West of House, a cross stitch pattern by Clue of the Broken Needle

 I wasn't able to share my progress with this because I made it for my partner's birthday. He now has it, so I'm free to tell you all about it.

Here's the finished project in daylight (above) and in the dark (below)

If the location 'West of House' and the hidden warning about being eaten by a grue mean nothing to you, this is all from a text adventure game called Zork from 1977.  

The pattern is called West of House and is by The Clue of the Broken Needle

This is my first foray into cross stitch. Luckily I had a couple of cross-stitching friends who were willing to give me lots of advice and of course Youtube has all the help you need on any subject.

I did buy things that I didn't need though. After buying a hoop and then buying a q-snap frame I then heard someone use the phrase 'stitching in hand' and discovered that you don't need a hoop or frame at all and that holding the fabric in your hand is way quicker and easier.

The title and first few stitches seemed to go very quickly and so I entertained ideas about finishing it in good time and then making another for myself. 

However, there are 4083 stitches altogether and I only just managed to finish it in time for the birthday!

The hidden message is very clever. You can buy glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss, which looks white in daylight. 

Then as you fill in the space using regular white floss, the letters disappear! 
I loved doing it. I became better at the stitching as time went on and will definitely do more cross-stitching!

Leaf Cravat by Teva Durham in handspun yarn

 This can be made to wrap once or twice around the neck and worn tied or untied.

This is quite popular with handspinners and there are some examples here.

I have some yarn that I spun for socks. The details of the fibre are lost to time but I think it's a wool/silk mix. I spun the singles finely and made a three-ply, aiming for sock-weight but it's probably closer to DK and this is probably the reason that two attempts at making socks from it failed.

This pattern calls for a sport-weight ('5-ply'). My yarn probably isn't far off and I think I have the right amount - we'll see when I reach the end. 

The leaf cravat has a shaped leaf at each end and to make them match you knit the first one from the blunt end and then pick up stitches at your cast-on end. The scarf section isn't a quick, plain knit but requires some concentration. I appreciated the more interesting knit and it certainly makes a more attractive scarf. 

For these unusually short rows I tried three types of needle before settling on the 8" Knitpro Zing DPNs. SPNs were unnecessarily heavy and unwiedly. A circular was awkward because the cable had nothing on it and kept springing into the way (I should have tried a shorter cable). The Zing dpns are perfect, they're very light, just the right length and the rounder points work well with this yarn.

Note that this is knitted lace and my pictures show unblocked pieces. There will still be some shape / curl to them after light blocking. 

It is a quick knit. I'm not a fast knitter but expect to finish this in four or five evenings.