to-school stitching was under your needle this month. I can’t wait to see! Use the form near the end of this post to link to your post. The list will close to new entries at about midnight September 1st Eastern time.

Next month: The September check-in will take place on the 30th. You’ve got piles of time to get stitching!

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12 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , , ,

Trying Flat Stitches

I mentioned the other week that I was finally going to give hand embroidery a try. I’ve been cross stitching for somewhere around 25 years now, but I have always vehemently avoided hand embroidery. I thought it was to cutesy, too country, and not at all something I would ever want to do. Truthfully, I still feel that way just a little bit, but I now also see the beauty in hand embroidery.

Hand Embroidery Sampler - Flat Stitches

Hand Embroidery Sampler – Flat Stitches

I’ve finished up the first section of the sampler from Craftsy’s Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery. The class is taught by Jessica Marquez, the author of Stitched Gifts. She goes through the stitches slowly, explaining them clearly and demonstrating them for the camera. The first section covers flat stitches like the running stitch, back stitch and stem stitch.

Close-up of my flat stitches

Close-up of my flat stitches

My stitches look okay… But I’m so used to the precision involved in cross stitch that the variations and slightly wobbliness bother me. I know that I will get better at making the stitches the same size with practice (I did play with stitch size in a couple of the rows to see how it would make things look), but the “homespun-ness” is part of this type of embroidery, I suppose.

I did learn a couple of things:

  1. If you print your pattern with a laser printer, you can use an iron to transfer the pattern. There is no need for a heat transfer pencil.
  2. I really don’t like using a hoop… I do nearly all of my stitching in hand, including hardanger. (Yes, I like to live dangerously! 😉 )
  3. Picking your own colours is hard. :(

Anyway! Onward to the next lesson and loop stitches. I so love the lazy daisy. :/

7 Comments | Posted in Hand Embroidery | Tagged ,

Great-Grandma’s Stash

A few months ago my aunt moved from her rather large house into a small apartment. She has been divesting herself of various family heirlooms which, being the oldest sister, had somehow found their way into her home. I was lucky enough to receive a fabulous library table that needs to be refinished (it was once my great-grandmother’s dining room table, but was cut down), a fairly rare commode set, and a fabulous collection of embroidery patterns and other crafty papers.

Commode Set

Commode Set

My mom and I have only taken a quick look through the box, but it is the proverbial treasure trove. The patterns are delightful, and many of them have notes in my great-grandmother’s hand. Even more charming are the patterns from The Canadian Countryman, which feature articles and recipes on the back. Some even have dates going as far back as 1913.

Great-grandmother's stash of patterns

Great-grandmother’s stash of patterns

Unfortunately, I am useless when it comes to hand embroidery. I need my detailed patterns, fabric with little holes, and all of the organization and exactness that goes along with cross stitch. Hand embroidery seems so… free-form, so chaotic. But, I really want to honour my great-grandmother’s things and learn to embroidery neatly so I can make things from the same patterns she used.

canadiancountrymanI plan to share some of the discoveries from this box over the next couple of months, along with my attempts at hand embroidery. I’ve already signed up for Craftsy’s embroidery class, which I hope will give me a good foundation. I may even give some the old recipes, knitting patterns, and other tips a try.

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The End is In Sight!

Hello, Stitchy Friends! I’m sorry I disappeared for so long. The day after my last post I came down with what turned out to be an awful sinus infection. I spent many days in bed or suffering (not so) silently on the sofa. But, I’m almost back to normal, except for a slightly numb nose. (I managed to tweak a nerve thanks to my tmj issues… If it isn’t one thing, it’s another.)

Good news, though! I’m very, very close to finishing the stitching on Santa’s Journey Stocking! Yay!!

Santa's Journey Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

Santa’s Journey Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

It is looking pretty good, isn’t it? I still have some work to do on the cuff, but it is mostly mindless fill in stitching. After that, I have piles of couching (more than I thought), and some back stitching and then it is all done. Yay!! This journey has been going on far too long–I started the stocking at the very, very end of 2012 and here it is the middle of August 2015. I hope the remaining three stockings don’t take as long…

Reminder – This month’s Smalls SAL check-in takes place on August 26th. That’s just a little over a week away. Believe or not, I managed to stitch up my small already. How are you doing on yours?

5 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

Santa’s Journey Stocking Update

Well, it is August 4th. Do you think I managed to finish Santa’s Journey Stocking?

Santa's Journey Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

Santa’s Journey Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

No… But I did make some pretty good progress. I just have the stitching in the toe area to finish and the cuff. I’ve already charted out my mom’s name, so I’m all ready to get started on it. After that, there is a relatively small amount of back stitching, a few beads, and some french knots (which I will do as colonial knots).

Santa and house

Santa and house

My revised timeline is to have the stitching done by the end of September, barring any unexpected projects or mistakes.

rcrossstitchDaily Cross Stitch and Reddit – Reddit tends to get a bad rap, but there are actually some really great sub-groups (known as sub-Reddits) including r/CrossStitch. For the next several months r/CrossStitch is teaming up with various designers to offer free charts, giveaways and other goodies. This month they are featuring Daily Cross Stitch. You can find out all about it here. If you like Daily Cross Stitch be sure to check it out!

8 Comments | Posted in Crochet | Tagged , , , ,

Smalls SAL – July 2015 Check-In

Welcome, Smalls Stitchers! It is finally the last Wednesday of the month, meaning it is time to share the smalls you’ve stitched.


I’m sure you’ve seen all kinds of “Christmas in July” sales and whatnot around this month. Even Songza has their Christmas playlists up on the front page. And, to keep with the Christmas in July theme, I stitched a Santa.

Mac Santa, designed by Yarn Tree

Mac Santa, designed by Yarn Tree

The design is MacSanta from the Olde Time Santa kit series put out by Yarn Tree. The kit included perforated paper, loss, the brass charm and beads. He was fun to stitch and worked up pretty quickly in spite of his size (approx. 6″ tall). I haven’t decided if I will keep him for myself or gift it to my mom’s friend who is from Scotland.

Mac Santa face

Mac Santa face

So, what did you stitch this month? I can’t wait to see. And, don’t forget, I promised double entries for any Christmas, winter or summer-themed designs. Add your link to the list at the bottom of this post. And, if you have time, please be sure to visit some of your fellow stitchers. We all love visitors! (The list will close to new entries about midnight Eastern Daylight Time on August 5th.)

Next Month – The next check-in will be on August 26th.

Do you need reminders? If you are worried about missing a check-in date, you can sign up for my reminder email here. I only send out emails once a month, and your email address is super safe with my provider, Tiny Letter

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