A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Around the World in 80 days – May update #2

It’s finished! And it looks much better now that I’ve tweaked a few bits and added the long stitch. I’m really pleased with it, and very happy that I went ahead and changed that green.


As I was changing the green on that large area of grass, I also changed the foliage in the tub next to the date. I redid the date too, as having stitched the green around it, some of it had become obscured. I’m much happier with both of those now. I also changed the lighter green in the balloon so that it would look more like the picture. It looks so much better now.

I do love this, especially now it has the ropes added.


The green grassy area look so much better with the substituted shade. You can see all the little details now. I love the little sheep and those two people waving at the balloon – or at least that’s what I assume they’re doing. I rather like that little fence too.


The ship has now taken over from the bird on branch as my new favourite area of the design. It looked ok before but once I’d added the ropes to it, the difference was amazing. I really love it.


So, that’s my other January start finished, which I’m very happy about. I think I may do a very small project next and then maybe start on a Pixel People. Or, I may change my mind before June and pick something else from my (not so) wee little stash pile.


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Around the World in 80 days – May update #1

I really hoped to have finished this by now. There was a delay in picking it up this month as I wanted to catch up with Song of the Weather and the Papillon SAL. Then once I did get around to it, I didn’t get much time for stitching as we’ve had builders in, which was distracting and took a lot of time getting things ready for them. Finally I got the time to stitch and started stitching the lighter of the two patches of grass.

The more I stitched though, the less I liked it. The two greens are just too similar so you don’t get the lovely contrast as shown in the picture of it. I noticed it when I was doing the balloon, but thought it’d be ok. I noticed it again when doing the darker green grass around the stems of the plant. I had to frog the stems and redo them in a different shade as they disappeared into the grass. I hoped it’d be ok when I did the big section of grass but once I started stitching around the greenery in the dark green, and joining up to the other patch of grass, it was obvious that the shades were just too much the same. It looked dreadful and the more I stitched, the less I was enjoying it.

In the photo you can see much more of a contrast than there actually is. For some reason the camera can see a difference that you can’t with the naked eye. You’ll have to take my word for it how close the two shades of green are.


Too see how close they are, just look at the red flowers in the lighter green section. There is some darker green foliage attached to them, but you can hardly see it. I’ve done a fair bit of it so at this point I was reluctant to start over but I didn’t want to stitch any more as it was really bugging me by now.

In the end, I took a deep breath and frogged it. It was going to be one of those projects that ended up in a drawer if I didn’t so I’m just resigned to it taking longer than I hoped. I need to have a rummage in my stash to see if I’ve got a suitable lighter green to use. If I can find something I like for it, I may redo the paler bits on the balloon as that’s annoying me too now that I’ve decided to redo the grass.

I may stick with this until it’s finished now. This month’s rotation has completely lost the plot so I may as well. And if I do finish it, I get to start something new in June. Hooray!


Around the world in 80 days – April update

I’m quite pleased with how much I got done on this. I only have a small amount to do now, just the grass in two colours and the long stitch. I should definitely finish it next month.

AtW090413I love the little sheep, although I did manage to stitch one facing the wrong way. It doesn’t matter though and I wasn’t inclined to change it afterwards.

I did have a wee problem with it. I had to frog the green stems that join the flower pedestal to those little red flowers. The two shades of green used in this are just too close so once I started filling in the grass around them, the stems just vanished into the background. It was an absolute nightmare to frog too, as I couldn’t even see which stitches to unpick. I plan to redo the stems with a paler green from my stash.


Around the world in 80 days – March update

I gave this a fair bit of attention this month to make up for February’s failure. I managed to get quite a lot done and it now looks like this.

AtW080313I love that little white fence and the people waving from the balloon. I made a start on the sea, but need to put the seabirds in before continuing it.

AtWwhitehouseI haven’t put the long stitches on the ship and balloon yet. I’ll do those last.

I’m going to get cracking on the owls now and I hope to have a finish this time next week.


Around the World in 80 days – Jan update

I’ve started a rotation for my cross stitching this year in the hopes that some of my older projects will get a bit of attention, and that I’ll keep up with the Papillon SAL a bit better than I did last year. The plan is to divide the month into four weeks with each week having a different project allocated to it. The odd couple of days left over are for wiggle room. Week one is currently for Around the World in 80 days. I did give it an extra two days as I lost four stitching days to a rather vile migraine last week. I haven’t made as much progress on this as I’d hoped but it’s had its rotation time and I’m moving on to the next project now. I think my eyes want a rest from the 32 count fabric to be honest. A week at a time is probably as much as they can handle, even with a magnifier lamp.

I started off by doing the outline as I like to see it get filled in and it’s helpful for counting when finding where I need to stitch. I love the Manor Red, which is used for that.

AtW090113There were a few errors in the chart, but the corrections are up on the LHN website. I was a bit puzzled until I found them, as you could see the discrepancies between the picture and the chart.

I think my favourite bit so far is that wee bird on the branch. I really enjoyed stitching that bit.

AtWbirdonbranchThe next project in my rotation is Outrageous Owls and I’ve already started it. My eyes are quite relieved to be back on 28 count. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. I’m hoping I can complete at least one owl and possibly two in a week but that may be a bit optimistic.

Week three will be for an older project and I’m considering pulling out the Hamilton/McLaren piece before it’s completely dated, although I could probably finish Venice Street fairly quickly if I put my mind to it. Decisions…

Week four is for the Papillon SAL and if I finish it quickly, any remaining days can be used for whichever of the other three I want to go back to.

On the 1st day of the month, I go back to the beginning and Around the World in 80 days. That’s my plan. Wonder how many months I can keep it up for?


New projects for the New Year

As a reward to myself for finishing all twelve of the CCN Cottages by the end of the year, which I will do any day now, I’m going to start not one but two new projects in January. The first is one that I’ve had planned for a while and is a stitch-along with Tree. It’s the start of a new series by Little House Needleworks, with all the designs to be book covers. The first one represents Around the world in 80 days. This is all my lovely stash for it.

AtWstashThe threads are gorgeous, mostly overdyed. I’m really looking forward to using them. The fabric is 32 count Belfast linen in Light Sand.

I’ve just discovered a stitch on my sewing machine that works nicely to edge the fabric. It’s a very cheap machine and as I know nothing about sewing I’ve only used the straight stitch and zig-zag before. I think the stitch was called arrowhead stitch and it seems to be working quite well to stop any fraying.

This is a close up of the design. It’s lovely, isn’t it!

AtWpicThe other project is a fairly last-minute addition to my plans for 2013. It’s one that Tree stitched earlier this year and I really liked it so she very kindly let me have the chart and the left over threads. I kitted it up with the same fabric that Tree used as it looked so nice, and I’m adding it to my January starts because it looks like a nice quick stitch. This is the chart and rather long piece of fabric.

OAstashAnd a close up of the design. It’s called Outrageous Owls, it’s by Glendon Place and it’s very, very cute.

OApicDecember’s Cottage should be finished in a day or two, just in time for me to start on one of these. I’ve got a long list of projects that I want to do in 2013 and I’m hopeful of getting quite a few of them done. Once this last Cottage is done, that’ll be fifteen finishes this year, which isn’t bad at all for me. All small ones, mind you, but I’m still very pleased with that amount.