Smalls SAL – May 2017 Check-In

Hello Smalls Stitchers! First, I’d like to apologize for getting this post up just a little bit late. It is around noon my time on check-in day, but I know for some of you it is already tomorrow! To be totally honest, I forgot it was the last Friday of the month. Where has May gone?

I’ve had another month where I haven’t stitched too month. I’ve gardened, read some good books, and spent some time outdoors. My poor stitching has languished! Thankfully, though, I did get my small done.

Merry Santa Kit, designed by Lizzie*Kate

This is Merry Santa Kit from Lizzie*Kate, a limited edition kit from 2015 (I think…). The kit included the linen, finishing fabric, and embellishments. I still need to add the buttons and little bell, and sew it all up into a bag, but the stitching is complete. I used DMC rather than overdyed thread since, honestly, I don’t want to buy eight skeins of fancy floss that I will only need a length or two from. πŸ˜‰

My plan is to have him sewn up into a bag by earlier next week, and I will share him again when he is all done.

So, what did you stitch this month? Please head down towards the bottom of this post to add your link to the list. Please be sure to use the permalink for your blog post and a picture of your small as your thumbnail. If you run into any problems, please don’t hesitate to email me. I’m always happy to help out.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on Friday, June 2nd. So, you still have lots of time to add your link even if you aren’t quite finished yet. Remember: for each month that you share a finished small, you get one entry into the end of the year draw.

Thanks again, very much, for stitching smalls along with me! I can’t wait to see what you’ve stitched.



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Sesquicentennial Finish

It is so wonderful when something gets done on time. And it is even better when it is done early! I put the last stitch into my O Canada! Sampler this weekend, and I am so happy with how it turned out.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler

I love this design so much! It was originally released by Thea Dueck through her first company, Lamplight Designs, back in 1992 for Canada’s 125th birthday. She included many Canadian symbols, like our Parliament/House of Commons building (aka the main home of our federal government), a Canada Goose, a beaver, grain (for our prairies), and snow (for the arctic). The words around the Parliament Building come from our national anthem (called O Canada), and the Latin words at the bottom are Canada’s motto. It is official translated as “From Sea to Sea” and “D’un ocΓ©an Γ  l’autre.”

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Victoria Sampler

The two crowns at the bottom represent our ties to the Queen Elizabeth. One of her many titles is Queen of Canada, so while we many refer to her and her family in general as the British Royal Family, thy are in fact also the Canadian Royal Family. She is technically the employer of all government officials and staff. The Queen also approves all federal laws, which is done through her representative, the Governor General of Canada. She is represented at the provincial level by lieutenant governors. In practise, these officials approve all bills presented to them (but first they must pass vigorous debates and voting by elected officials), paving the way for them to become laws.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Victoria Sampler

I stitched the chart more or less as it was charted. Unfortunately, it called for Needle Necessities Overdyed Floss #126 – Mulled Wine which has long ago been discontinued. I used ThreadworXs #1038 – Cherry Cola, and one 5 yard skein was just enough. I also changed one of the rows of pulled stitches to a different stitch, and I left out one row just above the motto (I got the spacing wrong…). The biggest change was recharting the 125 to 150.

I’m so happy that I was able to finish this well before Canada Day! Hopefully I will get ti framed before then! πŸ˜‰

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Smalls SAL – April 2017 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! Can you believe it is already the last Friday in April? The year seems to be speeding by so quickly. It really seems like I was shovelling snow just the other week, and now I’m thinking about cleaning up the garden and all the veggies I’ll be planting soon.

I have to admit that I’ve done very little stitching this month. Most of my time has been spent working on two different crochet alongs: the Scheepjes Hygge CAL and Nuts About Squares. But of course, I had to find some time to finish up my small for this month.

Jingle Bell Wreath, designed by Mill Hill

This month I stitched Jingle Bell Wreath from Mill Hill’s Winter Holiday Collection. It is stitched as per the pattern using the included DMC thread and Mill Hill beads. I love the little jingle bells. So very festive.

What did you stitch this month? Head down toward the bottom of this post to leave a link to your finish. Please be sure to use the Permalink for your post and use a picture of your finish as your thumbnail. The list will remain open to new links until midnight Eastern time on May 6th.

Remember: for each month that you share your finished small you get one entry into the end of the year draw for a prize full of stitchy goodness.

And, while you are down at the bottom of the post, please consider leaving me a comment. Let me know what type of smalls you like stitching. Also, click on some of the links to your fellow smalls stitcher’s finishes. I’m sure they would love to have some new visitors.

Please consider posting your finish on Twitter or Instagram using the tag #smallssal2017.

Next Month

The next Smalls SAL check-in will take place on Friday, May 26th. Get stitching!



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WIP Wednesday – Capital

Hello, Stitchy Friends! It has been ages (okay, like a month) since I’ve posted anything for Work-in-Progress (WIP) Wednesday . Truthfully, I’ve been spending a lot of my time crocheting lately because I am working on a couple of great (but really big) projects. Of course, I have been making time to pick up my stitching needle once in a while.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Thea Dueck of Victoria Sampler (WIP)

With Canada’s 150th birthday just around the corner I’ve been giving O Canada! Sampler a bit of attention. I completed some of the pulled work between the alphabet bands this week. I need to do a little bit more below the UVW and XYZ but I don’t like the charted stitch. Hopefully I can come up with some sort of substitute.

O Canada! Sampler, designed by Victoria Sampler (WIP) – close-up of pulled work and alphabet band

My goal for this coming week is to chart out the “150” to add to the alphabet band, find a new pulled work stitch, and finish up the smyrna cross row I’m working on right now. And then it is back to my crochet projects! πŸ˜‰

Don’t forget: the next Smalls SAL check-in takes place this Friday! I can’t wait to see your finishes!

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Mandalas With Mikey

If you are a crocheter who frequents Facebook or YouTube, then you probably have heard of The Crochet Crowd. Started several years ago by Michael Sellick (who was later joined by his partner Dan Zondervan) as a little website that provided crochet tutorials, the Crowd has now grown two include two more team members, a very busy Facebook page, hundreds of YouTube videos, a partnership with Yarnspirations (and more), and a series of very popular crochet cruises.

Mikey and Dan are actually based in Southern Ontario, not too far from me, and have taken part in the Creativ Festival in Toronto many times. Somehow, though, I never got around to taking a class with them. I managed to remedy that just this past weekend when they taught a mandala crochet class at the Markham Guild of Craft.

Ceiling Tile Mandala (WIP)

We spent several hours discussing a brand new pattern Mikey had just finished creating, a pretty squared-circle mandala-inspired afghan square. (Yes, it will eventually be released, for free, once it goes through a little more testing and tweaking.) Dan shared some thoughts on mandalas and colour choices, and Mikey spoke a lot about crochet diagrams and why they are so handy to learn. (I’m a convert now, for sure!)

Bernat Mosaic Yarn in colourway Pink Poodle

Mikey and Dan brought a whole pile of yarn with them, and we picked three balls to work with. Since I am boring, I decided to get three of the same colour–Bernat Mosaic in colourway Pink Poodle. (I love Bernat Mosaic, and I was super disappointed when it was discontinued.)

Ceiling Tile Mandala (WIP)

The pattern itself is not too hard, just a bit fiddly.Β  There are front- and back-post crochet stitches, bobbles, and more. Once the circle is completed, it is squared off using a mixture of single, half, and double crochet stitches. The resulting square is very pretty and full of texture. Some of the ladies changed their colours nearly every round, and they we stunning. My square is a little more plain, but still attractive.

Mikey and Dan are a great team. The class was loads of fun, and they really know their stuff. Both were patient and happy to help anyone who was having trouble. They definitely deserve their popularity and good reputation, and if you love crochet, I recommend taking a class with them if you can. Even better, go on one of their cruises.

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Soft and Squishy Knitting

While not an adventurous person in my regular life, I do love trying out new needlework stitches and crochet and knitting techniques. (Check out the combo crochet and cross stitch project I’m working on right now.) When a friend of mine mentioned that she was taking a Craftsy class on something called brioche knitting, I decided I needed to give it a try too.

Jacki Scarf, designed by Nancy Marchant (WIP)

I’m about a 1/3 of the way through the first project for the class, the one-colour brioche stitch Jacki Scarf (Ravelry link). I’m using Stylecraft Special Aran in colourway 1019 Cloud Blue (a very soft acrylic yarn).

Brioche stitch – close up of right side with increases and decreases

Brioche knitting doesn’t look too special in pictures, but in person you can see and feel that it is soft and squishy and absolutely lovely. The stitch is done, essentially, by making a yo around a slipped stitched and then knitting a stitch together with its yo that was itself slipped on the previous row (so it takes two rows to actually knit a full row). I’ve embedded a little video from Very Pink Knits below so you can see how it is done.

Although I haven’t tried it yet, I do know that the brioche stitch really shines when it is done with two colours. One colour floats to the top as knit stitches and the other recedes as purl stitches, and the colours switch roles on the other side. The effect is stunning.

Italian Cast On

Along with learning this new stitch, I also learned a new cast on: the Italian Cast On. It makes a rounded edge that flows into ribbing perfectly. It is also stretchy, making it great for mittens and socks. I can’t wait to try it in some other projects. (Check out this article from New Stitch a Day to learn how to do this cast on yourself.)

What new stitches (needlework, crochet, or knitting) have you learned lately? Have you tried any Craftsy or other online classes? What did you think of them? What did they teach you? I’d love to know! Please be sure to leave a comment below.

 

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Smalls SAL – March 2017 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! It is time for the March check-in. Are you excited? I sure am!

Easter is just around the corner. And, although we had snow last night and cold, cold rain this morning, spring is actually here. So, of course I wanted to stitch something that is bright, cheerful, and brings to mind the season.

Hip Hop, designed by Lizzie*Kate

The design is Hip Hop, a limited edition kit from Lizzie*Kate. The kit included the fabric (both the cotton and the linen) and the ribbon. I stitched it using the DMC conversion rather than using over-dyed thread, and I left out the words “hippity hoppity”.

I am very happy with how it turned out. Although it is hard to tell from my terrible picture (which I blame on my procrastination and the very overcast day), I finished it into a very cute little pillow. And, without even trying, I manged to line up the stripes on the front and back fabric perfectly! Yay!

So, what did you stitch this month? I honestly can’t wait to see. Please add your link to the list you will find at the bottom of this post. Please remember to use the permalink for your blog post and to use an image of your finish as your thumbnail. Also, please either use your blog’s name or your own name in the Name field on the form, whichever your perfer. If you run into any problems at all please feel free to email me.

The link list will stay open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on April 8th. So, you’ve still got lots of time to get your small finished up. Remember: you get one entry into the end of the year draw for every month that you share a link to your finished small.

Next Month: The next check-in will take place on Friday, April 28th.

Thanks again, Stitchy Friends, for taking part in the Smalls SAL! If you have a little bit of time, please consider visiting some of the other participants and leave some comments.



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