Saturday, 30 April 2016

A-Z challenge Z

Z is for Zen
There have been numerous studies on knitting (and one can assume crochet or cross stitch might get the same results) and the health benefits of that. Mindfulness and Zen is all the rage at the moment in our busy life and crafting seems to be an outlet to lower ones shoulders and relax.

Although I think it might not be so beneficial if you have a deadline or get too frustrated with your project.  

If you would like to read some of the articles I found on the matter I will provide you with some links. 
The Washington Post
British Journal of Occupational Therapy
The New York Times
Lifehack 6 benefits of knitting

And remember, tomorrow is bunday, my giveaway and also I will talk about this months books so please check back, I hope you have enjoyed my A-Z challenge, I have, even if I did write most posts the same day and probably not got health benefits with me stressing about.

I think the meditation-like mode I fall into is very good for me because I am super good at stressing, but I also think one of the reasons I craft is the sense of accomplishment I get when I finishing something and it looks good and I mastered a new technique. And it gives me a creative outlet.  The finished project isn't bad to have either.

Why do you craft? And do you think it helps you to stress down? 
What is your favourite thing about your craft?

Hope to see you tomorrow, now I am off to another z, the zzz kind, good night.

Friday, 29 April 2016

A-Z challenge Y

Y is for Yarn-stash

Yarn-stash is sort of self-explanatory, it is my yarn that is stashed.
I have shown you my stash of cross-stitch and my hooks and needles, scissor-fobs and needle-minders and so I thought the time had come to show you my yarn stash and where I keep it. 
(oh and remember my giveaway)

Here in my doll-house lives all my hooks and knitting needles in one pink box and all my craft books, in the other three boxes there are yarn. One is full of alpaca, one baby-wool and one is a misc box of gifted yarn.
  • Alpacca: 1636 g
  • Baby-Wool 2169 g
  • Pink Gifted yarn: 1176 g

Then I have the chest I inherited from my father in here there are the odd ball out and finished things and started projects mostly. All in neat little bags.

I dug out some more bags  and boxes from around the house, each bag or box has the started item and the yarn to finish. The bag in the left corner is full of the yarn I frogged over at F
  • All 1941 grams.
  • 700 g of Misc
  • 540 Acryllics
  • 300 g of thin crochet yarn
  • 250 of hooked recycled yarn
  • 700 g of Acrylics grey for the baby bunny blanket in the box
  • 800 g of Aztec for scarfs
  • 668g for Lapghan 
  • 622 g of Maybelle Cotton squares
  • 150 g Lizard Shawl
Then I have these boxes, one for sock yarn, the two grey for Wool and the bottom is for cotton.
  • 1143 g of sock yarn
  • 4900 g of cotton
  • 4820 g of Wool

This is all yarn for my Kitties in a row afghan so it needs a lot of yarn, luckily I got lots from Mister M for Valentines and lots on sale, so I got 4 kilos of this yarn o.0

Which means if I can count that I have 22515 g of yarn, which is a little over 22 kilos of yarn.
Is that too much? Maybe, which is why I have my two out one in policy of yarn and only buy thing now if they are more than 50% off or if needed for a project that can't wait... But I should probably get cracking and finish some things soon.
(I am hoping I have miscounted somewhere, after all I have dyscalculia and frequently count wrong... So there is hope)

Remember on Sunday there will be a giveaway, all you need to do to enter is comment on the post I make on Sunday and you might get some of my stash, both cross stitch and yarn, hooks and perhaps something finished.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

A-Z challenge X

X is for x-stitching. Or Cross-stitching if we want to be exact.
Cross stitching is an form of sewing where the stitches cross each other to form X's.

As with crochet I did learn somewhere in my childhood but it never really took my fancy, I used to be a book and drawing girl more than a craft girl, but in 2010 when my friend E2 was sewing I felt like I  wanted to have another go at it, and here I am in the sofa with E2 stitching away in the summer of 2010 according to the date on the photo. I had bought a child kit with a cat for my start but soon ventured into more difficult patterns.

And here I am teaching my two cousins to sew, neither of them are craft girls but more book girls, but  later they might find that they want to do some sort of craft like I did.

I lost my stitching bug for a some time while I crocheted but I have found it now and am trying to finish off some of my started things...  And I must say that even though it is a craft that takes a while  to finish I am quite enjoying it again.

Later I started to design some of my own patterns and here are a few of my designs, I don't make many but I have made some, my goal in life is to make more and perhaps someone will stitch what I have design. ^^

Star Trek Enterprise TOS

Kokeshi dolls of W group

Christmas bunny sampler

Halloween, set of four

Happy Easter in Norwegian

Spring picture with bunny

Do you cross stitch? Have you tried to design anything? 
What would you like to stitch if there was a pattern?
My favorite thing to stitch must be bunnies, but I guess that wasn't hard to guess.

Oh, and this is my 555th post, so I am hosting a giveaway on Sunday if you want to hang around after the a-z series^^

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A-Z Challenge W

W is for Wips or Wisps

If we follow my UFO reasoning I don't have many UFOs but I would have a ton of Wips and Wisps...
A Wip is a work in progress and a Wisp is a work in slow progress (which is why I think a UFO is something you have given up on rather than just something that isn't finished yet)

So would you like to see my ton of Wips and Wisps? Here are my crochet Wips and Wisps, a skirt, one afghan, three baby blankets and one lapghan. Maybelle squares that might turn into a blanket, a shawl that I am unsure if I still have the pattern for, one finished and one started mitt, and a scarf/shawl depending on how much yarn I have. All in all, not that many projects on the go, and I have finished some of my longer Wisps lately, like the baby bunny blanket. I have another wip though  that I didn't take a photo of which is Mister M's vest.

Not too many projects right? Some that are easily portable, some that require brainpower and some that is just a breeze to crochet, I usually do these when I have company over or when M and I watch TV.
So 11 wips and wisps, but I am not quite sure where it turns into a wisp, I think that the colourful lapghan might be my only real wisps as all the others have had a stitch or two added this year....

Then there are the cross stitch things I have found so far, there may be a couple of others....

Some small cards, some bigger things, mostly bunnies and some are presents that I want to finish. Frederick is on black aida so I have given up doing him when it is too dark, but here in this apartment I have lots of light so it might be time to take him forward in the pile, just need to finish some of those smaller ones first I think.
16 cross stitches, and I know I have five more starts somewhere in the office.....
I think only two of these have gotten any stitches this  year so they are all wisps.... I will need to finish two before I can start something new, that is the policy and we will see how well it works over the next few weeks. Please cheer me on.

Regarding knitting, I only have three starts, one blanket, one sitting pad and one jacket so I didn't take any out to take pictures of today. I wonder which of those will be finished first... I have promised hats and socks and perhaps mittens for Christmast this year so those might be bumped up their queue...

Do you have more wips than me or do you feel appalled by my startisis and lack of stamina to see things through? I have seen some who actually have more starts than me, thankfully, I sometimes feel like I am a lost case.

The Wedding Blanket Squares Nine

Block Nine Never Ending Love by Aurora Suominen

This was another easy square, and it was very fun to do. It took me a while to understand that the things in the corners were hearts and had I done that in time I would have done what *Kio did and made them in one colour, I think hers are easier to see are hearts because of that.
This square had bobbles/popcorn stitches and front post double crochet stitches which make the straight sides of the heart. When the hearts are done round eights starts by going behind the round bits of the heart and then between the different hearts. This is most visible in *Kio's square because this is where she changed colour. The heart stands a bit up over the rest of the squares an adds a good little 3d effect that is quite effective. This is one of my favourite squares. I am sure within my top ten.

I like my colour choices, but it is a bit hard to see the heart.

This square was 39 grams according to my notes and was one of the heaviest squares. 21x21 cm after the last grey row.

*Kio's square, here you can clearly see the hearts are elevated above the rest.

*Kio's square, I adore her colour choices and wish I had used solid blocks of colour until the hearts were done...

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A-Z challenge V

V is for Vintage

 I am lucky enough that I have some pieces my mother and grandmother made that I treasure. Vintage is very much in style at the moment, but I think all these pieces are timeless and should be worn and loved and used. And when I use them I think about all the work and love that has been poured into the garments. Vintage is a treasure, sometimes only for sentimental value but sometimes can be important to take care of it for the next generation.

We couldn't find a photo of my grandmother knitting, but here she is busy sewing. I adored my grandmother and I do feel a bit sad that she died before we could share knitting or sewing together, but at least I can crochet with my mother and aunt which we try to do at their cabin.

Here is my mother crocheting in her 
nurses uniform when she did nightshifts 
I think before I was born. But I know she 
and my aunt did a lot of sewing too so
I come from a crafty family and those
that did not work with yarn worked
with wood or metal and things like 
So there is no wonder I love all hand-crafting. 

Here is a "kofte" jacket which is all the style at the moment in Norway, everyone is knitting one, but they are very warm and classic and I can remember my grandmother wearing this so it has been quite durable. My mother is pretty sure my grandmother knited this, but we do know she knitted the red sweater below that my mother wore when she was twelve-ish so that sweater has lived for quite some time.

And then there is the scarf in a mermaid pattern according to my mother which my grandmother knitted to my mother, I love the pattern, it is the same pattern my doll got her dress in that my grandmother knitted for me when I was a kid, that doll is in the attic so we didn't have time to find her and show off, but I thought that dress was the most beautiful dress ever when I was a child and I still cherish it. I hope to be able to knit something like that one day.  

I think clothes that are more than 25 years old and up to almost 50 years old surely must count as vintage?
When is something vintage and do you own any vintage heirlooms?

Monday, 25 April 2016

A-Z challenge U

U is for UFO

Which stands for unfinished object, but how we define unfinished is different. My friend *Kio thinks it means something which is unfinished and something that you do not intend to finish.
I am on the fence, because that would mean that I would very rarely have any UFO's, I think I gravitate more to the definition of something that hasn't been worked on for a long time...

I do have lots of unfinished objects but they are all in a queue and waiting for their turn. I have only one thing I KNOW I will never finish and if I can find it again I will unpick it and use the aida for something else. It is an old Permin kit of a white dog and tabby cat that I got really cheap but I have miscounted and then consequently lost the remaining thread. And I have no idea who to give it to and so have no drive to finish it, I did not enjoy that kit but bought it since it was on sale and all I could afford at the time (it was before my rather big stash). So when I find it I will unpick it and start something else. But if there are any more things I do not know if i want to finish I don't know.

However I  do like the meaning that an UFO is something you will never pick up beacause it means I don't have that many UFO's, but if the meaning is something you have not worked on in X amount of time I have a TON. And I mean a ton. I haven't even located all the started cross stitch projects to put them all in one place yet and so far I have a SAMLA box that is 39x28x14 cm that I can't even close and that is just cross stitch, I have two started knitted projects and a little under ten crochet starts and one of them I haven't done any stitches on in a year, is that an UFO yet? I want to finish it....

The one that can close is full of unfinished objects and the one I can't close is full of unstarted projects.

Mister M likes that there isn't a fixed definition because that is how UFOs work, and unidentified flying object can mean a weather balloon but everyone just associates UFOs with flying saucers and aliens.

What do you think?
When is a project a UFO in your opinion? And how do you deal with them?

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Flea market thrifting

This weekend I met up with my mother and stayed the night, On the way to the bus it snowed! 

We had planned to go out to a flea-market early the next day by her house as is tradition, we have found lots of gems there every time we have gone so it is something I look forward too! This year my mother had to work evening shift but we had time to make a brief visit to the stalls. And there was lots to see, since both of us sort have a buying stop policy we did mostly look, but we did fins some gems.

I found a lantern and more green glasses and bowl that we own so now we have a spare and some small plates I want to have my tea-bags on when I have visitors. Mum bought a tea-box, two knitted lace doilies, one hardanger table cloth and some woven table clots. Most in good shape and very cheap. But the best thing we found were a new storage and sitting pouff for my mother and the plan is to throw away the two worn out ones she have that don't have storage and a chair for me.

Can you tell, it is just like my grandmothers chair, only in red! I L O V E it! I never asked Mister M for permission, I just bought it, because I thought it wasn't for sale and when it was and I heard the price I just could not walk away from it....

Since I had to take the bus home it is sitting in my old room at my mums until she can drive it here.

We splurged and bought waffles too, but can you believe we spent about 300 and 150  Norwegian Krones each? The pouff was 60 and the chair 250 which is a steal, you would be hard pressed to find a new one for that price even and I love the chair. It is comfy for small people like me and it is just so gorgeous!

Then mum went to work and I met Mister M for a date and we had sushi and went home to watch a bad movie, this time it was Twins.

But I had fun! Let us do it again soon. There is a fall flea-market too you know?

Saturday, 23 April 2016

A-Z challenge T

T is for To-Do-List

Which keeps growing and growing the more I patterns I discover so much so that I am not quite sure I will ever be able to do them all! I am sure all crafters can agree!

I have most list in my head, but I sometimes have actual lists too, I am a real list-person.
 Ravelry is a place I have a huge list and the good thing about that place is that it is where the patterns are too so they are easy to find.

So here is this weeks list, next week things may change....

I wonder how many hours this list would take to finish? Some of the cross stitch things are quite big and difficult, Frederick the cat is on black aida and is a real pain, Henry the eight has lots of beads... I think I started those about four years ago...  So those are real wisps.
Some of the crochet things will go by in a breeze if I ever sit down to actually finish them that is, but the knitting might be harder as I am not quite confident at that yet.

I think even with all my stash I don't have enough yarn or fabric to finish all these things, and I think it would take me all year at least to finish the crochet alone... Oh well, it is good to have dreams, and to-do-lists to dream about and faff about.
How long is your To-do-list?

Friday, 22 April 2016

A-Z challenge S

S is for scarf, shawl, shrug

I love simplicity as well as things that are complex, and I must say I love scarfs, shawls and shrugs. Because they can be simple and elegant or complex and fun. There are endless possibilities.
I think I make most of those things in a year, which might be because I gift a lot of them away.  And they are usually rather fast to do and fun and warm and usually you don't need heaps of yarn to do them.

This year I have already made two shrugs and two scarfs and I am going to make a lot more. And on the steps are a shawl, one in Japanese flowers and then there is the Victoria shawl Mister M bought me the pattern for. I have the yarn for another card and then there is lots of other shrug patterns I would love to make... My to-do-list keeps growing.

Btw, this is the scarf I finished the other day.
A scarf is something you wrap around your neck to keep the cold away.
A shawl is something you wrap around your torso to keep the cold away
A shrug is a small jacket type thing you wrap around your torso to keep the cold away, the good thing about a shrug is that it won't fall off since it is attached to your arms, the other garments may fall off unless you fasten with a brooch or somethings. But you could add a shawl over your shrug if you are on the colder side.
Can you tell I do my best to keep the cold away? Might be why I love to make these things as I am always cold, and an extra project on my lap with the blanket I always wear helps me to keep warm and toasty and when finished I can wrap them around me as well. Win win.

I could add socks, I learnt knitting socks last year and made two and a half pair and then I proceeded to buy lots of sock yarn so I might get a move on and make more, things is, I only know one size, mine unless I have the feet to measure up against all the time which is how Mister m got his pair. But to be honest I don't love making socks yet, they take too long, but I will make a couple this year.

Finished Friday

I have some finishes to show you and since it is finished Friday today what better than to show off what I have done these past few weeks?

I have found my stitching bug again, yay! And I started and finished this lovely little biscornu turned into a scissor-fob which I will put in my gift-pile. 

Here is the back of the same biscornu and I finished the boy-bunny, I still have one more in this series and am contemplating wether to start it now or do it next Easter, I love having seasonal things to do in its season, but it would also be lovely to actually have a finish... 
And then there is the daffodil in the middle which I started just over Easter, that too is finally finished after I frogged the middle yellow since it was stitched in the wrong place. You would think that I learned my lesson and properly look at the chart, well, I did the same with the darkest green, stitched all the darkest green and then realised it was wrong and had to frog that too. And when it was finally done, I had lost the frame.... I was mad, but as things want to do, it turned up, the same day my beautiful pink scissors and needles set from Tulip did. That was indeed a happy day.

And I finished another bib, the bigger pink one, made a heart on the blue bib and started a third bib, this time in pale pink, but it won't have scallops I think...
And the pink thing in the background of all the pictures is my granny stripe baby-blanket which is way over half way already, just one more skein I think!
So far I have finished One whole skein of pink, but started a second.
The pink for the blanket is already up to five balls I think, but since it is not finished I will not count it.

So, 70 grams out in baby-bibs and 200 grams of scarf
350 grams in these past two weeks.

So I am not doing too well on my two out one in yarn policy, but that might be because of all those half finished things, if I finish them properly I might have more success.
Hey, scratch that, I forgot I had the knitted scarf finish, I never made a proper post about it, but I did finish the blue/green scarf the other day, I will take a picture and show you later, so I think my policy is working better than I thought... Yay me.