A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Song of the Weather – September

I haven’t done any cross stitch or Hardanger since before I went on holiday. I’ve been crocheting and sewing and reading but just haven’t felt like stitching. I’ve just remembered though, that I didn’t get around to uploading a pic of the last SoTW that I did, so as I’ve nothing else to show at the moment, I thought I’d do it now.

I liked this one very much. It was lovely to stitch and worked up nice and quickly. I like how it looks too.

There weren’t many Kloster Blocks which meant I was onto the interesting stitches sooner. I like doing the round Eyelets and can usually get them even now so I’m pleased with those. I love Rhodes stitch and these hearts are particularly nice. Lots of texture. I hadn’t done Pine stitch before, which is the one in the Kloster Block squares, but it was a simple stitch and very quick to do.


I loved the Satin stitch braid. The couching was very relaxing to do once I got started and I think it looks pretty. There was only a small amount of cutting to do – always a bonus – and those double wrapped bars didn’t take long. The new stitch, Gamma stitch, was simple with the brilliant instructions that come with these charts.

I’ve got the rest of the SoTW downloaded and printed now, but I can’t remember if I’ve started October’s or not. I may check later and maybe do some stitching. I’ll see if I’m in the mood or not.



Song of the Weather – August

Just a little late, but I’m gradually catching up. I quite enjoyed doing this one once I’d got those pesky Kloster Blocks out of the way. For some reason I kept miscounting where my start point was on them and had to frog them three or four times, which was the point at which I gave up and put it all away.

When I finally fished it back out and started again, it went perfectly first time. I have no idea what the problem was originally.

The Eyelets were simple enough. I’ve done those several times before. The central Buttonhole Flower was easy and the French Daisies were easy too, once I’d worked out that I needed to have them facing the same way before stitching. A simple matter of turning the piece before doing each quarter.


I was a bit apprehensive about the picots on the woven bars as I’d heard they were tricky, but again, as long as I made sure to stitch from left to right, they gave me no problem. I’m quite pleased with how they turned out.


Song of The Weather – July

I think this was my favourite month so far. It definitely had my favourite surface stitch on it and I loved one of the filling stitches.


The little Ermine stitch is nice but the one that I really love is that Buttonhole Horseshoe. It was great fun to do and easy with the brilliant instructions, plus it looks so textured and interesting.

I had a few issues with the twisted bars. The first one of each pair went fine but the second one kept going pear-shaped. I’m still not happy with them but they’ll do. I love, love, love the beaded diagonals though. They were so easy to do, again with the excellent and clear instructions and they look fabulous. I wanted to keep doing more so I was quite disappointed when I finished them.

SAL by Mabel’s Fancies.


Song of the Weather – June

I finished this in record time this month, mainly due to having a small window in between finishing my week one project and starting the week two one. The other reason is that I loved this one and really enjoyed stitching it. It helped that I was familiar with all the surface stitches too.


The border of Pekinese stitch looks very effective and I like how it looks on this much more than when I did it on the Papillon SAL. I like this variation of Leaf stitch and the Rhodes Windmills were easy and look lovely.

I’d done the woven bars before on an earlier SoTW, and I was happy with my fourth attempt at doing one of the Split Twists, and then the other three came quite easily.

I’ve just pulled out everything I need for next month’s week one and it’s sitting in my project bag. I’m really looking forward to starting it. In the meantime – on with the Flower Book.


Song of the weather – May update

I’m quite pleased with this. The surface stitches aren’t the most interesting ones that we’ve done but look pretty all the same. The cutting was much easier this time. I think I’m finally getting comfortable with it. I must make sure that I don’t get too complacent and make a mistake next month though.

The uneven bars seemed to take ages, but there are quite a few of them. Mine are nicely uneven, but maybe not in the way that was intended. They were definitely improving as I went along though, so that’s ok. I’m happy with my Fan stitches. They were fun to do and I think they look ok.

05MayNow to see if my printer will co-operate as I try to print off the next installment of the Papillon SAL.


Song of the Weather – April update

And yes, it’s in May, but only just in May so that’s an improvement. I  have high hopes of getting May’s done in the correct month.

I really enjoyed this one. I loved the surface stitches. Rhodes stitch is one of my favourites and once I’d figured out what I was doing, I liked doing the Portuguese border. I had some difficulty with the Bullion knots and they’re not particularly even but I’m fairly pleased with how they turned out. I think I finally got the hang of them but for a while there, I thought they were going to replace French knots as my nemesis.

04AprilThe cutting seemed to go a bit more smoothly this time as I wasn’t quite as terrified. My Double wrapped bars aren’t very even but I was having some problems getting the thread to stay tightly wound and not go all over the place. They’ll do. My Greek crosses could be better but I enjoyed doing them and now that I’ve done those, I feel fairly confident that I could do better next time.

The next one looks lovely but I’m going to do the Papillon SAL next  and leave May until the end of the month. Hopefully it won’t get left until June.


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.

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Song of the Weather – January #2

I liked stitching January’s Hardanger SAL. In fact, I liked it so much that when I woke one morning and thought to myself that it would make a marvellous birthday card for a certain friend, I immediately went online and got more perles to do another one. Well, I couldn’t possibly do it in the same colour, could I? She’d seen that one.

The friend for whom the card was intended has received it now, so it’s safe to post it on here. What I found amusing is that after I’d stitched it, I found out that I’d picked almost the same colours to Tree’s Song of the Weather. Where Tree used pink DMC 600 and 605, I used 600 and 604. We did use different neutrals though. I knew Tree was using pink but how odd that we’d pick from the same range – the Cranberries.

This is my version. I used Week’s Dye Works Whitewash for my neutral colour. It has a variegation to it, cream to a pinky-brown. Very pretty.

01Jan2Then I made it into a card. I haven’t done any papercrafts for over a year so it was quite nice to get all my toys tools and stash out. I used my Cuttlebug to cut a shaped aperture in some card. If I’m going to make a habit of this, I obviously need more square-ish dies as I only just had one large enough.

Next I used double-sided tape to attach the Hardanger. Then I wrapped some ribbon around the front, pushing it through a slit in the side, and placed a layer of batting over the ribbon and Hardanger. Then finally some card to cover all that up. There’s a bow both front and back.

01Jan2CardI really enjoyed making it so I’m hopeful that my interest in papercrafts may be returning. This is the first card that I’ve made with stitching in it and I’m pleased with how it made up, even if it is more labour intensive.

Oh, and my friend liked it, so I’m pleased about that too.


Song of the Weather – February

02FebruaryI couldn’t resist doing February’s SAL early in the month, instead of paying attention to my rotation. I thought it would only take an afternoon like January’s did, but I spent three days on it altogether. I loved doing the pretty purple stitch which is called Beaded edging. I think it came out quite nicely. This month uses beads too and I’m using beads that I already had in my stash. Until I got them out, I wasn’t sure how well they’d go but they’ve turned out to be a perfect match, being just a shade darker than the threads.

The next step was the cutting so I did the only sensible thing and put it away for the night. When it came back out instead of taking the scissors to the piece that I’d already spent hours on, I did a practise piece, as recommended on the SAL blog, using a contrasting thread to make it easier to see. Then I took the scissors to that.

I’ve just noticed that I’ve managed to take a photo of the back of it by mistake, but we’ll pretend it was deliberate shall we?

02CuttingPractiseHaving managed to cut the practise piece without cutting anything that I shouldn’t have, I decided to attempt the main piece.

It. Was. Terrifying.

I didn’t cut any fabric threads that I shouldn’t have but I did nick a couple of the Perle threads. Not enough to be a problem but I obviously need to be a bit more careful. I found it awkward to hold the scissors at that angle, especially  as mine are bent forward so I have to tilt them right back to poke them down the holes.
Stroking the cut ends in wasn’t as tricky as I thought it might be and it looks fairly neat, although some of the Perles do look slightly ummm, scuffed. It’s not bad for a first effort though.

Once the cutting and end tucking-in was complete, that just left the Woven Bars and the Dove’s Eyes, neither of which I’ve done before. The Woven Bars started off very uneven but I can see how they gradually improved until they look quite reasonable by the end. The Dove’s Eyes on the other hand are dreadful. I kept redoing them but couldn’t get them to sit right. I may have to live with them for now.

On the whole, I’m pleased with how it went, and I do love the design. I was very nervous about the cutting and I think that some better scissors may help so I’ve sent for some.

I’ve lost a whole week of rotation stitching to a long and vile migraine, plus working on this so instead of trying to squeeze week one in I’m going straight to week two now and the Owls. If the Papillon SAL is small enough I’ll try to fit some time in on Around the World, but if not, I’ll make sure it gets some attention next month.