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

Two and a half finishes!

Woot! I had a really productive (craft-wise) week! First of all, I finished Stained Glass! I am rather please about this, not least because it means that I can get on with my work this weekend, in preparation to not doing anything like enough work next month while I work on my jumper!

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Don’t you think that the bottom corner looks like an eye?

Then I managed to finish all the cards I’m sewing, here is the last design
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and here is all of them together. I love how much of a set they look like :)

christmasdorothy5 So that’s all my Christmas presents finished!!!!!!! I’m uber exciting about this, its the first time that they’ve been finished on time, never mind basically 2 months ahead of time!

So, my half finish was a gauge swatch *mutter mutter*. Before washing, I’m getting 23 stitches over 4 inches…the pattern calls for 21. It’s currently drying

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and I’m thinking that’s it’s grown enough that I’m not worried. I’m knitted this on 3.5 mm, where the pattern calls for 4mm, but that’s standard fare for me now. Also, the sizes don’t quite fit me, so I’m going to be knitting the larger version, so as long as I’m not ridiculously tight, I’m not worried :) So yeah, I’m all set to start knitting my sweater (wish me luck for finishing it on time!), except that I’m not going to start on the 1st, because that’s a Saturday, and the new square for November will be coming out and I want to keep up with that more than I want to knit a sweater in November (besides, November is plenty long…I’ll be able to knit a sweater in 2 days less, surely?)

Which reminds me…November’s block. I was (again) too easy on this one, everyone got Cinderella! Well done guys, let’s hope that next months block (which will be written about next Saturday) is a bit more challenging!

What a busy week!

So, I didn’t quite manage to finish the page on Stained Glass, but I think it’s fairly close! All that is left now is the bottom right corner, and most of that is blank space!pic8I think it’s coming along very well :) I’m still fairly amazed at how quickly it’s coming together!

This week was also rather productive, and I’m now more than half-way finished with my last Christmas present!

christmasdorothy3This is the second of three designs I’m stitching onto cards for a friend’s Christmas present. This design actually threw me a bit- I don’t really like all the long lines on it, for the stairs, and after I’d done 3, I’d had enough, but apparently this is the design I liked the most and so had to sew it 4 times! Bit annoyed to see the fourth- I thought I’d miscounted the number I’d already done! So I’m now on the final sprint now, just need to finish 3 more, and then stick the backs down to cover the unsightly selotape!

I’ve also cut out the triangles for my juggling balls, but that’s it! I’m not sure when I’m going to get a chance to sew them up, I’ve got so many other plans (with a deadline!) They might end up getting done over Christmas!

I realised the other say that I don’t have a Christmas jumper, and this is a travesty which much be swiftly resolved! The solution: NaKniSweMo- I’m going to try and knit an entire sweater in November. I already have the yarn- remember my aunt gave me loads of stuff back in April? (Ok, I just looked through this and it turns out I didn’t record the sweater’s worth of red yarn in a wool/acrylic/nylon blend which feels quite nice. Doh!) But anyway, I now have a plan for my first sweater- a Christmassy Nordic one with white patterns on (I’ve got some white sparkly yarn for this, so we’re all set! Yes, this will be my third attempt at my first sweater! Ahh well, I’ll get one finished sooner or later!

Also, someone on here asked what I will start working on when OUAT is finished, and I gave a rather vague answer of ‘something crafty’! I thought that I would expand on that a bit. Recently, I’ve fallen into a routine which works really well- one thing during the week, and another thing over the weekend. So far, that has been Christmas stuff during the week, and OUAT/Stained Glass/a tiny bit of the butterfly over the weekend. Obviously, this is going to go out the window when November comes around and I start on my sweater, but ignoring that, soon I’m going to have fewer demands on my time, as Christmas stuff, and OUAT are nearly finished. I like cross stitching over the weekend- I don’t need to put it down to go into Uni etc, so that will carry on. I’ve got quite a few things I want to stitch, but I think the main things will be Stained Glass/Butterfly/Cat Alphabet (yeah, I got this for Christmas and had the brilliant plan to finish a cat every 2 weeks and have it finished by the end of the year! Ha!) with some smaller bits when I get the urge to finish something already! I also think that cross stitch all the time is going to drive me insane, but I’ve got some ideas for what to do during the week- I want to finish embroidering my  skirt, and I still want to finish my cardigan, and figure out what to do with the red yarn which was going to be a sweater and then didn’t (my gauge lied to me big time so I got annoyed and hid it!), and there’s always more socks to knit! And I’d quite like to learn how to quill, and embroider some designs in hoops as decoration, and, and, and (there’s always more I want to do!) But I do think that the first things to do are my cardigan, and to finished the skirt, so when I’ve finished those I’ll have another re-think!

Ok, so while I was just finding the links for those bits in the previous paragraph, I was forcibly reminded of the insane blanket I’m knitting, which I suppose I ought to do first! Ok, I’ll carry on with that after November, and just take my cardigan home to work on over Christmas! I love having this blog, it’s such a good reminder of what I’m working on! At least, I think that’s everything I’ve got going! (Yes, I am ignoring my yearly plan at the beginning of the year to have the same number of WIPs at the end of the year as when I started, that’s just not going to happen!

So, what do you guys think about this plan? Any massive flaws in it that I can’t see?

 

Oh… hello SAturday!

So, I completely forgot hat it’s Saturday today, which means another update as to what I’ve been doing

Firstly, I finished October’s block- it feels very strange that I’m onto the bottom row now!

OUAT22And… that is unfortunately pretty much it :/ I’ve been busy working this week, and that’s going to keep stealing all my time until Christmas. On the other hand, I’m now teaching again, so yay for that!

I have joined a couple of clubs here, so hopefully I’ll still get some knitting done on a Friday when knitsoc meets up (as long as I remember my cabling needle…doh!). I also joined jugglesoc, and am planning on making my own set of juggling balls, which should be fun :) So far I’ve outlined my shapes, and so hopefully I’ll get around to ironing and cutting them out this weekend, when I’ve had enough of Stained Glass!

juggle1I’m going to have three balls, made with 8 ‘triangles’ each, I’m going to alternate this stripy fabric(this is the reverse) and the plain red you can just see on the left :) I’ll make some more when I start needing more balls, and then I’ll be able to mix and match :) Can never have too many balls :)

Hmm, I wonder if I can finished the page of Stained Glass this weekend… better get my speedy needle out!

So, October’s Block. It’s another ‘classic’ fairy tale, published by the Grimm brothers, and one that I think will be obvious by just a few clues. so…

It starts with a lovely man marrying again, and his new wife and her two daughters bullying his rather more lovely daughter(the main character). She (the main character) meets the prince for a few hours, and leaves an item of clothing behind which prompts a massive search of the entire city to find her again, because naturally in a few hours you can fall totally in love with someone…gotta love those fairy tales!

I think that’s enough information to be getting on with, if it really is more obscure than that I’ll give out some more hints next week (or maybe a pic of the finished thing!) It’s quite awkward to know how much information to give from the side of knowing what the fairly tale is!

So, onto the other half of this post, yes, the Christmas presents are nearly finished! I finished all the coasters! Here’re the ones you didn’t see last time

christmasaunt5 christmasaunt6

I just love that tit in the bird bath!

So that makes two of the three Christmas presents I’m hand-making finished! And I even made a start on the last one- a set of form-a-line cards.

You make these by punching holes in the middle of a tri-fold card (so you can cover the back, which gets a bit messy with selotape!)

christmasdorothy1There are patterns you print off and tape over the card, then you use a pin to punch the hole (into a block of foam!). It gets a little painful after a while, that’s a lot of holes, especially when you decide to be completely insane and punch 10 cards in one day! They’re not all of this pattern, there are three patterns in total, and I did 3-3-4.

Then you follow the instructions for how to sew them, and get something like this

christmasdorothy2They really are loads of fun to do (when you’re finger stops hurting from sticking a pin through card so many times!)

So, this week has been a veritable hive of cross stitch activity!

But I imagine that first of all you want to know about September’s block: yes, it was indeed Rapunzel. Well done everyone who guessed that (and really, how anyone thought The Brave is a little beyond me!). Ahh, the delights of hindsight!

But that isn’t all I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been busy cross stitching all week! First of all, I finished the Stained Glass SAL, which I’m very chuffed about, as I’m going to be too busy entertaining my friend this week to work on it

pic7That’s the entire width done now, so the next page is back over on the left. :) I really enjoy stitching on this, which is a bit strange because I’m not really sure that I want it when it’s finished… maybe when I’ve coloured it in I’ll enjoy it more!

Then this week I started my aunt’s Christmas present of some coasters, and they’re reminding me how much of a difference that backstitching makes!

christmasaunt1 christmasaunt2

On the left is a brown blob, and on the right…voila, a baby owl! I didn’t take before pics of any of the other small cross stitched pieces, but it’s pretty much the same thing!

The other pieces which I have finished are

a kingfisher (I do so love these birds, although typically I’ve only seen flashes of blue!)

christmasaunt4

and a butterfly (there weren’t enough different bird designs, so I had to settle for ‘flying things”!)

christmasaunt3I still have a blue tit and a penguin to go, so they’ll probably be finished next week! These are going much quicker than planned, I am loving this idea of finishing Christmas presents early! I’ll be able to go back to my cardigan (and dare I say it? The Cthulhu mittens???)

Woohoo! Gotta love being organised! Anyway, I’ll be back next week with the first clues for October’s block!

Woo hoo, I finished (decided I had enough) of cross stitching on plastic canvas for my mum’s Christmas present.

Here is it before cutting them all out

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and then yesterday I cut them out and stuck on some magnetic strip. I’m not sure how well they’ll stick on, but it’s the best idea I’ve got really…

christmasmum8I am so glad that these things are finally done! Although I haven’t finished with the plastic canvas, as I’ve signed up for my first ever exchange- a Christmas tree decoration cross stitched one :) So that’ll have to be kept under wraps for now :) But if you fancy signing up, it’s being hosted by hookedonstitches.

I did manage to finish the OUAT square last weekend, and even did a bit more on the border.

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After last week’s clue, which I think makes it rather obvious, I’m not giving out any more clues this week (reminder to anyone who joined after I first mentioned it, but everyone who takes part will be entered into a draw to win some goodies after Christmas. See my post at the end of July for all the (incredibly technical, I know ;) ) information. Next week I will be telling you all which fairy tale this is based off, so last chance to guess :)

Then I stopped working on this (I finished both the purple/red thread and the yellow/orange thread that I was using, so it seemed like a good place to stop, rather than start new thread) and carried on working on the Stained Glass thing I’m doing

pic6Looking at the picture, I’ve nearly reached the side of the piece, so I’m hoping to finish stitching it this weekend, as next weekend I’ve got a friend coming so I won’t get much done on this (but my first Cardiff sock might get finished).

So, going back to the Christmas presents: I now have to stitch a set of cards for a friend, and cross stitch some birds for a set of coasters for my aunt, who enjoys bird-watching.  I’m estimating that each of these will take a month to complete, so that’s October and November dealt with, and then I have December free, to do what I want :) Provided, of course, that I finish the Christmas tree decoration next week! It feels very nice (but a bit strange!) the idea that I’ll have finished Christmas presents *early*! Very unusual state of affairs!

 

 

Ok, so last weekend my needle was on fire! (Not literally, but I did soo much cross stitch!) So, rather than give you some more clues for this month’s fairly tale (first lot can be found here) I’ll be showing what I’ve done so far for this months block (bear in mind that I onlt had about 2 hours to work on it on Sunday, as I had to catch my train to Cardiff!)

OUAT20All that is left for me to do is another cloud just above the trees, and then I’ll spend the rest of the weekend doing some more on the border :) I don’t want to get too far, just in case I miscount and have to frog lots, but I think I can get away with maybe going halfway down the next (and last) set of squares. I’m going to miss this when it’s done, but I’m not yet convinced that I want to do next years… too much other awesome stuff that I’m doing has been pushed to the back burner for it. I’ll wait and see after I find out what next years design theme will be.

So, then I had to go to Cardiff for a conference, and rather than take my cross stitch (which requires needles and scissors and all sorts) I decided to take some yarn and cast on for a new pair of socks.

Cardiff

So this is what I did, mostly on the train down there (it’s a 5 hour train ride!) By the time I arrived I was just about to start the short rows for the heel, which I thought was fairly impressive, and made me very glad that I’d brought both balls of yarn with me! However, after that I didn’t have much time to work on the socks at all (all the talks were too interesting for me to sit and listen and knit to, I wanted to take notes!) and on the way back I was too tired to do much knitting at all! So in the end I’ve only done this much, which is still rather good I think. This yarn (it’s just a standard regia) is so very smooshy! I have no idea what the difference is between this yarn and any of the other sock yarn I’ve sued from them before, but there is a very big difference in how nice it is! I am certainly very tempted to get more of this yarn, when I’ve used up the stash some more *sighs* I’ll be good!

Unfortunately, that is the last of my crafting for the week, after getting back to York I spent much of the next day asleep, and then trying to catch up from all the time I wasn’t working! Hopefully this week will be better craft-wise.

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