Monday, 31 January 2011

January Stitching Round Up & February Goals

I had a great January, though mostly because I picked projects that were close to being finished. The rate of finishes will slow down significantly for the rest of the year. The good news is that I only have two more projects that I wanted to finish before the end of the year - Middy - and that one could (I hope) be completed by the end of February and - Magicas Puntadas SAL 2011 which is coming out in monthly parts so can't be completed until November.

Under my self-imposed restriction of one start for every two finishes I can add another piece to my rotation once Middy is complete - Companions by Teresa Wentzler is the next piece to be started. Though in practise I haven't started some of the pieces I've added, they've just been tagged on to the bottom of the column of progress bars! At some point I will re-start my rotation and not be working on just one project at a time so they'll all get some attention, but I think that will only happen when there are just 5 or 6 projects on the list.

A round up of my 8 finishes:

Bride's Tree Ornament #1
Blackwork Chessboard
Debbie Bliss Knitted Bunny Toy
Emperor Penguins
February Friendship Exchange
Funky Sox
Autumn Sox
Herbie the Hermit Crab

I also finished Part 1 of the Magicas Puntadas SAL 2011

My goals for February:
Finish Bride's Tree Ornament #2
Finish Magicas Puntadas SAL Part 2
Finish Midsummer Night's Fairy

An update on Middy

I haven't stitched on this piece since midsummer last year. Here's a couple of pics to show where I've gotten to. I hope she'll be finished in February but there's still a ton of beads to put on her. I'm suffering my way through a bad cold at the moment so stitching is going quite slowly.

The linen I'm using has become very creased so I'm hoping it will smooth out when I press her at the end.

Monday, 24 January 2011


I won some vouchers at work when I won employee of the month and I spent my £10 on book vouchers. One of the books I purchased was Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh. I've now completed my first project from this book, Herbie the Hermit Crab. He isn't called Herbie in the book but I had to give him a name.

He isn't perfect, but I love him and he's going to go into work to be my desk buddy.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Socking it to ya!

The second pair of socks is finished, here being modelled by Alan. My 7th finish of the year and I'm now able to start a new project. Only 16 WIPs remaining...

My next focus project is Herbie the Hermit Crab - another knitting project.

Friday, 21 January 2011

January Stitch-a-thon Day 4

A bumper 2055 stitches today and I'm onto the heel flap. This sock might yet be finished by the end of the Stitchathon.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

January Stitch-a-thon Day 3

It's just past midnight so here's my end of Day 3 snapshot. 1800 stitches knitted in about 3 hours. This picture is closer to the actual colours but still not right! Underneath is the first sock of the pair completed a number of years ago.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

January Stitch-a-thon Day 2

Much better than Monday's "nil points" - 720 stitches knitted in a couple of hours.

The beginning of second sock for another pair of socks, this one with a much more autumnal tone than the last pair. The colours in the picture aren't quite right as it's not so purple and more subdued. I hope to get this sock finished as part of this Stitch-a-thon and then I'll have two pairs of groovy bedsocks!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Well that was a rubbish start

I didn't so much as cast on a single stitch last night as part of the Stitch-a-thon and tonight isn't looking too positive either as I still have dishes to wash-up and prep to do for a presentation at work tomorrow.

Wish me luck as I'm not hugely comfortable standing in front of people and speaking and tomorrow my audience will consist of several senior managers as I'm applying for accelerated training and this is part of the selection process.

I had a job interview at work today and it went much better than the last one. Whether I have the job or not I can't say but the feedback is certainly going to be valuable.

Ah well dishes are yelling my name...

Monday, 17 January 2011

January Stitch-a-thon

started today on Cross Stitch Crazy. If you think you're crazy enough to join in the fun, pop along to the message board and join in.

I'm planning on knitting and not cross stitching. I'm making my other "second" sock, this one in more autumnal colours. I'll be sure to post an update when I take a picture.

Alan is in New Jersey until Thursday. He's hoping to visit Roosevelt Island this afternoon after her arrives (he doesn't have to work until tomorrow) - I expect that will be a bracing walk! Can't wait for the pictures of the aerial tramway and from the Octagon Tower.

Funky & Finished

This is the first pair of socks I've knitted so I know they're not perfect but for wearing in bed and keeping my tootsies toasty - they are perfect!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Funky Sox

I've picked up another knitting WIP - this is a pair of bedsocks that are so bright they are guaranteed to make me smile when I get up in the morning. I had knitted one of the pair several years ago (maybe 5?) and had never started the second sock. Here's a progress picture of the second sock which is almost half-finished. The tricky bit of make the heel gusset is saved for tomorrow and after that it should be fairly straightforward.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Vintage design - help needed...

I don't like to give up on projects - in fact I'll finish something even if I think it will end up in a drawer because I no longer like it. I don't know why but i just can't throw away something that I've started. However in this case I might have to admit defeat. I picked up this design from Alan's mum as she is no longer able to stitch and suggested I might be able to finish it. Except I can't as there is no chart and no threads. The chart I can get around as the photo is reasonable and whilst it would be slow to work from, I can just about make out the individual stitches. The threads are a whole different issue. I can't match them to any of my DMC threads (I have them all) or my Anchor threads (I have about half of these) so I am stumped.

Does anyone know what brand of threads were used in Golden Bee kits?

I've looked on Ebay and there are quite a few vintage Golden Bee kits but not this design (#60445) - does anyone have this design hidden in a craft room or closet, I'd be more than willing to purchase the chart or borrow and return once finished.

What the design should look like finished

The work in progress - complete with very yellow masking tape - I think this may have been put away ten years ago or perhaps even before that.

Magicas Puntadas SAL 2011

In a rash moment I signed up for this stitch-a-long but you can't get the next part until you've shown you've completed the previous one. As I usually have fabulous intentions but don't get very far with most SALs this could be a problem for me. Nevertheless I signed up and have managed to complete the 1st chart of 2 sections.

I umm'd and err'd about colours and fabric and in the end sought inspiration from a tea light holder that I really like and choose some colours that were wildly different to the ones selected by the designer Angie.

The colours I'm using are DMC 471, 3808, 3809, 807 & 3811

Part 2 is out on 10th February and I'm on annual leave that week so I'm hoping to get that part completed quickly too.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Friendship Exchange

For an exchange on Cross Stitch Crazy I chose to stitch this design as it fitted the theme of friendship so well - it's from Brittercup Designs. I changed the colours and used threads from my stash.

And this evening I made the design into something "finished" - I settled on a simple lined bag that would be perfect for keeping a small travel project in.

And I have to say I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

January Finishes

A fabulous start to the new year - I've now finished 4 crafty projects.

Emperor Penguins - Originally started for my son when he was totally obsessed with penguins.

Knitted Bunny - Debbie Bliss design - I can't remember who this was intended as a gift for, I found the pieces in a bag in the crafty cupboard and decided it really should be made up. I'm not thrilled by the way it turned out, the intstructions for making up weren't great (no pictures, just text) and I struggled with sewing the head and neck area together.

Blackwork Chessboard - an project inherited from Alan's mum, this was almost complete, I just had to do about three quarters of the chess pieces. As this has been folded and in a bag for more than 10 years the fabric is discoloured. I've gently washed it but the marks are still there so I'm thinking about the possibility of properly distressing it with a spray with a dye. I had thought about tea-dying it but this is acidic and the fabric would disintegrate over time. I will do some tests on some spare fabric to see what happens.

January Stitching Goals

On Cross Stitch Crazy we have an annual theme, the one voted for 2011 was to "WIP yourself into shape" - the idea to clear out some long-term WIPs. I have been doing this quietly on my own for the last couple of years and thought I had made significant progress and then....

I sorted out the crafting cupboard and saw my list of WIPs grow hugely (erf) - I have realised I will be working on the two finishes for one new start for at least this year and probably next as well if I am to continue WIP-ing myself into shape.

With this in mind I set some January goals:

1. Finish Emperor Penguins - achieved 8th January
2. Tidy out the crafting cupboard - achieved 9th January

As I completed these goals much more quickly than I'd expected I added to the list a few more goals...

3. Finish Debbie Bliss knitted toy - achieved 10th January
4. Finish Blackwork Chessboard - achieved 10th January
5. Finish Poppies
6. Finish Part 1 & 2 of Magicas Puntadas 2011 SAL
7. Finish Friendship Exchange piece - achieved 11th January

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Clearing out my crafting cupboard

Yielded a bunch of started but not finished projects that have been added to the project tracker at the side of the blog.

I've managed to complete my January goals already (complete Emperor Penguins cross stitch - pic to follow, and clear out craft cupboard) so I've now added some more to the list:

Finish the Debbie Bliss knitted toy (this just needs making up and stuffing and I have the perfect person to gift it to when completed)

Finish the blackwork chessboard (inherited project) - totally gorgeous project designed/adapted and started by Alan's mum and now she can't see well enough to finish it.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

First Finish of 2011

Started just after midnight as the new year began and finished this evening. This is a free design from Olde Willow Stitchery from many years ago when Sarah Ullman owned the company.

My Stitching Goals for 2011

Stitching Goals

Finish These Projects:

1. Emperor Penguins
2. Midsummer Night's Fairy

Get the following projects to 50%:
1. Earth Dragon
2. Blumen in Raster

Stitch on these projects in 2011
1. Four Horses of the Apocalypse
2. Celtic Spring
3. I think...

Not anywhere near as ambitious as last year but I hope to end up the year with only 5 or 6 WIPs. I have some huge projects in here which I'll be really pleased to finish as there are so many other exciting projects that I am itching to start. I am still working on 2 Finishes before I start anything new.

How my stitching went in 2010

I set myself some pretty ambitious goals at the beginning of 2010 - I was trying for another year to clear some more of my long-standing and very patient WIPs

Here's how I ended the year

Finish These Projects:
1. Peacock Stitching Chair - Finished! smiley: happy
2. Wild Menagerie - Finished! smiley: happy
3. Pam Kellogg's Christmas Mystery - Finished! smiley: happy

Get the following projects to 75%:
1. Sweet Summer Sampler - Finished! smiley: happy
2. Flamenco Dancer - Finished! smiley: happy
3. Earth Dragon - only achieved 22% smiley: frown

Get the following projects to 50%:
1. Midsummer Night's Dream - only achieved 31% smiley: frown
2. DMC Teddy Bear - Finished! smiley: happy
3. Emperor Penguins - achieved 75% :) smiley: happy

Get the following projects to 25%:
1. Four Horses of the Apocalypse - only achieved 6% smiley: frown
2. Celtic Spring - only achieved 4% smiley: frown
3. Blumen in Raster - only achieved 8% smiley: frown

I met or exceeded 7 of my 12 goals so considering my shoulder injury and surgery I think I had a fabulous year. My goals for 2011 will probably be a little less ambitious as I'm still recovering.

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