Smalls SAL – August 2016 Check-In

Hello, Stitchy Friends! I apologize for my long absence. August was supposed to be one of the quietest months of my year, but this August has turned out to be very busy. School starts back up again in just under two weeks, which means it is back to the regular routine, and that means more time for stitching and posting. But, no matter how busy things have gotten, I did not forget about the Smalls Stitch Along. (Full details here.)

SmallsSAL2016

Okay, to be completely honest I did almost forget to stitch something this month. But, then I remembered that I had a small that was almost done. I just need to take some time to pull a few colours, make a minor change, and actually sit down and stitch!

Love Summer, designed by Lizzie*Kate

Love Summer, designed by Lizzie*Kate

This month I stitched Love Summer from Lizzie*Kate, one of the limited edition designs from earlier this year. (I will finish it into a little pocket purse eventually…) I stitched it using DMC threads rather than the overdyed, and it is stitched on the fabric that is included in the kit. (The kit also includes fabric and hemp cord for a handle.) I changed out the American flag for a Canadian one, using the alternative flag for Lizzie*Kate’s Land That I Love as a starting point.

So, what did you stitch this month? I hope you had a lovely, slow August and were able to spend lots of time putting your needle to fabric and creating beautiful things. I can’t wait to see them all! Head down towards the bottom of this post to add you link, being sure to remember to link directly to your Smalls SAL post (not the front page of your blog) and use a picture of your finish. If you need any help, please feel free to email me. I am more than happy to help, and I am never too busy to answer emails.

The list will stay open to new entries until around midnight Eastern time on September 1st, 2016. Remember: for every month that you share a finish, you get one entry into the end of the year draw for a prize full of stitchy goodness.

If you are on Instagram, please consider posting your finish with the tag #SmallsSAL2016.

Next Month – The next check-in will take place on September 29th, 2016.

Thank you again, very much, for stitching along with me. If it wasn’t for all of you, I doubt I would have done any stitching at all this month.

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June Bear

I know it has been a little while since I’ve shared my progress, but I really am still working away on the Joyful World SAL from The Snowflower Diaries. I always have so many projects on the go, and so many more that I really want to do, and things tend to fall into the cracks.

But, look, I have actually finished June!

Joyful World SAL June, designed by Maja Matyas Szilagyi

Joyful World SAL June, designed by Maja Matyas Szilagyi

He is stitched on a giant piece of hand-dyed evenweave from Enchanting Lair in colourway Heritage, and I am using Maja’s suggestions for DMC. I love this little bear and his bee friends. He looks so content. (And I am so happy I covered up those spots where the dye broke. You can’t tell at all!)

If you are interested in joining the Joyful World SAL you can find all the details here. All of the patterns are free, and I promise that you can get caught up fairly quickly. There is also a lovely, supportive Facebook group as well.

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Review: Red Heart Scrubby Yarn

Socks may be my favourite project to knit, but I also love quick little projects that provide a big sense of accomplishment. I have a huge pile of dishcloths made with kitchen cotton, and they work great. But, when I learned about Red Heart’s new (to me, anyway) Scrubby yarn I knew I had to try it and put it to work in my kitchen.

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Red Heart’s Scrubby in colourways Royal, Coconut, and Grape

Don’t get this Red Heart Scrubby confused with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Scrubby/Lily Sugar’n Cream Scrubby (now discontinued) or Mary Maxim Scrub It. They very different yarns. Red Heart Scrubby is 100% polyester with a very unique construction. The main body of the yarn is a chain, and it has all kinds of little twisted tendrils coming off of it. These are what provide the scrubbing power. The other yarns, all essentially the same, are more or less a ribbon with little loops along the side. After having used both yarns, I think that Red Heart’s Scrubby is superior when it comes to cleaning up in the kitchen. Its tendrils provide lots and lots of scrubbing power.

Clean in Stripes and Simple Knit Scrubby Washcloth knit in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourways Royal and Coconut

Clean in Stripes and Simple Knit Scrubby Washcloth knit in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourways Royal and Coconut

The wonderful people over at Yarn Canada we kind enough to provide me with three balls of Scrubby to take for a test drive. I chose the colourways Royal (a nice bright blue), Grape (a grapey purple that it hard to photograph), and Coconut (a nice bright white). To fully experience the yarn, I made a variety of patterns in both knit and crochet, pulling from the free patterns offered by Red Heart. I’ve included links to my Ravelry project pages at the end of this post.

Scalloped Edge Dishcloth crocheted in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourway Grape

Scalloped Edge Dishcloth crocheted in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourway Grape

Scrubby’s label says that is yarn weight 4 (worsted/medium), and gets a gauge of 16 stitches and 21 rows over 4″ (10cm) with a 5mm/US8 knitting needle or a gauge of 13 single crochet and 15 rows over 4″ (10cm) with a 5.5mm/I9 crochet hook. In working with it, I found this to be mostly true, although I preferred the density of fabric that came with working with 4mm/US6 knitting needles.

Ghostly Dish Scrubber knit in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourway Coconut

Ghostly Dish Scrubber knit in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourway Coconut

Knitting with this yarn didn’t really require any special considerations. The little twisted tendrils didn’t get in the way as much as I thought they might. Occasionally, when doing something tricky like k2tog, the tip of my needle got caught in a tendril, but mostly it was smooth sailing. Also, after working on projects with both garter stitch and stockinette, I prefer this yarn in garter stitch. The fabric is much springier, and it feels like it would scrub better.

Hexagon Crochet Dishcloth crocheted in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourways Royal and Coconut

Hexagon Crochet Dishcloth crocheted in Scrubby Yarn from Red Heart, colourways Royal and Coconut

It was a bit more difficult to crochet with Scrubby. The tendrils made it very difficult to find the proper loops when crocheting into a foundation chain. And, in cases where I needed to crochet into a chain 1 space in the row below, sometimes that space was a little hard to find. All of the dishcloths turned out really nice in the end, but I think I am likely to stick to knitting with Scrubby instead of crocheting.

Scrubby Bath Pouf (upper right) and mini Corner-to-Corner Scrubby (lower left), made with Red Heart's Scrubby yarn in colourways Royal and Coconut

Scrubby Bath Pouf (upper right) and mini Corner-to-Corner Scrubby (lower left), made with Red Heart’s Scrubby yarn in colourways Royal and Coconut

So, I’m sure you are wondering how the dishcloths perform. They are great! The tendrils really do make the cloths super scrubby, wiping away stuck on yuck on my dishes so quickly. Not only that, but they also dry so much faster than my kitchen cotton dishcloths. During these hot and humid summer days, I totally want a dishcloth that dries quickly and stays sweet smelling. And when it is time to clean these Scrubby dishcloths, they only need to be popped into the washer and drier with the rest of your kitchen linen. Easy!

Scrubby has now become my go to yarn for dishcloths and bath poufs. It it enjoyable to work with, has get scrubbing power, and still manages to feel soft on the skin. I foresee a lot of dishcloth knitting in my future!

You can purchase Red Heart Scrubby from Yarn Canada (free shipping in Canada if you spend $35!) or at other yarn shops. Give it a try for your next round of dishcloth knitting. I’m sure you will love it.

You can check out all my Scrubby projects on Ravelry:

And, finally, a big thank you to Yarn Canada for making this review possible by providing me with the yarn.

 

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Smalls SAL – July 2016 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! Welcome to the July check-in for the Smalls Stitch Along. If you are new, you can check out all the details right here. And, please feel free to join in. If you are a regular Smalls Stitcher, than congratulations on finishing up yet another small. You are doing great!

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The summer here has been very hot and dry this year, and although I have been spending most of my time indoors, I haven’t been doing as much stitching as I had planned. To help keep me cool though, I dug out a little Christmas ornament to stitch.

Merry Christmas Reindeer, designed by Kathrin Ellison

Merry Christmas Reindeer, designed by Kathrin Ellison

This is Merry Christmas Reindeer, designed by Kathrin Ellison of Gitta’s (my sort of LNS). This was a little free kit handed out at Gitta’s annual Christmas open house last December. They distribute a little package for free charts, a small ornament kit, and usually a chocolate treat every year to all the shoppers on the first Saturday of December. It is such a nice way to say thank you for a year of patronage.

The design is stitched with one thread over one on 22 ct hardanger fabric in colour Delft Blue. The threads are a mixture of Anchor, DMC and PTB, and it has a lovely little star charm. Kathrin says she uses Anchor and DMC threads together to get a more complete colour palette.

What did you stitch this month? Did you go with a Christmas in July theme? Or maybe you are getting ready for Halloween. Were flowers your topic of choice, or maybe animals? I can’t wait to find out! Head to the bottom of this post to add your link to the list. Please note that I’ve made some changes this month, and the form will only accept permalinks. If you are having problems, please feel free to email me. Please include a link to your blog in the email.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on August 4th, so you still have lots of time to stitch something up. Don’t forget, for each month that you share a finished small you get one entry into the end of the year draw.

Next Month: The Smalls SAL check-in for August will take place on the 25th. It is a little bit earlier than some months, so make sure you mark it on your calendar.

Update – Unfortunately, Julie of Julie’s Crafts and Hobbies wasn’t able to get her link to post properly. (InLinkz doesn’t always work correctly…) So, I’m posting her beautiful Smalls finish right here.

Julie's Pansy Ornament

Julie’s Pansy Ornament

Thank you again, very much, for taking part in my little stitch along. I love looking at all the finished designs and I’m always so excited when check-in day rolls around.

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Dragon Fly Fob

Back in 2010 I attended a little retreat put on by a local needlework shop. (You can read all about it here.) Part of that retreat was a needlebook and scissor fob class with pretty dragonfly motifs. Although I liked the design, I wasn’t jazzed about the colour, so into the stash it went… where I found it again while doing that big purge last week.

Dragonfly Needlebook and fob, designed by Kathrin Ellison Gitta's

Dragonfly Needlebook and fob, designed by Kathrin Ellison Gitta’s

I had finished up all of the large dragonfly (for the needlebook) ages ago, but got stalled on the scissor fob for some reason. It was pretty close to being done–one panel needed the border, and the other panel needed the honeycomb-like background and border. I was able to polish it off in an afternoon and get it all sewn together.

Dragonfly Fob - side 1

Dragonfly Fob – side 1

The fob is stitched with Gloriana silk, DMC floss, and Petite Treasure Braid. It uses blackwork, whipped backstitch, and a few specialty stitches. The cording is made out of the little bit of Gloriana and PTB I was able to save through thrifty stitching.

Dragonfly Fob - side 2

Dragonfly Fob – side 2

Kathrin actually charted out an entire alphabet with little dragonflies placed within each letter. It is a really lovely design, and is available for purchase on this page if you are interested in stitching it for yourself.

I still need to sew up the needlebook, but first I need to find the fabric I bought for it ages ago! Thankfully my sewing stash has been neatly organized. 😉

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Buddha

I’m deep in the midst of doing a proper, through cleaning of my craft closet. I’m going very slowly, taking time to look through everything and decide if I’m keeping and where it needs to be stored. One good result from this is that I’ve rediscovered a lot of great WIPs and new projects I want to work on; one bad result is that I have come to the realization that my stash really is much too large. :/

But, what better way to whittle down one’s stash than to work on projects and complete them! One of the first things I fished out my messy stash as a little cross stitch kit I received a few months back.

The Buddha

The Buddha

I don’t know much about the kit. It is all in Chinese and included the chart, some adia, and the floss presorted on a card. I switched out the adia for a scrap of white evenweave, and stitched it with the included floss (which was very, very nice to work with and super soft). I think the finished piece is just lovely, and much prettier than the chart. Since there was no cover photo, it was a nice surprise to see it come together.

He is very small, about 60 x 60 stitches, and he worked up in the matter of a couple of days. It helps that there isn’t a lot of back stitching! The Chinese character on the right means Buddha, and I did debate leaving it off, but ultimately decided it looked nice.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with him. Most likely he will just end up in my box full of finished but not finished finished projects. Oh well, at least it is one more kit out of the WIP pile.

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Patriotic Finish

Up here in the Great White North we celebrate Canada Day on July 1st. This year our country turned 149 years old. Sure, we are just a toddler amongst countries, but we are still very proud. And, with Canada’s 150th birthday just around the corner, I figured it is a great time to stitch up a whole bunch of Canada-themed designs.

Reflections of Canada, designed by Ink Circles

Reflections of Canada, designed by Ink Circles

This is Reflections of Canada from Ink Circles. I’ve stitched it over 1 on 32 count white fabric using DMC 115. I did half stitches using two strands of floss, and put in a few whole stitches in places where the half stitches left too much white space.

Reflections of Canada, designed by Ink Circles (close-up)

Reflections of Canada, designed by Ink Circles (close-up)

I love all the little motifs in this design! There is Mountie faces, hockey sticks, the Parliament buildings, beavers, maple leaves, and so much more. It was lots of fun to stitch. And it worked up so quickly! Of course, doing half stitches helped speed it along. 😉

The other designs I plan to stitch over the next twelve months include Victoria Sampler’s O Canada Sampler (which I have already started), Joan Elliot’s Canadian Beauty, and Maple Leaf Flag from Northern Expressions. I probably won’t get them all finished, but it will be fun none the less!

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