Sunday, January 17, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching - January 17, 2021

 Very busy at work this week - month close plus quarter close plus year end.  Whew!  For a managerial accountant such as myself, it's rather like the middle of April is for a tax accountant.  

So not as much crafting as is usual; work spilled into the evening hours a bit.  It will continue on for another week before it gets back to 'normal' or at least as normal as the 'new normal' can get (still working from home). 

However, I did make progress on both of my focus projects this week.  The grey socks  - I decided to do the V shaped detail on the top of the instep instead of continuing the patterning all the way down.  This was only possible because the pattern repeat was wide (8 stitches), and totally symmetrical around the center point. Heel is folded flat underneath, causing odd buckling on the right.  The marker is in the final decrease of the gusset.

They are getting quite close to the toes - maybe five more rounds or so.

The cutwork napkin also got some attention,  About seven hours and 2/3 of the way around.  I need to pick up the pace this week to get ten hours and the other edge of the lily motif by Thursday this week.   Next weekend is the quarterly virtual retreat and I'd like to be able to switch to a counted thread project since that's the focus of the retreat.  #24HoursOfCrossStitch on Facebook.

Linking up with SSS (current round up).

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching - Januay 10, 2021

 Very quick update this week. 

Socks are at the ends of the gussets.   I think I'm going to do a sort of V shaped detail moving from patterned stitching to regular stocking stitch across the instep.  The rest of the foot will go quicker that way and be a bit more comfortable in the shoe than texture all the way to the toes. 

On the embroidery front, the napkin is at a bit over three hours and a third of the way around.   I want to have my usual ten hours in by January 21 so I can move to the next project for the quarterly virtual retreat starting on Friday 1/22. 

That's all for me this week.  Linking up with SSS (current round up)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching - January 3, 2021

 Here's to a new year and a hopefully it will be a better one. 

Big news this week on the crafting front is that I finished off the Sampler Sweetbag set in time for it to count as the last finish of 2020 (details here).  This was an older WiP, and the assembly took a lot longer than it should have!  But it's off the work table now.


Replacing the Sweetbag as the active needlework project and kicking off the 2021 Needlework Rotation (#1) is the last of the cutwork napkins.  I put the padding stitches into the all of the outer border except around the main lily motif and got started on the first side this weekend. I figured out last time that I need to support the edge of the work in the hoop and the off-cuts from the sweetbag hadn't been put away yet, so I just basted a length  along the edge of the napkin, avoiding the stitched area.  Much better tension.

Both of the socks are a bit more than halfway down the gusset area of the foot. 

And all the crochet is done on my sister's Muppet.  There's still a lot of assembly and embellishment - tentacles, antennae and eyes plus a black felt lining.  So right now it looks more like a wonky helmet than  cute fuzzy beast.

And last but not least, a few more inches on the sock yarn blanket.  Ten inches  (25 cm) to the next corner.

On the organization front, all the DMC not assigned to a project is on bobbins and put away neatly in boxes.  That's a major milestone.  I use a combination of bobbins (for full six strands) and Floss Away bags (for cut lengths and lengths that have plies pulled out).  I have a lot of DMC since I inherited parents' and grandmas' (both sides) and Aunt Lottie's crafting things and purchased or was gifted three estates needlework materials and yarns over the years.  Plus all my own leftovers from over 40 years of serious stitching.  Before that, I raided the adult's stash LOL.  I do go to my bobbin boxes first, especially when I only need a partial skein for a project.  Despite my efforts before Christmas, the yarn stash is still in progress.  I am trying to not only pack, but also double check the amounts in Ravelry and annotate which bin it is in.  So I'll get back to that after I scope out what the SSS crew is up to this New Years weekend.  (link to this week's roundup)

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Rotation #1 start

 It is the first of the year.  Time to reboot the Needlework Rotation!

As mentioned in my goals post, the needlework rotation remains four slots plus a finishing or framing slot. As of rotation #1, the current projects are:

  • Antique or Vintage Sampler/Smalls:  Dutch Beauty of course
  • Pictorial:  JC's USMC seal
  • Modern Sampler/Smalls:  Finish Elizabeth Designs "Garden Delights" - just the verse over one yet to do.
  • Other than Counted Thread: Cutwork napkins (just one to go).
  • Finish and Frame:  Finish Garden Delights into a project bag with a matching notions pouch. Plus take Fanny Hancock to be professionally re-framed. 

I have the quarterly virtual retreat coming up on the weekend of January 22.  So I think I will try to get ten hours in on the cutwork napkin before then.  It's completely un-started.  In the spirit of getting the not so interesting part done first, I'm going to start just off the 'waterlily leaf' motif and work along the basically plain edge.

needs ironing badly - so does the tablecloth underneath!

The first step is to put in the padding cord.  I think I have just enough of whatever mom was using to finish the napkin, but if I don't, I want to be sure that I get around all of the outside edges before switching materials - a small change in the padding wouldn't show up in the large lily corner as much as there is going on in that area, but it WOULD show up in the plainer parts where there is nothing to distract the eye.

Looking back, looking forward

 I am both pleased and disappointed when I look at what my goals were this time last year.   I did go from 35 to 29 WiPs in all categories; so that's a win.  My highest number of WiPs was 40 back in the spring of 2019 after I found the bin with the projects from the 70s and 80s in the basement.  WiPs and UFOs are just started projects; doesn't include kitted needlework, projected sewing projects, quilt idea list or Ravelry queue that has yarn assigned. 

Needlework - totally blew my goals out of the water.  Finished the rest of the Victoria Sampler Four Elements, the Sampler Sweetbag set AND finished Millennium.  Made good progress on Dutch Beauty.  Total unstarted items in stash went from 119 to 114 (there were discards as well as finishes).

Knitting had mixed results.  I didn't get Rosemarkie finished, it stalled at the buttonholes. But I got the oldest UFO (the hexipuff cushion) done.  One completed pair of socks, and one partial pair of socks currently on the needles.  However, the yarn usage was the smallest it has been since I started keeping track a decade ago; good news is that is was still positive - more out than in.  Ravelry queue went from 50 to 49, but I am at four WiPs instead of the three at the start of 2020, so not really a reduction per se.

Quilting was also a disappointment.  Not one bit further on any of my quilts.  I burned out making masks last spring, put the sewing machines away and never even got them out after about May.

On the other hand, on the success front - stash growth.  I completely "cold sheep-ed"/no stash purchases for eight months of the year.  In the other four months, purchased just the yarn for Kimi's muppet that is in progress and a fabrics for WiPs.   Two very small purchases of needlework.  One of which I intend for my 'new year, new start' at the January virtual retreat coming up on January 22. And the other will be the next "modern" project once Garden Delights is finished.

So going into 2021.  Hopefully we will be post plague at SOME point this year, but I am still going to minimize purchases and continue to work on UFOS as much as possible.  

2021 Goals

Quilting - needs to be a focus this year
  •  It was the 80s
  • Lucy Boston Table Topper
  • Fox and Geese
  • Aunt Lottie's Garden

Needlework - continue with the four slot rotation, ten hours per slot.  Plus a slot for finish/frame.

  • Antique/Vintage Sampler/Smalls:  Dutch Beauty - goal is to do the large fritillaria baskets on page 16/part of 17 and part of 18/19.  Plus the small motifs and borders on those pages.  That will leave just the large center motif remaining to do on the bottom row.
  • Pictorial:  JC's USMC seal
  • Modern Sampler/Smalls:  Finish Elizabeth Designs "Garden Delights", Just Nan "Drive a stick", two measuring tape cases (for Guild smalls and SB Garden Smalls).  
  • Other than Counted Thread: Finish the cutwork napkins (just one to go).  Choose one of the remaining three UFOs in this category and make progress on it.
  • Finish and Frame:  Professional framing on Fanny Hancock, Millennium and Four Elements.  Finish Garden Delights into a project bag with a matching notions pouch.  Finish "Drive a stick" as a flat fold.  Finishing on both of the tape measure cases.  Pull out of cedar chest everything 'to be framed' or 'to be finished' and prioritize (storage in under bed flat box).


  • Sock yarn Blanket - continues to be an ongoing project.  Try to get round 8 and 9 finished.
  • Finish all of the other WiPs from the first of the year - Grey Socks, Kimi's Yip Yip, Rosemarkie
  • Christmas Stocking for my brother in love (my little sister was sporting a ring at Christmas dinner!  That means he is knit worthy.)
  • Socks from finished handspun
  • Cast on a cable sweater

Thursday, December 31, 2020

FINISHED NEEDLEWORK: Sharon Cohen "The Sampler Sweetbag"

Skating in just under the wire as the last finish of 2020.


Pattern:  The Sampler Sweetbag (published in "Just Cross Stitch" Aug 1996 issue) 

Designer: Sharon Cohen of The Nostalgic Needle

Fabric:  32 count Summer Khaki Edinborough Linen by Zweigart.  

Threads:  DMC floss as charted plus matching AVS 100/3 silks for detached buttonhole areas

Embelishments: gold palliettes

Back designed by me - blackwork modified from a freebie bookmark chart by Sharon Cohen.  Elizabethan style "hidden" monogram on fob.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020


 I hate eyelets.  This is all.

(I actually love eyelets, but doing them in hand is much more difficult than doing them with the fabric on a frame......)

Ten done, six to go.