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Friday, August 31, 2007

Canvas updates

Not much stitching has happened this week, but the bit I've done has been canvaswork.

I brought Jim Wurth's The Baroness Edie to stitch night yesterday, since it's easy to carry. I'm really loving the colors on this piece, and would like to finish it this weekend.

Wheels of Color has also seen some progress. I finished the wheels on the third round, and started some of the background.

Colleen asked if I drew the outlines on the canvas before I began the piece. I decided not to do this, because I rarely have difficulty with counted pieces. The engineer in me can see the grid and intuitively understand how things fit together. I can't recommend this approach to everyone. If you're somewhat uncomfortable with counted work, by all means draw the lines according to the instructions in the front of the book!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Independent Needlework News

I recently discovered a really interesting and useful blog: Independent Needlework News! The name and tagline (It’s like CNN, but all needlework news, all the time!) say it all, so I won't bore you with my description.

Apparently I'm a bit slow in finding my way around blogspace (is that a word?) the blogosphere*, since this terrific site started back in February. If you haven't already paid this site a visit, what are you waiting for?

(Disclaimer: I'm completely unaffiliated with INN, except to enjoy it!)

*Thanks to DH for correcting my geek speak!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wheels of Color

The needlework world lost noted canvas designer and teacher Genny Morrow in 2002. I never had the opportunity to take a class from her, but fortunately for us, her family continues to make many of her designs available.

I started Genny's Wheels of Color nearly three years ago, and I pick it up every once in a while. This week, for some reason, it called to me. Here's where I left it last night.This piece is one of the largest I've ever done. It's on 20" x 22" stretcher bars! I started stitching in the middle so I wouldn't have to lean on an already completed section to reach the middle. As a result, I'm working in rounds toward the outside. After the wheels on this round are completed, I'll go back and fill in the centers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bugs & a Berry

I've made a bit of progress on Fantasy Remembered this week.

The spider and her web are in! I'm really pleased with how it turned out - and it's SO simple to do! Just a bead, a wrapped knot, and a few straight stitches for the spider, and some long backstitches for the web.

I have a wingless dragonfly, too... the wings will be wired elements (like the leaves) and aren't done yet.

Felt padding has been added for the raised leaves and for the "fantasy fruit" (which look more like berries to me), and one of the berries is done. Long and short stitch is NOT one of my strengths, but I don't think the berry is too bad.

Here's the entire piece so far. (Click on the picture to enlarge!)

Friday, August 17, 2007

An Irish Jig!

Hooray! Happy dancing here because Luck of the Irish is complete!I really like the way it came out, even though I discovered that I made the leaf veins in a slightly heavier gold than directed. That's what happens when I do three goldwork projects back to back - the threads get mixed up!

Now I just have to send this in to the group coordinator. Since I'm doing this GCC through the Cyberstitchers chapter of EGA, the projects go through the mail system more than in a face-to-face group. In an FtF chapter, the only mailings are between the teacher and the group coordinator. The instructions are handed out in a meeting, the projects collected for critique in a meeting, and returned to the stitchers in a meeting. For a cyber group, each of these steps requires two mailings: teacher to group coordinator, group coordinator to stitcher (or visa versa).

This is my first finish for the WIP-loss challenge!

WIP-loss challenge status: 1 down, 9 to go

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another busy week

No pics today, as I'm writing this on my lunch break. This is working out to be another hectic week, with multiple evening activities. The good news is that these activities are mostly stitching-related!

Monday, I realized I had an EGA board meeting on Tuesday, and I started to get my information together for a report to the board. I'm working on bringing in a teacher in the spring. We had previously narrowed the list of classes down to a select few, for voting by the membership. I had the packet of class descriptions on my desk a few weeks ago when I emailed the teacher for color photos. The good news is that the photos arrived in plenty of time for the board meeting. The bad news is that I had subsequently cleaned off my desk, and I think the class descriptions were filed into the wrong pile, and ended up in the trash!!!! :-( At least, that's the only thing I can think happened to them, since I can't find them anywhere. So, I sent off a sheepish note to the teacher, and only had the photos to bring to the board meeting.

Tuesday evening, of course, was the board meeting - after I got my hair cut.

Tonight is our goldwork group night. I've made some progress on the shamrock. The two horizontal leaves are mostly done, and the top leaf is about half done. I hope to finish the leaves tonight.

And tomorrow is the stitch night at the LNS!

Needless to say, I probably won't have time to update the blog again until at least Friday evening! Thanks for your patience! :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More gold and another ornament

Between having to get up to be at work disgustingly early the last few weeks (and hence having to head to bed early) and having something going several evenings this week, it's been almost a week since I've posted! I have been able to make some progress on the shamrock, though. The portion I'm working on now requires each length of gold to be cut to exactly (emphasis in the GCC text by Michele Roberts) the right length before it is stitched down, and this makes it very slow going. However, I think it's looking pretty good.

On Wednesday, I received the newest installment in Jim Wurth's Dodecagon series of ornaments, The Baroness Edie. (Where does he come up with these names? I'm never going to remember this!) Anyway, strange name or not, the colors are yummy. I took one look at them and thought "Easter egg". We have bright pinks, lavenders, yellows, and pale greens on dark green canvas. Since I couldn't work on the shamrock during our sit-n-stitch Thursday, I started the outline for this piece.Today I finally managed to get the goldwork hearts mailed off to Michele Roberts for evaluation. I also received the next installment of the Gay Ann Rogers mystery sampler - the library. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get onto Gay Ann's website right now, so I can't show you what the library looks like!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

A padded shamrock

Yesterday I picked up my Luck of the Irish GCC, since I have to turn it in by the end of the month. I already had the outline done, and was able to complete the felt padding yesterday. Tonight I'll start laying the gold threads on top of the padding.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ninja Squirrel Sampler progress

Just a bit of progress to show today! I've been working on the Ninja Squirrel Sampler* the past few days, and am progressing nicely on the border.

I originally was going to stitch this entirely in Hand-Dyed Fibers, but the mystery spool I was using for the outline of the flowers had some really pale spots that got washed out. So, I found a skein of Soie d'Alger in my stash that was the perfect color.

Then, when I went to stitch the middle of the light reddish-brown flowers, the HDF skein I had picked ended up being too dark, and the flower outline got lost. Back to the stash again! After comparing silks on hand to the DMC color called for in the chart, I ended up using a color of Splendor that's just a bit pinker than the DMC, but I think it works.

The Soie d'Alger is just a bit thicker than the Splendor or HDF, but it works for the outline. Some people wonder if they can mix brands of silk flosses in the same project. Here's a case for saying you can! If the right color of Splendor hadn't turned up, I was going to resort to plain old DMC cotton, and I probably wouldn't have had a problem with that, either.

As a reminder, the poll (on the right side of this web page) expires in just a few days. Please let me know what types of posts you like to see! Thanks!

*For background on the Ninja Squirrel Sampler, see the last few paragraphs of this post.