“I can resist everything except temptation” Oscar Wilde
I have a reel of ribbon with this quote on, given to me by a stall holder, she obviously saw me coming!
A few months ago I was tempted by another stitch-a-long with Faby Reilly, called the Zoe SAL, the patterns come out once a fortnight and I’ve just completed bock 7. We’re stitching the sides of a box at the moment with a different side representing each season.
This week is a very cute squirrel for autumn, he’s also a very mischievous squirrel as he has shifted very slightly to the right and taken the branch with him!!! OK so I mis-counted at the very first leaf! It’s only one stitch out so I’ll just fudge the beginning and end of the back-stitch. I just need to make sure I end the branch in the right spot so it will meet up with winter when I come to stitch it all together. On Monday the next section pattern is released so it will be all the back-stitching and embellishment.
Having resisted up to now, I have finally put the linen on a roller frame. I don’t find them easy to work with, I much prefer the sitting hoop, but hoops and embellishments such as beads and sequins don’t go well together. I need to check which area we’re stitching next, make sure I’ve finished stitching the backstitch outline that I should have done at the start!
Last month I heard about another stitch-a-long, this time by Tempting Tangles Designs, it’s called Enlightment; Words of Wisdom. It’s described as ‘framed in a leafy border and filled with Quaker trees, other motifs and a thoughtful Zen quotation to remind us of the simple and yet most important things in life.’ The colours are beautiful and of course I couldn’t resist!
This one is also once a fortnight, though luckily they are not released on the same day! Deborah, the designer, uses just four flosses for the design, she uses Dinky Dyes, which are beautiful silk threads, but she also gives a DMC alternative. I decided to use a mixture.
I ordered a gorgeous variegated Dinky Dye called Verdigris and also one called Nutwood which is a subtly shaded rich brown. I had the other two alternative DMC threads in my stash, 502 and 3847.
I found a piece of Permin linen which was just the right size, it’s rather a nice soft shade, I think it might be called French Lace. I started stitching the border with the verdigris silk, I have to say it is beautiful to use. I stitched each cross-stitch individually rather than in rows so I would get the full effect of the variegation.
The only floss I had my doubts about was the 3847, it looked so dark and hard against the soft border. Half of me was saying I just need to trust the designer. I started looking through my stash for potential alternatives. 3848 seemed just a little too light. I remember that I’d bought some Aurifil flosses in peacock colours, I eventually found them but they were too turquoise and bright. However in the same box were the threads from DeVere that I got in my Advent calendar from them. There was a perfect shade, just sort of inbetween the other two. I know, they don’t look that different on the photo…but they do in real life!
I tried it and I think it works. It’s much finer than DMC threads so I’m using three threads at a time. I’m keeping all three options handy as I might alternate between them.
So I now have three cross-stitch projects on the go, together with everything else!