Finished Christmas Socks!

Finished christmas socks

I finished my christmas socks – I think one of them is inside out in the image above.

So now I am going to start knitting a pair of Smooth Operator socks using Fortissima Mexiko Cotton Stretch (in colour 59).

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Live Simply

Live Simply – Cross Stitch Progress

I have continued to work may way through my Craftsy class – I now know how to do the pin stitch on linen (brilliant – why didn’t I know that?)

Once I get going, I find this quite easy. I am thinking 32 count Belfast Linen might be my thing. I tried to buy more at Spotlight today, but I had to buy the whole 10m role – that’s $880 – so I said ‘no thanks’ to that and I will buy more from the Crewel Gobelin.

Second Christmas Sock

I am still knitting the second sock – I have reached the toe decreases.

I did a much better job on the gusset this time. I found this article on avoiding holes and it was fabulous (no holes!).

The yarn and the needles have both been great – yarn from passionedflower (on Etsy) and the needles are the new Addi ones.


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A New Year

Christmas Sock and Live Simply Cross Stitch Progress

It’s a new year! Happy New Year everyone. I don’t have any resolutions for this year (I never stick to them anyway), nor do I have any crafting goals (they don’t happen either), but I do have a word/theme – Simplify. I hope to finish a few things and not buy anything more (because I am finding my collection of yarn, fabric, embroidery supplies and books over-whelming and anxiety inducing).

I wanted to make a Christmas sock – I didn’t get the idea until a week before Christmas, so it was quite hard to find yarn (or yarn that had some chance of getting to me in time). I bought peppermint pie from passioned flower on Etsy. Great service and the yarn is beautiful – I will definitely be purchasing more for next Christmas (maybe in October?). I am just knitting a plain-vanilla sock – I contemplated attempting an after thought heel, but I wanted something easy that I could knit while sitting by the pool, watching TV etc.

You might notice in the above image that I am using Addi Crasy Trio needles – they’re fabulous. I don’t really like magic loop and when I use dpns I get ladders at the jump between needles, but these are brilliant.

I have also been working on my Live Simply cross stitch. This is the project from the Craftsy class. This is the first time I have used linen (32 count Belfast) and I love it. I prefer the way this looks to Aida. One thing I am struggling with is stitching path – I want to have as few jumps as possible (and I am not even that keen on weaving through the back of other threads to get to the next spot). It is a bit like the network Travelling Salesman Problem. Is there any technique or method I could use?

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Cross Stitch Adventures

The start of my Live Simply cross stitch

My supplies arrived from the Crewel Gobelin – great service, I will definitely use them again – so I have started working on the chart from my Craftsy course.

This is the first time I have worked on linen (32 count Belfast) and although I haven’t done much, I really like it. I am using a Gloriana silk (Bellagio) – so nice. So two firsts – linen and silk!

I am rail-roading and stitching in the hand. I am quite slow, but I am sure that with practice I will get faster and besides, for me, cross stitch is all about the journey and not the end point.

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A Crafting Update

Machine Embroidery Library Books

Anne Green Gables Sampler

My splint is off – I still have some tendon issues, but my hand is pretty much back to normal.

I am making my girls book bags (or project bags).  The machine embroidery designs are from Designs by Juju super easy to use – I used two sheets of light to medium weight tearaway stabiliser. There was a bit of puckering, which I made worse by interfacing and then steam ironing – oops!

I have Super Cute Paper Piecing by Charise Randell – beautiful book and it has instructions for making a zipper pouch and I used the instructions to make the bag (I love how the zip is inserted with the tabs at the end). At first I used my zipper foot, but found my quarter inch walking foot was much better (so that’s what I will use from now on).

And then I am crossing stitching again – I have been motivated by watching various floss tubes) – the second picture is my progress on my Anne of Green Gables sampler (I bought this on my ‘pilgrimage’ to Prince Edward Island).  In the black friday/cyber monday sale I bought a cross stitch class from Craftsy. I have watched the first two classes, but am now waiting on supplies (from here) so I can finish my homework. I have learnt some stuff already though – the loop method for starting, start in the upper left corner (I have always started in the middle), railroading to get the stitches to lie flat.


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Continental Knitting

My first attempt at continental knitting

My hand is still broken – although now I get to take my splint off from time to time and in two weeks it’s off for good!

I went to my knitting class the other day – here and my lovely teacher taught me how to knit continental. So good – now I do everything with my left hand. I need to practise more, but I feel so much better now I can knit again.

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My Injured Right Hand

I broke a metacarpal playing netball – on my right hand. As I am right handed, this means I am severely limited in what I can do. No knitting, embroidery, sewing, etc.

I can loom knit, but that is proving to be quite frustrating. I am making a square possibly a scarf if I get enthusiastic. I have started several times at first it was too dense and then it was too narrow. I am prepared to just stick with what I have now and look at it as a project for my mind rather than for a finished product.

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A Stash of One’s Own – Clara Parkes

A Stash of One’s Own – Clara Parkes

I like to read essays on knitting – I own several collections and am always keen to read more.

This is a series of designers and knitters (all the usual suspects) writing about what stash means to them.  Some are sad, some are funny and they are all easy to read. And if you have a particular stance on stash someone in this book will be on your side.

Here is the blurb …

This addictive-to-read anthology celebrates yarn—specifically, the knitter’s reputation for acquiring it in large quantities and storing it away in what’s lovingly referred to as a “stash.” Consider contributions from knitting and teaching luminaries, including:
BUST co-founder Debbie Stoller
Meg Swansen, daughter of master knitter Elizabeth Zimmermann
Knitting blogger and author Susan B. Anderson
alongside offerings from knitting greats Amy Herzog, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, and Franklin Habit—plus, stories from a romance novelist, an illustrator, a PhD-wielding feminist publisher, a globetrotting textile artist, a licensed clinical social worker, and the people behind the world’s largest collective online stash, The pieces range from comical to earnest, lighthearted to deeply philosophical as each seeks to answer the question of how the stash a knitter has accumulated over the years reflects his or her place in universe.
The stories in A Stash of One’s Own represent and provide validation for knitters’ wildly varying perspectives on yarn, from holding zero stash, to stash-busting, to stockpiling masses of it—and even including it in estate plans. These tales are for all fiber artists, spinners, dyers, crafters, crocheters, sheep farmers, shop owners, beginning knitters to yarn experts, and everyone who has ever loved a skein too hard to let it go.

If you are a knitter (or you need to buy a gift for a knitter), then this a great book.

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Sock Yarn Blanket

Blanket Progress

This is a fabulous project for when you want to knit, but don’t want to knit anything that requires too much focus – watching TV, etc. All I have to remember is to K2Tog either side of the marker on the right side rows. And I get to use all of the fabulous sock yarn I’ve bought over the years – it is my one weakness (as Dorcas Lane says in Larkrise to Candleford). I am just randomly selecting a ball and then knitting a square. Once I have made 13 squares (I have 13 balls), I will start again. My plan is to make a 16 by 16 blanket, so I have a long way to go.

I did just buy a set of Addi Sock Wonders, so I might have to make at least one more pair of socks – perhaps the Antirrhinum Socks from A Year of Techniques.

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Many Varied Projects

The Many Projects I Have on the Go

Like many of us I like several different crafts – knitting, embroidery (both hand and machine) and quilting – and I have decided I need a system. A way of rotating through them, so the less preferred projects do manage to get (eventually) finished.

Basically, I have split my projects into types – knitting, etc – and I try to do one type a day and then I move through the list of projects in that type. For example, in knitting I currently have my Hap for Harriet, my sock yarn blanket and Miss A’s meow mitts. So when it’s knitting’s turn I rotate through these three projects.

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