I seem to be doing a lot of this lately:
I finished stitching my second cardinal ornament from the Imaginating, Inc. free chart ... with these modifications: leaving out the bird house and an accidental rearranging of the placement of the branch and leaves a wee bit ... the changes in the leaves were the result of an error I didn't feel like frogging, but I don't think the symmetry was unduly disturbed.
Then, startitis hit again but at least this time it advances one of my stated monthly goals: the GAST Baba Black Sheep ... though, of course, I Americanized this French chart by stitching it as Baa Baa rather than BaBa. This has changed the negative space in the design and I am adjusting the placement of the remaining words to accomodate the change. I have replaced the GAST Black Crow on the sheep with Brown Black and Cream Mandarin [bamboo] floss from Rainbow Gallery ... so I will have two differently colored sheep instead of two black sheep. I chose the Mandarin from my stash since it has the texture of a fine silk and wool blend. I am stitching the legs, faces and tails of the sheep in cross-stitch, then back-stitching an outline of the sheep which I am filling in with closely packed French knots. As charted in plain old cross-stitch, it's hard to tell that the animals are sheep at all. I have truly tiny black buttons that I will use for the eyes of my sheep. I am also changing out the cross-stitching in the ball of wool to a dimensional specialty stitch [I am imagining a kind of layered triple Smyrna Cross] that I believe will look more like an actual ball of wool with a loosely unravelled tail that meanders through the whole piece, tying the words together. As charted now, I think the ball of wool looks more like a balloon floating in the upper right hand corner. I plan to "finish" this up as a hipster tote bag [i.e.: a tote with long straps that cross the chest so the bag rides on one's hip]. I will use the tote when I attend the Sheep and Wool festival in Rhinebeck this Fall. I have some nice thin wale black corduroy for the tote and plan on lining it with scraps from an old light tan flannel sheet so that my purchases will remain snag-free.
It's odd: sometimes, I follow a chart with such lock-step fidelity that it is scary and as if I have virtually no creativity of my own ... other times, I tend to look on a chart as a mere sketch waiting to be developed into a more detailed rendering. I guess this week has been one of those other times when I just can't resist tweeking and re-inventing until I am satisfied.