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January 2011
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February 2011


I picked up this book about the life of the Bayeau Tapestry and although I am loving the unfolding story it is the little explanations about life in the middle ages that I am finding interesting.


There is a reference on Page 52 to the regulations, compiled by the Paris Guild of Embroiderers and Embroideresses in 1303 regards sewing times.  Because of quality control no one was allowed to sew by candle light and the best position for sewing was for the light to fall on the work over the left shoulder. If it was good enough for 1303 I reckon that I should try this.  So I have rearranged my sewing room to allow the light to fall over my left shoulder.  (I suppose it would have been the other way if the embroiderers were left handed.)


We will see how this goes.  One thing I was able to really clean under the desk.  The other thing I finished was the monks cloth knee rug I was stitching in Swedish Darning.  The stitching is fine I'm just not too happy with the edge. I think I am going to have to experiment to get the look I want.


And lastly, my little grand daughter is growing and has everyone around her little finger.


Another one hits the dust.

I wonder why I couldn't get on with these experiments before?  Anyway I have finished the next one.

Buttonhole double chain


Then I came across this advertisement from Corning.  I wonder how far in the future this way of life is?  A few years ago I would have said at least 10 years but with the rate of technological change has sped up at such a rate it might be quicker than that.



Today is my day in the garden with my daughter-in-law and baby,  she changes everytime I see her.  When I got home I hit my own garden mowing the lawns and trimming the edges.  Then I thought I would make some lino blocks for printing.

I got all my equipment out and then started looking through my old India images because I knew I had a video I had shot of artisans making blocks and printing fabric.  (They make it look so easy, my first attemps were so clumsy.)

I found my video but I think this one is better.  It is all shot in the same place and the same subject matter, just better.


Stitches tell stories

We have now had emails back from all our friends and although some have sustained damage all are alright.  Aussies and Kiwis are always giving each other a hard time but when something like this happens one realises that we are all family.

After travelling a number of times to India I am facinated by the different types of embroidery. Some people go to India and never want to return.  Others, like me, just can't stay away.  The following video is a trailer for a DVD about Kutchi embroidery and the people who stitch it.  I think I will purchase the complete video.



I have had a passport since I was 15 years old and the one just past, in my married name, for over 30 years.  When I went to renew this one I was told they needed another copy of my marriage certificate.  No problems, so I thought, just sent off for a copy.  They couldn't find a copy.  I had been married in a small country church and somehow the copy that should have gone to the registry didn't get there.  I had the original from the church but this didn't have the all important numbers on it.  This was all back in November 2010, I finally got a copy at the beginning of this month. 


Then came the saga of lodging the application.  I had all the paperwork but my friend had not filled in the guarantor section correctly.  I was in my car driving over to my friends home, for the 6th time, to have corrections made for my application, when I heard there had been an earthquake in Christchurch.  Since then I have been glued to the TV.

We have been travelling to NZ to go tramping for years.  Our base for the South Island has always been Christchurch.  The television commentator was asking what building is this or that, that been destroyed and I knew the names of everyone.  I knew them and I have been sitting crying for all of that the lovely city and it's people.

They are saying that the epicentre was in Lyttelton.  Our last 5 day tramp was from Christchurch to Akaroa.  This took us through Lyttelton which was a pretty town by the water.  From the news reports it has been destroyed.  I bought these paintings by a local artist while I was there and this is how I will remember it.

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I'm due to travel to NZ in April for the Quilting Symposium, hence the need for the passport.  All my prayers are for those people who have gone through this tragedy today.


The weather and a stitching up-date

It has been so hot and humid for the past few days and then these huge thunderstorms came through this afternoon.


(Image ABC online)

At three oclock in the afternoon all the street lights came on because it became so dark.  Then the rain and thunder and lightening.  My little dog will not move from under my chair, she has to be right under my feet.  I have closed all the storm shutters as there was hail forecast.  Nearly 5 hours later you can still hear the thunder.  There must have been lightening strikes as my son has been stranded on the train for the last 3 hours.


(image ABC online)

On the stitching front I have pulled out some work that I started back in 2007.  Back then I stitched some Huck Embroidery Hand Towels as gifts using a fabric and a book I had purchased from Nordic Needle in the USA. While going through their catalogue I found another book on Swedish Weaving which I purchased.


It was worked on Monk's Cloth and I searched everywhere here but no one stocked it.  I ended up buying a sample piece from the USA and got as far as preparing the fabric and buying the wool to stitch with.  Then it went into a bag that has been hanging on the back of the door ever since.

With my knitting I have found that the American wostered yarn is just that much thicker than our DK or 8 ply and wostered yarn is what is used for these afghans.  Anyway, not to be deterred, about 2 weeks ago I got that bag down and decided to try this technique.  What I have found is that the 8 ply wool will work but I think the thicker yarn would give better coverage.  Also, I am stitching across the weft and although the weave is very even I think working with the warp would give a better result.


But, the work progresses and is quick and enjoyable.  It isn't fine needlework but these blankets will suit my purpose.  I have now ordered some more fabric as I want to make bed-covers for the beach-house.  Being cotton these blankets are the right weight for our climate and as they are stitched in acrylic yarn they can go on a gentle cycle in the washing machine.  What a shame I can't buy the fabric here.





I still have the gardening bug

I have spent the morning helping my daughter-in-law with her garden.  I had forgotten how pleasing physical activity is.  I am just doing a bit each day for myself and once a week for my daughter-in-law, that leaves lots of time for stitching.  I have come away feeling a bit tired and with a happy disposition.  This song makes one feel that way as well.


Reading a chart

I came upon this fantastic piece of knitted art when looking for instructions on how to read knitting charts.  (I know how did you get to this?)  This is really being able to read a chart.

(image from

And this is the finished piece.


In turn I couldn't get to Ruth Marshall's site quick enough to see her work.  Now I usually hate snakes but these are fantastic.  It just shows, there is knitting and there is knitting and I have to stop talking about reading a chart and just do it.