Monday, April 25, 2016

Knotting away

I worked on class work this weekend. I have finished stitching three of the tear drops for my Italian drawn thread class (three more to go!). But there isn't any point in taking any pictures as it's all the same stuff right now. I'll take one once all the tear drops are stitched.

I also worked on finishing the stitching on my Sardinian knot stitch mug mat. Once I got the basics down it was a very fast stitch. I just had to keep remembering where to keep the thread when I'm stitching an ascending or descending line. My one complaint: my neck hurts after a session. This is because the best way to stitch is to lay the piece on a flat surface, so my neck was constantly hunched as I tried to see which fabric thread I had to stitch onto next. Next time I'll have to figure out a better stitching area than my desk, maybe an elevated pillow?

So that's it for now on the Sardinian knot stitch mug mat. I'm waiting to see if there will be finishing instructions. In the meantime, I've started stitching a second one in the same colorway since the fabric is large enough for it. I also have another piece in black. So I might stitch three more to make a set of matching mug mats :)

Friday, April 22, 2016

WIPocalypse 2016 – April

This month's theme is: What do you listen to while stitching? (via Jo) I don't listen to music or audio books while stitching. I usually stitch at my desk with a frame on one side of my desk and computer screen on the other end. Netflix is pretty much always on. If I'm not re-watching my favorite shows, I'm watching a documentary. I've watched so many at this point on a huge variety of subjects: biographies, environment, guns, education, dance, music,... I've even watched the ones about alcohol even though I don't drink, it's my way of educating myself so that I can hold a conversation with co-workers who do drink (I know how champagne is made =D). But my favorite are the ones on food. I do occasionally find that all stitching has stopped and I'm watching the screen, but that's okay. I'm resting my eyes ;)

This month I did put in some time on Bramble and the Rose. In fact I reached my little goal of finishing one page (page 3). So that's one thing I can cross off. Extra points if I can finish page 2 and 5 :)

Ink Circles - The Bramble and the Rose
Still hidden away poor dragons.

No Update
Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

Yeah, I thought about taking this out, but then nothing happened.
No Update
Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

Pre-work on Fandango has gone as far as it will until I go to Seminar. It's not a very good picture, sorry. It's hard to capture white on white.

I've also added two more projects to my WIP list. Both are projects I'm taking as a class with my EAC guilds. One is a Sardinian Knot stitch class with VT and the other is an Italian Drawn Thread class with LCSG.
Sardinian Knot Stitch Mug Mat - Jeanine Robertson
Sfilati Fantasia - Fiore Fonda

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Assisi Rose Finished

Remember my assisi Rose? Well once I had finished stitching it, I gave it back to the guild. In turn, one of the members turned it into a President card. Isn't it cute :)

Guild members routinely make these to send out on behalf of the guild. I'm glad. This means it will get used and not just be forgotten in my box of finished pieces. Thank you Helen Ansell for sending me the image.

A Bit of Everything

We had fantastic weather on the weekend so I spent most of it outside enjoying the sun. In the evening I worked on a little bit of everything.

On Friday I went to get some stitching supplies and picked up more beads from Michaels for another bead experiment. Lately in shops, I've been seeing what looks like bead bracelets that are crocheted. They come with a hefty price tag. Now, I'm all for encouraging crafters, but I'm not willing to pay that amount to a big brand store when I know that if I put my mind to it, I can make it myself. After lots of googling, I figured out the technique is called Crochet Bead Rope. I found a fantastic tutorial on YouTube and away I went.

It's a really simple technique and very zen once you get the hang of it. My only complaint: stringing beads is very tedious. It's very easy to loose track and end up with a bad sequence and you won't realize it until you've halfway crocheted the rope and it's too late to fix and everything has to be undone.

Now the best thing about this is, I can pick the colors and patterns I want so it matches my wardrobe. For my first try, I'm using DMC perl cotton #12 in black with Toho 11/0 beads in gold and gunmetal. The pattern is one I found on Pinterest. Not the most ideal thread and beads but I'm playing so it's okay. Once I've finished making up this bracelet, I'll have to do a comparison between it and Kumihimo and see which one I prefer.

I also received the second lesson for the Sardinian knot stitch class I'm taking with Virtual Threads. So I added the second layer. I'm really liking my choice of thread colors. I'm probably just going to alternate between the ecru and blue.

I can't forget whitework :) I signed up for an Italian Drawn Thread class with my local guild the Lakeshore Creative Stitchery Guild. It's a two day class, so I had to take the day off for it but it's totally worth it.

The class is thought by one of the guild members named Fiore Fonda who is a fount of information on not just Italian embroidery but other styles as well. Which is why I took the class. To be honest, I don't even know what the actual finished project is supposed to be (tea towel? decorative hand towel?). I took it more for the technique and learning aspect than the finished product.

We are stitching on a fabric called Soteima L20 (I might have that wrong since I can't find anything on it on google) and using DMC broder special #25 and DMC cordonnet #80. The class starts off with the buttonhole stitch, lots and lots of buttonholes. I think by the end of this project I will either hate the sight of them or will get very good at them and learn to like them :) By the end of the day, we managed to start the drawn thread on the tear drop we had stitched.

The finished project will look like the one below at the end, but there is a lot to do before it ends up looking like this. In fact I have 3 weeks until the next class and I have to stitch all the buttonholes for the 5 other tear drops. It seems like a very daunting task, but I was actually able to stitch another tear drop in my evening stitch meeting yesterday. So I'm feeling pretty confident.

Sfilati Fantasia by Fiore Fonda

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WIP Weekend

One more weekend has passed and there are five weekends left before I get to go on my trip. As I've mentioned before I've been kind of in the dumps these past few weeks not feeling like working on anything I currently have at all.

Hopefully that will change after this weekend, because I reached one of my year goals :)

See that? That is one page of Bramble and the Rose completely stitched. Which means, I can cross off one of my goals this year. Anything I stitch on this piece after this is just icing.

The plan was to stitch on it Saturday and move onto Fantasy Lace the next day. But while I was stitching on this piece, I was remembering how much I enjoy working on it. If that feeling stays I might stitch on it more often now. Now, no promises, but I will try to put in some sort of progress on Fantasy Lace before the next WIPocalypse progress report. We'll find out next week.

Friday, April 8, 2016


Not a lot of variety this month. I mainly spent my time on Fandango and the black thread is from the gift I made that I still can't show.

I've also been a little bead crazy this month. I've been buying beads left and right, and looking at bead embroidery patterns. I found this one on Pinterest and having loads of fun with it. A few years ago when I was on an eBay spending spree I bought a lot of Mill Hill beads, so that's what I used. It's not ideal as the beads are not all identical, but it's fine when you're experimenting. I've started putting it together and it should be finished soon :)

Update 2016/04/12: Wendy was kind enough to give me the correct name for this kind of beading. It's called bead weaving and not bead embroidery. Something new to look up :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Birthday Long Weekend

Since it was my birthday I decided to take another long weekend. We celebrated by going for High Tea at the Ritz Carlton which is something I've always wanted to try.

The scones have inspired me. I will definitely have to try making them at home. I also took the opportunity to attend the Thursday stitching meeting with the day group from the Lakeshore guild. It was great to sit down with the ladies and interact with them. Some of them brought pieces for show and tell but I was so busy looking at everything I forgot to take pictures.

Fandango has been progressing slowly (sorry it's hard to take pictures of white on white). I've already stitched more than I need for my class in May, but I'll continue working on it as much as I can. I am determined to have it finished before the end of the year :) So the more I do now, the better (or at least that's what I keep telling myself).

A while back I signed up for a class with the EAC Virtual Threads Guild and it finally started this weekend. This technique is called Sardinian Knot Stitch or punt’e nĂ¹ and originates from Teulada, Sardinia, Italy. The technique is fairly simple and is composed of knots that rest along the vertical fabric thread. It kind of looks like the coral stitch but with this one you have to be careful of stitching on the right fabric thread otherwise once you come around things don't meet up and the design won't look symmetrical. And let's not forget tension! Tension is very important in this style of stitching. I think I restarted this little figure at least 5 times and I never even went all around until my last attempt. It looks kind of chunky because I'm stitching with #5 perle cotton.

The class is thought by Jeanine Robertson who has a wonderful blog on Italian needlework of all kinds. You can learn more about this particular technique by clicking here. She even has some free patterns posted if you'd like to try your hand at it. My goal for this class is to master this technique so that I can stitch this piece.

It is a piece designed by Jeanine and appeared in issue 87 of Inspirations magazine. I tried to stitch it on my own but didn't like any of my attempts. Hopefully I will be able to do a better job after this class :)