Monday, February 27, 2017

A week with some progress and a new start

Quotes to Live By - Feb 17th
 A week of focus was what I was trying to do and I think I kind of accomplished that.  I decided to try to work on basically one design for most of the week and it feels good.

Quotes to Live By - Feb 26th
The project that did get most of my attention was Quotes to Live By because I wanted to see if I could get the top section done before the end of this week and I finally did.  I still haven't finished the first part of the pattern but I hope to be able to make some progress on it over the next few days. I still have the border to work on and the first quote so I will see when I can get those sections done.  I am happy with the progress that I made this week on this piece. Once I get the first quote done I will have the January part of the stitch along completed and then there is February and soon March to do.

Linen and Threads - Feb 20th
After spending most of the week working on Quotes to Live By, I decided that it was time to try and get a bit more stitching done on Linen and Threads - Mystery Stitch Along so that is what I did last night.  This piece is going slowly just like Quotes to Live By but I figure once I can get the first section done things will start to progress a little quicker.

Linen and Threads - Feb 26th
I still haven't started working on the second half the first section of this pattern yet as I decided to see if I could get the first half done and then I will work on doing the right hand side of the pattern. Again this is just the January section of the stitch along so yes I am behind on this one as well.

As I have been focusing on cross-stitch for quite a while now I figured it was time to have something else on the go as well so I started a rectangle granny square afghan.  The picture doesn't show the teal very well but I am working on this while I am watching the various webinars that I do for work. Having something to work on that doesn't take much concentration means that I can focus on the webinar but I am not tempted to do other things on the computer during the webinar.
Teal and white rectangle afghan

This afghan was something that I had thought about doing as it will work well in my office area as I do like having something that I can throw over my legs or shoulders if it gets cool.  My office area is also a place where I read sometimes so the afghan will be around when I want to curl up and relax. I got this yarn as part of a Christmas gift and have wanted to work on it since then but of course everything else gets in the way and I never sat down and started working on it.  Well, I shouldn't say that because I tried one pattern but it took too much focus so it wasn't going to work as the project that I could work on and see some quick results so this is the second attempt of an afghan with this yarn.

Of course, work and studying is also keeping me busy but I try most evenings to find a little bit of time to stitch because it does help me regain the focus I need for the next day.  That hour or two of just sitting and relaxing can really make a difference on how I approach the next day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Another week and a bit of progress

Yes this post is a day late but that is because it was Family Day in Ontario so it was a holiday so I decided that my blog entry could be a day late and I might have more to show you this way.

This past week I tried to focus on only three projects as I wanted to see if I could make some progress on some of them.

Quotes to Live By - Feb 9th
Quotes to Live By:
This is a monthly stitch a long and I have been trying to make some progress on this one but I haven't been able to focus on it as much as I would have liked.  I would like to get the top part finished and the first quote but it is taking me longer to finish then I thought so now to see if I can get more of it done this week. The top section and the first quote is the January part of the design and then I still have February to stitch so I am a little behind on this project but that's ok because I will work on it at my speed. I only started this piece in February so I don't feel too bad for not having as much done as a lot of people have accomplished.  I am also working on more than one design at a time so that is another reason for not getting as much done as others.
Quotes to Live By - Feb 17th

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL:
Mystery SAL - Feb 9th
Another monthly stitch a long that I am working on is this project and once again I have been working hard to try and make a bit of progress on the  month pattern but it hasn't been going as quickly as I would have liked.  I have at least got from the middle of the design over to the left side but there is still a lot of work to do to even get the January part of the design done. February is also available for this design so yes I am behind on this design as well but I think once I can focus on the design I should be able to make some good progress on at least January.
Mystery SAL - Feb 20th

This is another piece that only got started in February so I hope that I will be able to get the January section done soon and then start seeing that I am making a bit better progress on the design.  February's design isn't as high so that is one good thing so once I have January done I hope to get better at trying to keep up with the designs or at least I hope to do that.  Now that I have completed Joyful World - April, I think I may try and focus on spending a bit of time of either Quotes to Live By or Linen and Threads Mystery Stitch a Long. I would like to see one of these projects moved a bit further forward before the end of the month.

Joyful World - April

Joyful World - April - Feb 20th - finished
Joyful World - April has been getting some work done on it and that makes me happy.  I started this piece last Monday and I have been working on it to see if I can at least get this one done.  This is also another stitch a long but these were released last year so I am actually a year behind but I am still trying to get at least one more done each calendar month and I have already finished March in February. I am now finished April as well so that means that I am now a full month ahead of the stitching as I wanted to ensure that I always have the month finished before it started on the actual calendar.

It feels so good seeing that I have been able to make the progress that I have on the projects this week.  I have been trying to at least spend an hour each evening on stitching because it does help me regain the focus after working during the day. I use my stitching also as a means of thinking through the different things that have happened during the day so that is also what I do.

This weekend I was also able to use my stitching to help me heal as I found out on Saturday that a friend of mine had passed away suddenly.  She was a cross-stitch friend and this weekend as I worked on the different projects, I thought about her and could hear her laughter.  She was always one that could make people laugh but she was also someone that was there to listen when you needed that.  I am going to miss the chat times we had together and all the laughs we shared.  There were times when we didn't have to say anything but just look at each other and we would both start to laugh.  I know she is looking down at all of her cross-stitch friends and will always be making sure that even when we make a mistake we can at least smile, take it out and try again.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A week with some stitching

Joyful World - Feb 5th
This has been a week where I have been able to sit and get some projects moved along and even a couple of them finished.  I was determined to see if I could get some stitching done this week.

Joyful World - Feb 9th
February is always an interesting month for work because there are times that I am extremely busy and then there are other times when things are a little slower as companies figure out what they want to do this year.  This year I have been able to enjoy some time to myself and that has meant that I have had a bit more time to stitch and I have been joying that.

Let's Visit Canada - Feb 5th
The first project that I wanted to get finished was Joyful World - March as I am trying to make sure that I am keeping ahead on this project.  It is interesting to stitch on but March seemed to be one of those months that I really didn't want to work on.  I think part of it was because of the number of colour changes that were involved in some rather small areas. It also meant really sitting and thinking of what colour should be stitched in what order.  I  was able to get March finished this week so now it is time to work on the border for April and see how much of it I can get accomplished.

The next project that I really wanted to get finished was Let's Visit Canada.  I really had hoped that this project was going to be one that I enjoyed working on but after starting it, I wanted to either put it down and not work on it or just sit and work on it and get it finished.

Let's Visit Canada - Feb 10th finished
I decided that sitting and working on it and getting it finished was going to be the best thing and so that is what I did this week. The challenges that I encountered where some of the design elements were across two pages and they made the actual stitching a little more challenges but nothing that I couldn't handle.  It just meant that there were a few elements such as the hockey sticks and the trees in the middle of the pattern that were things that needed a bit more attention. Finally on Friday and Saturday I was able to sit and get the bottom of the design stitched and now it is finished.

Quotes to Live By - Feb 9th
I figured that the challenge for this week was going to be working on Let's Visit Canada but I ended up with another challenge this week and this one was due to the fabric that I had selected for a new project.  This is another stitch-a-long that I have decided to do and it is called "Quotes to Live By".  This is a nine month stitch-a-long and after seeing the start of the project I decided that I wanted to do it so it was off to select the fabric and start stitching the design.  See the project started in January so I am already a little bit behind but that doesn't bother me because I will stitch it at my speed.

The fabric I selected was labeled 28 count evenweave so that means that the stitches should be square when you do the full x's.  Well I started stitching this piece on Tuesday night and discovered that the piece of fabric that I had purchased wasn't 28 count evenweave, but something like 28 stitches per inch wide but 24 stitches per inch long.  Not something that was going to work for my project. I ended up picking up some new fabric on Wednesday evening and then started working on the design to see how it went.  I worked on it a bit and am now looking forward to working on again this week.

Linen and Threads - Mystery Stitch-a-long - Feb 12th
After finishing Let's Visit Canada I couldn't decide which pattern I wanted to start and that was between "Quotes to Live By" and Linen and Threads - Mystery Stitch-a-long.  Well it ended up that I couldn't decide so I ended up starting both of them this week and will see how they go.  The Linen and Threads Stitch a-long is a 12 month project and you get a new band each month.  I am doing this pattern in one colour and it is using 22count fabric.  I am looking forward to seeing how it comes along as it is something else that I am enjoying working on.

At the beginning of this month I decided that I was going to try and work on each of my projects that I have on my list at least once a quarter.  I figured that working on each of the projects even for one afternoon or evening would mean that they got moved along a little bit considering some of them haven't been touched for a while.

Salmon Rose - Oct 2/16
Sunday I decided it was time to pull one project out and work on it for a little while and that was Salmon Rose.  This is one of my designs and I haven't worked on it since October 2016 so it was time to put a few stitches in on it.  It didn't take me long to get some progress on this piece so now to see which projects gets the attention next.  Just seeing that I can get some stuff moved forward even a little bit makes me happy.
Salmon Rose - Feb 12/17

It is now time for me to figure out what work needs to get done this week and focus on getting it done.  I hope that I will be able to get some stitching done most evenings this week and will see which projects get moved forward.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Some more progress and a new start

Reflections of Canada - Jan 30th
 This past week I was able to once again find some stitching time and I am very happy that I did.  Of course it wasn't as much as I thought that I was going to be able to do but at least I have been able to make some progress on a couple of pieces again.

The week started off with a finish which was wonderful.  Reflections of Canada by Ink Circles got finished on January 30th so that made me very happy.  It was nice to see that I was able to get that piece done in just under a month.  Maybe the motivation that I had helped me get it done. At a stitch night early in the month a couple of the ladies where complaining that I was further ahead than they were and they started January 1st, 2016 and I started January 1st, 2017.  I figured that given they were bugging me about being so far ahead I was going to try and get it almost done before our next get together which is this week. Well then I decided that why was I going to just finish it in early February when I might be able to get it done in January so that is why I basically put a lot of my stitching time into this piece in January.  It is now done and I will probably get bugged this week about getting it finished as quickly as I did.

Joyful World - March - Feb 3rd
I admit that I am very happy that the two ladies bugged me because it gave me the motivation that I needed to get the piece finished as fast as I did.

After Reflections of Canada I decided to pick up Joyful World and see if I could get some more of the months done on it.  I started March but am not sure why but this month seems to be taking a little longer to stitch than January and February did.  I am going to get back to working on it as I would like to get it finished soon and then it will be off to work on April.

As the weekend approached I decided that considering I had finished a project I could add another project to the list of projects that I am working on so it was off to check which pattern was next to be added to the pile.  As it is Canada's 150th birthday this year I figured it was only appropriate to add another Canada themed project into the mix so I started "Let's Visit Canada" by Imaginating. This design is a very simple design and something that I think I should be able to finish up quickly or at least that is what I am hoping that I can do.  The nice thing about this design is once again it is a single colour so it does work up a little quicker than when you have to continually change floss colours. 

Let's Visit Canada - Feb 5th
I am liking this pattern in some ways but I also a little frustrated with the actual pattern but not the design.  When I picked up the pattern I didn't look closely at the actual pattern otherwise I think it might not have been purchased.  There are a couple of frustrations that I have found with the pattern but I know that I will be able to handle them but it does make it a bit frustrating to work with.

Here are what I have found already that were a bit disappointing with the pattern.
1. The pattern is printed in booklet form but the pattern is through the middle of the booklet and stapled.  This makes it difficult to move from one side of the pattern to the other and making sure you aren't missing a column. A lot of designers will break the pattern over the pages but will indicate some repeat columns or rows to assist the stitcher.
2. The pattern has design elements that are actually stitched right on the page break which makes is hard to see.  I am glad that the pattern is clear on the front of the pattern otherwise I think my Inukshuk would look odd as well as a couple of trees that are going to be stitched.
3. The pattern has design elements that cross between the top and bottom page but again with no repeat columns to assist in the layout.  The trees that will be stitched are actually crossing the pages and the angles of the trees are over the two pages.

Sure I understand part of why some of the pattern layout is done the way it is but it also makes me a bit more of a challenge to actually sit and enjoy stitching this piece.  I hope to be able to get this design stitched quickly as I already have the next two projects figured out that I want to be adding to the list of projects that I am working on.

I hope to be able to get some more stitching done this week and will see if both Joyful World and Let's Visit Canada get attention or if something else will get a bit of stitching done on it. I have things that now need to be done so will see if I can find some stitching time this evening and will see which project gets the attention.