Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My Dirty Little Secret

This past Saturday my Sweet Babboo and I did an overnighter in Sharonville, Ohio which is considered part of Cincinnati.  We stayed at the Hyatt where John had been given a free night.  He wanted to stay overnight so that he could attend the Half Price Books clearance sale at the Sharonville Convention Center both on Saturday and Sunday.  The Hyatt is actually attached to the convention center so he got to wander over there whenever the mood struck him.  This was his third year going to the clearance sale but his first year staying at the Hyatt.  I decided to go along with him to help him find things he was looking for at the sale.  It became sort of a mini vacation for us.  The fact that Keepsakes cross stitch shop is in Sharonville was icing on the cake   : )   

I will tell you all about my visit to Keepsakes in another post.  For now I have a dirty little secret I'd like to share and to ask for help, assuming I need any.

John bought me several items while we were at Keepsakes including Lizzie Kate's 4 Seasons charts. I was never really interested in stitching these until I saw a couple people on YouTube showing their progress stitching them, but what really clinched it for me was seeing the model hanging on the wall at Keepsakes.  John really liked the model as well and I told him that this design would be my next project.  I started stitching it on Sunday evening.  This is how far I've gotten with the first design in the series.  I will, of course, be stitching all four charts together on one piece of fabric.
Nothing out of the ordinary here, but it's when I turn it around to the back side that my dirty little secret is exposed.
Knots.  If I have confetti stitches, or just a few stitches in part of a design, I secure these particular bits by making a knot.  If I'm using hand dyed floss, as is the case in this design, I both start and end with a knot.  Running the floss under a few stitches to secure these very small bits at the start and again at the finish produces a big lump in that part of the design which just won't do.

My knots are not extremely huge or noticeable from the right side.  I have never really been concerned about them in the past when stitching items I knew would be made into small pillows or even flat folds, but this project will be framed and I'm not sure if the knots will cause any problems.  They are lacemakers knots made with two single strands tied right over left, left over right, and then right over left again.  It is impossible for them to work themselves loose.

I probably would never have made this confession about my knottiness if not for the fact that the house in this design has 11 windows.  Each window consists of three stitches.  The hand dyed floss will not really show up in these windows so my plan was to start them off with a loop start and finish them with a knot.  Seems like an awful lot of knots though and I'm wondering if there might be a better way.  I know I can start one window and carry the floss across to the next, and then to the next, and so on, but I'm concerned that the black floss will show through the pale lilac floss on the right side.  I did some research into the pin start.  Interesting concept, but not when you are stitching with two strands.  Of course for these small windows I could use just one strand of floss and double stitch each leg.

Any thoughts?  The knots really just cushion themselves into the stitch(es) surrounding them so maybe I'm making much ado about nothing and embarrassing myself for no reason.  Will anyone else dare to admit that they use knots?  Perhaps we can get t-shirts made ... Knotty Girls Unite, or I'm a Knotty Girl!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Catching Up

It's been quite busy around here, but then again there doesn't seem to be much of anything getting done!  I don't know if anyone else feels this way but I have SO much to do that I am just overwhelmed by it all.  The tasks appear insurmountable.  I know, I know ... take things a little at a time.  One box per day.  One drawer per day.  Great advice, I'll grant you that.  Unfortunately all the little pixels just meld into one huge picture & I need to go have a lie down.  Sigh!

Some stitching is getting done, if nothing else.  I sort of finished my Winter ABCs by Little House Needleworks, the pattern having been gifted to me by Debra Scott.

Design:  Winter ABCs
Designer:  Little House Needleworks
Fabric:  Suggested 32-count Vintage Tundra linen
Floss:  DMC alternatives

I say I sort of finished this because I still need to stitch 20 or so blasted French knots.  They are unfortunately stitched over white motifs using either red or black floss.  I say unfortunately because after several failed attempts at getting them "just right" (you know me & my curse of just rightness) the black &/or red dye leaves little discolored areas amidst the white floss which, of course, will not do.  I have given up & will instead substitute little seed beads when I can find the right size.  I guess a three-year break in stitching made me forget my once-upon-a-time vow to carefully look at patterns before stitching them just in case those evil French knots are included.  

This next project is an actual finish ... no "sort of's" with this one!
Design:  Le Poulet
Designer:  Blackbird Designs
Fabric:  Suggested 32-count Confederate Gray linen
Floss:  DMC alternatives

I have had this little chart in my stash for several years & have always looked forward to stitching it.  I am happy wit how it turned out.

This is my next project ... Lizzie Kate's A Little Stitch.  
I started stitching it last night & it will stitch up quickly.  

I am kind of between a rock & a hard place in that I have several boxes full of linen but I don't want to open them to see what I've got & to match it up with a design I want to stitch.  Therefore I keep stitching projects that either already have the fabric included with them or I order new fabric.  Argh!!!  I don't want to open boxes ... boxes of fabric or boxes of other things ... because when we moved from our beloved farmstead on the edge of heaven I made sure I packed things to withstand Armageddon. That is how I describe it.  I pack things inside boxes in such a way that if the movers drop them off the truck or down a flight of stairs nothing will be damaged.  It takes a lot of work to pack this way and I just want to avoid having to repack if possible.  I know what you're thinking ... fabric isn't going to be damaged if a box of it is dropped off a truck or down a fight of stairs.  I know.  Still, it is packed "perfectly" & I just don't want to have to go through packing it again.  Yes, I'm a nut case.

Speaking of moving, nothing to tell you on that front.  I did find three possible rental homes in Lexington but never received a call back when I inquired about them.  You would think a professional realtor with a home to rent would respond to someone with an interest in that home, even if just to say "I'm sorry, it's been rented."  So for now it looks like we might be in our current rental until we move to a cemetery.  I hope not.

Some of you would say it's a beautiful day here today ... a sunshiny 75 degrees.  A slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky.  Tomorrow the prediction is for 78 degrees!  Blah!!!  Monday looks a little better ... 44 degrees with a chance of rain/snow.  Come on Monday!!!

You may have guessed from the continued Christmas/winter theme that I still cannot access my laptop.  I did take it in to Staples & a very personable young man was actually able to fix it for me while I was there.  I brought it home & it worked for about 20 minutes & that was the end of it.  I will need to get a new laptop one of these days.  In the meantime it is going to be Christmasy & wintery when you come to visit me.  
Have a wonderful week everyone!!!     

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Last Week's Finish, A New Start, and Signing Your Work

Designer:  La-D-Da
Design:  With You
Fabric:  30-count Old Salem linen from
The Primitive Hare
Floss:  NPI Silk as suggested by designer

I really enjoyed stitching this design and am looking forward to getting it framed and hung on a wall one of these days   : )   I have been watching a variety of cross stitch podcasts recently with stitchers talking about how important it is to sign your work.  I would like to sign this sampler and I'm guessing the best place for a signature is below the border on the bottom right side.  However, what is considered the norm for signing?  My whole name with the year 2018?  Just my first initial & my last name with the year 2018?  Just my initials with the year 2018?  Or ???  

And here is my new start ... Winter ABCs by Little House Needleworks.
This pattern was gifted to me by Debra Scott when I admired her finished project on Instagram   : )   I am using the suggested 32-count Vintage Tundra linen and I pulled the suggested Crescent Colours and DMC colors although I think I might just use all DMC.  

We have had two winter storms recently.  One last week and one just yesterday.  Last week's was rather impressive for this neck of the woods.  Yesterday's did not end up being as severe as predicted but it was nice to see the snow falling anyway.  I will be sorry when it's gone.  

Incidentally, winter will remain on my blog until I can take my laptop to the shop to have whatever is wrong with it fixed.  It refuses to connect to the internet even though it is connected to the Wi-Fi.  

I wish you all a wonderful week!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A New Ornament, A New Start, A Nightmare, & A Surprise

Happy Sunday one & all!

Last week I worked on Chessie & Friends by Chessie & Me.  This is another ornament I had kitted up from 2014.  I didn't realize there were Symra cross stitches, round eyelet stitches, & star stitches in the design, but of course I should have known ... Chessie & Me ... lol!  I am glad I persevered.

Designer:  Chessie & Me
Design:  Chessie & Friends
from 2001 JCSCO
Fabric: 32-count Café Kona linen as suggested by designer
Floss:  WDW as suggested by designer

The only change I made was I substituted DMC Ecru for the suggested WDW Angel Hair to stitch the snowman.  My skein of Angel Hair was rather peachy/apricot looking.  Definitely not a snowman color.

Last night I began a new start ... a small primitive sampler.  More information to follow   : )
The nightmare is my ongoing dental woes.  I am still making payments on a $25,000 bill & will be doing so for at least the next year.  The dental work was done this past August.  There have been problems since the work was finished.  I have been going back to the dentist almost weekly.  She had nearly 500 positive online reviews & only one that was negative, & the negative one was simply from a woman who was upset that she was charged for a consultation.  No reviews mentioned how forgetful she is, or how she takes it as a personal insult when you try to explain that you are having problems.  Last week her husband, who is also in the practice, acted as mediator between the two of us.  When she finally calmed down I wasn't going to start her up again when she insisted I had some of these problems when I first came to see her   : (   As things stand now I need to locate another dentist for a second opinion because she & her husband both say they have ever heard of anyone having the problems I am having.  Her husband said that if another party can shed light on why I'm having these problems they will do whatever it takes to fix them.  Of course before the meeting was over the dentist had to pipe up with one last snotty remark which was "You might just have to learn to live with these things."  Your prayers will be greatly appreciated.

On a happier note, I thought our lease was up at the end of June, but I looked at our rental agreement last week & yo-ho!  It's up at the end of May!  Quite a surprise for me!  This is a very good thing but also a stressful one.  Finding a decent, affordable rental is like finding a needle in a haystack.  I would LOVE to get out of Kentucky but the dental issues will most likely prevent that.  We would just stay put if it wasn't for the mold & fungus issues in the Ohio River Valley.  Your prayers will be greatly appreciated for this as well.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

In Search of a Little by Little Design Company Sampler Chart

I would like to purchase or borrow a Little by Little Design Company sampler chart. Unfortunately I do not know the name of the design or have a photo.  It features a simple floral border on the top and right and left sides but not on the bottom.  The bottom has a large two-story darker pink house with three chimneys.  To the left of the house is a tree with a bird on top. To the right of the house is a large pink flower and what looks to be a brown dog.  Straight across the top underneath the floral border there is a line of lowercase letters from A through Q.  The verse reads " If I am right oh Teach my Heart Still in the right to stay If I am wrong Thy grace impart To find that better way" ... and then there are the stitcher's initials with the words "her work in the year of Our Lord" and then the year.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  Does anyone have the chart who would be willing to sell or loan it to me so I can stitch it?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Not One, Not Two, but Three!

Three finishes last week, eight finishes since January 31st!  I'm on a roll ... lol!

Designer:  Lizzie Kate
Design:  Joy to the World
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer
Designer:  Country Cottage Needleworks
Design:  Give Joy
From 2014 JCSCO
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer
Designer:  My Big Toe
Design:  Joyous Square
from 2014 JCSCO
Fabric:  As suggested by designer
Floss:  As suggested by designer

Thanks again to everyone who helped me with my star stitches for Joy to the World.  I decided to use Robin in VA's suggestion and stitch them using one strand twice to make a stitch with two threads. Perfect!

Last night I started stitching my third ornament although I wonder if the A Little Snow design by Lizzie Kate might actually be an ornament. Hmmmmm.  Last night I started stitching my third or fourth ornament which is Chessie & Friends, a Chessie & Me design from the 2001 JCSCO issue. This is one of the designs I kitted up 3+ years ago. I think I'm going to try to work on stitching these designs first.  That's the plan for now anyway   : )