Bella Filipina Designs · cross stitch · Hand Dyed Fabrics · Knitted Shawl · Knitting · Mermaids · Project Bags

Stitching, Knitting and Shopping


Hello blogging friends. The temps are getting cooler here after a few days of surprisingly wonderful warm and sunny days. The dreaded white stuff is coming though. About an inch or two of snow is predicted for this weekend 😦 Are you a fan of snow and cold weather? I am not looking forward to winter and can only hope that it will fly by as fast as my summer did.

I need to plan out some projects for the winter. But for now, let’s talk about what I am stitching on right now.

Pearl’s Tail

I finished the tail on Pearl of the Orient Seas, minus the beads. I have moved scrolls to the middle of the design to work upwards.

Progress on Pearl

While I am enjoying the stitching on this one, the colors are starting to bring me down and I am getting the itch to start something new. I am trying really hard to resist, but I do see some smaller projects creeping into my plans. For now, I stitch on 🙂 Just to remind you, the design is Pearl of the Orient Seas by Bella Filipina Designs. Fabric is 16ct aida, a one of a kind dye from Fantasy Dyed Fabrics.

The Marit Shawl by Amy Christoffers is still on my needles. It is going well, but still looking a little small to me.

Marit shawl

I am actually on the decrease tier now and making half triangles for the top edge.

Almost finished!

Maybe blocking will give me the size I need. This shawl will also have tassels.

Now onto the shopping as mentioned in my title. Last week Shop Hop started at local yarn shops. I decided not to shop hop this year, but just visit my very local shop, The Knitting Nest. I picked up some yarn for the newly published on Ravelery, Urchins and Scallops shawl from Soft Yarn Designs. This one should definitely be put into my winter knitting plans 😉

Shop Hop Haul

After getting home, I realized the yarn colors are very similar to the colors used in the pattern. I think they are perfect. The lovely shop owners also pointed out that they had some new stitch markers that they knew I would be interested it. Mermaids! Yes, please. And I couldn’t help but pick up another Project Bag by CleverGirl Designs. This one is a little bigger than the bags I usually order from her. It just fits into the bin I keep them in, but is taller than the other bags. I don’t think I can ever have too many of Kristine’s bags. Hubby ordered me another year of the Bag of the Month from her in August. I have received August, September and October, but I cannot find the pictures. Today I was surprised with the November and December bags and they are Awesome! Here is my November bag…ready?

Front of the Gnomie bag

Oh my gosh! It’s Gnomies!! so stinking cute! I LOVE it! And here is the back;

Cute Gnomes project bag (back)

My December bag was just as awesome.

Mermaid bag and Floss Catcher

She knows my love for mermaids and I do love this one. In fact, it matched the mask I was wearing when I went to the yarn shop to pick them up. Did you catch that cute Seashell zipper pull/progress marker? So cute! And check out that cute wallet looking matching piece! Have to show the back and the open wallet, too!

Mermaid set

Just look at that cute little Floss Catcher! I just love all of Kristine’s bags. They are so well made and her attention to detail and choice of fabrics is amazing. You can find her on Instagram @clevergirldesignsco

This is how I store my CleverGirl Project Bags.

Bins of Project Bags

There are 20 bags in these bins. It doesn’t include the one I am using for Pearl or the 2 new ones I picked up today. I can still use some more, LOL

Another bin full of projects

This been is full of not so pretty bags filled with wonderful projects. Some day it will be filled with pretty CleverGirl Design bags.

While at the Yarn Shop today, I was looking for even more yarn. This time for a sweater. Yep, a sweater, not a shawl! I haven’t made a sweater in years and I think I need to add one to my winter stitching plan 😉 I didn’t buy any, as I need to figure out what I want to use. So, I am off to make a swatch. What are you up to? What are your crafty plans for the weekend?

Bella Filipina Designs · cross stitch · Hand Dyed Fabrics · Knitted Shawl · Knitting · yarn

A Mermaid and A Shawl


Hello, friends! So today I am going to chat about what is on my needles now; both knitting and cross stitch. Let’s start with the knitting. When my Mother-in-law visited in September, we went to the local yarn shop. The shop was having a Berroco Trunk show, and MIL found a shawl that she loved. She asked if I would knit it for her. Of course I agreed. I already had the book that the pattern was in, and she purchased the yarn. Last week I started it.

Marit Shawl

The pattern is the Marit Shawl and is in Berroca Book 428 – Topaz. It is also available on Ravelry. So I started it and it is the weirdest construction I have ever done. I am told it is Entrelec knitting. It is a little confusing at first, but I have learned that if I look ahead to see whether the next row is knitted on the right side or the wrong side, I am good to go. I think I just start second guessing myself and then confuse myself. The diagram included also helps. So I started knitting away on a 7 US needle.

Lovely colors

I was getting the hang of the pattern and enjoying the knitting. I am not so sure about the yarn. It is Topaz from Berroco. It goes from thin to thick, hence the lumpy look in many spots. I need to grow to love this yarn as I purchased quite a bit of it in another colorway for a cardigan for myself. And then I happened to look up the pattern on Ravelry (I don’t even remember why) and noticed that my squares were a bit smaller that the picture. So I started looking at the stats and the Ravelry pattern suggests a size 9 US needle. What?? The book pattern suggests a 7 US needle. Oh my gosh! So I had to rip it all out. Yep, frogged the whole thing, and it was not easy. This yarn is a bit fuzzy, so it took me quite some time to try to carefully rip it all out. OK. On to start number two.

Second Start

So on Tuesday I re-started the shawl. My squares are definitely bigger and it is going faster this time around.

Marit Progress

This is where I left off last night. I will say that this pattern is so fun and at times, I say to myself, “one more block.” And then I have knitted 3 more. I just want to keep going with it. But usually I knit in the morning while having my coffee. I didn’t get to do that this morning, so I may be knitting “a few blocks” tonight. But evenings and nights are usually reserved for cross stitching. Which brings me to talk about what I am stitching X’s on these days.

When I finished The Dark Queen, I immediately went to my WIP stack and pulled out Pearl, of The Orient Seas from Bella Filipina. I started her in August of 2019.

Start on Pearl in August 2019

This is what she looked like when I picked her up in October.

Pearl

This pattern is very heavily beaded and has lots of Kreinik threads. So there is going to be lots of holes left for adding many, many beads in the end.

Pearl

She has a very skinny body leading down to her tail. Oh good, that should go rather quickly. And then there is beautiful tail! Here is where I am at now.

Pearl, Of the Orient Seas

She is coming along nicely and I am determined to stick with her until finished. I am stitching her on a one of a Kind 16ct aida from Fantasy Dyed Fabrics.

So, that is what I have been up to. What are you working on?

cross stitch · Fairies · Hand Dyed Fabrics · Knitted Shawl · Knitting · Passione Ricamo · yarn

Catching Up With Some Finishes


Hello friends! Today was a lazy day and I didn’t get much done. It looks cold and gloomy outside, maybe that explains my mood today. Anyway, I promised a photo of my finished 20 Year Celebration piece.

20 Year Celebration

Please excuse the wrinkles. It was on the scrolls for a long time. I can’t tell you how happy I am to finish this piece. It is so beautiful in person. I love the Round Robin feel to it. A little bit of 12 different designs by Passione Ricamo. I am still looking for a framer, but this piece definitely has to be framed. Another one out of the WIP pile!! I stitched this on 16ct Aida Nantucket Sky from Fabrics By Stephanie.

While I was finishing up the Jolie shawl, a local yarn dyer, AJHC Wools, posted a picture of her yarns in a pink to black fade that I absolutely fell in love with! So I checked my stash and ordered what I needed to make the Grevillea Shawl by Ambah O’Brien. Here are the yarns in all of their gloriousness:

AJHC Wools Yarns

Isn’t it just fabulous? I couldn’t wait to get started on it.

Grevillea Shawl start
My Progress

With every repeat of this pattern, I fell more and more in love. The pink section was so long. I was so happy to have added my first mini skein, Blizzard. And did you happen to see that adorable progress marker? A Starbucks coffee cup from my Best Stitchy Friend ❤

Pink fade!

The colors are looking so awesome together! Four out of 10 so far!

Grevillea Shawl

Almost finished! Just one more mini skein to go!

The knitting is finished!

I am so in love with this shawl! I love the long section of the light pink and the fade is so perfect! Just the blocking left to do. This shawl is the perfect example why blocking is necessary. The pattern is so blocky and lumpy. Here is a close-up.

Close up of Grevillea shawl

The pattern is broken up into puffy squares and the lace pattern is barely visible. Blocking allows the fabric to lay flat and opens up the lace pattern. And here is the finished shawl, which I have already worn and LOVE it!

See how that lace opened up and the pattern isn’t puffy anymore. Love how this one turned out. Again, the pattern is the Grevillea Shawl by Ambah O’brien. Yarn is from AJHC Wools.

So that is it for my finishes from over the summer. Stop back again soon to see what is on my knitting needles and what I am cross stitching now. What are you stitching?

Autumn Lane Stitchery · Fairies · Knitted Shawl · Knitting · Passione Ricamo

November??


Hi! How can it be November already? The last post I made was in July! Everything is fine, just busy I suppose. I spent part of the summer getting the spare bedroom ready for my Mother-in-Law’s visit in September. That was fun. I turned it into “The Mermaid room”. My MIL really liked the room. She visited for a month and we had lots of fun. We visited the zoo, went to a wedding, went up north, did lots of shopping, knitting and I taught her to do Diamond Painting, which I think she really enjoyed.

So, let me back-track and see where I left off over the summer…Oh yes. The Jolie Shawl. I finished it and it turned out very nice. So soft and sparkly.

Jolie Shawl

The pattern was from the July 2021 Seed Club from the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan. I don’t think the pattern is up on Ravelry yet, but you can contact the shop if you are interested. The yarn is from Britty Rae Knits and is just scrumptious.

I have also finished a cross stitch I was working on.

Dark Queen of the Seas

The Dark Queen is finished. I did leave off the corner elements and the crown. I also left off a ton of back stitching on her tentacles. Lots of gold lines and symbols. I thought her tentacles looked fine as is and that would have been way to much backstitching for me. I am not a fan of backstitch, so the less, the better 😉 Design is by Autumn Lane Stitchery. Fabric is 16ct Aida Iris from Fabrics by Stephanie.

I also finished these:

Galatea
Summer Lady
Spring Fae
Iris Goddess

I have a few more finishes to share next time, including the full 20 Year Celebration.

So what have you been up to the last few months?

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?