Wednesday 29 December 2021

Hair of the Elf - BFF SAL 6

No, not some odd Christmas hangover cure, just the subject of tonight's stitching.

A short session as we're both suffering from colds, but it's good to just share that little bit of time together. 

Hop over to to check out her update. 

Thursday 16 December 2021

BFF SAL 5 (and 6)

Only a wee session this week, as my BFF was feeling under the weather.

But we added (at my request) the fancy star to BFF SAL 5.

I was starting to feel like my lack of confidence and progress on the backstitch was going to mean a Xmas 2022 finish for my BFF.  I will get mine done, but I'm not convinced that it will happen by Xmas 2021! Made a better start on some backstitch by sneaking up on it and not admitting it was actually happening!  I'm happy with the little I managed to get done. 

And added a teeny bit extra hair to the elf of BFF SAL 6, which definitely a 2022 finish! 

Check out my BFF's update if she adds one on

Monday 13 December 2021

BFF SAL 4 - fully finished finally

Finally got the SAL framed. I have to admit, for a pattern we fell out of love with whilst stitching, I am very happy with the result!

Blackwork Stars

This is my first introduction to the world of blackwork, I completed it in a couple of days some months ago.

It has taken a while to find the right frame combination for it, so it's been taking up space on the washing line of smalls in the meantime. 

I like the way the black emphasises the other colours here.  I may create a very slim mount with colour, as it's barely making it at the top and bottom of the frame.  But that job is for another day. Today is about getting things in frames!! 

Bluebell Wood refrramed

I bought a frame today intending it for another of the BFF SAL pieces. But the colour sung to me of bluebells, and is a perfect fit for that project!

Saturday 11 December 2021

Advent Blog Hop 2021

Welcome to the Advent Blog Hop, hosted by Jo over at  Check out her post to see all the other doors. 

I don't often make seasonal stitches, this year I have worked on 3, and finished only one so far.

The topic of the blog this year is our Christmas trees.  And I suddenly realised that I don't really take many of those shots myself!!

Managed to find some better ones from my hubbyman

Here's a rare one from me, with  my (much younger) child a few years ago in a Christmas tree jumper!! 

Our tree is an artificial one, even they manage to shed enough bits, I couldn't deal with pine needles dropping. 

As far as ornaments go, we have several small traditions. 

When hubby and I got our first tree together, we asked our parents for an ornament or two from our respective childhoods to go on our tree.
 These share pride of place every year, blending our old lives and our family traditions together. 

Since we got the bigger tree, we have also started a new tradition, every year we buy a new decoration to add to the collection.   We don't have a particular colour scheme or theme, I just love lots of bright and colourful decorations and tinsel garlands.  The topper is a star which we always intend to replace before the next Christmas (as it is decidedly wobbly and difficult to get straight), and inevitably end up using again! 

We couldn't always afford to buy a tree when I was a child (before we got an artificial one), but I have fond memories of the Xmas lights displayed in the shape of a tree on our wall! 

We generally try to put the tree up on the first Sunday in December, or somewhere close to that time.   This year we managed just the day before I was due to post the hop. 

It's always a family affair, although sometimes we will start the process of putting the tree up between the adults and then we can decorate it as a family.  We will play Christmas carols (once upon a time on CD but now largely on our smart speaker), and sing along while we work. 

I'm really looking forward to our first Christmas in our new home this year, and to celebrate we have bought a brand new tree, a 7ft artificial tree with flocked fake snow. 

I'm doubly looking forward to seeing it all decorated, as last year's Xmas was spent in a state of limbo regarding the impending house move, so we had only our small 2ft fibreoptic tree displayed last year, alongside a garland on the fireplace and my crib. 

I have to admit that we had a minor panic this year at first, as neither of us adults could remember seeing the wicker basket in which our decorations live since the move!! But of course it had been well packed away in a plastic container.  And in fact, the decorations may actually have moved here before we did, as we were packing things into the garage for a few weeks prior to the move! 

Happy Christmas everyone! 

Wednesday 8 December 2021

BFF SAL 6 - Short but sweet

Not a massive amount of stitching or blogging in tonight, we were both shattered.

But a little bit of progress, my elf has some hair appearing.  Looks a bit ginger right now! 

Check out my BFF's update on

Wednesday 24 November 2021

BFF SAL 6 - the Other Christmas One

Sorry we were missing last week, we did get together on Skype but I had nothing to share, as I stalled on the SAL, big style. 

It was an odd night this week. Had another attempt, started off with a pointy needle for backstitch and was making such a mess of things it looked like a sketch rather than an outline - that railroad track at the bottom right is supposed to be a nice clean line!

So I stopped, and did a bit of crochet. 

But as my BFF had decided to start on a cover kit we both have, I felt guilty and decided to start the same.  And thus was born BFF SAL 6.  We both started in the same place here, we're working on a rubberised plasticy strange Aida - does it have a real name? The picture here makes it look like there's a fault, but I think it's just a reflection as I can't see it on the real thing! 

I did return to the crochet at the end of the night, and finished off my latest hat.  It requires a pompom, but I shall be purchasing a faux fur one rather than making a woolly one.  I've found in the past that woollen ones are rarely as good as the amount of effort required!

Check out my BFF's update when she's posted on

Thursday 11 November 2021

Lots of Little Stuff - BFF SAL 5

Made good progress this week after a hard day at the office.  Donkey and cow have hair and ears, sheep have their ears, alk humans now have hands, and Mary has a finished cloak and a Holy Baby!!  Oh, and the Big Onion is finally complete.  I prefer my BFF's variation on the theme here though. 

I have a handful of stitching required for the stones in the path, and then a whole host of backstitch to do.

And then I might start to catch up with my BFF.  I only managed to fit in one of my free hours last week, and entirely forgot about the picture to prove it!  So this week I have a free hour left to work on some of that catch up.

This is the disadvantage of working on a shared pattern.  I would have been quite happy with the pace at which it's progressing, as it will be done well in time for Christmas.  But because I can see how much further my BFF's is going, I feel there's pressure to catch up so we can work on the new bit, the fancy stitch for the central star, together.

Check out my BFF's update on

Sunday 31 October 2021

Halloween Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2021

Welcome to the Trick or Treat Blog Hop, hosted by Jo over at

Collect the letters as you hop around and unscramble the mystery phrase! Here's my letter - E. 

It's our first Halloween in our new house this weekend, so I look forward to seeing whether we get many little visitors craving treats tonight! 

Here's my spooky contribution for this year, I stitched it in my procrastination phase during the Baby Sampler project, so you may accidentally have caught glimpses on the 'washing line of smalls' display in the past few months.

I feel almost guilty not having dashed it together last minute in my usual fashion!!

Now, head along to the next stop on the way to continue your hop!!

Happy Hopping, friends. 

Saturday 30 October 2021

A Diamond all for Me

This one is all for me. I have yet to source the frame for it but I look forward to seeing this one on the wall.

I don't think diamond painting is a craft that photograhs well, the sparkling sheen makes a grubby appearance on camera. 

Thursday 28 October 2021

Small onions - BFF SAL 5

I was super tired this week, having left my reading glasses at home and struggling on without them at the office all day.  

So a reduced amount of stitching, with increased time for nattering, as my old house has gone back on the market so much nosiness ensued.  Suffice to say I am not jealous and very glad to be where we are now.

The onion is beginning to take shape, represented for now by the top blob!   Don't worry the fabric is just folded at the top, I have plenty of space for the star too! 

Check out my BFF's update on as she has a different approach to me. 

Monday 25 October 2021

A new obsession - not just for Granny

OK, I'll admit it... I'm 'hooked' on crochet at the moment!!

First came the sunflower... 

And then the pompom stitch one... Which is my favourite so far! 
A bit of traditional granny square... 
A wobbly pompom variation 

And a couple of pinwheel style blocks.

I'm now obsessed and on the hunt for new and interesting variations on the granny square on YouTube.  I do like a demonstration video. 

The intention is eventually to join the blocks into a sampler blanket for my cradt room. 

Not bad for a craft that I left behind in the past as I couldn't get the hang of it!!

(I've also completed 2 matching hats and fingerless gloves to go with the poncho, but I needed a break from the bright blue for a while) 

Thursday 21 October 2021

BFF SAL 5 - The Big Blob

Started to add the tent at the top of the work this week.  That lack of backstitch has the unfortunate result of adding further to the blobbiness of the piece!  I look forward to adding some more definition soon.

It's been an OK stitch so far but I don't think either of us are feeling a lot of love for it.  Maybe that will come with finish/fully finished states? 

We did have fun with the conversation this week, lots of our childhood TV game shows and quizzes!

Check out my BFF's update on

Monday 18 October 2021

A personal First

For the first time ever in my life I have created a wearable 'thing' with crochet.

It's a hat to match the poncho, as I have lots of wool left over. 

As it was an experiment with stitches and hook size, it is a little fuller at the crown than initially planned.  No matter, it means I can wear it as a beret

Or as a beanie 

I quite prefer it as a beret myself.

I've very much enjoyed making it.  It's also given me the confidence that I might manage to make a few more bits using crochet. 

Once again I will give credit to the Internet for the tutorials.  This one gave me the rough idea about how to make the increases, and I adapted as I went along for my thicker yarn. 

There's a lot to be said for watching random strangers doing something over and over... You can't always ask friends or relatives to 'rewind and show me again' 20 times over.   And seeing things in action usually makes more sense for me than static photos. 

Friday 15 October 2021

Gifted Gorgeousness link up October

It's the 15th again, already!!!

You can find the rules and the main link up post over on, hosted by Jo.

This month's been a quiet one for gifts, but these cover charts haven't had a post of their own yet, even though you're likely to have seen them on the 'washing line of smalls' display before.

All 3 were from the World of Cross Stitching magazine on a single freebie.  I loved the whole set, there was also an ice cream but it was a different size, for me, didn't fit with the set.  The designer is Durene Jones, who you've seen a few times on both my page and ny BFF's. 

I also have a diamond painting Christmas gift finished, but I am not allowing a full share of that until after it's been framed and gifted. 

Hopefully there might be a more organised month ahead, when I can figure out what gifty Gorgeousness I can actually share!! 

Thursday 14 October 2021

BFF SAL 5 - Going Psycho?

The continuing journey of the Blob.

Feels very much as if I (and the shepherd who is the only solid piece) are being subjected to a Rorschach Test

And what does it say about my psyche that I am making blobs out of figures??

I've been working up the left path, and there's a little bit of 'toffee cow' there too.  But I'm blowed if I can see anything but a shepherd so far!!   Even tempted to start backstitch early just for some definition!!

Check out my BFF's update on when she's posted too. 

Monday 11 October 2021

A new technique and a second attempt.

This weekend I was mooching about on YouTube, as you do sometimes.  I like to watch the odd craft video when I'm lacking the energy to do my own crafts.

I came across this tutorial for a 

Well the idea of very short rows appeals to me, and I have lots of leftovers from various chunky wool projects.

It's not the prettiest thing, but here's the beginning of my 10 stitch blanket.  Essentially it works by working mitred corners to turn your work.  There are a few different ways to achieve this, but this tutorial gave me the method I've been using.  A smaller needle size would work to tighten up the mitres, but I don't mind how they look, for a first attempt. 

I somehow feel like stitching the seams would be tidier than the pick up and knit given in the tutorial.  But maybe my confidence will grow as I go through the process. 

The YouTube channel also has crochet videos.  So I am giving that a go too, as I have not had much success with it in the past.  

But sometimes I have returned to old crafts and enjoyed the experience, so I thought I would try again. 

This is just a little sample piece where I've been experimenting with different combinations of stitches.   I think it is one that may take some time to build confidence in my ability to count!! 

I'd ideally like to gain just enough ability to be able to make a blanket, or a hat or scarf, things without much shaping required. 

My first attempts at a granny square/rectangle did not even get beyond the first row as it somehow twisted around and was very confusing!! 

I think I need to try that with a thicker yarn for my first time. 

Thursday 7 October 2021

BFF SAL 5 - getting Blobby

Whilst my BFF's update here shows how much the figures are beginning to look like the picture, mine appears to be working the other way round!

Finishing off St Joseph and half a donkey gives me the impression of a large blob above the shepherd!

I suspect that my BFF is well ahead of me on this one!!

I've been exceedingly tired this week, so I think my stitching was slower than normal.

Still, progress is progress! 

Sunday 3 October 2021

A Knitty finish

The TPOD is finally finished!!

(The Poncho Of Doom) 

The 'individual' cable pattern is handily hidden to the back. 

It's been a very busy weekend, so for me knitting is something I can fit in the teeny slices of free time between other commitments.   So it grew more quickly than I expected!! 

I love the colours of this wool, I think the poncho pattern would show better on a plain background, but I think it will be a comfy cosy accessory for the start of winter, where you're not quite ready for the winter coat yet.

I have wool left over, so maybe a hat or gloves to match might be the next knit?

Thursday 30 September 2021

BFF SAL 5 - making roads

This week I decided to continue alongside the shepherd, as I wasn't feeling confident enough to move more than a couple of stitches away from a 'jumping off point ".

So a bit of the edge of the road or path the shepherd is wandering.  The part-completed tunic of St Joseph looks more like a castle on a hill at present!!

It's interesting to see just how much my BFF's stitching style and my own are diverging on this project!!

Catch up with my BFF's update when she posts on

Thursday 23 September 2021

BFF SAL 5 a new beginning

It's time to get back together as a SAL, after a few weeks of random things, we were ready to get back to working on something together once more.

It's now the run-up to Christmas, so it's time for a seasonal stitch. 

This is from a cross stitch magazine that both my BFF and I have a subscription to.

I've been following the pattern as it's written, with only one substitute for a thread I appear to be missing.

The poor shepherd looks like he's under a rain cloud right now, I think! 

Check out my BFF's update on when she's posted. 

Sunday 19 September 2021

Woah we're halfway there!!

Hope that stuck you with the appropriate 80s earworm as it did for me.

(Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi).
(They used to play that one and The Final Countdown by Europe, one after the other at school discos.. I still can't hear one of them without thinking of the other!)

Halfway there now for the Poncho of Doom, with its first side finished and cast off. 

I have to go with the flow when the knitting muse hits, as it's often fleeting.  It's one of the reasons I rarely knit with the thinner wools, I like the instant gratification of chunky wool. 

Friday 17 September 2021

The Poncho of Doom - (Der Poncho des Untergangs)

I'm deeply grateful that you can barely make out the cables on this wool.  Why, you may ask?

Shot 1 here shows the start of the work, where I appear to have left 8 rows between each cable. 

Shot 2 shows further up, where I am now, with 12 rows between the cables. 

Neither of these are actually right!  I have only just realised this, having just re-read the pattern, which calls for a 20 row repeat! 

I'm afraid, at 118 rows in so far, it will get finished the way it is, with the other panel using my own 12 row repeat! (definitely not letting my Mam pull anything back, after my poor BFF's experience with the self same pattern!). here

Definitely Not Perfect, Unique this one!! 

And just fancied slipping a teeny bit of German in the title, as an homage to my current Duolingo streak (30 days now).   I did however resort to Google Translate for that one!! 

Thursday 16 September 2021

BFF RAL - a multitude of goodies

We had a very diverse experience with the RAL this week, I couldn't quite settle to one thing.

There was knitting first. 

And then a very small amount of work on Safe Haven. 
And then I decided to start a new blackwork piece - having finished last week's start during the week - it has yet to be framed or a plan to be decided for display.  It is of course on the washing line of finishes whilst it waits. 

So this is the new start, a small 4 part freebie from the Steady Thread Facebook group.  It strikes me as quietly seasonal, so it may be completed in appropriate colourways. 

Conversation was as eclectic as the crafts this week, from crafts we did or learned at school, to our likes or dislikes for particular crafts and the reasons for that.  

And to my BFF's delight I now have a button container, which I will share on a later blog post once I have it looking more presentable. 

And I'm certain that there was something else we discussed that we thought would have made a great blog post topic, however it has escaped both of our memories.  If we ever remember I will update you accordingly!! 

Check out my BFF's update when she's ready on

(she might even be inclined to share what's coming up next for us...)