Sunday, 17 September 2017

A stitch or two...

My little castle is progressing... not much I admit, but a bit. A lot of my time this week has gone on the blanket, as the little dude that it was being made for has now been born. But as I'm so close to finishing that I don't really want to post another pic until it's done. So instead you get the couple of hours stitching that I managed to do earlier in the week. Soon other projects will be out.
Oh, and it's Yarndale this weekend, so there will almost certainly be yarn porn pics next weekend as well :-)

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Crochet heavy

Firstly, I've been rubbish again, I know, I am still struggling for time a bit, but I'm hoping to have a slightly more productive week this week... and I'm also aware that the continuing progress of a blanket isn't always the most exciting thing to show. However, this blanket is finally coming together, I'm on the border, I've done a row in doubles in white, just to tidy it up, I'm now doing a row in triples in the yellow, and I've got a floofy border planned in green and purple. It's a border that I've seen made but never seen a written pattern for, so that could be an interesting experiment for me.
As is often the case when a project is nearly finished (especially a project that I'm making as a gift, so it's become a bit of a duty project), I'm starting to think about other projects. So I have given myself the odd half hour to work on other things this week. Not quite enough time to justify getting my stitching out, but a simple crochet project. This yarn is beautiful, it's the softest thing I've ever felt. I originally bought it at Yarndale and Kerry and I literally crossed the aisle to stroke the beautiful feeling yarn while going 'oooooh'. I think it's alpaca, although I'm ashamed to say that off the top of my head I can't actually remember. It's really chunky as well, so it will be one of the snuggliest blankets ever made!
And finally, a bit of a play with a pretty yarn... it's sock weight, which I've never worked with before, but I've been wanting to try a virus shawl for a while, so this seemed like a good idea. And I'm ashamed to say that for all the pretties I own, this is actually my first time working with hand-dyed as well... I have many plans for the ones that I own, I promise, there will be more hand-dyed pretties posts coming in the (okay, maybe slightly distant) future.
And finally, for those of you who are sick to death of yarn posts, I'm hoping to get some stitching in this week. I'm currently debating the project I should be working on or the project I want to work on, but either way, hopefully there will be some stitches in my (not so distant) future!

Monday, 21 August 2017

Lots of Wee Bits

As per usual, the title says it all... This week (month? - I honestly am trying to get better at that) I have a little bit of progress on lots of little things. First is my Cut Thru Castle, if you want a clue it's some additions to the room on the right that have been added this week. It did only get about an hour and half in craft group this week, so the fact that I've got anything to show is actually a miracle. 
Secondly I have some bunts, which I've decided is the singular of bunting before they're strung together to make bunting, and there is a chance that I've already made that joke three times today. These are the first things that I've made with my own dyed yarns, and I intend to make lots of little bunts from different dyes so that I can show them all off together. I got the train to Manchester and back to meet friends today, and these were made on the journey, much to the fascination of the teenager sat across the aisle from me, I kept catching her watching me. 
And here is the blanket of doom, the baby is due this weekend, there is absolutely no hope for that, and look at all the ends to darn in, this upsets me so much. I know full well that I should have done it as I went along, and I didn't, because I'm an idiot, so now I've got them all to do at the end, I'm such a fool! 
And finally, ooops, new start. can you guest what it is yet? To be fair, I know what it is, and I wouldn't have been able to guess, the colours aren't quite what I was expecting!

I suspect that next weeks progress will be similar to this week, lots of little bits. I'm hoping to have quite a crafting day on Thursday, but am then working all of the bank holiday weekend, so boo to that!

Monday, 7 August 2017

It grows, sort of!

I know, everything I post at the moment it a little but bit yarn based, but I promise that there will be a bit more cross stitch in the future, I have so many projects that I want to working on, and I'll get back to them, once I've got a couple of presents sorted and my free time re-appears. In the mean time, I've now finished the third round on my squares, so here they are randomly in a heap, all 144 of them... only the final round and joining to go and it'll be less of a heap and more of a blanket, hopefully! 
And my dyeing continues, I quite like some of my last set of colours, I'm currently debating what my next set of dyeing colours will be this week. I feel that I ought to more more towards colours that I wouldn't normally go to, but at the same time, I like the colours I like, so I'm not really sure! Watch this space!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Hello my dears, sorry I've been so poor at posting again just recently, work continues to be manic. I think it is slowing up slightly, but not so much that I actually have free time, and what free time I do have has exciting new challenges in it, but more of that later... I have managed a little bit more stitching, Cut Thru Castle continues, as does my sense of impending doom as to how my friend will react when I present her with a gift for her daughter which definitely contains a man on the toilet. 
Second, the continuing crochet, this is not as much as should be done, and I have no real excuse (other than the exciting new challenges), this is portable, I should be able to do another one whenever I have ten minutes free, but I'm lazy, and quite tired at the moment, see earlier manic-ness, and all I really want to do when I get some is lie on the sofa. But I need to start thinking about that deadline pretty soon, so I have started to be a bit more dedicated again this week.

 And this is the excitingness, I've started experimenting with yarn dyeing. I'm quite enjoying it and have many ambitious plans, but it is rather time consuming. This was my first attempt, when all I had was some primary colours to play with and my attempt at mixing purple did not go well.
This is my second attempt after I'd gone out and got some new colours... yes, there are mistakes, yes, I don't think I'd be able to replicate it, but this was a second attempt and when you consider that I'm pretty proud of these.
The one second from the left has potential, I wanted the pink to be more vibrant, and I think I know why it isn't, so I'll try that again. The same with the one in the middle, that and the fact that it came out lighter than I intended.
The one on the right was also meant to be more vibrant, again, I think I know what I did wrong and I think a different technique would work better, so I'll try that again. The one on the left was just dunked into an un-exhausted dye bath and actually turned out kinda pretty. The one second from the left was the last one I did and pretty much playing with what I had left, and I love it, and will have to try and find a way of perfecting it.

There will come a point when my yarn dyeing lives on another blog, but at the moment, sorry guys, you're stuck with it.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pottering along

This is amazing, second time in as many weeks that I have actual progress to show, I'm so proud. Cut Thru Castle is progressing, you can even see the beginning of what this room is starting to look like, and the shape of the next room. I meant to do this one room at a time, but I wasn't concentrating properly when I started highlighting the chart for the yellow, and then realised that I was flowing in to the next room, so I went with it. And the next room is only a wee room (literally) so it'll give me something to work towards and have two rooms done before you know it (hahaha! Got to love the optimism). 
And the blanket is progressing as well. I finished my target of all the green (again, so proud), and have started on the purples as well. I intended to get a big chunk done today, but we've got my family staying next weekend, so it occurred to us that we probably ought to do some housework, so that's how today was spent instead. Now I remember why I hate cleaning the kitchen, especially the oven... my hands feel horrible now because they've been submerged in water and cleaning chemicals for half the day.
I'm not sure how mum time I'll have this week and so I may not have much progress to show next week, but I'll give it a shot. Happy crafting all!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Stitching, actual stitching!

And here it is, there has been actual progress on Dragon Rider, I'm so happy! I meant to have the tail and above done, but didn't take in to account just how much those colours appeared further down the page as well, if it hadn't been for that I would have managed it. I had meant to have this page finished by the end of the month (there's a chance that I have a new start planned for July, ooops), but I don't think I'm going to manage that... however after several months of not stitching at all I'll take this much as something!
It's probably quite sad just how happy being able to do this made me my week... I forgot just how much stitching is my relaxation until I did some and was suddenly just so much happier again!
Second up, my Granny Starbursts, I wasn't going to post on this this week as I didn't really have much progress to show, however I went round to a friends to watch a film tonight and she was very understanding about me turning up with my crochet so I managed to get another 21 greens done and suddenly made my showing for this week much more respectable. My target for next week is to have all of the greens done and to be moving on to the purple, then before long I'll be trying to work out whether I'm doing the final rounds and then sewing together or if I'm going to try and master the join as I go method. 

And finally, I may have had another new start (and have another another new start planned), but I can justify this one and my another another one as well, these are both intended as presents for people, and I don't quite know what my deadline is on either of those so, wish me luck basically. I will still try and get some time in on my rotation pieces (as I am loving actually being able to stitch again), but these two and the blanket at the main focus pieces for a while, just because they are all time based gifts.

In other news, I'm planning on trying my hand at yarn dying in the next few weeks... I'm quite excited and quite nervous all at the same time... it'll probably be in a couple of weeks time, but I promise I'll put some pics up, no matter how successful or unsuccessful it is so that you can cheer me on or laugh hysterically!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Mini Moon type stuff

We decided to have a quite trip straight after the wedding so that we could sleep it off then we're going away on an exciting trip to Japan next year. So this is lots of pictures and barely any works.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Crafting (sort of)

The wedding's over, I said. I'll have all this free time, I said. I'll be able to craft again, I said. I forgot to factor in how much time I spend at work. Still, I'm eternally optimistic and I'll have more time this week instead (hahaha!).
Anyway, here is the little progress that I do have to show from this week (thank goodness for Craft Group). The blanket (which is currently 144 separate pieces) is progressing, but as per usual, I'm not quite sure if I'm going to get it done in time, but what's life without a little panic hey? Especially as I've not got another present planned as well... why do I do these things to myself?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wedding stuff for those that are interested!

I tend not to post much personal stuff on my blog, but I'll put a little bit here.
I'll try to keep this vaguely crafty, but there will be a couple of gratuitous wedding pics as well... this was out guest book, everyone signed a heart and stuck it to the tree... actually Ben's discovery and so lovely.
This cake was made by one of our friends, and we're so grateful to her, she did an incredible job. The wedding was literary themed, and the colours were purple, so this was perfect.
Showing off my homemade bouquet, probably my biggest crafty project from the wedding... I couldn't believe how long all the flowers took me.
Gratuitous wedding pic. We haven't got our professional photos back yet, but he put this up as a sneak peak, and I love it.
Incredibly attractive selfie with my friends from back home, it's so unattractive, and I absolutely love this picture!
Other half loves this sweets, so we had to have a sweet table, and rather hiring someone to do it for us, we decided that we'd much rather do it ourselves, and we have so many sweets left over, so many sweets!
Gratuitous dress shot with a cute flower girl!

The things that my friends agree to do for me... this was some of the poor ladies from me hen do.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The wedding is over, the crafting can begin

The title says it, I am now married, I am now Mrs Grant, which means that I will (hopefully) have time to actually craft things other than for the wedding, and in theory my hours should be improving at work so I may be able to craft, and I may actually be able to show something on here, and actually post regularly again. If you have any interest in the wedding I will do a separate post,  so if you're not interested in it you no longer have to listen to me go one about it. So, in the spirit of not going on about it, here is something I worked on while Ben and I were away. It was a hot country and this is acrylic, so I couldn't do that much on it, but I started a new blanket (because that's what I need in my life, more projects), but I wanted something that was simple, repeating and that I didn't need to keep changing yarns on so didn't have to pack loads of balls, so this was perfect. The pattern is Blackberry Stripe, just without the colour changes, and the yarn is Ice Yarns.
Secondly, I've done a tiny bit on Dragon Rider, it doesn't look much different at the moment, but I'm just so excited to have him out and being worked on again. Every time I get this out to work on it I'm amazed by how metallic the parts of the bike look, it fascinates me every time.
Anyway, Dragon Rider its back, I do have some other projects to work on, and a couple of starts planned (only a couple, who am I kidding), but I am going to try and put a bit of a push on this, it's been a 'focus' piece for so long and it's not really progressing, so I need to start putting some serious effort in on it I think, besides, then I get the fun of choosing anew focus piece, and so on. In the mean time, I fall out with this quite regularly, but I always love it when I come back to it again, so I need to try and keep the love going this time. Wish me luck. I don't see a finish on this any time soon, but I hope that I'll at least be able to show some half decent progress by the end of the year and not miss my target quite as widely as I did last year. 
And finally, I can show off my Secret Project, as it's now been gifted and thankfully for his life and my sanity it seems to be appreciated as well.
This is the crochet blanket that I gave to Ben as a W present. It has been quite possibly the most difficult thing that I've made to date.There were about thirty balls of yarn attached to this at one point, and my sanity was seriously suffering because of it. There were times when I really wanted to throw it out of the window, but I am quite proud of the final result at least!

Monday, 8 May 2017

It's me!

Okay, even by my standards, once a month is pretty poor, I'm sorry! I'm hoping that June will see normal service resume... I have no new excuses, the secret project continues to be secret (although it is also suddenly a lot closer to completion, woohoo), I'm three weeks off the wedding (hyperventilates quietly in a corner) and work is manic, meaning that I don't have much free time to do the stuff I need to do (for wedding and secrets), so I've got even less time left after all that to work on other things, I'm getting major stitching withdrawls, even projects that I know I get frustrated with really quickly are currently begging for me to pay attention to them. However, I have managed to scrape together a couple of pictures so that I have something to show. Firstly, three bridesmaids bouquets, they're not perfect, and when I look at projects that other people have posted, I get bouquet envy, but they're my colour scheme (not that I'm obsessed with purple or anything), and they're the book that I wanted them made out of as it's one of my favourite books (Good Omens if you're interested), and I made them so bleh to anyone else :-) Also, I'm aware that this is sacrilege to book lovers, so I apologise for that. Ben was laughing at me as it was causing me physical pain when I was taking the pages out of the book to use, although strangely it caused me less pain when it was his favourite book that I was dismantling. My only defence is that this was a rescue book, our local supermarket has a sad little shelf for unloved and generally quite abused books, and that's where I happened to find a copy of the book I needed, but it doesn't mean that I didn't wince when I took the cover off, I swear I heard a cry and would make no guarantees whether it was be or the book that made it.
Secondly, this is technically also a secret project as it's a gift, but I'm 99% sure that the person it's intended for doesn't follow my blog, and even if they did, it's not as though this actually looks like anything at the moment so, here you go! The growth of the Granny Sunbursts... that was with all but seven of the little yellow centres (can you believe I had to go out and buy a second ball to do the last seven, what am I going to do with an almost complete ball of pale yellow?). I am actually a little further on since this pic, I've got the extra ball of yellow and done the last seven, and I've done about half a dozen more round twos... this is now the most mindless project to work on, there's pretty much no counting involved until I get to round four and try to work out how on earth I'm meant to do join as you go, so I can put the TV on and my hands can do this while my brain does other things!
I have got a vague idea for using up odds and ends that I'm playing with at the moment (because that's what I need, more projects), it's a future future future project but the idea is hanging around in my head, it's basically the yarn equivalent of a memory quilt!
In other news, I've just started talking about getting some bespoke charts done, squee! I'm a bit of a horror, if I fall in love with an artists work I approach them first and worry about when on earth I'm going to actually have time to stitch it later. So I already have two Paul Kidby pieces charted, one of which I've started and can been seen in my side bar. I've approached two other artists and had positive answers so am now talking to someone about the charting of one of those, I have sadly been turned down by one artist (don't get me wrong, completely her prerogative, but I'm sad that I won't be able to stitch it, as I'm far too honest to do so without her permission, and all the charters I've worked with thus far wouldn't without proof of permission anyway), and I'm in the process of trying to contact one more artist... it's normally on the scale of geeky that I approach, so watch this space :-)
As I say, I'm hoping the mojo will re-appear in June (ie I'l hopefully have free time again), and I'm thinking that there may be a couple of celebratory new starts in my future, but I already knew there were loads of things that I wanted to start over the next couple of years, so it's not exactly surprising. Happy crafting everyone!