SAL update “Bag Ladies” #5

It’s time for our regular 3 weekly SAL update!  The first one of 2019.

I started stitching on “Bag Ladies” a couple of months ago, and my last update was

SAL BL 23 12 18

Since then I’ve been flitting here & there . . . gradually filling in bags, and making a start on two future cats.

SAM BL 13 01 19

As requested by Kate, I also added backstitch detail to the black & white cat . . . that mouse/hamster had better hurry up and hide.  I think at least one cat has spotted him!

Time to do some blog-hopping and see what other SAL members have been up to.  If I remember correctly, from last time, there will be a few ladies starting on brand new projects this time.  We welcome back Mary Margaret and also give a big warm welcome two new members:  Renne and Jenny.

Avis Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny

We’ll all be back on 3rd February, so hope to see you then!


what I’ve been up to since Xmas

I’ve been enjoying reading blog posts of everyone’s New Year resolutions.  Always happy to encourage and cheer crafters along, it’ll be interesting to see how people do (you know who you are!) as the year moves on.  Age has taught me that it’s pointless me making any resolutions as I never keep them.  Hence 2019 simply started as it will carry on: with me just picking up what I fancy, when I fancy.  There will no doubt be lots of starts this year, and hopefully, many finishes . . . but the plan is to enjoy what I’m doing and not set myself up to too many deadlines.  I suppose that in itself is a resolution? Please note, I say “not too many deadlines” – ha!  I’m not ruling out giving myself deadlines when there’s a very important & urgent special occasion on the agenda.

Anyway, since xmas, I haven’t done a huge amount of crafting.  There has been some patchworking (F2F blocks which I can’t reveal just yet);  a little xstitch and some crocheting.  My cardigan is awaiting the final stage of sewing together and knitting of button/button hole bands, but I’ve been having too much fun with my hook to even think about knitting.

monster WIP

This is my current crochet project.  Doesn’t look much at the moment as there are still quite a few small pieces to make (arms, legs & teeth for instance) but it is definitely taking shape already.  This will be a “Little Ella in her monster suit” (design by Little Aqua Girl) when finished, and is one of the many colourful projects published in “Amigurumi Monsters”.  The pattern is really well-written and crocheting keeps me quiet in the evening.

Other crafting going on here is


“Chicken Sampler” a kit by The Stitching Shed, which Avis gifted me this Christmas.  It’s a lovely, simple design which is very relaxing to work on (a bit of light relief from my SAL project)

chicken shed 01

It’s actually the choice of colours which makes this such a fun design, although I’ve already made a few changes along the way.  Anyway, almost 4 chooks stitched although mine don’t have eyes yet.  Another reason I love this kit (apart from the fact I’m stitching chooks) . . . The Stitching Shed is a small UK company, based in Morecambe, Lancashire.  A totally useless fact you didn’t know about me is:  I lived in Morecambe for a year during my student days!   I was a student at Lancaster University and during our second year, students had to find digs off campus.  So I lived in Morecambe for a year, with my friend Janet, in a little basement flat.   It was in the 80s, so decades before The Stitching Shed came into being but, seeing their postal address on the chart brought back some fun memories.

SAL Bag Ladies #4

I’ve been quite industrious on the cross stitch front over the past few weeks . . . which means quite a lot of progress to share with you on my SAL project.

Here’s where I was last time.

SAL BL 02 12 18

And now, 3 weeks later.

SAL BL 23 12 18

The bag on the right is finished, and we can see a second cat peeking out over the top.  I haven’t done anymore backstitch, as I was concentrating on half stitches to get more of the bags done, and full stitches for the second cat.

Time to do some blog-hopping and see what other SAL members have been stitching.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, HayleyMegan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare

And I invite you back on 13th January for our next update.

knitting, crochet & xstitch

After working away for several weeks  on secret xmas present making, I am pleased to say, I finished everything on my list – yay.  Not only that.  Those presents were wrapped, posted, and parcels have been received .  So a big sigh of relief there, that my handicrafts arrived safely.  Now to wait impatiently, until Christmas, for recipients to open gifts. I have since added a few more things to my “to do” list.  Suddenly coming up with several more ideas for family closer to home.  However, without postal delays to worry about, I can work at a more gentle pace for these last gifts.

In the meantime, following surgeon’s instructions to rest with both feet up, I’ve been crocheting, xstitching, and even managed some knitting. 

Crochet has been working on something very small.  If I taught myself to crochet a while back, it was partly because I was inspired by all the wonderful crafting by MojiMoji Designs and some of the free patterns Janine makes available on line. I therefore followed one of her free seasonal patterns, and crocheted up a couple of tiny Christmas trees.

tress x2

Here are the first two I made, in their natural state.  I’m busy crocheting up a few more, and will then do as Janine suggests, and decorate them with pretty beads. 

Cross stitch time has also been spent working on something small. 

xmas tags

This little set of robins was a free kit in a recent issue of Cross Stitch Crazy.  Each one didn’t take too long to make, and I loved the very quick finish idea, of simply sticking onto the printed tag cards which were supplied in the kit. 

And I also managed to make some progress with knitting. 

cardie progress dec

Here are all my bits so far: 2 sleeves (which insist on curling up whenever I try to lay them flat), one back and now a left front!  I’ve already cast on the right front but I’m not giving myself any deadlines for a finish. What I’m not looking forward to:  knitting the bands of ribbing, getting button holes lined up correctly and at regular intervals for buttons, and sewing all my bits together.  It will have to be done though!  I’ve already got yarn and pattern in for my next knitting project – a sweater for the husband.  And I won’t be starting that until I have a finished cardigan. 

SAL “Bag Ladies” #3

Another 3 weeks have flown by . . . and progress has been made on “Bag Ladies” which is the project I’m working on for the SAL.  Last time I showed you this photo

SAL BL 11 11 18

Today, I am proud to show you this

SAL BL 02 12 18

My first cat is finished (except for back stitch detail) and I’ve made quite a dent in the bag on the far right. 

Time to do some blog hopping and cheer other SAL members along.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare

And we’ll be back on 23rd December.

SAL update: Bag Ladies #2

Hello everyone!  It’s time to take photos and see how much progress was made on our SAL projects.  Hope you’ve all been busy?  I most certainly have.  Starting a new project is always very motivating, and I’ve been busy in the evenings, with a cat on my lap, with needle and thread.  Last time I showed you a first bag stitched.

SAL BL 21 10

For this time, I concentrated on working in four different colours, and covering as much fabric as possible.

SAL BL 11 11 18

So I have the beginnings of 2 new bags and all the black stitched for the first cat.  Eveything is somewhat beige & black for the moment but, by next time, I should have a finished cat to show you.

Time now to click on the following links, to see what other SAL members have been up to.

AvisGun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Tony, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare

And I’ll be back on 2nd December.

Russian dolls X2 (“Cross Stitch Crazy”)

I mentioned, a little while back, that I had renewed my subscription to a UK cross stitch magazine, after letting subs run out a few years ago.  The reason I let subs run out is because I was getting inundated with magazines piling up, and never having time to do any of the projects.  And the reason I renewed my subs . . . I missed the excitement of having a colourful magazine dropping through the door each month.  In previous years, I was signed up for Cross Stitcher magazine, and The World of Cross Stitching.  For this time around, I signed up for Cross Stitch Crazy (inspired by a freebie kit Carole sent me a while back, and which I stitched).

Anyway . . . cross stitch magazines are a little like fashion designers . . . they always have to be a few months ahead of seasonal themes, to give stitchers plenty of time to get things made.  In the November edition, there were several free gifts, one of them being a little kit to stitch up two xmas tree decorations.  I received this magazine in October, and decided it’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas, so, as an extra project, to stitch alongside the SAL, I began work.

russian dolls

Kit came with chart, aida,  plenty of threads, pink ribbon and pre-cut felt for finishing off.  I added a length of turquoise ribbon to one of the dolls just to be different.

russian dolls 2

I started hand-stitching the turquoise felt, doing blanket stitch all around the outer edge, but then decided it would be quicker, not to mention neater, if I did the final sewing by machine.  You can see, from this second photo, that I really love Russian dolls, and this is just part of my collection.   So, a fun little stitching project which gave me some light relief from my larger xstitch project.  In the December edition of Cross Stitch Crazy there was another Christmas themed kit . . . so I will have something else to show you very soon.