Sunday, 22 July 2012

IHSW - July 2012 Report

Do you ever get the impression that "they" are out to get you?  Well, I am feeling extremely got at!  You may remember that last week my car went into the garage to have its head gasket fixed.  Having picked it up on Friday night and made various short trips round the neighbourhood over the weekend and driven to work and back on Monday and to work on Tuesday, things went very wrong, fortunately not as horribly wrong as they could have done, but very wrong!  Driving home on Tuesday, my car suffered a fuel leak.  I won't go into all the details for fear of boring you (but there were four firemen for those of you who like uniforms), but it transpired that when the garage did my head gasket, the mechanic didn't reconnect the fuel line properly.  I'm fine and the car is fine, but I had a very unpleasant couple of hours at the time, no sleep that night, and am about to get nasty with the garage, which has not responded appropriately.

On a brighter note, you will see that I have made good progress on the Cat.  I need to finish off his muzzle and his neck, do the last leaf and berries at the bottom, and finally do the backstitch, long stitch and French knots.  I reckon that with luck, if everything goes smoothly, I can have him finished by the weekend.  I'm not really a cat lover but I do think that he is looking just fine.  I hope that my aunt will like him as much as I do.

I got my regulation three blocks done on Carnation and was very tempted to do a fourth to finish off row 5.  However I was very firm with myself and left it at that so that the Cat got as much of my attention as possible.  Right, I'm now going to see what all the other hermitters have been up to, so go well and good stitching!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Where to start?

There's the stitching and then the other stuff.  This is supposed to be mainly a cross stitching blog, so I'll start with the stitching and then people who are only here for the beer, so to speak, can skip the rest.

 The Cat is moving on nicely.  I've done its forehead and, as you can see, have started on the other eye.  I would say that I'm about three quarters of the way there, give or take a few stitches.  I took this to Patchwork Group on Thursday, and they have finally accepted that it is supposed to be a cat.  The deadline for this is just over a fortnight away, and then I'll have a couple of weeks to get it framed, packed and off to its new owner.  I'm really quite happy with this piece, but am looking forward to finishing it and being able to move on to something for me.

Carnation is also progressing smoothly, with the regulation three blocks per week.  This week saw the completion of the lily bud and the appearance of the tips of petals from another lily.  I'm really proud of this piece - it requires real concentration and stickability, and it is going to be just cracking when it is done.

No new pictures of the Delft piece this week, but the chart for Chatelaine's Medieval Town Mandala arrived in time for me to take it to Patchwork to show them.  Having had a good look at the chart and the instructions, it is going to be as big a challenge as Carnation in its own way.

That's the stitching covered, now for the other stuff.  While I was on leave the other week, my car started making funny noises.  By Monday this week just gone, they were loud enough for my neighbour to suggest that I had it looked at.  It went to the garage on Tuesday - the head gasket had gone!  This resulted in my having no car until Friday evening and a serious dent in my bank account.  I am however looking on the bright side - if it had gone the previous Wednesday, when I had been doing 70 miles per hour down the A1(M), I might not be writing this now.

The other other stuff - my Dad went for blood tests on Thursday this week.  The consultant haemotologist was not happy, not with the lumps he found or the weight Dad has lost.  He said that with the lumps where they are, it could be one of a hundred things.  They took four tubes of blood and we have to wait two weeks for the results.  Dad will be 70 at the beginning of next month - what he really wants for his birthday is a clean bill of health.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Rain, rain, go away!

Take a week off work and what does it do?  Rains like billy oh!  Every time you step out of the door, you look up at the sky and try to decide - coat, no coat, brolly, no brolly?  It's been warm enough not to need a coat, but then you are taking a chance on getting soaked.  On Friday, it rained so heavily that we had minor flooding just outside where I live.  Admittedly I never crossed the doorstep on Friday, just opened the front door to see how bad it was and then went back in again, but it is getting beyond a joke.  Who's nicked our summer?!

Other than that, this week I've made a research trip to Huntingdon, ordered new glasses, had lunch with friends, enjoyed enough lie-ins that getting up at 6am tomorrow is going to be hard, and done plenty of stitching.

This is not the best picture that I've ever taken of the Cat - as usual the colour of the fabric is all wrong and it is very creased - but it now has two ears and is obviously a cat and not a bird or a rabbit.  The next job is to finish its forehead and start working down to the second eye.  I have 23 days left to go so this is going to be my main focus of concentration for the time being.  I will work on Carnation but the Delft piece is going on hold until I can see the end of the tunnel on the Cat.

Following on from my WIPocalypse post on Tuesday, this week's three blocks got completed and I am into row 5.  Lots of confetti in the last block and in the next couple where I'm working on a lily bud.

I do find that both of these pieces look better in photographs, which I suppose bodes well for how they will look once framed and on the wall.  Anyway, back to work in the morning, and here's hoping that there isn't too much of a backlog waiting for me.  Good luck with your stitching.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

2012 WIPocalypse - July Full Moon (and pictures!)

Well, I'm back and I have pictures!  I can't guarantee that they are good pictures as I'm still getting used to the new camera, but they are pictures.  Getting to this point has needed an extra 1GB of RAM in the computer, a card reader and a new memory card for the new camera, and an uncounted number of hours of frustration and moderately bad language.

I'll start with a finish.  The second Delft piece was finished on 23 June, during the camera crisis.  I'm quite pleased with this as the French knots on the butterflies' antennae actually worked first time.  I've started the third piece, but there isn't a lot to see as yet.

The Cat is coming along nicely, although there is still a lot to do before 1 August.  To make the counting easier, I've dug out the magnetic board and strips that I got as a free gift with one of my cross stitch magazines.  I'm still hampered by the weather however - despite the temperatures being more summer like, we are having so much rain that the chances are that any green round here is just as likely to be mould as grass or leaves.

I apologise for this photo which has come out somewhat blurred - however, you will be able to see that Carnation is coming on.  I still have two blocks to stitch this week, which will finish this row and move onto row 5.  If all goes well, that means that page 2 will be halfway completed in a couple of weeks' time, on target for completion in October.

I have a confession to make - I have ordered stash.  I was moseying about on the Internet, looking at stitching related sites and 123 Stitch had a sale on of garden themed products.  Somehow or other a chart for Chatelaine's Medieval Town Mandala found its way into my basket and out through the checkout.  Unfortunately this means that when it arrives, I shall have to start investing in more stash - beads, speciality threads and so forth.  What a shame :-)

There will be little or no stitching tomorrow as I am leaving early on a research trip,  However I will make up for it later in the week.  I need to go and make my packed lunch for tomorrow, so will look at everyone else's WIPocalypse posts when I'm back.