Monday, January 31, 2005

Framing the first time

I've done it - my first attempt at framing. Unfortunately this didn't get finished in time for DS stocking but he's thrilled with it all the same.

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The frame came from Heritage Stitchcraft and is sold specifically for the Squircles range. I found some instructions in a magazine for lacing and spent a happy hour pinning and lacing whilst DS made a birthday card for my SIL - a lovely crafy time. Quick question - do you leave the pins in after you have laced?

Well thanks to Carol (my first comment - thank you) and a good kindly Moose I took the plunge and on Saturday the horrible fabric came off the frame and was replaced with a lovely piece of vintage belfast. The difference was amazing.

I stitched on the Chatelaine Mystery Sampler 1 Saturday evening and almost all of yesterday. I've not only caught up with where I was but have done loads more. I didn't have to do any frogging and it looks really nice.

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I am so pleased that I took the plunge 'cos now I'm really enjoying stitching it whereas it was a bit of a chore before. So an important lesson learnt - isn't the online community just great.


Friday, January 28, 2005

Decision made - perhaps

Some new fabric arrived yesterday for Mystery Sampler 1. It's a nice belfast linen with a lovely feel to it. I chose one that had a varigated effect - it's described as 'vintage' the effect is a little uniform but when its got stitches on parts of it that probably wont be noticeable.

DH was shocked that I was going to start again which made me question my decision. However, thanks to the comments of a good ole moose on the Chatelaine Ezboard I feel a little more confident and will do the deed over the weekend.

Tomorrow sees the return of indoor cricket practice for DS so my travel project will see some serious input on a regular basis. Made my first none stitiching related impulse buy in ages yesterday - an ipod mini. However, it isn't entirely unrelated to stitching as I'll be able to listen while DH watches hours of Sci Fi and I stitch. It will also be invaluable during the cricket practice stitching!!!


Thursday, January 27, 2005

I've started so I'll finish


I start with new thread in one of two ways-

Loop method - when using an even number of threads I take a long strand double it over and thread the two loose ends. This leaves a loop at one end. Come up through the fabric from underneath go back down in the appropriate hole and thread the needle through the loop on the underside. A nice neat secure start.

Pinhead start - if I'm using an uneven number of threads, if the threads have already been used and cut or if I'm using varigated threads I will do a pinhead start. I read about this on one of the Ezboards (can't remember which one) and just love it.

It works best on linen because you need 9 holes.

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9

Come up from underneath through hole six - make sure you keep hold of a wee bit of thread underneath.

Go back down through hole five.

Go back up through hole four - remember to hold that wee bit of thread tightly.

Go back down hole five.

Start your cross stitch by coming up through hole 7.

When the cross is made the small pinhead start will be covered and you will have a secure and neat start. Although it sounds fiddly I've become quite speedy at it. In fact because I don't have to flip the frame I can probably do it quicker than a loop start.


I'm not as happy with how I finish stitches. Where possible I thread under a few stitches on the reverse side do it again and then snip close to the base.

I believe it is possible to do a pinhead finsh - I need to research this a bit more 'cos I'm not sure how that would work. Surely you'll see the finish on top of the cross - unless of course you move the cross out of the way and will that effect the tension of the stitch.

Time for a bit of practice I think.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fabric Disaster?

I was thwarted in my stitching last evening and only managed to put in 1 1/2 hours on Mystery Sampler 1.

Mystery Sampler 1 is a Chatelaine design by Martina Weber and will be released in monthly installments over six months. It is on 32 count linen and stitched using Olde Willow Stitchery Threads, The Thread Gatherer Silk 'n colors, Rainbow Gallery Peitite Treasure Briad. Delica Beads and a hard to find Mill Hill Treasure enhance this sure to be beautiful design.

I am still working on the first colour in the outer border which was the first installment at the begining of January.

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Lower right corner.

I know this is hard to see but it's not the photograph it is the fabric. I'm really not happy with the fabric I have chosen. I couldn't not get the fabric specified as it appears to have been discontinued. I think the colour is too dark and the finish on the linen is very stiff - it's not at all pleasant to work with. At this stage I have probably only done about five hours on it so the question is do I stop now and order some other fabric or do I soldier on?

This part of the border should be really simple to stitch and should not be causing me any difficulties but you would not believe how many times I have had to frog.

I think I shall do some browsing on Silkweaver website and see if I can be tempted to restart the piece before I get any further.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

And many more, a needlecase - Just Nan. Posted by Hello

And Many More.... A Needlebook

Last night I managed about two hours stitching on this needlebook. I finished the picket fence and began some of the flowers and leaves that intertwine around it - oh yes and part of the bird house too.

It doesn't look much for a couple of hours but there were lots of stitches that I decided to start and finish rather than carry over a distance - fiddly but worth it.

This needlebook is designed by Just Nan as an anniversary exclusive for the Silver Needle which is just about my favourite ONS. I spend many a happy hour web shopping and wishing I could visit in person.

The needlebook is stitched on 28ct linen in 20 shades of Splendor Silk and a hand-dyed Silk 'n Colors by The Thread Gatherer. I chose it because I loved the design and like to use nice things on a daily basis also I don't have a needlebook at the moment so it will be nice to pop one in my project bag.

It's supposed to be my 'out and about' project but I just love stitiching it and I didn't feel like backstitiching on the Mermaid Treasure box or working on the horrible fabric that I've got for Mystery Sampler I.

The finishing will be a challenge but I'm not thinking about that until I've done all the stitching.

Whoops somebody left it on the hoop for a couple of nights. Should be OK because the finishing means I'll only use/see the actual stitched bit. I'm thinking of getting some q-snaps. I've asked a lot of questions and read a lot of good things about them so I may give them a go. Will have to get them from States though as I can't seem to find a supplier in the UK - what a suprise!!!!


Monday, January 24, 2005

After several months of total addiction to blogs I thought I would see if it was something I could create and maintain myself.

I am a completley obsessed cross stitcher who is particularly fond of the designs of Martina Weber - Chatalaine Designs.

My current WIPs include - Mermaid Treasure Box by Martina Weber, Mystery Sampler 1 by Martina Weber and Twenty Flowers Needlecase by Just Nan.

Waiting in the sidelines I have Apline Seasons by Martina Weber which is an online class due to start March 1st 2005 and Mystic Meadows a design by Martina Weber for the Designing Ladies series by Judy O'Dell.

Like many other stitchers I also have a huge wish list and basket of kitted up projects that will get my attention one day.

Right time to post this and develop my blog.