This week, I’m working on a new spinning project. I have a lot of handcarded batts in stash and I decided that I would tackle a set of those next. These are from KCKnits on Etsy (although I think her store is permanently closed) and the colorway, Princezna Hyacinta, is inspired by an Alphonse Mucha print, with royal blue, turquoise, jade green, citrine and white. The batt fibers are hand-dyed merino wool and firestar for a bit of sparkle.
I decided to spin these by stripping sections of each color off the batts, so they will form long, mostly gradient color shifts. I’ll spin 2 oz as one set of singles and the second 2 oz as another set of singles and then ply them together. I’ve had pretty good success with this in the past but may have to do a bit of creative breaking off and adding in sections of singles to retain the long color shifts. I’ll see how it all works out when I get to the plying stage. For now, I’m almost done spinning the second 1-oz batt, and I plan to finish that up this weekend and then start on the second bobbin (with the third 1-oz batt next week).
I’ve also started another sock project (I think you’re going to see a fair amount of socks this year – I’m on a sock-knitting kick apparently). I am a fan of Hunter Hammersen’s knitting designs and I have her Fine Things for Plain Occasions ebook which has a ton of patterns I’d like to knit in it. I just received the first installment of Long Dog Yarn’s One Club To Rule Them All for January 2022 (all the colors are themed on LOTR), and this lovely herbal green speckle dye was really calling out to me for something Hobbit-ish, so I settled on the By Naughty Design sock pattern which has fun little vines and leaves on it, and I cast on for these this late yesterday.
I also got to a good stopping point on my Desert Mandala design. I finished adding all the seed beads around the center motif. I still have the larger square crystals to add in the flower centers and stems, but I will put those in at the end so they don’t get cracked or shifted around on my scroll rods. Loads of bling! Next time this is out – in February – I’ll be working on the specialty stitch border around the center motif and see if I can’t get that finished up.
In it’s place, I’ll finish out January with some work on another full coverage piece. This is Winter’s Encounter. Original artwork by Laura Prindle, and charted by Heaven and Earth Designs. I’m also stitching this on 25-count fabric, 1 thread of floss over 1 square of fabric. It’s a MUCH smaller design than my other one, so I have hopes of finishing it sometime in the next couple of years and you’ll see it out as a focus piece every month this year. The horse isn’t quite a perfect match for my beloved long-time long-distance riding companion, Bhen, but close enough that I think of him everytime I see this artwork. Same gentle face, but Bhen would have been uninterested in the bird and wondering where his quilted blue horse blanket was if I was going to make him stand out in the snow. He was not a fan of cold precipitation despite having been bred and grown up in the snow belt of Idaho.
For reference, you’re looking at the full height of this piece and just under halfway across it. My plan of attack is to finish up the two partial pages at the bottom – one of which I’m about 75% finished with – before moving over to work on the rest of the horse and the winter landscape to the right in the image.
Have a great week YOP’ers!
26 thoughts on “Year of Projects: Week 4”
Wow this is some great work this week. I love the colour of that fibre, I’ve been a fan of Mucha since I visited Prague so it’s nice to see something inspired by his work. I know what you mean about socks, I seem to be on a sock roll at the moment. I also love your horse project, how lovely that he reminds you of Bhen. I look forward to seeing this take shape over the year.
I’m a fan of his artwork as well. I have a set of cross stitch patterns that are the 4 seasons he did, but I’m always glad to find something else inspired by his art. 🙂
I loved hearing your thought process on spinning that fiber. It made me see spinning in a whole new way.
That’s a lovely comment – thank you! I’ll be happy to do other process posts if you (or anyone else) finds them useful!
What beautiful stitching projects Anne! I too love Hunter Hammersen’s designs, I think I need to knit a pair of Wrack socks. I can’t wait to see your By Naughty socks. I really like your spinning plans, makes me think about how I should start spinning a few batts I have.
She does have a great design sense. I’ve got a hat from this same collection that I’m eyeing to cast on for February that’s a fun 1920s style cloche.
Yes she does and I love her hat designs too!
Wow, what beautiful stitch projects you have. You have so much more patience than I. I can’t imagine working on something that takes years to complete. That green speckled yarn will be perfect for the pattern you selected.
LOL – well, you know, it is said doing those kinds of projects doesn’t require patience, it teaches patience. (I also went to a Quaker school as a kid and they felt like 5 year olds could sit still and quietly for 20 minutes for meeting every week so maybe I just have it ingrained?)
You have some beautiful stitch projects. The colors on the mandala are gorgeous and that horse looks like a photo! I look forward to seeing how they progress.
Thank you! Me too 🙂
Your spinning is so pretty….it goes right over my head how you do that. I am amazed! Your cross stitch is gorgeous. You must have the patience of a saint to work on a project that long. The horse is gorgeous. I used to have horses and I miss my horses and riding. To realize I will never again own a horse or ride again makes me sad. That’s what getting old is like….giving up one thing after another. Enjoy your youth! I am blessed that I was able to do it for as long as I did.
Thank you for that lovely and kind comment. We actually don’t own horses anymore. I decided after Bhen passed away I was not young enough to have another youngster, and deal with hay deliveries, and all the physical things that having horses requires. I miss him and his partner in crime, our big guy, Sam, every day but not enough to re-run fence lines to have more. They are special creatures.
Your By Naughty sock pattern is pretty. Love those little vines running up the leg. You stitching is breath taking. That has got to take great patience.
Oh my goodness your stitching is beautiful. That desert one 😍 Will you be able to get rid of the grid pattern when the horse one is finished? Is this something you’ve drawn on or it is on the cloth? When I did cross stitch I used to tack (which I know is called something else in US but don’t recall what you call it) a grid with some coloured sewing thread to mark my grid and then you just pull them out at the end.
Yes – absolutely! It’s a pre-printed grid that comes out in hot water. I wouldn’t use it with hand-dyed threads but it’s fine with DMC floss. It does require a bit of soaking and hot water continually added for it to come out completely, but it does come out. Basting? I have done that in the past but this is the lazy person’s method of gridding 🙂
Oh that’s interesting. Yes basting is what I mean.
Wow, so great to see your progress on all your beautiful projects, I couldn’t even name a favourite, they’re all so gorgeous.
Thank you for that lovely kind comment!
These are all lovely projects! I too am a fan of Hunter Hammersen’s designs, though I haven’t knit nearly as many of them as I have waiting in queue to get worked on… 😉 And I love that desert mandala enough that I plan to stitch something by that designer—but I think I will start with a smaller project and move up from there. I saw several different varieties of project on the site you linked last time, so now I just need to pick!
Yeah. My queue is kind of overflowing – in a good way – but still. Let me know if you need/want a suggestion on where to get started. There’s also a company called European Cross Stitch (although they are based here in AZ) that kits up all the threads, beads, etc. – everything except the pattern PDF – and it usually saves you a bit on sourcing individually (especially now with supply chain issues around the hand-dyed silks if you decide to go that route).
Thanks! I’ve done some looking around on the site, and there’s a dragonfly one that is really tempting me. I think I’m going to go with that one—and the kit version on the threads and beads sounds like the only way I could make it work realistically right now.
The horse stitching is amazing. It looks alive with motion. Beautiful work.
Thank you so much! The artist is one of my favorites 🙂
I am going on a sock knitting adventure this year too! I will look forward to comparing notes.
Excellent! They are such fun and practical projects!