A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

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Flower Sampler Book – July update

It’s a good job that I’d already made a substantial start on this page as I lost most of the week to a migraine. I did manage to finish it though and I’m very pleased with it.


The little cottage has lots of teeny French knots in the vines snaking over its walls and windows. I had no problems with them at all. Hooray! I think I’ve definitely cracked it.

I love the trees. It’s a simple pattern on them but looks really effective.


My favourite part, and the best bit of the whole project so far, was the teeny band sampler. I loved doing this so much. I had to keep stopping to admire it and have a quiet squeee to myself. It’s so pretty! The hand dyed thread is a silk and was pure joy to use. So soft and such beautiful shades. I loved the different stitches used too. Nothing that I hadn’t done before but they were combined so nicely. I feel the need to do more band samplers now that I’ve had a taste of one.


This used Algerian Eyelets, Rice stitch, Satin stitch, Couching, Rhodes stitch, Queen stitch, Bullion knots and Four sided stitch. Plus some variations on Cross stitch.

Next month I’ll be doing the page with the Blackwork which’ll be fun as that’s something that I haven’t tried before. I’m looking forward to it, especially as it’s such a pretty design.

For now I’ve started on the first part of the LHN Mystery SAL. So far I’m loving it.



Song of the Weather – March update

Yes, I do know that it’s April now and the post title says March. There’s a reason for that. I’m a little bit behind on this SAL. March’s has been sitting on one side ever since I got to the bit with the cutting. Chicken? Me? Surely not. With April’s not yet printed though, and May’s due in a few days, I thought I’d better get a move on so I gritted my teeth and got the scissors out.

I managed to cut only where I should have, did the wrapped bars and then the Square Filets. I liked doing the filets. They were so much nicer to do than the Dove’s eyes. I’m not entirely satisfied with the wrapped bars though. They could have been pulled a bit tighter, I feel, and they’re not even. I guess that’ll come with practise.

03MarchThe pale purple stitches in the centre are Queen stitch. I’ve done that a few times before and I like doing it. There are some French knots, which are fairly even so I’m happy with those and the stitches right in the corners are Basque knots. The were great fun and similar to a stitch that I did on The Great Escape.

Must get April and the latest Papillon printed next and then I can get cracking on those.


Around the World – part two #2

The second Tulip is now finished which is good as I have part three waiting to be started. I’m much happier with this Tulip than I was the first one that I did. That’s probably because most of it was exactly the same as the other one so I had a much better idea what I was doing. The only differences were with the shape of the Mordvinian Star Stitch and the Hardanger, but the basic stitches for those were the same.

This is what the whole Tulip looks like. This one is mostly pinks with a bit of blue, so the opposite of the other one.

Around the World - part two #2
I’ve taken lots of close-up photos again, to show the different stitches. This one shows the two lower vines with the Swedish Split stitch, done in the two shades of pink, and the Divided Round Eyelet, which I love in that deep pink.

Around the World - part two #2
This is the other vine which has the Rice stich in the centre and the Danish Knots at either end. That’s eight pairs of those knots that I’ve done now, over the two Tulips and finally on the last set, I managed to do a nice tidy matching pair. I found it much easier to do the Danish Knots by doing the Ray stitches first, rather than afterwards, which is how I did them for the other Tulip.

Around the World - part two #2
I was much happier with the Queen stitch this time. I like it in the blue, and again I did the Ray stitch first and worked the Queen stitch around it.

Around the World - part two #2
I had a bit of a problem with the Mordvinian Star stitch. I got four of the blocks done and realised that I was one hole out so had to frog nearly all of it. In hindsight, I should have frogged all of it and started again with a fresh piece of thread as the Pearl #12 does not frog well. The part that I restitched doesn’t look pearly any more. Something to remember for another time. I rather like the middle of this one with the Pulled Square Eyelet and Cross Stitch.

Around the World - part two #2
And finally, the Hardanger. This is much the same as the Hardanger in the other Tulip, but in a different shape. I like doing this. It’s very easy, and very quick.

Around the World - part two #2
So that’s the central section all done now, and this is what it looks like.

Around the World - part two #2
There are lots of beads to go on this so I’m going to be very busy with it once the stitching is finished in a couple of years time. Part three looks really nice so I’m looking forward to getting on with that, but I’ve just started June’s Cottage and I want to finish that first. It’s a good incentive to get on with the cottage, eh?

The Great Escape has taken a back seat as I need some beads for it and I don’t want to place an order for just those. As soon as I need something else from one of the internet shops that I use, I’ll get those beads and finish that off.


Around the World pt. 2

Part two of this SAL is two tulip-shaped areas, both filled with lovely specialist stitches. Unlike the first part, they are more or less the same, with a slight difference in the Hardanger and Mordivinian Star stitches. So, once one part is done, the second should be much easier with a bit of luck. And as I’ve finished one of the tulips, I’m hoping that is true.

Not that it was difficult. Just fiddly. Very fiddly. There are several single stitches and quite a few odd small Ray stitches and small groups of cross stitches so lots of threading and re-threading of the needle and not so much stitching.

There are three vines in the three different greens, all done in backstitch. On the top vine is some Swedish Split stitch. This was easy, and very quick to do.That’s at the top of the photo in the dark and pale blue.

Around the World pt. 2
In the bottom two corners of the photo, in the dark pink and pale blue is what may or may not be two Danish Knots with Ray stitches. The pink is the Danish Knot. I think I’ve done them right, but the diagram showed the stitch one way up and I needed to do it mirror image to that for the other side of the Ray stitch. My brain didn’t want to cope with that. Don’t even get me started on the Knots that are upside down. I had to turn the fabric upside down to do them rather than try and do the stitch the wrong way up. It was making my head hurt…

I’m rather loving that Pansy-like flower made from Ray stitch in the middle of that photo though.

In the centre of one of the other vines was some Rice stitch. I’ve done this one before so it was easy peasy.

Around the World pt. 2
Medium blue with the pretty metallic over the top.

Then we come to the main stitches in this section. First we have the Mordvinian Star stitch. For this I used some DMC Pearl #12, which I haven’t tried before. I can’t say I liked using it all that much but it does look nice. The stitch looked a little messy as I was doing it but once I got it away from the magnifier I thought it looked rather pretty.

Around the World pt. 2
There’s a pulled Eyelet stitch in the centre. To the bottom left are two rather wonky Lazy Daisy stitches on either side of three Queen stitches. I’ve done Queen stitches in The Great Escape so once again I had no problems with those. I like the effect there. It looks like a little cluster of cherries.

The other main stitch is the Hardanger. I’ve done it the basic way but instructions were also given for Cut Hardanger. I did think about having a go at the cut version but I actually prefer the look of the non-cut one. I’ll be joining in with a Hardanger SAL in January so I’ll be learning all about cutting then.

Around the World pt. 2
The Pulled Eyelets are done in that Perle #12 and the bars are stitched with DMC #8. Again, a new thread for me but this one I really liked using.

This is what it all looks like. I think it looks slightly more bitty than the hearts but still nice and I enjoyed doing it.

Around the World pt. 2
Before I do the other Tulip, I’d like to finish off The Great Escape. I did sit down to do that on Saturday but I fiddled with it for about half an hour and as I hadn’t put a single stitch in it, I put it away again. I wanted to stitch, but just not that. So, with three SALs waiting, and June ticking away, I got out Pixel People Firefly and did some more on that for a couple of hours. I really enjoyed myself too.

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The Great Escape – Queen stitch

The owl now has some feet and is complete. Next we’ll be working on the rest of the design so I’m quite excited to find out what’s coming up next. Queen stitch was interesting. It wasn’t difficult and wasn’t as fiddly as the previous two stitches but it did take some concentration on the placement. I like the effect though and I do like his feet.

The Great Escape - Queen stitch
I’ve taken a close up shot of one of his feet to show off the stitch a little more.

The Great Escape - Queen stitch
I’ve made a start on the February Cottage of the month. It’s so pretty. I’m doing the cottage itself first starting off with the lovely deep pink and I’m really enjoying it. Update coming soon.