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

Posts tagged ‘Christmas 2014’

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!


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
and here is all of them together. I love how much of a set they look like πŸ™‚

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


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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 myΒ  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?


September’s Block, and why backstitching is good!

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. πŸ™‚ 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!)


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!

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 πŸ™‚

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


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 πŸ™‚


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 πŸ™‚ ) so I’ve finished 4 outlines, pretty much.


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 πŸ™‚

Well last week was a bit of a mish-mash!

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:


Yes, that is actually the August square finished! After just under a weekend of stitching!!!!! I’m seriously impressed by that πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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!


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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚ Such fun πŸ™‚




…And take an abrupt right turn!

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ˜›

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)

So, this is going to get predictable fast

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:



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…

Christmas presents have been started!

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚


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:



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!

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