Friday Stitch Day Update (Well, OK, it’s the first one so it’s not an update, but whatever…)

Not that anyone cares, but hey, this is fun for me. And it keeps this stuff out of the Saturday life update post, so let’s make this a weekly thing, eh?

Also… stitching = embroidery, but meh, when I knit, those are called stitches too.

Let’s start with the knitting then:

I’ve just been working on the Wassailing Stole by Courtney Spainhower from an old issue of Interweave Knits. And I didn’t get much done on it this week, only working on it one day in the car when driving my brother around to errands after he sold his car, and then knitting whilst watching Woody Allen’s 1973 flick Sleeper.

But I got a couple rows done, including one I had to unknit and redo because I wasn’t paying attention on the backside and knit where I shoulda purled and didn’t discover it for 100 stitches near the end of that row.

Oh well. This week I learned that unknitting is called “tinking.” Y’know, because it’s knit backwards.

I fucking hate tinking, but sometimes ya just gotta do it. Especially if you fuck up a cable.

So, since this is the first of these posts (even though there’s pics of this project in life update posts from earlier in the summer), here’s some extra pics of the magazine for what it will look like when finished (lol, my stuff never looks like the pictures…) and the yarn I’m using etc.

Fun fact with this pattern: I think this was published shortly after I was getting into watching Survive the Jive‘s videos about Anglo-Saxon pagan customs, and he had a video on wassailing in the apple orchards, which really caught my fancy.

I was actually thinking I might do an illustrated children’s book about wassailing, though I never got very far with it beyond some researching and outlining. Then I pick up the new Interweave Knits and there’s this pattern called the wassailing stole, and of course I had to do it, went up to Nanaimo to Mad About Ewe in late September 2019 and bought some yarn for it… and then didn’t actually start it til this summer, almost 2 years later.

But hey, better late than never, right?

Moving on to cross-stitch… I figure a lot of Flosstubers have daily themes for stitching, and that might help keep things varied but also steadily progressing.

A few years back when I was a Flosstuber myself, I adopted some of those daily themes, so I resurrected my old themes but with some tweaks and this is what I came up with:

  • Mondays: Merry Mondays (ie, Christmas stuff; borrowed this theme from Priscilla & Chelsea)
  • Tuesdays: Trivial Tuesdays (ie, smaller pieces; this was one of my old ones)
  • Wednesdays: Witchy Wednesdays (ie, Halloween; another borrowing from Priscilla & Chelsea)
  • Thursdays: Tropical Thursdays (ie, beach/ocean/sun pieces; another of my old themes)
  • Fridays: Flora & Fauna Fridays (like it says, but also nature in general; another of my old themes)
  • Saturdays: Stars & Stripes Saturdays (ie, American patriotic pieces, because I was born a few miles too far north and I’m wanting to move my ass back on the right side of the 49th parallel; another borrowing from Priscilla & Chelsea)
  • Sundays: Sampler Sundays (ie, sampler-style pieces… kinda hard to explain if you don’t know them, but usually samplers have an alphabet, a border, and some sort of scene; I used to stitch samplers on Saturdays in my old themes but moved them to accommodate Yankee theming)

That’s not to say every of these days will only be that day’s theme; just that I try to do a half hour of the theme first and anything else is bonus.

So… onto the stitching:

For Monday, I’m trying to finish up with the remaining three pieces for Lizzie Kate‘s Tiny Tidings XXII. Last week I finished the Mr & Mrs Claus one, as mentioned in last week’s life update blog, this week no finishes but some progress:

I got the lighter green bits done.

The fabric is 22-count aida that I dyed myself.

For Tuesday, I started another of The Primitive Hare‘s sabbat freebies, Imbolc:

Again, this is on fabric I hand-dyed (but 28-count Irish linen that I bought at Michael’s for this series). I’m swapping a couple colors, for example, the fence is DMC 4000 instead of black as called for in the pattern.

I think I mentioned in some prior blog (probably last week when I finished the Yule freebie) that I’ve now finished 4 of the 8 sabbats.

For Wednesday, I worked on Lila’s Studio‘s “Halloween Quaker“:

I’m stitching this on 22 count aida (or maybe hardanger cloth, which is kinda the same thing but softer) that I hand-dyed. Mostly I’m using the called-for floss, but I have some substitutions to similar ones.

I think this week I finished the last crow, added the jack-o-lantern on the left, and started another Quaker motif at the top.

I kinda realized I should have started in the top right corner. See, I stitch in hand (no hoop or frame) and the more fabric I have to crumple up in my left hand, the more of a pain it is on these huge pieces. So if I were to start in the top right corner and work back to the bottom left, it would get easier as I go.

Of course, I didn’t start there, so I’ll just have to keep that in mind for future large pieces (eg, Lila’s Studio has a Holiday Quaker of the same size which I will probably get at some point, so if I do, I will know to start in the top right).

Next up, Tropical Thursdays, and I put a row in on Michelle Ink Designs‘ “Quaker Gone Tropical“:

So… here’s what happened 2-3 years ago.

I like stitching small, eg. 22-count, and it doesn’t even seem that small to me anymore. So this fabric is 28-count monaco that I got at Michael’s and hand-dyed (not that it’s too obvious from this picture, it just looks tan). It shrunk somewhat in the dyeing process, so it’s probably more like 30 count or even 32.

And I decided that while most will stitch 2 over 2 on 28-count, making it a 14-count, which I find way too big, I would try stitching 1 over 1 (meaning, one strand of floss making an X over one intersection of the weave).

The problem I’m having is not that this is too small, I can see it just fine with my OttLite. The problem is it’s too tight and it’s very hard to push even a thin size 26 needle through the weave to make those Xs, especially on the corners that touch prior stitches.

The one row I did on Thursday night whilst listening to the Opie & Anthony episodes mocking Mel Gibson’s “SMILE AND BLOW ME!!!!!” meltdown with his crazy ex should have taken me 15 minutes for that few stitches, instead it took an hour.

Ugh… well, so much for that idea. I ordered a yard of 22 count aida (because this piece will be 2 feet tall even at 22 count) and when it comes, I’ll probably dye it tan but without the usual heavy mottling I do, and then restart it (from the upper right corner).

I’m not using the called-for floss, which I think is silk. Instead, the 4 colors are all DMC variegations: 4050, 4126, 4210, and 4240… although, looking at the model photo on the 123stitch listing, I think I might change the last two, dunno.

And in the meantime, I’ll figure out a different tropical pattern to use.

For Friday, I hauled out “The Birds & the Bees” by Carriage House Samplings:

Not much was done, just a section of the trunk.

The fabric is 16-count aida, which I again dyed myself.

I never pick anything that huge now (lol… I know, some people prefer 14 count and think 16 count is tiny…), but I don’t feel like starting this pattern over again since I’ve got almost 1/4 of it stitched… well, maybe more like 1/5.

There are a couple smaller patterns I started a few years back around the same time that are on 16-count and those I probably will abandon or restart. Even 18-count feels big to me, but I can at least stitch that with just one strand of floss.

Next up, the Saturday stitching, in which I continued work on Tiny Modernist‘s “Land of the Free“:

Ran out of the strand of the red floss with just 4 or 5 stitches left in the letter. Gah!

Anyway, I’m using the called-for colors but swapping them around a bit to pop better on the fabric, which is 18 count aida I used fabric spraypaint on.

(Probably won’t be any more fabric spraypainting til after Christmas because reasons, and maybe the aida dyeing with Rit will also have to wait til the new year before I get it all done. But in the meantime I have 5 or 6 large pieces of spraypainted aida to pull from and I think 20 pieces of newly dyed aida.)

Then on Sunday (but also throughout the week) I’ve been trying to get Moira Blackburn Samplers’ “Don’t Worry Spiders” finished:

All I have left is a bunch of cream in the borders, but the called-for color doesn’t show up on the fabric (which is 22-count aida I used fabric spraypaint on). The photo with the chart shows something that really pops like a bright white, so I might try that instead (ie, I’ll stitch an inch or two and see how it looks).

Failing that, I think I’ll pull one of the pinks and one of the light green/aquas and use that combo instead.

Actually, I might do that anyway on the inside of the two columns and put a bright white outline on the outside.

It’ll probably still be a while before this is finished, though. But hey, I’ve been working on it since at least 2018, because I think I’d already started it when I bought my house.

Lastly, a bonus piece, which I guess could go under Saturday’s Yankee patriotic theme, Satsuma Street‘s “Pretty Little Los Angeles“:

I think the building I’m working in is the Capitol Records building.

Fabric is either 22 count or 18 count aida (probably 22) that I dyed myself.

Whew… long one, but then the first post of this sort of thing always is.

I also dyed a few more chunks of 18 count aida this week, but that’ll probably be the last of that for a while. And they’re kinda in similar colorways to previous rounds of aida dyeing that I’ve shown on this blog.