Tuesday 29 September 2020

September Gifted Gorgeousness

 Almost everything I've been working on this month has been gifts, but two of them I can't show yet. Of the other three, you've already seen one - my Zoe Box, a Wedding present for two close friends of mine. I finished the sides of the lid this month:

The other gifts I can show are crochet. I finished the Horse ragdoll I was making for a little neighbor girl. She got a wooden horse in the backyard and like to braid his mane, so I hope she will be thrilled with this little cuddly horse with a very braidable mane, as well (but I just realized the pattern didn't give it a tail...maybe I'll have to play around and see if I can add one?):

I already started the next ragdoll - a littke tri-coloured kitty for her baby brother. It's a bit slower going, working with three colours, but also lots of fun! Here's the top of her head:

I'm hoping to make lots of progress on Zoe and the Kitty in October, as I already have the next bunch of gifts lined up!

Saturday 26 September 2020

Zoe Box - 50 hours

 For some reason or other (there are several reasons I think, but don't worry, nothing too dramatic, just very busy times!), I am having a terrible crafting month - not only have I not worked on a single one of my SALs this month, am behind on half of my blog posts, and didn't touch Dark Forces, I'm also ten days behind on The Loneliness of Autumn and only stitched one rotation on the Zoe box! I super hope that next month will be better, but I'm also trying to do a little catch up this weekend. So forgive me if for now, blog posts are sparse and far inbetween! I do have one update to post from the beginning of the month, when things were still going alright and I finished another ten hour rotation on the Zoe box, stitching up the long garland of leaves that runs along the outside of the lid:

This part repeated all the fun parts of part one, except for the critters and rice stitch, and it stitched up way more quickly! You'll see a lot more of these leaves too, once I start the next part - the top of the box. Next in the rotation (and what I am still currently working on) are two pieces for ornament exchanges, so I won't be able to show them right away once they are done, but hopefully sooner rather than later. 

Saturday 19 September 2020

September Fully Finished Gallery

 I have to confess that I have been very bad yet again and only have one fully finished object to show. Felix still hasn't had time to frame the Temperature Stitch, and while I did just finished an ornament (that I plan to finish-finish tomorrow), I can't show it to you just yet as it's for an exchange.  I'm not too worried, though - I just know some time I will be in the mood to finish-finish a couple of things from my box of shame and make up for this! So for now, I can only show you the August Bookmark again:

I first did the cross stitch and backstitch within the design before adding the backstitched outline. When I backstitched the diagonal, I folded the fabric over to get a clean edge. Then I sewed the other two edges to a matching green felt to form a kind of 'sleeve' to stick on the corner of a book. It was a super quick stitch and I had to improvise a bit with the finishing (Magical hadn't gotten around to doing a tutorial yet), so I am very pleased with myself for figuring things out on my own!

Tuesday 15 September 2020

The People's Choice SAL: Geometric

 So - I now have officially given up attempting to be 'caught up' on comments, reading, or writing blog posts. This year just has been way too crazy and busy and everytime I think I'm ahead, I fall behind in what feels like a matter of seconds - so I'll just read and write whenever I can find time and motivation for it. Still think I can make all my obligations (like exchanges I've signed up for), so that's alright :) 

Anyways, next on my list is Jo's monthly SAL, the People's Choice, and this month's theme is Geometric designs! I've stitched a couple of those - mostly by my friend Magical525, most of her designs and ornaments are geometric. I keep digging up the same projects over and over for these posts, so I'm just going to bombard you with the pictures for now - I really can't think of anything else to say about them!

Once that's a lottle different - my metallic Geostar I stitched last year, from KLT Charting. I really need to try and finish-finish this one, it's too pretty to be stuck in my drawer!

Monday 7 September 2020

The August SALs

 In August, I was very much on top of things and finished the blackwork and bookmark right after they came out (it helped that the bookmark was a pretty quick stitch this month), but as usual, I only stitched all of the temperature stitch a couple days into the new month! But now I got everything together and I'm kind of excited to share :D

First up was the Blackwork SAL. I added another square and cross this month - the two shapes at the bottom left. Not much left to go now, and I'm making plans on how to finish-finish this. I just need to find a couple of pretty matching fabrics.

Next up was the bookmark. A different shape this month, one that fits to the corner of a page. Magical didn't have the finishing instructions up when I stitched this, so I got creative myself (and changed the colour from burnt orange to green so I had a matching felt for the backing), and I quite like it!

And then last but not least, there is the temperature SAL. I did get to use a new colour, a real bright red - quite a bit of it, actually! It was fun to stitch, but living through those days wasn't all that fun, so I really hope I won't have to use any more of it. For now we're back in the greens, but I think this week will bring us back to the yellow-orange range, so we'll see how that goes.

Saturday 5 September 2020

August Crafty Pies

 August started off really well in terms of crafting time, but slowed down somewhat towards the end of the month, so I ended up with a just slightly-above-average total time on my crafting. Lots of stitching as usual, but also a fair slice of crochet and of course my newest addition, Paper Piecing! Also some beading when I was working on my beady cactus.

In terms of project, I had quite a bit of variety. Of course Zoe Box is leasing the field as usual, followed by my usual share of time on TLOA and Dark Forces. There's also my usual SALs, the Hyacinth, and some more time on Morning Meadow (which I just finished, so you'll see it again in a proper post soon). 

You've already seen my two Paper Piecing projects, the pincushion and the Sewing Machine Cover, so that leaves crochet: There is my little Horse Ragdoll of course (I used the German word for horse, 'Pferd', by accident when setting up the project, in case you're wondering), which I hope to finish for GG later this month, and the Kanata Kerchief Tank Top! Last time you saw it, it was just a bunch of squares, but I have since finished it into something that's actualy wearable and today for the first time since I finished it, it was warm enought to actually wear it:

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and that I finally brought this yarn to some good use (I still have a little over two bally left, but I'm sure I'll find a project for these eventually. And if it takes another fifteen years or so!). It's the first time I made myself something to wear that actually needs some kind of fit since...well, forever, so I'm kind of proud of myself here.

Friday 4 September 2020

August WIPocalypse

 After a super busy week at work, I am back to blogging...and stitching! I spent a whole 48 hours without doing a single stitch this week, can you believe it? That hasn't happen in forever, it was crazy. Next week is supposed to get busy too, but I hope it'll be more regular levels of busy compared to the crazy-busy this week.

So anyways, I owe you a WIPocalypse post, and here we go! The question of the month is about mystery SALs: Have you participated in any of the mystery SALs on Facebook (or other social media)? What do you think makes a successful mystery SAL? I, like many stitchers, like to know what I get myself into before starting a major project, but I still enjoy a good mystery and have stitched several, actually! Now my rule is to only commit to SALs when I know I really like the style of the designer, or if they show some nice teasers before starting. Also, most of the mysteries I have stitched were really small scale ones (I bought several bigger ones, but didn't start them before all the parts were out), so the risk was low as well. In fact, most of Magical's SAL that I have participated in are mysteries, and I never regret joining in those :) Here are a couple I've participated in and finished:

So now for my progress on The Loneliness of Autumn, my super-slow-paced SAL with Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher (You can find her monthly update on the project here). I'm giving you a before and after picture this month, or the difference will be hard to see as last month I had just finished the first colour:

This month I started the second colour, which is 3371, a very dark brown, so not much of a contrast to the cery dark blue that is 939! I was making great progress, though, got over 2k stitches in and that finished all the 3371 on pages 1-6, the whole top row of the pattern.

That brings me to a total of 19.064 stitches/16.05% complete and just under 9k stitches to go in this colour. I might not be able to start my third colour this year, but early next year should do the trick. I also hit another important mark his month: I passed a hundred hours working on this piece, for a total of 104:57h. So that means I'll spend about 600h before I'm done; I guess? Not sure I wanted to know that this exactly!

Tuesday 1 September 2020

I didn't need a new hobby...but...

It's been a couple of years now that I first discovered the prettiness that is English Paper Piecing - all those hexies and diamonds and the pretty shapes they make! Ever since I saw it on Pamela's Blog, I wanted to give it a try. I even bought a book, but just never got around to do something. So when I had a week off in the beginning of August and nowhere to go thanks to the pandemic, I thought this would be a nice adventure to take on in the safety of my own home! 

One of the projects described in the book was a little (or not so little) pin cushion/fabric weight, and since that didn't need a lot of supplies and seemed to be reasonably straight forward, I chose it as my first project. I picked out some fabrics I had originally bought to back cross stitch ornaments with (which is why they are a little flimsy, but they were still not too bad to work with) and set to work, and a little while later I ended up with this:

and a new addiction :D There is something incredibly soothing about sewing together all these little shapes. I splured a little, ordering fabric and paper templates for a couple of further projects (some I want to incoorporate my cross stitch finishes in), but for now I started another project I've been putting off for years - making a cover for my sewing machine! I bought these fabrics I loved age ago but never quite new how to go about it, and now I decided to just give it a go with a simple hexie pattern and worry about the details later. So I spent some time cutting the first 42 squares of fabric (I think I'll need at least three times as much in the end), basted them all and started the sewing:

Still a lot of work to do, but it's fun an grows quickly whenever I can give it an hour or so! I think I stull have a lot to learn, but I am very much looking forward to the process.