Thursday 23 December 2021

December Gifted Gorgeousness

The last month of Gifted Gorgeousness always seems to be the best - we start finishing up those year long projects we've been working on, and, at least for me, there's always a lot of Christmas crafting too! This year I only have one that's Christmas specific (but then I did show you two fully finished ornaments a couple of days ago!), and two WIPs that are more ongoing work. All crochet, though (because Fans of the Far East, my big cross stitch gift project, gets plenty of attention of its own already!). 

First of all, I am happy to report that I finished grandma's Bruinen shawl, and with plenty of time to spare. It's been washed and dried and now awaits being wrapped with the rest of my gifts.

 Aren't those colours just vibrant? I so love them, I think I might need to get more of this yarn in the future to make something for myself, as well.

With the shawl out of the way, I returned to the baby blanket I had been working on earlier this year. It was in a bit of a timeout because I had some nasty froggy visits, but this time, it's going smoothly so far, and I added a couple more rows. I'm monitoring the yarn I have left and think I'll get another row of shells out of it...maybe two, but I'm not convinced yet. We'll see.


And then of course, I've also been working on my Ubuntu blanket, the yarn for which was a birthday present this year. Not quite as much progress as I wanted, but I managed to finish part 8, which is the first segment of the border:

Just one colour so far, but with part 9, the border is going to get more colourful as well - looking forward to that!

Monday 20 December 2021

December Fully Finished Gallery

This month was a bit of a mad finish dash - not just to get something up for the SAL, but also to get my ornaments done by Christmas! I just finished the last one yesterday.  

One is Caroling Cardinals that I've already shown you yesterday. It's a Blue Ribbon Design pattern from the 2018 ornament issue of JustCrossStitch. It was my first try on 40ct linen (something I had on the bucket list for 2021) and I'm glad I tried it, as it was really fun! I used the instructions in the magazine to finish-finish it as a flat ornament, but the bottom turned out a little wonky. So I placed the bow off to the side to balance it off, and I think now it looks almost like it was on purpose!

Number 2 was Teresa Wentzler's Beginner Whitework ornament. I had a TON of fun stitching this one, and finished it as a small pillow ornament, using some premade cording for the hanger:


So here we go, my (probably) last finish-finishes of the year! See you in 2022 (with the finishes, I have more things to post until then ;) ).

Sunday 19 December 2021

Fans of the Far East - 13th rotation

In between all my Christmas preparations, I've still been working on Fans of the Far East. This time around, I continued to work on the backstitch. I finished all the stitching on the first page and made a start on page 2, fully finishing the left fan!

As usual, the backstitch is making a real difference, isn't it? And it's going pretty quickly too! I'm back working on cross stitching the right fan right now, but I think once I get back to the back stitch, I'll be able to finish page 2 quickly.

2021 Online Advent Calender - Day 19

Happy Advent, everyone! Jo is hosting her famous online stitching Advent calendar again, and today it's my turn.

Our conversation topic this year is Christmas trees, and here is a picture of ours that we just put up yesterday - it's not decorated yet, apart from the lights, and a new ornament I just finish-finished yesterday as well:

As you can see, our tree is a teeny-tiny artificial one. Felix and I bought it when we got married, and we usually want to put it up in the beginning of December - the idea being that we never celebrate Christmas at home, so by putting it up early we get to enjoy it for a bit. We don't have room for a bigger one in this apartment, and I like our tiny tree! We decorate it with the little stitched ornaments Jo gave us for our wedding, and a couple straw stars.

The bigger tree is at grandma's apartment. Growing up, we used to have a real tree, but she can't deal with the water and cleanup anymore (and I feel bad about those poor cut down trees!) so she got a really nice artificial one a while back.

It's decorated more or less the same each year - we got glass ornaments, that grandpa modified so they can 'sit' on top of the branches instead of hanging below (grandma got the inspiration from looking at a magazine, so he made it possible for her), lots and lots of straw starts, LED lights and a bunch of old ornaments - some that I made as a I kid, a bird my mum gave my grandma 50 years ago, some that are even from grandma's parents still. And a couple newer ones too that we just found pretty. It's a real piece of family history! 

In Germany, it's tradition to only put the tree up on the 24th (maybe the 23rd). We actually put it up yesterday, but, like our tiny one, it's only the tree with lights so far, so the branches can recover from being packed up all year. We'll decorate Thursday or Wednesday next week :)

Saturday 18 December 2021

The People Chose: Fancy Finishes

Yes, I know it's the third Saturday of the month, not the first - regrettably, I have a list of about five blog posts that need writing, but I've been terribly busy for the last couple of weeks (mostly work-adjacent stuff - three of my [previous] coworkers had their thesis defense last week, and we had to prepare gifts and parties, of course!). Maybe I'll get all caught up in time for Christmas? We'll see! I do have some things to show you, at the very least.

Anyways, it's (more than) time for Jo's wonderful all purpose SAL, The People's Choice, and this month their choice was Fancy Finishes! I pride myself in that I started trying out new finishing techniques over the last couple years, and while I wouldn't call most of them 'fancy' per se, there is at least one that comes to mind - let's see what else we can find!

So here we go - my first attempt at a round ornament, a 3D finish involving a deep frame, my first flat-fold, and, of course, my Zoe box, that was fancy in both the stitching and finishing!

Thursday 9 December 2021

November WIPocalypse

Pretty late this month, although I had the stitching done a week ago...just very busy, so I didn't get around to post! Sorry. I'm still here and will get caught up on everything, as usual. Why is it that Christmas time is supposed to be this quiet, cozy, reflective time of year, but it always turns into a wild craziness of one thing after the other?! Anyways, I'm here now, so let's make the best of it. WIPocalypse, and the question of the month was What new discoveries did you have in the stitching world this year? So...that's one of the reasons I haven't gotten around to posting yet, because I'm having a pretty hard time thinking of anything! I've discovered a couple things that are interesting, but not really tried them yet. For one, there is the designer NadGavr on Etsy - I actually might have first seen her patterns last year, it's really hard for me to distinguish between what happened 2020 and 2021, it's all a big pandemic mush! But I certainly have thought about her beautiful dragon patterns a lot this year, and have serious plans to buy one. Probably this (although I love all of them):

The second 'discovery' is Cross Stitch Saga, another app like Pattern Keeper that let's you track and mark off your stitching, but that also can do partial stitches and backstitch and different things. You need special .saga files to use it, not just .pdfs, but then it appears to be quite powerful. There was a sale a couple of days ago and I picked up the app, but haven't really had a chance to try it out yet, so I might be able to tell you more soon, if you're interested!

Now for stitching - I've been working on TLoA again, which I am SALing with Rachel. She's been catching up for a while, but I haven't seen her most recent posts to see if she's already caught up, so it'll be a surprise for me as well!

Last month I was here - 50,669 stitches or 42.65% done and just made a start on colour #10, DMC 934:

The 934 was pretty spread out, so the remaining 2.109 stitches took me all month...and don't even look like they made a lot of a difference! I just so finished them (think I cheated by about 50 stitches in the end of the month that I did extra, because I just wanted to start a new colour):

(Yes, my couch still needs to be fixed, thank you for noticing!) So, new total is 52,778 stitches/44.43% done, and ready to start colour #11 - DMC 154! A very pretty, very dark purplish red that will fill in some of the scattered stitches in darker areas, so hopefully will be noticable! 2281 stitches to go, so it might take me until early January to finish those, but I'm looking forward to it.

Friday 3 December 2021

Fans of the Far East - 12th Rotation

Hello lovely blogging people; don't worry, I am still here, still working on a ton of things, despite being a little on the silent side lately! Fans of the Far East is on the backburner a little, because I need to finish some things for Christmas, and Fans' deadline isn't until March, but I just recently ordered a frame for it (there was a Black Friday sale I wanted to take advantage off) and I also finished my 12th rotation a while back! This time I was back to working on the right fan, the dark blue one. 

I still love these colours, and I made quite a bit of progress! All the cross stitch on page 3 is done now, so I now longer have to work across a page break, either. Yay! Maybe a little over 20 hours to finish the rest of this? Plus the backstitching I started, of course. But I am positive I can get it done for grandma's birthday, if I just don't slouch too much!

Sunday 21 November 2021

November Gifted Gorgeousness

I am still working on a number of gifts, and even though I can't show all of them to the internet just yet (and have already shown you a number of others, like my latest progress on Fans and the secret Santa ornaments), but there are two crochet projects that I have progress to show on!

First, there's the shawl I'm making for my grandma. I've been steadily working on this and finally reached the purple - how exciting! This also means I'm getting pretty close to the end of the yarn. I think maybe one more repeat of the pattern now before I have to start working on the border! Should be done in plenty of time for Christmas.

I'm also still working on my Ubuntu blanket, the yarn for which was a present for my birthday. Last month, I finally finished all the single parts of the blanket, so this month I went to attach them all and made a start on the blanket. Let's just say it's a good thing it's getting cold outside, because working on the blanket now means sitting UNDER the blanket! 

There are about twenty more rows of border to do at this point, and each one takes over an hour at the moment, so still a ways to go, but it's fun! It is getting harder to photograph properly, though, so I think for now I'll show you my progress on the border like this:

Friday 19 November 2021

Fans of the Far East - 11th Rotation

It's been almost a month since I talked about this piece, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on it! In fact, I made some pretty meaningful progress, and in a moment you'll see what I mean by that. 

After starting fan #3, I had to get back to working on the last time! That's right, because after about four hours...

...I made it to the other side! No more green border leaves on this project because they are all in there. I kind of liked working on the border, but it did get a bit monotonous after a while! 

Since my rotation wasn't over yet, I went waaaay over to the left side of the make a start on the backstitch! As is usual, the transformation of adding backstitch to the full crosses was STUNNING. Really, so much worth it! And it goes pretty quickly too, in fact, I managed to finish most of the first page in what remained of the rotation:

Back to the other side for ten hours of cross stitching...but right now I am very excited about both sides of this project!

Thursday 18 November 2021

November Fully Finished Gallery

The end of the year always is this weird time when I seem to finish a lot, but have little to show because I never know who might prematurely catch a glimpse of their gift! In this case, I took part in a secret Santa exchange over one of my facebook stitchy groups. According to tracking information, it was delivered on Monday, so even though I haven't heard from my partner yet, I don't think she's reading this blog, so I'll just post it.

The theme was Christmas ornaments, and she said her favourite colour was orange - of course, that's not quite so easy to bring together, but I think I managed quite well in the end. I even managed to use all things from stash - a bit if fabric I picked up earlier this year because it was an off-cut and I liked the colour, floss from previous projects, and some fake leather tassles I bought with a collection of charms some months ago. And I got to use two patterns I had saved for years! You can find them here and here, if you are interested.

I hadn't tried this style of finishing before - don't quite know what to call it, either - but I found it pretty interesting and think it'd work well with many biscornu-style symmetric patterns. What do you think?

Tuesday 16 November 2021

The October SALs

That's right, we're back to plural! During the month of October, I actually managed to pick up the NYE SAL and add two more parts - I believe it was 25 and 26:

And then there is, of course, the classic, my Temperature SAL that I work on every month. October was a cooler month for sure, as is made visible by lots of green:

Seeing this design always reminds me how far along the year really is - just two more months to stitch, can you believe it?!

Sunday 7 November 2021

The People Chose: Funny

It's the first weekend of the month, so, once again, it's time for Jo's famously fun all purpose SAL, The People's Choice! Each month we are voting for a theme, then doing out best to shoe horn any of our stitching in there. See, fun! And, fittingly enough, this month's theme is 'Funny', so I went through my finishes looking for anything with comedic value. I found more than I thought! Most have some kind of text, but my Halloween stitch is pretty funny all without words, I think. So...have fun!

Monday 1 November 2021

October WIPocalypse

Hello my friends, another month has passed and it's time for our WIPocalypse checkin again! I spent yesterday furiously stitching on TLoA to get caught up, so I am only one day late, which is pretty good for me! The question of the month is Do you prefer Halloween or Christmas stitching? and I think that might be a tie for me, with a slight preferance for Halloween, perhaps. I really love cute Halloween designs and the colours used, but the holiday is not that big around here so Christmas is what I stitch for more in terms of ornaments and gifts.

Now for my stitching - last time you saw it, TLoA was here at 48,568 stitches or 40.88% done, and I had just started adding 780, my 9th colour:

As the 780 was quite spread out, it took me a little longer to get is all done, and I finished it on October 25th (or the length that equaled Oct 25th, I did the actual stitching yesterday):

So I had 5 days to make a start into colour #10, which is DMC 934 - a very dark green. As the first green of the design, this is kind of exciting, but it's very dark and very spread out, so doesn't look like much for now. The first five length already saw me through 3 pages on the top left:

There are 2375 stitches total of this colour, of which I have 2109 left do do. Not sure I will get it done this month, it depends on how much I really need to jump around, but it will be close either way. New total is 50,669 stitches or 42.65% done!

October also was a one-a-day focus challenge, and I had picked up The Puppeteer:

I managed to stitch at least a stitch a day, but most days I did much more, averaging at a bit over one length a day, and I ended up adding almost two thousand stitches of black. Which leaves me at just over 5k stitches left to finish the colour!

 I think I will continue picking this up for focus months until all the black is done. I can't wait, honestly!

Sunday 31 October 2021

Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2021

It's Halloween today - I don't really feel very Halloween-y, but that does nothing to change the date! - so it's time for Jo's famous Trick or Treat Blog Hop. You can learn anything about it and find the first post on her blog HERE

Long story short, we are each supposed to share some spooky stitching and a letter to form some kind of spooky expression or sentence. As for the stitching, I don't really have anything new and spooky to share, but there is this autumn biscornu I finished earlier this year using fun Halloween colours!

If you want more Halloween, there's always this wall (or rather, door) hanging I finished last year and just put up again a couple of days ago!

Now if you are just here for your letter, that letter is A. Now be onto your merry spooky way, and just hop on to the NEXT blog!

Friday 22 October 2021

Fans of the Far East - 10th Rotation

In between working on more pressing gifts (ones that need to be done by Christmas and not by March), I'm still finding time to work on Fans of the Far East. This is a project that keeps on giving, because just when I thought I might start to lose interest, first I get excited about almost finishing the border (see my last post on this), and then I start working on the last of the fans which has a whole new colour scheme, and I fell in love all over again.

Just look at these soft cream colours of the flowers (not quite sure what they are yet - almonds, maybe?), contrasted with the rich, dark blue, and then the branches and leaves...can't wait to get back to this!

Thursday 21 October 2021

October Gifted Gorgeousness

It's that time of the month when we all gather around Jo to share our gifty projects, but sadly, it's also that time of the year when I work on almost nothing but gifts, but can't show them all as I can never be sure how does or does not follow my blog! So, apart from Fans of the Far East, that I am regularly posting about anyways, I only have two projects to show you today.

First, there is Bruinen, the shawl I'm making for my grandma. It's grown quite a bit since last month, as you can see!

I'm on the 4th shade of the cake now, so if I'm counting right, I've used a bit more than a third of the yarn now, and should make if comfortably past the halfway point next month. I do believe I can get this done by Christmas, and I really like how it's turning out, as well!

Next we have Ubuntu, the blanket that was a gift to me (or rather, the yarn for it was). Just this last week, I finished the last of the half diamonds - of course I then noticed a mistake I had made on ALL the half diamonds, but there was no way I'd unravel them all, and I believe it will be just a minor visual 'uniqueness', so everything should be okay. Of course I couldn't resist putting all the parts together for a picture:

Next time, all the parts will be attached (which should sort out the crooked edges on some of them) and then I will make a start on the border. I'm very excited about both! No more making six of everything now, just eeeendless rounds of border around the whole thing.

Friday 15 October 2021

Fans of the Far East - 9th Rotation

 I have a hard time putting this one done recently, so I got some more to show already! Last time, I finished the fan on the left side, now it was back to working on the border. My main goal was to finish the upper edge, and that I did:

Having already made a start on the right edge too, I think finishing the border within the next rotation is a given now! And I know I keep saying I need to replace the tape at the bottom, but honestly, at this point I'm not sure I will. It has lasted for 90 hours, I'm sure it will for 30, 40, 50 more? 

For now, it's back to the fans itself, starting the one on the right. A whole new colour scheme, so very exciting, that!

Tuesday 12 October 2021

October Fully Finished Gallery

 Remember back in September, when I had to whip out an emergency project because Felix didn't have time to frame something from my box of shame? Well, it took another month, but last weekend I finally got him to do it (he might have had forgotten, so a lot of prodding and remembering was involved)! So my box of shame is down one piece, and my wall is up one (or will be - I have a couple of pictures to find places for, but that's another story altogether...):

This is an early, pre-internet finish, but I don't mind the way it looks - it was a kit by Vervaco, and I really enjoyed stitching it "back then". And I'm excited to finally do something with it!

Monday 11 October 2021

Hufflepuff Pride Socks - 30 Hours

I am still in this weird mood of lots of crafting, but little blogging, so excuse my short updates lately, but I still want to show you (and tell you about) everything! Late September/early October I gave some more love to my Hufflepuff socks, and while I ran into a couple issues (had to frog about 10 rows once, half a round multiple times, and I'm still off a bit but that can be fudged I hope!) I still made some good progress. I had hoped to finish the leg part, though, but that didn't quite work out. Very close, though!

As you can see, I'm working on the second-two-last letter of "Hufflepuff", so just another F after this and I'm done with the leg - next time for sure!

Friday 8 October 2021

September Temperature SAL

 I really can't call these posts 'SALs' anymore since I am only working on the one right now - but at least I am keeping up with this one! As I finished the border last month, stitching up the temperatures themselves goes pretty quickly now.

 The beginning of the month was nice and sunny, and then it cooled down pretty quickly. I think October will be even greener, I am tempted to turn on the heat some days!

Sunday 3 October 2021

The People Chose: Leaves

 We are once more heading into a new month, so it is - once again - time for Jo's wonderful multipurpose SAL! As is befitting the season, the topic for the month is 'Leaves'. I didn't have a lot of pretty coloured autumn leaves to show, but I went through and grabbed a few of the 'leafy-est' projects I could find. I mostly went for distinct leaves over 'There's a tree', so here we go - three finishes and on WIP with a LOT of leaves!

Fans of the Far East - 8th Rotation

 I've been really busy working on Fans, filling in that left fan, and, well, here we go! Last time, I was around here:

And I wasn't quite sure if ten hours would be enough to full in all that white space...but there was only one iris and a couple leaves to go and then a whole lot of pink background that worked up really fast, so here we are!

I even had half an hour left over to start the outline of the rightmost fan, but that's something for the next round! For now, it's back to the border, hopefully reaching the upper right corner and starting to move down the right side of the design. It's really starting to come together!

Sunday 26 September 2021

September WIPocalypse

With September almost out, the weather is turning noticeably towards autumn and I feel more and more like hermiting and hibernating. Does that mean there will be more crafting for the remainder of the year? Who knows, but it's certainly a possibility! For now, it's time for the September WIPocalypse, so let's get started!

The question of the month is List five projects you have unstarted in your stash that you’d like to start something in the (relatively) near future. and that's a tough one! I have sooo many pretty unstarted things in my stash. So this is very much an incomplete list of pretty things I'd like to start soon.

1) Bellatrix by Bella Filipina

Have you stitched anything by Bella Filipina yet? She's relatively new, but there are so many of her patterns I am absolutely in love with. A couple friends had planned to start Bellatrix this year for Halloween (in different conversions and colour schemes, it's going to be very fun!) but non of us were quite ready, so we moved her up to next year. I still need to get some fabric, with all the beads it's highly recommended to stitch her on 28ct and I only have a matching colour in 32ct.

2) This Pirate Lady by PinkyThePink

This is a custom chart I had made a couple of years ago and, to my great shame, still not started! And I have all supplies and the PERFECT fabric too. What a shame. I really hope I can get around to her some time soon!

3) Endangered Young'Uns by Gloria & Pat:

I've owned the pdf with all of these patterns for at least five years and I think there are more than 30 of them. If I want to get them all done in my lifetime, I really should get started, shouldn't I?!

4) The Enchanter by Teresa Wentzler:

Another one I've had kitted up since about 2015. I think I already talked about how it came to be I never started it, but I still love this pattern and I'm really looking forward to stitching it!

5) Japanese Garden by Dimensions

I have more of these Dimensions Gold Kits than is probably good for me, but I just love them! This one was a birthday present a couple years ago, and I'd really like to put it up on my wall.

So, that's five - five rather big ones, I have to admit! I hope to get at least one or two started within the next year. 

Now to my current progress on my WIPocalypse project - that's The Loneliness of Autumn, which I am SALing with Rachel, who is currently catching up after a couple crazy month. I have, so far, managed to keep on top of this, which for me means stitching one length of thread every day (or frantically stitching ten a day at the end of the month to get this post up in time!). Anyways, last month I was at 46,609 stitches or 39.23% done and working on 815, my 8th colour:

That colour was finished around the 20th:

Colour #9 is not quite as exciting - 780 is a nice golden brown, but it's spread out a LOT so it doesn't show up very well so far. 2422 stitches in total, of which I have 1835 left to go (it's going slowly because I have to jump around so much). So my new total is 48,568 stitches or 40.88% done:

 I will probably manage to finish the 780 in October, but with how spread out it is, I'm not sure it will be early enough to see any noticeable amount of colour#10 after that!

October is also the last One-a-Month challenge of 2021, so I will be taken the Puppeteer out again and hope to make a dent into the remaining black stitches. A bit over 7k to go right now and while I probably won't manage to get them all done this year, but maybe get down to 5k?