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

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!)

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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.

September’s OUAT block

So, umm, September’s OUAT block is very well known. Disney recently did a film of it (and the heroine was a bad-ass, despite not having much contact with the world before the story really begins). So, how to give you some clues but not too many… all the characters are human (although in the Disney version they added in a couple of animals, which, while intelligent, do not speak), and the main character (in every version that I could find online) was named after a plant her mother craved whilst pregnant.

It’s also a Brothers Grimn tale, so it can come across as very dark, although naturally Disney glossed over it all. I think that’s enough clues for now, after all, if nobody gets it I can always add in more clues next week :)

So, last weekend I managed to finish the Stained Glass SAL as well, so I’m basically completely caught up with everything :) (Ignoring the fact that the next bits of the SALs are out, but eh).

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Even more impressive (in my mind!) was that after I finished Stained Glass, I still had a few hours left over so I pulled out the butterfly I had been working on, and did about half the flowers and hearts and things around it! I’ve fallen back in love with this project, and now can’t wait to finish it and show it off :)

butterfly3

And then I even got quite a lot of stitching done this week, after breaking my brain (don’t worry, it’s on the mend now :) ) so I’ve finished 4 outlines, pretty much.

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This coming week I’ll concentrate on filling them, after I come back from another conference, this time in Cardiff! I’m really looking forward to it (I’m even going to be co-presenting a presentation! Eep!) but it does mean that I won’t have much time to do anything crafty. I’m planning a pair of socks to take with me, as they are the easiest thing to pick up and put down as required :)

So, August’s block has been finished( on time!), and on Monday I will be getting the next square to stitch, and fairy tale to either discover for the first time or get re-acquainted with. So, what was this month’s fairy tale? It was (well done fallfromgrace) The Town Musicians of Bremen (random link from the internet to the story). Next month’s fairy tale will be mentioned next week :)

So, I’ve decided to spend the rest of the month stitching my other SAL, the Stained Glass, so that by the end of the year I won’t be too far behind! I got quite a lot done really, which I’m very happy about, and the rest of this weekend might (fingers crossed) see me finish the page, which would be amazing!

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I’ve had a friend here this week (hence the late post!), and so I haven’t done anything with Christmas presents (too much concentration would be needed to keep count of the stitches). Rather, I have been working on a sock, and I finished it! I’m very please with myself, and I now have 8 pairs of socks to wear :)

trainsocks3

And just to stop this post getting boring, my spinning housemate has given me some yarn! (It doesn’t count as stash if you didn’t buy it ;))

There’s 100 grams of hand-spun sock yarn (~375 yards) so this will be turned into socks

stash

There’s also 50 grams of possum sock yarn, which is certainly not enough for socks, even with contrasting toes and heels! So instead, I think it is going to have to be contrasting heels and toes! (Really, who just buys 50 grams of sock yarn? Certainly not sock knitters!)

stash2

I spent the weekend with a turbo charged needle, and then did almost nothing during the week!

First off- I am loving this way of rotating my projects- spend the weekend on one thing (technically 2 for me, as I want to have something to do when I finish the latest block in the OUAT sampler) and then the week on something else. The only downside is that I’m only working on two different things, so lots of my projects can feel slightly left out! But hey look, progress!

So, first off the OUAT sampler:

OUAT19

Yes, that is actually the August square finished! After just under a weekend of stitching!!!!! I’m seriously impressed by that :) And that means that I’m going to spend the rest of the month on the Stained Glass SAL because I don’t want to get too far behind on that :) I also said that I would give some more clues about the August block (you can find the first clues here and second here). So this time, I was going to talk about how the animals inherited their house where they ended up living.

On way to the place where they were going to live, they came upon a house full of robbers, and scared them off by standing on each others backs (as in the picture). Then, after they fell asleep the robbers decided to try and get their house back. So, as all people do when presented with an unknown and probably dangerous situation, they split up and sent one man back. When he reached the house, the cat scratched him, the dog bit him, the donkey kicked him and the rooster crowed. The man runs away and tells his friends that the house has been taken over by a witch (the cat), an giant with a club (the donkey), an ogre with a knife (the dog) and a judge (the rooster). So the robbers all leave, and the animals live happily together for the rest of their lives with the money the robbers had around the house.

 

After finished that square in record time, I then decided that I wanted to finish some other things, so I pulled out my KAL socks (technically a week project, but I’d had enough of stitching), and finished them off as well!

KAL4

They’re really comfortable! I don’t know whether it’s the yarn or the pattern, but I’m probably going to knit these again :)

So that was my ultra-productive weekend!

And then it seemed that my mind had had enough of crafting, as I didn’t do anything till Thursday! (On Wednesday I got locked out my room which was really annoying, I didn’t even have anything to do :( )

So I only managed to finish off one more tetris shape for my mum (the red line)

christmasmum5and I also started another sock, as on Friday I had a massive concentration headache and didn’t want to have to figure out where I should be stitching and counting the tiny stitches!

trainsocks2This is going to end up the opposite of it’s partner, which I think it awesome :) I’ve got a conference coming up in Cardiff at the beginning of September, so this sock will be able to be knitted on a train, just like it’s partner! :) Such fun :)

 

 

 

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!

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