I wanted to finish up one more Crazy January Challenge this month: Black Bird Designs' Bird in the Hand. This is another absolutely lovely piece from the ladies at BBD. And it has the added bonus of being a relatively quick stitch ... monochromatic, so no time consuming color changes; straightforward cross-stitching without any specialty stitches to distract or slow the stitcher; and just plain easy. Every now and then one needs simplicity. And this simple piece is a nice change of pace from my recent cross-stitch finish, Autumn Faerie ... I still have to tackle the beading on that piece but that will have to be a later-on-in-the-weekend project. Right now I want to finish my bird. All that being true, I am having a problem with the fiber I am using, GAST's Raspberry Parfait cotton overdye. Normally, GAST floss and I manage to get along quite nicely but this particular card of fiber is giving me substantial aggravation. It snarls during the stranding process, sometimes so badly it is just easier to literally cut my losses and snip away the knot. And while stitching, it keps creating slip knots and even the occasional double slip knot, for good measure. It even feels coarser than GAST normally does. I suspect the dye agent is the culprit though I usually notice this with blacks and dark blues more than with a medium red. Anyway, here's a photo of the progress at the end of the dedicated day in the Crazy January Challenge and another of progress after Thursday and Friday stitching.
It feels as though my stitching momentum is gathering force. In years past I have had many more finishes noted in the sidebar by this time of year ... but numbers aren't everything ... I am working on much larger pieces this year than I have in the past. Oh, there are still a few smalls but not nearly as many as swelled last year's Finish List. Even so, by the end of this month I will have added three pieces to the 2011 list: The Autumn Faerie, The Gilded Cage and Bird in Hand. That's one BAP, one medium sized piece and one smallish-tending-toward-medium project. Not bad at all!
June will be different though. I'll be starting the next BAP but that will be balanced by four ornament sized Crazy January Challenge projects. And most of the CJC projets are nearly half stitched already. It shouldn't take too terribly long to finish them up. And, there won't be an exchange project in the rotation this month either.
And a little stash enhancement is going on. I have ordered the last ThreadGatherer Silk'n'Color needed for my Primitive Needle piece, The Black'd Skie, a Crop-a-dile tool for making up floss tags, and the Heaven and Earth Designs chart The Tangle Fairy ... all from 123stitch. I was disappointed to discover that they could not order The Enchanted Lair's Teatime for me though ... it would have made a nice addition to my dragons in a teacup series. I'll have to see if I can find it elsewhere. I also called Dyeing to Stitch in Virginia Beach to get some of the chenille trim that the folks at BBD have been showing in their recent pillow finishes. I ordered 2 five yard lengths of each of the available colors ... all five of them. Ann said they would be adding more colors to their line of chenille trims soon. I'm sure I'll hbe ordering more.
PS: I posted an In Search Of post on the 123 message board regarding Teatime. Jo at Dinky Dyes responded that she had the charts in stock and would send one on to Joanne at 123stitch ... so I should have my little dragon in a teacup quite soon. I do love the Internet: how else would a stitcher in the northeast USA be able to purchase a chart from an online shop headquartered in the southwest USA with help from a thread dyer from Australia?