Friday, 29 June 2007

A New Start!

Oh how I love a new start!

Last night, I started Spanish Wine, which I have been longing to start for ages, but was waiting for the linen to arrive - and it has! So last night I finally got all the threads together (I am using the DMC conversions with a couple of Au Ver a Soie silks) and put in my first rows of stitches. The first job is to stitch around the border - maybe not so riveting, but I'm definitely looking forward to working on this one. It's quite a large one, but it's separated out into several smaller bands, so should keep my interest :)

Here is how I fared last night, probably not the most interesting of progress photos LOL

Happy stitching and happy weekend everyone! It's bound to be a wet one here - it has been raining steadily for months it seems, and our thoughts are with those in the flood zones who have lost not only their property, but in some cases their lives.

Thursday, 28 June 2007


My lovely big parcel of stash arrived, but I didn't get around to taking any photos - maybe later in the week. It was mostly linen, which is fantastic as hand-dyed linen tends to be the hardest thing to come by over here in the UK - it can take months to get a particular one! (Maybe we are not alone in this?)

So after carefully packing away all my lovely new purchases, I got out my current small project - the assisi pincushion from June's The Gift of Stitching - I'm nearly done, just need to finish off the backstitching, and then of course the finish-finishing. How lucky that I've only just received a large quantity of cotton quilting fabric, as it turns out that one of them is a perfect match! Once I've got some coordinating thread at the weekend, I'll get busy finishing that and will post some photos.
Assisi Pincushion
32ct Stitches and Spice Antique Rose Linen
Dinky Dye #91 Jarrah
(apologies for the slightly blurry photo)

Tonight, Thursday, a new project - I'll probably post some photos tomorrow, although there might be little to show LOL
Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

O So Nearly There

I hurried home after work yesterday in anticipation of a parcel full of lovely stash, and of course it hasn't fit through the post box and tehre was a little collection card, so that particular pleasure will need to be deferred to this afternoon when I get home. Something to look forward to...

I got quite a bit done on Silver Needle last night - I've only a few rows left to finish this off, hurrah!

Hopefully some photos of some lovely stash for you all tomorrow!
Happy Stitching!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Wet Weekend

We spent this very wet weekend in Dublin, doing some shopping (me) and some working (H), and going to a 30th birthday party (both of us). We had a great time - it's always lovely to see H's parents and sisters - although I didn't have much time for stitching. I started a pincushion from the June issue of The Gift of Stitching, but didn't take any photos as there isn't really much to see. It looks as if H's bid to move us back to Dublin may well come off as he had a very successful day with the company that seems to be interested in hiring him, and I think we are now waiting for them to start to talk figures, so it's possible that we could make a decision by the end of next month. Things happen fast sometimes!

There was a lovely package waiting for me on our return - Quilter's Cloth is a wonderful online fabric shop based IRL in Cambridge, and they have an amazing range of fabrics. And so quick - the package arrived only a day after I'd placed the order! There isn't really much in the way of nifty fabric shops near me, so I've stocked up on fabrics that I can use for finishing. Now all I need is a sewing machine LOL.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

A Green Squiggle

Normally Wednesday is for small projects, but this week I've swapped it with Love is Patient because we're off to Dublin for a 30th birthday party for one of H's best friends. A small project I can bring with me without too much trouble, but this one is a bit big for the plane and to pack up just for the weekend. So I continued on the border and the heart shape, and introduced a new colour - 'Spinach' - in a squiggle on the right which will evolve into the stem of a flower eventually.

So with the trip, I won't be updating until next week when we get back, and hopefully with a bit more clarity on our proposed move to Dublin...

Happy weekend and happy stitching!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Abbreviated Sentence

Tuesday is Silver Needle, but Tuesday was also a summer hockey game this week, so I didn't have much time to spend on stitching. Instead, I spent 90 minutes running about quite red-faced in the evening, wondering just where all my fitness and stick skills have gone in the 3 months since the season ended! So I am vowing to eat a bit healthier and exercise a bit more in anticipation of next season. That will give me about 3 weeks of telling myself I will begin tomorrow, and then hopefully about 6 weeks of actual effort LOL :)

What little time I did have was spent in completing the 'shadow stitch' row (the pink row near the bottom) and then beginning the 3rd of 4 verse rows - it's not quite complete, missing 'neat' plus a flourish.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Pipeline and Some Fireweed

Last night I managed to stitch the entire Alaskan Pipeline as well as a row of fireweed plants. I started with the blanket toss, but bedtime came before the it really got going. One of the many bothersome things about commuting fairly long distances - you need your sleep!

DH got a call last night about this possible new job in Dublin that he's been approached about, so I suppose we might meet some important people at the weekend when we are over in Dublin for a 30th birthday party. Time will tell what's going to happen...
Happy stitching!

Monday, 18 June 2007

More Rain, More Stitching

The weather is proving to be quite unseasonably changeable, although I suppose with Wimbledon now upon us, the showers are to be expected. So with a partly gloomy, partly sunny weekend in prospect, we didn't make too many plans and mostly did household chores and shopping for the weekend. Such is life, these things always need to be done!
Friday night I worked on Love Is Patient, and have managed to get a large portion of the border done. No more words, but lots more border and further outline of the heart.

Also, on Friday night - yess! - more stash arrived on my doorstep. This time from Wye Needlework - the 3 Shepherd's Bush charts - and from Lekker Threads and the very nice Tina, the linen - 36ct Lakeside Linen in Bittersweet (the pinker one) and Strawflower (the creamier one).

This was immediately followed on Saturday morning (isn't Saturday morning delivery a great old thing? And unfortunately they are thinking of taking it away...) - the wonderful Karen from Millennia Designs sent through some beautiful threads, and a package from Naomi at Stitches and Spice in Australia arrived containing the fabrics for this month's Gift of Stitching antique pincushions - the fabric is Antique Rose and Hannah's Rose (the darker). Both are absolutely gorgeous.

My Saturday stitching was on Paradigm Lost. I'm finding this difficult to photograph effectively, and the variegation of the thread doesn't really show up. So here is what the thread should look like (courtesy of Crescent Colours):

Anyway, here is my progress thus NEARLY done the whole alphabet!

On Saturday afternoon, we were going to walk up to a plant sale being held at the local manor house - but it started raining again, so we drove. There are definitely some things I do love about England, such as driving half a mile out of the village and finding yourself here:

We came away with a single canna, which I'll pot on this afternoon.

Sunday was a great day, because I finished my very first biscornu!! Here it is in all it's glory:

Biscornu - freebie design here from Better Homes and Gardens
Stitched on 28ct Permin/Wichelt in Lambswool
Fibers: Needle Necessities Island Butterfly (#1343)

We spent the afternoon on the sofa, half watching the England/West Indies cricket test, half watching the F1 race from Indianapolis, and I was also half paying attention to stitching on Silver Needle - luckily no harm done from the lack of total concentration.

And phew, that's about it. I really must remember to bring my camera lead home so that I can try and blog over the weekend, otherwise my Monday posts end up being VERY LONG!

Happy stitching!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Their Song is Finished!

Still all abuzz about my stash booty, I whizzed home after work and picked up Their Song straight away. I knew if I had a few hours on it, it would be all done - and so it proved! I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out, and only missed my goal of completing it before the next Loose Feathers came out by one day - that's not too bad!

Now I need somethign to fill up my Thursdays... I'm going to wait for a few days and see if my hunch about my parcel from Wyndham Needlework comes true, as it should contain a whole lot of linen, and will provide me with a wider choice of new starts. Watch this space!

I carried on with putting together my biscornu once I'd finished with Their Song - I've sewed up 6 sides now and am preparing to stuff. I'll probably go back to this at the weekend to finish it off, so possibly photos then. I have yet to work out whether my camera will download to H's laptop, so given that the weather forecast for Saturday looks like this:
...I may well get an opportunity to test it out at the weekend! Happy stitching and have a lovely weekend everyone!

Thursday, 14 June 2007


Oh, it was a WONDERFUL evening when I got home from work last night, as there was a plethora of beautiful padded envelopes waiting for me on the doormat! I even took a moment to record my happiness in song (to Jingle Bells):

stash, stash, stash
stash, stash, stash
how i love the post
full of all the things i love
in a big padded envelope - HEY!

Okay, enough foolishness :) Here is what came:

From the lovely Kate at Thread Bear: Loose Feathers #25 - Awake the Dawning Day, plus 28ct R&R Iced Cappucino fabric for same. Also Little House Needleworks - Home of a Needleworker.

Then, from the wonderful Janice at Traditional Stitches, my monthly SEP (Stash Enhancement Programme) pack, which this month included a skein of Gloriana Petit Princess (similar to perle, only in silk), some 28ct Cashel linen in Golden Sand - which is going to be perfect for all the small projects that are scudding around in my brain - a couple of freebie charts, and a beaded chatelaine, which has currently been attached to my stitching drawer.

AND THEN! Also from Janice, half of the big order that I put in just after we got paid our annual bonus (credit card abuse? never!), which included several skeins of Au Ver a Soie and one of WDW Louisiana Hot Sauce, a cut of Glenshee Cottonfields for Celtic Banner, and the three remaining charts from Examplar Dames - the limited edition Quaker series - Humility, Peace and Faith (Prosperity came last month, and it was so beautiful, I couldn't resist ordering the other 3 in the set).

Phew! It was all very exciting. So by the time I'd unpacked, admired, forced H to admire, and put everything away, there wasn't much stitching time last night. I dedicated what there was to finishing off my inaugural biscornu. Or, working towards finishing it off. After a false start and a bit of ripping (I realised that I really needed to start the backstitching an even number of threads away from the stitching, rather than an uneven number, so that the corners worked out properly and there was a proper 'middle' to the design), I merrily backstitched my way around and began to put the whole thing together - I've finished about 3 sides out of 8, and here is my progress thus far - hopefully to be finished off in style on Sunday.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Camera Safely Returned

My camera is safely back in my hands, and thus I can update you on stitching progress from Tuesday night, although there isn't truly much to show you! Silver Needle is progressing slowly at the moment - this band (about midway through the design) is a bit time-consuming, so I've already spent a couple of sessions on it and still am only partly done it. I may use my Sunday catch up session this week to press on...

And here is Monday's progress on Northern Lights - the band beneath the eagles is a 'design using colours common in Inuit art', and uses Thread Gatherer Silk 'n' Colours Granite, which is perfect for this and runs the gamut of smoky dark colours from gold to purple to green to navy. Sorry for the poor photo - I may have my camera back, but that doesn't mean I've worked out the best way to use it!
And - on a happy stash note! - the lovely Kate from Thread Bear sent me an email to let me know that the next Loose Feathers chart is in the post along with fabric, and Little House Needleworks' 'Home of a Needleworker' which I'm looking forward to receiving! And I have a sneaky feeling that an order which I put in with Wyndham Needleworks over a month ago is finally being shipped - hurrah! (May I just point out, no fault of theirs, as I had ordered a few things that ended up on back order, thus the long wait.)
Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Busy Week!

It's been a hectic few days, but here I am to update you on my progress over the weekend.

Friday is Love is Patient, and I have managed to stitch the first few words on this design, as well as put a significant(ish) dent into the heart shape around all the words. This is tricky stitching, my first attempt at 36ct linen, and this design entails very careful counting. I stitch a short row, whip out my highlighter, mark off the stitches on my blown-up image of the design (the original was printed so small that it gave me a headache before I even started), and then pick up the needle again. I find myself squinting a lot. Attractive, I'm sure. But it's worth it because the threads in this design are so gorgeous (Crescent Colours in beautiful rich tones), and of course the verse is part of a reading that we had at our wedding.

Then on Saturday, the grey and dreary weather persisted so we didn't get up to much bar our weekly trek to Sainsbury's. (During which trip we discovered pear cider! It isn't quite like BC pear cider, and in fact it tastes a little more like syrup than pears. But nothing ventured nothing gained I suppose.) On our return, I renewed my efforts on Paradigm Lost, and nearly - o so nearly - finished the first row of the alphabet, all the way to starting the 'T', leaving me only that and the 'U' and a flower motif before going to the next 'row'. This is a really enjoyable project, but it's slow going. (This is a theme that I'm noticing about all my stitching projects. I am resigned to being slow. Unfortunately the list of projects that I'd like to stitch is careering somewhat out of control...)

So Sunday, we had grand plans to go out and challenge the golf course again, but somehow the drizzle wasn't encouraging, and it was so yes, we pottered around the house again. Weekends are for relaxing right? I think we'll have to push ourselves out the door a bit more though, much as I love curling up on the couch with the remote and my stitching. In the morning I finished off the last few stitches on the biscornu I'm doing (again, slowly!), which means that come Wednesday I'll be doing the 'finish finishing', which I'm quite looking forward to, my first ever biscornu.

Sunday night, I decided to press on with Their Song, as I am so nearing a finish. I've decided to do only a 6-day rotation so that I either can catch up with missed stitching at the weekend, or really go for it on something that I'm nearly done. I'd run out of WDW Moss for this design, and my order hadn't arrived yet, so I concentrated on all the others colours, and now I'm left with only (lots of) Moss stitches and a few Havana (brown) stitches. I'm feeling quite proud of this project - I'm definitely looking forward to the next Loose Feathers design.

And that was it really for the weekend. Little sun, little exercise, lots of stitching, lots of films watched. A nice dinner with some friends on Saturday night. Can't complain I suppose.
Last night (Monday) I carried on with Northern Lights, finishing the backstitching on the eagle and completing the next row, which was all satin stitches in 'Inuit colours' rather than being anything tangibly representatitve of the North. The next band is the Alaskan Pipeline - looks like a quick one as it's simply long and skinny :) I've lent my camera to a friend so she can take photos of her car to put on eBay (long story), so hopefully will have photos of this for tomorrow.
Happy stitching!

Friday, 8 June 2007

An Upside-down Tulip. Or a Red Snowdrop?

Actually I'm not really sure what type of flower this is on the lower left-hand side of Their Song, any suggestions? Maybe it's a bleeding heart, anyway, it's lovely as is the rest of this design, which I am getting very nearly done! I am running out of WDW Moss though, so I've ordered another skein and hopefully it will arrive before I continue on this next week.

I went a bit stash-crazy today - I ordered threads and fabric for a couple of projects in the latest Gift of Stitching (and wasn't that an amazing issue???) - for Double Dutch and for the pincushions. I also ordered a bit of ribbon and some charms for a couple of charts I unearthed from my stash and am thinking of starting. Now just to wait until it all arrives in!

A very short post for those of you strapped for time :) Happy stitching!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Cotton Pickin' Bunny

Monday night I was back to Northern Lights, and after looking at it critically, I decided that 2 strands of Wisper thread were not in fact what was required, so I frogged the bunny (it sounds like animal abuse!) and started over with a single strand - the design didn't specify, and I hadn't used the fibre before so I wasn't too sure. But now it looks much better. I'll have to find an old toothbrush or similar to really fuzz it up, but so far so good. I finished most of the 2nd eagle on this band as well.

Last night I spent doing more unpicking - this biscornu went fine on the first side, but the second side has been tedious, probably due to my short attention span, and the implications of stitching the same design all over again. I've nearly frogged as much as I've stitched! But finally last night, bar a few short spurts in the reverse direction, I've managed to actually get a lot accomplished, so I'm well on the way to finishing my first biscornu! I can't wait until I get to the finishing stage, that will be much simpler I reckon!

H has been away on a course, learning to be a leader, so I'm looking forward to his return tonight. Happy stitching all!

Monday, 4 June 2007

A Busy Weekend

Phew. What a busy weekend we've just had!
First, on Friday, I came home after a busy day of work to find 2 wonderful packages on the doorstep - having just got a nice little bonus from work, I had decided to treat myself to a bit of stash shopping - so there are a few more packages soon on the way :) Friday's post included these lovely fabrics from Sew & So:
L-R 40ct cream, 36ct Antique White, 32ct Antique White, 32ct Confederate Grey, 32ct Misty Blue, 28ct Raw, 28ct Light Sand, 28ct Light Mocha, 28ct Confederate Grey, 28ct Sage (not from memory, I may add)

After the fun of opening this parcel, I carried on with Paradigm Lost, and managed an H, an I, a J and half a K - I think I might try and stitch this on a Saturday or a Sunday, as doing an hour here or an hour there just seems to get me nowhere. This is more likely due to my slow stitching than any design flaw!

Saturday morning I spent with the second of Friday's packages - some beautiful scissors from the wonderful Leena and her shop Violarium. I've used these to finish the Heart Throb scissor fob - my first ever attempt at such a thing - and I'm immensely pleased with the results:

Front is stitched on 32ct cream with recommended DMC fibres, back is stitched on 32ct Permin/Wichelt English Rose with Silk 'n' Colours Pink Elephant

The rest of Saturday was spent in finally building the BBQ - which took a surprising amount of time, but is done done done! I picked up Love Is Patient that evening, and carried on with that. Previously it had just been one straight line, and now it's several. Plus a large red area which, believe it or not, will be the top left part of a big red heart, but currently looks more like a looming eyebrow. So I've added a photo below, but it isn't really much to look at yet:

And then on Sunday, after a wonderful round of golf (ok, actually half a round of wonderful golf followed by half a round with quite a bit of swearing and tantrum-throwing by my good self, having lost several balls and found a really irritating creek which insisted on meandering through the fairway exactly where my ball kept landing - yes on 3 holes in a row), H manfully fired up the new BBQ and cooked us a delicious dinner. And I sat down to my final stitching session of the weekend, and carried on with Their Song. I just love this design and am really looking forward to the next Loose Feathers instalment!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends and enjoyed the weather as much as we did - happy stitching!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Goal Update

This is how I did against May's goals:

Busy Bee - check
Heart Throb Scissor Fob - check
Moroccan Biscornu - no, only half finished
Mum's Heart II - check

Their Song - check
Northern Lights - check
Paradigm Lost - check
Silver Needle - check

START: (three of the following, I can't decide which!)
Irish Blessing - Sweetheart Tree
Spanish Wine - Wild at Heart
An Open Heart - Drawn Thread
Fond Hearts - Blackbird Designs
Happy Hearts Sampler - Birds of a Feather
None of these - started Love Is Patient instead, as had all the materials to hand (and still waiting for some materials for some of the above)

Mum's Heart II - check
Busy Bee - no, I haven't found a frame to fit yet


Their Song

scissor fob

Silver Needle
Northern Lights
Paradigm Lost
Love Is Patient

Spanish Wine (waiting for fabric/thread)

anything else - I've got plenty on the go!

Happy stitching this weekend everyone - more updates on Monday from me I think!