Monday 23 January 2017

January IHSW and more

According to my calculations, last weekend was January IHSW, and while it didn't work out quite like I had planned (Moana had to be watched and Trails of Cold Steel had to be played!), I did my very best to hermit and stitch and I did make some progress, both on the weekend itself and in the week before too. Anyways, I have quite a bit to show of that stuff that I consider exciting, so here we go!

First and most excitingly, my first finish of the year - the hobbit meal plan is all done (isn't that green pretty?!). Such a fun project, such fun floss, and also one down from my list. Just need to find a frame and it's good to go for the next time we meet Felix' brother.

Next I started working on the next page of the Fire and Ember SAL - page 7 is what I should get done in January, so I better focus on that for a bit. As you might remember, I had a bit of an accident here and held the fabric the wrong way around and now it won't be wide enough. I decided to fix that by cutting the excess fabric from the bottom and stitch over the overlap, and so far it's working out okay. It actually looks stronger in the picture than it does in real life, and I hope it will turn out to be one of those things you don't notice unless you know it's there. I have one of two main colours done, so almost half the page is down.

I also worked some more on my Joan Elliott new year start and added all the leafes around that pretty flower. Next up are some small white flowers and after that there definitly won't be any more hiding which design this is going to be!

There have also been a few new starts. This one I've been experimenting with for a bit, but now it's finally going in the right direction - it's a crocodile stitch mermaid tail blanket for a friend of ours. I think it's probably the biggest crochet project I've done so far, but it's fun with the scales and I'm doing little patches of silver and gold sparkle as randomly as I can. This is one skein of Drops Nepal (65% wool/35% alpaca, 75m to 50g and so so soft!) on the scaly section, and also my third or fourth try to get that tail fin right - I'm still not content, but maybe the next try will be the one. I have no idea how much yarn I will need for this, I bought 30 skeins in two colours and I'll see how far that will take me.

Also, I didn't have any socks in my on-the-go knitting back, so I had to change that by starting a new pair for Felix. Just plain socks without a pattern, but pretty yarn in summer-y colours, just the right thing for that cold and dark and wet weather!

And last but not least, a fun 'little' project I have planned for a bit now. I bought the pattern 'Puppeteer' from Unconventional X Stitch as a Christmas present for myself (please remind me to put a picture up in the side bar if I forget) and I was a bit shocked to see that it requires 240m of black - but I also saw the opportunity to finally get a cone of DMC 310, so I did, and I also bought fabric and now I cut 1m pieces off that cone and I want to stitch one length of that each day. I'm strangely excited to stitch such a ton of black, but at this speed it should only take me about 4 years (plus whatever time I need to finish the other colours), hahaha :D

Friday 20 January 2017

Alphabet Club Catch Up - I

I don't know how I ended up so far behind with the catch up, but I'm going to do something about it! Next in line is the letter 'I'. Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many words starting with 'I', so let me cheat a little with my stitching - here, have a woman In her bathtub!

I was looking at Intranslatable words again for Inspiration, and the one I will be going with today is the 'Innerer Schweinehund'. Literally, that would be you 'inner pig dog', and it describes  that ferocious beast inside of you that does not like being raised from the couch, being fed healthy or getting dragged out for a jog - basically, the part of you you have to fight with and overcome in order to better yourself, keep resolution and do all that stuff you said you would, but don't really want to. Or maybe you want to...but your innerer Schweinehund doesn't!

Sunday 15 January 2017

January Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello my lovelies! It's been a while since I updated, but I've had a busy time with friends visiting, Felix' brother crashing his car (don't worry, he's okay - just the car isn't) and starting work with a four day trip to Aachen. I had planned on lots of catching up in reading, blogging and other to-dos this weekend, but somehow, that didn't happen - instead, I went to test out the gym with friends yesterday, Felix and I visited another pair of friends for food and a movie (Serial (Bad) Weddings - don't watch it if your easyly offended by stereotypes, but it's SO funny otherwise!) and spent the day stitching and talking with two coworkers today, while Felix and one of the coworker's husband made us food. So, no to-does were crossed off, and I feel SO good about it! Still, I want to get a bit of what I did out there, so here's the first Gifted Gorgeousness checkin of the year.

I've been working on my new year start (which Jo correctly guesses is a pattern by Joan Eliott - and soon you'll see which one, too!) and I had a hard time putting it down. I finally put it down here, because I needed to focus on other stuff, but I can't wait to work on it a bit more!

That 'other stuff' was, for the moment, mostly the Hobbit Meal Plan. After finishing the 'tea' of 'Afternoon tea' I also did 'Dinner' with what is my favourite colour so far - I've taken this picture with my phone, so it's maybe not as clean as usual, but I found my phone is much better at picking up colours than my big girl camera!

And lastly, when I wen't on that work trip, I was *so* close to start another new trip-friendly project, but then remembered I still had those Game of Throne bookmarks on the go, which I hadn't touched in over a year, so I decided to revive them. I've worked on Arryn, finishing the moon and filling up the blue above and below it, but I've also noticed I never really finished Tully (still needs four rows of blue and a tiny patch of red where I ran out of thread) so I'll probably get both of these done on the next trip I take.

I've also played around with some crochet and knitting projects, but I don't really have to show anything yet. I probably should get my list of what needs to be done when updated, and I will, but for the moment I kind of enjoy that limbo of having everything finished I wanted to finish last year, and not being too concious of the next looming deadlines, so that's it for today!

Thursday 5 January 2017

WIPocalypse: Checking in 2017

A few days into the new year, I have finally caught up enough to write my checkin for this year. The goal of this first post is to introduce myself and my goals, so let me start with a short self introduction:

Hi, I'm Leonore, I'm 27 years old and from Germany. I've been doing several kinds of crafts for nearly all my life and tried cross stitch first when I was about 6 or 7, but it has only re-emerged as one of my main hobbies a few years ago. I also crochet and knit, try to sew and love trying out new things (and revisiting old ones). I'm living in Freiburg in the South of Germany with my boyfriend, Felix. We both work at Freiburg university, trying to get out PhDs in computer science. My hobbies besides crafting include reading, video games, and watching movies and shows (mostly on the side during my crafting time). Pleased to meet any new follower, and even more pleased for everyone who followed along last year and decides to do so again!

Stitchingwise, I love working on many different projects. One day I will enjoy huge blocks of single colours, the next I will dive deep into the confetti - sometimes I prefer plain cross stitch, sometimes I just need those beads and speciality stitches. I love the look of a fresh white fabric, and also the glorious colours of hand-dyed...I have a colourful mix of projects, both on the go and in my stash. And I'm a sucker for gift stitching...when I have a good idea on what to make for someone, I will through all my other plans over board to make it happen. Apart from that, I tried to not make any plans last year, and I kind of enjoyed it - being able to just go with the flow. I have a few SALs I want to keep up with, but that's it - no list, no plans, apart from having a lot of fun, trying new stuff, and hopefully finishing a few things for myself this year as well. Plans never work for me anyway because life just tends to happen and get busy.

That being said, I do hoe to work on a few of my WIPs/UFOs this year. There are some beautiful projects in there that I'd really like to get back to, although right now I'm already caught up in a few more gift, yeah. To give you a bit of a taste what might or might not lie in stock this year, here are my two latest starts: The first is a new knitting project, a nice, on-the-go project with little counting involved and multicoloured yarn to keep it fun. I'm really in love with the colours and super exciting as I'm making that scarf for myself!

The other one was my new year stitching start, although I cheated a little and started early - but I was done with all the WIPs I had taken along on my Christmas vacation, and I had a little time that evening I didn't want to go to waste! I'm a little further ahead now in fact, but here's what I did that first evening. I won't be telling what it is just yet, just for fun, but I'm sure it will be visible soon. In the meantime, feel free to guess if you want :)

Tuesday 3 January 2017

WIPocalypse: Checking out of 2016

Well, I fully intended to get that final recap of the year up on December 31st, but then computer problems happened, then business happened and then other stuff happened, and now it's already January 3rd and it's high time for the introduction post for 2017. Now I don't try to do yearly goals anymore, so there is no set 'border' between years for me stitchingwise (other then getting all the Christmas crafting off my chest), so I originally wanted to just do both in one go, but the post got kind of long so I decided to spilt it up after all.
If you checked my finishes page for 2016 right now, you'd count 32 finishes, and this post is going to add three more for a total of 35 - much of that were smalls and/or knitting projects, but I'm still quite pleased.

First, here's another Christmas finish I had earlier in December, that I couldn't show because I was sending it to a friend. It's another one of Mill Hill's owl kits - you might remember that I already stitched the purple one for her birthday earlier this year, but I think I like this one even better.

Also, Felix helped me frame Lizzie*Kate's 'A perfectly kept house' which I also finished much earlier this year. I originally wanted to give this as a housewarming gifts to some friends we were going to spend last New Year's Eve with, but I didn't get it all finished and then the party was cancelled too and I didn't see them all year, so I wanted to have it ready for this year. They are already living a year and a half in their new house now, but it's still not completely furnished and unpacked, so still kind of fitting, I suppose - and they really liked it too! The framing isn't perfectly straight as well, but I think that fits the subject kind of well too.

We went to spend Christmas and the days after with Felix' family, and I got a few great crafting presents from them! The crochet and beading books are from Felix' parents, the knitting book from his grandma, and the cute little smilie crochet set was from his brother. Many new fun things to use for this years Gifted Gorgeousness!

In Germany, we call the days between Christmas and New Year the 'time between the years' - the new year hasn't quite started yet, but it already feels like the old year is over. I really like that term. This year, I used that time between the years to stitch a few things I wanted to finish in December but didn't have time to work on before Christmas - things that weren't gifts. First, I worked on the 6th page of the Fire and Ember SAL, and that stitched up really quickly again - about four days start to finish. Again, there were some nice and bright colours, and I totally love it. Next I'll start working on 'fixing' that fabric-too-short issue, so cross your fingers that it'll work out.

Next up was my entry for the current (or rather, not current anymore, the submission deadline was December 31st) contest at Stitching Pirates - I couldn't actually participate because I won the last one, which makes me an honorary judge this time, but I still wanted to submit something just for fun, and I had that little rubber ducky kit from Mill Hill in my stash for a while now that perfectly fitted the theme of 'Tiny toys'. This will be finished as a magnet to put on my whiteboard at work.

Last finish of the year was Magicals Ornament of the Month for December - or rather, one of the ornaments, as there are three designs for December. I just picked the one I think will fit best with the others, and I'll go back and stitch the remaining patterns (there are a few other months with several patterns too) sometime (hopefully soon).

So, how did I do over all this year? I decided in the beginning I didn't want to make huge plans and just go with the flow, which I kind of did. Of course I took on way to many deadlined projects and gifts again, but it was fun, so that's okay.  I tried out new things, I made some things for myself, and I didn't count, but with crossing off a few and adding a few more, I think the length of my WIP list hasn't grown too much, so that's okay as well. So I'm counting this year as a success, and I'm looking forward to the new one :)