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Monday, 28 October 2013

DALD sampler finished!

*sigh* (That was a huge sigh of relief). Even though I loved every minute of stitching this sampler, I`m also glad in a way that after 4 long months of looking at it, it`s finally on its way to the (hopefully!) happy owner - a lovely 84-year-old lady who commissioned this for her granddaughter`s wedding. /I also hope that the granddaughter will like it too, lol!/
Since this was my pet project in between magazine works, I revelled in the luxury of not having to keep track of any detail, therefore I don`t know how many hours it took, only that I spent a total of about 2 weeks out of 4 months stitching this. And here is the end result:
 Apologies for the worse-than-usual photo but I finished it last night and couldn`t wait to take a pic - it would`ve been pointless to wait for the bright daylight anyway, it`s been so doom and gloom here lately. So the colours are not as vibrant as they should be... maybe a couple of close-ups will help:

Well, these don`t really do justice to the colours either, but at least I can illustrate what I enjoyed most about working with 2 strands on 18 HPI aida (tbh, this was the ONLY thing I enjoyed about stitching on such a high count fabric): the fact that every single cross sits there like a tiny little pearl. I think they`re awesome!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

DALD update

An uncharacteristically short post as I`m crazy-busy stitching the Dream a Little Dream sampler which I fully intend to finish this week (I kinda have to since I have other things in the pipeline). So here`s a wee recap where I left it off after Go #3:
And this is where things stand just now, at Go #4:

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

knitted hat #1 finished

Isn`t the Internet an amazing thing? If this was a diary or a scrapbook hidden in my drawer, nobody would ever read it, which wouldn`t in itself be such a great loss to the world but... then I wouldn`t have met Sandra, for example - a lovely lady from Kansas who was so helpful to me yesterday, despite of being slightly caffeine-deprived. While musing re: how it made my day and the wonders of the Internet in general, I also realised that I unnecessarily overcomplicated things in my last post by adding a photo of mine with 4 different items on it, and at the same time referring y`all via the link to another photo which also had 4 different hats in it. Why didn`t I just show you a picture of the pattern - doh!?!
I have no excuse, except maybe that I had the Mother of All Headaches yesterday, it took me two horse-strength pills and most of the day to get rid of it. On the bright side, though, I don`t know which ingredient of those tablets affected me so but by the time my head was OK, I became so alert that I couldn`t sleep till almost 2 in the morning. As a consequence, my first hat is finished:
Unfortunately, it is almost an inch shorter than it should be, and while I secretly congratulate myself on judging so accurately where I should start shaping the crown that I have about 2 metres of yarn left, it also resulted in this slightly teacozy-ish shape. Whereas it should look like the top left hat in this photo:
Now, I refuse to call it yet another Hat Fail. Actually, I`m beginning to suspect that the problem is not with the hats I knit but my head. I tried this one on a dozen different ways but, obviously, I`ll never look like the model in this photo. Thanks to the K1B knitting, it`s nice and stretchy but no matter which way I`m pulling the excess material, it looks nothing like this on my head. Instead, I have managed to imitate the look of Papa Smurf, a member of the French Resistance, a demented Highlander, Tommy Cooper in his fez, and even somebody with a KFC family bucket on their head.
Never mind, after a bit of stitching done - I must crack on with the DALD sampler! - I`ll tackle the green yarn and the same pattern but this time I`ll follow it to the letter... maybe that`ll help..? If not, I guess I`ll just have to change the shape of my head somehow..?

Monday, 21 October 2013

knitted hats

I should really go out more often (NB. I probably would if I could somehow stitch on the go). There are so many wondrous things one can learn in the course of a short walk - for example, if the pavement is reduced to half of its width due to roadworks, there WILL be some disgusting stuff in the middle of it which thus you cannot avoid. Also, a fellow mum from the school WILL NOT recognise you while passing you in the street; however, you can baffle a complete stranger into greeting you by simply smiling at her (if a weird noise between a hiccup and a burp... a hiccurp?... can be classified as greeting). And yes, I DO have every single issue of various cross stitch magazines the town`s charity shops have to offer.
But my biggest achievement for today (not counting the posting of my latest magazine piece this morning) is that I finally managed to buy a set of 4 mm circular needles!!! I know it doesn`t sound much, but after spending my entire Saturday hunting for wool in the right shade of green, followed by wasting half of my Sunday dropping in and out of shops to get the required needles for said wool, it is a major fete. (True, there is only a limited number of shops that are open on a Sunday but the fact that I even barged in a furniture store (!) should tell you all about my desperation).
Anyway, this whole Hat Saga started last week with this:
In the top left corner is my Epic Hat Fail - a real shame because it`s a beautiful yarn and the hat is a perfect fit but, alas, when I put it on, I look like the only thing missing is a shopping trolley full of aluminium cans. The rest is just some of my finds of this weekend-long hunt for yarns and needles: with the speckled creamy one, I started this Sirdar pattern (the nutmeg coloured pull-on hat in the top left corner of the pattern pictures), and I`m going to knit the same hat with the green speckled yarn too (now that I have the UK 8 needles... I have several pairs but they all have something on them, and I prefer circular needles anyway). The cute sock wool was practically thrown at me at Lidl`s - after I bought 4 very similar skeins in a charity shop... Oh, and in the course of my wanderings, I also became the proud owner of about half-a-dozen circular needles of various sizes (everything except 4 mm, obviously).
See, the calamity all this knitting can cause? I`d better stick to cross stitch! 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Cross Stitch Crazy 183

My Mum`s arriving today!!! Yay!!! I`m so excited, can`t wait to see her again! And I`m sure she`s just as excited to come and see me cross stitch again... ;)
As usual, I`m a busy little bee, working on all kinds of commissions: I`ve just finished some Mothers` Day (!) cards for Card Shop and a Maria Diaz landscape for Collection, and right now I`m stitching another Maria Diaz - my absolute favourite and most glorious project so far, something I`m sure will take your breath away when you see it in the magazine (it`s that kind of stunning). I was so overwhelmed by its beauty - and, at the same time, simplicity from a stitcher`s point of view - that I felt compelled to write to Maria and thank her for it. I was not a little surprised when she, busy as she must be, answered me within half an hour, thanking me for the feedback - what a great lady!
Anyway, since I already hear it calling, plus I have some cleaning left to do before Mummy arrives, I`d better crack on with this post. Among all these big projects, I have almost overlooked some Christmas minis I`d stitched a couple of months ago for Cross Stitch Crazy: some traditional toys by Jenny Barton and 4 floral letters by Susan Bates.

Elsewhere, in the knitting world: I haven`t had too much time lately to play with my yarns but I did get on with the rainbow entrelac a wee bit, plus I started a Fair Isle hat just for the fun of it: