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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Prairie Schooler ABC charts giveaway (updated)

You read that right! I am no longer stitching the Prairie Schooler ABC designs, and I know that they are out of print. So here is your chance to win all of the charts!

What do you have to do? Simply comment on this blog post and leave your name in your comment. I will announce the winner during my next podcast.

**Updated - winner announced on the podcast (Episode 15) and in the comments below.

Doodle-head Stitches Episode 14

Thanks for watching!

Show Notes

Knitting:I've started working on clue 2 of the Be With You shawl and there are beads!.

My Hitchhiker shawl has 35 of 42 teeth now, so I met my goal again of 1 pattern repeat per week.

My Hiro sweater has a little more progress - I've made it through the waist decreases and am working my way up the body towards the increases section.

I am planning to participate in the Voodoo MKAL with BooKnits that starts October 1.These are the yarn and beads I'm planning to use.

Quilting: My first green hexie block has 4 of 6 rows now for my Over the Rainbow Quilt. It was the only project which saw even a small bit of progress this time.

I mention a blog post by Leah Day in which she suggests more frequent, but shorter practice sessions.

Crochet: I added 4 squares to my Sock Scraps Granny Square blanket, bringing the total to 72 attached.

Cross Stitch: My kitty's head is fully backstitched, as is the bird in Feathered Friends.

I also worked on Mirabilia's Bluebeard's Princess, my DVG Pumpkin Patch Pillow, and the crewel project Textured Floral. I use finger cots such as these to grip the needle when pulling it through the fabric.

Apparently I forgot to talk about starting multiple similar projects in cross stitch, but I was referring to my project start frenzy of 2001 with all of the TW projects I mentioned in an earlier blog post. I just don't want to go crazy and do that again.

Giveaway: Enter the Prairie Schooler ABC Charts Giveaway here! The winner will be announced in my next podcast.

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cross stitch projects - two lists

So, after much consideration, I've divided my cross stitch projects into two lists. I've decided to call the projects that I'm no longer interested in stitching "Retired projects." As I mentioned in the last post, they have served their purposes, and it is time to let them go.

Retired Projects

Celestial Dragon
Deco Spirits
Dragon Ride
Magical Night
Pageant Kings
PS ABC Quilt
Use It Up Sampler

The other projects I am planning to continue at this point (and at least one of these may be reevaluated in the future) are as follows.

Current Working Projects

Around the World in 80 Stitches
Bluebeard's Princess
Chinese Dragon Gate
Desert Landscapes Mandala
Egyptian Sampler
Feathered Friend
In the Garden
Kitty Litter
Magnificent Wizard
Pumpkins Pillow
Spooky House
Textured Floral (crewel)

That still leaves me with a lot of WIPs, some of them quite large, but it also frees my spirit to ensure that they are ones I enjoy stitching. I have learned the things the retired projects needed to teach me, and it is time to move forward and learn and enjoy new things.

I have also decided to de-kit most of the projects. Some have fabric which can be used in small items, and of course, a lot of DMC floss and some beads and metallics that will go back into the main collection, waiting for their day with a new project. I'm already feeling lighter, and looking forward to sharing with you my progress on 3 WIPS on the next podcast! :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cross Stitch WIPS musings

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about my cross stitch projects -- about the projects I currently have in progress, and about the projects I'd like to do some day (sooner rather than later). This has led to some serious re-evaluation of those current projects, many of which are large and for which finishes are far in the future, based on the amount of time I currently spend working on cross stitch in relation to all my other hobbies.

I have kept a little table on a page in the cross stitch section of my web site, and it is very easy to pop that over into an Excel spreadsheet and sort by one column or another. Today, I sorted by Date Started. This was my result:

Date Started Project Name
5/12/2001 Celestial Dragon
6/11/2001 Enchanter
7/29/2001 Magical Night
8/6/2001 Dragon Ride
1/13/2002 Pageant Kings
11/10/2002 Magnificent Wizard
1/7/2003 Egyptian Sampler
6/8/2003 Aurora
6/8/2003 Avatar
11/22/2009 PS ABC Quilt
1/17/2010 Kitty Litter
2/27/2010 Spooky House
9/15/2010 Textured Floral (crewel)
10/9/2010 In the Garden
1/16/2011 Deco Spirits
4/25/2011 Desert Landscapes Mandala
8/4/2011 Chinese Dragon Gate
12/5/2011 Use It Up Sampler
5/11/2012 Around the World in 80 Stitches
8/8/2012 Pumpkins Pillow
8/1/2013 Bluebeard's Princess
6/26/2015 Feathered Friend

Of course, I know what happened back in 2001. I've probably even blogged about it before. I found a wonderful online community of stitchers, and my whole world opened up. The Teresa Wentzler Bulletin Board was a wonderful hangout, and with it came lots of enabling. I had stitched Teresa's design, "The Castle" and then found so many other designs that I wanted to have. Of course, to have those designs, I had to stitch them. But instead of starting one, and working on it singly before starting another one of her designs, I felt the need to start four (and then another one in 2003).

Fast forward a little bit, and I have completed several Black Swan Designs patterns which I absolutely adored, Cymberleah, Dragon Heart, Merrick, and Lucien. Then I found a couple of their other designs which I liked okay, but not as much as those four. So, I decided to go ahead and do those too. I was like, "start and stitch ALL the things!" Unfortunately, I still haven't come to love those two designs, Aurora and Avatar, as much as I love the other ones. In fact, I've completely fallen out of like with Aurora, even through she is probably the closest to being finished of my large projects.

So, I'm taking a look at my list of Cross Stitch WIPs with a critical eye, and I'm going to be paring them down. A lot. I'm going to pull each project out and decide whether I really want to continue it to the end, or if I would be happier to just say it has done its duty. Perhaps someone else would like to finish it for themselves? I'm thinking I'll put up a list here within a few days of all of the projects I plan to abandon. We'll see where it goes from there. I may offer them up for the taking, or I may just de-kit them (or a combination of the two). I know this: I will not feel guilty about them, whatever my decisions. I'm looking forward to working on some of the other lovely designs I've had in stash for years that I've been unable to start because of the piles and piles of unfinished WIPs taking up space on the shelves.

Edited to add one project which I'd forgotten, and which wasn't in my table

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Doodle-head Stitches Episode 13

Thanks for watching!

Show Notes

Knitting: I finished the Vineyard Lace Mitts. One holiday gift down, several more to go!

I'm still working on clue 1 of the Be With You shawl.

My Hitchhiker shawl has 33 of 42 teeth now, so I met my goal again of 1 pattern repeat per week.

My Hiro sweater has a little more progress - I've made it to the second waist decrease.

Quilting: I added 3 new hexagons to my first green block of the Over the Rainbow Quilt. I'd like to finish this block before the next podcast.

The Jungle Baby quilt is sandwiched, ready to be machine quilted. Now to practice some machine quilting and figure out how I want to quilt it.

I finally finished hand-quilting the center block of Fall Frolic. Hand-quilting takes a while to do, so I'm not sure when we'll see this quilt on the podcast again, but I plan to work on it again soon.

I finished piecing in the background diamonds for the final block of Eldon. Piecing the quilt top together has commenced.

I started and finished a new set of Cotton Theory reversible placemats - Fall colors on one side and Christmas colors / fabrics on the other.

Crochet: I added 5 squares to my Sock Scraps Granny Square blanket, bringing the total to 68 attached.

Cross Stitch: My kitty has a feathered friend-in-progress in Feathered Friends.

Happy crafting!

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Eldon blocks are all pieced

Eldon blocks on design wall waiting assembly

Yes! All 16 are now pieced and ready for me to begin piecing them all together. It will take a while to do that, since the seams are all set-in (as in the blocks), but I'm so close now!