Sunday, 22 November 2009

Hooray, the End is Near!

For those of you who have been following my tales of stress over the past two plus months, never fear, the end is near! Yes, very bad rhyme! But there is only one week to go until we implement (next Sunday). I'm so looking forward to it. Last week was so stressful for everyone that when I got home, I didn't turn on the computer, turned off my audio books and turned on jazz instead and tried to tune everything else out. I meditated with my linen and thread!

It's like studying days, weeks, months for the final exam, and as it nears I get calmer rather than frantic because I know I've done all that I could then I just let go, and ask for blessings that everything will go well.

But I have been stitching! It was my first time using AVAS silks - very nice. First, I'll show you the little bird.
She's just sitting calmly waiting for the rest of the stitches to bloom on the linen.
Sarah Salter, Sheepish Antiques

It's quite a lovely stitch and the colours are very vibrant, more so than what you see here as our days have been rainy and dark. I have some questions about silks but I'll save it for the end of the post.

Next is the second giveaway that I'd won from Beth of Heartstring Primitives. It's a lovely pillow filled with some lavender, and she attached a lovely strawberry emery as part of the package. The package was beautifully wrapped.
Thank you Beth for this beautiful giveaway!

While I'm at it, I'll post an exchange (SBBC) I did for Su for her birthday in October. That seemed so long ago! It was my first attempt at a needlebook ... I need more practice!
I was delighted to find that Eva has sent me this award! Thank you Eva!
Now, the tough job of having to choose 5 blogs to pass this onto! There are lots of lots of blogs I love and each for a different reason. Closing my eyes, I will pick 5 blogs that I haven't picked before (I think):
  • Tanya of Scarlett House because she's constantly inspiring me with those huge old samplers!
  • Glenna of Eye of the Needle for her samplers too (but secretly it's her bunnies)!
  • Laurie of Corgi Cottage because she's a new blog gal and we like spreading awards to new bloggers don't we? She's also been inspiring me with her A & E obsession!
  • Lois of Of Needles, Pins & Stitching Things because she's a new gal too and I've been so enjoying her stitching.
  • Cari of Serene Stitches because she's such a sweetie. Check out her latest starts!
Now, I think I am nearing the end of the post and will ask some questions about silks.
  • I've seen many of you do conversion from DMC to silks. How do you do that? Are there colour cards that you can buy? Or are there reliable conversions online, or do you just go to a LNS?
  • What's your favourite silk?
I think I've become a silk junkie! I've tried HDF, NPI, and now AVAS. I have yet to try Belle Soie and I'm sure there are more. Fun fun fun!

Well, it's time to go. My "boys" are wondering about lunch. I would love to hear your advice on the silks. Thank you for stopping by. To my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving to you! Have a great week everyone!


Glenna said...

Thank you for the award--I'll post it next time I post! (The bunnies thank you too!)

You are doing a beautiful job on S. Salter, I'm really liking it! Re: the silks--unfortunately this will not work for you because you need an LNS, but I pull all the DMC colors and lay them on the counter, then I pull out the drawers of silks and just decide what looks right. Then I put the DMC back. I don't worry if a color is a little "off," since who's going to know, as long as the colors work with each other. I think there are some online conversion charts I've seen somewhere--if I can find one (I think the one I saw was for DMC/NPI), I'll let you know and email it to you. AVAS is my favorite, although I like NPI too.

Patti said...

I love the needlebook you made for Su it is just gorgeous and the things you sent with it I would kill for. Okay maybe not that extreme.

Was the giveaway you won from Heartstring Primitives stitched or was it fabric. Regardless of which way it is, it is just beautiful.

Lots of Love

Patti xxx

Joanie said...

Oh..a new silk snob!! Gosh, it's about time! Me, I love, love, love Belle Soie. AVAS is up there too. I like NPI cause they are affordable but have a tendency (at least for me to knot). And there's Threadgathers...a wonderful overdyed silk...ah...

Love your Sarah Salter. She's in my stash.

Margaret said...

I'm so glad you're coming to the end of your stressful job assignment! Yay!!! And your Sarah Salter is oh so lovely! I don't know if there are conversion charts for DMC to AVAS or anything. I know some people who are just good at that sort of thing. lol! I think my favorite silks are NPI and AVAS. Belle Soie isn't as much of a favorite with me. I went through a phase where I was trying every kind of silk there was. Now I'll use DMC when it's called for, and basically use whatever the chart calls for most of the time. I love having the colors come out like I'm expecting. :D Good luck this last week!!!

Terri(TerriBoog) said...

Hi Melissa! Your Sarah is looking so beautiful! You're really making good progress. I'm so glad to hear that your stress level is going down and that you're near the end!

Great giveaway you won and congrats on your blog award too - much deserved!

I love silks - not sure which is my favorite. The conversion I just did I did using only my eyes. Took the DMC's the kit came with and took them to the LNS and matched as closely as I could.

Laurie in Iowa said...

Thank you for the award Melissa!
You have a wonderful start on Sarah S. You gave a marvelous exchange to Su... great needlebook.

I love stitching with silk. My favorite is Belle Soie, followed very closly by NPI. If your stitching on linen lower than 36 ct I would choose AVAS as it is a bit thicker than the BS or NPI. I've been using Soie de Paris on Dorothy Ians and I love the extra shine you get with the Soie de Paris... but it's a bit slippery and the ends can fray if you're not careful.

I usually pull the DMC for a project and then go to my silks and make as close a match as I can. I have all the Belle Soie and a lot of NPI, so I can usually find a pretty good match.

Theresa said...

Glad to hear that your stressful work is about to end~
Your WIP is beautiful!!!!! I've heard lots of wonders about silk threads, and my first encounter with it is HDF silks. They truly are very nice to work with, and I think I will try out more in future projects.

Suzanne said...

Sarah looks lovely. I have some AVAS threads, but have never used any before. I love stitching in silk as well.

I love the pillow you won, it's a lovely print on the front. The little needlebook you stitched is very cute.

For the conversions, I have a few conversion tables if you would like me to send them to you. The first is a DMC to AVAS conversion and the second is Needlepoint Silks to DMC conversion.

Loraine said...

Wow, Wow! Love that wonderful sampler you are working on. I love
AVAS because that is what shepherd's bush puts in their kits. However I also like NPI silks. That is what I usually buy. I have bought Vicki Clayton's silks as well, and I like her stuff, but I have found that the colors are not quite the same as NPI silks. I prefer NPI's reds.
I don't know of a conversion chart. That is a great question. I would like to know the same.
Love the needlebook. I think you did a great job.
Take Care!

valerie said...

Beautiful progress on Sarah! Glad to hear your work deadline is coming up and the stress has eased!

Great little pillow win and I think the needlebook you made for Su is adorable!

As far as silks, I've used Belle Soie, NPI and Vikki Clayton. Belle Soie is a dream to touch but does have colorfast issues with reds. I still haven't found a favorite since I haven't used AVAS or much NPI. If you do a google search, you can find conversions. There's one for dmc to AVAS.

mainely stitching said...

That was a wonderful giveaway that Beth did - lovely win you've got there! :D

Your SS start is GORGEOUS! I love it! I also love stitching with silk and will shamelessly make up my own substitutions however I darn well please, LOL. There are some online conversions, and when I feel very picky I use my DMC color card (the real one, with actual threads).

Lois said...

Thanks for the award and thinking of me Melissa! Loving your progress on SS! I find with Sheepish Designs that the colours can be much more vibrant than they appear on picture. You need to try Belle Soie, I love the coverage they give. I'm using them at the moment and having fun. What a gorgeous giveaway to win - congrats! And, last but not least, what a nice exchange package to send - love the needlebook you stitched. Glad you're almost there with work!

Jane said...

Great going on Sarah Salter, Melissa! You're really moving through your stitching lately. That's a cute needlebook you did also.

Congrats on your winning, you lucky thing. It's beautiful!

I love working with silks, but don't really have a favourite. Thread Gatherer silks have some lovely variegated colours. I just love how silk theads glide through your fabric so easily.

Another week to go and you'll be stress free, so hang in there!

Cari said...

Congratulations on a well deserved blogging award. It is always such a pleasure to drop by and see what's going on in your little corner of the world.

How very generous of you to include me with such incredibly talented women - thank you.

Melissa, Sarah is just beautiful. I can't wait to start stitching her - but I had to order the thread as I have never used AVAS Silk either. The colors are just exquisite.

I asked the same question awhile ago and Deb, Thread Gatherer, sent me a couple of links to conversion sites:

Your Heartstring prize is a beauty - it looks like it was stitch over one - it's amazing!

What a generous gift for Su - your needlebook is wonderful!

I am so happy for you that you are in the final countdown and am praying that it will go seamlessly!

Enjoy your week.

Katrina said...

You can also google it and there are several good conversion charts out there :-).

Love your Sarah Salter and the needlebook and pillow are both very cute.

Snip said...

You did an amazing job on that needlebook! Great progress on Sarah Salter, too. The silk is looking just lovely. That pillow you won is just beautiful!

I have used NPI and Belle Soie in the past and much preferred Belle Soie. But, keep in mind I am still a rookie!

Glad you hear your work troubles will be coming to an end soon. Take care!

Siobhan said...

Melissa, I'm so glad that the end is near for you!

Congrats on your award! You deserve it! And for winning Beth's giveaway. What a cute pillow.

YGG on Sarah Salter! It looks great.

As for the silks, my favorite is NPI. I love NPI. I'm a NPI junkie. For overdyed silks, I like Belle Soie, but I do find it shreds and knots a bit too easily for my liking. The colors are fabulous on it, though. I have used AVAS, Gloriana, VC, and Kreinik Silk Mori, but my fave is NPI because it doesn't shred/unravel and I've only had maybe one or two colors where the dyelots was noticeably different. CHS Kathy tends to use them in her designs so I figured it was easiest to build up my stash using that--and because the dyelots don't vary much, if at all, it's easy to build a stash. Couple that with Drema having sales on it and it's my #1 choice for silks.

Others have given websites and/or tips for converting threads. Truthfully, I am not confident doing that, so I write down DMC to Belle Soie conversions that I find on charts or on blogs, and then consult my needlework charts for DMC to NPI if I can't find it online.

Evik said...

Melissa, how big progress on Sarah Salter ... I love it :)

And silk? I don't know how I help you. For me are foreign threads and silk expensive :( I'm using threads made here in the Czech Republic. I bought a DMC Thread Shade Cards and I comparing colors by him. But it's used only for small things.

Have a nice day!

caerbannog said...

Sarah Salter looks great so far! Your samplers always look so nice. Congrats on the blog award too.

I love working with silk. For solid colors I think I like AVAS best because they don't get twisty. Thread Gatherer's SNC has really great variegated colors too.

The Scarlett House said...

Hi Melissa, I am terribly late in thanking you for the blog award, (at least on here :) Thank you, thank you again.
So glad to hear that you're almost to the end of your stress.
Your Sarah is really wonderful on that fabric. Great choice, and I like your version the best of any that I've seen.
Silk? I'm an NPI, girl.

Kellie said...

Hi Melissa,
I am glad to hear that your work stress is nearing an end. Hopefully things will be more pleasant for you once all this is implemented. Sarah Salter looks lovely. Aren't silks so much fun to stitch with? I am not sure about the first question because I don't do a lot of conversions myself. I do have a favorite however, and that is the vibrancy and texture of it. I have tried Belle Soie as well, and it is nice, but NPI is my overall favorite.

Brigitte said...

Oh Melissa, Sarah Salter looks more and more wonderful. I love this little birdie, and I love the colours you use on it. And I love Sheepish Designs and all, lol.
Congratulations on winning that pretty little pillow. What a great giveaway!
I can't help you with the silks because I have exactly the same questions. But the other ladies have already given you some answers. I have to order every single silk because I can't get anything here and then I don't know if it's the matching colour. That's why I usually stay with DMC.

Kajsa said...

Nice progress on your WIP. It's great to hear that work is going to wind down soon.

I usually go with cotton threads myself. Since I have so dry hands silks tend to get snagged when I use them. Some sites have really good pictures of all their overdyed threads and if I'm converting anything I browse them to get some starting ideas.

Wendy said...

I'm glad to hear your project is finally coming to a finish - congratulations! And congrats too on that lovely pillow win.

Silk - I have to say my favourite is Gloriana! And I'm anxious to hear about a good conversion - no LNS near me either, well not one that carries a lot of varieties of silk. I mostly hunt around online for conversion charts. Or pull up a ONS site with pics of the silks and do my own conversion. Not the greatest - but I mix and match a bit to try to get a good combination.

Lennu said...

Dear Melissa, I hope life has calmed down for you already and your work is less busy now! It's December, yippee :)

What a beautiful sampler you're stitching, the colours are very pretty. Our days are grey and dark too, it's raining all the time when it should be snowing! I think that's why I also enjoy all the colours I see in blogs and while stitching.

You've done a beautiful needlebook for Su, I think it's perfect. Have a wonderful beginning of December!

JOLENE said...

Beautiful, just beautiful!!!! I am really liking your Sarah Salter, I ordered this pattern and come to think of it, I haven't received it yet. Beth gifted you some beautiful prizes in her giveaway. I love silks, too. As far as a favorite brand, that is a very good question. Congrats of receiving a blog award!

Dona said...

Your Sarah Salter is very pretty! I have it to stitch, too. I really like the bird from it that you used as your avatar!

I love the Heartstring Primitives pillow, too. What a nice surprise to win.

I like NPI the best as they seem to shred/fuzz less and are less expensive than some of the others. My LNS only carries Caron silks, so I use the NPI/DMC conversion list put together by a stitching friend and order them online. Needlecraft Corner often has them 25% off.