First of all, October was a wash-out for most things. I was ill 28 of the 31 days in the month, which was a total waste of time. Better now, thankfully.
I made a start on the simple Trish Burr piece that you see here, the violets in section one of her 'Fresh Ideas for Beginners' book. I thought, 'I'm not too keen on spilt stitch stems, let's do it on stem stitch instead.' So, I did and it ended up being really much too thick. I then went on to make a real mess of the bud. This is as far as I got that day and it's all coming out..... Time to start again.
Something I noticed whilst doing this inventory was that I had a lot of scraps of Hardanger and Oslo fabrics, so I fished them all out and decided to make up some small pieces to mount in my small (and tiny) cards or even bookmarks. I'll probably try and sell them as, with hardanger being so quick to work, I can possibly even charge a price that's fair to myself and the potential customer. If they don't sell, I'll have a set of nice cards to use up for friends. =) The designs I'm using have come from some old 'New Stitches' magazines and I'm adapting them with colour changes, introducing metallics and changing the shape of the outer beading trim to fit the circular mounts better. Another good thing about this project, as well as using fabric and card blanks up, is that I'm getting some threads and beads that I either have never used or not touched for a long time into service. I estimate that I've used a quarter or less of all the threads that I own and that's not very sensible.....
In the batch of photos that I lost was a midway shot between the last update photo and this one. Of course, I couldn't go back and retake it, so here's the whole piece at the moment.
I haven't done a lot of needlework of late, esp. as I've just started another book reading and studying up drive, but I'm getting some things slowly done.
Other results of my counted thread fabric inventory were that I realised I no longer use Aida at all and listed all my scraps on e-bay to sell. Also, I decided to get on with projects I'd long been planning to do and even collected the materials, but never yet got on with. One is the lovely blackwork runner here some of you might remember that I included about about 18 months ago during the Needlequest blackwork month (photo and pattern is from 'New Stitches' #75). I've got all I need for that, although I may swap the Kreinik Very Fine Braid for DMC stranded metallic as I have enough of the latter for the whole design, but would need to buy three more spools of the prescribed Kreinik. I'm not sure yet as the single thread VFB will probably look nicer than two strands of DMC Light Effects. I'll try a sample and see. The idea is to use things up though, so I want to try and use what I have wherever possible and I'm unlikely to need almost two full skeins of the DMC long-term, esp. when I have so many gold metallics that I can't imagine ever running out.
I also have enough white 22ct Oslo fabric for a couple more cushion covers and/or a small table runner. There are several skeins of #5 pearl cotton in white and another ball of matching #8, so it looks like the traditional white on white look will have it with at least one piece.
I'm not really expecting to start those hardanger and blackwork projects until the new year, (by which time I hope to have the above etc finished) but it will be nice to work on something with a view to using it in our new home - whenever we finally get to move! The final frustrations are that Sir still hasn't been able to get a longer term job in the right area and homes of the right spec are not plentiful at this time of year. We looked at one last week, but it would have taken more than a few pieces of pretty needlework to make that look less shabby. You know how some places are old fashioned in a classic and charming way? Well, this one was old fashioned in the badly needs modernising and redecorating way. Looks like we'll have to wait a couple more months, by which time we hope to know how much we can spend on housing. As little as possible, I hope as who wants to waste all their cash on rent when there are so many more interesting things to spend it on?? =)
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2015