Flosstube Adventures #3

I hadn’t known StitchMaynia was ‘thing’, but
now I know, so here is what I decided to do. There’s no way I can do 15 new starts, but
I did buy a couple of things, and then I thought I’d dip into some of my WIPs that aren’t currently
being worked on and just kinda have fun trying a bunch of different things in a short period
of time. I made it out to my LNS on Saturday, and I had wanted to see if they had some of
the Mill Hill bead kits. They had a few; not a huge selection, but enough for me to find
something I really liked. I would’ve bought all three – there’s a Scottish Santa and a
Welsh Santa as well, I think – this is the Irish one – but I chose this one. I decided
I can start with one; I can always get the other two later. So I picked this guy up,
and the intention was to start him on May 1st. I started him the last day of April.
It was just too much fun. The kit is pretty consise: it’s well packaged and so on, but
the threads are not sorted, so this was my solution. It’s a horrible solution. Don’t
do it! And if the kit was any larger, if there were any more thread colours, I think it would’ve
been truly disasterous. I’ll manage with this, but I’ll figure something out for next time.
And here he is so far. I haven’t gotten to the beads yet, but the thing about this is,
you feel like you’re accomplishing something with every colour finish, and so you wanna
keep going! I think I stitched till close to midnight on the last day of April, and
then I did a bunch more today as well, the first. My niece, who’s not even 5, helped
me by pulling the thread through, and she’s got a remarkable amount of concentration for
a kid her age, and she stuck with it for quite a bit of the green, the medium green colour.
I also went shopping online a little, and because of FlossTube, I found out about all
these different neat online vendors and etsy shops. So I popped into cloudsfactory and
I picked up two patterns. I can’t show you Little Red Riding Hood because she didn’t,
I don’t think she came with a cover sheet. But, Cute Little Matryoshka Dolls, there they
are. They’re adorable. I have Aida cloth, I have almost all the floss colours, so this
will be a fun one to stitch up in between all the other bigger things that I’m working
on. I’m gonna work on some WIPs as well, and this is what the ‘Earth’ birth announcement
looks like when its done, although the name, the personalization will be different, and
I’m not adding the zodiac sign in the bottom corner there. I’m not gonna stick to any hard
and fast rules for StitchMaynia, but I am going to have 15 things to pull from, and
this is one of them. I’m so close to being done. You’ll see in the next few pictures
some progress. I’ll flip through them fairly quickly. One thing I wanted to mention: if
you look carefully, the back-stitching on the sample here, it’s quite dark compared
to the skin tones of the baby, and so I’m considering switching that out. To me, it
looks a little strange. I would look better if the baby had darker skin tones, but it
doesn’t, and the child who’s receiving it doesn’t, so I think I’ll end up switching
it out a little. Number 5 on the StitchMaynia count is a HAED. Yet another thing that I’d
never heard of until FlossTube. I wandered over there, and sure enough, I found something
that I really like. I printed it off in black and white, but it is a colour mini. There
were so many new things to learn with this, and so many new terms: well, there’s HAED,
for one, and full coverage, and 2 over 1 and 1 over 2, and 1 over 1, and I learned about
loop starts and I learned about gridding – I had never done that before, more on that later
– so, lots of new things going on here. I’ll try to link it in the description, but this
is the tutorial, the YouTube tutorial, that I found to be really helpful. Now, just to
be really clear, you’ll see later on, I made a bit of a mistake in my gridding, but that
is not the tutorial’s fault. That’s my fault! I just wanted to be clear about that. So when
I bought the pattern, I couldn’t get to my LNS – they’re closed on Sundays and I was
in town on a Sunday – so I had to go to Michael’s, and the closest thing they had to the suggested
fabric, which should’ve been a 25-count, was this evenweave Lugana 28-count, so I bought
it. It’s tiny! I’m doing 1 over 1. It works best in daylight, it’s just so very tiny.
If I ever do another HAED, and I think I might, I will do it on 25-count for sure, and not
28. But I’ll make this one work. Here’s where you can see, I got impatient with the gridding
and decided to start stitching. When I get close to where I need more grid, I can always
put it in. I used a nylon thread. The tutorial suggested fishing line, and then she mentioned
nylon thread works as well, and that’s what I had available, so that’s what I used. If
you do it right, you get these neat little crosses where the lines intersect, and I somehow
did it backwards-something-or-another, so this is what I ended up with. But I never
gridded before, and I was really surprised, pleasantly surprised, by how much easier it
makes things. I’ve only had to frog the odd single stitch here and there, maybe two, which
is a good thing, because frogging on this size of evenweave is next to impossible, for
me at any rate. I’m really appreciating those little grids. And a bit of a close-up. I’ve
actually completed a bit more. You could see that in the previous picture, but I wanted
something a little more detailed. You can begin to see some of the shading. This is
basically the background, or, I don’t know, the night skies, or something like that. There
are an awful lot of dark colours here. I’m really enjoying it so far, though we’ll see
how long it takes me to get a page finish. This next project for StitchMaynia, it is
so close to being done! I basically just have to do french knots for the eyes. You can see
it in this close-up: I tried french knots on the doll behind Santa there, and to me,
they look too big. I don’t know. I’m gonna dig around in my beads and see if I have some
tiny black beads, or maybe try french knots with one thread, or something, I’m not sure.
But this one is really close to being done, and it won’t cost quite as much to frame because
I won’t be putting glass over it, so it’s close! It’s maybe the closest one that I’ve
got right now. You can see the full thing here. It’s a bit of a weird angle, but you
get the idea. The pattern calls for a type of bow. You stitch a bow, basically, and the
little ornaments hang on each bow, but to me that seems sort of flimsy, so I found these
really tiny Christmas-themed buttons, probably at Michael’s, and sewed those on. You’ll see
the ornaments in the next picture, but those will get a little loop, and hopefully that
will complete the thing. And the little ornaments! They’re all stitched on plastic canvas, and
I think they’re all done except for – again – eyes. And french knots on plastic canvas,
I find to be almost entirely impossible, just because you need to put your needle down slightly
apart from where you came up. That’s kinda hard to do on plastic canvas, so I’m guessing
beads will be coming in handy again here. Winter Sampler. This is a Janlynn, and here
you can see what it’s supposed to look like in the end. I actually bought this as a pattern
from my local needlework store a long time ago and I’m pretty sure it’s not available
as a paper pattern anymore, although you can download a PDF from Kooler Designes (k o o
l e r), or you can get it as a kit from Janlynn. Here’s what I’ve got so far. When I pulled
it out, I don’t know, the coverage didn’t thrill me when I looked at it for the second
time, but it’s not awful, so I think once it’s done, the sampler has so much going on,
and the colours are pretty vibrant, so I think it will be alright. Eventually, I’d like to
stitch all 4 and have them as a rotating display, but that’s a really long-term plan. I’m excited
to get back into this one for StitchMaynia. I haven’t touched it in ages, so it’ll be
fun to add at least a little bit. Moving right along, this one’s called ‘Tuli Time’. It’s
another Janlynn kit. It’s rather large, I guess mostly because it’s done on a large
piece of Aida. I probably got it, I can’t even remember exactly why, but I’m guessing
I bought it with the idea of doing it maybe for my mom? She was born in England, so I
thought the thatched roof might be a kind of a neat look to stitch up for her. So I
incuded this in my StitchMaynia just because it might be nice to stitch on something nice
and chunky and large and give my eyes a break. And I do like the colours and kind of the
countryside setting. This was not one of the WIPs where I was surprised by how much I had
done. You can see here how I usually work. I stitch almost everything in hand – I only
just recently got a q-snap, or a q-snap-type thing, when I bought the HAED, actually – so
I generally start in the middle, work my way over to the right, go up and down, and then
work my way back towards the left so that my fingers aren’t touching the stitches, as
much as possible they aren’t touching the stitches. There’s not a whole lot done here
yet, but I think in one day of solid work I could add at least a couple inches and feel
like I’ve at least touched it in the last few years. Next on the list, there’s this
Endangered Species booklet, I guess, of patterns. I’m pretty sure I started this in high school,
so when I opened it, I had no idea of where I would’ve left off, but it turns out I’m
pretty much done! And here they are, the two swans. This was taken long before I knew anything
about dyed fabrics. It would’ve looked gorgeous on many other fabrics, but it’ll do. I don’t
know what I’m going to do with it, or who I’ll give it to, or, I dont know, but I just
need to check it over and make sure there are no missing stitches. I think there’s something
around the eyes that needs finishing up. I guess the day that I work on this WIP will
be a washing and ironing kind of day. This is another one I started a long time ago.
I do want to stitch both pieces eventually, and I have fabric for both in the bag, but
it’s the pelicans that I started. I remember there was some kind of issue with the background
green colour, it seemed too bright, so I think I’m going to end up frogging that and choosing
a different colour. I don’t know if that has to do with the DMC number switch that I’ve
heard about, but I think it’s too old for that to be the issue, maybe it’s just a misprint.
The pictures remind me of some of the areas around here where we used to go in the summer
as a family and it just looks airy and clean and fresh, although I know when you’re around
pelicans it usually stinks like fish, it just, it _looks_ like it would be clean and fresh.
This is what I’ve accomplished so far. You can see the smaller pelican taking shape there,
and I’ve worked my way mostly along the bottom. The green kind of behind the pelican is the
green I’m concerned about, so we’ll see what happens there. I started this a long time
ago. It’ll be fun to, I don’t know, maybe I can finish a bit of that smaller boat, or
I don’t know, add little bits so that it’s more fun to get back to. For this StitchMaynia
choice, we’re going back into ancient history. You can probably tell from the colours and
the stains, I’m pretty sure this chart would’ve been bought in the ’90s, maybe created in
the ’80s, and I know I stitched it when I was still in university, and that is about
15 years ago, so it’s been a while. Originally, it was intended as a gift for someone, but
I know their tastes have changed drastically. They’re no longer into dusty rose and dusty
blue! I don’t know what I’ll do with it when I finish it. Hopefully I’ll find someone who
thinks it’s gorgeous. Here’s my progress so far. I don’t know what it was, but I remember
there was one part that I stitched an re-stitched and re-stitched. I’m hoping it’s not the bit
that’s not done yet, but we’ll see. As you can see, there’s not a whole lot let to go.
The one wise man and his camel, and then a little bit of words, I guess, or some stitching
in that small frame, and then it’ll be done! It’ll need a really good wash. This is apparently
from back in they day when I tried to use a hoop and I don’t like how it squished some
of the stitches, but I’m hoping that washing will kind of life that out. This is the WIP
that I thought of first when I decided that I would pull out some of my temporarily put
away WIPs. It’s just, it’s fun! I really like it. I’m not that far along on it, but you’ll
see, it’s not just a bare start either, and the colours are vibrant and happy and it’s
childlike and, but it’s not childish – I really like this design. Here’s what I’ve got so
far. I’m hoping that as part of StitchMaynia, I can finish up that red-jacketed bunny and
maybe get some more done on the duck. I’m guessing that’s Jemima Puddleduck. We’ll see.
The tree has candles on it, which thrills me to bits, and it’ll be fun to do. This is
another one where I wish I’d known about hand-dyed fabrics a long time ago, but it’ll be ok.
It’ll be fun. It’ll look clean, it’ll look like an illustration in a book on paper, which
makes sense, since it’s a Beatrix Potter piece of artwork. This one, I’m looking forward
to it being done, or at least makng progress on it. I dug this one out just because I had
originally started it for a friend who was going through a rough time, and my thought
was, I’d write a note on the back about how this was for her, and when she felt it was
time to pass it on, she could pass it on to someone else who needed the sentiment as well.
The verse is from the Bible, and it’s about “I have thoughts of hope towards you”, and
so on. But it’s been quite a while since I started it, and it feels a little bit silly
to give it to her now, but there’s a new situation…maybe i’ll work out. And this is another one where
I pulled it out and I didn’t realise I had that much done. I’ll show that to you in a
minute, but first I just wanted to you the front of the magazine. There it is. It’s a
Just Cross Stitch. Don’t worry about my address showing, that’s not my address. I hope you
can see the volume number there. I’m looking at a smaller version right now so I can’t
see it, but it’s a relatively recent one, and if I remember correctly, I actually really
liked the design on the front. I loooove lemons. Lemons are yummy! But that wasn’t what I ended
up stitching. And here’s what I’ve got so far. This one has a few specialty stitches
in it if I remember correctly. I’m not a fan of yellow, there are plenty of people who
like yellow and I have nothing against that, but personally, I have a hard time with yellow.
But it’s kind of a mellower colour in this sampler, and the purples and the greens kind
of balance it out. I hope I can get a substantial chunk bitten into this one so that I pick
it up again. I’m hoping that StitchMaynia will kind of make me want to finish it more
urgently, I guess is the way I’m thinking of it. This is another one of those FlossTube-enabled
things. I’d never heard of the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, and all of a sudden I started seeing
this and a few of their other samplers floating around. I love to read, and I really read
voraciously when I was in school, and a lot of the things I read were those classics,
those old-time books, so this would be perfect. I have sort of a light-green fabric I want
to do it on, and that might mean that I change the frames. And I’ve also thought of, instead
of backstitching the frames to make them pop a bit more, I’ve thought of spreading them
out a bit more, and back-stitching a stitch away from the cross-stitches of the frame,
if that makes any sense. So I need to space the frames apart a little more to make that
happen, but I think my fabric’s large enough to do that. We’ll see. This would be a brand
new start for me. The other thing is that when I went to my LNS, they didn’t have the
Weeks Dye Works that I needed, and she’s ordering them for me, but I’m guessing it’ll take a
while to come in. There was only one. We’ll see what happens. But I would like to just
get a start on it just so that I can say I have started. Witzy and Boof. Here’s what
it’s supposed to look like when it’s done, and here’s where I was at as of my previous
FlossTube video. So I had done a lot of cross-stitching. There was still a large star missing at this
point, the rabbit, big chunks of the bird’s pjs, and there’s a blanket underneath them
as well that was missing. Here’s where I’m at now. That big star is in there. All the
cross-stitching is done, and there’s just a little bit of back-stitching left to finish
up, plus the personalization, but that won’t take too long. And then it’s a matter of washing
it, and then it’s a matter of getting it framed, and that’s not cheap! But it’ll be worth it.
It’s a keepsake and I think the kid who’s getting it will like it. It’s cheerful and
fun, and I think his parents will like it too, which sometimes matters more than what
the kid thinks when they’re that young! I’m really looking forward to being finished with
this one. It was fun to stitch, and even though, as I mentioned previously, I really hate yellow,
I bore with it because I knew it would be fun for a kid, so I managed. And that makes
15 things to work on for StitchMaynia! I thought I’d end by showing a finished, object, a fully
finished object, fully finished quite a while ago. This is a Teresa Wentzler. I probably
should’ve done my research, but I forget what the name is. I got rid of the chart a long
time ago. This is something that I stitched up not knowing how difficult it would be.
I think if I had known and I had realized how difficult the blended threads and all
the fractional stitches and so on and so forth would’ve been I never would’ve started it.
But this is a piece that I really love. To me, it’s more than just a dragon and a story-teller
and a castle; to me it says something about the power of story and how it can tame and
teach and you can build relationships through story. Just a couple of close-ups. There was
a little bit of beadwork on this one, some metallic thread, as you can see, and on this
close-up, you can really see some of the detail and the shading that went into it. I remember
working on the, sort of the celtic braid pieces. It was really fun to see it form with that
3D effect as though it were woven, but yeah, loooots of fractional stitches. The last close-up.
Here you can see the dragon listening intently to the story-teller, and some of the detail
on the face. I never was entirely happy with the story-teller’s eye, but I think when you
back up, it’s just part of the picture and it’s not quite as jarring as I maybe initially
thought it would be. I do remember working on the back-stitch and just being so eager
to be done. It was a great project, it took me through a fairly difficult patch. I needed
something that would take my mind off of things, and this definitely did, because you had to
concentrate to make it work! It hangs in my bedroom. I’m really glad I have it. I don’t
know if you noticed before, the frame’s a bit chewed up, it got damaged last time I
moved, but I think I’ll be able to dab some paint on it and it’ll be ok. That’s it for
my StitchMaynia post. It’s been kinda long, hope you’ve made it through! Thanks for listening.
I’ve really been enjoying listening to and watching all of your various FlossTubes and
picking up tips on the way and learning all kinds of new terminology and tricks and things,
so I hope you enjoy this one too. Thanks for listening again. Comment or like if you feel
like it and I hope you have a lovely rest of your day!