Monday, 16 January 2017

Snow Stocking is Complete!

So, because my Lowry had not yet arrived, I thought I'd just keep going on Snow.  I finished the last 2 pages over the weekend, the first of the two being 2782 stitches, and the second page being 997 stitches. 

She is done! Now all I need to do is purchase some fabric and get her sewn, which I will ask my friend to do, as she did such a beautiful job when she sewed the Treasure Dragon stocking, AND the Yule Fairy stocking.  I plan on finding a grey satin fabric for her back, and if I can find piping with some silver in it, perfect, but I think I may have to be happy with plain old white.  I'll be sure to post photo's when she is all sewn..

This was a pretty fast stitch. I started her in March, 2016, and finished today, January 2017.

And now for the big announcement for my next project - although you may have guessed, as I've already got a photo and a status bar up, but the next project will be Meeting on the Turret Stairs (Mini) by Fredrick William Burton.
I have a real thing for Medieval things, and if given the chance to do my life over, I probably would have moved to England to become a historian, with my specialty being the War of the Roses. As soon as I saw this pattern, my pupils dilated, I'm sure of it.

I've never done a mini before, so I'm interested to see what, if any, detail is lost.  If it turns out well, then the goal is to do a mini and a regular size and toggle between the two.  (Just wait and see what I have on deck for the replacement of Adrift. She's everso pretty!)

Oh, and my Lowry came! Oh my god, I love that stand!  It's brilliant!  A little easier to maneuver than the K's Creation and I find I don't need to tighten as hard to get the Q-snap to stay.  This company was brilliant and the stand came on Thursday last week.  So super quick shipping too!

Well, that's it. I'm officially announcemented out.  I hope to have Adrift finished some time in February.

I'll see you all after my cruise. 



Saturday, 7 January 2017

First Page Finish of 2017, Snow (Partial) Pg 8

As I mentioned in the heading, this is a partial page, of 2583 stitches. First page of 2017.
 
This is where I usually switch it over to Adrift, but since my stand is still broken, and my new stand hasn't yet arrived, I might just continue on with Snow, as she is considerably lighter and with the help of a couple of strong hair bands, I can rig it on to my broken stand in a way that works better than Cross Stitch Yoga did.  I'm not so sure this would work with Adrift, which is a shame, because I want to stitch her so bad, I almost feel itchy! 

I have decided to kit up my next project tomorrow, as I'm going on a cruise in 15 days, and I don't want to carry Adrift with me, although stitching a mermaid in the Caribbean seems oddly fitting.  I'm not sure with Snow that there will be enough work still to do on her to warrant taking with me.  So I will kit up my next project and take that.

The only fly in the ointment is I haven't quite decided which project to kit up.  It's down to three projects.  Two of them I have had for ages, and are both discontinued, and I have been dying to start both of them, and the third is one I found years ago and just recently commissioned into a mini. 

Decisions, decisions!  I suppose I won't really know myself until tomorrow when I actually flip a coin. 

I will let you know which pattern I kitted up, and which project I decided to work on with my next update - which will be hopefully before I leave. 

I do have a bit of good news for those of you who have a Lowry stand and missed out on the corner clamp.  I wrote to the manufacturers, who had discontinued the corner clamp a while back, but with Omanik and Millenium and Q-Snap frames becoming so popular,  they were found to work really well, but acquiring one was hard to do.  Well the manufacturers say they have received several requests as of late, so they are going to re-release them. I'm not sure if this is a one time release, or if it is going to stay on their list of things that can be ordered, but for those of you who felt like you had missed out, this is a great opportunity to get one for your very own.  This is good news indeed, and I'm very excited at this announcement.

I hope your 2017 has been good so far. 




Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Last Update of 2016. Page 33 of Adrift.


Adrift Page 33 is complete. I stitched through adversity to get this done before the New Year.  Adversity, you ask? Why yes, adversity.  To be more specific, my stand broke.  It broke Christmas Day.  The bolt that keeps the Q-Snap tightly held, so I can stitch, stripped, rendering it a challenge to stitch the last 3 columns of a really bloody heavy piece.  After a complete and total meltdown, which may or may not have included several words not fit for this blog, my solution was to shove it into the stand anyway, and then balance the bottom on a tin box, which was balanced on my lap.  It kinda, sorta worked as long as I sat veeeeery still and did.not.move.  Because the tiniest move would send Adrift tumbling out of the stand and onto the cat, who was trying to sleep peacefully on the rest of my legs. He eventually left in a huff, after Adrift fell on him about 10 times or so.   But on the plus side, I think I've invented a new thing - Cross Stitch Yoga.  It challenges you to sit as still as you can while stitching 7000 stitches.  And because I had a blanket on my legs, after a while it became Hot Cross Stitch Yoga. It's a thing, I tell you!  I'll probably end up famous because of it, and you can all say you knew me when...

Back on planet reality, I ended up going to Sew and Sew Uk and just buying a Lowry.  I have to say, it was a pretty good price, too!  I was expecting to really pay through the nose, but they were having a Christmas sale, and because I was a brand new customer, I got another discount.  So I ended up paying 77 pound sterling for the frame AND shipping, which, translated to Canadian funds, is $127. Not too shabby!  My current stand, a K's Creation, the owner has offered to replace the broken piece if I send it back, or just buy a new piece for $50 usd plus shipping.  I might still do that, and have a second frame on standby in case something happens to the Lowry.   Like me stripping the screw.
It will also be a frame that I can loan to guests who come and stitch.  

Now, back to Adrift, in the bottom picture, that line you see is just from the Q-Snap, it won't be permanent.  I hurriedly took a photo as soon as I was done because I was boiling from Hot Cross Stitch Yoga, and dead tired.  So I took a photo, packed it away and went to bed.  I know many people are worried that Q-Snaps will damage their work, but it won't.  Not permanently.

So, I think we can all agree that 2016 was a pretty crappy year, the one thing that I did get done was a mountain of stitching.  On this, the last day of the year my stitch tally stands as such:
Adrift: 13 page finishes
Snow Stocking: 8 page finishes
Winter Hat Owl: 6 page finishes. 
Giving me a grand total of 27 HaED Finishes.  Then there was the little Thing 1 and Thing 2 bibs that I made for my co-worker.  She had boys, by the way.

So even though 2016 was not the year we will look back on with "undiluted pleasure" to quote the Queen, I can at least look at this year and think to myself that I will never beat this record.  So the year isn't a complete loss.

I wish all of my kindreds who read this little blog a Happy New Year.  May your needles stay shiny and sharp, may your scissors never be confiscated by security at the airport, and may you stitch, stitch, stitch.

I'll see you all in 2017, or at Hot Cross Stitch Yoga.  





Monday, 12 December 2016

Page 8 of Snow Stocking has been Completed










I think the count is off of my stocking.  The pattern says 236 x 331, which equals 778 116 stitches.
Incidentally, the mini Snow full pattern says the dimensions are 325x229.  So something is definitely awry.  All I know is my complete bar says I'm at 50% complete, but there is no way that I still have 50% of the pattern to complete.  I only have 3 partial pages to complete.  It should say closer to 75% complete.  Oh well, I'll just keep tallying up my stitches until I have 100% complete.  Then it won't matter. 

I managed to get some good stitching in, even though I've been working a lot.  I'm back on Adrift, but I don't think my needle will be smoking on this next page.  Don't get me wrong, time permitting, it will be.

I'm getting so eager to just finish these two projects.  They are both so tantalizingly close to completely.  After Christmas I will frame. I will have 2 HaED's to frame, my owl and Adrift, but I can only do one at a time. I'm thinking Adrift first.

I was at my stitch-n-bitch yesterday and I caught a snippit of a phone conversation from  a lady who had sent her work in for framing and the framer had used some sort of "protection" on the piece.  Only she had used Waterlillies floss, which, if you've ever used it, you have to a. wash first to color block it or b. to keep the color vibrant, don't wash it, and then stitch your piece carefully so you don't need to wash it when it's done. Well, I guess she had chosen option b, but suffice to say, her colors had all bled, absolutely ruining the finished product.  She had phoned in tears asking if there was anything she could do.  I didn't hear the advice given, because a gaggle of giggling ladies were calling to me, but I couldn't imagine having something happen like this.  Because there is so much red DMC in the Owl, I hadn't planned on washing him - why chance it?  But now, I just may have to specify to not treat him at all when framing.  I've never heard of such things, but then again, I've had very few of my pieces finished.  I just...I don't think I could emotionally recover if one of my pieces, especially a HaED that I've worked on for years, were to get ruined by someone else.  Or even myself. It's definitely left me wary!

I'm just curious if anyone who follows this blog has had a similar experience?  If so, what did you do?

Was there anything TO do?



Thursday, 1 December 2016

Adrift, Page 32 is Complete





I am now 92% complete!  I'm in the 90's!  I think this is the fastest I've ever stitched a complete page. I started this on Nov 24 and finished just after midnight on Dec 1.  To be fair, it was less than 10 colours, the majority of it being 3371, so it was easy to put all of the other colours in first, and then just watch season 2 of Poldark and not even have to think about what I was stitching. 

Another bonus is, I've discovered on Ezpdf Pro, that I can crop the sides of pages, so I can crop the white space between pages out, set up the tablet to read two pages at once, and voila, I have very little break on pages and can just continue on with stitching. A far cry from Goodreader, which made us flip between pages and then always defaulted to the bottom of the previous page and the top of the next.  It's these little user friendly details that make all the difference in an app.   If the programmers at Goodreader were smart, they would tap into this market. 

I'm back on Snow, it's about a 3/4 page, but I'm about to start the December rush, where I work almost non-stop, so I'm not sure how much stitching I will be able to do.   But come January 9, I start a new job, with a dedicated schedule!  No more 12 hour shifts, no more 7am-7pm, or worse, 7pm-7am.  I will be doing 8 hours, which will leave me dedicated time to stitch.  Of course I won't have those marathon nights any longer, where I was shifting from day schedule to night schedule and I would just sit and stitch for hours (goodbye 1500 stitches a sitting)  but the new job is a good thing.  It will be nice to have a routine and a set schedule again.   January 9th can't come soon enough.

I hope to have an update of Snow soonish for you all.





Thursday, 24 November 2016

Snow Stocking Page 7 Complete


44% Complete for this project.  It's like music to my ears.  This was my last full page, all the rest are partials, so it's all downhill from here!

Just a quick update tonight, because my husband is cooking pizza and that trumps blogging. I have about 20 minutes to get this up and posted and the clock is ticking! 

I'm back on Adrift, and I'm expecting this next page to be a quick stitch. 

I have to say, for Adrift, I'm working on Lugana, and for Snow I'm working on 18 ct Magic Guide. Although, for me, Magic Guide is less hassle as you don't need to grid, I find Lugana more pleasurable to stitch on.  I find with Aida I have to stitch a tighter stitch, and it strains my fingers. 
Has anyone else encountered this?

My next projects will be on Lugana, I think I'm pretty much done with Aida.

Curious to know what everyone's favourite cloth is to stitch on? Linen? Lugana? Aida?  Anyone have a preference?  I personally find Lugana softer, but the downside is sometimes stitches can slip under the weave and I have to really watch for that happening and correct it as I go.  Otherwise, I quite enjoy stitching on it. 

I'd love to hear what you like/don't like about your fabrics.

I smell pizza, so sorry to cut this short...but pizza!! 



Monday, 7 November 2016

Adrift Page 31


Not much of all to see, but it sure was a fast, easy stitch.  Here you see the finished length.  Only 4 more page to go!

As an early Christmas present to myself, I bought myself a Samsung tablet, so I can run Ezpdf Pro on it.  What a difference a device makes.  No more crashing, no more sucking the battery dry in 3 hours.  I don't know why I didn't do this sooner!  Although I did like Goodreader on iPad, I really, REALLY like the search feature on Ezpdf.  I reached out to Goodreader and threw all sorts of suggestions at them from asking if they would consider expanding their search feature to cater to the x-stitchers who use their app to publishing a Goodreader Lite, which focuses on the highlighting and search feature and market it specifically to the stitchers, but no bites, other than polite thank you's.  So, as the saying goes, if you can't beat em, (or convince them to cater to your niche), join 'em.  I'm really hapy with my Samsung.  Honestly, stitching is all that I will be using it for, so I won't suck up battery life using other apps, I will have my iPad for that. And it's given me piece of mind for when I travel, I won't have to worry about my app eating my battery mid-flight.

That's all for now. I'm fighting a cold and a slight ear infection, so it's back to the couch for stitching and cups of tea.  I'm back on Snow, so hopefully I will have an update for you in a few weeks.