Monday, December 31, 2007

The Last HD of 2007

Paperwhites by Little House Needleworks completed 31-Dec-07.
Sorry the photo is so blurry and the light here is very bad this afternoon. Also although the photos makes it look otherwise the stitching is straight in real life.
When I got this out early today to finish work on it I counted the number of stitches left to be done - 85. I can not now remember what was so vitally important that I had to put this project aside with so little left to do.
For the rest of today I am going to work on Awake the Dawning Day and maybe later tonight will make a start on Snow by Heart in Hand Needlearts which is hopefully going to be a quick stitch. I am spending the evening with a bottle of wine, a couple of dvds and a few good friends who all would be most surprised if I left my stitching at home. Snow will be a good project to take out with me since it is simple enough not to need my full concentration.
I have been contemplating whether or not I will start something new tomorrow. At the moment I am so focused on completing as many projects as possible in 2008 I am working my way through my smaller / easier projects that the need for a new start is not so great. However I might start Beneath the Sunlit Sky by Blackbird Designs as this is not too large a project and was going to be my next start anyway.

Probally the Last HD of 2007

I completed this bookmark late last night, actually I think it might have been early this morning but since I had not been to bed I will count it as yesterday.

It is from a Sue Hawkins kit called Zebra African Animals Bookmark. The finishing it not 100% perfect as putting the cube together proved to be quite fiddly. Also I think on reflection that the cord (constructed as per the kit instructions) is a little thick and if / when I make another of these I will use either a thinner cord or maybe a ribbon.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Baby Sampler Completed

Baby Sampler by Lizzie*Kate, started 02-Nov-07 completed 29-Dec-07.
This has been stitched for my oldest friend's (we have been friends since I was 6 months old) first baby who is a delight and joy. Both my friend and her mother are stitchers so I had not been planning on stitching a birth sampler for Isobel but I was informed on my first meeting with Izzy that she would love a sampler stitched by her Auntie Allie. Luckily I already had this sampler fully kitted up and waiting for someone to stitch it for.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reindeer Sampler HD

Reindeer Sampler by JBW Designs.
Started and finished in December 2007.
I did not have the buttons required for this design so added a few red stitches to the reindeer and also repeated the holly and white border at the bottom rather than the row of red hearts charted.

I am Spoiled

Being 34 does not stop me being a spoiled daddy's girl. My sister and Mother call me the senior child of the family - the other two children being my 4 year old niece and 18 month old nephew. Mum & Dad always buy my sister and me several presents but Daddy also likes to buy his three girls a gift just from him. This year he asked me to organize a day at a local spa for Mum, my sister and me as his gift to us. He also asked me for a list so he could surprise me with a little something. So I sent him a link to my favorite UK online stitching shop, the details of my favorite LNS and a list of a dozen or so charts that I would like. I expected him to buy me one or two instead he gave me a parcel containing 18 charts, all the required charms / buttons and a huge pile of threads. The only thing needed to stitch all the charts is some fabric and I have a crate full of that so do not need to buy any.
He bought me (some of which are pictured above but not all since I have left some at my parents house to work on when over there):
Bent Creek
The Littles Snowman
Heart in Hand Needleart
Christmas Bird
Easter Bird
Spring Bird
Summer Bird
Autumn Bird
Winter Bird
Summer Sampler
Spring Sampler
Flip it a year with Charm - March, April, May, June, July and August
The Trilogy
I have now decided to abandon my rotation and work on whatever project takes my fancy until something else screams too loudly to be ignored. Also instead of buying one new project for every 6 finished I am aiming to finish 20 before I buy any stitching stuff then I might go back to one purchase per 6 finishes.
I am not back at work till the 3rd Jan and between now and then I have a few household chores to do, a couple of errands to run and a handfull of visits to friends & family planned but the rest of the time will be spent stitching or knitting. Hopefully this will mean I can get several projects finished. I have three which I think only need to work on for a few hours each (JBW Designs Reindeer Sampler, Lizzie*Kate Baby Sampler and Little House Needleworks Paperwhites) before they are completed. I have never managed to figure out why I get projects 90% completed and then put them away to work on something else.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Christmas

Sorry it is a day late but I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. My day was spent with the family so there was very little time between all the presents to unwrap, the food to be cooked and eaten and the games to be played. By the time my niece and nephew had gone to bed I was ready to fall asleep. I was truely spoiled by friends & family and recieved many delightful gifts including a spa day, a huge pile of stitching charts & threads (I will post about those seperately once I get my camera sorted), lots of lovely bath products, chocolates and much much more.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Knitting Project

Because I am supposed to be spending the rest of the year finishing as many stitching projects as possible I just had to start a new knitting project. Luckily I had spotted Quant in the winter edition of Knitty and had been thinking a winter head band would be a good idea since my ears often get cold but a hat is sometimes too much. So yesterday afternoon when I got home from the office Christmas lunch I sat down and made a start.

This is my first attempt at both I-cord and entrelac work, it looks very odd at the moment but I think that is how it is supposed to look at this stage. Fingers crossed it will come out o-kay. The only problem that I can see at the moment is that I will have to be careful where I wear it since I can already hear several cries of "I like that can you knit me one".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another Small HD

Zig-Zag Scissor Keeper by Sue Hawkins completed 12-Dec-07.

Only two more finishes to go before I can buy myself a stitching treat.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snowman HD

Bucky the Snowman by The Trilogy.
Completed 10-December-2007.
He was really really fun (and quick) to stitch. I think I might get one more Christmas themed piece completed this year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Wee HD and a New Start

Sorry about the lack of posts this week but I have been busy stitching. I have managed to complete Wee Santa '97 by Heart in Hand Needlearts and also make a start on Awake the Dawning Day by Blackbird Designs. Not much of one I know but at least it is started.

I have also been working on Bucky the Snowman by The Trilogy since it is an easy piece to carry around and this week I had to spend 5 hour on a train plus a few hours in a hospital waiting room.

Tomorrow I am off on a girlie shopping day with my sister who has sent her kids and husband off to visit his mother for the weekend. As much as I love my niece, nephew and BIL it is wonderful to be able to spend time with just my sister. Tonight and tomorrow night I plan on trying to finish Bucky the Snowman before getting back to stitching on the baby sampler.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saturday Stitching

Having decided to amend my rotation I sat down yesterday and made a start on Baby Sampler by Lizzie*Kate. This is turning out to be a realy quick and enjoyable stitch. Today I am planning on spending all afternoon and evening stitching and catching up on my TV watching.

I am hopefull that I will be able to complete Wee Santa today and maybe make a start on Awake the Dawning Day. Santa only needs the bottom of his jacket, his mittens, eyes and pompom added plus the border and stars completed.

With all the thinking about stitching that I have been doing I have also cemented my plans for the near future with regard to stash purchases / stash reduction. For the time being I will allow myself on small(ish) purchase per 6 completed projects (I will count the Bent Creek Little Santa as my first finish) plus I am allowed to buy limited editions / class projects which scream at me but for each of these I must complete a stashed project which does not count towards my next purchase. This is of course subject to change.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rotation Changes

Before I have even begun I have decided to make changes to my rotation. The changes have come about for a number of reasons the main one being that I have realised that the reason I keep putting off starting my rotation is the fact I do not (at the moment) want to stitch on Noah's Ark. I love this piece but at the moment can not face the idea of over one stitching. I have also been asked by a dear friend to stitch a sampler for her baby and so I have decided to add that to the rotation. The new plan is:
Round One: Baby Sampler by Lizzie*Kate
Round Two: Finishing or Small project
Round Three: Awake the Dawning Day by Blackbird Designs
Round Four: Finishing or Small project
Repeat until bored.
List of Finishing / Small Projects:
  1. CA Wells - Cottage Etui Pincushion (just needs finishing)
  2. Country Cottage Needleworks - Ladybugs and Bumblebees
  3. Forget-me-knot-in-stitches - Album (just needs finishing)
  4. Heart in Hand Needleart - Wee Santa '97
  5. JBW Designs - The Reindeer Sampler
  6. Just Nan - Celeste
  7. Just Nan - Grace
  8. Little House Needleworks - Paper Whites
  9. Lizzie*Kate - A Banner Year Spring
  10. Sue Hawkins - Pansy Pincushion
  11. Sue Hawkins - Zebra Bookmark
  12. Sue Hawkins - Zig Zag Scissor Keeper
  13. The Sweetheart Tree - Lavender Luminescence
  14. The Trilogy - Bucky the Snowman
  15. Travellers Tales - Sinai Bedouin Sampler
I have also decided that I will work on each slot for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 20 hours that way if I am really enjoying working on a project I do not need to put it down. After Christmas I might remove the Christmas themed projects from the list and replace with some spring / summer themed pieces.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Little Happy Dance

The Littles Santa by Bent Creek.

Started and finished in Novemeber 2007.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Class Report

Last weekend I went down to London to attend CA Well class arranged by Susan Albury of Hanging by a Thread. While the hotel I choose to stay in was a huge disappointment the class more than made up for the bad nights sleep. The class, venue and lunch was once again wonderfully organised by Susan and Sara. The teacher was delightful, patient, informative and encouraging. I am fast becoming addicted to CA’s designs and am sure that I will be doing many more. It was also amazing to see all the peacock needlecases, which the other attendees had stitched, and to meet up with friends old & new. Needless to say I did not finish my needlecase but hope to do so before too long.

I must confess to two new purchases – Acorn Harvest First Stitch Finders by Historic Stitches and Needle Cottage by CA Wells and that I have just ordered two Lauren Sauer kits (Melon Bag and Drawing Lady’s Portfolio) from Susan. These take my stash total to 132 fully kitted stitching projects, and I am currently refusing to consider how many beading and knitting projects I have. I have a very nasty feeling that the grand total will be over 200.

Since getting back from London I have not got much stitching done but want to try and complete Little Santa tonight since I have a trip to my LNS planned tomorrow and I would like to take it with me to get it framed. It can then be the first piece to be hung on my seasonal stitching wall. Talking of my seasonal wall I have realised that I have got very few seasonal projects in my stash. This has got me thinking (at the moment I seem to be doing more thinking, and talking, about my crafts than doing anything productive) that I need to buy a few more projects. However, since I also want to reduce my stash pile I have decided that I will purchase 4 small summer themed projects then for each one I complete I will purchase an autumn themed project and so on through the seasons. I have decided to start with summer rather than Spring as I then have a better chance of getting a couple of projects finished and on the wall.

So far the 2008 plan is to work on my rotation with a few seasonal pieces added to the small / finishing project list. Once I have finished either Awake The Dawning Day or Noah’s Ark I will allocate at least one slot to seasonal projects. For each season project I finish I will purchase a new one, and for every 6 other projects finished (of any type) I will purchase one new project. This way I can make progress on my seasonal wall and also reduce my stash piles. There is no point only restricting my stitching purchases as this will only lead to a massive growth in my knitting & beading stash I have to restrict all purchases.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

Since getting back from a totally relaxed weeks holiday in the sun with my dear friends N&S I feel like I have hardly had a chance to sit down. Work is in the middle of a pre-Christmas shutdown rush and I had to take a day off to go to the hospital for a series of tests on the nerves in my left arm which are currently not functioning correctly. Now I just have to wait for the results and see where the Consultant suggest we go from there. I am finding that my knitting / stitching time is restricted by how long I can hold fabric or needles for at the moment.

Later today I am off to London to attend a CA Wells class, unfortunately I have not completed the required pre-stitching so will just have to take plenty of notes and hopefully find the time over Christmas to finish the project (Peacock Needlecase). I have also decided to wait till after Christmas to start my rotation since I seem only able to stitch for a couple of hours a week at the moment and stitching time is likely to be reduced the closer to Christmas we get. At the moment as well as working on the Peacock Needlecase I am stitching on a couple of my smaller projects:
Paper Whites by Little House Needleworks

The Littles Santa by Bent Creek

I have also started Wee Santa '97 by Heart in Hand and want to try & get Bucky the Snowman by The Trilogy started before Christmas. I have come up with a slightly mad scheme. I have no stitched pieces hanging on my walls at home (everything that I have stitched other than a couple of scissor fobs have disappeared to the homes of friends and family) so have decided that in 2008 I need to get some projects finished, framed and on my wall. I have several larger projects in my stash which I have always intended to stitch for myself one day but rather than start (or continue with) any of these I have decided to stitch small (ish) projects for myself next year partly due to the fact that I have several obligation pieces which I really must work on. So here is the mad part - I have decided that I would like the walls in the hall, stairway and landing to be covered by small projects and framed photos of family and friends. Not so mad but I was having a hard time deciding which projects to put on the walls so have decided to stitch at least some seasonal pieces and change the walls to suit the time of year. I will also have a few pieces which will stay up year round but I rather like the idea of decorating seasonally and there are so many delightful projects to choose from I would soon run out of wall space if I only hung pieces that would remain up year round. I will start by working my way through a number of projects from my stash pile before going on shopping spree as I would also like to reduce my stash pile (which is currently at 127 fully kitted projects) I am contemplating allowing myself one new purchase per 5 finishes next year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My New Stitching Rotation

After much thought and consideration may I introduce my new and latest rotation:

Round One: Noah's Ark by Teresa Wentzler - complete 1 pair of over one animals
Round Two: Awake the Dawning Day by Blackbird Designs
Round Three: Finishing or Small project
Round Four: Noah's Ark
Round Five: Finishing or Small project

Repeat until bored.

With the exception of round one I will work on the allocated piece for 10 hours before moving on to the next round. I think this gives me a nice balance of projects both in size and in type / theme / colour so that I won't get bored. By giving Noah's Ark two rounds I hope to achieve my (current) goal of completing this before my niece's fifth birthday in Sept '08. For rounds three & I have created a list of projects to choose from all of which either just need putting together or I think that the stitching could be completed within 20 to 40 hours. I will try and only start a few off the list but have included several on the list to allow myself a lot of room for change without breaking my rotation.
List of Finishing / Small Projects:
1. Bent Creek - The Littles Santa
2. CA Wells - Cottage Etui Pincushion
3. Country Cottage Needleworks - Ladybugs and Bumblebees
4. Forget-me-knot-in-stitches - Album
5. Heart in Hand Needleart - Wee Santa '97
6. JBW Designs - The Reindeer Sampler
7. Just Nan - Celeste
8. Just Nan - Grace
9. Little House Needleworks - Paper Whites
10. Sue Hawkins - Pansy Pincushion
11. Sue Hawkins - Zebra Bookmark
12. Sue Hawkins - Zig Zag Scissor Keeper
13. The Sweetheart Tree - Lavender Luminescence
14. The Trilogy - Bucky the Snowman
15. Travellers Tales - Sinai Bedouin Sampler

I am going to start my rotation tomorrow but for the time being will also be working on CA Wells Peacock Needlecase since I need to get the stitching completed by 17th November. My plan is to finish one panel a week on the needlecase and then to go back to working on my rotation pieces.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Photo Update

Sorry about the lack of photos in the last post but my camera had gone AWOL. It has now magically reappeared (it was stuck down the back of the sofa along with several knitting needles, a pair of scissors and about £1.50p in loose change) so I have taken a few snaps (very bad ones since they have all been taken with the flash on my ancient digital camera - fingers crossed Santa will be bringing me a new one) of my recent knitting finishes:

and my progress to date on CA Wells Peacock Needle case started on 21st October 2007.

Progress on this piece has been slow but I hope to be able to pick up the pace now that I have completed the outline of each panel. The class is on the 17th November and I would love to get all four panels completed by then so that I can concentrate on the finishing while at class.

Last night I decided instead of working on Peacock Needle case to start something new - Zigzag Scissor Keeper by Sue Hawkins which was one of my recent purchases at the Knitting & Stitching Show at the NEC which I went to back in September.

Starting this piece reminded me that I have made several recent purchases which as yet I have not added to my stash list. I keep saying that I will reduce my stash pile but every year I seem to add to it (I think the current total of stitching projects is in the order of 115). Once I get the CA Wells class and a weeks holiday out of the way I plan to set up a rotation for my stitching (once again) and to put a ban on any new purchases. I have some very old WIPs that I would love to finish one day plus several obligation pieces (mainly birth samplers) which I have yet to start even though the event which the pieces were meant to commemorate are now long past. I am thinking that a rotation would be a good way of making progress while maintaining interest on some of the larger pieces that I have. I am also thinking of setting mini targets with rewards - say one new purchase for every five finishes since completely banning new purchases never works for me but it would be nice to try and get my stash pile down to a more reasonable (i.e stitchable in one lifetime) level. I love buying stitching stuff almost as much as I love stitching but I am going to have to try and restrain my urges to buy until I have finished a few items. I am going to think on my stitching plan for a few weeks until I have attended the CA Wells class and also a weeks holiday during which I plan to get several hours of stitching done. I am currently having great fun trying to come up with a list of projects to take with me, I am thinking of take half a dozen or so small projects in the hope of getting a couple of HDs.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yet another catch up post

The Lauren Saurer classes were wonderful and I managed to get a significant amount of stitching done althought I did not get anything completed and have come away with loads of new projects started, purchased and added to my wish list. I am itching to get Album completed but have had to put it away for a little while since I must start the pre-stitching done on the CA Wells Peacock Needlecase since the class is fast approaching. Tomorrow I intend to spend all day stitching and catching up on all the TV that I have recorded & failed to watch.
Today will be housework, visiting my parents who have just returned from three weeks in Italy and watching the rugby world cup final. I also plan to get some knitting done. Recently I have managed to complete a number of scarfs and squares which are great ways of using up stash. I still have not completed listing all my knitting stash but there is a lot of it. I only have two plastic crates of yarn left to add to the list so should finish in the next week or so.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Catching Up

Apologies for the long periods between posts and the lack of comments on other peoples blogs. I seem to have very little time on the internet these days and any time I have gets eaten up by Raverly. One thing that joining Raverly is doing is making me confess to exactly how much yarn I have stashed. I am about a third of my way through an inventory of my knitting yarn and already have 25 different yarns (which probably equates to a hundred balls of yarn) on the list. I knew I had a lot of yarn but never really admitted (even to myself) just how much. I really must (a) stop buying yarn and (b) learn to knit faster or find a way of adding hours to each day. This did not however stop me going on a mini shopping spree at lunchtime and buying the yarn for a new project that I will start one day (maybe, definitely maybe). The temperature in the office I work in is very variable so I have decided that a wrap would be an ideal thing to have on hand. Looking for inspiration on Raverly I came across Cozy (fromKnitty Fall 04) and have decided to knit myself one in a camel coloured 4-ply yarn rather than the yarn called for since I want a light (ish) wrap for all seasons. I went with a neutral colour as I thought it would go with anything and would be easier to knit with than black. Now I just need to find the time to knit it.

I have managed to complete a couple of hats and a scarf, all knit from a single ball of Sirdar Yo-yo yarn, which I had lying around. I still have plenty of the mammoth 400gram ball remaining so have cast on a second scarf that I hope to have finished off by the end of this week. These will then all be parcelled off and donated to the Warm Up Winchester appeal. I have also completed another two 12” squares to be included in the Fiber Freaks afghan to be donated to Blankets for the Gulf and have a fifth (and final) square started which I also hope to get completed by the end of this week (nothing like setting ambitious deadlines).

I have also been making satisfying progress on the pre-stitching on Album and am now confident that I will go to class with all the pre-stitching complete. I now just need to make a start on the stitching for the other classes that I am taking with Lauren Saurer in October and the CA Wells class that I am taking in November. Oh and find time on all the other projects that I have started & abandoned or worst still failed to even start. Everytime I speak to one particular friend she manages to mention that her 4 and 2 year olds do not have birth samplers unlike their four cousins (who in my defence are now 12, 11, 9 and 7 and where all at school by the time I had completed their birth samplers). I think I need to spend the next 2 to 3 years avoiding all contact with family and friends since they always generate additional projects for me. Just last weekend my sister asked me to knit her a bed throw (nice quick project I don’t think) and another friend dropped several non-too subtle hints about wanting hand knitted items for her soon to be born child. Anyway enough talking about doing something I must get off the net and pick up my knitting needles. I promise to return soon and report on progress.

Friday, August 31, 2007

End of a Crazy Week

This week has sure been crazy. After a great Monday - Bank holiday therefore no work and plenty of stitching and knitting I woke up on Tuesday and could not make my left hand close up. This made getting dressed and driving to work rather interesting. This then lead to a trip to the doctors and a very long arguement with BUPA over the tests and treatment that I now need. Work has been rather frantic and a little bit frustrasting but I have successfully made it to the weekend or so I thought this morning when things went a little weird but I got the problem sorted before lunch. Lunchtime I went to the bank to pay a few bills only to be told that my card has expired. Odd since my card says expires end July '08, turns out that the compter database that processes payments has it down as end August '07 but the database that sends out new cards has it as July '08. All these means that I now can not take money out of my account or use Switch until the new card arrives in 7 - 10 working days. I think I am going to stay home and knit or stitch all weekend rather than risk going out anywhere.

Stitching wise I have been making progress on the Album (sorry still no photo) and knitting wise I have managed to finish a number of squares. Two 12'' bright pink squares which are going to Pricilla ( who is going to make an afghan from squares made by members of the Fibre Freaks BB. The finished ghan will be donates to Blankets for the Gulf. I have also completed knitting four other squares which I am yet to decide what to do with.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I cannot believe that is nearly a month since I last. Life is rather busy at the moment and I have trying to devote all my spare time to completing the pre-stitching for a Lauren Sauer class that I am attending in October. Since I am attending a total of three classes and as yet have not completed the pre-stitching on any of the projects. My current aim is to get all the pre-stitching done for Album (which is being featured in Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly) and have at least some stitching done for the other two classes. But it is very touch and go as to whether or not this is an achievable goal. Luckily this weekend is a three-day weekend and I should get plenty of stitching done. I will also try to take a photograph – if the sun shines long enough that is. Once the October classes are out of the way I will need to get a wriggle on with pre-stitching for a CA Wells class that I am taking in November. There is nothing let setting oneself tough deadlines.

As well as making progress on the stitching front I have also been knitting and somehow have managed to start (but not finish) four scarves all intended as a quick way of using up some of my stash and will be donated to various charities once completed. I have also been knitting more squares since these satisfy my urge to start new things but are also quick to finish. My second batch of squares should be ready to parcel up and send out soon but I am waiting till I have several to send out before posting.

I have recently discovered the desire to learn to crochet. I did try a while ago but did not get very far. I started trying to teach myself using a Leisure Arts pattern for a 63 square afghan but only got a few square done. Although it is a good project to use to learn different stitches I think it was just a bit ambitious as a first project. I have now brought myself a number of books and have searched the Internet for smaller beginners projects. Once I have completed a few scarves and got past the stitching classes I am going to give it a go. I am thinking of attempting a scarf as my first project or maybe a few squares to donate to one of the many organizations which make good use of squares.
Away from crafting work is going great (I even got a promotion) and home life is ok. I became an honoury auntie again this week to a lovely little girl who delighted her mother by arriving after only 2 hours of labour. I have however managed to damage my car or to be more precise a lorry managed to damage my car. As was driving along the motorway in rush hour traffic an articulated lorry decided to change lanes without warning into the lane that I was traveling in. I am just thankful that only metal was damaged and that everyone esle managed to avoid me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I Must Stitch

I have totally lost the inclination to do any stitching, all I seem to want to do at the moment is knit. Which wouldn't be a problem except that I really must get the pre-stitching done for four classes that I am taking later on this year and also finish the final round of the UFO Round Robin that I am participating in. I am sure that part of the reason why I don't fancy stitching is the deadlines and the fact that I currently feel that even if I stitched for every second possible then I would still not make enough progress to achieve the deadlines. So in order to get past this I have decided to set aside most of this weekend to stitching. The only other thing on the agenda is taking my Mother and Niece to a fund raiser tomorrow for a guinea pig and rabbit rescue centre.

I have been making progress on reducing my knitting stash and so far have completed 5 squares that will be donated to The Ghana Project. I also have 3 other squares almost completed and 3 scarves on the go (why have only one WIP when you can have half a dozen?). I have decided that once I have reduced my stash by at least 12 balls (or skiens) of yarn I will reward myself by starting a new pair of socks. So far I have turn two and a bit balls into squares and once the scarves are finished that will take the total number of balls used to 6. This is partly due to the fact that one of the balls of yarn that I am trying to use up is a masive 500 grams of DK yarn.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Fantastic Post Day

At the end of a very long Monday in the office trying to deal with the aftermath of yet another weekend of downpours and floods I got home to find two wonderful parcels waiting on my doorstep. I am begining to wonder if there will ever be an end to the rain this year. On Friday my niece (who is nearly four) very glummly told me that she hated the rain and thought that the sun was gone forever.

The first parcel contained a skein of beautiful blue and green sock yarn from Cherry Tree Hill, which I can not wait to start knitting with but need to find just the right sock pattern for, and two packets of coffee. This parcel was recieved from Sarah as part of the Fiber & Frappe exchange organised on the Fiber Freaks BB.

The second parcel was a gift of a gorgeous hand stitched bookmark from my friend Maria, who is very naughty to be sending me gifts. Both parcels are amazingly wonderful and sure made a fantastic start to the week. Huge thanks to both Maria and Sarah for spoiling me.

Now all I need to complete my week is for the weather gods to be kind and to send us a dry spell. Work is bad enough without having to cope with emergencies which invariably result in people having to work weekends and being extra grumpy on a Monday. The downpour on Friday was especially bad and meant that a number of my work mates never made it home on Friday and were stranded over night in their cars.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thank Goodness Its The Weekend

It has been a long week and boy am I glad that the weekend has finally arrived. We are going through a restructuring process at work, at the sametime that we have hit a really really busy period and the IT bods are also changing all our hardware and software. Which added up equals long hours, long boring meetings were people argue round in circles and get all defensive about minor matters and training courses (I just love training courses designed to tell me how to do the work I have been doing for the past couple of years just with slightly modified software). So all around I am glad for two days off, no alarms, no deadlines just plenty of sitting on the sofa watching tv and stitching or maybe knitting or if I feel like it doing nothing at all.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Charity Knitting

My new addiction to sock knitting has led to an addiction to sock wool and over the weekend I indulged in a bit of retail therapy. Because I am very bad at making decisions I have managed to order a small mountain of sock wool - it was really really hard to decide which ones I liked the most. In order to halt the rapid increase of my stash yesterday I decided to have a clear out and discovered several balls of yarn that either I can not remember why I brought them or have been left over from completed projects. So I have decided to turn the stash that I no longer want into scarves, hats, squares etc. and donate them to various charitable causes.

While searching the internet for charities wanting donations of knitted items I came across the Crafting for a Cause Blog which I have decided to join in order to try and help them achieve their amazing goal of producing and donating to charity 3000 items in 2007.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


I have finished my first ever pair of socks. They are not perfect but I am pleased with them.

Knit with Regia yarn using the free basic sock pattern that came with the ball ofyarn.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Baby Photos

It is very hard to take photos of baby guinea pigs since they hardly ever stay still but yesterday I took the babies back to my mother and she helped by making them stay still so here are some photos of my tiny ex-house mates.

It was sad to let them go but at least they are only at my Mum's so I can go visit. I think she is going to keep one of them and give the other two to my sister.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Half A Happy Dance

I have a sock. Now in I just have to create a matching pair and avoid getting a pile of single socks. In just a week I have somehow managed to aquire a small mountain of sock wool, all of which I am itching to knit with.

I also have to report that my dinning room has now been turned into a maternity ward. I am currently looking after my mother's guinea pig who this afternoon produced an unknown number of babies. I have counted at least two babies but there may well be more. She is doing very well so far so I am leaving them alone as much as possible. I shall try and get photos later in the week once she has adjusted to motherhood, this is her first litter and she is currently looking a little bemused.

Friday, June 15, 2007

End of the 50 Project Challenge

I have made the decision to drop out of the 50 Project Challenge. I have come to realise, with the help of my doctor and several very good friends, that I put far too much pressure on myself by setting so many goals and targets that it would be impossible to achieve all of them. When I fail to meet goals, however unrealistic they are, I then get down in the dumps, annoyed and stressed out. None of which is good for the mind and soul. Especialy since my hobbies are often what keeps me sane. So I have decided, for the time being at least, to stop setting myself goals and targets. So the excel spreadsheet detailing what knitting, stitching and beading I need to do over the next 2 and a bit years (yes I am truly that anal and it was going to take at least that long to complete the challenge) has been deleted. I am still going to try and keep my stash purchase to a minimum as I would love to reduce my stash but I am not going to worry too much over it. Last night I put away all my ongoing projects (apart from my socks as I can not be parted from them) as having them lying around the living room was only serving to remind me how much work I have to do. I intend to then concentrate on making progress on the pre-stitching for the classes that I am doing in the autumn and to use my smaller stitching projects and my socks as light relief. But other than wanting to get the pre-stitching complete I have set no targets for myself relating to my hobbies.

My first sock is growing I have successfully completed the heel and am now onto the foot, hopefully I will complete it this weekend. The only problem I can see is that I run the risk of having dozens of single socks. I have been spending my lunch hours this week surfing the net for patterns and have amassed a rather sizable collection all of which I would love to knit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Weekend Report

This past weekend I went away for a long weekend in Derbyshire with a collection (not sure what the collective noun for a group of stitchers should be) of UK stitchers. Four days of sunshine (for the most part) stitching, knitting, eating, drinking and laughing was the best medicine and I now know that I can once again cope with being in a large group of people without freaking out & having a panic attack. The place we stayed (Dove Farm) was ideal and even had its own herd of alpacas that included an adorable baby called Cocoa, before leaving we had to count the alpacas to check that none had been kidnapped. The cottages were also in easy reach of a lovely patchwork shop where I just had to visit and I gave in to the need to have some fabric.

While away I managed to make good progress on the pre-stitching for one of this years classes and also on the UFO round robin that I am currently participating in. I also gained a new obsession – sock knitting. I managed with a tonne of help from Maria, Karoline and Paula, to make a great start on my first ever sock.

Awhile back I had purchased several balls of sock yarn convinced that I would be able to teach myself how to knit socks but after several failed attempts put the yarn in the back of the wardrobe. Now all I want to do is knit socks. To ease the pain of having to return to work after a four-day weekend I spent my lunchtime searching the web for free sock patterns and sources of inspirations & supplies for sock knitting. I have to confess that, despite being on the stash wagon (for knitting, stitching and beading), I also acquired 3 balls of sock yarn over the weekend and gave into clicky finger syndrome at lunchtime today and purchased enough wool to make another 3 pairs of socks. I had always planned to allow myself a reward for reaching the halfway point on my 50 Projects Challenge so I shall just count the purchase of sock wool as my reward even though I am a few finishes away from the 25 mark. I can see that I am going to have to start a new stash list just for sock yarn as I can see that as soon as the challenge is over I shall be making several purchases.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Happy Dance

I stayed up until a few minutes past midnight last night because I just had to put the last few stitches into Vicki by Bizzi Creations before going to sleep. This has been a really fun, and for me quick stitch. Yesterday afternoon I spent a very happy couple of hours going through my stash trying to decide what to stitch on next. Part of me (the good part) says to work on one of my WIPs but there is also a naughty little voice in my head urging me to start something new. In the end I have decided on a compromise and have pulled out one WIP (Above the Clouds by Teresa Wentzler) .
and four new projects:
Cherry Heart & Mother's Heart by Shepherd's Bush, Celtic Heart By Dinky-Dyes and Random Hearts by Erica Michaels. My plan is to work on whichever of the new starts shouts the loudest until it stops shouting and then to put in a few hours on Above the Clouds before working on another of the new starts. I shall proceed in this manner for as long as I am enjoying it or until I have finished all the projects whichever occurs first. While working on these projects I also have the last two rounds of the UFO Round Robin to complete and some pre-stitching for a class to get done so I am going to be a little busy but since all I want to do at the moment is stitch I might a well take advantage of being well and truly bitten by the stitching bug.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Today I finally gave in to the cough that has been annoying me for the last week or so and went to the doctor who, after telling me off for not looking after myself, gave me a prescription for antibiotics and told me to go home and rest since I have a nasty chest infection and shouldn't be out of the house. So I phoned my boss and took the rest of the week off work. Luckily I have also been bitten by the stitching bug at the moment so a day spent sitting on the sofa stitching was most welcome.

So far I have finished two blue & silver humbugs which I did the stitching on last week and have also done the stitching for two more humbugs, hopefully I can get the finishing done on these tomorrow. I have fallen in love with these little humbugs and they are a great way of using up bits and pieces of threads, fabric and beads. Several of the ones I have finished recently are destined to be posted out on Saturday as thank-you gifts. Fingers crossed the reciepients will like them.

As well as stitching the humbugs I have been progressing with Vicki and hope to have this piece finished by the end of this weekend. I am finding this piece a little addictive and hard to put down. This weekend I also want to get back to some of the larger projects that I have and also get some pre-stitching done for a class that I am taking later in the year.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Lazy Rainy Sunday

I love rainy Sundays because they give me the perfect excuse to sit on the sofa watching TV and stitching. So far today I have finished two more humbugs:
stitched using Cranberry thread by The Gentle Art and a couple of scraps of fabric that I just knew I would find a use for one day. These are finishes 17 and 18 on my 50 Projects Challenge.
Since finishing the humbugs I have been working on one of my WIPs (Vicki by Bizzi Creations).

In a little while I am going to stop stitching but only to go to the pub for something to eat before heading back to my sofa, stitching and the TV. Fingers crossed tomorrow will be another rainy day since it is a Bank Holiday and I can get more stitching done.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Still Here (Just)

Sorry for the log time between posts but I have been struggling with my energy levels and have been coming home from work and just wanting to sleep. Since the end of last year I have been battling with depression. It has taken me sometime to admit to myself that I had a problem and need the help of doctors, friends and family to get better. I find it difficult to talk about such things and to admit that I can not cope on my own. I was feeling much much better but then I came down with a chest infection which has set me back a little and has taken away all my spare energy. Thankfully I am now very much on the mend and have a long weeekend off work to help the recovery process.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Happy Post Day

This morning I recieved in the post a most wonderful Pay It Forward gift from Belinda, she stitched the most delightful scissor fob for me and also sent a couple of Art Stitch charts with the DMC threads to stitch them. I am sure that I have just the right fabric to stitch them on and can not wait to make a start. It also reminded me that I owe Natty a PIF gift, and I have finally made a decision on what to make for her so should make a start on it this weekend. Natty is the only person who has requested a PIF gift from me so if anyone else would like a little stitched gift please leave me a comment or email me. If no one asks for one by the time I have finished Natty's gift I shall randomly select who will recieve the other four gifts that I need to make.

I have not been doing much stitching recently but have decided that in order to get the bug back I will for the moment at least concentrate on stitching small things so that I can start (and fingers crossed finish) several projects. The first of these was a tiny humbug that I stitched using a hand-dyed thread and tiny piece of fabric from my stash so I am counting it as a 50 Projects Challenge finish. I used the instructions from Nicki's Blog which I found really easy to follow.

Last weekend I had a major tidy up of my craft room and now have one double and two single wardrobes full of all my crafting stash. I have organised everything by type of craft so that it should be easier to find things and therefore there should be less excuses for buying stash. In the tidy up I found several things that I had forgotten that I had and am now full of plans for what to do with all the odds and ends of stuff that I have brought over the years just because they looked pretty. The reason for the tidy up was the arrival of two new bunnies in my life who are house rabbits and currently live in my craft room, hence the need to put all my stash into boxes inside rabbit proof wardrobes. This is Basil who is a rather handsome blonde lion head, he is very charming but a little short on brain cells. His girlfriend is a grey smooth haired camera shy rabbit who I will post a photo of just as soon as she will let me take one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Catching Up

[POST PUBLISHED ON 18th March 2007]

I can not believe how long it has been since I last posted, it was partly bloggers fault as for some reason it would not let me post but mainly because I have be rather busy. In mid-Februaryspent a highly enjoyable week with my parents, sister and her family down in Devon celebrating my mothers 65th birthday (although I am yet to finish stitching the sampler I was going to give her as a 60th gift). It is running joke in my family that I am always about 8 years behind on my gift stitching. It is mainly my families fault since they like large complex pieces (just like me so I can not blame them too much). In an attempt to keep up I have however recently been trying to make smaller gifts for people. One such gift was a small lavender filled cushion which I stitched for a great-Aunts 80th birthday which she celebrated at the begining of March. Sorry for the very poor photo, in real life it is a dusky rose pink thread on white linen. The pattern is called Queens Heart and was published in The Gift of Stitching Magazine.

I have also finished stitching Yellow Eyed Penguin by The Strand which was one of the kits that I brought last year while on holiday in New Zealand.And finally I have also finished another beaded braclet. Again apologise for the poor quality photo, the beads are various shades of purple.

These three finish mean that I have completed 14 projects on my 50 Projects Challenge. I am currently stitching on a pile of small gifts, all of which are being stitched with hand-dyed threads from my stash pile and will (fingers crossed) get me to the half-way stage on my challenge in the not too distant future.