Saturday, 31 December 2016

Last years targets. and new targets

Again, it's the annual post of looking at last years targets, laughing hysterically at how badly I did on them

So to start, here are last years targets:


2016 Targets

Stitching:
Dragon Rider: 9 pages –
2.5 pages complete (this was definitely over optimistic)
Heroes and Heroines: 4 pages - 1 page
Harley Quinn: 2 pages - Nope
Ex Machina: 1 page - Nope
Coudsfactory: Border and January - Nope
A Stitch in Time: 2 pages - Nope
Family Values: 2 pages - Nope
Ice Queen: 1 page - Nope
Our Seasons: 1 page - Nope

So, my targets last year were ridiculously ambitious, I've realised that they were 23 pages, I complete a page a month, on a good month, so I've learnt to be more realistic next year!

Things that weren't on the list have have been achieved:
A sheep picture as a wedding gift
Always - hard to say, about half a page
Promise to heart - not even a quarter of a page
Altogether I've completed 4 pages this year, this is spectacularly rubbish, even my my standards! Must do better!

Crochet:
Finish 2 blankets (both are intended as gifts so I sort of have to) - I actually achieved this! I'm so proud!
Make Ben's second sock - Nope
Start my colourful blanket (basic repeating pattern in beautiful wool) - Sort of, I can't remember what blanket I was actually talking about, but I have started a repeating pattern blanket
Design my Ghibli graphgan, it doesn't have to be started, just designed - Nope

Other things I've achieved:
Another baby blanket on top of the two above.
A Groot
Most of a sheep hat
The start of two other blankets
The start of a cuddly bunny

The rest of my life:

Write at least 200 words a day - nope, I hit an average of 83 words a day, although that average includes the fact that there are three months with a flat total of zero
Stitchers retreat (hahaha) - Why do I do these things to myself?
Improve my fitness - Actually yes, I'm running, I'm currently doing a 5 mile route, and am running the first 3.2 miles of that without slowing or pausing, and I then walk the rest.

2017 targets

Stitching:
Dragon Rider - 4 pages
Howl’s Moving Castle
Cara Mia
Disney Princess
Merlin
Princess and the Dragon
Spirited Away
Princess Bride
Ex Machina

Crochet:
Finish a couple of blankets
Finish the bunny
Finish the sheep hat
Make the second damn sock
Virus shawl

The rest of my life:
Another attempt at the 200 words a day average
Get my run up to 5 miles

So, hopefully my targets are slightly more realistic this year, let's see how I get on.

Friday, 30 December 2016

What happened in 2016

So I'm going to order this post in order of pride, starting with stuff I'm proud of and finishing with stuff that is to my shame!

Part I
So, I'm starting with my finishes (see, most proud of!)

 Sheep, I can't remember the name of the kit or who it was by, but it's cute, and purple

 There were a lot of blankets in 2016, this one is the Cosy Blanket from Attic24, but using an Ice Yarns variagated

 This is the Blackberry Blanket, but again, using another ice Yarns variagated

 This is Groot, no other words are required

And this is yet another blanket, also an Attic 24, Ripple blanket, using her colour pack. My biggest achievement to date with crochet, and as it was the first big thing I did, and I was still learning, my stitches have tightened up as I've got used to it, so one side is wider than the other.

And a last minute finish, my Sheep Hat


Part II
Stuff that has progressed over the year, either a new start or a before and after picture for the year.

Always, artwork by Kordek, charted by Tilton, started this year

Another use of the Cosy blanket by Attic 24 (it is one of my favourite patterns), this time using Mrs Moon's yarn. Quite possibly the softest thing ever

My first attempt at an Edward's Menagerie pattern, one day a bunny, at the moment, a shrivelled pear

Dragon Rider, the only project that (I think) I work on consistently each year, before

And after

Harley Quinn by Charting Creations, new start this year

Another Attic24 pattern (can you tell she's my favourite?), a start on the Harmony blanket

Finally a use for the neon yarn, I have more squares than this, but they're all variations on a theme, using (you guessed it) Attic 24's version on the solid granny square

Promise to the Heart by Kordek and charted by Tilton. Before

And after


Part III

Gallery or Shame!
I'm ashamed to say that these haven't seen so much as a stitch this year! And I'm aware this looks an absolute mess, I have up trying to make it look tidy!

 


 
      

 


 
 

 

 

 


Last progress of the year, and what will your new start be?

And secondly, my New Year, New Start, what's the New Year without an exciting new start. And this beautiful young lady will be my New Start. Belle in the Mucha style by Hannah Alexander. She has done most of the Disney Princesses and they are all being charted, with back stitch (shock, when did I last willingly do back stitch?) and pretty bling. I'm slowly collecting all of them, but so far I only have three Princesses, and they're limited edition as well, I was basically doomed the second I saw a friend working on Tiana and she pointed my in the direction of where to get them. I want them all, and I want them all now!
In the mean time I have some pretty fabric and will put the first stitch (and it may well literally be the one and only stitch) and New Year's Day.

Secondly I have the lovely Harley Quinn, who I'm going to put away now seeing as Belle is due out in a couple of days now. Technically I've got my page finish as I combined a partial page and a full page, the partial page is finished, and I've technically got a foot as well, it doesn't look like much but there is definitely a foot there, and we've got the beginning of her skirt/cloak as well. Although I did suddenly realise the other day that there is going to come a point when I'm stitching her crotch, and that's probably going to be a slightly weird few days for me.
Finally,  finished the sheep hat, I finally finished it, I'm so proud, even if it does look like a slightly deranged cat, but it's finished so I'll have to take that as a win, and hope that the friends whose little one this is for will be forgiving.

Friday, 23 December 2016

She lives, kinda

I've had a good week, there is much progress this week, but because it's all brown background it still doesn't look like much because there isn't much development in the picture. Despite this, I am proud of this, this, for me is a very good week.
And who is she? Meet Harley Quinn by Charting Creations, I'll put a picture up in the side bar.
One more week on this then we all know what happens next, New Year, New Start. Have you chosen yours yet? I have. I had loads that I was debating, but then I fell in love with something new (of course) and it suddenly became a much easier decision. But more of that next week.
And finally Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Promise to Heart

It's only a wee bit of progress, but after working on the SAL a couple of weeks ago I couldn't resist giving Promise to Heart a couple of hours, I'm still on floor, and it's still a big sea of blue, but I'm happy that she's had a bit of love and attention and hope that she'll get much more in the year to come.
And talking of year to come, I've come to that point of year where I start thinking about this years progress and targets (and laughing hysterically), and thinking about next years targets as well.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Tiny and tinier!

Firstly, so more neon squares, I'm aware that these will start to look quite samey after a while, but it means I can show that I have actually done something, even if it does look a lot like last week, and the week before, I'll try to make the pictures look slightly different, honest! 
Secondly it was the Takaki SAL on facebook last weekend, and despite the fact that it was me that organised it, I hardly got anything done, but seeing as I'm generally rubbish at SALs, the fact that I did anything is a major achievement for me. It is a same that Tilton no longer have the licence for Takaki, although I'm aware that this doesn't look massively exciting so far. It's such a tiny amount that it's hardly even background. 
And finally the sheep hat is looking slightly less barrister like, although I do accept that it still does. I'm hoping that eyes and ears will make the final difference.
It is slightly pointy at the top as I've discovered the best thing I have to photograph it on is a terraramundi. I was meaning to finish this weekend, but sleeping and work got in the way. Hopefully another week might do the trick though.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Things I should be working on and things I get distracted by

So, I'll be good and start with the project that I'm meant to be working on, and I've been good, this is my second time this week working on it, and I've done four whole rounds this evening (a miracle by my standards, I had to stop when I realised I was clenching my jaw as I concentrated, patterns are not my forte - I like blankets!). Anyway, this is a child/baby hat that will one day look like a sheep, and looks more like a sheep than it has done up until this point, so I'll take that as a win. And it's currently being modelled by my knee, because I looked round my house and realised I had nothing the size and shape of a childs head (which sounds a lot creepier when I actually run that sentence through), the closest thing, rather disturbingly, was my own know. It's like the weirdest version of the hotdog legs game that you'll ever play! 
Secondly is what I'm getting distracted by, I've been trying to find something that works with this neon yarn, and I think I've finally found something that seems to look right. I can (almost) justify the fact that I got distracted last week, we went away last week and granny squares are much more portable (and take a lot less concentration) than the sheep hat. Also, as we were flying it meant that if they took my hook off my for the squares, I have three in that size and it wouldn't be an issue, if they'd taken my hook off me for my hat it's the only one I have and I'd have been lost. This is also the first time that I've attempted to get a hook onto a flight (albeit only a domestic one), I was told it was fine as long as it was in a secure case. I've yet to meet someone with a 'secure' case for their hooks, so I took everything else out of my hook roll and took that with one lonely hook in, I think even that was a wasted effort, airport security seemed more interested in my deodorant than my hook.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Black Key - Amy Ewing

So this is the last in the series for the Lone City Trilogy, although I am hoping for one last novella as this book made me quite curious about the back story of one character.
I found this much slower to start than the last two books in the series. As this book started at the White Rose, planning the revolution, I was worried that this was going to be how most of the book was going to go, and I felt myself starting to wander off, but when Violet decides to be back to the city to try and get to her sister, things suddenly started to happen again, and we start to see more conflict, and therefore more action.
Violet disguises herself to return to the House of the Lake to try and find and rescue her sister, meaning we see more of Garnet, who has fast been becoming my favourite character, although this also meant that we saw less of Raven, who I did miss.
As Violet goes back to the city she comes back into contact with characters we've seen before, Garnet, the Duchess of the Lake, Cora and more. I won't lie, I was also glad that it kept Ash and Violet apart for a lot of the book, as I have little to know interest in their relationship.
This is the first time that Violet really realises what revolution is, she sees first hand the death and devastation caused by the uprising, and it's also the first time that she has to take responsibility for her actions, both good and bad. As she is back in the city we get to see some interaction with Lucien, and it's the first time I've really warmed towards him as a character, because of the life he's lived he's made himself rather cold, but we start to see a little more of him than we have in the past.
This felt like the book where the series grew up, the characters grew up and started taking responsibility for what is going on around them, and we don't have to watch so much lovesick mooning. The little glimpses of Hazel that we see through out this book show a scared child who doesn't really know what's happening, and that's what forces Violet to do more, her fear for her sister.
The Duchess of the Lake plays quite a key role in this book, as you'd expect, and it's her that I'd love to see a novella for. The back story that we start to get for her is quite tantalising, and goes a long way towards explaining how she has become the way she is. I'd love to see a novella that actually showed it happening though.
I have very mixed feeling about the last chapter of the book, which, without giving much away, is some of our main characters looking at what they've achieved. I sort of understand why Ewing has written this chapter, but I don't personally feel that it really added anything other to the book.
Over all though I did really enjoy this and felt that this was a strong finish to the trilogy, tying up all the end, but leaving a couple of interesting options for telling back story, both recent and more distant history.