Sunday, January 15, 2017

Stitching Update - December

We are two weeks into the new term here and the small fry have finally got back into the school and after school activities routine.  I'm back to feeling like I am going to meet myself coming back along the road!

Stitching time in December was in short supply as I started a new contract and I'm currently working four days a week.  The projects that I worked on during the month are firstly Dorothy Walpole from The Scarlett Letter.  I'm still working on the bargello band but as I have got the top filled in and am working my way down, I think I am approaching the half way point of this band now.  I am stitching this in DMC on 40 count Pearlised Barley Lakeside Linen.

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Then I stitched Christopher his ornament,  the ungrateful little sod had loudly declared that he didn't want a stitched ornament this year but I did one for him anyway. I chose to stitch him Dragon Dreams Santa's Unexpected Gift from the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition.  I used the recommend threads and linen.

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I also managed to get Rosie's Ornament 'finished' - A Star is Born by Needleplay Needlework Designs also from the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition.

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Sunday, January 08, 2017

December Reading

I hope you all had a good start to the new year, ours was a bit rocky as a family member had to go into hospital on New Years Day but she's had her surgery now and has been discharged.  We are all rather hoping that's the last of it for a while, the end of 2016 had a bit too much hospital visiting.

What I want to share with you are the books I finished in December:

Books - December

Two of the three books were started earlier in the year, the only one started and finished last month was A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett and that was easily my favourite. I thoroughly enjoyed my time back with Tiffany and the Nac Mac Feegle.  I'm not quite sure why the Deborah Needleman took so long to read other than I put it down and didn't get back to it.  The Eric Hobsbawm being theoretical history was read in bursts and alternated with lighter reads when my brain started to hurt!
  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wrapping Up 2016

I have a couple of major finishes to share with you all before the end of the year. 
 
First I have finally finished a pair of quilts that I was making for Rosie and her teddy.  I had got the tops pieced back in 2014 from a matching layer cake and charm pack (I have no record that I can find of the fabric line).  I made a determined effort this year to finish them both off,  I have joined my local Modern Quilters Guild in order to make some dedicated time for quilting.  

Rosie was keeping a close eye on progress and as soon as they were finished she whisked them off and put them on her bed.
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Rosie's Quilt

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Teddy was also thrilled with his quilt!

My other big finish is my Hartfield Shawl,  I finished the knitting in October but for a variety of reasons I wasn't able to get it blocked until this week.   This is a design by Ann Kingstone and I used a skein of her 'Chuffed' cashmere, I purchased both the pattern and yarn at my first Yarndale.  

It's also fair to say that chuffed is also a good description of how I'm feeling about the finished shawl!

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Another small finish that is off the needles is a new winter hat as my other wool hats have gone walkabout.  Christopher has taken up football this year and a woolly hat is essential wear for training sessions.

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This is another knit from the Drift Collection from Eden Cottage Yarns, Beulah Hat by Clare Devine. I knit this in Wensleydale Long Wool from my stash.

I think this wraps up my finishes for this year, it's been quite a stressful year here which explains why there is more knitting than anything else this year.  I find it much more relaxing to knit than stitch when I'm tired and stressed.

Fingers crossed 2017 will be much steadier as I would like to try to finish more stitching wips next year as well as making more time to be more generally creative.  

The one positive from this year is that I appear to have regained my reading mojo back. I'm on track to meet my goal of reading 36 books this year, I'm at 35 books so far. I just have to finish my current read 'Hat full of Sky' by Terry Pratchett before the year end which will not be difficult. Next year I am going to try for 4 books per month.

I'm also determined to try to blog more frequently next year so I have been giving some thought to the best way to achieve thisUltimately to more time I get to knit, stitch and sew the more I am likely to blog as I will have more to share!

I hope that you all have a good new year and that 2017 is kind to you.    

Saturday, December 17, 2016

November Stitching Update

Hello All, again I didn't plan on having such a long break but I got offered a new work contract so life got busy again.  

I thought I would use this opportunity to update you with a snapshot of where my stitching was at the end of November as it's been a while since my last stitchy update.

I spent the summer working on the pre-stitching for the September Morning Class with Jackie du Plessis in October.  Naturally I'm sure it won't come as a surprise to anyone that I didn't get finished before I went.  I thoroughly enjoyed the day, Jackie is a wonderful teacher and I was very grateful to Grace for providing the opportunity to take the class.  It was also lovely to catch up with many of my stitching friends that I hadn't seen for several years.  At the class I did have a finish as Jackie talked us through the little pincushion.

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This wip is now on hold while I do some gift stitching in my focus slot but my plan is to have it as my focus slot when this is done (I'm back to doing a ten hour rotation).

The first of the gift stitching was to make a start on the Christmas ornaments for the children.  Rosie chose 'A Star is Born' by Needleplay Needlework Designs from the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Edition and gave my rusty hardanger skills a workout!

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I decided that for one my rotation slot I would work on one of my many unfinished class wips from previous years so I used a random number generator to pick which wip I would pick up.  The generator picked 'Mistress L's Sampler' by Lauren Sauer of Forget Me Nots in Stitches, a class I took back in 2013.  I hadn't done more that the first couple of rows so it was great to spend some time with it.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Second Honey Bee

I posted earlier this year that I was knitting a second Honey Bee sweater for Christopher.  I finished this over the summer but unfortunately when he went to try it on it appears that he is sensitive to Alpacca (even this lovely Baby Alpacca) as he took it off straight away complaining that it was itchy. 

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Honey Bee by Dani Sunshine from the Drift Collection by Eden Cottage Yarns knit in Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell DK in Charcol


So no photo's off him wearing it,  I now need to decide what I'm going to do with the jumper - probably find a knitworthy small person it will fit.

I have also finished my latest pair of socks.  These are Expresso Socks by Louise Tilbrook, knit in British Wool and Nylon in the Gaspode colourway by The Knitting Goddess.  I somewhat surprised myself when I wore them for the first time and realised that I had managed to match the stripes without trying!
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Rosie and I went on a yarny road trip to Yarndale last month.  We both had a lovely time and spent our budgets!  

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I went shopping for yarn to knit the first four shawls in the Shawl Society by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade.  I got yarn from Five Moons Luna plus 4ply in Daughter of the Sea for the Talisman Shawl, Ripple Crafts Suliven in Heather and That'll be the coal for the Amulet Shawl, Whistlebare Yeavering Bell in Cherry Mallow, Minnow and Bog Orchid for the Quill Shawl and The Knitting Goddess St Kilda in Stac an Armin for the Asana Shawl as well as a cute project bag.

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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Flowers of the Field

I'm afraid my intentions of blogging more regularly this year have been scuppered by circumstances. I've been doing some temporary work on and off this year with a view to getting back into the workplace and with two busy children I'm afraid that blogging has been pushed to the end of the jobs list but as I have several things to share with you, I hope I will be popping in a bit more regularly from here on in.

The first thing I have to share is the finished Flowers of the Field sampler by Eileen Bennett of The Sampler House.  The charts were published in Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly Vols 32 - 34.  I used a piece of 36 count Silkweaver Linen and the called for DMC apart from the metallic, I substituted Kreinik from my stash.

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If you want to catch up with what I'm up to in between the blog posts I can be found most  regularly on Twitter and Instagram where you are welcome to connect with me (if you haven't already)

Monday, May 30, 2016

Stitching Update

It's been a while since I shared my progress on my stitching projects.  Progress is still somewhat slow but I recently invested in a new toy to help.  My eyes have been struggling with the stitching on 40 count on Dorothy Walpole, I suspect that I need new glasses but for the time being a magnifier is helping a lot!
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Steadily working my way through the bargello

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One project that is getting close to a finish is 'Flowers of the Field' by The Sampler House (Eileen Bennett)

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I also started a new small project - 'My Love I do give thee' an old free pattern by Barrick Samplers. I should point out that the couple do not look quite so much like members of the undead in person!

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I'm very fortunate this year that I am getting to take a class with Jackie Du Plessis of 'It's Fine-ally Finished' when she's teaching in the UK in October.  The class I'm taking is 'September Morning' as you can see the kit got a lot of attention when it arrived..

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I'm loving the delicate vintage look of the design that I have done so far.

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