WIP Wednesday – Do My Wings Look Weird? and Wristwarmers!

Hello, Stitchy Friends! I’m back for another WIP (work-in-progress) Wednesday. I’ve got two projects to share today. First, the stitching.

Halloween Fairy, designed by Mirabila (WIP)

I’m very nearly finished with Halloween Fairy from Mirabilia. But, my problem with the wings continues. As you may remember, I ran out of the colour for the wings, Crescent Colours Dandelion Stem. I just can’t seem to match the colour of the already completed wing. So, tell me, can you see a big difference between the two wings?

Once I decide what to do about the wings (and, sadly, ripping out the first one and restitching it to match the second one done in the new dyelot is an option because I have enough of that left), I can move on to finishing up the backstitching, beading, and then framing. Yay!

Project number 2 is knitting. I’m making Snowfall Wristwarmers, a pattern from LoveKnitting.com (available here).

Snowfall Wristwarmers from Loveknitting.com (WIP)

I’m using Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran in colourway Dusty Lilac. I know, it sure doesn’t look like it. What can I say, I’m known for my terrible pictures.

The yarn is knitting up really well. Normally soft, springy acrylic is splitty, but I’m not finding the Paintbox Aran to be that way at all. I am easily able to knit the cables sans cable needle on wooden needles. And, the yarn is plumping out nicely but still allowing the cables to pop. I haven’t washed it yet though, so I will reserve final judgement until I do.

This yarn was provided to me by Loveknitting.com for review purposes. All opinions are my own, as is my choice of pattern. And my terrible picture.

Smalls SAL

Don’t forget: the next Smalls SAL check-in takes place this Friday. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on.

6 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting | Tagged , , , , , ,

Review – LoveKnitting.com

I am always so delighted to discover a new online knitting shop, and I’m even more delighted when it actually goes out of its way to make my life easier. LoveKnitting.com is more than an online shop stocked with 100s of different types of yarns and more tools than you’ll ever need, it is also a pattern library, a place to record projects, and a vibrant online community.

Note: This post is sponsored by LoveKnitting.com but all content and opinions are my own. And be sure to keep reading for a discount code.

LoveKnitting.com landing page. Look! A sale!

LoveKnitting.com, and its sister site LoveCrochet.com, are at heart an extremely well-stocked yarn shop. They carry yarn brands from around the word, ranging from Bernat to Wool and the Gang and just about everything in between. (I even found some of my favourite, now discontinued, sock yarn and you bet I stocked up on it!) LoveKnitting also has a couple of house brands, like Main Street Yarns, which features some of the lovest acyrlic yarn I’ve ever used, and Paint Box Yarns, who’s focus is amazing colours in a range of weights and fibres. I’ve got my hands on a few different brands and I’ll be posting about them in the coming weeks. (Check my Instagram for some sneak peeks!)

So many tools!

LoveKniting also carries HiyaHiya and KnitPro needles, bags, stitch markers, etc. Looking for some Denise interchangable hooks or some Addi Sock Wonder needles? They’ve got ’em.

Some of my collections. I’m just getting started!

The coolest thing about LoveKnitting/LoveCrochet is the profile and collections capability. Sign up for an account and then setup your profile. Now you can save anything you see on the site into a collection. I’m collecting together patterns, tools, and yarns as a way to help me remember what I’d want to make, or just what I love and wish I could make!

You can even follow other LoveKnitting members and designers, so you can keep any eye on their latest collections or projects.

Adding yarn to one of my projects.

Projects, I say? I do! LoveKnitting has a great system for allowing you to enter projects, complete with yarns, patterns, tools used, notes, etc. The system is very robust and connects with LoveKnitting’s huge database of yarns and patterns.

Patterns for days!

Speaking of patterns, LoveKnitting/LoveCrochet has a huge database of patterns, both paid and free. You can use filters to look for exactly what you want to make next, then click through and buy the yarn, needles, and other tools all on one site. Super convenient!

If you’d like to give LoveKnitting a try (and I hope you do), they are offering my readers a discount code. Just enter WELCOME15 to get 15% off your first order on all regular priced yarn. (And be sure to let me know what you order!)

Also, be sure to look for me and give my profile a follow. I’ll follow back. 😉

6 Comments | Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Reviews | Tagged , ,

A Different Type of Embroidery

If you follow me on Instragram (@stitchinglotus), then you’ve probably seen a few pictures of my embroidery machine at work. I’ll be perfectly honest, years ago I thought people who used an embroidery machine were “cheating”, but now I totally understand how useful they are. Hand embroidery and cross stitch are one thing, and machine embroidery is a completely different animal.

I’ve recently upgraded from my first machine, a Brother LB6810, which was capable of only stitching designs up to 100mm x 100mm, to a Singer Legacy SE300 that can handle designs of 260mm x 150mm. Both are single needle machines–one day I’ll upgrade to a multi-needle machine, but for now they are a bit out of my price range.

I’m still getting to know my new machine, but last month I stitched out some Easter egg ornaments for a children’s cancer ward in the UK. They are simple but super cute designs from Nonnie Noo Creations, and they were just the right project to get me used to my machine.

Easter Eggs from Nonnie Noo Creations

There is some bobbin thread showing in a few places, and a few little snarls on the backsides (covered by the backing), but overall I think I did pretty good given that my Singer acts a lot differently than my Brother. This project also gave me the courage to try a few other things.

How about this…

Sugar Skull, designed by DisorderlyThreads

It is a fully lined sugar skull bag, measuring about 6″ by 8.5″. I love it! The design is from DisorderlyThreads. Her instructions are great, and the design stitched out so well. There are a few changes I’ll make the next time, mainly with regards to colour choices (you can see some colour shadowing through because my fabric is thin and I probably should have used a different thread colour). Otherwise, I could not be happier. I will definitely be buying more projects from her. Like maybe this one as a gift for my SIL (who runs her own very successful lingerie company) or this one… for me. 😉

Shabby Chic Pin Cushion and Scissor Case, designed by Embroidery Library

I also made this lovely pin cushion and scissor case set using files from Embroidery Library. (Available here and here.) Luckily I had the perfect linen fabric in my sewing stash.

I love working on in-the-hoop designs. It almost feels like magic! I put a piece of fabric (or two, or three) in the machine, add some thread, and a little while later I end up with a finished project. I can’t wait to make more things!

Do you machine embroider? If so, I’d love to hear all about it. What machine do you have? Where is your fav place to get designs? Let me know!

9 Comments | Posted in Machine Embroidery | Tagged , ,

WIP Wednesday – Two Types of Socks

Hello, Stitchy Friends! It’s time for another Wednesday update. Right now we are in the middle of March Break, which means I need to fight my son for computer access… to play games. (Most of my blogging I do on my laptop, but Final Fantasy must be played on the desktop.) We are having a great time, though, sleeping in, building Lego, and hunkering down and hiding from the wind and snow.

Candy Cane Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

The cold, snowy weather has put me in the perfect frame of mind to work on the Christmas stocking. Progress is slow, but at least it is progress.

Meandering Socks from Knit Picks

I’ve also picked up these socks again. They are Meandering Socks from Knit Picks’ book Artful Arches. I knit up the first one way back in the summer (!) without any problems at all, but I’ll be darned if I can get the heel to work this time. I just keep losing count no matter how carefully I keep track. (Maybe I shouldn’t be watching Drag Race at the same time…) The yarn is one of my new favourites, Lana Grossa Meilenweit Solo Cotone Print in colourway 4002. It is a lovely cotton/polyester blend with a nice bit of stretch to it. It knits up like a dream, but only if the knitter can keep count! 😉

More tomorrow, I promise.

5 Comments | Posted in Cross Stitch, Knitting | Tagged , , , ,

WIP Wednesday – Yes, I still do stitch

My goodness, it has been ages and ages since I posted a WIP Wednesday update. To be totally honest, I’m stitching a little less now because if my darn elbow. It just doesn’t seem to want to get better, so need to take things easy. I plan to stitch until my dying day, but I’ll have to pace myself a little bit to make sure I can!

Right now I’m stitching away on two projects. The first is Halloween Fairy from Mirabilia, one of the limited edition Fairy Holiday Collection kits that was released several years back. I’ve borrowed the chart from a friend since (to be totally honest) I was too cheap to buy the kits when they first came out. Now I regret it, but what is done (or not done) is done.

Halloween Fairy, from Mirabilia (WIP)

She is, sadly, missing half her wing because I ran out of thread. Thanks to a very nice lady on the Canada trade group on Facebook, a new skein is on the way. Yay!

Candy Cane Stocking, from Dimensions (WIP)

I’m also working away on one more stocking, Candy Cane Santa Stocking from Dimensions. I’ll be honest, it isn’t getting as much attention as it should be because at this point I am pretty much over stockings. I know, I know. Push through and get ‘er done, right?

What else have I been up to? I’ll share some more in a day or two.

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

Smalls SAL – February 2018 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitchers! I don’t know about you, but I sure am ready to see the end of this winter. January felt like it was actually five months long, and now February can’t decide if it wants to cover us in snow or drown us in rain. Bring on the warm and sunny weather!

Regardless of what month it is, or what the weather is doing outside, it almost always the perfect weather for stitching. Like many of you, I stitch for all sorts of holidays throughout the year. My focus piece right now is for Halloween, and my small this month was another Christmas ornament.

Christmas Trees, designed by Kathrin Ellison of Gitta’s

Just like last month, I’ve stitched another little chart from Kathrin Ellison of Gitta’s, a lovely needlework store located in Mississauga (one of the cities next to Toronto; they all kind of run together around here). It is stitched on super cute polka-dot fabric using Anchor threads (not my favourite) and Rainbow Gallery Treasure Braid. Like last month, I meant to finish it into an ornament, but somehow it is already the last Friday of February. I always forget how fast February goes by!

What did you stitch this month? A Valentine for your sweetie? Something for Easter, Halloween, or Christmas? A dragon, a bird, or maybe some cheerful flowers? Head down towards the end of this post to leave a link to your finish for this month. Please be sure to use the permalink for your blog post. Also, please remember to use a picture of your small as your thumbnail.

The link list will remain open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on Friday, March 2nd.

Next Month

The next check-in will take place on Friday, March 30, 2018.

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

Birthday Cricutting

My little man celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and what is a crafty mom to do but craft? This year we kept the celebration small (he chose a extra special big gift over a birthday party with friends), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t decorate.

I used my Cricut to made a big paper balloon using regular and glitter card stock in my son’s favourite colours. And, I also created the card, matching the theme of his big gift, using my Cricut. I love that I can make things that are so personalized. A bit of glue, some paper, and I have something extra special.

Birthday Card and Balloon

The balloon comes from Thoughts & Phrases – Good Times Cricut cartridge (available through Cricut Access) and the card comes from Classically Modern Cards Cricut cartridge. I mainly used Reflections paper from Michaels.

And, since the Cricut was out, I decided to make him a couple of shirts as well.

Spaceman shirt

This awesome Spaceman helmet was a freebie from LoveSVG.com. I used silver Cricut iron-on foil and applied it using my Cricut EasyPress. The shirt is from Old Navy (so cheap! but also pretty good quality for what you pay).

Just Five More Minutes

This shirt is a combination of two files from LoveSVG.com–Game Zone and Just Five More Minutes. I just loaded both files into Cricut Design Space and manipulated them until I got something I liked. I used HTV from iImagine Vinyl (bought on eBay) and glitter vinyl I bought on AliExpress. And, again, the shirt is from Old Navy.

I love the whole new worlds of papercrafting and clothing decoration that my Cricut is opening up for me. One day, maybe, I want to upgrade to the Cricut Maker so I can add a bit of Cricutting to my sewing too.

5 Comments | Posted in Cricut, Papercrafts | Tagged , , ,