Needlepoint 2017 Roundup

Where has the year gone? I did get 3 WIPs completed this year – My Anatolia rug, Ghiradelli Square, and Tumak. And I completed 6 ornaments and Laura Perin’s Country Cabin Panel. Here is the progress on the 3 projects I am currently working on (some good progress for a change).

My Persian Qum rug – I was here on December 1st:

And I finished here on Friday:

The arch is filled in a little more and I’ve started adding a few leaves on the left side. And I started the vase – about half done now.

My second project is ASOW Tall Ship. I did more of the sky and scrolled up a little more to see the bottom of the canvas, finally.

Almost all of the sky on the left side, behind the rigging, is done and it’s all done in the middle between the masts. I still need to fix the two cross beams (spars?) but I won’t do that until I get the rest of the blue finished. I’m hoping there will be some blue thread left to redo a little of the sky and fix the spars properly. Once I have the sky behind the rigging on the right side, the rest should be easy and finished (hopefully) by the end of the month.

The last project is the ABC for the future granddaughter. I left off on December 1st:

And I finished here last night:

I’m doing the bottom two rows at the same time, working left to right. I know this will be finished by the end of January. Then I can get it framed and sent to DS and DIL for the baby’s room before she arrives the end of February.

Needlepoint Plans for 2018 will be posted tomorrow.





Needlepoint Update – December 2017

You’ve already seen the Tall Ship, so here are the other two projects I’ve worked on this past month.

My Qum Rug is slowly progressing. I worked mainly on the right side this past month.

I have two repeats of the blue motif up the right side now. And I’ve worked on the arch area, adding to the edging and working on the first branch of flowers which are now completed. On the left I’ve added the edges of the border but need to add another blue motif to match the right side and more flowers in the arch area. Here is the whole rug so far.

I’m also hoping to begin work on the center section during December, starting the vase in the center.

On the ABC piece for the new granddaughter, I’ve more or less finished the first three rows. I’ll start the next row this evening. Two more letters to be at the halfway mark. Since she isn’t due until the end of February I still have a lot of time.

My hands were much worse last weekend, but I’ve figured out what I did wrong that caused so much pain. I was trying to open a jar, something I’ve never had trouble with before. I finally asked DH to open it for me. Today I ordered a gadget that will help me open jars from now on. I’m also using my wax bath for a few nights, since that usually helps ease the pain for several weeks. I’m now stitching 3 hours a day – one hour at a time with lots of time in between. I’m really taking it easy but miss the stitching if I have to put it away for days at a time.


Persian Qum Rug – Getting started

I’ve talked about my process in designing and stitching these rugs many times (I think this is rug 15). But when I started on this new rug, I realized I had skipped a step (sort of).

I design my rugs with MacStitch, a cross stitch program from Ursa Software. They also make programs for Windows. They have quite a few thread brands available when you start a design. They added Vineyard Silk recently, but have not added Splendor yet. So I always choose DMC threads and try to get colors as close to the Splendor threads I’ll be using. But then I have to make a list of the Splendor numbers to match the symbols on the chart. This is the step I’ve never mentioned before.

Yesterday, in order to start stitching, I had to get all the threads I was going to use and go through the Key that MacStitch prints out to get more organized. When Michelle at Come to the Point gave me the threads I had ordered (multiples of the colors that will be used heavily in this design), she handed me a small, very pretty pink and white polka dot tote bag. I dumped out all the threads, sorted them, and wrote the Splendor numbers next to the DMC number on the Key. So far, so good.

Then I got out the bag with all the threads from my stash that I had pulled long ago to use in this rug – partial skeins, full skeins, other silks and cotton flosses left over from other projects, etc. Some of these were to be used for specific motifs or borders and I added their numbers to the Key. That’s when I noticed that I really didn’t have all the main colors that I needed. So Michelle got an email this morning for the 2 other Splendor colors I needed and they will be in the mail in the morning. I depend on her a lot for threads. She’s the closest store to me and I’m thrilled that she carries Pepper Pot Silk, which I’m using a LOT in my rugs, etc. But not this one being stitched on Congress Cloth.

But I finally got it together late yesterday morning and did a little stitching on the small border that forms the outer border of the rug. This border is a Needle Necessities brown overdye using the Slanted Gobelin stitch – over 4 threads. It has Tent stitches on each side in a very dark brown. A good start. Friday I’ll start working on the larger border and add a lot more colors. Then I’ll work on the rug Mon-Wed each week, saving Fri and Sat to work on the ASOW ship and Purple Heron.  I’ll post this rug again in two weeks so you can see the progress.

Today’s Happiness

I went to Come to the Point in San Raphael yesterday to pick up the Congress Cloth and some Splendor for my new rug. So here is my happiness:

A blank canvas and beautiful threads!! The Splendor on the left is what I picked up yesterday from Michelle. The center set is the Splendor I had on hand for the rug and on the right, overdyed threads that will be used for parts of the borders on the design. Then I’ll pull threads for the leaves and flowers as I need them – lots of solid threads and overdyed threads left over from various projects. A chance to use up lots of little odds and ends.

I showed this rug months ago, but it takes me a long time to develop my own adaptation. I worked for several months and then let it sit for a while. Here is the original rug – a Persian Qum.

It still isn’t done – I’ve decided to get to work on it and create the flowers and leaves  as I go. As usual I’m making my version simpler, not as crowded. The border is completely designed. The second level has a rust background and I’ve put in most of the branches and stems. I’ll add flowers after the branches and background have been filled in. (The flowers you see in the design are just place holders, to give me an idea of where to put them.) The center section has a completed vase, but just a hint of stems and flowers. I’ll design the section around the vase when I start working on the vase. The rest will be designed in segments of about 3 inches at a time. The flower at the top is done, but could change.

This is the most complicated rug I’ve decided to adapt, but I really look forward to the challenge.

And to let you know how things go in my crazy mind – I was looking through my folder of Working Projects (design inspiration, designs being developed, designs that have stalled for one reason or another), and another piece caught my eye. One I’ve wanted to do for about 4-5 years but didn’t think I could handle just yet.  But looking at it today, I got some inspiration and wanted to play. I printed out the original, grabbed my graph paper and started sketching some parts, writing in colors to use, even stitches for some of the elements. After an intense hour, I put it all away. But now I have a start on what I want to do with it the next time I want to start a new design. Now it’s back to the originally scheduled project. Here comes the Persian Qum rug! I’m super happy and excited today. Okay, cut fabric, tape edges, put on stretcher bars, ………