Sunday, 22 March 2020

pandemic level 4, knitting and cross stitch

The government announced this afternoon that in 48 hours we are moving to level 4 alert status on Covid19.  This is the top alert and means all non-essential businesses must close and we need to self-isolate.  The government expect this to last for 4 weeks, though it will be assessed again at that point and if necessary will continue past the 4 weeks.

As of today New Zealand has 102 confirmed cases of Covid-19, thankfully no deaths as yet.

Stressful times for all.

Last week I felt it was only a matter of time before we moved into self-isolation so I armed myself with supplies to keep myself going.  No, not toilet rolls - but the essentials like wine, chocolate and knitting wool.

I don't think I've covered knitting before on this blog.  I used to knit a lot, but haven't in recent years.  However I am feeling the urge to try it again.  I bought 2 skeins in different colours of variegated merino and decided to make the Reyna shawl from Ravelry.

This is one of the skeins I bought.

This is in the colourway Lotus

The other skein I bought is variegated shades of red.  I haven't taken a photo yet.

I didn't show a photo of my Witching Hour that I got back from the framer. Here it is

And a few updates of my cross stitch.
This is where I am at with Sans Souci.  This is still on my q snaps so took a screenshot of how it appears on PatternKeeper

And this is where I am at on my new start Naida.  Loving how this is coming along and enjoying doing diagonal parking for the first time.




Monday, 24 February 2020

12th laundry day t

My most made pattern by far is Love Notions  Laundry day T. By my count this is the 12th I've made.


The fabric is called red peonies and is an organic cotton jersey from Spotlight. It was from their clearance table and cost just $8 for 1.5 metres

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Cross stitch finish and another change to the rotation - and a new start

I finished Ornament Witching Hour on 9 Feb 2020.  4 years to the day of my last finish, Spirit of Winter.


Just need to get it framed now.  I haven't decided where to hang it yet.

The details
Ornament Witching Hour
18 count Aida
2 over 1 full cross
162x172, 21895 stitches.
167 stitching hours
Started 31 Aug 2019, finished 9 Feb 2020

This leaves me with 4 items in my rotation, which is the amount I've decided suits me best.  However I really wanted to start a formerly retired chart which was re-released by HAED.  
This is Naida by Winkler

For the first time I'm using easy count pre-gridded fabric in 20ct.   Doing tent stitch 2 over 1. However I am finding the gridlines very faint to see.  I've also bought some 25ct and the gridlines seem much clearer.  However I'll persevere with the 20ct.  
Another reason why I wanted a new start is I wanted to try diagonal stitching and parking instead of cross country.
I did cross country on Witching Hour but at the end found I'd missed a number of stitches and found filling in the gaps time consuming.  

However with starting Naida it has taken my rotation to 5 - too many.  So I have decided to drop Old Friends.  I still love the picture but love my others more.

I've also decided a set rotation, rather than spinning a decision wheel is better for me as I like to work out how much progress I can make rather than leaving it to chance.

So a new rotation will be

29 - 7th of next month - Naida.  to finish in 3 years need 4000 stitches per rotation
8-14th of Month - Sans Souci - estimate will take 8 rotations if can do 2500 stitches per rotation,
15-21st of Month - Healing Rose - estimate will take 13 rotations if do 3000 stitches per rotation. 
22-28 of month - His Eye is on the Sparrow, approx 19 rotations

If I don't do the requisite number of stitches within the dates, then I'll continue stitching until they are met.  However I can average these, so if I do 4500 stitches one month on Naida, then the next month 3500 is acceptable.

This plan means the next project may not start until a few days into its rostered rotation, but continue with it for 7 days.  At the end of the month His Eye is on the Sparrow may have to be shortened.

I'll play with this and see how the required stitch numbers work - they may require tweaking.

If I start this in March, then I should get Sans Souci finished in October this year and I can start December at New year
At this point I'm thinking of trying her on the 25ct

And I should finish Healing Rose in April next year so can then start Morning Sun



Thursday, 30 January 2020

Another Pia dress and cross stitch update.

I made my third Pia dress, by Tessuti




The others were made in linen, this time I made it out of quilting cotton from the specials table at Spotlight.  Cool and loose fitting for summer, perfect.

I'm still busy with cross stitching.  I made good progress on Ornament Healing Rose.

I'm stitching this in the HAED challenge facebook group.  I'm continuing to do 30 stitches per day on it as part of the 100 days challenge.  This means every day there is a bit more progress.  I quite like this technique and when I start one of the larger projects think I will continue to do it for those.

I'm nearly finished Ornament Witching Hour.
This is the screenshot from Pattern keeper as I haven't taken a recent photo. I think another week and a bit and I should be finished.  Yay, my first finish after returning to cross stitch.

I'm wanting to do a new start for my birthday in April but I'm having a hard time deciding which one.  There are a number I'd like to start.
 Sad Koala.  This was commissioned especially by HAED from the artist Dakota Daetwiler and all proceeds went to the Wildfire charities in Australia.  Such a worthy cause, I had to buy it.  I'm not normally a wildlife stitcher, but this appeals.  Especially as I have a photo of me holding a koala, taken a few years ago when on holiday in Australia.
 Gentle stroke.  This is a Limited Edition by HAEd and I had to have it.  Love the detail of her face.
 One with Nature. 
 Morning Sun
Native girl with Dove.

Faces are what really appeal to me when doing cross stitch and I think these are all lovely.  I love how the last 2, the lady fades out into the background.

So as I am totally undecided, I thought I would spin a wheel and see what came up.

And the winner is Morning Sun by Lee Bogle.  stitch size is 350x703, total of 246,050 stitches.

I'm going to try this on 20 ct tent 2  over 1.  I can't get the fabric here in NZ so will order from Lakeside Linens in the UK.  As DMC thread is so expensive here, I will order what I don't have from Itchy Stitchy in Australia.

The finished size on 20ct will be 17.5" x 35" and will fit onto a long narrow wall between my kitchen and dining room.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Birthday gift

It was a friends 70th birthday yesterday.  She said no presents, but of course I had to make her something. 


This is the mandala notebook by Kreative Kiwi.

Janis is a very busy lady doing a lot of volunteer work for the amputee society and she has lots of appointments which she records in a diary which she carries everywhere with her.  I got a 2020 calendar to put in the notebook cover so she can put her appointments in it.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

First dress of the year and already a change to my cross stitch plans

I made the Cadence dress by Love Notions.



I've previously made this pattern in a short sleeved top.  For this I made the tank dress version.  I omitted the elastic casing and instead made a belt.  To make the belt I cut a length on the fold 2 1/4" wide, then just sewed together.  The only change I made to the dress pattern was instead of lining the bodice I finished the neck and armscyes with bias binding.

This was super quick to make - it only took 2 hours to sew, as the dress is just 2 pattern pieces.  Easy peasy.

I've already made a change to my cross stitch plans for this year.  I've decided to UFO the At the Steps.  I have a number of reasons for this.  I initially started it working full cross on 22 ct.  I decided to change to try to speed it up and restarted it on 25ct using tent stitch.  I'm not all that happy with how the tent stitch looks on the 25 ct.  Yesterday I had a new start on Healing Rose doing tent stitch on 22 ct and am much happier with my stitching.  I wondered whether to restart At the Steps doing tent on 22 ct , but really I am just not happy with it - the piece is just too big when I have so many others I still want to start.

So I have decided future projects need to be no larger than 150,000 stitches in total, preferably under 100,000.

In place of At the steps I want to start  Storykeep What I See.  At 200x462 there are 92,400 stitches
Heaven an


I already have a spot picked out for it, in the dining room by the kitchen is a long vertical wall, currently with Celtic Winter on it, but I think this would look fabulous there.

As I jsut had a new start yesterday, I plan on waiting to start this in April for my birthday