Friday, October 8, 2010

October Sales

I've noticed some October sales on the WWW.  First of all, I got an email from Ehrman that they are selling designs they intend to discontinue at a discount.  Here are the sale items. You may have to choose a currency before you can see the sale.

Busy Needle in Tucson has put all their in stock animal canvases, charts and kits on sale this month.  They call it their Noah's Ark sale.  Pick up animals of your choice here.

Canvases Be Gone has new items in for October, including the birdwatcher canvas above, which I think is a Charley Harper design. It seemed a perfect design for autumn here in the States.

If you know of any really good sales (25% off or more) or are a shop owner with some real bargains looking for a good home, post details in the Comments or email me directly at chilly hollowat hot maildotcom and I'll update this Blog entry.  Thanks.

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

Progress on Luna: Choosing Stitches and Threads and Needles

I'm sure folks are eagerly waiting my first progress on Luna.   That's it!  Yes, that photo right there.  That's my Luna progress....

 I've been working testing stitches for two evenings now and a third evening is happening tonight.  I'm also reading my stitch books and trying to come up with ideas from them.  This pre-planning takes a lot of time but it saves ripping out.

I know SharonG can see an entire canvas from start to finish and rarely has to rip out her choices, but I don't have that skill.  So I do test stitching, auditioning stitches and when I find the right one, then I audition threads.

Just how do I choose stitches and threads?  Look at Luna again.  (Click on the photo to enlarge it if you need to.)  I look at the shape I'm going to stitch and find a stitch that is that shape, too. For example, she's got a long gown that sweeps to the left at the hem.  Long narrow vertical stitches are perfect for the body of the dress while diagonal stitches that are oriented NE to SW would be perfect for the hem.

Then I think about threads.  Is a gown like hers wooly like a fuzzy sweater? No.  So hairy wool threads are probably out.  I need something sleek--something that looks like silk or satin fabric--for the gown.  That makes a silk thread a good choice to start with, and one that has both black and shades of gray would be great.  It's easier to mix cotton brands of thread with other cotton brands, or at least the less shiny silks.  In some instances it looks great to have a wool thread mixed with a metallic (Santa's coat, for example) but often it is better not to mix thread types.  But that's getting a bit far down the road.

At this point I am looking for stitches with the right shape.

I'm also looking for stitches that convey an effect that is not there.  Look at the ground at Luna's feet and then at the background.  There's a lot of empty space there.  No designs at all.  Sometimes that makes a realistic design (ok, a vampire isn't exactly realistic, but if they existed, they would look like Luna) look odd.  Right now Luna is floating in space so I want to ground her by stitching something for her to walk on.  I decided that paving stones would be a good effect.  So I started looking for stitches that looked like irregular paving stones.  The stitches at the upper right of my sample that look like stone bricks are what I've chosen.  See how I have repeated the rows again and again in different threads?  I was testing whether the stitch looked the most like pavers using wool (100% cashmere Empress from Pure Palette) in the dark gray and olive green rows, metallic (a black-gray Kreinik) or cotton floss (light gray DMC and light lilac High Cotton).

I am alsto going to be using new needles on this piece.  My practice is to always toss my old needles after a project ends.  I have acid hands which tarnish needles.  I've also found that constant use on large projects roughens the needle eye.  I am going to switch to new needles when I pick up Stars again since she's half done.  I read an article by Amy Bunger once where she says that using old needles is the most common error she sees.  Needles are relatively cheap, so I follow her advice.

I'm going to test the Bohn needles from France and also use a new John James needle called Tweens.  The Bohns come 6 needles to a pack so I bought a package of 22s and 24s and also picked up a package of size 21 needles from John James which are three to a pack.  I use 20 and 22 needles the most on 18 count but I also occasionally use larger and smaller needles depending on the thread and stitch.  I'll let you know what I think about these as I work with them.  But if you'd excuse me for now, I have a few more books to browse and a few more stitches to try out.

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

Go Read This Article

I take a lot of photos and scans of needlework for Blog.  It's not easy, so I was thrilled when I found this article by Tricia Nguyen about taking close up photos with a digital camera.  Great stuff!

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