2022 was a hell of a year for our little family (me, him and nine cats), which is why I have been quiet for all of it. We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and are almost ready to make an offer on a property we have had our eye on for quite some time. I’ll let you know how that progresses.
So, on to the stitching that has saved my sanity for the last 12 months. The first to be completed was Scarlet Quince’s (SQ) Bibliotheque. I started this in August 2021 and took 30 weeks to stitch it, finishing in March 2022. There were large chunks of pattern with the same symbol, with the notable exception of the bust of Ralph Waldo Emerson and the globe, hence the relatively short stitch time (for an SQ – if you know, you know!). Needs framing.
Lucie Heaton’s Nordic Santas – This was a project hangover from 2021, when I had enough of stitching Santas! The finisher in me wanted to get the project completed in order that, at some point, I could get them framed as gifts. So, here are Santas 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. I stitched these in March, June and July, alternating stitching with Sparkling Peacock.
Sparkling Peacock Mandala is a beautiful Chatelaine I had stashed the kit for some time back. I scrapped the pennies together for the material and we were off! I remember watching Yellowstone for most of this stitching, except for when I was attaching the 4,688 beads and 53 crystals! There are mistakes (of course there are – it’s a Chat!) but only I know about them. It certainly made me up my beading game and I was very happy with the finished piece. Needs framing.
Collecting Shells is a Janlynn kit, my dear, departed mother gave me. It reminds me so much of my childhood when our family went to the local sandy beach to explore and pick up shells. I hadn’t stitched it because I had bigger projects on the go. It was more challenging than it looks as there are a ton of tent stitches (half crosses) and it was on a paper pattern. The first thing to do was to convert the pattern onto MarkUp RXP software as it could cope with the backstitch marks, which Pattern Keeper couldn’t at that time. This took an age as the creases in the paper made it very difficult to line it up so the pattern was all on one electronic page (thank you DH for your technical skill). It was a case of manually highlighting and clearing the symbols, but it was still better than using paper. The pattern itself was a bit boggling visually as the beach is all horizontal stitching, so I had to count very carefully. This took me seven weeks during July and August. Needs framing.
On to my latest project, for which I had half the threads and none of the material. My darling sister gifted these to me as she knew what was going on in my life and the need for a project to keep my hands busy and my mind in check. I started this piece at the end of August and am 27.4% of the way through. There are 18 faces and a ton of ninja (single) stitches, so my average stitch rate is about 117 per hour. I anticipate completion being around 53 weeks’ time unless I get bored with the beige and swap something else in!
It was during 2022 that my sister also started cross-stitching as her hands were starting to hurt from her other repetitive hobbies: she is an excellent patchwork maker, knitter, tatter, and crocheter. We now have weekly stitch and chat days and long may that continue. We both put into the stash of threads I have, and it was lovely to introduce the joy of larger pieces to her. We had a nice picture of Sunflowers at the bottom of our stairs, and she asked me to convert it to a cross-stitch chart, which I did using Chestnut Pens’ software as that allows you to use blended threads and exercise control over the complexity of the pattern. I believe it will be the last time that she goes for the most complex option! This is her travelling piece for when she comes over for our stitching day. At home, she is doing a fabulous butterfly from Heaven and Earth Designs.
So, that’s all my news that I’m able to talk about for the moment. Here’s hoping I’ll be able to post on a more regular basis throughout 2023!