cross stitch · Knitted Shawl · Knitting · Passione Ricamo

Rainy Days and Stitching


This summer has been such a rainy summer so far. It is raining again today. Rainy days are perfect for being inside and crafting or snuggling up with a soft blanket and a good book. I usually spend mine crafting or cleaning. Today I did a little knitting and a little cross stitching. I will show you what I am cross stitching on, but first let me show you what I finished last week.

Dark Queen of the Seas

Well, she is not actually finished, but I finished section 11 and am now caught up. The 12th and final section will come out August 1. I am assuming it will be backstitching and beading. I did skip 2 elements; her crown and the corner ornaments. I am for sure leaving off the corner elements. I haven’t fully decided about the crown, but I am leaning towards leaving it off also. II think she looks fine the way she is. The fabric is 16ct Aida Iris and is actually purple and blue, but with all of the rainy days, I haven’t been able to get a good photo. Hopefully the next time I photograph her, I will capture her true colors. So now what am I cross stitching on?

20 Year Celebration

I have pulled out the 20 Year Celebration from Passione Ricamo. I have the block I am working on to finish, and below this row, there is another row of 4 blocks to do. And then beading on all of the blocks. This is such a fabulous design and I will be so thrilled to finish it. The fabric is 16ct Aida Nantucket Sky. So perfect for all of the fairies.

Jolie

Here is my progress on Jolie. It is a relaxing knit and the yarn is so nice to work with.

Jolie Sparkle

Can you see the sparkle? The yarn band says it is Gold Stellina, but it is clearly silver (which I prefer). I love it! This is going to be a light and airy shawl, so delicate. Yarn is from Britty Rae Knits.

So that is what I have been up to on this rainy day today. What do you like to do on rainy days?

Knitted Shawl · Knitting · yarn

What Is Off and On My Needles


Hello my blogging friends! I hope all is well with you and that you are finding time to craft. A couple of weeks ago I was inspired by a post on Woolly Wednesday’s blog about making a Market Bag. I have had a pattern and yarn in my stash for a market bag for a couple of years now. So I pulled it out and got started on it.

Market Bag start

The pattern is the Eastern Market Tote by Tanis Gray and it is a FREE pattern on Ravelry. The yarn I am using is Berroco Modern Cotton in color 1665 Wetherill. This pattern starts out using the Provisional Cast-on, which is a first for me. I crocheted a chain with the pink yarn, adding a few more stitches than I actually needed. I flipped the chain over and skipping the first chain, I inserted my needle into the “dash” looking stitch and knitted a stitch. I repeated that for the number of stitches I needed for the bag. Then I started stitching the pattern in the round. One thing I will note: The pattern called for a 36″ circular needle, but there was no way I could make 90 stitches meet in a circle, so I used a 14″ cable, added to the 5″ length of my tips to make a 24″ circular. This is the 3rd time I have run into this problem with a pattern. Am I figuring something wrong? The width of this bag will be 10 1/2″ laying flat, so doubled will be 21″. Not even sure how I would have stretched 21″ around a 36″ needle?? The 24″ circular worked out perfect.

Market Bag progress

The pattern is so cute and very easy. I must say, it is a very relaxing knit. And the Berroco Modern Cotton is a dream to work with. This is my first time using it, but it won’t be my last. So I knitted the pattern for 4 repeats and then added the garter stitch border at the top and then bound off. Then it was time to unravel that cast on. I was a little nervous at first, but it was pretty easy pulling the cast on pink yarn one stitch at a time and picking them up with my needle. There are wonderful videos on You Tube about this cast on. I then knitted the pattern until the decreases made it too small to continue with the circular needle. I switched to Double Pointed Needles. Not my favorite way of stitching, but sometimes you have to do it.

crazy knitting

I started with 4 needles. It looks like crazy knitting! So chaotic!

More crazy knitting

Then I went to 3 needles. It took a little bit of finagling, working around stitch markers and the pattern and the decreasing, but I did it.

Bag Bottom

I was so happy to be done with Double Pointed Needles. Seeing the finished bottom of the bag made it all worth it. It looks so cool! I just love it! I added a knitted handle, making it about 2″ shorter than called for, wove in my ends and it was finished!

Finished Market Bag

I love how it turned out and can’t wait to take it to the vegetable tent to get some fresh fruits and vegetables. Aside from the DPN’s, I loved this pattern and the yarn I used. I already have a few requests to make more and I will get to them eventually 😉 And while I had a nice evening to take pictures of my bag, I remembered to take some photos of my blocked Merfolk Fade Shawl.

Merfolk Fade Shawl

This shawl turned out really beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it this fall. So, now what is on my needles?

Jolie by Lindsay Potter

This is the Jolie pattern by Lindsay Potter and was included in the July 2021 Seed Club Packet from the Yarn Garden in Michigan. The yarn is Britty Rae Knits and is so gorgeous and so soft! I think this Seed Club Packet is my favorite!

Scrumptious yarn!

This is my first time using this dyer’s yarn. It is so soft and squishy and has some silver sparkle in it. The name of this yarn is “A Visit to the Nursery”, as in gardening.

Jolie shawl

I casted on last night and look forward to all of the knitting on this one.

So what is on your needles?

Floss · organization

New Floss Organization


I know, I know. I just reorganized my floss a couple of months ago. Well, I went a step further. Remember I re wound all of my floss from cardboard bobbins to acrylic bobbins?

Acrylic Bobbins

Well, I kept seeing posts on Facebook about a cute little cabinet that people were putting their bobbins into. For some reason I thought the cabinet was something that was available in the UK. So I decided to google the Bisley Cabinet. And wow! It is available at the Container Store! A place I LOVE to shop at but had not been in a long while. So, last week hubby and I jumped in the car and drove the 30 minutes to the nearest Container Store. And this is what I picked up.

Pink Bisley Cabinet

Of course it had to be pink. But it does come in several other colors. I had also seen that GWStitchinDepot makes acrylic dividers for the Bisley drawers. Well, I just knew this was better than the boxes that I had them in and so I ordered them. They arrived yesterday.

Acrylic Dividers

The acrylic dividers came in long and short strips with grooves cut into them and were super easy to put together.

Each drawer now has 30 sections where I can add my acrylic bobbins. This system can be used for anything, though.

Acrylic Bobbins added to the divided sections

I put 5 bobbins in each section, even though a lot of my bobbins are empty due to so much floss being in projects that are already in progress. While the drawers look so awesome with all the beautiful bobbins, I can’t wait until all bobbins are filled.

I just love my new system. If you are interested in any of the acrylic bobbins or dividers or other acrylic options, they are available from GWStitchinDepot on Etsy. She does a fantastic job and they are well made. If you have questions, you can message her through Etsy and she is quick to respond and super sweet.

Now another reason to continue to work on getting those WIP’s finished; getting all of my acrylic bobbins filled and into their new home in the Bisley.

Autumn Lane Stitchery · cross stitch · Hand Dyed Fabrics · Knitted Shawl · Knitting · Mermaids · Mirabilia · Queen · Sunny Dyes Fabrics

Two Finishes For June


Hello my blogging friends! We are over halfway through June already! The days are just flying by. The last 2 months we have had some work done in our back yard, so maybe that is why the days have gone by so quickly. But I am still filling my days with crafting. In fact, I have 2 finishes this month so far. On June 1, I finished Mermaid Perfume! Yay!

Mermaid Perfume

Please excuse the wrinkles. I was just so excited to finish her and get her photographed on a beautiful sunny day. Sadly, I still have not ironed her. But, having her on the Qsnaps for beading did help pull the fabric and she does not pucker in the middle anymore. That makes me very happy.

Sweet, sweet mermaid

I am really pleased with how she turned out. Again, she is Mermaid Perfume from Mirabilia. I stitched her on 16ct Aida Hidden Cove from Sunny Dyes Fabrics. I am still searching for a framer, so it may be some time before I can get her framed.

My other finish is only a partial finish, but a finish in my book.

Merfolk Fade Shawl

Yep, on June 3 I finished this beautiful shawl. I still need to block it and weave in the ends. The table I use for blocking has been covered with all of my cross stitch fabrics for reorganization. And now it is covered with a very large Diamond Dotz I have been working on. So, I hope to get that table cleaned off and get this shawl blocked soon so I can really call it a finish. This shawl was a joy to knit. The pattern was easy to follow and the yarns wonderful. The stats on this one: Merfolk Fade Shawl by Jennifer Owens. The yarn is from Cape May Fiber Co. all in DK weight. Colors are Nessie, Mermaid Mane and Sea Swords.

So right now I have nothing on my knitting needles, but I am going to remedy that soon. And as for cross stitching, I have picked up The Dark Queen of the Seas and am trying to catch up before the next section comes out on July 1. I neglected her while working on Mermaid Perfume exclusively for 14 1/2 weeks. Here is where I was when I picked her up a couple of weeks ago.

Dark Queen of The Seas

And here is where I am now:

Dark Queen Progress

I am working on section 9 at the moment and still have section 10 to do before section 11 comes out on July 1. There are a couple of sections I have decided to leave off; the crown and coral on her head and the top left and right corner ornaments. I like the way she looks without those things. And she is definitely not a mermaid. While I am disappointed in that, I do like her. And I love her face. So, again, she is the Dark Queen of the Seas Mystery SAL from Autumn Lane Stitchery. I am stitching her on 16ct Aida Iris from Fabrics by Stephanie.

So that is what I have been up to. Join me next time for some organization updates 🙂 What have you been up to?

Knitted Shawl

My Merfolk Shawl is Growing


I usually spend some time in the morning knitting on whatever project I have going. It is my new normal during Covid this last year. I am really loving stitching on the Merfolk Fade shawl. The pattern has been easy to follow and the patterns are pretty easy to pick up and remember without too much looking at the pattern. I did run into a minor snag the other morning and I couldn’t get the correct number of stitches on one side of the stitch marker. So I messaged the designer and she was quick to respond and corrected the pattern and messaged me back. She was grateful that I brought it to her attention and even gifted me the pattern in my Ravelry. The pattern that I have was included in the Merfolk Fade kit that I purchased from Cape May Fiber Co. So I am really happy to have it in my Ravelry forever. So here is where I am with the pattern so far.

Merfold progress

These yarns are really out of my comfort zone, but when I saw them as a kit, I instantly fell in love with them. And I am loving how they are knitting up together. I could have never put these colors together myself. Soon I will be adding the third color, which is my favorite. It has a lot of pink in it and I can’t wait to see how it knits up. Here is a close up of the patterns in the shawl.

Close up of Merfolk

Even with all of the colors in the yarn, the patterns are easy to see. I love everything about this shawl; the pattern, the soft, squishy yarn and the colors.

So what is on your needles, knitting, cross stitch or even crochet?

Floss · Storage

Acrylic Bobbins


A couple of months ago I saw a post in a Facebook group about Acrylic Bobbins. Wow! I loved how sleek and smooth they looked. Someone was making them and selling them on Etsy. This same seller was selling a complete set of vinyl labels with all the DMC #’s. I am a sucker for reorganizing and storage. So I had to go check it out. After chatting with the Seller, I had to order! I couldn’t wait for them to arrive. And when they did, I went right to work. I added the labels to the new acrylic bobbins and spent 2 days unwinding my flosses from the paper and cardboard bobbins and winding them onto the new bobbins.

New Acrylic Bobbins

Just at look at how awesome those bobbins are looking! It was so fun and relaxing winding a skein of each of the colors that are not being used and putting them in the perfect box. When I received my set of bobbins, they arrived in this case:

Full set of Acrylic Bobbins

I was able to find more of these boxes at a local Menards store. I believe that they are available on Amazon. But isn’t everything? LOL. I think that my entire set will fill 3 of these boxes. I tried to leave adequate room for the empty bobbins, but I could end up using a 4th box.

My New Bobbin Storage

I love how these bobbins look in their boxes and they will look even better some day when I can get the empty bobbins filled. I have 11 or 12 projects in the works with floss in each of them that will eventually make their way onto the empty bobbins. I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to wind new flosses onto the empty bobbins, or try to use the 150 floss that are already in projects. I decided to eventually move the existing flosses over to the new bobbins. That means I have to get working on those WIP’s and get them done! Here is my small box of flosses I used for Mermaid Perfume.

Perfect Bobbins

I love that the numbers on the bobbins are at top of the bobbin rather than on the side as they were on my paper bobbins. The bobbins on the right have Caron Waterlilies on them. I even tried making my own labels with my brother printer. They will work for now, but the ink is not as crisp as with my purchased labels. If you are interested in these bobbins, the seller is GWStitchinDepot on Etsy. These bobbins are well made and look awesome! She has different quantities available and you can get the bobbins with the hole in the top or without. She also has the labels. If you purchase the labels, I do recommend the dental tool she sells for picking the labels off of the label sheet. I am so happy to know that I won’t need to purchase paper bobbins ever again.

How do you store your threads?

cross stitch · Mermaids · Scroll Frames

What Happened To My Fabric!


A few months ago, I decided I was at the end of my rope with scroll frames. They don’t keep my fabric tight, the screws get stripped and it is just frustrating. I am not a fan of Qsnaps, as they are awkward to hold. So I didn’t know what I was going to do. Then a friend told me about Edmunds Handi Clamps. So I found a set on Amazon and ordered away. When they arrived, I couldn’t wait to put my fabric for Mermaid Perfume on them and get started stitching.

Basically it has rods like scroll rods, but there is no slit in the rods. Instead, a clamp is used to secure the fabric like Qsnaps. I have always read about using felt under the clamp so that the fabric doesn’t get ruined. So, I laid the fabric on the rod, placed a length of felt on top and then added the clamp. I did the same for the other side. Wow! My fabric is taut! And they were easy to unroll and re-tighten. I am in heaven again! Then yesterday I beaded as much as I could in the open area, so it was time to remove the fabric from the scroll frame. And this is what my fabric looked like.

Puckered fabric

Oh no! The fabric is puckered where the stitched area is. I tried laying it out and pulling the ends, but it will not lay flat. What did I do wrong? Do I even want to bead it now? Has anyone else had this happen? I couldn’t find anything in the Facebook groups. So I went back to the package that the scroll rods came in and reread the directions. It does not say to use a piece of felt under the clamp. Ok, I did that on my own. I didn’t want the clamp to ruin the fabric. It does say to clamp the fabric and then to place a piece of batting, 4″ wide and the length of the rod, before rolling the scroll to reduce getting creases in the fabric. I did have a few creases in the ends, but the puckering is what I am worried about. So after some stressing and freaking out, I began to think about what I did wrong. The only thing I can come up with is that my piece of felt was shorter than the length of the rod. Basically it covered the middle, the design area. And since I worked on the project exclusively, I never loosened the scrolls when I was not working on it. So, I put the fabric onto my large Qsnap so I can continue beading.

Beading has begun

I was able to get her tight and flat on the Qsnap. I do hope that when I take her off, she will no longer be puckered. She is so beautiful and I LOVE her on the fabric I chose. I waited so long to see all of her on the fabric. So fingers crossed I have not ruined it. The next project that I put onto these scrolls, will have a piece of batting, the full length of the rod and hopefully that will be perfect. Has anyone had their fabric pucker on their scroll frame? If so, how did you fix the issue?

Knitted Shawl · Knitting · Mermaids · yarn

Knitting Another Shawl


I just have to have something on my needles. So when I finished the You Are Enough Shawl, I immediately started the Merfolk Fade Shawl by Jennifer Owens. The Yarn is DK Merino Superwash from Cape May Fiber Co. and comes as a kit with a few goodies and the pattern. The pattern is also available on Ravelry.

Merfolk Fade Kit from Cape May Fiber Co.

My very small start. And no other stitch marker would do except for a sweet little mermaid! It was included in a bag order I placed with Firerweed Studio. The yarn huggers on my yarn cakes are also from Fireweed Studio. She has cute knitting accessories in her Etsy shop.

Merfolk Fade Shawl start

This is my first shawl using DK weight yarn. The yarn is soft and squishy. It has a bouncy feel and I like the way it glides through my fingers and over my needles.

Merfolk Fade Shawl progress

The color I am currently using is called Nessie. It really reminds me of mermaid scales. All the beautiful greens with splashes of Pink, Blue, Purple and Aqua. The other two colors in the fade are Sea Swords and Mermaid Mane. I will talk more about those two colors when I get to them. For now I am enjoying the beautiful Nessie.

Lace Section

So far the pattern is well written and I am enjoying the knitting. I have added a few rows of the lace pattern and it looks so pretty. I am loving the way the splashes of color pop up on my needles in between the beautiful shades of green.

So that is what I am stitching this afternoon. What are you stitching on today? Drop me a comment and tell me all about it.

cross stitch · Mermaids · Mirabilia · Sunny Dyes Fabrics

Mermaid Perfume


For the last 12 weeks I have been stitching mostly on one project. That project is Mermaid Perfume by Mirabilia. In one of my previous posts, I was working on her tail.

Mermaid Perfume

Since then I have finished that massive tail. So much green!

Mermaid Tail

Just look at that tail!!! I love it! And I am so happy to be finished with all of that green! And then, in no time, she had a face and some hair.

Sweet face

How sweet is her face? It was so nice to finally get to some other colors besides green. And last night I finished all of the cross stitching. So just back stitching and beads left to do.

Mermaid Perfume

I am stitching her on 16ct Aida Hidden Cove by Sunny Dyes Fabrics/Youthful Needle Crafts. I cannot wait to unroll the scrolls and see all of her on this beautiful hand painted fabric. The suspense is killing me! When I saw this fabric in the Design and Fabric Viewer, I knew it was going to be perfect for a mermaid. What? You haven’t heard of the Design and Fabric Viewer? This is a site where you can pair certain designer patterns onto certain fabrics listed in the viewer. It is a great resource for cross stitcher’s to see what a particular design will look like on a certain fabric. If you haven’t played in the Viewer, you definitely should give it a try. You have to create an account before starting, and you can save up to 3 images for FREE. Subscribing to the site will allow you to save more images and it also gives you the option to save your personal fabrics onto your account so you can pair images on the fabrics you have in your stash. Give it a try! And if you haven’t tried it in quite some time, it has changed so you’ll want to see what it looks like now. Go, try it out!

So that is what I have been stitching on. I am excited to get to the beading on Mermaid Perfume. Hopefully soon, I will have a finish to share with you. What are you stitching on today?

Knitted Shawl

There Is A Light At The End of The Tunnel


The CDC announced that we can unmask in most situations if we are fully vaccinated. This is great news, but still scary or awkward. My husband and I just had our first vaccine about 10 days ago. We will get our 2nd dose in a few weeks. Maybe then I will feel a little better about going without a mask, but this has been our normal for 14 months and I am feeling a little uneasy about unmasking. I won’t go into it all, but I am hoping this is a good sign of getting back to some normalcy.

So, I am still keeping busy by crafting. I am also trying to get myself into some kind of routine since hubby will probably being going back to working in the office soon. And that includes making sure that blogging is in my routine again. So where did I last leave off…Oh, I finished the Fairies in the Snow shawl that I was working on.

Fairies in the Snow Shawl

It turned out really nice and I even had a chance to wear it. I love it and can see myself making another one in different colors in the future. The pattern is available on Ravelry and the designer is Lena Matheson. The yarn I used is from The Speckled Finch.

Since then I have made another shawl. This one was a kit made especially for Local Yarn Shop Day April 2021.

You Are Enough

When I started this kit, I wasn’t really sure I was going to like it. The directions were not very specific as in when to change colors and how many rows to do. I am one of those people that pretty much follows a pattern. So having to make some of my own decisions was a bit scary. But, I dived right in.

You Are Enough Shawl

The pattern is You Are Enough by Sarah B. Abram. I met a very sweet gal on Ravelry who reached out to me about something I had placed on my project. So glad she did, as we chatted together throughout and she made some wonderful notes about her project and took some great photos. She was a big help when I had questions and she cheered me on to keep going.

You Are Enough Progress
More Progress
Lovely Lace
Back side of lace

Here is where I was working on the Picot edge bind off. I had never knitted a picot edge nor did I ever bind off this way. Be prepared on this one. It took me about 2 half days to get this bound off. But it was so worth it.

Blocking

This week I got around to blocking it. Just look at how that lace opened up!! Knitting the lace was my favorite part of this pattern. I left out one of the repeats in the burgundy/gray section. So I added a few rows of garter stitch and that also brought my stitch count up to where it needed to be for the lace section. Yep, I added my own element! This pattern also suggested to add 2 rows of the next color, then 2 rows of the current color then continue with the next color. This meant lines of color in each pattern section. I knew from the beginning I did not want those lines of color, so I just switched colors when I was ready to. This really is a forgiving pattern.

You Are Enough Finish

It really turned out beautifully. It was finally a nice day out so I had to take a photo outside. This photo shows the true colors, too. I was a little leery about the colors together, but they have grown on me. I can’t wait to wear it in the fall.

You Are Enough Shawl

The colors in this photo are off. But it looks so pretty hanging like this. In the end this was a really nice pattern and I really enjoyed it. If you have this kit and are looking to knit it up, be sure to check out the projects on Ravelry as there are some really good note takers there. I learned a few new stitches with shawl, and for that I am grateful. I am happy I knitted this one.

Next time I will talk about my cross stitch. So what have you been up to? Drop me a comment and tell me about it. I have missed you so much and I would love to hear about what you are up to.