Wednesday, April 01, 2015

April 1st and the start of the hols!

Hello dear readers. No this is not an April Fool; I really am blogging!! Goodness me, another month has flown by and I still haven't updated my little blog space. You must think I am hiding away in shame for not having completed my March goals??? Well, not at all. On the contrary, I have completed them all and also finished off the blanket goal from February too. Big pat on the back for meeeee. Ho hum. 

So here we go....

March goals were to stitch up the next ornie in the CCN series.

I must admit, being the truly honest type that I am, I'm really not enjoying these ornies very much. They were advertised as Classic ornies done in classic colours of red, white and green. These ornies do not shout to me as being very "classic" with the exception of the first one that was of three angels. I guess I was expecting them all to be along a similar vein of hymnals and Christian imagery. Elves, cookies, snowmen and Santas speak of a more modern view of Christmas. However, I will press on and continue. I am just kicking myself that I didn't wait and go for the LHN sampler ones that are now out as they are much more my style. Oh well, you live and learn they say. 

Next goal was to complete the Elisabeth Lillie sampler by MacIntosh Designs. Huge Ta-aaaa here. Goodness, I started her a long time ago, somewhere in 2012 and she got picked up and ignored constantly. I am so glad I decided to finally crack on and finish her. She was a joy to work on even though I made a huge mistake with one of the colours - (blue/brown confusion with similar symbols). I stitched her on 34 count Legacy Linen in Oaten Scone and used the called for DMCs.

My next goal was to finish the Love Quilts charity square I started at the end of last year. It was a Nibbles and Tibs design from a cross stitch magazine stitched on 14 count aida.

 It felt a little weird and strange working on aida after stitching on linen for so long but it was a refreshingly easy change until the dreaded backstitch arrived. Oh let me just work on samplers for the rest of my stitching life! The backstitch was so awful that I decided to miss a fair bit of the grass out. They were all fractional and part fractional through the aida weave. Yack! Anyway, I missed the Tibs out - I am presuming this is a little bird and just stitched the cat. Cute. Just need to add initials and location and this will be sent off to Love Quilts for an Any Child square. Please do take a look at this wonderful charity and think about stitching a square or two for it. They have this charity in several countries now I think.

And finally....... I finished the joining and the border for my Woodland Blanket which I have since given to my husband as a gift. He actually really loves it! 

Just a reminder about the colours I used..... plus black for the joining. I did a double V border around it. Nothing frilly. It's a man's blanket. 

What do you think? Starting with the gold colour at the bottom and going clockwise we have the following:


And as if that wasn't enough this month, I even made myself an Artfully Simple Infinity Cowl which you can find on the Moogly blog. Wow this was a treat to make and wear. I wore it all day yesterday and I think the little button tie finishes it off perfectly. Instructions for both the cowl and tie can be found on the blog with links to Youtube tutes. I used King Cole Riot DK for mine using a 6mm hook. I am thinking of making another one with some lovely hand dyed yarn I bought a while back.

I also tried my hand at some paper cutting this month as well. My dear friend bought me a beginners set from Paper Panda and I had a go at it. It is quite hard and my hand hurt after a while. I managed to do the hedgehog quite well but then I tried to do this swirly design and it doesn't look quite so good. I guess there is a knack to getting those curved lines right. 

I also pulled out an older design called Tranquility which I got from my very first stitching meet up back in the old days of Jane's Attic. What fun memories this brought back. This design is by LoopyLou designs and I decided it was time to get this baby finished so this is going to form part of my April goals. I think I started it in 2008. Shame on me. It looks much more stunning in real life as usual. 

I don't think my dove's eyes are right. I think I need to pull them out and do them again. Doh! 

Speaking of which...

April Goals:

 Get one page finished on A Quaker Christmas
Get the rows finished on Tranquility
Stitch up the next CCN ornie

Quite a crafty month I think. I do believe these monthly goals are working out quite well for me. 

Seeing as it is April, I thought I would end with a happy April the cat picture. Have you ever seen a happier cat? Look at that smile!

Have a good Easter folks. I'll be back soon. 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

March 1st Stitching Update

I can't believe a whole month has passed me by and I haven't posted! I am so sorry dear readers but life, as usual, has gotten in the way again. I have been very busy with work and also had some health problems which I won't bore you with. Suffice to say, I have been taking things easy - well, as easy as possible. However, I do have some finishes to share. Yay! Happy dances!

It was my intention at the start of the year to do monthly goals instead of year long goals. The reason being is that in the past when I have done yearly goals, I have inevitably failed, and been left with even more wips than I previously started with; (Crazy January Challenges and all that!) So, I began this year with Monthlies - not too many so that I could feel a sense of achievement. 

In January, I met all my goals - Yay!!! 

In February, I did all my goals but one which was finishing the Woodland blanket. All I have to do on this blanket is edge it in black so it won't take me long to do. However, I did make a small lapblanket which my cat has decided is hers! Someone, gifted me some aran wool a while ago and was never sure what to use it for so I decided a quick, simple granny square blanket would suffice.

The next two photos are from my goals for February list. The first one is the Lizzie Kate ABC of Christmas. I had started this a few years ago and never really got far into it so I was happy to set it as a goal and finish it this last month.

Here are some close ups of my favourite motifs from the design:

The next finish is the Cookies ornie from CCN Classic Ornie collection that I am getting on autoship from the Patchwork Rabbit. I have to say that I am slightly regretting getting these as these designs, to me, are not really descriptive of being "classic" in my humble opinion. Nevertheless, I am trying to stay on top of them by stitching one a month. I am much preferring the look of the new LHN releases of the sampler ornaments. Much more to my taste but alas, I can only afford one autoship at a time. 

So my idea is, that when I complete my stitching goals for the month then I am free to work on whatever I like. It just so happened that I really felt like I wanted to make a start on March goals so I picked up Elisabeth Lillie and started working on her and as you can see I have made a fair bit of progress on her. Not much more to go now and so I am hoping to have her finished by the end of the month. I made a big mistake with two of the colours in the chart and mixed up a blue with a brown. This was due to the symbols not being very clear but it makes this design more personal to me. So, not an exact replica but nice all the same. 

So, March goals are

- to finish Elisabeth Lillie
- to stitch another CCN ornie
- to finish my Love Quilts square

Hope you are all okay lovely readers and surviving this cold winter. 


Sunday, February 01, 2015

Keeping the Chills out!

I gave a sneak peak a while ago to a special project I was making for my daughter's birthday. I promised a finish post but alas, I never got around to taking the pictures until now. 

Some of you may have guessed what it was but if you didn't here it is........

A Katniss Cowl

With her obsession with the Hunger Games novels and films, this pattern was just the ticket and truth be told, she has rarely gone a day without wearing it.

There are different ways to wear it.....

It is extremely thick and heavy and verrrrrry snuggly. The yarn I used was Drops Andes in Light Grey mix which you can find here.

Below is a close up of the pattern. I did have to leave out the last two rows as I ran out of yarn but felt it was thick enough for my 12 year old anyways!! You can find the pattern here. It is very easy once you get going and just follow the steps. 

She has had lots of compliments when wearing it. It only took me about three evenings to make. 

Then, this one! This was a quick project which I started yesterday when I intended to use up some Lion Brand Amazing yarn I had in my cupboard doing nothing. I made up the pattern and chained about 200 chains or just over. Then I single crocheted into the chains and then did half doubles for about 12 rounds. I finished with a single crochet edge. Easy peasy. It wraps round the neck three times. I thought the yarn would do the hard work and so it just needed a simple pattern and I am very pleased with it. Instead of joining each round and chaining up, I just continued and worked it in a spiral i.e. continuously if you get what I mean. I used a 6 mm hook for this project. 

Thought I had better post these before the summer comes along! 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Snow days!

The last few days here in the UK have brought us the much anticipated snow I have been yearning for since 2013. We didn't see a lot of snow at all last year and since I have been living in this area for nearly 16 years now, I was quite disappointed. Every year, without fail we get copious amounts of snow, but not last year. 

Well, it came finally, and much to everyone's delight , we had a couple of snow days off school. 

This was us driving to school on Thursday.....

And then driving home again as a snow day had been called. I loved the way the trees were totally covered. This was one of two roads I was particularly worried about going home on as they are uphill and very slippy. 

Once home, the kids wanted to play out so off they trotted.

 Neighbours came out to play as well and they built a very tall snowman! 

More snow followed...

And it was the first time I had seen one of these on our estate. A snow plough! I managed to snap it before it went whizzing off down the road. 

This left me with much needed time to make some progress on my Lizzie*Kate ABC of Christmas. I had put this down to be a February finish challenge but to be honest I am almost nearly done with it so might set a new challenge if I can finish it in the next few days. 

I have really enjoyed stitching up the various motifs. I especially love that reindeer. He just needs his red nose on him now. 

I have also been crocheting a few squares for charity. The pattern has been given by Theemuts on Ravelry to be used in SIBOL's 1000th charity blanket and she also makes blankets for her own charity too. You can find details here - LINK. Which colour square do you like best?

That's me for this week folks. Hope you're all doing well and surviving the cold.