Monday, 10 March 2014

An Update - New Starts etc

Hi Blogger Friends,

It has been a few weeks since I last posted and I suppose my main reason for not doing so is that my Stitching Plan has been pretty much abandoned but I have been stitching eye infections permitting.

For Lent I have given up Facebook, so this should free up lots of time for other more productive things.

Save the Stitches by Elizabeth Almond of Blackwork Journey.

This is a freebie project on the Blackwork Journey site. So far there have been 5 parts released. Below are photos of my progress. I have done the outline for the first 3 parts and am up to block four of Part 1 on the filling in. I am aiming to get at least the first 3 blocks completed by the end of March.
This is the first time I have used DMC Diamant thread and so far it is proving easier to work with than the DMC Light Effects metallic thread.

Snooty Parrots Sampler by Barbara Ana Designs

I purchased the chart for this when it was released and decided I was going to use silk for this project. So I purchased the DMC equivalent silk from the Silk Mill and have started to work this project on 40ct Newcastle in Rosewood  2 over 1 . This will be a very slow project for me as I have rough hands and no matter how much I moisturise them they still hatch on the silk thread, so I am spending a lot of time re threading needles etc. Even with using the thread conditioner Thread Heaven it is still very slow work. On a positive side the colour and sheen of the silk is wonderful.

Historic Forest Sampler by New Stitches Magazine (Mary Hickmott)

I decided that I wanted to do some work on this as it is straightforward cross stitching albeit a very large project.  Below is my starting point  and then where I have got to in the last week with doing a bit here and there.
The progress photo shows the fabric colour more accurately,

Butterfly Needlecase by Faby Reilly

This project was a restart I had done a little before but wasn't happy with it so started it again.
Here is the link as to what it should look like when completed  Faby Reilly Buttefly Needlebook. I am using the suggested fabric and threads.
and this is how far I have got with it.

Peacock by Lesley Teare

This is one of the projects that I had been working on as part of my Stitching Plan. I did manage to get an afternoons stitching done and below is my progress update
Japanese Gold by Lesley Teare

I got the latest copy of Cross Stitch Collection magazine on Friday and this design just jumped out at me. I am using the recommended materials although my piece of evenweave is antique white and not white. Apart from 1 skein of floss and the gold metallic I had everything I needed in my stash boxes. Below is a image of what it should look like and my start yesterday approximately 3 hours work.

This design contains both my colours - pinks and purples and my Husbands preferred colours of oranges, browns, golds etc.

Friends Who Count Round Robin

I have received and completed another part of this round robin. This time I was sent a selection of cover kits I chose a Bambi one and below is how it looked when I posted it  on to the next person in the robin.
Other Stitching
I love playing with variegated threads and this was an evening spent doing just that creating shapes with different colours. Some work well others didn't.
Before bed I do a little on this card. It is stitched using Madeira metallic threads and because the thread is quite a pig to work with I only do a little bit at a time. I think this is about 1.5 hrs work in total over about a week. What I will say is that it really really sparkles, so will be worth the effort. The chart is from a chart book and thread that was a freebie in issue 196 of The World of Cross Stitching.
I have also started this pastel blackwork card. Again it was a freebie chart book and thread with issue 203 of The World of Cross Stitching and this design uses the two colours of Madeira thread in 1, 2  and 3 strands to create the textured effect of the design.

Knitting and Crochet

I made a start on this Knitted cowl using Robin Candyfloss Super Chunky Yarn in Dodgems shade on 10 mm needles
I have put it on hold for the time being as the weather has started to warm up, but will get it finished before next winter.

I finished my crochet lap blanket it is about 38 inches square just right for covering your knees.
This was done as a continuous granny square with a few rows of double crochet  (UK terms)added as a border.

My Granny Stripe Blanket continues to grow I have now done almost two sets of colours
This is it laid out over my bed. It is growing slowly and again I am hoping to complete it before the end of the year. I just love the colours - very me :-)


Over the last few weeks I have managed to read a few books.

The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell

This is the second book by this author and I did read her previous book also. This was better and I really enjoyed the book set in the present day and 1980's. The 1980's part is about a group of students who find a disused cottage and decide to live off the land for a time and the breakdown of the group relationship over about a year and the modern day part is about a young woman who has lost a baby tragically and who has just inherited this cottage and decides to try and come to terms with her grief by going to the cottage. Over the book we discover that both stories are linked. I almost worked out the connection apart from one small bit, so that pleased me, in that I hadn't sorted the whole connection.

The Tudor Bride by Joanna Hickson

This is the sequel to The Agincourt Bride which I also read. Now the Agincourt Bride I read but wasn't overly impressed. This book however I loved. It continues the story of Catherine de Valois from her coming to England as Henry V bride and covering his death and her subsequent marriage to Owen Tudor  and the children she had with him. Again the story is told by her personal maid Mette. This book was just so much better than the first one. If you like historical fiction it is highly recommended.

The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

This book I saw recommended on The Sampler Girls blog and I checked my local ebook library to see if they had it and to my surprise they did.

I found the book very interesting and enjoyable although I think the ending did let it down a little, in that there was not for me a true ending to the story.

This book is about a girl who is in foster care in the present day and an elderly lady who originally came to the United States via Ireland and the orphan train of the title.

The book really highlighted the similarities between the girls present story and the old lady's past story. Definitely worth a read.

Le Temps Viendra: 1 by Sarah A Morris

I really wanted to love this book as I will happily read anything about Anne Boleyn, but I only liked it. I think my problem with it was the mechanism used to get us from present day to Anne Boleyn's time and for some reason this jarred with me. The writing was fine and the actual story was ok, but something irked me. That said I will read its sequel so it wasn't a bad book but it niggled me.

20th Wedding Anniversary and other things

On the 26th February it was my 20th Wedding Anniversary and this is the China wedding, so my husband bought me a Cath Kidson teapot and mug which I am very pleased with.
He also got me this lovely bronze pendant of a wolf and moon
and finally whilst out dog walking I got this nice  shot of one of the deer that live off the cycle track, it always makes my day when I see them, they have such a stillness and grace about them I find it quite moving.

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