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. 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January update

Here we are nearly at the end of January and I haven't posted! Being back at work is great but it is a real drain on your time. So, as it is my day off today, I thought I would give you a quick update on my crafty makes this month. 

Most of my spare time has been beavering away on this blanket, trying desperately to get it finished for my sister's birthday. I feel pretty safe posting on here. I am almost 99.9 % sure she doesn't read my blog. I finally finished it the other night and I guess it was the quickest blanket I have made to date. I think I made it in less than four weeks! I did 71 of the 84 stated rows as I felt it was quite long enough and plenty big enough to sit on at picnics and wotnot. 

I followed Lucy's pattern and colour placement as I did for the Cosy blanket and it worked out fine. For some reason, I thought the colours would be a bit more subtler than they have turned out to be. I thought it would be a bit more pastelly but no matter, it is still very very nice and snuggly. 

Cottage Ripple blanket by Lucy of Attic 24
Wool - Stylecraft Special DK

And on the stitchy front, I did manage to get some GAST Piney Woods from the lovely Ann at Beadlework blog. Thanks so much for sending me some thread Ann. So I finally managed my first finish of 2015! The Stars are Shining Brightly by Heartstring Samplery.

I was so excited by my finish that I just snapped it without ironing it first! I will get a better picture soon. I loved working on this. 

My next project is one I started a couple of years ago and never got around to getting it done so I am trying to complete Lizzie Kate ABC of Christmas as my next Christmas design. It is kind of quirky and cute and not really my style but it is nice to be able to do one of the letters and feel a sense of accomplishment. The threads are Crescent Colours (are they called something else now?) and a re soft and pretty to work with. 

Two more charts were added to my stash as well - both Christmas ones. I couldn't resist the Season's Greetings one by LHN so I bought the threads to go with that one. The other is my autoship from The Patchwork Rabbit. It is the next in the series of Classic Ornaments by CCN. I must say, I am a little disappointed at these charts. I thought they would be more, well, "classic" but they seem a little twee in my opinion. I do really like the sampler ornies that are coming out by LHN and I should have waited and opted for these designs instead. Ahhh well, maybe I will get them after this autoship finishes. I will still stitch it up though and add it to my collection. I also spotted two small charts by New York Dreamer ( I think it was Carol's blog Stitching Dreams where I saw it first) which I have on hold for my also by the lovely Karla of Patchwork Rabbit.  

Finally, I thought I would end with a very cheeky picture of April. Look what she dragged home! A magpie! She has caught them in the past and we thought it was dead but when she dropped it it flew away! It's the look of innocence in her eyes that gets me. 

And on a different note, my DH and I have decided to go walking this year and so to encourage us, I have set up a separate blog of pictures of our walks here in the UK. We have been on two already. If you would like to take a look then please do but please don't feel like you have to comment as it is really just something for me and DH to do together. It is still in its infancy stage so there is a lack of words and bumfff on there but pictures are up and you can see how much snow we have been getting. Please go to Between Heaven and Earth to see. 

Thanks for reading and big welcome ad hello to all my new followers. Please leave a comment with a link back to your blog so I can visit you back.

Have a great week everyone. 

Saturday, January 03, 2015

New Year, New Beginnings.

Well Happy New Year folks! I can't believe we are three days into the new year already. Did you do anything nice for New Year's Eve or anything different or did you just go down the "quiet one" route? We ended up taking a drive to our nearest city which is Manchester and stopped just outside it to watch the fireworks going off. It was a bit different for us as we usually stay home but it was nice. We drove back through the city centre which was stupidly busy and it took us ages to get home so we were pretty exhausted by the time we got back.

New Year's Day came and I really wanted to carry on our tradition of a walk or visit of some description. I really don't like going to busy shops and sales. I much prefer to get out into the quiet.  We decided to head out to Yorkshire, in particular, Hawarth where the Brontes lived and died. It was wonderful and somehow we managed to get into the museum which is the house they grew up in.

It rained then it poured but it didn't dampen my spirit as it was a wonderful, old village with quaint little shops and surrounded by beautiful hills.

The Bronte parsonage where they grew up:

The church their father pastored:

The school Charlotte taught at:

More shops:

Some of the little shops were open and we had to have a few sweets from the old fashioned sweet shop. I love those sort of shops. We ended up buying some of this:

That was New Year's Day. How was yours?

Stitch wise I am a little frustrated. I have almost completed Star Shining Brightly by Heartstrings Samplery but I have ran out of GAST on the last round of the border. Grrrrr... So I am awaiting a reply from Patchwork Rabbit to replenish it so I can get this little baby finished off. 

Sorry about the picture. I took it whilst it was lay on my knee! I am so lazy sometimes.

I have decided on my stitching goals for this year as well. I have decided that I am going to have a Christmas Stitching year! I have three designs started that I need to finish and I have a whole stash of Christmas charts that I would love to do. So here are my goals:

1. Finish "A Star Shining Brightly" - Heartstring Samplery
2. Finish Lizzie Kate's, "ABC of Christmas"
3. Finish "A Quaker Christmas" - Bygone Stitches.
4. Complete the CCN Classic ornaments as they come through.
5. Kit up and stitch "Christmas Carols" - CCN

I have several other Christmas charts to kit up and stitch but I don't want to set to high goals so I will post as I start and stitch them. These include charts from Heartstrings Samplery, BBD, CHS and LHN!

I have also made a good start on my sister's blanket. I am on row 38 of 84 and have 4 weeks to finish it. I may do it slightly shorter than the given 84 rows depending on how much time I get. I am loving the colours and you can find them all on Attic24's blog. I am afraid I cannot take credit for colour placement as I am copying Lucy's. 

Well that is me for the time being. I have loved being off work and being able to get back to blogland once again. It has been mostly fun with the exception of the very sad and sudden death of Vanessa Cabban - from Do You Mind if I Knit blog. Very very sad and it does make one think. 

So I am back to work on Monday. Blogtime may be reduced :(

God Bless