Where I Face My Fickleness Head On

I am in the process of organizing my needlework stash (more on that later) as a way to fully prepare for the trip to the Attic, and part of that process is dividing the lot into categories, including UFOs and WIPs. Some might not see a difference between “Unfinished Objects” and “Works in Progress”, but I’ve decided that UFOs are projects that I will probably never finish, and maybe never even pick up ever again. WIPs, on the other hand, are pieces that I put down for some reason — maybe good, maybe bad — but which I have every intention of finishing. I was pleased to discover that I only have 3 UFOs and only 5 WIPs. In order to encourage me to finish these WIPs sooner rather than later, I’m going to document them here. Maybe someday, when I’m bored at work, I’ll stumble on this post and go, “Oh, right! I remember that!” Here’s hoping!

The one that I’m most likely to finish is True Wisdom by Exampler Dames Design Co.

I’m about halfway done with this one, and I’ve already finished the very worst part (that verse is entirely cross-stitched over one). It’s all downhill from here! I don’t remember why I put it down; I think I might have just been antsy for something younger and prettier. My stitching life seems to be a constant competition of which project can feature the ugliest bird. This one is definitely in the front running:

I’m thinking this will be one of those classic examples of “I put it down for years, and then it only took two months to finish”, a la Blue Enigma.

Next up, in terms of likelyhood I’ll finish it, is MFB By The Sea by Carriage House Samplings.

I’m under a quarter of the way through this one, but put it aside in favor of MFBville. I left off half of that middle square because I’m going to alter the chart to include the title MFB By The Sea. Because I’m super-mature. Heh. So far, I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out, and it stitches up very quickly, so I do anticipate this one being finished someday in the next five to six years. Also, it should be noted, the bird in the bottom right-hand square is doing a stellar job of gunning for the title of Ugliest Bird. The one in True Widsom is going to have to step up his game.

I’m also about a quarter of the way through My Home Town, also by Carriage House Samplings.

I put this one down because I was in a boring part and I wasn’t totally crazy about the Belle Soire silk I was using. All the fun stuff on this design seems to be on the other side from where I am. The fact that all the fish in the river along the bottom are stitched over one, isn’t helping me get excited to work on it again!

Speaking of not being excited to work on it again, it’s SDW by Scarlet Letter!

This piece is a monster. It’s like 8,000 feet long. I’m probably an eighth of the way done! Some of the motifs I’ve finished look a little dopey, but by the time it’s finished, the wacky lion and the strange checker-board hot pepper will just blend into the background.

The reason I put it down, and the reason I’m dragging my feet about picking it back up again, is that I have to make a color change because the light pink I had been using is too close to the color of the linen. The bottom of this floral doohickey is just waiting for me to decide what color I should substitute:

The final WIP, the one that is at the very end of the “I may someday finish it” scale is the one and only Berlin Woolwork from the Needle’s Prayse.

This piece was all the rage a few years ago at the Attic, when Jean Lea kindly kitted up all nine parts of the incredibly intricate design into easy to handle packaged with exactly the right amount of silk (if we’d all been buying a skein for every color needed, we’d probably have over-worked the entire world’s silkworm population). I managed to finish Part 1 of 9, and then a few motifs of Part 2:

I put it down because, well, all that working over one is exhausting! Plus, the last motif I did looked very much like it should be the upholstery from an ulgy chesterfield from the 70’s. Most of the motifs, though, look more like this:

So there they are. Five beautiful projects stand atop my stash bin, but only one of them will be “Pookie’s Next I Feel Guilty About Starting Something New And Should Really Go Back And Finish One I’ve Started” project.

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18 Comments

Filed under Pins and Needles, Stitching

18 responses to “Where I Face My Fickleness Head On

  1. Ok, we’ll have to keep each other honest in this one. I put Walking to Town down for two years, and now just really want it done so I can move onto the two other patterns I found in my cross stitch drawer. =P
    I guess I should be happy that my mild OCD does not allow me to start a piece when another is unfinished. That would be WAY too much organizing of projects and thread. =P
    I love “My Home Town” and can’t wait to see it done.

  2. The push for “I just really want it done so I can move on” is a powerful thing! Good luck! I used to be much more disciplined about finishing projects before I started something new but then I went to the Fickle Side and said, “Darn it! This is a hobby! I should work on the ones that make me happy in the minute!” Thus all these WIPs.

    “My Home Town” is going to be really cool when it’s finished. I think the big grape tree motif will really make it pop. But damn those over-one fish are a pain in the butt!

  3. Oh my goodness.

    All your work is gorgeous but I can definitely see how just putting something down and restarting later would be almost insurmountable.

    You really don’t like stitching over one, do you? I myself have never tried it, so I’m going to take your word for it that it’s tedious. :D

  4. Sometimes it’s easier to pick a project up once it’s been started. Like, doing it all in one fell swoop is too much to handle, but then, a year later, you find it again and go, “Hey! I’ve already stitched over half of this!” Of course, sometimes you put a project down because you just flat-out hate working on it. :D

  5. Oh, and stitching over one BLOWS. :D

  6. I LOVE the colors in True Wisdom. … and honestly? Pretty much anything I abandon becomes a UFO, judging by the gross number of half-finished scarves in my closet.

    PS. I just have to say, all of your photos of your stitching are so gorgeous – although they sort of give me a headache when I imagine actually stitching something so complicated, especially since I’m still pretty pleased with my quick and easy Subversive Cross Stitch bad words ones. ;) (My brother now wants one that says “No Dumping”. Wonderful.)

  7. Caitlin, I complain a lot about stitching over one, but once you get in the swing of it, it’s okay. It looks so spectacular when it’s finished, I can’t really escape it. I at least check a project before I buy it to see if it has over one, unlike KtG. Every Thanksgiving she brings a new project to our place, gets it out, and then says, “Oh fuck. I had no idea this was all over one!” It’s like clockwork.

    I agree with Schnookie that it is easier to pick up one that’s already started because you feel like you’ve made like instant progress!

    elizabeth, thanks for the compliment on the photos! I do love Subversive Cross Stitch. I saw someone who dolled up the “I Stitch To Sublimate My Rage” and I’m sort of tempted to get out my books of fancy French alphabets to chart it out. At the other end of the spectrum, a grad school classmate of mine had an old sign from the private library where she worked that said in really plain, staid writing “Silence”. One of these days I’m going to replicate that in stitching form. Maybe I could hang it up at work!

  8. Sometimes it’s easier to pick a project up once it’s been started.

    I agree with Schnookie that it is easier to pick up one that’s already started because you feel like you’ve made like instant progress!

    I’m horrible. I go back and look at things that I’ve started that are halfway done, and I feel kind of like Kumar from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: ” ‘Do you want to go back to the apartment to get it?’ ‘No, dude, we’ve gone too far.’ ”

    I just have some sort of crazy mental block about finishing things that I’ve put down for months/years, so I just have to power myself through them or I know I’ll never finish!

    The SDW one looks difficult but so pretty.

    And EEE for MFB by the Sea! That Berlin Woolwork one makes my head a little hurt-y, though, just thinking about attempting it.

  9. I’m horrible. I go back and look at things that I’ve started that are halfway done, and I feel kind of like Kumar from Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle: ” ‘Do you want to go back to the apartment to get it?’ ‘No, dude, we’ve gone too far.’ ”

    That’s definitely a fair approach! I was that way much more about knitting. Once a knitting project was put down, it was over for me. I’m also way more fickle than Pookie — I would never lay bare my UFOs and WIPs for the world to see because I have SO MANY projects that were just impulse sort of things, that have 14 stitches on them, and will never be worked on again.

  10. ‘No, dude, we’ve gone too far.’ ”

    Heh! I can understand that. I’m that way about ideas at work. I’ll be like, “Hey, I’ve had this great idea how to make everything better!” And the boss will be like, “Great, do it!” And I’ll be like, “No, dude, we’ve gone too far.”

    The SDW one looks difficult but so pretty.

    Other than being 8 feet long, it’s actually pretty simple. It doesn’t have a lot of color changes. The woolwork is a total bitch, but near the end there’s this giant really color motif with an English setter that just looks so old school awesome, so that was my driving motivation.

  11. I would never lay bare my UFOs and WIPs for the world to see because I have SO MANY projects that were just impulse sort of things, that have 14 stitches on them, and will never be worked on again.

    Haha, now you make me want to see all these items!! Hmm.

    And I’ll be like, “No, dude, we’ve gone too far.”

    Yeah, my boss is like, “Can we add this into a motion?” And I’m like, “Hell no, we’ve gone too far. Dude.” Ha!

    (Cat and I have gotten an awful lot of mileage out of quoting Harold & Kumar incessantly.)

    I will say this: I got my Wyndham shipment in and there’s a free chart that came with it that I’m already eyeing. I have too many projects lined up now!

    And, I meant to tell y’all – I am such a ditz. The sampler we picked out for the baby? I kept telling my sister, “That looks familiar. I swear to God I’ve seen that somewhere before.”

    It’s just a different version (the “girl” version) of the sampler Pookie stitched.

    Clueless? That’s me. Heh.

  12. Maybe someday I’ll go rooting through the basement to find all my UFOs and WIPs. I’ve got to be honest, I tend to impulse-start things on linen and then literally forget completely about them. When Pookie was rooting through her stash this weekend, she pulled a piece out that has just a tiny little bit of border worked on it, and she said, “This is yours.” I was like, “What the hell are you talking about?” Turns out she was right. It’s a project I started about five years ago. Heh.

    And WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! for the Wyndham order! Are the linens gorgeous? And seriously, you can’t EVER have TOO MANY projects lined up. It just means you have lots of things to live for. :P

    We only discovered the “girl” version of the baby sampler the other day. The one Pookie stitched was actually for a girl, and we were like, “Heh heh. Whoops.” Who knew? :D

  13. Oooh, I love the girl version of that sampler! Both of them are so pretty. And I think you’ll be really pleased with how much better it looks stitched up than it does in the picture.

    Oh, and I’m sorry I couldn’t find the chart that I used. I think it’s one of about 3 charts I’ve ever thought to dispose of once I finished it. I have all these charts for stuff I’ve finished that I’m really never going to stitch again just lying around.

  14. Are the linens gorgeous?

    Oh, they are SO gorgeous. I took pics, but I’ve been delayed in getting ’em up. The 13 pack I got will come in really handy for small projects/ornaments, so yay!

    Turns out she was right. It’s a project I started about five years ago. Heh.

    Hahah! I think my record is a half-knitted scarf I dropped two years ago. :D

    And I think you’ll be really pleased with how much better it looks stitched up than it does in the picture.

    Yay, I’m excited! Yeah, even the linen they recommend is prettier (in my opinion) than the linen they used in the picture. That’s a pretty dramatic difference!

  15. Oh, and I’m sorry I couldn’t find the chart that I used. I think it’s one of about 3 charts I’ve ever thought to dispose of once I finished it.

    Oh, it’s not a big deal at all! Heh!

    I have all these charts for stuff I’ve finished that I’m really never going to stitch again just lying around.

    Yeah, I know, for example, that I will probably never stitch Circling Alphabets ever again. Am I going to keep that chart? Hells yes, I will never let it go! Cause I’m weird like that. :D

  16. I’m so excited for your linens! That’s my one regret about liking Victorian cross stitch so much more than regular — I don’t get to enjoy all the gorgeous, gorgeous linens that are available!

  17. Douglas

    That’s very pretty, the art that you have at the very top of this blog, where the words, IPB Living, appear. How did you do that, if we may ask? — make the color fade from a deep red to a very light yellow, we guess it is.

  18. Thanks so much, Douglas! That picture actually wasn’t doctored at all — it’s a macro shot of this drink, turned on its side. I wish we knew how to manipulate photographs at all, but we’re totally limited. We’re stuck with however our pictures come out of the camera, so we’re at the mercy of our subjects. :D

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