Whoosh!! No that's not the sound of the wind (although it is blowing a gale out there), that's the sound of my time off going by. I was given the all clear from the doctor yesterday to resume normal activity, so I am back to work on Wednesday. Six weeks looks like a huge amount of time on the calendar, but I am really not feeling like it has been that long. It has been nice to stitch, read and just relax, but the real world intrudes.
has really kept me on track the last couple of years and Measi has announced that she will be continuing this SAL in 2015 with the same guidelines as this year. If you're interested, you can check 2014's out here.
As I have already posted several WIP updates on my YOTA post, I will only post what I have worked on since then. So here is my progress this week (so far) on Chatelaine's Secret Victorian Garden. It was here:
And today, it is here:
I have finished through part 10 on the right corner and parts of 9 and 10 on the left. This has a couple more days on the frame so I think I will concentrate on the left corner now.
In addition to showing our progress for WIPocalypse, this year we were given topics for each month. This month's is: What is your favorite and least favorite materials to use in stitching? Hmmmm, this could get long....
Fabric. I prefer a 28- or 32-count evenweave but usually choose based on color, so if Aida is the only fabric in the color I want, I will use Aida, preferably a higher count as it evens out the background a bit. I have a lot of pieces kitted up using Belfast and do like it but there can be a lot of slubs and those are just annoying. I really like Picture This Plus and Lakeside Linens fabrics because of the colors and quality. If I use a hand-dyed fabric I go in for the more subtle pieces as I want people to see my stitching and not the fabric.
Fibers. Silks!!! They are a joy to stitch with. I really like Gloriana and Thread Gatherers for variegated colors and NPI for solids. I don't do a lot of stitching with silks, I was fortunate to be able to purchase a number of fully kitted Chatelaines from European Cross Stitch and treasure each one, but I have also kitted and stitched them with DMC and they are still amazing. I use DMC for the majority of my stitching. They have a great color range, the colors are consistent (although I have heard of some issues with dyelots recently - not something I have dealt with) and they are readily available. I do not get along well with Hand-Dyed Fibers or rayon threads.
Patterns. I prefer black and white patterns on multiple sheets. Santa's Magic really irritates me because it is printed on one huge sheet. I made working copies but if I didn't have access to a copier, the pattern would be destroyed by now. Chatelaines are the only pieces that I prefer to stitch from a color chart.
Tools. My absolute favorite tool is my Needlework System 4 floor stand. I have had two other floor stands over the years and this by far is the best. Yes it was pricey but I also know that it is probably going to outlast me so it was worth the investment. I have an Artisan Design Ergo lap stand and a K's Creations lapstand that I use for smaller projects and really like them too. I prefer Bohin needles for their smoothness and strength, I bend needles and have had problems in the past with eyes breaking but not with these. DSon gave me 100 of both size 26 and 28 a few years ago for Christmas, so I am set for a long time. I also use John James petites in size 26 and 28. I am not much of a scissor fiend. I do have several pairs but no favorite and I use whichever pair I can find.
I think I will start the next part of Shepherd's Bush's She Tends this afternoon and go back to Secret Victorian Garden tonight or tomorrow. Elegant Doily goes on the frame Sunday.