Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Needle DOES Make a Difference

I found this out the hard way this weekend. With the end of the month coming, I wanted to try to finish the bullion flowers on Kathryn Drummond's Gelati al Cioccolato.

I spent a very frustrating hour trying to stitch first bullion and didn't understand why it wasn't working for me. I knew I could do it, otherwise Cupcake Delight would still be a WIP. I was using the right technique and even confirmed it by watching Mary Corbet's video. So why wasn't it working? No matter how loosely I wrapped the thread around the milliner needle, I could never pull the needle through.

It took a while, but as I was playing with the needle, passing my fingers over the head, I noticed the head was slightly bigger than the body. Below you'll see two milliner needles. The one on the right is the one I got in my Gelati al Cioccolato kit and the one on the left came with Cupcake Delight.

You have to look really close, but the right has an eye bigger than the shaft (body)
In class, Kathryn said that in order to successfully stitch a bullion, your needle's eye needs to be the same size as it's shaft. The milliner needle I got with my class kit wasn't. So I took out the milliner needle I received my Cupcake Delight class kit and tried it again.

The unfinished one was my first attempt after switching out the needle. I wasn't crazy about the look (the tension was all off), so I decided to start a new one and see if it would improve. The second attempt is much better :)

Monday, March 23, 2015


I'm very late this month. I didn't remember it until Sunday night. I still have wool from the second baby Groot I made in there. There is also thread from Tree of Hope as well perle cotton. The satin ribbons on top are from me preparing wedding favors for a friend. She picked a nice combination of light green and coral.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No More Cable Stitches

I haven't been putting up many pictures of my Hardanger project since all you'd see is cable stitches. I've been stitching nothing but that since mid-January. I'm happy to say that that is over. Not that there aren't other cable stitching to do in the pattern, but it's over for now and I can move onto a different section.

There are 7 rows of cable stitches in that section and it's a big piece. It's safe to say I can now do that stitch in my sleep. Here is how Fantasy Lace looks as of Tuesday (sorry about the wrinkly fabric).

It took a few tries, but I found a nice trick to quickly do cable stitches and have the stitches lay properly side by side. Here is an animated gif. The trick is, where you will have two stitches side by side, to keep your thumb on the thread while you're pulling your needle.

Here is a close up of one side from the front:

And here is the back:

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Something New

This weekend I spent it trying something new. A while back I discovered Erba's blog (if you don't know it, check it out her work is beautiful). She has instructions for needle lace earrings (link). I've been wanting to try needle lace for a long while and this was the perfect project for it.

I bought the smallest perle cotton I could find in the stores near me. The first one is a No 80 DMC tatting cotton in pink and a No 60 Cordonnet Special in white.

The main "stitch" is the buttonhole stitch, which is easy but fiddly. You don't want the stitches going over each other or too crowded. As you can see in my first attempt using the No 80 thread, my first layer has some stitches that are not nicely laid. I also hit a snag, I realized at the second layer that my thread was too thin. I could have technically just added more buttonhole stitches than the pattern suggests, but I was already not enjoying how it looks. So I decided to stop and start a new one.

Take 1 using DMC No 80 tatting cotton
My second try came out much nicer. It could be better in certain places but it's okay for a first try. I made it to the third row and had to stop because I'm running out of thread. I'll have to decide if I want to stop here and just start a new one (third time's the charm) or try to figure out how to anchor a new thread to finish it.
Take 2 using DMC No 60 cordonnet special
My one complaint is that I hate the color. The white looks dirty and I wish I could have found a different color. An ecru or cream would have been enough. Anyone from the Laval or Montreal area who knows of a good shop to buy DMC perle cotton, please let me know.

I also managed to put in some time on Tree of Hope. Here is my tree with the outer leaves all stitched. I think I'll move onto the flower for a little change.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Baby Girl Groot

My friend's wife liked the Baby Groot so much that she wanted it for herself. He wasn't willing to share so he asked if I could make him a second one.

I really don't like doing the same thing twice. Once I've made it, I'm ready to move on and try something else. The only times I've ever crocheted the same pattern twice was when I was asked by a friend. So needless to say I procrastinated for two weeks. I finally gave it to him and it was right on time for her birthday.

Here is Baby Girl Groot or Groot 2.0. I used better wiring for her body and I figured out a better way to attach the pesky leaves (I was dreading those leaves lol). So it turned out pretty good. Her smile is also better, the first one was more crooked.

I wanted to at least try something new with this one, so I took out some satin pink ribbon from my stash and embroidered a rose as an adornment. It came out pretty well. I was a little worried he wouldn't like the rose, he never really told me that he wanted the exact same thing. However it turns out that his wife requested pink roses for her birthday this year :)

Here they are together. For her birthday, my friend made sure to do a little "switcheroo" over night. So when she woke up the next day, the Groot suddenly had a rose that wasn't there before :)

Monday, March 9, 2015

SAL Dentelles Part 9 & Finale

The SAL Dentelles concluded last week with the release of part 9. The last part was a nice scallop border. I decided to make a little change by incorporating the perle cotton in certain parts, this time in the form of Rhode circles and tiny Eyelets. It was a little hard getting them just right, but once the first one was stitched the rest were easy.

I had to put the piece on the q-snaps in order to get a decent wrinkle free picture. There is a huge folding line going down the middle that I wasn't able to get rid of, so any advice would be welcome :)

And here is a picture of the back :) I love a neat back.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WIPocalypse 2015 – March

This month's topic: If money – and time – were not limiters, what projects would be on your stitching bucket list? I like this question. I think the first order of business would be to sign up as a JEC student and start Phase I of learning Japanese Embroidery. Ambitious I know, but I've always admired the technique and one day I WILL learn it :)

As far as projects, maybe finally buy a Chatelaine kit and find out what the fuss is all about lol. Every year I have a debate with myself on whether I should buy one and then never end up doing so. Or a Thea Gouverneur kit, Istanbul would be my pick. Although I really wish I could just buy the pattern (not really interested in buying a kit when I have all the DMC thread right at home). Then again if I could, it wouldn't be on this list ;)

There are also plenty of other kits for different types of embroidery (crewel, gold work,...) that I would love to get to try out.

So onto this month's update. Again, there are projects that weren't touched at all. Like Bramble and the Rose hasn't been touched and I don't think I plan on working on it next month either.

No Update
Ink Cirlces - The Bramble and the Rose

I finished stitching all the DMC thread for the tree in Tree of Hope. I've started stitching the Caron Waterlilies, which are AMAZING as you all know. One thing is that I find it much more tiring to work with than regular cotton. I don't like seeing linear streaks of color, so there is more thinking involved when stitching with the dyed thread.

Mirabilia - Tree of Hope

Dragon Tracery is in the same boat as Bramble and the Rose. I think it will have to wait until I either finish Tree of Hope or get bored with it. Which doesn't seem likely at this point.

No Update
Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

Donna's Fantasy Lace is my movie night project, so it's been getting a lot of stitching time. Although it doesn't look like much since I've been stitching nothing but cable stitches for a month. I'm at the last row now, so I'll be able to move on to a different section very soon.

Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

SAL Dentelles I think got the most work done. I currently have 8 parts stitched. I honestly could have finished it in time for WIPocalypse (part 9 came out Monday), but I didn't really feel like working on it. It will get done in the next few days.

Brodeuse Bressane - SAL Dentelles

Here is what I worked on instead. All my fan filling stitches are done. I'm hoping to have this done for the next WIPocalypse post. No guarantee it will be finished as an ornament though.

Gingerbread Girl - Gelati al Cioccolato

No work done on the Miniature Carpet. Maybe after Gelati al Cioccolato is done?

No Update
Karen Dudzinski - Pulled Thread Miniature Ornate Carpet

Monday, March 2, 2015

SAL Dentelles Part 8

This week I finished the section early. I even managed to make it in time to be in Esther's post.

It started out badly on Thursday, I barely started and had to frog it three times. So I decided instead of cross stitching the top row of flowers (no idea what they are), I replaced them with eyelets (they look like daisies to me). I also decided to leave out the back-stitches that go inside the boxes. I liked the simplicity of it.

Here it is overall. It doesn't look like much in the picture, it looks better in sunlight.

I received the last part this morning. I would like to say I'll work on it tonight, but I probably won't. Instead I want to work on Gelati al Cioccolato by Kathryn Drummond.

I worked on it back in December, but was having trouble understanding the instructions for the fan filling. Kathryn was kind enough to make a great video on punto antico fan filling. And so I was able to make my first one this weekend. Check out the video if you are interested and subscribe to her channel. She says she plans to make more videos like these.