Thursday 29 December 2022

December Gifted Gorgeousness

I'm very late posting this (in fact, it might well be my last post of the year, considering how I'm never on time with the WIPocalypse stuff!), but with the typical craziness of December, I didn't manage to post before Christmas, and was kept plenty busy after. But here I finally am, so let's go! Welcome to the December iteration of Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness. Can't believe another year is almost over, can you?

December usually is a great month for gifts, but I've already shown you the ornaments I made this year, so that leaves us with only two. One is this new baby jacket that I started (and hope to finish soon, so it can be worn this winter):

The other is my Snuggle Up blanket (the yarn for which was a birthday gift this year), and I finally managed to finish part 9! Just 3 more to go, and it's getting BIG.

That's it from me for today. I have to go back to some family activities now, but hope to find some more time to get caught up on all my blog reading and comments after the new year!

Thursday 22 December 2022

November Temperature SAL

Oh boy, it's been a busy two weeks, and I just realized I never posted my Temperature Tree for November! This is going to be a quick one, but here we go:

November was quite a bit cooler, with lots of greens and even some blues showing up. I know that for December we'll get deep into the blues and maybe even purples because some days have been frightfully cold! As you can see, I already stitched up the branch for December too, so will just have to fill in the last leaves. It was really hard to be so close to a finish and not be able to finish it!

Wednesday 14 December 2022

Sunset Talvi

I was just going through my list of what blog posts I am still missing (thankfully, it has become a rather short list!) and found this picture of a finish I had a couple weeks (if not months) ago and still not posted! 

When I got this stunning yarn from a friend, I just had to find a simple pattern that would really bring it out, and I decided to do another Talvi by Morben Design (had only done a child size before). It's big and fluffy and the colours are brilliant!

Just the right thing to wear outside at the moment, as we are hit with a cold wave, snow and ice and all that stuff that really makes you want to stay inside and curl up with some stitching!

Monday 12 December 2022

The People Chose Glitter

This month's theme for Jo's wonderful all purpose SAL is 'Glitter'. And isn't that a fabulous theme for the month of Christmas?! What I'm not as sure about is how to translate that into stitching. Sure, I love a bit of bling as much as the next girl, but I wouldn't necessarily call beads or metallics 'glitter'. What glitter I do have is this fabric which is literally spray painted with glitter (and thus, a little sticky) and VERY glittery - but it barely shows up in the picture!

I think it's the same with the blending filament on the Mermaid here...sparkly in person, barely showing up in the picture! I think with glitter, you just got to trust the one taking the picture!


Sunday 11 December 2022

December Fully Finished Gallery

This month for the Fully Finished Gallery, I meant to have frame Felix something special, but he's been terribly busy and I got another finish to put this post up (almost) in time, so I'll go for that one instead!

Over the last two weeks or so, I stitched up and finished the last of this year's ornaments - This is Sugarplum by Cindy Valentine Designs, from the 2005 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. The original was charted in creams and soft pinks, but I used what I had in stash and did a purple version instead!

We had a rare snow day here, so I took advantage of that to get pretty pictures! Feels good to be done with my ornaments almost two weeks ahead of Christmas this year!

Thursday 8 December 2022

2022 Stitching Advent Calendar Blog Hop

Today it's my turn to open (or wait behind?) a door on Jo's wonderful advent calendar! No idea what I'm taking about? Check out the full thing here.

I am also reposting these ornaments I finished earlier, because I really like how they turned out!

This year's conversation topic is What's for afters?, afters being dessert (learnt a new word today - check!). Meaning what do we eat after the big meal of Christmas? I'm putting it like that on purpose, because the 'big one' in Germany is Christmas Eve, not Christmas day. However, it's not a good question for me, because - we don't really do dessert on Christmas Eve either! We have dinner, usually around 6pm (which used to be when we got home from church, but since grandma isn't very mobile anymore, we don't go now most years), and after dinner we are moving into the living room to open presents. And eat lots of chocolates and Christmas cookies, so I guess that counts as 'afters'?

Then, since Felix and I got together, we are driving up to visit his family on Christmas Day, and there is a big family celebration at his grandma's house in the afternoon. Again there is no 'afters', but 'befores' - we are having cake (everyone brings some), then spend time together and later have dinner. Also more cookies and chocolate! This year, I'm going to bake a carrot cake and bring it up with us.

Sunday 27 November 2022

November WIPocalypse

Yeah, I know, it's not like me to post in time, but stranger things have happened! I was working on TLoA all of last week, and thought why not just get all my progress in until the end of the month so I can work on something else. Hah, we'll see how that works!

First, though, there's the question of the month - When do you begin planning your stitching goals for the next year? Well, there are two answers to this question - first one being, I'm constantly making plans for the next couple years, things I could stitch, want to stitch, how to divide things up in a way that would be manageable...if I had 40 hours of stitching time every day! Sitting down and planning what I actually WILL try to work on in the year is usually what I frantically try and do in the last week of December...and then things start changing barely a week later. I'm way better at making plans than following through!

So, now to a plan I have been following for almost three years, and that it The Loneliness of Autumn, which I've been stitching one length a day, or rather at 28-31 lengths a month, one colour at a time! This month, I went through 1294 stitches of 833, a brassy green-ish yellow (yes, that doesn't sound terrible exciting) and made a start on 3345, which is a very pretty green for a change! 

766 stitches of that left to go, so we'll see an appearance of yet another colour in December for sure! New totals are 76,456 stitches and 64.36% done.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

November Gifted Gorgeousness

As I am not having a very productive crafting month, this one will be quick! Welcome to the November edition of Jo's wonderful SAL about everything gift-y and gifted. I mostly use this to show off my yarn work, and I got one finish this month - this cute rainbow virus shawl has been finished, washed, and is on its way to a little girl (together with the baby jacket I showed in September, which will got to her sister):

Now this would usually be the place for me to show Snuggle Up, the wonderful blanket for which a group of my friends gifted me yarn for my birthday. However, I did not manage to finish the next part yet! Which is shocking, because while I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up the one-part-a-month pace with the parts getting bigger and rows getting longer, I didn't expect part 9 to break my back. It's so easy, and only 6 rows! Alas, it's not done, so I'll have to show you next month instead. 

I've also made a tiny start on another baby jacket, which really isn't anything to show yet, so instead I will re-post the ornaments from my FFG update - these will be presents for my Mil and Sil, respectively:

Sunday 20 November 2022

The October SALs

Now we're getting somewhere...and I'm ready to show you my latest SAL progress! First, as usual, there is the Temperature Tree, the October edition. As you can see the months was still uncharacteristically warm for the season - good for heating costs, bad for the symmetry of my tree! November has been pretty cold so far, as if to make up for it, so I'm pretty sure there will be some blues showing up soon.

Now for the next SAL, I'm...a little confused. I know I stitched one part every month, and I knew I was supposed to finish this in November, but...that was supposed to be the 'November SALs' post, not the October one! Going back I realized that I skipped posting about part 10 (Sleeping Beauty) and posted part 11 last month. Oops. So this post *could* have been up two weeks earlier! Well. What's done is done, and I'm not going to hold off on posting it is the Magical Kingdom SAL in all it's finished glory!

Part 12 was Rapunzel's tower, and that sun almost broke me, with literally hundreds of fractional stitches and fractional back stitching, but I think it was very worth it in the end! I hope to have this one frames soon as well.

So as this SAL is done one month earlier than expected, we'll probably only see the Tree in December...although I do have plans to add something else to the mix, but I might just be mean and not tell you before January ;)

Saturday 19 November 2022

November Fully Finished Gallery

It's one of those months again, when I stitched something especially to get a finish, and while the stitching went well, the finishing took some days...or weeks...longer than expected. In the end, I'm very pleased with the results though! 

I stitched up two (twin) ornaments from the 2018 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue, designed by Lucy Heaton. I finished them by mounting the stitching on a piece of foam board, then did the same with some red backing fabric, put the two sides together with a hanger in between, and glued some ribbon along the edges. I really like the modern look of those! Here are Dashing Through the Snow and Dashing Throw the woods:

I'm rather fond of the backing fabric as well:

Next month is very likely to be Christmas-y too...either I'll stitch and finish a third ornament, or have Felix frame something season-appropriate!

Thursday 17 November 2022

The People Chose: Travel

I'm really not good with my posts this month, even though most of them would just require me sitting down and write them! However, I'm not letting it stress me out, I know I'll get to all of them eventually, just be warned that you might be seeing some posts a little out of order (or at unexpected times alltogether).

Soooo. Awkward intro - check. Where was I? Ah yes, it's time (and has been for about two weeks) for Jo's wonderful all-purpose SAL, the People's Choice SAL. This month, the subject is 'Travel'. Now my first thought was 'travel projects', but since I love to craft on trains and in cars, and with frequent visits to in-laws and friends, almost all my projects have been worked on 'on the go' at one point or another, so that's not a good selection criterion. But then I thought of 'traveling patterns', so patterns that travel from stitcher to stitcher, and I have stitched only two of those - much better!

This one was designed specifically and available only as a traveling chart, by the late and wonderful Gaynor French. I'm planning to eventually make it into a project bag for a traveling project...if my sewing skills are up for it!

And this little monkey was send traveling by a stitcher from Italy who I think is no longer actively blogging. I wouldn't normally count monkeys among my favourite animals, but isn't he cute?!

As a bonus (and because I only showed two designs today), here is a travel-themed project I'd really like to stitch some day...the Postcards from the World SAL by cloudsfactory! 


Monday 14 November 2022

For Every Problem - 20 Hours

How has it been two weeks again since I posted here? I got so much to show and tell you...and so much more left to finish up! Life is busy, but I'm enjoying it, so no complaints from me right now. Just pretty things to catch up on!

Today, we'll be talking about problems and solutions. I've been stitching some more on 'For Every Problem' (maaaaybe I'm a little bit obsessed with it), in fact another ten hours more! And look how much progress I made:

If you're thinking 'wait, doesn't that look almost finished?', you'd be partially right. at 3,531 stitches, I'm 57.50% through the design, so the next ten hours should get me reaaaally close, maybe even close enough to carry on to a finish. Exciting!

Tuesday 1 November 2022

October WIPocalypse

Happy November, everyone! Looking outside, I have a really hard time believing how far the year is gone already. We've been having a couple of really nice, warm and sunny days that felt more like early September than late October! Of course, with all the warnings to save as much energy as possible, warm days sho
uld be welcome, but I kind of feel cheated out of my favourite time of the year! We'll see what the next month brings, though.

Stitching wise, thanks to a lazy long weekend, I am pretty much caught up with everything, so let's quickly talk about the question of the month and dive right in. So, Do you prefer Halloween or Christmas stitching? I'd have to say Halloween, for the colours and motifs, although I do not do a ton of seasonal stitching overall - for Christmas, I usually just manage an ornament or three.

Now, for my monthly progress - I put just over 1.7k stitches into TLoA, finishing the 816 and stitching up all of the 3051.


New totals are 74641 stitches/62.83% done. Next up are 1294 stitches of 833, a gold/yellow, so I'll be filling in a little more around the lamps.

October was also a one-a-day challenge, and I used that to work on one of my oldest WIPs, a tablecloth with some cute critters and flowers that I call the Meadow Tablecloth. Before the month, I had very little done on it, now (after 9 hours and 946 stitches), one quarter is completely finished:

Obviously, that's a lot more stitching than I expected, but I think I'd like to put in a couple stitches here and there, give it another focus month or two next year, and hopefully have a finish in the not too far future! We'll see how that goes.

Monday 31 October 2022

Halloween Blog Hop 2022

Welcome to the 2022 iteration of our dear Jo's famous Halloween Blog Hop! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you might want to check out her blog for the full details before coming back here.

So now if you are up to speed, I know you want three things from me - a picture, a letter, and a link to the next blogger in line! However, I'll try doing things a little different this year. So, let's start with the picture:

And now, let's do a bit of a riddle. The letter you're searching for is in this picture. There are no humans in the square(s) with the letter we're looking for, but there are animals, and a total of three candy corns. Oh, and there are more eyes than legs in the square(s)! Can you find it? If not, let me give you two last hints! The letter you are looking for does NOT appear in the name of the next blog you need to visit, which is

However, it is also the very last letter of this post here...

Tuesday 25 October 2022

New start? No Problem!

To celebrate my new job, I really wanted a new stitchy start too. Not that I needed one, judging by my list of WIPs, but sometimes you just have to follow your heart! So I dug out a pattern that had been in my stash for years, all kitted up (well, with a fabric I bought for it, the yarn is just plain old DMC) and which I had meant to stitch for my office at the old job. It's just as fitting for the new one though, so I thought this time I better start it bright and early! I'm talking about 'For Every Problem' by cloudsfactory:

It was just the right stitching for those first few evening when I was just very tired as well - letters stitch up quickly, the lines are all simple to count, and not too many colours. Perfect! I also really enjoy the colours on my fabric (which is Jurassic Sands by Sparklies, such a nice neutral). Within the first week, I already stitched 10 hours - about 1.7k stitches, which was almost 30% of the whole design!

I actually think I might stick with this until it is done (except for working on TLoA and the table cloth I'm meant to work on every day in October...both of those need a little catching up. I got a long weekend ahead, so maybe then!

Sunday 23 October 2022

October Gifted Gorgeousness

Phew - I'm really late for Gifted Gorgeousness this month, my favourite SAL of all things gifty, and I'm blaming it entirely on Snuggle Up and those stupidly long rounds! I think I spent almost 20 hours doing part 8 this month, and the rounds are only going to get longer from here on out! I'm still really enjoying working on this though, especially now that I can actually 'snuggle up' under the blanket while doing so.

The longer rounds also make the colour changes appear more quickly now, so I'm almost through my third full cake now...good think I got a couple more in stash! All the yarn was gifted to me by a couple of good friends for my birthday in March.

The other gift I've been working on is the little rainbow virus shawl I'm making for a friend's daughter. This has become my main travel project, which I bring to work to crochet in my lunch break when I don't feel like going out. I'm now working on the third ball (of three), so this should be done soon, hopefully! Please excuse the crappy lighting, I really wanted to get this post out before diving into another busy week.

Friday 21 October 2022

The September SALs

Working full time again, the month is getting away from me a bit, and I still owe you some blog posts! One of them being my September SALs, which I finished almost two weeks ago! 

First, my temperature tree, which was actually finished very early in the month because I'm always looking forward to working on this one! Isn't it so pretty? I can't believe there's only three branches left though, and we're heading into the greens again!

My Magical Kingdom took a little longer, but is just was exciting! For one, the November part (which I stitched in October - remember, running 11 months behind) is one of my favourite parts of the whole SAL. I think it's really well done and love the colours!

But more importantly, being the November part, there is only one left! So this is going to be a big finish next month. I'll have to think of something else to post about in these monthly updates then...although I got a couple ideas already!

Monday 17 October 2022

October Fully Finished Gallery

Everything is still a little topsy-turvy after starting the new job and not finding enough hours left in the day, but that's not really an excuse for missing this checkin...because the stitching was all ready over two weeks ago and I just took 5 minutes to finish-finish it today!

'It' being Hello Autumn, the last one of a cute little series by Durene Jones that I stitched up over the last years. I used double sided tape to stick it to a piece of card board, and it's now part of my fall decoration:

 As I said, that's the last of the set, so thought you might want to see them all together:

Nothing too month, we might be seeing the first Christmas ornament though. IF I can decide on a pattern to start!

Saturday 8 October 2022

Stitching Stats, Q3

Here we go again with my crafting stats for the third quarter of 2022 - I had a really busy week, started my new job (which I like so far, but VERY different from how things went at university!) and had plans most of the evenings too, but I got some unexpected (although not at all unwelcome) downtime this weekend, so I can get some blogging (and crafting) done.

The third quarter of 2022 pretty good for me, crafting wise - I got back to the 251 hours total from Q1 (compared to 239h in Q2). I worked on a very reasonable 16 (15) projects, but only 4 (6) of them have been finished. Which is okay because I've been pulling out some older, but larger projects to put some work in, and also put a lot of time into a couple of favourites.

At the top of the field, there are, of course again, the Loneliness of Autumn at 48 (40) hours and the Snuggle Up blanket at 45 (42) hours. Possibilities and Guardian of Wayfarers both got around 20 (30, for the latter).

Of course, most of that was stitching, as usual, but also a fair amount of crochet, some knitting, and even some beading (on Calavera Rosa) and Paper Crafting (which should be a finish soon, I'll show you then)!

My stitch count is in the same range as previous months have been, always slightly above or below 300 for a daily average. Curious to see how that will change with regular work hours again!

The biggest chunk, stitchwise, was yet again TLoA - I'm at over 18k for the year! I'm really feeling like I'm making progress this year.

Monday 3 October 2022

The People Chose: Wild Animals

This month for Jo's wonderful all-purpose SAL, the topic was 'Wild Animals'. To me, that means excluding any pets, mythical creatures, and also every thing we saw last month for sea creatures because that would be boring, wouldn't it?! I went through my pictures with not much hope of finding things but boy, did I find! There are foxes and sweet little birds, but also elephants and crocodiles...something from every corner of the earth, it seems!