A Seasonal Finish

When I last posted, I was optimistic–about my ability to finish projects & my dedication to regular blogging. Ha to both!

Well, mostly. I’ll post about the knitting…hiccups…at another time, but for now I wanted to share the entirely seasonal cross-stitch I DID manage to finish on time!

Cross Stitch Merry Christmas Santa with Cat and Mouse

Although this Santa isn’t quite as colorful as the first two I made, I do find the little mouse adorable–I even saved him for last. This marks the end of the cross-stitch kits–just in time to hang the trio of Santas up on the kitchen coat rack (an entirely spontaneous location that works really well). Now…what to make next?

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Of Productivity and Completions

Yesterday was an unusually productive day. Unusual not just because I typically treat Sundays more of a day to relax than a day to get things done, but because I accomplished more than I often do on any individual day off. I wish I actually was this productive more often. I think it’s due to the fact that yesterday I actually had specific plans/goals rather than the more generic “I need to get things done” that usually rules my life. But I did some blog reading, some blog writing, baked some breakfast bread, read, and blocked a shawl. I didn’t really get around to looking through Ravelry for ideas for my next project. My les Abeilles is almost finished, and I’m guessing that I could have my mom’s Monkeybread Hat done in short order if I put my mind to it. And then…nothing on my knitting needles! (Although, paging down through recent posts, I’m reminded that I did have it in the back of my mind to return to the Lerwick Lace Shawl…hmm…a good possibility, but I think I’d like something else for knit night…)

I’m almost down to nothing on the cross stitch needle as well. One of my goals for the year was to finish out, finally, the various Christmas kits I’ve had around and been working on off-and-on for years. And thanks to the need for some mindless projects last winter/spring and for not-so-warm projects during the summer month, I’m down to one kit left. It looks like I’ve not yet presented the recently completed projects here, though.

Cross stictch snowman on navy aida - finished

This first is the bigger accomplishment – although the physical size of the snowman is not very big, all things considered, there are many details and shadings in the pattern. The trickiest part was the use of blending filament–those fine strands often want to fly away. The most frustrating part happened when I began the backstiching to outline the characters, specifically in the dark brown. It was only then that I realized how inferior the embroidery floss included with the kit actually is–it kept breaking as I was stitching. I finally gave up on the dark brown included in the kit and substituted something similar from my own stash of floss. Otherwise, I enjoyed the stitching but am very happy to have it done. Now I just need to frame it up in time for the holidays!

Santa Ornament - Nice List

This Santa was much quicker – and oh so cheerful! He’s the second I’ve finished in a group of three; the third is the last kit I have left–and is already about half-way finished. I should have a nice little trio of Santas ready to hang out together decorating a shelf edge or some such come Christmas! (Which somehow seems wrong–I’m never this prepared for the holidays!)

In Search of the Next Thing

I had this dreadful thought yesterday – I have no idea what the “next” project is going to be!

Now, based on my recent project completion rate, and that I’m currently in the middle of two knitting projects, plus the miscellany, you mightn’t think this would be a problem. However. It has the potential.

Despite my absence around here of late (how is it mid-September? – I’m quite sure it must be only July!) I have been working on things. And, more to the point of my next-project panic, I’ve actually started (well, okay, just once so far, but I have plans) to go to a Wednesday night knitting group. Which means I must have knitting for Wednesdays!

This week–and until it’s finished, but once I conquer the problem of the too-tight cast-on, it will fly–the knitting will be the monkey bread hat for my mom. I’ve started and ripped out twice, plagued not by gauge so much as the cast on. Well, the first attempt was also slightly too small of gauge, but the second attempt would have been perfect (I went up one needle size), but the cast-on was tighter than the ribbed brim. All these years of knitting too loose, and now I can’t manage a cast-on!

les Abeilles in progress

The other knitting still in process is my Les Abeilles. Also attempt two. I had a moment of panic this week, where it seemed that it was still too small, even though I had gone up a needle size. But the lace edging measures the correct depth, and I did a quick gauge “square” in the middle of my knitting and I’m dead on, so it may just be my mind playing tricks on me. Regardless, I decided that whatever size it comes out I will use, so full steam ahead. The blocking will tell in the end.

But as far as actual on-the-needles knitting, that’s it. And no plans for what’s ahead. It looks like I may have to spend some quality time with my Ravelry “favorites” this week. (I don’t really keep a “queue” as I did for a while and it became both ridiculous and inaccurate.) And maybe a stash dive. That usually proves inspirational!

Some Christmas Crafting

I didn’t mean to let two weeks get away from me there, but…nope, can’t blame work, can’t blame the Thanksgiving holiday–I have to blame the library book! That’s okay, I’m always happy when a book is so enjoyable it overtakes my free time. But now back on track.

The knitting has been slow lately. We had a sharp cold spell + early heavyish snow (for not being in a lake-effect zone) that reminded me that I need to finish up a scarf/cowl thing I’ve been working on forever. However, that’s all I managed to do with it–remember. I keep poking away at my les Abeilles, but it’s really been the non-knitting that’s calling to me.

SnowmanCrossStitch

I’ve had this cross-stitch snowman in progress for years. (In fact it was part of my 2013 goals to finish. Fail. Also, the 2013 picture was better.) Finally, I find myself picking it up as my current go-to. So this little snowman’s to blame for the current knitting stall. It’s been the perfect companion for the continuing ed I’ve had to finish up by the end of the year. And for TV watching. I finally feel like I’ve made some real progress and maybe I might actually finish–well not this year, but maybe in 2015. I do need that scarf though.

And then there’s the super-fun, super-easy project I did on Friday.

SnowJars

Just some empty jars, add some Epsom salt for snow and some trees and mini gifts from the local craft store. I think I spent more time in line at the store than it took to put them together! The idea isn’t mine; I saw it HERE by way of one of the book blogs I read (pity I didn’t have nice antique jars like hers to use). Now I feel like I just need a Rudolph and the scene’s complete. I don’t usually do much specifically for Christmas, but these were too fun and easy to pass up. And uh-oh, I have one other project for the holidays that I might try to get to. I won’t actually need that scarf soon will I?