Friday, January 31, 2014

Yulia's Cross Stitch

The other day, a friend of mine, Yulia, came to me and asked me to see if I could help her with this really pretty piece of cross stitch embroidery that had been given to her by a friend. 
At the time, the antennae and the legs of the butterfly were essentially just basted onto the fabric--and being the brilliant blogger that I am, I forgot to take before shots. 

But in a nutshell, this is what I did.

First, I started with the yellow butterfly and whipped a strand of brown stranded cotton around the antenna a couple of times to make it thicker and also to attach it more securely to the cross stitches under it. Then, I went in with a lighter shade of brown to change the color to better match the butterfly.

I messed it up a little. The curve of the antenna was significantly smoother before I used the new color. 

I used a similar technique with the legs, but only whipped one strand of the lighter brown once per leg.

After that I moved onto the brown butterfly, doing the same thing I did with the yellow butterfly, but without changing the color of the antennae.

Regardless of the boo-boos, Yulia was happy with it, so I'm counting this as a success!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Doodleplex: Even More Complex

Doodleplex is back! 
I know I haven't posted much about Doodleplex in a while... granted, I haven't posted about much of anything for a while...but you get my point ^_^

I'd like to talk about my plans for Doodleplex. The piece of canvas I'm working on is relatively large, about a foot and a half or two by about maybe five feet. 
I'd like very much to completely embroider it. 

But not as one big continuation, expanding out from a single point. I'm going to have different designs starting out in different places, overlapping or stopping as the project progresses. 

See left 

It'll take time, yes. But I think the result will be oh so incredible.


Now, let me run you through what I've been up to this past few weeks. 

To begin, I finally finished those funny purple petal things... with varying degrees of success. Here is an example of what I mean when I say that my satin stitch could be better.

As you can also see, I've added more stuff!

Here, you can see an improved satin stitch arrow thing aaannd the beginning of the next "round" of  Doodleplex Part 1.

The little circles were supposed to be like "seeds" but somehow ended up looking more like pearly things. The filling was my first tip toe into long and short stitch and was originally going to include shading, though I later decided against it. For the little bumps around the border, I used a little bit of perle cotton that I had left over from when I was first trying to tat and made the smallest back stitch I possible could.

And then onto the leaves.

I thought I'd use a blue-ish green stranded cotton (Anchor) instead of a green green. I'd tell you the color but there was an incident with my dog, and let's just say that the thread survived but the little paper things didn't.

I used a stem-stitch filling. I was soooo relieved to find out you could get really nice results with stem stitch. I'll admit that, at the time, I was still slightly terrified of long and short stitch.

I also made these little bud things out of a really nice green satin stitch at the tips of the leaves.

Here, I give you a larger shot of most of Doodleplex up to that point.

I am very happy to say, though, that I really hit a good pace this weekend.
I finished all of the leaves..... aaaannnd I got a start on the flowers!

My first foray into shading!

You can see it a little better here, especially since at this point I've only gotten two colors in.

And then here's another one:

A pretty good hustle (for me) if I do say so myself.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I may have done something rash...

but so far, I can't seem to regret it. 

Observe: Evelyn's Doily as seen during its last update

I don't think I've actually mentioned this before, but I've always had a problem with the 5th round... you know, the one with those big loopy things that look like a mix between crab claws and a hungover pomegranate.

First of all, they were hard to get right. Despite all the tweaking in the world, I couldn't get the stitch count down and eventually settled for the best I could get <-- first mistake. 

And, quite frankly, I'm not sure they even looked that good to begin with.

Second mistake --> I kept on going, without trying to change the pattern. 

And before I knew it, I was on round number 6, which came with its own slew of problems... many of which I could probably blame on round 5 >_<

When it came to actually working them, on the rare occasion I got one kinda-sorta right, those hungover pomegranates looked like this:

You can kind of see the effect I was going for. 

However, make the slightest mistake and all hell broke loose. 
The picture makes this look better than it really is, though for a better demonstration look at the bottom of the very first picture of this post. -shudders-

Here, I managed to get it to lie flat long enough to take a picture. 

All in all, my point is that I'd actually come to strongly (very strongly) dislike those little hungover pomegranates--to the point that I was actually putting off any work on Evelyn's Doily. 

So I did something about it.

I have to say, it was surprisingly cathartic. 


P.S. I know I've been a little quiet lately, but the gears are still churning over here! I've got plenty of post material backed up and waiting!


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First (real) post of the new year!

To start it off, hello 2014!


For some reason, I keep thinking that I didn't get much done over Christmas--perhaps because I wasn't feeling particularly "tatty" and I have an unfinished Evelyn's doily staring at me every day--but then I really get to thinking about it and I realize that I kind of did--at least by my standards. 

First up: scarf (doughnut scarf?) #1! 

I kind of screwed up the bottom part, but you can't really tell that well in the picture. I looked up how to bind off on YouTube and chose one that would be "stretchier"...but then I realized that it was already pretty stretchy to begin with, leaving me with a wave at the bottom. 
Another likely culprit is the point at which I ended the scarf. The stitch I used involves wrapping the yarn around several stitches at a time, kind of holding them together. As you can see, I finished right before that was supposed to happen again.... hmmm...

Unfortunately, we've been having a cold spell here in Cancun (it got as low as 64! O_O) and though we're blessed to have such relatively warm weather, we've been freezing our butts off. I'm wearing socks for the first time since last winter. 
That being said, the overcast skies have not been providing their usual blinding sunlight and my camera's resenting it. I honestly have made a lot of progress on Doodleplex, but I just can't get my camera to work with me. I still haven't entirely gotten used to it and keep fiddling with the settings... so hopefully I'll figure it out!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014