Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Christmas Dreams - page finish

I finished another page of Christmas Dreams today.  This is my ninth page, and I do think this page was the quickest to stitch - it took me just one week.   I enjoyed stitching Santa's hair/beard and his red coat.  So, this is how Christmas Dreams looks tonight:


I also made another little crochet hat for my little great-niece, using a partial ball of super chunky wool I found in my wool bag. The wool came in a bulk lot, from a garage sale, some time ago.  Once again I didn't have a pattern, and just stitched it 'by feel'.  It worked up so quickly I was surprised.  I was watching a movie when I started, and I finished stitching just as the movie finished. When I finished off the last stitch I sawe that I had used all but about 30cm (12") of the wool, so I think it was meant to be.  I made a white rose to brighten up the hat, and found an old button to finish off the flower.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - July post

Here we are again - it's time for the Gifted Gorgeousness Report, once again.  This month I finally started working again on my HAED Christmas Dreams (chart, fabric & most of the floss bought with gifted money), I made five Christmas ornaments to give as Christmas gifts, and I got my crochet hook out again, to make two beanies for a friend's birthday, and another poncho and hat for my great-niece.

Christmas dreams had been relegated to the craft room since the end of April following a death in the family.  I moved it back downstairs to my stitching chair in early July, and I am very happy to say that I have now completed my eighth page, and hope to have the ninth one finished by the end of July.  Here's where I was in April:

And now:
Big excitement - Santa's ear has appeared!

My ornaments:
Fronts

Backs


Crocheted poncho and hat (modelled by Annabelle):

And my crochet beanies:



So, a very mixed bag this month! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Crochet and more crochet

I do have the crochet bug at present.  It is so very many years since I did any serious crochet, but I just can't seem to get enough of it right now!  I had forgotten how rewarding crochet is.  I love watching my projects grow so quickly.  Another bonus is how easy it is to unpick unwanted rows or add a few extra.  This came in handy with the pink/purple poncho I made for my great-niece recently.  As you can clearly see, it looked as though Annabelle had borrowed her big sister's poncho.

So, I unpicked the neck edging and added some extra rows, to bring the poncho further up onto Annabelle's shoulders.  I made an opening at the back so it would still easily fit over Annabelle's head, and I moved the flower up a little.

I was so pleased with my efforts that I decided to crochet another poncho and cap for Annabelle.  This time I used a twisted double-treble (twisted treble for US readers) stitch for the body of the poncho and cap. I made this one shorter at front and back.so it is more like a little cape than a poncho.  Because I like making flowers, I added a rose to this set too.



A friend whose long hair is usually worn up in a bun complained that she couldn't find a beanie that was large enough to fit comfortably and come down over her ears.  So I decided to make one for her, in her choice of black wool.  I found a pattern on-line by Yarnspirations.com, called Stay Stylish Crochet Beanie that looked promising.  After a little trial and error and several fittings) I made a beanie that fitted my friend very well, and she is very happy with it.  I had to make a few changes to the pattern - adding extra rows to both the body and the band.  I also added a crab stitch edging and a flower.  I would have had a different coloured flower and possibly a contrasting rather than matching band had I been making this for myself, but my friend wears predominantly black, and black is what she wanted.  Here is the finished beanie with band turned up all round (my friend will turn it up at front only when wearing it).

I have promised my friend another beanie once she decides on a colour, and I may make one for myself.  And I have a yen to make a little summer dress for Annabelle's birthday in September - so I'm not putting my crochet hooks away quite yet.  However, I have no current crochet project, so I have retrieved Christmas Dreams from the craft room and set it up by my stitching chair.  I have made a start on page 8 (which is actually page 13, since I am stitching it sideways) and hope to finish this page before the end of this month.  Here's where I am tonight.

And that's all from me tonight.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Five Little Finishes - & Smalls Report for June

The year is half gone, and I am pleased to see that I am more than half-way through my 2016 Stitching List. I'm focusing on the positives, because this has not been a good stitching month for me. I had not a lot of time available for stitching, because of an assortment of circumstances including my rheumatoid arthritis playing up, a very bad chest infection that lingered for much longer than I would have thought possible, and a trip away in the van that overlapped the chest infection - not my best decision!  Anyway, that's all in the past now, and I'm planning to knuckle down and be more productive in July.

I did manage to stitch and finish up five Christmas ornaments.  Two more initial Santas (adapted from LA's Alphabets Galore booklet) - for two much loved four-legged family members (if you have good eyesight and a flexible imagination, you might see beaded bones on the back of the ornaments).




Another "Memories Keep Christmas In Our Hearts" ornament (adapted from the design in 2015 JCS Ornament Issue) for a special friend and her husband.



Baby's First Christmas ornament for a new honorary great-niece (born yesterday).  The teddy is a freebie from the DMC site - I changed all the colours.




And a Christmas ornament for the granddaughter of an old friend.  This little Annabelle lives in New Zealand.  The stocking design is an old favourite, adapted from a chart in LA's Christmas Caboodle leaflet - I changed the size, colour, & pattern of the stocking, parts of the doll's design, and the rest of the stocking contents.


So, that's it for June.  I'm hoping July will be a more productive stitching month.  Though I have to admit I have a want to do some crochet, and it's likely I'll give in to the impulse, so my stitching may have to wait a little longer.

Monday, June 6, 2016

GG Report for June (very early - I'll be outback without computer access on 15th)

As well as being early, this is also gong to be a short report.

I made this crochet poncho and hat for my great-niece Annabelle - isn't she a cutie!  She is 9 months old. I didn't have a pattern and guessed at the size, so I was quite happy with the result.   think she will grow into the outfit by the end of winter, but her Mum says it is just right for her. She wore it today to her library group.

 

Annabelle is obviously a hat baby - I'm going to have to get that crochet hook out again and make her some more hats!

I also finished some more Christmas ornaments, all destined to be Christmas gifts this year.

Fronts
 'Memories' adapted from JCS 2015 Christmas Ornament issue design, 
Santa teddy adapted from a Dale Burdett design, 
Santa initial adapted from LA Alphabets Galore Santa Alphabet

Backs

Fronts
adapted from LA's Alphabet Galore Santa Alphabet

Backs

I'll be away from the computer till the end of June, so I will be delayed in viewing all the June posts - but I will be there as soon as I get computer access again! If you are wondering about Christmas Dreams - I'm afraid no progress to report.  I will be starting back on it in July.

Friday, June 3, 2016

My first ever crochet cap

I made this little hat to match the poncho I made for my great-niece.   The colour is best in the top pic. I didn't have a pattern, so I just went let the crochet hook lead the way.  It took me about three hours - and that did include some pulling out and restitching time.  I used two strands of the 8 ply wool, as one strand didn't seem firm enough. Of course, it would have been sensible to get some measurements from Annabelle's mum before I started working on it - hindsight is a wonderful thing! I do hope it fits. Though if it doesn't, it's no problem to pull it out and start again - that's the real beauty of crochet!










Thursday, June 2, 2016

A crochet break


I made this for my newest great-niece, Annabelle Grace, who is 9 months old.  She had a very difficult start to life, and spent her first 3 months in Neonatal Intensive Care while surgeons repaired the gastroschisis with which she was born.  (Gastroschisis is a birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall. The baby's intestines stick outside of the baby's body, through a hole beside the belly button. The hole can be small or large and sometimes other organs, such as the stomach and liver, can also stick outside of the baby's body.) She is a most delightful baby, very active and bright, and a real little heart-tugger,  Her parents have been through so much with her, and I really feel for them.  So when I saw a really pretty soft 8 ply wool in the colours that suit Annabelle so well, I was inspired to crochet something for her.  I decided on a poncho.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a pattern for one, so I trawled the internet looking at pictures, and then just sat and crocheted. I am hoping I guessed at the right sizing!

My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 17. I took to it like a duck to water. For the next 30 years, apart from meal-times and when at work, I rarely sat in a chair without a crochet hook in my hand.  I learned to crochet using fine Milward cotton (60 and 40 were my regulars), and made many a cheval set, doily, table runner and the like - all given away as gifts. Then in the 1970s I started working with wool.  I stitched away on baby layettes, baby shawls, toddler dresses, children's woollies, afghans and anything else that took my fancy - again, mostly given as gifts.  I did make myself a granny-square jacket in browns and creams, and a long coat that I loved and wore for years. And then when I turned 40, I found cross stitch.  And that pretty much took over.  I have made a few little crocheted lavender sachets over the years, but I rarely picked up my hook.  So I was amazed at just how happy I felt with wool and a crochet hook in my hand!  This little poncho took just 100gm (less than 4 ounces) of 8 ply wool, and took me just 2 days to stitch.  It would have taken less time had I not unpulled it twice to change the design. And it cost me under $4 to make - the wool was a half-price special.

I have decided to go back tomorrow and get more wool to make a matching hat for Annabelle. It's a shame the sale is over, but that will teach me to buy more than I think I need next time! In my internet searching I found free charts lovely little toddler dresses and matching hats - I think Annabelle may be getting a set or two for Christmas this year.