Well. Our Easter break was… slightly more than we bargained for, since our car ended up in parts in my father-in-law’s front paddock for several days!
When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, we had planned to do a fairly simple strut replacement job before heading off camping. As soon as FIL got a look at the underneath of the car, it rapidly turned into a drive-shaft-rebuild-needed-asap job. One of the drive shafts turned out to be a bugger to detach, so we weren’t able to get them into the rebuild place before everything shutting down for the long weekend. Nevermind… we loaded our considerable cargo into a trailer and FIL’s car, and took off from Friday through Monday for a lovely few days of riverfront camping.
On Tuesday morning, we had the drive shafts rebuilt, then FIL and OtherHalf spent the afternoon getting the car back in working order. And here we are, back again. Chocolate-bloated and laden with half a ton (it seems) of dirty laundry, but back.
Here then, are some promised catch up pictures. First, the two pay-it-forward packages I didn’t show you earlier:
Next, the final UFO that I stitched on for the round robin. This is Tracey’s Royal Holiday. It was nice to finish on another Mirabilia design:
And that, boys and girls, marks the end of so-called ‘obligation‘ stitching for me. For the time being, anyway. I joined this round robin because I knew I would go through a bit of a stitching slump while Niamh was little, and I figured this would be a good way to spur me into doing a little bit, better than nothing at all. But I have to confess, I’m not sad to see then end of it. I was growing a bit resentful of the time spent stitching on other people’s work (though I will no doubt feel differently once my own UFO gets home, and I see first-hand how much has been worked on it). Each time as the deadline approached, I felt pressured to stitch, even though I didn’t necessarily feel like doing so. I have done very little other stitching for the whole year so far – I completed the Hardanger exchange, I’ve spent a couple of hours on Lilly, and just in this last week I’ve come very close to a finish on one of my smaller pieces (hopefully I’ll dance this weekend). But that’s all. So I’ve decided to opt out of any more exchanges or round robins for at least the rest of 2007. How much or how little stitching I will actually do, I can’t predict, but I just don’t want to feel the pressure of deadlines for a little while.
Far overdue, may I show you in full the hardanger exchange which I stitched for Jenny. You can see it hanging on the wall in her post – here’s a slightly different angle for interest:
Or, you can get up close and personal with the stitching here. Although I thought finishing it as a ‘wall ornament’ was kind of uninspired (hey, I was really tired!), I was really happy with the quality of my finishing. I have a bag (or, um, three) of finished-but-not-finished projects which I’d really like to start making a dent in – Anne and Karen have started up the Focus on Finishing blog, have you seen it? That should provide me with some inspiration.
The reason I’ve taken so long to post this is because my ‘spare’ time (insert maniacal laugh here) has been taken up with Suz’s UFO for the Round Robin. She sent around Black Swan’s Lily Pond Dreams. Confetti stitching ahoy! It kicked my butt, and once again I didn’t achieve as much as I would have liked. Here are the before ‘n’ afters, clickable for biggering.
And, just in case you aren’t all pictured out, here are pics of the three pay-it-forward packages that I know have arrived. (Should check up on the other two – Angi, Debbi, are yours there yet?). I dyed a fat 1/8 of linen or evenweave, and some stranded cotton (plus a perle for Jenna) for each person in their colour preferences. So far, so good, everyone seems to like these:
Phew! I think that’s about it.
Posted in Counted Stitchwork, Dyeworks, Finished, In Progress, Other Craft
Tagged cross-stitch, embroidery floss, exchange stitching, hand-dyed, hardanger, Pay It Forward, round robin stitching
Edit: this post originally linked to some hand-dyed floss which I had for sale, but which is no longer available 🙂
No, I’m not being rude. I just finally finished the tutorial for dyeing your own floss, that’s all :giggle: See here. I would love to hear about (and see) any results you might have if you follow this tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions or difficulty understanding my instructions. I tried to make it short, because the process really isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but I had to keep adding in extra bits of information, so it did get quite long.
I really, really ought to get a proper website organized for myself, I know, rather than using my blog for everything. I am supposedly qualified to do that, after all! I think I need to fill out one of those 101 goals in 1001 days which are popping up all over blogland, and make that a major goal!
Astute readers may have noticed that I managed to get halfway through my floss-dyeing tutorial before going on a little feeling-sorry-for-myself binge. (For you others, see the links at top-right of this blog :giggle: ). Fear not, the second (and most important) part is in progress. It is. It will be here in the next mumble-mumble days or so. And so will the opportunity to purchase some of my floss… for there is bunches and bunches of it just waiting for me to skein it up just for you 😉 Soon. Very soon.
I redeemed my most-excellent-Mum status yesterday :giggle: ?! You know, it struck me that this creative streak I’ve been on lately is actually my equivalent of that ‘nesting’ thing other women get. I always thought it was a myth, or I’d been completely overlooked when they handed out the nesting gene. During neither of my pregnancies have I been overly interested in home improvements (aka “doing the baby’s room”) or excessive housework :yuk: But I realise now that at about this point last time I was going through a bit of a ‘make-stuff’ phase as well. Amongst other things, I made a squishy frog toy for Finn, and hand-stitched a felt counting-book, which he still adores. I’d better start thinking of something along those lines to make for Small.
Finn has been wearing his ‘monkey shirt’ with pride today… it rapidly acquired yoghurt stains, but never mind that! He had complete artistic direction over that one – green with a monkey, please Mum! The orange one was more of an afterthought – I thought I’d have another try at the low-water immersion technique, but I never seem to get this exactly how I like it… I’m more of a control freak than this allows! The giraffe design was, um, nicked from the Internet somewhere (shhh), but the monkey is all mine 🙂
And yes, there was also more floss dyeing 😉 And here’s part 2 of “Ask and ye shall receive”. I’m working on an 18-step colour spectrum from which you will at some point soon be able to purchase (with pastel shades to follow). The following 6 skeins have been evicted from the line-up. Not because they’re bad colours, but because they were too close to others I already had. So… six of you lucky ducks get to grab a freebie. All you need to do is comment below – mention which colour you’d like (so that commenters below you know what’s been taken) then email me your address and I’ll have it in the mail asap. Easy!
Vital info: Skeins are 6 meters in length, as I’m keeping a portion for my records. To avoid confusion, let’s call them (left to right): magenta, purple, blue, green, orange, red (which is actually more of a dark orange). The purple does have some slight smudges of blue in places… let’s call that a Finn original!
PS. Forgot to add, it was pointed out to me by two someones that the Caron heart can be found here. Enjoy!
Thanks for the lovely compliments, everyone. I am so pleased that you like my pretties as much as I do. In regard to sales… well, I’m not going to deny that the thought has crossed my mind. Essentially, I’m not planning to make a bona-fide business out of this, at least in the short term. First there is the concern I have that the hand-dyed market is probably at saturation point. Plus, with a three year old on hand, and another baby due shortly, it’s just not terribly practical. That said, however, I know that I’m going to be dyeing an awful lot more than I could possibly use, because I’m enjoying it so much. So who am I to turn down making a few dollars from the excess?! I’ll let you know more when the time comes. Certainly at the very least I am always good for trades 😉
Anyway, as requested by Debi yesterday, here’s a quick little HD using some of what I’ve dyed. I love this, and the fact that it took probably only two solid stitching hours makes me love it more! This is a free chart, which on my file system is entitled ‘Caron Freebie Heart’, but I couldn’t locate it anywhere on Caron’s website, so I can’t point you there, I’m afraid.
I did manage some more dyeing last night – mostly duplicates of what I’ve already done, for a couple of trades, but also a couple of darker skeins, which are quite striking. Tomorrow is a public holiday here, and a much more pleasant temperature than today, so if I get some more done I’ll post them then. Finn is becoming impatient for his monkey and giraffe shirts though, and today featured one of my poorer displays of parenting, so I might be printing instead 🙂
How can you not love a rainbow? You know, I’ve actually been planning to redesign my blog template for ages now, and in my head I had some images just like this one. I didn’t imagine it would be my own dyed flosses though. Whoo 🙂
The images today are scans, not photographs. By the time I had these all dry and skeined up, I had lost the decent light outside, so scans it was. The colour of the floss is more accurate, but there’s no decent depth of field. Sorry!
And in case you think I’m completely stuck on the brights, here’s a few more for you – some lighter shades of three of the above colours, with more subtle variation (different dilutions of light and dark shades). Also some neutrals. I really love the neutrals, but they’re so much more difficult to mix with any reliability. I’ve so far only been mixing from primary dyes, but I did pick up a pre-mixed brown the other day which I have yet to try, and I also plan to mix up some black to attempt some darker shades. Also in the works are some multi-coloured flosses – so far all of these are value-variations: different dilutions of the same colour applied to a single floss.
Oh… in other stashy news, my missing parcel has turned up right where it always was – back at SB&B. There was a miscommunication or two (it was a pretty convoluted order due to complex Secret Stitcher stuff), and it was filed rather than sent. D’oh. Nevermind, at least it has turned up, and it’s on its way to me now, for sure!
Hope you’re all having as fun a weekend as I am 🙂
…to anyone in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne trying to find either B5200 or Blanc DMC floss this weekend – I’m afraid I’ve scooped the entire supply to support my ‘habit’ :giggle:
You see what is become of me? I’m paying $AU for my floss. Scary. I really can’t wait until I can sort out where to get the bulk cones from. I’ll update you on my venture tomorrow, promise. If I can drag myself away from my makeshift lab for a while, that is. I also have the beginnings of a ‘How-To’ post in the works, since tips have been requested by a few of you, here and on the BBs.
(As proven by need to re-edit this post due to half finished sentence!)
Q: What is this?
If you guessed…
A: My first hand-dyed vareigated floss ever, you’re right! Yay me! 😆
I was doing some dyeing yesterday – I’ve been meaning to do a couple more t-shirts for Finn for a while, and finally found the time, space and energy to do it. No photos yet of the two shirts I dyed – I plan to print some jungle animals onto those at the weekend, so I’ll show you afterwards (erm… if they’re good, anyway!). But then I pulled out a couple of stitchers’ eighths of Cashel and tried out a new technique for fabric, the results of which I am very happy with:
Then… inspiration! Actually, I’ve wanted to try doing some floss for ages, and this time I suddenly remembered that I had a bunch of white floss from a trade a while ago. So I pulled a couple of skeins, and you see what happened. I am thrilled with how they’ve turned out, and I think I’ve found my new obsession :giggle: See, I love dyeing fabric, but evenweaves and linens aren’t exactly inexpensive, so I don’t get to do as much experimenting as I’d like to. Floss, on the other hand… it doesn’t really matter if I stuff up a few in the process. Well, OK, maybe not at $AU prices, but I’m currently looking into buying in some bulk cones of white from o/s, it should be much more economical. Wheeeee!
I’ve just dipped some more floss, so I’ll let you know tomorrow how that turns out. In the meanwhile, if anybody is interested, the green piece of fabric shown above, while lovely, is not quite the shade I was after, and I don’t have an immediate use for it. I’ll happily trade for something on my wishlist. The vital stats: it’s a 19″x14″ piece of hand-dyed Cashel linen (28-count). Email me 🙂
PS: The green fabric didn’t sit around long, it’s been snapped up already!