Smalls SAL – July Check-In

It is Smalls SAL check-in time again!

SmallsSAL2014I don’t know about you, but for me July has just sped by. We are less than two weeks from our closing date on the new house, and there is so much left to be done! (We are moving a week after closing, so there is still time to do things. At least, that is what I am telling myself.) And with everything that is going on, including having the little man off school for the summer, I still managed to finish something.

Love, designed by Enchanting Lair

Love, designed by Enchanting Lair

This is Love from Enchanting Lair. I’ve shared work-in-progress pictures a couple of times over the past couple of months, and now I’ve finally managed to complete it. Okay, to be honest, it is about 95% done. I still need to attach the heart beads at the corners (which I will do after I wash and iron it), and each corner should also have one stitch in the Kreinik braid in each of its own corners. Unfortunately, I don’t have quite enough left to do those stitches. I do, however, have some of the proper braid packed away somewhere. So, when I add the beads I will do those stitches.

Fancy stitches and a pretty bead (Love, designed by Enchanting Lair)

Fancy stitches and a pretty bead (Love, designed by Enchanting Lair)

Love was stitched on Enchanting Lair’s hand-dyed fabric in colourway Medieval Rose (I think), using Needle Necessities (and some Threadworx), Kreinik braid, and Dinky Dyes silks.

What did you stitch this month? I can’t wait to see what everyone else stitched. Did you decide that it was Christmas in July and work on ornaments for your tree? Did you stitch flowers or maybe something summery? Please leave your link in the form below. And also try to visit some of the other participants too. We all love visitors!

Oh, and don’t forget: for each month that you finish a small and leave a link you get an entry into the end of the year draw. What is the prize? It’s a surprise! ;)

August Check-in: The next check-in date will be August 27. I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t have something done, but I’m going to try my hardest to make some progress on something!

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Flashback 2000

I’ve always taken a long time to finish projects. This Kitty Angel kit from Dimensions was started back when I was in high school, and it wasn’t finished until I was nearly done university. (And it took me years more to sew it into a pillow.) I was very intimidated by the ribbon embroidery, so I put off working on it. Thankfully, it turned out pretty well.

Angel Kitty, designed by Dimensions

Angel Kitty, designed by Dimensions

By 2000 I was finishing off my fourth year of university and beginning my fifth and final year. I had a good friend who had helped me through some tough times, so I stitched up Footprints from Jiffy for him as a thank you. (In retrospect, it could be seen as a bit sacrilegious, but I’m not a practising Christian so it never occurred to me that it might be viewed in that way. Thankfully, he liked it.)

Footprints, designed by Jiffy

Footprints, designed by Jiffy.

Footprints now hangs in our son’s bedroom. ;)

Sweet Dreams, from Just Cross Stitch magazine

Sweet Dreams, from Just Cross Stitch magazine

I stitched this pillow just because it appealed to me. It sat on our bed for years, and to be totally honest, I have no idea where it is now. I always meant to take it apart and sew it up a little better, but I never got around to it. Maybe I should re-stitch it and place it in our new guest room.

 

 

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Threadworx and Needle Necessities

A few weeks ago I ran out of some Needle Necessities thread while I was working on Enchanting Lair’s Love. Unfortunately, Needle Necessities was discontinued a few years ago, but Threadworx arose to take its place.1 The colour names are different, but there are supposed to be near prefect matches between equivalent colourways. Given that I had half a heart stitched, I figured this would be a good time to see if this is actually the case.

Love, designed by Enchanting Lair -- Threadworx and Needle Nessicities used for centre hearts

Love, designed by Enchanting Lair — Threadworx and Needle Necessities used for centre hearts

So, looking at this picture, can you tell me which heart was stitched half with Needle Necessities and half with Threadworx?

It is the one in the bottom left.

Heart comparison

Heart comparison

Ignoring the fact that my stitches aren’t perfect, the heart looks pretty good. You may notice that there is slightly more colour variation in the top part of the heart (stitched with NN), but the colours themselves match fairly well throughout. Changes in the ratio of colours is something I would expect when moving to a new skein of a hand-dyed colour within a brand, so I don’t view that as an issue.

Would I mix Needle Necessities and Threadworx again? Absolutely, assuming I ran out of thread. This is a¬†vanishingly small sample size, but I’m still pleased by the results. If you’d like to learn more about the Needle Necessities to Threadworx conversion, check out this page.

Which Stitch do You Stitch: I’m still collecting information about how people stitch. If you haven’t voted yet, please head over here and take my poll. Thanks!

There are many rumours and a lot of speculation about what when on with regards to Needle Necessities and Threadworx. I’m guessing a lot of us have heard at least a couple of stories. I’d prefer not to spread any (possibly untrue) rumours here.

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Blue Butterflies for My Feet

A week and a half ago or so I whined about how I’ve had to cut back on knitting and other things for a little while to allow the nerve in my elbow to heal a bit. Thankfully, things seem to be progressing well, and I’ve been able to pick up my knitting needles again–but only for a couple of hours a day. I’m trying to be careful and restrained.

Kai Mei

Kai-Mei by Cookie A.

Over the past couple of days, I was able to finish up my latest pair of socks. It is yet other pair of Kai-Mei (my third), designed by Cookie A., and found in her book Sock Innovation. The yarn is one of my favourites, Panda Cotton, in colourway Faded Jeans.

Kai-Mei

Kai-Mei

This is one of those patterns that look really complicated, but it is actually very easy. The butterfly lace pattern moves across the foot thanks to some well placed decreases and increases. And, the lace pattern itself is extremely easy to knit. For this pair, I actually brought the lace pattern down further towards my toes than I had done in previous pairs because I like how it looks, and because it was fun to knit.

If I am careful, I should be able to get at least one more pair of socks done this summer. I’m trying to be very aware of when I begin to feel a pinch or twinge in my elbow or two smallest fingers. That is a sure sign it is time to stop knitting (or even typing! Whaa!).

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Sitch from Stash – July Check-In

It’s Stitch from Stash check-in time again!

Stitch from Stash 2014 buttonWhen I signed up for this challenge, I really hoped that I would be able to hold off on all spending for the majority of the year. But, that didn’t happen. My will power is not particularly strong, and a good sale will easily convince me that I need something new. At the same time, though, I am being much more careful about how much I spend, and I am careful to think about whether I really need something or if I just want it.

So, what did I buy this month? Fabric to replace the aida in a kit, a pdf copy of the Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue (a real need!), the latest Cross Stitch and Needlework, and something for my upcoming giveaway (which doesn’t count). That brings my total for this month to

$30.64

Which, yes, is over the $25/month budget, but I do have enough banked to cover the overage. Thank goodness!

Lily of the Valley Fairy - Mirabilia (WIP)

Lily of the Valley Fairy – Mirabilia (WIP)

Everything I worked on this month was from my stash, with the exception of a gift (which I actually purchased last month). The project I put the most work into this month was Mirabilia’s Lily of the Valley Fairy.

Close-up of Lily of the Valley Fairy

Close-up of Lily of the Valley Fairy

Smalls SAL -Don’t forget, the check-in for the Smalls SAL is coming up soon. I don’t know if I will have anything done, but I sure will try. Check-in day is July 30th!

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11th Blogiversary

Eleven years ago today I began this blog1. Back then it had a different name (Reflections in the Pond), dealt with a different subject, was hosted at a different URL, and used a different blogging platform (Movable Type). But, even after all those changes, this is essentially still the same blog. The majority of my posts from over the years can still be found in the archive, although some of them were migrated over to my other website.

cupcake

Life was a bit different eleven years ago: I had just got engaged; I lived in London, ON; I worked at EB Games; I didn’t knit, crochet or sew; I played a lot of video games. So much of that would change. We didn’t actually get married for a couple of years, but we were soon to moved to Toronto, where I eventually ended up doing research and analysis for a large telecom company. We had a son a few years after that, and then I became a stay-at-home mom and took up knitting and a few other crafts. Somewhere in there, this blog migrated from being about my life to being about my crafts.

Enchanted Dreamer by Mirabillia - Completed in 2003 and made into a pillow

Enchanted Dreamer by Mirabillia – Completed in 2003 and made into a pillow

I’m actually surprised that this is my 11th blogiversary. I thought it had been only 10 years. And, to be honest, I wanted to use this occasion as sort of demarcation line to step things up a bit around here. But, it seems I’m a year ahead (or behind?) of myself. And, I’m also mired in everything that goes along with moving from one city to another. So, my blogiversary giveaway will be delayed for two months, until September 21st or there about. Also, come this fall, you will see some different types of posts. I’ll be doing some reviews, talking about techniques, and a few other surprises.

Egyptian Sampler by Teresa Wentzler - Started in 2003, and still not done!

Egyptian Sampler by Teresa Wentzler – Started in 2003, and still not done!

Hopefully you will all still enjoy my posts. I’m going to continue to share my stitching and other projects. With luck, I will have even more to share once my lovely new craft room is set up.

I actually started writing posts in November 2002, but they were off-line and added to the blog only after it was set-up online.

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Flashback – 1998

A few days ago I shared some stitching pictures from back in 1996. Now, I’m sure I did some stitching in 1997 (I was well known for working on little ornament kits during university lectures), but I couldn’t find any pictures. The next year I have any images for is 1998. I’ve pulled out a few of my favourite projects to share.

Spitfire

Spitfire

Back then I was still dating my high school boyfriend (thankfully, not for much longer). I stitched this really great Spitfire design for him. And, since I am petty, I made sure I got it back after we broke up. It now hangs in my dad’s bedroom. :P If I remember right, it was the largest design I had actually finished. (I’m pretty sure I was working on several other big designs at the time.) To be honest, I still really like it because it is a really well designed piece.

Heather and Harebell, Textile Heritage Collection, 1998

Heather and Harebell, Textile Heritage Collection, 1998

This is also the first year that I know for sure that I went to the Creativ Festival. Back then it was called the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival, and there were a lot of needlework vendors there. It was during that visit (probably for the fall show) that I purchased the kit for the Heather and Harebell Pouch. While I may share a name with the shrub on this little pouch, the main reason I bought the kit was because I loved the little leaf bead. And, all these years later, this pouch still floats around in one of my dresser drawers. (Okay, to be honest, I may have gone to the Festival and bought the kit in 1997 and not stitched it right away, but I’m pretty sure I did stitch this up quickly.)

Cat Shadow Box, Designs for the Needle, 1998

Cat Shadow Box, Designs for the Needle, 1998

Here’s one last little oddity from back in 1998. This is a kit that I picked up at a small craft shop near my aunt’s house. It was stitched in three pieces, and then assembled by wrapping the finished pieces around cardboard, and then everything is glued (!) into the frame. It is actually a cute technique that I think could be improved upon to produce some really lovely designs.

Do you have any project pictures back in 1998? What do you think you were stitching all those years ago?

 

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