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Sunday, 31 March 2013

2013 Ornament SAL - March

This month I intended to complete my Papa Noel Ornament by  Faby Reilly Designs, but sadly my stitchy bug has got up and left me so I will return to this one at the beginning of December when I will attempt to finish off any incomplete ornies in time for Christmas.

Below is how far I have got, the last time I stitched on it was the 10th March 2013. Let's hope my April Ornament gets completed.


Sunday, 17 March 2013

A Bit of This and That

Sometimes life gets in the way. This is how it has been for me this last week. I have been under quite a bit of stress as my Dad is in hospital. He went in to have his lungs drained and have a biopsy taken. Well he had a bit of a reaction to the anaesethic  and since then has not been really with it. Also they only drained the right lung and so now the left lung is infected which they are treating with a strong antibiotic as they don't want to put him under again. He is improving but they won't discharge him until the lung has cleared and his oxygen levels have reached a satisfactory level. I went and visited him yesterday and as I have not seen him in over a year there was a noticeable difference. Suddenly he is an old man.

Now the stress I have been under has also effected my return to a healthier me plan (I don't like the word diet - just makes me hungry saying the word). I am now 5 weeks in to monitoring my food and exercise via Spark People and up until last week I had lost 9lbs, this week I have put on 2lbs, but this again is down to stress and me comfort eating Lemon Muffins. I know it won't all vanish over night, but I think I have got to the point now where one little hiccup will not stop me from keeping to the plan.

We have had some lovely weather last week and on one afternoon my daughter and I took our dog Lily for her usual walk but instead of staying to the path we went and took her for a swim in the stream. Up until this year this would not have been possible as it was really filthy, but they have been doing a clean up and the water was lovely and clean and we also saw a couple of ducks on the water.

 Lily having her first swim of the year

As for cross stitch well I have only done a little on a card which I am hoping to finish today.



As for my Stitching Plan which was in my previous post I will return to this on the 1st April which will see me stitching on Chrysanthemum Fairy and will be Day 9 of working that project. As a slight amendment to this plan all projects I will work on for 30 days then have a 7 day break, before returning to the ones I intend to complete or putting aside the larger ones for a later date.

I have been crafting this week doing garter stitch squares I am now on my third which I as knitting to make into a cat blanket for Battersea Dogs and Cat Home. This requires 25 squares so it will be a bit of time yet before I get there. I am not the fastest knitter. These I intend to continue with when I am sat watching TV as I can do these without looking.

Yesterday I decided I was finally going to crack crochet granny squares. It has taken me over 15 years to get to any level of competancy and I had a beginner book, but just wasn't getting it. Yesterday I found the following pattern  Attic 24 : Summer Garden Granny Square and it finally seems to have clicked into place. Now I know I need to work on tension, but overall I am happy with my efforts. The spoke part of the pattern in round 1 made it so much easier for me to progress to the next couple of rounds and I crochet this in the car on the way to the hospital. I so want to be able to make a granny square blanket like my Nan used to make.


So for the coming week I intend to complete the Margaret Sherry Card, try and finish both my Christmas ornament for March in the SAL and complete the LHN Little Sheep Virtures - Hope and do week 3 of the Hardanger SAL which is just cross and backstitching this week. I also intend to complete a few more of my garter stitch squares.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Stitching Plan

The other day I was looking through all the things I have started and not completed and created two lists, one a list of  all the sampler style projects which totalled 39 starts and then a second list of everything else which totals 130 projects. This included all the rotations I had been working, the WIP's I was going to work on and all my new starts back in January for the Crazy challenges.

As I am already working on Chrysanthemum Fairy,  I shall keep working on this until it is completed. I will then finish off Martha Jones 1792 sampler as that is quite a good way along and also if I stitch it for any length of time should not take me too long to complete.

So that is two projects. I then thought well I cannot really pick the ones I want to do as there are too many to chose from so I will use the Random Number generator. So I alternated between the two lists to have one non sampler project and then a sampler one. If the projects are really large I will work on them for 30 days and then return them to the lists for reselection when I have worked my way through the 16 projects below.

Joan Elliott Chrysanthemum Fairy
European Reproduction Samplers Martha Jones 1792
Vermillion Stitchery January Garnet Fairy
Chatelaine Sleeping Beauty Castle (30days)
Heritage Crafts - John Clayton Hannah
Mary Hickmott Designs Historic Forest Sampler (30days)
Pashmina Heart from The World of Cross Stitching Magazine
Love Sampler from Cross Country Stitching Magazine
Heart by Sweetheart Tree
Papillon Creations Around the World in 80 Stitches (30 days)
DMC Sarah Kay - Birthday Friends
ABC Linen Thread Heart
Design Works - Joan Elliott - Geisha Pair
Ink Circles Winter Mandala as featured in JCS Magazine
Joan Elliott Pink Cinderella (Brunette)
Polstitches Floral Needlekeeper

Alongside these projects I will still be doing a couple of SAL's and a card exchange. These are the 2013 Ornament SAL, the LHN Little Sheep Virtues, Polstitches Hardanger SAL and the FWC Card Exchange.
 
Whilst I was going through  my 169 started projects I gave a rough calculation as to how long it would take me to complete them all. If I stitched for  2 hrs each day it would take me well over 6 years. Of course I don't always stitch each day and sometimes only for a few minutes. So it will be a very long time and was my reason for doing this. Now to make it happen. Wish me luck :-)



















Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Polstitches Hardanger SAL Week Two

So today I sat down and did Week Two's section for this project. It was just some Hardanger motifs surrounding the main central motif, so was very straightforward and did not take too long. I did not work on the practise piece this week as I have already stitched the section where the cutting will take place and was the reason for doing a practice piece.


Monday, 11 March 2013

Day Seven and Eight - Chrysanthemum Fairy plus a UFO and

I am posting these two days together as although I did do 2 hrs work on the Chrysanthemum Fairy  on Day Seven of working on her, half an hour was spent frogging so I only made a little progress on the flower bottom right, see photo below.


On Day Seven instead of continuing with my fairy I spent the evening in the living room.When I am working on a large project I do that in  my bedroom where my workstation is set up and also there is no chance of either Lily ( tri-colour border collie) or Daisy (tortie and white cat) getting near my work and leaving their hair on it. So I spent the evening stitching on one of my UFO's the Just Nan Winter Humbug, whilst watching re-runs of Special Victims Unit. Below are photos of my starting point and where I got to after a couple of hours stitching. I love Just Nan designs as they are so delicately pretty, very feminine.





On Day Eight it was a similar pattern. Here in the UK it was Mothering Sunday, so I spent the morning out and about and by the time I was able to sit down at my frame and stitch it did not give me much time. Anyway I am very pleased that I  have managed to finish the large flower at the bottom of the design. My aim is to complete the other flower and greenery by midweek so that I can move on to page 2 of 4.



Sunday evenings I watch TV and this week was no exception as it was the last in the current series of Call the Midwife. This was series 2 and they are based on the memoirs of  the late Jennifer Worth who was a midwife in the East End of London during the late 1950's and in the series works out of a house that is run by Anglican Nuns. Having read the books, the series is relatively faithful to them and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Just makes me glad I had my children in the 1990's as I am not sure I would have survived my first pregnancy  had I had them back in the the 1950's. My son was a very large baby, who was eventually delivered by forceps, I then had a post partum hemorrhage, followed by a blood transfusion the following day and six months on iron tablets - but he was worth it.

Anyway I digress back to what I stitched whilst watching the TV. I am in the Ornament 2013 SAL and I have chosen to stitch Santa's all year. So this month I have decided to work on the Papa Noel Pendant from Faby Reilly designs. First I have to say that Faby gives the most excellent finishing tutorials for all her designs. Below is my starting point and where I got to after a couple of hours. I don't think I will complete the whole ornament this month but as long as I get the Santa bit completed I will be happy.



TUSAL - March 2013 Update

Here is my TUSAL update for March. It is certainly growing :-)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Scarf finished and a start on Little Sheep Virtues - Hope

Another day where I did not get any work done on Chrysanthemum Fairy as I wanted to complete my scarf which I managed to do. It is  not as long as I thought it would be but it is super soft and very colourful.



I have twisted the scarf so that you can see both the right and wrong sides of the knitting.

Later in the day I was too tired to get my frame out and start working on the fairy so finally made a start on the first in the Little Sheep Virtues Series - Hope from Little House Needleworks. I am using the recommended DMC floss and  Cashel Linen, I think it is the natural shade, it was only labelled Cashel on the bag it was in no shade name and  I have enough to do all 12 on this fabric.



Friday, 8 March 2013

Another Day Knitting

A bit naughty but the yarn that was used in the free knitting pattern from my previous post arrived in the post today and needless to say, I got started on it.

Yarn - Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk DK 100% Silk
Needles - Knit Pro Wooden

This Debbie Bliss yarn  is quite pricey at around £8.95 a ball but you do only need one 50 g ball to make the scarf  from Black Sheep Wools Free Scarf Pattern.

It is a joy to stitch with this and the Knit Pro needles are so much nicer to work with. I found I got less wrist pain as they are very light and the yarn slips easily off the needles but does not come off unless you want it to. With metal and plastic needles it is always a bit of a fight for me as I have quite a tight tension ordinarily which I put down to being left handed but knit right handed.

Anyway I had hoped to get the scarf completed in one day. I am not the quickest knitter and did not quite manage it. Below is my progress I am hoping to complete it today but this will be fitted in around me working on Chrysanthemum Fairy.

Yarn - Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk DK shade 46 Circus
Progress after 1 day approx 30 inches long

Apologies for the poor quality photo no natural light when taken, the first photo is much more accurate for colorway.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Knitting a Scarf and a Parents Evening

I had a break from working on Chrysanthemum Fairy and decided to have a go at an easy scarf pattern that was linked on Black Sheep Wools Facebook page. I did not have the yarn they used so looked in my stash and found some King Cole Inspire in shade  932. The yarn is 35% Cotton, 30% Superwash Wool and 35% Acrylic. It has a slight slubby texture in that the yarn isn't a consistent thickness, nevertheless I have started this scarf and my progress is below.

I intend to do the scarf again when I have completed this one in the recommended yarn and if anyone is interested in the pattern here is the link at Black Sheep Wools.

Black Sheep Wools Lacey Stripey Scarf Pattern

Yesterday evening I went to my son's Parent's Evening. He is currently studying for a Level 2 in Art and Design. To say that we are over the moon would be an understatement. Tom has Asperger's Syndrome spent all his school years at a special school, two years at a specialist college and 1 year doing a learning for living course. This is the first course that he has undertaken which was his choosing and he absolutely loves it. The tutor said he was a joy to teach, there is no reason why he cannot go on next year to study the level 3 course for two years  which is equivalent to A levels and she felt that potentially he could go on to University. This is such an achievement for a boy who did not speak until he was 5 1/2 years old and then his first word was Sainsburys as he was reading a signpost. We also discovered that he writes poetry. Tom says very little and when he does speak he does struggle at conveying what he wants to get across. Yet if he can write to you it is perfectly clear and in context. As you can imagine there is one very proud Mum here.



Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Day Six - Chrysanthemum Fairy

I managed four hours on this project on Day Six of working on her. From the photo below it does not look like a lot but she is slowly taking shape, 18 hours of work so far.


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Day Five - Chrysanthemum Fairy

Well the true Day Five  should have been Sunday did not happen. I had been out most of the day and was quite tired when I got back home so worked on a card that I was trying to finish for this week, that also did not happen but I did do a very little stitching. So Day Five happened on Monday and I managed another 3 hrs work on her so I have now done 14 hrs in total.

Day Five Progress :-)

 And so you don't think I was slacking below is a photo of the card I was trying to complete. I will get it finished just not in time to post for this years Mother's Day so I will keep it for next year.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Day Four - Chrysanthemum Fairy

Day Four Progress :-


Well I managed to get 3hrs worked on her today and completed the first flower by her foot. I am really enjoying working this design and am super pleased with the fabric I chose to stitch her on. I would have done some more on her last night but my shoulders felt locked up so did not want to force it. Will try and get a couple of hours in today, although I do have a card I need to get completed so we shall see. It is also unlikely that I will complete her before the end of March as I am away for 5 days before Easter, but whatever I will work this project until completion.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Day Three - Chrysanthemum Fairy

Today's progress -

 
As you can see I did not get a great deal done on her today. My excuse for this is I was up really early (5 am) spent a good part of the day working on my Hardanger SAL, so when it came time to stitch on her I was just a bit tired and as I don't want a visit from the Frog, I decided to stop after an hours stitching. So my photo is progress after 8 hrs worked on her. Hoping for  better progress today.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Polstitches Hardanger SAL - Week One

I am a member of the Polstitches Designs Facebook Group and I have dabbled with Hardanger for a longtime but never been that happy with my results. When Jo Critchley said she was going to do a Hardanger SAL with the group I signed up straight away. Well today is March 1st and the email with week ones instructions has arrived.
 
The SAL pack contains a photo cover of the finished design, Spun Gold 28ct Jobelan Polstitches Fabric, DMC Floss in 372, 472 and 730, Polstitches DragonFloss in Mummies Curse and a ball of Finca No 8 in shade 3000 plus some Mill Hill Beads in 03017.

 I feel fairly confident that I will have done week one correctly as it is just the Kloster Blocks this week using Finca No 8 in shade 3000. Because the overall design does contain cutwork, Jo has advised to do a separate practice piece. So this morning I have worked on both the actual SAL and using a piece of scrap Jobelan from Polstitches and some Chameleon No 8 in Summer Sunset, I have worked a practice piece.

Practice Piece

Actual SAL

The online SAL is now closed but Jo will be releasing this design through her website in the next few weeks Polstitches Designs