Milling About

Windmills have been a Thing for me since visiting Kinderdijk a couple years ago. So cool! Holland was a stop on our family’s Viking River Cruise (SO FUN – thank you ever and always to Auntie Em and Uncle Popcorn). Those tours are seriously fast-paced. Shopping is a trade-off to sightseeing and I would always rather see sights than shop so I came home with only a few souvenirs for the kiddo and nothing for myself except for an extra 5 pounds around my middle. Maybe I should have spent more time shopping than I did eating and drinking.

Nah.

This little project serves as a memento of that trip.

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I made it from a lovely Cozy Blue kit that my mom gave me for Christmas. I could make every design Cozy Blue puts out.

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I get a little thrill whenever I have a glue-gun sanctioned project. THIS is why I keep them around I triumphantly think to myself in an attempt to assuage the guilt of having so. much. STUFF that I hardly ever use. Especially when I have to dig it out from the back of the mess of other stuff I hardly ever use in the attic closet.

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We’ve got some backstitch, brick stitch, satin stitch, and split stitch in there. Weave stitch would have been awesome for the windmill blades, but I didn’t learn about it until after I’d already backstitched one and a half of them. I was tempted to tear out what I’d done, but those stitches are teeny and I worried I’d do damage to the piece.

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No matter, it’s done and I love it. I added it to my hodgepodge of keepsakes and mementos and lost no time picking out a new project to fill another hole on my wall of places that are meaningful to me: Satsuma Street’s Pretty Little Italy. I’ve been spending my evenings revisiting the plodding pace of cross-stitch, my first craft obsession.

The Sea Captain

I finished a thing!

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This is the Sea Captain kit from Cozy Blue Handmade. I didn’t notice that random stray piece of a thread on the Captain’s cap until now. It’s driving me nuts. Look, you can really see it well in this photo:

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I used:

  • Stem stitch for the, smoke, and pipe stem
  • Split stitch for eyebrows, beard, and moustache
  • Satin stitch for eye and pipe bowl
  • Fern stitch for knit cap
  • French knots for sweater bobbles
  • Straight or back stitch for everything else
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I was surprised to learn that you finish embroidery like this using a hot glue gun. Good thing I have two!

I love him, but he already has a wife.

Process without Progress

I’ve been making, but everything I’m working on is in some stage of progress and I have finished nothing this week.

I have socks on the go.

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I got SO MUCH done on these during the employee benefits meeting.

I have super secret Christmas gifties on the go.

I have swatching on the go.

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I have that Christmas sweater on the go.

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Haven’t frogged that sleeve yet!

I have those PJs on the go. Well, they were until I sewed the cuffs on the pants before sewing the front and back cuff to one another. I spent the rest of my sewing time last night getting back to where I thought I was starting. That’s progress, in a way.

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So close to being done.

A lot of process, little progress. Sometimes it’s like that. Heck, sometimes things never get done. Speaking of which, note to self: the next time you’re wondering where your #8 Knitpicks interchangeable need is, let this serve as a reminder that it’s in the half-finished Lotta Cardigan you started and abandoned last year in that pretty dark purple Cascade 220. Remember you found it when you were looking for something else in your knitting basket in the bedroom? What was I even looking for? Who can remember? What was I talking about, again?

Trifecta

Three stockings, three toys, three jack o-lanterns, three, three, three!

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Bear completes the group. I think he (she? I got to thinking too hard about these toys’ genders after my last post when I realized I was naming them all mister and decided to leave gender assignments out of it going forward) is my favorite and I think it’s because Bear is colorful though it does make me wonder if Bear has a circus past and the politics of that.

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These toys are adorable and a great introduction to embroidery.

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Please excuse the dirty plant container and mums that need deadheaded. We are not a very pinterest-y household.

I can hardly gloat about having some Christmas items done so early. It was more a function of really wanting to make these than any sense of order or preparation or planning. Sometimes a whim will work in your favor.

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Kiddo was artistic director of the pumpkin carving. This 7-eyed one is my favorite. Squirrel pictured is not responsible for the nibbling. Damn squirrels.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Mr. Fox’s Friend

Two down of three!

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This is the squirrel from the Kiriki Press‘ doll embroidery kit series, aka “Mr. Squirrel” to keep with the theme.

This embroidery bug has taken my quite by surprise. I suddenly want to embroider something for everyone for Christmas. I ordered this amazing Sea Captain embroidery kit for brother-in-law and his girlfriend. I was sorely tempted to get the Sea Captain’s Wife, too, but the expense of all these kits was starting to add up even for usually-spendthrift-when-it-comes-to-her-hobbies me. So tempting, though…

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Waiting on one more. Will Mr. Squirrel share his acorn? Will Mr. Fox eat the lot? How will Mr. Bear’s personality change the group dynamic?

Christmas Sneak Peek

Suddenly the weather has turned cool and fall-like and I remembered that Christmas is coming.

Scratch that. I have kids so I never quite forget that Christmas is coming. I’ve also just finished (except for blocking – isn’t that an entirely knitterly qualification to make?) a snowflake stole that I’ve been working on off-and-on all summer so it may be that I never stopped thinking about Christmas this last year. I’ve been cataloging ideas all along. I started a whole post listing them before remembering that my husband might (be the only one) read(ing) this and some attempt at mystique should be maintained.

I can mention these adorable Kiriki little animal embroidery kits I ordered from Purl Soho. They are meant for Christmas stockings. Only time will tell if they make it there. I have a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to holiday making. If it doesn’t get done in time for this year there’s always next. Or never. Whatevs.

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Fox box has been tampered with since its arrival

I’ve done loads of cross-stitch, some pulled thread and open work embroidery, some crewel, and knitted lots of toys, but this will be my first time tackling a project quite like this. Time to move from the Christmas-planning to the Christmas-making.