Samstag, 16. September 2017

September Gifted Gorgeousness

It's been a while since I posted last, and a lot has happend - a vacation to Ireland (pictures incoming...eventually), a few lazy days at home, lots of crafting and a few check ins I need to catch up on...everything will be talked about eventually, but since I have an upcoming trip to Italy on Sunday, some might happen after that. For now, though, I have a Gifted Gorgeousness to log into, and that's what I'll do!

First thing to mention is a Needle Minder Exchange, hosted by the lovely Ingrid from Mii Stitch! The idea was to send a needle minder, small stitched item and a skein of DMC to a randomly drawn receipent, and also receive the same. I received my parcel from the wonderful Lorynn way ahead of time: A gorgeous little mandala, a cute turtle, and not one but two skeins of DMC Colour Variations! In her letter she wrote that she's going to stitch the mandala again so she can tell everyone it has a twin in Germany, isn't that awesome? She herself is located in Florida, so I really hope she's alright...

Of course I also sent something out, and since my recipient has posted it already, I can now also share with you - it has been hard not to because for some reason I am really proud of it! I bought this lovely little koi needleminder from Jody at Unconventional XStitch (you might have seen the red one I've been using on Snowwhite) and that finally gave my a reason to stitch the fishy frame pattern Magical shared a while ago. I went nuts with some Hand Dyeds I had in Store - Jodyri's Winter Solice and Fiberlicious Rose Petals, both of which are insanely pretty - and also substituted the french knot for some tiny beads Carla sent me a while back. Initially, I only planned to stitch the frame, adding the phrase came natural and now it will look nice with the needle minder removed too :)

I also had to knew starts that I can't show (the usual, because they are gifts for people how might look at my blog), but I also had a new start that I can share, and I took this one with my on vacation. Some of you might have seen it before - it's Inkcircles's 99, with 99 different bottles of beer. Felix' dad is turning 60 next year, and this is going to be  our gift for him. I did not quite meet my goal of stitching one bottle everyday of the vacation, but I did get close!

So that's my GG progress for now...I'll be back with more stitching and other stuff soon!

Freitag, 1. September 2017

August WIPocalypse

I'm a little late for this check-in, but I think it still counts :) The question of the month is How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?, and I've read some really good answers and pointers on other people's blogs so far. For me, depending on the situation, one of three methods seems to work: If I want to stitch, but feel like everything is just frustrating me, I like to change my 'mode' of stitching - I go from OaaT to rotation or from everything at once to just one, whatever feels right. I cut a few deadlines, maybe have a new start, et voilá, stitching is fun again!
Then again, sometimes I really don't want to stitch. I have some other hobbies, some crafty, some not, and they all seem to operate in phases. So if I'm in a 'phase' were I just want to play a ton of video games instead of stitching, it's best to just go with it - it's never lasted longer than a week or so before I wanted to include at least a little stitching in my free time again.
And then there are times when life gets just too busy for these times I usually cling to every bit of stitching time I can get, so it helps to take a small project with me at all times, so I can make use even of small breaks.

Now for my most recent progress. I had a busy week - first, we went to Felix' parents on Sunday to weeks ago. From there, I went to Cologne on Monday to visit the gamescom, a video game convention. I saw a lot of interesting and fun games there and also met quite a few people I hadn't seen in a long time, and a few I'd only talked to online so far as well! For this week, I took my Halloween Cat SAL with me, but I was so busy that aside from a little stitching on the train there and back, I didn't make any progress.

Saturday morning, I went back to Felix' parents, and spent the day recovering from a fun but exhausting week, stitching on Fire and Ember. I finished my current page some time Sunday. There was quite a bit of confetti - I feel like I have used every shade of orange, red and yellow there is - but so worth it in the end, isn't that dragon eye impressive? I can't wait to get started on the other half.

Sunday morning, we drove back home, which took us quite a bit longer than expected because there was so much traffic! I made good use of the time finishing part 5 of the Arke-CAL, though. This has become quite big, and I'm a bit worried I won't have enough yarn to finish the last part. I'll see how things work out when I get there.

So that's it for this week - just a little bit of busy times ahead before things finally calm down a bit. I can't wait!

Donnerstag, 31. August 2017

The Alphabet Club - Y

I went to such efforts to catch up with this, and then I almost miss my first month back on track! Shame on me. But then, 'Y' is a difficult letter in German. I did some research and found that there even has been a partition to abolish it since there are no native German words starting with it, and almost every instance of the letter appearing in out language has an alternate version without it. (for example, 'Bavarian' can bei 'Bayrisch' or 'Bairisch', there's 'Yoghurt' and 'Joghurt', and so on). So I don't have a word to share this month, but I hope this info bit serves as a substitute!

Looking through my stitching, I wasn't any more successful,, let me repeat this picture of my last yarn purchase. Sorry. Maybe I'll find something better for the last month, although my hopes are not too high!

Montag, 21. August 2017

Weekend stitching

Although my weekend was a bit more busy than I like it again (which seems to be normal these days), I have learned to stitch when I can and I could! So, I have a little progress to show.

I did a bit more on the Puppeteer - my usual length a day and than a few more since I am still working on catching up - and I had another page finish. Just one more pafe to go in the first row now!

I also got to work on Fire and Ember again, and made quite some progress this time! I think there are just about 300 or 400 stitches left on this page, so I should have no problem finishing it next weekend.

I've also done about half of the next part of Arke, so I should be able to show that next time around.

Samstag, 19. August 2017

The princess and the pineapple

As mentioned in my last post, I'm going for babysteps now instead of doing everything at once, and as expected, it's working great for the moment :) First, I picked up Snowwhite to finish my stitches for this week, and to make it count I also did the stitches for next week while I was at it - finishing my first colour and a good bit of the next one (although you might not see the difference as Ashley has been doing some amazing colour blending on these patterns).

 Week 3

Week 4

I also did the first part of a new CAL - the 'Ananastuch', or 'Pineapple Shawl' - you'll see why it has that name once there is a little more! I know I still need to finish my Arke CAL, but this one works a little differently - you crochet one part, post a picture, and then you are sent the next one, and in order to participate the first part has to be done before August 31st. So I did it now, and will continue once the Arke is one.

So that's my progress of the week - After another trip to the hospital with grandpa yesterday (don't worry, he's okay - but I'm going to have a heart attack one of these days) I'm now hopefully going to have a little weekend with lots of stitching, and I'll see you around soon.

Dienstag, 15. August 2017

August Gifted Gorgeousness

So August is halfway gone now, too...time is moving so quickly when your busy! No now desasters here, my grandpa is feeling a little better everyday, although he's still hurting. Work is really busy because we will be off next week and there are quite a few things to finish yet. But as always, I'm getting there.

For Gifted Gorgeousness this month, I can only show you a few shoe-horns...I did finish a small for an exchange last weekend, but since you can never be sure sho might stumble upon your blog, and I don't want to spoil any surprises, I will only post that once it's safe at the recipient!

I finished part 5 of the Steochalong (technically it's pay what you want, which I still have to do). Part 6 has been released, and there are actually 20 options to chose from, plus instructions to make your own, and people are posting new versions of patterns every day! I have yet to decide what I want to do with mine, so I'll put it aside for a while until I can make up my mind.

Another freebie is the Arke CAL - I have finished part 4, and a few rows ago I had to start on my second ball of yarn. I hope I will have enough to finish the last two parts! It's also gotten quite big now, I can just so hold it with my arms stretched out.

Non GG-wise, I finished another week of work on Snowwhite - still using that first colour:

And then yesterday was the start of Carla and mine annual Halloween SAL - we're doing Halloween patterns by Satsuma Street, and I have chosen the cat. We are having our own facebook group and more participants than ever this year, so hopefully it will be a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, this also marks the point of  'just too much going on' for me. Working on everything at once and to a thousand deadlines was fun for a while, now it just started to feel overwhelming, so I'm going to revert my usual modus operandi (or at least it should be my usual, it just seems to work best) for a bit: Pick one project, pick one goal, work on it til it's done, rinse and repeat. I'll keep the daily stitching on the Puppeteer, though. So there might be a few smaller posts coming up, or maybe not, we'll see :)

Montag, 14. August 2017

The Teneous Shoe-Horn: Loved Ones

Jo, who's famous for her blog hop and link parties, is hosting a summer shoe-horn link up with the subject being 'loved ones' and how they tie in with our crafting and stitching. Now for everyone who has been following my blog for a while it won't come as much of a surprise that I wan't to talk about my grandma - she's the one who got my into crafting in the first place, and one of my biggest supporters up until today.

My grandparenty and me always had a special relationship. When my dad moved out when I was two, and Mum was still training to be a prosecutor and later working as one, I spend I lot of time at their house - even before, but from then on, I basically lived there, with my mum only picking me up in the evenings, and when I started school, I stayed with them all week and only went to my mum in the weekend. My grandpa built me a room to move into, and they basically raised me for most of my childhood. I lived with them until I moved in together with Felix not quite three years ago.

When I was five or six, my grandma taught me how to crochet. I had a plastic dinosaur doll I adored, we would always do roleplays involving him and several other dinosaurs and other animals, and my first projects were a scarf and then a sweater for him. When we did some basic embroidery in school in grade two or three and I really liked it, she baught my supplies and books and my very first counted cross stitch project still hangs framed at their place.

I made a lot of things for her, depending on what craft was my main focus at the time - like these turles, the pattern of which was my very first Etsy purchase.

And when my love for cross stitch re-emerged after several years without stitching, it was with a design to celebrate my grand parents diamond wedding anniversary.

This is a kit from Vervaco, and the very first kit I bought online. I had been searching for something for the occasion specifically, and when found it stumbled upon a few online shops and then I started to discover this whole world of stitching treasures out there, and the rest is history! Of course the next kit I stitched was also for her, since she loves turtles - this was the first project I ever posted pictures of online I think. So I can honestly say, without my grandma, I wouldn't be here (on the blogosphere, although of course I also would not have been born in the first place).

She used to be a crafter too, although she never stitched and hardly sewed (her mum was a seamstress, and she was very hard on her daughters when they were trying to sew, which led to both of them dropping it quickly), but she did a lot of crochet and knitting both for me and my mum when we were younger. Nowadays, she can't do it anymore, she had some troubles with her hands and although she's doing better and probably could handle a little crochet again, she says she hasn't got the time. I'm starting to doubt she'll ever make something again. So I have taking over, supplying her with shawls and wrist warmers and pot holders and whatever else she needs and wants...I can hardly ever say no to her, as you have probably seen when following my blog for a bit :) And I surely hope that I will continue to craft for her for a long, long time.

Here are some more examples of what I have made for her over the last few years:

Mittwoch, 9. August 2017

Trotting along...

My life continues to be busier than I like it. Again, some was good busy (we took a four day weekend together with two friends in Munich and went to see the London 'Cats' cast on tour), other things were not so good (Felix being away for so long, lots and lots of work) and then there were things that were very, very non-good (my grandpa falling down another set of stairs yesterday - thankfully, we could take him to the doctor right away and, apart from some bruises and cuts and a sprained wrist, he's fine - he'll be sore and look the part for a few days, though). So crafting is still a bit of a side note - not that I don't want to, but it's hard to find the time! Still, some things got done again.

First, there was the 5th release of the Steochalong, which was stiched up quickly - the flowers at the top are finished, and there is enough of the text to guess it (I didn't, but a few people did, and with the newest release it turned out to be right). If you are like me, you'll see what it says next week ;)

Then, I had a new start on August 1st. Over the last two years or so, my friend Ashley released those GORGEOUS cross stitch versions of Hannah Alexanders Mucha-style Disney princess redesigns, and of course I had to get them all - to support her, but also because most of them were/are limited edition and I could not bear not having one of them! So I had no less than 18 of those lovely patterns, but yet to start one, and when Ashley announced a fun little 'do 1000 stitches on a princess' challenge for August, I knew my time had come. Deciding which one to start was hard, but I finally settled for going chronologically (by release of the movies), so Snow White will be the first, and I added her to my rotation as another 'One length of thread a day' thing (although I enjoy stitching her so much that I did the whole first week within two days). Here is this first week of progress:

By the way, I know I've had quite a few starts recently, and if that upsets you in any way I am sorry...but there will be a few more yet to come in the following weeks. I will try to have a few finishes as well to balance things out, though!

When I was at my grandparents last week (that was before grandpa decided the buttom of the stairs was so much nicer a place to be than the top) I got to work a bit on my blackwork water lilies. I had worked on them on and off, whenever I found the time to add a petal or so, but now I finally have enough progress to show - I'm ready to move the snap, and anxious to squish that delicious blackwork! I will be very careful. There will be beads added to the top of that golden stuff in the middle, but that will happen in the very end.

Then along came Friday and out trip to Munich. Felix came there directly from his business trip, so there were only three of us in the bus, and I got to work on my crochet - I finished part three of the Arke CAL, another set of waves. I really enjoy this one, and I am now getting close to finishing my first ball of yarn - I do have another one and hope that will be enough, or I will have to order more! Also, it's getting so big now that I'm having troubles fitting the whole thing in one picture.

In Munich we did some sight seeing, saw an awesome production of Cats, went to the German museum (science and technical stuff, very interesting and fun with lots of do it yourself experiments!) - and we also did some shopping! I had found a wonderful yarn store online, so I dragged Felix there and spent a wonderful hour or two looking through delicious yarn and picking out a few things.

I was good, though, and only got things I have plans for - the sock yarn will be socks, of course (the blue one is a silk blend while the green/orange-y one is made with a bamboo fibre), as will be the Noro Silk Garden - I already have a pattern in mind for this one, which is what I needed those extra needles for. The Lang Yarn Tweed will be another pair of wrist warmers or two ("How many more of those are you planning to make?!" asks Felix...sweet summer child!) and the colourful cotton will be a light summer shawl. And of course I had to get that tote with the rainbow sheep!

While in Munich, of course I didn't have a lot of time for crafting, but I did manage a thread here and there on Fire and Ember, and of course there was also the trip I did get a nice chunk done of my weekend work, about one and a half colours and, I guess, about 450 stitches. More to come this next weekend, if nothing unexpected comes up!

Mittwoch, 2. August 2017

July WIPocalypse

Just a few days late this and travel and other obligations are still taking their toll on my, but it's finally starting to calm down, if only a little. More crafting time, more gaming time, and, since Felix is still away for the rest of the week, a whole lot more "me" time, which I enjoyed at first but I think I'm about ready to have him back now, thank you!

This month's WIPocalypse question is "What are your oldest and your newest WIPs?". The newest one is easy - that would be a new pair of socks that I started shortly after finishing the latest wristwarmers. Another pair for Felix' dad who loved the ones we (Felix' sister and I, one pair each) made him for christmas, so he requested some more, and he'll be getting those for Christmas again. So far, I've done the band and about one and a half repetitions of the pattern. I really like this yarn, it's a nice lightly variegated blue.

For oldest, I have to go back a little - I have some really old unfinished stuff, but I mostly devide my stitching into 'before I discovered the variety of stuff that's avaiable on the internet', when I would stitch everything I could get my hands on, and after, when I could be a bit more choosy. So technically I have some 'WIPs' from before than, but I'm undecided on whether I really want to finish them, so I'll consider them UFOs for now and show you my first WIP from the 'after' phase, which I started on 1/1/14 - TW's Peacock Tapestry!

This is the last complete picture I have of it, although I think I have since done the lower left corner and started on the right side too. I really need to get back to this sometime...

Now, to my more recent projects. I have continued to work on several SALs, and succeeded in getting/staying up to date with all of them!

The forth installment of the Steochalong (we have since done part 5 and now have a pretty good idea of what it's going to be, but for you, it's going to stay a mystery for another week):

Part 4 of the Lizzie Wallet - Part 5 and 6 have been released now with a total finishing time of three weeks, and they are just section 1 and 2 again bit mirrored. I might not start on them until next week.

Part 2 of the Arke CAL - only ten rows this time and another ten for this week, but the rows are getting longer and longer so this is taking more and more time. Still a lot of fun, though!

And finally, I finished the next page of the Fire and Ember SAL just in time before July was over. It's starting to get interesting with the dragon, I might reach some eye and/or mouth!

Lastly, but not SAL related, I also wanted to share some progress I made on my berry sailor on my most recent work trip (Fri/Sat of last week). You can really see the vest-like shape of this now, but it's just going to be more of the same for quite some time, so I won't share my progress too often so it won't get boring!

Donnerstag, 27. Juli 2017

Progress is...progressing

So recently I've been saying that I have no time a lot...which is kind of true, we are either going away or have big plans here almost every weekend, and we are busy almost every evening of the week as well. For example last weekend my friend Mari from Hamburg visited and we went to an escape room (our first, she had done several before) and it was awesome!
But when I look at my weekly crafting progress, that can't be quite true, because I did do quite a lot. On the other hand, I had all the pictures in this post taken by monday and only get to write about them today...something is strange about time. I will investigate.

So, I have been working on my SALs. Since the Coloris thread and some sequins I bought arrived, I could do part 3 of the Lizzie Wallet SAL (also using more of those lovely sparkly beads), and I loved doing this one. Technically I am still one part behind, but it was a two-week-part, meaning I still have this week to finish before a new one will be released.

I also finished part three of the Steochalong, and I'm still pretty clueless what it's going to be! I finished this one on Monday, so actually a day late, but I think I'll get caught up this week.

Then I spent what time I had on the weekend working on my Fire and Ember SAL, finishing the three colours I ran out of last weekend. It was quite a bit of stitching, but I just love how it looks! Not much more left now, so I think I will be able to finish the page this upcoming weekend, just in time.

I've also been stitching on the Puppeteer, one length of black a day - sometimes a little more, since I am still behind on this be almost a month. In any case, I managed another page finish, page 5. The remaining two pages of the first row are, as far as I recall, almost completely black, so it's going to be a lot of stitching but also quick going without counting!

I realize that I do have more than enough SALs on the go already, but when people in a German crochet group I'm in started posting pictures of their first part of the Arke CAL by Maschenzaehler, I just couldn't help myself - it's so pretty! So I got some new yarn (I've been wanting to do something with this particular colour for quite a while) and crocheted the first 14 rows all in one evening - it's a fun pattern and quick going! You can check it out here - the description is in German, but there are also diagrams you can work from.

Another new start I had this weekend...Mari brought my a knitting set for a cat she bought some time ago, thinking she could make it herself, but it has that extremely fluffy yarn that's not easy to work with, so instead she asked me to make it for her. I made a little start on the body of the cat, but this yarn really is a bit taxing to work with, so I'll probably just do a little bit here and there.

Last but not least, I also had a finish! I used the leftovers from the socks for Felix I finished a while back on another pair of wristwarmers, and since I didn't have quite enough I decided to go assymetrical and do one of them stripped. I really really like the look of that and it was so much fun to knit as well! Originally I was doing those for myself, but my grandma saw them and fell in love so have them she shall. I can always make more.

So that's it for today - I'll see you next week with another installment of all those SALs and the CAL and who knows what else!

Dienstag, 18. Juli 2017

July Gifted Gorgeousness

Can you believe it's July already? More than half the year is officially over! As usual, my plans are not half as finished as I would like them to be - mostly because I'm way too easily distracted - but that's okay, progress is happening and that is good enough for me.
Now it's time for another Gifted Gorgeousness post, and for a moment I thought I didn't have anything to show, but then I realized that, while I didn't make any new progress on my to-be-gifted projects, I still have quite a few things that will fit!

First, I got this wonderful box from my friend Magical, stuffed with all sorts of wonderful stuff!

The majority of the contents here (the tea, delicious stroop waffles, Jodyri threads, those cute 'shows' (it's a magnet) and plate as well as the coloris pattern) were a prize for a content on dA I won a while ago and both of us had almost forgotten about, then there are the beads and sequin-candidates for my Lizzie Wallet SAL (she had the right beads in stash and generously offered to send me some) and then this adorable little pair of scissors that she got a bunch of and included one - they are sold as phone charms, but are working scissors nevertheless, and so cute and tiny that it should be no problem to take them on a plane too! (the blade is less than 1cm I think).

I then went on and used those beads to fully finish part 2 of the Lizzie Wallet SAL (which I couldn't do the week before dues to the missing beads). I also have the Coloris thread and a few more options on the sequins now, so I can dive right into part 3 and 4 and get caught up!

I also finished the second part of the Steochalong last week (and still have no idea what it is going to be!). As I think I previously mentioned, the pattern is pay what you want, and I will probably donate a little at some point, but it still feels more like a freebie(two way gift than actually buying the pattern so let me just shoehorn that one into the GG ;)

Now for the non-GG part, we were at Felix' parents last weekend, spending most of the time outside camping with a campfire and friends and lots of foods and games. It was quite relaxing most of the time, so I made the most of the daylight I got and worked on page 13 of the Fire and Ember SAL. I was hoping for a page finish actually, but that didn't quite work out - there just wasn't enough stitching time, and I also ran out off a few colours on my thread card and didn't bring extras! Still, I made some nice progress, and I'm looking forward to finishing this page, as it already looks quite cool.

Last but not least, I also brought some knitting along with me - Viajante, a big shawl-loop-hood thingy I started last year and never really got into much. I have done about 35 rows, finishing the triangle start and am now working in the round, which seems to go faster and also looks reallyreally need. Now I just need to continue like this for a looong time, and since the look won't change spectacularly, it will probably be a while before I show her again!