Friday, 21 June 2019

Last of the socks

This is the last of the socks - the last I shall be knitting for some time.   The ten pairs I have is enough for one person's feet!!
Aren't the small pair cute?   I have put them with the DBEM's finished knitting and they can go to the Hospice Shop next time. 
Today the DBEM had her check at the doctor and stocked up on her prescription medicines again.   I had a pacemaker check and then crossed off a few chores from the list which included taking the remainder of the sock wool to the charity store so someone else can have the pleasure of knitting some small pairs :-)   All in all a good day

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Sock Wool

Lenore asked what yarn I had used for the berry pink socks.
I always use Opal Sock yarn and this is no exception.   Here's a photo of the ball labels.   I have no idea if it is still available or not.


This evening I have completed a pair of children's socks in the same yarn - photo to follow when they have been blocked and pressed.   I am in awe that my Grandmother managed to decipher the complicated knitting instructions but the DBEM assures me that Grandma knitted her school socks.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Diversion into sock territory

After finishing the 2019 Christmas Ornaments and being unable to decide on which one I want to stitch for my tree, I meandered into the knitted sock territory.   Two balls of Opal Sock Yarn were calling to me so I found my double pointed needles and got started.   One pair are now finished and I am happy to say that they turned out identical twins!  
The other pair are almost done and it looks like there will be enough yarn left to try a child's pair from an ancient book which once belonged to the DBEM's mother.
And this diversion has been worthwhile.  Not only producing two pairs of warm socks but also the inspiration for my next project.   I have the book.   I purchased a piece of beautiful twill fabric and today ran that through the overlocker.  
Now I can make a start.   This is to fulfill a promise I made to the DBEM to stitch a notebook cover for her favourite niece's 60th birthday.   Watch this space.

a

Monday, 3 June 2019

Finishes

It has been a productive weekend and finally the Christmas Ornaments are crossed off the list.   Creative finishing is not really my forte but here we go -  all but one are from 2018 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue
I really liked the wreath style finish used for Noel and happened to have one - re-purposed from a greeting card - so here's my attempt to copy the finish that JCS used.   Rather an amateur copy but .....
The pompom trim seemed to suit this ornament and I am quite satisfied with this one.
The elf has turned out well with a simple hanging finish.  I like him but stitched over one means he won't be repeated too soon:-)   A simple gold cord hanger and pins with gold beads holding a red ribbon edging he looks really cute.
And this one came from a chart on the internet and the finish is certainly not professional.   But for a brief appearance on a Christmas tree once a year this will have to do.

Now I have to decide on what to do next.   No hardanger inspiration yet but I am wanting a new mat to go on my bedside table so may revisit my charts and see if there's anything suitable. 
The Betsy Morgan etui needs construction but that is currently put to one side.   I need energy to concentrate on that.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

A good place for a break....

Progress has been made.   The stitching is complete now for the Betsy Morgan Etui box.   I have enjoyed the stitching - both the linen count and the silk floss.   The only substitution I made was for DMC for the squirrel as I just could not get the prescribed overdue thread  to come out looking less than patchy or stripey.  For me a grey squirrel should be a uniform shade of grey so I chose but now am wondering if I did not choose well.   Still it is what it is.
Next weekend is a long weekend here so I will begin the construction then.
The temperature chart is going well too.   We are in to green/blue now as the temperatures drop a little.   Although so far it has been a warm Autumn.
I'm getting that hardanger itch again so will have to go through my stash of charts.   I don't want to make a doily so will be looking for some other project that will scratch the itch and be more useful that the infernal Hardanger Mat.   A bag?  An apron?  One can have too many of those also.   Maybe a notebook cover?  Even in this computer age I use a lot of notebooks.   I do need a new cover for my toaster but Hardanger seems a bit OTT for that:-).

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Sometimes life gets in the way of stitching

My secondary career as "carer for the DBEM" sometimes gets in the way of my stitching time and there hasn't been a lot produced over the last little while.
The DBEM has painstakingly knitted a small sweater for the newest great grandchild and I have duly sewn it up, added the buttons, wrapped the parcel and conveyed it to the Post Office.   The final great grandchild in this current batch is due this week and the DBEM is on tenterhooks with excitement!
Apart from cooking, cleaning and general life administration I have completed another Christmas Ornament.
I know I said I wouldn't stitch another ornament over one thread on 32 count linen but I needed to do so to get the appropriate size for the finish I have in mind.   So after some teeth grinding and a few sighs here we are....
And I finished off the Elf - after a long and methodical search for the teeny tiny bell I knew I had somewhere....
And I have now completed the top and the bottom of the box for the Inspirations Etui.   This may be a Betsy Morgan design but the chart is not identical to the photograph in the Inspirations magazine.  And although I am using the specified Gloriana Silk colour floss the School House red is not at all like the variant photographed in the magazine.   I did make a change from the red on the top as it was too "in your face"   I also swapped out the variegated silk specified for the squirrel as he came out stripey and I couldn't abide that - so he's done in a DMC matching the lightest shade of the variegated and I will live with this.
There are supposed to be initials - one on each side of the base of the tree - but I have yet to make my mind up about those so at the moment the 'forest floor' is bare. 
This week promises to be really busy and apart from my daily Temperature Chart I don't anticipate getting any stitching done.   Oh well there's always the next week...

Monday, 29 April 2019

New Project

Great progress so far on my new project.   The Gloriana Silks are so smooth to stitch with.   I am really enjoying this....although the Inspirations Magazine charts are not that easy to deal with.
Progress shot.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

A profitable day

This morning the DBEM and I went to the Hospice Shop to deliver the knitteds.   Before we went I calculated that it is 15 years since she began this project so it felt worthy of a photograph.   The manager of the shop was delighted with the garments and quickly grabbed her phone for a photo too. Who knows if the DBEM will have enough oomph for knitting in the year ahead?
This afternoon I ventured into the stash cupboard and sorted out charts and threads and bits and bobs. Fabrics are already in their place - large boxes labelled >32 count, 32 count, 28 count and miscellaneous.   Works for me :).  Anyways the cupboard is now ultra tidy and I found several charts that I will attempt to sell on TradeMe (New Zealand equivalent of  Ebay) and more significantly I found a project.   So when the elf has his other boot and bells and is finished I will start on this....
And would you like to see the tidy cupboard?   How long it will stay so neat is anyone's guess.
Off to another item on the extended list.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Breeding rabbits

My experiment in sewing children's clothing is off to a good start.   Buttons on and now I have topstitched around the edges in Perle #8 thread.   Then with a good press this will be complete.   Its twin is cut out ready to go when I have decided how I am going to make it "the same but different".  Perhaps pockets and a bunny on each?
I have been plodding away on the Christmas ornaments and the elf needs only one more boot and it will be goodbye.  
The delivery truck is finished (some poetic licence with the colours of the snow since I used antique white linen)
and the small Advent Tree is also complete.  
Tomorrow I am going to delve into the stash cupboard and do some sorting out, in which process I hope to find a large project with which to challenge myself. 

A week and two days left of my annual leave and I already have everything crossed of my list so will have to make a list extension!   One job is to take the DBEM for her flu vaccination and also for the annual trip to deliver the knitted sweaters and cardigans to the Hospice Shop.   This year there are only 18 - proof that she hasn't been so well and is slowing down.   At one time there were twice that.   Even though the cardiologist says she is doing well I know she is doing less because I am doing more:)  Evidence for this is that we have now reached an arrangement where not only do I do the sewing up of the knitted garments but I knit the bottom bands, the cuffs, the neck bands and in some cases the backs of the garments.   I want to go on record as vowing that I will not be taking up knitting for the Hospice shops in my retirement!!   Do you think they might sell stitched Christmas Ornaments?   I am relatively expert at those:)

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Today's stitching

Having failed to read the instructions correctly I ended up choosing a Christmas Ornament to stitch which is on 32 count linen and over one.   This. Is. Not. Relaxing.   I am determined that when the elf's hat is finished he and I will take a break and I will stitch something else.   And this time it will be over two!!
But I did manage to make a start on the child's vest.   The handwork is done and all that remains is a session at the sewing machine.   So far I am satisfied with this trial run of the Twig and Tale Pathfinder Vest.   The DBEM persuaded me not to use the wool blanket fabric recommended so I am trialling this in polar fleece and inwardly regretting that I was so easily persuaded to veer off course.
The lining is this pink bunny fabric so I had to make a bunny decoration for the front, all the while thinking that the pompom may not be very practical for a three year old?!

It does feel good to be back stitching with small silver needles that have a hole in them :)

Sunday, 14 April 2019

And now I can get back to needles with eyes

For the past week or two I have been busy knitting on behalf of the DBEM.   One of the great-randaughters needed a replacement jacket.   Apparently she loved the purple one knitted a few years ago and refused to take it off even for washing.   So Great Grandma to the rescue with a different colourway of the same jacket.   Well to be brutally honest, I did the knitting.   But it all turned out well in the end.   Here's proof....

Knitted in a five five rib variation this will be cosy to wear in the winter.   It has kept my lap warm over these past days as I've knitted!   And I have learned that even though I can knit fast and well I don't enjoy it much and have been itching to get back to my "needles with eyes".   I have no warm relationship with knitting needles.

Tonight I will start a small Christmas Ornament project after which I will go through the stash cupboard to find something bigger as a challenge.   I have the next two weeks off work ('boss-inflicted use of annual leave' again) and plan on crossing everything off the list which currently covers one side of an A5 sheet of paper.  Perhaps this is a little ambitious?

Friday, 29 March 2019

Chocolate delights and others

Today the postman delivered a package from Japan.   Walking between the postbox at the gate and my front door I read the customs label, "chocolate, cookies, soup"....  Anticipation built...
Only a few minutes later I opened the package to find these.
Ahh...Godiva chocolates.  Aren't they great?   Japanese packaging is exquisite - a feast for the eyes (and also for the stomach).  And... Morozoff Cookies
Both the DBEM and I are very happy!
But the most intriguing are these?
What do you think these might be?   Initially I thought they were individually wrapped macarons.  Closer inspection and I saw the word Soup.   Still the penny didn't drop.   Ahh savoury macarons, I thought.   How unusual.  But no, these are cup-of-soup -  corn potage, consomme and tomato.   Guess what I will be taking to work for lunch next week. 

Thursday, 28 March 2019

A Finish

Today I completed the Octagonal Box.   After much thought as to how I would hinge the lid, I ended up whip stitching the two pieces together loose enough to form a hinge.   For the front a small tassel makes sufficient weight to close and a pull to open.  Success in my book.

The pin cushion and the needlebook (which have Land on one side and Sea on the other) are complete and sufficient as I do not intend to use this box.   It will sit in my cabinet with all the other pieces and create work for someone upon my demise :-)
It has been a good week.   I have sorted through my bookshelves and taken a bootload of books to the secondhand store.   My car has a new Warrant of Fitness.   I bought another 50 freesia bulbs to plant for Spring flowering. The back of the knitting project is complete and the left front is started.  Tomorrow I need to cut carefully around the buttonhole edge of the Hardanger Doily and finish one of my library books.   And I plan to kit up the annual Christmas Ornaments for the nieces and nephews. 
It has been a good holiday.   And the best part is that I was forced to book another two weeks annual leave so have that to look forward to from 15 - 30 April.   Yes, it is stretched to encompass public holidays for Easter and Anzac Day.   Ahhhh clever me!

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Helping out the DBEM

This week I am taking compulsory annual leave.   My boss told me I had too much leave accrued and I needed to take it so this is week one of planned leave.
And what to do?    Well I am practicing "good use of time" for the day when I will be retired and will need to ensure I don't grow lazy.   A list of tasks, a pile of books, planned outings and a happy DBEM.   What more could I wish for? 
Today we went to the yarn store and got yarn to knit a winter jacket cardigan for one of my great-nieces.   She already has a much loved one knitted from the same pattern but needs a second one so the first can go in the wash.   Great Grandma cannot see to do this sort of knitting so I am helping out.
Tomorrow I have cleaning of the oven on the list as well as cleaning of the car.   Car first I think:-)  I want to sort out my books and take some boxes to the second hand store too.   Could be a busy day.
The needlebook and pin cushion are ready for construction and I should then be able to finish the Land and Sea Octagonal box.   I want to start another small project so tell myself that needs to be done first.
I am enjoying my week so far and feel quite refreshed and relaxed.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Relatively consistent

The temperature chart has been relatively consistent orange and yellow these past two months.  
Night time temperatures are dropping now and hopefully daytime will follow suit so there should soon be more green appearing.   This sure is a fun way to make the daily TV weather exciting!

Saturday, 2 March 2019

The things you do....

All week I have been fighting fatigue and it has been an effort not only to get up in the morning but also the multiple times in the night when the DBEM calls out.   Then last night she didn't call out as much and I woke every two hours and crept in to her room to check she was still all right! 

Today I had a long list of chores and they have all been crossed off the list so I am now waiting for dinner to cook and procrastinating on my next "Help-The -DBEM" project.
There are lots of little pieces of yarn left from the knitting and I don't want to waste them so here we go.  Granny squares.  When the box is full I will lay them out and decide on a colour scheme before crocheting them all together to form a blanket; size as yet unknown.   I'm sure a night shelter or a women's refuge or some such place would be able to use a warm woollen blanket.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Finishing Day

Bad weather has kept me mostly indoors so I have determined to finish off some of my To Do pile.
Firstly some more Christmas Gift labels.   These are great for using up small amounts of linen and take little floss.  This time the linen was 34 count so these looked better as square labels
Secondly the Christmas Advent Ornaments.   I'm relatively happy that what I planned in my head had transferred into finished product....hopefully the recipient will have space for them on her tree.

Thirdly, the Frustrating  Friendship Quaker.   In the end I crocheted links between the 'cushions' and made them into an accordion.   There was space at the back of the embroidery cabinet so this has gone there quick smart.  The chart for this will be going to a new home.   I have no wish to look at it ever again.
Now I have only the cutting of the Hardanger Doily, the contents of the Octagonal Box and then I need to get back to my final shelved-for-a-later-date project.

Sunday afternoon the weather cleared and the DBEM managed to walk down the ramp (she hasn't used the stairs for years) to the car and we went out for a short drive.   I was worried about coming back up the ramp to the house but with only one brief rest she managed well and is now snoring gently and happily in her chair!

All in all not bad for a weekends work.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

The DBEM

Recently there have been a couple of queries about what this acronym is so an explanation is due.
This was fabricated by me, myself and I as the internet name for my Deaf Blind Elderly Mother.  S
To be honest, she is not totally deaf although the TV volume is now set at 42!!   Nor is she totally blind although with advanced macular degeneration she sees very little clearly and has a white cane, a disability sticker and a Vision Impaired Badge!  (In case you ask we do not have a cat, that is a toy one the DBEM received as a gift last Christmas).

For the past 27 years she has lived with me and has occupied herself with various voluntary positions with a couple of charities, until some years ago when a couple of years of ill health meant I put the brakes on that.
Since then she has been knitting - woollen sweaters and cardigans for small children (up to the age of 4) which, in an annual pilgrimage in April of each year, we take to the local Hospice shop.   Even with her very poor eyesight she continues to knit by the "fingertip feel method" and this provides me with many opportunities to unravel and remedy.
Recently she had a bad fall and has been recovering.   Dutiful daughter insisted that she needed a more respectable dressing gown so now she really is "in the pink"

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Col the Cobbler and an unsatisfactory finish

Several years ago, well thirteen to be precise, the DBEM and I went on a trip to Norfolk Island.   Apart from relaxing on the quiet beaches, enjoying early morning walks up and down small lanes, eating delicious food and absorbing the abundant history, I enjoyed the shopping - in particular two pairs of shoes.   Both are still going strong and today Col the Cobbler repaired one pair for me.  I had little faith in him, his pokey, grubby little shop or his inability to say when the repairs would be completed.  His billboard outside the shop is a wooden replica of Col himself.  Would you have faith in a woolly headed man whose face you can hardly see?
I have been painstakingly whipping the Quaker squares together in an effort to complete this Friendship Book project from 2016.  And now with one to go I find I've made an error.   A right disaster from start to finish this has been no enjoyable project.   So I have determined that five squares will be finished.  They will not be connected into an accordion book as the alphabet does not run consecutively.  They will be contained in a yet-to-be-sewn blue silk bag and consigned to the back of the display cabinet.   But I will be able to tick this one off the list.   I may have to make a label for the outside of the bag however - we shall see.

The stitching on the Hardanger Doily is now complete.  Currently I am sleep deprived and more than a little anxious over the DBEM's physical health so the cutting of the border will wait until I am in a better frame of mind.   It will become a birthday gift in April so there is time yet.
And that's all for today.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Christmas Ornament Number 3

This ornament is adapted from the one designed by Forget Me Not In Stitches in the Just Cross Stitch 2004 Christmas edition.
I stitched on 32 count natural Belfast linen with DMC threads.  To make the white stand out more I used whipped back stitch only for that colour.   On reflection I should have thought more about the interlaced effect....but it is what it is :-)

Friday, 8 February 2019

Not everything is doom and gloom

Life is proving a little trying at present and it is easy to fall into the rabbit hole of gloom.   But today I had occasion to be very thankful.  Prior to giving the DBEM a shower I removed watch and earrings, at which point this happened.....
My lovely sapphire earrings, a gift from said DBEM on my 55th birthday, came apart.  How fortunate this happened at home and I didn't lose the stone.   I'm quite sure my friendly neighbourhood jeweller will be able to reset the stone.   At least I hope so.  And while he's at it I'll get him to check the setting on the other also.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

I really thought today would be a green day

I've had to keep a cardigan on all day so I really thought today would be a green day but.....only yellow.   The temperature SAL is going well and is definitely making the daily TV weather forecast an exciting part of my life.  Ha ha!
Here's a shot of what we look like as of today.
The DBEM is recovering but is still a mass of dark bruises.   Fortunately I've worked half days this week and have been able to look after her.  As a bonus I got to cross off more items from my cleaning list in the unexpected free time.  Today the man came to organise a repair for the shower door which got knocked off its hinges in the debacle.   Soon both house and the DBEM will be back to normal.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Me a nurse?!

The DBEM had a couple of falls in the night and is battered and bruised but thankfully no breakages. Anyway that meant I was confined to nursing care duties today which resulted in two things:
(1). Only 1200 steps on my Fitbit rather than the usual 12,000+
(2).  Time to complete the stitching on this Christmas Ornament.   From the 2010 Just Christmas Ornament issue, in the DMC threads specified and on 32 count Belfast natural linen.
I plan on making a set of four "Advent" ornaments for a friend so the linen and the finishing fabrics will be the same.   Next up to be either Love or Hope once I have finished searching through my Ornament charts.
I am sick of reading, tired of the hot humid weather, frustrated at not being able to get outdoors, uncertain as to what the immediate future holds as to my "nursing" requirements, limited by my sore elbow to a strictly rationed time of stitching, and looking forward to a repeato ditto day tomorrow as I've had to take a day off work.   So on that Poor Me note I'll sign off.