Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Bed socks

The HD3QBEM always has terribly cold feet.   This year she decided to replace her electric blanket. So in a recent inorganic rubbish collection she disposed of her old one.   Now the nights are cold and a replacement blanket has not yet been bought, I told her she needed bed socks.  Two nights knitting and voila....
Toastie toes :-)   I will add a satin ribbon when I get to the shops in the weekend but tonight we are promised 6 degrees celsius so the socks will be in use!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

When in doubt ...

When in doubt follow the instructions Margaret!  
The HD3QBEM wants some bed socks and from the knitting pattern stash we dug out an ancient pattern.   The instructions said to be knitted on four double pointed needles.  
What a humbug, I don't think that's necessary, I said to myself and proceeded on an ordinary pair.
But!!   The instructions are written that way for a reason and I have come to a full stop.
Now I need to change to a flexible circular needle or do as I am told and all should be well.
I think this is why I prefer embroidery over knitting.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

A delayed birthday present

Today the HD3QBEM and I went shopping for my birthday present.  She had promised a piece of furniture or a piece of jewelry for my 60th but somehow the time went by and we never went shopping.  A few weeks ago she remembered that we had not yet been and that in October this year I would be 62 but ill health has prevented any weekend excursions for some weeks.
But today we went and purchased these sapphire earrings.   Aren't they beautiful?   I am really pleased with them and will wear them often with pride and thankfulness for my wonderful mother and her love for me.

Friday, 27 May 2016

The first rose

The hardanger tassel is about half done but somehow tonight I cannot settle to it.  The rosebud is not showing up too well in this terrible photograph but you get the general idea.  Ten DMC colours for this tiny little rosebud.   I need to do the eyelets in all the pieces but roses come first.
We have had a cold wet week and more of the same forecast for the weekend.   Each night this week, instead of lighting the gas heater I have had the oven on and been cooking.   Biscuits one night, a chocolate slice another and tonight the smell of gingerbread permeates my house.   So the baking for the next two weeks is done and I can have a sleep in tomorrow-  or maybe not.   There are still several items on the To Do List.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Wrinkles and all

I like to make the most use of any piece of linen and this one is no exception.   As well as the bookmark, this linen will provide a hardanger tassel and tonight I have stitched the 'skeleton' of four of the pieces.  
Three are for the underskirt and are  complete.   The other three will have a cross stitch rose on each -  this is over one thread of fabric.   Message to self-  do not even attempt that late at night or late in the week.   Fresh is best with roses!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

And it's hardanger again

My Christmas preparations are well under way.   This intended gift will become a bookmark for a friend at church.
But before I do the lacy infill I want to stitch the pieces for a tassell on the rest of the linen.
This buttonhole/kloster block edging is very pretty though and gives a real feminine touch.

Monday, 23 May 2016


Today the temperature dropped - big time - and in the south there was snow.   At my house the snow fell too -  on this Christmas ornament.  
I really like this one and will find it hard to give away.   Perhaps I need to do one for myself too?
This afternoon I had time off in lieu and was able to cut out a skirt and a jacket.   These have now been prepped and are ready to sew.  Guess what I will be doing this weekend?

Sunday, 22 May 2016


Nearly 25 years ago I knitted a bedjacket for the HD3QBEM.   I well remember doing this in secret so that it would be a surprise.   All in 4ply, it took an inordinate amount of time but the result was well received.
Now, all that time later, the neck band had given way and had been inexpertly repaired in secret by the HD3QBEM herself.   Once I discovered that, I decided that the repair needed repairing but alas the yarn cannot be purchased now.   So in the stash I found a near-enough-match and this afternoon created a new neck band and therefore a very happy HD3QBEM.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

And tomorrow the snow may fall

It has been a cold wet day here but the chores are all done and I have had free time to sort through some more possible Christmas ornaments.   But before I start anything else I need to finish what is already begun.
So Father Christmas got a hat and a sack and a tree tonight.   Tomorrow the snow will fall  and gaps will be filled.   Hopefully I will get the stitching on this one completed then.   He's looking good though and I am pleased with this one.
A start on a hardanger small didn't go so well.   Almost completely around and I find I am one fabric thread out.  Ouch!   I need to reverse out of that dilemma tomorrow.

Friday, 20 May 2016

I'm a winner

My colleagues have been organising various fund raisers for Breast Cancer Research.  A red velvet cake raffle, a pink themed morning tea, a Pink Clothing Mufti Day and "the lolly jar".   I was forced persuaded to pay my $2 and make a guess. The prize was a jar of pink lollies.
Look at it!   Would I really want to win that.   I reluctantly paid my money and wrote down my guess -  a suitably ridiculous high number that would surely put me out of the running.
Then I watched as others held the jar and slowly revolved it while trying to count.   Still others attempted to calculate from weight.   Others took a great stab in the dark.   The manager in charge remained impassive while telling everyone that one guess was really close.
Lovely, I thought.   Not me.  My guess is totally unrealistic.
Then after lunch this email appeared

Yes!!  I won the jar.   Others will have to eat it and already I have lots of " close friends" calling by my desk :-)

Thursday, 19 May 2016


Tonight I have finally made a start on a project I have been incubating for over two years.
Sandra kindly sent me some threads and I was inspired and energised.   Thank you very much Sandra.
So tonight I crocheted around some small 15mm rings and finger corded a suitable length.  The next step will be to join all these together artistically to make a necklace.   I wonder if that will be possible for me??   Anyway, I'm thinking this might be suitable to sell at the Guild Exhibition later this year.
Talking of exhibitions.   The Association of New Zealand Embroiderers Guilds is having their bi-ennial conference and exhibition in July and I have booked a days annual leave to go and view that and to visit the merchants mall.   July 15th!   Not so long to go.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Poetry and motion

Nothing to report
Today I worked twelve hours straight
Tonight is for sleep

And the motion?
Tomorrow I plan to begin my application for a new position in my current organisation.   Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Strange helmet

My journey home from work is through congested roads and lots of time is spent at traffic lights waiting, thoroughly bored.
But then last night I saw this ahead of me.  
Why would anyone want a monkey face on the back of a helmet?   I have no idea but it brought a smile to my face.
And on the stitching front, I am making progress.   The object of this project is to use up some old threads but I have run out of the "old" ones in some colours and had to match up from my DMC stash.   I can't see in the photo where the shade is not quite an exact match so all must be well.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Christmas preparations have begun

Tonight I made a start on the first Christmas ornament for this year.  
Next Saturday afternoon is Guild so I will be able to take this and fill in some of the gaps.   So far so good.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Christmas is coming

Two Christmas ornaments kitted up and ready to start.   I feel well prepared for the next time an attack of "start-itis" arrives.  Something small and quickly finished should not make too much of an impact on the two long-term projects I have on the go.
Can you guess which of these I am going to stitch?   I need to cut the linen to size and overlock the edges.
For this next one I plan to stitch some calico to all four sides so that I can use a hoop for the stitching.
All the requirements came from stash and I am really glad I keep all useful-looking scraps of linen.  So often they prove to be just right for ornaments.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

A great weekend

In the spirit of Pollyanna, I am glad that there is still Sunday left in this weekend.
Today has been a glorious golden Autumn day.   The baking is done.  The cleaning is done.  The library visit is done. The green grocer has been visited.  The to-do-list is all crossed off.  The HD3QBEM has been fed and watered, had her hair washed and her fingernails trimmed.  I have been for a walk outside in the sunshine.   All is right with my world - I think.
And look what I have been doing.
A mathematical equation here.
32 count linen + DMC perle cotton thread + two wooden heads + a gifted chart = an angel or two (some time in the future)
Heather from Whanganui kindly sent me a large head for the tree topper angel and a small head for the ornament angel.  Thank you so much Heather.   Everything else I have in my stash.   I'm thinking Antique White linen for the ornamental angel and pure white for the tree topper.  So with all supplies to hand I am ready to start.

But guess what?   The HD3QBEM has reminded me that there are six nieces and nephews who require a Christmas ornament for their tree and that I have not yet started these.   So tonight,  in between some more work on my florentine stitch bag,  I will sort through my large pile of JCS Christmas ornament issues and choose.
And finally, this beautiful maple is desperately trying to prove that it is Autumn.   Our nights are not yet cold enough to turn many leaves red so we have varying shades of gold around here.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Reverse stitching

Last night I carefully reversed my way out of the great colour dilemma.  
Thank you to all who suggested colour alternatives.  I plan on finishing off what is there now and then deciding on the "top" and "bottom" but will probably go with the idea of repeating the blue at the top and the green at the bottom (as per the perspective of this photo).

But tonight is not the night for such major decisions.   I am tired and ready for bed.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

I've surfaced again

Twice a year Little Brother comes up to see the HD3QBEM and me and I am relegated to choose to sleep on a futon bed on the lounge floor.
For some strange reason, this time I slept nary a wink for both nights of his visit and this morning was giddy, nauseous and decidedly unwell.  Despite rising at my usual time and folding up the bedding I was far too unwell to attempt the drive to work, so curled up on the sofa and nodded off.   Once the others surfaced I took myself off to my own bed and didn't come to again until lunchtime.
This afternoon has been spent snoozing too.
And all that in explanation of why there are no stitching pictures to show!
And finally a complaint about antique Royal Doulton.   For Mothers' Day, Little Sister sent a beautiful orchid arrangement to the HD3QBEM.   It was stuck in a block of that green oasis stuff and so I searched among my meagre supplies to find a bowl in which to stand it.   Ah ha, I thought.   Paternal-Grandma's bowl is wide and deep and perfect for this.   And so it was, until today when I noticed that the bowl was stained inside and out with a deep brown tide mark which had leached into the small linen hand-embroidered-by-me doily underneath it.  
Oasis block and flower arrangements are now in a cheap cut glass bowl.   Cream coloured doily has met with bleach and is now clean again but Grandma's bowl?   Well, Mr Royal Doulton or whoever you are, what is a bowl for if not to put liquids in or didn't you think of things like that back in 1919?   I don't know whether to keep the wretched thing or dispose of it real quick.  There are a teapot, sugar bowl and cream jug in the same Shakespearean style from Maternal Grandma which will no doubt be equally useless should they have liquids added!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Update on florentine bag

I wanted to set the colours for this bag and gaily sailed on upwards from the dark green foundation row.
Then, I needed four rows to fill in the gaps at the bottom and there I came adrift.
These colours don't really fit in and will have to come out.   Perhaps I will just do a repeat of the very top?   Any suggestions welcome.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Mothers Day Flowers

Little Sister managed to find a man willing to deliver flowers even on a Saturday and surprised the HD3QBEM with these.
Aren't they beautiful?   Tomorrow is Mothers Day so there will be more cards and gifts then -  mine included:-)

Friday, 6 May 2016


This tumbled mass is two fronts and a sleeve so I am officially half way on the re-knit of the green cardigan.

However I am putting this aside in an effort to make time for some stitching again.
Withdrawal symptoms have hit me badly.   As strange as it may seem, I find stitching a far more effective stress relief than knitting and have therefore decided that I need that relief more than I need a new cardigan.
So onward and upwards to a less-stressed-Margaret!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

When you are one tenth of the equation

Look what happens when you are only one tenth.

There are ten apartments in the block where I live, five are owner occupied and five are tenanted.   Chores such as putting out the rubbish bins, sweeping up the autumn leaves, picking up any stray litter are without exception done by the owner occupiers.  
Wish lists and disruptions are not so.   Today one of the tenants in fulfilling her wish list has caused a disruption.
Look what has happened to our lawn!   But one tenant has a broad smile on her face and is now connected to the expensive ultra fast broad band currently on offer.   Me?   I am happy with my old faithful cheaper version.   And like the hair on my head, the lawn will grow back again :-)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Blame the HD3QBEM!

She plays Sudoku           
On the computer at night

No time for my blog L

Monday, 2 May 2016

Tomorrow I shall be reversing

Tonight I have been distracted.   A rather unsatisfactory work meeting held at the end of the day has dominated my thoughts this evening and resulting lack of concentration produced this!

Oh dear oh dear!   Tomorrow evening I shall be reversing and re-knitting to make sure the left looks like the right:-)

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Carpet of Conkers

On Thursday while I was enjoying a  day off work, I swept the ramp so the HD3QBEM doesn't trip and fall.
Our neighbour's chestnut tree is so very generous in its Autumn offerings and we now have a carpet of conkers - or to be more accurate conkers and their prickly shells.