Books Feed


I have been following Rachel's progress on her foot stool done in canvas work on her blog.  I used to do a lot of canvas work but got bored with it.  Now I think I would like to stitch a piece.  At the Embroiderers' Guild they have a huge selection of threads for this kind of work on the sale table, so I can get the thread cheap and I'm sure I must have some canvas in my stash.  Next step was what would I stitch?

I found a colouring book on-line from 1615.  It was originally written for glaziers and plasterers but I'm sure some of these patterns would work.  (These are the kind of things one finds on in the Internet Archive.)

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There is a design index at the beginning setting out all the designs as thumbnails.

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Then these are expanded to full page prints later and there are some interesting designs that could work.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 2.05.47 pmIt also has some recipes for mixing colours that come with the warning that these might be dangerous, still, it is interesting to read how it was done back then.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 1.52.14 pmI intend to have a play around with these designs and see what I can come up with.

New Book

As I mentioned yesterday, I am finding it hard to rule a line under the teaching part of my life and move on.  I think being so ill this last time has made me see that it is inevitable, but, it is still hard.  It is so much of my identity and purpose in life.  So, I went looking for advice from friends, which didn't help much, and then I came on this book by Joan Chittister.

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A very insightful book and a good meditation for any one who is facing retirement or just growing older.    I bought a Kindle copy but you can purchase it as a paperback or hard back book.

New Book

I bought this book on a whim and it doesn't really tell me anything I don't already know.

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It is by Tilly Rose and it is a nice book. (see a preview here.)  But I know all these techniques and I was looking for some more inspiration for my own work.  But, I have a friend who would love it so I have bought a gift for a friend and I know lots of other people who would love it as well.

New Book

Why am I starting a new book?  Well, as a Vera and Shetland fan I do love Anne Cleeves writting  but this book has got mixed reviews.  Some love it some hate it.  I have to say it is a bit slow at the start but it has now got to the "can't put it down" stage. 

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She wrote it some time ago so maybe others didn't like it.  I'm sure there will be lots of twists and turns to the tail.

Norwegian Craft Tradition

For someone who is giving up teaching I seem to be doing a lot of lesson preparation!  But that is how it goes, I still have to fulfill the commitments that I have  for the rest of the year.  Making the decision to give up has taken a lot of emotional energy.  Added to that some of my health problems have come back to haunt me, so I haven't done a lot of stitching.

I decided that even if I wasn't feeling well I would continue some of my research into traditions of peoples who live around, or close to the Arctic Circle.  I was looking for indigenous peoples but came upon a series on You Tube called "Norwegian Craft Tradition"  by Arne and Carlos, who are knitters.

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You Tube 

It is very "laid back" , which each video about 1 hours in length.  It isn't a slick presentation but I have learnt so much from it.  One of the people they interview is

Government Grant Holder and Recipient of the King’s Medal of Merit, Annemor Sundbø in Ose.

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She just knows so much about Norwegian knitting and embroidery. Just what the embroidery designs mean, why they are certain colours, why they are stitched a certain way and how modern examples have overlooked the original meanings and just gone with style.

Each program looks at a different craft and interviews craft persons working in that discipline and they are in English or have sub-titles. That is so good because sometimes Google translate leaves a lot to be desired. Annemor's books are also published in English as well as Norwegian so they are on my wish list.

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Once I am feeling better again I want to get back to my Norwegian pattern darning and these programs are filling in a lot of the backgrounds for me.

An old book of stitches

I was clearing out my on-line files and found this old book of embroidery stitches.

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Many examples are just stitches I know by other names, like Kensington Stitch.

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But then again it says 'similar to' not 'the same as'.  It got me thinking, how is it different?  Then I realised I had asked myself this same question 10 years ago when I first found this book.  Still no firm answer.

There is another stitch I am having trouble working out and it is called Trilby Stitch.

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Lucky for me I see Mary Corbet is using this in her 'Stitch Challenge'.

She must have the same book as me.  There some very interesting stitches in this book and book is freely available on-line.

Looking at some of the history of Russia and Ukraine

Like most people I am very disturbed by what it happening in these countries.  To try and gain some perspective  I have been looking back at their shared history and the disputing claims each country has made.  What I have discovered hasn't really put my mind at rest but it has given me a wider understanding.  It all reaches back to the Vikings and the disputes today have their sources in what happened back then.

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Oleg of Novgorod’s campaign against Constantinople. Source: The Radziwiłł Letopis, also known as the Königsberg Chronicle. Source: Wikipedia

It is hard to imagine that historical events would have such a long reach into our times but that seems to be the case.  For Putin it would appear to be an almost religious quest to put forward his version of medieval happenings.

This article by Karen Schousboe gives a brief overview of the arguments.  It poses the fact that "history would progress through conflict", not a happy proposition.

The closing paragraph states that:

A keynote in Putin’s web of historical and medieval reenactment is this Ivan Ilyin, who has been named a Russian Christian Fascist. In 1917, he finished his thesis on God’s worldly failure decrying the presence of “motion” in history. While Lenin accepted with Hegel that history would progress through conflict, Ilyin thought that the liberation of humanity would only take place at the point of the elimination of history. One day, Ilyin thought, this eradication would come about through the effort of a saintly hero, who larger than life would abolish the “Middle Class” and its morally depraved idea of “progress”. Based on this idea, Ilyin fashioned the fascist seizure of power as “an act of salvation”. In the aftermath of WW2, Ilyin began to imagine the “Unsoiled” Russia as the spiritual redeemer of the world or the recycler of native virtue. Part of this idea was the tenacious adoption of the Orthodox, positive attitude towards war and physical opposition.

Today, Ilyin’s ideas are used to foment the Russian position on “spiritual threats”, portraying Ukraine, Europe, and the United States as not just political but existential and spiritual dangers to “Mother Russia”.

Who knows where this will take us all.

(There is a good lecture about the Russian- Ukraine Crisis on You tube It is 5 years old but still applies today.)



New Book

I picked up a few books from the library and one was "The soul of a woman" by Isabel Allande.

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I read it at one sitting, laughing and thinking of my own experiences over the years.  It catches the thinking of the writter and the spirit of the life and times of many women who grew up in the 1960's and 70's.  It is more of a conversation than anything else and I felt that she was sitting in the room talking to me. It has me thinking about women's roles in society had how they have changed over those years?  You don't think about it until it is laid out like that in print.  She paints her mother and grandmother in bright colours and you feel as if you could have known them.  It is a book about females but, although she would hate to admit it,  she likes males. ( As witnessed by her three marriages.) I'm not quite sure even she has reconciled that part of her character. 

A most enjoyable read.

Thank Goodness!

I spied a book by Yoko Saito and thought, "I want that", and it was reduced in price.

Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 11.02.27 amWent to the web site to order the book only to find it was unavailable.  Thank goodness, I have so much sewing lined up.  Still, the book is nice to look at.


Table Toppers

In my search for easy things to embroider I came across Gail Pan's new book "Tabletop Stitchery".

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There are so many Australian designers of this type of stitching who have incorporated it into their use of quilting.  There are so many that they must have a market for this type of work and there must be a lot of stitchers out there, who probably don't call themselves embroiderers, rather quilters.  So the humble doyle hasn't died, it has just meta- morphosised into something different.

The publishers of the book have a 'trunk show' of the work from the book.


I might use some of these ideas as part of my plan just to enjoy myself and I need to visit the sites of the other designers to see what they are doing.

New Book

Just when I thought that there were no books around where the writter used words beautifully and I had the feeling that  the stories I was reading all seemed the same, I was given a book by my sister that has just blown me away.  Day's Without End is a story about the wild west in North America.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 2.50.41 pmIt is so intensely beautiful and terrible that I can only read one chapter a day.  The beautiful words describe terrible things in such a way that you know the situations and characters are often horrific  but also  beautiful and you are able to read the words and feel both the beauty and the horror whilst being engrossed in the story.

This is my first book by Sebastian Barry.  I have looked up all his other books and intend to try and read every other one. These are the ones I want to start with.

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But I know there are more.  Including some movies. I think these will keep me busy for most of 2022.