Saturday, April 30, 2016

Faithful April Finale

This month I joined Justine for her Faithful April - one cross stitch project for the month of April

This was really a struggle for me at times, as my attention span doesn't last a month. I had plenty of other things to keep me busy, such as events, friends visiting, essential oil party, and so on, so it worked out okay. While this wasn't the only project I worked on this month, it is the only cross stitch project that saw progress. 

Before Faithful April
As of Today
I'm actually both pleased and disappointed, as I had hoped to finish it (a lofty goal, I know) but I do believe I did quite well regardless. I know that I technically have this evening to make progress as well, but I am off to help my Dagorhir group make even more surcoats and will probably not get back in time to do much. I estimate there is about a third left to do and a decent amount of backstitching to catch up. I'm not sure whether I will continue with this in May or rotate in something else. 

I hope you all have a lovely and relaxing weekend. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Spring is Here

Spring has finally hit. I've already had to mow the lawn twice and the trees are starting to bud.

I'm so far refusing to mow the lawn behind the garage. I don't know if you can tell, but there are violets taking over back there and I think they're too pretty to mow down. I'm fairly certain that the previous owner kept a flower garden behind the garage.

I'm perfectly happy to let the violets grow wild. Honestly, I don't even mind the dandelions but those I will mow over without qualms.

The only crafty I've been able to get to this week has been on the basketweave scarf. I'm on the third skein, and I think I'll need six to make this a good sized scarf.

We now have an excellent example of what happens if you aren't careful to maintain consistent tension while crocheting.

The shawl is on hold until I have a chance to attempt to block it to fix the shape. Unfortunately, my weekends keep filling up quickly but I am optimistic that I will give it a go soon.

The event last Saturday went extremely well. It was hosted by House Valdyr and was our largest event yet, with more than fifty people in attendance. They ran five battles, we ate delicious pulled pork and salad, and generally had a good time. It was a little chilly for me and I'll admit I was tired by the end of the day. I'll post pictures as soon as I get them from our photographer.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Work in Progress

I've been modifying my surcoat dress this week. 

I started with gathering the skirt. I made a strip of fabric with eyelets every inch, stitched it to the seam inside the dress, and ran rattail through it. If you pull the rattail tight it gathers nicely, but can still be worn without the gather.

The next step was the underskirt, which was made with a handkerchief hem pattern. It was really one of the fastest, easiest skirts I've put together. I still need to pick up the elastic for the waist and decide how to finish the hem. I would like to get this finished in time for the event this Saturday. Hmm, red trim on the hem of the underskirt or no?

After that, I think I might put together a hood, and I should probably make myself a new water bottle carrier. I do love the one my friend made me, but the aztec pattern clashes a bit with the medieval theme.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

Its been a little quiet on the blogging front lately, because I haven't had much to report. Most of the previous week was spent working in the yard and cleaning up the house. Next week will be more of the same, at least yard work wise. I am finally getting around to tearing out that horrible groundcover that takes up 20% of my front yard but I have several more afternoons of work before the task is completed.

This past Friday I hosted an Essential Oils 101 class, taught by a friend who is a Young Living Rep. It was really interesting, because I've been using them for about eight months now and I didn't realize how much I used them until I started explaining to other people.

And finally yesterday, my young cousin came over and we spent the day working on her sewing projects, playing the Minecraft Card Game, and watching a movie.

All this excitement has left me little time to work on my own crafty projects, although I have gotten some done on my shawl during my lunch breaks at work.

You can see that I haven't quite been able to eliminate that weird slope. The sides should be level with the center top of the shawl. I've decided to finish the row I'm working on and then go back and try to use partial rows to fill it in somehow. This is what I get for deviating from the pattern, for it was right about when I started adding the rows of the hdc that the stitching became twisted. Have no fear, I will make it work.

The other crochet project on my list is this basketweave scarf. I'm still loving the pattern and its stitching up nice and thick.

Lastly I was able to do a little work on Library Kittens yesterday, almost filling in and finishing the second kitten. 

When I fill in everything directly below the black kitten, I'll move the Q-snap and take a full picture. For now I've been ignoring all the backstitching, but at this point it might be easier to finish that all at the end. Library Kittens will be my project today after church.

Having cleaned the house, I got up yesterday and realized how totally spartan most of my house is. We've never been a family for decorating, but now I'm dying to get some artwork on my walls.

Of course, it can't just be any artwork. I'm going to have to make it myself. I have visions of stitching Wanderer's Cove and hanging it up on the wall in the dining room nook.

I think it would look amazing against the grey wall.

SOOOOOOO many things I want to do! Dream big my friends.

Linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Faithful April Update

It's been a week and I'm still working on Library Kittens when I settle in for some cross stitch.

I sent my niece a photo of my progress and she said it was "soooo Kawaii" which means "cute" for those not in the know (I had to look that one up myself). 

I have started a new crochet scarf. I really wanted to try the basket weave pattern and so far I like how its turning out.

The yarn that I'm using for this is probably my favorite so far. I thought it was an odd texture when started using it but once its crocheted, it comes out so soft and snuggly. Its "Universal Cirrus Cotton Yarn" in the Mint colorway.

Currently I'm working on some embroidered arrow head covers, and my brain is full of garb ideas. Its time to ramp up my garb game and I've spent no small amount of time this evening collecting photos of ideas to combine with the plans I've already made. If you're interested, here's a link to the Pintrest Board I've started.

Have a great weekend all! I've planned to help a friend with her medieval dress tomorrow and then we'll see what the rest of the weekend holds.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching and MOP Monday

We had one last winter storm yesterday. While my friends were outside hitting each other with foam weapons, I opted to stay home and warm and I was glad that I did.

The snow flakes were more like snow clumps. 

Not too much of it stuck to the ground here but the temperature did drop significantly and it is my understanding that the roads were in bad shape yesterday.

I caught up on some chores, made a bunch of freezer meals for work lunches, and spent time working on various projects.

My shawl is coming along nicely, although its still lopsided. This is what I get for modifying a pattern with minimal experience. ;)

I'm about 3.5 skeins in and will probably need all 8 skeins to make it a decent size. If blocking doesn't fix it, I'll wear it anyway and chalk it up to learning. I need to figure out how to get a picture of the true colors - they always look washed out in my photos. Maybe it will warm up outside in the next week or so and I can get a photo in the sun.

I'm making good progress on my Library Kittens stitch. I decided to branch out a bit to keep things interesting. That brown blob at the bottom left is almost all the way to the bottom of the project. Woo-hoo! I will continue to work on this project today for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Happily, I finished the first part of my One Monthly Goal. Lessons 1-4 of my Craftsy class completed and my first redwork design is digitized and stitched out on a deep purple scrap of crepe backed satin. I couldn't resist using rainbow thread. Oh and the best part? NO JUMP STITCHES, a feat which I am very proud of and which took several iterations to figure out.

Looks like the beginnings of a wizard costume, doesn't it?

I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend and linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching@ Kathy's Quilts and MOP Monday@ Tweety Loves Quilting.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Three Finishes and One Monthly Goal (April)

Three finishes and its only the first day of the month.

Actually, no this isn't an April fools joke. I really did finish three projects today. And some dishes and some grocery shopping. Boy do I feel accomplished.

Last week Jack and I decided to make a couple loaner surcoats so that our new Dagorhir recruits would have something to wear to the Eryndor event this weekend. Two days ago he cut them out for me and I started stitching them together yesterday.

I made two of these :)
They went together pretty fast, the only problem is that I felt like I was 90% done once I had all the pieces together. I always forget how long it takes to hem things.  Ugh. Hemming. I really need to figure out how to use the rolled hem feet I have for my sewing machine.

After those were completed, I made a hood for Jack. He'll be outside in the snow and rain on Saturday. I'm hoping it won't rain much and will be warmer than predicted, but I've had the plans and materials to make this hood since last year so I figured it was about time to get it done.

I used a "pattern" I found to free online. You can find it here: A Medieval Cowl. I made a few changes to the pattern, starting with I lined it with fleece like I did with my green hood. For the actual hood, I made gently curving instead of the squared off back shown in the picture. The lining makes it very stiff and it doesn't hang correctly otherwise. Other than that, I mostly just winged it, had Jack try it on several time during the process, and am generally happy with how it turned out (and so is he, by the way). 

A couple more notes on the hood pattern - there isn't a size estimate for the hole for the head.  I cut my green one too large last year and had to gather the cowl to fit, so this time I cut it about 5-6 inches in diameter. Oddly enough, it was big enough except for a little shaping at the center front. My advice is to make the hole small and enlarge it only as needed.

The oak leaf clasp is one that we picked up at Ragnarok a couple of years ago from the vendor that does blacksmithing and metalwork. I wish I could remember his name, he really does some amazing art. 

So now finally, we get to the One Monthly Goal Setting part of this rather long post. 

I've been going easy on myself the last couple of months, so this time around we're going to make it harder. I have a Craftsy class on embroidery digitizing software. I've made it through 2.5 out of 9 lessons. This is going to be a real challenge, because she's not teaching the software I have, which means I need to take the extra step to figure out how to do the same thing in my program.

My goal this month is to finish the class AND the projects that go with it - with the qualification that I can change the design as long as I complete the task. Because there's no way I'm going to want to stitch a redwork bow or a modern applique butterfly. But a redwork celtic knot or an applique quilt block I would be more than happy to do.

So I'd love to hear, what are your plans for April?