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

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!

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)

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