Sunday, April 30, 2006

April's Report

I can not believe that the end of April is here already and the year is 1/3rd gone. I have had a reasonably productive month and managed to complete 3 of my 4 goals for April:
  • Beading: Finish at least one project Not quite, zig zag braclet is about 85% complete.
  • Knitting: Start something and progress the new project to 50% complete Definately yes I started and finished my New Zealand scarf.
  • Cross-stitching: Finish at least 2 projects. Another definate yes, I managed to finish 3.
  • Cross-stitching: Start A&D's wedding gift and progress it to at least 25% complete Definately no to this one, I have not even started it.

I have also done a fair bit of shopping having added 10 knitting projects to my knitting stash pile - a pair of socks in Opal cotton, a cardigan for my niece, a cardigan & 2 jumpers for me plus 5 scarves and 3 needlepoint kits to my stitching stash. I have also made the decision to try having a rotation for my stitching which led to me having a sort out of my stash crates and discovering 3 projects that had somehow got left of the list.

Thanks to all how have left comments recently, I greatly enjoy getting comments and appreaciate them all.

Sarah, I am spending the day with Thomas & Mae tomorrow so there should be plenty of new photos and I had totally forgotten that I managed to get your letter completed on time. Maybe there is hope for me yet.

Cross-Stitching & other Counted Stitching:
Stash Pile as of 28 March 06: 63 projects
Completed in April: 3 projects (Kokakora Bookmark, Sheep Bookmark & Aotearoa Sheep)
Added in April: 6 projects (Rose Cushion, Bright Flowers Cushion, Yellow Eyed Penguins, Kate's GTG Sampler, Bakewell Tart Sampler & French Alphabet Sampler)
Stash Pile at 30 April 06: 66 projects
Knitting and Crochet:
Stash Pile as of 28 March 06: 14 projects
Completed in April: 1 project (New Zealand Scarf)
Added in April: 8 projects (Opal cotton socks, 5 scarves, toddler's cardi, adult cardi and two adult jumpers)
Stash Pile at 28 March 06: 23 projects
Stash Pile as of 28 March 06: 12 projects
Completed in April: 0 projects
Added in April: 0 projects
Stash Pile at 20 April 06: 12 projects

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Trouble With Rotations

I have discovered over the last few days that, for me at least, the trouble with having a stitching rotation is that I spend all my time planning what I will stitch and when I will stitch it that I have no time to actually do any stitching. This then means I need to plan a new stitching timetable. Oh well I have a three day weekend coming up so hopefully I will get some stitching time then

Thanks for the comment on my scarf Natty, I just love comments and am always surprised to realise that other people actually read my blog.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Zealand Scarf HD

Yesterday I finished the first of the two scarf kits that I purchased on my holiday in New Zealand. The photo doesn't show the colours very well but it is a gorgeous mix of reds and greens with a little orange and purple. I am really pleased with how it has turned out and can't wait for the start of winter so I can start wearing it. I also started a beaded braclet and hope to get it finished in the next couple of days.

Stitching wise I have not made any progress but have decided on my new rotation. I will have as my focus piece M-Designs letters A&D plus M-Designs Celtic Heart all to be stitched on one piece of fabric. In between stitching on my focus piece I will stitch on Rose Window by Derwentwater Designs (a WIP currently approx 60% completed(, Mirabilia Royal Holiday (a new start), Just Nan's Ice Blossoms (another new start) and Around the World by Barbara Thompson (another WIP, currently approx 25% completed). I think the projects that I have choosen give a nice range of styles and colours. Also by including three new starts and two WIPs (which fingers crossed should get finished) I am hoping to be able to keep myself motivated. If I finish any of the in-between pieces before the focus piece I will either just work on the remaining projects in rotation or add in a new project. When I have finished the focus piece I will start a brand new rotation.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Obligation Stitching

I just love giving friends & family handmade gifts especially for those big occasions but I hate working to deadlines, even self imposed ones. Over the years my friends & family have come to accept that special gifts from me arrive years after the event which the gift was originally intended for example my sisters wedding gift is yet to be finished and she & BIL will celebrate 6 years of marrage in September and my niece will turn 3 in September and her birth sampler is still a WIP. However, my oldest friend (I met her when I was 6 months old) is getting married in the summer and I am determined that she will get a specially stitched gift in the year that her wedding takes place. Originally I had promised myself that it would be done by her wedding day but I have been putting off starting it since the start of the year. I have finally come to the conclusion that the reason that I am putting off starting it is because I absolutley hate stitching on a piece which has to be done by a particular date and the feelings of guilt which come when I end up either stitching on something else or miss the deadline. So in an effort to make this piece a more enjoyable project to stitch and in an attempt to finish the piece sometime before Christmas (which is when I would like to be able to give the piece to my friend) I have decided to set up a rotation. I have broken the wedding gift down into 12 parts and once I have finished each part I shall stitch on a different project for 10 hours (about a weeks worth of stitching) before going back to the wedding gift (WG). Hopefully this will see the gift finished before the end of 2006 as I have estimated that each 12th of the WG will take about 20 hours to stitch and I think there are 36 weeks left till the end of the year. In order to also make progress towards finishing other projects I have decided that I will pick 4 projects for the in-between times. That way I should get to stitch each of the in-between projects 3 times before finishing the WG. Now I just have to decide which 4 projects to choose.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Great Long Weekend

As well as getting to spend plenty of quality time with my family and getting loads of cuddles with my new nephew I got a fair amount of stitching time in. I managed to finish two of the kits I purchased while in New Zealand, both kits are by The Little Kit Company and were fun to stitch.

I also managed to get some knitting done and have progressed the scarf I am working on to the halfway stage. Now I just need to decide what to stitch on next.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Great Post Day

Today was a great post day but a very bad day for my stash reduction plans. Actually talking about stash reduction plans I think I have come to a decision, the original plan for 2006 was to try and reduce my beading, knitting AND stitching stash piles. But I have discovered that I am really really really bad about not buying any new stash so I have decided to change my goals and concentrate on reducing my stitching and beading stash piles. I will let myself buy more stitching stash but with a maximum limit of 30 projects to be in the knitting stash pile so that I don't go too mad. With the stash that arrived today I currently have 20 projects all ready to knit.

The postman delievered the remainder of my New Zealand stitching stash, two gorgeous needlepoint cushion kits (pictured above) plus a small kit of a yellow eyed penguin (not pictured because it is going to be stitched as a gift) and some hand-dyed silks. The cushion kits are by Mary Self Designs. The postman also delievered a small pile of knitting yarns.

This will end up being a pair of socks, a jumper and four scarves at some point in the future. Anyone know how to knit and stitch at the same time?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Two Things

First up is a picture of the bookmark by the Little Kit Company that I finished a few days ago.

Secondly I have been thinking about joining in with the 101 things in 1001 days idea that I have seen on other peoples blogs. It appeals for me for a number of reasons;
  • there is so much that I want to do but there seems to be so little time so this would help provide a focus,
  • I came back from holiday with the plan of not spending majority of my time & energy either working or worrying about work and to spend more of my time & energy on myself and my friends & family but this has fallen by the wayside as I have fallen back into the routine of working 10 hour days. Having a non-work based to do list should help me in my goal to achieve a better work : leisure balance in my life
  • I LOVE lists and making plans

So having decided to give it a go all I need to do is decide on my list and on a start date. I spent my lunch break making a start on my list and managed to get to 56 things so it shouldn't take long to come up with 101 things to do in 1001 days.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

An Auntie Again

Yesterday I gained a beautiful little nephew called Thomas William. His parents are totally overjoyed and his big sister Mae is very pleased with her new brother. He was a very healthy 7.5lbs and is already feeding well. My sister is as well as can be expected after her second c-section and is hoping to be out of hospital on Thursday.

A picture of the me and Thomas can be viewd at: Thomas and His Auntie

Monday, April 03, 2006

First Souvenir HD

Over the weekend I made great progress towards achieving my April goals by finishing the first of the cross stitching kits that I purchased while on my recent holiday in New Zealand. Once I find my camera I will post a photograph of the finished Kakora Bookmark, it only took a few hours and I also found time to start a second of the New Zealand kits and turn the skeins of wool from a scarf kit that I also purchased in New Zealand into balls. I have decided that this scarf will be my April knitting new start and I hope to make a start on it tonight. I probably won't be able to sleep tonight as I am very excited about becoming an auntie for the second time tomorrow so should get loads of knitting done.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Goals

Because of my holiday I did not set myself any goals in March. But in order to stay on track I need to start setting goals again this month.

So for April my goals are:
  • Beading: Finish at least one project
  • Knitting: Start something and progress the new project to 50% complete
  • Cross-stitching: Finish at least 2 projects.
  • Cross-stitching: Start A&D's wedding gift and progress it to at least 25% complete

So I guess I shall be a little busy this month, but I need to be after last month purchases otherwise I run the risk of ending the year with more stash that I started the year with.