Saturday, December 30, 2017

As 2017 Ends...

Houx was back into the hoop.  As for what the new year start will be, not a clue.  

This arrived at 5:30 pm in the mail, on the final mail delivery day of the year.  A nice way to end the year for sure.  Floss at the bottom is for the Hart pattern, and the floss along the side is for the Blackbird Fraktur pattern.  I ordered it November 4, and a floss for something was the hold up.  But there are no stitching emergencies.  And I am not complaining.
I ordered the updated DMC floss color card with the new floss colors now included.  It will arrive as the first mail in my mailbox in the new year.  A nice way to start the new year. 

I know people make plans - I just plan to stitch.  I have lots of things I have started, I'd like to finish up at least a few of those.  Just getting to enjoy stitching.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

This and That.

 Never judge the color of anything you see on this blog to be what something really is. 
I worked a bit on this - Samplers by The Scarlett House. 
But I wanted a new start for Christmas Day.  Something small.  I still want something new for New Years too.  So I had House of Blues and Browns from With Thy Needle and Thread - it is just 101 stitches square. I have to replace a couple of the called for colors for make me happy.  That will be the thing that delays me just finishing it.  It is really drab - so I need to find drab substitutes. 

On the side of weird things.  I suspected a bank - a credit union actually was gonna make a mistake - so I gathered the proper calculations way back in March.  They issued me the checks - I cashed the checks.  So I waited till the last few banking days before saying - I probably should run those numbers just to be sure.  So could I be wrong - sure.  Could they be wrong?  Maybe.  Would you be willing to go to a credit union and say - you screwed this up - here is my math - show me YOUR math to get that amount. 
I did that today.  I was right - and I discovered they sort of seem to have two sets of books - showing my balance amounts on two different cds as four different numbers.  I'm betting I could make the news - they genuinely did not seem to know why.  I got them to fix the amount - so MY math was correct - and I avoided the penalty the IRS would have charge me.
But what do you do when you find out - something really screwy seems to be going on there?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

It's Tiny....

Okay, I was looking for something else, and this got started....
Samplers from The Scarlett House.  But holy crap, it's tiny.  That is PTP Ale, 28 count, one over one.  Total frame size is barely over 2.5 x 7 inches.  The fabric is doubled over,  I left 1.5 inches at the top, and 2 inches from the right side.  Leaving me a nice size leftover to stitch something else on.

The very light hint of green fabric from my last photos - my third time restart.  That is a 32 count Navy Bean linen.  The pattern called for Vintage Navy Bean in a 36 count - over two.  For the Plum Street Samplers pattern - On Prudence.  I spent two nights trying to pull the floss back out of the second restart.  I was not done, I cut that corner off, and tossed it, so that life could go on.  But that was round three of pulling threads and stitches back out, twice on that pattern, once for the Kathy Barrick bird.  Time to get back to forward stitching.

2018 is gonna have to be the year of  - try to finish things. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Let's start one more thing...

This was in the hoop lately.  Another new start. 
Why?  I had signed up for the fabric club, and I wanted to make sure I felt comfortable stitching on 32 counts one over one.  I did not want to get months of something lovely, only to then find I hated to stitch on it.  But is was just fine.   This is Houx from Renato Parolin - on Treasure Map from Colour and Cotton, 32 count, one over one. 

This was the second restart - on Ash Rose, or China Rose.  But it sort of awful.  So I will pick out these stitches...  and I got a third version to start....
This is the called for fabric, sort of.  While looking at my LNS looking for two different fabrics they did not have, I saw the name and had no clue what pattern I needed it for.  Then it turned out it was this mess that I keep restarting.  But it calls for a vintage version, it calls for 36 count.  What they had was not vintage, and in a 32 count.  With lots of slubs in the linen.  So, over two.  I looked for a matching color in a lugana, in a jobelan, and anything else.  Nothing.  But it IS a lovely fabric color.  Some lights it looks light gray, some lights it looks very light green.  The places I normally shop online, would be back to a fabric I have never seen - and to suddenly go to a 36 count.  I could lay the floss on it and see.  I bought more floss, cause after restarting I twice, I'm not gonna have enough if I don't.  But over two - it's gonna be HUGE - it should finish at 19 x 16.5 inches.  The fabric alone was $45.  I just decided this was gonna be my last big stitching thing, and I was tired of trying to find a fabric. 

A while ago I talked about the shop husband had fallen off the deck and literally broke his neck and ribs.  But he was there working alone.  So another woman had asked where his wife was, she has pneumonia, has been to the doctor, but is not getting better, and needs to go back a second time.  They have had a very long year of just being miserable.  I can't help or fix that - but I can buy a goofy fabric and floss from them and so I have spent $80 there.  And it was kinda lovely to see this old guy cut me this fabric that was 22.5 x 25 inches.  And he surged the edges for me.  I have never had a man surge my edges for me.  Silly, but it made me smile.  He is always nice to me.  The first trip I was looking for a fabric, but I wanted to use Anchor Black.  We all know 310 is dmc black - quick, what is the Anchor number?  I had to ask him or go thru every drawer, and some of those dark deep blues or browns look nearly black...  but he was able to find the Anchor color chart and tell me.  First, in my house - I'd never find some silly odd chart, and I could have googled it before going - but who thinks about doing that?  But he knew.  And they also sell yarn stuff - so he is an old guy that has to know so much more than just old guy stuff.  I had to do my math there, cause I knew they had the color, but not the count - and then I decided over two - doubling the size suddenly.  I think it left them with something narrow and odd - but he was willing to cut me what I wanted, and I went and got more floss while he was doing it cause a woman watching is miserable for a man.  But he did it the same way I would have, cutting in from the sides to meet in the middle point.  And then he offered to surge me...  you really gotta love any old guy that will cut your fabric for you, and then surge you.  Not many men that you can just trust to do that.  Any man that can - kinda hot. 
Happy Holidays. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

You Never Know...

 I am still at it.  Stitch Every Day from Hands On Designs.  Using the suggested 30 ct Chickpea WDW linen and the suggested WDW and GAST flosses. 
And the camera flash has washed everything out.  The regular stitching is nearly finished.  I have that fussy border of fancy stitches, which I am just trying to do, and I am not being too fussy.  I'm betting I am gonna be tight on the thread amounts - so to redo it, not an option.  Like I said before, this for me is all different.  Stitching two over two - stitching on WEEKS linen - smyrna stitiches and pin stitch borders, all new.  This is a piece that has always caught my eye.  If I found that material again, I would buy enough to stitch it twice more, I really would. 
 This was my weird world.  We listen to stories from other stitchers.  Deals.  Things they find.  I had told the stitching wife of my guy friend, about the dmc floss search for dime floss.  That I had gone to the Walmarts here, and gotten some.  But going out of town to those other stores near Halloween had resulted in nothing more.  But listening to a floss tube women talk about floss for 2 cents and getting a box of floss still in the box, I thought - I wish I could find a deal like that.  
This is where you need to pay attention.  I really did wish that - and I had seen a set of bluetooth headphones - but I had looked at those a year ago - so I could not tell if I was a deal, a good product, a good price - so I had to skip the deal, and do my homework.  Turned out, they looked good for the money.  So I then had to wish - I hope they pop up as a lightening deal like before again.  That morning, I woke up, they were a deal.  I got them in the last minutes of the deal.  I had wished, it had shown up again as that good deal.  I went to my email to verify my order.  And up popped an email from the stitching wife of my friend.  She said - I was at Walmart, I found two boxes of floss for 2 cents a skein, and got them for you.  You can come pick them up anytime. 
I had just wished for that the night before.  I wanted to find a deal and floss still in the box...
I offered to pay her for them, I offered to pay her cause it was one of those same Walmarts I had been to - the gas to get there is a couple gallons.  Nope, she just gave them to me.  A gift to a fellow stitcher.  She quilts, she sews.  But she remembered I had talked about getting floss from Walmart - so she bought me the boxes of floss for 2 cents per skein, and they that still managed to stay in the boxes - all the way till they hit my hands. 
So it is the holiday season.  I had just gotten the deal for the headphones I had wished I could get at that sale price, and then I got the email saying I have two boxes of floss that she got from Walmart for 2 cents each and still is in the boxes.  Wish for things you want - say I sure would like to find that deal again...  you never know.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This is Different

Okay, this is different.  This was part of my 'buy all the things' attitude earlier this year.  I don't have that attitude anymore.  But this is with that recommended fabric, and floss.  And I spent an hour figuring out -  I could squeeze it twice onto this fabric - it will fit. but you have to be an inch from the edges, and doing specialty stitches and stitching over two - neither of which I have done.  In the end, I planted the thing what I hope is just centered on the material.  And I am stitching it two over two.  And I am gonna give those specialty stitches a try.
Willing to try different things, different materials, different methods, is part of learning.  This for most people is just stitching.  I understand that.  This for me is really different. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

What a mess...

 Okay, me saying I can wait to start something new, not happening.  But it did NOT go well.  Above was a pattern I looked at and debated and saw it in some video, on a different light fabric, and loved it.  But I again felt, try it on the recommended and then change it.  It got started.  But that sort of brown/green lowest band, the green looks like the fabric.  Blends into the fabric.  So it doesn't really work.   But I thought a photo would be nice before I tore it out...  I like it, just gonna have to change something...  And if they looked like the photo - it would be fine - it doesn't.  That is flash.  But on a lighter fabric, that flower edge is gonna disappear...  so I have no clue. 
 This was attempt number three actually.  Different pattern from the first photo.  Attempt two was this on a fabric called Sandcastle.  It had something just disappear into the fabric too as I started that border.  So I compared what the called for fabric was - 36 count vintage navy bean.  Which according to 1,2,3 is a light mint green.  But that on a different count says it is a different color, and that number says it is mushroom fabric color.  So anywhere from a very light hint of green, to brown.  Brown did not go well, I don't have very light green, and that stem would disappear if I did.   I have stash, so I looked, and I ended up with this China Rose/Ash Rose which is what we all used to call Dusty Rose.  Okay, let me time trip back to the 1980's.  Do I love it on this - no.  And it looks brown in the photo, but nope.  But I felt the answer was, stitch it on this - I like the pattern.  See what you end up with.  Seeing that might help me to say - okay, this and that has to change - or be darker.  So I am stitching this knowing the result will be - ugh...  And using the called for floss to do that.  Clearly I have lost my mind.  But the light brown version has already been ripped out, that fabric back in my stash, this is the dusty rose version.  Will it continue???  It's a scrap, it is a six page pattern.  Who knows.  But this is most of page six.   
I did get a little more done, and the corner done, before losing my mind.
Attempts at starting a different pattern, not successful.  I have lots of other combinations I can try.  That white sulky thread did not work on 28 count, but as you can see above, it worked wonderfully on a 25 count.  I just have not found a combination on the others that I love.  But I will.  And that top photo, I counted wrong so something is off, and it is just dmc floss.  Starting over at this point, or trying it over two - is okay.  Never know till you try. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Back to this again...

Back to The Token from Long Dog Samplers.
This is at almost two of the spools of white Sulky thread.  A couple more individual strands to finish the spool.  Back to this because I want to have a new start on Christmas or New Years, or both.

I got my first fabric of the month.  Treasure Map.  I ordered Midas hoping it would be gold.  My photo makes it look gold, it is a bit more orange, and the fabric is a lovely color, which does not really show.  The fabric is 32 count -  I am sure I have tried  32 count but I don't remember the result stitching over one.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A Finish...

It's Finished. 
Tapestry from Ink Circles.  Using the recommended GAST floss colors.  On PTP Sand, 28 count Lugana, One over One.  Finished size is 6.5 inches square.

Okay, the camera washes this out a bit, and it also shows the floss colors a bit more distinctly than real life.  At about the 1/3 way points on each side is a large red flower with a slightly different red inside red.  The red on red shows it is a different floss in the photo.  In real life - not so much.  Sort of the same color once stitched.  I look at this photo and think - it is just so-so.  Would I buy it based on this photo?  No.  And stitched in the dmc colors, it might look very different again.  I considered stitching it in a single color.  It was that pattern I looked at and just could not make up my mind about it.  Did I like it?, maybe a different single color?  Maybe on black fabric? 

I like the idea of the pattern.  I like many of the designer's patterns.  So I bought it and the floss.  And I am finished and still sort of the same place.  I like it, but yet I know something could have been tweaked to make it something more that I liked better.  And I still don't have a clue what.  Just an odd feeling.

But it DID get finished.  One of each color floss was enough, although it recommended two skeins for a few colors, and I bought what it called for.  The fabric from PTP was, or is, a true evenweave.  The pattern is square and it did come out to measure the same each way.  At least in a pattern that is this size which is 199 X 199.  Even after dyeing and shrinking, their fabric is still even apparently.  Which is nice to know, since some fabrics are not.  And it is shrinking - a 28 count would be 7.1 inches, and I got 6.5 inches, which divides out to be 30.3 count fabric after dyeing and shrinking.  Yeah, that is a fussy number to get, but I have wondered.  I am fine with stitching one over one, and feel 25 count is easy, 28 count is comfortable,and 32 is pushing my luck and not comfortable.  So what was this after dyeing and shrinking?  Now I know.  And yes, that could still vary by color and fabric and the place that dyes it.  It is just a fussy number.  Like trying to guess how many stitches you will get from a skein of floss. 

I was shopping for a new iron, and oh good gosh, reading reviews, nothing is great.  And I am not a steam iron fan, I have always ironed with a separate water spray bottle.  Irons do not leak or get deposits if you never put water in them and can turn off or not use the steam part of it.  But they all seem to insist on that steam feature now.  And leak reviews are everywhere, but I don't want to use that steam part of it anyway....  so which one???  And I am cheap, and I do know they break.  I thought, I must have kept my dead mother's iron.  Selling it would have gotten me nothing and I do know they crap out from time to time.  So I did find that iron around my house and did not have to buy a new one.  I can watch for a sale bargain, or one I like with good reviews.  I know I could try the used places, but you don't know where it's been, or what has been put inside of it, ( some old tale of guys peeing in the iron of a buddy is a story you never forget and consider if thinking used iron ), or how many times it was dropped.  Even just ordering one on-line, I think - how many times will that be dropped in the box in the mail before it gets to my house?   So I am still looking and considering, but I have an iron that works - although it took me a while to figure out how to turn it on and get it to heat - two dials and I turned up the level of the steam part, but did not turn on the heat part.  I knew one should be set at nothing, but it was not obvious which one, and I guessed wrong the first time.  Oh well, first time I tried to use it in six years.  It is like setting up an ironing board you have never used before.  Setting it up - usually pretty easy.  Time to fold it up again, there is always some new way to do that part and it is rarely obvious.  It is simple once you know, but always an 'oh, crap', moment when you don't.  When you have to start thinking, I could just put a table cloth over it, and a lamp on it....  and it can never fold up again....  we laugh, because we have all done it and had those moments. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Never What I Expect To Get

This is the current stage of Tapestry.  I am not used to seeing it this way, as I am not working down, but have flipped it 180 degrees to work up, which is really down...
Nothing says you can't do a pattern upside down.  Matter of fact, at times, it's easier. The stitches still cross the same way.

Oh, and see the lovely two background fabrics....????
This was the latest dying attempt.  I was bored with brown, time to try Charcoal Grey Rit Liquid Dye.
Sure, Grey looks brown...   Have you noticed that nothing is quite normal in my world?
Well, here is a photo of that disaster...
There is the package of what this crap fabric looks like in the package, just so you again know what to AVOID BUYING.  Really.  Okay, I did the water heated to boiling thing again with the color called Charcoal Grey from Rit in liquid form.  The top piece was first, it is that fabric, but in the antique white version.  It almost dyed to a tweed effect.  Again, the warp and weft fibers are NOT the same, so they take dye slightly different.  Much closer to each other than the last time.  It is much more subtle this time.  If it was a skirt or slacks, it would be a beautiful fabric.  For stitching???  Not sure yet.  It has a slight spot effect of my attempting to mottle it a bit.  It worked, barely.  But it is sort of nice.  It won't get tossed.  The middle attempt - same dye bath as the top, but it is the white fabric like the in the package.  It is different fabric again.  It took the dye differently too.  I tried to mottle it with a finger blotting of a only slightly watered down dye from the bottle.  It's okay.
Then I had the one remaining piece of Antique White - same fabric as the top one again.  I wanted to start clean, and try for a much lighter piece, so a quick dip in a really diluted mix, and then a medium mottled mix.  But oh, this one has racing stripes again.  They are NOT as obvious as the last time in a brown dye version, but they are there.  So this one will be tossed.  I had recently ordered two of these from Amazon in the Antique White version in the last month.  I had an old one in my stash, also antique white that I used to get that top dyed fabric.   The stripes would be the reason to avoid the antique white versions.  And the fact that it might MELT would be the reason to avoid the new white version of this fabric.
And BONUS - my iron bit the dust while trying to iron these.  It was working fine, I was ironing them while they were still damp.  Then the iron just stopped heating.  I gave up.  Today I wanted to test the iron knowing it probably was not going to work - but I could have popped a breaker, a different outlet maybe?  I plugged it in and it was ice cold... and I just held the bottom, moved the slide to make sure it was not just the temp setting....  and it never heated.  Tried a different outlet.  Nothing.  Tried something else in that outlet to make sure the outlet was working, and it worked...  So now I need a new iron, and I even waited a few hours and tried it again - nothing.  So it went into the trash for tomorrow, along with that racing stripe fabric.  I have one more left obviously.  But I can't come close to the color I was hoping the grey dye might be.  So not today anyway.  But it was interesting to play knowing it was crap fabric.
Oh, and bonus number two.  I turned on the disposal, and it choked.  Turned out a cheap kitchen washcloth had fallen into the disposal, and it made it a couple turns before creating a knot it could not turn, and I had it off in seconds... and I could grab a corner to pull the fabric washcloth out - and I knew being cheap it would tear if it needed to.  But it had clearly been in there when I dumped that last pot of dye down the drain, it looked like it had been used to scrub a dirt floor.  But a vat of dye dumped over me would do the same for me.  The disposal survived and still works....  but I thought that about the iron after it melted that fabric...  so time will tell.
I said I had to order small hoops, and I tossed a few fabrics in the cart with them.  That came.  The hoops are 3.5 inches and I will need them to do the Erica Michaels designs on gauze.  A 5 inch hoop would only catch the corners of the gauze that comes with some of her designs.
Ordered the black for that Linen and Things monthly SAL - I needed 19 stitched inches on 25 count - this got me 27 in one direction.  Then while looking in my stash for something else, I found I had already kitted the black fabric for that pattern with the floss - and it's longer.  So probably did not need to order this black fabric. 
The middle is Stormy Night 25 count lugana $13 a fat quarter.   It is a nice mottled neutral light gray, without going into crazy hand dyed fabric prices. 
Then I got another piece of the Victorian red.  A plan to stitch a Christmas mono on it.   
And the other is sage/khaki and it is the called out color for the Lizzie Kate Halloween ABC kit.  I looked at the pattern on 123 Stitch, and it said - calls for something linen.  So I look up that linen.  It says - dmc color whatever number.  But I don't stitch on linen.  So I did have the dmc number of the fabric color... and I go thru the jobelans and the luganas till I find that same dmc number associated with a fabric I do stitch on and prefer to stitch on.  So that is the Lizzie Kate, it's pretty close to the right color, fabric.  It is Sage/Khaki jobelan in 28 count.  But doing it that way beats just wildly guessing.  Is it close?  When we order the called out stuff we don't get what we think it will be.
I have one more order still out there.  That Halloween ABC kit, and two of the Plum Street patterns and all the called for flosses, and I tossed in one clearance pattern. And I should be getting the fabric of the month from Colour and Cotton soon. After my dyeing fabric adventures, I'm willing to pay somebody else to dye and get me a nice color on some decent fabric. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Result

Since you saw the dark wet piece of fabric  in the photo yesterday.  This is the result of that after ironing.  Not nearly as dark, and I put it on the same footstool so you can judge it against a brown suede.  And that is the dmc 3371 on it.  The mottling is about what it shows in the photo, it is mottled like suede is.  Which I consider to be a miracle that I did get that part right.  Done with just scrunching the fabric up like the videos show and then I dripped dye off my fingers to make sure most of the top I could see had dye drips, and then I flipped it over and touched drops of dye there too with it still scrunched up, hoping that the no dyed parts would be in the middle parts of the loosely scrunched.  And because it was literally just drips and touches of the darker dye, and sloppily I might add, we are not trying to get polka dots, it worked.  But the first dye sure had to be with boiling water to get even close to dark. 
And you can see that all the threads are the same, the raveled edges are the same color, unlike the last photo where you see the warp and weft threads are not taking the dye the same - because the threads are not the same. 
Yeah, I would say this company somehow does cheat the stitcher.  I have been able to show that in just grabbing random packages off the shelf at Joann's and from my stash just not realizing this and trying to dye it.
I still have more of this in my stash, and I might as well know.  But I am bored with brown, let's see what I can get with a different color...  and spending just $2.50 more with my coupon should keep us entertained for a few more tries to see what happens or what I can learn.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dying Fabric, Round 3

Okay, took a piece of the same crap material, and I heated the water to boil, and removed it from the heat, added the dye, and stirred it in, added the fabric.  It was way dark, way fast.  So I did like last time, tried to rinse it out, tried the soap, not much happened.  So if that was dark, to mottle it, gonna have to go darker.  So tried lots of things, ended up taking just about a cup of the dye mix and added more dye to make it almost black and dipped my fingers, I got a glove this time, and spattered it.  It is hanging to dry in that first photo.  It will dry to be lighter, but I can work with it being that dark.  I will simply stitch it with a cream floss, it will be lovely.

So it worked, try a second piece...  grabbed an antique white in the same stuff.  That is what is in the second photo...  But it is obviously NOT the same stuff...  See the racing stripes in the right and left sides???  WTF?  Now if you look, the threads used are not the same, the edge ravel on the top, the pile of threads on it, they dye DARK brown...  but see the salvage edge and the right side, it dyes light....  meaning this is gonna dye with a weird plaid effect, which you can already see even while it is still wet.  I just tossed this one directly into the trash.  It is NEVER going to be an effect I am trying to get, and I don't need the racing stripes... 

I have learned - this brand is clearly all over the place as far as the manufacturing goes.  Plastic - sometimes, cotton sometimes, racing stripes show the thread used is not all the same...
I can feel secure that I can tell what it is after dying it and ironing it.  But normally I would never do this...  And I buy it because it is a bigger cut at 20 x 27 - but it's proving to be a fabric I can't trust.  So I might play with dying it to find out the good and the bad few packages I have left.  I have gotten two pieces that are good, and I think that one on the shower is good, but till I hit it with an iron...  how would I really know.
But the ONLY way to get that brown to be a brown, boiling the water, then remove it from the heat, then add the dye, stir.  It doesn't have to be in there for long - a few minutes.  You don't have to cook it - it's not tea or coffee.  It's dye.  It is interesting though that just one bottle of dye will get you results all over the map.   

Just Silly...

 Above is where I am at today.  Tapestry by Ink Circles last was around early October.
Below is a photo from where I was at that point.  Just starting down with a few stitches I needed to pick up on the top half yet...  and I am still working at picking those stitches.  But I am down to the bottom point now in the middle.  It just seems to take forever, but it is getting there.

 Okay, let's see if I can explain these two photos.  The upper on is the one I showed about the melting bad fabric.  But I said I was happy with the color.  Now the key to showing it again, is that it is on a foot stool that is brown suede.  And although you can just see the corners, you can get an idea that if I am dying with a dark brown, I am indeed getting a brown, but not nearly as dark.  But I was happy with the color, but dying fabric that has plastic in it tells me nothing, other than it melted.  But that day, before I knew it was going to melt, I wanted to buy floss to stitch a mono pattern on it, and I looked at the color card and said - oh, 3371 would be perfect.  Not quite a black, but that really dark brown that is so dark, but still a brown.  So I got as many as they had in the same dyelot.  And while there, I picked another random color, something dark, that they also had a lot of the same dyelot.  I randomly got dmc 154.  Means nothing to me - something to stitch in a mono color pattern, it's sort of a purple / deep red - I would call it a wine color.
So I had several packages of the actual cotton version of that fabric, and I still had Rit Dye in the bottle.  So time to try again to get that brown fabric.
Ha ha ha ha....   Now to be fair, I wrote about how I heated water, got some mottled effect by trying to wash out some of the dye with hand soap...  dyed and re-dyed...  I had no plan the first time.  But I got a nice color.  This time I watched Farm Girls example again, just to get ideas.  But I am gonna wing it.  Dark Brown dye will dye it brown after all.  I can control how much dye I add to get light and dark.  So I try this and it goes dark the first time, I rinse, I try to add darker splotches, just like the video.  Next round - new fabric, gonna try lighter this time.  To I dye the piece a lighter mix, then I make a darker mix, I scrunch it in the sink bottom, my sink is stainless steel.  I make a very dark mix of dye, and I dip my fingers in it and let it drip onto the fabric.
Yep, I dyed my fingers....  all around the nails...  But I really liked the results, this time.  And I rinse both till the water runs clear.  And I hang them in the shower to dry overnight.  Knowing they will be lighter when dry.
But I did not get brown...  I got something I would almost call a dusty pink.  I am old enough my room was a darker version of this that we called dusty pink.  It's way lighter than that - but I tried to match it on the dmc card - it's a purple, not a brown at all..  And even if it's not a great photo, you can see the edges of that brown suede footstool, and it's not even close to brown.
BUT - I laid the two floss colors I got - and now that random 154 - the one I had no clue what I would use it with.... it's matches THIS fabric wonderfully.  But the brown is a mess and not good for this at all.  So heating the water on the stove got me a darker brown, doing it with warm water got me a whole different dusty dirty odd purple.  And I am just using one bottle of dye.  The same bottle of dye.  I still have another piece of this I can heat water and try again to see if I get that first color again.  My camera is not great at taking photos like this - but you can get an idea, that just how you dye - holy crap, that alone changes the results.  And yep, I ironed it, it did NOT melt.   It is just playing, but I would not want to be trying to get a specific color - I'd clearly have no chance at getting that to work.  It is much prettier than this photo shows, the flash sort of blows out the color and the mottling that is there.  But you can see that dark brown floss, 3371, now scroll up and picture that on that first dyed fabric - it's perfect for that - I just did not get that this time.  So there will be a round three of try to get a brown mottled fabric...

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lovely Little Pattern

A finish!  Earthly Treasures from Plum Street Samplers.  Stitched on a scrap of Wichelt Jobelan 28 count antique white, one over one, using the suggested Weeks Dye Works flosses. 
Finished size is 4 x 4 5/8 inches.  
I did the face twice.  It is stitched over one on the pattern, and I stitched the whole thing over one, meaning I was gonna have to wing it on the face.  I did split threads to get the lips right.  I did adjust a few things to please my eye, but nothing huge.  It's a lovely little pattern that stitches up quickly with a nice result.  It feels and looks balanced to my eye, yet it is not symmetrical.  Which is everything I like in a pattern.  And I liked the verse.
This is my first Plum Street pattern finish, but I do have several kitted up.  And I liked it enough to order a couple more with the suggested floss.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Not a Clue Why...

Okay, I don't have a clue why this happened.
I got several of these for $3 each with the hopes of doing exactly this, trying to dye fabric.  But I don't drink coffee or tea, so I got a bottle of Rit dye, dark brown.  And I cooked water to boiling, I took it off the heat, put in the dye, added the fabric..  I let it cool in the dye - I checked the color, I thought it might already be too dark.  I decided to rinse it - I even grabbed some liquid hand soap.  It's an experiment - you never know.  The hand soap actually mottled it.  And then I had light and dark spots.  But slightly too light in area - so I try putting just putting it back into the cooled down dye solution.  Didn't really take the dye into those soaped spots.  Like once they were soaped, it was not gonna take dye again.  Okay, again, it is an experiment, so I reheat clean water again from scratch, to near boil, then I remove from heat, and I add dye, add the fabric again.  Then I got sit and stitch for an hour maybe.  It's not cooking - but it's got a chance to get into the fibers.  And then I go rinse it in clear water in the sink.  And I let it hang dry in the shower.  Now to me - I was fine with the result - I'd seen fabric called milk chocolate - this seemed close to that - and not a bad first try.
So I picked out a floss color to use against it - and went and got some sale floss.  All happy, all good.  But then I decided to iron it - and post a blog photo.  Heated the iron, put it on the fabric, and the fabric MELTED - you can see that in the bottom right hand corner.
Now this could have been bad - I have not put a stitch in yet.  Imagine doing this on a just finished big project.  But it says it's 100% combed cotton on the label  - and I rinse this till the water ran clear - so it's not the dye - or the soap.  But I have never had a piece just melt.

I googled combed cotton - just on the off chance it would say - contains something that melts.  Nope.  I asked the woman that owned a quilt shop - what could have made this melt - the heating of the fibers?   I rinsed till the water ran clear.  Did she know of anything I'd done wrong?  Something obvious to her?  Nope.

So I can cut off that corner, and still have a very large piece to stitch on.  I have stitched on this same fabric and brand before many times.  But certainly trying to iron it and having it melt - quite literally - and pull up like it was heated plastic shrinking - makes me wonder what is the deal?

I cut away the burnt corner, but if you click on it - you can see - it's melted not burnt.  The hard plastic edges of melted plastic.  Not burnt ashes of cotton - but hard plastic. I suppose if you wanted to know what you had for sure, you could pull off a strand from the edge, and test it to see if it burns or melts - but PLEASE do that in a safe way. 

I was just trying to learn a bit about dying fabrics - with some cheap $3 fabrics that I got with a sale coupon.  What I learned was - somebody is lying about what that fabric really is.  And it might not ALL be that - who knows.  I got 6 packages of this same thing - but some of it was really stiff, and some was much more bending, so I would not even bet that all mine are all the same thing.
I just learned more than I expected - and I thought - crap, I'm going to have to just clean my iron... but it melts and I unplugged it, and then as it started to cool, just ironed the cover with nothing on it, and the stuff balled up and rolled right off leaving my iron clean again.  But it was a slightly exciting moment to have.  Let's not do that again.  But if you are gonna do it - do it before you put the first stitch in the fabric.  Find out now, not later.  But why am I the only person these goofy things happen to?  I was able to try to iron the rest of the fabric on a much lower setting.  But with people saying - just burn the edges of a design for effect - that might work if it's cotton - but oh, this melts - this might get you a way more exciting moment of panic. I put this into near boiling water temps - twice.
All the dying fabric people say - just put it into an oven - which works - if it's cotton - this is more like milk jugs...  But it says cotton - 100% combed cotton - right there on the label...
Somebody is lying.  And you can see that in a photo of something melted.

In that photo above - is the other thing I am stitching - on a scrap of Wichelt jobelan.  I can pull a strand off the side of that - put an end of that single fabric strand in each hand and pull, and I can break the strand - but if I pull a single strand from the edge of that material in the photo above - it will cut thru my fingers, and I can NOT pull it enough to break it at all.  Maybe that is a clue it's not cotton.  I don't know what it is - and I suppose just a thicker strand I might not be able to break.  But if there is plastic added - also not gonna be able to break that.

Additional....  I actually had 6 pieces of this - 6 packages I got from the same Joann's locally.  Now I randomly picked that one to open and dye.  But I looked at all the packages again - and I had three that I would call stiff in the package - like it had some sizing or starch.  And three that felt like material.  Wiggly in the package, bendable like fabric.  So I could see a loose thread near the corners of the packages, and I could put a loose strand from the edge.  On the stiff ones, I can NOT break the strand - and on the wiggly packages, I can break those strands. So I had 3 packages of something with plastic, and three without.  And I had dyed one of the ones with the plastic as part of it.  And I only could tell the moment I put a hot iron on it to press it and it MELTED.   But it shows that Joann's has a mix of this product all packaged exactly the same.  But it's not the same.  And Hobby Lobby has gone to that brand - and it's in a tube.  I don't have a clue what it really it.  So for me - from this point forward - I'm gonna avoid the brand.  I took the two that I know are bad and returned them to Joann's, where I am sure they will be sold to the next stitcher who will find out it's not right when she or he goes to press with an iron that final thing they have hours and months into making.  I am gonna toss the piece that I dyed into the trash and consider it a heck of a $3 - I am so glad I did not stitch a huge project on that 20 x 27 fabric and THEN find this out - lesson.  I had order 2 more pieces of this from Amazon last month - it was cheap - but now I'm gonna have to find a thread on each of those and test it.  But it IS clearly in the system, and out there.  And it's randomly mixed in here and there to where I get six packages and end up with half of it being bad.  And I guess it's fine if you NEVER have to press or iron the thing you stitch.  But I don't want it to be possible for me to put something I have stitched under my iron and have it MELT.  I've been stitching more than 45 years - and this is the first thing I have melted.  You never know - which is exactly why we need to talk about and blog about stuff exactly like this.  It's not the girl at the counter at the store, she is not in charge of getting this product.  And I HAVE stitched with this stuff for years - and been fine with the results.  If it was not exactly evenweave, I didn't really mind or care.  But if it MELTS - I CARE.  So I will used up the ones I have in my stash, and make sure nothing melts before stitching on it, and just not buy it anymore.  But if you get a cut of fabric in the order -  most times we just trust it's nothing that we would expect to melt.  Knowing the dyers dye the fabric and press it makes me feel better suddenly.  But that first photo clearly shows what I started with.  So just be aware.  You know I am still going to have to try to melt the ones I think are actually cotton - cause the first one DID melt.  I could still find out - all of them are gonna melt.  I am still guessing the others are good.  I don't know that yet.  And the only reason I found out - cause I wanted to play with dying fabric - otherwise the cheap sale fabric just gets put into my stash and I never notice till I finish at Long Dog design, and I go to iron it.  And it melts.  But you KNOW - it's gonna happen to one of us.  I was just LUCKY it was not me.  And nothing says that I don't have something started on a piece of this somewhere - it's possible.
So the melting dyed fabric I made will go into the trash, so I will not be the person showing the melted large thing later.  But people get fabrics from everywhere, so be aware.  Pull a strand from the edge, try to break it. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

A Quick Small Project

Plum Street Samplers - Earthly Treasures. 
On a scrap of 28 count Antique White jobelan using the suggested Weeks Dye Works floss.
The hoop is a 5 inch hoop.  
I was busy stitching between the first photo clicking publish, so I took a second photo. 
I needed a 3.5 inch hoop for another project, and ended up placing an order for hoops and fabrics.  But I tried to keep it reasonable.  It's still early in the month.  I'm trying to do better.  Better would be defined as spending less. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Crash and Burn...

Now here was a quickie.  On the corner of that same Sarah Spurr fabric.  And this was indeed the plan to stitch this on this fabric - the laurel green lugana.  I felt it was a nice neutral with a bit of color.  The white snowflakes (B5200) and the white sheep, (822), would show up just fine.
Lies - all lies I'm telling you.  I did put the B5200 on this - it didn't show at all, so I pulled that out.  The sheep as it is now is actually half stitched in that 822, can you see where it is NOT stitched?  Okay, I can see that just a few outline backstitches might save the head of the sheep.  And yeah, I could make the snowflakes some unusual color and consider it a triumphant win.  But mostly, I want to just say - this combination of material and pattern just is a crash and burn.  The pattern is fine, meaning - oh, it's the material choice.  I know that.  But I only have about two days of stitching in this - and I don't want to bother with finishing it.  It looks like I should - if you saw it in real life - you'd try really hard to think of something nice to say.... and you'd end up with.... 'Yeah, I can see where it's not quite what you expected to get...'  Which is a nice way of sayin' - yeah, it just doesn't work together, cut your loses now and run. But nice try.  It does look like it should have worked.  Just not dark enough fabric.  Try again with a different fabric, and you'll be happier with the end result.
So let me just jump to that end statement and move on.  At least this way I can laugh about it. 
Actually, I got sort of frustrated with this and grabbed an Erica Michaels from my stash and tried to stitch on the 40 count one over one half stitch gauze.   Which I actually did do years and years ago.  Apparently the words - much younger and could see with cheaters better at that point - should be included.  So that lasted a few hours before realizing after dark, 40 count gauze, and crappy lighting were also a bad combination.  But I don't have to stitch the pattern on the 40 count gauze. 
It's a nice thing that I can laugh about all the crash and burn attempts that don't work in stitching, and also just in life.  But I have learned the colors that will disappear into this fabric and/or not show up at all - that would be the colors used in this pattern, the floor and frame floss colors from the Sarah Spurr pattern.  If that was the weekend - let's hope the week goes better. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Thread Here And There

Added a skein of floss to show the size of the design.  This makes the design look small.  Still working a thread here, and then switch colors to a thread over there. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Back to Sarah again.

Back to Sarah Spurr from Carriage House.
Sort of skipping around.  A thread or two of this, then a thread or two of that.  But it is filling in. .

Things here were quiet.  I thought the nonsense had passed.  The gremlins had gone. 
The Colour and Cotton fabric club opened for a few days.  I decided to join that. 

Then today, I broke the side of a tooth off.  So I will be visiting the dentist soon.  It could have been worse.  I have no insurance.  Breaking anything other than a tooth would have cost me way more I am sure.  So a broken tooth is fine. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

It's a Finish...

Oh, we all know that for me to say - I'm gonna finish something, then actually do it?  Rare.  But here it is - FINISHED.
It'll go on the pile with the rest of them.  The point of stitching for me, is to stitch.  To relax and enjoy the process as it slowly, sometimes it is glacier like slowness, comes together.

Okay, just for my records - To Laugh Often - by Twisted Threads.
28 count Sand lugana, one over one, using the recommended Gast flosses, but you need two of the darker one for sure.  It's not even close, even stitching one over one, it's not close.  
Finished size is 9 x 5 inches.

Okay, let's clear up the side notes from last time.
Nothing else has blown up since.  That's good.
I AM talking to the guy again.  It would be a book if I tried to explain.
He can confuse and upset me, as most men I know can just by being men.Thanks for your kind comments.  He did explain.  The answer he gave works.  Do I believe it?  I don't know.  I think my feelings are still all over the place at this moment. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

It's only Tuesday...

And this one is back in the hoop.  To Laugh Often by Twisted Threads.

Things have all gone to crap in the last few days.
My credit card was hacked - again - this is the fourth card replaced. It never leaves my house.
And I found out the adult 40 year old daughter living next door is not only a theif - which I have known since she was 20, she's also Meth Woman.   She has DUI's I was told by the guy across the street.  I thought - alcohol - no.... DUIs for Meth....  That explains why they were broken into last year.  That explains why somebody tried my basement door months ago...   And it's only Tuesday.

And I have been talking to a guy - just a conversation.
But I like the first line in this stitching - it reflects all I really want from him and to give him.
'To Laugh Often And Much. 

And I know this is nothing in a world of crazy crap.  But I'm alone, in a house, and wondering if I have just lost something that was really nice to have around. 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Stitching Along...

It is still fun stitching along on this.  But one of the colors is gonna be a problem.  That light floor tile color is basically so close to the fabric that you have to stitch it during the day.  A few of the tiles on the left are filled in - the rest from under the plant and over, are not - but hard to tell right?  Later it will be the color of the woman's arm or skin.  It's also supposed to be used in the empty part of the border frame - but I am thinking the red from the flowers might be nicer.  It seems like it would be a lovely fabric to do this on, but it's probably too close to a couple of the floss colors.  Sometimes you try it just to learn what will be too close.  I am still trying to learn. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

This and That

Thank you for the kind birthday wishes.

I worked on The Token.  That is the two top corners completed.  This is also more than the first full spool of floss used up at this point.  A spool works out to be just under a skein of dmc in length.  if you are trying to compare. 
Well this is Sarah Spurr from Carriage House Samplings.  On 28Ct Laurel Green lugana.  One over one, with dmc floss.  This was the fabric that was part of the last order, and I wanted to start it before it got mixed up where it shouldn't.  I also wanted to be sure that I put the fabric, pattern, and floss I got about 8 years ago, all together.  Quickest way to do that is to start it.  It was after my birthday... we all use that for an excuse to start something.  This was just a couple days of stitching.  The fabric is also light enough that it matches one of the dmc colors pretty close.  So I am stitching the black, which is the floor tiles and the frame, and there are stripes in her dress.  It's a fun stitch at this point.  And I AM going to keep with these last four projects till SOMETHING gets finished. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Still working on this...

Still on this.  This is still the first spool of floss, although I can see the spool center so just a few more strands to go.  I put it into the hoop to take the wrinkles out for the photo. 

It's midnight and today is my birthday.  A friend took me to the movies a day early, and we saw the Judi Dench movie.  We had a nice time.  We to a bar to talk after, and catch up on lots of life things.  And were both home by 6pm.  We went to a bar because I wanted deep fried mushrooms, bar food.  I had pop to drink, she had a beer, and we shared the mushrooms and talked.  Sounds pretty dull, but the movie was good, the mushrooms were good, and the conversation was good.   And we always try to go to the $5 early movie showings, but she was nice enough to buy my ticket, and she was nice enough to pay for the bar food.  Which sadly also makes her a better date as my friend then any man I have ever been with.  Oh well.  Happy Birthday to me.  

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Wonderful and Texture

Oh, this is another craptastic photo. 

It's one night of stitching and it's using that thicker Sulky 12 wt cotton thread on the 25 count lugana.  One over one.  This is WONDERFUL.
It is a very different result since the thread is thicker - it sits proud on the fabric.  It gives the design texture.  Which is interesting. 
Just as a note - I had tried this same thread on a 28 count months ago - it was a battle, and too thick of a strand, one over one.  Especially as you hit any area that was solid.  But on 25 count - and a 25 count that is still probably actually 25 count - not dyed and shrunken to be something else - this works - and it works beautifully. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

My Progress

This shows my progress, almost got the top half filled in and now I am wandering into the bottom half.  But for me to do this, I prefer to stitch it upside down, so I am still working from the bottom up, or the middle up.  I have no clue why.  Easier for me to count?  Something about building upward?  You do what works for you - this works for me. 
Okay, I laid the PTP Sand 28 ct lugana, next to the Laurel Green 28ct lugana.  It's just a nice neutral like Sand, but a bit darker.  I expected more of a hint of green, there is not really, but wanted something I could stitch white, cream, off-whites that would not disappear into the fabric color.   I got it for a small Plum Street Sheep pattern, and maybe Sarah Spurr from CHS.  More a note for myself than anything.  But it is a nice neutral at a reasonable price than a hand dyed fancy thing.
The floss in the photo really does give you an idea about scale on the Tapestry design.  It's not all that big.  

 This was the mail.  My one floss for the letters and words on the other pattern.  It came from the same place, so as good of a match as I can hope for.  Matching or not, I'm using it. 
The other floss are for the Salem 2 pattern.  The lighter fabric is for two projects, and then I wanted the red... it's called Victorian Red, it's 25 count lugana, it's supposed to be like DMC 814 in color.  I want to stitch Long Dog Samplers - The Token on it using white floss.  It's been a while since I stitched on dark - and that idea might suddenly change. So for my $27 order, there are several projects included in what looks like very little.   

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Still the Top Half

Back to Tapestry by Ink Circles.  Still working on the top half, and I am filling in the edges.  It seems like I am skipping around a lot, but I just grab a strand in a color and try to use it up.
The floss for the words pattern is floating in the mail system and will be here in a couple more days.
And it is three whole days into October and I have not ordered anything stitching...  yet. 

Friday, September 29, 2017


This is to the point of needing more floss. 
I did finish all the lighter text.  Then I finally put in the order for another skein.  I tossed a few more things in the cart, but not too much, the total order was $27.  I am really trying harder to spend less.  October will be a new month to try to spend less. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Just One Dark Floss

Well, this is how far you get with just one dark floss.  I have enough to stitch about 6 more dark letters, but I have 13 more dark WORDS to stitch, or 55 more dark letters.
I tried to do the right thing and went to the LNS for just the ONE floss.  She showed it in her inventory, but we couldn't see it on the rack.  So I remembered one other floss name I needed, so I got that while I was there, since she had tried to help me.
I figured it might be used on something else, and it is on that Tapestry pattern, but it's darker than the skein I am using, and I don't want to steal from a start.  It's also used on the 'Sampler' pattern from the mail stuff this week.  It's not started yet, I need daylight to tell for sure, but it looks like it might be close enough to use the skein from that.  Anything I ordered would be a random match or not match too.   (Nope, also too dark.)"
This is a pretty accurate photo.  That GAST Dark Chocolate does look nice on that PTP Sand fabric.  A masculine combination.  If I write it - I won't be thinking...  What was that combination again?, it seemed so obvious, why would I need to write it down?  Dark Chocolate is dmc 3371 but just slightly variegated.  It's just nice.  But doing it with just 3371 would work too. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Mail...

This was the mail.  Anything from this point forward should be less.
I sorted and kitted and put it away.  I then ordered the final Schoolhouse pattern and the wood piece.  So I am done ordering stuff for the Schoolhouse Series.  I know there will be the floss I still need, the orange fabric I still want to try.  But the bigger orders like the above are over.  Time to use it up and wear it out. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

not enough floss

To Laugh Often - Twisted Threads.
Using the two suggested GAST floss colors on Sand PTP 28 count lugana, one over one.

I wondered what this would look like on Sand, so I wanted to start it.  I didn't think it would take long.  I really don't think I am going to have enough floss, and if I am going to order more, from the same place again would be the best bet, and the sooner the better.  But I can't tell just how far this floss is off, I started with one of each, but I think I might need two more of the dark.  The center is where I started, the C in Appreciate.  And I am complete for those top eight text lines going to the side on the right.  And the next two lines are not complete, and there still are two more lines not even started.   And I'd still have the flip side to the left side, which I have not wandered very far into at all.