mini stitch enigma revealed

finally our dear friend Ariadne guessed what was the mini stitch enigma that has kept many of you busy guessing for a week: my very first cross stitch project, the Forever Friends kit my mother gifted to me back in 1997.

for those interested, here is a comment to each clue explaining what it meant:

  • it is a very serendipitous piece – I came across this kit very serendipitously both times. I had been looking for it for a really long time with no luck, and then on February 8th BANG! lucky strike!
  • I have mentioned this in a page you can read any time – I wrote about it in The tale of how I came across stitches in the about me page since the first day of this blog.
  • it took me years to find it again – I needed a second copy of the pattern because at some point years ago mine got lost (plus I had used the original as a working copy 😬). since I got it in the mail, I’ve been stitching the exact same stitches I learnt to cross stitch with, doing much better the second time around.  :D
  • the following two pictures show the threads and thread cards from the kit, pre and post sorting. so the first thing you gather from the snaps is that it is a kit, or I wouldn’t have to sort out that bundle. secondly, if you compare the numbers with the shades you can tell they are not DMC, and given the names and colour tones, your second best guess is.. Anchor! last but not least I added “I would pay close attention to those browns if I were you ;) “ which are the dominant colours in the palette and therefore the design, the classic Forever Friends golden/brown shades.

mini stitch enigma - clue 2

mini stitch enigma - clue 2

  • the mini  ;) stitch enigma continues with the third clue.. – I kept on stressing out the fact that this was a small design, a mini kit, which is usually the best way to start stitching; so a good place to look wasn’t the list of my current WIPs but rather the beginnings of my stitching adventures.
  • ..one of the reasons why I changed the fabric for this project is because the one it came with had been stained by the elastic band wrapping up the threads, which had dried up with time - first of all a confirm that it was a kit. secondly, if the elastic band had time to dry up it must mean this kit was very old, discontinued and most likely not available to purchase in every shop. then there’s “one of the reasons why..” which means there are other reasons coming into play for not choosing the fabric it came with – which with kits is traditionally Aida, and with me being the linen freak that I am, there was no way I was going to stitch this on a dirty piece of Aida. fat chance! :D
  • also featured in this clue were these two pictures (the measuring tape indicates it’s very small on linen as well, especially considering the finishing margins are included):

mini stitch enigma - clue 3

mini stitch enigma - clue 3

I love how some of you thought this was a crab, which I can see now but I would have never seen it myself because I already knew what it was.

  • in the following post I shared another WIP snap:
mini stitch enigma - clue 4

now those pink circles look more like cheeks with a smiling mouth and a face showing up.

  • it would fit the smalls SAL because it’s a pretty small piece – another hint at the size because many of you were guessing or looking at gigantic projects compared to this one.
  • I started it last Monday and finished it just a little over a week later – another hint at how a quick and easy stitch it was. again a reference at the experience level required for this kit and therefore what to look for in this blog in order to trace its identity.
  • it wasn’t the first time I had stitched this project – a fat ass clue 😂 if I had stitched this before, you could rule out all the WIPs lists and UFOs, because why would I start stitching something twice if I hadn’t finished the first one yet? again I was trying to point you in the right way :)
  • although I paid for this kit I managed to find online after years and years of search, the first time around I got it as a gift – which is why I said to Jo in February’s GiGi post that the serendipitous stitching I was going to start would have been great for her SAL.
  • these written clues came with another WIP snap:
mini stitch enigma - clue 5

now it’s clear (to me :D ) that this is a rounded, oval shaped face. and who is golden brown, has an oval shaped face and is featured in many of the Anchor kits? the Forever Friends teddy bear! :D

and dulcis in fundo, yesterday’s clue that helped our friend Ariadne solve the mystery:

  • not in the goals for this month was a project I found, bought, received, started and finished in February but cannot show because it’s the mini stitch enigma that nobody has guessed yet!  :D I had been looking for this for many many years and quite serendipitously stumbled upon it in an online needlework shop a couple of weeks ago. they still had one kit in stock from the ’90s, sealed shut and in pristine condition apart from the fabric which had been stained by the elastic band that was around the threads. it didn’t matter too much since I wouldn’t have stitched on Aida this time anyways. as a matter of fact, this wasn’t the first time I stitched this project: in 1997 I got an identical one, shamefully worked on it, and unfortunately lost the chart – so in order to take this trip down stitching memory lane I had to find a double. – here I summed up most of what I had said in the previous clues: it was a kit that came with threads and Aida; that is was from the ’90s hence something I must have worked on in my early stitching years, especially since I described my job as shameful. :P

- – -

[from the about me page] here is what you can read in that account of my first cross-stitch experience:

Anyways, the “I’ll show you” attitude I pull up granted me another kit (this time one I could actually choose) and I went forForever Friends subject, a lovely smiling bear on a swing, thank goodness! No stupid girls with old fashioned hats picking up flowers for nothing, in a “that’s so 60’s” colour palette.. nightmare.

was it hard? – ok, too hard? :P now finally the pictures you’ve all been waiting for: :)

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and here is the piece finished on February 24th. it took me an entire week because the thread lengths (although cut in the right length) kept on knotting so badly, they drove me mad. it took a passage, down or up the 36ct. linen to form the silliest knots that wouldn’t unravel no matter what I did. I had to cut and deal with two impossible lengths – nightmare!

Forever Friends - Summer Swing

Forever Friends kit FRC150 “Summer Swing”, stitched 1 over 2 on 36ct. raw Zweigart linen with the kitted up Anchor threads

the only changes I made (apart from picking another type of fabric) were:

  • stitching the inside of the clouds in white. the Aida in the kit was off white so they thought one could skip that; I picked a 36ct. raw Zweigart linen so I needed to add a few extra stitches;
  • backstitching the outline of the bow in red rather than the charted Charcoal (you can see it on the kit cover below, even in the ’90s I found it looked odd);
  • using 1/4 stitches where the backstitching would cross a stitch because I find it lays much more nicely this way.

Forever Friends - Summer Swing

Forever Friends - Summer Swing

I will treasure this tiny little kit and all it came with now. despite the knots inferno it was such an adorable piece to stitch once again. I knew where I had started so many years ago, the bottom left corner, leaving almost no allowance on that side :D; I suddenly remembered working on certain sections; the hard time I had on the face because it’s not as symmetrical as one would think. even sorting out the threads brought back memories (and doubts!).

I could not believe when I got my package from Gavand Lace & Crafts, seeing this tiny kit after so many years! it fits the palm of my hand, and the instructions inside held so many info as to how to stitch properly.. had I paid attention to them I would have spared myself so many abominations! :D

- – -

I hope you had fun guessing, I’m already planning something fun for this year’s enigma in April/May and I promise this bit of info will come in handy. ;)

have a great week!

chiara

new month new goals, Watson

in the attempt to do things right and on time I’m checking what happened to February’s goals and setting new ones for March, hoping that I won’t get sick again or get run down by another stress tank, this week was enough, thank you very much. 😖

February stitching goals:

  • finish L*K’s ’13 mystery Holly & Hearts (2nd part started; I also want to finish the three two bonus designs that are part of this series) —> ☑️ sort of, I didn’t touch the main sampler but I did finish the two bonus designs Noël and Sleigh (check out today’s finish at the end of this post 🎉)
  • stitch the second part of Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery + stitch the frames and banner (banner is almost finished, and I need only two rows of frames to be all caught up on those) —> ☑️ another sort of, I stitched the second part (The Secret Garden) and the banner. I decided to stitch all the other frames except those in the fourth colour because I’m not sure if the shade I picked would match the stories featured in them. I’ll do this pretty soon considering part 3 just came out.. it’s Sherlock Holmes!! 🎉❤️🔎
  • stitch one block of Once Upon a Time by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) —> 🔘 NO :(
  • stitch one block of the Christmas Celebration Sampler (T) —> 🔘 NO :(
  • finish quilting the Downton Abbey duvet cover sewing project —> 🔘 NO :(
  • 🔮 not in the goals for this month was a project I found, bought, received, started and finished in February but cannot show because it’s the mini stitch enigma that nobody has guessed yet! :D I had been looking for this for many many years and quite serendipitously stumbled upon it in an online needlework shop a couple of weeks ago. they still had one kit in stock from the ’90s, sealed shut and in pristine condition apart from the fabric which had been stained by the elastic band that was around the threads. it didn’t matter too much since I wouldn’t have stitched on Aida this time anyways. as a matter of fact, this wasn’t the first time I stitched this project: in 1997 I got an identical one, shamefully worked on it, and unfortunately lost the chart – so in order to take this trip down stitching memory lane I had to find a double.

- – -

because there’ll be new entries in March I will drop a few of the WIPs that haven’t been calling out to me in a while – for no good reason really, I just lost my stitching mojo, but I’ll stay in kawaii mode as you can see:

March stitching goals:

  • finish L*K‘s ’13 mystery Holly & Hearts (2nd part started)
  • stitch I Love My Home by Little House Needleworks (a free chart I received with my last order from sweet Cathy at Inspired Needle in IL) in order to use the last space in the linen band I prepared for the L*K H&H ornaments assuming there would be three
  • stitch the third part of Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, Sherlock Holmes + stitch all the frames (-1 for every row, colour check needed)
  • start and finish Alice in Wonderland by SODA Stitch + stitch some sections separately to make a matching scissor fob & pincushion
  • finish sewing the Downton Abbey duvet cover

- – -

Lizzie Kate - Sleigh

Lizzie Kate’s bonus design “Sleigh” stitched on 40ct. in the same colour palette used for the main sampler, Holly & Hearts, with my own choice of Nina’s Threads. slight modifications and adjustments due to to my symmetry OCD were applied.

- – -

I really hope that this new clue will shed some light in the mysterious needlework forest you got yourselves rooted into :D

have a great week, ciao!

chiara

SMALL SAL, clues and a mysterious finish

sorry I’m posting this one a day later, but yesterday was a pretty crappy day and by the looks of it today is promising to top that. 😤

because the mini stitch enigma is still going on, I cannot show you the finish I got last Tuesday – but I can tell you that:

  • it would fit the smalls SAL because it’s a pretty small piece
  • I started it last Monday and finished it just a little over a week later
  • it wasn’t the first time I had stitched this project
  • although I paid for this kit I managed to find online after years and years of search, the first time around I got it as a gift

mini stitch enigma - clue 5

- – -

continuing with the smalls SAL update; after finishing the mysterious project I resumed working on the small Lizzie*Kate ornament called Sleigh, in the hope that once I finally get some quality stitching time I will finish that, the Little House Needleworks free pattern, and then the small set of dowels will be free for the SODA patterns. people really have to stop getting in my way of stitching because it’s being a real PITA.

WIP - Lizzie Kate - Sleigh

because I didn’t have the Snow White and Anne of Green Gables patterns yet, I had to get those ;) and while I was at it I got a few other SODAs – which I might fit into the smalls SAL now that I think about it, because I’m going to stitch matching scissor fobs & pincushions using some of the elements in the charts.

- – -

in stitch-related news, I have been watching some of the videos on YouTube (aptly renamed Floss Tube) while I’m stitching.

Taras 2/15

“are you done with these videos? it’s about time you hang out with me instead!”

my favourite is Garrett‘s channel, coffee stitcher, and he recently made a review of the Disney Dreams kits just because I had been asking so much about them :) ❤️ aaaww!!

I’m not a huge fan of kits, haven’t worked on one since 2010 actually, and I really don’t need to start a new one before finishing the big ass Dimensions Kitty Litter that I have in my UFO pile, but this Victorian scene of Lady & the Tramp made be reconsider everything for a couple of hours. actually I’m still trying to resist. :D

WIP - Dimensions Gold Collection Kitty Litter

WIP - Dimensions Gold Collection Kitty Litter

- – -

I hope the new clues really help you figuring out what it is, especially once you put them together with the other ones in the previous posts. ;)

see you soon! happy xxx!

chiara

hermitting, knots and a new clue

so I did get the chance to hermit & stitch a lot during the weekend, but because the threads I’m using keep on knotting (I swear in the past week I had all the knots I usually get in a year!) I had to deal with a lot of sudden cuts, half lengths, otherwise unnecessary parking, etc. pure boredom and I must say something I really wasn’t used to anymore. bah!

now, because I cannot show you the mini enigma piece yet, you have to trust me on the progress I made on it. I actually could have had it finished if it wasn’t for all the bumps in the road, but I do plan on having it done and over with today. I’m so very close! 🏆🏁🏇

about the enigma, it really is easier than you think :) now if you just read about this, scroll down and browse through the previous posts (I suggest you open up each one so that you can read the comments too, there are useful replies there as well). and now that we’re all caught up let’s add today’s clue, shall we?

mini stitch enigma - clue 4

- – -

as soon as I get this one off the hoop (which by now is killing my shoulders, but I never thought it would take me this long to stitch, that’s why I didn’t bother to sew this on the scroll bars), I have to finish off the L*K Sleigh ornament, and that LHN I mentioned last week – and then I can finally cut the linen band for the SODA that I’ll be starting this week.

WIP - Lizzie Kate - Sleigh

did you notice my BaBa needle minder? I made it myself out of one of the BaBa buttons that Elisabetta/Stitched Tales made for me a while ago. I used two of the magnets that Mill Hill perforated paper kits come with (which I hardly ever incorporate in my finishings anyways), glued one to the back of the wooden button – et voilà! a BaBa needle minder! :D

by the way, Elisabetta’s hand painted creations are the ones you’ll see in most of the Italian releases at Nashville these days, I’m so so happy for her! I used her wooden buttons in many of my finishes already and I’m so glad she’s finally getting a well deserved spotlight overseas.

- – -

my right ear is doing way better, but nonetheless I took advantage of the many perks of having Taras as my personal nurse – even if that means getting your favourite spot stolen! ;)

Taras 2/15

- – -

I really hope that somebody guesses the enigma piece so that I can actually show it finished soon :D and it’s good practice for the real stitch enigma we’ll have in a few months for my blogaversary.

wishing you a happy start of the week. ciao!

chiara

thinking of AVAS :(

AVAS

I don’t know if you heard about the tragic news about the fire that started last Thursday night in the Au Ver A Soie silk thread factory in the center of France.  you can read an article about it here.

it is so sad and tragic to think of all the historical machineries and tools that burnt in the fire, I’m heartbroken.

ready for hermitting

it was a happy mail day today! I better hurry up with the mini stitch enigma piece now that, among other things, I got linens and threads and could start working on those SODA Stitch charts. ;)

IMG_6059

- – -

see you on Monday for a full report and a new clue!

Happy Hermitting!

chiara

TUSAL update and third clue

the mini ;) ;) stitch enigma continues with the third clue, I don’t plan to post any  in the next few days so think about it, scroll down for the previous clues, and guess away! :D

  • one of the reasons why I changed the fabric for this project is because the one it came with had been stained by the elastic band wrapping up the threads, which had dried up with time. 🔮

mini stitch enigma - clue 3

mini stitch enigma - clue 3

serendipitous stitches

 

- – -

of course it’s that day of the month when we share our thread bits/ORTs for the TUSAL update. this time I have a bunch of fabric scraps from the Downton Abbey cover that is still on hold because I’m still not well (what the heck!), many hand dyed and just on top, a few, very recent solids ;) ;)

TUSAL update 2/15

- – -

I hope you’re enjoying these last bits of winter, I’ll go see the doctor today because my right ear is driving me bananas. with any luck I’ll be outside taking care of the garden by next week! 🍀🌱🌼🌿🐞🐌🐜😺

chiara