Tuesday, 19 September 2023

Gifted Gorgeousness & Fully Finished Gallery for September

Well hello, beauiful people! This post is exciting for several reasons! For one, it is the first one I am writing from my new laptop. That's right, no more greenish tints and pink spots, I can see actual colours again - even prettier colours than before, as the display is better as the old one was to begin with, so I can't wait to explore all your blogs again! And secondly, I have returned from my first retreat, and I have much to share. That will, however, be a topic for another post - including all the stash I brought home, the stitching that happened, and the friends I met. Today, I am talking about something I stitched before, and for, the retreat. Just give me a moment and you will see why this is a perfect fir both for Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness, and Rachel's Fully Finished Gallery!

You see, one of the events held at the retreat was a smalls exchange, so even though my stitchy bug was a little awol at the time, I had to put some thought into what to make. You've already seen my first attempt, but it felt too small, too little, so I decided to give it another go, and went and bought a pattern I had been eying for a long time, and that was Ring a Ring of Foxes by FabyReilley Designs. 

I just loved the colours in this - autum colours are my favourites - and the little beads that look just like tiny berries! And then of course the foxes - aren't they cute?! I loved them, and working on this absolutely revived my stitchy bug! This reminds me so much of the Zoe Box I made some time ago, with the leaves and their different colours.

As you can probably guess by the stitching, this was finished as a not-so-little biscornu. Following the instructions, I did not put beads on the edge, but used different colours for the backstitched outline and the whip stitch, which gave the edge a very unique strip-ey look.

It was almost too precious to give away, but I did so anyway. It want to Veerle form the Netherlands - I don't know if she got a blog, but she is @verle1606 on Instagram.

The whole exchange was held by randomly picking out a packed object, and the package was supposed to give you a general idea of what was inside. Mine had a dried leaf on it, and inside was this beauty:

!!! I love it so much! Thank you for this wonderful gift, Franziska aka Colourfever Floss (if you don't know her, check out her Etsy shop filled with wonderful hand dyed silks and cottons. And if this doesn't convince you, just wait until I post about my stash purchases!)

So that's it from me this month (well, for these two SALs at least, I have lots more to post) - see you soon, my friends!

Friday, 8 September 2023

The People Chose: Small

With just a small (haha) delay, I am here for Jo's wonderful all-purpose SAL, and this month's topic is 'Small'. Now I am not as much a stitcher of small objects as our wonderful hostess, but I have stitched some smalls over the years nevertheless. Here are some of my favourites that I don't get to show off as often (I left out my ornaments of the month for that reason, I'm showing them all the time!):

Thursday, 7 September 2023

The Cursed Zig-Zag Bag - 10 Hours

With the Zig-Zag Scarf done I needed a new easy break project (both Sekamelska and Delicate have been worked on plenty on lunch breaks and during meetings, but both have sections that need more focus as well) and so I decided to revive another long time WIP. Although this one could barely be called a WIP - I spent about two hours trying to start this in 2020, but it uses a bit of a different 'cast on' row and I just couldn't get it to look as neatly as I wanted, so I had nothing to show for it. On one boring care ride, I took this with me as my only distraction and tried again, and this time was satisfied. 

So I starting to set up the pattern, got a couple rows in, was feeling pretty good about myself...only to realize then when joining in the round, I had twisted my project, and now what was supposed to become a bag some day was now in a moebius loop. Rip rip goes the frog, back to square one (thankfully, I was able to save that 'cast on' that was giving me so much trouble, so not all was lost). So by the time this was finally going the right way, I had already 'wasted' about five hours! Still, I eventually got it right, and it's been growing nicely since, so gotta count it as a win. So this is technically-ten-but-actually-only-five hours of progress on this zig zag bag:

I don't think it shows in the picture, but the yarn is a colour gradient cake in pure cotton, the the blue will get lighter towards the top. This should become one very pretty bag when I finish it, which might be a while but at least it's well on the way now!

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

September WIPocalypse

So once again I am checking in for the monthly WIPocalypse SAL, still a little late, still not quite caught up on everything I wanted to post about, and certainly not caught up on everything I wanted to stitch on!

So my confession this month is that I have not touched The Loneliness of Autumn, my monthly SAL with the wonderful Rachel, at all. I've been carefully reviving my stitchy bug, had two new starts and managed to finish them both, but the second one, which was an exchange gift for my reatreat next week (and you will get to see it after that!) took up all my time. I just barely managed to finish it yesterday, and have to admit that by the end of it, I was quite 'over it' - it's super pretty but I just wanted it done and work on something else! So I pulled TLoA back out and hope to start working on it again today, hopefully catching up on some of the stitching I missed over the last couple months.

Sadly, this means that I don't really have anything to show for WIPocalypse this month. So I am only going to answer the monthly question, which is What is your comfort zone regarding the number of projects to have kitted and in progress at any one time? Now, I have a lot of kits and kitted up projects ready to go. I couldn't even tell you the number and I don't much care about it, either. Stash is just potential to me and I love having choices. I know I'm not spending more on it than I can afford or have space, so I'm not feeling all that guilty about it.

Projects in progress, however, is a different topic. My standard answer to the question used to be - around 50. For years, I had about that number of WIPs (mind you, if I'm talking number of WIPs, I mean all crafts combined, not stitching especially), and all attempts to get it down failed miserably. But I also didn't go over much, and I was pretty okay with that. This year, however, things changed, and suddenly I felt like that was *way* too much and I've even made some headway on getting the number down - to 43 currently. Which still feels like too much but I can only work so quickly, so things are moving in the right direction, but are moving slowly. I have not yet found my new 'comfprt zone' in terms of WIPs. I think I might want to get down to 30, but that will probably take another year at least to reach. We'll see how I'll be doing!

Friday, 1 September 2023

Zig-Zag Scarf Emma - Finish

I last showed progress on this shawl in April, around the halfway mark, and actually finished it a couple of weeks ago, I just never got around to taking pictures! Better late than never, I guess?

The Zig-Zag Scarf named Emma (don't ask me why it's named Emma, this designer is giving all her designs girl names) was started in late 2016, and after being abandoned at maybe 10% done I finally picked it (her?) back up this year to work on during work meetings and on my lunch break. Nice and easy knitting and just a two row repeat? Perfect! So she grew and grew and after two whole balls of yarn she's finally done!

She's still folded over here, in total she's about 8 feet/2.5m now and very hard to take pictures of! As are the colours, which are lovely in person. I think this picture, taken in natural light, is pretty close, though:

So that's one old knitting WIP down...I already picked up another project to work on during breaks (crochet this time), but that is a story for another day!

Thursday, 24 August 2023

August Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello, lovely people! I'm a little late, as usual, so sign up with Jo's Gifted Gorgeousness, the SAL dealing with all things gifted and giftee, so that's nothing new, but...I actually have some stitching to show! Gasp! Actual stitching, no knitting or crochet! And it hits multiple spots for this SAL too, so bam! 

Story time first. In just about three weeks, I will be attending my very first stitching retreat in Basel, Switzerland. There will be a small exchange, so I have to stitch and finish something...and that information came right in the middle of my stitching slump. Great timing! I pushed it off for a long time, but eventually went through my patterns and picked something out that just barely fulfilled the size requirements of the SAL. But at least I was stitching. I got about halfway through the design, then I started feeling bad because I took such an easy way out, so I went back to the drawing board, bought a new pattern (at least it was one I had been planning to get for a long time) and started stitching that. I'm actually loving it and I'm about 70% done, so I decided to 'log in', finish my first attempt and show it for this SAL, so now that it will be 'public' there will be no turning back! So, after all the dramatic introductions, what *did* I stitch?

Wear a Smile by Lizzie Kate! I won this chart in a giveaway from the lovely Tiffstitch back in 2017, vowing to stitch it 'soon'...so I guess soon is 6 years later! The fabric was a gift from my dear blogging friend Rachel, after I won a giveaway of hers. I guess I am a lucky girl, having such generous friends! So together with this originally being intended for an exchange, I think it triple-qualifies for this SAL!

Saturday, 19 August 2023

August Fully Finished Gallery

Welcome to my (very late) entry to Rachel's Fully Finished Gallery finish-all-the-things SAL! Again, I am not only late posting, but just squeezed in a finished object on what is almost the last day of the check in period. My stitching bug had been missing for much of late July and early August, and while I am slowly getting back into it, not a lot has happened yet. Last week I sat down and stitched and finished the second of the Kogin buttons (I showed you the first one I did last month for this SAL).

This one is yellow thread on blue, and the pattern was a bit more complicated than the first one (although not by much). I like how both of them turned out, and that I finally got to stitch this kit I bought years ago!

Hopefully, next month will be a bit more productive and exciting again!

Friday, 18 August 2023

The People Chose: Fairies

I'm still so far behind with my blog reading and posting...my laptop is in the process of breaking down (the display is going and everything looks funky), and as I am still very much a laptop person and don't like doing everything, especially writing, on my phone or tablet, things are going slow! Still, I'm trying to get a little caught up, and one of the things I missed was the check-in for Jo's wonderfully versatile all purpose SAL! This month, the topic was Fairies.

Fairies, as you probably know, are quite a popular subject in cross stitch, with plenty of beautiful designs out there - plenty of beautiful designs in my stash, even - but to my great surprise, it seems I never stitched any! How can that be? I got witches and angels, mermaids and ghost, but no fairies! I will need to remedy that. So as inspiration to myself, here is one of my favourite fairy stitches, Dimension Gold's Fall Fairy. It's quite an intense design, but maybe one day...

Sunday, 13 August 2023

A New Obsession - Delicate

As I might have hinted up, there is a new project I am kind of obsessed with...but it's totally not my fault! A friend on a discord server posted a free pattern for a knitted cardigan, a couple of us liked it...started joking about doing it as a KAL...started looking at yarn...started buying yarn...and then one Sunday morning, four of us sat in a video call and cast it on! It's the "Delicate" cardigan by Annamária Ötvös and for me, will be the first real fitted garment that I'm knitting. 

That first morning we were knitting together, we only made a tiny start on the 'Left back collar extension' and it took me a while to figure out that meant the part of the collar that will sit on the back of my neck. That part was then mirrored for the 'Right back collar extension' and then we had to cast on more stitches, do some shaping, and work down the upper back, to just below where the arms will be. That was where I finally ended up after about 13 hours of knitting:

Next up are the two fronts, casting on stitches from the shoulder and also working down to below the arm. It's exciting to see it all shape up, so it's hard to put it down right now! I'm also really happy about the yarn I'm using, it's from Holst Garne and I'm combining their "Tides' (merino and silk) with a one ply alpaca ("Titicaca") which is a really pretty combination of similar, but not the same colours, and so, so soft! I think you might see a lot more of this one soon...

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

An Old Obsession - Sekamelska Part 6

While I was working on the last rows of the Snuggle Up blanket, I had been thinking what crochet project I wanted to work on next. I got a couple ready to go, but also a couple of WIPs still, and ultimately decided on one of those - the Sekamelska shawl. This was a free CAL back in 2019, and I think that is when I talked about it last, as well!

To recall, this was a cooperative CAL by six designers, who each designed one part of the pattern mix shawl. Some of the patterns were quite complex, but very fun, and I eventually got stuck on part 6, which required me to make dozens of little trees that just didn't want to look quite right. Now, with a couple more years of experience (and lots of additional patience - I'm looking at you, part 12 of Snuggle Up!) I got back to them, and on one car ride to Felix' home village to attend a wedding, I sat down with those trees and finished the first repeat of the new pattern this weekend. Seems I broke the spell too, because over the next two weeks or so, I finished the second repeat as well, and that concluded part 6!

No technically, I only have the border left to do know, but since I had over 100g of yarn left over (there are three shades of purple in this, and I just barely started the first one!), I decided to repeat Part 1 (or at least some rows of it), to use up more of my yarn and also because Part 1 was just this tiny triangle at the start and really deserves to be brought back! So I will have to work on this for a little longer, but since I already figured Part 1 out ages ago, there shouldn't be any further snags. Unless I find something new to obsess over, of course...

Friday, 4 August 2023

July WIPocalypse

Welcome back to WIPocalypse - it is now August, which is hard to believe, because I really don't know where July went! This month was so busy (very fun, but busy), it really was over in a flash. Now I'm hoping for an August that is a a little quieter...but frankly, I don't see it yet!

After finishing Daisy mid-July, my stitchy bug has gone awol for a bit. So while I did make some nice progress knitting and crocheting (I have a couple posts lined up about that, but my blogging bug also seems to be missing), I did not meet my stitch goals on The Loneliness of Autumn or The Meadow Tablecloth. I did make some progress on both and am sure I'll catch up sooner or later, so that's alright. I always get back into it, eventually, so I'm not worried. So before I show you how much I *did* get done, the question of the month is Which are your favorite and least favorite fabrics to stitch on? and that's an easy one to answer - my absolute favourite is 32ct Murano. I don't have a *least* favourite per se, but I don't enjoy 14ct aida and anything bigger than that as much. I'll still use it though, it's all a question of the type of project you're making! On the question of linen - I don't mind it, but it's not usually my first choice if I pick out fabric myself.

So, what have we got in August? On TLoA, which I am SALin with Rachel (although I think we can barely call it a SAL anymore at this point, with either of us constantly being behind, but I still will!), I added most of the next colour, a rather boring 3860. I still have 252 stitches left to go, and then we move on to 523, which isn't all that much more exciting, but alright, it's going to get done anyways.

I added a total of just 697 stitches since my last post, so there wasn't much progress - 74.75% and 88800/118800 stitches done. Exactly 30k stitches left do do, which is still more than 15 *good* stitching months on this, and yet it feels so close!

July was also a one-a-day challenge on WIPocalypse, and while I managed more than the required 30 stitches on my chosen Meadow Tablecloth, I certainly didn't work on it every day. I finished the corner block on the third side, the single ladybug on the last side, and made a start on the snail. I wanted this to get finished, and it didn't, but looking at it, and how little there is still left to do, I'm still optimistic it will be a finish this year!

Last night, I had a small start that I need to get done for an exchange, and I hope that might revive my stitching bug a little. If it does, I'll aim to get caught up on the TLoA and finish the Meadow Tablecloth first, and then I got a page finish on Dark Forces calling my name, but we are getting ahead of ourselves...exchange first, and we'll see. In the meanwhile I'm making progress on some crochet projects, which is also nice, so I am not complaining!

Saturday, 29 July 2023

Daisy - Finished!

Miss Daisy had a hold on me and didn't let go until I finished her...so there was very little other stitching this month, but that's okay! I might not be good at sticking to goals lately, but I am quite good at finishing stuff, and I'm okay with that.

As predicted, the next ten hours of stitching finished off the cross stitch. Of course then I could not resist starting the back stitch, and then I just kept going and at 33:44h, I got a finish!

 Princess Daisy
charted by Make it Pink
33:44h total

I am very happy with how she turned out, and extremely happy with this light, intricate stained glass look obtained by putting the backstitch (often long stitch) on top of the cross stitch. I'm also very hyped to get working on another pf Ashley's Designs...I have a Halloween WIP that's not too far off a finish...mayyyybe? We'll see!

Sunday, 23 July 2023

July Gifted Gorgeousness

Welcome to my July installment of Jo's long running Gifted Gorgeousness SAL, THE place to talk about all things gifted and to be gifted. I'm a little late to check in this month, and that's all thanks to one project - the Snuggle Up blanket which was my big birthday gift in 2022 (the yarn, that is, the crochet is my own work!) and after almost exactly 16 months, I have finished! I was aiming to finish one part (it was released as a 12 part CAL) per month, but the latter parts just took a lot longer, so I slowed down. But now it's finally done, and I present to you in all it's glory:

Snuggle Up - by Morben Design
Used: 5328m of Hobbi Twister 05 + matching solids
Time: 173:40h over 16 months

I turned out pretty big, but also really warm and cuddly! Here's a picture of my wrapped up in it for scale:

It was a massive undertaking, but I did enjoy every minute of it (maybe with the exception of that row of popcorn stitches...those were a little annoying, but also turned out really pretty!). Now hopefully, I can finish up a couple of smaller WIPs before starting my next big project...which I am already excited about so it probably won't be long!

Thursday, 13 July 2023

Q1/Q2 Stitching stats

Some of you might already have wondered where this feature went - me collecting and geeking out over some statistics! The sad truth it, I kept pushing it of after the first quarter, and then it was already June and felt weird to get back to it, so I decided to do Q1 and Q2 together in July, and here we are!

Q1 saw a lot of knitting and crochet, so crossstitch was pushed back to just about 50% of my time. I feel like that might be a bit of a trend for the year, as I have really been enjoying my other crafts lately! 

I have to say, I was extremely proud of my project list. For one, the whole list fit onto one screen (and when I was doing this monthly, there were months when that didn't happen!). What's more, 11 of those 19 projects have been finished (not necessarily in Q1, but they are finished now, so it counts). Not a bad start to the year at all!

Q2 had a little more stitching again, but still quite a bit of crochet, and even a return of beading and diamond painting (the latter will be ready to post about shortly, I believe!). Still, my WIPs fit onto one screen yet again:

Just 8 finishes this time, but also some fair progress on bigger projects, and I think a couple of these will be finished soon. Now for stitches...

You can see that time in February and March when I really wasn't feeling 'it', I think I did a fair share of knitting during that time, just not a lot of stitching. Otherwise, I've been pretty consistent, and hope to keep it this way throughout Q3 and Q4...which I hope will get separate posts at an appropriate time. We'll see!

Tuesday, 11 July 2023

July Fully Finished Gallery

Welcome to Rachels wonderful Finish-all-the-things Fully Finished Gallery! Every month we try fully finish at least one object, but sometimes we got to get creative...some might even call it cheating!

Turns out July is just as crazy a month as May and June were...I've been really good working on some projects, but nothing that lend itself to FFG....and Felix hurt his hand, so I can't make him frame anything either! So tonight after work, I dove into my treasure trove of small kits (so many things I should stitch sometime! Why do I keep saving these?!) and picked out one I bought in Japan in 2019. It contains two cute kogin stitch buttons, and it took me just over an hours to stitch and finish the first one (I'm obviously saving the other one for the next time I'm running late for thus SAL! ;) ). Here is the stitching:

The kit came with two plastic templates for the buttons, so I just cut the fabric down to size, put it on the template, sewed a line around the back and pulled tight. I also glued some felt to the back (that also came with the kit) and glued it one to cover the gap, but I cut it a little too small so it doesn't cover everything. Still, I think this came out pretty cute, and I think I have an idea for how to use this and its brother, once it's done!

Friday, 7 July 2023

Daisy - 20 Hours

Even though I had to put her away a couple of times to work on other things, I am still very much in love with Miss Daisy, and I don't want to jinx it, but after 20 hours I am prrrretty sure I can stick with her until she's done! I did most of her hair, all her skin and made a start on her dress. That leaves me with some more dress and a lot of roses!

In fact, I think another ten hours should finish most, if not all, of the cross stitch, and then I just need to backstitch the whole thing which shouldn't be too bad...fingers crossed!

Monday, 3 July 2023

The People Chose: Abstract

This month for Jo's wonderfully versatile all-purpose SAL, the subject is 'abstract', and I think I found a good mix of projects for that! My temperature stitches come to mind, but also some bookmarks, blackwork, and my pretty metallic geostar. 

June WIPocalypse

Can you believe half the year is already over? I sure can't, and yet the calendar says it is so! It's time to look at our goals for the year, reevaluate and possibly readjust. We'll see. Officially, the question of the month is Half-year recap:  How are you doing with your goals so far this year?

Honestly, I have to say I am pretty content. I haven't been sticking strictly to plan, but did manage to get my number of WIPs down a bit - I'm currently down to 44, which is the lowest I've seen in a while, with a couple more on track to be done soon and no big urges to start stuff, so that's great! I also set myself a goal to work on my BAPs more this year, and that is kind of working - I've had page finishes on Sacrifice, Possibilities and The Puppeteer, so the only ones who have not seen light of day yet are Kitsune and Dark Forces. I'm sure I can fit them in somewhere in the second half. Of course, Puppeteer still needs some more love to hit the actual goal, that is a page finish, but I'm getting there.

My other BAP, that I'm posting progress on each month, is The Loneliness of Autumn, a perpetual SAL with Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher. This month I added two colours to it - 921 and 730. Both of them were spread all over, so I didn't get quite was many stitches done, despite catching up a bit from where I fell behind in March - I added a total of 1,769 stitches and made it to a total progress of 74.16% or 88,103 stitches done. 

By the looks of it, the next couple colours - while not very exciting, shadewise - won't be quite as spread out, so I'm looking forward to stitching more than one length without moving the hoop again!

For the one-a-day focus challenge of WIPocalypse, I've been working on my Meadow Tablecloth in June, and will continue to do so in July. My goal was to finish one side of the square, and I feel short a little, still having to do the corner. But I'm getting so close (two of the corner pieces and just one of all the other motifs left to go now!) that I don't care much, as I know I WILL get this one done soon.

Saturday, 1 July 2023

Sacrifice - Page 1

Remember earlier this year, when I made the goal to add a page finish on each of my big full coverage WIPs? We have not seen a lot of progress towards this goal yet, but over the last weeks, I have been working on Sacrifice on and off, adding a couple hundred stitches here and there, and I have finally succeeded in filling in all of the first page!

In case you forgot (I haven't talked about this project a lot, after all), this is how Sacrifice is going to look, eventually:

So you can see what a teeny tiny bit of the upper left corner I got done so far! The issue with this one is really finding a good rhythm. It's so pretty, I adore the colours, but the confetti is real! It took me 27 hours to get this far, and this is only 2.8%, or 3,294/117,600 stitches. Still, I love working on her, so I'll continue making progress, if slowly.

Friday, 23 June 2023

June Gifted Gorgeousness

Welcome to one of my favourite SALs of the year, the wonderful Gifted Gorgeousness, first stop for all things gifted and giftee, hosted by the equally wonderful Jo! For me, this is always a great opportunity to showcase some of my knitting and crochet, which is often meant as a gift. This month, I got two finishes, a new WIP and some news on another project.

For once, I finished the little bunny ragdoll I had started last month. He's already with his new little human already, and I was so pleased with the mum's reaction - I had made another ragdoll for her first son a couple years back, and apparently that one was very well loved!

Next, I started another baby gift, one of Felix' band colleagues had her second baby and I was feeling like trying something different this time. So I had a look around for inspiration and found that leg warmers for babies are pretty popular right now, and they sound quite handy too - so I thought I'd give them a try, see how they are received. They knit up pretty quickly too, I used some merino super wash I had left over from another project and they are so soft and squishy!


Another amigurumi was also started...not the purple Yoshi yet, but also purple! This one is a pokemon. I've been dragging my feet for a while to get the next part done because it looks a little complicated...but I'm sure it'll be alright once I get around to it!

Last but not least...I've been working on my Snuggle Up blanket and finally made it past the row that has been slugging me down for a week! No picture yet, but should be smooth sailing to the end now - maybe a finish by next month?!

Sunday, 18 June 2023

June Fully Finished Gallery

I was so good this month...honestly! I got a project finished and finished-finished for Rachel's Fully Finished Gallery SAL before we even left for our trip last week...and then I just put of writing this post. Sigh. Can't be helped. And I have such an exciting project to share! It's been a while since I talked about it, but I picked up Flower Trellis, an all-beads kit by Mill Hill. There are two ornaments in the kit, and I've been stitching the first of the two. Here is was after all the beads had been added to the paper...but I think that was just about half the beads used in the ornament! Honestly, there is sooo much bling.

After stitching all the beads down, I carefully cut out the shape and folded it closed. Then all the seams where closed with a whip stitch, and THEN all that whip stitch was covered with more beads. And then I added a hanger and tassles, all beads too of course! This thing catches the light like you wouldn't believe it, and it's actually kind of heavy, but I'm also really proud of how it turned out!

I hope to get started on the second ornament soon, and then I also got another kit in purple and orange ready to go...lots of beads in my future!