Santa Snail

Now it’s over, I can reveal what I sent in my role as Santa. One of the down sides of not doing Christmas presents in general is that I do miss the joy of giving. It’s not that I don’t give presents, but usually I just wait for inspiration and buy/make and give things somewhat at random. For Stitching Santa I had the pleasure of stalking reading lots of posts from a blogger I had not encountered before.

My recipient was Julia over at Julia’s Creative Year. I may have given myself away by following her blog immediately I got the email saying she was “my person”, so I didn’t post much about what I was including in her parcel. I spent ages looking at her blog to get a feel for what she likes and I made a list to use as inspiration (including her fondness for flamingoes). As you know I have lots of yarn, so I selected some interesting British wool from my stash (some produced by friends of mine), made a work basket and added some trimmings, vintage mother of pearl buttons, a badge, a crochet hook with a handle and specially bought stitch markers and voila:

I hope she didn’t mind that the wrapping paper was reused, but hopefully she knows what I’m like by now!

Since Julia is also a card-maker and I have piles of card-making supplies that I’m never going to get through, I included a few of those too:

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cards, envelopes and handmade paper

I just hope that the parcel reached her, because, being ‘secret’ Santa, your recipient doesn’t know who to send an email to, to say they received it.

I really want to thank Sheila over at Sewchet for organising all this. It gave me great pleasure to put these gifts together and I am loving reading about all the other parcels that have been winging their way around the world. Since there is a strict limit on the spend, most of the gifts are about creative use of what we have in our stashes, and what creativity there has been. I really hope to manage to read all the Stitching Santa posts, but it might take a while to track them down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blocked

Today is the day!

The grand reveal!

No, not what’s in your parcels…

… but what Sophie looks like now she’s done.

First there was the construction of the blocking mat:

And then a lot of pinning and finagling, which was not photographed as it required lots of concentration.

Now she’s stretched out and slightly damp:

What do you think? Was she worth the effort?

Working Wednesday #12

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). This week, again, there has only been Sophie. She’s nearly finished:

Next week, I’m hoping to show you her done (although probably not blocked) and to give you my thoughts on the project… both my personal feelings and some thoughts/advice to anyone considering making their own Sophie.

Because Sophie has consumed most of my creative time for the past six weeks, I now have a whole bunch of things that I want to make, but haven’t managed to get on with. So, in the coming months, look out for slippers, more wellie socks for Mr Snail, Norwegian socks, a neck-down jumper in the round, a warm snuggly jumper, a tea cosy, sea slugs and a cardigan.

Well, that’s my progress this week and plans for the future. What have you been up to? Have you got anything you are itching to make a start on?

 

Three Things Thursday: 14 December 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, snow and no snow. Here on the west coast of Wales, because of the influence of the Gulf Stream, we rarely see snow, so it’s a novelty when it falls – as it did on Sunday. However, I only like it when I don’t have to go anywhere (as was the case on Sunday and Monday) and I’m generally pleased to see the back of it. So, it’s been a good week, because it arrived, stayed for a few days and now it’s all gone.

The hens were not impressed and mostly refused to venture out.

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Mags and Aliss were not keen

Second, being stuck indoors. The weather on Sunday kept me inside and it gave me the excuse to focus on sorting out parcels for some of my random acts of kindness (part of my 17 for 2017) as well as doing some sewing. Having not used my overlocker for several months it did take me ages to get it threaded and working at the right tension again, but it’s all systems go now.

Third, Sophie. I was too busy to post on my progress yesterday (I was doing some very short deadline editing); so, since she’s making me so happy, I thought I’d share my work today (not blocked, so a bit untidy).

I really like one section in particular – several rows of small stitches in different colours:

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simple but lovely

I’m thinking that I might use some of the left-over wool to make something in this style once Sophie is done.

 

So, that’s some of what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

Working Wednesday #11

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). This week there has only been Sophie:

I’ve completed round 76, which means I’ve got 37 more to do (I originally thought there were more than 120, but unless I want to make it bigger, it’s actually 113). I’m determined to get it finished before the end of the year.

So, that’s my progress this week. What have you been up to?

 

Working Wednesday #10

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). This week there has been a little sock knitting; mostly undertaken in waiting rooms – dentist and optician.

Very slow progress on this

There’s also been another breast prosthesis – this combines knitting and crochet and I’ve used some organic cotton yarn that was given to me, I think, by ItwasJudith (thank you G.) over at Wee Story Book.

So much more comfortable than silicone

But mainly it’s been Sophie. She’s getting bigger and there’s now a row of flowers with leaves, plus the big flowers are nearly done on the “short sides” (which will soon be longer than the “long sides”, but that’s the terminology used in the pattern). I have not yet completed half of the rounds, so there’s load more work to do yet.

So, that’s my progress this week. What have you been up to?

And finally, please do take a moment to leave a comment on my 1001 post before the end of Friday (1 December 2017) so you can be entered into my give-away draw… no specific prize, it will be something tailored to you personally if I know you (come on regular posters, don’t be shy) or something that I think will make you smile if I don’t really know you (new readers also don’t be shy – random acts of kindness are especially rewarding when you don’t know the recipient).

 

Working Wednesday #9

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). This week it’s only Sophie:

I have also started to put a bit of my stash into the secret Santa basket… I’m not going to photograph it, because I want it to be a surprise for the recipient. I can say, though, that it’s pure British wool.

So, that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?

Working Wednesday #8

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). In fact this week it mostly isn’t ‘stash’ because nearly all the wool that I worked with was bought relatively recently and for specific projects. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see wool from my store (however long it’s been there) becoming “things”.

I completed Mr Snail’s wellie socks and they have been inspected and approved by Sam. There’s enough yarn left over to make a matching hat, which I’ll get round to in due course…

I also make a quick pair of fingerless mittens (mentioned in last week’s Three Things Thursday), which I still haven’t delivered to the intended recipient.IMGP4505 (2)I shared much of the work on “Sophie” on Sunday, but I have done more since then, when she was a circle. The corner flowers turned out to be rather complicated, with the work layered so that sometimes you work in front of previous stitches and sometimes behind. As a result, progress has been quite slow. The back (first and third pictures) is quite tidy, but gives an idea of the complexity.

It’s entirely possible that the whole month of November is going to be about Sophie, but I do have another knitted breast prosthesis to make and a pair of socks to finish, so there may be a little variety.

So, that’s my progress this week… and there was no blue in it! Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?

Sneeze-along

I had plans for this weekend – some clearing up in the garden, cleaning the interior of the limery and general outdoor sorting out. However, Saturday morning dawned with my nose running like a small stream and frequent fits of sneezing. Plus, outdoors it was raining.

So Mr Snail lit the fire and made me frequent cups of tea and I snuggled up on the sofa with a crochet hook, a box of wool and a pattern. You may remember some months ago I mentioned my plans to make a Sophie’s Universe blanket out of 100% British wool. At the time, I shared this preliminary picture:

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all set to go

I had made a little start on the project on Friday night, so I began with this on Saturday morning:

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part 1

By Saturday afternoon, I’d drunk a lot of tea and got this far…

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progress

It was too dark to photograph my work when I went to bed, but before the light fades today, this is the current state of play:

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part 3 completed

So, the garden may still be awaiting my attention, but I’m not so sneezy and I have had a very creative weekend.

-oOo-

The wool is a combination of Cambrian Mountains Wool, WoolyKnit Blue faced Leicester and West Yorkshire Spinners Bluefaced Leicester (yes Woolyknit write it as two words and WYS as one).

Three Things Thursday: 2 November 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

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say “cheese”

First, yummy cheese. The little cheeses were not maturing in the way I had hoped, so the other day we decided to sample one of them… and it was delicious, with flavour of a mild Caerphilly and a feta-like texture. With the poor growth of white mould needed to create brie, I abandoned this idea and brought forward the next stages, so I chopped up half of one cheese for preservation in olive oil, I wrapped one in Calvados-soaked nasturtium leaves and I wiped one down with Calvados and then oiled the surface. The other half of the first cheese we ate as cauliflower cheese and it was a great success.

Second, a pay-out. Now, I know that this weekly post is usually about the little things in life that make me smile, but I was delighted to get a cheque yesterday, covering compensation for a mis-sold financial product. I may be smiling even more soon, because there’s a second claim still to be settled! Actually, it would have been good never to have been duped by my bank in the first place, but at least they have been forced to put things right.

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and there’s a whole ball still left

Third, passing it on. A while ago I was given some yarn, which I completely forgot about. However, I came across it the other day and realised that it would be perfect for a surprise gift I wanted to make. When posting my most recent lot of parcels, the lady in the post office admired my fingerless mittens and told me how cold her hands get… so next time I go to do my post I have a little gift to take for her. I whipped them up yesterday evening, so the kindness of a gift of yarn (thank you Katy the Night Owl) has been converted into the gift of warm hands.

So, that’s what’s making me happy this week. How about you?

-oOo-

Emily of Nerd in the Brain originally created Three Things Thursday, but it’s now being hosted by Natalie of There She Goes.

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