My Sunday Sampler with Sylvia

ATS Bottom Close up

Once upon a time I decided it was finally time to stitch one of my “bucket list” samplers – And They Sinned by Examplar Dames.  I first saw this chart way back when it was first released in a Shepherd’s Bush newsletter and had to have it.  Then on New Year’s Day 2010, I began.  I had ordered 40 count Elegant Bean linen from Elegant Stitch and the called for GAST threads with one DMC for the people.  In March, my friend Sylvia decided to join me and we started our Sunday SAL.  Each Sunday we stitched on ATS and it steadily grew.  The chart is divided into four legal size pages, so I celebrated big milestones when I would get to “the fold” and when I would get to a new page.  I’ve posted a lot of progress photos in the time it took me to stitch my way to the bottom and you can take a walk down memory lane here, if you’re interested.

ATS Top

I remember when we were stitching on that cloud at the top.  I had seen so many people stall out at this part that I was determined to really push through it.  Sylvia was also gnashing her teeth and we bemoaned the neverending cloud.  I recall saying to her, “it could be worse, wait until we get to all that grass!”  Oh, truer words were never spoken.  LOL  I did have a lot of fun with this section though, even naming those two snakes at the top Fred & George and that blue snake between Adam and Eve, Nagini.  I worked that vine border as I went so that I wasn’t stuck doing it all at the end.  I also put this on scroll bars, and as luck would have it I had to roll my fabric approximately when I reached “the fold” or the next page in my chart.  The photo above is essentially page 1 of the chart.

ATS Angel

At the time I was stitching this section I saw someone outline the angel’s wings in gold rather than in the grey it called for and absolutely loved it.  So, I did mine the same.  I even briefly considered ripping out the backstitching on the angel’s wings above the cloud but decided that I liked them in grey.

ATS Center with Alphabet

I thought for sure that once I got to the alphabet section I would knock it out super quick.  Not.  The.  Case.  Somehow I lost all momentum when I got to this section.  And I will tell you that I somehow went through two and a half skeins of Cherry Bark (the color of the alphabet), which seems ridiculous since the chart only called for one and it was stitched on 35 count.  I am super frugal with my thread too, so I can’t begin to imagine how I went through so much of that color.  I had purchased all new threads for this piece so I was starting with full skeins.

ATS Middle

Once I got past the alphabet I picked up speed again on the section with the spies of Canaan.  The photo above basically shows page 2 of the chart.  I really loved this section.  It was possibly my favorite just because of all the colors – the pinks, purples, and those crazy birds with their topknots.  And I really loved what look like quilt stars throughout this piece.

ATS Spies of Canaan Close Up

And page three made me feel like I was in the home stretch.  The section with the lady and the lion was Sylvia’s favorite part of this piece.  I have to admit, I really love this section too.  And it felt like a HUGE milestone to get to the end of the vine.

ATS The Lady and the Lion

And that brings us to the last section, otherwise affectionately known as “the neverending grass”.  Sylvia and I looked and looked at as many stitchers’ And They Sinned as possible trying to determine how we wanted to stitch the grass.  There are people who left the grass off completely, just stitching the animals on a bare background.  While I can understand why they opted not to stitch 8 million green stitches, when you look at the piece as a whole it really needs (in my opinion) the grass at the bottom to anchor it.  It needs that visual weight at the bottom.  We also saw one person who left that whole section off completely.  The chart is written for you to alternate two colors of green on the diagonal.  I didn’t love that look.  I think finally Sylvia saw on the Hand-Dyed Fiber board that someone had alternated the greens every two stitches and stitched everything in half stitches.  One row was stitched ///// and then the next row stitched like this \\\\\.  Loved the effect.  Doing half stitches makes it a bit airier so that your animals really stand out, and by alternating the angle of the stitches and the two colors it gives it a nice visual texture.  So so so glad we discovered this option!

ATS Bottom Section

I made several changes in this section.  The first change you’ll notice is that the big peacock at the top left of the grass ended up a different color.  He was charted to be red and I stitched him that way.  But then when I stitched the big flowering bush to the right I didn’t like having so much red right in the same section.  So I ripped it out and restitched him in teal and blue.

I also added my two boys in amongst the other animals.  Here is Thutmose with his gold eyes and little white spot under his chin.

ATS Grass Section with Thutmose

Here is Ramses with his green eyes being a cat “loaf” as he often does.

ATS Grass Section with Ramses

And I spent a very long time working on the pond.  I used the variegation of the thread to maximum effect and stitched in swirls rather than straight across in horizontal stripes.  I love how it turned out, even if it did take a long time to do.

ATS Pond

And then finally, I was at the end.  I personalized it just as Sylvia did hers, to commemorate our Sunday stitching.  Sylvia actually finished hers well before I did, but continued to cheer me on until I reached the finish line.  My ATS was started on January 1, 2010 and finished it during the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild meeting on August 4, 2015.
ATS Full

Stitching And They Sinned was definitely a labor of love.  And there were long periods where I didn’t work on it at all.  But, I am so pleased to have it finished and so thrilled to have finally gotten around to taking photos so that I could share it with you here on the blog, although I did share it in episode 8 of the podcast/flosstube and you can watch it here.

I am grateful for Sampler Sundays. 

Episode 14: Bringing the Bling

 

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg podcast/flosstube!  In this episode I share my progress on Anniversaries of the Heart, a long-standing Chatelaine WIP, and Colonial Garden. Plus, what I’m reading and how I store my threads.

Show notes:

Finishes:

  1. None

WIPs:

  1. Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – I’m currently on the July block called Swan Lake; stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads
  2. Mystery 9 (Le Potager du Roi/The King’s Vegetable Garden – Versailles) by Chatelaine Designs – I am currently working on part 9 (of 12); stitching on 32ct Lavender Mist by Zweigart with NPI, Gloriana, SNC, Thread Gatherer Silk Perle, Caron Waterlilies, Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid and Delicas, Delica Bugle Beads 3mm, Swarovski Crystals 4mm, Swarovski Cubes 4mm.  Kit purchased from European Crosstitch Company
  3. A Colonial Garden by Plum Street Samplers – on 40ct Black Forest by Lakeside Linens with NPI silks

Stash Enhancement:

  1. One thread (Classic Colorworks Magnolia Blossom) for Anniversaries of the Heart July block

Thread Storage:

  1. Photo storage boxes
  2. Floss-A-Way bags

Flosstube Shoutouts:

  1. Abi from Bellastitch
  2. Vonna The Twisted Stitcher
  3. Sarah Stitches
  4. Jo G Jo’s Stitchy Stuff

Reading:

  1. Finished reading Beyond Desire by Thea Devine and The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  2. Currently reading The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

Thanks so much for watching the podcast.  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and you can also sign up for my newsletter to get an email notification of new posts.

Find me on Ravelry: cozyegg

I am grateful for giving myself permission to work on something else.

The Weight of Zombies

Miss Babs Yowza Zombie Prom

Last year after I relearned to knit I decided I wanted to attempt my first shawl.  Because really I got into this whole knitting thing to knit socks and shawls, right?!  I’d been eyeing the Hitchhiker Shawl, but when my friend Nicole knit the Weigh It Shawl 1 I started thinking that might be the way to go.  Nicole agreed that the Weigh It Shawl would be a good first shawl since it is mostly garter stitch and encouraged me to give it a try.

If you’re not familiar with the Weigh It Shawl, it basically calls for a skein of Miss Babs Yowza and doesn’t require counting rows or stitches really because you’re weighing your yarn (thus the name Weigh It Shawl).  At DFW Fiber Fest in 2015 I saw in person and fell in love with the Zombie Prom colorway, so I knew that’s what I wanted to use for my shawl.  I ordered a skein and bought the pattern and even treated myself to my first set of Signature Needle Arts circular needles.  I shared my stash enhancement on Episode 4 of my podcast.

Weigh It Shawl WIP

I really love those Signature needles.  I did have a little bit of trouble with them near the end of the shawl where they would come unscrewed from the cable, but I think that was due to user error and no fault of the needles.  But of course it happened when I had 8 million stitches on the needles and when that cable became unscrewed and a good chunk of those stitches fell off I about died.  I checked with some other folks that assured me they had never had a problem with their Signatures doing this so I determined it was probably something with the way I was holding my needles or somehow twisting that cable enough that my knitting motion was causing the cable to become unscrewed.  Here’s hoping I can avoid that in the future!!

Weigh It Shawl Ripping

I also had a few cases where I suddenly completely forgot what I was doing and started making something up or dropped a stitch and didn’t know how to fix it other than rip back, and so on.  But, I think it’s just all part of the learning process.

Weigh It Shawl WIP with Sublime

And oh I was loving the color of my yarn.  When I caked up my skein it was lighter on one end and darker on the other, so I started with the lighter end so that it would be darker as I knit to the bottom of the shawl.  It’s subtle, but I like the effect.

Weight It Shawl WIP and Tula

In fact, I loved the color so much it inspired me to make a zippered pouch out of some of my Tula Pink fabric.  It wasn’t big enough to hold my shawl, but perfect for a future sock project.

I also participated in my first Knitalong with this shawl.  Suburban Stitcher hosted the Around Your Neck KAL and I really pushed to finish up my shawl in time but didn’t make it.  I was all the way to my bind off when disaster struck – I ran out of yarn.  So, I ended up setting my shawl aside for a good long time before I had the heart to go back and fix it so I could bind off.  Because I’d already run out of yarn trying to bind off once, I opted to not do the picot bind off and instead used the Russian bind off she gives as an alternative.  I will definitely give the picot bind off another try in a project in the future though because I loved the way it looked.

I finished it on the morning of New Year’s Eve.  And I am thrilled with how it turned out.  These photos were taken in extremely harsh sunlight, so it’s hard to get a sense of the beauty of this yarn, but you get the idea of the shape and size of the shawl itself.

Weigh It Shawl Finished

Project details: My first shawl!!  Weigh It Shawl 1 by Susan B. Anderson using Miss Babs Yowza in the Zombie Prom colorway.  I used size 8 Signature circulars.  Started on 4/27/2015 and finished on 12/31/2015.

Weigh It Shawl Finished Closeup

You can see my project page on Ravelry hereWeigh It Shawl Finished Closeup 2

So so so in love with my shawl.

Weigh It Shawl

And on January 2nd, I wore it on its maiden voyage out into the world.

Me with my Weigh It Shawl

I’ve already got yarn and the pattern for the Weigh It Shawl 2 that I hope to start sometime soon.  I can’t wait!

**Edited to add:

Blocked Shawl

My shawl has now been blocked and boy does that make a difference!  If only it wasn’t 105 degrees outside!!

I am grateful for trying new things.

Have You Any Wool?

Wee Woolly WIP

I mentioned in my last podcast episode that I recently stitched a little gift for Dianne for her birthday.  I spotted this chart in my stash and immediately knew it would be perfect to stitch for her.  And since I was going to be seeing her at DFW Fiber Fest on her birthday, what better time to present her with it?  Unfortunately, it took me a little longer to get it stitched and finished so I ended up having to package it up and mail to her.

Wee Woolly Finished

Project details: Wee Wooly by Heart in Hand stitched on 32ct Vintage Pearled Barley from Lakeside Linens with my own conversion to the color palette I wanted using GAST, Weeks, Crescent Colors, and Gentle Arts Simply Wool for the sheep himself.  I filled him with crushed walnut shells and used one of my favorite Anna Maria Horner Field Study fabrics for the back.

Wee Woolly AMH Backing

This was an absolute joy to stitch and I think I’m going to have to stitch one for myself at some point too!  Dianne shared this little gift on Episode 94 of her podcast which brought a little smile to my face.  If you haven’t watched her podcast, I highly recommend it.  She is such a lovely person and an amazing knitter, stitcher, and quilter.

Wee Woolly Finished

I’m so glad Dianne liked this little sheep and the colors are so her.  And really, how can you resist that little sheep?!

Wee Woolly Closeup

 

I am grateful for fuzzy sheep and lovely friends.

Episode 13: Four Houses

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg podcast/flosstube!  In this episode I share my progress on Anniversaries of the Heart, my Mistake Rib Scarf, my first sock, and my Marcelle Medallion quilt. Plus, what I’m reading and finally a recap of DFW Fiber Fest.

Show notes:

Finishes:

  1. Pink Hill Manor block of Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads
  2. Wee Wooly by Heart in Hand (not shown but photos will be up in another post soon)
  3. Farm House block of Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads

WIPs:

  1. Anniversaries of the Heart by Blackbird Designs – I’m currently on the July block called Swan Lake; stitched on 40ct Vintage Examplar by Lakeside Linens with the called for GAST and Crescent Colors threads
  2. Mistake Rib Scarf by Purl Soho – yarn is Lion Brand Homespun in color 338 Nouveau and I’m knitting with Size 10 Addi Turbos
  3. First Time Socks by Mimi Kezer/Pastiche Knitwear – yarn is Regia Hand-Dye Effect color 6556 Jewels and I’m knitting with size 1 (2.25mm) Addi circulars
  4. Marcelle Medallion quilt by Alexia Abegg from her Liberty Love book – using some of my favorite fabrics

Stash Enhancement:

  1. (Not shown) five threads for Anniversaries of the Heart April and May blocks

Reading:

  1. Finished reading a bunch of books – you can see the full list in my sidebar and also I will be posting reviews on my Cozystyle blog soon.
  2. Currently reading Beyond Desire by Thea Devine (actually finished this today, don’t recommend).

 

Thanks so much for watching the podcast.  You can subscribe to my YouTube channel and you can also sign up for my newsletter to get an email notification of new posts.

Find me on Ravelry: cozyegg

I am grateful for getting back to posting!