Saturday, May 28, 2016

Train Kellan: First Post

Some of you may remember the name I cross stitched for my first nephew, Logan.  For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about you can find the posts here.

My younger nephew likes trains, that is what my sister thinks she wants to change his room to.  However, she's having difficulties finding anything other than Thomas the Train, and she doesn't want to go that route.  So I started scouring the internet for train letters.  I found quite a few, but none were what I wanted.  Most were an engine on the front, letters on flatbeds and a caboose.  However, I wanted to keep the two as similar to each other as I could.  So I decided to do the only thing I could, design my own.

And that's what I did.  I used the same letters from the original Firefighter's Sampler and created a train theme.

The first letter up is L, or Ls.  I decided these would work well for some train crossing signals, one for each L.  I found an photograph and copied it as best I could.  However, the only way I could get it to work the way I wanted was for the poles to be off a half a stitch, and since I was going to be stitching this on evenweave it seemed completely doable.

First the letter, in the same blue color as Logan's, I had originally thought of changing it to green.  But my sister suggested to keep it the same color.  I think I like the pattern better with the blue anyway.

Now for the crosses of the crossing signals.

And some back-stitching so you can actually see where the white is.
And there they are.

Next up is the E.  My sister suggested a tunnel for the A, but I already had another idea for the A, and I thought that too much would be covered up of the tunnel if I used that letter, so the tunnel went to the E.  This one I just made up.  I didn't use a picture or anything, I just kind of did a stereotypical tunnel.

E first, the entire E is actually visible, the tunnel goes behind it.
So when I counted and double counted to make sure I counted right, I eventually found that I hadn't counted right.  Everything was two stitches too far to the right.  I knew I had to fix it or the tunnel would run into the signals, and I didn't want that, so I did a little creative cross stitching and corrected my mistake without having to tear out every single stitch.

Now for the tunnel.  I tried to make a kind of brick looking archway around it.  And it's dark in there, so there's black, and then the light gray on the bottom for the rock ballast that hold the wooden ties.
Originally there was going to be a cross stitched line of brown for the closest tie, but I was showing my design progress to my sister and she thought it looked weird and asked me try it without it, and after I altered it, I agreed the new design looked better.

Which leads me to the next image with all the back-stitching.
The "closest" two ties are actually long-stitched with two strands, while the rest are single strands, and I did long stitches as well for the rails so they looked like one continuous piece of metal.  I didn't back-stitch around the brown, I was hoping that would give the feeling like the brown didn't end there, but rather continued to the rest of the hill.

Next one is K.  This is the first one designed, and, I have to admit, this is the letter that I designed the least.  Since the K is the first letter it seemed fitting that it would have the engine.  I had found a simple pattern that I really liked, and, surprisingly enough, it ended up being the perfect size.  So, I copied it, my apologies to whoever actually created it, but since I'm not selling this I think I'm okay.  But here's the blog post with the original image I used to create mine.
After my misadventure with the E I decided to make doubly sure that I counted correctly on the K.  And I failed, this time it was one stitch too far right.  Maybe I'll have more luck with the other two letters.

Here's the train in front of the K.

And a massive amount of back-stitching was done on this.
You may have noticed a few missing back-stitches on the K, well, that's where I'm going to use a gray Kreinik for the steam or smoke coming out of the stack.  I just forgot the Kreinik at home.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Train Kellan
Pattern by: Me, using letters from Firefighter's Sampler
Started Stitching: May 23, 2016
Fabric: 28ct. White Evenweave
Floss: DMC 2 over 2
Percentage: 57.63% complete
Stitches: 2,174 out of 3,772 complete

So, this was one of the two pieces I was supposed to work on next from my list.  Even though his birthday isn't until November, I wanted to get it done before a custom framing coupon expires.  However, I ordered a kit from HAED.  And it's VERY tempting to start on it.  I must resist!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Needle Felting: Hedgehog - Completed

Well, I decided to start a new type of craft on Saturday.  Needle felting.  I'd seen these kits at work for a while and thought they'd be fun.  But Saturday I was working in the sewing department and lamented over the fact that I didn't have a pin cushion.  Okay, lamented is a bit over-dramatic.  There was a hedgehog pin cushion, it was cute... but this guy is cuter.

So I decided to make him and use him as a pin cushion.  I had never needle felted before, so I had no idea how this would turn out.  But as a novice needle felter be prepared to stab yourself.  Alot.  Blood may be drawn.  I stab pieces of fabric practically everyday, so this was normal, just less organized.

I believe the kit said it should take 4-6 hours.  I started it at work during my 15 minute break, then worked on it during lunch, then continued on during my second 15 minute break.  The instructions were pretty good and by the time I got home I had a decent egg shaped body.

Next some brown and a few legs, there are two on the other side, I promise.  The legs were kind of a pain, but after doing some research after finishing this I think I found a better way.

Some ears and a nose.  Again, the ears were a pain, but more research always helps.

Below I turned off the OTT light since the color was way too bright in the pictures.  So below is closer to the correct coloring in two different angles.
The eyes and lines on its back are six stranded floss.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Hedgehog Needle Felting Character
Pattern by: Dimensions
Started Stitching: May 21, 2016
Finished Stitching: May 21, 2016
Wool: Kit Wool
Thread: Kit Thread
Percentage: 100% complete

I think he turned out really well.  So, of course, I want to do more.  I bought two books for more information and have done image searches on google.  It's amazing what some people can do with needle felting.  I bought another kit from work that's a bunny.  This was not what was next on my list, I really should get back to my list.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seashell Treasures: First Post - Completed

I finished this faster than I originally thought.  I just kept pushing myself telling myself if I just get it done I won't have to do it anymore.  Yeah, that's a stupid statement but it got me through it.

I made this for my mother for her birthday... in January, oops.  I actually had everything except the back-stitching done before her birthday.  So it has taken four months to do the back stitching, which I did almost all of it Tuesday.

I started this originally to have it completed as a Christmas present, but work was too busy, I just didn't have enough hours in the day to complete everything I wanted to do.

Anyway, my parents' master bathroom is shell themed, not beach themed.  When I saw this pattern in the store it seemed perfect.

Interesting side note:  I seem to make quite a few things for my parents' bathrooms.  For those confused I made Anthera and Colombina for a bathroom too, even though they currently are not in the intended bathroom.

Wow, I'm chatty today... moving on:  Here I have a couple of colors, mostly neutrals.

Then I got tired of neutrals and did the pinks.

And everything else (except back-stitching):

And finally the back-stitching that I was procrastinating on.
I altered the back stitching on the starfish.  It was supposed to have three stranded back-stitching on it, that just seemed too busy and bulky.  I already liked the starfish without all the white back-stitching, so I figured taking it down to one strand might not be a bad idea.  Actually... I guess they're called sea stars now according to my 5-year-old nephew... That's not happening, they'll more than likely always be star fish to me.

Funny thing is another blog I follow, Cross Stitch Angel, also stitched this.  She finished this early last month.  She decided to completely omit the back-stitching on the starfish.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Seashell Treasures
Pattern by: Dimensions
Started Stitching: December 10, 2015
Finished Stitching: May 19, 2016
Fabric: 18ct. Ivory Aida
Floss: Kit Floss various over 1
Percentage: 100% complete
Stitches: 5,826 out of 5,826 complete

I know what my list says I'm supposed to work on next, I'm not sure if I'll actually do what I've planned or make a slight deviation.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Night for Enchantment: First Post - Page 1

So I made a new start for the HAED Challenge #2.  This challenge was the way I normally stitch, cross country, one whole page.  My challenge was finding a page that hadn't been started at all, which was a requirement.  Since I feather my pages, the easiest way to do this was to make a new start.  This chart was one that I really liked and had wanted to start for a while.  This is A Night for Enchantment by Drazenka Kimpel.

So, since it was a new start I had to take a picture of the blank fabric, so I decided to post that as well.  Once piece of 28 ct. evenweave:

And now for my progress shots:

First color, the color with the most stitches, 939:
1 color
I was going to do the dark green next, but I couldn't find it so I just did random colors.
6 colors
I finally found the green, and decided to do the white at the bottom, the second most color:
8 colors
Now... I lost a whole bunch of colors.  I have absolutely no idea where they went, they were in my bedroom, then whoosh, missing!  So I just started working on the colors that I hadn't lost, which was probably about 20:
21 colors
I finally gave up on finding the thread, so I bought the rest of the colors again and did the higher numbered colors:
45 colors
Then I just started at the lowest numbered color and worked my way up:
63 colors
And the final 7 colors are in:
70 colors
A total of 70 colors completed for the challenge, completed well before the time limit of 6/15/16.  But let me tell you, those flowers were brutal.  There are so many different colors and the back is a complete mess.  But the front looks nice, so that's what's important.

Pattern: A Night for Enchantment
Original Artist: Drazenka Kimpel
Pattern by: Heaven and Earth Designs
Started Stitching: April 1, 2016
Fabric: 28ct. White Evenweave
Floss: DMC 1 over 1
Percentage: 2.86% complete
Pages: 1 of 45 complete
Stitches: 7840 out of 274,375 complete

I think I'm going to do this one a little oddly, kind of at a diagonal.  I'll probably go to the right, then go to the page under this one.

Now, off to complete back-stitching that I've been avoiding as much as possible.  I'm hoping to finish it today or tomorrow, so you may see another completed project in a few days!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Nocturne: Sixth Post - Framed

I'm trying to get through all my backlog framed posts that I've started, but never finished and published.

Let's see... when was Nocturne finished, October 2014.

So it's not the best picture, but at least I'm finally posting it.  Yay me!

I've been working on the HAED Challenge #2.  I'm over 80% done with it, and I'm hoping to finish by the end of this weekend.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Welcome to the Jungle: First Post - Completed

I was going to work on Ophelia, but while working on my sister's blanket I realized I really should finish another project for my youngest nephew.

This is a discontinued pattern, I was barely able to find a picture of it at all, and the original paperwork was lost.  This originally was being stitched by my mother.  She got frustrated with it, she kept counting wrong and just couldn't get through it.  So I offered to take over and finish it off.  However, it was completely lost, what she had already stitched and the chart as well.  Luckily I had a working copy of it that I was using to chart the name so it wasn't completely lost.

It's being stitched on 14 ct Aida in order to match the one made for his older brother.  That's not really a problem, however, this chart contains an obscene amount of ¼ and ¾ stitches.  Now, if I see these stitches I get a fabric where I can go over two.  Also, working on this made me realize just how much I don't care for Aida fabric anymore, I am a much bigger fan of evenweave.

This is one of those projects that I should have done multiple posts on, but I just kept stitching instead of posting, so I apologize for the insane number of pictures.

I picked up everything I needed on my way to my parents' house where I started working on it.  Then my sister and nephews showed up, and the little one, who I'm making this for, was curious:
What'cha doing Auntie Em?
I finished the name really quickly:

Kellan then decided he needed to help me (which didn't go quickly):
But it'll be a nice story to tell him, he helped with his own cross stitch.  It took three or four times longer to stitch, but he wanted to help so badly so there was no way I could say no, and he's just too cute, it was worth every extra minute.

After his help, with the large light green leaf, I got through the leaves much more quickly.

My favorite animal makes an appearance:

And he gets his back stitching:

As you can see in the previous pictures I was using a purple hoop to stitch.  I usually use a much smaller, red, hoop, especially on the smaller count HAEDs.  I figured since this was a larger count the larger hoop would be better/easier.  I was wrong.  I didn't like how big it was.  It just seemed massive and it seemed more of a chore to stitch.  So I went back to the red hoop, even though I knew I'd have to move it a lot more.  I started stitching much faster after that.

Back to my preferred red hoop I made a green froggy, with some of the blue back stitching to help me figure out where he's supposed to go.

And now back stitching:

Now, you'll notice on the sample picture there's a blank area on the bottom left above the frog.  It seemed to be the perfect place to add the weight and height as I had done on his brother's.
Anyone notice the missing back stitching?  I did fix it, I don't remember when I fixed it, or why I didn't take a new picture.

The next animal foliage

This is the new home of a rather yellow giraffe.

Now some back stitching:
There are three mistakes in the giraffe.  I only remember where two are, and I'm not telling!

I did the rest of the blue lines so I could find where the blue birdy went.

And he got his back stitching, and for those eagle eyed readers, yes, I initially forgot a row on his tail feathers.

The title of the piece. (Viewed with the top of the giraffe's head.)

Last inhabitant's leaves.

A little brown monkey.

He gets some back stitching which was the last thing to do.
Apparently all animals have swirly cheeks or noses... I never knew that...

And here it is in it's entirety!

It definitely needs to be ironed.  We already have the frame for it.  We wanted it to match his brother's so we bought it shortly after he was born.  Unfortunately, we have no idea where it is at the moment.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Welcome to the Jungle (Discontinued)
Pattern by: Bucilla
Started Stitching: March 4, 2016
Finished Stitching: May 4, 2016
Fabric: 14ct. DMC Aida
Floss: DMC 2 over 1
Percentage: 100% complete
Stitches: 7,519 out of 7.519

While doing the stats I noticed that it took me exactly 2 months to finish, but most of the work was done in the last week, April 26th through May 4th.  Off to a different project.  I think it's going to be the HEAD Challenge #2.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mel's Crochet Blanket - Completed

I realized that I did not have a birthday present for my sister whose birthday was at the end of April.  I had some yarn that I bought over a year and a half ago for a blanket for her.  I decided to finally make the blanket.

I went through a book that was given to me, "The Crochet Stitch Bible" and found a pattern that I liked.  I crocheted the first two skein, then found a mistake in the first skein, which I was going to leave, but the more I thought about it the more it bugged me.  So about ¾ of the work came out and I continued on.

Here's the first two skeins:
April 20, 2016 - 12:20 am
The rest of this will be predominantly pictures.
Four Skeins
April 21, 2016 - 11:05 pm
 Six Skeins:
April 25, 2016 - 11:36 am
Almost eight skeins, I didn't have enough to do another row, you can see what's remaining on the left hand side, getting ready for the border:
April 25, 2016 - 5:11 pm
Finally complete:
April 25, 2016 - 8:38 am
I made up the border based on the rest of the pattern.  I will say borders are still my weakest part.  I appear to not space my stitches very well, they never lay flat, but blankets rarely lay flat, so most people won't notice.  The overall size ended up being 4.5' x 6' (1.37m x 1.82m).

Project Stats:
Project: Mel's Blanket
Pattern: Relief Wave Stitch
Pattern by: The Crochet Stitch Bible
Started Crocheting: April 19, 2016
Finished Crocheting: April 25, 2016
Yarn: Bernat: Blanket - Silver Steel
Percentage: 100% complete

My sister's birthday was on the 28th, so I was very proud of myself getting it done on time.  She has informed me that it is very warm.  Too bad summer is just around the corner, but there's still a little bit of time to use it before it gets too warm at night.