Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Knitting Lion?

It's been so lovely catching up with everyone's blogs over the past couple of days. I haven't managed to leave a comment on every single post, but I have tried to leave a note on the most recent one. Thank you all so much for your encouraging comments on my last post. I have been replying by posting on the commentator's blog, but is this the best way to do it do you think? I would love to hear what you think about replying to comments and how it should be done.

I received an email a couple of days ago from the lovely Catherine letting me know that her Birthday Stitch Surprise Parcel had arrived safely. I'm so pleased that Catherine loved her gift. Here's what I sent . . .

A card, a cut of floral fabric, a length of lace, a Lil' Britters chart, a pack of needles and a card :)
Emma is next on the list, I've already started collecting bits and pieces :)

And so to the title of this post. I have wanted to learn to knit for a long time. My grandmother tried, but I needed more practise than the one afternoon we had. My needles languished in a bottom drawer, but thanks to The Big Tidy, I've found them and a big small of gorgeous blue wool.
The thing is, I don't know how to knit. So, I went to my local WH Smiths and bought a knitting magazine. 

At £4.99 ($8.09), it was pretty steep for a magazine and a real treat for a student like me. But it came with a separate magazine filled with simple projects like hats, egg cosies and scarves. Perfect for this novice knitter!
I was hoping there would be instructions at the back about the basics of knitting. There was a two page spread about casting on, knit stitch and purl stitch - and that was it! Nothing about how to add different colours or the different types of wool. I was quite disappointed that this magazine didn't really help beginners.
However, I will not be deterred. I taught myself to cross stitch and I can jolly well teach myself to knit. I'm going to search on youtube for tutorial videos on knitting. I'm also going to look on the websites of the knitting magazines to see if they have a beginner's section on there. I really would love to learn this craft.
I have one big question for any experienced knitters out there. How much freedom do you have with knitting? Do you have to have the right wool and the right needles or the project won't turn out right? With cross stitch, I know I can mix up the colours and the fabric and it will still look pretty good. Is that the same with knitting, or is it more a stick to the book craft? Any help would be very much appreciated :)

That's all for today, I hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend,

Friday, 27 April 2012

My Very Own BAP

I spoke sneakily of hidden treasure at the end of my last post. Well, I found a project that I thought had long gone. This was the first kit I ever bought when I first started cross stitching. It's a beautiful farmhouse scene, with all the farm animals surrounding it. I bought it from Hobbycraft with some Christmas money I'd saved specially and brought it home.

 It was much too big for a beginner like me. I made the ultimate error by starting in the corner, not measuring out the middle.
I struggled through it, making big pens lines all over the original chart - oh how little I knew!

When I realised just how messed up it was, I vowed to start it again properly. I bought new fabric (14 ct aida!) and spent an age putting all the thread colours onto an organiser. 

But then it vanished to the bottom drawer of my craft tower, buried by other charts and numerous threads. It  surfaced yesterday and I was so full of ambition that I decided to start it there and then!
Here's where I'm up to so far . . .

This really is the biggest project I've ever attempted. But it's stitched on aida and I've got all the thread colours sorted, so it shouldn't be too difficult. I would love to get this finished and framed this year. I would love to have this design hanging in my own kitchen in my own house one day :)

Do you have any large projects that you just can't seem to finish? I'd love to hear about them :)

Best wishes,

PS It's like feast or famine here isn't it?! No posts for weeks and then two in two days :) And I've got more planned soon too!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Big Tidy

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my last post! It really puts a big smile on my face when people take the time to write such wonderful things. I really do appreciate it, thank you so much :)

My mum and sister visited me in Winchester today and we had a ball. Mum treated us both to lunch at Ask Italian and we bought cakes from the bakers too. I didn't buy much round the shops, just a couple of soup spoons, how glamorous!
Mum dropped off my craft tower before we headed into town. I really disliked having my craft stuff in two places, never having what I needed in the right place. My mountain of craft junk was getting out of control. Just to give you an idea . . .

Yeah, not good.
BUT half an hour later and a bin nearby, I managed to sort everything out into this arrangement of loveliness . . .

Is it me, or is everything better when it's a bit more organised? :)

Come back soon to see what treasure I discovered in the depths of my crafty cavern!
Best wishes to all,

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

April Update

You wouldn't have thought the holidays would be such a busy time, but it has for me. So many things have kept me away from the blogging world and I hope I can say now that I'm back properly.
I even got behind with my Birthday Stitch Surprise deadlines. Thankfully, Catherine was very understanding and so kind. I really hope she enjoys her parcel!
Stitching has been a real comfort to me recently, as I know it is for so many stitchers. It was the anniversary of my grandmother's passing and that's always a difficult time. The time I spent at home was twinged with sadness, but I did have a lovely weekend in the company of my family. I also had to sort through my room in preparation for The Big Move. I unearthed some stitching goodies that I'd forgotten about, so that put a smile on my face.  I'm back at Winchester now and revelling in my independence. I don't have any formal lessons for another couple of weeks but I'm still managing to find plenty of work to do!
Here's my stitching update. I managed to get Blastoise finished! I want to finish him in the exact same way I finished Charizard, we'll see how that goes.

I was itching to start a new project as soon as the final stitches in Blastoise were put in place. A dive into my stash brought out this lovely Heart in Hand design, Autumn Bird. I've already completed Christmas Bird, and I think I have one more lurking about somewhere. Here's where I'm up to so far . . .

I'm using a couple of WDW threads in this design, namely Sweet Potato for the pumpkin. It's just the perfect colour!

And in other news, I retrieved my wicker basket from home and decided to bring it back to Winchester with me. It's going to house the cross stitch pieces I finally get round to finishing properly. Also in the picture is the plague I got from Portobello market recently. I love the retro design.

I hope you are all well. I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone's blogs and see what has been stitching :)
Best wishes,

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Friday, 6 April 2012

Blastoise is growing . . .

Hi everyone! Easter break is here! I've got four whole weeks free from Uni and I've actually finished all of my Creative Writing assessments for this year. Now all I've got left is a short Drama performance and a Drama presentation, then my first year at Uni is complete. I can't believe how quickly it has zoomed by. I'm sure we were celebrating Christmas last week?
I'm off home at the weekend to celebrate Easter with my family, but first I'm enjoying a blissful day to myself. I love free days where you get to relax and do all the things you enjoy. I'm baking more bread later on today, I'll let you know how that goes.
Onto today's stitching, I am loving my new start! Blastoise is coming along really well, you can just see the makings of a leg and an arm . . .

In reply to Catherine's question, I found loads of Pokemon patterns on the internet on this site. They are just normal PDF patterns that you can save to your computer. I hope this was helpful Catherine!

So yes, I'm enjoying a lovely chunk of "me time" before heading home to see lots of family members. I'm also having dinner with Lawrence and his family too. I can't wait!

Happy Easter my friends!

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Monday, 2 April 2012

Ich Liebe Pokemon!

I've been shown a lot of love for my blog lately! Thank you so much to Lesli, Holly and The Inspired Stitcher for all gifting me with this award. 
I feel that it would be unfair to just pass this on to a handful of blogs, so I'm not going to join in with the fun and games this time. I do really appreciate the nomination, and knowing that people like reading what I post is a real boost :) Thank you to everyone who comments and sends me love!

Onto stitching matters, I've made a new start thanks to all the finishes I've had lately. This is where I'm up to so far of Blastoise, another Pokemon for Lawrence's collection. I made him up a Charizard last year and now he wants the set :) 
This is where I'm up to so far . . .

And this is sort of what it will look like eventually . . .

I am very much enjoying the weather now that my assignments are winding down for the Easter break. I handed in one today, got one more to finish up tomorrow and then I'm free! I'm spending Easter weekend with my family, and then Easter Monday with Lawrence's family. It's going to be a blast :)
I hope you've all had a brilliant start to the week.