Sock Madness 10 – Round 2 and 3 Socks

Can you believe it? I forgot to share my round 2 socks from Sock Madness. I was so happy to have them done that I snapped one picture and then threw them in the washing machine.

Rose and Thorn Socks, designed by

Rose and Thorn Socks, designed by Ronni Smith

The pattern is Rose and Torn Socks, designed by Ronni Smith. I used Berroco Comfort Sock yarn in colour True Red. And, the beads on the cuff were silver-lined crystal, but the washing machine destroyed the silver lining. Whaaa! Now they are just pretty clear beads. On the bright side, they won’t be noticeable under my pant legs.

Speaking of the beads, my goodness was the cuff on these socks tricky. They are cast on using Judy’s Magic cast-on (making it act like a provisional cast-on) with the beads on one side. Several plain rows are knit, then a picot row, and then more plain rows. The cuff is then folded in half at the picot row (so it becomes the top of the cuff), and the cuff is hemmed so the beads swing around the stitches and lay in front. I think casting-on with the beads was probably the hardest part, but once I got going it was pretty smooth sailing.

I finished the socks in just under 4 days, including an afternoon taken off to rest my poor elbow. Amazingly, I was the first person finished on my team, Team Engoon Edelweiss. There were several almost as quick knitters on my team that finished within a few hours of me (and many of them had jobs that kept them much busier than homebody me). I’m going to have to work hard to keep in this for a few more rounds.

Round 3 took me a little while longer. The pattern is a bit more tricky, with cables running all the way up the sides of the foot, branching off at the ankle, crossing at the front of the leg, and then coming together again near the cuff. I completed the pair in about six days, with a whole lot or procrastination. :/ This time I was the second person on my team to finish.

Waimakariri, designed by Sonya Newstead

Waimakariri, designed by Sonya Newstead

The pattern is Waimakariri, designed by Sonya Newstead. I used Berroco Comfort Sock again, this time in colour Dusk.

The tricky technique this time around was the toe. It also started with a provisional cast on, and then a small cabled strip was knit; stitches were picked up along one side; the provisionally cast-on stitches were knit; stitches were picked up along the other side; and then we were knitting in the round. (It was a bit like the tab start for shawls, if you are familiar with that.) Once that fancy manoeuvre was done, it was smooth sailing all the way up to the cuff.

Round 4 is due to start sometime early next week. I suspect that it may be the last round I make it through, but who knows. I’ll keep knitting socks for Sock Madness as long as I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

13 Comments | Posted in Knitting | Tagged , , ,

Scissor Case Finish

Hello again, stitchy friends! I’ve been MIA for a little while because I’ve been working hard on the latest round of Sock Madness. The finished socks are fabulous, and I will be sharing them tomorrow.

Today, though, I’m sharing the scissor case that I stitched for an exchange through Virtual Threads, the online guild associated with the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada.

Quaker Accessories Scissor Case (front)

Quaker Accessories Scissor Case (front)

The pattern is Quaker Accessories, designed by Esther F. of Brodeuse Bressane. It is available through her etsy shop here. I stitched it using some blue silk from my silk odds and ends drawer (it is probably from Dinky Dyes) and some gold Petite Treasure Braid, on a new colour of hand-dyed linen from Enchanting Lair called Dijon. It is a darkish parchment yellow with darker blueish areas.

Quaker Accessories Scissor Case (back)

Quaker Accessories Scissor Case (back)

I lined the interior with some light blue cotton, and stitched on a snap closure.

Quaker Accessories Scissor Case (interior)

Quaker Accessories Scissor Case (interior)

If you’d like to see the scissor case I received, check out this post.

15 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged ,

Sardinian Knot Stitch

I’ve been exploring new forms of needlework again. This time I’m taking an online course, through Virtual Threads (an online guild associated with the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada) focusing on the Sardinian Knot Stitch. It is being taught by Jeanie of the blog Italian Needlework.

Sardinian Knot Stitch practice motif

Sardinian Knot Stitch practice motif

Sardinian Knot Stitch (or Sardinian Knotted Embroidery) comes from a small village named Teulada on the island of Sardinia. There this form of knotted white work is called Punt’e Nรน. But, because the women of the village do not readily teach their craft, it is more correct to not use that term for similar work done by outsiders.

The video above, although an advertisement for a book, shows some absolutely lovely examples of this needlework. My little practice motif (farther above) is done on 18 count Davosa fabric using #5 perle cotton, so it looks much more coarse and chunky. I don’t know if I will ever get to the level of 30 count linen and delicate threads, but it is something to aspire to for sure.

Sardinian Knot Stitch is actually quite simple to work. Your needle is always inserted right to left under a vertical thread on your fabric. The working thread is then wrapped around your needle, and the needle is pulled through pulling the working thread tight. The completed stitch appears almost entirely on the top of the fabric, and creates lovely raised designs. Motifs are nearly always worked on the diagonal, and geometric motifs are the most common.

I’ll be working on this class throughout the month of April. The finished project will be a pretty little mug mat, covered with several knot stitch motifs. If that ends up going well, who knows what I may end up doing next. ๐Ÿ˜‰

9 Comments | Posted in Hand Embroidery | Tagged , ,

Smalls SAL – March 2016 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! It is the final Thursday (and final day) of March, which means it is time for the monthly Smalls SAL check-in.

SmallsSAL2016

If you are wondering what this little stitch-along is all about, you can find all the details here. But, in a nut shell, you stitch and finish one small design every month (you decide how small is small), and head over here on the last Thursday of the month to share a link to your blog post about your finish.

Byzantium Ornament 2, designed by Teresa Wentzler

Byzantium Ornament 2, designed by Teresa Wentzler

This month I finished up yet another one of Teresa Wentzler’s Byzantium Ornaments (also known as Christmas Ornaments or Stain Glass Ornaments). For those keeping track, this is ornament #2 on the charts. Like the others, it is just covered in beads. Normally, beading is not my favourite thing, but I love how they add so much glamour to these ornaments.

Now it is your turn. What did you stitch this month? As always, I can’t wait to see. I get so much joy and inspiration from looking at all your finishes. Head on down near the bottom of this post and add your link using the little form. Be sure to link to your check-in post, not to the front page of you blog. (You should use the post’s permalink.) The link list will remain open to new entries until midnight Eastern time on April 7th, 2016.

While you are here, please take some time to visit some of the other participants and leave comments. I promise that you will see some amazing finishes, and you may even discover a great new blog or two.

Next Month’s Check-In: April’s check-in will take place on Thursday, April 28th. Just think, by then you will have at least four finishes done! That’s pretty amazing.

Happy stitching!

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

Organizing Cross Stitch and Other Needlework Projects

With the weather here in the northern hemisphere starting to warm up, thoughts are beginning to turn to spring cleaning and organization. I’ve been reading my way through a whole stack of decluttering books preparing myself for the tidying blitz that I’m just about to dive into.

Bags, bags and more bags!

Bags, bags and more bags!

While I’m waiting to get started on the big jobs, I decided to find some smaller jobs I could tackle to help me build some momentum. And, I figured that my workbasket would be a great place to start. It sits on the floor, under an end table, next to my stitching spot and holds all the projects I am trying to focus on. There are always more projects in there then there probably should be, but variety and choice make life more interesting.

Ziptop bags work well because they are cheap and see-through.

Ziptop bags work well because they are cheap and see-through.

I use three different methods for organizing my current cross stitch and embroidery projects. Most of them are stored in a ziptop bag. It contains everything I need for the project: fabric, pattern and threads. The bags are never closed, because I want the project to be able to breathe. (This is especially important if you live somewhere humid. You don’t want mould growing on your project!) This is a very inexpensive solution, and the clear bags make it easy to see what they hold. One the down side, the bags are floppy, not very pretty, and everything can fall out of them.

Fabric bags are very pretty, but it is easy to forget what is inside.

Fabric bags are very pretty, but it is easy to forget what is inside.

Method two is storing projects in pretty fabric pouches. My go to pattern is a modified version of Lazy Girl Designs’ Perfect Pouches, a pattern so simple anyone with basic sewing knowledge could make it. (This is a very good thing.) These have the advantage of being pretty, easy to close, and you can make them in any size you need. I have large ones for big projects, and smaller ones for ornament-sized pieces. Unfortunately, because they are opaque, it is difficult to know what is inside of them. If you are clever and a bit better organized than I am, it would be easy to sew some up in fabrics that match what you are stitching. But, I don’t always think that far ahead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

These mesh bags are sturdy, but very expensive.

These mesh bags are sturdy, but very expensive.

My current favourite method is to use zippered mesh pouches. Expensive version of these have been available at my LNS for several years, but I’ve just recently discovered very inexpensive mesh pouches at my local dollar store. The LNS ones are very nice, and quite large, but the dollar store ones are less than a tenth the price and are more than big enough to hold a standard sized leaflet. They are both translucent enough to see the project inside, and they stack inside a basket or bag quite nicely.

These dollar store mesh bags are inexpensive and the perfect size.

These dollar store mesh bags are inexpensive and the perfect size.

I do occasionally do very large pieces, like canvaswork stretched out on bars. Instead of taking them apart and storing them in zipper pouches, I use clean white pillowcases. If there are a lot of threads for the project, I will either store them in a ziptop bag, or sort them into Floss-Away bags and keep them on a ring. I pop them, and the pattern, into the pillowcase, and everything is kept neat, clean, and together for next time.

How do you organize your current projects? I’d love to hear all about how you keep everything together and tidy. Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.

 

11 Comments | Posted in Canvaswork, Cross Stitch, Hand Embroidery, Organizing | Tagged ,

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Hello, blog hoppers! Welcome to the next stop on Jo’s Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop. Your letter is:

I

(Just for clarity, that is the letter “i”.)

My little finish is Tulips with Bunny from The Snowflower Diaries. (It is a free chart and available right here.) I stitched it on antique white 28ct lugana using silks from my odds and ends drawer.

Tulips with Bunny, designed by The Snowflower Diaries

Tulips with Bunny, designed by The Snowflower Diaries

Your next stop on the treasure hunt is:

Family Business

If you’d like to know more about the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hunt, please head over to Jo’s blog, Serendipitous Stitching.

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a lovely (and warm!) Easter weekend.

Victorian_Happy_Easter_Basket

Smalls SAL: Don’t forget about the upcoming March check-in for the super laid back Smalls SAL. It takes place next Thursday; March 31st. All the details are available here.

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

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

May you have all kinds of good luck this St. Patrick’s Day!

Lucky Day, designed by Mill Hill

Lucky Day, designed by Mill Hill

9 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged ,