WIPocalypse Kickoff 2018!

WIPocalypse ButtonHappy New Year everyone!

I hope the first week of 2018 has treated you well.  I’m still dealing with my blasted bronchitis, but aside from the cough I’m feeling good.  We’ve had a wild weather week to kick off the new year. A bunch of snow (about 14 or 15 inches) arrived on Thursday in a genuine blizzard.  We’ve been sub-freezing since Christmas Day, and yesterday was the coldest day I can remember in the years I’ve lived here.  Growing up in Montana, I saw temps this low from time to time, but it’s not quite as common here (even if it does feel like it more often, thanks to the humidity coming off the ocean).

Rumor has it that it’s going to be going well above freezing for my birthday on Thursday.  I am so ready.  50 degrees F will feel like t-shirt weather!  Best present I can look forward to!

My husband called upstairs a few minutes ago… “Isn’t the WIPocalypse on the last Sunday of the month now?!?”  I had to explain to him that yes, it was… but this is the kickoff post for 2018.  So introduce yourself, your projects, your stitchy hopes and dreams for the year.  I know a lot of people are continuing with it from last year.  There’s also been a huge surge of folks on the Facebook group.  It’s doubled (literally!) in the last month. Several folks have decided to start stitching blogs.  I’m going to make some extra effort to make sure to visit everyone who checks in, and I hope that you can find the time to do the same!

As a reminder, so you can start thinking about next month and whether you will be participating… we’ll be doing the Stitching Olympics again for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.  There are three formal events you can participate in (either individually or a combo of the three).  If you have an idea for another event, do it and let me know… we’ll add it for Tokyo in 2020, if we’re all still here!  🙂

  1. Rotation Relay – rotate through as many projects as you can during the Olympics (for those who like to work on a bunch of different pieces)
  2. Endurance Race –  stick to ONE piece for the Olympics, and see how far you can push that one piece toward finishing (for those one at a time stitchers, or anyone else who wants to do some serious focusing on a particular piece)
  3. Celebrate the Nations (stitch only in the colors of the Olympic rings on your WIP pieces, OR… your nation’s flag, OR… on some sort of piece that is reflective of where you live, eg. Americana pieces for US residents).

So without further adieu… here’s to 2018.  I hope that you make great progress on your stitching goals for the year, and that you enjoy every stitch you put into a piece.

Happy stitching everyone!

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Next posting date: January 27, 2018

Topic for next time: What SAL’s are you participating in this year? and If you are participating in the Olympic Stitching Challenge, what challenge are you accepting?  What are your goals?

**2018 Dates and Topics are posted!  Go here for all details!**

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


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Stitching Hopes for 2018

This is the year.

I keep telling myself that.  This is the year.  I will make some really good progress on my WIPs.  Here I am, running the WIPocalypse, and I do struggle to complete things.  Nothing made that more evident than when I went through my stash in November and itemized everything that I currently know about.  It was definitely an eye opener.  47 projects in some form of progress.  Another 89 that are kitted in some form… whether just with charms, or with floss and fabric combinations.  Holy heck, I have a bit of a stash problem.

A few different things have merged together to get me here.  The first is having a little one.  I was plugging right along on a lot of stitching with a strong rotation and good progress.  And then in 2013, we had Max.  As having a baby will do, especially the first baby, the stitching just stalled.  Everything about daily life completely changed, and most of my avenues for stitching dried up: my commute changed (so no more stitching on the train.  this was a major blow to my production), my free time at home was eliminated, my energy to focus was gone.  Huge problem.  I have completed a few projects here and there, but I’ve had to gear back to one-at-a-time stitching, and I learned years ago that it’s not my style.  I like variety.  I like to stitch on several different things to keep it fresh and have the feeling that I’m experiencing a bunch of different styles and designers at the same time.  Having to do only one project at a time slowed me down and bogged me down.  And of course, there’s a catch to me getting bogged down – I’m a Big-Ass-Project (BAP) stitcher.  I love big pieces.  So I don’t get as many finishes.  And right now, there’s a whole lot of BAPs piled up.

The next thing that happened was some binge purchasing.  Post-natal depression that led into general depression, pain from losing several people in the last 18 months, stress at work… everything led to me doing some out-of-control purchases and my stash has exploded.  Some people buy clothes.  Some people buy jewelry.  I tend to buy stitchy stash – and in person.  It’s not even online!  I’m surprisingly well-behaved on that front.  My biggest problem has come from attending retreats.   Some of these things I’ve bought have been projects from others that they were looking to unload, fully kitted.  So they’re now added to the list.

The last was adopting stash from Sandy, one of the members of my stitching circle, who passed away a few months ago.  Over the last couple months, Sandy’s stash has been looked through and divided.  There were quite a few projects in some stage of completion, and a few of them have come to me.  So they’re also added to this list.

So here I am… arrived to where I have a stash and a half, and holy heck there’s a lot here to stitch.

I have no specific plans.  No specific “I must finish X amount of pieces” goals.  I just really, really, really want to push some projects forward and whittle this list down.  This list only includes things that have physical stitches in the fabric.  I’ll start addressing the kitted stuff once this list goes down a bit.

In alphabetical order by designer:

  • Vajke Per Week 2017 – Atelier Soed Idee
  • Deep Blue Sea – Chatelaine (Mystery from 2012)
  • Cowboy Cats – Creative Accents
  • Cats on a Staircase – Donna Kooler
  • Apache Wedding Blessing – Donna Kooler
  • Elemental Dragons – Dragon Dreams (Fire and Spirit are complete)
  • Snowball Fight – Dragon Dreams
  • Four Seasons of Mystic – Jeannette Douglas
  • Down the Danube – Jeannette Douglas (adopted from Sandy)
  • Witches Wheel – Glendon Place
  • Bless This Hive – Hardcorestitchcorps
  • Muse of the Midnight Sun – Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED)
  • Book of Ink Circles (BoINK) – Ink Circles
  • Strawberry Zipper Pouch – It’s Fine-ally Finished
  • Smoky Mountain Cats – Janlynn
  • Never Ending Band Sampler – Kitty and Me Designs
  • Earth Angel – Lavender & Lace
  • In the Arms of an Angel – Lavender & Lace
  • Band Sampler 2011 – (Multiple stitchers… round robin)
  • Witchy Washy – Raise the Roof
  • Red Ornament – Rebecca Dorrie
  • Dear Rine Borduren 2017 – Rine (via Facebook)
  • Quaker Compass – Rosewood Manor
  • To have a Child – Rosewood Manor
  • I Love New England – Sampler Needlework
  • Freedom – Seba Designs
  • Celestial Medley – Stitch with Sudberry
  • Bag Ladies – Sunset
  • You Were Hatched – Teresa Wentzler
  • Celestial Dragon – Teresa Wentzler
  • Millennium – Teresa Wentzler
  • Magical Night – Teresa Wentzler
  • Floral Bellpull – Teresa Wentzler
  • Noah’s Ark – Teresa Wentzler
  • Egyptian Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  • Castle (Black Fabric) – Teresa Wentzler
  • Fantasy Tryptych – Teresa Wentzler
  • Birdhouse Bellpull – Teresa Wentzler (adopted from Sandy)
  • Alpha-Bits Sampler – Wild Heart Designs (New Year’s Start 2018)
  • Astrology Sampler – Witches Stitches

Some WIPs that have become UFOs due to weirdness

  • Hugs and Kisses – Blue Ribbon Designs (entire project has gone missing)
  • Shakespeare’s Fairies – Mirabilia (entire project has gone missing)
  • Nantucket Sampler – Medeiros Needlework (chart has gone wandering)
  • Legends of the Dragons – Teresa Wentzler/Dragon Dreams/Black Swan (entire project has gone missing)

I have a lot of work ahead of me.  Especially on that Wentzler pile.  I admit… I have a wee bit of a Wentzler problem!

So of course, the first step is pulling out a few of these for an initial rotation.  I’ve decided to go back to basics.  10 hours per project, and then rotate.  I have a rough name for each slot in my rotation, just to keep in mind that I need a variety of projects in here.  One thing I’ve always done with my rotation is hold one slot open for backstitching.  Always, always, always.  It guarantees I get some of the never-ending backstitching done, and really focus on it.  10 hours of backstitching can work wonders on a piece.

Here’s my first rotation for the year.  This should get me until the Stitching Olympics next month.  It includes a piece that’s nearly done (the ornament), and my Wentzler that’s closest to being done (Floral Bellpull).

Rotation #1 2018

  1. (general stitching) Alpha Bits Sampler – Wild Hearts Designs – currently working
  2. (backstitching slot) Floral Bellpull – Teresa Wentzler
  3. (smaller projects) Red Ornament – Rebecca Dorrie
  4. (Wentzler general) Noah’s Ark – Teresa Wentzler
  5. (general stitching) Deep Blue Sea – Chatelaine
  6. (general stitching) Muse of the Midnight Sun – HAED

Aside from Stitch from Stash on Facebook, I have not joined any formal stitch-a-longs (SALs) this year beyond the WIPocalypse.  I don’t want to stretch myself too far to get away from what I want to do.  If it’s a SAL that happens to fit with what I’m doing, such as the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend, then great… I’ll do it.  But the goal this year is to just stitch, make progress, and hopefully leave 2018 with a list that’s a bit smaller.

 

*crosses fingers*

 

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December 2017 WIPocalypse Check-in!

WIPocalypse ButtonHi everyone,

This year went waaaaaaay too fast!  The final day of the year always is a little weird to me.  Since I’m in US Eastern time, it’s always a little odd to me how I will see comments and posts from friends in overseas lands all day that are in an entirely different year.  A day is just a day, of course… but the turning of the year just seems to have a little weirdness about it to me.

In any case, I wish you and your loved ones a safe and Happy New Year!  I hope that your celebrations tonight are good ones, no matter how quiet or how boisterous they are.

I will be spending it quietly at home.  It’s obnoxiously cold outside, and I’m dealing with a cranky case of bronchitis… so I’m just going to cool it.  I’m hoping I can just do some stitching, have some tea, and watch whatever festivities are on the TV tonight.  I need to get a good sense of what I’m going to do for a first rotation, too… so today I’m going to do some scribbling and figure out something that works.  I’m doing a WIP-only 2018 (and cutting myself off from purchases) until I get this pile whittled down!  With the losses and stress of the last couple of years, I did a bit too much binge shopping.  That needs to be nipped.  WIPocalypse all year is probably the best thing for me.

Since it’s a little different than in years past… we will have an off-schedule post on January 7th (next weekend) for you to introduce your projects for next year.  If you’re combining that into your post this week, feel free to just double-link it here and next weekend.  🙂  Postings will go back to the normal schedule at the end of January.  You’ll find a link to dates and additional info in the SAL announcements below.

I will stop here… time to seek out a cup of tea to start the morning.  Happy Stitching to all of you!

 

 

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – Recap your accomplishments for the year!  (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc.)

Next posting date: January 7, 2018

Topic for next time: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

**2018 Dates and Topics are now posted!  Go here for all details!**

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


Facebook Comments

Rotations, rotations…

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I sorted through stash and came up with a pretty large amount of projects that have stitches in them.  I came up with an even larger amount of projects that are partially or fully kitted.  With that in mind, it’s time to really get down to thinking about rotations and what will be most effective for me to enjoy my stitching and be the most efficient I can be toward completing some of these projects.  What types of rotations worked best for me?  What did I seem to enjoy the most?  Where did I start losing my productivity?

Well… the answer to the final question’s pretty easy.  Having a child puts the damper on things just a wee bit.  That’s where I fell off the rails.

But before and after that, I’d been meandering with different styles of stitching rotations:

At one point, I was setting a 10-hour progress limit on projects.  This wasn’t something that was done right down to a stopwatch, but a generalized ten hours, then move to the next piece.  Each rotation round was set with somewhere between four and seven specific pieces. I tended to lean to the higher end with seven to give myself a good range of projects, unless I was on a deadline due to a round robin. I did very well on that rotation plan.

In my later pregnancy and in the first year or so, I was doing a “whatever I felt like stitching” method.  I did get things done, but my progress was slower, mostly due to Max being so young, but also because I had no organized rotation.  Looking back, I’m not a good “one at a time” style stitcher.

At some point, I was doing a hybrid one – 10 hours minimum, more if I wanted to keep going with my stitching mojo on a piece.  This isn’t a bad one, but I tend to lose track of those hours, and then the entire rotation seems to fall apart.  It’s a good idea in theory, but may be a little too unstructured for me to work efficiently.

I’ve also tried a rotation according to goals on each piece.  No set list of pieces, but once I start stitching on them, I set a goal to get to a certain point on it before I switch.  This had some moderate success, but still didn’t work that great.  My biggest problem here is that I consistently misjudge how long a certain goal will take, and then I feel like I need to stick with the piece because I’d made that goal.  I could try to scale back my vision for each mini-goal… but I know better than that about myself.  So a worthwhile rotation to try – just not the best for me personally.

So I think I’ll go back to my original rotation method.  10 hour blocks per piece, then move on.  I’m going to allow myself the flexibility that I don’t have to do these exactly in the order they’re typed, but I need to work on only this set group of pieces before I start a new rotation.  I may shorten the number of projects in later rounds, but for now I’ll stick with my standard seven – six that are focused on “normal” stitches, and one spot entirely focused on backstitching.

Round One – Started 11/28/17

  • I Love New England by Sampler Needlework – standard stitching (page 2)
  • Floral Bellpull by Teresa Wentzler – Backstitching only (squares 3 and 4)
  • Deep Blue Sea by Chatelaine – standard stitching (Part 3)
  • Strawberry Zipper Pouch by It’s Fine-ally Finished – standard stitching. (try to finish band)
  • Four Seasons of Mystic by Jeannette Douglas – standard stitching (beginning with Autumn)
  • Smoky Mountain Cats by Janlynn – standard stitching (on the sea of blue…)
  • Alpha-Bits by Wild Hearts Designs – New Years Day 2018 start (was originally slated to start in 2017, so fully kitted)

One thing I’m debating for a bit later – I’d planned on doing a Rotation Relay for the Stitching Olympics in February… basically a crazy rotation where you rotate projects every 2-4 hours to see how many you can work on.  Not a problem while I’m home, but there’s one SLIGHT problem with that plan this year:  Stitcher’s Hideaway.  Right smack in the middle of the Olympics.

While I can obviously bring a ton of pieces if I wanted to load up my car to the brim, I don’t know that I really want to flip through ones that quickly on that retreat.  I never bring only one project to Hideway.  I generally have three or four with me, under the theory that 1) at some point I’m going to get sick of stitching on one project, 2) lighting changes in the room from daytime to nighttime, so I may need easier pieces for the evening, and 3) I stitch for a long time during that retreat every day.  We’re talking 6-10 hours of stitching, aside from meals.  I get a ton done.

Instead of the couple-hour frenzy, I may just limit myself to one project per day for the Olympics, along the lines of what I normally do for Hideaway.  It’ll still be a Rotation Relay, but a little more controlled, and easier to port up to Sturbridge!  Doing one per day still means I’d work on 17 separate projects for the Olympics.  That’ll be pretty good.  And let’s be honest – some of those days, I’m only going to get that 2-3 hours in anyway due to work.

Planning, planning… it’s honestly fun to daydream about this stuff!

 

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November 2017 WIPocalypse Check-in

WIPocalypse ButtonHi everyone,

I hope my fellow American stitchers have had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, and for the rest of my fellow stitchers around the world, I hope you’ve had a relaxing non-holiday one.  🙂  As I write, it’s Saturday late afternoon.  Max is taking a nap after a very busy day enjoying some unusually mild late November weather at the park.  It’s already pitch-black outside and feels several hours later than it actually is.

We had a relaxing, quiet holiday dinner at home this year – with a turkey that was far too big for the four people at the table. I’m looking forward to making some chili, pot pies, and other recipes tomorrow to use up as much as possible and freeze it for future meals.

After mentioning it last month during the check-in post, I decided to move forward and organize my stash yesterday, since the dining room table had already been cleared off and was usable for the giant task.  It took hours, but all projects and patterns that I’m aware of are now documented in excel, roughly organized in a way that I can find everything, and all plastic shopping and storage bags have been emptied.  It made me realize how much impulsive shopping I’ve done over the last couple years.  So next year I’m cutting myself off… Year of WIPs.  I seriously just need to work on what I have.  I’ll take photos and make lists of projects I fall in love with to buy at a later date, but no more impulse buying.  I need to get things done.  So if you’d like to join me in exclusive WIP stitching next year, please do!  There are a couple groups that do stitching from stash, giving a price amount per finished piece and such.  I love that idea, but I worry that I’ll cheat too much with that.  So I’m going to go cold-turkey on the wagon.  No stash purchases, other than to replace floss/beads that go missing from a project I’m working on, or to buy needles if I somehow destroy all of them.

With the end of 2017 and start of 2018 fast approaching, I’ve been doing some updates for the WIPocalypse for next year…

The Info Page for the 2018 WIPocalypse is now live.  Not a huge amount of change, but the new dates and topics are available here.  As with this year, all check-in posts will go live on the final Sunday of the month, with two exceptions:  There will be a kick-off intro post on Sunday, January 7th, and the February posting date will be pushed to Wednesday, February 28th for account for the Stitching Olympics.

Stitching Olympics Challenge

The Stitching Olympics will again be held during the 2018 Winter Olympics.  This is, of course, an optional challenge.  But if you enjoy watching the Games like I do and want to use them as an excuse for some extra incentive to stitch… there are three challenges you can choose from (or mix… up to you):

  1. Rotation Relay – rotate through as many projects as you can during the Olympics (for those who like to work on a bunch of different pieces)
  2. Endurance Race –  stick to ONE piece for the Olympics, and see how far you can push that one piece toward finishing (for those one at a time stitchers, or anyone else who wants to do some serious focusing on a particular piece)
  3. Celebrate the Nations (stitch only in the colors of the Olympic rings on your WIP pieces, OR… your nation’s flag, OR… on some sort of piece that is reflective of where you live, eg. Americana pieces for US residents).

I think 2018 will be a fun year.  I’m energized after stash sorting yesterday to really get some completions done.  I just need to figure out the smartest way to achieve it now!

As we enter the final month of the year and the craziness that the holidays bring, I hope you are able to carve out some time to stitch or do anything else for yourself to relax and get away from it for a little while.  Have a safe and happy holiday season everyone!

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – What finishing style have you never tried but would love to do?

Next posting date: December 31, 2017

Topic for next time: Recap your accomplishments for the year!  (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc.)

**2018 Dates and Topics are now posted!  Go here for all details!**

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


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