Sunday, 18 March 2018

Almost there

Last week has been well occupied with activities other than stitching but this afternoon I did complete the Aztec Stitch on the bookmark.
Then I tacked out lines so I can do the mitred corners and finally complete this "simple job".   It has been a bit of a nightmare.   One thing I will be doing is taking some close up photos and rewriting my copy of the instructions so I don't have a repeat of this time's reversing and miscounting,
I'm thinking of doing some knitting next as a respite from the stress:)

Monday, 12 March 2018

At long last

I finally made the foundation work and two and two do make four.   Once that was completed it was easy to draw the threads and begin work on the Aztec Stitch.   My choice of floss has not given the best coverage but this is a bookmark so probably not destined to become an heirloom!
Amendments have been made to the instructions so that I will be able to be more accurate next time and I am thinking this could look good done in wool on a heavy linen as a cushion cover.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Good deeds great rewards

A couple of weeks ago at work I helped out with a tricky request and today in a courier bag came a gift.  Policy is that all gifts have to be declared so I duly went to the manager and showed him.  His response?  "Anything under $50 value doesn't have to be declared so let's eat"
And here's the evidence that he did:-)
I haven't been out pounding the pavements for an hour each night and watching the weight drop so was grateful to my colleagues for removing temptation!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

She can't even count in twos!!

Having decided that I wanted to stitch an Aztec Stitch bookmark, I read the instructions and gaily start the foundation four sided stitches - over four threads.  Doesn't everybody do four sided stitch over four fabric threads?   Why wouldn't this work out?   Reading the instructions again I see "over two threads of fabric"
Starting again on 28 count linen - the previous 32 count was too fine for my eyes when stitching over two -  I counted carefully, two by two.   I double checked (I thought). Then I sorted through the extraneous floss in stash and selected a pretty gun metal grey.   Up and down each side with the scroll work.   All is well - everything adds up(I thought).
Again, read the instructions and begin the cutting and drawing of threads.   And then.....can you see what has happened?
It doesn't add up.   I have two many fabric threads.   Both ways - warp and woof.   I can't draw threads in the correct permutation to achieve a grid for Aztec stitch.
Rather than cry I go out on my evening walk and pound the pavements on my 8km circuit reaching home a red hot perspiring mess but having made a decision.  Start again and go carefully.
So here's the progress shot of tonight's stitching. 
No I'm off to bed to read a book.   I can't go wrong with that surely as all the pages are numbered.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

X marks the spot

X is now complete and has to be placed into the box lid, packaged carefully and sent to Xanthe.  That may take another week!!  This is only 7cm by 6cm so it was hard to get a variety of flowers and still ensure a good colour balance.   But it is what it is...I was restricted by the aperture on the box lid.  I'm pleased with the lavender and the Solomon's Seal on the top left swirl.
The DBEM tells me she has some knitting jobs for me so there will be a hiatus until I can start stitching again.   But I cannot say no to this request as she has been knitting up scraps of wool into covers for some new coathangers for me and turning the long narrow rectangles of knitting into a padded curve on a hanger will require my eyesight.   After that is done I will go back to Arabian Nights and make a concerted effort to do another section.  Then psst.... I have a hardanger project already prepared:-)

On the work front I have been successful in obtaining a transfer to the same type of job at an office only 17 minutes walk from home.   Once the two managers(current and new) have negotiated a release date I will start at the new office.   Yeah!  No more hour and a half commutes home. No more 5am starts and whats more no more 9pm lights out.   I will get some evening back.

It's two months now since I started my evening walks and I have clocked up 200km.   Some time soon I will have to map out a new route as I'm tiring of the current one.   However the increasing fitness and the decreasing number on the scales makes me happy.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Bottoms - of shoes and bags

Today has been pouring with rain and I got a thorough soaking when out doing the grocery shopping.
After drying off I realised that I needed to go out again to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy.  By this stage it was a fine drizzle, enough to frizz the hair but not drench the clothes and I decided to walk down the road.
Off I went.   Something seemed to be sticking on the bottom of my shoe.  Oh no, chewing gum I thought and scraped my sole along the path.   A few more steps and I felt a wet squelching.   Looking down I found, to my horror that my shoes were disintegrating.   These shoes were not cheap; they are a reputable brand; they should not fall apart!!   And then I remembered they are around 20 years old and nothing lasts for ever.   So the bottoms fell off and they are no more.
However on a positive note I am well on the way to completing the Hardanger Bag.   Indeed I have only the bottom to do. 
Hopefully tomorrow afternoon will give this bag a bottom (stitched), a draw cord and toggle beads and a good press.
Then I can move on to Xanthe's X for the top of her box.   I am successfully finding many other "want-to-do" projects which will delay the return to Arabian Nights. 
Tonight the weatherman forecasts 21 degrees celsius and 96% humidity for us so it could be a restless night.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Now for the construction

I have all the ingredients ready and am about to start construction of the Hardanger Bag.   Well, I will start it on Tuesday which is a public holiday here so I'll have plenty of time.
Over the weekend I made the decision to face the lacework with some extremely fine Dirty Linen which I had in stash.   It is too fine for me to ever stitch on so can be sacrificed to the bag without any pain on my part.   This afternoon I went looking for lining and found this floral design on the right which is exactly the right colours and has a hint of my favourite blue in the teeny tiny dark flowers  The cord and beads came from Geoff's Emporium down the road.   Stash provided some iron-on Giggle Cloth for the stiffening.

So with all my ingredients ready I will start construction.

I have begun the arduous task of cutting the edge of the Hardanger Christmas Angel but at one-thread-at-a-time it is a slow process.   I don't want to slip and cut the stitching so only do a little at a time.   Meanwhile I continue the search for a suitable "body".   With some months left until next Christmas there is no hurry.

As I am not anxious to return to Arabian Nights too quickly I have traced the X onto fabric to begin a box top for Great-Niece number four.   Her older sister got a box for her first birthday.  X will be two this year so I am already running late :-)