Saturday, 17 April 2021

Not much to report

 Ten days have passed and in many ways I feel I have little to show for it.   The DBEM has required a lot of help with her knitting and there seemed to be scant time for me to pick up my needle.   Several days sheer frustration drove me out for long walks, only to return home to find yet more knitting repairs waiting for me.   At this stage I do not think I will be taking up knitting as a main hobby any time soon!

There really should be a support group for ‘carers of elderly parents’.  Sometimes we need a holiday or at least a break of more than a couple of hours at a time.  Nuff said:-)

Anyway, I have managed to complete half of the Kogin for the fifth bag and despite the foolishness of attempting this on 36 count linen I am rather pleased with the effect achieved.   My monthly stitching group friends were all very complimentary at our recent "show and tell" so I cam home inspired to speed up and complete this.   The next two bags will be Assisi embroidery I decided and I have a lovely grape coloured silk to use for those.  

And I successfully found a New Zealand embroiderer who can assist me with the Italian Deruta Sfilato.  I’m waiting on the mail to bring me some printed assistance and can then make more headway on that.

I have another hospital appointment on 30th April and hope to hear some more news then - meanwhile there are still limits on my driving and frustrations on every hand.   

So it's over and out tonight.   I have set the TV to record Prince Phillip's funeral and I'm off to bed soon.

Monday, 5 April 2021

Update and new project

 It was a poet from my favourite Yet-To-Be-Visited destination who once said “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley an’ lea’e us naught but grief and pain”and I certainly agree.  I’ve had rather a week.

Surgery to replace a faulty pacemaker lead was scheduled for last Wednesday and I duly presented myself at the required time and was met at the theatre door by the surgeon.   A handsome man with a full head of executive grey hair, he was as British as The Empire and such a lovely accent.  I rather fell for him!!  Until he told me he wasn’t prepared to go ahead with the surgery.  What?!   Apparently my heart has complex anatomy and the hospital here is not equipped for any of the catastrophic events he could foresee so his opinion was to wait, be referred to Auckland Hospital’s specialist cardiac unit and have the procedure done safely up there, miles away from family support.   At this point he was not My Favourite at all but there was nothing for it but to swallow my totally engulfing disappointment and make my way home to wait. 

And so I am waiting and endeavouring to use the time wisely.   Four of the little bags have now been completed although for number four I had insufficient Perle thread to do the whipping of the wave stitch but as the recipients are not, to my knowledge embroiderers, this will not be a big problem.

Some years ago I purchased a book Deruta Sfilato which despite being written in Italian is wonderfully illustrated and thus I hope to be able to teach myself.   

So I am in the process of edging a square in buttonhole stitch and then will withdraw threads to begin making one of these lovely looking flowers.   What I will do with the finished piece is unknown but I am looking forward to this adventure.  

 Meanwhile the DBEM continues to use up her existing stash of yarn which means I am becoming ever more expert in picking up dropped stitches and repairing errors.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Almost but not quite

 I have been busy working on the third bag and for this one I used up some left over variegated blue Perle #8 and stitched it in Sollersom - roughly based on the pattern in an Inspirations magazine.   Yes, I do like it and am going to stitch another (with some variations) in some more left over Perle #8. Basically a whipped wave stitch,  this is rather effective.   

But I'm not going to have time to complete the bag this week as tomorrow I go into hospital to have my pacemaker lead replaced and stitching will have to go on hold for a day or two.   I have stocked up on books on my iPad as well as going to the library for a good stock of reading material.   I've finally been able to get my hands on the latest Elly Griffiths book, "The Postscript Murders" and have made a start.   I was rather taken to read this on page 9

I've never thought of my Allbirds as expensive -  perhaps that's because they are so comfortable.  Between us the DBEM and I have several pair :)   Today I wore Natural Black merino.

Well that's all from me at present.   I shall be back soon, hopefully with some stitching to show.


Sunday, 21 March 2021

One finish and two more on the way

 One bag is finished completely ribbon and all.   I am well pleased.

And with the momentum from that I started on another in Kogin work = Japanese darning.  But this is B.O.R.I.N.G !!!!   I like the effect but it is going to take many hours to complete and I lost interest quickly.   I must admit though, that the fine linen and the Au Ver A Soie silk thread are a great combination.  

So I started another the same as the first and merely changed the colourway around a little.   This is coming together well and has relieved the boredom.    I shall go back to the Kogin when this is complete.   And then I think the fourth one will be in traditional blackwork.

So far so good.   I am happy that the linen is being used to good purpose and I'm enjoying the finished product.   Two more Christmas ornaments are almost completed so I'll show those next time.

Any spare time is spent repairing the mistakes in the HDEM's knitting.   I took her to the optometrist last week and it appears that there is little that can be done to effect any improvement and she is almost at the point of deciding that once the current stock of wool yarn is all knitted up she may call it a day.   I will be happy if she gives up the knitting as I don't really enjoy it and am having to do quite a bit now to assist her progress.   We have discovered that she can operate the iPad to stop and start audiobooks and this is giving her access (through the public library) to a better selection of books than those provided by the Blind Foundation for their Talking Books.  So there are pluses and there are minuses:-)   All the medical professionals we see tell her "you're doing very well for 90 years old" to which she smiles and later tells me 'they would say that wouldn't they.   Wait till they reach this age!' 

Until then....

Monday, 8 March 2021

Finishes and new starts

 The Gift of Stitching biscornu is now fully finished.   I have to say the unusual geometry of this almost defeated me at the sewing together stage and there were two episodes of reverse stitching but the end result was worth the angst.   I rather like this and the way that four smaller squares make up one face.   My  display cabinet now has another resident :)



And I have made another start.  It was the seemingly vast quantity of high count linen in my stash that inspired spurred nudged me into action.   If I don’t stitch this up now I won’t be able to see to use it and that would be an expensive mistake.   So out came a piece of 36 count Edinburgh linen and I tacked out the sizes for five small bags.   The first is started - a mixtures of stitches but mainly cross stitch and beads. I’m determined this will be all stitched from stash so as I don’t have beads the correct or near enough colours I used Smyrna crosses.  So far so good but definitely hard on the eyes.  I'm doing the hemstitched channel for the draw cord at present.  The 36 count linen doesn't look so fine in the close up shot of the hemstitching but believe me it is !!


A recent visit to the library led me to the magazine displays and I found  a copy of Homespun, an Australian handwork magazine.   I was drawn to the odd shape “noodle bag” in the copy I borrowed and think that I might use my piece of 50 count linen for this   So in the wet weather of the last couple of days I added "measure out for noodle bag” to the list and to my joy found that I have ample fabric.   In the fullness of time you might yet see the bag appear on this blog :)

 But there is sewing to finish, baking to do, cleaning to complete etc etc   I should be busy all day tomorrow as today I spent mowing the lawn and tidying up the garden -  flowers and vegetables.   The broccoli seedlings have their own little 'house' of insect proof mesh to stop the white butterflies laying eggs for hungry green caterpillars :-)   My neighbour kindly gave me some fresh sweet corn today and I enjoyed it with my dinner tonight.   He has a very large garden which reminds me of Mr McGregor's so much so that I expect to see Peter Rabbit appear at any minute.   He grows more variety in his garden than I do so he gives me some of his surplus and I bake him scones and biscuits -  works well for both of us :)

Saturday, 20 February 2021

An overdue update

 It has been a while since I updated but in reality not much has been accomplished.   Five of the Christmas ornaments are now fully finished but even that didn’t get my mojo back.   In desperation I trawled through my Gift of Stitching magazines and found this.   

The unusual geometry of the biscornu appealed.  I intend to back stitch all around the sewing line so I can whip stitch it together more easily.

And I have made a start on my 3D pohutukawa flower.   The leaves are done ready to cut out and back with felt.   I now need to get started on the rich red stamens (pistils?) of the actual flower.   Creative 3D work such as this is way outside my comfort zone but I attend a monthly group whose purpose is to show and tell finishes and WIPs from the month.   The others are all wildly artistic and creative so ..... :) One lady who attends is currently stitching a ‘fabric paper’ from which she will fold an origami hummingbird.   Each section is meticulously planned out so that feathers, beak, legs etc come in correct colours and places.   This is to be her entry in an exhibition where the theme is ‘From the Simple to the Complex’.  It is fun seeing what the others do but my pohutukawa will be my first and last foray into this unknown territory.   I shall remain happily in 'counted work' territory.

Next I am going to attempt a small zipper purse made from 1 inch squares stitched together with feather stitch.   If successful I will have another use for my sewing fabric scraps :)

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Getting ready for Christmas

 I’ve yet to decide on a ‘proper project’ for this year so meanwhile have tagged several Christmas ornaments from the 2020 Just CrossStitch ornament issue and have made a start on them.   

This pointsettia will be finished as a flat round and have silver cord and hanger.

I intend to finish Joy to the World as a flat rectangle with a thin ribbon to edge it and a broader matching ribbon as a hanger.

The diamond was three by three in the original chart but I scaled down as I didn't want such a big ornament to finish.   I think a small padded pillow finish for this one.

And the last one for this batch is the Festive Jersey.   I intend to make a small wire coat hanger from florist wire to attach at the neck so that it can hang on the tree with a ribbon - possibly a narrow white ribbon I think.

This is a great way to economically use up scraps of linen (of which I seem to have many) and floss from stash.   I still have spare fabric on the left hand side and will make a couple more ornaments before I call it quits with this piece of linen.   

And I admit to a certain feeling of righteous satisfaction at making full use of a small scrap of linen and in having a head start on this year's ornaments.   But still no decision on the 2021 project :(