Tuesday, April 29, 2014

MMSC - Week 17

Thanks for all the support and encouragement last week. It warms my heart!

This week I got no stitching done at all. None, nada, nil, nothing. But that's okay … maybe next week. :)

In lieu of actual progress, I thought I'd share a picture of my design plan for my Batik Hexie Blanket (aka Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt).

I have 2 teal blue batiks, 2 purple batiks, and 2 green batiks, so there will be more variety in the actual quilt than is in my sketch. The white spaces on my design won't actually be white, but will be a navy batik with a flower pattern on it. The majority of the quilt will be the bright royal blue batik hexie flowers that make up the background.

These will eventually be the hexes/fabrics in my quilt:

Just thinking about what it will look like when its finished makes me smile. I'm here for a long time and a good time. :)

Linking up with Jessica for the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MMSC - Week 16

I think my expectations of what I could or should do in a week are too high. I've been beating myself up over not getting more than a few shapes basted every week. My dear readers have been so positive and encouraging. They reminded me that any progress is good progress. I think I need to stop feeling like I'm not a good crafter if I don't get oodles done.

So this week, I am pleased to show you the 15 items I basted -- 10 diamonds and 5 hexies.

Progress may be slow, but it is steady. :)

As always, I'm linking up to Jessica's Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fixing my Mojo

I'm still trying to find a solution to my crafty mojo problem -- more specifically, my stitching mojo problem. A dear friend suggested that a new start might be just the kick in the butt my mojo needs. She also suggested that I start a project I've had kitted up and ready to go for over a year now.

So I did. :)

I finally started my first Chatelaine - Evening in the Park. I love, love, love this design, and it took a while but I found the perfect fabric for it from Under the Sea Fabrics. I ordered the painfully expensive, but achingly lovely threadpack of silks and beads from European Cross Stitch.

One day it should look like this:

For right now, my start looks like this:

It's stitched on Ice Princess 32 ct opalescent lugana. I'm not loving using all the metallics at the moment, but it's looking good so far.

For the first time I'm using a magnifier while I stitch, because the hand-dyed fabric has tiny holes and the opalescent nature of the fabric splits the threads and makes it doubly difficult to see the proper holes. The stitches look pretty big under the magnifier, but when I look at it without, I can't believe how tiny the stitches are!

This piece is going to take a very long time.

Monday, April 14, 2014

MMSC - Week 15

I've been having trouble with my mojo for weeks now for almost all of my crafty interests … except for knitting, which is still a new and fresh hobby. I have been struggling to pick up a needle because I've just been to darn tired lately. Too tired to craft. Too tired to do the things that refresh my soul and make me happy. It upsets me that being tired is getting in the way.

I am trying to push on. This week was more successful, but still not up to full throttle. I managed to baste 15 more diamonds this week.

As always, I'm linking up with Jessica's Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Turtle Trot - April

The only blog community SAL type thing I joined this year was the Turtle Trot. I figured it would be easy for me to pick 10 projects and make great progress (and even some finishes) this year.

Well, 1/3 of the way through the year and my progress is less like a turtle and more like a sloth. I'm not getting anywhere with my stitching. Mojo is gone.

A dear friend of mine challenged me to put some stitches into Ciara Blue (my blackwork project) the other day. I did so … two hours of stitching and two more filigree motifs were completed.

I didn't love it like I used to love it. Stitching used to soothe my soul. Right now it doesn't and that makes me very sad. I don't know how to get my mojo back.

Monday, April 7, 2014

MMSC - Week 14

My EPP mojo isn't quite back in full swing (and my cross stitch mojo is completely MIA), but I did get a tiny bit done on both of my projects. I basted 5 diamonds and 5 hexies.

Progress on these projects isn't just slow, it's sloth-like.

As usual, I'm linking up with the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A great idea

I have lots of those -- great ideas -- maybe more than is good for me.

A few weeks ago I finally caved and decided to learn how to knit. A dear friend kept making me put on the brakes and just practice instead of diving head first into a major project (she's pretty smart).  After several hours lost on Pinterest and Ravelry, I'd picked out a kazillion knitting projects I'd like to do and also found a really simple, small project that would be perfect for the stage I'm at in the learning process.

I decided I would make a doggie blanket for my boy Toka. He's going to be boarded at a kennel for the first time ever in May, and needs a blanket that can smell like me but is washable too. I found a pattern for a diagonal garter stitch baby blanket that I plan to do in cotton. Nothing but knit stitches and yarn overs; a perfect practice piece.

I bought a big cone of Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in Country Side Ombre.

I also bought a few small skeins just cause I liked the colours!

I had a similar pattern for a dishcloth, so I figured I should try it out on straight needles as a practice practice piece. And I'm glad I did. I ended up casting on and knitting the first few rows 5 or 6 times before I got it quite right. After that, I was good to go.

I did discover that with the straight needles I tend to wedge the one in my left hand against my body and I use my left hand just to throw the yarn as I knit with the right hand needle. Try as I might I couldn't seem to keep both needles in my hands. I did some research about needle and hand positions, I tried English style (my tension is super tight when I try to hold the yarn in my right hand) and continental style. I tried out almost every combo I could think of, but kept coming back to wedging the one needle against my body. I finished the dishcloth and it looks pretty good (I need practice with binding off) and I feel confident about my knitting tension.

However, I was nervous about attempting the doggie blanket on a circular needle. I just hoped that things would work out once I got started -- and they did! Somehow I seemed to automatically choose hand and yarn positions that worked and I got going on the circular needles quickly and easily. I am actually really enjoying knitting this thing!

Here's hoping I can keep up the enthusiasm for another 300+ rows. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

MMSC - Week 13 (a little late)

I'm a few days late for the Monday Morning Star Count over at Life Under Quilts. To be honest, I don't have much to show, just 5 basted diamonds:

Schoolwork, sleep, and knitting having been winning the fight for my time and attention. Fingers crossed I can get my EPP bug back up and running soon.