Stitching progress, but everything is against me!

I've made quite a bit of stitching progress since my last post (well, considering I've been on hiatus for years), but practically everything is going wrong! My ADHD is still fighting me. How did I ever have so much focus before? I did manage two row finishes though, despite fate's attempts at thwart-tation (I just made up a new word). I left off on Snow White last time here:


And I finished row three, so I'm now at 215.4 hours and I also have some new data because I started using Markup R-XP, I'm at 59.8% with 41,451 stitches done, and 27,918 stitches to go. I'd like to say I'm using Markup to stitch with, but I still prefer marking on paper...old habits die hard and, as someone who works with technology for a living, honestly, I just don't trust it. And I'm not about to buy a different tablet just for Pattern Keeper or a tablet stand or other stuff just to make already printed paper obsolete, at least not now. But anyway, here she is in her row finish and all rows together:

SnowWhite057 SnowWhite058

You can also see how dirty she is...who knew projects sitting around for years untouched would get dirty? The next row is the biggest, so at least the dirt will be covered, but the final two are a lot smaller. She's going to be hard to frame if I don't go rectangle (I'd like to go oval). That dark swatch of color on her left cheek is bothering me though and my eye is constantly drawn back to it. It's not dirt, it's the called-for colors, but I don't like it. I may frog it and just restitch with the surrounding lighter color. I just think the color is overall a bit off in her skintone to be honest...she should be way paler (and is on the original artwork), she is Snow White after all. This girl has been spending too much time in Florida! But anyhoo, I decided instead of moving down to the next row, it was time to move on to another project.

I switched out to Night Wish by Annie Rodrigue (another HAED), which I apparently haven't touched since 2020. But this time, the ADHD wasn't the biggest hurtle, it was my stand! It's a lap stand and it obviously wasn't really made for general scroll rods (not many are, or maybe aren't meant to be used for 20+ years), but I just couldn't keep it clamped shut down on this project. It's also why I moved on from the Bride Dollmaker to Snow, trying to find a project that would clamp down better. It has scroll rod end clamps made for it that have a dowel rod that fits into the stand (but they don't fit all scroll dowels), but I only have one set of these, and those are locked on Alice and the B's. I'm not ready to go back to a project that big yet. The clamps that came with it, on the other hand, have a kind of curved groove that look like they were made more for Q-snaps (which I don't like) and, despite changing out the nuts and bolts (a couple of times), the wood is just worn out and won't clamp down good anymore. They used to hold scroll rods of all kinds just perfectly. But I have noticed the decline in the past few years. If I could do woodworking, I would make a new set of clamps and I have ideas how to improve it, but I can't and I don't know anyone who can, so I have to retire it. I bought that stand off of eBay many moons ago before Etsy and that seller is long gone (he was gone not long after I bought it, if I remember right, I think he passed away).

Needless to say, despite my lack of funds thanks to my lovely HVAC purchase, I had to break down and buy a new stand. I refused during Bride Dollmaker last month due to finances, but I really can't put it off anymore, it has become a necessary expense if I'm going to continue stitching. After a rather exhaustive search for a new lap stand, I gave that up and I ordered a new floor stand from K's Creations (which came in over the holiday, but it was delivered to work, so I haven't gotten it home yet). I have never cared for floor stands personally, but we'll see if I can adapt. I figured that, once I start on a super-sized HAED, I would need one anyway, so might as well start getting used to it now. Supposedly, it will work with all scroll rods, but I have the feeling I'll need some sort of adapter or something like a Lowery stand has that I'm unaware of (despite reading every comment and looking at every picture, but not seeing an issue...I even looked through the other listings for an adapter, but I didn't see one, at least not at the time of my purchase). I went with this stand versus a Lowery because, after I modified the Lowery for my surroundings or added the appropriate accoutrements, it was going to be well over $350 and that is just too much for me. And I'm not worthy (or wealthy) enough for a Millennium stand. I went with the cheaper of the three, so let's hope it doesn't bite me in the behind, because it still wasn't cheap and I can't turn around and buy a Lowery stand now. But I'm getting off track here...Night Wish. Like I said, not much progress. Here she was back in February of 2020:


And this is my little bit of progress in one day, she is now at 91.07 hrs, 22.2% done with 44,778 stitches completed and a whopping 160,222 to go, and this is only row 2 after all. She just would NOT stay in the stand without coming loose every five minutes and it was wearing me out! I'm not built for one-handed stitching, so I had to move on to something I could work with.


I decided to go back to Maleficent which is actually on scroll rods for another lap stand I have, an American Dream (although I still put it in my main lap stand). Whereas my other lap stand is just worn out, that American Dream one just sucks and I HATE using it! Time sometimes clouds the bad memories though, and I thought I was overreacting and I could handle it for a few days at least. I did, but ugh, what a pain (and no, I was NOT overreacting)! As expensive as that thing was back in the day, you can tell a non-stitcher designed that thing. At least it held the frame, but that's about all I can say for it. It's too short and very heavy for what it is. I also have to position it at weird angles propped up on top of one knee with the other knee holding it up and my arms reach at very unnatural angles. I actually think it's designed for someone to sit at a kitchen table with the stand on the table and stitch. Does anyone actually still do that? Maybe in the olden days when you had nowhere else to sit, but not in the last 100 years or so, right? How uncomfortable would THAT be? Although, I can remember sitting at the dining room table trying to embroidery with my mother back in the day, but we are talking mid to late 70's, so again, olden days! Needless to say, I was able to make enough progress to get some work done, especially with a heating pad on my back the entire time. Maleficent by Annya Kai...left off on her in 2022 (she's always the one I go back to when I start stitching because she is so close to done):


And despite the physical restrictions, I managed to finish the row:

Maleficent0172 Maleficent0173

That's just lighting at the top and not dirt, although we'll get to her other issues in a mo-mo. I did get a bit further into the last row for a total of 771.37 hrs, 88.3%, I only have 24,844 stitches to go and I've gotten 188,356 completed:


This bottom row is also not a full page row (almost, but not quite), so I've decided (at least for now), that I'm going to focus on her until she's finished. She also has an additional complication...the glue from the velcro that I use to attach the fabric to the scroll rods has melted to the good part of fabric at the bottom three to five rows (I guess having your air conditioner go out 10+ times while a project sits for years tends to do that). It's annoying stitching through thick melted glue, but I don't know how to get it off, so stitch through I must. If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears. I didn't want to use something like alcohol because of the color-fastness of the thread and I didn't want to use Goo-Gone because that stuff is like lighter fluid. It's all black down there anyway, so it shouldn't affect the thread. I guess that's what I get for having a 2 inch border. Normally, I'd have a much longer border, especially top and bottom, and cut the velcro layer off when I'm finished, so I wouldn't care about the glue layer. But I've also never had it melt before. And, in all fairness, I never expected to still be stitching on the same project almost 9 years later (I started her in 2015). It's been a rough decade. Frankly, I use this stuff on all my projects, which, ironically is an American Dreams product as well (should have guessed, right), so I am a bit worried about what the others look like. Maybe I should go back to using tape like the old days? I sure as heck ain't goin bind stitching to the scroll rods thing...UGH! But I'm not thinking about that now. Lesson learned, 4 inch borders from now on (at least top to bottom, 3 is fine for the sides).

Speaking of new borders, I'm also still on my self-imposed new-start restriction until I finish at least one WIP, so hence the focus on Maleficent since she is the closest to finished. If I get her done soon, I can start something new and maybe that will help invigorate me a bit. I did purchase a couple of Harry Potter patterns over the weekend, but it was the only shopping I did anywhere (and I'm quite proud of myself for that, although today is not overwith yet, it being CyberMonday and all). They were all on drastic sale, so I even saved a pretty penny, but this post is long enough without more pics, right? Maybe in another one.

Oh, and just because I didn't have enough struggles to deal with, I also moved back to my recliner to stitch instead of the couch, which made it a bit easier on my back and rear (especially with the booser cushion I bought, and before the American Dream stand fiasco, but should be better for the floor stand hopefully, the left and right placement will be switched and I'm left-handed, so it works out). It was kind of an ordeal moving everything back over to the chair, with the lights and all...I took out my side table to the chair and replaced it with a bookshelf for my Harry Potter stuff a few months ago, so I don't have a place for storage anymore and the outlet is hard to get to now. Plus, now that I'm reaclimating to the chair, I have to remember to move back to the couch before I fall asleep (they say it's REALLY bad for you to sleep in a recliner, especially if you have circulation issues, so I'm trying to avoid that). Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don't. The joys of medication. One thing is for sure, neither pup cares for me sitting in the chair now. They want me back on the couch!

And that's about it! I'll have the new stand at home tonight, and I'm pretty excited! Hopefully, it will be a game-changer because that was a lot of money wasted if it isn't. Be my luck, I'll have to buy specialty scroll rods for it too and that will be more expense! Ugh! Even if I do though, it won't help me now, so I'll have to look for another stand again. But I'll make sure to give you an update, either way and a review. And I know I haven't explained my stand very well, so I'll post some pictures of that too if you want, might help.


kate n said…
This is so glorious!
Linda said…
Hi Keiley. I am so happy to see you stitching again. Amazing progress on all of your projects. I am excited for you to almost have Maleficent finished. Sorry about all the frame issues. I started stitching in the mid 80's stitching in hand. I still stitch in hand today. I tried Q snaps once and hated them. Have a great week.

Even if it's still slow for you, that looks like a whole lot of stitching to me, especially on Malificent! Shame about the glue though. It might be to late by now, but my first thought was to re-soften the glue with something like a hairdryer, and see if that makes it easier to just might things worse though by adding stickiness to the situation, so I'm not sure about it!
Hope the new stand works out for you, I guess I'll see soon, once I'm caught up with all my blog reading :)
Maleficent!! I know you have her finished now but I am going to enjoy these final progress updates!