Sunday, 29 January 2012

Is it really that time again?

And yes, it is indeed Sunday evening again and time to post my usual update. I'll start by saying thankyou for all the kind comments on my last post.  It's so nice to know that other people like my work.

Following on from your comments:

Joysze - yes, Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series does come into the same genre as the books I read.  However, EB's books have retained their popularity and are much easier to get hold of than the ones I mentioned.

On the wool front, as yet I have no scarves.  My colleague was only able to get the black and white mix from her local yarn shop, and will have to order the fuschia mix from the Internet.  I'm not in a desperate hurry - if the snow comes that they are threatening us with, I have shawls and scarves enough to keep me from hypothermia.  I will however post a photo as soon as I have a scarf to show.

Now for the update itself.

I now have a smily whale and some sea as per last week's plan.  However, not as much sea as I would wish because it is driving me nuts!  There are four different colours - white and three shades of aqua - and as you can see, it is designed in curling waves.  It is fiddly and frustrating, and to make matters worse, I am worried about having enough threads.  There was enough of all the other threads so in theory there should be enough of these, but I seem to achieve so little with each thread that I can't help worrying.  I got so frustrated with the sea that I started doing some of the backstitch, just to feel like I was getting somewhere.  And time is now tight - ideally I want to be taking this to the framers on Saturday with a view to getting it to my cousin for the following Thursday.  I think that I may have to take a day off on Friday to nail it.  Decisions, decisions!

Again I've made visible progress on the Beetle.  The back end is now done (bar any backstitch) and I've started on the roof.  I feel that it is starting to come together now.  Next week I plan to fill in the gap next to the window, then work on the roof and possibly the windscreen.  

I need to make a confession - other than having to go to work, the main thing which holds up progress on these pieces is my books.  It doesn't matter whether I work in the lounge or the bedroom, there are books.  And inevitably a point comes when I put down the stitching and pick up a book, and then I lose time - a few minutes, half an hour, a whole hour, depending on the book.  I suppose I could try stitching in the kitchen or the bathroom, but neither would be very comfortable, and the light in the hall is far too bad for stitching.  Am I the only person who has this problem?

Sunday, 22 January 2012

IHSW Report - January 2012

Doesn't time fly when you become an adult?  When I was a kid, days and weeks were so long, and the six weeks summer holiday seemed endless. Now, every time I turn round, that's another week over and I still haven't got done what I wanted to get done.  Do you have that problem too?

Well, this weekend was International Hermit and Stitch Weekend and yesterday I certainly hermited and stitched!  I didn't so much as stick my nose out of the door and, following a latish start, spent most of the day working on Noah's Ark.

The Ark itself is now complete and work has begun on the whale.  The plan for the coming week is to complete the whale and get started on the sea.  I now have a deadline in mind for this piece.  My cousin's birthday is 9 February and I would like to have this completed and framed to send with her birthday card.  I have a cunning plan for the sending which I will tell you about if it comes off.

Today was also laundry and shopping day, so despite an earlier start, there was less hermiting and less stitching.  Visible progress has been made on the Beetle despite the need to frog the first half hour's stitching because I had used the wrong colour thread!  The large dark patch at the top left is a greyish purple (DMC 3740) and is part of the shadowy interior of the Beetle.  I also completed the section between that and the diagonal orangey line - this is where the frogging came in.  I think that part of the problem with this piece (other than the million fractionals) is that the chart is so big - about twice the size of the fabric that I'm working on.  It makes it easier to read, but also means that it looks like there is so much more to do than there really is.  Next week I plan to carry on with the back of the car, working up and then round to the front.

In my last post, I talked about wool.  Well, I made up my mind and with any luck, my colleague will be bringing me a black and white scarf tomorrow, with a fuchsia mix one to follow in due course.  I decided to treat myself to an every day scarf (black and white) and a scarf for occasions (fuchsia mix).  I might even get carried away and have loads of scarves made - there were so many yummy colours to choose from.  Pictures will follow when the scarves arrive.

I have also treated myself to some new books.  These were my Christmas present to myself.  I collect girls school stories, often by authors that most people have never heard of.  I get them either in second hand bookshops, on the Net (Ebay or Abebooks) or from a specialist publisher - Girls Gone By.  My treats this time were as follows: "Evelyn Finds Herself" by Josephine Elder, "Leith and Friends" by Clare Mallory and "Mermaid House" by Gwendoline Courtney.  I would thoroughly recommend anything by these three authors.  Does anyone else out there enjoy this sort of book?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Just another Sunday update

How come its Monday in the morning?  Where did the weekend go?

Well, good progress has been made on Noah's Ark this week.  The current plan is to work from the right hand side of the Ark to the left, then to stitch the whale, then the sea, and then to backstitch up to the middle.  The final bit will be to roll up, do the French knot for the dove's eye and fill in baby's details.  I showed it to the Patchwork Group on Thursday - they haven't seen it since early November - and they all like it.  I think that the backstitch makes all the difference and really lifts it.

I got a limited amount done on the Beetle today, filling in the gap on the left hand side.  This was down to going on an excursion to a fabric shop with Mum and three other members of the Patchwork Group.  We left about 9ish and didn't get back till just before 1pm.  I bought some threads and gold plated needles, a bead mat and a piece of cream aida, but nothing worth taking a picture of.  Then I had to take Dad shopping and do three loads of washing, but I was determined to get some stitches in on the Beetle.  The bit that I wanted to do got done, but working on it in the evening without good light has given me a headache which I could do without.

I've also been looking at wool.  One of my colleagues came to work on Friday with a lovely scarf that she had knitted herself.  She told me which wool it was (Katia Ondas), and the idea is that I choose the colour, she will knit it for me and it will cost me less than it would if I bought a readymade elsewhere.  There's a nice black and white combo, which would go with most things, and a rather gorgeous fuchsia mix - decisions, decisions.

However the next decision is to go and make tomorrow's lunch, cos the alarm goes off at 6am again tomorrow.

NB - It is International Hermit and Stitching Weekend next weekend so I will be signing up for that in due course!

Monday, 9 January 2012

2012 WIPocalypse - January Full Moon

Hi, its time for my first WIPocalypse post.  I can't guarantee that it is going to be any more exciting than my usual posts, but never mind.

 Starting with Noah's Ark, I have rolled this since you last saw it because the backstitch on the top half is now complete, apart from the baby's name and details.  I also still have to do the French knot for the dove's eye (which I swear looks more like a seagull), but I didn't want to do it and then it get squashed when I rolled the piece.  The photo is not brilliant, but the backstitching goes down to, but does not include, the strip of green squares which are the top edge of the hull.  I have started work on the hull, but am going to have to roll it again soon before I start running into the bottom of the frame.  I'm also keeping a close eye on the amount of threads that I have left for this bottom half.  Unfortunately Design Works don't guarantee that the threads in their kits are DMC and I certainly won't have time to ask them to send me more, so please keep your fingers crossed for me.

I am starting to have a quiet panic about the Beetle.  As soon as possible is still quite a loose deadline for the Ark, but 4 March is a very definite deadline for this piece, and I'm not convinced that I'm even halfway through yet.  Once I have the car itself finished, I still have to do the dark area around the base, which is mainly one colour but still a lot of stitches.

I made some more progress on the left hand side yesterday morning, but as ever all the fractional stitches are so time consuming.  I think that if the worst comes to the worst, I shall have to tell my friend that I have a present for her but it isn't quite finished yet.  As soon as the Ark comes off the frame for framing, this one will get priority status!

Now then, I need to check in with Measi and then I plan to take a nosey at everyone else's posts so far.  Happy Full Moon to you all.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year and 2012 WIPocalypse List

A tad late (as usual) but Happy New Year to you all!

My family had a very special New Year's present - after 36 hours in labour, my cousin presented us with a baby girl born on New Year's Day!  This means that time is no longer my friend and I really have to crack on with my Noah's Ark piece.

As you can see, I have now reached the top of the piece and am now backstitching down to the middle before stitching the bottom half of the piece.  The backstitching is really making it pop.  I just hope that my cousin and her partner like it when it is finished.

Yesterday I got in something over three hours on the Beetle.  This was the chunk on the left hand side - you will see that it now has a back wheel.  I only have a couple of months to get this done and a long way to go, so I have changed my plans again.  My friend in the US will just have to wait and have an un-birthday present when this one is finished.

So that's what I've done - now on to what I'm planning to do.

My 2012 WIPocalypse list is going to start off very short as I don't have much in the way of WIPs, but I intend to add items as the year goes on.  Starting with those WIPs that need to be finished first, the list goes like this:

Noah's Ark - Design Works - to be finished and framed asap
VW Beetle - Lyndisfarne - to be finished and framed for March 4th
Carnation Lily Lily Rose - Scarlet Quince - my BAP project - no deadline
Fuchsia - Serendipity Designs - small travelling piece - no deadline

I also plan to get the Jayne Netley Mayhew piece done, and would like to do one of Thea Gouverneur's pieces from her book 'The Secret Garden'.  Once I get my deadline pieces completed, I might just go mad and start all sorts of things.  I also need to start thinking about a piece for my youngest niece's 5th birthday in 2013 - I want to create something that will grow with her but she is such a little pickle that it will take some serious thinking.

Right, I'll be back on the 9th with my WIPocalypse update but now I've got to go and make my tea.  Back to work in the morning!