Category Archives: In Progress


OK, you caught me. I cheated again. I blogged yesterday today. My entire evening yesterday was written off by a migraine such as I have not had in a long, long time. Nasty. Niamh picking yesterday to take an hour and a half to be put to bed (by me… she won’t go down for anyone else yet) did not help matters one bit, either. She just wanted to feed and feed and feed, and if she wasn’t feeding, she was screaming. The screaming, ohhh the screaming :ouch: Luckily I can breastfeed lying down, because I certainly wasn’t able to stay upright for any length of time. At one point, I just had to put her (screaming) into the cot, and walk away to throw up (sorry, that’s gross). It’s definitely been a long time since I’ve had one that bad.

Today hasn’t been a great deal better. I always have a bit of a hangover effect after a migraine, and on a hot day it makes me feel kind of out of it. We headed off to the park for a bit and I sat in the shade with Niamh while Finn mucked about. I’m feeling okay now that kiddos are in bed and the house is quiet, and I’m hoping to sit and stitch now for a little bit. I’ll be working on Elizabeth – Claire’s UFO. Here’s my progress so far:

Elizabeth when she arrived:

Elizabeth now:

I was hoping to finish up the border at the right hand side before sending her on her way, but to be honest it has caused me some grief – the froggies have come to play on more than one occasion :yuk: Much as I think she’s beautiful, I think if I had stitched this for myself, it would have become a UFO for me too!

MiraBee in progress

Before today turned nasty, I managed to catch about half an hour stitching time with Niamh asleep in the car as we waited to pick Finn up from kinder. This is where the MiraBee is at now – there’s not a lot of regular stitching to go, mostly beads:

MiraBee in progress

The Big List

Finally, finally, I’ve got around to visiting all my WIPs, and writing out ‘the list’. It isn’t as bad as it could be, what with my decision to go guilt-free. (Most of the new starts I’ve had since then have been small projects that I finished off.) The list is still longer than I’m comfortable with though, so soon I’m going to have to have a go at a rotation again to whittle it down a bit. Here’s the list, roughly in order of oldest to newest, and with approximate progress on each:

  1. Mirabilia – Winter Queen (1998)
  2. Rajmahal – Brilliant Wind (not cross stitch – this is surface embroidery and gold work) (2003) 30%
  3. Vermillion Stitchery – International Bears ‘Kaitlin’ 95% (2003)
  4. Dimensions – Noah’s Journey (Nov, 2003) 20%
  5. Patricia Allison – Seasonal Dragons ‘Spring’ (Dec, 2003) 65%
  6. Teresa Wentzler – The Storyteller (Apr, 2004) 25%
  7. Dimples Designs – Wee Beasties Part 6 (Sep, 2004) 15%
  8. Chatelaine – Christmas Tree Mandala (Jan, 2005) 70%
  9. Chatelaine – The Knotgarden (Feb, 2005) 5%
  10. Mirabilia – The Petal Fairy 35%(Dec, 2005)
  11. Mirabilia – Lilly of the Woods 15% (Mar, 2006)
  12. Mirabilia – Mermaids of the Deep Blue 20% (Apr, 2006)
  13. Periwinkle Promises – November Sampler Accent 20% (May, 2006)
  14. The Cat’s Whiskers – Dragonfly Jewels 35% (July, 2006)
  15. Mirabilia – Bumblebee 80%(August, 2006)

(I’ve learned that I’m absolutely hopeless at estimating % progress, so some of these are probably terribly inaccurate, but it gives you an idea.)

The list is interesting – I think it shows a good cross-section of my stitching taste. Five out of the fifteen are Mirabilia designs, and four out of fifteen are insect designs (three of those are dragonflies). Of course there are also a couple of dragons in there – there would probably be more if most of the dragon charts I have weren’t so huge.

I’d like to get back down to under 10 projects. I’ll be binning Winter Queen (remember), so that’s 14. Kaitlin is only missing some backstitching (I actually thought she was finished, it was a bit of a surprise to dig her up and find she wasn’t) so I’ll finish her off today or tomorrow, that gives me 13. Then, starting November, I’m planning to pick three projects and rotate them whenever I’m not working on the UFO Round Robin. I won’t start rotating in October as I still have a round of student marking to go (and the less said about that, the better :yuk: ), and also I imagine it’s going to take me until the mailing deadline to finish up 20 hours on Claire’s UFO.

The first three projects I’ll rotate? Hmmm… not sure. My first thoughts are probably ‘the small ones‘! Bumblebee, certainly. Probably the Periwinkle Promises kit, as it’s something a bit different. And maybe something bigger – maybe MOTDB, which is my favourite of the Miras I currently have on the go. Or perhaps I should choose something older? What do you think?

October’s Challenge

So. I decided to set myself a challenge. To blog every day in October. Yeah – I kind of missed the 1st. Oops 😳 I’m planning to cheat, and blog the 1st retrospectively. Since I’m setting the rules of this challenge, I figure I can get away with that! Check back later!

Actually, there’s a super good reason I didn’t blog yesterday – I was stitching. Hooray! I made a really good start on Claire’s UFO. I’m participating in the current UFO round robin – my first round robin, and I have to say, this is a completely fantastic idea – Noah’s Journey is my UFO, which has been sent on, uh, a journey(!) around the world to be stitched on by some wonderful BB friends, to return to me some time next year in a much ‘furthered’ state, hopefully to then be finished and framed for Finn’s room.

I saw this design (see whole thing here) as a stitched model in my mum’s LNS a few years ago, and she bought the chart for me. I started this when Finn was one, meaning it to be a kind of commemorative birth piece. I should have remembered how much I loathe Dimensions charts.


Needless to say, it has lingered in its unfinished state for far too long – Finn will be four in December! I figured I wasn’t ever going to finish this without help, so here we are. I hope everyone in my group doesn’t hate me after they’ve had to stitch from this disastrous chart :giggle:

Clickety to see what it looked like before I sent it off to Tracey. (Finn’s name is actually all there, just edited for privacy).

Tomorrow: I will get to that meme Erin, haven’t forgotten 🙂

Almost Hatched


As would be expected, my stitching time is somewhat limited lately. It generally comes down to a toss-up between housework and stitching. Stitching usually wins, of course! But still, I have far less time than I’d like. Lucky I stitch fast 🙂 Unfortunately, I only have backstitching left… and I think housework might be ever so slightly preferable to backstitching!

Something(s) New

One of these days I’m going to have to round up all my WIPs and come clean about how many there are. Not today though! Here’s a couple of recent startsTW-Hatched
Firstly, here’s where I’m up to with You were hatched. While I love this design, I grew a little discouraged after stitching the first border corner. The particular skein of ‘Fantasy Blues‘ floss I have seems quite different from the one the model was stitched with – and I’m not convinced it goes as well as it should with the dragons’ colours. I’m thinking that when I come back to this I might frog that corner and find (or dye) a more closely matching fiber. (Sidenote: I’ve been thinking about trying to dye some silk floss, next time I get out the dyes – silk is just so delicious to stitch with)

And now this is what I’ve been working on the last week. It’s Dragonfly Jewels by the wonderful Australian designer Janie Hubble of The Cat’s Whiskers. I fell in love with this design at first glance – the colours (all Dinky Dye hand-dyed silks) simply glow. The text in the centre is my first ever over-one stitching – on 32-count linen, no less 😮 It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – now I’m not quite sure why I’ve been avoiding over-one all this time! You can see what the finished design will look like here. Isn’t it lovely?

I’ll Be Back!

It’s okay, I’m alive and kicking, and I will be back. In fact, it’s not even Niamh keeping me away… mostly! In the meagre ‘spare’ time I have, I’m trying to get Leslie’s exchange piece finished. Fear not, I will be back with bells on in the near future. Meanwhile, all is well…

New Stuff

Christine, your comment about crazy stash acquisition made me smile… since going off the Wagon Challenge at the end of ’05, I’ve been a bit crazy myself. I haven’t always fully confessed, but needless to say, I haven’t stuck to that ‘goal oriented’ plan I had 😳 My latest temptation was the SB&B Easter Sale, and I’m waiting on a couple of The Cat’s Whiskers charts, Enchanted Mermaid, a Drawn Thread chart and some mesh bags. I think that’s it!


Anyway, all guilt aside – first off today, a new fabric I dyed up recently. I adore this. It’s a fat quarter of 28-count Lugana, and I dyed it with Mirabilia’s Midsummers Night Dream in mind. I have just plugged it into the fabric viewer, and it does look lovely with that design, but there’s a number of other Mirabilias it looks great for too – oddly enough, Enchanted Mermaid is one of them. I never envisaged a purple for that design.

I have a bunch of other white fabric just waiting for inspiration to strike – 2 FQs of Quaker (my personal favourite), 3 FQs of Cashel, and 2 more of Lugana. I also have a piece of Belfast I dyed but hate the results of, so I’m going to try over-dyeing that to see what I can acheive. Hopefully, if I get a bunch of satisfactory fabrics out of this lot, my desire for stash expansion will subside a little!

Next is my newest start – yet another Mirabilia – Mermaids of the Deep Blue. I seem to be going through a very definite Mirabilia phase at the moment 🙂 I’d estimate there’s about 20 hours put into this so far, though I didn’t record times so far. There’s two weekends away worth of work in it, put it that way. I’m stitching this on hand-dyed Babbling Brook Jobelan – my first large piece on Jobelan, and I like it more than I thought I would, actually.

My Unyellow Lilly

As I mentioned, DMC didn’t want to come to the party on the deep plummy-burgundy colours I had in mind. This is what happened instead:

Bear in mind this is my first conversion ever. Someone more experienced/talented than I might have been able to massage and blend the available colours to get closer than I have. But it seems to me there aren’t a good range of deeper shades in DMC. For perspective, the lightest pink here is DMC 3727. The darkest shade here is actually a Weeks dye works floss – ‘Bordeaux’, and is more what I had in mind for the mid-tones. The fabric is ‘Sapphire Sky’ Cashel by Silkweaver.

Putting aside the frustration of not being able to get exactly what I wanted, I am actually pretty happy with how it’s turning out. More ‘Rose Satin’ than ‘Burgundy Velvet’, but pretty all the same. I’m not at all sure whether I’m going to go with the original ‘blankie’ colours now or convert to greens as I had planned. She’s had her first ten hours anyway, so she’s going away for a little while, and I’ll cross that bridge next time I get to her.

So… put on your Critic’s cap and tell me what you honestly think so far 🙂

Missing: One Parcel

Found: One Grumpy Me.

Until now, I have only had one parcel get ‘lost’ in the post. And if truth be told, in that case I have no definitive proof that one was ever actually posted… but it was of somewhat low value, so I let it slide. I was a bit miffed, but what could I do?

This time, however, I’m cranky. A parcel (of not exactly low value) from Stitching Bits and Bobs has gone ‘missing’ in between there and here. The worst thing? It’s not even full of stash for me… it’s for my Secret Stitcher victim. So it not only has to get here, it then has to be packaged up with some other stuff I have for her, then sent back to the US to my remailer, and then mailed from the remailer to my victim. So time is somewhat of the essence, y’know?!

Having given it two weeks now (this is a Global Priority parcel, which is supposed to take 4-7 days), I realise now that I’m going to have to make alternative arrangements, at least for the March mailing. Which means more paying local prices, which does not make me happy. Grrrr.

In a case of Bad news, Good news, though, the stash gremlins did decide to release to me the threads I was missing for Mermaids of the Deep Blue, and the still-don’t-know-what-they’re-for red crystals. I didn’t start MotDB in the end though – I haven’t made a working copy yet, so in the end my Lilly conversion won out, and I stitched a pink blob last night. It’s a bit too pink, I’m thinking, but the simple fact is that DMC don’t cater to my taste in burgundy 🙁 I’ll stitch some more before I decide whether it gets a complete overhaul… it could yet turn out to be quite pretty… and it’s not yellow, so that’s a definite improvement :giggle: