Donnerstag, 22. Juni 2017

Two pages done

Just a quick post to catch up with my progress before I disappear for the weekend (four days of Paris with Felix and my best friend!) - as I told you, I've been working on some non-gift projects as well, and I have progress to report on both.

I have finished the June page of the Fire and Ember SAL - getting into the dragon again, so I think the next page might be interesting!

And then I have also finished another page of black on The Puppeteer - page 4, for a total of about 6.500 stitches now!

Dienstag, 20. Juni 2017

June Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello, lovelies! A few days late, but still in time, I think, to show you some progress on my GG projects. There are a few more this month than last time, so let me get right into it!

I've been working on Sophie Sheep the last time we visited Felix' parents - on the car ride. She is slowly becoming my favourite travel project, and she's recently been promoted to 'gift stitching' - a friend of my grandma and me loves sheep, so she'll get this when done (I also have the other two kits in the series - and another friend who will love the cow, I think. The pig I will keep for myself once I get to it.) I've been stitching more on the frame section, fixing a few small mistakes as I went along, and I think I will soon be ready to start the actual sheep.

For the same trip, but the time not actually spent in the car, I also brought Fans of the Far East for a wonderful Saturday afternoon stitching session on the balcony (that was before temperatures soared and I started feeling like melting into my seat all the time...). I realized it's been a while since I showed it - not just in terms of time, but also in progress, since I used to add a thread here and there and it added up, so here are the before and after pictures.

As you can see I finished the pink band and tassels (as far as they fit the hoop) and worked more on the gold background. I really need to work more on this - there is so much more left to do, and my new goal is getting it done by Christmas, but I'm not sure that will work out if everything else I still want to work on...

Another thing I worked on (mostly in the week before our visit, but I only finished it afterwards) was this bunny comfort blanket. A coworker of mine had his second son (or rather, his wife had their second son) last winter and is going to introduce us to him soon, so of course I had to make something. For the first son, I made one of my baby jackets, but this time I wanted to try something different (they still have the jacket, after all!). The parents are a little...let's say environment-concerned and he once made a comment (I'm not entirely sure he was joking) about how I should use something more natural when I make something for his kids I thought, that I can do, and I went for all natural un-dyed sheep wool. There's still a little hay in it! It's very interesting to work with, but so scratchy and stiff that I thought making clothes from that would be a little cruel, hence, the blanket-thing. I made a few changes to the pattern that brought it from pretty bunny girl to cute and sleepy bunny, and I am pretty pleased with the result - so pleased I am now making a second one with the colours reversed so both brothers can have one.

I also worked on Cut Thru' Cottage, but still not as much as I'd liked. Felix' sister and her boyfriend have now moved into their house, so I really need to get it done now! So I guess this will be my main focus for the next month or however long it takes to finish.

Last but not least, I had another finish yesterday - a pair of socks I have been knitting for Felix! I really like those colours, so my next goal is another pair of wristwarmers with the remaining yarn. I really hope they fit, but with the current heat he is refusing to try them on!

So, that's it for GG relevant projects this month! I've worked on a few other things, but I'll keep those for another post - hopefully a bit sooner this time. Just one more picture - a bit of a teaser for a new SAL I started.

It consists of several parts, and this is the outline of the first of them. I'll tell you more about it once I have a bit more to show!

Montag, 19. Juni 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - V

Hello lovelies! Due to me being me (busy me, for the most part, but with a four day weekend at home with no big plans that's not much of an excuse!) I didn't get to show you my current stitching last week, but I hope to make up for that soon. Still, I can't fall behind again on TAC, so here we go with another post.

The letter is 'V', so here is a Valentine's card with two birds ("Vögel") on it! Now for my word of the week, I'll do another 'typical German' one - we had 'pünktlich/punctual' for 'P' and now we'll do 'Verspätung'/'delay' for 'V'. So the next time you are running late or have to wait for the train, you can now curse about it in German!

Donnerstag, 8. Juni 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - U

I'm getting so close to catching up now - maybe I will be able to post on time next month!

I didn't find any actual U-pictures of stitching, so instead we're going to have something 'unfinished' this week - my 'Fans of the Far East', were I haven't quite managed to finish one of three fans yet! I also post this to remind you were I was on it, since I am planning to take it along for my weekend stitching this week (although the picture is not quite up to date either, but the most recent one I have).

Finding an appropriate word today was a bit more difficult, but I finally settled on 'unterbuttern'. To translate this literally is a little more difficult - 'unter' is 'under' or 'down', and 'butter' is, of course, just 'butter' as well, but what I always read it as was 'to put butter under someone'. I was wrong to think so, though! The colloquial meaning of 'unterbuttern' is to dominate or suppress someone - in the sense that you let them do stuff for you or don't let them say anything in a conversation. After a little google search I found out it actually comes from the process of butter making - when beating the cream, a lump of butter is formed, that has to be pushed down 'under' the remaining cream again and again until you are done. So it's more a 'to push the butter down' than 'to put butter under somebody'!

Freitag, 2. Juni 2017

May WIPocalypse

My apologies for being a bit late...even more so because most of the stitching here is actually a week or older...but there were some posts (and a lot of reading) I had to catch up on before getting to this.

The question of the month is Which designer’s projects do you absolutely love, but are too intimidated to try? My first thought when reading this was "Châtelaine!" but after giving it some more though, I think I'm not actually intimidated by her designs, but just shying away from the cost for now, and I haven't really decided which of her many wonderful designs I love most. I don't think I'm easily intimidated by any 'regular' stitching anymore, only maybe scared I could run out of patience! What I am intimidated by (though I am still determined to try soon!) is Hardanger, or any kind of 'cut' work really. I don't think it's difficult per se, but mistakes do happen all the time (I have to fro a stitch or two on my cross stitch almost every day), and I don't want to imagine that happening when you are getting a blade near something you've been working on for weeks!

Now, let's get down to business...what have I been working on? The last weeks were of course dominated by our trip to Cyprus, so I had to sync my crafting with that too. I did not date bring my crafting on the plane - it was my first time flying and I didn't want to risk and hold up at the security lines - but I used the car ride to the airport and back for some stitching on Sophie Sheep. I outlined the frame now and hope to start dilling in all those flowers soon.

The lectures on Cyprus, I used to crochet on my giant granny square baby blanket. The yarn I'm using for this is really interesting, it consists of four seperate strands that are not tightly twisted together, and the colour gradient is achieved by gradually replaying one strand after the other with another colour. I still have three more colour changes to go, and the blanket is about 75x75cm (30") at this time, so it's going to be a fairly small blanket, but will do, I think. It's also not perfectly square, but that will probably be fixed when blocking. The baby I'm making this for hast been born last weekend, so I better hurry up now!

After our return, I used to following four day weekend (despite catching up on gaming, household chores and shopping) to stitch on two of my ongoing Unconvential X Stitch projects. I made a bit of progress on The Puppeteer, and finished the black of page three. I'm still behind a bit, but don't you love how this is starting to show up in the negative?

I also finished the May page of Fire and Ember, and just in time too! This page had a lot of colour bloks, I think the next page that I'm about to start is a bit more complicated again.

Mittwoch, 31. Mai 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - T

I think I'm quite in time for my next catchup post for a change...maybe I'll even get a post out without having to catch up one of these days, who knows!

This week's letter is 'T'. Now I could have used my turtles again, but where is the fun in that? Instead, here is a finish I made last year for Felix' grandmother, and as I was thought (I think it was by Jo), that square-stuff in the background is called a 'trellis' - I'm learning new words every day, which is just in the spirit of this SAL, right?

On the topic of words, my 'T' word is another fun one, I think - 'Torschlusspanik', literally the 'Gate close panic'. This goes back to medieval times, though in some places it was still the case in the 19th century - when the gates of cities and towns were closed at sundown, and people were hurrying to get inside and not be trapped outside over night. The word Torschlusspanik today is also used when you are scared to miss something - most typically when you feel like you are getting too old to find love/have kids/make some other experience you associate with being younger. It's probably close to a midlife crisis, but the term can also be applied to other situations. 

What happens on Cyprus...

...must be shared on the blog! Hello lovelies.I know it's high time for me to report back from my business trip to Cyprus earlier this month - it was great, lots and lots of food, nice people, and some interesting lectures too. Sadly, we didn't have much time to actually explore the island, but we had a guided tour and some bus trips to get a good impression of stuff. Cyprus sure had a rough history, being invaded again and again, the the current situation isn't looking all that bright either, but as usual, I don't really want to get political here. And the locals we met were all so very friendly and nice. It was fun and very interesting, but I'm not sure I will be back if business doesn't take me - the island is beautiful, but there are so many other places I also want to see - and I can't even remember the last time I traveled outside of Germany (and longer than a weekend) for pleasure!

As a crafter, of course I was interested in local techniques, and not having time to go look for them, I was very pleased to accidentally stumble across two of them. First, we got a little goodie bag hat the hotel, which contained these coasters. I don't have the name right now, but it's a special weaving technique (the coasters are photographs, not actual fabric), and there also was a flyer for a museum to learn more about it, but sadly, we did not have time to go there.

The other one I only say shortly before our departure, at the airport. It's called Lefkaritiko and seems to be a kind of hardanger-like embroidery. Of course the pieces on sale were all pretty expensive - they are hand made, after all - but if I had known about this earlier (and given the time), I would have liked to see if I could find some craft stores and maybe patterns for this kind of work. It looks so pretty, so I'd love to try it out! Maybe some day.

I'll be back with a post about my own crafts shortly, so stay tuned!

Donnerstag, 25. Mai 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - S

I've missed one week (last week was really busy as we were away on business last weekend - more on that later), but it's time for another post on the road of catching up!

This weeks letter is 'S', so here are my 'Turtels all the way down', and 'turtles' in German is 'Schildkröten'. Literally, that means something like 'shield toad' or 'armored toad' - you know how Germans are, we rather combine words in funny ways than invent new ones! Another example (and incidently, it also starts with an 'S') is 'Schnecke' - 'snail'. And then 'slug' means 'Nacktschnecke' - 'naked snail'!

Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017

A little Gifted Gorgeousness...

...and a lot of other stuff! I did work on some gifts this month (most importantly, I finished the Mermaid Tail), but now that is time for the actual GG post, I only have one thing to show. At least I am somehow on time - depending on timezone, it might still be the 15th when you read this (well, probably not because I got distracted and posted later than intended). Anyway, my one Gifted Gorgeousness project is Lady and the Tramp, which I got for my birthday a few years ago from my grandparents. I really wanted to work on this again, so when we went to Felix' parents last week, I just took it with my. It's been a while since you saw it, so here is the before and after shot - for a busy weekend, I got quite a bit done!

Then I had another start to work on during that lecture series I mentioned a while ago (we fly on Friday! I'm pretty excited.) This is Smooth Sailor by StrickMich Designs, and when finished it's going to be a vest/shawl/shrug hybrid. The construction is pretty interesting, but from here on it's pretty much just straight knitting. The yarn is a hand dyed lace by Manos del Urugay, and it's lovely, but I had a few problems with it - when opening the skein, I must have cut a wrong thread, because somehow I ended up with not one, but five pieces. Two are very short, so I dismissed them, and the remaining balls are 10g, 30g and 60g, respectively. I started with the 10g and I can at least do the whole 60g one too without looking at the pattern again, so perfect to work on during lectures.

I've continued working on the 2016 Halloween SAL, and I finally finished the next section. The middle is all done now, next I'm going to move to the bottom section.

But first, I'm going to have to finish the current page of Fire and Ember! I started page 8 (but the 11th page for me) last weekend, and so far I got one colour done. Many more to go!

And last but not least, I played some more catch up on the Puppeteer. I got another ~550 stitches in and I'm getting closer to a page finish, but I'm still more than two weeks behind on this one!

So, that's it again for today. For next month, I hope to start (and possibly finish) a few more gift projects again, and there are quite a few holidays coming up, so I might have more to show in the June post :)

Mittwoch, 10. Mai 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - R

Hello, lovelies! Another week, another letter to catch up on - thankfully, a letter much easier than the 'Q' we had last time.

So my stitching for this post is this cute little rubber duck (coincidentally, that would be 'Quietscheente' in German - if only I had though of this last week!) from Mill Hill, and my word of the week is...well actually, I thought this would be much easier than 'Q', but I really can't think of any funny or interesting words, so it's going to be an expression instead - 'Rad ab', literally 'wheel off'. If someone has a 'Rad ab' (is missing a wheel), he or she is kind of crazy or idiotic. Another way to say that (and on the same theme, too!) would be 'nicht alle Tassen im Schrank haben', 'to be missing some cups in the cupboard'. On this basis, some people (not me...nooo never me) will think up more creative variations, like someone is missing some keys from their keyboard, or some chocolates from their box, you get the picture ;)

Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2017

April WIPocalpyse

Hello my lovelies! Live has been good lately - good, but really busy - and I hardly get to read all of your lovely blogs, yet alone blog myself! Nevertheless, here I am, just a tiny few days late for this month's WIPocalpyse checkin. Things have been happening, and I'm going to talk about those things in a moment, but first I'm going to answer the current WIPocalpyse question of the month: What projects are in your UFO pile? Well, over the last few years, a few projects have accumulated that I haven't touched in a while. Still, I wouldn't consider any of them UFOs, since I really want to finish all of them and love working on them, and honestly, it hasn't been THAT long! I do, however, have three table clothes I have had forever, and I don't really enjoy working on them, so I'm counting them as UFOs. (I was sure I had a picture of them, but I can't find it, and they are buried way to deep in my WIP box to dig them out right now!). I still hope to get them finished some day.

Now for my newer progress - first of all, and most important, I finished my mermaid tail blanket! I think I used about 35 skeins of yarn in the end (I had to reorder some because I only bought 30 initially) and it's heavy and big and snuggly. I'm really proud of myself and tempted to make another one to keep someday. I still didn't have a chance to give it to our friend - she was supposed to visit last weekend, but then she got sick and had to cancel (we still had a lovely weekend with Felix' parents, brother and best friend who did visit - featuring laser tag, an outdoor escape room-esque mystery walk, and an awesome movie soundtrack concert), but maybe I'll get to see her next weekend.

Then I worked some more on Cut Thru Cottage. I finished the light blue on the current page and started filling in the other colours. It will still be a while, but I enjoy working on this bit by bit.

I had been itching to do this for a while, so after finishing the blanket I allowed myself to pull out last year's Halloween SAL (which still wasn't even a third done). I stitched the border of the right most block and started on filling in the motif. I think I will allow myself some more time with this before moving on to my regular stitching for the month (mostly, the next page of fire and ember).

Over the past month, I had fallen behind quite a bit on my Puppeteer project. To make up for the lost time, I've been doing two lengths of thread most days for the past two weeks or so. I'm still behind by quite a bit, but I'm getting there! So far, I have finished page two and added another ~700 stitches to page 3.

Also, I finally found some time to work on my Blackwork Water Lily again! We spent a lot of time at my grandparent's lately, but there was always something to do and until today, I never got to just sit and stitch, but now I added three whole petals.

Last but not least, I also made a new start - this is one of two projects I want to take to a work trip/lecture series I'll be going to later this month, and I want to get them both to the point where I can work on them without thinking or counting (the other one is a bit stubbor, but will make an appearance soon just as well!). This one is going to be a giant granny square blanket. I want to use the whole ball of yarn you can see in the picture, so I can get the full colour gradient, and since I have no idea how far that will get me, I'm leaving this one up to fate - depending on size, it will either be a baby blanket for a friend of ours, or a full size blanket to keep.

Freitag, 28. April 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - Q

Another try to catch up with TAC...Q is a difficult letter in all languages, I suppose, and German is no different, so I will have to do a bit of shoehorning. Take this WIP of Cut Tru Cottage (hopefully soon to be finished!). See that smoke coming out on the right? One word so say 'smoke' in German is 'Rauch' (probably the more common one), but you can also say 'Qualm'!

My word for this month letter is Quacksalber. A Quacksalber is a person who claimes to be able to cure diseases without actually being able to - I think the English equivalent would be a snake oil salesman. As I just learned, Quacksalber comes from 'kwaken/quacken' - today that is the sound a duck makes, but in older German it also meant 'to boast' - and 'salben', 'to anoint'. 

Sonntag, 23. April 2017

April Gifted Gorgeousness - and a TON of catching up!

Hello my lovelies...I won't go into a long introduction now and right into the post, since I have tons to show! That's what I get for already being late with my update when the internet goes out for over a week. Thankfully our landlady is sharing hers with us now, so I can finally post. I hope you'll forgive me for just mashing everything into one update, even though not everythings qualifies for GG - I'll indicate in the text what does and what not :)

First (and non GG-relevant) I finished the April page of the Fire and Ember SAL -  my 10th page in total. This is doubly nice, because a) I'm done with the fixing of my mistake (this page was especially easy to fix with all the black) and b) it left me with two (one of which is still to go) weeks to work on everything else before I have to start the next page.

 This is what the design looks like right now. The whole size is visible now, and even though I'm stitching on 18ct, it's quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be - just makes it easier to frame! I'll continue in the upper left with the second row, so officialle page 8, next month.

Next, I finished stitching the Bunny Biscornu over the Easter weekend. Aren't all those bunnies super cute?

I was a little nervous about the finishing because I had never done a biscornu before, but it turned out to be much simpler than I thought it would be, and also really really fun! I'm seeing more biscornus...biscornue? in my future. This is even relevant for GG, because Felix loves bunnies and I decided it should be his.

I took the bunnies to the hospital to stitch on, and I also finished my secret crochet project (that will stay secret for a while longer, but I will show you eventually!). So I could have been working on Felix' socks (and I did work on them...for a while!) but I also really wanted to start something new, so for the last day I took my first 'big' Mill Hill kit with me - Sophie Sheep. I really like how I don't need a hoop to work on those! I only got a little but done now, but I bet the next business trip will see some progress.

At home I started working on the 8th page of Cut Thru' Cottage. Felix' sister is already to starting to move into her new house, so I should really try to get this finished! I got a lot of the blue stripes done, and will soon start filling in the other colours.

But the most work in the past few weeks went into the Mermaid Tail blanket...I think this is about 20 balls since you last saw it (I had to order some more), but the body of the blanket is finally finished! 120cm long and 110 wide at the upper end, but pretty stretchy (Felix can spread it with both arms and I think it can still go wider than that). It still needs a bit of work to be fully finished, but it should be managble now.

I also did get a few gifts! First, there is this lovely little Smile chart that I won in a giveaway by the lovely Tiffstitch in March. I think I'll stitch it up sometime soon, which is why I already got the little button that goes with it.

 Of course, one can't order only one button, so I also got a few more things I needed, and since sewandso is having an offer at the moment where you get a suprise kit with any order over 25GBP, I got enough for that and a really awesome suprise gift! I never stitched a Kustom Krafts kit before, but I'm really looking forward to this.

That should cover everything that happend...I don't know what will happen until the next update though, being almost finished with the blanket I want to work on everything at once!

Donnerstag, 20. April 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - P

Hello everyone! I know I am terribly behind with posting, but this time, it's not so much my home Internet has been down since Friday evening, so I haven't been able to post or read. I can do a little bit here and there from work, but I don't have my pictures here, so my GG post will be a little more late still, until Internet operation resumes. For now, have another TAC catch up post and a quick health update: I'm feeling a lot better, thanks for your good wishes, and Felix, who seems to have caught the same cold-bug as me, just a few days letter, is getting better as well. Grandpa came home on Tuesday and is very happyly hopping around on his crutches, looking much better since he's out of the hospital - soon we will be hard pressed to keep him from doing too much too early again!

Now for 'P', some stitching I can share with you is this Pusheen the Cat I made on an apron for a friend a few years back. I made the pattern myself, using the facebook-sticker-gif and gimp.

I can't think of a good unique 'P' word, so again I'm going with one that is 'typically German' - one cliché about Germans is that we are always on time, and the German word for 'on time' or 'punctual' is 'pünktlich' - with our own fun 'ü' sound (we also have ä and ö - those three are called 'Umlaute' - you can also write them as ae, oe and ue, and following German pronunciation, that is also pretty close to how they are supposed to sound!)

Freitag, 14. April 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt 2017

Es each year, Jo vom Serendipitous Stitching is hosting her famous Easter Treasure Hunt, were you just follow through one blog after another, collecting letters and looking at pretty stitching on the way!

I was stitching Joan Elliotts Bunny Biscornu for this event, but sadly, with my grandpa being in the hospital and me being sick (he's getting better all the time and will hopefully be home on Tuesday, thanks for all your well wishes!) I didn't quite made it. I did finish the first on the bunnies yesterday so I'll have something to show, and I hope I will get it all done over the Easter weekend so I can update later, but for now there is one really cute bunny!

~ My letter to share with you is A ~

Now the next stop of the Treasure Hunt is over at ! I wish you a happy Easter weekend, and happy hopping!

Donnerstag, 6. April 2017

March WIPocalypse

Hallo, lovelies...I know I am being terribly late, but when I though my life would become a little quieter now for a few weeks, I was obviously wrong! We did spend a wonderful weekend with my best friend to visit the zoo and the book fair, and after that, things did return to normal for about a week (and a wonderfully lazy weekend at home!), and until here I might just have been to lazy to post. But then on Monday, my grandpa had a nasty fall and is in the hospital for about 10 days (hopefully a bit shorter), and grandma is alone at home, so we were kind of rotating between work and hospital and her home those last few days. I do have a few things to show, and I want to, just keep in mind that those picture are not all up to date, but have been taken at various stages throughout the last few weeks when I thought I was going to post them!

First, the question of (last) month: What stitchy blogs, groups, or flosstubes do you follow and why?
I follow a ton of blogs of people I enjoy reading from, way too many to list, and also a few 'official' blogs from designers. On facebook, I'm in a few general cross stitch or crafting groups, but mostly, I follow along with designers and SALs there. I do not watch a lot of flosstube, mainly because I don't have the time to (and way to many shows to catch up on as it is!) but I do try and follow my friend Carla on hers to support her!

No for stitching. On our weekend trip, I took Joan Elliott's Freebie Bunny Biscornu which I had kitted up (the pattern can be found on her facebook group), and I did finish the back (minus the beads which I didn't bring with me) and quite a bit of the front. I hope to finish and finish-finish this for Jo's annual Easter bloghop!

I can now also show you this iPhone case I have been working on for my best friend - she found the empty case in a craft store before Christmas and asked me to stitch something for her, and as she loves otters, I took this baby cub (and the reed) from a pattern by LittleBeachHut and also added a few waves to the empty looking background. I finally gave it to her and think she liked it! The phonecase was much easier to stitch on than I thought, but I still want to do the whole pattern on fabric eventually.

This last weekend (that I spent at home), Jody from Unconvential X Stitch called out a SAL to see how much we could stitch, and I participated by catching up on the Puppeteer for a a bit (about 300 stitches - I have now finished the first 10 metres of black, but I'm still quite a bit behind, and didn't get to work on him all week).

I also started the April page of the Fire and Ember SAL - which was also just black for now! But it's going quickly and soon I'll be done with the fixing all together, so I'm not complaining.

I also have some progress on the blackwork to report. Maybe, if I'm not finding much time for anything else, I can at least use the extra time at grandma's to make more progress here!