Monday, 29 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - Finally complete!

Yesterday before I started stitching Wolf looked like this. I thought I still had 256 stitches left but apparently I had miscalculated somewhere as it turned out that I did in fact do 341. He is now finally finished - backstitches and all! It's been quite the journey as the regular readers have been able to see, though the tag "Celtic Wolf" will lead you to all the posts on the subject. You are of course dying to see him in all his glory, so without further ado: Meet Celtic Wolf!
As you can see the red squares did not stay bare and were all given backstitching and straight stitched details, I made sure to weave the threads so that you can't tell where the thread started with the longer stitches.
Here you can see some detailed shots of Wolf - His eye, the scroll and some other area's I thought you might like to have a closer look at.

Size: 11" x 8"  -  150 x 207 stitches
Fabric: 18ct hand dyed with Dylon velvet black dye.
Threads: 16 colours of DMC & DMC light effects and 5 colours of Kreinik Very Fine Braid (#4) and Blending filament.
Pattern: My own pattern using a vector art created by Lupas-Deva who kindly allowed me to use it.
Total stitches: 17618
Total backstitches: 88.53 inches

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 43

Yesterday's post showed progress on the 3rd section of stitching, as counted by the number of hoop moves. Despite having to do the XL grocery shopping trip to 2 shops yesterday and cleaning out the cupboard under the stairs a bit, as it had somehow become a bit of a mess and made getting the shopping in complicated, I managed to finish the section that was in the hoop which means that today is hoop move day and...

whole Wolf photo day!
As you can see there is only a small bit left - just 256 stitches in fact! If things go to plan I might have him finished tonight, back stitching and all!

Stitches done: 405
Total stitches:  17277
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 256
Back stitches left: 24.91 inches.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

SFS - June

For more information as to what Stitch From Stash (SFS) is, please click the button above.

From last month the carry over was € 49.27

This month:

Month: June
Budget:  € 25.00
Spent: € 55.05
Earned: € 16.12
Left:  (€ 49.27 + € 16.12 + € 25.00) - € 55.05 = €35.34
Carry over: There is no carry over as the 6 month time for group A has now ended.

My spending:

What with one thing and another I had a bit of a spending spree this month. First of all I needed more red Kreinik very fine braid for Wolf. They also had the last of the Tentakulum Matisse on sale - I thought I was getting just the one skein but it turned out I got 3 for that price, which was a pleasant surprise. I also picked up some end of bolt bits to add to my stash: 18 ct off white Aida as I was out and use it quite a lot and some black and pale blue 28ct Jobelan, another fabric I have taken a liking to. I spent € 21.15 excluding shipping.
Some experimentation had shown that the Kreinik cord I was planning to use to add backstitching on the red would not show up as much as I wanted it to so I needed a thicker thread. I looked at the Kreinik site to see what options there were and saw that not all threads had a thickness mentioned in the super useful chart they offer. So I asked @KreinikGirl on twitter for assistance. She was super helpful and helped me decide what to use: #4 braid. As I do not have any gold Kreinik #4 braid and time is running out for Wolf I knew I had to find a shop that did fast delivery AND had the colours I wanted - this proved difficult but in the end I found the 002C (gold cord #4 braid) and 002J (Japan #4 braid) over on peddles and they were fast! I got it the day after ordering. I also got a small bit of 20 ct Aida that I have been wanting to try for ages - it was only 3,50 so not too bad really. I spent € 11.90 excluding shipping.
Last of all I gave myself a treat for working so hard and redoing the living room. I had found the site of a French lady who hand dyes thread and I was really curious to try it out. She has a series of freebie patterns she's given out over the years to customers upon purchase and offers a kit + fabric (and in some cases including ribbon) as well as the pattern for a reasonable price. The site is le fil atalie and has some wonderful threads and she even ships world wide! I spent € 22.00 excluding shipping.
My total spending is: € 55.05

My subscription stuff:

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. June's theme was Pink Elephants on Parade, which unfortunately has not arrived yet - bad postie!

My earnings:

The June ornaments:
This month I finished 4 ornaments using the patterns I've made for my Ornament of the Month SAL as this month there are 3 birthstones (I did Alexandrite in 2 colours). The fabric is 16ct antique white Aida  that I got last summer when I was in the UK and 18ct Aida I had in stash. 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. Any craft thread used was given to me by my bf. The seed beads are a mix of things I bought, was given or already had.

The ornaments are all 35 stitches square so each ornament earns me $ 4.00 each for a total of $ 16.00 which according to the currency converter today is € 14.33

Fob a Month June Edition:

The June fob was inspired by Pinkythepink's Mucha princess patterns which can be found in her Etsy shop. 
The fob is 28 stitches square so it earns me $ 2.00 which is 1.79. You can find the pattern for the fob here: A Fob a Month - 4

This brings my total earnings at:  € 14.33 + € 1.79 = € 16.12

This is the last report for SFS 2015-A. I have given it much consideration and have decided not to continue with the B group as I find that I personally tend to spend more now I have "permission" to spend - before I had my brain wired to "I must not spend" and I generally didn't spend much. I definitively know that this group really helps you stop and think about what you spend and why and especially makes you look at your own spending habits and find reasons for them - I have my answers thanks to the group. I would definitely encourage people to sign up for this as it really helps!

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 42

Yesterday's post brought you the first stitches after the hoop was moved, today you get to see that part begin to be filled in. I didn't do as much as I'd hoped as my short nap became a multi hour sleep. I had not realised I was *that* tired but I suppose it was to be expected having spent the last child free weekend building flat pack furniture instead of resting as I usually do. As a result not so much was done stitching wise but there was still quite a bit of progress.
In the end I managed to stitch 267 stitches - not too bad all things considered.

Stitches done: 267
Total stitches:  16872
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 661
Back stitches left: 24.91 inches.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 41

Last time you saw Wolf he was out of the hoop and out in the sunshine as it was finally time to put the hoop in a new place. This time you don't get to see as much as he's folded and pinned around the hoop so I can more easily stitch. As always I started with the outlines in E 677 and then moved on to the Kreinik very fine braid in 003 as that always goes so nice and fast - it's such a joy to stitch with! Next up is the copper E 301 and when that is done either E 3821 or E 3852.
Yesterday I did 459 stitches so another chunk has been done. I can't wait to see wolf finished!

Stitches done: 459
Total stitches:  16605
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 928
Back stitches left: 24.91 inches.

See you tomorrow with my next update.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 40

2 days ago I made my previous Wolf update post and you can see where I was then, the day off stitching was really good for me and much needed. As a result the average stitches a day changed from 250 to 304. Yesterday evening I got the wind under my sails and got stitching. Today I am able to give you a full Wolf photo as it's time to move the hoop! After the next area within the hoop is done there should only be a small area left to do.
Only 5 days left to finish this including today - and the gold thread I need to do the back stitching on the red squares is in the post - it's going to be close but I know I can finish on time.

Stitches done: 439
Total stitches:  16146
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 1387
Back stitches left: 24.91 inches.

See you tomorrow when you will see less of Wolf but more stitching!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Tons of Tiny May and June Edition

It's been a long time since my last Tons of Tiny post so I'm taking this moment when I don't have a Wolf update to instead post about that. I have been seriously bad at mailing out the patterns I offered in my previous posts, in fact only a couple have been sent at all and for that I really must apologise. I have come to realise that this might not be working so well so am going to stop offering patterns like this.

Back to the more fun part of the post.. showing what I have done, spilt up as if I'd posted them separately. The total I had at the end of my last Tons of Tiny post was 17


From 11th April till 10th May I did not do so much work on tiny projects, I was mostly working on Wolf. I did however do my usual small projects.
 First of all the April Fob a Month fob with matching pincushion. You can find the free patterns here: A Fob a Month - 2
 Then came the May Ornament of the Month, as usual I did a normal ornament finish and a garland finish one. You can find the pattern here: Ornament of the Month - May

At the time I *should* have done my May Tons of Tiny post I had a total of 21 Tiny finishes.


11th may - 10th June was a lot more productive due to the number of birthstones available for the month and of course I did a pattern for each one.

The May Fob a Month pattern is 2 sided and so counts as 2 finishes for Tons of Tiny (yay!)

This is the Pearl Ornament of the Month for June, garland finish.
This is the green Alexandrite Ornament of the Month for June, garland finish.
This is the Moonstone Ornament of the Month for June, garland finish.
This is the pink Alexandrite Ornament of the Month for June, biscornu finished as I only had enough of the ornament fabric to do 3 of the ornaments and pink on pure white looks so much better than on antique white. You can find the free patterns for all 4 here: Ornament of the Month - June I have not yet had time to make the ornament versions of these so they will happen at some point later this year.

This brings the grand total of tiny's made and finished to 27 as I have not included any tiny's I have stitched that are not finished.

See you tomorrow with a Wolf update - the rest I had yesterday and last night was much needed and now the pain is less I'm able to stitch again.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 39

This is where I was when I posted yesterday - rather on the late side which also meant I started stitching a bit late too but having spent most of the day cleaning I was rather tired in the evening so didn't stitch as much as I would have liked. I'm running late today again and as I've been in a lot of pain I've not stitched at all and won't be so this post is short and there will be no progress report tomorrow.
The copper part has been done and some of the filling in with the E 3821 gold.

Stitches done:174
Total stitches:  15707
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 1826

See you in 2 days time when I will hopefully have been able to do some catch up!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 38

Last time you saw Wolf I'd just finished the first section of the neck with 2325 stitches left to do. I mention this because as it turns out I was rather wrong about this number, mostly because I'd made a mistake when stitching and was one stitch off. I had to spend some time counting and working out where I'd made the mistake before I could decide what to do. It turned out that I had put a single stitch of the black outline one stitch too far to the right and it affected everything from just past the bit I'd already done to almost all the way to the top.

Like most people I do not enjoy ripping so I decided to make the most of the fact that the pattern is mine and adjusted the pattern to reflect reality. The plus point of all this is that the pattern I'm stitching shows up slightly better in the neck as it thins out as it's all one stitch wider than the pattern was. On Wolf himself nothing needs to change fortunately so I can continue as I was before.

Adding the stitches did of course add to the total and that went up by 44 stitches to 2369 before stitching started yesterday. A new number of stitches means I had to recalculate the minimum number of stitches I have to do a day and this has gone DOWN (amazingly) from 313 to 263 - at least it did till I recalculated after yesterday's stitching as it's down again to a mere 250 stitches a day - for the next 8 days as that's when the deadline is.
As you can see a fair amount was done yesterday: 368 stitches - mostly in the lightest gold and with Kreinik #4 braid.

Stitches done: 369
Total stitches:  15533
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 2000
Till tomorrow - where I will hopefully have met the minimum stitching amount!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

A Fob a Month - 4

A bit later in the day than usual as my youngest son came back from a 4 day school trip today and had lots of stories to tell of his time away. I also had some issues when I attempted (and failed) to get this into a pdf file - I shall have to try this again when I'm not so tired. This month's fob was entirely inspired by Pinkythepink's Mucha princess patterns which can be found in her Etsy shop. The blended threads give a smooth gradient of colour making them trick the eye into thinking there is no colour gradient at all. That also gives away this month's challenge in the pattern: blended colours. 

Please don't close the browser tab or window and run away screaming! It's actually not that daunting, it's just a matter of selecting one thread of each colour you need and using them together, you don't need to do anything special at all while stitching that you wouldn't normally do anyway when using 2 threads to stitch with.

Generally the difficulty with blended threads is when you have to do a few stitches here and there but as all the stitches of the same colour are touching one another and you only need to use a combination once it should be fairly straight forward

This month's pattern gives you two options that you can use depending on how you want to finish it. If you wish to make the example I have made you will need less thread and will end up with an almost round shaped octagon. Alternatively you can make it square and perhaps turn it into a biscornu, I am giving the pattern for both.

The pattern also gives you more options! Namely you can choose which princesses colours to use - do you want to do Bella, Merida or Rapunzel? All 3? Or even another colour? The choice is yours! All 3 colour options are below along with a more muted brown in case none are to your liking.

The fob is 1 1/2" high and wide. 28 x 28 stitches

What you need to make the example above:
  • 2 pieces of 4" x 4" 18ct off white Aida
  • DMC threads in the colour of your choice of fob found in keys below. 
  • Your stuffing of choice
  • Green thread for the cord, I used the colour that is 0 in the key.
  • DMC or thread to coordinate 
  • TOHO 11-773 seed beads, they are bluish with a iridescent coating 
You can download the pattern for the fob above here
You can download the biscornu version here 
  • The black lines indicate the sewing (inner line) and cutting lines (outer line)
  • Use 2 strands when 1 colour is mentioned
  • Use 1 strand of each colour when 2 colours are mentioned
  • If you choose to make the biscornu you will need 2 pieces of 4 1/2 " square 18ct Aida or enough for 34 x 34 stitches of your chosen fabric.

Alternate colourways: 

0                              3853
1                              3853 & 3854
2                              3854
3                              3854 & 3855
4                              3855
5                              3855 & 745
6                              745
7                              745 & 677
8                              677
9                              Ecru (only for the biscornu)


0                              3808 
1                              3809
2                              3809 & 3810     
3                              3810
4                              3810 & 597
5                              597
6                              597 & 598
7                              598
8                              598 & 3813
9                              Ecru (only for the biscornu)


0                              552
1                              552 & 208
2                              208
3                              508 & 209
4                              209
5                              209 & 210
6                              210
7                              210 & 211
8                              211
9                              Ecru (only for the biscornu)


0                              300
1                              300 & 975
2                              975
3                              975 & 3827
4                              3827
5                              3827 & 976
6                              976
7                              976 & 977
8                              977
9                              Ecru (only for the biscornu)

Instructions: First stitch the front of the fob, the other side can be either left unstitched or stitched with the same or another colour.

Use the inner black stitch lines to make a template, mark it out on the back of the fabric and cut the pieces out about 1/4 inch away from the inner stitching lines. Pin the loop in place making sure to have them tucked between the layers and only have the ends that will be on the inside sticking out. Turn, stuff, and sew the final seam shut.

Then add the beading by stitching a single bead in place till you reach a corner. at each corner put 3 beads on the needle when you make the stitch to make a little "picot" with the beds. At the bottom of the fob make a group of beaded tassels. I did 2 with 8 beads, one with 10 and the last with 12. You make them by putting the desired number of beads onto the needle, skipping 3 and sliding the needle back down the remaining beads making sure to put the needle through the fabric to attach each one before you start the next.

I hope you enjoy these patterns, please do share a link to yours if you make them! 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 37

Last time you saw Wolf he looked like this - spiral almost done and in the twilight. Since then I've been busy pushing myself beyond my limits and completed all the new cupboards and started moving stuff around to their place and fill them with things I want to keep. It's been pretty exhausting and my rheumatic joints have had a thing or two to say about it all, not to mention my long suffering back. However it's going to be completely worth it by the time it's all in its place and the new sofa has arrived.
As you can see I have now completed the spiral and I am now about to move the hoop so I can do the next section - I'm still busy with organising things so progress will not be as fast but I wasn't expecting to stitch on Wolf at all this week as I also had to take a little time away from Wolf to make this Friday's fob, which means that basically any stitching I do this week is a plus.

Stitches done: 231
Total stitches:  15165
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 2325

Friday, 12 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 36

So... the day before yesterday I lied... a bit... as I didn't post a blog yesterday as promised. There are 2 reasons for this - the first reason is that I was at IKEA buying furniture most of the day and by the time I got home I was more dead than alive. The furniture was (amazingly!) delivered the same evening - so fast! The second is because I forgot to take a photo of Wednesday's progress before heading off with the embroidery so I could stitch in the train and bus. The only reason I didn't forget to blog today as well is because my bf kindly reminded me in time to do something about it, so today you get 2 days worth of progress in one photo with the progress, or lack thereof, noted separately.
As you can see it's not all that light in the photo - that's because I took the photo in twilight as I've been a bit busy building said furniture and part of resting my hands from all the hard work also meant no stitching in the breaks I took. I'm probably not going to post tomorrow as I won't have any progress and will see on Sunday if I have anything new to share by then - I want to get the furniture up and in use as fast as I can as then it's done.

Stitches done on Wednesday: 406
Stitches done on  Thursday: 52
Total stitches:  14934
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 2556

Thank for stopping by! I will be back as soon as I can with another update!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 35

Yesterday's blog showed where I had finished stitching on Monday and today I shall show you the little I managed in between cleaning, wash and appointments - not as much as I'd like but certainly progress, which I have to say is a good thing. Stitching by day is a lot easier on the eyes as the metallics don't sparkle as much, unless you try and take your stitching out into the sunshine - not recommended!
I was getting quite curious as to how it would all look together so decided to take it out of the hoop and have a look. I took Wolf outside into the sunshine to try and show how sparkly he is but I'm not so sure that worked. However you can see how things are progressing and how much I need to do in the short time I have left to complete him.
In a way I'm a bit sad I started at the bottom as if I'd started at the top I'd be able to see what it looks like next to the blue/silver area. I shall just have to be patient as I am going to play it safe and keep going the way I am.

Stitches done: 220
Total stitches:  14476
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 3014
I will be back tomorrow with another progress report, hopefully I will have more done! Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 34

This is where I started yesterday, the grid done in the lightest gold, some red Kreinik and a large part of the copper also done. Yesterday I started filling in some more red Kreinik and I started filling in the background to the copper with 2 colours of DMC gold - E3821 and E3852. I am very happy that it's possible to see the difference between the different golds even when close together as I was a bit worried that it wouldn't be.
One thing I noticed last night is that stitching such large sparkly areas with light shining on my work is quite a strain on my eyes, especially as I can't do straight lines of stitching but have to work around the copper. This means I can't zoom ahead and do a gazillion stitches a day, especially if I have appointments to go to but I can take it along now as I don't need the pattern to know which colour goes where.

Stitches done: 386
Total stitches:  14256
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 3234

Till tomorrow when I will be back with another update where you will see how much I can do with a bunch of appointments lined up.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 33

Yesterday saw the return of Wolf to my blog, with the new deadline looming I really need to get a move on with stitching, especially as I have the monthly fob pattern to make as well as the ornaments to plan for the beginning of next month. I have around 14 stitching days in total to complete Wolf which means I need at least 313 stitches a day to make it. Saturday I didn't manage enough stitches - but then I didn't start till the evening after the kids were in bed. Yesterday I did better as I managed to do 495 stitches as well as weeding and the usual Sunday things like lie in (the luxury of older kids who can amuse themselves and don't need mummy to make cereal for breakfast).
As you can see things are really starting to take shape with the copper pattern stitched, all I need to do is fill in the space around it with the 2 colours of gold I have - which should be nice and fast as no counting is required. The squares will all be filled in with Kreinik #4 braid in red and then later I will be using Kreinik Vatican Gold cord to do something on the red - but I won't be doing that till the end to avoid damage to the cord.

Stitches done: 495
Total stitches:  13870
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 3620

I hope you all have a good day - with plenty of stitching time! I will hopefully see you here again tomorrow.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Celtic Wolf - WIP post 32 - The Wolf is back!

The last time you saw Celtic Wolf was on the 21st of March and he looked like this. I found that I didn't like how things were going with the beading - going with the curve of the neck, which seemed more logical for dragon scale beads. I tried other things but nothing I tried looked right so I decided it was time to accept that wolf wanted to be all cross stitch.

I took some time trying out different things to see what I liked and spent some time tweaking it. Then I let him sit and gave myself time to forget so I could look at him with fresh eyes - it slows down the process of design but I find that sometimes if I give myself this gap I can more easily see if something I've designed works or not.
Last night I bit the bullet and started stitching. I did some of the gold grid work in E667 and then filled one of the squares in with Kreinik very fine braid 003 as I was dying to see how it would look - so far I'm very happy with the results.

Stitches done: 269
Total stitches:  13375
Total backstitches: 63.62 inches
Stitches left: 4115

The daily posts are back, so I'll see you tomorrow, hopefully I shall meet the new deadline for this project: 30th June.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Ornament of the month - June!

June brings not just one ornament pattern but 4! As there are several different birthstones - it depends who you ask what they are so I designed a pattern for each of them. Pearl is one of the most frequently mentioned ones but there is also Moonstone and Alexandrite. Alexandrite is a special stone as it changes colour depending on which light source it's seen in - daylight gives a completely different colour from artificial light, and each artificial light gives another tint too! I've been stitching away like mad in the background to try and get them all done in time but I had to stick to "only" finish finishing 3 and finishing the stitching of another before publishing the pattern though I did manage to finish finish the pink Alexandrite last night.
I still need to make an ornament finish of the green Alexandrite so I have one larger ornament for the collection and I'm planning on making the larger version of the Pearl and Moonstone ornaments on dark blue even weave fabric so the white threads show up better. I am not planning on making a larger Pink Alexandrite ornament - I just don't like pink.

A large part of the reasons for the different fabrics is because I only have a limited amount of the fabric I chose for the ornaments. The pink Alexandrite pattern was stitched on white 18ct Aida as I just didn't have enough to make 4 ornaments this month. A choice had to be made and my dislike of pink made the choice easy.

I wasn't going to finish the embroidery as anything initially - but I do always stitch a sample of my patterns as I like to make sure they look the way I want them to, and for the pink I was glad I did as my original backstitching looked awful and I love how the tree/mistletoe like branches look that I thought of instead.
The only reason I finish finished the pink Alexandrite embroidery is because of the wonderful beads I found in my stash that are just perfect for it that Carla had sent and how could I then not make a biscornu to make the most of the amazing beads?
I linked all my garland ornaments together and hung them and my ornaments in my wonderful apple tree (which if you look closely is bursting with possible apples). All 8 garland ornaments together make for a long garland - just what I need for my huge Christmas tree! Only 6 more months till I have all my ornaments done - I can't wait to see them wrapped around my Christmas tree!

I hope you have been enjoying making the ornaments and hope that anyone who has made them and not posted them on deviant art lets me know here in a comment about them - I'm dying to see them! If you are on Deviant Art and I have not faved them then please drop me a note - I'd LOVE to add them to my collection! My dA account can be found here: Magical525. The usual suspects do not of course need to tell me as I already know about them (No, I'm totally not thinking of Leonore, Nancy and Carla noooooo not at alll)