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!