Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 Wrap Up

I know I say this all the time, but I can't believe how fast time goes by!! A month into 2015 already!! It just doesn't seem possible.

I thought since I can't make time slow down any, that I would try to take a bit of time at the end of each month and do a little re-cap. Something to help me remember how I spent my time and some of the things that happened during the month. I hope it's something that you can enjoy as well:)

I feel like I made some progress this month on my crafty projects.


Crocheting, a bit of sewing, and a gift basket project for 4-H...
As a crafter, it never seems like we get as much time as we'd like to do our thing, but of course, we also have to live in the 'real' world. So I also had errands to run, mostly for dd:), housework to do and SOOOO many meals to make. One of my favorite new meals for this month was Cabbage Roll Casserole. I added quite a bit more seasoning to this, such as smoked paprika and ground pepper and a few other things I threw in. It was pretty good, and so much easier than rolling up cabbage rolls:)

We also had just a bit of sickness in the household, but not too much. A cold went through our house, but hubby and dd beat it pretty quickly, and while I still have the cough and congestion, I'm feeling really good. Unfortunately, we got some bad news from a close family member who's cancer has come back. We have been spending some extra time with him and are hoping for good news on treatment options and a speedy recovery for him.

All-in-all, this month has been a good and productive one. I hope I can say the same for next month:)

Gail Pan SAL - January 2015

Last year I participated in a Gail Pan SAL (hosted by Martina of Sunshine Quilting) where we did projects from her book "Patchwork Loves Embroidery." I had a lot of fun making several need-fuls from that book...
This year the Gail Pan SAL is for all of her designs, which are many!! I still have a couple projects from her book that I'd like to do before looking through her website to choose more:) This month I worked on a tote bag from her book. I had done the embroidery last November, but hadn't gotten around to making the bag. I didn't get it finished this month either, but I'm glad to have gotten it started...
I just love the color of the fabric!! The original was all red work, but I found the rust colors to be much more fun:)
I have the front and back panels done and all the other fabric cut and ready to go. The finishing always takes me longer than I think it's going to. I'm hoping that next month I will have this bag done and a good start on the next project:)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Smalls SAL - Jan 2015
The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather at Stitching Lotus. This SAL set up to help us stitch small designs such as ornaments or bookmarks, etc. I'm choosing to focus my year on making Christmas ornies for myself and to give as gifts as well as small exchange pieces.

This month I stitched an ornament for myself. I figured after the last couple months of stitching for others it was time to do something for me:)
This is Winter Song by Blackbird Designs found in the 2008 Christmas Ornie issue of JCS mag. If you had been following my other blog, you will recognize this one as this is the third time in the past two months that I've stitched it!! :) I stitched it for an exchange and also for my sister-in-law. I love stockings though, and so I wanted one for myself.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party!!!

2 Bags Full
WELCOME to this year's Grow Your Blog Party!! Hosted by Vicki of 2 Bags Full, this is THE blogging party of the year!! Or at least mine:)
I have participated for the past 2 years, and it's always been a great way to grow my blog. I'm Shannon, formally of the blog 'Around the Homestead', and am now found here at 'With Work in Hand'. I decided late last year that I wanted a change in my blog name to better reflect where I wanted to go with my crafting and blogging, so I made the switch at the beginning of this year:)
So what do I blog about here? Well, mostly about stitching, embroidery, crocheting and fairly recently about knitting as well. I like to learn new handwork and am super excited to get into knitting now. What's next? Who knows, maybe needle punch or latch hook?!?! I'm thinking that learning to knit, and all that goes with that, as well as the other forms of needle arts that I enjoy will probably keep me pretty busy for a while. Here is a recent picture of what I am currently knitting on...
Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood
My first love is cross stitch though and I have been doing that since high school. I love many different designers including With thy Needle and Thread, Plum Street Samplers, and my very own sister-in-law, Marianne Meyer of Midnight Stitching. It's nice to have a designer/stitcher in the family:)
I also blog about my family and pets. I have been married for 17 years to my high-school sweetie. We met when I was 14, so we've been together for 23 years now!! We have one daughter who is 15 and is homeschooled. Her passion is animals, so 2 mornings a week she volunteers at our local zoo. Our zoo is super small and they depend on their volunteers to really help them out. She is able to go into most of the animal pens and do a good deal of the same work that the zookeepers do. It's been a good experience for her to see if this is what she really wants to do for life (especially when its 15 degrees out:)!! 
I do a bit of volunteering too with our 4-H club as I am their community leader. In fact, before writing this post we had our annual 4-H Carnival and Family Fun Night. It's a lot of fun, and a lot of work:) Our club needed to put together a gift basket to auction off and the kids voted on a garden theme. Here is the 'basket' that we took tonight...
Please ignore the handprint artwork on the frig in the background:) It was a gift from my niece's family.
We are all exhausted and there were candy wrappers EVERYWHERE, so all-in-all I think it was a success:)
Since this is a PARTY!! I have a give-away for one lucky winner. I had all intentions of actually having the gift completely made so I could fully show it off, but I came down with a cold/upper respiratory something-or-rather last week and I haven't been able to completely shake it. SO it's not done yet, but I do have a sneak-peek...
One dishrag ready to bind off and another ready to cast on.
These are cotton dishrags in a yarn that is a bit rougher than the ones I use for my face. They will probably be best for actually washing dishes with or other cleaning, but they may soften up after a few washing and be good for the shower as well. Leave a comment and a way to get ahold of you (if you are a no-reply person:), and I will post the winner on Feb 15th!!
I hope you are all having great fun at the Grow Your Blog Party!! I can't wait to visit you as well:)

Monday, January 19, 2015

IHSW - Jan 2015

This past weekend was the International Hermit and Stitch Weekend hosted by Joysze of Random Ramblings. It is a time set aside to do as much stitching (and staying home) as possible!! This is *my* kind of challenge:)
While I haven't ever actually been able to stay home a whole weekend for this, I did get a bit stitched this weekend...
Madam Cottontail (from With thy Needle and Thread) is coming along nicely. She is all dressed up and ready to do her gardening. Though it kind of looks like that flower is trying to eat her ear;) I'm pretty happy with the progress I made on this one, it's been a fun project to work on.
Off to see everyone else's progress:)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New Year, A New Party

2 Bags Full
For the last two years, I've participated in Vicki's of 2 Bags Full 'Grow Your Blog Party'. It is wonderful fun to visit lots and lots of other blogs and help grow other blogs as well as getting bunches of comments on your own blog - plus a few new followers!! Many of the bloggers have give-aways to put in for as well - and who doesn't love to win goodies?  BTW - I'm working on a give-away myself, so come back and visit for the party!!
This year Vicki has added a small description of each bloggers craft of choice. So if you would only like to visit blogs that have to do with cross stitch or knitting, that will be labeled for you.
If you'd like to join up you still can. January 17th is the deadline to have your blog entered into this party that starts on January 25th.
Hope to 'see' you there!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Fought The Frog...

but the frog won. I fought the frog but the frog won. (Insert music notes:) From the song 'I fought the law, and the law won...

Yes, the frog won on my knitting. After having success kicking the frog out of my stitching, he took up residence with my knitting project and won. It would have been okay if I hadn't lost my patience, or if maybe I hadn't been trying to knit at 12:30 in the  morning:) But alas, after knitting 54 rows of my shawl this is what I ended up with...
Thankfully, I love this pattern, and I LOVE this yarn, so I started over again and here is where I am now (again!!)...
I'll have to work really hard to make my end of February finish date now, but I think I can still do it:)
On a side note, I had no idea how many versions of 'I Broke the Law' there were!! I listened to some really good ones and a couple that may give me nightmares!! Hopefully I chose one that you like:)   

Saturday, January 10, 2015

YOTA Check In - Jan 2015

Time for the first YOTA check in of the year!! YOTA is hosted by Pull the Other Thread. Join in when ever you like.

Yesterday I posted the 10 projects I am going to focus on this year for the Turtle Trot SAL, and I had thought I would just use one of those projects for my YOTA project as well, but what fun would that be?!?!? So I found another project that I want to focus on for this - actually I still have several UFO projects that I could have chosen from - I really hope to get a few finished this year!!

My YOTA project will be 'Birds of a Feather Mystery SAL' from With thy Needle and Thread/Brenda Gervias. This Mystery SAL was from a couple years ago and I really enjoyed working on it for quite a while. Here is where it's started from...
 And where it is now...
More work went into this than it looks like!! I'm pretty sure I stopped working on this because of a mistake I had made the first time around on the tree trunk. I didn't remember that when I picked this projects to work on - otherwise I probably wouldn't have picked it, as it was I almost put it back!! I had miscounted way down on the 5th row of the trunk, and I may have decided that I could just work with it and so left it that way. Well, as I got higher up on the tree, it started causing problems with alignment, so I frogged about half the trunk and patched in the repair. It's all better now, but goodness that took some time!! I'm happy to report that I'm back to enjoying this piece and hope to make lots of progress on it this year!!
The rest of this weekend it going to be dedicated to fixing a mistake on the wrap I am currently knitting. I think I need to pay more attention to my projects and less to Downton Abbey!! :)  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Turtle Trot Jan 2015

I'm really excited to participate in this year's Turtle Trot, hosted by Claudette of BAP Attack. I'm hoping that I can make some real progress on some projects that have been neglected for a while, and maybe even finish a few of them. Wouldn't that be a shocker!! :) This month we are to post the 10 projects that we want to focus on this year, so here are mine...

 'Common Thread' from Threadwork Primitives. This is one of the charts I received from being a member of The Ladies Prim Society in 2014. It was so much fun to receive surprise projects in the mail that I joined again this year. If you are interested in joining, do so quickly over at Dyeing to Stitch.
'Mary's Sampler II' from Plum Street Sampler.  I don't have a picture of the finished chart for this one as it is a freebie and can still be found over at Paulette's site.
'Spring Snapperland' from Bent Creek. The only one of these I have finished (and framed and hanging on my wall almost all year long) is the Autumn one. These all have a freebie boarder that helps bring the individual charts together.
'Summer Snapperland' from Bent Creek.
'Winter Snapperland' from Bent Creek.
'Flower and Bird Sewing Roll' by Chessie and Me. I almost have the front panel done on this, but haven't started the inside panel.
'Summer, Autumn, Winter Loose Feathers' from Blackbird Designs. This is one of my favorite projects I have going right now. I LOVE stitching on 40 ct!! I will be leaving off the alphabet from the top/bottom of this chart.
 'Liberty Tree' from M Designs. I also LOVE stitching over one:)
 'Sarah Tobias' from Blackbird Designs (found in Thank You, Sarah Tobias booklet). Also being done over one.
'Summer House Pincushion' from Blackbird Designs. Obviously, I changed the colors on this:) I really love that blue and brown together.
So many pretty and fun projects to work on!! And you can still join in on this SAL as well, but only until tomorrow, so hurry over to BAP Attack and get signed up!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Project Progress

So how has this year been treating you so far? I have really been taking things slow and easy. Mostly been working on my Jan 1st projects, puttering around the house and trying to convince myself that all this lovely holiday time must come to an end. Not doing so well on that last part:) But school will resume today as well as house chores and grocery shopping.

As for my project progress, here's how it's coming along...

 Madam Cottontail from With thy Needle and Thread, almost has a head now:) I love the colors in this piece!! So far the fibers have all been from Weeks Dye Works, which I have a love/hate relationship with. I LOVE the colors they have, they are rich and turn out just beautiful. But I have troubles with the thread itself. It tends to knot on me more than others and it doesn't have as good of coverage as other I usually use. This piece is on 36 ct fabric, however, so coverage isn't as much of an issue.

Here's my crochet project. These will be fingerless mitts and it is coming along nicely. I really like the color, but I'm thinking I should have chosen a non-variegated yarn for this project. I'm losing the stitch detail with all the color shifting. That's okay for these since they are my first mitts and I will use them either way, but it's something I want to be aware of in the future.

And finally, my knitting project, Guernsey Wrap from Jared Flood. The yarn is SOOOOOO soft!!! I can't wait to wrap up in this one!! It may be a while though, as I'm on row 32 of 464. :) My goal is to have this one done at the end of next month, but I'm pretty slow at knitting, so we will see.

Today I am wanting to start pulling the projects I will focus on for the YOTA Sal and the Turtle Trot Sal as well as find a project to work on for the Smalls Sal (I will be choosing Christmas ornies for these so I will be ahead for next year:). Lots of fun 'work' for me!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Blog, New Goals

Well, here I am at my new 'home'. Like it is many times, my new 'home' has yet to be decorated, nor has it had all it's finishing touches. Hopefully by the end of this week I'll get the header up and do a bit of work to make it just right. But I didn't want to wait any longer to move in and start posting:) I will leave 'Around the Homestead' open for a while as new and old friends start coming by here, but I will eventually shut it down, I'm just not sure when yet.

Yesterday (at the other blog) I mentioned that I had a stitchy finish and also received a couple stitchy related gifts this year. First I finished a couple of ornies to give as Christmas presents...

The top one is Winter Song from BBD found in the 2008 ornament issue of JCS. This was a gift to my sil, Marianne Meyer. I also made this for my 12 Days of Christmas exchange partner, but used an 'A' as her name is April:)  The bottom one is Snowbirds from CCN found in the 2013 ornament issue of JCS. This one was done for my mil who loves birds:)

I was also able to get this done just in the (St.) Nick of time!! Except I still haven't finished it into a stocking:) Luckily this one is for me, so it didn't matter so much. This is Christmas Stocking from Plum Street Samplers found in the 2013 Ornie issue of JCS.

I LOVE stockings!! And I *think* I mentioned this to my sil, so she made this adorable stocking for me!! This was her first stocking finish, and I think she did great!! I believe this is part of the December Stockings that BBD did.

Every year my sil and I also receive a gift card to our local needle work store. It just so happens that our LNS also has an inventory sale at the end of the year and every thing in stock is 20% off. Of course that means that we have to have a little shopping day to spend our Christmas money!!

It wouldn't be a New Year without some New Starts!! This year I have 3 new starts.

A stitching start...

Madam Cottontail from Brenda Gervais/With thy Needle and Thread
And a new knitting and crocheting project!! :) The purple/grey wool blend sock yarn with be for crocheted mitts. The teal yarn is for a knitted wrap. It is a bamboo/silk blend and is OH SO SOFT!! The pattern is called Guernsey Wrap created by Jared Flood and can be found at Brooklyn Tweed website.

I've been spending a bit of time for the last couple of weeks trying to decide what handwork goals and challenges I want to try and tackle this year. Here's what I've come up with so far...

Smalls SAL from Stitching Lotus - Stitch and finish a small project and post on the last Wednesday of the month.

IHSW from Joysze at Random Wonderings - Work on a project(s) of your choice on the 3rd weekend of the month, trying to devote as much time as possible that weekend just for your stitching.

YOTA from Pull the Other Thread - Pick a project to focus on for the month and show off your progress on the first Sat of the month.

Turtle Trot from Claudette at BAP Attack - Pick 10 projects you would like to finish this year and post progress on them on the 10th of every month.

Gail Pan Patterns Sew Along from Martina at Sunshine Quilting - This is a embroidery/quilting/sewing SAL that I participated in last year and was a lot of fun. You pick any Gail Pan pattern to work on and post your finish/progress on the last week of the month.

I think this will be the bulk of my stitching goals/challenges. I haven't decided/found any that I want to do yet with knitting/crocheting, but will add them if I do. I do want to make sure to continue with the knitting and crocheting in order to build skill and confidence with them, plus it's a lot of fun!!

Of course, I would love it if you would cheer me along as I will cheer you along in your stitching/knitting/sewing/crafting adventures!!

Here's to a wonderfully creative 2015 year!!!