Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Crochet: A Weeping Angel

One of my good friends is a total Whovian and I've been thinking for a while that I needed to do some Dr Who themed projects for her. This was started in November with the intention of a Christmas gift but ended up being finished in January, just in time for her February birthday.

I think this is definitely the cutest Weeping Angel I've ever seen! She turned out pretty adorable and it was a surprisingly hard thing to let her go off her mantelpiece! She stands unaided thanks to a well placed disc of cardboard at the base of the body.

I'm chuffed with the success of my second ever amigurumi project, especially the shaping and attaching the pieces together, which I think I'm starting to get better at with practice. I feel like I need more people in my life I can make 'toys' for!

Don't Blink!
The Details
Pattern: Weeping Angel, by Irene McCormick (free on Ravelry), crocheted as charted
Yarn: Paton's Diploma Gold DK in Charcoal
Hook: 3.5mm

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Tiniest Fox in the World

It was the birthday of a friend this weekend. Unfortunately it had been a busy week, which combined with illness meant opportunities for present buying were limited. Good thing I have boxes and boxes of crafty supplies at home right?!

May I introduce, the tiniest fox in the world. . . (or so I'm claiming)

Embroidery scissors for scale

I knew I had some keyring blanks lying around that would make a perfect small gift if I could find a pattern I liked small enough to fit in one. That proved a tougher challenge than I first thought. . .  which may have been a good thing.

There was just nothing small enough! Solution? Stitching over one thread on 28ct fabric. Much better! (and to be honest, easier than I had been led to believe. I was thankful for my daylight lamp though). As for a pattern. Well, for the first time in my cross stitching life I ended up pretty much making it up as I went along. Which went surprisingly well and is definitely something I'll be trying again.

A couple of hours of stitching while watching TV, a scrap of fusible interfacing and some green felt later, this little guy was all done.

The Details
Pattern: I winged it, with inspiration from this photo on Pinterest for the shape and a bit of guidance from this free pattern (unfortunately no longer available, I have the magazine it originally appeared in) as to actual stitching
Fabric: Scrap misc. 28 ct
Thread: Misc kit leftovers in stash
Finishing: Keyring blank with felt backing

Here's hoping he's well received! To be honest I'm very tempted to keep him for myself. Good thing I still have a few keyring blanks to spare!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Currently Monday #13

Work charity bakesale this week!

Time and Place // 9.26 pm. Couch in lounge!

Eating and Drinking // Homemade coffee and walnut cake + about to make tea

Reading // Mary Barton, by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is the same thing I was reading two weeks ago. I’m about 25% through, but it’s just not grabbing me.

Watching // Covert Affairs!!! I love TV shows that have really well done ‘will they – won’t they – they have to – just kiss already’ relationship tension between the main characters, and this one definitely has that. I’m holding out for Annie and Auggie to become a couple already and we’re not even half way through the first series (of five!). I've already ordered the DVDs of seasons 2 and 3.

Listening // Taylor Swift. Because sometimes I feel like the pop-iest of the pop :-D

Making // Quilt top back! I also started a new cross stitch project next week. That I need to take a photo of quick while it’s still at the stage where you can’t really tell what the finished product is going to look like (it’s a gift)

Hating // Being sick for no apparent reason, as I was this weekend. Bllllaaaa.

Loving // That it feels like Spring may eventually emerge from the darkness. I swear the days are getting lighter.

Anticipating // A friend's birthday celebration and some exciting book events coming up (you can find my book blog here


Sunday, February 8, 2015

A quilt top and owning our mistakes

You learn a lot of life lessons through crafting, I find. Patience, perseverance, being kind to yourself, owning up to your mistakes, the importance of continuing to learn. All things I've learnt.

This week I finished a quilt top. I started it way back in 2012. The pieces have moved country with us, and I can honestly say that my entire life has changed since I started it.

For long lengths of time the pieces of this one sat in 'the naughty cupboard.' I wasn't far into it when I discovered I'd made some pretty unfixable mistakes and I wasn't sure what I should do. Give up? Unpick the whole thing and try and start again (knowing the fabric probably wouldn't survive a second attempt)? Just keep going, hope for the best and not care that at the very least the points wouldn't match and at worst it wouldn't come together at all?

Eventually I decided on the lets-keep-going route. It would be a learning experience. Only my second quilt top after all. I can't tell you how many things went wrong with this top. Every stage of the process felt like a battle. It tested all of the lessons that I mentioned. From those initial mistakes came problems later down the line. A mistake in the maths in the pattern (hubby checked) meant the final top has one block more of one type than it should have, and one less than the other type (I didn't have the fabric to make another block and honestly by that point I didn't even care any more).

But it's finished. And I love it just as much for the mistakes as for the bits I got perfectly right. I'm still not sure how the quilting is going to go - the mistakes mean this thing doesn't lay as flat as I like.

I'm going to finish it though. And when I do, I'm going to use it, with pride. And a happy reflection upon how our mistakes make us who we are just as much as our successes do. Sometimes you just have to own that for what it is.

 And sometimes you have to try and not care when the cat decides to wander over your just completed half-white quilt top.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Currently Monday #12

Winter sunsets from my office window

Time and Place // 9.49 pm, on the sofa in the lounge (a different lounge to last time I did one of these things!)

Eating and Drinking // After Dinner Mint ice cream. Which is tasty, but given the weather may have been a bad decision. I can't feel my fingers. Or my mouth.

Reading // Mary Barton, by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Chimes, by Anna Smaill (releasing in the UK on Feb 12th from Spectre)

Watching // We got Netflix! (ages ago, but still). Currently binge rewatching Scrubs.

Listening // The Swedish duo First Aid Kit have been top of my playlist since they were on Graham Norton.

Making // A quilt top is being assembled! I also have a small cross stitch in progress, just a cover kit to keep my hands busy while I wait for supplies for a bigger project to arrive

Hating // When it starts to snow half way through my walk to the train station in the morning. Has happened three times now!

Loving // Watching snow blizzards from my 12th floor office. So pretty (and much nicer than walking to the train station in them).

Anticipating // A London trip planned for March. We're seeing three West End shows in four days!!! :)