Montag, 25. Januar 2016

WIPocalypse 2016 - January

We had the first full moon of 2016 last night, so here is start up post for WIPocalypse. As last year, Measi is asking questions every month and I will try and answer them.

As it is the beginning of the year, this months task is to introduce yourself, your projects and your goals for 2016.
So this could be a long post.

Lol, I forgot to introduce myself:
My name is Johanna and I live in the north west of Germany with my boyfriend. I am 25 years old and I am currently doing my phd in maths. I have been stitching since 2009. At the beginning this was just another hobby besides knitting but since  2010 I am completely addicted to it. I started my first Haed in 2011 and my collection is growing since then.
Apart from stitching I like to read and then and again I like to crotchet or knit. I recently got some coloring books (fun, but not as much as stitching!). I like to listen to audiobooks or music as I stitch and I am spending way to much time on youtube (flusstube) and facebook (various stitching groups).

Concerning goals I want to say that I don't plan on setting goals on all my projects, the big plan is to pick up all my projects during the year and work on them. I have a few ideas on what I want to accomplish on some projects and I will tell those ideas as I go by. So if nothing further is added, the idea is just to pick it up some time and work on it for a few stitches.

Also I started to track my progress by writing down when I stitched at a piece and how many stitches I did. I will try and continue with that idea for a couple of projects and share my experience at the end of the year.

But now here are my projects:

First up is Kreimhilds Revenge by H D Johnson (Haed). I'm 20 pages in and I plan to do serious business with her. She is my oldest project and I absolutely love her and I really want her finished (this century...). So I plan to stitch at least the four page of row 3:
Here is my start on her for 2016:

Das Rheingold by Kinuko Craft, we are still struggeling. One day my love for this will reappear...I will try and finish the page I started in 2015 (page 5 I think)
Here is where I left off in 2015:
Yule Angel by Anne Stokes, Still just background to show. It's 7200 stitches to the end of the first row, so I'm going to do that in 2016 and perhaps get a few stitches into the second row:
Starting point for 2016:

Starlight by David Hoffrichter, a lot of confetti, but very beautiful (need to pick this up soon).
Here is where I am now:

Eternal Promise by Matt Stewart. I just love Lord of the Rings and hope to make some good progress on it this year. I plan on finishing the page I started in 2015 (page 3 I think) and some more..
Current progress:

Wolf Variant by Bente Schlick, such an amazing designs. I already did some work on it this year. I am currently stitching 100 stitches wide and moving down. I plan to finish the 100x160 block this year (so I fill in the gap):
Starting point of 2016:
And now:

QS Paddys Luck by Joanna Bromley - such a cute design! I haven't worked on this for ages since my Qsnaps are packed with other things, but I hope to get a good bit of it done this year. The plan is to finish at least the page I started (first one).
Current status:

Danielle by Sarah Butcher - I never enjoyed stitching background so much. The colors are beautiful and I love the green leafs. She is currently on my frame and I plan to stitch at least page 2 (on which I am now working).
Beginning of 2016:
And now:

Supersized Iris Keeper by Josephine Wall.My first Supersized pattern (it's was once a tiny little storykeep). She is such a joy to stitch and I want to finish the first row of pages (about 3 pages).
And here we are now:

Last but not least, my newest addition to the WIP pile:
Supersized Ride of the Yokai by Ruth Thompson!
It is my biggest project, having nearly 730 000 stitches. Many of my other BAPs are just one third of this and even Eternal Promise, which was my biggest project up to date, seems to consist of "only" 440 000 stitches... This Journey will surely take some time, I did one page to far (started on first of January). I really can't say what I will accomplish this year. I feel like I need to put in 10 pages or so to finish this one day, but then again I am not yet used to 32ct and I don't want to ruin this for me by forcing myself to work on it. It would be amazing to reach the halfway point on my first row (consisting of partial pages), but if not, that's fine as well.
Here is the first page done:
I have a couple of other project on the go, which I am not including in this SAL (I'm suing them for other SALs and I don#t want to share one and the same update various times a month...)

I will continue working on my Map of Middle Earth, Wolf Kiss and my Candy Cane Santa Stocking as a part on the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL, on which i will update on the 15th of each month.

I will work on my two Dimensions Gold pieces Aurora Cabin and Paris Market during the UFO week (maybe one of them will become a bedtime project). I will update on them at the end of the month or the beginning of the month.

I also plan on stitching a few Mill Hill kits (I finished my first one today but the picture is crappy). I will just pick up the next kit once the current kit is done and then I am stitching what calls to me, so I don't have a real plan for them (can't even say which ones will be stitched).

As for plans concerning new starts... Starting the supersized Ride of the Yokai was a big thing. The project is huge and I need to add another 20 years to my life expectations to get this done. So I will try and not start any more huge projects this year. I will frequently start smaller ones (such as the Mill Hills), but I don't want another BAP on the list. I plan on starting smaller designs such as Quickstitches so I will have a finish from time to time to keep me motivated. One QS I always wanted to do is Trapped by Melanie Delon:
It is 225x190 stitches, so a total of 42 750 stitches. It's in my stash and printed and all kitted up for ages now and I guess it will make it to the frame this year.
Another thing is SK Trick or Treat by Randal Spangler. It was one of the reward charts from one of the freebee SALs (2013?). I have the big version in my stash as well, but this would be a BAP again. So maybe I will go with the Storykeep for starters. It's about 23 000 stitches and I don't seem to have a picture O.o But since I always wanted a Halloween themed project, this one might appear in October.

The big rule for new starts is that they need to have less than 200 000 stitches (so less stitches than the majority of my projects are lacking). I also want to try and start things that have been in my stash for a longer time instead of buying new charts and never stitching the old ones...
Noble Spirit by Jody Bergsma is in my stash and I really love it. With 163 100 stitches it would be fine to start:
Just in case you haven't noticed: I love designs with a lot of blue and purple...
Or maybe Nuakas by M C Escher, I alway wanted a black and white, it's "just" 114 300 and I guess I don't need to mention that Eschers pictures are amazing ;-)
But right now my need to start something is satisfied and those are just ideas(by the way, I got them all in 2013), so I will see what the next year brings.

Phew, that is a long post! I suppose the next updates will be smaller posts :D 

If you want to check out the other peoples post, feel free to take a look over here, you can also sign up your own updates for this month there :)

Happy Stitching! 

Samstag, 23. Januar 2016

Update on Wolf Variant and Haed challenge

I worked on Wolf Variant during the last days and used this project to participate in the Haed challenge that is currently hosted on Facebook. 
The goal was to do 1000 stitches consisting of 10 blocks of size 10x10 and they had to be arranged diagonal to each other (so doing them all in one diagonal was fine or as I did, a checkerboard pattern or anything in between). 
Here is my checkerboard pattern:
The stitches added up pretty fast, I did this in just one day (ok I was really exhausted in the end because I was like "ok just one more square...") The idea behind this was to try a new way of stitching that was something between cross country and parking. You also get to see what is to come up in the pattern (like a small window to your picture). The effect is not that visible here because I was working on the background but I have seen a lot of WIPs that looked amazing.

It was a lot of fun to try something new and I can only recommend joining in the challenge (as far as I understood, you can still sign up for the challenge, it runs until March 15th, sign up is open until some time in March, but I am not entirely sure about that). 

I might have been fun to do the squares but it was a bit tricky to fill them in afterwards. If you use waste knots like I do, it's not that easy to find a suitable place to start and end you threads. I ended a few of my threads on the back of my work (which I don't like because I have my pattern and my flossbobbins-in-use lying on my frame, so I have to put everything away first before turning my frame). But in the end I did it:

My stitching is now 100 stitches wide and I am working on the second row of pages. I did a total of 11800 stitches so far (5000 during this month!).
I am also trying something new this year: I am tracking my progress. At the end of each stitching day I write down how many stitches I made. I calculated my stitches per stitching day at the end of my rotation and I calculated how many days I need to keep on stitching until the project is finished. So here are my stats now:

Total Stitches: 409 500
Total Stitches done: 11 800
Stitches in 2016: 5000
Stitching days: 10
Average stitches per day: 500
Stitches left: 397 700
Days left to stitch: 795

So there are 795 days to stitch on this, I though this would be worse :D I mean that's less than two years. The only problem is that this is not my only project but it makes me think that if I decide to make this a focus project, then I would actually be able to finish this :D 
I am not yet sure if I will do this for all my projects, I just wanted to give this a try ;-)

I put Wolf Variant away for now because I need to stitch something that is not blue, lol. I took out Danielle, on which I haven't worked for ages (she was calling to me most). I guess I will have something to show on her for WIPocalypse in a few days.

Happy stitching! =)

Samstag, 16. Januar 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL - January

Well, it looks like the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL is continued in 2016 =)
I didn't manage to post for this every month in 2015, so I am trying again for 2016 ;-) My pile of projects suitable for the SAL has grown somewhat.
I will surely continue working on my Map of Middle Earth (on which I want to do 12000 stitches this year) and my Wolf Kiss, but this months post introduces a new start.

I started a stocking for my boyfriend. It's a kit called "Candy Cane Santa Stocking" from the Dimensions Gold Collection. I showed it a few posts ago:

The plan is to get this finished in time for Christmas and I think I can do it.
This is where I am so far, I started it just a few days ago and it stitches up fairly quickly:
It's a good part of Santas beard so far and I hope that I will be able to show you his face next month.
This is worked on 16ct Aida with multiple strands of floss, so I am using my new laying tool on this. I really enjoy working with the laying tool, I think I found a good rhythm and the stitches are super even, which make the coverage real nice.

If you want to see the other peoples work for this SAL, take a look over here and if you want to participate, you can do it here.

I'll be back in a few days with an update on Wolf Variant and the current challenge form the Haed group on Facebook.

Happy Stitching =)

Montag, 11. Januar 2016

Ride of the Yokai - page finish!

Just a quick post to show you my first finished page on Supersized Ride of the Yokai. I started at the bottom left, so this is actually page 154. It's only a partial page of 2200 stitches. I will return to this next month to stitch another page. But here it is:
And Michele sent out the chart for the Christmas raffle 2015. It's once again an amazing chart, a part from A Stitch in Time by Aimee Stewart:

Mittwoch, 6. Januar 2016

Stash enhancement! :D

Well, here we go, my stash post as announced at the beginning of the month :D

I somehow missed showing quite a lot of stuff I got over the last months, so I will try and catch uo. I hope I don't forget about anything ;-)

First up is the Haed kit for Ride of the Yokai. I have already shown you all the floss:
But I also got a few goddies with the package.
I got a free needle threader with the kit:
It's hard to capture the colors here, the threader is really lovely. It's a beautiful amber colored glass bead with with little glass dots in different colors (I really don't know how to describe it :D). I don't use threaders when working with just one strand but I have a few projects calling for 2 strands or more, so this will come in handy.
I also ordered a Laying tool, which is said to be quite helpful when working with more than one thread. The idea is to flatten your stitches to archive neater stitches and a better coverage. I tried railroading a few time (it has the same effect), but I never got used to it and so I skipped it after some time. I will therefore give the laying tool a try.
I think it's a really pretty thing. It actually matches my needle threader ;-) I don't know exactly what it's made of :D I don't think it's wood, maybe some sort of plastic or resin? I really don't know but it's nice. Below the bead some silver wire is wound around the tool and some beads are attached to the wire. The big glass bead is placed between two smaller beads. I really love all those details, this was truly manufactured with a lot of love for detail ;-) If I remember correctly, this thing was only half price because I ordered it along with the kit.
Las but not least I decided to get a frog sword:
The color is somewhere between lavender and antique pink and it sparkles. It's quite heavy, I'm again not entirely sure what this is made of. It's quite cool to the touch, it could be glass (but quite thick glass).
The tip is really sharp and cuts threads in no time. I had a tool like this before, I found it looking through my mothers things, but my version is really ugly (it's made of plastic and the color is a really pale yellow and the color looks quite off since the tool is approximately 30 years old).

Ok that's it for my kit.
And now some kits! The story behind this is that I ordered some fabric online, but the fabric was damaged (which I noticed a few days before I wanted to start Ride of the Yokai), so I drove to the shop where I got the fabric and exchanged it for some new fabric. And to make it worth the afford of driving 80 km to the shop and 80 back home, I took a look around and found a few things:
My wonderful boyfriend suggested Christmas stockings. He says he really like them, but my problem is that most of the stocking you can get in Germany are quite boring and not really nice. So I went looking for stocking kits and found two:
This one is called "Candy cane Santa Stocking" from the Dimensions Gold Collection and is meant for my boyfriend. He wanted a "classic Santa" and I like his choice. I guess I'm going to start this soon so there is a chance to finish it before Christmas :D
And I also picked a second one called "Snowman and friends Stocking":
I think all the animals are really cute. The white might be a bit boring to stitch, but it will be fine. I somehow feel like adding some sparkle or some beads to it (candy cane santa little sequins).
Next up are some Mill Hill kits. I never got the hang of them when I saw them online, but when I was in the store and could take a closer look, I was amazed. I never beaded anything, but I think it's not to hard. These are also small designs, so I will have a finish now and then and I hope to have a few ornaments for Christmas 2016 :-)
First is the Drum from the Holiday Harmony collection:
Then the is "Noel Heart" from the Charmed Mittens collection - my favorite among the kits I got! I love the whole Charmed Mittens collection and I fear I will get some more.

Then there are "Santas Boots" from the Santas Closet collection - look at the little Christmas tree charms!!
And I got "Snowman Stocking". No collection is mentioned on the package, but it's quite old (1997 it says). I think the little snowman is adorable:
I fear I already ordered a few more from sewandso (they have some lovely beaded Santas). All the kits include some perforated paper, needles for stitching and beading, the threads and a ton of beads (I heard it's more than enough beads, most people seem to have a lot of leftovers).  I'm really excited to start one of these.

And now here is the part most of you have been waiting for - charts!
I got a few more supersized patterns. As an exclusive to the Supersize group on facebook Michele offered "Moon Child" by Annie Stegg - a breathtaking design (Michele said she was working on it long before it was released and I was waiting for it all the time :D )
Then there is Universal Lighthouse by Bill Plank. I seem to have a weakness for designs consisting of a lot of blue or violet or so :D I fell in love with it the instant I saw it and I knew I wanted this with all it's detail:
I think I mentioned some time ago that I requested another Storykeep to be supersized - SK Wineshelf by Aimee Stewart. Well, I finally got it some ages after it's release. It came out exactly the way I wanted it (and very close to the size I estimated, I thought it to be about 340 stitches wide and it ended up 343 stitches wide), all the details are there. It's going to be amazing!
To make up for this I also got some smaller charts.
Here is QS Good Witch by Hannah Lynn. She was calling to me and looks like a lot of fun to stitch. I always love to watch when people do the black outline first and color the design afterwards and I would love to try it (would be quite different from my usual parking technique):
I also got QS Spirit of Winter Robin by Ciro Marchetti. I thinks it's a cute little Ornament:
And now for the regular charts:
Michele offered a few free charts, one of them was "Grizz" by Dave Bartholet. I really love his designs, there are so many I would love to buy and stitch! I swear I bought "Back glance" once, but I can't find the pdf, lol. Maybe it's hidden in some weird folder on my pc :D
Some of you may have noticed that I love the designs by Leonid Afremov. I got all his charts from Love Thy Thread before they closed and I also got some of the charts that were now released by Haed. I added two more to my collection:
Memories of First love (I think I saw someone stitch this, it was gorgeous!)
Farewell to Anger - absolutely beautiful. I am very tempted to start this and "farewell to anger" is a good goal for 2016 ;-)

I think those were all the goodies I got lately (I hope I didn't forget about any...). I will update my stash page in the next days (haven't done that for ages, so there is work to do) and I will be back with a page finish on Ride of the Yokai soon! =)

Samstag, 2. Januar 2016

Happy new year - a page finish and a new start =)

I hope you all made a good start for 2016 and the new year will hold a lot of stitching time and health for you and your loved ones.

I also did my annual new start on the first of January. I only did some 400 something stitches yesterday, but I will stitch some more today. The big problem is that so many people are having a new start for January 1st, I can hardly get away from facebook because there are so many lovely pictures by other stitchers showing up and so many lovely designs I never noticed before. My wishlist is very likely to grow now :D I got a few new charts in the last sale and plan on doing a stash enhancement post because I am quite behind with showing you my new additions (there is charts and fabric and kits...).

But now I want to show you my last page finish for 2015. I worked on Kreimhilds Revenge and managed to put the last stitches into page 20 on the 31st:
I am sorry, the colors are a bid off because the Christmas tree is standing in front of the window and is blocking the daylight ;-)
You can see that I reached my actual Kriemi and she got some hair. I think that brown thing on the bottom of the page is a part of her dress. I am looking forward to work on page 21 soon =) Michele said there would be another Haed challenge starting on January 15th and I think I might pic Kriemi for that.

And now here is my new start. It's Supersized Ride of the Yokai by Ruth Thompson:
The design is really huge. It's 999x730 stitches, so nealry 730 000 stitches in total! Considering the fact that I did around 90 000 stitches in 2015 on all my projects together, it would take me still more than 8 years to finish this if I worked on nothing else.... I was a bit stunned about this because this one will take really really long to stitch. But for me stitching is about working on the design and not so much about finishing things (as you may have noticed....).
Here is my tiny start on it, a bit more than 400 stitches:
The colors are really lovely. This was also my first Kit from Haed. It was quite expensive and the shipping and taxes really hurt, but I really wanted a kit. I also got a Laying tool and a frog sword (pics to follow), so this was very expensive and I basically spent my Christmas money on this. But I am happy with the kit ;-)
Here is all the floss I got with the kit, it's a real big bunch of floss. I'm not sure if I would order another kit, they are really nice and I want to support Michele by buying from her, but shipping here was about 50$ and then I payed about 60$ for taxes (ok taxes would be fewer if I only ordered a kit without the frog sword and the laying tool and I could maybe save some shipping costs if I ordered without the presentation box... I'll think about it... I mean kits are really good if you got for a supersize because they need so much floss and I always want to be sure to get floss from the same dye lot).
Anyway, I am super happy with my kit and can definitely recommend it. Just check how much taxes you have to pay in the end (in Germany you have to pay an extra tax if you buy outside the EU for to much money, that was an extra 20$ gone because I didn't know that...)

I guess I will go back to stitching now and be back with another post soon. I have not made up my mind about goals for 2016 yet. I am not sure if I will set goals for myself or not yet ;-)