Hello, my stitchy friends!
So, I’ve been away for a while. Thanks to this thing called grad school that I decided willy nilly to enroll in. What was I thinking? Just kidding. I’ve enjoyed my first semester, although it was more than tough, to say the least. It was so much work, two people in the program quit, and the rest of my class and I have scheduled a group meeting with the program director tomorrow to express how difficult a time most of us had. We also want to make sure she understands that if it’s going to continue to be like this, others may need to quit the program, too. I think it was a “perfect storm” of the way events occurred. First thing, most of the students have been out of school for 20+ years, myself included. That was an adjustment in and of itself. Secondly, the internet didn’t exist when we went to college. Had to adjust to no classroom to actually have to go to and listen to a lecture. Online studies take a huge amount of self-discipline, self-motivation, and figuring lots out on your own. But all of that aside, the main thing I think that caused so much pain for most of us was that the two classes we had to take were taught by one of the toughest professors known on campus (tough in her expectations, but also she just piled on the readings and writing assignments like nobody’s business), and one brand new professor. He’d never taught a college level course before. And the material for his class was not for the faint of heart. It was on systems analysis and design, and it was mostly stuff I’ve never heard of. Each week after the first couple of weeks, we’d have one very long chapter to read plus a diagram assignment. They were very labor intensive and took up a lot of my time. That caused me to neglect some of the reading assignments in the other class. So I should have done better in the heavy reading class, but unfortunately, I barely made an A. Still, I met my goal to make straight As each semester, so I guess I’m off to a good start! Whew! So 3 short weeks till I go back for 2nd semester. Gotta make the best of my short break. Hmmm. So what do I do???
Just before school started late last August, I’d finished up my Cockatoo project and started on my mermaid project. It is by cross-stitch designer, Nora Corbett, who markets her cross-stitch designs under the name “Mirabilia“, and they’re simply gorgeous! I chose “Mermaid of Atlantis“, because I just love all the greens, blues and deep reds in this design. Plus I like the little fishy in the top right corner. In about 10 days prior to shutting it all down for school, I’d gotten a good bit of her tail done. School finished for me on Dec. 11th, so that night I tore open my craft bag and got down to business. Here’s my progress so far.
It’s being stitched on a 28ct linen, and all kitted out cost a little over $75! But I don’t care, it’s gorgeous! Did I mention that already? It calls for DMC cotton floss, Waterlilies hand-dyed silks (which, if you’ve never stitched with these silks before, you’re missing out. So luxurious, such beautiful coloring, simply yummy thread!), Kreinik metallic threads, and seed beads. I’ve stitched with metallic threads years ago, but I think it was a different type of thread. I’ve never used the Kreinik stuff before, but I hear it’s the best as far as metallic threads go. I was not sure if I was to use one strand or two. The instructions in the pattern call for one of my metallic thread colors to be stitched with one strand only, which makes me assume that I’m to stitch with two strands with all the rest of the colors. All my metallic thread colors (the pattern calls for 4 different colors) are #4 Very Fine Braid, and the overall instructions just say to stitch “2 over 2”. So I started with this one gold metallic thread tonight, part of the bouquet of seaweed or something she’s holding, and I’m using two strands. It’s tough to work with, IMO. I cut roughly 12″ strands, as they advise the shorter the better, because it knots easily. When you unwind it off the spool, it is very curly. I searched Kreinik’s website for some information on what they recommend for stitching on this size fabric, or for the pattern specifically, but could find nothing. So I just Googled the question and found one blogger website that said you could use one strand, and if you wanted a “puffier” or thicker look, just go up a thickness (i.e. #4 to #8). It’s definitely not like standard floss. But I love the way it looks so far! Very gleaming and shiny. I like shiny things!
I picked up most of the supplies for this project at a little cross-stitch shop north of where I live. The shop owner recommended attaching the beads last, even after backstitching…I think. I may call her up and ask her again about that and also her advice on the Kreinik for this project. She’s very knowledgeable. I’m sure she told me, but hey, that was 4 months ago. And I’ve jammed up my brain with all kinds of school stuff since then, so I need a refresher. For those of you wondering about Kreinik metallic thread, I’ll let you know what I find out. And for those of you who may have some good tips and advice for me, feel free to share. 🙂
Well, off to bed. I’ll be stitching lots during these three weeks, and I’ll do as many updates on this project as I can. I may try to fit in a little photography, too. I needs mah fix!!
Till then, Happy Stitching & Happy Holidays!