Staying Afloat

Hello, Stitchy Friends!

I know things have been very quiet around here, and I am very sorry about that. Think of me like a swan–calm where you can see me, but paddling away furiously underneath. I’m working on several things for the blog, including a 14 day series that I hope to unveil before the end of April. In the meantime, keep stitching your smalls! The next Smalls SAL check-in takes place on Friday, March 31st.

Oh, before I forget: Happy St. Patrick’s Day! β˜˜οΈπŸ€

Lucky Day, designed by Mill Hill

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Stitching from My Stash

Hello, Stitchy Friends!

I think I mentioned earlier that I am taking part in the latest incarnation of Stitch From Stash. It is now organized through a Facebook group and headed by Stephanie Kyne. Each month’s check-in is a Facebook event page, and it is so much fun to scroll through the pictures of all the finished projects!

So far I’m doing pretty good. I’ve set my monthly budget at $25, and I’m keeping track of finishes to earn a little extra credit. I’ve calculated that I’ve spent $12.88 so far on stitching supplies this year (but please don’t ask about fabric or yarn or machine embroidery patterns…), and I’ve got $51.12 “banked”.

Along with my Smalls SAL finish for this month, I also stitched up a couple of other little designs. First is Butterfly, the little kit that Bucilla sent me. It is super cute and will make a great gift.

Butterfly, designed by Bucilla

It comes with fabric, floss, and the black plastic frame. I found both the fabric and floss to be of good quality, and the chart was clear and easy to stitch from. The finished design is lovely, but not quite the right shape for the frame, as you can see. The frame itself is okay, but it shows some marks on the front that aren’t very attractive.

My second finish is a cover kit from an old issue of The World of Cross Stitching magazine. I think it dates back to 2013, although I haven’t been working on it quite that long. πŸ˜‰

Country Diary Poppy, from The World of Cross Stitching magazine

The design doesn’t really seem to have a name, but it is associated with The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. The kit included all the supplies–fabric, floss, card with aperture, and envelope. Sorting the floss was a little confusing, but it looks so lovely with all those red shades.

I’m hoping to spend more time working on larger projects in March, but one never knows what the future will bring!

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

Smalls SAL – February 2017 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! It is check-in day again! February is such a short month, and it feels like almost no time has passed at all since the last check-in. In fact, I almost didn’t get my small done in time!

Before I share my small, I just wanted to update you on the link list situation. The company I was using for the link list has discontinued their yearly subscription and increased their monthly subscription price significantly, meaning my yearly cost for the link list was going to grow a lot. So, I am trying a similar link list product from a more cost effective source. It works pretty much the same way as the old one, but the form will look different. It is still secure (your email address will never be displayed or shared; it is just to help limit spammers and give me a way to contact you if there is a problem or you win the year-end draw). If you have any comments, concerns, or problems with the new link list, please email me. I’m always happy to help.

Now, on to my small!

Holiday Harmony Trumpet, designed by Mill Hill

I’ve finally finished up the Mill Hill Holiday Harmony series! I stitched the first one, the harp, some time in 2007 or 2008 (I can’t find it in my records nor do I seem to have a picture of it), and the other three during 2015 and 2016. And, finally, Trumpet is finished! Yay! It is stitched as per the chart using the materials in the kit. I can’t wait to hang them all together on my Christmas tree.

What have you stitched this month? I can’t wait to see! Head down to the bottom of this post and add your link to the new link list. It will remain open to new entries until about midnight on Friday, March 3rd at about midnight Eastern time. So, if you are like me and running a little behind this month, don’t worry! You’ve still got some time.

Please remember to use the permalink for your Smalls entry and to use a picture of your small as your thumbnail.

Please consider also posting your small to Instagram and/or Twitter using #smallssal2017.

Next Month

The next Smalls SAL check-in will take place on Friday, March 31st.

Thank you again, very much, for taking part in the Smalls SAL!



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15 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, Memes & Collabs | Tagged , , ,

WIP Wednesday – Quotes

Hello, stitchy friends! It has been a while since I posted on WIP (work-in-progress) Wednesday. I have been stitching, but not as much as I would like because my medial epicondylitis (aka golfer’s elbow) has been flaring up quite badly. I’ve found some great exercise videos on YouTube though, and I am on the mend again. (I would go to a physio place, but there isn’t one near us…)

Quotes to Live By, designed by Emma Congdon of Stitchrovia (WIP)

Anyway, on to the stitching! I’ve been working almost exclusively on Quotes to Live By from Stitchrovia. It is a nine-month long SAL, and the proceeds are being donated to mind, a UK mental health charity. You can find the pattern for the first part right here.

Close-Up of a portion of part 1 of Quotes to Live By, designed by Emma Congdon of Stitchrovia (WIP)

I’m stitching it as per the pattern using DMC floss and white lugana. I was going to wait until I had progressed further before doing the border just to make sure everything lines up, but I decided to be brave. πŸ˜‰

Smalls SAL

Hey, did you know that Friday is Smalls SAL check-in day? February is a short month, so check-in day is a little bit earlier than usual. Don’t worry if you aren’t ready yet–the link list will stay open for more than a week.

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7 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

Happy 150th, Bucilla!

Did you know that Bucilla is turning 150? (Hey, they’ve been around as long as Canada has been a country! How about that?) I’ve made lots of Bucilla kits over the years, like felt stockings, bookmarks, pictures, and more.

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The gallery above contains pictures of just a few of the Bucilla items I’ve made over the years. (I apologize for the potato quality of some of them; some of the pictures are rather old.) And I have lots more Bucilla projects to make! In fact, Bucilla was kind enough to send me two new projects to work on.

Sunny and Butterfly kits from Bucilla

The first is Sunny, a large fully stitched piece featuring a sunflower and bird, and the other is a little kit called Butterfly that includes its own frame. I’m looking forward to working on both of them, and I will be doing a review on them shortly.

I’m also looking forward to trying out some of Bucilla’s newer products, like their String Creations blanks. And I have always, always, wanted to do one of their table cloths. One day! And do you remember the Knit Wit? That was Bucilla too!

Thanks again to Bucilla for all the wonderful projects I’ve stitched over the years, and also for providing me with these two new projects! Happy 150th birthday!

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6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch | Tagged , ,

Broken Needles

Today Hari Kuyo, the Festival of Broken Needles, in the Kanto region of Japan. Women take time on this day to visit shrines and temples to give thanks to their needles for their year’s worth of service and also to pray for a defter hand in the coming year.

A Broken Needle ceremony at Awashima Shrine. (Image courtesy θ±Šη€¬ζΊδΈ€ via Wikimedia)

Women dress in their kimonos and take their needles and pins to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple to be carefully placed in a soft block of tofu. The needles have worked hard and they deserve to rest in a soft, gentle surface as thanks for all work and burdens they have carried. It is believed that the needles absorb the cares and sorrows of the needlewoman as she works, so they have more than earned their rest.

Hari Kuyo is a way to honour one of those small tools that we use every day but don’t really think about it. Needles may be an inanimate object, but they do bring so much pleasure to the lives of those of us who are lucky enough to stitch and sew for enjoyment. And, if your livelihood is made via your needles, they are even more important. So, if you have a chance, say thank you to your needles today.

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11 Comments | Posted in The Outside World |

Fluffy Meringue

Caron Cakes, a new-ish yarn from Yarnspirations, was created last year in celebration of Caron’s 100th anniversary. It is a beautiful self-stripping yarn (20% wool/80% acrylic) that was meant to be available exclusively at Michaels for only a short time. But, people fell in love with it (me included!), and new colours were released this spring.

Caron Cakes in Funfetti (top) and Rainbow Sprinkle (bottom)

The Crochet Crowd is a big booster of Yarnspirations yarns, and they have been sharing tons of projects made using Caron Cakes. Now, I have trouble with wool, even with as small amount as 20%. My nose runs, my throat itches, and in some cases I have a lot of trouble breathing. But, when I saw the Fluffy Meringue Shawl crocheted in the Bumbleberry colourway, I knew I had to make one of my own.

Fluffy Meringue Shawl, designed by Laura Jean Bartholomew (unblocked)

The Fluffy Meringue Shawl was designed by Laura Jean Bartholomew of the Crochet Crowd. She based it on the Yarnspirations Fluffy Meringue baby blanket. The pattern is free and there is even a nice long tutorial on the Crochet Crowd website.

Working with the yarn wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be, but it probably helps that I was completely stuffed up with a cold for most of it! The pattern work up very quickly, and I love the final product. I did the larger version, using almost two full balls of Caron Cakes. Unblocked, the shawl as about a 152cm wing span and is about 76cm long along the spin. It is huge! And I adore it!

I’m not sure what I am going to do with my other three balls of Caron Cakes. But, I’ve got time; I just need to wait until I get another cold. πŸ˜‰

 

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9 Comments | Posted in Crochet | Tagged ,