Sunday, 31 March 2013

2013 WIPocalypse - March Full Moon

Evening all - I'm slightly behind the fair with this post because the full moon was only two days after my last post.  Where to start?

I've carried on timing my stitching and this week's total comes in at 13 hours, 25 minutes, 53 seconds and 60 hundredths of a second, so more than last week but still less than the previous week.  And the reason for this - Good Friday was spent having my haircut, doing some shopping, going for lunch with my Mum and reading the three new books that I had bought.  Got to have some down time sometimes. 

I've been wearing my wrist support and having a short break every half hour or so during long stitching stints, and trying to remember to take regular doses of anti-inflammatories, so things are OK at the moment.

 Some good progress to show on Turkish Challenge, despite it getting the least amount of attention - 3 hours, 30 minutes plus over three sessions.  I had almost hoped to get this piece finished for this post, but it wasn't to happen.  It won't get finished this next week either because I am going to be somewhat busy - various things have decided to happen all over a few days.

Next up is Enchanted Garden - having received slightly more attention - 3 hours, 40 minutes plus over four sessions and a quick five minute tidy-up.  That is the wings of Fairy 2 that you can see partially completed there.

Carnation hit the jackpot this week with 6 hours, 15 minutes plus over five sessions.  Lots of confetti to deal with this week.  There are now only four blocks to go on page 3, but as this next week is going to be busy, I am only planning on stitching two of them.  However the finish line and a happy dance are in sight.

This afternoon my family had an Easter egg hunt at my parents' house followed by high tea.  High tea was followed by a "performance" by my nieces (roping in my unfortunate Mum) of a piece entitled "The Pet Pandemonium" - which was about a pet shop - and involving a lot of puppets.  We even had individual named tickets with a stub section, so their trips to the small theatre on the University campus are obviously paying off.

Anyway the night is drawing in and I have a list of jobs to do tomorrow, so please keep warm and keep stitching.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Look on the bright side ...

I thought that it was going to be a lot worse!  Otherwise known as don't check your symptoms on the Internet :-)

What am I talking about?  Well, I went to the doctor on Tuesday to get a repeat prescription and to ask her about some problems that I had been having with my right hand in particular.  Having looked up the symptoms on the Internet, I thought that I had carpal tunnel syndrome.  The doctor ummed and aahed and made me put my hands in a funny position and prodded at my wrist - the upshot was not carpal tunnel syndrome, but repetitive strain injury!  Just when I thought that I was on top of my deadlines!

So I am now on anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen after every meal) and have bought myself a wrist support (to wear when stitching and typing).  The stop watch is now accompanied by the kitchen timer set for 30 minutes, to be followed by a 15 minute break doing something else.

Now you know the worst - on to the stitching.  The stop watch says that I put in 12 hours, 9 minutes, 43 seconds and 34 hundredths of a second last week.  Yes, this is less than the previous week, but that is down to the fact that I stayed up all night on Saturday on the computer (literally - I went to bed at 6am on Sunday to doze until it was time to put the washing  machine on and then went back to bed between loads of washing) and got no stitching done on Sunday at all.

Enchanted Garden lost out last week because of the debacle that was Sunday.  I put in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 18 seconds and 15 hundredths of a second over five sessions - all of them lunchtime sessions at work.  Fairy 1 is finished apart from the back stitch and the clover leaves etc behind her represent the left hand edge of the piece.

Carnation came next in the time stakes - 4 hours, 5 minutes, 59 seconds and 46 hundredths of a second over seven sessions.  Row 9 is finished and I am now into row 10 with the page end in sight.

Turkish Challenge won out last week, having come last the previous week - 5 hours, 31 minutes, 25 seconds and 73 hundredths of a second.  As you can see, the first flower is complete and the second flower is underway - another piece with the finishing line in sight.

The weather here has been atrocious and it is still freezing cold with a very nasty biting wind.  On Saturday I spent two hours at my local Morrisons supermarket, collecting for Marie Curie.  The lady in charge has sent me an email to say that I raised £100.11 during my stint, which makes me a very happy bunny.

And again on the bright side, IT have fixed my work computer today.  I got in from the doctor on Tuesday to find that it wasn't working and spent the rest of the week hot desking on other people's PCs due to IT staffing issues.  This was both annoying and uncomfortable.  My colleagues tend to be petite - I am 5'8" in my bare feet, in my work heels about 5'10" and my monitor and chair are set to fit me.  Cue neck and shoulder ache and a complaint to the Head of Office.

Well,  my tea is just about cooked and I want to get in some stitching after tea, so will leave you now with the fervent hope that the weather will improve, Spring will really arrive and plenty of stitching will get done.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

IHSW - March 2013 Report

Well, its a little bit warmer and we're having rain instead of snow, but the sun still seems to be avoiding us.  If it wasn't for my morning multi-vitamin, I'd be suffering from Vitamin D deficiency :-)

The stitching has gone quite well this week.  You will remember that I bought a stop watch last week so that I could work out how much time I actually spend stitching.  Well, having carefully recorded all my stitching time (even taking the stop watch to work with me), I am pleased to announce that, starting on Monday and including this morning's session, I spent 14 hours, 6 minutes, 44 seconds and 71 hundredths of a second stitching.  Of course, I'll have to carry on recording in order to find out if that is good, bad or average, but for a first go, I think that that is quite encouraging.

 I spent 3 hours, 42 minutes, 25 seconds and 45 hundredths of a second on Turkish Challenge.  As you can see, I am now well into the first anemone blossom and I think that it is looking quite good.  This piece got four sessions of stitching - one each on Thursday and Friday mornings, and two on Saturday morning and afternoon.

Carnation received 4 hours, 58 minutes, 50 seconds and 42 hundredths of a second in stitching time over five sessions.  These were Monday morning and evening, Tuesday morning, and Wednesday morning and evening.  I completed the usual three blocks and got well into a fourth, but decided to stop and move on to Turkish Challenge.  This was because the deadline on TC is closer and also because I'm fairly sure that I am going to finish page 3 well ahead of the second anniversary date.

Enchanted Garden got the most stitching time - 5 hours, 25 minutes, 28 seconds and 84 hundredths of a second.  This was over six sessions - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes, Thursday evening (Patchwork Group) and this morning.  Fairy 1 just needs her wings completing and then she is done, apart from the backstitch.  I look at what I've done so far and then I look at the chart, and then I wonder what I've let myself in for!

What else is new?  Well, yesterday they re-opened our local library - hurrah!  It has been extended and expanded, and now includes a young people's centre and a cafe amongst other additions.  So, having spent large chunks of time in our library throughout most of my life, I went to see what they had done to it.  I didn't see much - the place was absolutely heaving!  The bits I did see seemed very nice - light and spacious with dedicated seating areas.  I got nobbled for publicity photos by the roving photographer - I'm hoping that they get deleted.  And then shortly before 3pm there was a fire alarm!  It was a false alarm but not an expected one, however it took so long to exit the building that I decided to go home at this point.  And the best thing, the library is now open 7 days a week!  So whenever I need a fix, the books will be there.

Anyway, keep warm and keep stitching - the sun will return!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Are you sure that the Spring is coming?

Well, we had snow again today - not a lot and it didn't settle, but it was snow!  There are snowdrops and mini daffodils and an early clematis in my parents' front garden, and still it snowed!

I'm quite happy with this week's stitching.  I feel as if I've achieved quite a bit.  What do you think?

Turkish Challenge is coming on.  I've finished the leaves and am now working on the first flower.  I have about a month in hand on this piece.  Although we have been given a month's extra grace, I would like to have the stitching complete by the original deadline.

I'm also seeing good progress on Enchanted Garden and getting some nice comments both at work and from my mother (bonus!).  The purple blob on his ear is supposed to be a clover flower - presumably the back stitch will make this clearer.  However there is still an awful lot to do on this piece, so as soon as Turkish Challenge is done, this will get extra attention.

The usual three blocks on Carnation were completed by Thursday night, so Turkish Challenge got Friday's slots.  As soon as page 3 is complete, I am going to put this on hold while I work on Enchanted Garden.  While an adult might understand the late arrival of their birthday present, 5 year olds don't.

I just want to say Happy Mothers Day to all mothers out there.  I don't know what I'd do without mine, and I dread the day when she is taken from me.  We've had a joint celebration at my sister's because today is also eldest niece's 7th birthday.

I'm not sure if it counts as stash, but while I was buying birthday presents in Argos, I also bought a stopwatch to time my stitching.  The shop assistant that I was talking to probably thinks that I'm nuts, but I find that my stitching sessions are often disturbed - laundry, cooking, phone calls and so on - and this way I can see how long I actually do spend stitching.  Do you time your stitching - if so, do you use a stopwatch and work from 0 secs onwards, or do you set a timer and work from say 2 hours backwards?  Just interested.

Keep warm and keep stitching!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Mad March hare or rabbit in this case

As I get older, time seems to pass more and more quickly.  Looking back to when I was a child, time passed much more slowly - the summer holidays seemed to last for months and months, birthdays, Easter and Christmas were forever away.  Now, well, how can it be March already - it was only Christmas last week!

Starting with Enchanted Garden, the bunny has one ear and the beginnings of a second.  The greeny grey blob is supposed to be part of a clover leaf - most of the background consists of clover leaves in this colour.  I wanted to see what it was going to look like, and I was getting slightly bored of the brown threads.  As it is now March already, I really need to crack on with this piece.

Progress on Turkish Challenge has not been as great as I had hoped.  I had planned to do quite a bit of work on it Friday night but was interrupted by a visit from my sister.  After that, there was a visit from the frog, so after re-stitching I called it a night.  However I am taking it babysitting tomorrow so hope to have more to show next time.

Carnation - well, what can I say?  The adaptor came as you can see, and after a little fiddling about, I fitted it to the work stand and moved the frame along to where I felt comfortable.  Indeed, I felt so comfortable that I managed to do four blocks this week, putting me one block ahead of schedule again and finishing off row 8.  I now have two rows (16 blocks) left on page 3, which if all continues to go well, means that I should have a page finish in just over 5 weeks.  And the top of the second little girl's head is just coming in on the right hand side, so the picture continues to come together.  

And the sun shone this week so I'm feeling fine!  Happy stitching to you all!