Recent Finishes

I’ve been trying hard to take slim down my list a little bit and finally finish off some of the long-timers. I think I have managed one a month so far, although I’m pretty sure I’ve added at least that many things to it but at least they are new projects.

I’ve been all over the place for a few months so haven’t had much time to write them up so here is a wrap up post of everything.

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In progress

The most recent finish is my beaded scarf. This was my first attempt at knitting with beads after seeing Laerke Bagger on Instagram and being hooked on the idea. I used a DK wool and size 8 seed beads. This was a pretty snug fit, and meant that all though the beads fitted on the wool, they didn’t slide along it, so I had to shuffle them along the wool manually. This took quite a long time. I put lots of beads on the wool at the beginning and then just pushed them up the wool leaving some behind in rough gaps. The scarf is just basic knitting with three beads per row, on one side only. I spaced the beads randomly and just mixed it up as I went along trying to make it look evenly placed but not still random. I’m pretty happy with how the beads look. It’s fairly narrow so I made it pretty long and it wraps round twice. When I do it again, I’ll use skinnier yarn and/or larger beads so they slide around. I really want to try more densely packing the beads and playing around with patterns in the beads, but that can wait for a little while (although I did start to buy larger beads already).

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Finished

My finish in September was some cards. I’m trying to get into the habit of making them a little more regularly, especially the embroidery ones as they are enjoyable to do and can be pretty gender neutral. I experimented with a whole range of new patterns this time and some have worked better than others. I really like the graphicness of the black on white one and the purple triangles and copper triangles are also one’s I’ll repeat. I’m less sure on the colour of the triangles in a circle and I think I went for too many sections but I might play with it again. I’m less fussed with the other two but they are fine and I’m sure they will be used.

 

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In progress

The other unblogged finish is my Ivy trails necklace. The pattern is from my beadandbutton magazine ( edition) and as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to make it. I think I bought the leaf beads the same week I saw the pattern. The pearls (swarovski) are from my stash and were bought with my store discount while I still worked at the bead shop. I then ordered the majority of the other components, so that it was a coherent piece. Its a stunning piece and pretty eye catching.

 

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In progress

While I was waiting for the beads for the Ivy trails necklace to arrive I made this necklace. The original pattern is from another beadandbutton magazine but because I only used bits from my stash, I had to modify it a little. Its a good colour match for my wardrobe so gets worn a fair bit.

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Finished

I’ve actually ticked off most of the easier long term projects but that just means I’ll have to make some headway into the others. Hopefully I’ll be back soon to tell you about the next one.

 

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November 2017

It’s getting cold here and the dark evenings are taking their toll. I’ve started taking my vitamin D otherwise I seize up. I’ve mostly been knitting this month (and starting things – shussh)

  1. Beaded handbag – I did a tiny bit while visiting my parents
  2. Quilt – no change
  3. Lip balm cozies – no change
  4. Heat packs – no change
  5. Beaded purse – no change
  6. Beaded case for business cards -no change
  7. Beaded scarf – made a good headway this month, hopefully I’ll finish it this month
  8. Purple blanket – I’ve done a bit but not much
  9. Epp – I started a new epp piece with diamonds and fussy cut snowdrops. Its going to look lovely but I have no idea why I’m doing it
  10. ATC – veryberryhandmade is running another artist traiding card swap and I’m taking part again. The theme is small things and I’ve gone for a fairly niche reference but I didn’t have any pointers from my partner so I’ve gone for it

My only finish this month is some cards. They are sewn ones I had prepped a couple of months ago but not got round to. Unfortunately I was a bit ill for a couple of days so didn’t do much and just sat on my sofa and slowly sewed.

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My feature image this month is from Prague, which was the last of my foreign travels for the year. I actually think my partner took this picture but it has some beautiful colours.

 

 

October 2017

Its definitely heading into autumn and winter here. Its been grey and wet for awhile although I’ve not needed to put the heating on just yet. I’m starting to think about Christmas making and have already started on winter accessories. Actually one thing I do need to crack on with is Christmas cards.

I’ve done a lot of knitting but not much else this month so I think I’ve actually added to the list rather than clear it up.

  1. Fringed Handbag – No change
  2. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  3. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  4. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  5. Lip balm cozies – No change
  6. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – No change
  7. A knitted scarf with beads – I’ve made reasonable progress on this one. It feels like knitting weather and I would like to be wearing it this side of Christmas.
  8. Sewn cards – I’ve drawn the patterns and punched the holes, so just need to do the sewing
  9. Purple blanket – I’ve taken the plunge and started trying to make this beast usable. I’ve actually changed tack and instead of adding borders to make a giant blanket, I’m going to frog it and knit a more sensible sized blanket. I’m attempting to knit it from the center out, so lets see what happens

 

I’ve only finished one thing this month but it is beautiful and I’ve worn it a couple of times.

  1. Ivy trails necklace
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I participated in a photo challenge on instagram this month (with mixed success) and this was the photo I used for the heading ‘pick me up’ 

I realised while writing this that the names I give these posts varies between the month gone and the month coming. thinking about it, I’m going to try and use the month coming as its a little more positive to think about the things I’m going to be working on rather than just what I have and haven’t finished.

My feature image this month is from Turin, where I spent a lovely weekend with my partner.

 

 

Cross Stitching with Friends

As I’ve talked about, I am taking part in a cross-stitch along with a couple of friends. I talked about how we selected a pattern (and the mistake I made) here, and talked about how I planned (or not) what I would do here and my progress at that point here.

This is how far I’d got at that point on the left:

Well I’ve finally finished (on the right).

I’ve made some substantial changes to the pattern. I’ve included more books, especially trilogies and collections. I added the cat, large pot plant, dream catcher, vase and air plant. I added these things to better fit the oldy worldy colour palette I’d chosen and lessen the sweetness of the original pattern.

I stitched the main sections of the books pretty quickly and enjoyed all the colour choices. I mostly used single colours but did experiment with blending threads especially for the clock, globe and frame of the painting.

I then took a bit of a break, before filling in all the details on the books. I actually found this bit much harder than I thought I would. I used one normal cotton thread and three sparkly ones. Some times I kept the colours of cotton and sparkle threads constant and others I used more contrast. I think I had more success with the mixtures that were more alike in colour.

Deciding what colour the details should be, was really hard. I think the books with darker details look best. In the end I’m happy with the overall look, even if there is a couple of books I’m not that keen on.

Some of the additional bits, I drafted on the blank space of the pattern using a pencil (the vase, cat and air plant). The dreamcatcher is based on the circle of the clock face. The pot plant comes from a different pattern.

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I wish my bookcase looked like this one

 

I’m the first of my friends to finish but having seen their progress so far, I’m excited to see what they end up with. I don’t have another on the go, but I have enjoyed the process. Now I need to figure out what else I could make other than just pictures, so that I can do some more.

 

August 2017

  1. Fringed Handbag – No change
  2. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  3. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  4. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  5. Lip balm cozies – No change
  6. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – No change
  7. A knitted scarf with beads – I used up all the first ball of wool and have got started on the second
  8. Ivy trails necklace – I did a little more

My partner has left to go travelling for a bit, so I had more weekends at home and alone this month than I’ve had for a while, hence having managed to get two finishes in this month.

  1. Fingerless gloves
  2. the wrong cross stitch

I’ll tell you about it soon but I haven’t got round to photographing it yet.

One other thing I wanted to tell you about was the feature images for my list articles. I started using my own pictures awhile ago, partly because I couldn’t find anything relevant for that month and partly because I was finding navigating copyright tricky and assigning ownership clearly an issue. My phone has a decent camera and its good practice to take some pictures with it. Im going to start updating you on the pictures as well (mostly because this month has a fab story).

The feature image was taken on cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador. August when I was there is supposed to be the dry season, I think it rained nearly every day we were in the highlands. We got told repeatedly that ‘it never rains in August’. When we went to cotopaxi, it snowed, enough to make the Ecuadorian news. So my feature image this month is of a sunshine colored flower in the unusual snow.

 

Surprise Finish – Tipless gloves

I was considering which one of the many things on my list I was going to finish this month, and decided on cracking on with my gloves. I had done quite a lot of work on them last month as I spent a fair few hours on trains and I find knitting on dpns is a pretty train friendly craft. I find knitting on normal needles needs more elbow room than a train seat normally provides, but with dpns I hold myself differently.

So on my trip home I managed to do the majority of the hand part of the glove, and when I went to pick them up the other day, I had much less to do than I had remembered, hence the surprise finish.

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Knitting these gloves has been an interesting journey. Its only my second time using dpns, and as with my socks I’ve not quite nailed keeping tension the same across the pair but they fit comfortably so it doesn’t matter too much. The pattern is Treads by Victoria Anne Baker and was a free download from Ravelry. I really wanted proper tipless gloves as I don’t like the inability to do things that comes with gloves but wanted something a little more complex (and warm) than just handwarmers. I used Cool Woo Big Melange by Lana Grossa, which is a gorgeously soft merino wool but as its quite loosely spun I had to be careful not to split it.

The pattern was very easy to follow, even the slightly complicated lateral braid (which is even harder in my tight tension). I really love the look  of the lateral braid and will definitely try and use it again.

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Doing the fingers was tricky. This was the only place I found the instructions a little tricky. It turns out a fourchette stitch isn’t a stitch method but the name of the stitches that sit between the fingers allowing you to move them sideways. You create them by casting on new stitches. It took me a bit of googling to figure this out but once I had it was easy to do. The tricky or fiddly bit was all the attaching the wool and weaving in ends. It takes ages. For the first glove I did it all at the end but on the second glove, I did it as I went along – a much better choice.

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So here we are another finish, which seeing as I’ve already been bookmarking cardigan patterns is probably a good thing, and it gives me a some time to put a few hours into other projects.

July 2017

This month has mostly been knitting. Unfortunately I’ve need the repetitive calming motion of knitting straight rows quite a bit this month, but at least it means my scarf is coming on nicely.

  1. Fingerless Gloves – I took this with me on some long train journeys so I’ve done quite a bit, just the fingers to go on the second glove
  2. Fringed Handbag – No change
  3. Bead Embroidery Purse -No change
  4. Learning Curve Sampler Quilt – No change
  5. Shoulder heat packs – No change
  6. Lip balm cozies – No change
  7. A peyote stitch beaded case for business cards – its now ~1/3 done
  8. A knitted scarf with beads – I used up all the beads I had added at the beginning so added more
  9. The right cross stitch – I haven’t touched this this month
  10. Ivy trails necklace – I’m about three quarters through

 

My only finish is my EPP panel, which I even managed to write up, so it’s not all bad. I have however finished some of the easier of the long term projects on the list, so lets see what I finish next. I’m hoping it will actually be shorter next month