Sunday, 27 July 2014

Progress and adventures

School's out for summer, so my nieces and I had an adventure on Friday, and then I had an adventure all by myself yesterday.  But we'll start with a progress report.

Despite having a busy week, I have made good progress on Corgi.  Page 4 is complete as far down as row 14 and the last two blocks on row 15.  The whole dog is now visible and I just have to finish the foreground.  I'm hoping to have this done by my next post, and then I will be working on the word "November" down the left hand side.

Following the Turkish stitch debacle, I have now completed the replacement section - ribbons woven horizontally.  I am now onto my third ball of yarn and in order to take this photo, I had to lay the scarf out on the floor as I can no longer get a decent picture with it on the bed.  It's coming along nicely.

Now for the adventures.  Friday's adventure with my nieces was a trip to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster.  It was a very hot day and a lot of the animals were having a nap, but we saw lions, a tiger, a leopard, camels, giraffes, ostriches, wallabies, spider monkeys, meerkats, zebras, a skunk and many more.  Littlest niece got to hold a Giant Madagascan Hissing Cockroach - apparently it tickled, but definitely rather her than me!

Yesterday I went on an adventure by myself to Fibre East at Ampthill in Bedfordshire.  This was my first visit to a fibre festival.  I've done quilt shows, and cross stitching things, but this was new.  I saw lots of lovely things, met lots of nice people and spent some money on yarn.

What you see there will eventually become, all things being well, five pairs of socks and a hat.  I'm going on a workshop in September to learn how to knit socks, and I can't wait.

Moving on, I put on 2lb this week, so back up to 11 stone 8.5lb.  What goes on will come off, so I don't worry about it - there's no point.

I'll finish here as my busy week is catching up on me, and wish all the best to you and yours and may the frog stay away from your stitching.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

IHSW - July Report

I know that we are supposed to hermit and stitch, and there has been stitching; there has also been knitting and some new knitting experiences. There has also been a lot of rain!  Typical British Summer strikes again!

Anyway, on with the show.  On the stitching front:

I've been working hard on Corgi.  Rows 11 and 12 are finished and I've done the first two blocks on row 13.  This side curves in more than the other side did, so there is a bit less stitching to do.  I also need to get the word 'November' charted out to go down the left hand side.  

My April piece is currently with Mum while she looks for suitable backing and edging fabric.  That needs to be completed by the second week in August to be handed over at Patchwork Group.

Although I have enjoyed working on these pieces, I really do want to get them done and dusted, so that I can get back to my own work and Mum's angels.

On the knitting front:

I haven't got a lot of progress to show on my scarf.  This is because I messed up.  At the beginning of the week I was over-ambitious and decided to do Turkish stitch for the next section.  This is a lace stitch and I soon found out that it didn't go well with the yarn or with me.  I knitted three rows in total and then gave up.

Yesterday, when I had time in hand, I ripped those three rows back.  This was incredibly nerve-wracking - I was so scared that I would end up dropping stitches and ruining the whole thing.  Fortunately all went reasonably well and I ended up with the same number of stitches that I started with.  I am now doing the next section in "ribbons woven horizontally" and have knitted the first two 8 row repeats.

In more exciting knitting news, I bought stash yesterday and got soaked to the skin in the process.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the person I bought this for doesn't read my blog - I don't think that she does.  It's going to be a Christmas present.

But before it can become a Christmas present, it needed to be turned into a ball of yarn.  Enter my Mum's vintage "Aero" wool winder, which is now mine.  As far as I can tell, this dates to the 1940s, perhaps early 1950s, and is basically a folding mini-swift.

Here it is in action.  This was a learning experience.  I learned that the end that you are not winding will get wrapped round the central post if you are not careful.  I also learned that trying to wind a 50g skein into a ball is not something which you should do at the same time as trying to cook your tea, especially when you need the table to eat off - your tea is likely to get cold.

And here is the final result, which I am quite proud of.  Now I just need to get settled and start knitting.  Just don't expect to see anything soon - busy week ahead and Corgi must come first.

In other news, I lost 2.5lb this week so am back down to 11 stone 6.5lb.  However I got less exercise this weekend because of the rain so will not hold my breath about my next weigh-in.

It's getting late so I will love you and leave you, and may the frog stay well away from your stitching.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - July Full Moon

Well we're over the halfway line and heading downhill to the end of the year.  Where did the last six months go, folks?  The kids haven't broken up yet and the supermarkets are full of back to school uniform already!

This is going to be a shortish post - I had a late night last night and need to catch up on some sleep.  I got sucked into the computer and didn't escape until well gone midnight.

So, on the stitching front:

From a standing start on Monday morning, I have stitched a whole row on Corgi plus the half block which starts the next row.  As you can see, there is also quite a bit of overlap into the row below which should speed things up a bit.

On the knitting front:

Having handed over the baby booties and mittens last week, this week I was working on my secret sampler scarf again.  In amongst the yarn stash from last week are four more balls of this yarn, so this piece has gone from nearly finished to about two thirds done as I intend to add another ball to give it better length.  I did 40 rows of garter stitch in order to have a plain area onto which I can add more fancy patterns.

I have also bought myself tickets for Fibre East later this month and Yarndale in late September.  I'm looking forward to checking out different sorts of yarn and meeting other knitters.

This month's WIPocalypse question relates to Christmas: do you start work on Christmas pieces yet?  The answer for me is No!  The only Christmas stitching that I do is a tree ornament for each of my nieces, and I won't start thinking about those for another couple of months at least.

In other news, I put on 2lb this week which is not good.  I'm back to 11 stone 9lb, which means that I have lost less than a stone now, so this week I'm going to be stricter with myself.  I did walk to town and back yesterday, so hopefully that will have helped.

As I said earlier, I need an earlyish night so will leave you now - wishing all the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay away from your stitching.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Dancing a celebratory waltz

This is a double Happy Dance post for you all!

On the stitching front, I have a page finish to report:

 This is Corgi with page 3 complete as of 5 July 2014.  It has taken me just under a month to do this page as I finished page 2 on 5 June 2014 while I was in Cornwall and started page 3 on 9 June 2014 after I returned home.  So, in theory, I should be able to get page 4 done by or about the end of July.  That will leave me just the wording to stitch.  And I am really happy - this piece just looks better and better the more work I do on it.

On the knitting front, I have my first knitting finish to report.  One of my work colleagues went on maternity leave on Friday, taking with her these baby booties and mittens.  As a first attempt, they are by no means perfect, but both pairs came out near as damn it the same size for which I was very grateful.  I started these last Saturday afternoon and sewed up the finished and steam blocked pieces on Thursday night.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting them and finished them with a sense of real achievement.  And the mother-to-be liked them as well.

Now I have a confession to make.  Earlier this week L from the Patchwork Group and I decided that Mum needed to get out more, so this morning we drove to Leicester to the Fabric Guild. . . 

And there was yarn!  There are two balls in the little box, so that makes 20 balls in total, which brings my yarn stash to 80 plus balls.  There are four more balls of the yarn I am using for my scarf, which means that I can make it longer, which is good, and perhaps a matching hat?  The lurid stuff is possibly destined for my nieces, but the rest of it there is really no excuse for.  Maybe I need therapy :-)

I also bought some pre-cut 27 count evenweave and 45 skeins of DMC thread (25p each instead of the RRP of 89p).

Moving on, I maintained this week so am still 11 stone 7lb - quite happy with that.  Mum is doing fine - very happy with that.  However there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things that I want to do - stitching, knitting, family history, reading, blogging, reading other people's blogs - so I am going to love you and leave you now, and may the frogs steer well clear of your stitching.