Tonight I found myself wanting something really simple to work on craft wise so I grabbed the tote that contains my much neglected corner to corner (c2c) blanket out of the cupboard and quickly settled back into the rhythm of it.
This is the perfect sort of project for occupying my hands without taxing my brain. I’m tired tonight, so tired after an information heavy first week in my job, so I needed some quiet TV time. The c2c blanket is so ideal, it’s mainly triple crochet stitches (UK terms) with some chain stitches and slip stitches here and there. I find triple crochet the easiest to work, once I get into the swing of them again they’re almost hypnotic.
This blanket is neglected mainly because it’s for me and so there’s no deadline for it to be done by. It’s going to be for curling up under on cold evenings, a TV and reading blanket, so it won’t end up being too big so shouldn’t take all that long to make. Or it won’t if I don’t get distracted by another dozen projects in the meantime!
100 days. 100 squares. 10,000 stitches.
Today marks the 100th and final day of the 100 Days Project. My finished cross stitch project now looks like this:
I’ve enjoyed this project so much and I’m so pleased with the end result. I can’t wait to get it ironed and mounted in the frame I have ready and waiting. I think it’s going to be strange tomorrow to get home from work and not be thinking about a new design! I’ve got plenty of other cross stitching to get on with but I’m going to miss the simplicity and creativity of this piece.
Today is the day where I finally get to talk about the secret knitting project I’ve been mentioning off and on for the last few months. It was secret because it was a gift, it’s now been given and so I can blog about it and share a couple of photos.
At Christmas one of my oldest friends shared the news that she and her lovely boyfriend were expecting a baby. I was so excited for them and couldn’t wait to get making something for their forthcoming arrival. In recent years I’ve made blankets for all new arrivals and so this baby would receive no different. I decided I wanted to knit rather than crochet and felt in the mood for a new design (in the past I’ve knitted feather and fan blankets). It was the perfect excuse for spending some quality time on Pinterest, I’ve now got a board with more baby blanket ideas than I’m likely to ever need (and I still keep adding to it).
I chose a pattern that used stripes of colour done in stocking stitch with the colour change row done as a row of knit 1 purl 1 rib to give a nice effect. After much thought I picked five colours that coordinated well and would be suitable for a summer baby. I also decided that I wanted a single colour border so decided I would knit one on at the end – after all, what’s a big project if you’re not doing at least one thing for the first time.
The final result looked like this:
I’m really happy with how it turned out. The main body of the blanket in particular gave me much joy as it took shape – I’d initially planned on horizontal straps but realised that this would end up being very big so turned them round and made them vertical stripes and was very happy with the end result. I didn’t work to any fixed pattern for the stripes other than choosing to make it symmetrical. All of the colour blocks are a multiple of four rows, I just went on instinct to decide when to switch.
The border wasn’t anywhere near as challenging as I’d expected it to be. I put off knitting it for a few weeks before I finally made myself make a start on it. I was happy with the overall look of the finished border, but it didn’t work quite as well as I wanted it to structure wise. I don’t think I’d be in a rush to do another border like this.
The blanket has been well received, which is the most important thing, and receiving a photo of its tiny owner asleep underneath made my day. As far as I’m aware there won’t be any more blankets to knit for a little while, in the meantime I can just keep pinning new ideas to that board!
After casting off my secret knitting project last weekend I intended to have a bit of time away from knitting. As I mentioned a couple of days ago I’ve got lots of cross stitching queued up, and I have a couple of crochet projects that are entirely neglected (but have no set completion deadline) that I could pick up if I wanted some yarn time.
If you’ve been reading my crafty posts for any time you probably already know the way this one is going. Yes, tonight I cast on a new knitting project. I’d got the best of intentions and then I saw a Facebook post by Love Knitting which showed off someone’s project. I clicked through and found that the pattern was sold by them, the Baby Angel top, and without much further thought I was purchasing it and raiding my yarn stash for something suitable.
The pattern has two versions, a plain one and a lacy one, and can be made in three sizes (0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 years). I’m making the largest size lacy version and using Stylecraft Special DK in Plum. The construction of it is really clever, rather than working top to bottom (or vice versa) you are knitting side to side – your cast on edge is the edge of the left hand button band and your cast off the edge of the right hand button band. Short row shaping is adding shape, and the sleeves are little cap sleeves that are knit within the overall piece so that there are no seams and there’s no sewing up to do.
It’s not big enough yet for any progress photos. I took a couple but the detail isn’t showing up yet. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for them before it’s done though I’m sure.
I’ve been cross stitching pretty flat out for the last couple of days. I’m only working on a small project – it’ll be a card when it’s finished – but there’s plenty of detail. There’s a whole section that uses two similar shades of a colour to add depth, quite a lot of half cross stitches which always slow the pace down (and make me think I really need to switch to evenweave fabric which will make them so much easier to work).
It’s been nice even if it’s been slow going. I’ve watched lots of my favourite TV and properly chilled out while sewing. It’s made me reflect a bit on my 100 Days project, it’s been such a fun project but at the same time I’m now very much at the stage I’m looking forward to reaching the end of it and having the extra time each day to work on other projects. I’m a couple of months behind on my Geeky Stitching Club kits and have my year long stitch-a-long still to even start (it’s taken until now to get all the materials sorted out for it).
It would be very silly in the face of this to be planning another long term project wouldn’t it… It’d certainly be ill advised to be planning a year long daily project… Well, watch this space!
I’ve realised something today. I really, really don’t like finishing big craft projects. Now don’t get me wrong, I love them when they’re finished, love the sense of achievement that comes from completing something I’ve been working on for ages, but actually making myself finish that very last stage? Far from my favourite thing.
I realised this because I’m within an hour of finishing the secret knitting project I’ve been working on for the last few months on and off. I’m at the stage of casting it off, there are approximately 200 stitches left to cast off (I’ve already done about 500) and I’m finding every last thing I can find to do instead of them. It’s not even like I don’t have a huge list of exciting other projects to be getting on with once this one is done, I do.
It’s not the first time this has happened, the last few big projects have all ground to a near halt at their very final stage. The best I can guess is that I’m so used to working on them that I find it hard to make myself move on from them? I don’t know. At least this secret project is a gift which means I’ve got an actual deadline that it has to be finished by – there’s no way I can actually drag this out much longer.
Today I reached the next self-imposed milestone on my 100 Days of Cross Stitch project, the three quarter point. It’s now been 75 days of stitching 10 x 10 stitch squares, the project currently looks like this:
It is definitely starting to get a little trickier to come up with unique ideas, there have been a few days where my first idea has had to be scrapped because I’ve already done a version of it. I’ve kept a few of my earliest ideas back for this tail end of the project – I didn’t want the last couple of rows to be entirely filled with boring, uninspired squares.
I thought I’d share something slightly different from my crafting today and focus on one of my ongoing projects rather than a completed one. I’ve resisted doing this before mainly because cross stitch projects in progress have a tendency to look very crumpled – I use a wooden embroidery hoop for my projects so there are lots of hoop marks and other creases from gathering the fabric while I sew.
I picked this project back up tonight for the first time in weeks though and thought it might be good to share it at this stage in an effort to keep me on track with it and get it finished sooner rather than later.
It’s a little over half finished I would think, as well as completing the rest of the oval of cakes there are quite a few individual stitches to go back and do (each rectangular frame has a single contrast colour stitch in each corner for instance) and the back stitched words to go in the labels etc.
When it’s finished it will go in and oval embroidery hoop which will be a first for me. The project as a whole is fun and colourful to sew even if at this stage I’m not sure what I’ll do with the finished piece as it’s probably not something I’d put up myself.
I’ve got 28 more days on my 100 Days of Cross Stitch so I’m aiming to finish this in that time frame too.
I was planning to write a post today about having had a successful sewing afternoon yesterday. I can’t though, it was a complete and utter disaster. It was so much of a disaster that after twenty minutes of painstaking unpicking of tiny stitches I gave up and binned my little project. What was I going to write about instead? I found myself wondering, before realising that I was still going to write about my sewing afternoon. I’m happy enough to talk about all my successful projects so it seems only fair and balanced to acknowledge the disasters too.
I was planning to make some dribble bibs for a friend’s soon to be born baby. Cotton print on one side and terry towelling on the other. So what went wrong? Pretty much everything. It started well enough, I used out my new rotary blade to cut the fabric and fell instantly in love with how easy it was to cut everything out. The first stage of sewing went okay, but not brilliantly, and then it just kept getting worse. It made me so glad I’d decided on a practice run using a cheap cotton I’d had in my stash ages rather than one of the lovely fabrics I’ve bought for this project.
I came to the conclusion that the terry towelling I have is the wrong absorbent layer all together – it’s too thick, the loops are too big (trying to unpick anything from the towelling side of the fabric is virtually impossible), and it’s far too quick to shed white fluff everywhere. If I’m entirely honest the shedding of the fabric would have been enough to make me reconsider using it – I described it as being the glitter of the fabric world, and in my books anything glitter like is a very bad thing.
I’m off to the fabric shop to buy a different backing fabric. I will definitely be looking for something nice and soft, and absorbent, but something that doesn’t make my table look like Queen Elsa’s been for a visit. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to write another post about my successful bib making!
First thing this morning I realised I needed to make a card for some family friends who were celebrating their first wedding anniversary today. I knew it needed to be something that was quick to make, but something that was also pretty special so decided to revisit a card I’d made for my BFF’s wedding a couple of years ago and make something similar.
I quickly gathered everything I needed – card blanks, embroidery silks in the wedding colours, a heart template, hammer and nail (plus scrap wood to protect my work surface) and got to work. Within an hour I had this end result.
I’m so happy with how this version of the card worked, and I’ve heard back that the couple loved it too.