Linen and Threads SAL 2018

November’s Linen and Threads SAL section was pretty intriguing due to the intricacy of the intersecting motifs in the design. I love how it turned out!

L&T SAL - Nov finish

I enjoyed the time I spent picking my colors. The little bit of blue that I used does not really stand out. I didn’t think it would blend in that well with the green, but that’s still fine with me. (I’m a bit surprised that I’m not disappointed with this. :P)

The stitching, not to be left behind, was fun too, especially after I got the hang of the pattern and didn’t have to keep going back to the chart. Stitching while listening to books or binge watching serials – ah the bliss!

I also discovered that the new red – the one that I started using after my earlier pink ran out – does not bleed! (I was kinda sure it would, though.) While that is good, it makes the overall project look a bit inconsistent now. Do I run an ink pen over the reds to force those parts to bleed? πŸ˜€

There’s a lot of space for the December section (ooh, you can see the hem stitch border at the bottom of the picture) and I’m hoping it’s not too much to stitch. Fingers crossed.

Knitting

As for the blouse I’m knitting for my mom, I’m done with the sleeves, (and they do look beautiful), but I’ve not made too much progress on the body. I’m hoping I’ll be done before this month ends so I can finally start on a brioche sweater – one of the knitting goals I had for this year was to learn brioche stitch. I did try a brioche sample a couple of months ago, but I’ve already forgotten how to go about it, πŸ™‚ so a project will help me remember it better.


Only one month of knitting, crocheting and stitching remains before the year ends. Have you started thinking about next year already? (I haven’t.)

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Linen and Threads SAL 2018

Looks like I forgot to talk about my completion of the September section of the Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL!

L&T SAL - Sep finish

The single noteworthy event that happened this month was that I ran out of the pink thread. I stitched half of this section’s pink part, and the skein ended, but when I rummaged through my stash, I couldn’t find another. This came as a surprise to me, because I’d thought I had 5 skeins of this color, and had anticipated that it would last beyond this SAL. I was wrong big time!

The pink skein was an old one and I had lost the color number for it, so instead of trying to shop for a color that most closely matches this one, I decided to go a shade darker, and picked a reddish one. (Yes, this one has at least 5 skeins, however, not all of them will be used.) Anyway, my January section had a lighter shade of pink before I switched to the darker one, so it could be a natural transition to grow even darker, and end the SAL with the new color. So many improvisations!

I hope October has fewer surprises in store. πŸ˜‰

Linen and Threads SAL 2018

August’s Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL section was again a difficult one to color in, but I think I can grow to like how it turned out. πŸ™‚

L&T SAL - Aug finish

The coloring decision did involve some to and fro. The edges were a breeze, but the birds… Well, unless I made the tail feathers multicolored, which I didn’t dig, it looked like I’d just have to go with my main color, green. I decided to do just that and started my stitching, but then changed my mind when I started on the first bird. I thought I’d make the edges of the feathers go from green to pink.

It was a good idea in theory (and in my colored chart), but in reality, the shocking pink overwhelms the already-short color transition. I’d discovered earlier that the pink bleeds during washing, and I’m hoping it’ll lose some of its edge then. It’ll also be fun to check out the ‘aura’ it might create in the process – do you think it’ll add to the look of the feathers? πŸ˜‰

Also, all those running threads at the back of the project from all the color transitions! I admit I hadn’t thought of that at all. I’ll definitely be limiting any color transitions like this in the future!

So – it goes without saying that I’m hoping the September section is easier in terms of coloring. πŸ˜›

As for other WIPs – my crafty mood has ebbed a bit right now and I’m not really working on anything, but fingers crossed I’ll get back to it soon. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your projects!

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…

Works in Progress

I’m merrily switching between my two current projects this month. πŸ™‚

The Oshara Shawl MKAL

Week 3 of the MKAL is here, and like I predicted, I’m still on Week 2. πŸ™‚ I felt that there was quite some variance in the knitting amount each week. I finished Week 1 in a day since it was just short rows in garter stitch, and have spent a few evenings so far on Week 2 since it involves colorwork and lace. Week 3, again, looks smaller than Week 2 chart-wise, but maybe they’re comparable stitch-count-wise.

Oshara Shawl MKAL progress | Anita

The charts haven’t been difficult so far, and I’m hoping they remain that way for the remainder of the project. I don’t totally get how it’s shaping up, though. This week, Susanna (the designer) mentions that she uses a top-down construction method for this shawl, and that, I think, removed some of the confusion I had, but it’s still a little bit of a mystery. πŸ™‚

I can definitely see that the yarn I’m using is thinner than the one featured on the project page – it was the closest replacement I could find – but I like the loose knit that it creates.

The one thing that I absolutely love in this shawl so far is the play of colors! My next section is a bright yellow, though, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’ll gel well with the rest of the team. πŸ˜‰

The Linen and Threads Mystery Sampler SAL

TheΒ current section of this mystery SAL is a giant one that spans two months. It might look like I’ve made very little progress on the project so far, but I actually did a lot of work. It’s just that it was on designing and not on the stitching.

L&T SAL - Jun/Jul progress | Anita

This section has a lion and a unicorn among vines/plants, holding up some kind of coat of arms with our initials and the current year. The instructions also come with a helpful section that shows charts for every alphabet and digit, so we should be able to easily stitch whatever we choose to feature on the coat of arms.

I appreciate all the effort the creators of the SAL have put in for the section, buuuut I didn’t really subscribe to the coat of arms concept, even after I gave it a few days. So I tried replacing the entire coat of arms with another vine/plant, using bits and pieces from the vines that I’m stitching now. I had to move around the other pieces a little too, and I’m happy with the changes, in spite of a small curve in the new vine that I still think is a bit wonky. πŸ˜‰

So now I’m finally stitching! I’m still not completely sure of the colors I’ll use for the animals, but that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get there. I’ve done enough designing on this project for one month. πŸ˜›

That’s it for this time, folks! Hope you’re enjoying your projects at least as much as I’m enjoying mine!

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.