Stitching In Progress: The Schnookie Report

Okay, so Pookie’s doing this thing where she’s taking pictures every Sunday to document her progress as “Threads Of Fire”, and it’s prompted me to get up off my duff to document a bit about what I’m stitching right now. I’m far pokier about stitching than she is in general, and even moreso during the hockey season, but I’m in a bit of a groove this summer. After quite a few months of puttering along on projects that weren’t really speaking to me, I cracked open the kit for Elizabeth Bradley’s “Rhododendron” and found it was exactly what I wanted to be working on.

The kits come with a painted canvas, all the threads you need, and a giant, color chart. Now, I love the palette of all the Elizabeth Bradley designs (you could safely say that I am addicted to them), but the purples in this one seem especially delightful, probably because I’ve never worked one of her patterns that had much purple in it before.

Now, even though the kits come with painted canvas, they’re still counted cross stitch. You could, if you so desired, work just off the painted design, but the idea is that you’re supposed to work off the chart instead. I, um, don’t know why they paint the canvas, then, too. The painting never matches with the stitching, and while it serves as a nice kind of “cheat sheet” approach to counting while you stitch (if I’m working a giant color block, it’s nice to have a rough idea of when I need to pull up), it can sometimes lead to frustrating coverage issues.

Here’s a detail of the chart:

And here’s how it looks in stitches:

What’s fun about working this on the painted side is that it’s hard to get too wrapped up in gazing at the overview of my progress, because the stitching and the painting all kind of run together. So every now and then I’ll step back and assess how much I’ve done by gazing at the unpainted back. Behold, my progress!

I’m a little over a third of the way there. Oh, and looking at the back here, you can see why I’m not very fond of working with silk on linen the way Pookie and Boomer do — I’m used to having a forgiving back like this:

Full coverage of ten-count canvas with wool thread means you’ve got a lot of places to start and stop threads and do color changes.

Of course, it being the start of August, I’m starting to be hard hit by my annual Autumnlonging, which means it’s the time of year when I put down my Victorian cross stitch in favor of a seasonal Prairie Schooler, worked in silk or DMC floss on linen. So last night I lost all sense of discipline and fell prey to the siren song of a new project. Or rather, a new old project. No, it’s not autumnal, but I impulse-bought a winter Prairie Schooler design two summers ago on a spree at the Attic, and last night Pookie dug it out of her stash for me.

I named the deer Burl, and I have high hopes that this time around, I might actually finish the little four-square. Burl deserves to not be packed away again.



Filed under Pins and Needles, Progress Reports, Stitching

19 responses to “Stitching In Progress: The Schnookie Report

  1. Burl is adorable! And the Elizabeth Bradley stuff always looks way hard to me, and I’m not quite sure why. But yours looks FANTASTIC, Schnookie. That’s so pretty!

  2. My problem is I pick projects that look pretty but are WAY too hard for my skill level. This is my current project “Walking to Town”.

  3. It’s funny about Elizabeth Bradley — I find it’s the only type of stitching that seems easy, but Pookie and Boomer both struggle with it. I think it’s in my wheelhouse because I tend toward too-tight tension. It’s a problem for me when I work on linen, but it makes my wool-on-canvas stitches just right. So if you’ve got crazy-tight tension, Elizabeth Bradley should be just the thing for you! :D

    Chaz, that project is lovely! I am such a sucker for wintry designs, so that makes it doubly pretty. It looks like a great learning piece, too — by the time you’re done with it, you’ll be right at its skill level!

  4. Caitlin, the Elizabeth Bradly stuff always looks way too hard for me too — but that could be because I’ve proven I can’t do it! Seriously. I’ve tried. My final result always looks so crappy that Schnookie doesn’t even bother with the “No, no, it looks good!” She goes straight to “Uh, yeah. Stick with silk on linen.” Heh.

    Chaz, holy cow! I’m not sure you could’ve picked a piece with more colors and more counting! Dude! I can’t wait to see your finished result! The piece is beautiful! Of course, if I had designed it, I would have made those stones smaller… :D

  5. Chaz, that is gorgeous! I’m in awe! You have my immortal respect for that.

    So if you’ve got crazy-tight tension, Elizabeth Bradley should be just the thing for you! :D

    Ooh, probably not. I’m always a little too loose with my tension, so there you go.

  6. I hope we can still be friends, Caitlin, even though I have too-tight tension, you have too-loose tension, and never the twain shall meet. :P

  7. Well, there’s 29 colors and a lot of mixing and matching of colors. The counting is driving me crazy! I feel like I got nothing done in two hours tonight because it was three over, one up, two over, six down. Good gracious…I think this might be the death of me! I won’t let myself buy my next piece until this one is almost done. And…I love that piece cause it’s a Parisian street scene.

    I’ll definitely post a picture of it when I’m done but that most likely will be some time around when the Stanley cup makes an appearance! So far, I’ve perfected the imperfect stones. Which look way better than the way they were really supposed to look! =)
    The big ass tree behind the house is done, and now I’m on the ground below the house. It should fly once I get to the outer edge because it’s 40-50 of the same color/stitch. Speaking of stitchs, any ideas on how to get a nice half cross stitch? Some of mine look great, some look like they’ve been hittin’ the vino. I’m sure like my last piece it’ll look ok in the aggregate, but right now…not so much.

  8. That counting sounds awful! You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din! :D

    As for the half-crosses, I’m not well versed in them. Sorry! I would think if you did the half-cross first, and then finish the other leg starting at the bottom and going to the top, maybe?

  9. 29 colors??? That’s MADNESS! Of course, I suppose that’s part of what makes it look so great. :D I can’t wait to see pictures of the finished product, Chaz!

    (And I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of advice for half cross stitches, either. I would probably just close my eyes, swing the stitch in, and hope for the best. Which is why I’m not the famous stitcher in my household. :P)

  10. Chaz, the chart I just ordered has 47 colors, so I feel you.

    I’m scared and excited all at the same time!

    If it’s helpful, I always do the half stitch first, then do the full other stitch. It usually lays better for me that way, but you never know, I could be wrong :P.

    I hope we can still be friends, Caitlin, even though I have too-tight tension, you have too-loose tension, and never the twain shall meet. :P

    Of course we can! Heh. Awww. We can teach each other to stitch halfway in between! :p

  11. Okay, I am passing out at the thought of 47 colors. You’re a glutton for punishment!

  12. 29 colors? 47 colors?! You guys are INSANE! May I suggest looking into some of Long Dog’s monochromatic samplers? ;)

  13. Oops, excuse me, it’s actually 48! My bad.

    And I think the other one I got has 35-40 too. Uh..yeah.

    I love those Long Dog samplers, Pookie! I really like that Bois du Luc one :D.

    I really am a glutton for punishment, I guess. And it’s going to blind me, no doubt, because I’ll probably be stitching on 24 count or higher.

  14. Hmm…monochromatic. Hopefully it’s all full cross stitch b/c the full, half, back and french knot thing are driving me ape. I guess I see “ohh, pretty” first and then after purchasing ask myself what I’ve gotten into. I’m good like that! =)

  15. Chaz, I’m the same way. I’m pretty much a “cross stitch (with occasional backstitch) only” kind of gal. Pookie and Boomer like to do true samplers, where there are tons of different stitches involved, but that’s more than I can handle. (Of course, a lot of “fancy” stitches are just as easy, if not easier than cross stitch.)

  16. Your raspberries are kicking my ass. I LOVE raspberries. =D

  17. Do you mean the picture in the banner? That’s from our farm! They didn’t actually have any ripe raspberries yesterday when we were picking them — we had to settle on blackberries instead. They’re good, but not as good as raspberries would have been. :D

  18. Sorry! I tend to loose my mind when I think of raspberries. They occupy my every thought…hmm…kind of like hockey come to think of it. It’s one of the first things I want to plant when I get some yardage of my own. Along with a lemon, lime and apple tree. My fear is that they will meet the same fate as my house plants….errr…inevitable death. sniff, sniff

    Hmm, blackberries aren’t bad, but I agree the raspberries would have been better! =D

  19. You know, we’re death to houseplants, but do very well with outdoor plants. Maybe it’s easier when you’ve got nature getting involved? (I can vouch for fruit trees being pretty ornery, but raspberries? You just put them in the ground and then start eating the haul from them. They’re CRAZY easy!)

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