Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Well, this post isn’t late because the internet is being slow, but rather because I was busy yesterday until late, so I had a lie in this morning :)

Yesterday, I went to a science fiction and fantasy convention in London called loncon 3. I had loads of fun (there were even some maths things, so I was technically working yesterday too!) The most amazing part of it was the fact that there was a stall selling yarn there! I was dead impressed, and natrually had to buy some :)

lonconstash

I have a skein of sock yarn (wool, silk and linen which makes gorgeously crisp cables which stay well defined even after washing), and a skein of lace-weight (600m pure wool) which will become a smallish shawl:)

Another reason this post was delayed was that I needed to do my hand-washing. Usually I do about 4 pairs of socks at a ti0me, so I can move them around on the towel a bit, but I got a bit behind recently… so I washed 7 pairs today (and I’m wearing my 8th, so times are desperate)! Here’s hoping they dry by tonight so I can sleep on my bed…

 

washdayOn the sock front… I’ve finished the first sock, and done quite a lot on the second- the heel is turned, and I’m racing down to the front of the foot so I can finish it quickly and have 9 pairs of socks to wear! No pic on these (I haven’t unpacked all my backpack yet from the train ride to loncon) but the spirals on these are going the opposite away. Hopefully they’ll be finished by next week!

I did finish July’s block with the fishes:

OUAT17

and I’ve started August’s, so here’s a bit of a clue (if you can figure out what it is!)

OUAT18

It’s going to be a tower of animals- a rooster on a cat on a dog on a donkey! These are the four OAPs who are moving to the retirement village! It’s designed for retired animals who worked on a farm, which I think is a lovely idea! There’s an actual statue of them in the town which is named in the fairy tale, and apparently touching the donkey’s front hooves gives you good luck! (picture from wikipedia)

animalsIt really does seem strange, the idea that a rooster, a cat and a dog could get on this well, but then I suppose it is a fairy tale! (If anyone has any more of a clue than last time, feel free to post suggestions here or on the previous post). Next week I may explain how the four animals confused the robbers whose house they took over!

Well done everyone who guessed Thumbelina for July’s (was it the joke about her own size that gave it away?), here’s what I’ve managed so far on her

OUAT16

Here she is in her walnut boat, as she gets away from the mole (who she didn’t want to marry because she would have to live underground!) Left to do is some backstitch on the walnut and her mouth, and then the blue of the water underneath her and a couple of fishes! Hopefully she’ll be finished this weekend, and I’ll be able to move onto August’s block.

So, August’s fairytale? This was written by the Grimn brothers, although it doesn’t seem to be massively dark and depressing. It’s about four OAPs who decide to move to a retirement home especially for them (they all come from different places, but meet up en-route to this retirement home), with lots of lovely entertainment options. However, along the way they find a house to sleep in (and really confusing a band of robbers while they’re at it), and end up staying there until they die.

This week I’ve been working (and nearly finishing) my first sock for the KAL… I wasn’t expecting to have gotten on quite this fast! Especially seeing as how this is the second pair of socks I’m knitting cuff-down. I definitely prefer knitting tow-up! But I guess it’s good to stretch yourself from time to time :)

KAL2

I also didn’t realise until I looked at a picture of the finished pair on ravelry to figure out what I was doing for the foot patterning, that all my slip stitches where YF, when I should’ve had yb. However, I really like what happened! I think it looks like a spirally ladder now, which is really cool! So I’m not upset about this at all.

KAL3

Then, because I’m insane (in a good way…) I decided that Friday night was an excellent time to start a new craft (shh, I won’t tell if you don’t!). This is a pin cushion I made yesterday and this morning using something called EPP. You cut shapes out of card (in this case hexagons), and fold fabric around them. Then you can stitch the edges of different hexagons together to make the item.

EPPpincushionI’m not entirely sure what to do with this now- I don’t want to use it as a pincushion myself, because I like my old one so much! Ahh well.

 

Because a couple of things have changed. Firstly, I’ve decided to not do one of my Christmas presents- it was too big an idea, and so rather than get stressed out over it, I’m going to pout it down until after Christmas, when I can spend more time on it and hopefully end up with a finished item I am proud of, rather than rushing and ending up with something sloppily made!

So, that decision basically gave me 2 extra months… which were then immediately swallowed up when I found a KAL hosted by someone who designs socks… as if I could ever say no to knitting more socks!

So, there are now 3 CAL(craft-a-longs) which I am taking part in. The OUAT sampler is still getting most of my weekend

OUAT14and this is the beginning of the July block (this little part of it is a now completed butterfly!)

I’ve also caught up with quite a lot of the border, which apparently I forgot to photograph, but here is where I am up to

OUAT15I’ve reached the same spot on the other side as well, which is really good, I think :) I’m actually starting to think that I might get this finished this year *fingers crossed*!

Then, because I am so easily bored, at some point on Sundays I get bored of all the different colours, and move back to the other SAL I’m doing. This one is a lot bigger than the OUAT (it’s an entire page a month!), so I’m hoping that I can easily get caught up when OUAT is finished!

Here’s what it looks like now

pic3I think I did more than half of the second page, but it is rather obvious where it’s not done! And now page 3 has come out, so I’m running behind again… but oh well, it will get done eventually!(and then I get to spend another year colouring it in with lots of sparklie threads!)

So, this new KAL that I’m doing… it’s been organized by thatbaldguyknits and the idea is that by knitting (and finishing) a pair of socks over August and September, you can get entered into a draw to win some sock yarn! Totally awesome, and any excuse to knit socks… so there will be knitting on here again!

This is what I did on Friday

KALThis is the Crosshaven pattern, which is free on ravelry :) It’s a brilliant pattern, and in my mind is better than the Jaywalkers (but that could well just be because these fit me and I messed up the sizes slightly on my Jaywalkers, so they’re a smidge tight). It does feel very strange knitting these top down, but that just serves me right for not looking at the pattern, because it’s totally do-able toe-up. Next time (yes, this pattern is awesome enough that I will probably knit it more than once!) I’ll do them toe-up. Just don’t do them two-at-a-time on circular needles- you have to keep moving stitches about (well, you don’t really… but it’s easier to do so). Again, something I will probably work around. :P

So yeah, I’m taking the next two months off from Christmas presents (unless I actually manage to knit like 3 pairs of socks in less than two months…) so here’s what I got up to on my mum’s Christmas present, before the socks took over:

christmasmum4This week I managed to complete 3 tetris shapes (the green ‘t’, the orange square and the yellow ‘l’). So yay for me!

Just a reminder that you can still guess the fairy tale in last weeks post (there’s also a butterfly in it, for people who want some more clues!) and you don’t need to be a cross-stitcher, I will tailor the package to you, should you win! So go back and enter! (If for whatever reason you can’t leave a comment, I have my email address on my about page, so drop me an email)

I has a cunning plan…

Ok, so my mum finally got to open her birthday presents (her birthday was yesterday, but I’d finished her things quite a while ago, so I could drop them off when I went home, rather than posting them!), and she now apparently can’t wait till the Winter. Personally, I want it to stay nice and warm for as long as possible :) (Although I have recently had about a foot of hair taken off to cool my head down!)

I managed to complete 2 more tetris shapes this week…I thought it was more like one and a half, until I looked back at last week’s post and realized that I hadn’t started the colour of the pink shape in the bottom middle. This blog is really useful!

christmasmum3I have got to stop procrastinating on this… I kinda like working on it, but it gets a bit boring after a while, so I keep putting it down to play computer games…

Here’s also a photo of nearly everything I’ve done on the OUAT sampler

OUAT13The only thing you can’t really see is the bottom dividing line ready for the next three months. Hopefully, this weekend I can finish the right border to the same spot as the left, and fill in the title. Then I can roll it up a bit and not have to roll back down! I think it’s do-able, especially seeing how hot it’s going to be getting!

 

So, my cunning plan: I said, back when I won Wisher‘s giveaway (back in May!) that I would hold my own giveaway when I got my tax return, and then promptly forgot…so, I thought that from now to the end of December, I would do something like fallfromgrace did when she did her kings and queens cross stitch, and give out a little bit of information about the current month, and at the end of year put everyone who joined in into a (proverbial) hat and draw out a couple of winner. It won’t be based on the number of correct guesses, because as soon as I get the pattern, and know the fairy tale, it pops up all over the place with other people who are stitching it and things!

So, July’s fairy tale:

This was originally written by Hans Cristian Anderson, and therefore is a happy one, as opposed to any written by the Grimn brothers! It’s about a woman who runs away from one marriage to a rather nasty character, decides to not marry another character because of where she would end up living, and eventually found someone her own (rather unusual) size to marry! Happily ever after, naturally!

I’ll end this one in a couple of weeks, and post August’s late, so they aren’t running at the same time, and then theoretically be up to date for September onwards! Naturally, as my cross stitch gets done and posted up here, it might be easier to figure out what’s what- it all depends on how quickly it gets stitched!

Good news first: I now have a plan of attack for the Christmas presents. Make my mum’s tetris shapes(I want to fill the piece of plastic canvas) in July and August, design and stitch the design for my friend in September and October, make another friend a set of form-a-line cards in November (depending on when my dad next comes up here and can drop off a piece of foam for me to use to punch the designs), and then stitch the 5 little birds for my aunt’s Christmas present in December.

This (in my head) is completely reasonable, and even more than that, I think I can get it all done by just working on them during the week, so I even have the weekend free to work on my own stuff! So at the moment I’m concentrating on the OUAT sampler, as I would love to get it finished this year!

So while this is wonderful and means I have a plan of attack, which means I will actually (hopefully) get everything done on time this year…*fingers crossed* it does mean that everyone here is going to be getting very similar photos to these two every week:

christmasmum2

 

OUAT10(Btw: Wohoo! I finished May, and hopefully I’ll finish June tomorrow, so I can do some more on the outline next weekend! I’ll worry about July in August)

I don’t really mind posting the same things each week (with maybe from time to time a little knitting when I’ve had enough of the cross stitch!), especially if I actually manage to keep up this much improvement from week to week! So I’m going to try and keep this interesting for everyone by trying to get as much done as possible each week… cue dramatic music! And there will probably be times when I get heartily sick of cross stitch and decide I need to do some knitting (nobody mention the Cthulhu mittens…) so hopefully no-one will get too bored before Christmas…

Hi guys! Sorry this post is a bit late (usually I post on Saturday…) but the internet has been playing up, and only seems to have got better today *fingers crossed it stays good!*

So, recently I looked at what i’m going to make people as Christmas presents this year- cross stitch, cross stitch, cross stitch (which I’m going to be designing) and a set of form-a-line cards, which is basically embroidery. So, I’m clearly going to have to get a move on with all this, given that I cross stitch rather slowly!

This week I’ve been working on my mum’s Christmas present – Tetris shaped fridge magnets :) I’ve actually gotten on surprisingly well with these, mostly because I’ve been too ill to work on my maths, so my rate of Tetris shapes is definitely about to drop off significantly! I’m doing 8×8 blocks of colour, with 2 rows of black all the way around. I’m not following original colours, but just using bright ones :)

christmasmum

After this much work on plastic canvas, by Saturday I really needed a break! And the OUAT SAL was crying at being ignored for so long- hopefully today I’ll finish May’s block, and get quite a way into June’s!

 

Also, as promised, I have taken a photo of the crazy blanket:

crazyblanket

 

Because of how this is being knitted, by the time I’ve finished with the red, I’ll be about a third of the way through it! Please excuse the mess of the bed- at night it gets wrapped up in the duvet so I don’t mess it up (too much!)

 

Talking about knitting…my dad’s Cthulhu mittens *sigh* I started them (again) , only recently found out that I was using 2.5mm rather than 3mm, and unfortunately, it’s obvious. So they’ve been relegated to the moody pile, while I get over this. It’s really rather annoying!

I’m floored, really! When I (re)started this blog, I didn’t really expect to stick with it. And here I am now, just over 2 years later, getting nominated for an award!

 

So, first off, a very big thank you to fallfromgrace who nominated me, but also for dragging me out of my lurker shell and got me to actually start commenting on other peoples blogs!

very-inspiring-blogger

Here’s the rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know that they are nominated.

5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger that nominated you.

 

So, 7 things about me…

1. I’m both a mathematician and a crafter. These two sides of me hate each other, and I find it near impossible to just ‘go with the flow’ because my mathematical side wants everything laid out before I start. It’s really annoying, but I wouldn’t get rid of either part for the world.

2. I have a really bad track record of finishing Christmas presents after Christmas… I think this stems from the fact we rarely do Christmas on Christmas any more, but I still need to sort it out, especially now it’s spread to birthday presents!

3. According to my maths mind, 3 is blue

4. And red is 4

5. One of my friends has written a book about a prostitute, which people keep comparing to me. I think it’s a brilliant book (The Red Mage), and I am planning on making some things inspired by it

6. I still sleep with a teddy bear (well, it’s more of a dog). Otherwise, I just feel that the double bed I’m in is too big

7. You know how 3+4=7. Well, since 3 is blue, and 4 is red, it makes sense for 7(my favorite number) is purple (my favorite colour!)

Phew, that was hard work!

Second part: nominate 15 other blogs…this might be beyond me, but I’ll give it a try (I’m going to stick to 10, I think! Finding the last 5 would take forever, and I want to get on with my cross stitch!)

1. I’m renominating fallfromgrace! This isn’t just a get out clause for me, I think it’s a brilliant blog (although I do very much doubt she’ll do another post!), and want to convince her that’s it’s totally deserved. (But yeah, I am being a bit cheeky!)

2. Hugs are fun. I just love everything about this blog, especially the wide range of crafts attempted- from crochet through EPP into cross stitch and embroidary

3.Wild Olive. Everything is so much cuter when it has a face, and everything at the Wild Olive gets a face. This is the site I got the inspiration for decorating some of my floss bobbins

4. Susan Anderson. This is one for the knitters, a blogger who seems to churn out new socks (singly, and in pairs) by the bucketload! As well as getting lots of yarny goodies to give away.

5. Carina’s craftblog. I know, she says on her blog that she generally doesn’t accept these, but still, it’s an amazing blog. She sells embroidery designs, as well as making her own mixed media hoop decorations. So brilliant! Whenever I see her blog, I really wish I didn’t need to sleep!

6. Attic24. Although predominantly a crochet blog, this blogger also has stunning photographs of the view out her window and other outdoorsy things, like their walks and flowers. So much colour, as well!

7. that bald guy knits. Another sock knitting blog, this guy creates his own patterns (there was recently one in knitty, which is how I found him) and is currently posting several really useful guides to modifying a chart so the sock fits you better. So very brilliant!

8. tryllacraft. A blogger who also manages several crafts, varying from knitting to (again) EPP. Some day I have got to try it, after seeing all the lovely things made with it!

For my last two, I’m also copying fallfromgrace again, and nominating

9. prettylittlethingsinabox. Never one to say no to a challenge, she recently finished a ‘shadow work’ centerpiece which looks like shed been doing this craft for years!

and finally

10. crosstichery.  A cross stitching blog, with some lovely designs. Also posts about other things, most recently about slowing down and enjoying the journey of making something, rather than wanting to reach the destination of a finished item so quickly.

Phew, that was hard work!

Ok, so the other part of that is easy enough to do, and the final one (to display the logo) is going to take some jiggery-pokery, so we’ll have to see how that goes! I’ll certainly do my best!

So, all that is left is to thank fallfromgrace again (really, I’m very honoured :) ) and sign off so I can try and figure out the logo thing!

 

 

 

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