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!