Saturday, December 30, 2006

A look back

2006 was not a good stitching year for me. I didn't finish anything big. In fact, I hardly finished anything at all. I'm not going to count as I don't want to know how little I accomplised. I did work on some of my WIPs and made good progress on Sampler II. For 2007 I'm going to continue working on Strawberry Garden on Mondays and try my very best to keep up with Mystery X (starts Jan 1). The rest of the time I'll stitch on Sampler II until it's done and then move on to something else. I will also try to stitch an ornament a month. I hope I'll be able to finish something big. Sampler II and Titania at least (so I can finally have her and Adia framed and hanging on the wall).

This year I fared much better in knitting. All in all, I knitted 19 items. Four of those were gifts: mittens for my brother and DH, hat for my father and socks for DH.

What I really love and have worn a lot are these embossed leave socks,

this wrap cardigan,

these wrist warmers,

this bolero,

these fingerless mitts,

these socks

and, of course, this vest

I did also do a number of other craft projects, but those are too varied and numerous to get into. This bag is probably my very favourite and has been used a lot.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Something old and something new

I haven't been blogging lately, but I have been knitting and stitching. Just before Christmas, I finished an old WIP that for some reason has been abandoned to the depths of my stitching drawer for over a year, and it only needed two evenings of stitching to finish it! It's Mini Mystery H by Chatelaine. This now completes the set of the first four gemstones. I just need to finish it up into a bellpull and it can go join the three others on the wall :)

It's been a long time since I showed you a WIP pic of Sampler II. I'm still on part 5 (the over-one is quite time consuming) and this is what it looks like at the moment:

Since I was not home during Christmas and the lap stand isn't very portable, I started a new knitting project. I started Moonlight, from Rowan 34. I'm using the yarn specified, Rowanspun Aran, which I happened to find on eBay for a very cheap price :) I've gotten a lot done! That's the start of the first sleeve, the front pieces and the back are already done.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Gifts are done and wrapped, some already given to their recipients, all the baking is done... It's time to slow down, stitch and knit, listen to carols, watch funny movies, burn candles and enjoy good food... Today we're home, tomorrow we'll drive to be with my in-laws and on Christmas Day we'll go visit my parents.

With this picture of our this year's Christmas card, I wish you all a Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Beeswax candles

A while back, I bought beeswax and wick and today I took the plunge and made candles from it! And it was so nice. I love the smell of beeswax, love doing something that people have been doing for centuries... And I love listening to Christmas carols :) The only downside was having to clean up afterwards. I'm throwing away the jar I melted the wax in, put I would like to rescue the pot I used for dipping, buth aven't yet figured out how to get the beeswax off from the sides. (It's my craft pot, previously used for dyeing fabric, for example.) Nevertheless, I would be happyt to do it all again. Maybe this'll be a new Christmas/winter tradition? You can see some of the candles drying between dippings above.

And here they are, all ready to be used. The pot I used wasn't very deep, so the candles are quite short. And I didn't have that much wax, as I just got it to experiment with, so there aren't that many candles. In addition to these tapers, I also put a wick into a used yoghurt can and filled it with wax. It turned out well.
Now just to have the heart to burn them... I made them to be used, but I know myself and I tend to "save" the things I like by never using them. Although, I think lately that's changed a bit. At least, I've already used some of the jelly I made this autumn :)

Christine has received the small Christmas package I sent her. I stitched an ornament for her, but forgot to take a photo of it myself. You can see what it looks in her blog, where she very kindly has posted a picture.


If you want to join the Christmas Ornament SAL I mentioned in my previous post, you should email or get in contact with Nicki. SHe's the one organizing it.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

SAL update

“What are you working on?”
“The piece I always stitch on Mondays with Nicki.”
Silence. More silence. DH theatrically looks around the room.
“She’s not here.”
“She’s in New Zealand.”
“…and you’re stitching it with her??”
I explained SAL to him. And I also told him, I’d joined another SAL, the Christmas Ornament SAL.

After that he sat down next to me and asked me a bunch of really bizarre questions regarding stitching, so bizarre, that I’ll spare you from them. But, it was nice that he tried to have a conversation with me about stitching. Better luck next time :)


Monday, December 18, 2006

A new pair of socks

Just moved my blog to beta... I hope I can get this to work...

I mentioned I was knitting socks for my DH. Well, here they are. I finished them over the weekend. He chose the colors himself. He found them from my stash, and eventhough I did offer to go and buy more, he said he wanted me to use these. No wait... Now that I think about it.. maybe he didn't desire these particular colors so much after all. Maybe he just didn't want me to buy more yarn.

I showed him the blue-grey one and he said it needed something bright to go with it. He spotted the bright pink yarn (which is the same as in his mittens I did last winter) and went on to plan the composition. And then I knitted them. So they are the product of our joint efforts :)


Friday, December 15, 2006

About December

December isn't a good month for a craft blogger. I am , and I believe many others are, busy doing presents. Presents that I want to keep as a surprise and therefore cannot post about them in this blog. Also, because of doing so much "secret stuff", I seem to have no time for blogging at all!

I did stitch on the Strawberry Garden on Monday. You can see my progress here:

And to be honest, I have stitched on Sampler MII and knitted on DH's socks. And when we did all those gingerbread cookies, we also baked pieces for a gingerbread house. I put it together yesterday, while listening to Christmas Carols on the radio. I saw a pic of a similar birdhouse on a magazine and used it as my model for the pieces.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

December goals

We baked gingerbread biscuits on Saturday.

Although a good chunk of December is already behind us, I'm only now getting around to posting my monthly goals.

My November goals were:

Finish the knitted vest -done :)
Start to knit a pair of socks (at the moment I need these more than the hat) -done!
Stitch on part 5 of the Sampler Mystery -um.. well no, not during Nov, but I do have it on the scroll bars now
Stitch at least two Christmas ornaments -done, actually I did four ornaments in November
Sew a skirt (preferably two) -no, still. What's going on here?

For December my goals are:
Stitch on Strawberry Garden on Mondays
Stitch on Sampler Mystery II
Finish knitting the socks I started for DH )only half a sock to go)
Get all of the Christmas presents I've planned done.

About that little straw goat on one of the Christmas decorations pics. It is a very traditional Finnish Christmas ornament and they come in many sizes. But we can't take cradit for it, as it's originally from Sweden. I found this Wikipedia entry that explains its origin.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

SAL update

Here's what my Strawberry Garden looks like now. I didn't have as much stitching time as I had last Monday, but I did enjoy it just as much :) You can see Nicki's here.

Today is Finland's Independence Day. DH and I will celebrate it by having a nice meal here at home, watching the president's Ball on TV and eating all kinds of Christmassy treats. And of course, from six o'clock, we'll lit too candles and put them on a windowsill.
Happy Birthday, dear country :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

It's December

It's December already and last weekend I took out our Christmas decorations and set out to "make" Christmas.

It's Monday again and I'm happily stitching Strawberry Garden. I'll post a pic of my progress tomorrow :)