Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stitch and Be Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Now that dinner is over (mercifully; I love eating it, but I don't much enjoy preparation or clean-up), it's time to turn our thoughts to stitching, especially since I'd much rather stitch than venture out on Black Friday. In between basting the bird and whipping up a pomegranate/cranberry sauce, I was poring over some of my unfinished projects, some of which I'll show you at the end of this post. The blog banner photo is one: I started it about four weeks ago: it's by Cross Eyed Cricket, called "Rest and Be Thankful." At the time I said I wasn't sure if it is available, and I have since found out that we can order it for you if you'd like to have one of your very own. It's about half done at this point--but it has a very Thanksgiving look to it.

Here's a project I'm anxious to do, either on silk gauze or fabric. "Home Unto Thee" by Erica Michaels.

"Autumn Gifts" by Plum Street.

"Goodness and Plenty" by Plum Street.

"Gratitude Inspirational Boxer" by Lizzie Kate:

"November" by Cross Eyed Cricket.

"Patchwork Pumpkin" by Blackbird Designs.
"Gathering Acorns" by Lila's Studio.
"Peacock in the Pumpkin Patch," by Stacy Nash Primitives.
Hard to believe it's already almost "December," by Cross Eyed Cricket.
"Wee Santa 2015" by Heart in Hand Needleworks.
"A Christmas Cupboard Pocket," by With Thy Needle and Thread.
Blackberry Lane Designs' "Let it Snow."
"A Sweet Christmas" by Lilli Violette.
Two needlepoint designs I love, from Pippin Studios: "9 Witches' Hats" I'm picturing these stitched with sparkly fiber accents.
Also by Pippin, "12 Sailboats."
This is going to be a Christmas Day start for me: Barbara Ana Designs: "All Creatures Great and Small." It is charted for DMC or Anchor, both of which we sell.
People ask me about my WIPs--how many do I have? The answer: I don't know. I'll show you some of them from time to time. I recently got out "Christmastide at Holly House," by Scarlett House. I'm doing it on 40 count Lakeside mystery color fabric (can't remember), using the charted NPI and Classic Colorworks (Belle Soie) silks.
And I've taken out Mirabilia's "Santa." I'm stitching it on 32 count white linen, using the called-for DMC and Mill Hill beads. It's a lot of fun to stitch this.  (For extra sparkle, I added Kreinik blending filament to his hat brim.)
We will be open normal hours on Friday and Saturday this week. Remember that Saturday is Small Business Saturday. We are grateful for all our wonderful customers, fabulous designers, and awesome vendors. This small business depends on you all!

For questions or to order, please call at 703-360-4600. We are located at 8800 F Pear Tree Village in the Mt. Vernon section of Alexandria.

Our hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12:30 to 4:30 on the first Sunday of each month. Stitch Nights are the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Don't be shy--come join us!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kitting Up

Greetings, all! I know you're just dying to see what I've kitted up for myself lately, so you've just hit the jackpot today (hah!) I spent a very satisfying couple of hours at the shop last Saturday and came home with an armloand of new projects. The upcoming holidays seem to ignite some of this behavior; I can't account for the rest of it.

First off, I am trying my hand at needlepoint. Counted cross stitch will always be my first love, but there's room in my stitching basket(s) for lots of different projects. This is a smallish project called "Nine Seagulls," by Pippin Studio, a Canadian designer. I love everything she does--the nines, the fives, the dozens. So fresh and appealing. Click on the link, and see what she has to offer; we can order it for you if you want something!  Note:  I'm enough of a newbie that I didn't know quite which fibers to use, so Linda, one of our fabulous needlepoint shop ladies, did it for me.  What wonderful choices she made!

Next up, I'll bet you've spotted this With Thy Needle and Thread's "One Starry Christmas Eve" on the 'net. I love this design, and I purchased the fabric (which you see to the left of my photo), Weeks Dye Works' Aztec Red. I got the 30 count, although it's charted for 36 count. I love the bricky red color--and I very seldom stitch on colored fabric, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I also got the luscious set of Classic Colorworks silks that are called for. We can do a close conversion to overdyed cottons if you prefer.  It reminds me a little of a Russian icon.
I have owned this chart, called "Rest and Be Thankful," by the Cricket Collection, for many years, and I finally got around to kitting it up. Full disclosure so you're not disappointed: it may or may not be out of print, so if you want it, we can try to order it for you, but we can't guarantee that we can get it. I love the colors used by Cricket Designs. This is charted mostly for DMC, but it does call for 4 skeins of Silk n Colors, shown.  I suspect that this project will move along quickly, also.  I am using 32 count Light Examplar by Lakeside, 2 over 2.
Thanks to Maude & Mozart, who photographed this finished sampler on her blog, I had to have it, and In Stitches didn't disappoint. I grabbed it off the spinner and kitted it up with 40 count Vintage Light Examplar from Lakeside and the called-for DMC.
From Art to Heart, "Ho Ho Ho." It comes with the adorable buttons, it's charted for WDW and Gast cotton overdyeds, and of course, the shop had the called-for linen--30 count Dove linen from Weeks Dye Works. Note the color difference between the chart photo and the actual linen to the left of the chart.  It's far more blue-green than gray, and I hesitated, but after doing the floss toss, I decided I'd stick with it as I was smitten.
"Simply Autumn" by The Drawn Thread, which I'm stitching on a scrap of 32 count (I think) Weeks Dye Works Wren linen, using the called-for Gentle Art fibers.  Such a small design.  I love buying the packaged "scraps"--quite generous pieces of leftover linen--generally 9x27 or 13x18.  In stitches has lots of these, so it's possible to have a large "wardrobe" of different counts and colors of beautiful linens without a huge outlay of money.
Aside from what I kitted up, there were plenty of other new, fun designs in the shop. The newest stocking from Shepherd's Bush!
Two lovelies from the Scarlett House, including "Be of Good Cheer," which I'm itching to turn into an ornament.
"And Heaven and Nature Sing," by Kathy Barrick.
By Sue Hillis, "My Favorite Things."
"Hollow Eve's Tree" by Blackberry Lane Designs. Remind me to show you a photo of the progress on my "Frosty Weather" ornament, also by Blackberry Lane Designs!
They were unpacking frame mouldings while I was in the shop. Oh, my--I can think of so many things to frame with these glittery frames.

To order or for questions, please call us at 703-360-4600. Our address is 8800 F Pear Tree Village in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria. Our hours are 10 to 5, Monday through Saturday, 12:30-4:30 the first Monday of the month, and 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month. Today is the first Wednesday of the month, so hopefully we'll see you there.

I have brought a bag of new projects to kit up and I have my eye on a few other things for tonight, so I'll post photos of those next time.

Happy Stitching!