Thursday, 1 December 2011

One finished.... another to start

Yes.... so pleased with myself, I have finished one sock.  Now the hard part is to get another finished, but I will push myself to get it done by the end of the year.   That will be my knitting craze finished with for another year.  Actually they are fairly easy to do, it's just the first few rounds that are a bit fiddly but after that working with so many needles was no bother, even with all five needles in play for the heel.    Had a bit of a problem understanding how to graft the toe but after watching a Utube tutorial it became clear.  Take a look....

and it fits perfectly.

Now I can show the Christmas ornie I sent to my partner on FS group, as I know she has received it.  I am still waiting for mine, post is a little slow sometimes across the pond.  It's a LHN chart, Gingerbread Village.  I have already started stitching another for a little surprise for a family member.... not saying who, they may read this. 

I am still kitting up my Crazy 15 ready for January...... now need to find 4 more charts,  I have taken one out .. far too large for me, I stitch better with smallish items.  Going to cut and neater edges of all the fabric I have waiting.... make a list of floss needed and look thru my stash.  Hope I shall be ready for Jan 1st.  It is very hard not to start some of the ones I have already kitted. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I do work better under pressure, and the pressure will be on to be ready. 

Ok I'm  off to browse for charts and will leave you with a snap of what's in flower in my sun-room.... ugh! where's the sun?

Happy stitching

Friday, 18 November 2011

A new start and a near finish

My new start is ...... 'drum roll'.......  socks, yes I'm knitting again.  Don't do much of it but now and again I see something and I think 'I can knit that'..... well, I saw these socks when blog browsing and found a kit online.  The kit includes yarn, set of five needles, pattern and cute little stitch markers.  Wish I had picked a brighter colour now but I could always do a second pair.  I don't class myself as a knitter by any means, but I think I am doing ok so far.  What do you think?

My 'near' finish is a LHN Deck the Halls, it is a lovely little piece to stitch.  Will be adding it to my Crazy 15 Challenge for next year.  I must spend some time today looking at how much fabric and floss I need to buy ready for this challenge.   I also need to add 3 more to make up my 15.   I'm thinking Christmas, then I may be ready next year with a few ornies made. 

LHN Deck the Halls
I shall have it finished this week, so watch this space...... need to look for fabric to make up into a little pillow.  I did finished one Christmassy ornie this week but can't show as its on its way across the pond for our Friendly Stitchers swap, and I don't want to spoil a surprise.

The weather here is bright and sunny today, but a definite chill in the air.  I'll leave you with a few snaps of what's in my garden this week.
I love the colours of Autumn, Fall..... but feel sad as I know it means the cold of winter is on its way..brrrr...

Happy stitching

Friday, 4 November 2011

Not a lot happened this week!

I don't seem to have done much stitching this week, not a lot has happened but it seems to have flown by...... ... I did get my Christmas ornie swaps in the post for International Hand Stitchers group, will show photos when I know they have been received.  Two to USA and one to Australia, hope they fly as quick as my week has.   I have started a LHN 'Deck the Halls' christmas ornie, and it's  lovely, I'm sure I will be stitching this one again and again.

It is my DH's birthday today, so as he loves muffins and cupcakes I made him some Banana and Choc cupcakes, recipe from my favourite baking book (see last post).  ummmmm.....  must start on a healthier diet, think we both  got a few pounds to lose now...

Yummmy !!!

I will leave you with a few snaps from my garden, really looking autumnal now.......

the resident blackbird will enjoy the orange Firethorn and red Cotoneaster berries this winter. 

Happy stitching

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Phew! nearly a disaster!

My DH loves choc muffins, so being the good wife that I am......   I decided I'd surprise him with some homemade ones instead of his normal shop bought ones.  Now, I have made this recipe before and it's easy.  Ok, so I whip up this batch of 12 and pop them in my new oven, set the timer and turn around to start cleaning up.  I spotted the microwave and thought *****!!! , opened it up and there inside was the melted butter that should have been added to the muffins.  Quick as a flash I got the tray out of the oven, it wasn't very hot!!!  then spooned the mixture out of the paper cases into my mixing bowl,  added the butter and blasted it with my mixer on full power.  Then arranged new paper cases in the muffin pan and spooned the mixture back in.  Into the oven once more they went..... timer set again.   Time to clear up the mess, and oh  it was a mess ... chocolate mix everywhere.   I hung around the oven with my fingers crossed............ after 20 mins I stuck a skewer in one and DONE, out the oven and onto a rack to cool.   They looked good! 

And they tasted GREAT!  The recipe is out of this book my son bought me for my birthday.

Being pleased with my success in the light of a disaster I decided to make my favourite cake, Lemon Drizzle.  I did concentrate more this time and didn't have any mishaps.  If  you would like my recipe for this cake just leave a comment and I'll get it to you.

Yummy.... it won't last long!        Now I'm back to stitching.....

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Two finishes!!!

I am so thrilled ....... I have finished the stitching on my LHN Home of a Needleworker.  It is the first big project I have worked on in cross-stitch and am so pleased I finished.  Now to find a frame to fit, or should I take it to a framer?  A 'do it myself ' would be cheaper, but can I do it?   Only one way to find out...

Here it is,  not a good photo
I know there are a couple of stitches in the wrong place and I didn't get my name spaced out evenly, but it's a finish, so I'm happy.

Well my next finish this week was a small doll quilt, made for a challenge on 'smallquilttalk' yahoo group.  The challenge was to use a four-patch block and there was lots of talk about red and white quilts, so I had a go.  Here's my attempt,  it measures 9 1/2 by 14 inches, and the big stitch quilting was done by hand.  All the fabric I found in my stash, which surprised me as I don't use a lot of red in my patchwork.
 My little mohair bear I made last year seems to like it.

Now I'm starting on Christmas ornaments,  I've just ordered two LHN charts so hope I can get them finished before December.  I'll keep you posted on progress

Happy stitching!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Crazy 15 Challenge 2012 - my list so far

I can't believe how quickly time has gone by, I haven't got very far with my stitching since my last post but I did make a start on organizing my Crazy 15..... well, I have 10  on my list, what do you think so far!  I'm looking for smaller projects for the remainder to give me some chance of finishing.  I have 3 kitted up and 2 just waiting for threads........ must do a little shopping for fabric and a few more threads, and maybe a few LHN charts, oh and needles....   I broke one this morning.

Crazy 15 Challenge 2012
Coffee Menu, by LHN
Tiny Linen Pinkeep, by Jane Greenoff
Tiny House, by LHN
Snowflake Biscornu, by Faby Reilly
Espresso Yourself, by Kell Smurthwaite
Hot Chocolate, by Kell Smurthwaite
Tea for 2, by Kell Smurthwaite
Bee Welcome, by Abi Gurden
Heart Stitcher, by à mon ami Pierre
The French Hen, by JBW Designs

Crazy 15 Challenge
Did you notice my little plastic wallets?  I have A4 and A5 sizes, they are so handy for keeping a project together.  Found them at my local supermarket, very cheap too!  So here's a pic of them in my 'WIP' bag, ummm.. so neat.

Don't think I shall get much stitching done tomorrow, my oven blew up this evening just as I was about to put our dinner in!!!  ....... the cooker is not that old, and I have had it repaired twice, but this time DH says 'oh no we buy another one', so that's what I'm doing tomorrow.  Salad anyone?  

Happy stitching

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Autumn finish and needlebook exchange

I can now show  photos of the pretty needlebook I received from Viv in our Friendly Stitchers exchange.

from Viv
 This photo does not show it too well, but there are lots of beads which make it shine.  It's really lovely and beautifully stitched.  I think I may look for a new camera for Christmas, or is it just operator training I need.  I'll wait and see what Santa brings.

mine to Viv

 I added a little pincushion with mine to Viv, as I was going to use the acorns on the book cover but they didn't fit well, so I used them for a pincushion, and stitched the pumpkin instead.

While looking for charts for this Autumn exchange I found a little hanger, and I've finished the stitching  this week.... still got to do the making up.  Here's a link where I found it, some lovely free charts for all seasons. 

worked on 28ct hand-dyed evenweave by Polstitches

I've also been busy with my LHN 'Home of a Needleworker', I'm so pleased with it, can't wait to get it finished and framed.
getting near to a finish

Well, my list of 15 for the Crazy Challenge is proving to be a bit of a challenge in itself..... I still can't decide what I'm including.  I only have 3 kitted up so far, much get more organised.  I have found some plastic folders to keep each project in as I kit them up, which will help me keep track of things.  As you may guess I'm not the world's most organised stitcher....... but I'm getting better !!!!!    I'll dig out some more holiday snaps for my next update.

happy stitching

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Where was I? - ' Downunder mate'

Did you guess where I was on holiday?  DH and I had a great time for just over 5 weeks.... here's another photo from that amazing country,   the beautiful city of Adelaide, SA..... shopping on the Rundle Mall
Rundle Street and Rundle Mall are named after John Rundle (1791- 1864), an original director and financier of the South Australia Company, which was formed in London in 1834 to promote settlement of the new colony of South Australia.
 The sheep were on the road to the small town of Melrose, in the Flinders Range.  It was a wonderful sight to see early that morning, a field of blue with sheep dotted about.  The plant they were grazing on is Echium plantagineum, commonly known as Purple Viper's Bugloss or as Paterson's Curse or Salvation Jane (particularly in South Australia). Other names are Blueweed, Lady Campbell Weed or Riverina Bluebell. The name Salvation Jane comes from South Australia. In times of drought, many of the states grazing pastures died. Due to its drought hardiness, Echium was a source of food to the grazing animals in the state, hence the name Salvation Jane.  I believe it is toxic to horses.

The beach ............ 'sigh'  was perfect.  If I won the lottery that is where you would find me, building a house overlooking that bay..... named Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.  There was  a quilting shop too,  what more could I ask for...... 

Now onto an update of my stitching this past week,  more stitching on LHN's Home of a Needleworker, and a small autumn piece for a small  hanging pillow, which I haven't got a photo of yet, so will wait till its finished. 

I am really enjoying stitching this one, I have got the feel of linen now and love the look.  I think I am completely mad, cos I have signed up for the Crazy 15 Challenge, info here
so I have been browsing to find 15 projects I want to stitch next year.  I'm a very slow stitcher so it will be a challenge to finish 15 in a year.  Might have to choose mostly small ones, with a few medium, certainly no large projects.  My Mary Wigmore is the only big project I can concentrate on, maybe I can add that as one of my 15.  I know I shall be doing some LHN charts, one will be the 'Coffee Menu' as I love that and it will go great on my kitchen wall.   Also I have French Hen by JBW Designs to add.  I'll update next week on my 15 chosen ones.

happy stitching

Friday, 2 September 2011

a look back!

Not a lot of stitching has been done lately, apart from an autumnal piece to be made into a needlebook, which I can't show yet as it's for an exchange in Friendly Stitchers group.

So I've been looking thru my photos and thought I would show a couple of holiday photos,  plus what I stitched on that holiday.  See if you can guess what country I was in .......

sheep grazing, early morning

a perfect beach!

now to what I stitched .....
ready to bring home for Christmas

Look out next week for more 'looking back' at holiday photos and the stitching done.  Plus the answer to where the sheep are grazing and the location of  my perfect beach ....

Happy stitching

Saturday, 20 August 2011

A busy week......... but little achieved!

I seem to have had a busy week but don't feel much has been achieved.    I think I would have felt better if I had started something new, I do like to start projects and finish them ... it seems it's the bit in the middle I'm not good with

My progress on Mary is slow, Home of a Needleworker is better but still slow......

Mary Wigham sampler
Home of a Needleworker

I did finish a small wallhanging that will be going to our eldest son.  I made him a 'Union Jack' wallhanging a few months ago and promised a 'Stars and Stripes' one too.  I didn't take a photo of the 'Union Jack', but here's the 'Stars and Stripes' with a dish of my tomatoes... they are yummy!!!!

Both hangings have a sleeve on the back ready to hang, but I bet they won't be on his wall until I visit.........

I received a lovely summer biscornu from Christine in  our Summer Sensation exchange on Friendly Stitchers, I know she has received what I sent out so I can now show them both,

made for Christine
received from Christine

it was a great swap and I'm looking forward to joining the next one, a needlebook. 

The highlight of my week ..............  a trip into Cambridge courtesy of the new guided busway.  Here's a link to show the route 

it was quick with brand new buses, very comfy, and I could use my buspass, so no cost......... the longest guided busway in UK.  I don't go to Cambridge very often, because driving in and parking is awful, the main A14 road is so busy at all times and it's often at a standstill, then the parking is expensive, when you find a space.  But with this new busway taking me into the heart of the citycentre I may go every week ... this is a lovely shop I visit  ;)  great for stash building.

Happy stitching

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Off to a good start.....

Yes, my new projects stitching on 32ct linen have started well.   But the  'Home of a Needleworker' started off badly, I stitched the top border along the wrong side of the linen, the short side! so a lot of unpicking was done. After a couple of other miscalculated stitches and re-do's I think I am now on the right track. I do need good light and natural light is best for me, so I stitch mostly early morning or late afternoon sitting in the sunroom.  Not that we have had much sun lately, been very overcast and showery, still the light is good.

Here's the progress so far............

 Now the second new project, the Mary Wigham sampler.........  I am so pleased with myself as it is going really well, no unpicking!  I think it maybe that I am taking it slowly and being extra careful.  But I like to think it's Mary looking over my shoulder and guiding my needle.  I love the colour of this first thread I'm using, I shall just add other colours as I go along... I've no master plan for a colour scheme.  I know it will take me months even years to complete but I'm so enjoying the process.

So here's the progress .....

I've also been working on some patchwork, a little basket quilt.  I made these basket blocks a few weeks ago and then left them in my 'unfinished box'... we all have one of those!..  Well, my sewing machine was feeling a bit neglected with me doing all this hand stitching, so I spent time with it and joined the blocks into a small quilt top.  Then machine quilted a small wall hanging I'm making for my eldest son.  I'll show that photo when it's finished, but here's my baskets.........

I've now got to go thru my stash for fabric for a border, don't think I have any suitable...... I haven't been to my LQS for ages, might be a good idea to have a look what they have!  I'm sure I will find some and more.

Friday, 5 August 2011

What I stitched this week.......

I finished a little keyring for my beautiful DIL and gave the sheep legs!  Can you see the mistake?  I didn't see it until I looked at the photo .......  the question is now... shall I unpick and re-do or let it go?

I'm talking about the 'HO' on the first HOME.... they are two stitches higher than the rest!  silly me!

I have gone mad and decided to try and stitch a Mary Wigham sampler, on 32ct linen which I have never used before.  The floss I'll use is a Crescent Colours, shade Chilli Pepper, may add a teal/grey too, think its called Dublin Bay.  This will be a big challenge for me, so fingers crossed and I will keep you posted on progress.  I have also started 'Home of a Needleworker', again on 32ct linen.  It's a chart that's been on my 'wish list'  for ages, I love all LHN patterns.  Wish me luck with these two, they are both big projects for me, usually I only do small items that I can finish quickly, but think it's time to go forwards and so up to the next level.

Happy stitching

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Chillies and tomatoes!

I've not done much in the way of stitching this week, but did manage to  finished my exchange biscornu. Just need to post it off next week, but sorry no photo yet, but I will show you this what  I managed to finish off too.............   can you guess what's in here!

        ....something I love!  its so amazing!  and partly to blame for not a lot of stitching getting done!.....

                 can you see it... just peeping out!  yes........ its my new Kindle.  Thought it deserved its own case so I found these charm squares in my stash and they seemed to fit the bill fine.  I love the lime and black together.

The title of this post does mention Chillies, so here's an update of how they are doing

                    and the tomatoes,  but I think I may need a recipe for green tomato chutney!

  and I'll leave you with a gorgeous fuchsia flower that's in one of my hanging baskets.