Saturday, 28 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 17

Thursday my progress got me to 6411 stitches. Yesterday was again a busy day (ugh) - I'd promised the kids a trip to IKEA last week but with the unexpected visit from my bf that got delayed till this weekend. As Saturdays and Sundays are usually seriously busy I decided it would be better to go on the Friday evening instead. Going to IKEA means a 10 minute bicycle ride to the station, a 10 minute train journey and 25 minutes on the bus and then a 10 minute walk, so it's quite the adventure getting there and back. Fortunately I'd taken my embroidery with me with a bunch of pre-threaded needles so I was able to get some work done on the bus, at IKEA and later while waiting for the train home, as the bus back was delayed by 20 minutes (sadly the street lighting was too bad to stitch while waiting for the bus), I was able to get another 20 minutes of stitching in.
Once home my knees and other joints made it clear that moving for a while was not an option so I settled down to stitch once the kids were in bed. I finished the last of the Kreinik I was using and will have to wait for the spools I have ordered to arrive before I can complete the 241 stitches I still need to do, however as most are outside the boundary of the hoop I can't do them yet any way. I did some of the copper stitching on the cheek once I'd finished the silver thread as I could work on that without moving the hoop and I wanted to get today's photo showing all my work before moving the hoop. All of this together meant that despite not being home for hours during my usual stitching times I still managed to get 429 stitches done.

Yes that's right! I am moving the hoop today - this will mean that for a while you won't see all of the stitching I have done, possibly not till I complete the work. As I cannot do the Kreinik Solar Silver stitches now I will not be moving straight up to complete the neck area but instead I will move to the left so I can do the face. Here you will see more copper and some other colours too!

Stitches done: 429
Total stitches: 6840
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow when you can see more of the wolf appear.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 16

Wednesday's progress got me to a total of 6094 stitches, which you can see above. Yesterday between taking my youngest to see the orthodontist, making Easter care packages and writing 2 blog posts I didn't have much time to stitch. I wanted to finish the thread I was working on and somehow managed to do that more than once resulting in me going to bed a bit too late. Before going to bed I really wanted to know how much Kreinik I had left so I threaded needles till I ran out. It turns out that I have another 8 needles left before I run out, I shall be ordering more as I am pretty sure I don't have enough to complete all of the stitches I need to with this. Fortunately I will be able to move my hoop to do the face and then when I move round to complete the neck area at the top and to the right I will be able to add the bit I wasn't able to do now.
I did take my embroidery with me to the orthodontist but didn't get much time to stitch as it didn't take as long as expected so only managed about 25 or so stitches. I got the bulk done after the kids were in bed. The total stitches I managed yesterday was 317 - quite a bit below my minimum stitch count per day but I'm sure I'll be able to catch up.

My average stitch count at this time is: 400.6875 (yes I know lots of numbers behind the . but I *LOVE* accuracy)

Stitches done: 317
Total stitches: 6411
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, 26 February 2015

SFS - February

For more information as to what Stitch From Stash (SFS) is, please click the button above. Please note that this month some photo's were made with my tablet and are of a lesser quality than usual.

From last month the carry over was € 7.80

This month:

Month: February
Spent: € 44.32
Earned: € 19.66
Carry over: € 44.32 - (€ 19.66 + € 7.80 + € 25.00) = € 8.14

My spending: 

I needed some beads for my February ornament but couldn't really see the colours of the beads properly so decided to get several different ones so I could decide on the final colour once I had received the beads. I also got a string of real amethysts, some rose petal beads and some dragon scale beads. The shop was wonderful and also sent me some matching purple glass facet beads (light purple string) and the purple sachet with some lovely square beads in it as a gift.
The beads cost € 23.45 total.
Getting the beads made me have a look at the mess that was my bead storage - beads were everywhere in all sorts of containers and I didn't really know what I had other than that I had no nice purple beads. I looked around and finally settled on flip top bead boxes with clear cases to keep them in. I ordered 1 pack of 20 of each size knowing I'd have a use for almost all of them and found I was short.
So I ordered a bunch more in the sizes I needed for the big organisation project. Sadly they didn't have any more clear cases and had to order them in from the USA, I'm currently waiting for their stock to arrive so I can order the rest of the cases I need and finish this project.
As all of these cases are for storage they do not count for SFS and I will spare myself the heart attack of seeing the cost for all of this again lol.

Unfortunately this is NOT where my spending stopped as I needed some Kreinik #4 braid for my current project and as I could not get the braid in the Netherlands where I live I had to order from the UK.
What you see here from left to right is: 001J - Japan Silver, 001L - Solar Silver, 021L - Coptic Copper and 021HL - Copper High Lustre. I have used about 2/3 of the spool of solar silver and will need more. Total cost: £ 15.17 which is € 20.87 

My subscription stuff:

As we are encouraged to show off all our stuff I am also including the subscription items that I received. The January batch didn't arrive till after my SFS post so I'm going to included it here.
I have a monthly subscription at Jodyri for the monthly hand dyed fabric, monthly hand dyed thread and a subscription for a set of 5 threads from the standard collection.
 January's theme was winter sunset and we were lucky to be given a winter sunrise thread as well
 February's theme was Lonely Hearts, which you can see below with the threads on the fabric this time.

My earnings:

This is the place where I make my over spending somewhat less scary and where you get even more pretty photo's to look at! In February I finished quite a few projects, all small so they don't earn me much but every little bit helps.

First of all my February ornaments:
This month I finished 2 ornaments using the pattern I've made for my Ornament of the Month SAL. The fabric is 16ct antique white Aida that I got last summer when I was in the UK and the threads are from my stash, most of which were collected before 1995 though of course I have since added any new colours and topped up colours I finished. The beads I mentioned above so are new however as they are only used for the finishing I am not going to "count" them. The thread I used for the hanging loops is craft thread my bf gave me last September.

The bigger ornament is 47 stitches square and the smaller one 35 stitches square so each ornament earns me $ 4.00 each for a total of $ 8.00 which according to the currency converter today is € 7.15

This little owl scissor keep and fob were a freebie kit with my February issue of my CrossStitcher magazine subscription.

The scissor keep is 32 x 56 stitches and the fob is double sided and is 20 stitches square. So that's 2 x $ 2.00 for the fob and 1 x $ 4.00 for the scissor keep = $ 8.00 for both, which converts to € 7.15

January's CrossStitcher magazine brought me an alphabet necklace however the hanger on the metal frame was broken so I used some quilt fabric from my stash to back it. I added a line of stitching around the edge and did some backstitching in addition to what the pattern said.
The final size is 22 stitches square which gets me $ 2.00 which converts to € 1.79

Next up is another small project I finished - an owl ornament.
This ornament is done on the black Aida I bought last month but the pattern is free and the thread I already had in my stash and according to the rules this then also counts. It's 42 stitches square so earns me $ 4.00 which converts to € 3.57

This brings my total earnings at: € 7.15 + € 7.15 + € 1.79 + € 3.57 = € 19.66 (YAY!!)

I am so glad I did so many small items over the last month as that really saved my budget.

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 15

I'm seriously late with this but I did get photo's done of yesterday's progress before Real Life (TM) got in the way of posting. Tuesday's progress can be seen above as per usual so you are reminded of where I started that day. Yesterday was a day of stress due to some personal stuff and I didn't really get stitching till the evening after the kids were in bed.
It doesn't look like much but somehow it's 234 stitches, those long lines of stitches really do make it look like not much was done. It's starting to look like I will need more than just one spool of Kreinik to do all of the stitches needed - I have done 609 stitches of this Kreinik and still need to do another 932. I have perhaps 1/3 spool left so will have to order another spool for this project.

Stitches done: 234
Total stitches: 6094
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow, hopefully at an earlier time.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 14

Monday I had made a bit of headway doing the mouth and ended up on a total of 5340 stitches.. Yesterday regular readers of my blog will have read that the Kreinik #4 very fine braid "finally" arrived. I had been waiting for it so I could do the other part of the braid in the neck before moving my hoop. As metallic thread doesn't like to be squished I am trying to limit the number of times I move the hoop so putting it off as long as possible was high on my list. This was the first time I was going to do any real amount of stitching with Kreinik braid - the last time I'd used it was for an ornament and that was a mere 20 odd stitches, stitching hundreds is a whole different learning curve.
If you don't take your time, let the thread untwist and work with it correctly then the above happens - every time - which wastes many inches of thread. It was quite the learning curve for me.

Thoughts on the use of Kreinik as a result of my first real stitching experience:
  • Speciality threads have instructions of use - read them.
  • Kreinik suggests threading the needle using a strip of paper - it works brilliantly!
  • Threading the needle with the loose end of the spool of thread means you use the thread in the right direction, like sewing thread it twists less like this. I thread the needle first then cut.
  • Use short lengths - I measure across the diagonal of my tablet to get the length, which is approx 10,5 inches.
  • Like any braid it unravels when cut and not fixed - just think how fast your hair unravels if you don't fix it in place with an elastic or ribbon etc. - a fix is to tie a small knot on both ends (after threading the needle) if you pull the knot tight enough you will barely notice it's there AND you have less issues with it unravelling.
  • As Kreinik suggests - use a bigger needle as it results in less wear and tear on the thread, you don't really see the difference afterwards either.
  • Drop the needle every 5 - 8 stitches to let the thread unravel. With the little knot in place the needle will not fall off!
Using all of these things I learnt while stitching I have gone from wasting a good 5 -7 inches to as good as no waste at all. This is a good thing as I really hate waste, although I might still have to get a second spool as the waste from my learning curve means I might not make it with the one spool I have.
I was good and finished the gold of the mouth after completing the first section using Krenik 001L. The thread is so sparkly! It's has a full rainbow in the sparkles and is so pretty! While the learning curve did slow me down with stitching I still managed to do 520 stitches yesterday, so I'm pretty pleased with my progress.

Stitches done: 520
Total stitches: 5860
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 13

Sunday I somehow managed to do quite a bit - probably due to my bf encouraging me to do a bit more every time I wanted to stop. Yesterday was not so productive - it was a busy day for me with bf leaving after his visit and making my fish pie as dinner so he'd not get hungry before he got home after travelling. I didn't really get any stitching time in till after I'd dropped him off at the station.
I did however do 147 stitches in the end in the gold area - bf travelling proved to be a bit of a distraction and I was so very tired.
This morning my SHINY Kreinik thread finally arrived! What you see here from left to right is: 001J - Japan Silver, 001L - Solar Silver, 021L - Coptic Copper and 021HL - Copper High Lustre. It only took a week to get from the UK but when you want something so you can keep stitching it seems to take forever - you can guess where today's progress will be hehe.

Stitches done: 147
Total stitches: 5340
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 12

Saturday I ended the day having done all of the rest of the blue background that I can do without moving the hoop, which brought the total to 4749. Yesterday I completed all of the available silver area's, then I did the white gold on the tooth and started doing the old gold on the mouth area.
It doesn't sound like much but in total I did 444 stitches yesterday - not so bad really.

Stitches done: 444
Total stitches: 5193
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 11

Friday I was at 4249 after another slow day. Yesterday I was not so busy with doing stuff but having a down day just chilling and stitching while my bf did his own things resulting in a nice relaxing day for the both of us. I was even able to join Carla and the girls for a bit in our IHSW hangout - always fun to catch up and see what everyone got and has done! As a result I got quite a bit of stitching done and ended up doing 500 stitches AND 9.14 inches of XL back stitching! I finished doing the braided area as much as I could and then did the blue background around and between it all.
Today I shall be doing 2 things: first is choose which colours to use for the stitching of the face as I have not yet decided on that and the second is to do some more of the silver area's to hopefully get a chunk more done of them though today does look like it's going to be busier than yesterday.

Stitches done:500
Backstitches done: 9.14
Total stitches: 4749 (= 26.38%)
Total backstitches: 42.76 inches

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 10

Thursday's progress was minimal but at least you could see it. Yesterday was another busy day and I didn't get any stitching time till after my bf and I had paid my local bar a visit - not the time to be doing anything complicated or at any speed so I did a bit of filling in of the top silver braid. I only got 63 stitches done but that's better than none at all hehe.
Still no Kreinik braid in the post - silly slow international post, but then when you want something *any* post is too slow!

Stitches done: 63
Total stitches: 4249
Total backstitches: 33.62 inches

See you tomorrow!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 9 & TUSAL

Wednesday's lack of progress can be seen above, although I did get a lot of XL backstitching done, so there was *some* progress. Yesterday I didn't do much better, however I did have a lot of "life" happening. All good though! I met my bf at the station nearest the airport he arrived at and after a cup of coffee to rehydrate after travelling we went to my house where he is staying the weekend.

Between making bacon and eggs for him and the kids for lunch, catching up on wash and making roast lamb for dinner as a nod to the Chinese New Year (this year is the year of the sheep), I didn't get much stitching done. I managed 100 stitches, which is more than I thought I'd manage to be honest.
 You can see 2 threads trailing up, these are parked so I can continue the lines later.

Stitches done: 100
Total stitches: 4186
Total backstitches: 33.62 inches

Tusal is all about showing off your orts - if you click the button above you will find out all about it. Since last time I have done quite a bit - above you can see what I've been working on for the last 9 days - yes 9!
Before that I worked on my February Ornament Of the Month - I always make 2, one to use as an ornament and one to make a garland with.  If you head over here you can see the garland ornament and find out where to get the pattern for free.
Going back in time and through the layers you can see that before all the purple is some lighter coloured threads, some of these are from the owl ornament, owl scissor holder and the "A" letter book lasso I also wrote about in the post I linked above

So quite a bit has been achieved since the last ort report, Hopefully I can finish the Celtic Wolf before the next one, or be very close to doing so!

See you all tomorrow (hopefully) for my next Celtic Wolf WIP report.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 8

Above is as always the reminder of where I was before I started stitching. Yesterday was not a good stitching day. I ached quite a bit as I'd pushed myself too much on Tuesday with the pancakes and I'd had to take my oldest son to an appointment and do grocery shopping - my body hated me for it. I did however take my embroidery to the appointment and did some of the blue backstitching while I was there. When I got home I finished it. So far so good

Then I started cross stitching and things seemed to go well, seemed because at 89 stitches in I discovered that my stitches were off - and the place it went wrong was 5 stitches in from the beginning of what I'd done. This was one of those times when fudging was not an option so I had to rip it out. Have you ever noticed that the ripping seems to take twice as long as putting the stitches in?
If you look carefully you can see where I had to rip between the curved cheek area and the woven strands.

Total stitched: 89 - 89 = 0
Total backstitched: 22.87 inches.
Total stitched so far: 4086 +  33.62 inches of back stitching.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 7

When I started yesterday I was at 3598 stitches. I didn't expect to get much done as it was pancake day and I was expecting 5 additional kids to invade my house and play till it was time to stuff themselves with pancakes. I was right too. First I lost my chair to the kids wanting to play board games (YAY!) at the dining room table, sadly the kids didn't seem to have either volume control buttons OR indoor voices so I managed to gain a lovely case of half a dozen gnomes drilling into my head. I retreated to the sofa to do a bit that I didn't need to be at my Nerd Central Command (NCC for short) for but soon lost that place as well to my eldest's friends, so I gave up and made a double batch of pancake batter from scratch. Apparently this is unusual as none of the younger kids have seen their parents do it like this. I did eventually get my NCC seat back but even though I put headphones on to listen to music I was not really able to concentrate as the noise almost overpowered the safe levels of sound from my headphones.

4 pints of milk (2 litres) , 2 pounds of flour (900 grams), 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 8 eggs later I was exhausted having made over 30 pancakes, some of which I'd made into chocolate pancakes with the cocoa (best eaten with a sprinkling of sugar and fresh orange juice). By the time the last of the kids had gone home I'd barely done 30 stitches + a bit of the XL backstitching in the blue area, which isn't counted in the stitch count.
Somehow in the evening I perked up enough to do a whole lot more, all in black as I worked on doing the outlines on the cheeks and lower jaw. With the Kreinik threads on the way I want to see how much I can complete before it gets here so I can hopefully get going with them straight away. I want to postpone re-hooping for a long as possible.

My total stitch count for the day was 488 stitches which brings the total to 4086 - not bad for a week's work.

My average stitch count this week was 568, which is 140 more than the minimum average I need to finish on time.

See you tomorrow with my next instalment.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 6

Yesterday when I posted this I was at 3225 stitches. I had to do a bit of cleaning yesterday as I'd been letting that slide a bit while having far too much fun stitching. I also needed to make the kids do something about their rooms - not the easiest of tasks as many of you will know but I'm not one to do it for them as they made the mess. As a result I didn't get nearly as much done as previously, and didn't even make my stitch count.
 Here is a close up of the background area so you can see what I have done there. As you can see my stitches with the silver aren't always perfect hehe.
And here I am at the end of yesterday - only 373 stitches unfortunately but the middle blue filling in has been completed for this section, there is more to come but I'll need to first do some more black outlines.

I'm at 3598 stitches now = 20%!

I have ordered the Kreinik Solar Silver #4 braid I wanted - I had to order in the UK as none of the Dutch online shops had it in anything but blending filament. I am eagerly awaiting it but I probably won't get it till next week.

Till tomorrow when I return with another super exciting instalment of "what I did yesterday" lol.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 5

Above is the Celtic Wolf at 2697 stitches. Yesterday I took things slowly as befits a lazy Sunday and did a chunk of the background, first by doing the dark blue lines of background in the loops, then by doing all the red corner stones. After that I started filling in the rest with the lighter blue.
At the end of the day when I finished my last thread I was at 527 stitches, which annoyed me as that was 99 stitches above the required amount so I started a new thread and did one more stitch to round it off to 100 - crazy I know but 100 more feels better than "just" 99.

So yesterday my total stitches was 528 bringing the total to 3225, which is where I thought I'd be after 7 1/2 days so I'm 2 1/2 days ahead of my schedule!

See you tomorrow with another update.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 4

So after the marathon stitching effort on Friday I was here - 2055 stitches in and surprised to be that far already. I did pay the price the next day, my right lower arm was rather sore. I decided to keep stitching as muscle ache needs gentle movement to help it get better faster, so I stitched slowly and took many breaks and gently stretched the offending muscle and by the early evening it decided to stop being silly and work normally. At this point I was at about 250 stitches. I had decided to listen to music yesterday as I'd run out of documentaries I can watch while the kids are around and only had shows left that are 16+ as things like Criminal Minds are often a bit too gory for kids.

I didn't expect to find that at the end of the evening I had managed to stitch 642 stitches! Somehow listening to OMD, Nik Kershaw and a whole lot of other 80's music got me into the stitching groove and lots got done after all.
I started yesterday by closing off the left side of the middle so that I'd be able to do the blue grid there later. The light gold (E3821) filled area to the left is the throat area of the wolf and is the first outer line of the wolf. Once this bit was done I started with the darker blue (820) of the background grid.

This brings the total to 2697 stitches, which is just under 15%

Today I shall be continuing with the background grid and I'll be back tomorrow with the next update.