Sunday, 25 May 2014

Is it Summer yet?

I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but round here the weather hasn't made its mind up yet.  Today has been quite nice and sunny, but yesterday was horrible, dark and wet.  As for tomorrow, Bank Holiday Mondays are a law unto themselves weather-wise, so we will just have to wait and see.

I've had to come to a decision about my goals and deadlines.  It's not a decision that I wanted to make, but at the moment I don't feel that I have much choice.

What you see here is just over a page and a half of Corgi.  There are another two pages to go after this, slightly shorter ones, roughly another 9000 stitches.  In addition, I need to stitch the word 'November' down the side, and all by the end of August - sooner if possible.  Maybe it doesn't seem a lot, but I work full-time and have other commitments that I need to fulfill as well.

So I have reluctantly decided to put all of my other stitching on hold in order to get this done and dusted as soon as possible.  The moment that it is finished, I will return to my other pieces with the greatest of pleasure.

However I am going to continue with my knitting, if only to stop myself from going mad with boredom.  As you will see, my sampler scarf has grown - the top third is 40 rows of seed stitch (knit 1, purl 1 and repeat ad infinitum for non-knitters).  As before, it doesn't show very clearly in variegated yarn, but the difference in texture between the three different stitches is delightful.  I'm calling it 'Learning Curve' because that is just what it is.

In other news, I lost 2.5lb this week and got back down to 11 stone 4.5lb.  It is unlikely to last because I have not stuck to the plan very well, if at all since I got weighed on Thursday.  

This week I finally have my hospital appointment to check out my overactive thyroid.  I have no idea what this is going to involve, but will just be grateful to have something done about it.  The main symptom that I seem to have is the on and off sensation of a lump in my throat as if I haven't swallowed something properly.  According to my friend who has had her overactive thyroid removed, this is caused by my thyroid gland swelling up for some nefarious reason of its own.  Anyway I shall know more about it by teatime on Wednesday.

So not a lot to show and tell this week - hopefully a longer post next week.  In the meantime, may all be well with you and yours and may the frog stay away from your stitching.

Monday, 19 May 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - May Full Moon & IHSW - May Edition

I must confess that I am looking forward to the autumn when WIPocalypse posts and IHSW posts will be further apart and I don't feel quite so crowded.  Anyway, I have some stitching to show, although not a lot of it was done under the IHSW banner.  It was Open Gardens on my parents' road this weekend and I spent the two nicest days that we have had this year helping out and running the tombola to raise money for our local hospice.  All in a very good cause, but not good for stitching.

Starting with Corgi, he now has two eyes and rows 3 and 4 are complete.  I haven't quite done half a page - that comes halfway through row 5 - but I think that I can plead off that one on the basis of working for a good cause.

I got two blocks done on Train of Dreams this week, so am now up to 3 out of the 7 I need to do for this month.  And the bottom of this column is only 2 and a bit blocks away - a column finish for next week would be very nice.

I also managed two more blocks on Carnation, which brings me to 3 out of the 6 to do for May, so halfway.  Four blocks would give me a row finish, and we do have a Bank Holiday coming up!

And now moving to a slight change of scene - this is my sampler scarf.  I have now done 40 rows of basket weave to add to the 40 rows of stocking stitch.  My next task is to do 40 rows of seed stitch, which may take a little longer as I will have to keep remembering to move the yarn round depending on whether I'm on k1 or p1.

It is difficult to see the basket weave using the variegated yarn, and I did try taking a close-up but it didn't really help.

And very quickly, in view of the WIPocalypse theme for the month, I don't really like cute charts at all and would prefer more serious stuff - like Joan Elliott's historical ladies and her fairies, really nice florals, just not the sort of thing you tend to find on kids' birthday cards.  Sorry folks, but that's how I fly.

In other news, I maintained last week so am still 11 stone 7lb.  That is fine with me because I did overindulge last weekend when I went to see my friend.  However someone I know vaguely did comment at the weekend about my weight loss and I did wear summer dresses both days without feeling too self-conscious, so am quite happy with the current state of play.

Anyway, I am going to love you and leave you as I am being collected in 10 minutes to go to a family history meeting and I need to get to my pick-up point pronto.  So all the best to you and yours and may the frog stay well clear of your stitching (and knitting)!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Busy, busy, busy! - and a confession

It's been one of those weeks this week - lots on and the inevitable negative impact on stitching time.  And I have a confession to make - there has also been less stitching because I have learned to knit - again!

So, taking it from the top, on Bank Holiday Monday I went to see M from the Patchwork Group who taught me how to cast on, knit and purl.  I did knit briefly as a child, but it didn't stick.  Back to work on Tuesday with Pilates in the evening.  Wednesday night I had to go back to M's to get something for Mum out of her loft, and in doing so bashed my head on her ceiling.  Thursday was Slimming World plus Patchwork Group.  Friday night I stitched.  Yesterday I drove to Yorkshire to spend the day with a friend that I haven't seen for 10 years (2 hours each way), and then went to my parents to watch the last half of Eurovision so a very late night.  And finally this morning I drove to Leicester and back.

On the stitching front:

 I only achieved one block on Carnation this week, so that leaves another five to do this month.  It's coming on slowly - very slowly.

Corgi got most of my stitching time this week.  I have completed the top two rows on page 2 and the whole of his second ear.  The coming week's plan is to fill in the background by his ear, level things off and hopefully get down to row 5.

Nothing on Guardian Angels or on Train of Dreams this week due to my getting a grip adventures.  I had a lovely time in Yorkshire with my friend and her family, catching up on the years and getting to know her kids.  

The weather has been absolutely horrible - it drizzles, it stops, it throws it down, it drizzles, it throws it down, it stops very briefly and then it drizzles again.  It certainly made driving long distances this weekend "interesting" and if anyone mentions the word "drought" in my hearing this year after the winter and spring that we have had, I may well do them a mischief!

And now on to the new stuff - the knitting:

This is the beginning of my scarf.  What you see there is 40 rows of stocking stitch, although M informed me on Thursday night at Patchwork Group that I was doing my knit stitch incorrectly.  For those of you who knit, the yarn is a French one - Phildar Impact 3,5 and the colourway is Braise.  The next 40 rows will be in a basket weave effect, once I have clarified one small point with M.  I am going to add finishing this scarf to my 2014 goals.

And adding to my previous confession - this is (mostly) the yarn stash that I have accumulated in the last two days.  When I started thinking about learning to knit again, I bought the yarn that I am currently knitting with, one ball of the orange and brown (back left) and one ball of the multi-coloured (centre back).  On Saturday I bought the six balls of blue on the right hand side, and today I bought another ball of orange and brown, three more balls of multi-coloured, the ball of black, another ball of my current scarf yarn and the three balls of what is actually lavender colour at front left.  Most of this is the same French yarn, apart from the six balls of blue (which is Patons).  I think that I may have developed a little problem :-)

In other news, I put on 1lb this week, so am back to 11 stone 7lb.  However, I know what caused it so am not too bothered.  Next weekend is Open Gardens on my parents' road so, as my friend's wedding is off, I shall be running the tombola both days.  How much stitching/knitting I will get done remains to be seen.  I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed that the weather improves as this year's charity is the local hospice.

Anyway, all the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay well away from your stitching.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

2014 Goals - April Progress Report

So will someone please tell me where April went?  Is it me, or is 2014 passing by at a rate of knots?

Anyway, it is time for my next progress report on my goals for the year, so here goes:

1. Wedding
 Can someone please advise on what to do with a wedding sampler when the bride texts you two weeks before the wedding to say that it is all off?  I don't know the details, all I know is that it is off.  So what do I do with Wedding, which I haven't got round to framing yet?  Have any of you found yourself in this particular position?  If so, what did you do?

2. April

As per my earlier post this month, April is finished.  Now I need to sit down and sort out how I am going to turn this into a 12 inch square hanging.  I'm very pleased with it, although the design is not my personal cup of tea.  I would like to get this finish finished by the end of May.

3. Corgi

Well, I definitely reached my goal for April on this one.  I had my page finish on Monday 28 April - a day in which I put in over 3.5 hours on this piece dealing with all the confetti on page 1 and making a start on page 2.  Since then, I have continued to put in a lot of time on this piece and you can now see the shape of the corgi's second ear coming in.  I would like to have another page finish by the end of May, but we will see.

4. Guardian Angels

Abject apologies - nothing more to show on this one.  Unfortunately I haven't touched it since January as far as I can see from my stitching journal.  So the goal for May is to get some stitches done on this piece.


5. Carnation

This is last week's photo as I have been too busy with Corgi this week.  However I did complete my 6 blocks for April so I am still on target for a page finish at the end of the year.  The goal for May is another 6 blocks.


6. Train of Dreams

Unfortunately I have fallen behind on Train of Dreams.  I only managed to stitch 4 blocks out of the required 6 for the month, so am 2 blocks in arrears.  However I have already done my first block for May, so would hope to pull back at least one block this month.  That makes the goal for May 7 blocks in total.

7. Christmas ornaments

Still far too early to think about these.

In other news, Mum's hip replacement operation has been brought forward a week because the surgeon got his dates wrong.  She is now slightly stressed because she has a week less to get everything sorted in.  I have nothing to report on my weight loss because I didn't go to Slimming World this week.  I forgot to take my book/card to work so that I could go and get weighed straight afterwards, and as I was expecting a friend for coffee that evening, I decided to take it as holiday.  Just have to wait and see what the scales say this week.

Anyway, it's Bank Holiday weekend, the sun has been shining and I actually sat outdoors this afternoon without my jacket on and had a cup of tea with my parents.  Things are definitely looking up on the whole, and on that cheery note I will wish you and yours all the best for a lovely week, and may the frog steer well clear of your stitching.