Friday, September 3, 2010

Vote While You Still Can

Asian Inspiration Sampler
Pirate Cat
Voting for your favorite Patt and Lee design from the two canvases Patt sent me to stitch ends tonight at midnight, so if you haven't voted in the poll, get busy!  Those who can't get the poll to work can add a Comment or email your vote directly to me at chilly hollow at hotmail dot com and I'll count it.

Right now it looks like the pirate cat is winning.  Marianne and I have a bet going.  She thought Blog readers would pick the pirate cat and I thought you'd choose the Asian sampler.  Looks like I'm going to have to pay up....

However, it's a long time until midnight tonight.  We'll see what happens.  Either design will be a great stitch so I'm a winner either way.

Shut up, Marianne.  [Jane grins.]

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Nerdlepoint Grows Borders

As part of my plan to fancy up Nerdlepoint, I decided to add borders in fancy threads all around the outside of the QR Code pattern.  I am hoping this adds visual interest without interfering with any smart phone that can read the code.  To aid in that, I worked a row of white tent stitches all around the exterior of the design before I started adding borders.

The first border is done in overdyed French Wool (2 strands) in the raspberry and cream colors.  This is a thread from Needle Necessities which is defunct now but the NN dyer started her own company and offers a similar overdyed wool in both stranded crewel and tapestry weights.  I stitched it over three threads on a slant / and worked my way around the corners with short slants and long \ diagonals at the corner.  It makes for an effective border due to the color changes.

To see the next border, you'll have to enlarge the photo.  I aimed for a checkerboard effect, alternating Mosaic Stitches done in two strands of raspberry red Felicity's Garden with rectangular Cashmere Stitches in raspberry pink Kreinik (size 16 braid). I think #24 braid probably would cover better but I had size 16 so that's what I used.  In person this is quite pretty and it is as simple as the previous border.

My next step was another round of white tent stitches to prepare for the next (and final) border.  By the way, the color seems off in the photo this morning.  The whites look dingy today but the Felicity's Garden silk/wool I used is a very pretty cream white in person.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Abalone Shell Accents

Retractable Scissors Holders

Once again, I have some fun things for you to see.  Tanja Berlin's latest newsletter has some beautiful new tools that are unusual in that they have abalone shell accents.  The link below takes you to beautiful retractable scissors holders shown above you clip to your shirt or the edge of your canvas.  Some styles have the shell, some have flowers.  Scroll down a bit and you'll see a lovely laying tool inlaid with abalone.  Scroll up to see cheap but sharp scissors, then down again to see other fascinating tools, from a spool holder for folks who are tatting to two sharp stilettos perfect for your favorite cosy mystery sleuth to find buried to the hilt in a corpse.  [Fiction only, please!  We don't approve of real life violence in CH.]

If you prefer sales to scissors, then you'll want to keep an eye on the Canvases Be Gone site.  During September, all the canvases in the Floral category are on sale.  Canvases Be Gone specializes in selling excess stash at terrific prices.  Contact Dale if you want to sell or buy.

Speaking of excess stash, Fireside Stitchery has a new service called Fireside on eBay.  They will sell excess stash for you through their eBay store.  The details of how this works are listed here.

There's a Princess and Me trunk show going on at The World in Stitches in Littleton, Massachusetts.  There are photos on their blog (their website is under construction).  The more you buy, the better the prices.  Email Randy at for details if you can't drop in to see the show.

If you are broke like me because you've already indulged in the above, we can still look at the latest Amy Bunger newsletter for free.  September 2010 is a PDF file.  Click and enjoy all sorts of things, from a stitch-of-the-month diagram to a glimpse of Tony Minieri's latest project, to the latest stitched canvases in the Kelly Clark Halloweenies series.

Don't forget to vote in the poll at the top of Blog to choose the Patt and Lee canvas I am going to stitch next.  Right now the Pirate Cat is beating back a surge in votes for the Asian Inspiration Sampler.  I am unsure which canvas I'll stitch. Sure the Pirate Cat jumped out to an early lead, but the Asian Sampler is coming back....

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at

Nerdlepoint: Plain and Fancy

I know what you are thinking:  my Nerdlepoint canvas is very high tech and geeky and all, but when it comes down to it, it's just a plain tent stitch piece in black and white.  B O R I N G.

Not to worry, John and I've come up with A Plan to take Nerdlepoint into the realm of Fabulousness.  I'm going to stitch it in color.  John says as long as there is a lot of contrast between the two areas, QR Code scanner aps should still work and send any smart phone that looks at my canvas straight to this blog.

My Nerdlepoint happens to be on 13 count because that's what John had laying around, but he'll put yours on any count you want.  So I rummaged in my stash, looking for heavy threads in two colors that were very different in shade.  I pulled ten threads altogether, all in raspberry and cream colors.  I'll tent stitch the white areas in a doubled strand of white Felicity's Garden (a silk/wool blend that looks like wool with a nice glow) and stitch the black areas in raspberry Very Velvet!  [Note:  I used regular Very Velvet, not Petite Very Velvet which is made for 18 count canvases.]

The photo above shows my progress.  Look carefully at the big raspberry square in the lower left corner.  It's padded with two layers of slanted Scotch Stitches.  I discovered that my Very Velvet didn't cover the canvas as well in Scotch Stitches that it did in regular tent stitches (most of the black area) or in Mosaic Stitches which is what I used for the small black boxes, some of which are stitched above and some of which aren't.  Here are these two stitches diagrammed.  I'm hoping that these stitches add a bit of visual interest but are still smooth enough for the smart phones to read.

Scotch Stitch Diagram

Mosaic Stitch Diagram

It is crucial when you are stitching a geometric piece that doesn't have a natural top/bottom side that you decide what is the top before you start stitching.  It is all too easy to put in your tent stitches all slanting /// as they should for part of the canvas, then suddenly find yourself doing a row in this fashion--\\\.  Unless you enjoy ripping out, figure out what side is the top/left/right/whatever and mark it.  I referred to the paper pattern John sent with the canvas to see which side was up, realized that the bound edge of the Zweigart canvas made a natural left hand side, and used that to orient myself.

If you look at my last painted canvas in the header of Blog, it's easy to tell which side is up by looking at the bird.  If he's flying upside down, the canvas is upside down.  On something like Nerdlepoint, make sure you mark the canvas top in some way as we aren't smart phones. Which side should be up isn't obvious to the human eye.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at Archived Yahoo 360 postings at