Monday 30 August 2021

August WIPocalypse

 I know I say this every month, but can you believe summer is almost over?! Looking out of the window, I certainly can, it has been cool and rainy for a couple days now, and while the trees are still green, the whole atmosphere gives off a very 'autumny' vibe. Be that as it may, another month has passed, and it's time to talk about WIPocalypse again! The question of the month is Which of your project finishes made you the most proud? The most relieved? Two projects come to mind with this question. One is Fire and Ember, my red dragon, my first big-ish full coverage finish, but I feel like I've shown him off a lot lately, so I will go with the other one:

The Mermaid by Teresa Wentzler! This one took well over 300 hours and at some point I wasn't sure if I'd ever manage to finish it, yet alone in time for dad's birthday. There's blends, there's over one stitching, there's metallics and beads and specialty stitches (although not a lot of those last three) and of course all that back stitching! Still, I was both relieved and VERY proud to see her done.

Now on to more current stitching, I am still working on TLoA every month, and I am happy to announce that my SAL-partner-in-crime, Rachel, has started working on hers again and will soon be caught up, hopefully.

As for my progress, I started the month at 44465/118800 stitches and 37,43% done. Mid August, I finished my 7th colour, a nice, dark, autumn-y orange, 919:

Colour #8 was equally exciting - 815, a darker red, but compared to the other colours in this design, it really looks nice and bright! There are a total of 2,624 stitches to do in this colour, and I managed almost half of that, all in the upper two rows:

So at just over 1.3k stitches left I am quite confident I'll get to start yet another colour in September, which will be another gold tone. New total is 46,609 stitches done at 39.23%. I think it's fairly certain now I won't be quite reach 50% by the end of the year, as I had hoped, so finishing time is leaning more towards a total of 5 years now, but as long as it's this much fun to stitch, I don't mind much!

Monday 23 August 2021

Fans of the Far East - 5th Rotation

We had a couple busy days with friends visiting and celebrating Felix' grandma's birthday, so getting another 10 hours into Fans of the Far East took me a little longer than usual. Still, with more or less 'mindless' border stitching, it went quickly and smoothly - I caught the lower border up the the upper one, and even a little beyond that:

That means I got more than half of the border done now and, optimistically, I think I will need about three more border-rotations to finish it - four tops. Given I can finish the left fan by then, I will then move on to back stitching, but that is still a couple of months in the future!

Sunday 15 August 2021

August Gifted Gorgeousness

 Middle of the month means time for still-my-favourite SAL (if only because I have so much to show for it all the time!), Gifted Gorgeousness hosted by the lovely Jo. This month, it's all about crochet for me, because I'm pretty much up to date with showing my stitching and knitting gifts! So that means I have two projects to show, one that is a gift, and one that's made from gifted yarn.

First up is my newest baby gift - this is Fibi Fox, as designed by lalylala on Etsy. She was a lot more work than my usual ragdolls, but I think she was work it - isn't she just so cute?! She's a gift for Felix new great cousin/cousin once removed/family member, whom I hope to meet this coming week!

The other one is, of course, my Ubuntu blanket. Last time I had finished the full diamonds, six of them, so now it was time to start working on six half diamonds. There are a lot more colourful, and especially the first couple rows have a LOT of colour changes, so to avoid being stuck with weaving in loose ends all the time, I decided to finish one half diamond (which covers parts 4-6 of the CAL) before moving on to the next one. I had a LOT of frogging to do and it feels like I made that first half diamond twice, but I'm confident the future ones will go more smoothly now that I have a model and know what I am doing! So I fell short of my goal of two half diamonds this month, and finished about one and a half.

Saturday 14 August 2021

The July SALs

Another month has come and gone and I've been working on my SALs - I really should be saying SAL, because of the ones I meant to keep up with/catch up on, I have only stitched on one, the Temperature SAL. I added the July temperatures (very uniformly yellow!) and also stitched a lot of the border. The bottom is almost done and I think I'll finish it (except for the initials and year, which will be added at the end of the year) this month!

So why do I still keep the 's' in the title of the post if I've only been working on one SAL? Well...I might have caved and started a new SAL, and I *might* have already fallen behind on it again! Faby Reilly released a new Mystery SAL in June, and after how much fun I had with Zoe (and the size of this one seemed really reasonable too!) I just couldn't resist. It took me a while to get all the supplies together (mostly because I messed up and forgot to order things over and over - I'm still missing some but hope I'll only need them in later parts), but I finally got stitching and managed to finish part 0 (which was the outlines of the different parts that will be assembled in them creative way I haven't wrapped my head around yet) and part 1 (which included two small stitched sections and adding felt to four others):

So far, the SAL has released up to part 4 - parts 2-4 are all in the first of the rectangles you see outlined up there, and that's my goal for August! There is another part releasing on the 23rd, and once that drops I'll decide if I want to stitch it up in August too or wait until September.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

August Fully Finished Gallery

Linking up with Rachel, TheTenHourStitcher. 

If you lead a busy life like I do (well, doesn't that make me sound way more interesting then I am!) and your crafting can get a little chaotic like mine (there we go, that sounds more like me), then you know how important these SALs are that keep us a little accountable for our progress - in this case, for having at least one fully finished object every month! Or making my husband finish one object for me every month, but what's the difference! 

This month, we were both involved, though! Do you remember that grandchildren sampler I made for Felix' grandma five years ago? This year in May, her first great-grandchild was born, and she asked if I could add her to the sampler. I thought about it and because there isn't that much more room (and who knows how many children we, Felix' siblings and cousins will have in the end!) decided to stitch a tiny extra birth sampler instead.

I bought a 'Flowers of the Month' pattern by Kooler Design Studios, the same designers who did the grandchildren sampler, and picked the right birth flower. I also added the name and date of birth in the same font used on the other sampler, and got a whole bunch of these little white frames so they can all be framed in matching frames! Now I just hope any additional great-grandchildren won't all be born in the same month!

Sunday 8 August 2021

Summer Blog Hop 2021: Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count

 Each year, Jo holds a fun blog hop during the summer time, and since last year's theme proved to be very popular, we are bringing it back this year! Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count - in these uncertain times more than ever, we rely on our online stitching friends for comfort and companionship, and with this blog hop, we try to get to know our friends a little better - or see how good we know them already!

My stitching friend lives in Maryland, USA, with her husband and sons, and has been stitching for many, many years. The oldest project she shows on her blog - which she has been keeping for over ten years now! - date back to the late eighties. Wow, I wasn't even born back then! She stitches a variety of themes, but I think dragons are one of her favourite thing for sure. She also enjoys reading, knitting, a bunch of other crafts and traveling, and lately, her blog has been all about photo scavenger hunts.

Now we are supposed to find some projects we think our mystery stitching friend would enjoy - and funny thing, I ended up picking the same as I did last year. It's not the same stitching friend though, but I just had to go with dragons again!

Think you know who my secret friend is yet? You can click here to find out if you're right.

Saturday 7 August 2021

The People Chose: Books

 Another month has passed - can anyone believe it's August already?! And again it is time for everyone's favourite multi-purpose SAL, Jo's 'The People's Choice' SAL! This month's theme is books, and while books are one of my favourite thing, I couldn't find a lot of books in my stitching! I found one inspired by a book (The Lord of the Rings), but what I found plenty of was bookmarks! It looks like I really enjoy stitching those. I know there were a couple (at least four) that I stitched, but couldn't find pictures off. Seems I had a lot more pre-blogging finished than I realized (which further throws off my count as to what was my tenth project, thinking back to the ten-vaganza last year).

I'm also working on a set of Game of Thrones bookmarks (which would be a double strike for this SAL!) but sadly, 'working' is used in the widest term here - haven't toughed them in years and not finished a single one so far I think. I really should get them out some time!

Fans of the Far East - 4th rotation

 It's been a while since I posted about this - at the end of July, I took some time to catch up with other projects, but last weekend, I picked 'Fans' back up and worked on it a full 10 hours this week. Last time you saw it, it was here:

This time, my goal was to focus on that left fan. I finished the white between the dark blue (hardly visible in the picture), the spokes on the handle, then started working on the actual fan pattern. Since the fan itself is full coverage, it's taking a while, but it's also really fun! I finished one of four flowers (I think they are irises?) and filled in a bit of the pink around it.

 Next time I pick this up, I'm going back to the border - hoping to catch the bottom one up to the top!

Friday 6 August 2021

Hufflepuff Pride Socks - 10 Hours

 Hi lovely blogging (and reading) people! I know I have been a little quiet lately - especially as it's a new month, and I usually come along with an onslaught of new posts around this time - but I've been feeling a little out of it lately. Not really bad, just tired a lot (might be the weather, might be the increased amount of socializing over the warm summer months), so everything has been a little slower, and my energy has gone more into crafting than into blogging. I'll probably get caught up with posts over the next week or so (although you might have noticed I already missed my Crafting Pie post in July...just not feeling that right now I'm afraid, but I'm still keeping time and they will resume eventually I am sure!). 

So, now with all of the excuses for what I didn't do out of the way, let's get on with what I *did* do. This project is long overdue an introductory post as I started it in April and worked on it a little here and there, but I think I finally figured out how to slot it into my rotation properly, and make some real progress!

A little backstory first, a friend of mine from the Stitchy Quest group on facebook is a huge Harry Potter and especially Hufflepuff fan. "Getting the house crest as a tattoo" kind of huge. When she realized I could knit socks, she asked me to make her a pair of Hufflepuff socks, and despite my busy crafting schedule, of course I said yes - you know me, I can never pass up a chance to have a new start! I'm sure when we first talked about it, all we had in mind was a nice pair of warm, yellow and black striped socks, but then I found this pattern on Ravelry...and I think we both fell in love at that point. These are way over the level of socks I have knitted so far, but I do love a good challenge, so there I went!

It took me a while to figure out the pattern (it's not bad, but not neccessarily intuitive if you've never done colourwork before) and even more time to figure out a colourwork technique that works for me (both colours in my right hand, in case you are interested), and then I slowly crawled along. The first couple rows (after the cuffs, vertical stripes are easy, after all) went painfully slowly, but recently I picked up momentum and hope I'll gain even more speed as I get used to the technique. 

So after my first ten hours, I'm a total of 59 rows into this pattern! At that speed I'd need about 30-40 hours PER SOCK...oh boy.