Surprise Minion Cross-stitch

One good thing about NaBloPoMo was finding new sites to read. One of those, Little Thread Crafts, inspired me to pick up some cross-stitching again. I used to, when I was younger, but then I got much more into the embroidery than just cross-stitch. Kind of went with my major a little easier.

So reading Little Thread Crafts inspired me to cross-stitch something for my mom for Christmas. unfortunately, I was inspired to do this around 2pm the day before we were to exchange gifts. I wrapped up the supplies with this note:

(Yes, Simpsons fans, that is a poorly drawn, tiny Captain Lance Murdock riding the Whiplash…to be completed in 1994.)

I used this pattern from Crafty Guild on 14 count Aida fabric and was able to finish in less than a week:

It’s a minion! It’s also my first counted cross-stitch. I think my favorite part of this is the slight shiftyness to his eye.

Advertisements

50 Days to Christmas

Ahhhh!!!!!

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, there are technically less than fifty days to crank out Christmas presents. I also have to drag myself to the store at some point and buy other presents, but for now I need to focus on the ones I’m making. Granted, I have to wait for a few more yarns to show up at my doorstep, but I”m trying to get everything at least started.

That means there are tiny sock ankles attached to stitch holders and hats lying around in various states of being made. I’m still trying to figure out what to make for half of the people on my list, but at least I have a head start on something.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Mitts (Perhaps a Bit Late)

I had the grand notion of making mitts for all the kids for Christmas. You probably know where this story is going by now. Had the yarn, didn’t have the time, continued making them now. I started the first, smallest pair on December 22, and then left them to sit in a drawer until about last week.

Once I actually got started working on them, it took less than a day for the baby size. I don’t think it was much longer for the bigger ones to fit a small child. These are just basic mitts, 2×2 rib on the bottom and top, stockinette in the middle with a slit thumb worked back and forth.

Exact recipe for the baby mitts (ages 2ish-3ish):
Materials:
– Knit Picks Stroll Sock Yarn
– Size 1.5 (2.5mm) and 2.5 (3.0mm) circular or double point needles
Gauge
9 stitches x 10 rows = 1 inch in Stockinette Stitch
Instructions
1. Cast on 52 stitches. Join to work in the round.
2. Knit 2 Purl 2 rib for 1.25 inches.
3. Change color and work 3 rows stockinette (Knit all stitches).
4. Switch to knitting flat, slipping the first stitch of each row (knit one row, turn at end and purl back, turn again and knit, etc.) for 1 inch.
5. Rejoin in the round and knit for .5 inches.
6. Change to ribbing color, knit 1 round.
7. Knit 2 Purl 2 rib for .5 inches.
8. Bind off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off or any other bind-off that will stretch with the ribbing.

As you can see, the big kid’s (ages 4ish-6ish) version isn’t much different, just larger proportions:
Instructions
1. Cast on 60 stitches. Join to work in the round.
2. Knit 2 Purl 2 rib for 1.5 inches.
3. Change color and work 5 rows stockinette (Knit all stitches).
4. Switch to knitting flat, slipping the first stitch of each row (knit one row, turn at end and purl back, turn again and knit, etc.) for 1.5 inch.
5. Rejoin in the round and knit for .75 inches.
6. Change to ribbing color, knit 1 round.
7. Knit 2 Purl 2 rib for .75 inches.
8. Bind off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off or any other bind-off that will stretch with the ribbing.

As always, if you make these, leave a comment with a link to pictures. I love to see everyone else’s take on things like this. Also, do you have a favorite glove/mitten pattern? What is your policy on Christmas presents that don’t get finished/given for Christmas? Do you just give it whenever, or do you hold it over until the next Christmas/gift-giving opportunity?

Wrapping Up 2013

It’s completely cliché, but appropriate in this case. That is because I am ending the year with a write-up of my Christmas presents. Ok, not mine (which were approximately 95% coffee-related. I don’t plan on sleeping until 2015 with my new caffeine supply.) but the ones I actually got made.

It never fails, I know Christmas happens at the end of December, yet I always seem to wait until November to start making Christmas presents. I swear one of these years I’m going to start earlier. I make no promises on which year that will be, but one of these years I’m going to do it.

Anyway, on to the presents I managed to finish in the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. First up I finished a shawl for one of my grandmothers:

This is also the thing I took the most pictures of:

Thanks to the remote viewfinder app for my camera, I can be my own model:

Next up is a warm little set for a friend, a basket weave hat

and a pair of fingerless mitts.

Here’s how they look on the hand (well, one hand, anyway):

Next up is a cross-stitched iPhone cover for another friend:

Unfortunately, the edges flared out and it became kind of misshapen as you can see in the picture.

Last we have what I’m calling the “Meta Coffee Cup Cozy”

because it is a picture of a coffee mug to go around a morning coffee.

I also gave my other grandmother her half-made scarf with the needle cable still through it and capped at the ends. But I obviously had to take that one back because I am still finishing it. Not bad for starting way too close to Christmas to actually get anything done. Maybe 2014 will be the year I don’t procrastinate on Christmas gifts…

(P.S. – Click on the name of the knitted gifts to go to the Ravelry project page for more information on the item.)

Distractions

I have a really long, complicated project that I should be working on right now. It needs to be finished before Christmas. Instead, of course, I am working on the swatches that will eventually become blankets but are not actually necessary to be working on at this specific point in time. When I truly was trying to get them finished, I got tired of them and wanted to work on absolutely anything else.

What I’m trying to say is, deadlines only lead me to distractions. I know there are many “experts” out there who say to give yourself deadlines to keep you motivated when working on things, but that just never works for me. I majorly procrastinate until right before the deadline and then rush to get things done. This leads to really sloppy results, so I’m thinking I need to stop giving myself deadlines. I obviously can’t handle them well.

That’s not to say that I procrastinate on deadlines given to me by others. No, quite the contrary. If someone else gives me a deadline, I will work continuously to get whatever it is done well before it is due. I just don’t treat my own deadlines that way.

Quick, someone tell me I only have 70 days to finish making Christmas presents! Because that may be the only way I get everything done on time.