Monday 31 January 2022

An enforced rest from stitching

 Today I braved the shops and after much deliberation purchased a mandolin slicer.   Naturally I read the instruction book carefully, particularly noting "The blade is very sharp. Take Care".   And proceeded to slice up the zucchini my neighbour had kindly given me.  But...

A hunk out of my right thumb and copious amounts of blood later I have a bandaged right hand and the thumb is throbbing and there will be no hardanger, nor any other form of handwork done here for a while.

But Cynthia had asked the name of the Hardanger book from which I learned the knotted picots so here 'tis.

Early Style Hardanger - by Yvette Stanton   It is available from her website here but for reference the ISBN is 978-0-9757677-1

I have a couple of completed items so may be back in a day or two with some photos.

Until then.

Friday 28 January 2022

Mastering Picots

 Although hardanger is my first love I am self taught and have always struggled with picots - even following Janice Love’s book I found myself always dissatisfied with the uneven results.   Just how did one get them all the same size?   I asked several other stitchers who almost without exception said “ picots are really easy; it’s just practice”.   Not. Helpful.   So I decided to never do picots and the years have passed by with that resolution basically kept.

But, I recently fell down a YouTube traphole and found Yvette Stanton’s video of hardanger picots.   I watched over and over and tried to follow but somehow in the time between looking at the screen and then doing the stitch I forgot what I had seen😂.  Nothing daunted, I checked and my local library had her book in which was printed step by step instructions.   NOW I can say I have imprinted on my memory the method doing a knotted picot and I’m super happy with the results.   So….new resolution.   I will not do loop picots and only do knotted picots.   With almost every stitch I say to myself, “I’m so happy I’ve learned to do these”.   

So…Thankyou Yvette Stanton.   Three cheers for your generosity in sharing your skills.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

The Last Stitch

 Yesterday the DBEM completed her last row of knitting - at least so she says.   She has extremely poor sight now and has knitted by the feel of her fingertips for some time.   The result has been erratic and much "repair work" has been necessary.  But now the pain of arthritic hands has caused a halt to be called so yesterday we celebrated her last row with a commemorative photograph.   

Then we sat and nattered while I sewed up the garment and put on the buttons after which I brought out the pile we have stocked up to go to the Hospice shop.   23 in total this year which isn't bad is it?   

I have parceled them up and will send them off tomorrow.   There are at least 18 charity shops in our city but I am sending them back to the one she always donated to in Auckland and have included a letter announcing her retirement.   Nearly 30 years of knitted donations with around 25 garments each year which sell for around $25 each is a substantial amount isn't it?   I am really proud of my lovely Mother.

Friday 14 January 2022

Robin Redbreast

 And so the second Christmas ornament is completed and the third is almost done.

We don't have red breasted robins in New Zealand but I remember them well from the traditional English style Christmas cards of my childhood.  And I love them!   Possibly this one will find a place on my tree??

The third ornament is all but complete.   I need some gold cord to go around the edge and form the hanger but that requires a trip to "Uncle Bill's Emporium" and I can't fit that errand in for a few days.   Photos of the completed piece will be coming soon,  I promise.

Tomorrow Little Sister is coming to visit so I'm going to go out in the afternoon to explore a second-hand bookshop in a nearby village.   A visit has been on my To Do List for a while but the opportunity hasn't arisen until now.   So despite the large pile of books from the library that are beside my bed I intend having a good browse tomorrow.   What I want is a cookery book specialising in chicken recipes.  Do they even print such a thing?   I'm hoping so.

Friday 7 January 2022

Getting ready for next Christmas.

 Happy New Year.

While I still have Christmas joy in my mind and heart I made a start on this year's ornaments for the nieces and nephew. 

Last year's Just CrossStitch Christmas Ornament issue provided plenty of inspiration this time and I may even stitch an extra one for my tree which is, I confess, already overloaded.

As these ornaments have to be mailed to their recipients I try to keep them as flat as possible.   And because I stitched this over one thread of fabric it came out quite small so the frame style finish made it a better size.   I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

And I have started ornament number two -  a lovely Robin Redbreast.

But today was spent out in the garden as we had a southerly wind which cooled the temperature to a respectable 26 degrees which made it possible to mow the lawn and weed the whole estate.   Oh I am sore tonight!