Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Stained glass flowers

I finished all of the xs on the Art Nouveau Peacock Firescreen this weekend. I took a quick snap before I started on the backstitch:

I'm pleased I had a look at the chart before I started the BS - it's done in black with TWO threads. I have to say I wasn't all that convinced as I started the flower in the top right corner. But as soon as I started the long straight lines of BS, making the design look like a stained glass window, I was delighted, and my faith in Barbara Thompson (the designer) was restored. I'm making pretty good progress with this so far - so long as I don't get bored I should get this done fairly quickly, which would be lovely.

In other news - it's FREEZING here. Well, probably not that cold on a global scale, but pretty nippy. I'm so pleased our heating was fixed last Thursday - it's on full blast right now, and my fingers still feel chilly! But I can't wear gloves and stitch, so I'll just live with it...

Thanks for popping by my little corner of the web - I love reading your comments, or just knowing someone stopped by and had a read and a look-see.

Happy stitching

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Christmas Mandolin

My mum put a couple of pretty Mill Hill kits in my Christmas stocking this year, and I finished the first one a week ago. I would have posted it earlier on, but the photos I took at home in the evenings were DREADFUL, so I had to wait until I remembered to take a photo during daylight hours! Luckily today was really sunny, and I remembered to get the shot before it got dark (although the light was just beginning to fade!).

Anyway, here it is:

I've been busy today - shopping, doing some work etc - but now I've got all that done I think I'll ignore the housework (because I never do that ;) ) and enjoy some stitching time. I'm trying to get all the xs done on the peacock firescreen - which is looking achievable, and I'll probably do some more knitting as we're planning on watching some more of The Killing.

I hope everyone else is doing something they love this weekend!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Swathes of Blue and Green

This weekend has been pretty chilly. Not the weather - but our boiler (temperamental at the best of times) has decided to finally pack in for a while, and until the spares arrive we are sans heat and water...

The good side of this was that we had to sit in all day yesterday and wait for the repair guy! We caught up on quite a bit of TV that we have recorded (including the first part of Treasure Island, which I really loved, and more of the Killing). So, of course, I stitched!

While watching the Killing I knitted some more of my cardigan - I've now done the back and both fronts - so just 2 sleeves and a collar to go! When watching anything not with sub titles I have been working on Peacock Firescreen - I'm working on the lovely blues and greens of the tail that drew me to this piece initially:

On Wednesday night, Lou came over for another lace evening - I've started a little Bedfordshire motif, as I wanted a quick fix after completing the butterfly. This is also something of an experiment, as I don't have a photo of the finished piece, or a working diagram - I'm doing this deceptively tricky motif just from the pricking. It must be even trickier than I thought though, as the pattern called for 14 pairs and I used 18...

I should finish this on Wednesday, once I have decided how to chuck out 4 pairs during a windmill crossing...

I hope everyone has had a lovely, crafty weekend too - if a little warmer than it has been here!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

First happy dance of 2012 and an overdue ORT report

I have finished something!!!! And not just anything, but the Bedfordshire lace butterfly I started back in May 2009! I am unbelievably proud of this little bit of lace, I have learnt so much during Christine Springett's courses, and it really shows in the pieces I am producing.

I'm also very proud to say that I have finished my first quilt top. Of course I've not finished the quilt yet... I have no idea how I'm going to successfully quit it using my basic sewing machine and my very small dining table... But here is a photo of the top as it was when I completed the pattern.

I decided that I wasn't entirely happy at this point. When I started this I somehow misinterpreted the pattern and used the plan cream in the setting triangles in the blocks as well - instead of another pretty print. So there is WAY too much plain cream. So I decided the play a bit. But I didn't take a photo of the quilt top once I'd made my additions - so that will have to be a surprise! Since then I have pinned by batting and backing cloth to the quilt and folded it up carefully. Hopefully I'll be able to start the quilting process at the weekend.

And now for a very late ORT report. Last year I took part in the TUSAL - the totally useless stitch along. I religiously collected all of my ORTs (old ratty threads) into a pretty vase, and at each full moon posted a picture of the vase and my collection on my blog. Until September, when I went temporarily AWOL from blogland.... BUT, I did remember to take a photo of the ORTs before I cleared the vase out to start my 2012 collection:

I am VERY late with my first ORT report of 2012, but here it is. The green at the bottom is from Peacock Firescreen, the red layer is a surprise, and the browny-gold layer is from a little Mill Hill Christmas ornament kit - a mandolin - that my mum popped in my Christmas stocking this year, and that I expect will be my second happy dance of the year.

Happy stitching everyone!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Yearly re-cap

I've been meaning to post this for weeks, but I never seen to find the time. So 2 weeks into January, here I am recapping 2011...

Last year I did a whole variety of crafting - I finished 4 medium to large cross stitches, 6 smaller cross stitches, 5 knitted projects, 1 crochet piece, 3 lace projects, 1 needle felting project and 1 small quilted project:

Cross stitch:

A New Beginning
Classic Pooh Birth sampler
Bird in Hand
Time for Harvest
Holiday holly biscornu
Hedgerow Birds
Celtic bookmark
Christmas pinkeep
Wild Thyme Fairy
Christmas joy needlebook

Lace scarf
Stripy socks
Zig zag scarf
Chenille cable scarf
Blue cardigan
Pink cable scarf

Lace projects:
Bedfordshire lace sampler
Bedfordshire lace flower
Christmas bangle ornament

Other crafts:
Crochet corsage
Needle felted mushroom
Pink heart quilted cushion

Much more variety and lots more knitting than last year, but my cross stitch productivity dropped off as a consequence!

At the start of the year I had the following WIPS:

* Eeyore's problem - some progress
* Peacock firescreen - lots of progress
* Gaelic banner - didn't touch it
* Wild Thyme fairy - FINISHED
* A new beginning - FINISHED

* Sampler quilt - some progress
* Amish star quilt - some progress
* Milanese lace - didn't touch it
* Bedfordshire lace flower - FINISHED
* Bedfordshire lace butterfly- FINISHED
* Lace ornament- FINISHED

This year I am starting with the following WIPs:
*Eeyore's problem
*Peacock firescreen
*Gaelic banner
*Fruit Bell Pull
*Lincoln Cathedral from Castle Grounds

*Green cardigan
*Crochet scarf

*Bedfordshire lace butterfly
*Milanese lace

*Amish star quilt
*Sampler quilt
*Teacher's pet quilt

So how did I do with my goals for 2011?

1) Finish Wild Thyme Fairy YES
2) Finish Peacock Firescreen NO
3) Work on the other 3 cross stitch WIPs I didn't touch Gaelic Banner, but I worked on the other two
4) Finish the lace ornament and 1 more lace project YES
5) Finish a quilt NO, but I am close with one
6) Start a large TW YES
7) Start Hedgerow Birds (Blackbird Designs)YES - and finished it!
8) Do the finishing on some of the many ornaments I stitched in 2010 NOT ONE :(
9) Stitch lots, on what I want, and enjoy it!!(my favourite goal from 2010!!) ALWAYS :)

For 2012 I am going to attempt the following goals:

1) Finish my Bedfordshire lace butterfly
2) Complete another lace project
3) Finish Peacock firescreen
4) Work on all three of my other xs WIPS
5) Finish Teacher's pet quilt
6) Finish another quilt
7) Finish my green cardigan
8) Finish the crochet scarf
~ and, as always ~

9) Stitch lots, on what I want, and enjoy it!!

Happy stitching everyone :)

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Hmmm, I've really got out of the habit of blogging, haven't I? December was mostly taken up with work, Christmas shopping, visiting family and making some Christmas gifts. When the festive season finally arrived I ate, drank and crafted, making great progress on a couple of projects. We did over 750 miles in the car visiting family and friends. Thankfully we realised that after all that busy, we would need a relaxing holiday... so Ed and I both took this week off work too. Yeah for extended holidays!

I had three happy dances in the run up to Christmas. All were knitted gifts:

The first scarf was for my friend Annia. It's actually a very late birthday present, but I posted it with her (bought) Christmas present. The yarn is Ranco multy by Araucania.

My second happy dance was my first ever pair of socks, which I made for my Dad. These were a big hit, he wore them the day after I gave them to him.

The second scarf was for my sister. I decided it was time I tried a more complicated lace pattern. This backfired a little, as it took me ages to get going... then a week before Christmas the pattern suddenly made sense. Which was great until I had to work out the pattern for the pretty ends, which took a while. I then learnt that I forgot how to do the pattern entirely when knitting late at night... I finally finished it at about 10am on Boxing Day - then wrapped it and drove to my parent's house - it was done JUST in time... It's knitted in a different colour of the same Ranco Multy yarn, and I LOVE it!

I've not had chance to work out my yearly recap, or to think about goals for 2012, but they will follow. Hopefully after not too long! I'll also share some photos of my current cross stitch and knitting projects, and what I hope will be my first happy dance of 2012, a Bedfordshire lace butterfly...

I hope everyone has a lovely, crafty 2012 xx