Saturday, 31 January 2009

TAST-Palestrina Stitch

The next TAST stitch is palestrina stitch. In appearance, it looks a bit like a knotted blanket stitch.

This one for me, took a little getting into and I covered the worst bit with the ladybird button. Halfway around, it all suddenly fell into place and I knew exactly where the needle and thread should go. I decided to use this stitch to applique the patch to the background fabric. I will make this into a fabric postcard.

I am now going to remove the tacking stitches. I can see from the photo I have forgotten to take them out!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Wolhemel blanket block 3 and 4

Well, yesterday I managed to complete two blocks, which makes up for not doing any today!

Block 3 is on the right and should have been photographed the other way. It wasn't until I was looking at the photo I realised it's the wrong way. It is in fact, reverse stocking stitch with a diamond pattern. Block 4 is stocking stitch with "holes". At least these ones are meant to be there.

I went into Hobbycraft today to get some floss for a project and had a look at their wool as I need some more to continue the blocks. Unfortunately, nothing in the right colour grabbed my attention, so I am hoping if I get into town tomorrow, I can find some there. I have enough here to do one more block, but I'm not sure I'll be doing it tonight.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Wolhemel blanket block 2

I have completed another block for the blanket today, it may have been two if I hadn't fallen asleep on the settee this afternoon!
This is a lovely cable pattern knitted using Classic Yarns RY Cashsoft DK, 57% extra fine marino, 33% acrylic microfibre, 10% cashmere. This is one of the balls of yarn that I found reduced the other week at John Lewis.
The knitting even survived being attacked by an over active kitten this morning. He was dragging the needle across the floor. Fortunately, none of the stitches came off.
The third block has been started, so hopefully that will also be completed tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Wolhemel blanket block 1

Another project I need a major catch up on is on the Yahoo KAL Wolhemel blanket. I finally completed block one today and have made a start on block 2.

These are lovely small projects to work on and when complete, we will have another blanket to fight over in the evenings.

I am also participating in Wendy's ,, Pay it forward and these are the rules. It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie Pay it Forward where acts and deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, in the hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on.So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on the blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. It will be sent to you within 12 months.What YOU have to do in return, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Monday, 26 January 2009

TAST-Oyster Stitch

I have quite a few TAST stitches to catch up on, but I have decided that I am going to use them in a different way than before. Not all the stitches lend themselves for seam decoration and I don't have the inspiration to do the large blocks at the moment. I decided I would use them to possibly make ATC's or fabric postcards.

The first stitch was oyster stitch which I haven't done before. This is my first doodle using different thickness thread and ribbon. J thought it looked like a brain but the stitch spoke to me in a completely different way. It said sheep! So this evening this is what appeared.
I can't draw, so this is a cartoony sheep at best. D chose the eyes for me from my button tin. The head and body are stitched using two colours of Anchor Perle No 5. The legs are straight stitches using DMC 310 and the mouth was stitched in back stitch. The grass is stitched using narrow ribbon.
When he saw it, D said why don't you make it into a postcard. When I told him that was what I was going to do, he told me I wasn't allowed to give it away.
I think I may finish this later in the week and put it in his bedroom as a surprise. He is away for a few days at his dad's so he can find it when he comes home. As he has a bit of a cold, it might just be the thing to cheer him up.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Chicken Scratch Sampler

Last night I managed to finish knitting the back of D's jumper and made a good start on the first sleeve. I am hoping, if I have a good afternoon, to get that finished too.

This morning it was back to the chicken scratch sampler. I was left with four corners to work on after the ribbon borders had been machine stitched into place. I put in a little heart motif in this corner. The outside of the cross stitch border was whipped with a contrasting thread and then the empty squares were outlined in straight stitch.

This is one of my favourite corners. Upright crosses were worked over the normal cross stitch, then using white thread, loops were created around the centre to form a "flower".

On this corner, links were simply made by looping around the points of the crosses.

The inner crosses on this one were just outlined with the darker thread.
At the four corners of the inner square, I attached clear bowl shaped buttons with a green bead in the centre. On the outer square, four square buttons were attached.
This is the sampler in it's entirety and I am planning on making it into a wall hanging. Details of the other blocks can be found and
I'm now looking forward to seeing what is chosen for next month

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Busy with the sewing machine

A bit later than planned, but the sewing machine did make an appearance today.

The first project was to make a cushion cover utilising the first Alla Turca section. I made a very simple envelope style cushion cover with the cross stitch panel attached to the centre front. I attached the cross stitch leaving a fringed edging as per J's preference.
It now has pride of place on one of my sofas and goes really well with the walls. I was so pleased to find suitable fabric in my stash too. It feels great to put it to good use and safe some pennies.
The next project was to make up the exchange piece. I have made it into a wall hanging, but pictures will have to wait until next month.

This is the pot pourri sachet complete (apart from gap left through which to insert pot pourri). This will find a home in one of my drawers.
While the sewing machine was out, I machine stitched the ribbons into place on my chicken scratch sampler. I will hopefully finish the hand embroidery on that tomorrow.
It is now back to D's jumper. I have almost completed the back so I can't complain about the progress.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Alla Turca Part One x 2

Today seemed to be one of those days when I should have just given up stitching and gone and done something else. Everything I stitched this afternoon had to be frogged, so my early finish didn't materialise.

Despite the frog, I persevered and finally finished Alla Turca Part One for the second time. This time it is on 18 count aida using one strand of DMC 522, so had a completely different feel to the first one. This certainly helped it not become boring the second time around. Part two is released next month so this can go away for a couple of weeks.

I have also done a little bit of the back of D's jumper, but not much. I'll get the opportunity to work on it a bit more tomorrow as the boys have ice skating.

Monday, 19 January 2009

More Chicken Scratch

I did another small panel of chicken scratch today, lacing between the crosses with a contrasting thread. I think the picture is on the other camera, so I will have to upload that another day.

I then pinned all the pieces into place to create this framed piece. It is on binca and I will put some more chicken scratch in the corners when I have bought the appropriate threads. The framing is done using ribbon and I have a few ideas for decorating this too.

I will machine stitch all the pieces into place when I get out the sewing machine(that's three items in the queue waiting for the machine).
Last night and this evening I did some more knitting on D's jumper. The front is complete and the back has been done to the start of the pattern. This is a great piece to do when I don't want to concentrate too much on anything. A relaxing knit!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Stich Explore-chicken scratch

I am happy to say that I have finished the cross stitching for the Friendship Exchange. I just have to make it up this week. Once the exchange is complete, I will be able to show you what I have done.

This year on Sharon B's blog, ( she is doing a Stitch Explore every month. This month the theme is chicken scratch, so I have been having a play with different ideas this afternoon.

I will eventually put all the pieces together, and either frame it or make it into a wall hanging.

On this piece it was simply cross stitching over 9 blocks, weaving through with contrasting thread and attaching the beads along the centre.
This one reminds me a bit of smocking. There are green and white cross stitches and then green beads attached with a half cross stitch in the centres.I think this block is my favourite. I used green and off white tapestry wool to make alternate blocks. I used tent stitch, but each colour went the opposite direction. Using green, cross stitches were done over the white blocks and beads then added to the centre of the green blocks and the intersections of the crosses.

I am going to do two more blocks on the gingham and then the assembling process can begin. I am looking forward to experiment with weaving the cross with other threads, but I have to wait until I go shopping.

I am off to watch a film with the boys, so I shall probably spend some time knitting.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Good and bad news

The good news is that after three days part one of Alla Turca is complete and it has been a complete joy to stitch. The bad news is that I must have had a mad moment when I positioned the centre. I noticed last night the I had started about 2/3 inches too far down. Only thing I can think is that I got distracted for a moment.

I decides to continue stitching as I thought I could use this part to make a cushion cover. It will then coordinate with the framed piece on the wall. This means I have another three days worth of stitching to complete Part One-again!

Yesterday I went to Hobbycraft and came back with a few bits ans pieces. Couldn't resist a pattern reduced to 29p. I also purchased wool for a jumper for D and some for a Yahoo KAL for a blanket made up of patterned squares, some DMC threads and a shopping bag to decorate.
As the boys spent a couple of hours swimming today I took D's jumper with me and made a good start on the front. The pattern is straightforward enough to cope with the distractions of chatting and watching the boys. I didn't think I did too badly for the amount of time I had and it was better than sitting and twiddling my thumbs.

There was also more shopping today. I got some other yarn for the blanket which was reduced at John Lewis, some beads, gingham (also reduced) and ribbon to use on this months project from Sharon B. It is to explore chicken scratch embroidery and I have a few ideas swimming around my head. All I have to do is to get them onto fabric.

I think I have plenty to keep me out of mischief over the next couple of weeks. Just a shame there is a mountain of ironing awaiting my attention tomorrow.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Alla Turca Part One

I have completed the other non stitching task for this month. I unpacked my picturea and spent an hour happily banging holes in all the walls I have just painted. There are a couple of pictures that need new glass or hanging cord to go up, but that will wait. I now have my very own rogues gallery up the stairs.

I also found all the stitching that needs framing or finishing in some other way, so I will gradually work my way through them. I am really looking forward to making some picture frames.

This morning I did do a small part on my exchange piece but I need to go to Hobbycraft and buy some threads I need. It stitches quite quickly, so it shouldn't take long to finish.

After I had finished hammering in nails, I started on the Alla Turca Mystery SAL. The top left is complete for part one. Just have to do the middle and right, then the bottom half of the block.

I would have done more but Tugger was intent on catching the threads as it went through the holes. When he wasn't doing that, he sat on top of my arm! Do you think he was trying to tell me something? It is quite nice not having to think about colour changes and I am hoping that, as there is only one block a month, I won't get fed up with the colour. If I do, I'll blame J as he helped chose it.

Monday, 12 January 2009

I made her cry

I did have enough time to get the sewing machine out today. so I found some pink fabric to use to back the sampler to turn it into a wall hanging.
Here it is complete and ready to be delivered. I wrapped it up and as there was no reply I just posted it through the door. I got back home and realised she may wonder where it came from, so I sent her an explainatory text. I was so busy the rest of the afternoon I had forgotten about it.

This evening there was a knock at the door and my neighbour had come across to say thank you. She was so overwhelmed that she was crying, she said she had never had such a lovely gift. I had thought it was such a little thing to do, and I am so pleased that she liked it, though I hadn't set out to make my neighbours cry.
Whilst the machine was out and I had some time left, I put together a fabric postcard. The cat motif was machine stitched to the black background and the star button stitched on. The stars were then cross stitched randomly before stitching the backing and front together with some stiff interfacing between.

I like this one a lot better than the previous one I did. I have two other motifs ready to use but that will probably wait until next month.
Once this was done I spent some time kitting up two projects to start.
The first is for an exchange I've signed up for on Exchange Heaven. The theme for this month is friendship. I sourced a pattern from and have started stitching it tonight. I won't be able to post pictures until the exchange is complete sometime next month.
I am also doing a mystery SAL with the Stitchers Heaven yahoo group. Part one has already been released and I sorted the fabric and thread colour this afternoon. I am using 18 count aida as that is what I had in my stash, and I'm using DMC 522 for stitching the monochrome design. I think a part is being released each month so this should be complete in September. I'm not sure exactly when the stitching will commence but I am looking forward to starting.
This evening I finished doing the cross stitch on the potpourri sachet. Later in the week when the sewing machine is out again, I will assemble it. I will then have to find some nice pot pourri to put inside.
I am hoping that the rest of the week will be as good as today, but I'm not going to count on it.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Into the cross stitch groove

I did do a little more on Lakeland this morning, but it was very little. It was so dull and grey the light was too bad to see the correct colours. In fact, the best part of today was the sunrise. There was a beautiful red sky and I just had to go and stand outside to admire it.

As the light was bad, it was back to the cross stitch. It didn't take too long to finish this cross stitch so now it is all ready for finishing. I will have a look through the fabric I have and see if I have anything suitable for the backing and make it into a wall hanging.Some time ago, I inherited a lot of stitching materials. kits and magazines from a lady that I used to care for. She suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and as the disease progressed, she was unable to keep stitching so she gave me all her supplies so they wouldn't go to waste.

Amongst the items was the full collection of Discovering Needlecraft magazine. They have hardly been used and I have always promised myself a tour through them all. I felt that it was the only way I could repay my friend for her generosity.

As I had a bit of time this evening, I got out issue one and this is the free gift almost completed. It will be a potpourri holder with a lace edging. This magazine really explores some of the different uses for basic embroidery stitches. In issue one, it explores satin stitch and I am looking forward to trying out some different techniques.

I am hoping that tomorrow I will have time to get the sewing machine out. These two items will need to be completed and I would like to make a start on some fabric postcards. Unfortunately, I have to take the boys to town and the library first.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Lakeland update and more cross stitch

I did manage to do some stitching on Lakeland today. I caught up with a weeks stitching, only another five to go! By the time I had done this, it was beginning to get too dark as the grey clouds were beginning to roll in.

I carried on with the cross stitch and am happy to say I have nearly finished the stitching.
It was another varied day, cross stitch, back stitch, straight stitch and a french knot. I think there are six more motifs to stitch and then the bottom back stitch line.
I am thinking of finishing this as a wall hanging if I don't have a suitable frame here.

Friday, 9 January 2009

A small Sampler

I had thought the next task in hand would be to catch up with the Lakeland needlepoint. I need natural light for this one, and as we were out all day, that was not an option for this evening.

I decided to do this little cross stitch instead. It was bought by a neighbour, but as she had never got round to stitching it, she gave it to me a few months ago. I thought I would stitch it for her, frame it and then give it back to her to enjoy. It is quite quick to stitch, and as it is made up of small motifs, it is like a continual chain of small finishes. So good for the ego!
This is what I managed to get done this evening, a bit of cross stitch, back stitch and one french knot. Such variety in such a small area.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Poppies are finished

The last two days have been pretty productive, so I am a happy bunny.

Yesterday, J and I got up in the loft and sorted some space in the loft so I could get 10 more boxes up there. There is also space for some more to go up, so it looks as if I can get the porch clear, but that is a job for another time.

I also managed to stitch quite a bit yesterday, so this afternoon I didn't have much more to do on the poppies.

I finished the cross stitch on the middle poppy and then back stitched the two bottom ones. Then came the fun part-french knots and beads. Once this was complete, I went back to the top poppy and finished the cross stitching. I put the last stitch in just as my friend started texting me. Great timing!

I know have to find myself a picture framer to cut me a mat so I can make the frame and get it up on the wall. I can't wait to see it.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Cheerful Poppies

I've enjoyed getting back to this project, especially as it seems to be stitching up quite quickly.

Last night, the kitten stopped me from stitching as he kept chasing the threads. He had his claws out so the only option was to put it away. This meant the candles weren't needed!

All the stems have now been completed and there only the two poppy flowers to stitch. I am hoping the cross stitch will be finished by the weekend ready to add the beads and french knots.

Monday, 5 January 2009

D's jumper complete

We woke up to snow this morning. There wasn't much, but it has stayed all day as it is so cold here. It didn't stop us going for a walk this morning.

When we got back, I was able to finish D's jumper. As I had managed to complete knitting the collar before going to bed last night, I just had to cast off and sew everything together. It always seems easier with raglan seams to get all the bits in the right order. I really felt like carrying on with knitting this afternoon, but I think I will stick to my list of things that need to get done this month. That means that the next project out of the bag will be the cross stitch poppies. The end is in sight for this piece as I only have the last third of the picture to do.

I am not sure how long I will be able to keep stitching this evening as a couple of the bulbs have blown, and I have to wait until I go into town to get new ones. I suppose I could try candlelight!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

No mistakes today

I am pleased to say that knitting went smoothly today with no mistakes. The second sleeve was finished and I am halfway through knitting the collar. Fourteen centimetres of ribbing seems to be taking a long time!

I am hoping if all goes as well as today, I can sew this jumper up tomorrow. Will be great to have something finished before the end of the first week of the New Year.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

After a slight hitch

I had a great time last night with the cat on my lap, and the needles in my hands. I finished the front as I had wanted and started on the first sleeve. I decided to go to bed when I had finished the increase rows and felt quite satisfied with what I had achieved.

I was up and out early this morning to get the boys. We managed to get home by 3.30 this afternoon, so after putting some jacket potatoes on to cook, I carried on with the sleeve.

After a lovely bath, I was happily knitting away contemplating a quick finish to the sleeve as I only had 4 more stitches to decrease when the realisation hit. I had knitted over half the sleeve on needles too small!

Nothing for it, but to rip it out and reknit, and there was no way I was going to bed until it was done. Oh the joys of knitting! At least it was an easy knit as the sleeve is just done in double moss stitch with no cables. So we have the back, front and one sleeve. I WILL do the second sleeve tomorrow.

Friday, 2 January 2009

I have been knitting

Yippee! I've been knitting. I actually had the energy to do more than get the bag out. I finished all the cleaning by lunchtime, so I thought I would see if I could still remember the pattern for D's jumper. I have managed to finish one side of the neck and would love to complete the other side this evening.

Most of tomorrow will be spent picking up the boys, so I know I won't get much time for knitting or anything else.

I may not have had the energy to knit yesterday, but I did think about what I would like to get done by the end of the month. A couple of things aren't directly related to knitting or sewing, but it will help me free up some much needed space.

To do in January:
Rearrange loft-want to hide a load of stuff out of the way!
Hang pictures
Finish D's jumper
Fabric postcards
5 TAST blocks-still wouldn't have caught up!
Sharon B's stitch challenge-more details to follow
Catch up with Lakeland Needlepoint
Finish Poppies cross stitch

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Normal Service Will Soon Return

January 1st, 2008 I was moving furniture. January 1st, 2009, guess what? Moving furniture again! This time it was just rearranging and moving back into a decorated room. Last year we were moving in. Four am this morning marked the end of my first year here. Fortunately, the landlord approves of the redecoration and is happy for us to stay here for as long as we want.

Here is what I have been doing this month. After the kitchen, it was the turn of the bathroom and toilet.
Now a soak in the bath is relaxing. Amazing what a change of colour can do.
This is J's room. It got a fresh coat of paint(gone is the pink and lilac walls and the princess light shade), and a reorganisation.
He's even got his desk area.
It was tidy for a couple of days. Hopefully when he comes back, he can put away his clothes!

The last room to get done was the front room. Oh boy, what a lot of ceiling there seemed to be!
This picture looks dark as the flash wouldn't stay on because of the light through the door.
Now I have a clean and relaxing room in which to stitch and knit. I even found myself a little shelf to display my fabric postcards and ATC's I receive. Can't wait to get involved with some more swaps this year to fill it up.
By the time I finished, I was aching right down to my finger tips. I sat down on New Year's Eve to do some knitting, but only managed to get the bag out. I am hoping for more success this afternoon, but my left arm really aches. Where are the boys when you need to them to move furniture!
This morning I finished getting back into the front room and caught up with cleaning upstairs. Curtains have been washed and rehung, beds have been changed and floors have been cleaned. That's my lot for today, the kitchen and hallway can wait until tomorrow.
I am also looking forward to unpacking all my pictures and photos and getting them up on the wall. Finally, this house will be transformed into our little home.

I have rediscovered Gina's postcard she sent me from Melbourne, Australia. I love the way she has used the buttons. D seemed so surprised they had roses in Australia, not sure why.

This afternoon, I am going to think about what I am going to be doing for the next month. It feels so good to think I can get stitching again. Once the aches go, I'll be raring to go.