I have been fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with my crafts lately, and I have to tell you I love it. My mind is consumed with what I am making or want to make, and it is a nice change from thinking about light fixtures, and hardware store sales, and scouting out all sorts of trades people.
My kids went to school right up until the 23rd of December, so pretty much all of their time off was after Christmas. While it felt weird at first, it made the break seem extra long as none of the time was taken up with pre-holiday preparations. We spent most of that time at home, mostly in our pyjamas I'm afraid, but we all felt really rested when it was all over.
I wanted to get some up-coming card occasions taken care of, so December 26 found me with needle and thread stitching away. My friend moved to a new house on December 27 (can you imagine that?!) and I wanted to stitch a New Home card for her family.
I used a design from a French magazine and I loved the bright colours of the birds. The original pattern only has two birds charted, but I added a third because they are a family of three.
This same friend celebrates a birthday in February, and I knew if I didn't stitch something now it was likely not going to get finished and mailed on time. She loves to garden and I know she is spending this time dreaming of what she can do with her new yard. I thought this little gnome motif from a previous issue of Cross Stitch Crazy was just perfect for her:
I happily started the New Year with a new cross stitch project: Country Cottage Needleworks 'Winter Welcome'. This has been on my wishlist for a long time and I am really happy how it turned out. The frame is one I found at a thrift store, and given the amount of compliments I received on it in my Instagram feed, I think it was the right choice!
I took a bit of a break from cross stitch when I re-discovered a Cath Kidston book on needlework in my collection. I stitched up this pretty little pin pillow with bits of thrifted tapestry wool I have.
I filled it with polyfil and a bit of dried lavender; the backing is the fabric you see underneath.
While I could have spent all month stitching away on new things, I realized I have quite a bit of cross stitch on the go already, and it was time to finish some things off that have been languishing around in bins and baskets.
This little heart only needed a few more stitches to be completed. I wonder why I ever put it away when it was so close to being called a finish?
Getting things off my plate has been applied to my other hobbies as well. After many months of sitting around I finally finished off my crochet linen stitch scarf:
Becki of Field Lilies had shown some of these last year and I was so excited to make some. If only I could be so excited to finish things!
In an effort to work down my yarn stash a little bit, I joined a Ravelry group called 'The Biggest Loser Stash Reduction Challenge'. After each finish you weigh your project and record the grams lost. You also have to record the grams gained through purchases. It has been a motivator for sure, and I have had fun hooking up some quick, stash busting projects:
114 grams lost so far!
Finally, as if I didn't have enough crafty goodness to keep me happy, I have taken up knitting! I had learned the stitches before, but never made anything. I discovered a cross stitcher on Youtube, who is making knitting tutorials for beginners. We start off with knitted cowls worked in the round, and move our way to ribbed cowls; house slippers; socks; a pull over sweater and finally a cardigan.
So far I have to say I am not in love with knitting: I find it slow and I haven't really seen any projects I am gung-ho to make that I couldn't replicate in crochet. I keep going because I really want to make the socks: if those turn out to be a bust then I will retire my needles!
Here are the two cowls I have made so far:
(Charisma yarn in 'Mulberry Bush' colour way.)
(Charisma yarn in 'Chocolate Cupcake')
And with that, we have come to the end of another lengthy blog post! I have hopes to update here in tandem with my podcasts, roughly every two to three weeks, but I will just have to see how that will all work. I am still finding the right balance between the social media outlets I use, but I know I definitely do not want to walk away from this space.
Thank you all so much for dropping in: I really appreciate the time you take to do so.
I am anxious to get back to my projects so I will have lots to show you (again!) next time!