Sunday 28 June 2020

June WIPocalypse

Heyheyhey! I actually made it, caught up with blog posts and posting the WIPocalypse in time. June was a bit of a catchup month for me, as I was behind with SALs and finishing and blogging but now I feel like I'm in a good place again. I have about another week or so of reading to catch up on, but I will get there!

The question of the month is Half-year recap: How are you doing with your goals so far this year? Well, my official goal for the year was to work on rotations of ten hours, and to get my WIP list down by ten. The first part is going well, and I still really enjoy it. The second part...not so much, technically. I'm at 50 WIPs, so one up from the 49 I started with. But then I had three big finishes this year so far - Lady Justice, The Mermaid, and Viajante - and that's pretty nice. I also feel like the WIP front might be clearing up a little soon, but I don't want to jinx it by talking about it too much :D So yeah, I'm okay with my progress so far.
Now let's move on to pictures...well, one picture, actually. My monthly WIPocalypse project is The Loneliness of Autumn, which I am SALin with Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher. She fell a little behind in May, but has made good progress, and I'm excited to see if she's managed to catch up by now (which I will find out soon enough as I'm making good progress with my blog reading!) I have succeeded iin stitching one length a day for the whole month again, so I'm at a total of 77:44h right now and it looks like this:

I finished the right side of the design now and worked my way down along the left. There is a huge, triangular-ish shape left and then of course the bench, which (for some reason) I am particularly excited about! Let's talk statistics: 14.178 stitches/11.93% in, and just 2.492 left in this colour. I think me prediction of finishin in July might hold, but probably pretty late in the month. I did buy the next colour already, though, so I am prepared in any case!

Saturday 27 June 2020

Presenting the Zoe Box

I actually had a new start this month that I am very excited about! I could have included this into the Gifted Gorgeousness yesterday, as I am stitching it as a wedding gift for a couple of friends, but I did want to introduce it properly first, so here we go.

So...I don't often see a chart that I just have to buy unplanned without a second thought, but when I saw the Zoe Box on FabyReilly's shop at the beginning of the year, it stole my hear right away! It's this gorgeous box (and I'm a tiny bit intimidated by the actual construction of that box in the end), full of gorgeous leaves and flowers, small critters, and a ton of specialty stitching. Everytime I click on that side I can't stop looking at the pictures! The fabric and Coloris threads I bought with my birthday money in March, and then I had to be real patient and finish Lady Justice and The Mermaid before starting Zoe and making her my new focus project!

So here are my first ten hours of progress - I stitched the outline of the first segment, the outside of the box itself, and finished the cross stitch on the fall panel and most of summer.

She'll come out to play a lot more often now! Hopefully in the next rotation, I'll be able to finish the cross stitch in this section, and maybe start with the extensive backstitching...or put in a few specialty stitches!

Friday 26 June 2020

June Gifted Gorgeousness

So much for getting caught up on these posts! But I'm almost there, I promise. So this is Gifted Gorgeousness, where you all talk about gifts we make and stuff we make with gifts. And I have an surprising amount of gift projects to report this month!

Let's start with some repeats - the Hummingbird Bookmark and The Mermaid, both all finished up and for the probably last time (well, until some throw-back picture SAL has be dig them out again):

Since I had my big knitting finish last month, this time I went with some crochet. I have some baby gifts to make, but also have plans to clean some of those almost-finished small projects out of my WIP list, and the first one I picked up was this BB8 amigurumi from Frog and Toad I started in 2016. And he really only took about 3 more hours to get done, so I have no idea why I let him lay around for this long! He wasn't even supposed to be a gift to anyone, but when Felix saw how cute he turned out he just snatched him up, so I guess he was force-gifted?

Next up I started another ragdoll for a coworker's little girl, a little sheep this time. I already finished the head, body, one arm and one leg, so she shouldn't take too much longer! Which is good, because I have an evergrowing list of gifts to make (current count: five more babies to make stuff for).

And just hot of the needles, I just stitched up the June bookmark today! A very quick stitch this time, all perle floss on 8ct aida. I'm making this bookmarks to have a little stash of quick emergency gifts, and this is the 6th one. I hope to finish-finish it this weekend!

Saturday 20 June 2020

Dark Forces - June Rotation

Pretty much first thing this month (after finishing the Hummingbirds and catching up on my SALs) I picked up Dark Forces for another tehn hour rotation.  It looked like I was close to a page finish, so I was anxious for that and a start on the new page:

It turned out the remainder of page 6 was a little more confetti-y as I had expected, so finishing it up already took me over 9 hours - but it was worth it, look at that scary face (well, half of it)!:

I then only had time for a tiny start on page 7. I was so excited I even decided to be brave and forgo gridding the new page!

I am very much excited to pick this up again next month.

Total progress so far: 29.717 stitches/21.58%

Thursday 18 June 2020

June Fully Finished Gallery

So...obviously, my grand plans of having one post up a day got disrupted as I have been terribly tired this week...but I'll try to get back on track nonetheless, and today I am starting by getting my Fully Finished Gallery post up, the wonderful kick-in-the-butt SAL hosted by Rachel, the Ten Hour Stitcher! And I think I can make up for the delay by showing you a whole bunch of finishes today, so let's dive right in.

First, there is the May Bookmark. As I told you last time, I ended up with a little too much free space at the top of the bookmark, so I decided to add a little six-stranded braid to cover it up. I'd never done one before, and for that I think it turned out okay!

There is also the Hummingbird bookmark. Here I went for a simple finish - I glued the fabric to a piece of cardboard (as the linen was pretty...floppy), cut it out (securing the edges with more glue), then glued the whole thing to a piece of pink felt.

I stitched the 4th of the Mini Mystery SALs by my friend Magical right beside the 3rd one and finished them as a little needle book:

Aaaand the finish you've all been waiting for - I had Felix frame my Mermaid! I found this gorgeous frame, it's a dark gray/blue with gold edges and I think it gives her a nice modern twist over the more traditional gold frame I was looking for at first:

Last but not least (well, actually, very much least, as it's not a new finish) I revisted the April bookmark. As people have suggested, I put a piece of cardboard on the back, to give the perforated paper a bit more stability:

Monday 15 June 2020

The People's Choice SAL: Dragonflies

Every first Saturday of the month (you see how far behind I am?) is Jo's 'The People Chose' SAL, and this month, the theme is dragonflies! I went through my old finishes, but couldn't find a single shimmering wing, so this could be a very short post, but I did some digging. Not in my stash (that just makes me want to start ALL THE THINGS), but my Etsy wishlist, and I found two really lovely dragonfly charts I might want to stitch some day :)

The first one is a hardanger ornament by Durene Jones. Maybe someday I will be brave enough to try it?

The other is this really pretty ornamental dragonfly designed by FuzzyFox Designs. Isn't it pretty?

Sunday 14 June 2020

May Crafty Pies

Still in the progress of catching up with posts, but if I keep spamming you at a rate of one post a day I should be caught up sometime next week and still be on time for all my checkins - I've been so good keeping them this year (well, at least the linkies were all still up...), I don't want to break that streak now!

So, lets talk stitchy pies. Or rather crafty pies, as I did a little bit of a lot of things last month:

Mostly stitching again of course, but I did work in a fair share of knitting and crochet, which is good since I have some gifts to finish and a lot of yarn to use up! I think we have about 70% stitching here, which sounds like a good ratio to me. Now for individual projects, this month looks a little bit chaotic...

No project reall sticks out in terms of stitching time, but that's because I finished both The Mermaid and Bloodmoon, the two 'focus' projects I picked up. Hummingbird has since been finished with another 3 hours in June, and I just started my new focus project, so hopefully you'll see a little more focused time this month.
So, lots of projects, but most of them have been finished (or, in the case of TLOA and Dark Forces, seen their monthly stitchy time). BB8 and Mystery 4 I will show soon, so that leaves only Possibilities and the Beady Cactus...I admit, I was bad in May and had to impulse starts. I do hope to give both of them a proper rotation and introduction soon (and I should be able to fit at least one of them in this month), but until then you'll need to be patient! I can tell you this much...they are VERY different projects, both in terms of size, stitching style, and material ;)

Saturday 13 June 2020

The mischievous Hummingbirds

This is the project that kind of messed up my stitching routine towards the end of May - it was a little kit by artiste for HobbyLobby (pattern designed by Kooler Design Studio) that I picked up during our trip to California two years ago. I finally picked it up to stitch the bookmark as a birthday present for a good friend of mine, and thought I'd easily finish it within ten hours - boy, was I mistaken! I'm still not quite sure what threw me off as it is a small and relatively simple pattern, but I had several miscounts and ended up taking 16:06h. Maybe it was the fact that due to the awkward size of the linen I couldn't use a hoop, and I'm not used to stitching fabric this flimsy without one? It didn't help that I did not enjoy the journey for much of that and was reluctant to pick it up, plus I really wanted to rotate it out after ten hours, but since I needed to finish this in time to mail it out, I really couldn't! In any case, it took me a lot longer than it should have, even though I am pretty content with the result!

Of course I have since finish-finished it and mailed it out and she did like it, so it was all worth it in the end, but I am kind of glad it's done and I can get back to my usual rotation - after finishing the May SALs, I started a new ten hour slot on Dark Forces.

Friday 12 June 2020

The May SALs

I am terribly behind with everything still, but slowly making my way to catch up. I think what threw me off in May was a gift I had to finish, which I'll show you in one of my next posts. But now I finally finished my three SALs for May, so here we go!

First off was the Bookmark of the month. Magical designed a gorgeous rainbow coloured pattern on black, and I loved it, but it gave me so much trouble! I wanted to make the backstitch outlines red, but only remembered that when I had half of them done in blue. I misscounted several times, and in the end the middle row of 'hour glasses' ended up four stitches lower than it was supposed to be, which made it sit a little strangely inside the outlines, but I like how it looks and figures out a finish-finish to hide that (more on that in the FFG post!). So even with all the problems (and a total of 9:18h) I really enjoyed it and like the result.

This one I actually stitched in May, but the other two I only got around to this week. That's 2:16h to stitch the monthly Blackwork - two full crosses this month:

And 2:26h on the Temperature SAL:

As you can see, May was noticably warmer - I actually got two new colours in, a darker yellow and even one day of orange! So far June has been pretty cold though, I hope we're not back in the blues...

Tuesday 2 June 2020

May WIPocalypse

While I still have a couple of posts to write (and stuff to finish to begin with!) I want to try and make my SAL checkins as they come and not fall behind on those too! Everything else will be done in time. So now, only one or two days late (as I started writing this on Monday, but need to go out soon so it might be Tuesday before it goes up).

The question of the month is: Tell us about a piece that you absolutely loved stitching. And I'm sorry I have to dig her out yet again, but the first thing that comes to mind would be Lady Justice. 123 hours, more than half of them stitching seas of green, and I never once got bored and enjoyed every minute of her. I think she had just enough 'going on' to not feel like stitching blocks of colour, the shading turned out so lovely, and the fabric was a dream to work on, too!

Now onwards to my usual WIPocalypse project, which is The Loneliness of Autumn. I'm SALing this with Rachel the TenHourStitcher, but she's been hitting a rough patch lately and hasn't had much time to stitch, so I'm a little ahead right now. At a total of 66:08h I finished a couple more pages of 939 this month, but I've been jumping around the bottom left quadrant a bit so I lost count:

Again I hit several milestones this month: I am at 11.983 stitches now, so more than 10k done and less than 5k (4687) to go with this colour. I also hit 10.09%! I think I'll probably finish with this colour in July, so I should order the next one soon. Don't get to excited: it's a dark brown...

I did a fair bit of knitting and crochet this month, and I'm not really sure how best to work it into my other posts, so I decided it fits nicely with WIPocalypse, so bear with me for a little longer and two more pictures. First, I spent some more time working on my long term knitting project, Viajante, lovingly dubbed the 'purple monster'. Almost a mile of yarn and God knows how many hours (I clocked 56 in my app but by the time I started taking time, I had already been working on this for a couple of years) and finally it's done!

I got it all blocked and finished and it really is GIGANTIC. More than three meters end to end and almost one across! It's also a really long tube, so I can wear it not only like a scarf or shawl, but also like a kinf of poncho/cape:

It's so nice and soft too, I absolutely love it. The yarn is a little expensive (almost 50€ a skein) but at the quality and mileage (the whole mile of yarn was that one skein) I have nothing to complain and will likely get another one some time.

After finishing this (my third big finish for the year...but who's counting? Oh right, I am!) I had a small start, a little ducky for a friend of Felix who gave birth to her first child a while ago. Its feet double as teething rings, I so loved the idea and I'm pleased with how it turned out!

Currently I'm working on finishing another (but much smaller) longterm WIP and then I have three more baby gifts to make for now, so there is more knitting and crochet in the cards for June!