2012 overview

I’m really pleased that I’m finding more time to spend on crafts – I find it a great way to relax and it’s good to have non-work projects and targets.


The big surprise of the year is how much I love knitting. I’ve been sucked in completely and most of my thoughts now revolve around knitting – what yarn to buy, what projects to make, what to work on next, how to work new stitches, etc etc. So the big revelation of 2012 was learning to knit and totally falling in love with it!

According to Ravelry, I’ve knit 31 different things this year (and have 2 in progress). I love the fact that even a novice knitter can make so many things in just one year – so much quicker than cross stitch! I started with a scarf, and some baby booties, hat and mittens for a friend. Then I progressed to cowls, shawls, hats, fingerless mittens, socks and toys. I still haven’t dared attempt a fitted item of clothing yet; I suspect that may be a challenge for 2013.

I seem to have a growing list of projects in my Ravelry queue, and an expanding collection of yarn waiting to be knit, so I’m going to try to be a bit more careful with my planning for future. I have a few items I’d like to make for myself next, as I’ve been mainly knitting for others these last few months. I do also have a couple of requests though – some Malabrigo mittens, and a scarf for my brother.

Cross stitch

I’ve done hardly any cross stitch this year. I still have the finishing touches to make to Regal Tiger, but I haven’t done those yet as I’m not sure where I will put it once it’s finished. Over Christmas I’ve been working on a kit I bought a couple of years ago, based on The Snowman. I’m hoping to finish it soon and find a frame. Once framed it will be going in the Christmas decorations box with my framed penguin cross stitch and will come out each Christmas.

I think I’ll be mainly knitting next year (I have Henslowe and Lacy Baktus high on my list of priorities), but I would like to make a start on a Gorjuss cross stitch – I have two Gorjuss kits waiting to be made.

Crafty aims for 2013:

  • Finish The Snowman cross stitch
  • Finish Regal Tiger cross stitch
  • Start a Gorjuss cross stitch
  • Knit a garment (e.g. jumper/cardigan)
  • Continue to learn new knitting skills – cast ons, bind offs, colour work, lace work etc.
  • Only buy yarn if I have a project in mind for it (or it’s a MASSIVE bargain)
  • Meet up with other knitters (this should be happening in January and maybe later in the year for shows)
  • Maybe try crochet again

Bring it on!


Regal Tiger progress

I’ve been working on Regal Tiger most evenings recently, and I’m making some decent progress on the background. It’s really tricky to do as it’s 6 threads (the current colour combination is 3 black and 3 very dark brown) which doesn’t fit so easily and takes a bit of yanking! I know the end result will look good as it’s creating quite a contrast and a strong background, but it’s a lot more difficult than stitching with just two threads.

Here’s a close up of the top left corner:

Background close up

Background close up

This is where I’m up to at the moment:

Regal Tiger - 30th September

Regal Tiger - 30th September

Lots more to do – most of the background is in 6 threads (though different colour combinations further down. As a reminder, this is what the final piece should look like:

Regal Tiger (image from Sew and So)

Regal Tiger (image from Sew and So)

I’m actually now wondering though if I might be able to finish this before the end of the year. I started on Christmas Eve last year and thought it would take 2-3 years but maybe I can do it in less than one (which I know is still a long time!). I’m not a very fast stitcher though and this being my first large project I thought it would take a very long time.

Looking forward to finishing and getting it framed – this is one piece that I’ll be keeping for myself 🙂

One finish and a new start

Weekend in Paris - completed

Weekend in Paris - completed (click for full size)

I have finally finished Weekend in Paris, and I’m really pleased with the results. The couching was a little unusual and I’m not sure I see the point for straight lines (which could just as easily be done in backstitch), but I can see the advantage for curved lines.

I just need to get it framed now and sent off to my friend (it was initially bought as a Christmas present!). Here’s a close up of the finished piece (before ironing and framing), you can see the couching in light silver on the letter outlines:

Couching - close up

Couching - close up (click for larger image)

New start

This was the only piece of stitching I had been working on this year, so it was time to start something new. I’ve been really keen (although also apprehensive!) to start Regal Tiger, so I bought a scroll frame for it. I got all my threads organised over the weekend, and then realised the scroll frame is not really big enough (it’s 1″ wider than the final image, but the fabric is much wider and I don’t want to cut too much off n case I make a mistake!). So I need to buy another scroll frame!

In the meantime I’ve started my Tatty Teddy Stars kit. I bought this AGES ago and haven’t got round to doing it yet, so I thought it would be a nice change and it’s a relatively small stitch. Most of the others in my “to do” pile will be larger commitments which I’ll probably start when I’m fed up of Regal Tiger! I’m enjoying Tatty Teddy so far, it’s nice to be stitching on pink fabric! 🙂

New kits from USA

When I was over in the States last month I visited a craft store (Michael’s) and picked up some cross stitching bargains. There wasn’t a massive selection and many of the kits are the same as those available in the UK but with one major difference – price!

They’re so much cheaper in the US, I was amazed. I’ve been eyeing up the Regal Tiger from Dimensions Gold Collection and it was in the store for such an amazing price I just had to get it. I also got a smaller one from the same range, Weekend in Paris, to familiarize myself with the charts etc. The Regal Tiger is a large kit and will take me a good few months but I’ve got a few other project I need to do first. I can’t wait to start doing it though, I’ve been admiring it for ages!

So now when I go to the States I’ll have to stock up on craft supplies as well as cosmetics, as they’re the things I’ve found most price difference with. There’s so much crafting stuff over there too – scrapbooking seems massive in the US.