Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Fairy progress

I did loads of stitching on Wild Thyme Fairy in the run up to Christmas, and a little bit on Christmas day and boxing day... we're back home now with real internet, so here's a photo:

Santa was very kind to me, and I was lucky to receive lots of DVDs, CDs, some new crockery, smellies, chocolates and best of all, 3 lace bobbins and 4 cross stitch charts from Eddy, and a little bag of interesting fibres from Sonia.

We're just starting to watch Battlestar Galactica from the very start (I got the full box set from Eddy), so I'll be brief... BG is probably one of the best series I've seen on TV in ages....

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas stitching

Well we got away for Christmas, despite the snow. We left a day earlier than planned as it was forecast 10 inches in Birmingham! Margaret was trying to phone to tell us not to come when we arrived. We ignored Eddy's cell phone and 5 mins later rang her doorbell and shouted 'surprise'!!

Since then I've developed a serious case of stitching butt, and have made great progress with Wild Thyme Fairy. I'm posting this from my iPhone so not sure if I'll manage to upload the photo I just took.

Hmmm looks like it's not an option! I've stitched her arms, face and one wing since the last photo. I'll have to wait until I'm at my mums (who has the Internet) before I share a photo.

Hope you are all enjoying some holiday stitching too!

Monday, 20 December 2010

Busy busy busy....

Wow, it's 2 weeks since I posted??? I can't say I'm surprised! December brings with it the end of term meltdown (usual heavy workload, PLUS marking and a few grant deadlines to boot). Then it's party season. Last week I was in London on Tuesday and didn't get home to 10.30 (I took the opportunity to see my sister); Wednesday was our undergraduate students' Christmas party, followed by a meal out with our masters' students. Thursday was the departmental Christmas cocktail party (and I squeezed into an old cocktail dress, and fully enjoyed the beverages on offer). Friday was a leaving do for 2 colleagues, followed by another meal out... so as you can imagine no stitching got done.

This weekend has been filled with Christmas preparation. We've both taken all this week off so today we've been claning and bought our tree - we usually buy if after Eddy's birthday, but due to the weather forecast we are going to leave home a day earlier than planned for Christmas... We'll be back for New Year, hence the need to buy a tree :)

Anyway, since I last posted I have worked on Wild Thyme Fairy almost exclusively... here she is as of Saturday monring, she now has one arm!!

Happy stitching everyone, and if I don't get back on here this week, Merry Christmas one and all xx

Monday, 6 December 2010

Exciting things that come in the post ;)

I've had a good few days of exciting post...

On Saturday (while I was in the shower) the postie rang the doorbell... shortly later Eddy popped upsairs to say I had two parcels - one from the US and one from Australia... ooooh, I thought, probably the TWCOE. I was right... look at these beauties:

A lovely Christmas tree (no idea who it's by, but it's very familiar) stitched by Sophia in Australia.

Hummingbird by TW, stitched by Terry, who organises the TWCOE.

WOW!!! They are both so beautiful - thank you ladies!!!

Today I was expecting some nice post, as it's my birthday... and I wasn't disappointed. A pile of cards, a bracelet, a lovely bone lace bobbin (from Eddy) and this:

from my lovely sister. I'd asked her for the chart and fabric, but didn't really expect her to also get the floss. Lil sis, you are a star. I'll use this as the perfect opportunity to advertise her blog, a humorous account of life living in London... do pop by and have a read!! She's an aspiring writer, and I really enjoy her posts (but I may be biased).

Happy stitching everyone

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Harrogate knitting and Stitching

OK, so this is a week late... Last weekend was Harrogate knitting and stitching show. For the last few years I've gone for a good stash shop with Margaret, or with Sonia and Pam. This year I swore blind I wasn't going to go... (it can get a bit 'samey')... and then Phyllis asked me if I'd help with the Lace Guild stall!!!

On Saturday I drove up to Harrogate, arriving a little later than planned due to the snow. I set up my lace table and pillow, and set to work on a little gold and green Christmas ornament as a demonstration piece. I was delighted to realise one of the other volunteers was Jane, who goes to the Christine Springett class in May. It was great fun making the ornament, and talking to anyone who passed by, mostly explaining lace isn't as tricky as it looks, and showing them a couple of stitches.

We had an amazing display of entries to the latest Lace Guild competition - on the theme of 'movement'. The John Bull trophy winner was a map of the London Underground made entirely of lace - it was a real talking point. Irritatingly I'd forgotten my camera, and my phone battery died just as I arrived in Harrogate, so I don't have any photos of the display.

But what about the inevitable stash shopping??? I had a break at lunchtime, when I bought two sweetheart tree charts (Lets get fancy fob and Holiday Holly biscornu), then right at the end of the day I bought a quilting kit from Oakshott (who had a lovely range of shot fabrics), and enough Moda fabric to make another lap quilt (from a pettern I have in my stash). Hmmmm, I've never actually finished anything bigger than a table mat....

Phyllis bought me an Oakshott cotton pack - enough fabric to make either a bag or two simple bowls, with a free pattern - for my birthday.

All in all it was a great day!!

This week I've cut out the Oakshott fabric into pieces for 'Amish Star', and today I have made the first block (of 16). I'm quite pleased with the results:

I wonder how long it will take me to make (I would have made more blocks today, I think, but I've been hit with another winter cold - nothing too bad, but my nose is rather runny, which makes sitting at the sewing machine tricky!!)

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Weekend white out

Well it's been a snowy week here... On Wednesday the University closed as the snow was falling so thick and fast there were concerns staff would struggle to get home (most staff live out of the city centre, on the hills - where the weather is generally MUCH worse than on campus). We had a snow day on Thursday. Much as I would have liked to spend the stitching, sadly I had a pile of marking to get done...

This weekend we cancelled our trip to Birmingham, as to get there we'd have to drive through some of the worse affected areas. Thankfully Eddy was able to get home by train - we were worried we'd not see each other this weekend.

So, what to do??? We're meeting a good friend for lunch (not seen her since August bank holiday), and probably making a more serious start on the Christmas shopping. I'm hoping to do some quilting also.

Over the last week I've been stitching Wild Thyme Fairy:

Last night I wanted a change, so started Holiday Peacock by Courtney Collection (JCS xmas ornie 2010). I finished it this morning:

Hope everyone has a lovely stitchy weekend!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

December goals

I'm trying to to think about the fact it's December, that Christmas is on the way, and I've not really done any Christmas shopping to speak of... but it is time to review those goals ;)

In November I wanted to:
1) Make good progress on Peacock Firescreen yes
2) Finish Pooh and Eeyore no, there's not much to do, but I didn't touch it!!
3) Finish Tulip scissor fob by Sue Hawkins yes
4) Stitch two ornaments I stitched 4, including 2 for the TWCOE
5) Work on my lace project a little bit
6) Work on another WIP yes - Wild Thyme Fairy

Not bad, all in all.

I seem to have forgotten to post the ornament HD that I completed earlier this month... French Country Star by JBW Designs from the 2010 JCS ornie magazine:

It was a fun piece to stitch.

So, what do I want to do in December?

1) work on my lace project
2) finish another WIP
3) start something new
4) do the finishing for some ornaments
5) do some quilting

Yes, I'm going for 'quite vague' this month!!!

I didn't really participate in NaBloPoMo month, but I did try and post more often - something I did achieve - 12 posts in all.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Knit the York Walls!! - Part II

A while ago I posted about the attempt to knit enough scarves to wrap them around the medeival walls of York. As a group we knitted about 15 scarves, and sent them in for the big sale on 21st November. We decided to go to York to see what happened - so Eddy and I got the train (the morning after a-ha - boy was I tired!!), and we met my mum at York station.

We were too late (11am) to see the scarves wrapped around the walls (truth be told, only around a small area... a bit of a disapointment, but I guess it made it much easier to actually sell the scarves for charity!!!). But there was an article (and photo) on the BBC news web site.

We made our way to the scarf sale to pick a couple out for Christmas presents. Imagine my amazement when I saw one of the two I knitted (in the £5 pile, so not a bargain bucket scarf!!)! I had a lovely chat to one of the ladies taking money, giggling about the amazing coincidence.

Scarves for sale, mine is the pale pink textured stripy on the right of the photo, just in front of the sofa arm!

My mum had great fun picking out a scarf (and trying a few on):

Apparently, 3792 scarves were knitted, and at least £3000 has been raised so far!

After the scarf sale we went to Betty's for lunch (mmmmmmmm), then did a spot of Christmas shopping. It was a lovely day out!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Re-living the 80s...

I first started to listen to music in the 80s. Now 6 was my first ever compilation album, and a year later I got Hunting High and Low for my birthday - the first real album by what is still a favourite band... I did actually keep buying a-ha albums longer than many, the last one I bought was Memorial Beach (although it seems to have been discarded at some point since I left Uni). My tape of Hunting High and Low has always remained a favourite... The writing wore off the cassette years ago, and I lost the case while at Durham Uni as an undergraduate, I think in my friend Phil's car, a fact he still denies... I never saw them live though, but would have killed to when I was in my early teens!!!

So when I realised (rather late on) that they were doing a farewell tour this winter, I HAD to go... a quick facebook call later, and Julia, Louise and I had tickets for the Manchester gig last weekend. We had great seats (especially given I bought the tickets 8 months after they went on sale) - a long way back and high up, but with a really clear view of the stage. A-ha were great, but the atmosphere wasn't amazing - I think the venue was too large for a band that isn't currently at the top of the charts (plus I've always preferred smaller venues anyway). The fact it was all seating didn't help - I felt a little odd when I was dancing... but having said all that I really enjoyed the gig...

The Sun Always Shines on TV

Living Daylights

Take on Me

Take on Me

Afterwards I bought a mug (felt a bit too old for a t-shirt with a photo of a young-looking a-ha on)... and had a giggle using it for a drink of coke on the train home!!

Me and Louise (and my new mug)

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Making Lace in Sheffield

Well this weekend was really busy for me - What with Sheffield Lace Makers on Saturday, the a-ha concert in Manchester Saturday night and then a trip to York on Sunday I certainly kept myself busy... too busy as by the time I got home on Sunday I totally zonked out. I thought I was just shattered but Monday morning I woke up with what I would usually describe as a 'flu-like cold - but without the cold. Between Sunday night and Monday afternoon I slept for about 18 hours, with short breaks for food - and phoning work to say I was sick!! So apologies for not posting over the weekend... (I'm on the mend now, if still a little tired and achy).

Anyway, Sonia came round Saturday morning to head off to Sheffield. If you recall, this working day was planned to be an open day, with displays of lace and other crafts by the different 'groups'. As I've been on the Sheffield Lace Makers committee in the past, and Sonia is now on the committee, they suggested the pair of us should contribute a display. Initially this was very daunting - the other groups are much larger, and many have been making lace for years... what on earth could we do???? It soon became apparent that for us, variety is the spice of life... what with my lace, cross stitch, blackwork, tapestry, quilting and knitting, and Sonia's lace, embroidery, cushions, beading, spinning, weaving and bobbin turning, we had quite enough for a display... we were also aware that the other groups might have had a PLAN for their display, we just turned up with a box or two of things we thought might be useful - and as a very late (yet inspired idea), some fairy lights. Plus photos on my laptops of the many projects we have given away over the years. We were both REALLY pleased with our end result (and I took the opportunity to shamelessly promote this blog!!):

Jo and Sonia's Corner - you might recognise a few pieces ;)

I found all of the other displays really inspiring - lets just say that Sheffield Lace Makers are a really talented group of ladies!!!

Rockingham Lace Makers

Nene Lacemakers

Norton Interest Group

Rotherham Lacemakers

Phyllis' Tuesday night Group aka 'Tuesday's Child is full of grace'

After having a really good look at everyone else's displays, and the lace they were currently working on, I did get down to make a little lace, and completed 2 of the 5 petals on the flower I am doing, including my first (and second) ever raised leaves. Sadly there are so many pins on the piece I can't get anything like a reasonable photo of it just yet, so that will have to wait.

At about 3pm we had to pack up to leave - to make sure I got home in time for the gig.... more on that later!!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Peaceful stitching

I have to admit that I really am a stitching addict. A day isn't complete if I've not had some time to stitch!! I find it very relaxing and peaceful (even when frogs come to visit - but not quite as relaxing!). This week I stitched 'Peace' by Blackbird Designs, from the 2009 JCS ornament issue... the name really reflected my mood while working on it!

Peace, (c) Blackbird Designs
Stitched on Sparklies 'parchment' using the recommended threads.

Tomorrow I'm off to Sheffield, for a Sheffield Lace Makers working day. Each group will put on a display of things they have made - not just our lace. Our 'group' - me and Sonia - are hoping to wow with the wide range of crafts we do. I'm also hoping that my recently completed Fantasy Triptych will help with the wow factor!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Lots of scarves...

Remember those scarves we were knitting for RAW - who have been trying to get enough scarves to wrap them around the walls of York?? Well our little stitch and b**** group knitted about 12 (I think) - 10 are pictured here:

Julia's husband Ian dropped them off in York - they've had loads of scarves (over 3000 now) and therefore have enough to completely encircle the walls. I really hope we can get to York on Sunday and see this (and get lots of photos).

This week it's been all change at weight watchers - I'm loving the new pro points system (especially free fruit), and lost a whopping 3.5 lbs at the scales. Only 2 more lbs to hit the 4 stone lost mark. Woo hoo!!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fairy fun

At the weekend I said I fancied a change... so I looked at my WIPs and decided to pull out Wild Thyme Fairy again. I've made great progress, finishing her leg and getting going with the thyme and grasses to the right of the fairy. The last progess photo I posted (back in March) shows what she looked like when I picked her up this weekend. Is it really 8 months since I last worked on her???

I've done almost all of the stitches in the bottom left corner, and am making good progress with the bottom right. The top half is less intensively stitched, so once the thyme and grass is done it should come along quickly. Well it would do if I'd not decided to stitch the areas of skin over 1...

I've finished the stitching on the second ornament for the TWCOE. I just need to get them both finished ready for posting by the middle of next week.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Saturday stitching

Today I finished stitching the TW ornament for the TWCOE. I need to get both of the ornaments I have stitched finished by next weekend for posting. I think I'll have to stick to a simple finishing style!! Sadly I can't share a photo of either just yet, but I can give a quick update photo of Peacock Firescreen:

Sorry, it's dark again (why do I never think of taking photos in the daytime??).

Had quite a lazy day today - went over to Hebden Bridge to pick up a wall light we ordered (just need to organise an electrician now, and my new lighting scheme for the living room will be sorted - have I ever ranted about the dreadful lighting in here? Who puts halogen lights in a living room??? I understand halogen lights as a spotlight, and in kitchens, but not as a central light in the lounge...). Anyway, we had a lovely lunch in a little cafe, mooched around a couple of shops and came back so Eddy could watch the rugby. I mostly stitched :)

Now I need to decide what to stitch on tonight. I fancy a change from the peacock, not sure what I'll pull out. Probably ought to work on a WIP though, I'd like to get another one finished by the end of the year.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tulips (but not from Amsterdam)

I have literally just finished the tulip scissor keep by Sue Hawkins!! I took it to my parents' house as planned, finished the main stitching areas on Friday night, made the cord, tassel and started stitching it together on Saturday then... not a lot!! I'll explain why shortly!

I had a lovely weekend. Friday night we ate at home, and chatted in front of the TV. Saturday mum and I left the men in front of the rugby and headed in to Lincoln for a spot of shopping. I needed some tops and jeans another size smaller (yes, I've now got to the point in my weight loss journey where I've run out of smaller sizes in my wardrobe - this is going to get expensive!!). I work out my current size in Monsoon, my favourite shop. I started out struggling to fit into a size 22 top (US size 18), and a comfortable size 22 bottom (always needed a larger top, shall we just say I'm quite well endowed?). Anyway, I tried on (and fitted in) size 16 bottoms (US size 12) and size 18 tops!! I even found a size 16 tunic that looks great - I suspect a size smaller fits because it's baggy though. I should stress this is Monsoon sizes, I'm a size 20 top elsewhere still. BUT I've not bought ANY clothes in a size 16 in maybe a decade. I dutifully put the £45 jeans that looked fabulous back on the rail, and bought a pair for a tenner in New Look :)

That evening we went out for pizza to celebrate my Dad's birthday. Pizza Express in Newark doesn't really live up to their usual high standards, and the upstairs section has dreadful acoustics - you can hear the conversation on the table opposite perfectly, but not the person next to you... Made for an interesting evening, especially when my Dad and Eddy started to talk about the table opposite to see if they could hear us!! Nutters.

Saturday Eddy and I went into Nottingham and did a little more shopping, did a few errands, including a brief visit to Eddy's flat and his work before heading back to Leeds. Thankfully with Eddy in tow - when we got back we discovered the back door had expanded badly in the damp and it took 45 mins to chisel and pull bits of wood off the bottom so we could shut it. So Monday morning we had to order a new door before heading off to work (it's very rotten). Last night I did a few stitches in a second ornament for the TWCOE. So I didn't finish the tulip scissor keep until tonight. And here is it in all its glory:

I really enjoyed stitching this piece, and might have to buy another Sue Hawkins piece next time I see her at a needlework show (Harrogate perhaps?).

Thanks for popping by my blog - I've been looking at the stats recently, and am amazed how many people seem to pop by my little corner of the internet!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Happy Bonfire Night!!

To my UK readers - have a happy and safe bonfire night. To everyone else, have a great night also, and ponder why us Brits feel the need to celebrate the date someone tried to blow up the houses of parliament!!

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend - I'm off to see my folks (leaving as soon as I've posted this). It was my Dad's birthday 2 weeks ago, so we are going out for dinner tomorrow night. And yes, I have parcels for him in the car. I'm looking forward to driving down tonight - if the A1 is dark I should see lots of lovely fireworks, which will break up the monotony of the drive.

I packed Pooh and Eeyore and the Sue Hawkins pieces which I hope to finish this month, just in case I get the chance to stitch!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Peacock progress

I've made quite a bit of progress with Peacock Firescreen this week - I've done almost all of the top right corner, apart from the extra side panel. Given there's a lot more stitching in the top half of this piece I'm probably at least 1/4 done(well, apart from the BS). It's odd, I've really hated this piece when I've been stitching it before, but at the moment I am loving it. I hope that feeling sticks around a bit, as I'd like to get quite a lot done before the end of the year!

Sorry, the photo is very dark - it's quite late and very dark!!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Christmas is coming...

I hate to say it, but Christmas is really beginning to loom. What has made me acutely aware of its loomingness? The fact it's time for the TW Christmas Ornament Exchange again. I've taken part for the last 3 years, and have really enjoyed both sending and receiving the ornaments.

Last night I stitched a non TW ornament for the exchange (which means no photos for this post). I also want to stitch a TW one, which I'll start tomorrow. By TW standards my choice is quite simple (but very beautiful), so it should be a quick stitch. I'm really happy \i signed up again this year!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Scarf finish

Although I finished this at the weekend, I've only just sewn in the loose ends and taken a photograph tonight:

The scarves out stitch and b**** group have knitted will be heading off to York next week, ready for the wrapping of the York walls on the 21st.

This month is NatBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) - although I suspect national to the US or Canada, rather than the UK... Anyway, I know I won't manage to blog everyday, but I'm going to see how often I can manage it!!

Monday, 1 November 2010

November goals

It's time to recap those goals and set some more. So how did I do in November?

1) Finish FT YES
2) Finish my scarf YES
3) Knit 2 chunky scraves for a charity event YES
4) Stitch an ornie YES - Snowdon by Jemini Designs
5) Work on another WIP - YES - Peacock Firescreen
6) Buy my 3 stone lost stitching treat - YES - not what I'd intended (A BBD Loose Feathers chart, fabbie and threads), but some lovely speciality threads for Christmas ornament stitching!!

I also made the lovely quilted mat at the weekend.

I don't think I've ever met all of my goals before :)

So, what do I want to achieve in November???

1) Make good progress on Peacock Firescreen
2) Finish Pooh and Eeyore
3) Finish Tulip scissor fob by Sue Hawkins
4) Stitch two ornaments
5) Work on my lace project
6) Work on another WIP.

Should be a busy month!!!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Quilting class fun

Yesterday I took an introductory patchwork & quilting class, organised by The Skep Knitting and Quilting Shop in Farsley. Although I have taught myself the basics from books, there were a few things I'm not very good at (cutting out, matching corners and getting consistent seams for starts), so I thought the absolute beginners class would be a good idea. Plus although I've made a few blocks, I've never actually done any sashing, quilting or binding!!

The day started with a near miss for me - as I was backing out of the drive I remembered that I needed the cable and foot for my sewing machine. Shall I just say I wasn't the only one!! When we arrived we all had a cuppa, and Maureen, the teacher, gave us all a present from Clare, who runs the Skep - a lovely pin cushion complete with a few pins, a needle and a wonderful 10% off voucher... more on that later ;)

We all made a simple 16 patch block, and I chose not-very-typically-Jo colours for mine. The green fabric with bright pink berries really caught my eye - and the plain cerise pink was a perfect match!! Once I'd made the first 4 small units, I tried arranging them in different ways, and decided that they looked fabulous as a Puss in the Corner design. Maureen was very taken with my choice of fabrics and design, and suggested that we should quilt through the plain pink using a leaf motif, using a lovely variegated green thread. The sashing was surprisingly simple, as was attaching the binding, but the mitred corners were really tricky... By the end of the class I'd got everything finished apart from 2 mitred corners and stitching the binding to the back by hand. I did 2 corners and some hemming last night, and finished it in front of the TV this morning:

I had a blast yesterday, and learnt LOADS - Maureen was a great teacher, and very funny. I can't wait to sign up for quilting 2. Plus Louise and I fancy the crocheting class that they run. Pam even kept the Skep open late for us so we could go shopping after we finished. I only bought 2 fat quarters, as i have plenty in my stash already and no real idea of what I want to make next. But I picked up some more wool to make another cable knit scarf (I like the one for Cancer Research UK so much I'm making one for me!!), and some lovely ribbons for finishing Christmas ornaments:

Oh, and I forgot to say - at lunchtime we were treated to homemade apple pie and/or mince pies made by Pam. Thankfully I don't like mince pies, so my ww week wasn't totally trashed ;) And that reminds me of another thing - I had a major victory at ww this week - I passed the 50lbs mark - I can't believe I have lost 50.5lbs since January!!!

Last time I posted I promised a photo of Peacock Firescreen:

I've made quite a bit of progress on it this week since the last time I shared a photo (which is exactly where it stood when I picked it up), something else I'm really happy with.

Anyway, I have to say I am having a wonderful weekend on my own (Eddy's at a conference, and is on his way home right now). I'm planning a nice tea tonight with apple crumble with our own apples for pudding. Hope your weekends have been just as lovely.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Never posted this finish!!

Not long after we got back from the States (probably in May), I stitched this ornament from the 2009 JCS magazine:

Oh Christmas Tree
(c) Charlotte's Web Needlework

I really enjoyed trying all the speciality stitches, and learnt quite a bit from it.

This week I've been working on Peacock Firescreen by Barbara Thompson. If you recall I really wasn't enjoying it much, but now I've started the peacock I'm getting quite into it. I'll post a photo at the weekend.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Christmas Sea Otter

Last night I finished the sea otter ornament from the JCS 2008 xmas ornaments magazine. I'dwanted to stitch him as soon as I saw the design, as he's so cute, and he reminds me of our fabulous trip to Alaska a few years ago (in 2006 I think). I didn't get the buttons until we were in Vegas at Easter, and I honestly thought I was one of the wool colours short... until a couple of weeks ago when I checked my stash to work out which colour I needed to order... and realised I had all 3 shades. So I started him right away!!

Snowdon, (c) Jemini Designs
Stitched in GAST simply wool, Esatz glissen gloss and DMC

The photo is a little washed out - the fabric is a 28 ct linen by Jane Greenoff called tansy, and is a lovely blue-green IRL. I really, really enjoyed stitching this little guy!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

FT Happy Dance!!

Yes, it's finally finished:

Fantasy Triptych, (c) Teresa Wentzler

I really slowed towards the end of this project. I think subconsciously I didn't want to finish it...

Last night we watched Wallander in Swedish - so once again I did some knitting so I could read the sub-titles!! I started my second scarf for Cancer Research UK:

After finishing FT tonight I picked up Pooh and Eeyore and finished the xs. And yes Avivah, there were a few more stitches in that gap!!! I've just started the bs, and will share another photo in the week. I seem to be having a very productive October, which is lovely... wonder how many things I can finish before the New Year!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Stash shopping and stitching

This week has been particularly busy, and I've not had a huge amount of time to stitch. When I have had time I've not felt like using the large frame FT is on, so I've still not quite finished - just the beads to go now!! I had a sudden emergency on Wednesday when I realised I didn't have enough beads, so I put in an order to sewandso for the beads and a few skeins of speciality threads, for ornies in the JCS 2010 ornament magazine.

I've done quite a bit more of Pooh and Eeyore, but still have some xs to do, before all the detailed BS, which really brings this piece to life:

I also started an ornament, for the 2008 JCS magazine. I bought all the stash for this in Las Vegas back at Easter... any idea what the nondescript brown blob might be?

Today was the Pudsey Not Just Lace Fair, which of course I had to go to as it's just up the road!! Phyllis stayed with us overnight last night, as she was organising the Lace Guild's stall. She went to the hall at about 8.45 this morning. Sonia came over at 10.30 and we headed over, missing the doors just open rush. Eddy came along too. I bought myself some lovely bobbins, one antique leopard (left), three from Margaret Wall (middle) and five from Stuart Johnson (right).

I also got lots of spangles (beads) - enough for all the bobbins I have that are unspangled, including all of the ones Eddy made in May. Both Stuart and David Springett asked Eddy if he was still wood turning (we don't have a lathe - or room for one - though!). Eddy bought me a pretty bobbin for Christmas, and I got him a wood turning book by David Springett. I also bought myself a 24" round pillow (much more suitable for Bedfordshire Lace than my current pillows), and this adorable little duck pin cushion:

All in all, great fun!! And now I am going to drink my cuppa (which will have cooled down perfectly while I was writing this) and pick up FT and get those beads on. I fully expect another Happy Dance today.

Thanks for popping by!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Two knitting happy dances :)

Last night I finished the scarf I was knitting for me - it's a basic lace pattern, in a pretty variegated double knitting wool. This afternoon I finished the one I was knitting for cancer research UK. It's a very basic cable (pattern from the Skep knitting and quilting shop - my new local haunt), in a chunky magenta wool. Not as bright as in these photos... I love the cable so much I may have to knit it again for myself... I have about 1/2 ball of wool left - it took 2.5 balls, and is over 1.5m long!

The lighting at home is dreadful tonight, and don't do either scarf justice... but I really wanted to share these with you today!!! The ones with me wearing (I won't say modelling, as that's a real stretch) just didn't come out. But it is fabulous - lovely and long!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Knit the York Walls!!

As I mentioned in my last week, I'm knitting scarves for charity...

One of my colleagues, Julia, was in York over the summer and met a group aiming to get enough pink scarves to hang them around the walls of York. Apparently they had a scale model - a small scarf or two wrapped around a Barbie Castle!! Inspired by this, Julia asked if our stitch and bitch group at work would join in...

On Monday, Julia, Sonia, Chrissie, Emma and Louise came over to mine and we started knitting. Emma and I chose chunky wool, which was VERY CLEVER...

I'm hoping to knit 2 scarves. The first is bright magenta and has a cable. Not having knitted a cable since I was 18 this proved to be a bit of a challenge at first... I spent much of the first hour swearing and ripping out the scarf. Now I've got the hang of it, it's coming along nicely (just under a metre at present).

The scarves have to be sent to York, and will be wrapped around the 2.5 mile walls on 21st November. 2832 scarves, measuring 15 x 150cm are needed. Afterwards the scarves will be sold in aid of Cancer Research UK. So I'm spreading the work - pull out your knitting needles, find some pink wool, and help knit the walls of York!!! Details are here.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

October goals

well I knew finishing the xs on Fantasy Triptych was a long shot. I might have managed it, but Thursday night I helped a friend move house, rather than coming home and stitching, which completely kyboshed any attempt to get it done! Last night I did the maiden's hair and dress, and now just need to do the over 1 (I'm going to convert her hand to over one) and the speciality stitches - which technically means I've now completed the xs!!!! Woooooo!!!

Anyway, it's time to recap September's goals:

1) Finish the xs on Fantasy Triptych - close, but no banana...
2) Work on Pooh and Eeyore - yes
3) Stitch an ornament - nope
4) Make good progress with my lace - I made progress, but I wouldn't call it good!!
5) Finish my scarf - nope
6) work on another WIP - not that I remember...

Now term has started, life gets hectic again, so I need to be a bit more realistic... yeah right!!! So here are October's optomistic goals:

1) Finish FT
2) Finish my scarf
3) Knit 2 chunky scraves for a charity event - for Cancer UK a group of knitters are trying to knit enough scarves to fit around the walls of York... more on this to come!!!
4) Stitch an ornie
5) Work on another WIP
6) Buy my 3 stone lost stitching treat

Lets see how I get on!!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

I am still here!!!

I am still here, and finding a little time to stitch - probably quite a bit of time really, I still stitch most days, but not as much as usual!! Term has just started at Uni, and I have acquired a master's course to run... so I'm a little busier than usual!

Anyway, when I have had chance to pick up some stitching, it has usually been Fantasy Triptych, and here is a photo of where I've got to:

I don't think I'll make my target of finishing all of the xs by the end of September - but I probably won't be that far off.

In other news - my friend Krista had her blessing in church this weekend - she got married in the Seychelles in August. She wore the garter in the Seychelles, but not in Balderton. So no throwing the garter to the men (which Heidi asked about) - to be honest it's not a big tradition in England, although I am sure I have been to a wedding where the garter was thrown. We do usually do the bouquet bit though... Anyway, here is a pic of the happy couple, Dave and Krista, with their niece Emily.

Finally, thank you for popping by my little corner of the internet - I rarely say it, but it makes me really happy to read the comment and see that people are following me!

Happy stitching x

Monday, 13 September 2010

Monday meltdown

Today was, well, one of THOSE days. I left work at 7pm, having achieved very little, and feeling totally p***ed off with the world.

I got home and checked the post, and received this wonderful scissor fob from Heidi:

Thank you Heidi, this completely changed my day from pretty depressing to delightful in 5 seconds flat!! It is absolutely gorgeous. And the little Singer sewing machine on the end is absolutely perfect - I have a lovely antique Singer sewing machine that Eddy bought me for Christmas one year:

It was to replace the sewing machine that I had from my Grandma when she died. It had been converted to electric - but sadly developed a fault and gave my sister a nasty electric shock, so my parents got rid of it. I'd always missed the machine, as it is the wonderful 1920s Tutankhamen version - which suits me well given I'm an archaeologist! Isn't the painting lovely:

So thank you Heidi for cheering me up after a bad day!! The fob is perfect - thank you!!