Thursday 29 September 2016

September WIPocalypse - Memory Lane

And yet again, it has been a few days since my last update, and I have a lot to show for it as well - still, I'm sorry for keeping you waiting, I'm having a very busy time at the moment - both at home (lots of fun stuff, but still busy) and at work (not so very much fun).
But first things first; for the latest WIPocalypse checkin the question is Tell us a story about the journey you took through one of your completed pieces. Now, even after almost three years of stitching and blogging, I still feel relativly new to this hobby - before that, I only stitched occasionaly, so there aren't that many stories to share from then. And even in the last three years, I need to think long and hard about something with a real story behind it...I know, I'm boring :D But I think this one will do nicely:

Angel of Frost by Teresa Wentzler

Teresa Wentzler's beautiful pattern - and Carla and Nancy gushing about her - was what first brought me into blogging here, and in meeting stitchers on the net. And while this is not the first of her designs I worked on (the first big finish, though) it still came from that first batch of books I ordered, when my grandma saw the pictures and decided she *needs* this one. So in 2014, I decided to stitch this as a Christmas present for her. I didn't really now what I was up to then - so many blended stitches, confetti, speciality stitches, beads...but boy, was it a journey! I learned so much when I was working on this - marking my pattern, pre-threading needles, even a first bit of parking, and I had a ton of fun. At first I could only work on this in my room in private, so grandma wouldn't see - but then in October of 2014, Felix and I moved in together. AoF was one of the last things I packed, and one of the first I unpacked in the new apartment - I needed to finish it! I was also working on my Master thesis at that time, but nearly all the free time I had in November and December went into this, and I just finished in the nick of time. Still one of my favourite projects ever, and by far the biggest and most complex still!

Now for my latest - albeit not as exciting - progress. On the stitching front, I mainly worked on Cut Thru' Cottage - as you can see, I am almost done with the cross stitch on page 7 - and on The Halloween SAL, where I managed to finish the second motif. I still need to stitch the corresponding section of the border, though, which I am really looking forward to.

Then you might remember that huuuge list of gifts I have planned to finish this year? Well, I have to report that I added a few more projects to that list (I know, had to be done though!), but I also made some headway. First, I started the two toddler-sized scarves for the tein sons of a friend of ours (the pattern is calles Sharky-Pie by Martina Behm, the Yarn is Merino Superwash 150 by Lang Yarns). The first one took me about four days, the second one was finished in just one busy Sunday (busy with stuff that allowed knitting on the side!). Isn't that border lovely? I am very suprised I managed to knit both scarves out of one 50g skein, with a bit left, and they *did* turn out a bit smaller than expected - but I checked, the will (just barely) fit around my own neck without chocking me, so they should be okay for two skinny two-year-olds! I also made some progress on the socks for Felix' dad, finishing two more repeats of the basket pattern, which makes the first sock ready for the heel. The leg part is a bit longer than usual on these, but I think that is a good thing as they will also fit in nice with his traditional bavarians clothing.

Then last Sunday, I had to go on a business trip to Aachen on short notice (Actually I was supposed to be off work this week...well that didn't happen, but hopefully will soon-ish!), and as I like to combine duty and fun, I allowed myself two new starts on the way - both from me gift-list. One is the next Baby Suprise Jacket, for another coworker of mine - finally, that baby is going to be a girl, so I get to use some yarn with purple! On the train ride to Aachen, I was kind op adopted into a group of older ladies that were travelling together, and as they knitted too we got talking over stitches and had a very fun and relaxed ride, despire the train running late and all of us missing a connection (thankfully, we didn't have to wait long for the next one). I also took some stitching on this trip, and to keep things simple I just grabbed one of the Mill Hill kits I'm stitching for friends - you can probably guess, but it's going to be a cute little Panda. I hope I'll find time to finish this soon, I'm really looking forward to the beading!

And that brings us finally up to speed. The week has been very busy so far, and tomorrow will likely be no exception, but with Monday being Germany's national holiday, I have a three day weekend coming up without any plans for a change...I'm really looking forward to some quiet time after all the stress lately!

Saturday 17 September 2016

Big Birthday Bloghop - The Years of Jo's Life - 1987

Happy Birthday, Jo! Our most favourite blog-hop-hostess is celebrating her birthday, which was today in 1966! Of course, this calls for the biggest blog hop yet, so she assigned each of us a year in her life to blog about, and the year I got was 1987.

1987 - Jo was 21.  She had completed her training and was now a full fledged Documentation Technician in the Marine Hull Department of Sedgwicks Insurance Brokers.  In the summer she bought her first house, a Victorian terraced cottage with the original slate roof.  This roof somehow survived the famous hurricane of October 1987.  The following month Jo married her boyfriend and they moved into their house together.  One of the main attractions of the property was its location a mere 100 yards from the train station which allowed Jo an extra 30 minutes in bed every morning!

What an exciting year for Jo! I myself, I wasn't quite 'there' yet in 1987, so I'm going to talk about what I did when I was 21 instead. And thinking back, it was quite an exciting year for me as well, because it was the year Felix and I finally got together (which is a story for another time, but I was interested in him for quite a bit before that ;) ). I didn't really stitch much back then, but I wouldn't have had time either, because this was the year of our software lab at university, where we had to work on small groups the code a real time strategy game withing three months. Well, long story short, no everyone in out group was capable (or willing) to pull their weight, and so we often spent all night at the lab, working until four or five in the morning and resuming work no later than 9am. I don't think I'd be able to pull off something like this today, I feel seriously old now!

No, I have prepared not just one, but two stitching pictures for Jo's birthday! One I just finished yesterday, and it's Magical's birthstone ornament for September. I want to try and finish the remaining months all in the 'correct' month before the year is over.

Now, while very fitting for the date, I am not sure how much Jo loves these ornaments, so I want to also again post something I know she liked - in fact, she has stiched it herself, from the same pattern I used now! Of course, I'm talking about my Very Victorian Strawberries Sampler that I just finished last month.

Again, I want to thank Jo very much for passing this pattern along to me - especially since it has one me the first place in the Stitching Pirate's Ye Olde Sampler contest! And since this is a travel chart (I'm nor sure exactly how many stops it made before it arrived at Jo's), in honour of her birthday and in the spirit of the Gifted Gorgeousness, I'll be passing this pattern along to another loving home today. If you want to be included in the raffle, please leave a comment below stating that you're interested, and please make sure that you are not a no-reply blogger, so I can contact you in case you win!

Thursday 15 September 2016

September Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello my lovelies! Today is the checkin for the September Gifted Gorgeousness, and look at me, posting right in time! I have a bit of a different post planned this time, since - wonder over wonder - I did not work on any gift projects recently. I do have a lot of gifts coming up, though - with christmas and people reproducing and other stuff, I have a whole list do do, mostly before the end of the year, and I want to share with you what I hope to achieve (as usual, I'll probably not make all of the deadlines, but I will certainly try!). Most of these are knitting or crocheting projects, but there are also a few things I want to stitch.

  1. Two toddler-scarfes 'Sharky-Pie' - beginning of one is pictures in blue - as christmas presents for a friend's twins
  2. Two small Mill Hill kits as christmas presents for friends/coworkers of ours
  3. Shawl Lestrona for my grandma - the big pink thing in the picture. Started sometime last year (or even 2014), but I don't think I ever posted the latest progress...which was been quite a while, I made a mistake somewhere and need to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.
  4. One pair of socks for Felix' dad - upper right in the picture. I turned them inside out this time so hopefully, you can see the pattern now
  5. One BSJ for a soon-to-be-a-dad coworkers of mine - due in December
  6. Two pairs of baby shoes - need to pick out patterns - one for a coworkers second child due in January, the other for the second child of the sister of a friend of Felix'.
  7. Possibly two little gifts for the siblings of those two second children so they get something as well...ideas?
  8. Shawl/Scarf for a friend
  9. Cut Thru' Cottage as a housewarming gift for Felix sister - possibly for Christmas as noone really know when the house will be ready to move in. Pictured above, I need to do a little less then three pages here.
  10. A hat for my granddad, and while I am at it possibly matching hats for ma grandma and Felix and me as well.
  11. ???
  12. PROFIT! Or rather go insane with all those plans :D
So, yes, lots of stuff to do...although there are quite a few things on there that could probably finished in a day or two if I wanted to. I will keep you updated with my progress, of course, and I will also try to get a bit of just-for-me stitching in there, so I don't lose my mind. Which I will do anyways, probably! Wish me luck, and quick needles.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Catching my breath

Hello, my lovelies! Wait, what is this...I just finished that incredible month of posting everyday, and now I leave you in the dark for almost two weeks? I am terribly sorry, although I do have kind of an excuse - I've been awfully busy! Felix' brother has been staying with us this last weekend, and his sister the one before that, and his parents are in fact still here - although they have a room a few streets over, so they are not actually staying with us. Still, lots of stuff going on, lots of fun stuff, but stuff nevertheless. Now things seem to be calming down a bit though, and with a few checkins coming up, I wanted to show you the progress that I made and that won't fit in with those later this week. Because even though we were so terribly, terribly busy, we still had time for a bit of movie watching (in fact, we needed to educate Felix' sister on Zoomania, Inside Out and Baymax) and also stitching is my go to-remedy in case of stress, so progress has been made!

First of all, I finally managed to finish the first part of our Halloween-SAL! I'm behind by about four weeks now, but who cares, I'm having fun! Since I'm using a scroll frame, I want to finish the middle level before moving on, so first the right side, then the left, is the plan.

And then I already finished my third page of the Fire and Ember SAL! There is actually more dragon to be seen now, and it's awesome! What's even more awesome is that finishing this took me less than two weeks. so for the rest of the month I can put something else in my little rotation of two that I have going on. I get to chose a project from my WIP box! Wee! Feels like I haven't done this in a while, haha.

I also really need to start with my christmas crafting - mostly knitting at this point - so hopefully I'll have something to show on that front soon as well :)

Friday 2 September 2016

Mad Summer Finish Dash - Day 31

Wednesday was the last day of August, and also the last day of my Mad Summer Finish Dash! It was so much fun to share my progress with you every day, and I am really grateful for all the comments (I'll get back to you for the last of those) and you cheering on me. It was also fairly successful; with me reaching three of four goals and also lots of additional knitting and crochet finishes. Thank you so much for getting on this crazy journey with me, I'll think about doing it again when I have another series of crazy deadlines to reach!

So on Wednesday, I had a bit more progress on the Halloween SAL - no excuses today, we finally had a lazy evening in with Sherlock (we finally got around to start Season 3).

Also, Felix did a great job on framing the Strawberries Sampler - just in time to upload it for the contest. He did a great job! I got that cute little frame in a houseclearing a while ago, and I think it really fits nicely.

Mad Summer Finish Dash - Day 30

On Tuesday, we had dinner with Felix' uncle and his wife, plus we got off work later than expected, sooo you guessed it, not much stitching time again! Still had a bit more progress on the spooky house, and slow or fast, I'm really enjoying this. Also, dinner was pizza and super delicious!

Mad Summer Finish Dash - Day 29

Three more posts to go! Woo!

Day 29 was monday, and we were finally back home again - time to focus on the Halloween SAL, right? Well, kind of, but also time to got to the cinema for Suicide Squad (not glorious, but way better then reviews make it out to be!), so not that much stitching time. Still made some progress on the building to the left!

I also had an other opportunity for some knitting. Not a ton of progress, but I did finish the first pattern repeat - and realized that the actual pattern is on the inside! I'll have to take an inside-out picture for you guys some time, but it is fun to knit at least, make using this not-so-colourful yarn that much less boring :)