January Smalls check in and Joyful World


Here is my January Small for the 2017 Small SAL sweetly hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus! It is Mon Petit Jardin by Atalie. I stitched it in my own choice of mixed overdyes on 28 ct linen. And it is a day late because, I have to admit, even for the size and simplicity of this project, it was fraught with problems! Knots, slipped stitches, learning the reverse spiderweb rose stitch, French knots popping through, and I am not quite satisfied with the colors I chose. They are ok. Now that is it made up as a heart it is quite pretty. The plan is to mount the heart on some framed fabric, so I need a little square frame. If I can find the right fabric it will be lovely. And maybe you think it is nice, but you know what I mean about having one of THOSE projects that gives you a lot of headaches- it is hard to appreciate it even if it turns out fine. That’s this one. For now I am glad to just put it down!


On the other hand, I could not be more delighted with Joyful World’s January! I just have to finish the eyelet border under the fox. It is SO cute and really fun to work on. Now, before, when I just had the tail of the fox in, I was dreading what I perceived as the large expanse of monochrome fox body. Filling in is not my favorite, and this is not even that big! I was just a few lines into it and discovered Vonna’s (The Twisted Stitcher) technique of a modified sewing stitch without turning your needle. I was skeptical. After all, how could my grandma have taught me anything but the “proper” way and even if it worked, shouldn’t I do it the “proper” way? No. Not today. Faced with all this straight-forward boring stitching, I was going to try this out. And oh my goodness, I feel just like I have been eating soup with the wrong end of a spoon my whole life. I knocked that fox out, I raced through the border and the crow was done in a literal spare moment. Not only that but NO KNOTS! And the threads do lay very flat! Thank you Vonna, you have changed my life! The only thing I noticed about this technique is that it seems to be quite hard on my floss compared to the stab method. Towards the end of a thread they do get a bit fuzzy. I think I will not use it for silk. And for little bitty areas, I will probably stick with my habit. But gosh. For borders and “vast expanses” of one color I will be so grateful I now know how to do it in half the time. To watch Vonna’s method, look at her video here.

Done, done, done,and…done


It’s a week later than I wanted but you know how these things go. And it’s not like I’ve been sitting on my hands! Far from it! But I finally have my 3, no 4 ornaments finished off!

First off, the Mill Hill Christmas Letter. I like this. It is one I plan to make again.  Maybe one for everybody with their initials, and would adapt so well to other colors.

Next is my January contribution for the Christmas Ornies SAL. It is Prairie Schooler’s Partridge from JCS 2005. The trim was much pickier and trickier than I anticipated. I really like my new Kreinik cord maker (even if I don’t think the 3:1 ratio of starting length to finished is very accurate!)-I will get a lot of use out of it I’m sure! But, I wanted to stitch the trim on, not glue it, and I think I really need some fine curved needles to do this in the future. It came out nice. I do love the fabric I had in my stash for backing. That was serendipitous to have something that matched so perfectly


Next up is La D Da’s Christmas Blessings ornament. This was exceedingly restful to work with. Until I had to attach the felt backing. My felt in the kit was not quite big enough to finish the thing with as much border as the instructions recommended. Again, fussy work. All this fussiness contributed to the delay in finishing, but I am pleased with how it (they all!) came out.

And for the bonus! The stitching on this was finished last year, I just had to get it made up. So I did, to check it off the list. It’s great. I love this one. I love the carol, I love the colors, I love how fast it was to do. Yay!

I’m at work on Joyful World this week! SO nice! I am not filling the color in the little spaces in the border. I like the look better without, it’s kind of Art Nouveau-looking. And I think from month to month it will be more uniform.

I see a fox tail!

So it begins!


The Joyful World SAL! I have been so excited to do this project since I discovered it last year. It is just the sweetest thing, large, and yet manageable, and so, so adorable. I’ve been accumulating the supplies and decided I just wouldn’t be happy with it unless I did it on some kind of over-dyed linen. I mean, I am going to be living with this for a year so it needs to have gorgeous materials to enjoy during that year, right? And I didn’t want it so big finished on the 32 ct so I went ahead and got some 36 Weeks in Parchment which is completely lovely and perfect. I am going to mostly be using the called for colors. And I am off! Let’s see if I can get January done in January!

This is one night (which includes all the prep, sorting colors, measuring, measuring again, taking a deep breath and…the first stitch.) My only question is, what on earth does one do with the miles of extra linen hanging down the sides to keep it nice when you’re just working a tiny corner? I feel like I need some kind of special bag or to roll it up in something.

I have also gotten back to Heirloom Nativity, which I LOVE, hoping to get the shepherds knocked out before the end of the month. This is a really really enjoyable project. The colors are fantastic. I love silk!

Don’t worry, all my little small ornaments are being fussed over. I will show them all when they ALL are done. I can’t say finishing is my favorite. All the time I spend finishing I think, I just wish I was stitching! On the other hand, there is little as satisfying as a really well finished thing. The object quality of it as it is all put together…I guess that makes it all worthwhile.