Sunday, April 7, 2019

I finally got glasses....

..and now I can stitch again!  I can't tell you how excited I am about that, so needless to say I have been cross stitching like crazy these past few weeks.

I finished stitching up three projects:


Stitching Friends by SubRosa Design on Etsy.  I changed the colours and the placement of the letterimg.  I love the little mice but my family does not!  The extra large sewing implements make them uneasy apparently.


Winter Stamp, a kit by Vervaco.  This almost got put away for the year because I didn't want to stitch anything more with winter.  However, it was the bright crocus and sweet snowdrops that kept me stitching, and I am so glad I did!  I just love the colours and those two sweet little chickadees.  This is one part of a seasonal series and I would love to stitch them all, however the only place I can find them now is in the UK.  I am also taking part in Stitch From Stash again this year, and so far have not done too badly.  Best not get off track with an impulsive mail order purchase!

This last picture was my oldest work in progress, and also the first kit I ever purchased.  I started this close to three years ago and it is nice to have it completed.  I found the frame at the thrift store the same day I finished stitching, so it was nice to be able to fully finish it right away.


Butterfly Scene by Creative Accents/Dimensions.

Being able to stitch again has really brought my stitching bug back.  I recently had a birthday and asked for cross stitch kits of course!  My kids gifted me some lovely ones, and I have started one and am setting up for another.


I also treated myself to some pretty new scissors, so I will be one happy/busy stitcher for a while!


Thanks for visiting!
xo  Jenn



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Stash Down Throw Down 2019

The great Stash Down continues!  The kids were off last week for March break.  We had no plans for travel, and some of us were feeling a little under the weather:  that made it easy to keep plans off the table and just stay home.  It was pretty quiet, but we had a few days out to break up the week.  On our home days I stayed in my pyjamas until noon, crocheting as much as I could.  After the Tulip  blanket finish I wanted some quick little projects to keep me motivated.
First off the hook is the Vagabond:


I was excited to try out this gradiant yarn from Red Heart, colourway 'Nautical'.  I didn't use the whole cake, and in fact could probably make another of these asymmetrical shawls if I wanted.  It works up pretty quickly as there are only two rows to repeat.  I like asymmetrical shawls best as they seem to have less bulk around the neck.

The weather is still on the wintery side, so hats, scarves and cowls seemed fitting.  I like them because they're so quick:  it only took about four days to make all of what I am going to show next.


This pattern, with a small modification from me, is the Trailing Vines Cowl by Kathy Lashley.  It used two braids of Caron X Pantone in the colourway 'Blue Peacock'.  While I love the colour combinations of the Pantone braids, I really don't enjoy working with them.  I am happy to have these out of my stash.


This Caron Chunky Cake has been falling off my shelves for months, so it was nice to work it up and get it out of the way.  This colourway is called 'Cherries Jubilee', and some of those pink shades are VERY bright!   A simple v-stitch scarf and basic beanie with pompom used up every last bit of the yarn.  I love having no left overs!


This was a new-to-me yarn called 'Loops Boucles'.  It is intended for finger knitting, which is why I passed over it in the first place.  However, a local you-tuber did a tutorial on on making this hat, which only required one skein of this yarn.  The yarn is on clearance at Michaels, so I thought it might be fun to give it a try.


This only took a few hours to knit up, and the yarn is wonderfully soft.  I am still not a fan of knitting, so I am glad I just bought the one skein.  You can find the tutorial here, but check out her other videos because there are a lot of great ones.

And finally, some small skeins got used up for a few projects.  They didn't make much of an impact in their absence from the shelf, but little grams add up to kilos over time!


I doubled up two strands of Loops and Threads Woodlands yarn to get something similar to a DK weight.  The beanie is again a basic beanie pattern, this time stitched in half double crochet.  I love the tweed-ish look of the yarn, and the high wool content makes it feel like a tweed fabric as well.


You get a better idea of the colour blending in this picture.  The pattern I used for the cowl is called 'Fantail Cowl'.  Mine is much shorter than the pattern because I ran out of yarn, but doubled up it makes a cozy neck warmer.

So despite it being a lazy sort of break it was productive.  Until the weather warms up I just need to keep on hookin' on and reduce my yarn stash even further.  I still weigh my finishes and record those, along with any aquisitions, every month.  So far my losses are creeping up on my gains:  a few more weeks like this and I might just be in the black!

Thanks for visiting,
xo Jenn


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Tulips in the Snow Blanket



I am so happy to share this today!  My second blanket finish of 2019.  This is the Flowers in a Row blanket pattern from Red Heart yarns.  For a while I was calling it my Tulips in a Row blanket, but as we have been buried in snow the entire five weeks I worked on it, it is now called Tulips in the Snow!


I started this on February 1, 2019 and completed it March 5, 2019.  I worked on it almost every day:  each section of tulip and dividing rows took about an hour to stitch.  So, 26 rows means 26 hours for the main body, and the border took between 5 and 6 hours to do.  The grand number of tulip flowers is 1,456!


Lots of open spaces makes for a lovely drape:  meaning this blanket has a nice snuggle factor.  The snuggle factor was tested many times during construction by my in house, Quality Control.


Thanks for visiting!
Xo, Jenn


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Hoopla

I was going through my fabric the other day, mixing and matching to make some little project bags.  I found a few print collections I just love, but for different reasons they will not be made into project bags.  Also in my craft stash is a rather large collection of wooden embroidery hoops:  for several years I picked these up whenever I saw them at the thrift store.  So, pretty fabric + wooden hoops = some new wall decorations.

I have always loved these laundry day prints:  I actually have made a project bag from some of these, but there was enough left over for three hoops to hang in my laundry room.


 Aren't those little irons just the cutest?! I painted the hoops with some chalk paint to coordinate.

These sewing room prints were too cute to have sitting in the closet, so now they will sit on my craft room wall.


This one is an embroidered piece I found at the thrift store.  The colours are so beautiful, and I LOVE anything with flowers.  It may have been intended as a cushion cover:  the design looks like it was supposed to form a square, but it gets more crooked as the ribbon embroidery was worked outward. I thought this was a good solution so it can be displayed, but I won't have that niggling little voice pointing out its crookedness.  Those colours are really cheering me up in these pre-Spring
days!


Thanks for visiting!
Xo Jenn







February Things


February is only, at maximum, three days shorter than other months.  Why then, does it feel like two weeks shorter?  I guess I start the month with great enthusiasm:  I mean, January is over, so that's exciting.  I also love Valentine's Day so I  am full of plans for handmade cards and decorations.  I drew this little chalkboard, above, and my Welsh dresser got a pink and white make over.


There is that rush for Valentine's Day crafts, which for the life of me I can't seem to plan before February 1st.  So the first week and a half are spent madly stitching, and hoping I can get to the mailbox in time.  

I got my kids cards made:  they're teenagers now but I can't help myself:


I got my gifts made and mailed in time:  crocheted soapsavers ( these things are amazing!) and an owl for a Valentine birthday.


I use Red Heart Scrubby yarn for the soapsavers:  not the cotton kind, but the acrylic.  It dries faster and has a better "scratch".  Pattern:  https://jaydainstitches.com/workshop.php


I love this little guy!  I think I want my own.  The pattern is from here:  

I finished a few small cross stitch projects once all the gift stitching was done.
My January country house by Les Grilles de Maryse.  These used to be free on her website, but there is now a fee of 15 euros I think for the set of twelve. Still a good deal though, less than two dollars per chart.


I completed Feruary's design last year, so it was actually on display for the month.  I don't think I will stitch one per month;  they will get finished when I feel like it!

I have had this chart in my stash for years.  Every February I pull it out but this year I actually stitched it!


'Chocolate Covered Cherries' by Casey Buonagario.  I have a few more of her charts in my stash I would love to stitch this year.  Sadly she is no longer designing and her charts are out of print.

Another DMC Coloris stitch:  I used this thread because it reminded me of those satin lined, heart shaped, boxes of chocolates.  I should have used another fabric because the cream part of the floss blends in too well with the fabric.  I think this thread is fun for certain kinds of projects, but I don't really love the quick colour changes.


I also started another throw: Flowers in a Row with a colourway I saw on Pinterest.  I love that they look like tulips!  It has been great to work on during our exceptionally cold and icy month.


How perfect that they matched my Valentine's tulips!


As I mentioned it has been very cold and icy this month, so there was a lot of time for making.  I started at least five other things, organized my cross stitch magazine collection and built four Ikea pantries.  At times it felt like a lot of wheel spinning, but in hindsight I think I made the most of it.  I am happy to see the beginning of another month and *hopefully* the arrival of Spring.

Thanks for visiting!


Friday, February 1, 2019

My January Blues



 Hello!  I don't know about you, but I am super happy to see the beginning of February.  January and I are not the best of friends:  this year I tried really hard to fill those five and a half (!) weeks with stuff to do.  I think I did pretty well;  I did a lot of home puttering and organizing, and as you have seen, quite a lot of crafting.  In fact I did so much that the month did not seem as long as it usually does.  Win!

It's not new that I am trying again to work down my stash of yarn.  When I make The List of projects to complete I often get overwhelmed by too much choice.  As I didn't want to suffer January in a dither of indecision,  I gave myself a boundary:  I could crochet whatever I wanted as long as I used blue yarn.  Once that desicion was made, the list of projects became much smaller and I looked forward to picking some.



I started with this lovely shawl by Deanne Ramsay, the Three Springs Shawl.  I had purchased the most delicious yarn in September by Riverside Knits.  I guess I was enjoying myself a little too much as I hooked away:  my tension was very loose and the shawl was working up larger than it was supposed to.  I ended up leaving off quite a few of the lace repeats at the bottom, which meant I could not showcase the gorgeous teal yarn as much as I wanted.  I might have enough of it left over for a smaller scarf, so it will get used somewhere.

Next I wanted something quick:  this Ocean Breeze Scarf pattern by Oombawka Designs was just right.


I used the same Red Heart Super Saver Ombre (True Blue) as the pattern, and it turned out just right. I really love the gradual shade changes in the ombre yarns:  they make for very soothing, yet un-boring  stitching.  Instead of tassles at the end I made pompoms with my Clover Pompom Maker.  Have you tried those?  They are so much fun!

I didn't think the coldest month should go by without making some socks:


  I used this beautiful shade of Sundance Soleful Shades yarn to make mine.  These come up a few inches over the ankle:  I basically worked them until I came to the same shade I started with, so when I started the next sock they would match up.  I have never worked with this yarn before and I really like it.  It is very soft and the colourway is so pretty.

I was hoping to stitch up quite a bit more smaller projects, but my attention was caught by this:


I NEEDED to have a snowflake blanket in my life.  Actually it is more of a lap blanket, but that's all I need to have when Libby and I are sitting by the fire.
As you can see we have a lot of the real thing outside!


I used this potholder pattern to make the squares.  A continuous, flat braid join holds them together; and two simple rows of double crochet borders it all.  The white and royal blue yarns are Red Heart Supersaver, while the turquoise is Craftsmart from Michaels.

So those are my January Blues.  Definitely preferable to the other kind, and a great way to work through my stash but exercise a little bit of discipline at the same time.  I had thought about working with a single colour in February (hello pink!): I still have to decide.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Last Week in the Craft Room...

One good thing about these cold temperatures is I try to stay warm by being busy!

Last week I started turning my stack of crocheted snowflakes


Into a stack of blanket squares:


Only fifteen more to go!

I tried my hand at acrylic paint pouring:


I had more success with the green and yellow ones.  The red and orange were my first attempts, but I would like to re-do them.  It is a pretty addicting, though messy, process!

Something else I have been wanting to try is to tea/coffee dye fabric.  I got a lovely new cross stitch chart for Christmas that I feel needs to be stitched on something that looks like aged parchment.  I also put some previously dyed pieces of evenweave in the pot to see how they would turn out.


I followed this tutorial by Vonna Pfeiffer of The Twisted Stitcher.



I am quite pleased with the results, but I could use more practice to get more mottling in the fabric. 

We had some empty Illy coffee cannisters hanging around:  I hate to put them in recycling because they are a great size for pantry goods.  I got out my scrapbook supplies and had a fun time cutting and pasting pretty papers onto them.



And finally, a small cross stitch finish:


I am using my DMC Coloris threads to stitch up these little month blocks.  The patterns are from the Palko-lap blog.  I am not sure how I will finish these as they are quite small, but the right idea will come along eventually

The weather will be even colder this week, so I have hooks and needles at the ready!

Thanks for visiting!


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