WIPocalypse – October 2014

I decided to join the WIPocalypse, both to motivate me to make blog posts and to keep stitching on my current WIPs. I currently have five WIPs that I am working on, and I have two really old kits that I pick up every now and then to make some progress on them.

My most recent start and the project I am actively working on is Autumn Harvest Festival from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I got to a point where it seemed like all of my projects were huge and complicated and I wanted something smaller and easier to stitch from time to time. I think these patterns are cute, and as I am not that into Halloween I liked that it was autumn themed, not Halloween themed. This is my current progress:

My next WIP is the Tree of Stitches from Bee’s Needleworks. I worked on it a lot in September, but then I got a lot of fun stuff in the mail and I wanted to work on something else. This is my current progress:

My other WIPs are the three Passione Ricamo Mystery SALs. The first one was Fatum from 2012-2013. I like it a lot, except the writing on the bottom. I find the letters very dominating and I might try to remove them. I started late and got distracted when the next one came out. This is my current progress:

The second mystery was Into the Deep from 2013. This was the first time I ever stitched on a coloured fabric and I am really liking it. I think the pattern is beautilful and I look forward to working on it again. This is my current progress:

The final mystery from Passione Ricamo is the 20 Years Celebration. Again I am not sure about the writing, so I have put that off for a while to see how it looks. I like a lot of the Passione Ricamo designs and I think the design idea is pretty cool. Somehow the pattern represented in this pattern are not the ones on the top of my wishlist, so this might be the only way that I would stitch some of them. This is my current progress:

Finally I have one kit of Paddington Bear making cookies that I haven’t looked at in a long time. I think it is nearly finished, but it had metallic and it frustrated me at the time. Maybe I should try to get it finished soon. The other old kit is a Classic Winnie the Pooh Miniature kit from Designer Stitches of Tigger. I love the classic Pooh designs, and I have another one in my stash, but the fabric supplied is an Aida and the pattern has a lot of fractional stitches. This makes me give up after a while and find something else to stitch.

I also have some charts kitted up that I would like to start in the near future. These are Whacky Witches in Stitches and the 2014 Magical Creatures Calendar from CloudsFactory, Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 from Châtelaine Designs and the Christmas Celebration Sampler from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

I am kitting up the new mystery from Passione Ricamo, Under the Moonlight, and it will be a priority when it starts. I have all the DMC and the fabric and special materials are ordered from the Crafty Kitten. I hope they arrive in time so that I can start this when the first part comes out.

Question of the month: Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?

Halloween had become quite popular here in the last few years, but most people don’t decorate unless they have a party. Because of this I think stitching for Halloween is sort of pointless. If I displayed any Halloween stitching it wouldn’t be up for more than a couple of days. That said if I find pattern I like I might stitch it just for fun.

I have stitched some objects for Christmas, but I have become really picky and I rarely find anything I want to stitch. Again, if I find something I like I would probably get it. However I don’t feel like I have to stitch for holidays any specific time of the year, so I might stitch a Christmas pattern in July if I feel like it.

Waiting for my first Châtelaine kits

On August 18 I placed an order for two smaller Châtelaine kits from the European Cross Stitch Company. On my order, I tried to add an extra piece of fabric for another project. I got an automated reply that my order had been recieved, but I got no confirmation or price for my special request. I also did not receive the PDF charts I had ordered for a long time. As I felt that I wanted some feedback on my order I contacted the European Cross Stitch Company with some questions. I got a swift and friendly reply where Cindy told med that they don’t process orders for charts before the rest of the order is ready to send out, and that my extra piece of fabric had been added to my order.

Two things confuse me about this practice:

1. Most, if not all, Châtelaines calls for DMC threads as well as all the special materials. You can find the required materials on the Internet, but I would prefer to look at the actual chart when ordering these threads to avoid errors. As I live in one of the most expensive countries in the world I usually order materials online, and when the materials for a Châtelaine finally arrive I want to be ready to start. It takes a while for an Internet order to arrive, so I want to place it as soon as possible.

2. When I make a special request on an order I really want a confirmation that it has been received, whether it is possible to fulfill and the price, even if I don’t ask for this specifically.

The whole point of this rant was actually to say that I received my two PDFs in my inbox on September 15! I assume this means that my materials have been shipped from the European Cross Stitch Co. (no e-mail with information about this either). I didn’t want to pay for the express delivery, so I don’t expect a tracking number, but a “Your package has been shipped”-e-mail would have been nice. Anyway, I read through all the instructions carefully and tried to figure out the pattern at once. I can’t wait for the materials to arrive. Normally this takes from 1 to 3 weeks: 1 week in the USA, 1 day to cross the Atlantic and an unknown amount of time at customs. When it clears customs the package should be at my post office the next day.

New stash – August 25, 2014

I got a package in the mail from Sew and So today. I finally caved and decided to order two kits for Châtelaines from European Cross Stitch Company, but I also really like the Boudoir Fan, which is a freebie that can be downloaded on the Châtelaine website, and decided to buy the materials for it. This is what I got in the mail today.

  • DMC 333
  • DMC 3812
  • Waterlilies 099 Cocoa
  • Waterlilies 131 Banana
  • Silk ‘n Colors 073 Green Leaves Lt
  • Silk ‘n Colors 112 Wild Violets
  • Mill Hill seed beads 02010

I have wanted to stitch a Châtelaine since I first discovered them a while back, and I bought patterns for a couple of the big mandalas when there was a sale, but I haven’t dared to start any of them yet. The main reason is that kitting one up is quite expensive even if you don’t use all the special materials. I live in Norway and the availability of special materials is quite limited, at least I have not seen any of the materials required for a Châtelaine in a shop here and I have to buy them online. DMCs are available, but if I buy online anyway I can usually get them for about half the price of what they cost in a shop here. As Norway is also outside the EU it doesn’t really matter if I buy materials from countries in the EU or the rest of the world. The most important thing to consider is whether you get over the limit of import where you have to pay VAT which is currently around $ 33,50. I really don’t mind the VAT, but you also have to pay a flat fee to the handler on top of the VAT for their processing of the package which is annoying. This means that you have to make sure that the value of your package is under the limit or far enough above the limit so that the flat fee doesn’t become a too large percentage of your of your expense. I had forgotten this when I ordered from Sew and So and I thought the package would be caught by customs, but for some reason it ended up in my mail box without any extra charge. Because of all this I decided I could just buy the whole Châtelaine kits from European Cross Stitch.

I ordered the kits for Workshop 01 – Jessica and Workshop 02 – Rice as well as the PDF-patterns. I received a confirmation e-mail, but I have not received the patterns yet, something that I am not very happy about. I understand that there might be a wait for the materials, but the patterns are electronic files and could be e-mailed at once. Anyway, when I decided to do the freebie and buy the materials for that from Sew and So I also bought the DMCs for the two Workshops and those are the two that arrived today. I tried to order a fabric from European Cross Stitch for the freebie, but I haven’t heard back yet about that either. I plenty of other stuff to stitch in the meantime, so the wait for the materials is really not a problem.