Saturday, December 9, 2017

100 Days of Stitching

It took me three days to find the twenty minutes that I needed to finish this afghan, but finish it I did and here is the final photo. You might be asking, how is this photo any different from the previous one I shared? The answer is that this one was taken two weeks later and has two more rounds on the border. Oh, and I think I vacuumed the living room floor before I took this picture. Realistically, I would have liked a few more rounds on the border but this project has been dragging on for 14 months and I was just ready to have it done. If I really want to, I can add more rounds in the future. Say, if I get bored or run out of other projects or something (ha ha ha.)

Since I've finished this, I've also churned out a Christmas present for my favorite cousin, a navy blue hat and scarf (which I sadly forgot to take pictures of before gifting), and worked on my JAYGo motif blanket.

Its the end of the year, which brings up ideas and plans and goals for the coming year. I've given some thought to how I would like the New Year to go. I usually get super organized, make some sort of lofty crafty goals and lists, and forget all about them a month or two into them. I've managed to break the BUY ALL THE THINGS for cross stitch habit thanks to Stitch from Stash 2017. I haven't purchased anything cross stitch related since June. I happily managed to skate past the amazing Black Friday sales on yarn and fabric without purchasing a single item. I have enough craft supplies to last me years and I'd like use up a lot of my stash and finish a few projects before I go pick up more dust-collecting supplies.

What is really interesting me right now is 100daysofHAED, which was spawned on Facebook after a poll in a cross stitch group showed that the thing that most people wished they had was more time to craft. The challenge is to stitch on your projects every day for 100 days, no matter how much or how little you manage to do. I'm thinking about pulling out some of my old projects and seeing if I can get one done in 100 days of stitching just a little bit every day. Although they aren't HAED, I would love to see them done. These are three of my oldest projects.

If I start tomorrow, then 100 days will finish on March 20, about the time that Smidget is six months old.

What are your plans for New Year's Crafting?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Watercolor Crochet Blanket

The Smidget is almost two months old and I've decided to take my full FMLA, which means I won't be going back to work until Christmas time.

He's just so tiny and so needy that I can't imagine passing him off to a day care worker who has four  little ones to look after. He is taking up the bulk of my time and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So still no cross stitch and there is minimal other crafting. I did get a couple hours to spend in my sewing room, working on water bottle carriers. These are the bottoms of the carriers. I've embroidered them with the recipients Dagorhir names to make it easier to tell them apart, since a lot of these will be identical except for the names.

I've learned to crochet while nursing and my mother-in-law has been feeding my habit by bringing me the last couple of skeins of yarn I need to finish this blanket. I have four rounds on the border and think I can get 3-4 more out of the yarn I have and then I will call it completed! This has been more than a year in the making. I'm very happy with how it looks from a distance. When you're up close the colors don't blend very well but from a few feet away it looks like a water color sunrise.

I really like the border on this one, so much so that I'm considering doing a blanket just with rounds of the border stitch. Its half-double crochet in the horizontal loop of the hdc of the previous row. Its a little hard to describe but here is a link to the pattern: Spring into Summer Blanket. The author does an excellent job of explaining how to stitch this border. I did modify the border slightly: instead of stitching three hdc in the center corner stitch, I did two hdc in each of the three corner stitches, which lets my corners lay flatter.

As a way of keeping things interesting, I've also been putting some time into a couple of scarves using Red Heart Super Saver Stripes.

I picked up an interesting tip in one of my facebook groups. Since I often set projects aside for extended periods of time and also have more projects that I have hooks, I sometimes have trouble remembering which hook size to use. Someone said that they use stitch markers to hold their place and write the hook size on the stitch market. Eureka!

Its a little blurry but you can get the idea. I'd also like to note that I've learned a lot about doing cables with the scarf and that if I could do it over, I'd go up a hook size. The stitching is very tight and it would go a lot smoother and the scarf would have better drape if I was using a 6.0 mm hook instead of 5.0 mm hook. I am however, patently unwilling to frog the whole scarf and restart it. Let's call it a learning experience instead.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Smidget

Three days after my last post, my doctor sent me to the hospital and a couple days later we had a new arrival in the family. The last four weeks have been completely absorbed with spending time with my little one. I've actually started this post several times and each time been pulled away to tend to the kiddo or see to some other critical task.

We've nicknamed him Smidget and he is about as good natured of a baby as I could have asked for.

As you can imagine, there isn't much time for crafting anything. There are several projects in my sewing room that I owe other people and I just haven't had a block of time to settle in and work on them. Most of what I've done, I've squeezed in while snuggling Smidget in-between feedings. Over the past month, its made for a fair amount of progress. Its much easier to pick up and put down a crochet project, so that is where the bulk of my spare minutes have been spent.

JAYG afghan

C2C blanket
 The occasional Smidget nap that I am not also napping for has seen a little progress on my Tiger cross stitch. I've mostly filled in the nose and mouth.

Tiger Chilling Out

My mom has sent another blanket for Smidget! Jack's favorite super hero is Captain America and we were both tickled about this blanket and hat.

I don't know when the next update will be, but I hope you have all had a wonderful month - I know I have!

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Arrest

Okay, not really house arrest, but I've been told by my doctor not to go back to work until after the baby has arrived.

I'd like to say that I'm using the time productively to clean up the house and get things ready but we all know better don't we? I'm under orders to relax in-between doctors office visits and dropping in at various day cares.

I finished all the blocks for my mosaic quilt and I think I've decided on navy blue sashing.

I've flirted with Fall Fairy a bit, concentrating mostly on the upper right hand corner. I'm ALMOST all the way over to the other side. Its slow going since I'm doing the backstitching as I go. I think I'd hate to do it all at the end. I'm going to run out of one of the colors, which surprised me so early in the project, so I'll have to contact Dimensions and get more before I can go much further on this one.

And today I spent a few hours repairing Jack's Dagorhir garb and working on some embroidery for water bottle carriers.

The Last Alliance

House of Valdyr

The Deepwood Rangers

Finally the JYAG afghan is coming along quite nicely. Its only barely big enough for a doll blanket right now so we've got a ways to go.

Tomorrow is the first day I've been off work that I don't have to run to the doctors or meet another appointment so I'm hoping to get a few minor baby prep chores out of the way. What are your weekend plans?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

An Assortment of Crafty Pursuits

 Last weekend was a glorious three day weekend. Happy Labor Day to all, I hope you had a relaxing time! I was able to put a little bit of time into a quilt I've been working on. I now have eight of the twelve blocks completed on my mosaic quilt. This quilt is using the leftover castoffs from my drunkard's path quilt and is done using raw edge applique.

 This week while at work, I unraveled the waffle stitch scarf I had been working on and went with a simpler pattern. This is called the Everybody Scarf and the pattern is available free on Fiber Flux. I think this new pattern suits the yarn much better than the waffle stitch did. It took me about half and hour to get this far, so its a very quick pattern to work up. Currently, its only about four inches wide, so I will probably unravel it again and restart it with a few more columns.

I'm also having a lot of fun continuing with my JAYG afghan project. I took it with me this morning to the hair salon and was able to complete several squares and weaved in most of the ends while waiting for my niece to have her hair done. This picture shows the colors much better than the previous photo.

So labor day has passed, schools are back in session, and the temperature is dropping rapidly. We had a pretty mild summer and the temperature outside is falling to about 50 degrees F every night. I haven't yet had to turn the heat on and I'm resisting doing so, but it probably won't be too much longer.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Harvey in particular hits close to home as my brother's house was flooded and most of his things damaged beyond recovery. He currently only has the clothes he was able to throw in his go bag when he evacuated and has started a modest fundraiser to help replace the necessities. The fundraiser can be found here: Clothing and Personal Effects Fund by Christopher.  Please consider donating to this or one of the other charities assisting in the recovery effort, such as the Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team.