The Last Stitch

The ending of a long project is a bittersweet moment. There’s the joy at ending, the relief that you’ve seen it through and have reached the final stitch.

But there’s also that feeling of what to do next, now that this large project which has dominated your thoughts and spare moments is at its end. Which of your no doubt extensive list gets picked next?

I’m not quite at the end of my Advent calendar project, but I’m on the home-straight. All the cross-stitch is done, each picture is numbered, and stitched onto flannel patches, ready and waiting to be sewn onto the white fleece I’ve chosen for the backing.

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But now that this has been reduced to an afternoon of sitting in front of my sewing-machine, I’m planning my next projects, although I think I’m going to leave such large projects to one side until I come to make baby-afghans. (I know, none of the patterns were large, but the project itself has been long-winded.) For now, I shall settle with cushion covers, embroidered bags, pictures, and anything else (relatively) small I can think to cross-stitch, starting with Christmas presents.

And sorting out my Stitchery, so it’s actually usable.

The Countdown to Christmas

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It’s nice when you can see the end of a long project in sight. With these two stitched, I have only one left to do for the Advent calendar begun nearly a year ago. And then I’ll be working out how to stitch them all together into the calendar and which order they go in.

These little kits, and the last one, are from Hobbycraft, and took a bare couple of hours each. My sort of kit. Something which can be done in an evening.

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I’m quite impressed by all the spare threads I’ve collected from the many kits I’ve done. I’ve had to get a small box just for them! I need to find a pattern to use them up with. The stitcher’s version of all those zentangle colouring-in pictures.

Also, having found Miss Fisher Season 3 on YouTube (thanks, Katie), now I really do need something new to watch, and to hope that they make a Season 4.

The Winter Fox

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In the last six years since leaving home in deepest, darkest Devon and moving to various towns/cities, it’s the curious thing of Modern Life that I have seen and heard more foxes than I ever did while living in the countryside.

I wasn’t intending to do Christmassy patches for a little while longer, but I was pottering around Hobbycraft the other day, and there were some on offer. So I bought three, for the Advent calendar. They aren’t Mouseloft kits, but they’re the same sort of size, and I haven’t yet found a festive fox kit from Mouseloft. Of the other two, one’s a sheep and the other’s a polar bear, also not ones I’ve found from Mouseloft. And since I was still waiting on some supplies for my next large-ish project, I thought I’d get them to fill in some time.

And then the rest of my supplies turned up after completing only one. So the other two can wait.

Crazy Cat-Lady

Are you a dog-person, or a cat-person?

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Me, I’m firmly a cat-person. Not to say I don’t like dogs, but given the choice I wouldn’t have one as a pet. Too needy and demanding of time and attention.

Cats, though, are famous for their aloofness – not that you’d know that with the two I’m currently looking after! Much indulged since kitten-hood, they like affection and attention. And laps to sleep on. And yet still better than a dog, since they’re still both quite capable of looking after themselves, catching rabbits for midnight snacks.

This Christmas-cat I’ve stitched for the Advent calendar reminds me a little of one of the cats we had before these two. He was aptly, if not very originally, named Ginger, and he passed away almost two years ago, at the grand old age of about 19, which isn’t bad for a cat. We’d had him since he was yay-big *indicates quite tiny*, when his mother, having weaned him and decided she couldn’t cope with her litter, abandoned him in our garden (reports from those who remember – not me! – vary as to where in the garden), where he was discovered by my siblings, mewling pathetically.

And as an update on the Advent calendar: I’m reaching the end of my stash of Mouseloft kits and will need to count up my squares soon, to see if I have enough. I have a feeling I might be a couple short, but at any rate I’m considerably closer to the end of this project!

Thinking Ahead…

Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? I suppose in a way it is. I mean, it’s not like we’ve yet reached Easter, and I do rather object to shops starting the Christmas season in the summer.

Except that when you’re lovingly handcrafting Christmassy items – gifts, decorations, and so forth – you do need to start thinking about them all early, so you have enough time to complete them.

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And when you start planning barely six weeks before the deadline, and you know, Life, you probably won”t finish in time. Like the Advent Calendar I began last November, and failed to finish in time for Advent.

So I’ve started it up again. One patch at a time…

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Advent Calendar Progress

DSCN0218You may remember I made mention of a plan to make an Advent calendar this year. Well, this is how it goes.

I’ve cross-stitched one before, a couple of years ago, but it appears I mislaid it somewhere in a move from one place to another and so I’m making another. Only this time, in a different fashion. Before I simply had a large piece of aida, onto which I stitch patterns and squares.

This time, I have a large piece of white fleece, and two-dozen or so little Mouseloft kits, all with a wintry feel. Each one will be a pocket on the calendar. I’m debating whether I number them or whether it’ll be a lucky dip each day. And then when it’s done, I’ll find a bamboo cane to hang it up with. And then stick little pressies in each pocket.