Wearing Sweaters #4

I’ve got no FOs to share, so it’s time to continue the sweater parade.

This week started off really cold so I got to wear my Alec XL for the first time. I finished this in 2017. Like all my Alec XL sweaters I’ve made and will make in the future, the yarn of choice is Rowan Pure Wool Worsted. It’s a super wash yarn and holds up beautifully in the washing machine. Also, it’s worsted, which means if it isn’t cold enough outside you’ll get overheated in it quickly.

thisone

When I finished this sweater I was slightly heavier than I am now and it doesn’t really matter, which is a shock for a raglan design. Usually, if the sweater is too big, you wind up with a glob of bunched-up fabric in the underarm. If it’s too small, you can’t get it past your shoulders. Over-sized, this sweater fits me like a modified drop crossed with a raglan. You can still see the raglan lines that trace the underarm, it’s just less dramatic. As a matter of fact, with a raglan fit, usually your eyes would be drawn to my underarm, but with more ease, like in the photo, it’s less glaringly attention-calling. It’s very comfortable.

On some of these very frigid winter evenings I’ve been able to fit a tee and long-sleeved button-down shirt under it and then just wear a light denim jacket over it, with or without a scarf. Sans scarf, I can roll up the collar and it protects my neck from the cold very well. Even though the color is a shade of brown (the color way is called “Oak”) it has a bit too many orange undertones for it to go with brighter blue colors, although with darker blue shades as well as less electric, light blues it works wonderfully.

This week there was no WIP Wednesday for me and, as is becoming a bad habit, no off-topic Monday, either. I am happy to say, though, that after working my rear off from Monday to Thursday I can have a nice three-day weekend to catch up with my on-going projects. I did find some time earlier this week to shop on line for cross stitch supplies, knit here and there on my St. Enda sweater, and cross stitch my Chinese dragon (he has a third claw!). It wasn’t blogging activity, but it sure was helpful to get me some energy to push through the rest of the week.

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Putting the mountains in “Dragon of the Mountains”

This weekend I have been steadily working on my dragon. It’s nice to see – finally – that this Chinese dragon isn’t called “of the Mountains” for nothing.

Photo Feb 11, 16 03 20

The “mountains” are just multi-shaded triangles but they’re good enough.

I’m also having fun with the glittery gold thread. The dragon’s claws and teeth are done in metallic gold thread. There will also be beads soon enough, which also decorate the claws as well as the background.

Squirrels Under Glass

I have finished version 2 of the autumn biscornu with the squirrels on it. My partner saw my biscornu and demanded a square version in a frame. I got a cheap frame at the dollar store, sewed the cross stitched square onto some canvas fabric, and just stuffed it all in a frame, just like that, and it was done.

squirrels

Now we just have to see if the receiver of this gift finds a place to put it. If he does, I’ll buy some card stock to give the fabric a stiffer back and call it all done. If he doesn’t, I’ll be glad not to have bothered fussing with a stiff backing for the fabric and turn it into a pillow.

The (kinda sorta) black work biscornu

This week I’ve begun another biscornu. This one is ever so (not) creatively called “Red Monochrome Biscornu and Scissor Fob” by the designer (with a long-winded name)  Marie-Ann Rétholet-Mélin. The poor dear is plagued by excessive hyphenation, too.

Funny things and jokes aside, this pattern is a fine example of what you can do with modern black work and some cross stitches. I’m having lots of fun with it. Here’s my progress on the biscornu:

monochromebisccrop

It’s just a lot of geometric shapes combined to create an overall complex-looking design. Oddly, the title of the pattern has “monochrome” in it but the thread is actually a DMC multi-shade. Also, it combines cross stitches with back stitches, a sort of “modern black work” in the sense that it is not possible to do the old-fashioned black work here, with all running stitches. It isn’t necessary, either, considering that only one side will show.

I did not follow the instructions exactly as the pattern indicates, and neither should you if you decide to buy this and stitch on it. In particular, I’m referring to how the designer says to use two strands for back stitches and three strands for cross stitches. No. Nonononono. It’s perfectly fine, and economical with the thread, to use two strands for everything. The added bonus for having all stitches the same thickness is that cross stitches and back stitches can be done simultaneously without having to worry about ruining the backstitching later, just like you’re ideally supposed to do (or try to do) when you’re black working.

I’m glad I got this pattern, too, because it makes me think of doodling. In the future, if I happen to doodle something really cool, I’m going to chart it into black work, I think. I could just imagine someone coming up with this pattern here inspired by a doodle, can’t you?

A hungry Chinese dragon

chomp

For this WIP Wednesday I have two cross stitch projects I’m working on. It seems as though one wishes to eat the other. I suppose the convenient thing about being a dragon is that you can roast your squirrel meat with your breath of flames while eating it at the very same time!

And, yes, the dragon finally looks like a dragon, thanks to it now having a head. He’s still toothless, though, but when he gets his dentures they will be the finest, made of golden sparkling Kreinek thread.

The squirrel is a sort of “biscornu dejá vu.” Unfortunately, my partner saw my biscornu and said, “I love squirrels, I want one of these in a frame. Most unfortunately, you can indeed frame a biscornu design instead of turning it into a pin cushion. so, here I am stitching this autumnal portrait a second time.

I must say, though, that I love my autumn biscornu. It’s winter and I’m still using it. Although mostly decorative, it has helped me immensely in keeping track of my needle when I need to set it down as well as my scissors. I even lie the next thread I’m going to use on top of it and I don’t have to search high and low for that, either. The biscornu is surprisingly practical.

Photo Jan 26, 13 45 54

A pair of socks is done

FO Friday is here and I have a finished object to share yet again. It’s a pair of “Widsith” socks.

I didn’t really follow the instructions in the pattern. I took the chart for the stitch pattern and slapped it on my vanilla sock formula. That’s how I don’t follow most sock patterns these days. These socks are a gift for someone special. I hope they use them a lot this winter.

It’s a dragon, I promise

WIP Wednesday is here. I’ve been working on my St. Enda sweater, but you’ve already seen some of that before, so no need to photograph it another time. I’ve also been cross stitching and I suppose it’s time to show off the progress I’ve made on it. It doesn’t look like much, though. It’s going to be a Chinese dragon. Eventually.

mountaindragon

I think – at the very least – you can see something of a claw. Otherwise, it’s just a color blob for now with a sparkling gold partial border.

The pattern is called “Dragon of the Mountains” and it was designed by Joan Elliott. Happy crafting everyone!