Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Stitching up a Storm

Thanks to my enforced holiday from work these past three weeks together with the enthralling tennis at the US Open, I have been stitching up a storm lately. My first finish was "Snow Fence" which was included in my blog a couple of weeks ago. Spurred on by that finish I kept going and was determined to get at least one more finish under my belt. A while back (a LONG while back) on Friendly Stitchers we had a needleroll exchange. Never having done a needleroll before I was looking forward to trying one so I found a nice design, bought the fabric and threads and got stuck in. The actual cross stitching hardly took any time at all and I had soon finished it and the beading. Then came the making up bit and that's where I came unstuck. I had used hemstich before, but not in the way that I had to use it for the finishing on the needleroll and I just could not get my head wrapped round it at all. I searched varous sites with instructions for finishing off needlerolls but couldn't find anything to help me. In desperation I took it with me to Abi's last year, knowing that she would be able to sort me out - and she did. Of course, by the time I got home I had forgotten how to do it and after a few useless attempts it got put aside. During the renovations to my flat it got packed away and I only came across it again very recently. Maureen was over for lunch on Sunday and I pulled it out to let her see it and explained the problem I was having. She sat down with it, had a bit of a fiddle with it, worked it out and showed me how to do it - and on Monday morning I picked it up determined to get it finished. It didn't take me long to finish one end, I had some lunch and then finished off the other end and whilst I had the momentum going I sewing the needleroll together, stuffed it and threaded the ribbons through and hey presto - one finished needleroll. It is now parcelled up ready to go to Michelle tomorrow - many apologies for the delay Michelle, but I hope it was worth it in the end! The design is by Down Sunshine Lane and is stitched on 32ct Star Sapphire linen.

For the rest of the time I have been concentrating on my Sue Page mermaid which I have been working on for longer than I care to own up to (well okay I started it in April 2005). It was put into my rotation as part of a Fairy/Mermaid SAL I was doing with a group I was a member of at the time. The first time I saw the design I just fell in love with it and had always wanted to do it, and the SAL gave me the perfect excuse. Friendly Stitchers know her as the headless mermaid for obvious reasons! Well, the good news is that she not only now has a head, but she also has both her arms too! I still have to do the face (which is done in petit point) but I will get to that probably over the weekend. For now I have started work at the bottom of the design; the sand and shells and plant life. She is stiched on 28ct Icy Waters Polstitchers Jobelan using Anchor rayons, metallics and cottons and various beads, pearls and charms. Hopefully she'll soon be finished and hanging in the entrance to my finally renovated bathroom, but just for now here's a sneak preview!
I can't believe I am going back to work tomorrow - just part time for Thursday and Friday and then no doubt I will hit the ground running as of Monday morning. It hasn't been a bad three weeks; I've achieved loads as far as my stitching has gone, and the Murrays both surpassed all expectations by reaching the finals in both the mixed doubles (Jamie) and the men's singles (Andy). Both of them played really well and their rankings have improved as a result of their success in the US Open - Andy is now World #4 and a real force to be reckoned with. He's definitely playing with the big boys now! Well done to both - and I promise to leave the stitching behind during our Davis Cup tie against Austria next weekend!
And that's me pretty much up to date - thanks for stopping by and I'll catch up with you again soon!
Ally xxx