Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Lee Kimono - Part Two


Earlier I write about Erica's problem canvas:
I also love the touches of black. I recommend that you use black silk for this area to give a touch of elegance and quiet to the design. If it were me, I'd use either tent stitches or elongated cross stitches for the black vertical lines that divide off the sleeves, then use straight and slanted satin stitches for the collar and the hem trim. The gold lines can be either tent stitches or couched metallic or elongated cross stitches. Note that when you use a vertical elongated cross stitch, you make it tall and then. When you use a horizontal elongated cross stitch, you make it short and fat. Make sense?

Erica answers:
Completely. I have done elongated cross stitch before, so I can picture it in my mind. I'm pretty sure I have some black silk mori from Kreinik in my stash that might be just the right thing to use here. 

For the black areas that seem to border the blue areas, I think we have to wait and see before we decide what to use there. The stitching used for the blue areas will determine what to do with the black margins. I wish the photo was larger.

I can remedy the photo size once I return home tomorrow. I'll photograph it instead of scanning it which will give me the ability to crop and enlarge the picture. I'll send it along as soon as I get it done!

Thanks, Erica. A larger photo will help us all see what your canvas looks like since I haven't been able to find it online anywhere.

I also asked:
What do you think the blue areas and the black border that edges each of these areas represent?

In my mind (and I have no idea if I'm right),I see the black lines as dividing the kimono back and the two sides that would wrap around to the front if you were actually wearing it (okay, so you'd have to be really, really, really small to actually wear this kimono, but we won't quibble about little details!)
I agree with you about the vertical black lines.  What about the black borders that divide the blue areas from the pink and each other?  What are they to you?

Thanks for the reassurance. Moving from counted work to painted canvas is a bit intimidating, but mostly because I'm used to being given strict instructions of how to stitch a piece. I'm trying to loosen up a bit and enjoy a little more freedom with a painted canvas!

Not to worry. This is a needlepoint adventure, after all. What's an adventure that doesn't have you doing your own thing?

We'll use flosses mostly to use up threads from your stash, then. Do you have a lot of metallics in your stash, by the way? And if you do, what sizes?

I do have a good assortment of metallics. There's a lot of Kreinik in Blending Filament, #4, #8 and probably some #12 as well. I've got some Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid as well. I think I've got some Neon Rays too. I'm not actually at home right now, so I've been separated from my stash (horror of horrors!), but I'll double check tomorrow.

Good. I have a specific reason for asking that I'll talk about later.

Brave girl!  Thanks for volunteering to help me out.

I tend to think of it as too dumb to know better! :-) I'm a completely self-taught stitcher and I didn't realize until I started taking some classes that the things that I do without thinking too hard about it are hard for others. I think I was too lacking in knowledge to know better.

That is a real advantage at times, Erica. You don't know you should be intimated by something.

Looking at the design, I think the rose red area should be done in something with a diagonal flow to it. I'd use either diagonal mosaic or diagonal cashmere, depending on just how much space you have in the smallest part of the rose red area.  Here are the stitches.
http://www.needlepoint.org/StitchOfTheMonth/2000/00-07.php

http://www.needlepoint.org/StitchOfTheMonth/2000/00-08.php

Thanks for the links to the stitches. I think the diagonal cashmere stitch reminds me more of flowing water - and I imagine the flowers floating on water, even if the water is pink! And since the pink area flows from the arm and across the back, the cashmere stitch makes me think of movement. I'll have to experiment with that idea!

Thinking of the pink areas as water and using a flowing stitch is a great idea. This is your kimono, after all, and water with the sunset on it could look pink.

I think I would tent stitch the white centers of the flowers, then work the petals in long and short stitch. I might add black and green beads on top of the white area to spark it up a bit. If you want to add beads, don't tent stitch the intersections where the beads will go. That way they sink a bit into the tent stitches and are held steadier. You could use French knots instead of beads but I think I'd like beads for this piece. They add sparkle that French knots don't unless you use a metallic thread to make the French knots.

While I am quite adept at French knots and don't mind doing them at all, having seen the pieces you've stitched with beads (notably pieces like Luna and the tap pants of Sharon G's), I'm leaning towards adding bead sparkle. I know I have some black and green beads in my stash.

Good. It won't matter if the beads are different sizes or brands, either. I like mixing a variety of beads on a piece like this. After all, flowers have larger and smaller bits in their centers.

Why don't you think about all this and then email me your reactions and we'll go on from there?

I will pull together a better picture tomorrow for you. This kimono drew me from across the store - a sure sign that it needed to come home with me. I'm looking forward to stash diving to find the right threads. I think I have a Dinky-Dye silk that might be the perfect red-rose pink. Do you think I should aim for solid coloured fibres or would a subtle overdy work? Or would a more obvious overdye be better or too distracting? So many decisions! 

There are always a lot of decisions when you start a piece but as you start nailing down what you will use where, then the remaining choices are fewer and less overwhelming.   As for using an overdye for the pink water, I think I would avoid one with an obvious change in shade.  The blue area (whatever it is) has a lot of movement and color changes in it so I'd keep the pink water subtle. A tone on tone pink would be lovely, though.

I'm so grateful for the help with this. You've already gotten me to start seeing this piece stitched. It's exciting!

Good. I am glad you are having fun with this. That makes the stitching much more interesting.

I noticed carolsylvster's comments - and I appreciate them greatly. Unfortunately stumpwork is one form of needlework I'm yet to try, but it is certainly an intriguing idea. It might be too much of an undertaking for this piece though. I'm still undecided about the blue area being water or clouds too - I look at it once and see clouds and look at it again and see water. I think I'm leaning more towards clouds since I think the flowers are floating, but maybe I'll change my mind as we continue the discussion!

I think clouds are a good choice for the blue areas.  To me they look like an obvious place for rich metallics that are laid and then couched down with either solid color threads in silk or cotton floss or with perle cottons (or perle silks) couched down with thin metallics.  If this idea appeals to you, would you look at your stash and see what blues, blacks and whites you have?  I think you will need three shades of blue.  Depending on what you have, lay the threads out on the canvas and see what looks good to you and report back, please.  

Or if you hate this idea, let me know and we'll try again.

Thanks for everything, Jane!

My pleasure.  This is fun for me, too.
Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Monday, November 29, 2010

ABS Designs the Nutcracker

For many of us, the Christmas season isn't complete until we see The Nutcracker ballet in performance.  If you live where there is no local ballet company nearby, you can still enjoy it via Anne Stradal of ABS Designs who is designing a series of ornaments based on Tchaikovsky's music for the ballet.  The series starts here with Herr Drosselmeyer.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page past the Comments, then click on "Newer Post" to see the second and third ornaments.  Delightful!
http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/2010/11/getting-in-holiday-mood.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Washington, D.C. Metro Map, Part Four



Barbara writes:  This morning I went through my stash and pulled threads to see what might work and I am going to take the plunge!  Here are my thoughts on what I am going to try:


I want to bead the Capital - I have some black petite beads and will try solid beading - if I do not like how that looks I will go for every other thread intersection, maybe with black Kreinik as the in between stitch.

Behind the Capital I want to try the Japanese lattice  but don't want to bother with flat silk. [Note:  Barbara is expert in Japanese Embroidery and will lay silk, then put a lattice pattern on top as is done in JE.]  I have some Splendor in the gold color that matches the canvas so will lay satin stitch and then do the diagonal lattice over that and tie down the overlaps (I will do this before the beading - If it does not work I will go with criss cross Hungarian and gold beads). I have a couple different purple beads and think I will use those for the the purple border if I go with solid beading. If the solid beading does not work for me I will find something - maybe a Kreinik metallic and couch around the circle.

The same gold that I use for the back ground I will use behind the letters for Washington but I am not sure about what stitch to use there. 


Personally I think tent stitches are going to work best here, Barbara, but you are wise to wait and see before you make up your mind.


I think I will bead the letters of Washington - definitely the white, not sure about the purple shadow but I think that will be beads too. I found some nice gold and green Kreinik which I think I will couch for the compass rose.  The lines there are mostly one canvas thread wide so not much more that that will work.  I like the idea of padding the center.


The subway lines are four canvas threads wide and I really like the idea of arrows but then there are the areas with lots of stops and turns so I may just go with diagonal satin - I will experiment.


It is possible you can use diagonals and arrows both.  You are going to have to test it and see what looks good to you.  Having both may look messy or it may look great.


 I am back to looking at the Luminescence that I bought to use because the colors are just so yummy and while it is very thin I could use multiple strands and lay them - again I will try and see how they work. I found some #4 kreinik for the Jessicas in blues and silvers which I will try and see how they work.


Blue and silver Jessicas for the subway stops sound wonderful.  I hope you can use the lovely Gloriana Luminescence silk perle. I just love the colors from Gloriana.

UPDATE:  Barbara says, "Just a quick note - I started experimenting on the jessicas and after a couple of attempts I found a blue that I like for the small ones and decided that black worked best for the large ones.  Once those are in I will see what works for the subway lines."


I like the idea of burden stitch for the Washington Monument and have Splendor in those colors.  


Excellent!


I was thinking of something like nobuko for the water and upright cross for the parks.  


Good ideas. Both have texture but not a high texture.  There is so much going on here in both color and pattern that you will have to be careful how many different stitches you use.


I am undecided about the background - I think I will tent stitch the background but can't decide if the Shimmer will be too much - I think it will be so will probably go for the flat black - a place to rest the eye since there is so much else going on in this piece.


I agree.  I am thinking a black velvet background with the jewels of the subway lines and the compass, Washington Monument and the Capital as accents.


All that is left are the the boundary lines which I think should just be couched Kreinik, and  finally there are the stripes at the top and bottom which I am still unsure about. At the top there is a 4 thread wide purple, 2 thread wide gold, and 4 thread wide green. At the bottom is 4 thread wide dark purple and 2 thread wide light purple. and on the left there is a 6 thread wide very dark purple.


I would just use satin stitches there done on a slant but you might want to use long cross stitches (fat short ones that are two-three threads wide but only one high) on the 2 thread wide gold and light purple areas or maybe beads again.  I think a simple stitch is best here.  You might even reuse the same stitches you end up using for the subway lines or try burden stitches in the wider borders if you want something more decorative.  I am not certain burden stitch won't look too busy but once you have more of the center done, you can see what you think about these ideas.


I now have a plan, a scan, and a bag of threads! I am going to mount the canvas and see what happens. Thank you for choosing my canvas and helping me get started. I will keep you posted on my progress!


Good luck.  We can't wait to hear how this goes!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stitch Guides Info (and Rumors)

The Chilly Hollow Stitch Guides blog has been updated recently, although I haven't had time to mention this to you.  The rumor mill says that Tony Minieri's home base, The Edwardian Needle, is collecting all the stitch guides he's written over the years and is going to be publishing them.  Don't rush over and email the shop just yet, however.  Nothing is ready yet.

Robin King has a new stitch guide available for the brand new Harvest Fairy canvas  from Debbie Mumm/Melissa Shirley.  Since there's already an article about Robin and her guides on the CH Stitch Guides site, I updated it with a link to a photo of the new design.  Use the search box at the upper left corner of the CH Stitch Guides blog and enter "robin king" to see it.

I've also announced that the stitch guide for the Pirate Cat will be available from Patt & Lee Designs next January at the TNNA trade show.  This one I'm not selling directly.  Your shop can get the canvas and the guide directly from Patt.

Stay tuned.  I hope to add much more to the CH Stitch Guide blog as new guides arrive for January.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Lee Kimono


My second volunteer is Erica, who has a small kimono canvas she has no idea how to start.

Erica, what size is your kimono and what count canvas is it on? Is Lee the designer, or someone else?

Eria says:
Overall dimensions are about 3 1/2" by 3 1/2" - it's tiny. I got no information to go with the canvas, but Lee is printed on the canvas and it has a number K1041 on it. From the looks of the mesh, I'm pretty sure it's 18-mesh. I can get out the measuring tape and count it out if necessary. :-)


It looks like 18 count to me.  I believe Lee does her smallest kimono patterns on 18 count, so that is probably what we have here.  No need to measure.


What attracted you to this piece?

I love Asian-inspired pieces and kimonos are something I have a real 'thing' for. I love the purple in this piece - and purple is one of my favourite colours. I also love the fall of flowers that cascade from the arm down to the opposite side - I just think it's beautiful. The touches of black that it has just seem to polish it off somehow too.


I also love the touches of black.  I recommend that you use black silk for this area to give a touch of elegance and quiet to the design.    If it were me, I'd use either tent stitches or elongated cross stitches for the black vertical lines that divide off the sleeves, then use straight and slanted satin stitches for the collar and the hem trim.  The gold lines can be either tent stitches or couched metallic or elongated cross stitches.  Note that when you use a vertical elongated cross stitch, you make it tall and then.  When you use a horizontal elongated cross stitch, you make it short and fat.  Make sense?


For the black areas that seem to border the blue areas, I think we have to wait and see before we decide what to use there.  The stitching used for the blue areas will determine what to do with the black margins.  I wish the photo was larger.  What do you think the blue areas and the black border that edges each of these areas represent?


Do you have threads for it already or things you want to use in your stash?

I have not purchased specific threads for this piece as I wasn't sure when I'd ever get around to stitching it. And too, I wasn't sure just *how* I was going to stitch it. It deserves better than basketweave but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what else to do with it.


Not to worry.  We'll come up with something.


I'd like to try and use threads from my stash if I can. I have the obligatory set of DMC, but I also have a large selection of Dinky-Dyes silk, Gentle Arts Sample Threads, Weeks Dye Works, Vikki Clayton Silks and some other random odds and odds (there's a variety of Rainbow Gallery stuff floating about as well). I don't object to ordering or tripping to the needlepoint LNS to search out anything either. I realize that some of my threads won't be heavy enough for a needlepoint canvas and I may end up working with multiple plies and laying my stitches, but as someone who does counted canvas work, it doesn't phase me.


We'll use flosses mostly to use up threads from your stash, then.  Do you have a lot of metallics in your stash, by the way?  And if you do, what sizes?



Any threads or stitches you hate/love?

Nope. I'll play with anything. If I've got a good diagram, I can stitch from it. I'll try any stitch once. Compensating doesn't scare me either.


Brave girl!


Thanks for volunteering.

Thanks for offering! I'm looking forward to this experience as this is something I really want to try. A little hand-holding will get me through! :-)  This will be fun! I'd better dig out a set of stretcher bars!


Looking at the design, I think the rose red area should be done in something with a diagonal flow to it.  I'd use either diagonal mosaic or diagonal cashmere, depending on just how much space you have in the smallest part of the rose red area.


http://www.needlepoint.org/StitchOfTheMonth/2000/00-07.php


http://www.needlepoint.org/StitchOfTheMonth/2000/00-08.php

I think I would tent stitch the white centers of the flowers, then work the petals in long and short stitch.  I might add black and green beads on top of the white area to spark it up a bit.  If you want to add beads, don't tent stitch the intersections where the beads will go.  That way they sink a bit into the tent stitches and are held steadier.  You could use French knots instead of beads but I think I'd like beads for this piece.  They add sparkle that French knots don't unless you use a metallic thread to make the French knots.


Why don't you think about all this and then email me your reactions and we'll go on from there?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Friday, November 26, 2010

Washington D. C. Metro Map, Part Three

Our conversation with Barbara about her metro map canvas continues....

Have you thought about how you want to finish it? Not a clue but I will probably frame it – I have a room I call my library full of books and maps!

Gosh, that sounds delightful!  Framing also means we don't have to worry about the wear and tear a pillow or a box top might get either.

I think Jessicas and beads for the subway stops is a great idea. Did you have a stitch in mind for the Gloriana petite perle lines?
I had thought about couching parallel lines for the subway lines but I am not sure I like the idea. I wanted something that would convey they idea that they are lines if you know what I mean. Maybe rows of outline stitch or diagonal satin stitch for the red or orange lines? By the way when I got home and looked it turned out that I got Gloriana Luniescence (sp?) not Petite Perle and it is very fine so I am not sure if I will be able to use it after all – not sure what I was thinking when I bought it!

Packed stem stitch might work for the subway lines.  Depending on how wide the lines are you could also do satin stitch that has a \ slant in the top half of the area and then the / slant below so that it looks like directional arrows pointing in various directions.  You will have to have an even number of threads for this to work, however.  The two halves have to be of equal size.  But if the canvas is painted that way, it would very good to have the "arrow" pointing to the left for the red lines and to the right for the orange (or vice versa).  Satin stitches laid carefully look really beautiful, too.  They will catch the light and reflect it.

When I looked at the piece I got a sort of Wizard of Oz fantasy feel, Barbara, like this is not just a map of a real place but a guide to magical destinations. I get fanciful sometimes!
I like this idea but I have now idea how to go about implementing something like this – I am a very down to earth, practical type.

I think you have plenty of imagination, Barbara.  You just need someone to talk this over with.

Following through on the fantasy land idea, I noticed that there are two landmarks - the Capital and the Washington Monument - plus the compass in the right lower corner. If it were me, I'd try to make those areas very glitzy (as well as the letters of Washington, D.C. in the left border) by using beads, metallics, goldwork, etc. Then I'd do the black background in tent stitches using my favorite silk or silk/wool blend. It is not easy to make fancy stitches show up on black using black threads and I suppose the background really is just a sort of black velvet to show off the subway lines and the decorative elements, anyway.

Again – I agree with all of this in principle but have little idea about how to go about it. My current favorite for tent stitch on 18 count is Vinyard Silk. I don’t know if there is a Shimmer in black but that might give the background a bit of sparkle which might be a nice effect – or would it not really show up?

You are right.  I know Vineyard Silk Shimmer has a black thread with black metallic in it.  That would look very nice I think, especially in artificial light at night. 

I think I'd use various small textured stitches for some of the subway lines and perhaps toss in some metallic here and there. I'm thinking stitches like Nobuku, Dotted Swiss, Double Cross, etc. You are going to have to be careful where you put texture and metallics on the lines. Some of them seem to be in the background and others in the foreground, probably because of the color choices. I am not that familiar with D.C. subway lines. Are the green lines part of the Green Line, so to speak?

There are two shades of green – a lighter green which goes from the compass rose to the capital. That is one of the subway lines. The other green is not part of the subway system and is meant to represent the National Park portion of the city (Arlington Cemetery, the Mall, Capital, Rock Creek Park, etc). Same with the blue. The more Williamsburg blue which goes from the bottom near the monument to the left edge is the subway line and the lighter blue represents the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

I think it makes sense for the greens in the park area and the blues in the river areas to be a different stitch, one to evoke woods and the other to evoke water. Do you have any favorite stitches for these things?  I know we mentioned French knots for the woods but I think that might be too much.  There is a lot of pattern on this piece.  A simple cashmere stitch or a Scotch stitch depending on the width of the park areas at their narrowest might work.  There are quite a few diagonal stitches that are based on cashmere/Scotch stitches that could give the river areas movement.  Using a similar stitch for the water and woods helps relate them to each other and make them different than the subway lines.

I'm thinking you might want to solidly bead the black Capital silhouette, purple outline and all, and then fill in the gold background with some sort of fancy stitch, perhaps one that is more or less oval or perhaps cross-cross Hungarian, but putting touches of gold metallic in the stitch, whichever you choose.

I have never done solid beading on 18 count – I assume that means a bead at every intersection? Or I could do as (I think it is Judy Harper?) suggests and bead every other intersection and stitch every other – I am not sure how I feel about the very crowded look over beading every intersection. I really like the idea of criss-cross Hungarian with touches of gold metallic in the background.


We have our first stitch--criss-cross Hungarian in the background of the Capitol silhouette!  If completely covering the silhouette doesn't appeal to you, you could do skip tent in black Vineyards silk (probably plain instead of the Shimmer) and then fill in beads in the skipped areas.  Then couch a pretty purple perle or perhaps metallic over the purple outline.  I think the purple outline needs to be raised a bit to not look sunken next to the criss-cross Hungarian background and the slightly beaded silhouette, so things like tent stitches aren't appropriate for the purple outline.  Actually, you probably could fill in the black silhouette with more criss-cross Hungarian using the black Vineyards Shimmer from the background.  It would take a lot of compensating, not everyone's cup of tea.  If you go this route, use a different metallic for the second part of the stitch, or use purple beads to tie the silhouette to the purple outline around it.

I'm thinking goldwork for the compass I am not sure what you mean by this – are you talking metal threads? Or kreinik metallics? perhaps just the center padded to stand up to the Capital in greens and golds.

I was thinking either.  The photo isn't big enough for me to see exactly how much space you have in the compass.  A padded center covered with either Kreinik or real gold threads with couched Kreinik for the spikes that rotate from the center would be lovely.  The threads you choose will probably depend on getting a gold and a green that will work in the same thread line (I'd stick to the same brand if possible) means this will probably be done in Kreinik as they have so many color and size choices.  I know they have some lovely greens, too.  

Then we'll have to do something equally spectacular with the Washington--Monument. I see the spire and the lettering as similar. Whatever you do with one, you'll need to do with the other.
Beading would work but a lovely Burden stitch with the right flashy threads might look lovely on the spire with the same threads used in the lettering.

Aren’t the letters awfully thin to be doing burden stitch?

Yes, they are.  I didn't mean to use burden stitch on the letters, just to use the same threads on the letters on the left as in the Washington monument.  I suspect the letters will have to be in either tent stitches or diagonal satin stitches.

We have lots of thinking to do on this one but this is a start. I do think you will need tent stitches in the black background and possibly behind the letters on the left border. Probably the red, darker blue and orange lines will need tent stitches, too, as there are all those little boxes on top of them.

(each of those little boxes is a subway stop where I was thinking of a Jessica – the larger boxes are stops where the more than one line meets – larger jessicas?)

I think two sizes of Jessicas would look great!  What color are all those subway stops?  Silver?  Kreinik Jessicas are beautiful.

any thoughts about the bands along the top and bottom - I had thought about herringbone, diagonal satin...?

I think diagonal satin stitches would be very pretty.  I think herringbone might be too hard to compensate behind the letters myself and it also might be too complicated looking.  This is a very busy piece with a lot of areas.  Using too many stitches will make it even busier.  We already are talking tent stitches, criss-cross Hungarian, Jessicas, and perhaps forest and river stitches, too.  Plus couching and padding.  If it were me, I'd look for calm and simple stitches like satin stitch and tent stitches for the borders.

Sorry I did not get this back to you last night – got busy and was unable to get it taken care of before time to head off to the [guild] meeting. I did bring the canvas with me but did not get many helpful suggestions. Mostly they critiqued the canvas (many of them are from DC so they know the area and subway system – I got comments like the fact that the map is out of date since they have finished the subway and there are now more stops! They also felt that they did not like the capital being black and felt it should be white or grey like the Washigton Monument. If I changed the color of the capital I would have to change the color of the sky behind it (they though maybe a midnight blue with silver for stars)….. Don’t know how I feel about all of that.

Personally, I like the dramatic black silhouette of the Capitol as is.  You are right, if you change the color there you'll have to change the sky behind it.  Better to leave all that alone, I say!

I did get a few suggestions though. One thing I mentioned was that I had thought about keeping the subway lines relatively smooth and making the water and park areas have more texture to differentiate them. French knots were suggested for the park areas. 


Personally I think French knots would be too busy.  But this is something you can wait to decide on after you have other parts of the design stitched.  It will make it easier to toss in a few French knots (perhaps scattered a random over tent stitches) once other areas are stitched to know whether French knots are Too Much.  At worse, you'll have to rip an inch of them out later and use another stitch.


Another suggestion was needleweaving for the points of the compass rose to give them a raised texture. This would not give them the two color look but could give them a nice raised shape – maybe - if I could do them well. 


I'd stick to couching or packed stem stitch myself.  Easier!


They also disagreed about the background having to be all basket weave. They thought there was a lot of background and maybe something like skip tent or alicias lace could work so that I did not have cover the whole thing. - possibly with a metallic to give a glitz if there was not already too much glitz elsewhere. Someone at the meeting had Planet Earth Opal in black for a project she was working on and it had silver highlights and I thought that might look like city lights shimmering and someone else agreed so I might give that a try as well.

I happen to love Planet Earth's Opal thread.  It would make a lovely background and if it has silver woven in (we talked about using Vineyards Silk Shimmer which I know is black metallic and black thread) that would look like twinkling city lights.  If the Jessicas are silver, that relates the background to them.  And if you use silver beads in the criss-cross Hungarian for the Capitol, it relates even more.)  I personally don't like skip tent and avoid using it when possible but this is your choice.  I like the idea of a velvety black background all tent stitched for all the patterns and colors to rest on myself.  

I am really thrilled to be doing this – maybe now I will finally get this piece stitched - Thanks for choosing my canvas. I look forward to finding out what you and others suggest.

I am very glad you volunteered, Barbara!  Why don't you sit down with your canvas and write up all the things you are sure about and then a list of all the things you are not decided on?  Once you get some stitching done from the To Do list, the Undecided areas will become clearer to you.


Tomorrow I plan to move to the second canvas we are discussing while Barbara thinks all this over.  If she comes back with more questions and comments, I'll post them here later.  I know the holidays are about to make everyone's time much shorter so Barbara may not get back to us right away.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Decorating for the Holidays

This year I'm only doing a little decorating for Christmas and it is here on Blog instead of in my home.  Hope you like the new header photo and background color.  Not everyone is like me and not decorating, though.  Ruth Schmuff's new mystery class is working away on whichever of the two holiday canvases they picked to work on.  I think Ruth's idea for the striped background is fabulous!
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2010/11/noeljingle-all-way.html

Ruth's shop is very cheering and decorated with all sorts of goodies.  She just posted about a Wendy Harwood class held there and I thought you'd like to see the canvas Wendy taught and the happy faces of all the folks who attended.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2010/11/tis-season-for-peace.html

If you would like to use your decorative impulses to make a great one-of-a-kind needle magnet for yourself, Mary Corbet has a tutorial.  The donut shaped magnet she used is probably a rare earth magnet.  If you Google that term you will find them online.  A word to the wise--they are very strong.  A 1/4 inch round donut set is about as strong as you will need.  Anything bigger will be very difficult to pull apart.
http://www.needlenthread.com/2010/11/from-button-to-needle-minder.html

In other news, June McKnight will release a new book in January.  It's full of Halloween stitches.  I hadn't seen any of June's books until a friend gave me some of her stitching books and I've been very impressed.  Anyone who does a lot of Halloween stitching will find this book useful and fun judging by June's older books which I have been reading lately.  There's a photo of the cover and a slide show of some of the stitch diagrams (I think those are from her overdyed thread stitches and bargello books) she uses on her website.
http://www.junemcknight.com/index.html

Finally, The Needlehouse has posted their winter newsletter on their website.  It has a review of one of Julia K. H. Snyder's books and a stitch diagram from it of a heart-shaped Sprat's Head.  They also announce their newest monthly club, snowmen!  You can see photos of the club canvases and find the link to the Winter 2011 newsletter on their home page.
http://www.theneedlehouse.com/jm/

Now I need to get busy and work a bit on ideas for Barbara's subway canvas!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wonderful Things



I've been collecting wonderful things to share with you again.  The first is the photo above--a new canvas by Barbara Bergsten.  Saving the planet suddenly got very very important to me!
http://createneedlepoint.typepad.com/create_needlepoint/2010/11/needlepoint-sayings.html

The Stitching Destashing Blog has a great Maggie canvas for sale (including a stitch guide) for a fabulous price.  She Was So Bad, They Sent Her to Catholic School has always cracked me up!
http://stitchingdestashing.blogspot.com/2010/11/she-was-so-bad-they-sent-her-to.html

If that's not your cup of tea, click on the header at the top of the page to go to the full blog and browse for wonderful things.

Are you a fan of the discontinued Medici wool?  Janet Perry knows where you can buy more.
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/medici-hanks-for-sale

Bristly Thistle is having a Rebecca Wood trunk show.  The little slide show shows off some of the fabulous Christmas canvases that Rebecca creates.  It's too late for this year but at 20% off, you can get started in January on next year's decorations.
http://bristlythistle.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/rebecca-wood-needlepoint-trunk-show/

Finally, I stumbled across a mention of Stitcher's Workshop, which seems to be a cross stitch group with links to shops that cater to all the counted thread person's needs.  I have no idea how well this works or how nice it is but here's the link for you to explore.
http://www.stitchersworkshop.com/blog/?p=422

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Washington Metro Map, Part Two

Yesterday Barbara gave us her problem canvas to start working on.  You've read my questions to her about the canvas.  Now here are her replies in purple and my questions/answers in black.


Have you thought about how you want to finish it? Not a clue but I will probably frame it – I have a room I call my library full of books and maps!

I think Jessicas and beads for the subway stops is a great idea. Did you have a stitch in mind for the Gloriana petite perle lines?

I had thought about couching parallel lines for the subway lines but I am not sure I like the idea. I wanted something that would convey they idea that they are lines if you know what I mean. Maybe rows of outline stitch or diagonal satin stitch for the red or orange lines? By the way when I got home and looked it turned out that I got Gloriana Luniescence (sp?) not Petite Perle and it is very fine so I am not sure if I will be able to use it after all – not sure what I was thinking when I bought it!

When I looked at the piece I got a sort of Wizard of Oz fantasy feel, like this is not just a map of a real place but a guide to magical destinations. I get fanciful sometimes!

I like this idea but I have now idea how to go about implementing something like this – I am a very down to earth, practical type.

But following through on the fantasy land idea, I then noticed that there are two landmarks (the Capital and the Washington Monument - I think it is the Washington Monument) plus the compass in the right lower corner. If it were me, I'd try to make those areas very glitzy (as well as the letters of Washington, D.C. in the left border) by using beads, metallics, goldwork, etc. Then I'd do the black background in tent stitches using my favorite silk or silk/wool blend. It is not easy to make fancy stitches show up on black using black threads and I suppose the background really is just a sort of black velvet to show off the subway lines and the decorative elements, anyway.

Again – I agree with all of this in principle but have little idea about how to go about it. My current favorite for tent stitch on 18 count is Vinyard Silk. I don’t know if there is a Shimmer in black but that might give the background a bit of sparkle which might be a nice effect – or would it not really show up?

I think I'd use various small textured stitches for some of the subway lines and perhaps toss in some metallic here and there. I'm thinking stitches like Nobuku, Dotted Swiss, Double Cross, etc. You are going to have to be careful where you put texture and metallics on the lines. Some of them seem to be in the background and others in the foreground, probably because of the color choices.  I am not that familiar with D.C. subway lines. Are the green lines part of the Green Line, so to speak?

There are two shades of green – a lighter green which goes from the compass rose to the capital. That is one of the subway lines. The other green is not part of the subway system and is meant to represent the National Park portion of the city (Arlington Cemetery, the Mall, Capital, Rock Creek Park, etc). Same with the blue. The more Williamsburg blue which goes from the bottom near the monument to the left edge is the subway line and the lighter blue represents the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

I'm thinking you might want to solidly bead the black Capital silhouette, purple outline and all, and then fill in the gold background with some sort of fancy stitch, perhaps one that is more or less oval or perhaps cross-cross Hungarian, but putting touches of gold metallic in the stitch, whichever you choose.

I have never done solid beading on 18 count – I assume that means a bead at every intersection? Or I could do as (I think it is Judy Harper?) suggests and bead every other intersection and stitch every other – I am not sure how I feel about the very crowded look over beading every intersection. I really like the idea of criss-cross Hungarian with touches of gold metallic in the background.

I'm thinking goldwork for the compass I am not sure what you mean by this – are you talking metal threads? Or kreinik metallics?  perhaps just the center padded to stand up to the Capital in greens and golds. Then we'll have to do something equally spectacular with the Washington--Monument. I see the spire and the lettering as similar. Whatever you do with one, you'll need to do with the other. Beading would work but a lovely Burden stitch with the right flashy threads might look lovely on the spire with the same threads used in the lettering. Aren’t the letters awfully thin to be doing burden stitch?

We have lots of thinking to do on this one but this is a start. I do think you will need tent stitches in the black background and possibly behind the letters on the left border. Probably the red, darker blue and orange lines will need tent stitches, too, as there are all those little boxes on top of them. (each of those little boxes is a subway stop where I was thinking of a Jessica – the larger boxes are stops where the more than one line meets – larger jessicas?)

any thoughts about the bands along the top and bottom - I had thought about herringbone, diagonal satin...?

Sorry I did not get this back to you last night – got busy and was unable to get it taken care of before time to head off to the [guild] meeting.  I did bring the canvas with me but did not get many helpful suggestions. Mostly they critiqued the canvas (many of them are from DC so they know the area and subway system – I got comments like the fact that the map is out of date since they have finished the subway and there are now more stops! They also felt that they did not like the capital being black and felt it should be white or grey like the Washigton Monument. If I changed the color of the capital I would have to change the color of the sky behind it (they though maybe a midnight blue with silver for stars)….. Don’t know how I feel about all of that.

I did get a few suggestions though. One thing I mentioned was that I had thought about keeping the subway lines relatively smooth and making the water and park areas have more texture to differentiate them. French knots were suggested for the park areas. Another suggestion was needleweaving for the points of the compass rose to give them a raised texture. This would not give them the two color look but could give them a nice raised shape – maybe - if I could do them well. They also disagreed about the background having to be all basket weave. They thought there was a lot of background and maybe something like skip tent or alicias lace could work so that I did not have cover the whole thing. - possibly with a metallic to give a glitz if there was not already too much glitz elsewhere. Someone at the meeting had Planet Earth Opal in black for a project she was working on and it had silver highlights and I thought that might look like city lights shimmering and someone else agreed so I might give that a try as well.

I am really thrilled to be doing this – maybe now I will finally get this piece stitched - Thanks for choosing my canvas. I look forward to finding out what you and others suggest.

My pleasure, Barbara.  Next time I'll talk about the points Barbara raised above and we'll try to nail down a plan for her to start the canvas with.


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Washington Metro Map




The first of my volunteers with a problem canvas is Barbara with this Washington, D.C. Metro map canvas from Ruth Schmuff Classics.

Barbara has the 18 count version that is 7 1/2 inches square.  Here's what she says about this design--

I do not have many ideas for what to do with it. I had thought about jessicas and bead centers for the subway stops. I have some gloriana petit perle which I wanted to use for the subway lines but could use something else if a better idea came along. Other than that I have no idea and those ideas could easily be discarded.

I responded--

Have you thought about how you want to finish it?

I think Jessicas and beads for the subway stops is a great idea. Did you have a stitch in mind for the Gloriana petite perle lines?

When I looked at the piece I got a sort of Wizard of Oz fantasy feel, like this is not just a map of a real place but a guide to magical destinations. I get fanciful sometimes!

But following through on the fantasy land idea, I then noticed that there are two landmarks (the Capital and the Washington Monument) plus the compass in the right lower corner. If it were me, I'd try to make those areas very glitzy (as well as the letters of Washington, D.C. in the left border) by using beads, metallics, goldwork, etc. Then I'd do the black background in tent stitches using my favorite silk or silk/wool blend. It is not easy to make fancy stitches show up on black using black threads and I suppose the background really is just a sort of black velvet to show off the subway lines and the decorative elements, anyway.

I think I'd use various small textured stitches for some of the subway lines and perhaps toss in some metallic here and there. I'm thinking stitches like Nobuku, Dotted Swiss, Double Cross, etc. You are going to have to be careful where you put texture and metallics on the lines. Some of them seem to be in the background and others in the foreground, probably because of the color choices.  I am not that familiar with D.C. subway lines. Are the green lines part of the Green Line, so to speak?

I'm thinking you might want to solidly bead the black Capital silhouette, purple outline and all, and then fill in the gold background with some sort of fancy stitch, perhaps one that is more or less oval or perhaps cross-cross Hungarian, but putting touches of gold metallic in the stitch, whichever you choose.

I'm thinking goldwork for the compass, perhaps just the center padded to stand up to the Capital in greens and golds. Then we'll have to do something equally spectacular with the Washington Monument. I see the spire and the lettering as similar. Whatever you do with one, you'll need to do with the other. Beading would work but a lovely Burden stitch with the right flashy threads might look lovely on the spire with the same threads used in the lettering.

We have lots of thinking to do on this one but this is a start. I do think you will need tent stitches in the black background and possibly behind the letters on the left border. Probably the red, darker blue and orange lines will need tent stitches, too, as there are all those little boxes on top of them.

Tomorrow I'll post Barbara's response to my questions above and we'll continue to talk about the subway map and how to turn it into a fantasy world fit for politicians, lobbyists, government workers, tourists and lawyers!


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Friday, November 19, 2010

Review: The Stirling Self-Finishing Small Tote

Stirling Small Tote Front
Susan kindly loaned me a black Stirling bag which I've photographed for you.  Note the bag is black, not blue, but the morning light-camera combination turned it a lovely blue shade.  I guess I should be glad the camera didn't decide to make it the color of baby poop, right?

Stirling Tote Back
The bag above is the small tote bag.  The opening on the front is exactly 8 inches square and there is a sheet of paper you peel away inside the opening to expose the sticky back that you press your finished canvas against.  There is a small lip of leather all around the opening except at the top, where the overhang is much larger.  I think stitchers probably will want to put a row of tent stitches around their design's perimeter and perhaps do 2-3 rows at the top of the canvas.  I don't think anything will show but a row of stitches will prevent the bare canvas from showing if someone is looking at an angle.

Stirling Logo
The back side is all leather with the Stirling logo embossed at the top. The shoulder straps are roomy, long enough to go over your shoulder but not so long that you can't carry the bag by the handles without dragging it on the floor.

Interior with Pockets
The interior of the bag is plaid fabric protected by clear plastic.  Thee are three little pockets made from the same clear plastic.  The leather handles look sturdy and the outside leather is fairly thick and substantial.  The purse width is narrow. This is not going to hold a great many items but it will carry the basics in style.

Here's the Stirling website with all their products so you can see the colors available in the small tote bag besides black and see the other items they sell.
http://www.stirlingcases.com/products.php

I've only read one other review of the bags.  Linda had a problem with hers and got immediate attention that fixed it.
http://nystitchingsisters.blogspot.com/2010/07/sterling-bags-great-experience.html

I've seen the Lee leather bags in person.   They seem sturdier and more classic in style to me.  They are also more expensive.  If I wanted a bag that I'd use for a decade or more that would never go out of style or wear out, Lee is the way to go.  If you want a more fashion-oriented, cheaper bag that comes in a variety of colors that you can put away after a while, Stirling is the bag for you.

I hope with Christmas coming this is a useful review in case you wanted to put this on your wish list or were considering buying a Stirling bag for someone else.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bit Behind But Still Here

I overslept this morning and then spent a while getting all the volunteer stitchers organized so I'm late posting to Blog. Sorry.  I have five volunteers with a problem canvas all lined up, ready to show off the canvas and ask for your ideas on how to stitch them.  The conversations will start Saturday and I hope everyone will chime in with ideas.  After all, this is an analysis and working plan for these designs, not a stitch guide that reports on something already stitched with exact directions on how to reproduce the pattern.  Many of Blog readers may have worked a similar canvas and can report what they did to give the volunteers ideas.  But they will have to try them all out and see how well they work before we know.  That probably won't be possible on Blog since most of the volunteers brought very large canvases with them.  But I hope next year sometime we'll get to see photographs of their finished work.  So put on your thinking caps!

In other news, Busy Needle has a big sale going on this week.  25% off everything in stock.
http://www.busyneedle.com/index.htm

Stitches from the Heart has a new photo of ScottLee up on their blog.  These are the folks who distribute Jean Hilton's designs and fans will enjoy seeing a new colorway.  Click on the photograph for a huge, wonderful look.
http://stitches-heart.com/different-colorway-for-scottlee/

I'll be back tomorrow more organized, I hope!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday is Laura J. Perin Day

I have very good news for fans of Laura Perin's charts--she has the latest seasonal long panel design finished and also has an oldie but goodie chart still available.   First up, Sara Leigh has photos of the finished Long Autumn panel on her shop website. It's a gorgeous mix of purples and oranges, tempered with ecru and perhaps a touch of blue.
http://stitchything.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-laura-j-perin-design-long-autumn.html

Laura herself shows off an old design on her personal blog.  It's not one I'd seen before as it is not on her website.  It is subtle colors with black for emphasis and done all in tent stitches.  Perfect for those long winter evenings in front of the fire (or TV).
http://two-handedstitcher.blogspot.com/2010/11/oldie-but-goodie.html

For folks who haven't visited Laura's website before, here it is.  There are free charts, along with lots of lots of stitching goodness.
http://laurajperindesigns.tripod.com/index.htm

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

I Need a Volunteer From the Audience



Finishing Luna's gown took a very long time, especially since I've not had much time to work on it recently.  I'm getting ready to leave CH to stay with my mother who is ill.  So Luna is about to be put away.  While I am gone, I will have computer access but no way to upload photographs, so I am taking another piece to stitch.  I won't be posting about my stitching while I'm away since that's not going to be possible.

This is where you come in.  I need volunteers who have painted canvases hidden away that they love but haven't a clue how to start.  I will feature one of these a week (or so) and we'll talk about it publicly to come up with ideas of how to stitch each canvas.

To be featured here on Blog, you will need to send me either a link to a good online photo or you will have to email me a good photograph of your canvas that I can post.  I think (but I am not certain) I will be able to download photo attachments from emails and then upload them to Blog while I'm away.  (Since I don't know this for certain, we'll start with someone who sends me a URL of their problem piece.)  Remember, whether you send a photo or a URL, you will have to answer emailed questions from me promptly as to your preferences when it comes to threads and stitches, any ideas you have already, and your reactions to what I tell you on Blog.  I won't away give your name, however.  Only you and I will know you are volunteering.  You can choose any pseudonym you like.

Anyone who participates will need to be able to answer emails about their problem canvas right away and will see their answers (probably edited for length) here on Blog.

Do we have volunteers from the audience?  Please raise your hand by emailing me at chillyhollow at hotmail dot com.

Those who don't send in problem canvases can contribute by posting comments here with your ideas about the featured designs.  Sometimes it is easier to come up with ideas for someone else's canvas than your own.

Thanks everyone.  I think this is the best way for me to continue to talk about painted canvases without being able to show what I am currently stitching while I am away from home.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Calling All Thread Detectives

Remember when I talked about the new High Cotton five-ply floss from Hyla Hurley?  I did a review on Blog here.
http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2010/10/thread-review-high-cotton.html

Two different sources have told me they think the thread is rather matte (like Needle Necessities' Madras was)  but I thought it had more sheen to it than regular DMC cotton floss, both in the skeins and especially when stitched in long stitches.  In tent stitches it does look matte, or at least not any different than using DMC or Anchor floss in tent stitches.

I'm wondering if it was just the color I used (pale lavender), or if I am losing my mind. (There is heavy betting action on the latter.  LOL)  I am going to test stitch with other colors when I have time but for now, I'd love to hear from folks who have stitched with this thread about what they think.

I'll update the earlier review with a note about the matte/shiny decisions we all came to once I have more input.  So, what's your opinion?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Monday, November 15, 2010

Luna's Gown



After much work, Luna's couture gown is finished.



The beads are gunmetal gray, crystal lined with silver, and black.


Some beads appear gold in the photos because light is bouncing off the crystal beads.

It was a lot of work but worth it.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Sunday, November 14, 2010

UPDATED: Testing Needles (or, The Mad Scientist Speaks)

You may remember that the last LNS visit I made I picked up two packets of Bohin tapestry needles to test.  I started using some of the needles (I bought size 22 and 24, the sizes I use on 18 canvas the most) when I started Luna.  Now that I've been working on her for a while, it's time to review the needles.
http://www.creweljewels.com/Bohin-Tapestry-Needles-p/73001.htm

The link below talks a bit about Bohin. Their needles are made in France and are very smooth to the touch.  The packets I bought had six needles to a pack .  I believe that Bohin sells tapestry needles in sizes 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28.  I forgot to make a note of all the sizes available when I bought these at Waste Knot, however.
http://www.creweljewels.com/Bohin-France-s/59.htm

As long time members of Blog know, I have very acidic hands.  It only took me about three hours of stitching to start to wear away the metal coating on my Kreink gold needles.  The John James platinum needles showed wear after maybe 5-6 days of stitching.  So far the Bohin needles show no sign of wear under my magnifier although they don't feel quite as slick as they did when I started using them.


They are not pretty like the gold needles are, however.  There are no burrs in the eye and the coating of the surface stands up to my hands.  Are they my favorite needles?  Well, no.

I prefer Piecemaker needles when I have a choice because they last as well as Bohin needles plus they are very smooth and silky to the touch.  I prefer how they feel in my hands.  However, Piecemakers
are made for quilting and as far as I know, you can't buy size 18 or 20 tapestry needles from them.  Here is the Piecemaker website.
http://www.piecemakers.com/products.html/Piecemakers_Needles?zenid=a2181e883db046f97e4778395ae97b93


I expect I will buy size 18 and 20 Bohin needles and sizes 22, 24, 26 and 28 Piecemakers from now on due to how well both brands hold up to my acid fingers.


If you are curious about Bohin needles and your local shop doesn't have them, I know you can get them at Waste Knot.  They are around $2 a packet, which is what Piecemaker needles cost me.
http://www.wasteknotneedlepoint.com/

Whatever brand necdle you like, remember to discard needles after each project or two.  Amy Bunger wrote in a Needlepoint Plus article long ago that stitchers use their needles too long.  They are not expensive but if you have hands like mine, it is essential that you switch to new needles frequently. If you don't have acid hands, you should still be using new needles periodically.

Save the used needles.  We'll do a Festival of Broken Needles ceremony next February again to honor them before we get rid of them.

UPDATE:  A friend told me she doesn't like the feel of the needles. She thinks they feel ridged instead of rounded and after a while, they hurt her fingers.  The eye is very smooth and great for silk and cotton flosses, though.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Odds and Ends

It's confession time in CH.  I never really "got" the 3-D needlepointed stuffed animals.  Of course I never saw these pictures.
http://pocketfullofstitches.blogspot.com/2010/11/sew-much-fun-3d-animals.html

http://pocketfullofstitches.blogspot.com/2010/11/sew-much-fun.html

Now I get it.  These are fabulous!  And perfect for the child in your life (or the child in you).  Speaking of children, Squiggee has something I've never seen in painted canvases before --baby booties.  The ones with puppies are too cute for words.
http://squiggeedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/10/needlepoint-baby-booties.html

My final link is to Janet Perry's blog where she talks about finding the perfect thread to stitch a cloudy blue sky.
http://www.nuts-about-needlepoint.com/stitching-the-cloudy-sky

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Astounding Ribbon Master

I've been reading Susan Elliot's blog for a while, enjoying her eclectic embroidery than ranges from bead covered journals to Japanese embroidery.  Susan just took a ribbon class from Candace Kling, whom I've never heard of and whose out-of-print book The Artful Ribbon just went on my Christmas list.  Here are photos Susan took in class.  Prepare to be amazed and delighted.
http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2010/11/ribbon-art-and-candace-kling.html

Here is Candace's website.  Make sure you click on Art to see the candy boxes and the hat, then check out the Links for more photographs and informations about her ribbon art.
http://www.candacekling.com/

This is awe-inspiring work, so much so that I'm not posting anything else today.  I want you to have time to explore this a bit and think of ribbons as works of art, not just the way to make some flowers for your needlepoint.

Thanks, Susan.  I would never have known about the art of ribbons without your blog.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Thursday, November 11, 2010

And the Winner Is....

Sudu is the winner of the random drawing for my extra copy of Stitches for the Millennium by Brenda Hart.  Congratulations!

Twenty people commented last Sunday when I announced that I was giving this book away to celebrate having 100 people "following" Blog.  I fired up random.org and ask it to give me a number between 1 and 20.  Ten came up.  That must be your lucky number, Sue, as you were the 10th person on my list of those followers who entered.

Email me your mailing address (I'm at chilly hollow athot mail dotcom) and I'll pop this in the mail, probably on Friday.

Many thanks to everyone who entered.  You don't know how much knowing you are out there somewhere and reading Blog fuels my stitching and posting!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Almost There

All the basketweave is finished on Luna's gown.  The next step is to finish the beading as the largest black area and the last three gray ones are still not beaded to my satisfaction.  I'm not going to bore you with a photograph today. I'll wait until this area is done.  Instead, I thought you might like some other wonderful things to look at.

I'm way behind in mentioning that the Gone Stitching/Planet Fiber original design contest is over and the winners announced.  Congratulations to everyone who participated.  It was really great of you to do so!
http://www.gonestitching.net/ourworldcontest

In TNNA news, the classes that shop owners will be able to take at the January market have been announced.  Patt of Patt & Lee Designs has posted a list of all the NP ones she saw offered.  I think I might need to buy a shop just to take some of these classes!
http://pattandleedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/11/needlepoint-classes.html

As a teacher, Robin King is quite excited to be teaching two classes among such an illustrious group.  She's posted a leaf chart from one of her classes so that those of us who can't go (this is a wholesale only affair) can participate in a small way.  Thanks, Robin.
http://needlepointstudyhall.blogspot.com/2010/11/news-and-mower-news.html

In trunk show news, the Barbara Bergsten Trunk show is at Stitches Etc. in Bay Village, Ohio, so if you are there also, stop in and admire the gorgeous models that are posted on Barbara's blog.
http://createneedlepoint.typepad.com/create_needlepoint/2010/11/bbd-trunk-show.html

It's Veterans Day here in the United States and time to honor current and former members of our armed forces.   We thank you all for sacrificing a bit of your life (and often your health) for our country.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For My Counted Canvaswork Friends

I am not really a sampler person but I'm told this online collection of samplers from Tennessee is a wonderful browse.
http://thistle-threads.com.mytempweb.com/blog/index.php/2010/11/tennessee-sampler-exhibit/

Sara Leigh has found a great new charted designer called Threedles.
http://stitchything.blogspot.com/2010/11/exciting-new-designer-threedles.html

Enjoy!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

The End Is in Sight



Most of the black areas of Luna's hem are finished.  I need to thicken the bead clusters in the largest section of the black hem on the right and then finish the gray areas.

By the way, I took the photo of Luna while she was lying on the large sheets of red tissue paper that protect her when I'm not stitching.  That's why her sleeves have the dark blood red tint.  No, Luna's not been changing her clothes while you weren't looking!

Before I forget, any "follower" of Blog should comment on Sunday's Nov. 7th article "100 Followers, 1 Book" if you are interested in the almost new copy of Brenda Hart's Stitches for the Millennium which I have to give away.  I'll draw a name at random tomorrow morning, check to make sure they are signed up as a follower, and then announce the winner so I can get the book in the mail to them ASAP.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

(Video) Stitch Resources

Mary Corbett is redoing her online stitch videos.  These are really useful for when a diagram just doesn't make sense.  I thought you'd like to browse and possibly bookmark this site.
http://www.needlenthread.com/videos

There are a lot of online stitch diagrams such as ANG's Stitch of the Month pages on their site.  Do you have any favorites to add in the Comments?
http://www.needlepoint.org/Stitch.php

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

News While I Bead

If you don't watch Ruth Schmuff's blog to watch her stitch her mystery classes, you probably don't realize that stitching the canvas isn't the last step for Ruth.  The last step is perfect finishing!  She just posted photos of her Harvest Colors Puzzle as a purse ornament.  Ruth tackles the problem of snagging the stitched piece in a very creative way!  By the way, Ruth's Harvest Colors Puzzle is now charted.  After all, she loves counted thread folks almost as much as she loves us painted canvas fanatics.
http://www.notyourgrandmothersneedlepoint.com/2010/11/harvest-colors-puzzle-mystery-solved.html

Speaking of counted canvasworks pieces, Orna Willis has several new small designs available.   They are called Tiny Trinkets and come with three small frames with the set.  You get all the threads needed to stitch the design three times, in three different color combos.  This is a quick and fun way to see how color makes the same pattern change.
http://ornadesign.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-designs-at-ornaments.html

When it comes to learning how to do something, many of us have trouble reading book instructions and understanding what they mean.  Videos are a perfect tool for visual learners and I've got a dandy for you today--Mary Corbet shows how to use a laying tool!   Please note you don't need to run out and buy yourself a laying tool to learn with.  Try using a smooth chopstick, the largest needle you own, or even a toothpick.  I know folks who have grabbed collar stays in an emergency to use as a laying tool.  Anything not too short or long that is smooth so it won't snag your thread will work to practice with until you get the hang of using a laying tool.  In fact, I use the nut pick from my nutcracker set with ribbon-like threads.  It does a better job with ribbons or ribbon floss than any of my fancy laying tools!
http://www.needlenthread.com/2010/11/how-to-use-a-laying-tool-video.html

In the new product catagory, Chapel Hill Needlepoint has a great belt featuring all the landmarks of Chapel Hill, NC.  This is perfect for any Tarheel, particularly if stitched in Carolina Blue.  (If you are a Duke fan, try stitching the outlining in deepest navy.)
http://chapelhillneedlepoint.blogspot.com/2010/11/new-chapel-hill-needlepoint-belt.html

The Cabin Fever canvases from Leigh Designs aren't new; they are being brought back due to popular demand.  Don't they make you think of cabins and fall leaves, wood fires, a hearty stew and playing board games?
http://pocketfullofstitches.blogspot.com/2010/11/cabin-fever-from-leigh.html

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where Do I Go From Here?

Last night I did more beading and basketweave while I pondered my next move on Luna.  The end is in sight for the gown so my next move is to figure out what part of Luna to stitch after the long gown is finished. Looking at her figure, the purple lining of the cloak is behind her hair. The sleeves are prominent and in one area touch the cloak lining, which means I'll want to do the lining before the sleeves or hair. The hood of her cloak is certainly behind her hair so I might want to stitch it before her hair so I don't snag any hair stitches.  The same thing is true of the cloak across her shoulders:  it is also behind her hair.  The broach, ring and fingers are going to be a problem when it comes to deciding when to stitch them.  I don't want them to snag anything next to them.

Since I like to work from the background forward, it makes sense for me to tackle the inside of her cloak, the hood and the cloak across her shoulders, and possibly the fingers and ring next.  I will start seriously thinking about them while I continue to bead and basketweave that gown.

Sorry it has taken so long but Luna's a big girl.  The canvas is on 12x20 inch stretcher bars, and Luna's gown is roughly 12 inches tall with a width that varies from 1 to 5 inches.  Lots and lots of work!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow

Sunday, November 7, 2010

100 Followers, 1 Book

Sometime Friday the 100th "follower" signed up to get Blog's postings via Google's Friend Connect system.  That's amazing!  I want to celebrate so I invite any of the 100 followers to post a comment here to enter a drawing for a copy of Brenda Hart's Stitches for the Millennium.  I have a lovely pristine copy courtesy of a friend who doesn't use the book.
http://www.needlenookoflajolla.com/accessories/books_author.html

Long time readers of Blog know I love Brenda's books and use her Favorite Stitches 1 and Favorite Stitches 2 and Stitches for the Millennium constantly.  Brenda is a widely traveled teacher who constantly is coming up with interesting ideas for needlepoint canvases.  I'll let folks post comments here until next Wednesday.  That way I can announce the winner on Thursday after a random drawing of all those who comment and perhaps get the book in the mail to them by Friday.

Thanks very much for all your support.  Remember, if the comment system won't work for you, you may email me at chilly hollowathotmail dotcom to be entered in the drawing.


Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com Archived Yahoo 360 postings at http://profiles.yahoo.com/chillyhollow