Friday 28 January 2022

The December (and November!) SALs

Another update that is long overdue...but actually has been stitched for a while! In fact, I took so long getting the update on the Temperature SAL up in December, I decided to skip that month all together and just show you all my progress in January that month is almost over too. Whelp. In any case, here it is, all finished - now I just need to find a frame that fits!

I have not started a new Temperature SAL for 2022 yet and I'm unsure if I will. There are a couple I like but I'm just not 'feeling' it right now. I think I'll still jot down daily temperatures, just in case I wanna get caught up later!

I do have a new SAL to show, though, and that is the Magical Kingdom SAL by Cunning CrossStitch that was running all through 2021. I had been waiting to see how it turned out but when I saw the final release in December, I knew I wanted to do it, and as luck would have it, I had the perfect fabric on hand - the 16ct Candy Floss aida I won from Rachel a while ago! It's such pretty, soft colours (although the don't photograph well, the fabric always looks pretty 'white' in pictures), and just the right size. 

So in December, I stitched up the January part, and I'm aiming to just stay 11 months behind on this one:

I know lots of people added more backstitch to the design, but I might actually end up leaving some off (for example, I haven't added Ariel's mouth yet). I kind of like the 'blurry' look of it! We'll see how I feel as I continue with this.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

January Gifted Gorgeousness

So after all the post-Christmas stress died down and things were supposed to get back to normal, I got a massive cold (don't worry, I took like three tests since this started, it's not the deaded C-virus!), so I still struggle getting caught up with everything. I also feel significantly less smart than I usually do, so if I'm not making much sense, this might be why! I shouldn't be complaining, though, got a full day of sleeping and stitching on the couch today! 

Still crafting, though, and still working on a ton of gifts that I am looking forward to show you! Once again, it's all yarn crafts (technically, Fans of the Far East, a gift for my grandma, and Bellatrix, a gift FROM my grandma, also count for this SAL, but I show those off enough already!). 

In December, after finishing grandma's shawl (you see she is the prime 'target' of my gift crafting) I picked up the yellow baby blanket that had been in time out for a while after some frog attacks, and this time, finished it up without any further issues.

Next, I started another baby jacket from my favourite BSJ pattern, I think this is my 8th or 9th jacket using the pattern. Again, I picked some nice 8 play sock yarn so it'll be easy to wash (and the colours make it a little more robust to stains too). I already knitted most of it, now I just need to close the shoulder seams and get the collar in:

And last but most certainly not least, I'm still working on the Ubuntu blanket, which was a gift for my birthday last year. I have now finished part 9 (of 12), working away on the border:

Tuesday 18 January 2022

New Year, New Start - Bellatrix

In typical me-fashion, just when I think I'm starting to get somewhere with my stitching and blogging, I get obsessed with reorganizing and sorting and doing inventory on my thread's probably going to take me a couple of days to locate and count all those hidden away threads, but I'm happy I'm finally tackling this project! Still, there is more blogging to do, so let's get into it! 

A couple of friends and I had been talking about starting Bellatrix by Bella Filipina for a good year, and while some of us are still scrambling to get supplies together (I've been waiting on some of the special materials since February...everything seems to be in low supply during this pandemic), I decided to go ahead and start her on New Year's Day. I had a ton of fun, so I kept going for a couple days, and stitched up a little over 5% in ten hours!

Soooo wait, I hear you ask. Bellatrix is wearing a purple dress, isn't she? Well. My friend Ashley decided to turn hers into a fairy princess, and then we all started talking different colours and she did colour conversions for all of us! I was torn for the longest time between this version with red hair and a green dress, and the original, but finally took the plunge on the green and I'm very happy with how it's turning out! If you are curious, here are all the different versions we'll be working on:

I'm not sure how often I will take her out to play this year, but I really enjoy working on her so I hope it'll be quite often!

Monday 17 January 2022

January Fully Finished Gallery

Rachel has been running this wonderful SAL for three years now. I think in this time, I have managed to finish-finish something every month, although I might not have managed to link up on time as somehow I am terrible at having something ready by the 10th each month! I did manage to link up every month last year, and plan to do the same in 2022...only I almost blew it already this month! And I had such great plans, really.

First, I planned to do a hoop finish on something from my box of shame. I got the project and hoop out...only to discover it was to small and cut off the corners of the design. And the other one I had was too big (which wouldn't be that much of an issue usually, but there is not a lot of a margin on the fabric, so it just doesn't work either!)

Then I asked Felix to frame something I finished in December. It's a gift, so I can't fully show it yet, but Rachel said it'd be okay to do a 'mystery finish' with just bits and pieces of the design and frame showing. Felix finally had time to do some framing today, I got everything ready, just to realize...that a stretching a dark navy fabric over a white foam board isn't the best of ideas, as the white is showing through everywhere <_< 

So I ended up digging deeper into my box of shame...there's not a lot in there anymore that can be finished on short notice; some projects are waiting to be finished as a set, and most anything else needs extensive sewing to get where I want it. But I did find one more project that just needed framing, and already had a frame picked out and put aside since a couple of months 2020 Temperature SAL. So this odyssey did have a good ending after all, and I'm happy to have this one framed and ready to go up on a wall!

Sunday 16 January 2022

2022 WIPocalypse Kickoff

Finally getting somewhere with these posts! So, as I am sure will surprise noone, I am once again taking part in the WIPocalypse SAL, for my 9th consecutive year. As usual, let's kick the year off with a little introduction:

Hi, my name is Leonore, I'm 32 years old and I love in the South of Germany with my husband, and close to my elderly grandma, whom we're taking care off. I'm a computer scientist, currently working on my PhD thesis, and probably up for a new job sometime later this year! Since the pandemic hit, I've been working from home, and frankly, I have been enjoying it - there are things I miss but I'm not much of a people person. I've been a crafter of some kind for as long as I can remember - grandma taught me how to crochet when I was about four, I taught myself to crochet at around seven. There were some breaks, but for the last ten years or so I've been doing something crafty (mostly stitching, crochet and knitting, but I dabble in other crafts as well) almost every day. I also enjoy reading and gaming and food!

As for my 2022 goals...there is one project I've been working on monthly for the last two years, SALing with Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher, doing one length of thread a day (roughly. I've been known to do them all within a week at the end of the month). I'll continue working on 'The Loneliness of Autumn', charted my Love Thy Thread after a painting by Leonid Afremov, and post about it every month this year. Here it is around 46%.

For the one month challenges in WIPocalypse, I will be picking up The Puppeteer by Unconventional XStitch. I started this one stitching only the black, and still have a couple thousand stitches left to go - would be awesome to get them all in this year!

My main focus at the moment is Fans of the Far East. I put about 150 hours into this last year, and I'm getting really close to a finish! I want this to be a present for grandma's 90th birthday in March. This is my most current progress picture - which I haven't shared here before, so let's do it now! Lately, I put some more work into the backstitch, finishing page 2, most of the central fan, and all of the lower border. Back to filling in that right fan now.

Apart from this, I have a couple more projects I want to make progress on this year, a couple I want to start, a couple I want to finish...but no concrete plans for anything. I'll just see how the year goes, and hope to make lots of progress!

Saturday 15 January 2022

December WIPocalypse

 So - with impressive delay - let's wrap up the 2021 WIPocalypse SAL! The checkin page has since come down (since Measi's blog took a bit of a tumble), but I remember the question of the month well because it's the same every year - Recap your accomplishments for the year! (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc)!

And boy, there was a LOT. Some thing from the beginning of 2021 seem so far away I'm almost sure it must have been another year, but it wasn't. I had a number of decent size finishes - fully finished the Zoe Box, then stitched up House Rules and Age is Irrelephant:


And THEN I picked up Fans of the Far East, which has been a WIP for 5 years, and put in over 100 hours to get it to really-close-to-finished! I also finished a number of older WIPs, some of them had been neglected for ages, and picked up my oldest WIP, even though that one is not finished yet. I did a ton of crochet, and even picked up and finished the oldest crochet WIP I could find! 

On popular demand (well, Rachel asked me about them, and I liked the idea) I'm bringing back my stats and pie charts. I might have to do them monthly again, though, because the yearly projects chart has become almost unreadably fragmented! I think you might have to click on it to be able to read the titles.

As you can see, my single-most time consuming project was, once again, The Loneliness of Autumn, which I am SALing with Rachel at the speed of one length a day. At the beginning of the year I had just stared my first 'real' colour, at 24.38%/28,968 done.

Since then I added a couple more colours...end of 2021 I was at 54.599/45.95% done, close to finishing 154, my 11th colour:

460 stitches left to finish this colour, the next colour is 3826, another let brown/mustard-y type of colour. I haven't looked far ahead, but hope there will be some nice and bright colours showing up this year!

Thursday 13 January 2022

The People Chose: Designers for 2022

In case you are wondering - yes, I am still reading through a backlog of blogs and checking in with SALs in the order they pop up and no, I am not entirely convinced that I will be caught up by the end of January, but that is alright, because I am having fun, I am making progress, and I will get there! Things have calmed down a lot around here, and I'm just enjoying the process.

That being said, of course I am still thinking about and finalizing my 2022 plans, and the January installment of Jo's wonderful all-purpose SAL ties in wonderfully with this, because the theme is 'Designers for 2022'.

Now I suppose there are a couple different ways to interpret this one. I don't have just one specific designer in mind for the year, like we did in...was it 2014? with the year of Teresa Wentzler, but I have a couple I want to stitch from more...or start stitching from at all! For instance, I just had my New Year's start (that I will be telling you about in more detail, don't worry), Bellatrix by Bella Filipina:

I've been falling love with his patterns more and more over the last years, and even got a couple more for Christmas, so it's high time I start stitching one! Really looking forward to working on her throughout the year, although I don't think she'll be a 2022 finish.

As for other designers, with how much I have been enjoying working on Fans of the Far East in 2021, I think I might need to start another Joan Elliott once this one is finished...other than that, I am still not really decided on what I'll do, and just take it as it comes!

Monday 10 January 2022

Fans of the Far East - 14th rotation

I'm still trying to get caught up - both with blogging and blog reading. Today I went back to work after two weeks off, so while I might not have quite as much time for it anymore, I'm also ready to go about things in a more organized way (I tend to let things just...go when I'm off work), and while doing that I realized that I never talked about the last rotation I finished on Fans of the Far East, a couple days before Christmas! This time I was back to working the crosses on the right fan, going in from the lower edge and finishing most of the inner ring too.

This is moving closer and closer to a finish, and I am both excited and a little sad about it! I think might need to make plans about starting another JE some time soon after this one is done.

Monday 3 January 2022

Hufflepuff Pride Socks - 40 Hours

Happy New Year, lovely blog reading people! All around I see all the posts about 2022 plans pop up, and I can't wait to read what you are all up to. But due to a busy December and some family health drama, I am still trying to get caught up, and stuck somewhere in mid-December, blog wise. I'll get to everything, including talking about any plans I myself might have, soon-ish, but until then, please bear with me :) 

For now, there is one rotation I finished in...either late November or early December, and haven't showed you yet, and that was on my badger socks. I had some very exciting sessions with this one, learning a new-to-me way to do a heel while also doing it on colourwork, but I was thrilled with how everything came together, and I am *very* close to starting on the toe decreases now - the next ten hours will see me starting sock #2 for sure!

I'll be back soon with December WIPocalypse (just finished the December stitching on TLoA) and then I got some SALs to catch up on too, I believe.