Saturday, February 28, 2015

HAP SAL Progress

Okay, after 2 months of the HAP SAL, here is the report on my progress.

I just happened to have a page finish last night on my Sistine Chapel!   Woo hoo!  That means that I have now finished the top row of pages.

Here's where I was at the start of the year and where I am now.

It's not a huge difference, mainly because the 5th page was a partial page (49 stitches by 98 stitches).  It will be cool to be able to roll the material on my scroll frame the next time I work on this one.

Now for the only other HAP that I've worked on this year.  Here's my La Belle Dame Sans Merci progress pictures.

I'll be back working on La Belle... probably tomorrow.  Today looks like it's going to be busy.

Happy Stitching!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

La Belle... WIP Photo

Well, I just finished another page on my focus piece, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.  This was page 14!

Here's the photo:

This is also one of my HAP projects.  So far, I've made 3.27% progress on this one since Jan. 1. 

Now, it'll get set aside for a bit as I move on to a different project in my rotation.  What's next?  I don't know yet.  I'll probably wait until tomorrow after closing up shop for the day before I use my randomizer app to let me know what one to work on.

Happy Stitching!


Monday, February 9, 2015

Answer #8 - Figuring fabric sizes

I've seen this one too many times to count.
A quick shout-out to Margie for letting me know about my typos!

How do I figure out how much fabric I need for my project?

I'm sorry, but this question irks me to no end.  No, I'm not a "math person" - that's my sister.  To me it's a sad commentary on the educational system (I'm only referring to the USA).  This question involves arithmetic.  There are no "x" or "y" formulas, just basic  division and addition with some rare multiplication.  Yes, you have to answer a few questions to get to the arithmetic, but they aren't difficult.  For the actual arithmetic, you can use a calculator!

There are three variations on this question and I'll address all three.  Since I'm in the US, I'm using inches.  The premise is the same for centimeters though I've never seen fabric counts listed in centimeters.  You're on your own doing the conversions to metric, sorry.

The first is:  How big does my fabric need to be?

Here are the questions you answer first:

  1. What is the stitch count of your project?
  2. What is the count of the fabric you are going to stitch it on?
  3. Are you going to stitch over 1 or 2 fabric threads?
  4. Are you going to frame it when it's done?
As an example, I'm going to calculate what size fabric I will need to stitch Still Life on a Marble Pedestal:

1.  What is the stitch count?  625 wide x 797 high.
2.  What is the count of the fabric?  28 count
3.  Am I going to stitch over 1 or 2 fabric threads?  over 1
4.  Am I going to frame it?  yes - that means I need to allow 3" per side for framing.

Since I am stitching over 1 on 28 count fabric, that means I will have 28 stitches per inch.
(If I had said over 2, that means I would have 14 stitches per inch - 28 ÷ 2 = 14.  All calculations below would have to be divided by 14.  The project would be twice as large each direction!)

To find how wide I need my fabric, I will divide.  My pattern is 625 stitches wide.  Since my fabric will give me 28 stitches per inch, I will divide 625 by 28.  That will tell me how many inches I will need for 625 stitches.

625 ÷ 28 = 22.3214...

To be safe, I always round UP!  That means I need 23" of fabric for the width of the pattern.  That will only allow for the stitching.  To allow for framing, I want 3" of material on each side of my stitching so I add 6" to the 23" to give me the width of 29" for my fabric.

Now for the height of my fabric. I do the arithmetic using the only number that is different:  the project height in stitches.  So again, I will divide my stitch count by the number of stitches per inch:

797 ÷ 28 = 28.4642...

Again, rounding up means I need 29" for the stitching.  Adding in the 6" for framing gives me (29+6) a height of 35".

So stitching this project on 28 count over 1 and allowing for framing, means I would need a piece of fabric 29" wide x 35" high.

The second is:  What stitch count do I use to fit a certain set of dimensions?

Say you already have a particular frame and you want to see how to make a project fit the frame.

For this example, let's use QS Hummingbird:

This project has a stitch count of 189 wide x 163 high.  This is much more likely to fit an existing frame than my previous example!  ;-)

Let's say you found a gorgoeus frame that has an opening of 16" x 14".  Would you be able to stitch this to fit in your frame?  Let's find out!

Okay, your frame is 16" wide.  Your pattern is 189 stitches wide.  If you divide your number of stitches by the number of inches you have to work with, you'll get this:

189 ÷ 16 = 11.8125

11.8125 equals the number of stitches you would have to have per inch of fabric to just fit into your frame.  Since no fabric has a stitch count of 11.8125, you're going to have to opt for a fabric with more stitches to the inch than 11.8125.  The obvious choices would be 14 count over 1 or 28 count over 2.

Now, let's double-check to see if 14 count would work for both dimensions of the frame.

189 ÷ 14 = 13.5"  for the width      163 ÷ 14 = 11.64"  for the height.

That will leave you approximately 2.5" to work with inside your frame.
16" - 13.5" = 2.5"                14" - 11.64" = 2.36"

That works out to a blank space of about 1.25" on each side of your stitching once it's framed.

That is a bit on the narrow side for a mat but I've actually seen smaller mats.  You could use a mat or just leave the blank gap.  Be sure to use spacers if you have glass but no mat!

The third is:  What can I fit on my already cut piece of fabric?

I have a gorgeous piece of this from Silkweaver:

To find out what will fit on it, here's what I need to know:

1.  What are the dimensions of my fabric in inches?  18" x 26"
2.  What is the stitch count?  32 count
3.  Do I want to frame my finished piece?  yes

This process is like the first example at the top of this post, in reverse.

Since I want to frame whatever I stitch on this, I need to subtract the 3" per side (6" total) for the framing.  That gives me:

18 - 6 = 12 inches       26 - 6 = 20 inches

That means I have 12" x 20" of stitching area.  Since it's 32 count and I tend to stitch over 1, I would multiply to find out what stitch counts my project has to stay within.

12 x 32 = 384          20 x 32 = 640

Now I know that I can choose any of my charts that have a stitch count of 384 x 640 or smaller. 

I've tried to make sure that I included every step required to do the arithmetic but if you see one I've missed, let me know and I'll update this post.

Happy Stitching!


Answer #7 - Doing a project in half stitch

This is a two-part question/answer.

Cinzia asked:

...I read somewhere that it [half stitch] kind of distort the fabric in one direction, is it true? 

Well, I can only tell you what I know from my experience.  Hopefully, it will be enough information.

First of all, I am stitching this in half stitch.  I am not doing a tent/continental or basketweave stitch.  It wasn't until the last couple of years, that half cross stitch has been lumped in as a "tent" stitch.  Tent stitching used to refer strictly to needlepoint stitches.  In my opinion, that should still be the case.  Here's an illustration of the differences:

The stitches in black are half stitches; the red is basketweave; the blue is tent or continental.  I am using the first (black) stitch.

Secondly, how you hold your fabric when you stitch can make a difference.  I use scroll frames.  The frames that I have are excellent!  I got mine from Artisan Design.  The fabric is held very taut and doesn't shift.  If you were stitching in hand, I could see how you would have to be extremely careful with your tension to prevent distortion.

I have not seen any distortion in my stitching while using half stitches with my fabric in a scroll frame.

Cinzia also asked,

I was going to use an evenweave other than Aida, any suggestion?

That depends on what you are comfortable with stitching on.  Personally, I have great vision (thanks to lasik) so I am comfortable stitching on any count.

If you have primarily stitched on Aida in the past, I would suggest a gradual change.  Maybe Hardanger fabric which is 22 count.  If you want to make the "big leap", you could stitch on 28 count Lugana or Jobelan evenweave.  Once I'd switched to evenweaves other than Aida, I was hooked!  I only use Aida on the rare occasions where I purchase a kit that includes it.  The kits that I tend to purchase are ornaments, so I don't use Aida for anything but smalls.

Only if you want a real challenge would I suggest trying linen.  While you can get linen in 28 or 32 count, it is not an evenweave!  Linen has slubs (variations) in thickness of the individual threads used in the weaving.  This can cause the stitch count to vary slightly across the fabric in either or both directions

Currently, I have two projects that I'm doing on linen.  The PTP Floral Arrangement over 1 on 40 count and the Sistine Chapel over 1 on 34 count.  There haven't been any issues with using linen for either project.

I hope this helps!

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

HAP SAL progress

Okay, okay.  I know I'm late posting this.  I also know as the originator of this SAL, I should be ashamed of myself...I am!

I have made progress on my main HAP piece, La Belle Dame Sans Merci.  I just forgot to post it.  I did remember to take a photo of my progress as of January 31, so I'm not a complete slacker.  ;-)

Here is my current progress photo:

Last time I took a photo, the poor knight only had half a face.  I think he's probably happier now.

Now for the actual progress information.  This is a rough estimate because I stitch by color rather than by 10 x 10 grid blocks.  I've finished over 4,200 stitches on this page.  That means I'm 1.88% closer to a finish than I was at the start of the year.  Total, I'm over 97,000 stitches into this project and 43.55% done.

This is the only one of my HAPs that I've worked on so far this year.

Happy Stitching!