I've been spending a good chunk of my available crafting time working on a cross-stitch, pictured above, that I entered in the "WIP with essay" category of the fall exhibition. I started it 23 years ago! If you want to read the essay about why it was abandoned click on the picture and it should take you through to Flickr where it can be viewed larger.
I got a blue ribbon for the project at that unfinished stage. Lets see how I do next year with it finished!
I work on this project for about an hour each morning while I have my coffee. It's slow going but very gradually all those mornings are adding up.
The rumpled view above is how far I had come by September 13th. Since then I "climbed" that tree on the left all the way to the top of the pattern and I'm now filling in the back stitches that will bring detail to the cluster of trees before moving on.
I use an adjustable music stand and a magnetic knitting chart holder to keep my chart right next to my chair where I can see it and cross off the stitches I have done.
All my threads for the project are sorted in numerical order and held on a large binder ring which is hung on the side of the stand. It's a homemade thread wrangling system I came up with decades ago. I think it makes way more sense, and is easier to use, than the "bobbins" I've seen available commercially. Fortunately I taught the system to my mother as well. She loved it and used it for years. When I inherited her thread collection it was already presorted using this method. When I see her hand writing on the cards it gives me a nostalgic feeling just like her handwriting on old recipe cards does.
Here's a little video clip with an explanation of how easily the system works. No need to unwrap the threads or anything and you can pull out one single ply at a time without tangles!