Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finished Blomekrans

Another puff for toady.  Not so sure about this one.  I used up the last of a skein of tropical colors, then started using a subdued blues/purples/browns skein.  Maybe I should have striped it?  Oh well, it will be amongst about 999 others so I don't think it's so bad as to stand out in that crowd.  Tomorrow's puff will be the last singular one I do.  Saturday I will start making 3 puffs per day to hasten this blanket into completion.

I finished the Blomekrans mittens this morning and gave them their bath this afternoon.  They are now blocking on the bed in the spare bedroom.

I worked on the ornament a bit this afternoon, but I didn't feel there was so much progress that you needed to see a photo.  Tomorrow I will be starting the Quilty Stitches Sampler, and this weekend more work will be done on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece, so there won't be any more work done on the ornament until next week.  Tonight I pulled out the Mermaid jacket to work on again.  Might keep this one out until it's finished.  It's so close to being done it's a shame to keep putting it up for long periods.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Willpower

Last night I finished the leaves on the second mitten while watching the last two episodes of Downton Abbey Season 4.  This season ended on a much better note than last, but poor Edith!

I'm hoping to have the mittens finished today, and might set aside my afternoon stitching to knit instead.  I won't have much time for stitching anyway since I need to go to the grocery.  I should have gone yesterday.  It's so cold today even though the sun is shining brightly.  Oh well, that's what happens when I choose crafting over errands.

A bit more progress made on the ornament.  It's slow going though, I must say.  At the rate this is going, I might have that tatted hankie done before these are finished.  Once the mittens are done, I may stitch on these in the evenings too to get them finished quicker.

I have no willpower, sigh.  I've decided not to wait until these are done to start the sampler though.  3 blocks have been released already and another one will be released every 2 weeks.  I figure I will have plenty of time to work on other stitching projects between releases, and I don't want to get so far behind that I'll never catch up.  I am going to dig around in my stash tomorrow for supplies for this project and will start it on Friday.

And, as always, there's a puff for today.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Bit Too Diversified

Looking at all the photos I was uploading today has me thinking that I may have spread myself a bit too thin here.  Today I'm going to pick 2 projects and try to work on only them.  Should make better progress that way.

I worked on an ornament yesterday.  Doesn't look like I made much progress, but working on perforated paper is a bit tricky.  This is a full sheet, so 9" x 12".  I can't cut it down much because this ornament is actually fairly large.  Trying not to bend the paper so there aren't any folds or creases makes it awkward to stitch on.  Also, the holes are just big enough that the needle wants to fall through them unless the hole has been stitched in already.  This almost means you need 3 hands to stitch; one to hold the paper, one to hold the needle under the paper, and one to pull the needle through to the top.  Since I don't have 3 hands, it's a comical sight I'm sure watching me stitch on this.  This will be one of my 2 projects for today simply because I want to have these done with already.

I am not so fast at tatting.  It took me the better part of an hour to do these 5 rings.  There is a mistake at the base of the third one, but I have started this so many times and taken it apart again, I'm going to leave it.  This is a practice piece after all, and isn't going to be perfect.  I should quit trying to make it so.  I'll put this away for now, and pick it back up after something else is finished.

I finished the body of the first mitten last night and worked through the ribbing on the second while catching up on Shameless.  This will be the second project I'll work on today.  I want to get these done in the next couple of days, and should be able to do so if I'm not distracted by too many projects.

After working on the mittens, I pulled out my HAED piece and worked on it for a couple of hours.  The photo doesn't look like I'm getting good coverage, but I don't see any of that white when I hold it up in person.  Not even close up.  I can only assume it's something to do with the flash on the camera.

And a puff for today.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Christmas in February

Monday's puff.  'nuff said.

I got some work done on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece, although not as much as I had hoped.  The last tendril in her hair is finished, and I got a start on the chandelier.  For some reason, other projects were calling my name this weekend and I kept getting distracted.  Maybe next weekend will yield better progress.

Today I will be working on the perforated paper ornaments I started, oh about a year ago.  Here's what they will look like when finished.

And here's all I got done on the first one before putting this away.  If I remember correctly, I worked on this one night when I met Amanda at Starbucks, then never worked on it again.  I have supplies to make both, so need to make both for this project to be considered complete.

I think tonight I will work on the tatting a bit before pulling out the Blomekrans mittens to work on.  It would be nice to be through the leaves on the second mitten before calling it a night, but that might be asking too much for one evening.  We shall see.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quick Sunday Update

I completely forgot to post this morning after I finished my puff because Paul and I went out shopping.  When faced with the decision to post a picture of a puff in your blog and shopping for new clothes, which would you pick? :-)

I've strayed a bit this weekend from working on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece.  I pulled out the Blomekrans mittens and got to the halfway point in the bloom last night before deciding that I had had enough knitting colorwork.  I will finish this one tomorrow and probably start on the second.  I'll also be working on a couple other needlework projects next week in hopes of getting to start on that quilt block sampler in March.

And, here is proof I knit Sunday's puff.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Save the Stitches

 After arguing with myself about braving the howling winds yesterday, the mall won.  Every so often I just need to get out of the house and go somewhere.

Of course, a day of shopping isn't conducive to getting a lot of crafting done.  I didn't work on much of what I wanted to, but I did get block 3 of the Save the Stitches piece done.  The metallic accents are now added and this is ready to wait until March when block 4 (and possibly block 5) will be released.

Here's a not so detailed photo of progress so far.  There will be 5 more of these rows added before it's done.  The more I work on this, the more I'm afraid to use it as a table runner like I was originally planning.  I'm afraid that if it isn't framed and hanging on the wall, something bad will happen to it.  Hopefully that feeling will pass because I do think this will make a stunning table runner.  Maybe I'll use it on the sideboard instead of the table.  Digit might not be as inclined to inspect it there.

And, as always, a puff for today.

This weekend, I'll be working on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece again.  I might take a break tonight and work on the mittens again though.  I really want to get them done before month's end.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Howling Winds

Today the winds are howling something fierce!  The sun is shining brightly, but it sounds so cold when that wind starts up.  I've been contemplating going out all morning and keep changing my mind about whether or not I'm brave enough to face the winds.  I'll have to eventually today, because I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon.  Mall or no mall? That is the question.

Yesterday afternoon I finished up all of the main color on block 3.  I think I'm going to work on the metallics until they are done today, even if it cuts into my normal knit/crochet time.  I'd like to start next week off able to work on another project.  I'll be dividing my time between the HAED piece and the two I want to get done so I can start the sampler.

Worked another round on the rug last night.  Doppler wasn't very pleased with having to model next to it for scale, but he relented with the promise of a treat afterwards.  I'm thinking this will be about 5' in diameter when I'm done.  Quite a respectable rug for the center of my kitchen floor.  Might not get this done in February since I seem to only be able to manage one round per day, but it should be finished early in March if not.

I started that second pair of Blomekrans last night and got up to the thumb on the first mitten.  These will go fast if I don't work on anything else while knitting these.  This pair will have green and brown leaves and a purple blossom against a yellow background.  Making these colorwork mittens is really eating into that Palette stash I wanted to use up this year.

 And, mall or not, I got a puff done first thing this morning.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Whole Lotta Stitchin Goin On

I didn't get as much done on the Save the Stitches as I wanted to yesterday, but only because I went to get some groceries and stopped by JoAnn Fabrics to use my 15% off total purchase coupon.  Not sure I can get what's left done by tomorrow, but should be able to get it done on Monday.

I have found another stitching project that I want to start.  You can check out the Quilty Stitches Sampler A Long using the link in the sidebar.  A new block will be released every 2 weeks, and she's on block 3 right now.  I'm not supposed to start something else new until I get 2 more stitching project done, so I dug around in my in progress drawer last night to find a couple of things that I might get finished fairly quickly.  Earlier in the month, I had pulled out the tatted handkerchief, but set it aside when I was able to start the Save the Stitches piece, so I think that will be one of the items I try to finish up.  The other is most probably going to be the perforated paper ornaments.  Neither of these is going to be finished in a day or two, so I just might have to cheat a bit and start the sampler before they are done so I don't get too far behind.

No knitting done last night.  I did complete one round of crochet on the kitchen rag rug after Paul helped me prep the rest of the fabric strips.  That's about the extent I can get done in one day on that project.  It's getting heavy and unwieldy, and crocheting fabric strips is hard work.  There are nearly 200 stitches in a round now and my arm can only manage one round.  I will get a photo of my progress for tomorrow's post, hopefully with a kitty or dog nearby to help with scale.  Tonight I will do some knitting.  Need to work on Paul's convertible mittens, and I'm going to make a second pair of Blomekrans.

Since I didn't pull out any knitting last night, I decided to work on my HAED piece a bit.  Here it is with just over 200 stitches done.  I need to resign myself to the fact that this is going to take me at least 2 years to complete.  I am working on too many other things right now to actually get 400 stitches done per day, so I won't have this to hang in my dining room next year like I wanted.

To give you a perspective ..... below is a photo that shows almost all of the area that needs to be stitched.  I think I missed a row or column or 2.  More than 130,000 stitches in this piece!

 Yesterday afternoon I did get the Biscuit Cowl blocked.  I love her!  The drape with the silk yarn is fabulous.  She is just warm enough to keep the chill off my neck around the house, but isn't so heavy that I can't comfortably wear her in late spring or early fall.  I'm wearing her now, doubled like in the second photo.

And of course, there is a puff for today!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Another One Down

Today's puff.  I'm seriously thinking about stepping up on making these.  I haven't touched the other blankets that have been sitting around unfinished for at least a year, and I really want to get them all done, but working on all of them at the same time is just crazy.  I think in March I'm going to start making 3 puffs per day and start getting them sewn together.  I should have a completed Beekeeper's by year's end that way.  Hmmmm serious thinking is in order here.

I finished knitting the Biscuit cowl last night.  Here she is awaiting end weaving and her bath.  That should happen later this afternoon when I get back from my shopping trip.  Need to get groceries and a few errands out of the way today because we're expecting a nasty storm tomorrow.  We're getting a lot of snow melt now.  One day it's cold and snowing 5", the next it's 40 and we're in danger of floods.  Crazy!

I got almost all of the upper right pattern complete on the Save the Stitches piece yesterday.  Weird how the patterns that I think look most complicated turn out to be so easy to stitch.  I'm hoping this doesn't bode ill for the one that I'm looking the most forward to and saving for last. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

He's a Ninja!

 Last night I finished the balaclava for Paul.  Unfortunately for him, it wasn't until after he had gone outside to clear the 4+ inches of snow we got yesterday.  I knew I should have worked on this a bit over the weekend instead of the Biscuit cowl, but oh well, he'll have it for next time.

True to form, he had to get into character and pose for his photos.  This may have been a mistake lol.  He pulls it up over his mouth and runs around the house saying "I'm a ninja!"

I got a pretty good start on block 3 yesterday.  I finished the outlining and got the main color added to the small areas and one of the bigger areas.  The most difficult looking pattern will be in the top right, so I think I'll start on that one today.  I'm really excited about getting block 3 done.  It means I can pull out the HAED piece and work on it until block 4 is released.

After finishing the balaclava, I worked on the Biscuit cowl.  I got another repeat done and almost 2 (of 6) rounds done on another.  I might get this done tonight!  Then I really do need to pull out the rag rug and get it finished up.  It was on my list of goals for February, so some work needs to be done on it even if I don't get it finished.

And of course, a puff.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Weekend SAL

I made pretty good progress on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece this weekend.  I didn't get to the chandelier like I wanted to because there was a lot more left to do on the hair than I thought.  I got the hair done, did a bit of beading, and got the backstitching complete on the body.  The backstitching really softened up the look of her face.  Next weekend I will finish the beading and backstitching in her hair, and will finally move on to the chandelier.  Starting today, I am back to the Save the Stitches piece.

Monday puff!

Last night, I put the cross stitch project up a bit early because I was beginning to get a knot in my back between my shoulder blades.  I pulled out the Biscuit cowl and completed another repeat of the rib pattern before calling it a night.  This should be done on Wednesday night if I continue to get a repeat done each day.

We are getting snow again today :-(  I've been sitting here watching it and thinking that it doesn't look bad yet, and I should risk going out to Michaels and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I have a 25% off my total purchase coupon for Michaels that expires today and I'd like to use it to get some more floss for the HAED piece.  And I have a 20% off an item coupon for BB&B that I'd like to use to get a bath towel.  Yes, just one.  I usually buy 2, but lately the ones I've purchased just aren't what we like.  The latest ones we got from Kohl's are horrible!  Even after 6 washes or so, they are still shedding enough to completely fill the lint trap on the dryer, and when we dry off with them, they leave little fuzzies on us.  Yuck!  I bought 4 of them, and 2 hand towels to match.  What a waste!  I thought maybe if I bought just one to try out with a coupon, it wouldn't be so bad if we didn't like it lol.  Then, if we did like it, I could either go back and get another to match, or wait until I get another 20% coupon.  Not sure what I'm going to do with this pile of yucky towels I have sitting here.  Anyone have ideas for recycling towels?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Just a Puff

Just a puff today.  Must get back to stitching on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece.  Making really good progress!

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Today's puff is a bit of a Frankenpuff!  I used up the last of a purplish skein for the first 8 rounds, the last of a pinkish skein for the next 2 rounds, then finished it off with a skein of tropical colors.  I don't think these odd puffs are going to look too strange in the finished quilt.

I did finish block 2 yesterday afternoon.  I really wish the metallic threads showed up here.  This piece will be set aside until Monday.  I'm hoping that I can get block 3 finished up in just a few days so I can work on the HAED piece.  I got the fabric prepared yesterday, and late last night I did work on it just a bit.  I wanted to see if working on the 18 count fabric made much difference.  Boy did it!  I got 100 stitches completed in no time at all, so this will go much faster.  I'm getting good coverage with 2 strands of floss so will be going that route instead of the 3 I was afraid I'd have to use.

I finished the first repeat of the rib pattern on the Biscuit cowl.  This didn't take too much time, so this should be finished next week.  There are 4 more repeats to go before bind off.

Another pinkish looking photo of the balaclava.  I really need to put off taking photos when it's not bright and sunny around here.  Another night or two and this should be finished.  All depends on how much ribbing I can knit before I'm completely bored with this and need to work on something else or scream.

This weekend will be devoted mostly to working on the Siren and the Shipwreck piece.  This is what she looks like now (before I start my weekend stitching).  I think I'm going to concentrate on some backstitching and beading today, and will probably work on the chandelier that she's holding tomorrow.  I'm just about done with the first page of this pattern and want to get that all done before moving on to the next.  I won't show another photo of her until Monday morning, after all my weekend stitching is done.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone has fun plans for this Valentine's Day.  Hubby and I are planning to eat well.  When we lived in Columbus, we used to get a gourmet "box dinner" from a local restaurant catering service.  It was always too much food and delicious.  We'd get several dinners out of it.  Well, here in small town Wisconsin, we haven't found something like that yet, so I'll be cooking today.

Ribeye steaks, broccoli, and seafood potatoes are on the menu for tonight.  And for dessert?

Our Shari's Berries of course!  This year I went a bit overboard on the order, but oh well, it's only once a year and we can exercise a bit extra to take care of the calories right?  I ordered 12 strawberries and got the 3 mini cheesecakes as an add-on.  Paul doesn't like cheesecake so these babies are all mine!  I did feel bad that I was getting an "extra", so at checkout, I decided to add some chocolate covered oreos for Paul.  These are the best strawberries I've ever had.  If you've never tried them, I highly recommend that you do.  They are a bit pricey, but well worth every penny spent on them.

First thing after reading my cheesy valentine card, and making coffee, I made my puff for the day.  I think Amanda has abandoned me in this challenge, but oh well, I'll keep going.  I really want this blanket, so next year I'm going to have to do 2 puffs per day.  Not sure I can wait 3 years for it!

I finished the lace portion of the Biscuit cowl last night.  One more bobble round then it's smooth sailing with a rib pattern for 30 rounds and all done.

I didn't do too much on the balaclava last night, but I did get past the face opening.  Now it's a matter of just knitting like it's a hat.  The pattern calls for switching to stockinette when the decrease part comes instead of continuing with the rib pattern.  This just seems like it will look strange to me, so I think I'm going to continue in rib.

I did not finish block 1 yesterday like I thought.  This last pattern is giving me fits.  Stitched, it looks fine, but the pattern "moves" on me when looking at it.  Very disconcerting lol.  I'm hoping to have it done today.

My fabric for the HAED piece arrived yesterday.  I'm going to try to get it prepared to work on and start the piece as soon as I get block 3 of the blackwork done.  I really want the Siren and Shipwreck piece finished, so I'm going to stick by my plan to work on it on the weekends as part of the Ravelry Counted Cross Stitcher group sal.  I'll work on the blackwork each month until the current release is finished, then I will switch to the HAED until the next portion is released.