Wednesday, December 28, 2005

A Busy Holiday

A few days off work with nothing to do but eat, sleep and relax with family and friends and not only I am I feeling fantastic but I have managed to finish several small projects. I had a wonderful Christmas at my sister's house being well looked after by my sister & her husband and being bossed around by my 2 year old niece.

The first projects that I managed to finish are a very fuzzy scarf and hat knitted in Cosmic yarn from a free pattern that came with the yarn. I am off to spend New Year with very good friends who are currently residing in Rega and I thought I needed something to keep me warm. It will be great to catch up with my friends - I just hope that I do not catch a cold while out there.

The second is a lacy ribbed scarf knitted from a pattern booklet called Scarves of Hope available from with country silk yarn also purchased from Fiddlesticks. The yarn was a delight to knit with and I shall definitely be buying some more once I come off the stash wagon.

I also finished a bead bauble and a knitted baby jacket but both are gifts for friends so no photographs for the moment.

This all means that I have made a dent in my knitting stash and am well on the way to my aim of reducing my knitting stash pile to 5 projects. My stash count was at 16 projects but with these recent finishes I am now down to 12 projects. Only 6 more finishes before I can start planning for a new purchase.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful & healthy 2006.

I am off now to spend the Christmas period with my family and am in the middle of my usual pre-holiday packing dilemma - just how many stitching and knitting projects will be enough. I am so used to having my piles of stash around me that taking just one or two projects with me never seems possible. But on the other hand I am only going away for three days so surely 2 projects will be enough to see me through. I think I may just have to add a few extra projects into my bag.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Festive Stitching Finish

Over the weekend I finished this piece of cross-stitching. The design is by Lizzie*Kate and was really fun to stitch. I now just have to add the buttons and decided what to do with it.

I now have a head start on reaching my 2006 goal of reducing my pile of stash to somewhere below 50 cross-stitching projects. I can not decide which project to stitch on next so instead I am working on a knitted scarf instead.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Stash Lists & 2006 Plan

Well I have finally got around to cataloging all my stash (well I think this is all of it but there may be some more hiding somewhere). I have only listed those projects that I have all of the supplies for. I will try and reduce these lists before worrying about the partially kitted projects.

Cross-stitching and other counted stitching projects

  1. Beth Russell - Orange Border (80% complete)
  2. DMC - Sweet Pea Fairy (5% complete)
  3. L&L - Angel of Spring (80% complete)
  4. TW - Above the Clouds (30% complete)
  5. TW - Noah's Ark (15% complete)
  6. TW - Peacock Tapestry (5% complete)
  7. Barbara Thompson Designs - Skyscape
  8. Barbara Thompson Desings - Around the World in Cross Stitch
  9. Bent Creek - Swirly Sampler
  10. Butternut Road - Earthdancer
  11. Coleshill Collection - Sunflower
  12. Derwentwater Designs - Rose Window
  13. Derwentwater Designs - Rose Bouquet
  14. Derwentwater Designs - Macintosh coaster 1a
  15. Derwentwater Designs - Macintosh coaster 1b
  16. Dimensions - Power of the Serengeti
  17. Dimensions - Toy Shelf Birth Record
  18. Dimples Designs - Wee Beasties Part 5
  19. Dimples Designs - Wee Beasties Part 6
  20. Dinky-Dyes Designs - Celtic Heart
  21. Dinky-Dyes Designs - Celtic Knot Diamond
  22. DMC - Laburnum Fairy
  23. Just Nan - Amethyst Snowflake
  24. Just Nan - Celeste
  25. Just Nan - Christmas Jewel
  26. Just Nan - Ice Blossom
  27. Just Nan - Grace
  28. Just Nan - Serena
  29. L&L - Angel of Autumn
  30. L&L - Angel of Christmas
  31. L&L - Angelica
  32. L&L - Heavenly Gifts
  33. L*K - Bless the Baby
  34. L*K - Wanted! Santa 02
  35. Lanarte - Orchid
  36. Maria Von Scharrenburg - Night
  37. M-Designs - A
  38. M-Designs - A + D + Heart
  39. M-Designs - E + J + Heart
  40. Mirabilia - Royal Holiday
  41. Mirabila - The Fairy Moon
  42. Moira Blackburn -Growing Like A Tree
  43. Sheperds Bush - Cherry Heart
  44. The Silver Lining - Royal Affair
  45. The Silver Lining - Joy
  46. The Silver Lining - Hope
  47. The Silver Lining - Honor
  48. The Silver Lining - Grace
  49. Thea Groverneur - Jays
  50. Thea Groverneur - Pheony Rose
  51. Thea Groverneur - Rhapsody in Blue
  52. Thea Groverneur - Rose
  53. TW - Celtic Cross
  54. TW - Futurecast
  55. TW - Knotwork Bookmark
  56. TW - Paisley Corner
  57. TW - Stretch
  58. TW - Tempest
  59. The Victoria Sampler - Beyond Cross Stitch Level Six No ?
  60. The Drawn Thread - Toccata Number One

Knitting and Crochet Projects

  1. Black Dune Scarf
  2. Blue Fuzzy Scarf
  3. Baby Jacket (Penny & John)
  4. Haze shawl
  5. Scarf of Hope 1
  6. Scarf of Hope 2
  7. Collinette Jumper
  8. Black & White Jumper
  9. Black sleeveless jumper
  10. Toddler Poncho
  11. Socks 1
  12. Socks 2
  13. Ripple Scarf
  14. Hat
  15. Lacy Lattice Stole
  16. 63 square afghan

Beading Projects

  1. Beaded Box (10% complete)
  2. Romanov Bauble
  3. Fandango Braclet
  4. Fuchsia Scissor Tassel
  5. Aurora Stars (x3)
  6. Toulouse Chocker Necklace
  7. Georgian Bauble
  8. Turkish Rope Tassel
  9. Persian Tassel
  10. Art Deco Bauble
  11. Starry Night Bauble
  12. Mayur Necklace

So there it is I have 60 stitching projects, 16 knitting & crochet projects and 12 beading projects. Far more than I can hope to finish in a reasonable timespan maybe more than I can finish in my lifetime. Unless I win the lottery and can retire very very early. So I have decided that I am going on to the stash Wagon at least for a while - no more significant expenditure on stash for me till I have made siginificant progress towards my ultimate goal of having a stash list consisting of no more than 5 projects in each category. Obviously this will take many many years to achieve so the goal for 2006 is to reduce each stash list by at least 5 projects. I have 3 planned cross stitching purchases already for next year so will have to finish at least 8 cross stitching projects.

Since the vast majority of my stash is stitching I aim to concentrate on reducing this list first. So the plan for 2006 is to work on one main large cross stitching project at a time completing each project before starting a new one. I will also work on a second project selected from any of my lists to provide me with a travel project or a quicker finish to prevent me from becoming bored. I will only be allowed to purchase a new project when I have finished at least 5 projects. I have not decided which projects I shall work on as I don't want to restrict myself I shall just pick up whatever I fancy working on next.

I would love to finish 2006 with less than 50 cross stitching projects but this may well be beyond me so I am not going to beat myself up if I do not achieve this after all these are supposed to be hobbies and hobbies are supposed to be fun. In order to get a head start I am trying to finish a few projects before the end of 2005. In fact I finished one last night, admittedly a very small finish but none the less a finish.

It is called Damask Rose and is designed by Sue Hawkins.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Rare Event

Well for me at least - I have actually finished a cross stitching project. It is to go in my niece's nursery which is fully decorated on a Humphrey and Lottie theme. So now from the list of projects that I decided to try and finish before the end of the year I have finished one and have disposed of another. So 2 down and 8 to go. The chances of me actually finishing all ten projects before the end of the year and slim to none, especially since I am going away for a long weekend and the project I have taken with me is not on the list. At least it is a project that I have a chance of starting and finishing in a long weekend.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Feeling Guilty and the Beginnings of a Plan for 2006

I usually love my crafting hobbies but I am currently feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the quantity of stash that I have and am feeling very guilty about spending so much money just to store stuff under my bed or in the wardrobe. I am also feeling guilty about the fact that I never seem to spend enough time working on a project to ever make any noticeable progress to finishing things the only time I ever finish things are when they are gifts and more often than not the gift is finished late. Luckily I have very understanding friends and relations who would rather wait for something handmade than get a store brought gift – so far my sister and her husband have been waiting 4 plus years for their wedding gift.

At present I am spending more time worrying and thinking about crafting than actually sitting down to do something and am finding that my enjoyment of my crafts is somewhat diminished by all the worrying and fretting that I am indulging in. So I have begun to formulate a plan to help reduce my guilt and put a stop to the worrying.

Nothing is set in stone but so far my thoughts about my crafting plan for 2006 is to try to drastically reduce my stash levels, this may well take longer than 12 months but at least I can make a good start towards reaching a stash level that I can feel more comfortable with. Not buying stash for more than a couple of months is totally unrealistic since I need regular retail therapy sessions. Currently I have around 65 fully kitted up cross-stitching projects (this also includes other counted stitch techniques), 20 or so fully kitted up knitting & crochet projects and about a dozen beading projects that are fully kitted up. Added to that is a large box or two full of unallocated supplies that I could not leave all by themselves in the shop that I found them in. Over the next week or so I shall fully catalogue my stash - for the moment I shall just concentrate on the fully kitted up projects and once I have reduced that I shall tackle the supply boxes. In broad terms my plan is to concentrate on knitting and cross-stitching throughout 2006. I will work on one of two main projects, both stitching projects (French Alphabet Sampler and an adaptation of two M-Designs letters which is to be a wedding gift for a dear friend) and I will come up with a list of smaller projects that I want to finish and just work through them one at a time alternating between stitching and knitting projects alongside working on my main project. I will allow myself two planned stitching purchase (both birth samplers for babies which are due to put in an appearance in April). But other than that I am not allowed to purchase anything new until I have had several finishes and once I allow myself purchases I shall limit myself to buying stuff that allows me to utilise some of my already purchased supplies. Long term I want to have no more than 10 knitting projects, 5 beading projects and 20 stitching projects. I will set the levels that I wish to be at by the end of 2006 closer to the end of 2005 in the hope that I will be able to finish a few projects in the remaining weeks. I will also post my existing stash lists at the end of this year.
Wish me luck – I am going to need it. Some gently bullying to keep me on the right path may also be in order.

A couple of Knitting HDs

I thought I would share a couple of recent knitting finishes.

The first is a scarf I knitted for my Auntie J as a birthday gift using two strands of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. Many thanks to Mummy for being my model.

And the second is a new born baby jacket knitted as a welcome to the world gift for Rosie Green who is one week old today.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Another month flies by

I have just realised that not only is October but that there are less than 8 weeks till Christmas. I really must start getting my thoughts together about Christmas, I have as yet not brought a single present or even decided what to buy for anyone. As for the gifts that I had in mind to make for people since they are as yet not even started I guess they will have to be gifts for 2006.

The latest stitching plan is still alive and kicking - I am making progress on Daisy Chain and hope to finish it this week. The diet is also still on going and I have lost just over a stone, hopefully I will lose another one before Christmas. Goals for the month of November are to lose half a stone in weight and to complete at least 2 cross stitching projects.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Latest Stitching Plan

I have decided to try and finish the following projects, some of which are WIPs (indicated by tge % complete), by the end of the year:
Coleshill Collection – Sunflower
Humphrey’s Corner – Daisy Chain (50% complete)
L*K – Wanted! Santa 02
L*K – Bless the Baby
Beth Russell – Orange Border (80% complete)
Derwentwater Designs - Rose Window
Just Nan – Celeste
L&L – Angel of Spring (80% complete)
Mellinnia Designs – William de Morgan Dogsmerfield (10% complete)

I have also decided to retire (to the bin) one of my WIPs which was started 5ish years ago and was intended as a wedding present for my sister. I have never been happy with it and have finally decided that I never will be. I will stitch something else as a 5th anniversary present for my sister & her husband next year.

I am starting with the Daisy Chain which I started this weekend and have made great progress on.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Rule of Seven

I have been tagged for the first time ever, thank you Belinda.

7 Things I want to do before I die
Visit the Far East
Find that special someone
Get the hang of HTLM and web pages
Travel around the Americas (I have already done a little of Central America and Las Vegas)
Complete all the knitting / beading / cross stitching / needlework projects that are in my stash pile
Learn to speak another language
Learn to make fresh pasta from scratch

7 Things I can do
Knit (except socks)
Soduko puzzles
Cook (except pasta from scratch)
Make lists
Make my niece giggle

7 Things I cannot do
Ride a push bike
Crossword puzzles (I can not spell)
Knit socks (but I am working on this one)
Change a flat tire
Eat just on piece of chocolate or one biscuit / cookie at a time

7 Things that attract me to another person
Sense of humor

7 Celebrity crushes
This is a hard one since I don't really go in for celebraty crushes, I need to meet someone and get to know them before I get a crush on them

Harrison Ford
Jonathon Edwards
Johnny Depp
Nicolas Cage
Sean Connery
Patrick Swayze
Pierce Brosnon

7 Things I say the most
Well you know
Yes I can do that (usually in response to a request for me to knit or stitch something for a friend or family member when I really should be saying no since I already have a tonne of things to do) And your point is?

7 Bloggers I will tag
I can't think of seven who have not already been tagged. So if you have not yet been tagged consider this your tag.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I am shrinking

I have just got back from my diet weekly meeting and am amazed to report that I have lost 9 & 1/2 lbs in two weeks. On every other diet I have done (and I have done dozens) I would have had to work really hard to loose that in 4 weeks. On Monday I wore a pair of trousers to work which the week before were too tight to wear for more than five minutes. Currently I am feeling very positive about this diet. It is by no means easy to stick to but I am now feeling confident that I can reach my goal weight by the end of this year.

While in a positive frame of mind I have been thinking about my enormous cross stitching stash. It is not the largest collection of stash in the world but it does bother me that I have so much stuff just gathering dust. It also worries me that by not buying new stash I might miss out on getting the chance to stitch some of the wonderful stuff that is available. I swing from being more bothered by the amount of stash I have and the need to buy stuff just in case it gets discontinued. So I have decided to set myself a limit of owning 20 stitching projects, once I get below that level I can buy new stuff to keep the total at 20. This means that I need to finish 30 plus projects before I can indulge in shopping. This may cause a slight problem since I need to stitch a birth and a wedding sampler next year - neither of which are already in my stash. In order to quickly reduce the number of projects I have decided to order my projects by the number of stitching hours which I estimate it will take to complete each project and to then work down the list starting with the quickest to finish piece. I will work on each piece till it is finished and then pick a project from the next three on the list. This way I should be able to finish several projects by the end of the year (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Weekend of Beads

On Saturday I spent the whole day at a beading workshop where I worked on what was to be the back of an amulet purse but I have changed the plan and it will now be one side of a box. It is may fist attempt a peyote stitch and like everything else I do my tension is very tight. This means that the piece stands up all by itself and has no flex in it, much more suitable for a box rather than as a purse. Once the box is completed I shall attempt the purse again making a conscious effort not to pull it so tight. I am about half way through the first side and hope to have the box completed by the end of 2006.

Sunday I felt like working on something quick and easy so made myself this simple beaded necklace in my favourite colour - purple. The camera has, once again, drained the colour but the beads are all dark purple - in real life.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Birthday Girl

Yesterday was my nieces 2nd birthday - she sure is growing up fast. The whole family went round to witness the present un-wrapping. But being a fickle 2 year old although she liked her presents she spent most of the day playing with the balloons. I managede to finish the cardigan that I knitted for her in time for the party but totally forgot to take a photo in all the excitement. The cake that my Mum made was also a big hit - especially the self re-lighting candles.
To add to the family celebrations my sister announced that she is pregnant with her second little one.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dreaming of a Lighter Life

I have made what I hope is going to be a life changing decision and today have started on the Lighter Life diet. I am fed up with being over weight (well obese if I am honest with myself). I have tried just about every diet that has ever been dreamt up but have never tried Lighter Life. It is not going to be easy but the expected results will be worth the effort and I am determined that this time I will manage to stick with it and reach my goal weight.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A knitting weekend

I am coming to the end of a relaxing weekend spent pampering myself and knitting. I should however have been stitching on a piece that is to be a present for a friend but I had a tidy up last weekend and now can not find the supplies which I know I put away somewhere safe.

Instead I finished the grey scarf that I started just over a week ago. I am in a state of shock that I have managed to start and complete something in less than a year. The picture is not very good but the yarn is a mixture of various shades of grey with a little bit of dark camel.

Having completed the scarf I have started a cardigan for my niece which since she is only just about to turn 2 should not take too long to complete. I have recently decided that I need to reduce the amount of crafting stash that I own, I really do not have the space to house it all and there is so much stuff out there that I am itching to buy. So I am trying to only start something when something similar has been finished and I am also trying to work my way trough my pile of WIPs. How long this system will last only remains to be seen and I am sure that the CC will be out before too long.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Knitting Progress Report

Well after all my stash enhancement that went on last month I thought it best to actually get on with some knitting.

Last night I completed this tri coloured scarf, the pattern for which was in the Spring / Summer Vogue Knitting Magazine:

And to celebrate finishing something I started this lacey rib scarf. The pattern is from the Scarves of Hope leaflet which I purchased along with the yarn from Fiddlesticks Knitting. I decided however to change the pattern slightly by the addition of a frill.

This afternoon I am going to attempt to start my first ever pair of socks. I may be gone sometime.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Month End

I don't seem to have made much progress on any of my projects this month. I did finish two small cross stitching pieces which are both gifts and I have completed another 2 squares of the 63 square crochet afghan.

I have also had a great month stash wise having purchased the supplies for several knitting projects. Now I just have to find the time to actually do them. My other great purchase has been the new image that my blog is now sporting, all thanks to Jane at Design a Blog.

I have decided not to set myself any goals for September other than to spend time on each of my hobbies and to enjoy myself.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A good days shopping

Yesterday I decided to go on a shopping adventure to check out my not so local knitting wool shops. Two I visited are not worth the hours drive to get to them, but two will deffinately be seeing me again even though they are both nearly an hour from home for me. I managed to buy the remaining wool for the crochet afghan that I am part way through creating. I am using this project to teach myself how to crochet so the going is slow. I also purchased my first sock knitting kit and a pattern & wool to knit a little baby cardigan for a friend who is expecting a baby in Novemeber.

Now I am just waiting for my order to arrive form FiddleSticks and my month of shopping will be complete. Good job pay day is close at hand.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mid Week Blues

The weekend can not arrive quickly enough, for some reason this week I feel totally exhausted. Luckily I have a very long weekend planned - I finish work tomorrow and do not go back till Tuesday and I have a totally self indulgent weekend planned. Friday morning will be a little housework followed by a little shopping. Then the rest of the weekend will be spent sleeping, knitting, cross stitching or crocheting. So hopefully I will make loads of progress on all of my current projects.

Last weekend I met up with several other cross stitchers who I have gotten to know through the internet. It was great fun to spend the day chatting, eating and knitting (I know I should have taken cross stitching to a gtg of cross stitchers but I am really in the mood for knitting at the moment). The only downside to the gtg is that everyone brought along projects that they have completed or are working on and this has led to an increased wish list and a mini shopping spree. My stash list (so far) as a result of the gtg is two cross stitch kits byBarbara Thompson (Art Deco Skyscape and Patchwork Around The World) and a scarf pattern, a shawl pattern and some knitting wool from Fiddlesticks. Now I am just waiting impatiently for the postman to arrive.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Feeling Old

Well today I am since my babysister turns 29 today. How can I be old enough to have a 29 year younger sister? She is coming over later today to leave her nearly 2 year old daughter with me for the evening so that she and her husband can have an uninterupted night in. Looking after the little one is great fun if a little tiring only downside is that it is virtually impossible to craft while she is around. Hopefully when she is a little older I can turn her into a crafter.

Monday, August 01, 2005

August Goals

Well since it is the 1st of a new month I thought this would be a great time to set myself some goals in the vain hope that I might actually achieve something this month.

Cross Stitching Goals:
Finish gift for friendship exchange
Make at least some progress on an existing WIP

Knitting Goals:
Finish the scarf that I have been knitting for simple ages.

Crochet Goals:
Complete 3 more squares of the afghan.

Rejoin WeightWatchers and actually lose some wieght.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Time Flies

I can not believe that it is over a month since I last posted anyhting. Time sure does fly when you are having fun. The new job is still enjoyable but still very hectic and taking up far too much time and energy. Other than work I have been busy planning a trip to New Zealand, the list of places I would like to visit is getting rather too long for a three week trip but that is all the time off work that I can take.

I have however managed to finish a piece of cross stitch but am unable to share a picture at the moment since it is a gift for an online friend. I have also finished square one of the 63 square crochet afghan. It is no where near perfect but as a first attempt at crochet I am quite pleased with it, now I just have to get on and finish the remaining 62 squares

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Heat wave

Well it looks like we might have at least a few days of summer this year. I am loving the high temperatures but others around me are melting and getting irritable. I have had to break out the fake tan though as it is far too hot to wear tights.

I have recently started a new job, which I am loving, but it is taking up a lot of my energy and I haven't spent much time on my crafts recently but am going to a beading workshop and a paper-crafting workshop at the weekend so hopefully will make loads of progress over the weekend. I have recently received a pattern for a 63 square crocheted afghan as a gift from a friend and I am going to use it to teach myself to crochet. I need a new hobby like I need a hole in the head but I have convinced myself that crocheting will be the best craft for doing on public transport during rush hour.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Well Here Goes

After thinking about this for sometime I have decided that I need a blog. My memory is not good as it should be and I thought a blog would be a great way to keep track of things especially all my crafting projects.

Sorting out my way around the technology and how to make things look the way I want may take sometime but hopefully I will get there in the end.