Smalls SAL – January

It’s time for the first monthly check-in for Heather’s Smalls SAL this year.  And I am happy to announce a finish!  (not a finishing finish… just a stitching finish).

This is a little kit that my local circle (New England Stitching Sisters) did as a group project a couple years ago.  We go on a group retreat every October, and we have one small kit that’s used as a mini teaching class and souvenir of the trip. I’d started it then, but didn’t have an appropriate sized hoop.  I started stitching in hand, but it’s just not the method that works for me… so the little thing got put aside until I got home (and then of course, mixed into the stash fray).

Ornament - stitching completed 1/16/17

This is stitched on simple white 28 ct linen with DMC 221.  I just have to get the backstitched line around the design, and like so many other finishing techniques, it will be used to construct the ornament.  Instead of a biscornu or another square-style finish, this will be built according to the original inspiration:  Sylvia’s Kreuzstich Liebe. I’ve been nicknaming it a “fan drop” ornament for my own usage.  It’s very different – and very pretty!

So hooray! First month’s Smalls SAL goal is accomplished. Next month, I hope to finish the stitching on You Were Hatched.  And maybe I’ll have this ornament constructed by then, too.  (but I’ll likely wait and do a bunch of them at once later this year).

Happy stitching everyone!

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My Stitching Dreams and Goals for 2017

Max is getting a little older, and so I’m hoping that this year can be the one that I get back into my groove with my stitching. I’ve been in a bit of a chaotic “just grab that one” mode for a while, and it’s definitely not my preferred stitching style. I like a rotation, and I feel like I make more progress on a rotation, so I’m going back to one this year.

Part of the fun, of course, is going through your stash and projects and allowing yourself to dream about what you can do. I indulged myself on Friday to do just that. I wanted to give myself a mix of style and size, since I tend to be a big project stitcher.  I think I’ve succeeded.

Stitch-a-Longs
I’m participating in a few stitch-a-longs this year to keep things moving. 🙂 They include:
–  The WIPocalypse (obviously!)
–  2017 Smalls SAL, hosted by Stitching Lotus
–  The Never Ending Sampler SAL, hosted by Kitty and Me Designs
–  Stitch From Stash, via Facebook
–  Various “Event” Day SALs, hosted on Stitch Mania on Facebook

The only one that involved a new start was the Never Ending Sampler SAL. Everything else, I’ll be incorporating things that I’ve either already started or things that I own and have kitted.

Projects

I have waaay too many large unfinished projects, so my focus this year is on getting things done and moving a few pieces forward that have been neglected. I’m allowing myself the Sampler SAL above and one other moderate-sized start this year.  Otherwise any starts I have will be things from stash that will qualify for the Smalls SAL.

Photos of all of these were just taken tonight before I started my blog entry.  Please pardon any wrinkles!  These are my main focus this year.

Never Ending Sampler SAL - started 1/1/17
Never Ending Sampler SAL. This was started yesterday for my New Years 2017 start and is all of the progress I made yesterday. It’s stitched on 32 ct evenweave from Silkweavers with ecru DMC and Threadworx Hawaiian Flowers. Later panels will likely be other color combinations, to use stash that’s been lingering around the house.  There are no real goals for this – it’s just to play as time and interest allows.  Wherever I end is where it will end.  🙂

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To Have a Child, by Rosewood Manor.  This is Max’s birth sampler.  I’ve been stuck because the stitching font provided in the chart isn’t the same as what is on the model of the chart (it’s similar, but not the same height).  I need to graph out Max’s details and get this going again.  My main goal is to get the personalized information stitched, but I’d love to get this finished.

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Witches Wheel, by Glendon Place.  My never-ending stitching on orange fabric.  I plan to finish this by Halloween this year.  Yeah, I know… I say that every year.

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Blue Jeans and Daisies, by Blue Ribbon Designs.  I’ve been working on this piece exclusively since July.  I just have a few more flowers, a house, and the date to add to that center panel and it’s done.  If all goes well, I’ll have this done by the end of January.

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Noah’s Ark, by Teresa Wentzler.  I adopted this piece years ago from someone else, but I have a glut of Wentzlers and haven’t touched it that much.  My goal is to get the rest of the alphabet stitched in the center and the left vertical panel of animals done by the end of the year.

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Four Seasons of Mystic, by Jeannette Douglas Designs.  Last year I finished the summer panel (except for the boat rigging, which I’ll add at the end since it’s long stitches that’ll get snagged otherwise) and started autumn.  My goal is to finish at least Autumn this year.

Quaker Compass - as of 1/1/17
Quaker Compass, by Rosewood Manor.  I honestly have no real goals for this one… I just want to have a stress-free piece to throw stitches into with no worries about color changes.  🙂  This likely will be one of my travel pieces for work, since it’s low-maintenance on floss changing.

Leaping Cat - as of 1/1/17
Leaping Cat, by La-D-Da.  This was my New Year’s start last year.  It’s a smaller piece, so I hope to complete it sometime this year.

Floral Bellpull - as of 1/1/17
Floral Bellpull, by Teresa Wentzler.  I have had this piece so close to being done for so long!  But first I lost the pattern, then found it… and then lost my floss box.  But it’s now been found, so this baby’s getting done sometime this year!  I have one full plus one partial box to put full stitches in, plus the backstitching.

Book of Ink Circles - as of 1/1/17
Book of Ink Circles, by Ink Circles.  Last year I discovered some major counting errors in my outlining boxes and spent a bunch of time picking out about half of what I’d done.  Once frogged, I needed to step away from it for a while.  But in the meantime, I found a color palette (thanks to Rosewood Manor) that I absolutely adore, so this piece will get energized love this year.  No real goals – I just want to make progress.

You Were Hatched
You Were Hatched, by Teresa Wentzler.  I have this piece started, and it’s about 2/3 complete.  I plan to finish it as one of my monthly smalls projects – probably in February when I attend Stitcher’s Hideaway.

Zipper Pouches
Zipper Pouches, by It’s Fine-ally Finished (Jackie du Plessis).  Jackie stitches with our group whenever she’s free, and she used us as a testing group on this project that she’ll be teaching.  There are three pouches – strawberry, lavendar, and carnation.  I have all three of them.  Strawberry is currently in progress.  I plan on finishing at least one of them for the smalls SAL this year.

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Astrology Sampler, by Witches Stitches.  This long out of print project is one I’d been itching to start, and then Max happened.  🙂  No specific goals on this one this year – I just want to push it forward.  Since it’s on black, I know it will go slower.

Why I Love New England - as of 1/1/17
Why I Love New England, by The Sampler Needlework.  I bought this chart ages ago at the designer’s shop in Plymouth, Ma.  The shop is sadly now gone, and I’m still plugging away.  My goal this year is to get the top section (two pages across) complete.

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Alpha-Bits, by Wild-Heart Designs.  This will be my other start for the beginning of the year, and was planned last autumn.  A couple women in my local stitching circle have completed this design, and they’ve said it’s a lot of fun.  I don’t have a lot of experience on banding, so am diving in with this one.  The threads are Cherry Cola by Nina’s Threads.

I also have Deep Blue Sea, my Chatelaine.  I do hope to give it some love too, but won’t get to it until I get a couple of these projects completed.  Stitching on it is still a bit too nerve-wracking with Max around.

I don’t doubt there will be some other project work, and it’s possible that I’ll get to one or more of these and just not “feel” them, but that’s okay. I have more than enough to stitch on, and plenty to swap out if something’s not working.

Perhaps a bit lofty, but hey… that’s the dream, right?  🙂  Here’s to a productive crafty 2017!

~ Mel.

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January 2017 WIPocalypse – Happy New Year!

WIPocalypse ButtonHappy New Year everyone!

I hope that your celebrations with family and friends were happy ones this holiday season.  It’s about noon here on New Year’s Day, and I’ve already enjoyed throwing some stitches into a new start for the year.

I’ve enjoyed a quiet week off between Christmas and New Year’s, in which I had the pleasure of sitting down and looking through all of the pieces I’ve started but not finished, or kitted (either fully or partially).  I love the whole process of dreaming and imagining what I might finish for the year, and discovering projects I forgot I had.  (the memory’s a bit fuzzy about stitching pre-Max, I have to admit!)  While I know the dreaming goes a bit out of control with how much time I’ll actually be able to sit with a needle, I’m feeling good about this year.  Max is a bit older, and I can safely stitch with him in the room now for small bursts.  I just need to plan the appropriate projects for those times, and I might actually get a good amount done!

This check-in post marks the beginning of the sixth edition of the WIPocalypse.  If you’re a veteran stitcher, welcome back to the (low-key) insanity!  🙂  And if you’re joining us for the first time, welcome!  You’ll find that this is a very easy-going, low-key stitch-a-long.  It’s here purely to celebrate our progress and accomplishments.  Anything goes!

If you missed the post last month, I just wanted to remind folks of the format for this year:

  • Monthly check-in posts will now go live on the final Sunday of each month (with the exception of this post, of course). The dates for this year’s postings are on the WIPocalypse Info Page.
  • Stitcher’s blogging questions will continue for 2017.  You can find those questions on the info page as well.  They remain optional, of course.  And as always, if you have any questions you’d like added to the queue, please let me know!
  • We now have a Facebook group!  Come join us for some everyday stitchy progress sharing and a comfortable atmosphere to meet your fellow stitchers.

 

There may be other surprises upcoming through the year, providing time and life doesn’t go completely haywire for me as it did in 2016.  So stay tuned!

I’ll finish this post here so we can get this SAL started.  Happy stitching, everyone!

Best,

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 29, 2017

Topic for next time: What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

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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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December 2016 WIPocalypse Check-In!

WIPocalypse ButtonHello everyone!

I hope that your holiday season is going along smoothly, with cheer and family and friends to warm you (or cool you, if you’re dealing with summer heat Down Under).  It’s hard to believe that 2016 is almost over, and here we are… another year of WIPocalypse is done!

I’ve just set up the intro page for the 2017 WIPocalypse… because yes, I will be hosting again next year.  Everything’s ready to go, and I’m finding myself itching to not only get started on my WIPs, but also join some fellow stitchers’ SAL’s via various blogs.  My stitchy bug is back, and I want to embrace it!

So What’s Happening in 2017…

There will a kickoff post on January 1st as the intro to the year.  So sometime over New Year’s weekend, when you’re not working on that New Year’s Start (admit it… you are.  Just like I am!), put your intro post up for the year, list a few of your projects, and swing over here to say hi.

The format for the WIPocalypse next year will remain the same – a monthly check-in post here, and you post on your blog as you always have.  The big change is that I’m going to change the check-in date every month.  Instead of the full moons, which fell on odd dates that have become increasingly difficult to remember while balancing work and motherhood, the new check-in posts will go live the morning of the final Sunday of every month.  The InLinkz style linkup will remain open for two weeks after the post goes live, and if that’s closed down, you can continue to add links via regular comments for another month or so to any post, or just wait for the next month’s post.

Stitchy Blogging Questions will also continue for 2017.  Topics for the entire year are already listed (along with the posting dates) on the 2017 WIPocalypse Info Page.

We also will be joining the crowd, and I’ve created a Facebook group for the WIPocalypse.  This is, of course, completely optional, but since I’m on Facebook every day, it’ll be easier to post reminders about the WIPocalypse, as well as chat about potential mini-challenges and just build a closer community – and introduce many of the stitchers who are only exposed to Facebook groups to the wider network of stitchy bloggers (and who knows?  Maybe get some others into our ranks!)

If you have questions, comments, suggestions, etc. – feel free to drop a comment to this post, to the Facebook group (if you want a more open discussion), or to me privately at measiwitch(at)gmail.com.

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So with the info about next year out of the way, I want to thank you again for participating in this year.  I know I’ve been a bit sporadic with the updates this year due to all of the personal issues that have happened on my end, and I thank you for being patient and understanding.  Hopefully 2017 will be a much calmer year, and full of a lot more stitching!

I wish you and your loved ones a very Blessed Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Festivus for the RestofUs, and any other spiritual (or humanist) holiday you celebrate this season.  Happy New Year, and I will see you in 2017!

Blessings,

Mel.

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Question of the Month

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

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Happy stitching,

Mel.

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Important SAL Announcements…

Next posting date:January 1, 2017

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

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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November 2016 WIPocalypse Check-In

WIPocalypse ButtonHello everyone,

Apologies for the late posting of the WIPocalypse this month.  I confess it’s just a combination of a few different things – I always want to type a personalized entry for the check-in (it feels more genuine that way to me).  But between work, the election, and some more very sad news of loss from my hometown, I’m having a rough year… and have found myself fighting to just keep going some days.

Stitching is definitely therapy this year.  The holidays are going be somber, but perhaps the ones in which I’ll feel the most gratitude ever.  It’s amazing how fast things can change, and how much can be lost in the blink of an eye.

I wanted to have an upbeat post, but without being able to find it within me right now (and already feeling guilty that I’m a week late)… I will keep it short this month.  The two things I will say –

  1. I am glad 2017 is arriving soon.  This year can’t end fast enough.
  2. Yes, WIPocalypse will run again next year, although I’ll be changing the posting dates somewhat, because I’m just not able to post on the random dates that are the full moons.

As we go into the holiday season, I wish you and yours happy days, whichever of the holidays you celebrate.  Next month I’ll post the 2017 posting calendar and all of the details for the SAL going forward.

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Question of the Month

What pattern (or designer) is on your must-try-to-stitch bucket list?

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Happy stitching,

Mel.

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Important SAL Announcements…

Next posting date:December 14th

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

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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