Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 review (pictue heavy)

So, what have I achieved this year? Always a fun question

Cloudsfactory Sampler at the end of 2014

And at the end of 2015

 Ripple Crochet Blanket started in 2015

 Neon crochet blanket, started in 2015

Cloudsfactory Wedding Sampler started and finished in 2015

 Star Wars from Cloudsfactory

We Are Geeks by Paine Free Crafts started and finished in 2015

Little crochet owl dude

Dragon Rider at the end of 2014

And at the end of 2015

Ex Machina - new start for 2015

Family Values - new start for 2015

 Heather at the end of 2014

Heather at the end of 2015

Heroes and Heroines - new start for 2015

Ice Queen - new start for 2015

Madame at the end of 2014

Madame at the end of 2015

A crochet scarf stated in 2015
One crochet sock

 Twiddle Muff

Twiddle Muff
(there is a third one, but apparently I didn't photograph it)

Winter Geisha - new start for 2015

Once again, far too many new starts, once again I will try to limit them in 2016 (hahaha)

2016 Ambitions

It's that time again, the time where I start writing ridiculously ambitious targets / resolutions for 2016, so let's have a laugh, what did I achieve from last year, and what do I want to achieve this year?

So, there were the targets I get myself for 2015, this should be a laugh!
Madame: 1 page - DONE
Dragon Rider: 3 and 1 half page - FAIL - 1.5
Heather: full row - 5.5 pages - FAIL - 2
Cloudsfactory: Border and Jan - April - FAIL - haven't even finished the border
Our Seasons: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
In Her Room: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Le Pas du Sucre: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Rendezvous: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Winter's Majesty: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Elsa: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Joan Elliott: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Dark Hope: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
World Collection: 1.5 girls - FAIL - haven't touched it
Lancelot and Guinevere: 0.5 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Pride and Prejudice: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Tale of the Red Swans: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it 
Promise To Heart: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Clara: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Dwarven Leader: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it
Apocalypse: 1 page - FAIL - haven't touched it

 Wow, didn't realise just how many projects I hadn't touched this year, might be time to start working on some of them, and actually getting some progress, but there are other projects that weren't on the list (mostly because they've all been new starts - oops) that have had work on them.
I've finished two wedding samples, We Are Geeks from Paine Free Crafts and one using Cloudsfactory motifs
A page of Ex-Machina
Two pages of Family Values
Three pages of Heroes and Heroines
One page of Ice Queen
Half a age of Winter Geisha

I've also started two crochet blankets
Made three twiddle muffs
One shark sock
Half a scarf
and made an entire cosplay from scratch

My non-stitching targets were:
10,000 words a month (again - I'm getting closer)

Work on stitchers retreat!
I had good months on the writing, but I also had really bad months, I managed 65843 words altogether this year, which is over half, and not all that bad.
I haven't touched the stitchers retreat, again!

So, 2016 targets:
Dragon Rider: 9 pages
Heroes and Heroines: 4 pages
Harley Quinn: 2 pages
Ex Machina: 1 page
Coudsfactory: Border and January
A Stitch in Time: 2 pages
Family Values: 2 pages
Ice Queen: 1 page
Our Seasons: 1 page

This is not all my projects (as many followers will know) but I'm at the stage where it isn't possible to work on each project every year and still show a decent amount or progress, so I've been (nominally) realistic. This is still two pages a month, and is still quite unlikely, but it prioritises some pieces and sticks to my existing rotation
I will try to limit new starts, this includes 2 new starts, Harley Quinn and A Stitch in Time, the only other new starts I intend to have are my usual exclusion of gifts, weddings, christenings etc.

Finish 2 blankets (both are intended as gifts so I sort of have to)
Make Ben's second sock
Start my colourful blanket (basic repeating pattern in beautiful wool)
Design my Ghibli graphgan, it doesn't have to be started, just designed

The rest of my life:
Write at least 200 words a day
Stitchers retreat (hahaha)
Improve my fitness, I was doing well, but ending my gym membership put a stop to that, so I need to start working on it again.

I know this posts aren't necessarily that interesting for other people, but if have to put it out there somewhere in the hope that I'll publicly shame myself into working on them

Such a bad blogger

I'm such a bad blogger, I know, I say that every time at the moment, but that's mostly because it's true. I've lost my stitching bug a bit recently (although I think it's just starting to come back, just as I pack to move house, of course), and I don't update on crochet that often because it doesn't look as interesting, here's the start of a blanket, here's a slightly larger blanket, look it's growing... and so on, but just so I've got something to post, look, the blanket is growing, I've just started my third ball of wool, I reckon I'm looking at at least six to get this to the size that I'm aiming for.
Secondly, I sort of have a finish, this is finished, but it's a sock, so it technically only counts as a finish when I have two of them. This was an Xmas present for my other half, so I gave him one for Christmas because I wasn't completely convinced that it was the right size, now that he's tried it I need to make a second one!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

I've been a very bad blogger recently, I've also been a very bad stitcher, but I have been a much better crocheter recently. This is the start of a blanket that I'm making as a gift, world's simplest pattern, in the world's most garish yarn, I love it. I've also just discovered the Russian join, which is genius, it wouldn't work for colour changes, but for something like this where it's the same yarn over and over, it's great.
Secondly (and modelled by my rather chunky foot and shin)  is another gift that I'm working on (can you see a theme here?). These will be a pair of shark socks, so the shark is biting the ankle. They're fab, although I accept that this one doesn't look like much yet. But, considering that this pattern has been my absolute nemesis for the last 6 weeks, the fact that I've got this far is a miracle. I'm not wholly convinced that this is the right size for the intended person so I'm going to give them one with an IOU note for the second one.
Finally, I had a go with a pom pom maker for the first time today, it's easy, I like easy. This will be Rudolph's nose.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Crochet and Shoes

Hello my dears, how are you? I have an admission to make... I haven't stitched this week and *whispers* I haven't missed it. I'm a little obsessed with my crochet and so that's what's been taking up all my time. I've done six stripes in the last week which is loads, I've more than doubled it, so proud of myself, starting to believe in the blanket (rather that suspecting that it might end up as a scarf). So much so I've started to debate what I'm going to do with the finish. Originally it was going to be for me but, true to form I've got 3-4 other blankets in various stages on planning and kitting and I have to admit that this is my least favourite colour scheme of all of them, so I might gift this to someone else, at the moment I'm debating inflicting it on my loving mother or Grandad. Possibly more of a mum colour scheme, but her birthday is in February and I'm not convinced I can hit that, so my Grandad's birthday is more realistic, but at the current speed, who knows.
Secondly, this is how I've spent my evening. My first ever attempt at comic book shoes, they're not perfect, but I'm certainly quite proud of them. I found quite an annoying tutorial on youtube to give me a vague idea of what I was doing (and quite a lot of anger to vent at the presenter. She'd obviously no interest in the comic book style other than because it was very 'on trend' at the moment, but my main problem is that she had no idea what she was doing. Having done something there was a quick cut and she was suddenly explaining how she'd just been told that she was doing it wrong, and this was how she was meant to be doing it). Anyway, I quite enjoyed it, it wasn't as time consuming or as messy as I expected. I'm not saying I didn't end up covered in Mod Podge, but I was covered in a lot less of it than I was expecting, and it used a lot less paper than I was expecting so I've got loads left, enough to do a second set, possibly even a third, and that's nothing to how much Mod Podge I've got left, I'm currently looking around my flat trying to work out what else I could use it on!
Hopefully I'll have some actual stitching to show next week, I do intend to. Happy stitching all!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Hello blanket

I realised that it was a long time since I updated on my blanket, although it's also a while since I've had much time to work on it. However I've had the time to get back to it again and am loving it. I did all of the light green, finished the pink and started the dark green yesterday, so all in all it went well. 
And secondly, Heroes and Heroines appears as my HAED challenge on the Supersized page, I haven't managed much, but I have managed my 400 stitches, in fact I think this is about 800 (although once again I feel like 800 should look like more).

Saturday, 7 November 2015

He returns

Dragon Rider is supposedly my focus piece, and I've just realised that I haven't work on it since April, there have been far to many projects (and new starts) in my life for the last six months, so Dragon Rider is back on the frame and back getting some attention, at least he was... ooops! I've signed up for the two HAED SALs this month, the normal one and the SS one. Dragon Rider is my normal one. They're not challenging targets, 100 stitches a week for four weeks, so 400 altogether (I know you already worked that out, don't worry :-) ). This is 900 stitches on this page, which I find oddly depressing, I feel like 900 ought to look like more than a smudge, but what can you do? However, as I've hit the target on that I'm now going to move onto Heroes and Heroines for the SS SAL, but Dragon Rider will be back, my guilt over how long it is since I last worked on him is strong, so he'll get some more love very soon. I'm not even putting him away properly, just to make sure that I really don't have any excuse.

 And this is my other offering this week, he's only little, but I'm rather excited about my little crochet owl, for many reasons. He's the first time that I've ever really done proper shaping using increases and decreases, and that seems to have worked so yay! He's the first time that I've used a magic ring and again, it seems to have worked, so yay! It's the first time I've done anything 3D as opposed to flat, so also my first time stuffing, and that seems to have worked, so yay! And finally, he's my first ever commission. Someone at work requested this little dude from me, so that's the first time someone's trusted my crochet enough to ask for something. And seeing how many firsts there were for me in this, she was quite brave, and he's only a little cross eyed. Lets say that it makes him unique. This was actually a free pattern so if you want to make it yourself you can find the chart here

Saturday, 31 October 2015

F Word *Does happy dance* Actual F word

I know dancing is a bit of an extreme reaction, but it's so rare that I actually manage an F word (especially one where I'd been stressing about the time frame I'd set myself) that I have to celebrate at least a little bit.
I'm set up for a couple of stitching challenges this month, but then I have a new start planed, maybe two... woo hoo on all front.
Now I can go back to the land of colour and variation!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

So close...

The title says it all really, I'm so close. I'm optimistically saying that another week will do it, but I suspect that that's being a little ambitious. I did manage quite a lot last week but Ben was away so it was pretty much all I did in the evenings, plus I had two days off mid-week so I've really flogged myself to get to this point this week, but I'm nearly there, colour isn't that far off in my future, I can feel it!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A bit more

It's definitely growing, I am definitely getting there, I am in no way craving bright colours and wishing that I could work on my other projects. I have rather ambitious plans for this week (I'm always over ambitious, but let's give it a shot), but if I do manage to complete them as I plan then I'll suddenly feel a lot better about getting this finished!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

It grows

I meant to post this picture on Monday, but have spent the last two days forgetting, meaning that I am actually a little further on than this now, but it's growing, and that's the important thing, even if the chances of me finishing this on time are practically zero!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Whole sentences have made an appearance

It's growing, woohoo. I've got a month to finish it... ARGH Doomed!
Why do I do these things to myself? I've got 10 lines to do in 8 weeks, the first four have taken me about four weeks. I'm officially doomed! I have prety much immersed myself in it this week and am trying to not work on others things (why do you instantly get a pull from other projects when you've got a deadline?). I reckon I can get quite a lot done then next couple of weeks due to how my shifts and days off fall, after that I need to re-assess and see if this really is practical or if I'm just torturing myself for fun!
I accidentally bought four charts from HAED this week, then I'm involved in a Paine Free RAK event so I've been gifted two for joining in the event, and will then receive a gift voucher or charts from my partner at some point in the month as well... and then I accidentally bought two lovely crochet hooks last night, and was gifted another one on Thursday (although it's now been confiscated until my birthday). Help me, drowning in projects!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

New Start

It's a present though, that's how I'm justifying it. This is intended as a wedding present for friends who are planning a relatively geeky wedding. It's We Are Geeks from Paine Free Crafts with a slight modification to tie in with my friends tastes!
Went to Yarndale today, has a fantastic time, so many pretties! Next year we've decided that we're going for both days!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Bad blogger, Bad Bad Blogger!

 I have been a very bad blogger this month, flat stuff and holidays have got in the way of stitching and blogging. We were out of our flat for a couple of days while having some work done on our bathroom then went straight on holiday so blogging didn't happen. I do have updates but they're mostly crochet based. Here's the progression on the scarf I posted many moons ago. I say progress, I actually pulled it all out and started again so while I call it progress it's basically a brand new project. I've started to suspect that I pull my stitches too tight so I'm trying to rectify that, and this was the project that suffered for it. I am succeeding because I finished my gloves and one was slightly bigger than the other, so I know that I've managed to loosen my tension a bit. I've mostly managed to salvage the gloves so it's okay!
Next is my second attempt at a twiddle muff and I think I much prefer this one, for a few reasons. I decided to try working in the round which seems to have worked so there isn't an ugly join anywhere. You can see where the line is but it's a lot neater, and I think you can only really see it because I've just variegated wool so you can see the colour jump. I also much prefer this wool, it's chunky which helps, so it crocheted up really quickly, it also just feels much nicer, it has such a soft silky feel (and also quite cosy). I'me debating blanket plans with this wool (or this brand, not necessarily this colour, that's part of what I'm debating), it would be quite heavy but would be seriously snuggly!
I've also just started my first blanket (I'm a little obsessed with the idea of crocheted blankets at the moment), it's a lovely Attic 24 pattern and yarn pack. The foundation chain was 213 so I was very releaved when I finished the first row to find that it added up. :-)
Off to Yarndale this weekend so I foresee a lot more yarn and crochet in my future. Having said that I do have a lovely stitching project that I'm concentrating on at the moment, it's a gift and I don't think I have enough time so it is my main focus at the moment, with the crochet coming up when my neck can't take the stitching anymore, so I'll post of progress pick of where I'm up to with that at the weekend as well.  

Saturday, 29 August 2015

I Scream, You Scream, We all scream for...

I've finished my first page and I love her. I admitted to Kimberley from Gecko Rouge earlier that when I'd done the first two snowflakes (where I posted last week) that I wasn't convinced by the charting, they seemed to faint that you could hardly see them and I was a bit worried that that was what they were all going to be like. But now I see the page coming together with the other colours and see how they look within the page I really like them and it. I admit, not much to see yet, but I love how she's stitching up!

Friday, 21 August 2015

Ice Queen from Gecko Rouge

I've not managed to get a very good picture of this, due to the lighting and my own impatience. This is a beautiful piece, so far I've mostly stitched grey (with a tiny bit of blue) so it really doesn't look like anything.
However, please believe me that this will be beautiful, there's a picture quite a way down on the right bar if you want a look of what she'll look like.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Page finish and oops, how did that happen?

 I got the page finish on Ex Machina by Cris Ortega, loving how it's stitching up, although I'm only now starting to realise what a world of brown I've let myself in to with this. Was really excited to see this released though, so loving working on it.
Having said that I did get distracted by a new start this week. I know, my whole 'no new starts this year' has turned into a complete bust. However I recently discovered and fell in love with some of GeckoRouge's designs. This small grey line has grown slightly in size since I took this, it's now three stitches high, but I'm aware that it looks like nothing yet. One day, in the dark and distant future this will turn into Ice Queen by Medusa Dollmaker from Geckorouge, and I've got my eye on a couple more.

Friday, 7 August 2015

I've managed to get a little bit more done on Ex Machina, my stitching ban is slowly being lifted, I can get a little bit done at a time, and I'm trying to put my little bits of time to good use. I've finished the first colour of my first page of Ex Machina, I'm so happy! I love this chart and it's so sad that I'm not being able to progress like I'd like to. I'll get there one day.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

July re-cap

When I was thinking about this months re-cap I was a bit disappointed that I hadn't achieved much, but now that I've pulled the pictures I realise that things have happened.

I finished the Belle dress, and more importantly it survived the day, I was so excited, and proud!

Heroes and Heroines as it started the month

And I got the page finish for the end of the month

And my crochet had returned, and more importantly I'm starting to actually work out what I'm actually doing and how to make things.
So, I've started a corner to corner scarf, which I'm rather liking the effect of in variegated wool

And I finally finished the twidle muff, woohoo!