Wow! OMG and all that!


It’s been so long since I posted here!  I feel terribly guilty.  I have to admit that I’ve done no knitting and only a little cross-stitch.  I spent a fair while beading and making jewellery but have returned to my first love: writing!  I apologise to everybody for not being more active here, but I kept leaving it because I done nothing new and… well, time flies.

If you’re interested, I have a very active blog on various subjects around writing, called Imagineer-ing.  You would be very welcome to visit me there too!  It might even be fun.

I can’t promise that I’ll be busy with the needles again soon, I’m afraid.  I would love to be able to do everything I love, but it’s just not possible.

I do have a thought… I might turn this into a general blog, with all manner of subjects that reflect my life, such as it is.  I’ve no idea if anybody would find that interesting, of course.  I’d be delighted to hear your views on the idea!

All the best,

Steve

The Grasshopper Effect


This last few days has been something of a mixture of activities!  I’m still working on the sweater (I’ve actually started a sleeve at last) but gemstones have been distracting me!  In fact, I’ve been hooked!!  I now have my own supply of gemstones – though it’s been much reduced over the last week…  I honestly never expected to ever become a jewellery maker but I’ve been having fun making stuff.  I’ve had a go at earrings, bracelets and even a necklace!

You can see most of what I’ve made here.

I’ve discovered that jewellery making is just as addictive as any craft – be warned!  Once you start, stopping becomes unthinkable…

Hangers On…


Recently, we went to HobbyCraft Chelmsford.  While there, I had a good look at the many beads on display.  Initially, my interest stemmed from the fact that I’m sorely tempted to try my hand at jewellery making!  You can blame Jewellery Maker (TV channel, Sky 655).  We were well behaved though – buying very little.  I did get a string of fuchsia glass beads, for making stitch markers with.  Jenny made the markers for me – seven each with a little Tibetan silver humming bird and one with a butterfly:

Stitch Markers

Stitch Markers

 

Charting Software and News


As I’ve been struggling to do much at all, it’s natural that I’ve got very little to say.  I’ve done a few rows of this, a few rows of that, but nothing too complicated, in the realm of knitting.  I’ve not done a huge amount of cross stitch either, just a little green dragon and an Oriental lady is in progress, the latter being the most complicated piece I’ve done so far!  It’s immensely frustrating – my fingers keep twitching, demanding activity!

Many years ago, we obtained a cross stitch magazine which had a nice freebie on it – a program to allow charts to be designed.  It’s an excellent program, provided you’re prepared to learn to limit floss colour numbers and size of any picture imported into it.  That’s true of all charting software, of course.  Anyway, Jenny asked me to let somebody know more about it and I had to remind her that it isn’t actually available (as far as I know) unless you’re lucky enough to come across it in a charity shop or similar.  That said, Ikuta Software & Design Studio provide a very nice package which serves a very similar function, though without the same number of “bells and whistles”.  In fact, they offer two packages:

  • KG-Chart for Cross Stitch, and
  • KG-Chart for Bead Weaving
They are almost identical.  The difference being that one refers to DMC floss while the other refers to Delica Beads and TOHO Best Beads.  Apparently, they are working on a commercial version of the bead weaving version.  At the moment, both packages are available free, though you can opt to make a donation to the programmer.  I recommend both for anybody who would like to try their hand at designing.  You can always move on to a more sophisticated commercial product later, if you wish.