The First Thread: a trio of “Naughty November” starts.

Can it be the 3rd Monday or November already? It is! In the USA it is Thanksgiving this Thursday. After Thanksgiving I spend the rest of the year attempting to apply the brakes as we rush towards Christmas, hoping to maintain a sense of peace and calm through Advent. But with the kids’ excitement, and end of year activities (Oldest son’s birthday, piano recitals and school concerts and church events and decorating, baking, present preparing, and guests) that is very difficult! But for now, my shopping for Thanksgiving dinner is done and tomorrow I will start prepping for the feast. Today I can think about stitching!

I have been kitting kitting kitting for next year. Earlier this year I discovered a trick that was helpful to me. While kitting, since it involves measuring and cutting linen and figuring out how to start the project, I just went ahead and put the first few stitches in place. When I was ready to get going with the project in earnest, I knew right where to start without having to remeasure the linen and refigure my start plan. It saved a lot of time and made me feel very productive! I had started to do that with some of next year’s projects when I heard about “Naughty November” hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher. I guess that means it is naughty to make a new start on something so close to the end of the year! But is it naughty if you are simply doing prep for the coming year? No! Still I will join in with other stitchers who are starting new projects every Monday this month, and will share with you the 3 I’ve started so far. They are all samplers and I just put their first thread or two (or three…) to mark the start and make it easy to pick them up next year!

ABC Sampler from Jeannette Douglas

This is that middle line. I want to start in the middle because then I don’t have to wait till I have the whole alphabet in to start the bands. I can do letters on days I don’t have the brain power to do specialty stitches!


Jane Plenderleath from Needlework Press

So…I started in the bottom right corner for this one because 1) I want to get to that house as soon as possible! and 2) I like to stitch overdyed thread using the sewing method from right to left so that just made sense. (um…I just realized, on ABC you see me going from left to right…but I’m actually stitching that line upside down in order to stitch like I just described and that’s ok! I stitch upside down about 25% of the time. Maybe I should explain my methods some day. I am used to doing this and rarely make mistakes in reading the chart because of it, because I usually flip the chart too.)


Luz Gonzalez from Samplers Remembered


This is the top left corner. The directions said to do the black lettering first. Once that is done, I will know how wide this will be and can cut off the right edge of the linen because I think it is probably 6-7 inches too wide but just exactly the right height. Also I may start those bargello and satin stitch areas anyway…they are SO tempting!


I just cannot wait to get back and work on each and every one of these. If I finish all 3 in 2022 I will be thrilled beyond measure.

And I will pick one more to start over Thanksgiving weekend. Hmm…I think it will be one of my HATS. Or a small. Or…Hmm. See you next week!

10 thoughts on “The First Thread: a trio of “Naughty November” starts.

  1. That sounds like a lovely plan. I count myself organized enough if I get the linen picked out for the project!
    Have fun starting another project this weekend!! And Happy Thanksgiving to you all. 🙂

  2. Oh, great idea to actually start a bit once it’s kitted! I might have to steal that one. Lovely starts on these 3 too, and great to see someone else join. 🙂

  3. What a clever idea! I rarely kit up projects because of the expense. Unless I need a specific hand-dyed fabric but even then I won’t add the threads until I am ready to start.
    Reading about kitting up made me realise how cheap supplies are in America compared to the UK when I was first blogging.

    1. It’s true, it’s costly to kit. So when I say kitting I guess I mean hunting through what I’ve got and making a list of what I need. I have gotten most of my stash through sale shopping and from other stitchers selling theirs. For Luz I pulled the silk thread I had and made my shopping list for those I don’t have for the top 1/3. I will add threads as I need them as this one uses a lot of silk colors!! For ABC I used all threads from stash. I found I actually had all the threads I needed for Jane. That’s one seems to use the more common Weeks colors I’ve used in other projects. I usually guess to get the closest match I can for linen. All that said I can’t imagine the prices you all must pay for DMC. When I started stitching you could buy it for 20 cents! Now it’s about 80 but still super cheap! We must never take for granted the blessings of our locale!!

  4. Thanks for (unintentionally) joining in with Naughty November! I’ve never come across this way of preparing a project before – pulling fabric and threads together and marking the starting point, yes, but not actually putting in the first few stitches. I wonder how you managed to pull yourself away each time (although having said that, a lot of my new starts this year consisted of just one day of stitching so, in effect, I’ve done the same as you!) Good luck working on them in 2022. 🙂

    1. Oh I don’t think I explained correctly! I do actually put in the first stitches! When I said mark I meant mark with the first real stitches of the project, in fact the whole first thread. How I pull myself away is a do it when I know my time is limited!!! When I know I can steal just 10 or 20 minutes! I hope that explains better! Sorry for being confusing!

  5. Oh, I have to admit I envy your busy, busy days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mary! I so miss those times when my sons were little and home and so very excited about EVERYTHING having to do with Christmas.

    Love your idea of starting on your kitted up projects–makes total sense to me as I’ve always done that, too, when I take projects on vacation with me. Of course, I ALWAYS overpack my stitching, but it is nice to have a small start on each piece so I don’t have to think about it.

    Wishing you and your family a lovely Thanksgiving Day!

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