A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


SAL – Aconites #01

This is the scheduled three-weekly post for the SAL that I’m doing with several other crafty blogs and I’ve started a new project.

It’s a tiny stitch and is embroidery rather than cross stitch. When I bought it, at one of the craft shows, I thought it’d make a nice change but I’ve been intimidated by it ever since.

In the kit you get the fabric, threads, an image to trace and some carbon paper. Plus loads of instructions! The first thing I needed to do was the tracing, which you do by layering the image, carbon paper and fabric and holding them steady with drawing pins. Then you trace over the image to transfer that to the fabric.

You’d think that’d be simple, right? Nope. There’s no way I was going to put drawing pins into my desk so we needed to find something that I could pin into, that’d also be hard and smooth enough to trace on. Stephen found a shelf lurking upstairs that he’s been meaning to ‘do something with’ for a few years. It’s mine now 🙂 Then I just needed to pop the fabric into a hoop and I was ready to go. To give you an idea of scale, the hoop is a 7 inch. The threads are silk, which I love using, although I’ve had to use lots of hand cream as any rough skin catches on the fine threads, and my hands are not in great condition.

This is where I’ve got to.

That’s all the traced area filled in, although it’s not very neat. I’ve struggled with it and found it quite frustrating when I couldn’t get it even enough, and with silk you can’t keep redoing it as it frays so quickly and goes all fluffy instead of sleek and smooth. I got to the point where it was ‘good enough’ and I plan to hang it high up so I can’t see the uneven bits.

There’s quite a lot more to do on it. There’s the background, lots of grass, a large cobweb etc. That’s all completely freehand and as I’ve struggled with having a framework to fill in with the flowers and leaves, I’m sure that I’m going to hate doing the rest with no guide as to where to stitch. I think it looks ok as it is, so I’m going to leave it at that. (I know, I’m a wimp,)

I found a smaller hoop in a nice green that goes with the design quite nicely so I’ve put it in that with a circle of felt stitched on the back and it’s now on the wall. (as high up as it’ll go) Not one of my favourite projects and I won’t be doing anything like that again, but I’m glad that I gave it a try.

Did I mention that I made a spreadsheet to work out how many SAL updates each project could have this year? I love spreadsheets! Aconites was allowed three updates so as I’ve only used one, I have two spare to spread out among the remaining three projects planned for this year. Yay!

Next time I should have made a good start on a cute little project by Lizzie*Kate.

For the stitch-a-long I’m linking up to these lovely blogs:
Avis, Claire, GunSueConstanzeDebbierose,
ChristinaKathyMargaret, CindyHelenLindaHeidi,
JackieSunnyHayleyMeganCatherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare,
Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Do allow for people being in different time zones, so not posting all at the same time, but it’s well worth doing a bit of blog hopping to see all the lovely projects that are being worked on.



A bit of optimism

Last year I managed to complete just one cross stitch project. The year before was the same. I have a rather large stash of charts and kits waiting for attention and if I carry on at that rate, I’ll never make a dent in them, which means that I really shouldn’t buy any more. That’s not good, as I’m constantly seeing shiny new charts & kits that I need.

This is my current stash of kits, plus charts that have been kitted up. I have a lot more charts that haven’t been printed off yet, plus charts in books and magazines. This gives you an idea of the problem though.

So, I’ve had a sort through and any that really called to me were put to one side as a possible next project. I ended up with five and I know this is very optimistic, given my record, but I’m hoping to complete all five before the end of the year.

This was the first one that called to me. I’ve had this one in my stash for over three years. I loved it when I first saw it as I love most things to do with Middle Earth, plus it has owls. Bonus. I think it’ll be brilliant fun to stitch and it makes me smile every time I see it.

Next to be put to one side was this one. This has been in my stash for at least four years, probably longer. It won’t take long as it’s tiny and I do love using WDW threads.

Then I found this one. I put it to one side, and then put it back in the box before getting it back out again. I fell in love with it at the NEC craft show several years ago and it’s been intimidating me ever since. I’m going to have a go at it, and if I make a hash of it, at least I’ll have tried, right? Finally I picked out two by CCN, one of my favourite designers. This one will be a fairly quick stitch and is so pretty. And this one shouted loudest to be freed from the box and has already been started. I thought it was perfect for this time of the year and it’s a nice simple design with only whole crosses, so very relaxing after the last project. Next Sunday is the SAL post and I’ll be showing off my finished Crazy Cat Lady. The following SAL post will be my start on Snowflake Serenade. Hopefully I’ll have quite a bit done on it by then.