Ooh, I love how he is coming along!
I took advantage of the long Thanksgiving weekend and decided to start a small new project. There was an adorable snowman pattern in the December 2020 issue of Just Cross Stitch that grabbed my attention. Although I HATE winter and snow (and unfortunately live in an area with 6+ months of it), this little guy was just too cute. It was one of the winners of the magazine’s annual Christmas Ornament Contest. The pattern was created by Caitlin Baerg and I have seen that lots of other people online are stitching this design.
I opted for a scrap of linen that was the same count and color as the model, but decided to swap out some of the threads. I only had one of the two Weeks Dye Works colors needed for the scarf, so I figured this project would be a great time to try out DMC’s Etoile threads. I didn’t have the other brand of floss at all, needed for the snowman’s body. So I decided to use DMC B5200 which is a brighter white than regular Blanc, and added a strand of Kreinik blending filament in 032 to make the snow really sparkle!
The Kreinik in the white floss shows up really well in person, but did not show up on the photo. I have only stitched the outline so far, because I was excited to get to work with the Etoile. I was not disappointed. I decided to use three strands instead of the two strands of regular DMC that I used for the other parts of the pattern. I just really wanted the snowman’s scarf to appear warm and thick. Not only did it turn out thick and fluffy, but the sparkle really shows. I did use Thread Heaven on the Etoile and Kreinik threads, and I think that helped a lot. After stitching one length with the Etoile, I decided to cut my lengths shorter. The three strands put together plus the roughness of the linen fabric really did a number on the floss as it was pulled through each hole. Towards the end of the length, it started to get frayed and worn out.
My stitching is still slow going. Compression gloves are helping a bit, and I think the act of stitching is helping my hands to not stiffen up as much. My neck still only allows me to stitch for a short period of time, but my goal is to get in about 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week right now. Unfortunately my neurologist has referred me to two neurosurgeons, one of which knew nothing and the other didn’t bother to take the referral. I found another doctor on my own just so he could look at my imaging, and he informed me that that second doctor was on his way out (retiring) and he would be very surprised if I got an appointment with him. The insurance company also refused to grant the MRI that my neurologist wanted. I am so glad we are into December and this year is almost over. I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I am determined to have a happier, healthier 2021.
I have decided that I have way too many unfinished projects, and I am going to be strict and not allow myself to start anything new until most of these are completed. So I went through my stash and picked out a couple things to work on. This Santa and snowman banner is not actually one of my cross stitch pieces; I believe it was in with the inventory of a shop that I purchased. The chart was with it, and the only thing left to be done was the black beads on the snowman’s face, the snowflakes (made from seed and bugle beads) and the finishing. So I worked on this over the weekend and am pleased with how it turned out.
Sorry for the bad photo, I took it with my iPod and the quality is pretty low. I will take a better photo once I get it hung up, closer to Christmas. I am so glad I didn’t have to do the actual stitching on this; the blue fabric was really hard to work with. I had to keep holding it up to the lamp to see where the holes were to attach the beads.
And here is the “before” photo, which I had shown you several months ago on another post. You’ll notice that the jingle bell I used on Santa’s cap is bigger than in the photo that came with the chart – it was all I had on hand. And there were no charms for either side of the word “friends”, so I just left them off.