Sunday, March 31, 2019

School of Magical Stitches Year 3, Week 5 Complete, and A Bonus

Thanks for everyone's comments on the "scary" project. I did go ahead and get Otto out, since that is one that requires more brain power, more work and more effort. It definitely fits the definition of scary for me.

Otto was here:
And after 1024 stitches,

I added 1000 stitches instead of the 500 because they require 500 full crosses and this is tent stitch 2 over 1 on 32ct fabric. I also remembered when I got it out that I managed to get off in the count, so the blue line is the actual 70 line, which is where 74 is marked on my fabric. It will be a little frustrating to finish this page, which is another reason I put it down, but I'm still happy I managed a bit more. The horizontal lines are correct, and I can hopefully remake the lines in the future.

The happy project was Tribal Dragon. It got all the way to here!
Tribal Dragon by White Willow Stitching
on 25ct pewter Lugana with Waterlilies/Kreinik and Soie Cristale threads

Only a few belly segments left and this thing is finished! Obviously not this month, but possibly next month. Any ideas on finishing? It doesn't have to be hung up, although maybe over a canvas would be nice. I don't mind if DD likes to touch it and see the sparkly thread.

The bonus project this week was Christmas Break. We were asked to stitch 600 stitches on something winter or Xmas related. Some people didn't have anything like that, and the admins also approved something you might give as a Xmas gift. I have a few choices that meet the criteria and got out Kiss for a Snowman by Dimensions since it hasn't been touched in a couple months.

It was last here:
and now:
It's definitely filling in, so we'll see if I can get some more done this year to get an Xmas finish. I'm guessing not, so no pressure on myself there. :)

I hope you've all had a good week! I'll post about the new homework once it's up tomorrow.

Happy Stitching!


Monday, March 25, 2019

School of Magical Stitches and Literature Year 3, Week 5 and an Oops for Week 4

Homework came out very early this morning and is different again than the previous weeks. This week we're concentrating on Boggarts, who show up for the first time in HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Boggarts are a creature that hides in a dark place and takes the shape of your worst fear. Harry and classmates learn how to tackle them in their Defense Against the Dark Arts class with Professor Lupin. You defeat a Boggart by laughing at it, so our homework this week is to stitch 500 stitches on something that makes us incredibly happy, and 500 stitches on something scary.

Week 5

The definition of "something scary" and "something happy" is fairly loose, you just have to state why each project fits the definition. I know what I'm going to work on for the "happy" part, Tribal Dragon.

Another 500 stitches might finish off the dark green, or possibly finish a few more of the belly sections. I'll have a look tonight and see how I want to approach it. The reason this one makes me so happy is it's the first big project I started after DD was born and the first one I chose for her. I also chose all the colours myself and determined how I wanted it to look instead of as a straight black silhouette. So it's definitely a happy place project.

The scary one is more difficult, and I'm not sure what to pick yet. I was thinking of Otto, which is an incredibly daunting full coverage project and has a pathetic amount stitched:
which will eventually look like this:
It's a giant piece I'm going to stitch 2 over 1 on 32ct tent stitch instead of full crosses.

There's also a lot of HAEDs I have that are only slightly stitched, but they're not as daunting as this monster of a project. Or if we took the literal translation of "scary" to mean something frightening, I have a lot of spooky Halloween projects I could work on. Like the Wings and Things mandala from Ink Circles, I have the fabric and thread and pattern, but haven't started it yet. Plus adding a new start with the amount of WIPs I have is a "scary" thought too...

I'm leaning towards this one since it would be easier, but then that would be the opposite of what we're supposed to stitch on, since it's not as scary as Otto. :)

Any input is appreciated!

For the Oops part, I had thought I was all set with my homework, but I double checked some of the "not allowed" parts and they said the moon and moon phases aren't allowed for divination. The project has some stars, which are allowed as they're in the sky, but since the pattern looks like this:
I wasn't sure if it would fit the definition. Just in case, I stitched 200 stitches more on Joy Snowglobe, so that counted for 2 homework assignments last week, Muggle Studies and Divination. It now looks like this:

And one more thing we had this weekend was traveling on the Knight Bus! We had to "check in" and post a photo of our starting point on any project, as long as it wasn't something that was also going to count for homework or extra credit. We then "checked out" with our end point that included a photo and stitch count. For every 1999 stitches our house contributed, they received points. I'm not sure if they've totaled it up yet, but I think we did well.

I chose Ocean Curiosity which was last here:
 and added almost 90 stitches:
Ocean Curiosity by Who Knew?
Stitched 2 over 1 WDW Michael's Navy on 14 ct purple Aida by Colour Cascade Fabrics

And I also got out I Love You More Today last here:
and about 90 stitches later:
I Love You More Today by Jodyri Designs
Stitched 2 over 2 on 28ct Eye of Newt by Chromatic Alchemy 

The bottom photo is a little truer to life, but both are a little desaturated, the colour is a lot brighter. Hopefully once I finish it I can get a better photo of it. 

This past weekend was the Vermont Maple Open House weekend and we went to a really fascinating maple operation. It's called Runamok Maple and they had samples of all their different maple syrups. They infuse them with different ingredients and one is even smoked with pecan wood. We ended up bringing home some and our favourites were the cinnamon vanilla, makrut lime and jasmine tea. It tasted just like really good jasmine tea, it was so interesting! DD loved all the maple syrup and kept wanting to try different flavours. If you're a fan of ginger taste, their ginger root one has a nice strong flavour. We didn't try any of the liquor barrel aged syrups since we don't drink alcohol, but I'm sure those are good too. :) 

Please let me know your thoughts on my "scary" project and any additional ideas are always appreciated!

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, March 23, 2019

School of Magical Stitches and Literature Year 3, Weeks 3 and 4

Time for the next part of my homework over the last month. I talked a bit about the Magical Stitches group in my previous post, and it started in January, so I think most of you already know all about it already. 

Jumping right back in where we left off, Year 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban) Week 3 gave a homework prompt of some of the changes in Year 3 at Hogwarts. One is the Dementors and all the chocolate students are eating and a second is the new Care of Magical Creatures class. The assignment was to stitch 300 stitches in any shade of brown and on a creature with claws or talons. The group moderators have question threads for each assignment and there were a lot of questions on what constitutes brown and what constitutes "claws". I played it safe for the first part and used DMC 435 and 433, both have "brown" in their colour name and worked on the basset hound some more. 

Week 3

It was last here:
and after 300 stitches:
Basset Hound by Brenda Franklin with charted threads on 14ct navy Aida 2 over 2

The bottom photo is a little truer to colour, it's on navy 14 count Aida and was started maybe 15 years ago? It's so long ago it's before I had a digital camera that I used frequently and way before cell phone cameras. It will be so nice to get this one finished this year, and probably will happen if I can keep finding ways to use it for homework! 

For the second part, I got out Tribal Dragon again to add the 300 stitches to go from here:
to here:
Tribal Dragon by White Willow Stiching on 25ct pewter Lugana
 with Soie Cristal and Waterlilies/Kreinik 1 over 1

I think this one will keep coming out since dragons are magical creatures and should see a finish this year as well. 

Week 4

This assignment was a little more complicated. Since students are taking so many new classes this year, they asked for 200 stitches on each project to fit with at least 3 of the 5 possible classes. You get bonus points if you stitch on all 5 without penalty stitches. Penalty stitches are if you don't have anything to fit in the category, they usually ask for double stitches, so 400 stitches on something that doesn't fit any category. 

The classes were:
A) Arithmancy - basically math, numbers, etc 

I chose to pull out the dusty old Fleur de Lis mandala after someone asked if mandalas count. It was here:
And I decided I hated the satin B5200 I was using on this royal blue linen, and tried a couple different threads to see which looked better:
This is a little more true to colour for the fabric. The messy satin is at the bottom and the 2 new threads are the fleur-de-lis on the left and on the top. One is a Soie Cristal I think, or possibly a very light Waterlilies, and the other is DMC B5200. The Soie Cristale seems a little thicker and of course is lovely to stitch with, so I chose to go with that thread. I also got some input from the Ravenclaw common room and they agreed. Therefore I did the messy job of frogging all that satin DMC and I like this end result much better! 
I managed 446 stitches on this one, you have to count back stitch as 1/2 per stitch, so I did that. I didn't count the french knots, although I think they count for 1 or 2 stitches for each one. I'm enjoying this stitch much more now! I really disliked the satin and didn't realize until now how much it bothered me. :)

B) Muggle Studies - basically nothing that has any magical connotations, everything else is fair game. The interesting part is Santa counts as a Muggle object, so I pulled out the Joy snowglobe again. I had stitched on it already for some extra credit, but I haven't posted about that yet, so here's where it was:
and after 207 stitches:
Joy Snowglobe kit by Dimensions

This is growing pretty well too, and it would be nice to get this ornament on the tree this year. :)

C) Divination - predicting the future, astrology, crystal balls, etc. I had a few choices for this one, and ended up choosing this Full Moon project that I started last year. It's a very fun stitch and I was happy to get it out again. It was last here:

and 203 stitches later:
Full Moon by Cute Patterns by Maria
Stitch 2 over 2 on 28ct Lazurite by Chromatic Alchemy

and will eventually look like this:
This is by Cute Patterns by Maria on Etsy and is the same designer that created Hogwarts in a Bottle that Rachel is working on and Ocean in a Bottle that Katie just finished. She has so many beautiful designs! 

D) Ancient Runes - basically anything with writing, but more than one letter, so I couldn't stitch on any Letters from Nora. Instead I chose Butterfly Quote, which was last here:
and is now here:
Butterfly Quote by Jodyri Designs on 14ct blue Aida, unknown dyer
Stitched 2 over 2 with Jodyri threads, Pink Laydee and Sparkling Citrine so far

It was fun to get this one out again too, a big project and letters are always fun to work on since they're like mini-finishes as you complete one. 

E) Care of Magical Creatures - easy! Dragons again! Tribal Dragon came back out to get another 200 stitches. I won't put the before pic since it's farther up in this post :) But it ended here with some more chest/belly complete:

And that is it! All 5 classes complete and still some extra time to stitch today and tomorrow before homework comes out early Monday morning. 

I hope these posts are interesting, and please let me know if I can improve them. What I hope to do once I get caught up is let you know what I'm thinking about stitching for each week and comments are always welcome! 

Happy Stitching!


Friday, March 22, 2019

School of Magical Stitches and Literature Year 3, Weeks 1 and 2

Hi everyone! I'm going to try and do at least weekly updates of my stitching and "homework" from the School of Magical Stitches and Literature (Facebook).

It's currently Week 4 of Year 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban). Year 3 is going to be spread through March and April and we have weekly "homework" as well as extra credit we can work on throughout both months. I'm going to sum up the first few weeks so you get the idea and can kind of catch up to where I'm at in my stitching.

The weeks go from Monday morning about 3amEDT till the following Sunday. One of the mods/organizers is on the West Coast of the USA, so we go by her schedule. In Week 1, this was the first weekend in March, it started on Friday, March 1st. That meant we only had 3 days to stitch! The assignment had multiple parts and we were supposed to post a WIP list prior to the homework assignment. If we had (I did), then we could choose to stitch 300 stitches on Project #13 on our list, or 150 stitches in our 1st and 3rd projects if we had less than 12, or 350 stitches total if you only had a couple projects. And if you hadn't posted a list, you were supposed to stitch 600 stitches.

Year 3, Week 1

My list was:

And I had clumped all the Letters from Nora together for numbers 13-16. I chose the L, since it was easier to get out than the others and it started here:
 and I got it to here after 300 stitches:
Letters from Nora - L with charted threads on unknown 28 ct fabric, 2 over 2

Backstitch counts 1/2 per stitch and beads count for 1, whether they're half stitch or full stitch.

Year 3, Week 2

The next week we had to get some supplies in Diagon Alley. I liked this challenge a lot because you could choose anything that could be found in Diagon Alley and stitch 250 stitches on a project containing that item, even if you didn't stitch on the item itself. Someone brilliantly asked if lacewings for potion work for fairy wings, and they were allowed, so my first project was to get out Letter L again.

And managed 250 stitches (as required) to get it to here:
It's practically complete at this point and just needs a few more beads between the fairy and the L and there are some butterfly beads there as well. One type has been discontinued, so I just purchased the ones to substitute from 123stitch and they should arrive in a week or so.

Then I thought of gold from Gringotts and pulled out Princess and the Dragon! It was last at here:
and 260 stitches later:
Princess and the Dragon by Charting Creations
Stitched on 28 ct Amarinthine by Chromatic Alchemy 1 over 1 DMC 310

It was so nice to get this one out again, and as Jo mentioned in a comment, it is easy to count these stitches on the silhouettes, just stitch rows of 10 vertically until you get close to the necessary numbers. I kept going until I had finished the last row, it looked too unfinished otherwise, so it got an extra 10 stitches. 

Lastly, I decided that dragon's blood would work for Tribal Dragon, which was here:
and this was a little over 250 stitches to finish the thread:
Tribal Dragon by White Willow Stitching
Stitched on 25 ct pewter Lugana 1 over 1 with Soie Cristal and Waterlilies/Kreinik

I'm hopeful this will be out a fair bit more during other challenges so I can get it completed. It's amazing how quickly just getting a few hundred stitches in a week can make these projects grow. 

I think I'll end here so I don't make this post too long to read. I hope everyone has had a good week and I'll try and get the next post up either later tonight or tomorrow to catch up to this week and be in good shape for the next homework assignment. 

Happy Stitching!


Monday, March 18, 2019

IHSW 2019 - March Edition

I feel like I need to spread out my posts a bit, otherwise I'm only posting in the middle of the month! Or at least I need to post more, that may be the answer. :)

Time again for the IHSW and since my stitching bug has returned thanks to the FB group School of Magical Stitches and Literature, it's been a lot of fun working on so many projects. I don't know why the thought of "homework" and finding how my old WIPs fit into the categories each week makes me want to stitch more, but here we are.

Please check out the link at Jo's page for all the other hermiters and cheer them on as well!

This weekend I worked on:

Basset - which you might have last seen here in 2018:
And now, several hundred stitches later:
It's practically done at this point! This is a Brenda Franklin design and it fit a few homework tasks, so this weekend was maybe only 300 or so stitches, but they count too!

I also pulled out Joy Snowglobe because one of the homework prompts was to work on something like a crystal ball. I think this fits the bill rather well.

It was last here in 2018:
and is now here:
500 stitches later. If I can get this to fit in any more homework, it could be another finish this year. That would be so nice. I would love to start something new, like that awesome Sea in a Bottle that Katie just finished, but so many WIPs need working on! Hopefully I can fit them all in this week's homework as well, or maybe that might tempt me to start something new.

As for knitting, I started the Everyday Slouchy Beanie by Dragon Hoard designs. It's a free pattern on Ravelry and is my first attempt at using mohair. So far I really like the look of the colours I chose and it's knitting up fairly quickly now that the band is done.

It's a double band, which I love the idea of for warm ears, but it was a little tricky to put together. Possibly if I'd stuck with the provisional cast on as charted, but I didn't have a crochet hook when I started the hat, so I just had to knit into the cast on. It was fine, but may have been easier if I'd just stuck with the recommended idea.

I also have a mini start on some socks for a friend, but just a very tiny start. That makes just 2 pairs of socks I've started now without finishing any. Not too bad considering where I was a few months ago, with a few single socks awaiting their mates. :)

I hope everyone had lots of time to craft of any kind, and Happy Stitching!


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Gifted Gorgeousness - March Edition

It's that time again, the 15th 16th of the month and time to post about the amazing gifted goodness we've all stitched or received or used in some fashion over the past month. Check out our fantabulous host Jo's post for everyone else's link-ups and her beautiful work too.

I've succumbed to the School of Magic Stitches and Literature and have been stitching up a storm this past month!

Tribal Dragon (DD) was here:
 and is now here:
Princess and the Dragon (DD) was here:

 and is now here:
 Letters from Nora - L was here:
 and is now here:
 A Kiss for a Snowman (DD) got a little love:
 as did Animal Parade:

and the only knitting I've been doing that I have photos of has been for me, so no updates there either. I have been knitting, but not as much as cross stitching lately. 

And I almost forgot to add the lovely gift I received from Rachel! She had promised to send me some GITD threads she wasn't too thrilled with and put in several other lovely things too. 
I love the Halloween theme for everything, I had mentioned I wanted to use the threads for Durene Jones Halloween stitch with Lakeside Needlecraft and these might be some other lovely editions, plus the awesome buttons and chart! Thank you again Rachel!

I hope everyone has had a good month!

Happy Stitching,


Halfway Through May

Here we are, halfway through May and I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath on what this month's project will be? I deci...