Friday, 31 October 2008

TAST-Detached Chain Stitch

It may have taken a little while, but I have finished the other TAST block. This means I have now caught up with the stitch-a-long on Stitchin Fingers, and completed what I wanted to do for October. Such a good feeling.

This is the block as a whole. I have used the same threads as on the previous block and the buttons were from the box I received from Freecycle. The heart and butterfly embellishments were in my stash. I used detached stain to secure this ribbon and sequin string. The ribbons look just like chain stitches themselves.
This line of detached chain stitches look just like footprints. The buttons are secured into the curves of the pattern.

These detached chain stitches had beads attached.
Here I used the chain stitches to couch the ribbon along the seam.
This seam had detached chain stitch flowers. I think this is my favourite seam.

I have really enjoyed getting stuck in today and being able to concentrate on stitching, so much so, I think I might try it again tomorrow. That is, if our new family member will allow me-we have a kitten joining us tomorrow, and from experience, they tend to take up a lot of time.

TAST-Buttonhole Stitch

Today is the day. Yes, finally today we do not have to go out, and I am spending the day stitching, knitting and catching up on blogs.

I have now completed the buttonhole stitch block for TAST. This was one of the stitches from the beginning of the challenge before I started, so this is a catch up one for me.

This is the block seen as a whole. On one of the seams I used the same lace as I have used on all these blocks. As it is quite a long seam, I used two contrasting buttons to hold down the lace. All the buttons used on this block came from the box of goodies I acquired last month. I knew they would come in useful.
I have used buttonhole stitch here to follow a watermark in the material. It is a paisley shape and lends itself nicely for stitching around the curve.

Along this seam I added sequins and beads along the buttonhole stitch. It adds just a bit of sparkle to the block. These were a pack I found that came with a knitted suit I once had, and had been intended for repairs. Though I had kept them, I had never really expected to find a use for them. I have now, and for all the buttons I have collected.

I used just basic buttonhole stitch to go along the other seams but in this section I added some bee embellishments. I am hoping I won't be regretting this. I have just remembered I bought these to go on a cross stitch sampler with sunflowers on. I am now hoping these were spares.

I attached this button using buttonhole stitch. I went around the button twice before adding the buttonhole stitch "tail".

I am thinking I may do a freestyle embroidery piece using buttonhole stitch. I like the effects you can achieve using threads on different thicknesses.
Threads used on this piece were perle cotton, cotton knitting yarn and hand dyed silk.
Once I have caught up on some blogs, I am going to get the sewing machine out to do the next block.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Another not quiet day

I know if I keep trying, I'll get my quiet day, but it wasn't today.

The dark nights make me feel as if I ought to be tucking myself up in bed by seven, but I did resist that urge tonight and did some cross stitch.

What I like about stitching on something like this, is to fill in the spaces between patches of stitching. Gives me the feeling of small finishes when a gap fills up.

Tonight I filled in the gap between the side porch and the green at the bottom of the picture. I also started on the left slope of the main roof. I will probably do a bit more of this tomorrow. I also did some more knitting on B's hat, but as this is going to be a November target, I put it away in favour of the cross stitch. Hopefully Friday, I can do the embroidery on the TAST block and do the remaining block. Would be really great to achieve my targets for October.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Where do the days go?

Today just seemed to disappear and I am not sure where it went.

This morning we had to go to the tram depot to get J's wallet which he left on the tram yesterday, so on our way back through town, I bought some more wool for B. It was reduced to 49p per ball, so I am not complaining. I have decided that I will continue knitting with the first yarn and make a decision once the knitting is complete. As I see it, a girl can never have enough hats and gloves.

As you can see, I haven't had much time today and only managed to knit a few rounds. To think I imagined it was going to be a quieter week this week.

I am still trying to find a set of double ended pins to knit the gloves. I've tried two places already this week without success. I think I will have to do a bit of searching on the internet.

Monday, 27 October 2008

A bit of everything

There has been a real variety of activity here in the last twenty four hours. Yesterday evening, I worked on the Thomas Kinkade whilst enjoying my glass of wine and Little Dorrit on the television.

There has now been an addition of an extension on the side of the house. Sure but slow, progress is being made.
Over the weekend, a £3 discount voucher came through the door for Hobbycraft, so we had a little trip out there this morning. I came home with this little pile. The funny thing was, as I was reading the knitting magazine this evening, there is another £3 voucher for Hobbycraft enclosed. Looks like I'll be making a return visit out there in the next few weeks.
I bought the wool to do a hat and gloves set for a friends daughter. It was easy to chose a colour as she is pink mad. The reason for the knitting magazine is that there is a pattern for a cardigan in there that I would like to do for her too.
I also got some material, buttons, permanent fabric pen and a circular knitting needle.
I am already drawing up a list of projects for November.
I have a few days left of October, so I am trying to finish my projects for this month. I have two TAST blocks left to do. I pieced the first one today. The stitch for this one is going to be buttonhole stitch. I will hopefully get some daylight stitching time tomorrow to complete this one.

This evening I cast on and started B's hat. It is a 2x2 rib pattern so it is going to be fairly easy and quick to knit. However, I am not sure if I am happy with the way it is knitting up. I may have a look for different yarn tomorrow when I go into town and see if that makes a difference. I also want to see if I can purchase a shorter circular needle, although this is the size recommended by the pattern.

Maybe, I'll just go and knit a few more rounds and see if this grows on me.

Sunday, 26 October 2008


This morning I ironed and cleaned some more and did the cooking I didn't get done yesterday, but I did get to sit down a lot earlier than yesterday.
The first job on the list was to finish J's sweater. I had to do the border on the right armhole and then sew up the side seams. Definitely a lot quicker than having to sew in sleeves!
Here is J modelling his sweater. I then managed to do this weeks quota on Lakeland. It was all one colour this week as I worked some more of the water.
As I was finishing on this, it was beginning to get dark. We have gone back to GMT today so it was almost dark at five o'clock. Feels like winter is here now. The curtains are drawn, a glass of wine is waiting, and I have to decide what is going to keep me occupied for the evening.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Nearly there

I've ironed, I've cleaned, I've shopped but not cooked, and I didn't get to sit down until eight o'clock this evening. I'm hoping that tomorrow turns out a bit differently.

Despite this, I am quite pleased with progress with J's jumper.

Last night I finished knitting the right side of the neck. Tonight I have done the neck border and one armhole border. These have been quite quick to knit as there are only four rows of rib before cast of. This means that tomorrow I should be able to knit the border on the other armhole and just have the side seams to sew up.
I may even get to finish this with a few days to spare until the end of the month.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Neck Shaping

This has been a really hectic week and I am pleased that Friday has arrived. It means I have at least two, or even maybe three days where I don't have to rush out. Unfortunately, it means that I have to spend some time doing necessary things like housework and cooking. Hopefully, I should get some decent time for stitching and/or knitting.
Last night I did manage to get sat down and do some knitting. I have now done the left side of the neck. All being well, the right side can be completed tonight. I have a week until the end of the month so I should be on course to get it finished by the end of the month.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


I had two lovely surprises when I arrived home today.

The first was this fabric postcard from Wendy.
D was the first one to pick it up and he first thought the leaves were real. These are some of my favourite autumn colours so I am delighted with this. Thank you Wendy.

The other was an ATC from Ayala from the Netherlands.
This is embellished needle felt and I love it. I am definitely going to have a go at needle felting. I have been wanting to have a go for a long time but after getting my hands on some, I just have to have a go.
Ayala also enclosed a little parcel of autumn themed fabric to make some more ATC's. It looks so nice like this I haven't opened it yet. I'm going to wait until the boys are away one weekend and I can have all day to myself. Many thanks Ayala, really helped to make my day.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

At last, I've got it

Well this week is definitely turning out the way I thought it would. Very busy and little time for knitting or sewing. It is going to be a matter of any little bit counts this week.

I did manage to get an hour or so this evening to knit and I am so glad that the pattern has finally sunk in. It has only taken the whole back to get it worked out. It certainly makes it quicker and easier not having to check the pattern all the time.

I did the ribbing last night and have managed to knit four repeats of the pattern tonight.

I will be so pleased if I can get this done this week. J's jumper was one of this months goals, and I have just about a week to finish. I think I will have one happy boy if I do.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Back Completed

I managed to do some more knitting last night thanks to Frost on television. Kept me awake for a bit longer than I have been managing this week.

We were out most of the day today, but I am pleased to say that I finished knitting the back of J's jumper after tea. This means I am almost half way through. This is a sleeveless v-neck jumper so just the front and borders to do.

At least I don't have to concentrate on the rib!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

No Frog Today

Yippee, no frog today, but that's because I haven't done any cross stitch! Thought a break was in order.

Instead I did this weeks stitching on the tapestry.

It was the turn of the water this week and some more of the accent colours were added. Thought it would be nice to see the piece as whole. Good to see the completed canvas at the bottom getting bigger. I will be doing more water next week too.
I have got the knitting back out today. One of this months goals was to make progress on J's sleeveless sweater. Tonight I have got to the armhole shaping and depending on how much longer I can knit tonight, I would very much like to get to the neck and shoulder shaping.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

The frog has come to visit

Do you ever get the feeling you should just give up stitching?

Yesterday I picked up the Thomas Kinkade to continue stitching, but had to unpick some stitches on the right. One of the colours are french knots, not cross stitches.

After removing the offending stitches, I started on the other side of the roof and was quite pleased to be going to bed with it looking like this. Trouble was, when I started stitching today, I had realised I was out by one row, so I had to frog what I had done yesterday.

The result is, tonight I am no further forward than I was last night. Maybe this is not a good piece to work on when I'm not feeling one hundred percent.

I did get something right today. I have completed another fabric postcard.
The central motif has been appliqued using blanket stitch and herringbone stitch along the seams. The back and front were over stitched together using quilting thread. You may just about see a clear leaf attached to the top left. This is a dropper from a broken earring and seemed to go nicely with the leaf theme on the fabric.

I am hoping that the frog has found somewhere else to visit tomorrow, or else I may not have a lot to show, not that I am wishing him on anyone.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Catch Up

It's been one of those weeks this week. By the time I've got to the end of the day, I have felt so tired, I just didn't feel up to writing the blog. I did manage to do a bit of stitching though.

Tuesday I began stitching to the right of the roof and chimney. And did a bit more Wednesday, but yesterday I decided to have a bit of a break. I needed something to stitch that I didn't need to work too hard concentrating on.

I began another fabric postcard. I hand quilted the centre section using gold thread.
After stitching the seams on the main body of the postcard, I hand appliqued the quilted square using blanket stitch.
I then added the leaf button before stitching the front and back of the postcard together.

I haven't decided on the destination of this card yet. It will either be Australia of America. I have the other postcard all prepared and ready for stitching.
I am now going to go back and do some more cross stitch. The break from cross stitching has been brief, but refreshing.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Thomas Kinkade SAL

Yesterday evening I decided to get back to cross stitching, but went for a straightforward part of the pattern. I returned to stitching the roof as I could do longer rows of the same colour. This is where I left it last night.
I managed to do a little bit more today and added the chimney and the roof window. I was then called to my motherly duties, i.e. as chief cuddle giver. Hopefully tomorrow I will get longer to stitch, but it looks doubtful. I have to help J make pizza before I have to take him out.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Another ATC and Lakeland update

I was determined to finish the second ATC before I went to bed last night. This one is slightly different to the first one.

The leaf is appliqued and outlined using back stitch and then a leaf button was added. Instead of blanket stitch, I used running stitch to join the back and front.

I was asked yesterday what I used to stiffen the cards. I used stiff interfacing, but this is a personal choice and there may be someone out there more experienced than me that can suggest something better. I want to get some writing paper tomorrow, and then these are on their way to Israel and The Netherlands.

I was informed by D last night that I had to make him 10 ATC's and they had to all be different. Not quite sure what he intends to do with them, but he said it was because he liked them.

This afternoon I caught up with the Lakeland tapestry.
This left hand corner is beginning to take shape, but this is still going to take some time.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

First ATC

This is the first ATC I have ever made. I have two to do for a swap on Stitchin Fingers.
The leaf is cut out and appliqued on to the main fabric using back stitch in perle cotton. The back and front of the ATC are stitched together using blanket stitch. There is no machine stitching at all on this ATC. D even realised that the letters were my initials, so that is an improvement on my last signature.
I have also got all the pieces ready to put together for the other ATC and two fabric postcards. Will keep you updated on progress.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Thomas Kinkade SAL

It was another lovely day today so we were out most of the day which meant I didn't get much time to sit and stitch.

Tonight was hard going. It was all variations of grey as I was filling in some more of the foreground. The tireder I got, the harder it was to keep up with where I was. I shall put it down for tonight and come back fresh to it tomorrow.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Still Cross Stitching

The weather here for the last two days has been glorious. We have been out most of the time making the most of the sun and warmth. The consequence of this is that time for stitching is reduced, and by the time we have returned home and I've sat down, I've been shattered.

Last night, I only managed to do the area to the right of the roof, the red and green leaves. I did manage a bit more tonight. I did a lot more stitching in the foreground. It was quite exciting to realise I am 22 stitches away from the left border. There is quite a few more than that at the top and bottom to do.
The one thing about cross stitching is that a finish is not always quick to come by. I am missing the feel good factor that comes from completing a project so I think there will be a change of activity on Saturday. I have some ATC's to make for exchanges, so the embroidery fingers will be out.

Tomorrow, the boys and I are out for the day again.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Thomas Kinkade SAL

The boys wouldn't let me go out again today. I have a lovely cold and have had a bit of a temperature. The has been a definite smell of eau do Olbas oil here today. The best thing about the enforced stay at home it meant I had a lovely afternoon stitching, made all the nicer that the boys did some of their stitching too.
I filled in some of the greenery and rocks below the house, and then I stitched some more of the roof and the tree by the side. The reds and oranges really are appropriate for this time of year.

All being well, we are out for most of the day tomorrow, so I don't think I will get much stitching done, but I can always hope.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Buttons finally attached

I must say, I really do appreciate good service. I bought these natural wood buttons of Ebay from a company called Beads Needs. I completed the transaction and paid one day, and these arrived in the post the day after. I couldn't have asked for better service. I chose natural wood as I had knitted the cardigan using natural wool. Although I have had these buttons for a couple of weeks, I finally sewed them on today. Now I can wear the cardigan and do it up properly. Yes, I confess. I have worn it once without the buttons!
The next job of the day was to frog the stitches that were in the wrong place..
..then restitch correctly.
Then I could carry on as if nothing had happened.
With some more of the foreground stitched, the perspective of the house is easier to see. The weather forecast for tomorrow isn't brilliant, so I am hoping to get a bit of stitching in before I have to take the boys out.