Monday, November 18, 2013

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been sorting through my  sampler charts trying to decide which ones I really want to stitch and which no longer spark my interest.

Needing a break from working on the enormous Ann Hair (The Scarlet Letter), I wanted a couple of small ones to work on.  I settled on two samplers, Lucy Adams and Katherine Iones (Jones) from The Examplarery.  Katherine was a class piece from years ago, probably at Sampler Gathering.  I still can't figure out where I got the Lucy Adams kit.  

I've stitched a bit on Lucy, but will use her mainly as a travel piece because the stitching is simple and won't require much concentration.  I should have taken a photo of her before packing her away to await a trip. Guess you'll just have to wait for a photo.  For now, I'll tell you she is a New Hampshire sampler and has two trees reminiscent of trees from that area

Then I pulled out Katherine Iones (Jones).  This is where I left off years ago.  Please excuse the lousy photo.  The colors are really very pretty--lovely greens and a dark rose.  A beautiful green silk satin ribbon will be attached along the outside edges.

So, what's the problem?  The directions specified using two plies of thread on the 36-count linen, and that is what I had done.  I simply did not like the "heaviness" of the stitching, but I loved the sampler. What could I do?  I decided to start again.  Rather than spending hours ripping out my stitching, I decided to start again on another piece of 36-count linen, and this time use only one ply of thread except for the satin stitches.   

Here is my re-start as of last Thursday. I love the way my sampler now looks.   I've made much more progress since taking the photo despite having an occasional visit from that pesky frog.

Here is a close-up.  

Since the photos, I discovered a counting mistake on that center cartouche.  Yikes!  I assumed that when my stitching met up, that everything was fine.  And then I started filling in the text on the inside of the cartouche, and it wouldn't fit.  It turns out I made not one, but two, counting mistakes, one on each vertical side.  I wonder what the chances are of doing that?  

I greatly dislike stitching eyelets over two threads, but since that is what Katherine did inside the cartouche area I decided that I needed to do the same.  I wonder if Katherine discovered that she too disliked doing them, because thankfully she only did five of her letters in eyelets and stitched the others in cross stitch over two linen threads.  (Thank you, Katherine!)  Katherine also did some free-hand stitching below the cartouche area.  Yikes, another thing that I don't enjoy.  I made myself do that area on Saturday.  I was worried if I waited to do that at the end, I might not ever finish the sampler.

Thanks to a rainy Sunday, I spent many hours in front of the fireplace stitching on Katherine. The loose thread next to the little flower under the crown near the upper right corner  marks where I need to add some satin stitches.  I'll also need to add satin stitches on the inside of that sawtooth inner border.

If all goes well, I might have Katherine completed before Thanksgiving.  Wish me luck.  

As many of you know, the Midwest had a rough day yesterday weather-wise. Our weather radio nearly went beserk.  Besides the rain and wind, tornado watches and warnings were all over the area.  (I stitched until the watches became warnings, and then packed my stitching away.)  We were spared the devastation suffered by so many elsewhere.  The thoughts and prayers of many are with those who lost loved ones and also property.  


Mama Joan said...

I like the stitching with one thread on the 36 count, two does seem to heavy. Nice progress too:)

Colleen said...

I recently went through my stash of patterns too and wondered "what was I thinking" when I purchased some of them...haha. They will get filed in a craft drawer and forgotten for now :) My tastes have changed a LOT since I started stitching 30 years ago. I'm more of a sampler/prim type of stitcher now.

Wow!! What a difference only using one thread makes. I like it much better. I think when you "mis-count" on samplers it only adds to the originality of the piece and besides...I don't think the cross stitch police will come get you :)

Glad you were spared the really bad weather. We live in NW PA and had some horrific winds and tornado warnings last night but we were lucky.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Oh my, yes! Katherine is going to be stunning! She has all those colors I also love. Can't wait to see more!

geeky Heather said...

So happy all those storms missed you! Those greens are lovely...and much better with one strand. I have made symmetrical mistakes like that before. I think it means that we are both especially creative. ;)

Jackie said...

2 strands is really very heavy on 36 count. Looks much better with 1 and you've made excellent progress! One time I made an error and then another and things appeared to be going good.

Did sorting through your charts result in finding things you were no longer interested in? That activity often does not yield much for me! :)

woolwoman said...

Ellen I am so glad to hear you are safe, When I saw Cincinnati on that weather map yesterday in the path - I said a little prayer for you and your family who are all now in the area again. This is a beautiful sampler and what great progress you have made. Sitting by a fire stitching sounds heavenly. Hugs Mel

samplerlover said...

Another beautiful sampler Ellen to add to your collection. I like stitching with one thread as well :)
As you know I live in Australia and we had a little Tornado yesterday afternoon in one of the Northern
Suburbs of Sydney. It did a lot of damage but not as much as yours did. Tornado's are very rare here.

Margaret said...

Wow, it really is a difference with one thread versus two. I definitely don't think 2 is necessary with 36ct. A beautiful sampler. Bummer about the counting mistakes though. I'm so glad you were spared the devastation of those tornadoes yesterday. So so scary and sad.

Barb said...

I love your new start. I agree, it made more sense to start over than to do all that frogging. I am so glad you are safe. My DH has family in that poor little town of Washington, Illinois. Thank goodness for Facebook. Their daughter was in another town and was able post that her parents were safe and the home not destroyed. Many of their friends had homes destroyed.

krayolakris said...

So glad you are safe and sound after that monster storm Ellen. Love the new version of your sampler. Two threads just don't look right to me on the higher count linen. Stitch on!

gracie said...

Good decision to use one ply...looks beautiful.

samplerlover said...

Hi Ellen, thank you for your lovely comments about my samplers :) My email address is - - Sandra.

Oma said...

Lovely sampler, I agree one thread is enough. If the mistake doesn't bother you, leave it. I usually sleep on it, and then make up my mind the next day.