Sunday, 30 September 2012

2012 WIPocalypse - September Full Moon

This is likely to be short and sweet as I have been somewhat occupied this week and will be out tonight.

Due to having been out nearly every night this week, there is not a lot of stitching to report.  There has been a very little progress on Delft - a bit more work on the border, but nothing else.  I have nothing to report on Train as it has not seen a needle this week.

However I am delighted to announce that page 2 of Carnation Lily Lily Rose is now complete!!  I didn't manage to get it done for my birthday, but put the last stitches in this morning.  I'm really pleased with myself and looking forward to what page 3 will bring.

I have also worked out how to put progress markers on my blog.  I'm only counting completed blocks, which is why I'm showing no progress on Train - there are only about 6 completed blocks and lots of partial blocks.  I just can't face counting all the odd stitches.

In other news, Dad went for his endoscopy yesterday.  They found a little irritation at the base of his stomach which they reckon is due to him taking his aspirin before meals rather than after.  They also removed a couple of small areas for testing where they thought that the stomach wall looked thicker than normal.  So we are now back to wait and see.  He has an appointment booked in already which means that we don't have to wait for that to come through.

I find that I'm really struggling without a car.  I have to think twice about everything I do because I can't just hop in the car.  I've become so much more reliant on other people's good nature as well as on public transport.  For example, we had our Marie Curie ceilidh last night.  In order to help with the setting up, I had to cadge a lift to the location, and then a lift home to get dressed, another lift back to the location and a lift home at the end of the night.  The ceilidh went very well, people thoroughly enjoyed themselves, it looks like we made quite a bit of money and learned some valuable tips for future events.  But it would have been so much easier and much less stressful if I had still had a car.  I've had the money from the insurance but am still trying to sort out with the garage, so it will be a little longer before I can go car hunting.

Wishing all of you the very best - keep calm and keep stitching!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Walking in the rain!

It is coming down heavy outside and now that the courtesy car has gone back to the garage, I am going to be getting up close and personal with the weather for the time being.  

Taking the car back took up the whole of yesterday morning.  It took over half an hour to get to the garage, including a slight detour at the end due to bad signposting.  Then I had to be taken to the compound to remove all my belongings from my now ex-car - I had forgotten quite how much stuff I had been carrying around.  Next the garage guy drove me into the town centre to catch a bus back to my town - the bus journey took about an hour.  I got off the bus, hauled the bag full of car stuff into the theatre booking office, bought Mum's Christmas present, and then hauled the bag several hundred yards down the main road to catch the bus home. 

When I got back to my suburb, I hauled the bag into a local bakery to buy some lunch and then continued hauling the bag the rest of the way home.  When I say "haul", this means frequently putting the wretched thing down, changing hands and moving on until my carrying hand objected too much.  Fortunately I met my sister's young lodger in the car park and he carried the bag up the stairs for me, for which I was very grateful.  Having set out at 8.45am, I got in about 12 noon.  I had my lunch and then vegetated for the rest of the day.  I now have no car and no prospect of being able to sort out a new (to me) car for at least the next couple of weeks - and all this due to an accident that was not my fault!

In brighter news, Dad has his appointment for his endoscopy later this week - if this comes back clear as well, I haven't got a clue what else they can possibly do to find out what is wrong with him.

On to stitching.  There has been very little progress on Delft - a bit of backstitch and a start on the bottom border.  I just can't seem to get motivated to work on it in my lunch hour when I do have some free time.  Gotta get a grip!

Slightly more progress to report on Train of Dreams.  After yesterday morning's excursion and knowing that I was going to have to walk to my parents today to borrow the car to take Dad shopping, and then walk home again afterwards, I wasn't really in the mood for confetti stitching, so I worked on the black in-fill at the top middle.  Coming along slowly!

 Having said last week that I needed to try and put in extra time on Carnation in order to have a happy dance for my birthday, I am pleased to report that I completed five blocks this week and put several stitches into block six.  This means that I only have three blocks to do this week.  As I am going to be busy, busy, busy, every spare second will have to be put into Carnation, so no reading, no surfing and much stitching as can be fitted in.  The next update is also September's WIPocalypse and I would be over the (full) moon to be able to announce a page finish!

I'm finishing here because its getting late, I've got to walk to work tomorrow, and its feeling chilly and damp tonight so I need to make a hot water bottle to take to bed. 

Happy stitching, folks!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

IHSW - September 2012 Report

Well here we are after another weekend of hermitting and stitching.  I'll start with the stitching and then go on to the other news.

 Starting with Delft 4, some nice progress on this courtesy of Patchwork Group on Thursday and babysitting last night.  I had hoped to get a bit more done but was hampered by the onset of earache in small person.  There is one more flower head to do, plus the backstitch on that and the stems, and then the border.  After that, I need to buy the appropriate cards to put them in and make up all four cards.

A bit less progress on Train this week, but that is also down to last night's babysitting stint which was a late one and required a lie-in this morning.  We have some leaves coming in on the left hand side and I have also done a bit more of the solid black at the top, just to make a change from the confetti on the left.  I took this piece to Patchwork with me and passed it round - the general consensus of opinion was that I am stark staring mad!

Work on Carnation saw the completion of the week's four blocks and also the beginnings of the first block on the top row.  Basically I have a few things in the diary over the next couple of weeks which mean that I may be pushing it to have a happy dance on my birthday unless I move this on as much as I can when I can.  So I did all the confetti in the first block and only have one colour left to stitch to complete it, which I hope to do tomorrow morning before work.

In other news, Dad's CT scan came back clear, for which we are most truly grateful.  However, we are still none the wiser as to the cause of his weight loss so they are now going to do an endoscopy to see if there are any bacteria in his guts which might be responsible.  After that, who knows?

On the car front, the insurers have written off my car.  I have not had this in writing yet, just a phone call from the engineers, so I am waiting until I get a letter before I make up my mind what to do next.  However as my car has required a lot of work this year, I am veering towards taking the money and running, rather than having it back and getting it repaired myself.  I still have the courtesy car so am not without transport at the moment.  

One step forward, two steps back.  Keep calm and carry on stitching. 

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Delft finish and start

Shall I say that this last week was marginally better than the previous one?  

I still have no idea what is happening with my own car and am still driving the courtesy car.  However my old garage has made an offer in relation to the fuel leak but wants further information regarding the excess oil issue.  

Dad went for his CT scan on Wednesday and now has to wait three weeks for the follow-up appointment - keep calm and carry on!

Things went better on the stitching front.

 I finally finished Delft 3.  The corners of the border were slightly fiddly, but it is now done.  However I still have no idea what sort of flower it is.

On the same evening I started Delft 4.  I know that this is a snakeshead fritillary because they grow in Mum's bog garden and come in both purple with white splotches and white with purple splotches.  I'd like to get this done quite quickly and then all four made up into cards, so that I can then start on Christmas pieces, either cards for Marie Curie or ornaments for my nieces.

Nice progress on Train of Dreams.  You can see the top of the spine of the first book on the left.  There's quite a lot of confetti to contend with as well as the 25 count fabric, so it is stitching up quite slowly.  As I am doing this using the English method (one x at a time), the back is solid, even more so than Carnation because of being 25 count rather than 16.  I am now using both thimble and tweezers to finish off my threads on the back.  This has not stopped me jabbing myself hard in the left thumb, although I did manage not to get any blood on my work.

Carnation is still going to plan.  I am hoping to have a serious happy dance in three weeks time.  I have started looking at page 3 already and there seems to be a lot more confetti and a lot less blocks of colour than on page 2.  As the only deadlines on this piece are the ones that I set myself, and as at some point I am going to need to find time to stitch for my younger niece, I am considering cutting back to three blocks a week on page 3.  

Finally, someone wrote on their blog last week that they had put some of their stash on Ebay, so I thought that I would take a look.  While I was looking, I noticed that I hadn't actually bought anything since May.  For some strange reason this meant that I had to go mad and bid on loads of vintage cross stitch magazines.  My stash has now increased by assorted older copies of Cross Stitch Gold and Cross Stitch Collection, not all of which have arrived yet.  Next time someone mentions Ebay on their blog, I am going to turn and run the other way!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

2012 WIPocalypse - August Full Moon No. 2

Do you ever get the feeling that 'they' are out to get you?  This week has been a nightmare.  

On Wednesday I was driving to work when a man in a white van drove into me.  His insurers have accepted that he was totally at fault and I'm fine but am now waiting to hear if my insurance company are going to repair my car or write it off. 

On Thursday Dad had an appointment at the hospital - the things that they took out the other week are just fibrous lumps formed in reaction to the plastic mesh put in to fix his hernia 15 years ago.  He is now waiting to go for a CT scan as they still can't work out what is wrong with him.

Yesterday I drove Mum and two of the Patchwork Group to Harrogate to The Great Northern Needlecraft Show in Mum's car.  We had a great time and I have some stash to show you in a moment.  It was a 200 mile plus round trip, about 2 hours each way.  Everything was fine until we were halfway down my parents' road and the engine packed up.  Luckily we were on the hill bit and could roll/push the car down to their house, rather than abandoning it halfway up the road.  It turns out that the battery had died and probably the starter motor and possibly the alternator.  To be honest, I am starting to feel that cars and me do not mix!

 Starting with Harrogate, I really wanted to show you this quilt.  All of the red design is done in cross stitch! According to the card next to it, the pattern was bought from the Womans Weekly magazine and had been in the maker's family for 25 years without being used.  The finished piece was then hand quilted - the quilt took 4 years to complete, so serious stuff here and much respect to Janet Kirk of North Yorkshire.  It is called 'Mother' in memory of her mother, who gave her the pattern, and whose last words were 'Promise to finish the quilt'.

I promised you stash - and here it is.  I didn't go overboard, although I was very tempted by The Nutmeg Company's 3D houses (and one of my companions did fall into temptation).  I came away with a Prairie Schooler Halloween chart, two Just Nan angels out of a bargain box and some Petite Treasure Braid (starting my collection for my Chatelaine piece).  I also bought a daylight lightbulb which fits my floor lamp and should save me the cost of buying a daylight lamp.  

There were actually four Just Nan angels - the other two were Evangeline and Serafina.  I was really quite surprised - my Mum saw them as stitched pieces and decided she rather liked them.  In the end, it was agreed that I would buy two and L would buy two and then we would swap them when we were done.

That's the stash - now the stitching.  Despite taking Delft to the stitching day on Friday, it is still not finished.  I got sidetracked after lunch by a family history enquiry, so the main motif is complete but the border isn't.  Maybe by the next update?

Definite progress to report on Train of Dreams.  I have completed the black stitching on the left hand side and, although you can't actually see them, there are a scattering of navy blue stitches in there.  As you can see, I'm sort of gridding as I go along.  I didn't grid before I started because it would have taken forever on 25 count.  

And finally Carnation - this is moving along nicely with the required four blocks for the week being completed in time for the Full Moon on Friday night.  I accept that this is going to take years to complete, but I think that it is going to be worth it, don't you?

I'm turning the page to a new week and hoping that things can only get better!  All the very best to you and yours!