Saturday, 12 October 2019

All good gifts

Hello there!
Just popping in with a quick post to let you know that I have a new cross stitch design available...

The All Good Gifts pdf contains three charts so you can stitch it as two separate smalls or as one continuous sampler. There are differences in the placement of the motifs between these two options.
When stitched separately each part has a stitch count of 93 stitches wide by 81 stitches high.
As two small designs they can be finished in a number of different ways; as small pillows, flat ornaments, bookfold ornaments, in hoops, or as freestanding cubes (as in the above photos). The pdf contains links to finishing tutorials for a variety of finishing ideas. Being able to split the design like this gives you greater versatility as to how you can display them.

If you are looking for a more traditional finish then you can stitch it as a continuous sampler.
When stitched in this way it has a stitch count of 93 stitches wide by 163 stitches high.
Both versions use five colors of dmc floss.

Follow the link to my Etsy store HERE for full details and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Knitty tales

Hello there!
Although it's been a bit quiet round here I have been working on lots of different projects over the last few months. Sometimes it seems like I can't get the ideas down quickly enough, they just want to burst out and get made! Today I want to share my newest knits with you, a pair of fingerless gloves and two new sock designs.
I started off thinking about making a pair of fingerless gloves to use up some of my leftover sock yarn. I couldn't see exactly what I was after so had a play with the KnitBird software I downloaded for creating the To Boldly Go Socks earlier in the year. The end result was the Love Your Leftovers Fingerless Gloves...

After finding some test knitters (thanks Instagram!) and finalizing the pattern last month I was able to publish my first pattern in my Ravelry store here. Really exciting and really nerve - wracking both at the same time!! 
But while these had been with the test knitters I had started playing with a cable sock idea...
This year Opal brought back their Cotton Premium sock yarn which I have used in the past. It's lovely stuff and the socks I made with it three years ago barely look worn! It contains 30% cotton, which isn't the stretchiest of fibers, so I wanted a fun cable pattern to add in some stretch. There are lots of cable patterns out there but I wanted something a little different and so the Kriss Cross Cable Socks were born...

This pattern is currently out with the test knitters, from the feedback I have had so far they are having as much fun with these twisty cables as I did! I love hearing from them and seeing their posts on social media, it's so exciting seeing other people bringing your design to life and the colors they choose to knit it in!! (I actually like the colors one of my test knitters knitted her gloves in better than my ones 😉)
But the sock ideas just kept coming... If you've been around here for a little while you might have guessed my favorite knitting is stranded colorwork (sometimes called Fair Isle knitting). I am completely addicted. I think that's what they call it when you don't have a project of that type on the go and are itching to start one even though you have 11 other WIP's ?! 🤣
Well anyways, an idea for a special stranded sock has been playing through my brain for a little while. Some of you know that when our children were young we had a caravan in Hopeman, one of the small villages along the Moray Coast, and for eleven years from March to October we spent every minute we could down there. It's roughly a 100 mile round trip from where we live, close enough for a day trip, but one we only make once or twice a year now. As it is an area that has a very special place in my heart I wanted to create some socks that would remind me of it the rest of the year. The other day Hubbie and I went down to Hopeman, it was an absolutely beautiful day...

Despite the sunshine there was a fair breeze which meant lots of beautiful crashing waves...

There were a few other folks enjoying the beach and we must've gotten some funny looks as I modeled my freshly finished socks on the rocks! 🤣 

All the motifs on this sock are inspired by our time spent in this area, from the seagulls and sailboats, to the shells and starfish we would find along the beach and in the rockpools.

I chose to use a modified Eye of Partridge heel flap to represent the fishing nets commonly seen down by the harbour, and Marianne from Running Yarn graciously allowed me to use her clever gusset construction from her Lenten Rose Socks so I could hide a special motif in the triangle under the heel. The Moray Firth is home to the most northerly colony of Bottlenose Dolphins in the world and, if you are really lucky, you will see one or more of these elusive creatures on your visit. If not, only you will know you can find one hiding under your heel! 😉

Today I put the finishing touches to the pattern and will be sending it out to the testers. If you fancy knitting your own pair I'm hoping it will be available in my Ravelry store mid November.
I have still been crocheting and stitching but I think that should wait for another post!
Wishing you have a lovely rest of your week whatever you are up to!

Monday, 22 July 2019

Christmas in July

Hello there!
Last week I re launched my second Christmas design from last year - Snowflakes Squared...

I wanted to tweak the format of the pdf to bring it into line with the other two designs I have released this year (you know how the more often you do something you find better/easier ways of doing it?!). As part of my birthday offers it is on sale in my Etsy Store with 15% discount until the end of July.
With a stitch count of 39 x 39 it's a quick and simple little stitch which could be finished in a variety of ways - as a small pillow, in a hoop, or as a flat ornament as shown above. The pdf includes links to different finishing tutorials so you can really make it your own! 
If you are not stitching Christmas in July projects right now then there are two other designs on promotion as well. With a stitch count of 173w x 135h Nessie Believes is a larger design which fits in a standard sized frame...

At 102sts x 92sts Amazing Grace is a smaller design and comes with two stitching options - one for dark fabric...

and one for light fabric...

All cross stitch offers finish at the end of July, and I am working on some new designs which I hope to release over the next few months...
Over the weekend I also started work on a stocking for my youngest grandson...

I have a long way to go on this - here's hoping I can get it done by Christmas!! 
I hope you have a lovely week whatever you are up to!

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Week Two Birthday Offers

Hello there!
I hope you are all having a lovely week? Thank you for all the love you have shown my Star Trek socks! The free pattern will stay here on my blog under the free patterns tab above.
Today I have some more socks to share with you. These are from a pattern called Lenten Rose...

Pretty, aren't they?

This week's Birthday Offers in my Etsy Store include 20% off these socks along with these other accessories...

A beautiful blue ombre scarf/ shawlette... 

...and a soft and snuggly crocheted cowl.
These offers will run until July 17.

This week I have been working on two other pairs of socks - I finished this pair which are going off in the mail to join the Yarndale Sock Line...

If you don't know about the Sock Line you can read all about it here on Christine's blog. There is plenty of time to join in and knit (or crochet) a pair of socks that will go on to be a comfort to someone in need after the Yarndale Festival in September. 
I have also been working on some socks for when/if the weather warms up...

These cable socks are knitted in Opal Cotton Premium sock yarn. I have used this yarn before and the cotton content in the yarn makes them much cooler to wear in warm weather. I made a pair for Hubbie earlier in the summer using a different cable pattern and really enjoyed it so decided to have a play with some different cable combinations and come up with my own pattern for this pair. I'm not too sure what to name them - any suggestions? 
Well my knitting is calling, have a lovely evening whatever you are up to!

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Birthday Sale Week One

Hello there!
It's been a while hasn't it?! At the start of the year I had planned on popping in here at least once a month and here we are in July already! But, as those of you who joined me over on Instagram know, I have been busy this year with lots of making and designing, and especially a lot of socks! (Pairs ten and eleven for the year are on my needles right now 😉 )
This was pair number nine...

They were made for Hubbie's birthday last month as he had been promised Star Trek socks for a while, now I have even finished writing the pattern up and it is available as a free pdf download here on my blog  - see the free patterns tab at the top of the page.

My birthday is in July and to celebrate I am offering special discounts in my Etsy store throughout the month. This week there is 20% off baby blankets...

So pop on over HERE to snap up a soft and snuggly bargain for a special little one! *Teddy Bear not included!* This offer runs until July 10. If you are outside of the UK and are interested in making a purchase please contact me (email button on right hand side of page) so we can arrange shipping to your location.

Have a lovely week whatever you are up to and I hope to be back here soon!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

A new chapter...

Hello there!
Well here we are almost in December of a year that ended up going in a very different direction from how I had envisioned it at the start! Isn't that the way sometimes? Different doesn't necessarily mean bad, but it does (at least in this case) mean changes, one of them being that I have ended up spending a lot less time in front of my computer this year. I have spent more of the time when I could've been online making things instead and when I have wanted to share them with the world I have thrown a quick post up on Instagram rather than spend several hours writing a blog post. But I don't want to give up on this blog totally and there are definitely some things that I feel deserve or need a "proper story" rather than a couple of quick snaps. I am going to try and get these stories on here. In the meantime if you would like to see what I am up to on a more regular basis please come join me over HERE on Instagram (there is also a link at the top right hand side of the page if you are viewing this on a computer).
Another (very) recent development is the opening of my Etsy store! I have hummed and hahed about opening one for a while now (would anyone be interested in anything I make? what would make my stuff stand out and be different? can I handle all the techy side of an online business?)  but in the end, with Hubbie to help me with the techy stuff, I have just decided to take the plunge. So what will you find there? Well I hope it will be a reflection of what you find here, a variety of cross stitch, knitting, and crochet. If I write an original pattern I plan to have it available as a pdf download so you can make one too, and there will also be some knitted and crocheted items available as gifts.
To kick things off here is the story behind the first item in my store.
One day near the beginning of the month when I was wandering in Hobbycraft I spotted these cute little wooden sleds. I measured the tops of them - 2.5" by 3 7/8" - and  thought they would be perfect to mount cross stitch on to make little Christmas decorations. As they were only £2 each I bought a few of them and then, when I got home, spent ages looking through all my charts trying to find some suitable designs. Everything I liked was too big, too small, too square, too circular.... I'm sure you get the jist! So I decided to fire up the laptop, dig out an old cross stitch program I have, and play around with some ideas. I came up with two designs that make the most of the available surface area, one is 47 stitches by 27 and the other 47 stitches by 28. I picked some perforated paper from my stash and got stitching. This was the result...

Hubbie very kindly painted the bare wooden sleds black for me and I mounted my stitching on black card before attaching it to the top of the sleds. Didn't they turn out cute?!!

The designs stitch up pretty quickly, in about 2-3 hours, and I'm giving these two away as gifts as well as making some for our house. I had a lot of fun designing and making these so I'm going back to Hobbycraft to get some more sleds and going to have a play with a couple more designs! In the meantime if you would like to stitch these for yourself you can find the instantly downloadable pdf HERE . To celebrate the opening of my store I'm offering these two designs plus tips on stitching and finishing them for just £1. Happy stitching! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

6 & 6 in 2018 - final update

Hello! Is anybody still there?! I'm sorry it has been so long since I posted, especially if you are a new follower - you must be wondering why you hit subscribe!
This year has taken some unforeseen turns and has felt a bit like "one step forward, three steps back" and in the last few months I have rarely turned my laptop on. I'm hoping to change that...
Today it is time for the end of month 6 & 6 in 2018 challenge update and I have two finishes to share with you. They are both from my original List, firstly I made up the advent calendar for Little C...

After making the advent calendar for his older brother a few years ago (which you can see here) I had been thinking of how to make one that would look right on the wall next to it. I sewed the cross stitched designs onto white felt pockets and used brown, red, and white felt, ribbon, and buttons from my stash to turn it into a Gingerbread House! The original cross stitch design by Cheryl McKinnon was published in a back issue of Cross stitch Crazy magazine but it is also available here if you want to stitch these cute little motifs for yourself!
The other March finish snuck in right on the last day of the month and was my Woodland Ripple blanket. Here it is drying on the line with our apple tree casting some pretty neat shadows across it...

...and here it is on our bed where it has been pretty much ever since!

So by the end of March I had finished two of my UFO's and two of my new projects but since then I have struggled to keep on track with this challenge. After a lot of deliberation I have come to the decision that while life is throwing so many other struggles and stresses my way I need my crafting time to be about relaxing and going with the flow. I need to work on what I feel like picking up right now rather than something put on a list back in December. If this means some UFO's float around for a bit longer so be it, it's not the end of the world. I'd like to thank Meredithe and Anne for organising both this and last years' challenges - I have cleared a whole bunch of UFO's since the beginning of 2017 and also worked out a lot of the reasons things become UFO's round here in the first place so hopefully I won't create so many in the future! Do pop over to the Linky to see what other folks have been working on this month, I hope to be back soon to show you what I've been up to recently... Wishing you a lovely and creative week!