Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Finish - Hooray!

A Finish - Hooray!
Started and finished in the same year even.  Started about Valentine's Day and finished in a month and a half, or about 6 weeks. 
Stitched one over one with dmc 915 floss.  I used nearly all of 8 skeins of floss, which is 64 meters of floss or 69.6 yards of floss.  Stitched on 28 count evenweave. 
Errors within the pattern?  Nothing obvious.  Changes I made?  Turning the middle row side boxes a quarter turn to make the birds horizontal.  Those side boxes also had bands that were entirely backstitching - I chose not to do that.  I altered them to not have half stitches - the only band in the pattern asking for half stitches.  I altered the heads of the birds on the right side band.  In the design they were looking back over their wings - I preferred them looking away from their bodies.  There were a few other small things I did not worth mentioning.  It was a nice sampler to stitch.  It seemed to be designed symmetrically - the side band repeats are always 5 - the box bands are always 5 bands with a spacing of two between bands, but only one space between the box border and bands.  I am not fussy about the design, I am fussy about consistency.  There was not a cheated corner.  If you mess up - it won't come out properly.  I am still very happy that I did it in just the single floss color.  I look at it as a band sampler.  Dmc 915 is not my favorite new red, I expected it to have a slight fuchsia tint, but the stitched floss doesn't really show that.  But I am not out to stitch everything in exactly the same matching red over and over, so it was fine.  Would I use it again?  I would rather try something else.  With the math it should have been 12.25 square - un-ironed - it measures 12 x 11.5 inches finished.  I won't finish and frame it - I have framed pieced setting on the floor now.  I hope to move someday - and have a wall I can fill, but doing that now would just make nail holes I had to fix.  That would take away stitching time.  I have a pile of finished but unframed.  I stitch to relax, and I have stitching on the house walls, so do have stitching that I see daily.  It was nice to stitch from my stash - and yep, it was inspired by seeing somebody else had started stitching it on their stitching blog. 

As for the other pattern... Cardinal Points...  I like the silly border enough to keep stitching at least that part.  Could it be a matter of dye lots in the floss...?  I don't know.  I had looked at the Buckeye Scarlet at the local needlework shop - there was another stash pattern that used it I was considering - and they had maybe four skeins on the hook - and they didn't match each other - a couple were a lovely deep red - and the others were just bland.  So I do know that dye lots are an issue.  I know I was buying lots of Whiskey color from Weeks, and stitching several Ink Circles patterns in that floss on black, and an order of that showed up as really odd - and matching nothing I had already stitched with.  So I understand it is not a problem with just one vendor not being consistent.  But what I ordered for that pattern was the floss kit for that pattern, and it is grouped am labeled and bagged like it comes from the vendor that way - not buying the individual floss from the local store, or even the on-line store just pulling floss from their shelf.  Sometimes I think because most of us stitch with cheater glasses that so we can see what we are stitching that we get a warped view of what we are stitching and the colors we are stitching.  I know this is true of me quilting.  By the time I have chosen and washed and ironed, and cut and pieced and ironed, and then held and put on the binding - I usually hate the quilt.  I am ready to give it away - just because I HAVE looked at it intensely for so long.  And I think that follows into cross stitching.  If you can get away from it, then see it from across a room, you lose that minutia intense focus and can see it as an overall design again.  It is a double edge sword.  We all love the minutia and know that adding a stitch here or there can make a difference.  That swapping the head of a bird to the opposite direction will be more pleasing to our own eyes.  That just having a couple rows in reverse monochrome can be quite striking in a pattern because it is not used often.  They are all just small things, small details that make no difference.  Most people glancing at it would never know what I changed or care.  But it makes a difference to me. But we all love that we can put designs on fabric that actually look like something with just a plain fabric and a needle and thread.  And yep, we use patterns - and pull from other stitchers designs and changes and bags of tricks.  But it can be easy to get so focused on the minutia, that we lose focus and can't see the overall design that we liked in the first place.  But sometimes it sure seems like the picture doesn't resemble the result even when you do stitch with the suggested floss. 


Starry-eyed stitcher said...

This is beautiful. A brilliant finish, well done. It was interesting to read your thoughts too. I have many unframed, unfinished pieces - I get the pleasure from the choosing of linen and threads for projects and most of all from the stitching. What now??? Irene xxx

Keebles said...


Anonymous said...

Really lovely! And yes, I bought the pattern while watching you stitch this. I too have a drawerful of finished pieces. We move a lot, and framing them would be crazy at this point. Besides, the meditative act of putting needle to linen is what's important!