Linen and Threads SAL 2018

I completed June-July of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL without too many hassles. This section is not as ‘wow’ for me as some of the other ones, but since it is not ‘argh’ either, I’ll take it. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - June/July finish

If you recall, I cobbled together the vine at the center from bits and pieces of the other vines, since I’m not a fan of the original coat of arms – and I’m relieved it turned out okay.

Other than that, there aren’t too many things in this section to write home about. Maybe just a couple of tidbits –

  • The lion and the unicorn took way too long to stitch – so much that when I was done with them, everything else seemed to just fly by even though my stitching speed hasn’t really increased! πŸ˜‰
  • The blue motifs – they were so fiddly that every time I worked on a new motif, I noticed that I’d missed a stitch from one of the earlier ones. I think I’ve got all four motifs complete and correct now, but I won’t be surprised if I spot another missing stitch after a month… πŸ˜€

And now to wait a few days for the next mystery fauna…

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Linen and Threads SAL 2018

What do you know, this is apparently my 100th post here. It’s just a number, I know, and I discovered this fact accidentally since I don’t usually bother with stats. I’m pleasantly surprised that my slow blogging has continued long enough to churn out this many posts, and to make some friends along the way. I’m glad for your company in my (mis)adventures, folks! πŸ™‚

Alright, with that out of the way, let’s move on to the main attraction, my project. πŸ˜‰ I’ve completed the May section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL, and I love it!

L&T SAL - May finish

I applied my recently-discovered trick again – where I use two colors for each stitch, first making half-stitches pointing in one direction in one color, and then the other half stitches in the other color. I used this method to give a darker-colored, slightly-speckled look for the horns of the deer, and I’m glad they turned out better than okay.

With all these colorful sections, a tiny little sliver of disappointment appears, pointing at the dragons – I wish I could’ve figured out some colorful but good-looking details for the dragons too. I’m trying hard to quash this feeling though, because I know I spent as much time as I could on figuring out that section, and now, it is what it is.

I discovered something else this month. The Aida cloth was pretty dirty around the May and June sections, so before I started on the stitching, I thought I’d wash the dirt off. And I saw that the pink color really runs. The sun in the dragon section, where I’d used the two-color stitching method with pink and yellow threads, now has a pink aura around it. πŸ™‚ So do the fiery flames from the dragon on the right. I won’t fix the remaining thread though, because I don’t want the top sections leaking pink while the rest of the sections look clean. You get an aura, you get an aura, everyone gets an aura! πŸ˜‰

Hope the trend in this SAL continues and the June section turns out to be small; I can get some more knitting done then. I did make some progress on the entrelac sweater, by the way – I was not well for a few days in the middle of the month, and I knit a little when I was bored of lying in bed. It’ll still be a surprise if I manage to finish it before I start on the MKAL shawl next month.

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

April band of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL – am I glad that it’s a small section, the smallest so far? I sure am, I’d still be toiling away on the project otherwise.

L&T SAL - April finish

I started this section later than I would’ve liked, but I knew it’d be fine because I’d still finish it quickly. Back stitches were a surprise addition in this section, since they hadn’t shown up in earlier sections, but well, this is a sampler SAL, so I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised. I saw some cross-stitchers in the SAL group change the back stitches into compatible cross stitch motifs, but I liked the back stitching. I’m happy with how this band looks, and I also think this project (or to be more specific – my take on the project) is finally beginning to grow on me, which is good.

L&T SAL - April closeup

Remember I’d skipped stitching the border stitches in my March section because I wanted to use long armed cross stitch if April has a border? Yeah, that was a good decision because as you can see, April does have a border, and I did use long armed cross stitch for it. I just had to quickly finish the March section by stitching one column of regular cross stitches on each side, right?

Wrong! I mean, I did have to stitch the columns, but it also turned out I hadn’t skipped the stitches from the bottom row of March. Gah! I don’t know how that happened. This bottom row would end up touching the top border of April, and no other row of any non-band section in my version so far (and in the future, I’m sure) touches a border.

You know what comes next!

I frogged March’s bottom row. It was easy on one side because I’d stitched that area row-wise, but the other side – turns out I’d stitched column-wise! On each column, I’d to carefully snip the bottommost stitch, undo a bunch of stitches, and secure them. Then I’d to redo all those frogged stitches. It took a while, but it was totally worth it. Not only can you not tell which side was the problem side, but my peace of mind is now intact when it comes to personal spaces of sections. πŸ˜‰

There, that was my April adventure! Was it fun? πŸ˜‰ Now to get back to the knitting before May shows its face.

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

March is almost over, and so is the March section of my Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL. The section has a border around it, but I decided to play the waiting game and see what April brings, and then choose whether I want the border or not. If I end up keeping the border, I think I might go for the same long-armed cross stitch that I used for the February border. If I don’t keep the border, I’ll add some regular cross stitches along the vertical edges.

L&T SAL - March finish

L&T SAL – March finish

Figuring out the colors for this section was pretty difficult. I’d wanted to use my main color for the dragons, and splash around other colors for the remaining items, but I had a hard time deciding on the secondary colors. I actually colored in the chart to see how various combinations appear, but I didn’t like any of them. Finally, I even tried to change the colors of the dragons, but honestly, that looked even more horrible to me. πŸ™‚

Eventually, I had enough of the agonizing planning, and decided to just make the dragons first and think about the other colors later. And in the end, discarding color after color, most of the section ended up in the main color. Surprisingly, I’m not too disappointed. πŸ˜‰

Speckled Sun

The most time I spent was on the Sun. I tried using the pink for it, but it was too overwhelming. I then used a yellow which was too underwhelming. I definitely wasn’t going to shop for a skein that’s exactly the right shade of yellow/orange, so I tried out something else and liked it – making the first set of half stitches in pink, and overlaying them with the other set of half stitches in yellow. It gives a somewhat speckled appearance to the Sun but not in an attention-grabbing way, and I like this look better than if it were a solid shade.

Now to see what April will look like, and figure out how to finish the March edge!

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

I finished the February section of the Linen and Threads Mystery SAL, and love how it turned out. This section was nowhere as tedious as last month’s, because it has repeating patterns, which means I wasn’t looking at the chart every few stitches. (I still ended up frogging a few stitches here and there though. Has that ever not happened to anyone? πŸ˜‰ )

L&T SAL - February finish

L&T SAL – February finish. Eagerly waiting for March!

I especially like the texture of the long-armed cross stitch. It feels almost embossed to the touch because of the extra thread from the longer arm.

Long-armed cross stitch - closeup

As for knitting, I couldn’t come up with anything better than design #3 for my entrelac-featuring pullover, and when I drew up a colored picture of how I’d want to ‘break away’ the rectangles, I found I like the entrelac strip better if I incorporate two colors from the start. So I’ve frogged and restarted the strip now, and I hope I’ll have made some progress when I post next.

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

January section of the Linen and Threads SAL is complete! I took some time off the cross-stitch part to make a hem stitch lined, fringed edge, for which I used scrap yarn from my earlier knitting projects. I’m much happier working on the project now, since I don’t run into runaway threads from the edges. πŸ˜‰

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL - January

The color difference between left and right is due to a shadow. The embroidery thread is evenly colored.

Here’s a closeup of the hem stitch border. Excuse the color difference – I clicked the pictures on different days.

Hem stitch border

Hem stitch border

I’m pretty excited to start on February. I just discovered long-armed cross stitch, and I’m using it for the border of the February section. I’ll obviously post a picture later that shows its fabulous texture. πŸ™‚

This section is smaller when compared to last month’s, so I’m hoping to catch up. (Not keeping my fingers crossed though, since February is also shorter, making it a bit hectic so far.)

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Two weeks of slow and steady progress on the Linen & Threads Mystery SAL has resulted in this —

20180124_xs_lnt_sal.yarn

This project will not really be framed — it’ll end up as a coffee table runner. I’d originally decided on a single color for the entire project, but then I didn’t like the thought of an entire runner in a single color. On fabric up close (vs. far away on a wall, say), my eye, at least, can only differentiate so many details in a single color. So I’ll use different colors for components wherever possible. The green is new thread (my original color of choice), the green+yellow combo is from old threads, and the thread for the flowers is of a different thickness altogether so its texture is slightly different from the rest of the stitching. Talk about variety! πŸ™‚

I’m getting good cross-stitch practice with this project, and though I’m nowhere near the end of the section for this month, I’m totally enjoying it! When I reach the other end of this section, I’ll work on securing the borders.