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October 2018

September 2018


Well, I finished the first book cover I started last week.

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And there were some curious lessons learnt.

  1.  You never trace each pattern exactly the same as the one before.  There is always a slight difference.  I think I would need to make a stencil to get them all the same.
  2. An open weave fabric raises a number of challenges.  I think I should have used a high count backing fabric before I started stitching.
  3. French Knots worked with 6 strands of cotton can bend you needles.  ( I went through 3 stitching this piece.)
  4. There is a big difference between old and new thread when you are stitching.  They both act totally differently.  The new thread is far better.
  5. When using 6 strands it is better not to separate all the strands before you stitch.  The problem here is that those 6 strands become 12 strands through the eye of your needle and if you have an RSI injury you have difficulty pulling them through the fabric.  The thread just cut from the hank sits flatter and pulls through a whole lot easier.

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Now I have to start on the next one but need to rest that shoulder so it might take longer to finish this.

Looking for some inspiration

It is time to think about the next Children's Class in 2019!  OMG.

Having recovered from that little shock I set out on an internet search starting with "Free Hand Embroidery Patterns."  This RSI injury is really limiting what I am able to do so I thought I would start with something easy.  First one I opened was at Craftsy and I did find about 12 free patterns of interest, which I found surprising.

But I have to tell you about the one from Raouken.

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A simple little pattern with 37 Pages of instructions for an embroidery that finished measures 12 x 13 cm.!!!  Talk about detailed.  Every single stitch is explained.  I then started following the trail to the Facebook page.  Not only embroidery, which is amazing, but knitting as well.  This for a doll's skirt.

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There is just so much out there on the web that it has got me thinking.  This RSI injury could last some time and really restrict my ability to stitch.  I am thinking about structuring this years classes around introducing kids to some of the things that are out there on the net re embroidery, starting with what ever free design we decide on first.  The web is such a huge resource that an introduction to how to use it to help you develop embroidery skills could be helpful I think.



Nothing startling.  Just continuing with the Kogin coasters

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and thinking about a bookcover from the latest book.  I am trying out this design.  Using the 6 strands for the French Knots is a bit confronting.  I think she must use a very tight tension on her stitching.

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I did buy some 'insulbrite'  wadding to put in each coaster.  The wadding isn't very wide so I hope 2 metres will be enough.


The weather is beautiful and I have taken some flowers from the garden to put around the house.

Some Grevillea for the breakfast table.

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And I just love this maidenhair fern against the pinks of the Asaleas which are on the window sill in the kitchen.

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I was sent home from babysitting as  my daughter- in-law and the girls have come down with a terrible vomiting wog.  My poor husband is playing nurse until my son returns from Sydney.  I don't think I could cope with another virus.


The Physio tells me my sore shoulder is a Repetitive Strain Injury.   I couldn't believe this.  The only thing I do repetitively is stitch and use my computer.  Then I tried to draw a new Kogin pattern and oh boy did I believe her.  I have got the pattern to trail stage now.  I also put a higher chair at the computer and will limit the amount of time I spend here.  

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Seems it is common to get RSI from using your mouse and keyboard.  But I never thought I used it that much!  All those lessons I taught about how to sit at the keyboard when I was a classroom teacher for workplace health and safety were wasted on me.  I should have heeded my own advice.

New Book

This was an impulse buy when it came up in an advertisement on line.  Yumiko Higuchi's book "A year of embroidery."


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I have to say that I am very pleased with it.  Great designs and the illustrations are just wonderful.  You can see every stitch in these butterflys.

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And this beautiful lizard.

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I just don't know where I will start.  Maybe with the Xmas design, it is very Scandinavian.

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But then I like these pieces as well.

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The only criticism I have is that there is no reference to enlarging or reducing the size of the patterns.  It is obvious that some designs that are worked in the book have been enlarged and there is no reference to just what that size is.  Still I can't wait to start stitching.


An alternative to computer games

Through this illness I have used computer games to keep my mind working when I thought it might shut down.  Now that is fine but I find that I am becoming addicted to the darned things.  So I have come up with a nifty plan to kick my addiction.  (Or perhaps make me do something else before I play, I do like these games.)

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This involves learning to use my Apple products properly.  I have a desktop Mac, a Laptop, an Ipad pro, an Ipad mini, an Ipod, an iphone and an Iwatch.  I have never had a lesson on any of these devices, I just muddled through teaching myself.  Having said that I use everyone of these devices but I think that I could improve HOW I use each one.  Come to the fore my friend Teena Hughes, who is not only my friend but a computer wizz.  She pointed in the direction of a free newsletter called "Mac Most".

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I am finding that the tutorials are short and to the point and I am learning 1 or 2 new things from each one I watch.  It is early days as yet but I think I might learn a thing or two and be less dependent on the old computer games to keep my mind focused and active.


I actually have a little bit of work in progress!

After my last Kogin workshop I decided that the little activity that I had put together for the participants to get started was actually a good activity for me as well.  I am using up some of my left over fabric to stitch coasters in prepartion for Xmas.  They are quick on easy (as long as you don't miscount), and can be picked up and put down when you need to.

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The weather here has turned wet and windy.

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So I am sitting in my arm chair stitching and then decided I would paint my nails and have a cup of tea.

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My nails reflect my state of health I'm afraid so a coat of paint hides all the horrible nails.  Oh look, it is still raining but the sun has come out.

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As you can tell, not much happening here.



Checking in

My life seems to have been a succession of Doctors and tests for the past couple of weeks and that looks to continue for a few more weeks into the future.  It can be a 4 hours round trip to get to and from town and that doesn't leave much time for anything else.

On top of that I had a Kogin class last weekend and I went to print out my patterns and found that the lightening strike had scrambled them.  So, I had to start again and as this bag pattern was very complex it took some time.

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Even then in the class we found some minor errors.  When I checked the pattern on the computer they were not there.  That means there is a problem with the printer.  The drawing program I use is rather old, 2004, and it has never been updated.  It is the only reasonably priced program I can find in which I can draw lines in a graph to represent the stitches.  So I am in a kind of bind.  I don't think I can justify buying an Adobe product for this kind of thing.  They charge by the month which just puts that product out of my reach so I am going to have to keep working with the old one and all the bugs.

(It was a good class incidently.)