Thursday, October 14, 2021

And it's Done!

 Yay! I'm so happy to report I managed a finish on In the Gloaming! Despite the trials and tribulations with getting the colour scheme correct to begin with, see here, I've been happy with how this has turned out so far and I'm very excited about the finish. I loved Rachel's idea of etoile for the gate, and it looks amazing. Without further ado:
In the Gloaming by Whispered by the Wind
stitched 2 over 1 on 28ct Mirage by PTP
with DMC 167, 738, 3823 and 3866 as changes to the original colours

I definitely feel like this needs to be a framed finish, and I don't think the dimensions are the same as Witch's Gate, so it will likely have to framed on its own. Likely in black to make it more dramatic I think. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! 

Such a relief to have this one finished. I've added so many WIPs this year that I'm glad to have this medium to large sized one completed. I need to catch up on everyone's blogging again and hope you've all been doing well with your stitching too. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Dark October Plans

Hello again! Although we're well into October, I'm going to let you in on what my plans are/were for the month. I plan to do a Dark October and work on Halloween or black stitching as much as possible. My first priority is to finish In the Gloaming! Here's where it was when we last saw it:

And I'd like to try and progress on Witch's Gate:

There's so much left here that I don't think a finish is possible, but I'd like to get maybe at least one page out of 4 completed. 

And I'd really love to finish this one!

This is the Happy Halloween SAL by Durene Jones that was put out by Lakeside Needlecraft way back in 2017! I would like to finish it this October so I can have it off by WIP and SAL list. 

The other project I'll try and sneak in is the new Witchy Stitcher Cryptid SAL. Have you all seen this one? Lots of black, so it fits for that part as well, but the theme is a bit spooky too. So far the cryptids are all North American, and there's some hope that the Loch Ness Monster will be one of the creatures. If so, I might have to call it Champ after our local lake monster. Supposedly Champ was seen by Jacques Cartier when he first explored the area, so he is technically older than Nessie. :) 

I hope you have all been having a good month!

Tiffstitch

Monday, October 11, 2021

September Round-Up (Yes, a little bit late!)

Hello, hello! I'm a little late, as usual, getting up the end of the month round-up. Finally I seem to have time today, on Canadian Thanksgiving.

To recap the start of September, I was finishing off the dragons that Rachel and I started for the Paralympics Stitching Challenge. I think we'll try and pick those up again for the Winter 2022 Paralympics and see if we can get them finished. 

I was debating on what to do for the rest of the month and ended up starting something new for my birthday, which is this Anne Stokes beauty charted by Paine Free Creations

And I kept with it until I finished an entire page:
Trick or Treat by Anne Stokes charted by Paine Free Creations
stitched on 25ct easy count 2 over 1 tent stitch with charted threads

I was debating about what to do next and thought I'd pull out a smallish WIP I'd started earlier this year to finish. I started this one on May 24 for Stitch Maynia:
and managed to finish it:
Spring Snapperland by Bent Creek
stitched 2 over 2 on 28ct evenweave scrap
with random stash threads

I hope to finish this up into a little ornament for my parents to sort of represent their granddaughter. 

After having a page finish on full coverage and a small WIP finish, I thought I'd try attempting another page finish on a different full coverage project. I pulled out Motherhood by Selena Fenech, even though the page was nowhere near to completion. 
I didn't have time to finish the page before the end of September, but I did progress well:
Motherhood by Selena Fenech charted by HAED
stitched 1 over 1 full cross on 28ct Unicorn Farts by Chromatic Alchemy
with charted DMC

I'm really looking forward to seeing how this will turn out on this fabric. Thank goodness for Pattern Keeper to get these projects moving along. 

I finished off September here and will be planning a Dark October, so will post about that soon!

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch





Wednesday, September 8, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Wrap-Up

Finally I'm back after a rough weekend. I had a lot of hopes for that 3 days off, but spent most of it with a severe migraine, so didn't really enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I did spend the last few days finishing off the dragons, so I have some photos to show, and the whole piece all together. 

The closing ceremonies of the Paralympics were pretty amazing to see and it was nice to see so many athletes together. I hope everyone interested had a chance to watch some of it. 

Here are my dragons!
Drake #1 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland Aida by Silkweaver
with Fright Night by Jodyri

I love this thread! I can't wait to get back to this dragon!

Drake #6 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent aida by Silkweaver
with Copacabana by Jodyri

I thought this one had some nice bright fall colours and DD chose it as her favourite of the bunch, so I used it in November since that's one of her favourite months. 

Drake #3 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent aida by Silkweaver
with Poisoned Apple by Jodyri

I liked the bright Christmas-y tone this thread has, despite the name. And if you'd like to see all 12, here they are on one piece of fabric:


I suppose it could always be made into something instead of individual dragons? We'll see when I get them finished. It's not a difficult stitch and using one thread colour per dragon definitely helps keep it interesting. 

I hope you all had a better weekend than I did and have been having successful weeks. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Saturday, September 4, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge - slight delay

Hello all! I've had to put my challenge on pause for a couple days because the end of the week ended up with me falling into bed early with a migraine yesterday and it's still riding me roughly today. So no stitching possible yesterday or today. Hopefully tomorrow and Monday I'll catch up and finish. 

I did manage a very small amount of research into the next Paralympic event I was going to talk about, para-equestrian. It's also been a part of the Paralympics since Rome in 1960. As you might guess, this is the sport with the most injuries, not "murderball"/wheelchair rugby. The issue of course is having someone with limited mobility on a horse can lead to injury even more quickly than when an able-bodied person rides. A lot of the safety equipment is devised in such a way to keep the riders safe and not be dragged behind their horse, etc. Here's a little more info:


Outstanding right? And amazing these athletes can work so well with horses even with some limited mobility, especially in the legs. 

That's it though, no new stitching, although I do love the thread I have for October. It's called Fright Night and is gloriously full of colour. It's a long weekend here for Labor/Labour Day and I have Sunday and Monday off. Perhaps I'll manage to start the last 3 dragons and finish the start for each one. Wish me luck and good sleep. :) I'd mentioned work was a hassle this week and it only worsened throughout the week with poor sleep and increased stress. 

I hope none of you had stressful weeks and were able to get lots of stitching in!

Happy Stitching and stay well,

Tiffstitch

Thursday, September 2, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #10

Hello again! Do you remember watching table tennis in the able-bodied Olympics? Check out how the players in the Paralympics are able to compete in this sport that has always been a part of the Paralympics since its inception in 1960. 

 As with able-bodied Olympics, in recent years, China is dominating the game. Many different nations have won medals though, so many athletes have had success. That's one of my favourite parts of these games, it seems like anyone has a good chance. That's not often the case with some of the smaller nations or ones that don't support their athletes in the Olympics. 

I did go back to the dragons today, although it took me most of the night to get one thread length in. Here's what it will look like eventually, and remember to check Rachel's post of this one as well. 
Drake #10 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent Aida by Silkweaver
with Tropic Blooms by Jodyri

I like this thread for August when things are changing a bit. There is lots of green around, but the mums are beginning to make an appearance, asters and other fall flowers. 

I hope you're all staying well!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #9

Today has a bit of a change-up in the projects, but we'll get to that later. First, let's talk about another interesting sport played at the Paralympics and Olympics, cycling! Cycling has been a part of the Paralympics since 1984. There are 4 different classes of athletes, visually impaired, who ride a tandem bicycle, athletes with cerebral palsy or other neuro-motor impairments, amputees or locomotor difficulties, and athletes that use a hand cycle. They ride on the track and the road, and sometimes different classes compete against each other, but the length of time ridden is adjusted based on ability. 

Here's another useful video to learn a bit more:


I've never attempted track cycling, but there are a lot of good bike paths around and we used to ride quite a bit. I haven't recently because DD can't ride well yet, but DH has gone out a few times. He even decided to ride over 40km in one go once and didn't feel too worn out the next day. He's in much better shape for bicycling than I am though. It's his favourite sport, but not mine. 

Work is still a bit stressful right now, plus rising cases, DD in school, etc. means I'm having a little motivation issue. I love the project, it's not that, it's just everything else filling my head. I decided to change things up and start a new project instead that's a lot smaller and maybe will make me more interested in getting back to the dragons tomorrow. 

This is what today's start will look like eventually:
and here's my small start:
Skating Snowman by Mill Hill
stitched 3 over 3 as charted with kit threads and perforated paper

I have a lot of these hanging around and they don't take all that long if I can stick with it. We'll see how it goes when this challenge is over. I may or may not have a birthday start coming up as well. I haven't quite decided. It will be delayed since I'm working on my birthday unless I manage to get it all set up ahead of time. Let's not count on that. :)

I hope you've all been staying well!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #8

Hello again! Have you ever tried archery? Have you seen the Paralympian archers? The archery competition is similar to able-bodied, in that it's elimination rounds. Archers use either a compound bow or a recurve bow and their targets are at 50m or 70m depending on the bow they use. There are different levels of ability and that affects what weight of bow the athletes can use. This video explains it all very well. I was very impressed by the lengths some athletes go to compete. 


As you just learned, archery has been around since the first Paralympic games, and the competition has only improved since then. Good luck to all the archers in this year's Paralympics!

For today's dragon, I had to skip ahead to September. A work issue came up and I didn't have time to work out spacing for August, so I jumped ahead to the next month. Maybe that's fitting since we're almost in September, but now I won't have worked on August in August! :) 

Here's what the dragon will look like eventually:


And I managed a small start:
Drake # 12 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent Aida by Silkweaver
with Oil and Smoke by Jodyri

I'm not sure the reason for the naming of this thread as it's a beautiful blue with grey and white. If you're thinking this doesn't seem like a very fall/autumn colour, you're right! But September is the month I get to choose whatever colour I want, so this is what I chose. I really loved this one when I was going through my threads. Don't forget to check which dragon Rachel is working on today!

I hope you're all staying healthy and having good stitching days. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Monday, August 30, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #7

Today was full of rain and then heat and humidity. It was a strange, weather-filled day. It was a decent work day though and I managed to get a fair amount of work done, which is a nice change. Mostly it feels like it's one step forward and two steps back lately. 

I've seen today's Paralympic sport a few times in clips, and it's quite interesting how they adapted the sport for people with disabilities. I think in some ways it makes it much more difficult as well. 

Today, let's learn a bit about sitting volleyball. This game was first invented in 1956 in the Netherlands for injured soldiers. Eventually it was demonstrated in 1976 at the Summer Paralympic Games and became a full event at the next games in 1980. Both women and men have their own teams for this sport. There are many similarities to the able-bodied version as well. 



What do you think? I think it's almost more difficult not to be able to move around. I played volleyball in school as well and enjoyed it. I couldn't charge the net or block anything, but I had a good serve. 

Today's dragon is another one Rachel has started already. She chose some gorgeous purples for this one, so check out her blog post as well. 

I had another small start on this one. The way it's been going lately, I get home, stitch a thread length and then put the blog post up. I sometimes manage another thread length before bed though, so they are getting a little more work each day. 

Drake #8 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent Aida by Silkweaver
with O Christmas Tree by Jodyri

I had to find something with some red in it for July for Canada Day. I decided against a variegated red and kept with the really different colours I've been using so far. I'd like to get more of the thread of the month threads I had collected from Jodyri in use, so this is a great way to do it. 

I hope you all had some good stitching weather and are staying well!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch

Sunday, August 29, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #6

Almost one week in! And halfway through the dragons. I think I have decided these will all be cut out of this one piece of fabric because their lengths and heights are so different. Individual ornament style finishes will look better I think. And possibly a month on the side or top or bottom depending on the way the dragon is charted. 

Today's fun Paralympic sport is 5-a-side football/soccer. The name really gives it away how different it is from the regular 11 vs. 11 of regular football/soccer. It's only played by visually impaired men, and again the ball makes sound so it can be followed. The goalies/keepers are allowed to be sighted. One thing I forgot to mention with goalball, is the crowd must be silent during gameplay and is only allowed to make noise after a goal. Otherwise the players cannot hear the ball. 

As you can guess, the field is much smaller than a typical soccer/football field and has boards on the sides to keep the ball in play. There are no throw-ins, etc. because of this addition. 


This is from Rio, but is the shortest highlight clip I could find. It should give you an idea. 

And onto today's dragon. Today is number 5, which will eventually look something like this:

Rachel has already started this one in a gorgeous grey/blue variegated thread, so make sure to check her start as well. 

Here's my smallish start for my June dragon:
Drake #5 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent Aida by Silkweaver
with Bright Lights by Jodyri

I wanted a little more saturated colour for June since that's when a lot of flowers really start to bloom up here in the Northeastern US. My peony bush that came with the house has a similar pink to some of this colour and it always shows best around mid-June. 

I hope you've all been staying healthy and had good weather over the weekend. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Saturday, August 28, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #5

It's been a strange couple of days, but I did finally manage to get dragon number five started! It was so hot 2 days ago that I didn't get much stitching in, then that night the cat was restless, so I had very little sleep. I didn't stitch at all last night and was just able to get a full thread length in tonight before posting. 

Today's paralympic sport is nicknamed "murderball". If you've never heard of that, it's official name is wheelchair rugby. You're allowed to tackle, despite the wheelchairs, and different levels of disability mean players are ranked from 3.5 to 0.5 depending on functional ability. The entire team can't exceed 8 points. It's also mixed-gender, so anyone can play. 

This video is from the London games so you can get an idea of how it's played:

Also, did anyone catch the New Zealand rugby team doing their haka?

I don't know about you, but I'd be intimidated!

Speaking of that, here's today's magnificent dragon:

And my insignificant start:
Drake #4 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent Aida by Silkweaver
with Queen of the Nile by Jodyri

I liked this thread as a sort of emerging into spring colours. Yellows and purple for daffodils and crocuses and green/blue for leaves or buds. 

I'm still enjoying these although I keep being tempted by other options. Durene Jones is having a sale for another day on her Etsy store, plus I picked up the Just CrossStitch Halloween magazine. And I still haven't managed any stitching on Animal Kingdom this month. It was just too hot and I didn't want to stitch on something that will stick around for a few years and risk damaging it. 

It is cooling off today and I think we're done with the real heat this year. I hope you're all having nice weather where you are and staying well. 

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch

Friday, August 27, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #4

Hello again! The last 2 posts talked about sports that are completely different than their Olympic counterparts. From now on, I'll talk about sports that are similar to their Olympic equivalents. A new sport added to these Paralympics is Para Tae Kwon Do. 

It's quite similar to regular Tae Kwon Do, but having done some martial arts myself, this looks really difficult.

Today's dragon didn't get a great start, but will eventually look like this:

It's a big one! It was very hot here last night, so I didn't get much work on this one. 
Drake #11 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent aida by Silkweaver
with Jodyri Viennese Waltz

Today is much cooler, so I hope to get a lot more done on the next dragon. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. 

I hope you're all staying healthy!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch

Thursday, August 26, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #3

Day 3 and I hope you've been checking out the gorgeous colours of threads and fabric Rachel has been using for her dragons. 

Today's Paralympic sport is Boccia. It's played by athletes with motor disabilities and is similar to bocce ball or lawn bowling. There's a white ball called a jack that is thrown into the pitch and both teams aim at the jack. The team that has the most balls closest to the jack scores points. There are 4 or 6 ends, depending on individual or team events. Here's a video of how it's played:


Has anyone ever played bocce ball or lawn bowling? I forget why, but when I was younger we had a lawn bowling tournament for family and friends at my grandparents house. It was always over the Canada Day weekend (July 1st). We had a trophy and everything. My dad had to add on more levels to the trophy because we played it for so many years. I think it was maybe just going to be a one-time thing, but ended up being an annual event we all enjoyed. This was all pre 2002, so I don't have easy access to any photos. We stopped playing when my Grandpa died in 2002. We called our trophy the Lauder Cup because that was my great-grandfather's middle name and the motto of our tournament was in Latin. I think you can figure it out though: "non fartum at deliverum"

On to today's dragon! It's in some nice Irish colours I found in my Jodyri stash:
Drake # 7 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent aida by Silkweaver
with Diligence by Jodyri

You may be able to tell this is the same dragon Rachel stitched first. I stitched it a little differently because I'm spreading mine out on one piece of fabric and wanted to be sure I had room for the next one. 

I'm still loving these, they're a relaxing stitch so far. I hope you're all staying well!

Happy Stitching, 

Tiffstitch

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #2

Day 2 and another dragon! I'm really enjoying this and it's fun to SAL with Rachel. We had thought we'd stitch the same one each day and you could all compare, but I went with the file name of the dragons and Rachel with the cover photo, so they're different. But we'll get to each one eventually. I'm not sure why the designer arranged them in a different order than they're named on the cover photo anyway. :)

Today's interesting fact is about a Paralympic sport that doesn't exist in any way in the Olympics. It's called Goalball and is only played by visually impaired athletes. There are 3 players on each side of a court about the size of a volleyball court. Each end of the court has a goal all along the end. One team has the ball on their side and tries to throw it into the goal. The other team tries to stop them. How can they do this while visually impaired? There are bells inside the ball, so the players can hear where it is and react. Here's a video of some highlights so you get a better idea:


An interesting sport and something that someone that may have lost vision later in life and enjoyed soccer/football or similar sports might enjoy. 

Today's dragon had a decent amount of stitches added:
Drake #2 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent aida by Silkweaver
with Jodyri Seven Deadly Sins: Wrath

I'm still enjoying how these are coming together. I think it's a nice change to stitch on 20ct vs. my usual 28ct as well. This one will represent February. 

I hope you're all staying well!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

2021 Tokyo Paralympics Stitching Challenge Start #1

Well hello there! Anyone surprised Rachel and I decided to extend the starts through the Paralympics? :) I do have to blame thank Kate for the suggestion though, I don't know if I would have thought of more starts without her comment. Rachel had already been considering it though; when I emailed her she already something picked out to start. Once Rachel showed me what she thought she'd be stitching, I had to start the same projects, so we're SAL'ing 12 of the 13 new starts!

I thought I'd open with a little background on the Paralympics. They were first held in the summer in 1960 in Rome, Italy. Initially, only athletes in wheelchairs competed, but in 1976 they opened the games to people with other disabilities and the number of athletes quadrupled from 400 to 1600 competing. The Paralympics didn't used to be held in the same city as the Olympics. That changed in 1988 and now they're always held in the same city 2 weeks after the completion of the Olympic Games. 

For today's start, it will be one of these:

I think it's fairly obvious since I managed a decent start on this one:
Drake #9 by StitchItPicasso
stitched 1 over 1 on 20ct Fairyland opalescent aida by Silkweaver
with Blue Morpho Butterfly by Jodyri Designs


I'm still debating if I'm going to stitch these all to live on the fabric together or if they'll be individual. I had some idea of doing monthly colours, so this is January, sort of icy blue, dark for the short nights, etc. I'll have to decide placement for tomorrow's since I didn't finish this one, but I do love it so far!

I hope you're all staying well. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Sunday, August 8, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #17

It's here, the Closing Ceremonies and the final start of this round of the Olympics. Today let's chat about what I think is the most underrated sport in the summer Olympics, water polo. If you can imagine soccer/football or even gridiron football played in water, that's a good estimate of how the game goes. 

This video describes how intense and difficult water polo is if you learn better visually. :)

There are 7 players to a side, 6 swimmers and a goalie/keeper. The object is to swim along the court, which can be 20-30m long! and try and score a goal in the opposing team's net. The players wear the protective caps to protect their ears, plus it shows their numbers for goals and penalties/fouls. Basically you have to swim the whole time, which can be 4 periods of 8 minutes long. There are short breaks after each period and at half time (after 2 periods). 

I'm an adequate swimmer, but I can't imagine trying to swim against an opposing team, and try and score goals, etc. Plus if you're the keeper you'd have to tread water the whole time. Kind of incredible and a very intense sport. 

Today's start is part of a series of Santas from Mill Hill. It will eventually look like this:

And my small start:
Nordic Santa by Mill Hill
stitched 3 over 1 on perforated paper as charted and included in kit

These don't have many colours, so I don't think it will take too long to finish this one. Maybe for Christmas? 

I hope you've all enjoyed these starts and Olympic information. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

Stay healthy and Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Saturday, August 7, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #16

Hello eveyone! It's been a week of extra stress at work, but today is the weekend thank goodness. Plus I have a little help in my fun fact from Jo! She posted on my Facebook page about how the medals in the Tokyo Olympics are made from recycled materials from phones and electronics. I was aware, but I don't think I had posted about it yet, so if you'd like to read more about the gigantic endeavour this was, check out this link

They are beautiful medals and increasing the sustainability of the Olympics is a great idea. I think Rachel posted about this as well, or we were discussing it.

Onto today's yesterday's start. I chose another full coverage project! Anyone surprised? I've become somewhat addicted to starting them because of Pattern Keeper. I've been reasonable? with this one because it has a limited palette of colours and isn't a full design. 

And my small start:
Motherhood by Selena Fenech (HAED)
stitched 1 over 1 on 28ct Unicorn Farts by Chromatic Alchemy

I'd been waiting for the right project to use on this fabric and I realized it kind of looks like waves, so this seemed to suit it. That is part of the mother's arm where I started in the middle. 

I hope you've all been having a good day and staying healthy!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch



Friday, August 6, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #15

Today is the antepenultimate start! Anyone care to hazard a guess if I went back to something seasonal? I think I had pulled 15 or so holiday-themed starts and a few other random ones in case I had a need for change. And all these starts hasn't made me stop wanting to buy charts either. There's a couple new Mill Hills they showed on the back of the Just Cross Stitch Halloween magazine that I might have to get. 


I really like the Spooky Gate one, so that will have to go in the cart soon. I feel like my Mom might like the fall one with the farm background since she grew up on a farm and lives in an area where the leaves changed like that. Plus she probably had a tire swing. 

But this is the Olympics stitching challenge, so let's get back to the Olympics events! They're definitely winding down, and I don't know if anyone noticed how off I was on my soccer/football expectations, but Canada beat the USA women's team in the semi-final, so Canada is playing Sweden for gold. Sweden is undefeated in the tournament, so it would be highly unusual for Canada to win, but pretty amazing if it happened. 

Today let's talk about pole vaulting. This is another event that I've never tried and will never try. Certainly I'm not in physical shape to do it, but also, kind of terrified. Just watching how the athletes flip themselves up and over a bar with a skinny, flexible pole, it's awe-inspiring, and a little scary. 

The Olympic record for pole vault in the men's division is 6.03m(19 feet 9 1/4 inches) and for women's, which has only been part of the Olympics since 2000, it's 5.05m (16 feet 6 3/4 inches). I can't even imagine flipping yourself that high in the air without support. Well done on all these athletes for first being inspired by this event, and then competing at such a high level. 

My favourite random fact I found about the Olympics was that in 1936, 2 athletes from Japan tied for 2nd in the medals. They don't usually let you share a podium, and I think they use your next best finish or qualifying numbers to decide who finishes 2nd or 3rd. The athletes took their medals and cut them in half and had them joined, so they each have a half silver/half bronze medal. Pretty fascinating idea. 

Also, poles are made from fibreglass or carbon fibre currently, but used to be made from bamboo or aluminum before those materials were available. I assume that's also helped the athletes reach greater heights in their events. 

On to the actual stitching! I don't think I have a lead in for this one, unless there's trees in this, so it's like a pole? Here's what it will look like eventually:

And my start of 210 stitches:
Happy Christmas by Prairie Schooler
stitched 2 over 2 as charted on black 28ct Monaco

This is another long-haul one, although it only has 8 colours, so not too much colour changing or confetti, minimalistic as most of the Prairie Schooler designs are. 

I hope you're all staying safe and healthy, Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Thursday, August 5, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #14

Only 2 more days after this one! But I have so many more starts... Rachel are we doing this for the Winter Olympics next year? XD

If you've been paying attention, Elle just made it through to the finals of the 1500m race, so she'll run that today I think. There's one Canadian that got through as well, so maybe one of the people I'm particularly cheering for will make it onto a podium. 

How about today we talk about steeplechase? I've never attempted this event either, whether on horseback or not. My first experience with steeplechase was in the movie A Day at the Races featuring the Marx Brothers. I didn't understand why you'd put horses through that and still don't really, but the human version is an interesting test of strength and stamina. 

There has been a steeplechase race of some sort in the Olympics since 1900. Initially there were 2 races, one of 2500m and the other of 4000m. They standardized the distance to 3000m in 1920. Women's steeplechase wasn't added until 2008. The Wikipedia page talked a lot about doping, so apparently that's been an issue for this kind of race. 

Today's start is another non-seasonal one, another choice from the Crossed Wing Collection pamphlet. Again, the cover photo looks like this:

I've chosen the largest and most complicated design for this start, Hummingbird Garden. I didn't have a great amount of stitching time last night, so here's my start:
Hummingbird Garden by Crossed Wing Collection
stitched 2 over 2 as charted on 28ct Largesse by Chromatic Alchemy

I quite like this fabric for this design. I was trying to figure out the right colour as I do tend to use a lot of blue fabric in my stitching, and then this one arrived as the FOTM club for last month. It's just about perfect since it has an aura of blue with clouds, but also the golden touches like sun reflected by clouds at the golden hour (the hour before dusk or before dawn). 

We tend to only see hummingbirds around this time of year when they come to drink out of our hostas. We have a ton of hostas, it's a very hardy plant in this climate and survives pretty much neglect in some cases. I try and clean them out every spring so they get a good start, but I don't think it would matter if I didn't since they survive almost anything. 

Of course we don't put up hummingbird feeders either, again, bears! So we can't attract them any other way right now, and they certainly don't winter over up here in the Northeastern USA. And if you think I'm kidding about bears, 2 years ago, our neighbour that's 5 houses down had their garbage can destroyed by a bear and everyone was yelling to stay in the house when it came through. There's some woods at the back of our subdivision and the bears don't live back there, but they travel through sometimes. We haven't had one at our house yet, but we live a little further from the woods. We do have skunks, including a mother and babies that trapped DH up on the swim deck last month. He was swimming in the evening since it was so hot and when he was about to come in, they crept out from under one of the sheds. So he stayed up on the deck until they went elsewhere. The skunks don't always live there, they have several dens around, but I'm always really loud when I come home when it's dark just to make sure I don't get hit. One of our dogs was skunked several years ago. It was awful!

On that note, keep your eyes peeled for those black and white smelly ones, at least in North America, because I think the badgers are the black and white animal to watch out for in Europe. Not stinky, but plenty dangerous. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch






Wednesday, August 4, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #13

Lucky number 13 today! At least it is in some places. Today I thought I'd talk about track cycling. I can ride a bike, and used to ride all the time as a child, but don't get as much time for it now. DH loves to bike and managed a 45 mile ride a couple weeks ago on a converted railroad track. The nice thing about riding these is there's no extreme uphills to deal with and it's fairly well maintained. 

Track cycling is completely different though. You're inside a velodrome and have a special track bike and ride around an inclined track. This video explains a bit more if you're interested. 

I was watching some of the highlights from the Tokyo Olympics and there have been a few wipeouts. Your rate of speed is much higher than in normal cycling, around 60kph (~35mph) and above and therefore accidents can be more damaging. With the incline, if there's an accident, the riders that have fallen slide down towards the middle, so you have to try and get to the highest part on the outside to keep out of the way. It sounds quite difficult to me, so not sure if I'll ever have a go even if I have a chance. 

Track cycling has been in the Olympics for over 100 years and has been a competition since the 1870s. Velodromes used to be in a lot of different locations, but I think they're a little less common in North America than Europe. There's a wide range of countries that win medals in track cycling and that makes it a fun sport to watch as well. 

For today's start I chose another project I've had hanging around for a long while. Eventually it will look like one of these:

I stitched the bottom left design for my Grandma and had made it into a coaster. I'd wanted to get back to the others, but haven't had a chance until now. I started with the one that has my favourite songbird, the goldfinch. 

We can't leave out feeders here in the spring/summer/fall in case of bears, and we tend to forget to in winter, but I used to leave them out when I lived in Indiana in the midwest USA. They're so fun to watch and their coats darken in winter to more greeny-grey, then brighten up as soon as spring appears.

Here's my start:
Thistle Stop by Crossed Wing Collection
stitched 2 over 2 as charted on a scrap of Cumulus? by Chromatic Alchemy

As with most Crossed Wing Collection designs, these have a ton of different colours. I managed to get a lot of the least used colours completed for this feeder full of thistle seed, although it's usually darker when I find it. There are many lovely little finches to stitch and most include the same colours, so the rest of the design will be just 8 colours, and I think I used at least that many already for this small start. 

If I manage to finish, this might be a gift for my birdwatching father. He's the one that takes care of all the feeders my parents have at their house that backs onto the woods. He also put up the squirrel baffle to try and keep the squirrels out of them. It's mostly successful. Did I ever mention that where I grew up there are mostly black squirrels? I always thought it was weird to see a grey one and didn't realize that most other places have never seen black squirrels! Plus there's a white variety in a nearby town, a recessive gene colour I think. 

I hope you've all been having a good week and are staying well. 

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

 

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #12

Day 12 of the Olympics and Elle got through to the semi-finals! Also 2 Canadian runners that happen to be sisters as well. So it will be exciting to see the semi-finals take place tomorrow. 

For today's Olympic sport, I chose one I've also attempted, and it was even in the Ancient Olympics. Any guesses? It's the javelin toss or spear throw. I assume they used actual spears in the Ancient times. They did a distance event in the Ancient Olympics, and a targeted event. In today's modern Olympics it's a distance event only. The javelin throw has evolved over time to first have no run-up, like you would while hunting maybe? I assume you'd be lying in wait for prey and have no chance to sort of wind up your throw. Now you can take an unlimited run up to the line. 


When I competed in high school, I could throw farther without the run-up. I think I got confused on the technique because they taught us a way of crossing over your feet and I ended up with a much farther standing throw than with the run. Theoretically, you should be able to get more distance with the run because of your momentum. I think I maybe hit 20m or so (60 feetish) on my best day. Now the best results for men and women are well over 70m. It was a fun sport, and I hope there's options for DD to try out different track and field events in high school as well. My school was fairly big for an Ontario school, so we had a lot of different equipment for different events. 

On to today's start, which I can't think of any way to work into javelin throwing like I managed to shoe horn the 1500m. :)

Eventually it will look something like this:
and my start, about 350 stitches:
Warm Winter Wishes by Waxing Moon Designs
stitched 2 over 2 on 28ct Cumailitis by Chromatic Alchemy
with stash threads, DD Down Under Blues so far

The chart calls for a lot of variegated threads, and I'm sure I can find some in my stash to work for most of the colours. I've seen this stitched a few times and it's very cute. I hope to maybe get this one done for winter as well. 

I hope you're all staying healthy!

Happy Stitching,

Tiffstitch


Monday, August 2, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #11

Day 11! This means less than a week left. It's a little sad how quickly the Olympics seem to pass. I suppose we might have the Winter Olympics next year, so that's something to look forward to provided we can all survive this new wave of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Although our state has been doing very well and has over 83% vaccination rate for those eligible, it is tourist season and our cases have been rising as well. We wear masks at work and I wear one when I go out since my risk of transmission is higher given the close contact with people every day at work. 

On to more fun things, Olympic track and field! I might have to spread this out over a few days, but today I'd like to mention a local Olympian that's competing in Tokyo. Elle Purrier St. Pierre handily won her qualifying event, so I don't know if she's a favourite, or I just keep hearing about her because she's local. She'll be entering the 1500m race and the first heat was today! 


The 1500m race has been in the Olympics since they started holding them in modern times. Women's 1500m wasn't added until 1972, and has been a staple since then. Several nations have medals in this event in both men's and women's categories. It seems like one of the more balanced events since several countries have won gold. One person has even won gold twice in 2 different Olympics, Sebastian Coe of Great Britain. Other people have multiple medals, but not 2 gold. 

It will be an interesting one to watch. The part where they all start in a different lane, then group together can be dangerous and that tends to be where a fall might happen. Good luck to Elle!

My start today is smallish for full coverage, so maybe it qualifies as mid-distance like the 1500m race? It's not as big as some I have started, but larger than others and will eventually look like this:

This is similar to the art from Wind Waker, my very favourite Zelda game. Zelda is the princess, and Link is the character in green, the one that you play the game through. Zelda occasionally appears in games throughout the history of the franchise as well. 

Here's my 500 stitch start:
Zelda Cross Stitch by Sprite Stitch
stitched 1 over 1 full cross on 28ct easy guide fabric
as charted with DMC

Fortunately the entire width fits in my 11x11 qsnap, so that will make it easier to go cross country with some colours. I hope to fill in some of the black first. It's not quite all outlined, but it will be a good reference, even with the easy guide fabric. 

I hope you're all staying healthy and Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch

Sunday, August 1, 2021

2021 Tokyo Olympics Stitching Challenge Start #10

Day 10 brings another seasonal start! Any surprised readers out there? :) It is just a small start though since I joined another FB group that was having an Olympic-themed challenge event. One of the challenges was "specialty" stitches, which included beads, so I pulled out a little Mill Hill kit I had planned on starting. 

But first, let's learn a bit about diving. I've never attempted any kind of high diving, and am a little afraid of the higher dives. I jumped off the 3m board once when I was taking swimming lessons at a big pool, but mostly just stepped off, not bounced or twisted or anything complicated. And I'm satisfied to never do that again. DH actually went off a high platform when he was a kid at the Olympic facility in Montreal. He wasn't supposed to go up to the highest platform, but he did. And survived the jump, but was regretting it as soon as he leaped off the edge. 


I love watching the events in the Olympics. The skill and precision it takes to synchronize your dive with a teammate, plus just entering the water so cleanly to make barely a splash after a complicated dive? Incredible to see. China has overwhelmingly dominated this sport in the last few decades, in both men's and women's events. Great Britain took home gold this Olympics for men's synchronized 10m though, so it might still be anyone's event. I feel like the Chinese athletes dominate more in the women's events, but that could be because I tend to watch these more carefully since there's often Canadians competing in the women's events. Not only Canadian, but from Quebec, which is right nearby. 

The history of diving in the Olympics goes all the way back over 100 years ago to 1904 and had "fancy" diving and plunge diving, meaning someone would just do a dive and try and get as far down into the pool as possible. In 1908 they changed that out for springboard, because the plunge wasn't all that interesting. Women's diving was added in 1912, although not until 1920 did they also use the springboard. I'm thinking of women's bathing costumes back then and wondering how they managed!

Although apparently women's bathing suits were undergoing a significant change around then, so it might not have been too bad, that's nice to see. I was thinking of them struggling in those dresses after diving, which would not have been easy. 

Enough anticipation for my start now? Here's what it will look like eventually:

And my very small start:
Winter Feast by Mill Hill
stitched as charted with kit threads and fabric

Lots of colour changes in this one, but it's still a pretty small kit, so it shouldn't take too long to finish once I get back to it. This might make a good gift for my birdwatching parents. They put out tons of bird feeders in their backyard because they back onto some woods and get many different types of birds. They also put out oriole and hummingbird feeders and almost always have orioles. 

I hope you've all been staying well and stay tuned for tomorrow when I add a new one to my ridiculous amount of full coverage WIPs. :)

Happy Stitching!

Tiffstitch



And it's Done!

 Yay! I'm so happy to report I managed a finish on In the Gloaming! Despite the trials and tribulations with getting the colour scheme c...